Video: Samantha Power and the Armenian flip-flop

posted at 8:43 am on April 27, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Armenians spent April 24th in remembrance of the 1915 genocide that has consistently gone without official recognition by the US government.  Presidents promise to recognize it when running for office, and conveniently forget to honor that commitment when confronted with the realpolitik of international relations.  My friend Eric Black writes of his disappointment in the latest President to renege on his promise at the anniversary of the Meds Yeghern:

And there’s the rub. He promised, explicitly, that he would do it. And when the time came, he broke the promise.

I want to be mature and reasonable about such matters. Turkey is an important U.S. ally of long-standing, borders on Iraq and Iran and Syria (and the independent state of Armenia) and has one of the most developed democracies in the Muslim world. The argument is fundamentally historical, and not everyone cares as much about history as I do. Pissing off Turkey is not something to be done lightly.

But all of those reasons were well-known before Obama made his commitment to recognize the Armenian genocide. Like many Americans, I want to believe Obama represents an important break from the politics of lies and fancy spin, a break that has to do with honesty, integrity and promise-keeping. I still do believe that, but not on this matter.

If he wasn’t going to keep the promise, he shouldn’t have made it.

The excellent online factchecker, Politifact, which has launched an “Obameter” to track Obama’s fidelity to his campaign promises, lists his promise to the Armenians as No. 511, issued an update after Friday’s statement that concludes: “Obama’s April 24th statement still doesn’t meet the terms of his promise, and the Obameter stays at Promise Broken.”

Eric notes that Obama at least used the Armenian name for it, which translates to “Great Calamity” rather than genocide.  Another friend with more interest in the matter, King Banaian, notes that George Bush used Meds Yeghern in his 2005 statement, too, but translated it into English.  King also explains that the genocide issue matters more to the Armenian diaspora than to the Armenians in Armenia, maybe even more so now that Armenia and Turkey are coming closer to normalizing relations between the two countries.  Be sure to read both posts.

Should we be surprised when a politician breaks a promise?  Only if this is our first bull ride at the rodeo, and it certainly isn’t Eric’s.  This isn’t the first time Obama has had an expiration date on a statement; we’ve been pointing out a series of promises Obama has made that have been broken or modified either during the campaign or after his election.

In this case, as it was with George Bush, the promise itself should not have been made unless the candidates seriously wanted a diplomatic breach with Turkey.  Bush sold himself as more of a realpolitik politician, though, and less of an idealist, so the change didn’t come as a surprise — certainly not as big a surprise as Bush turning into a Wilsonian after 9/11.  Obama sold himself as an idealist and as someone who had the integrity to tell the truth and let the chips fall where they may.  It didn’t take long for Obama to disprove that.

How hard did that sell go? Here’s Samantha Power making that case in a four-minute video aimed specifically at the Armenian-American community. Power built her reputation on her uncompromising studies of genocides, which makes this about the hardest pitch one can make to a community aching for recognition of the 1915 genocide. I wonder if Power is ashamed of this performance today:


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Comments

We need Turkeys help to fight the war in Iraq. What if we upset them and they refuse to allow us to use their air space then what? And since when did right wing nut jobs consider the Armenian genocide a serious issue? Did they even talk about it when Bush was President.

nice343 on April 27, 2009 at 8:48 AM

I wonder if Power is ashamed of this performance today:

The only time anyone on the left feels shame, is when contemplating the actions of others.

That is, they are always ashamed of the actions of our ancestors, or of conservatives.

Of their own actions, shame is not possible.

MarkTheGreat on April 27, 2009 at 8:52 AM

I remember when Nancy Pelosi and the Dem congress was talking about this issue last year and it was really irritating Turkey. I thought bringing up the Armenian genocide then was a bad idea because we did (and still do) need them as an ally in the region. At the same time, Turkey has had a less than stellar record in regards to refugees and ethnic minorities (Kurds and Armenians being prime examples)so they really have no right to act shocked that the rest of the world has a longer memory than they do in regards to those issues.

Rightwingguy on April 27, 2009 at 8:53 AM

I want to believe Obama represents an important break from the politics of lies and fancy spin, a break that has to do with honesty, integrity and promise-keeping. I still do believe that

How obvious do Obama’s lies and spin have to get before people acknowledge who and what he is? You ignore everything else but attack him on this.

sad

darwin on April 27, 2009 at 8:55 AM

“He’s a person that actually can be trusted”

“I Won”

the_nile on April 27, 2009 at 8:55 AM

As I understand it modern day Turkey did not commit Meds Yeghern, the Ottoman Empire did. The Ottoman Empire is no longer around to admit what they did and modern day Turkey should not be held responsible for something it did not do. More importantly their probably are not many if any people alive in modern day Turkey who were involved in the atrocity against the Armenians. The simplest solution is probably to request/allow the modern day Turkey to admit/blame the true culprit, the Ottoman Empire.

doriangrey on April 27, 2009 at 8:57 AM

Obama makes promises like most people breathe: repeatedly and subconsciously.

Of course, this just begs the question: Why should the president of the United States remember the Armenian genocide?

amkun on April 27, 2009 at 8:57 AM

And since when did right wing nut jobs consider the Armenian genocide a serious issue? Did they even talk about it when Bush was President.

nice343 on April 27, 2009 at 8:48 AM

Nice attempt at diversion.
I can through the same question back at you?
When has the left ever cared about genocide?

Did anyone on the left complain when Stalin was killing 10’s of millions? Of course not, they were busy hiding the evidence of his crimes.

Did anyone on the left complain when the Khmer Rouge was killing millions? Of course not, even today many deny that it even happened?

Did anyone on the left complain when millions were fleeing from Vietnam after the communists took over, and many of them died in little boats trying to reach freedom? Of course not, even today many deny that it even happened.

Those of us on the right aren’t always able to do anything about genocide (for example, during Rwanda, many on the right were crying alarm, unfortunately, your president (Clinton) was busy denying that anything was happening.
But to claim that we don’t care turns history on it’s head. Not that liberals are any stranger to that strategy either.

As to whether it was talked about during Bush’s presidency, who cares. Perhaps you’ve forgotten, Obama is president now.

MarkTheGreat on April 27, 2009 at 8:57 AM

The Turkish crooks accused Israel for genocide when they struck down Hamas.

the_nile on April 27, 2009 at 8:58 AM

doriangrey on April 27, 2009 at 8:57 AM

Sounds like a reasonable solution. The only problem for me is that modern-day Turkey was around when they mistreated Kurdish refugees. Although that is kind of an entirely separate issue.

Rightwingguy on April 27, 2009 at 8:58 AM

I wonder if Power is ashamed of this performance today

I tend to doubt it. I don’t think “shame” is something that people on that side of the aisle experience, except when reflecting on what other people of their particular color and nationality have done.

morganfrost on April 27, 2009 at 8:59 AM

Powers thinks that sending people committing genocide stern letters and cutting off their bank accounts will somehow stop them in their tracks, so perhaps she really is that naive. However, I doubt that even she really expected the Messiah to fulfill his promise.

Illinidiva on April 27, 2009 at 8:59 AM

Like many Americans, I want to believe Obama represents an important break from the politics of lies and fancy spin, a break that has to do with honesty, integrity and promise-keeping. I still do believe that, but not on this matter.

So how’s your unicorn, Mr. Black?

I’m surprised they just don’t try and blame the Armenian genocide on the Jews.

rbj on April 27, 2009 at 8:59 AM

According to Bernard Lewis, it is not correct to call the 1915 massacre a “genocide”. His argument is made partly on technical grounds and I may have it slightly wrong, but it’s essentially that:

– the armenians tried to break away from turkey
– the turkish government put down the uprising
– in Armenian provinces local turks killed as many Armenians as they could

So it was not an attempt to systematically destroy all Armenians and there was some justification for the governments actions.

gh on April 27, 2009 at 9:01 AM

We need Turkeys help to fight the war in Iraq. What if we upset them and they refuse to allow us to use their air space then what? And since when did right wing nut jobs consider the Armenian genocide a serious issue? Did they even talk about it when Bush was President.

nice343 on April 27, 2009 at 8:48 AM

Bush is the one who basically demanded that the UN recognize that genocide is going on in Dafur. After 9/11, Bush was a full out Wilsonian idealist.

Illinidiva on April 27, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Sounds like a reasonable solution. The only problem for me is that modern-day Turkey was around when they mistreated Kurdish refugees. Although that is kind of an entirely separate issue.

Rightwingguy on April 27, 2009 at 8:58 AM

So hold them accountable for what they are responsible for and let what they are not responsible for go. I never owned a slave and absolutely refuse to accept any responsibility for slavery in the US. I see no rational justification for holding anyone else responsible for things they never played any part in.

doriangrey on April 27, 2009 at 9:03 AM

Muslims slaughtering Christians like sheep in a abbatoir…oh yeah…it happened so long ago….no one cares…maybe it didn’t happen…those pesky Armenians are so few in number, besides, aren’t they mostly kinda white skinned….I myself am of Italian heritage, my girlfriend is 100% Armenian, these proud Americans will never forget, the truth of Turkish barbarity is staggering, inhuman in nature, but hey, if your president is possibly a muslim, or at a very minimum, raised to believe the truth of allah, go figure, Armenians are mostly devout christians, liar,liar,liar,liar,liar,..everyday my feeling that the president is a muslim grows stronger….liar, liar, liar, liar, liar in chief

JJKRN on April 27, 2009 at 9:04 AM

We need Turkeys help to fight the war in Iraq. What if we upset them and they refuse to allow us to use their air space then what? And since when did right wing nut jobs consider the Armenian genocide a serious issue? Did they even talk about it when Bush was President.

nice343 on April 27, 2009 at 8:48 AM

Why

did

Obama

lie?

artist on April 27, 2009 at 9:05 AM

Illinidiva on April 27, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Ah yes, Darfur. That’s a genocide the left knows about. Seems to me that when we were liberating Iraq, the “anti-war” left wanted us there to stop THAT genocide. I wish they would make up their mind.

Rightwingguy on April 27, 2009 at 9:05 AM

doriangrey on April 27, 2009 at 9:03 AM

Agreed.

Rightwingguy on April 27, 2009 at 9:06 AM

What’s a politician’s promise worth?

That depends on the politician. Bush kept most of his promises. B. O. has broken most of his. Make of that what you will.

Having lived in ChiTcago I know to never trust any of the liberal politicians coming from that area. NEVER!

DannoJyd on April 27, 2009 at 9:06 AM

DannoJyd on April 27, 2009 at 9:06 AM

I hear the words “Chicago alderman” or “Illinois politician” and run the other way.

Rightwingguy on April 27, 2009 at 9:07 AM

Rightwingguy on April 27, 2009 at 9:07 AM

I ran all of the way to Michigan, and I don’t regret it.

DannoJyd on April 27, 2009 at 9:10 AM

Well, Ms. Power, as a member of the Armenian-American community, I await your follow up video where you attempt to restore your own integrity.

CarolynM on April 27, 2009 at 9:11 AM

DannoJyd on April 27, 2009 at 9:06 AM

Hahaha! Soon as I graduate from U of I, I’m heading out of here too.

Rightwingguy on April 27, 2009 at 9:11 AM

Well, if Obama continues to show weakness towards the fundamentalists in Iran and the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan, that could embolden the more fundamentalist ranks in Turkey to try a total seizure of the country. If they were to actually do that (which would require Barack to threaten the Turkish military against preemptive action the same way the Carter Administration tied the Shah’s hands in 1978), then in a few years there won’t be any problem with the president issuing support for recognizing the Armenian genocide, since Turkey will by then be as much of a U.S. ally as Iran is today.

Which at least will allow Samantha Power to feel good about herself.

jon1979 on April 27, 2009 at 9:15 AM

Not good when the first word out of Power’s mouth is “Uhhhh”.

Is Obowa’s uhh’ing as contagious as swine flu?

Bishop on April 27, 2009 at 9:16 AM

the only consideration for rahm & bambi is this: what is the power of the armenian voting bloc?

ah, but the power of the illegal immigrant voting bloc is immense!

kelley in virginia on April 27, 2009 at 9:18 AM

According to Bernard Lewis, it is not correct to call the 1915 massacre a “genocide”. His argument is made partly on technical grounds and I may have it slightly wrong, but it’s essentially that:

– the armenians tried to break away from turkey
– the turkish government put down the uprising
– in Armenian provinces local turks killed as many Armenians as they could

So it was not an attempt to systematically destroy all Armenians and there was some justification for the governments actions.

gh on April 27, 2009 at 9:01 AM

Really? Those are interesting “facts.” Hmm, Armenians tried to break away from Turkey? Tell me, where were they going to go – Mount Ararat? Maybe look for Noahs Ark and sail away? And how? It’s not as if the 2nd amendment existed in Turkey – Armenians were an unarmed Christian minority.
As an American of Armenian heritage I could give a sh*t whether or not Turkey acknowledges the genocide, but the issue is that Obama promised that he would, and didn’t.

Hope and change you can believe in.

CarolynM on April 27, 2009 at 9:19 AM

We need Turkeys help to fight the war in Iraq.

nice343 on April 27, 2009 at 8:48 AM

Amazing how a (D) in the White House suddenly turns the left’s argument from “Let’s recognize this even if it hurts our relationship with Turkey, because, you know, genocide is ba-a-a-ad.” to “We need their help to fight the war we so vehemently against for 8 years that we attempted to destroy the president and the troops fighting it.”

I mean… it’s breathtaking. I’m truly speechless.

amkun on April 27, 2009 at 9:20 AM

Always remember Soghoman Tehlirian.

MadisonConservative on April 27, 2009 at 9:23 AM

Did Sam just say “…a spade is a spade…”
Samantha is a racist. Someone should notify CJ.

Jed1899 on April 27, 2009 at 9:24 AM

doriangrey on April 27, 2009 at 8:57 AM

The problem is, modern Turkey has been encouraging and enabling denial of the Armenian Holocaust. A particularly annoying net.phenomenon back in the day was even considered part of official Turkish efforts to deny the Armenian Holocaust

Sekhmet on April 27, 2009 at 9:26 AM

The Armenians need to stop nursing a grudge and remeber the true lesson of the massacre.

Don’t believe anyone when they tell you you no longer need weapons for self-defense. They are stupid, lying, or worse.

The Armenians gave up their arms, and paid for it. How funny (heh) it is that their heroes in Congress really like the idea of disarming Mr. + Mrs. (even Ms.) America.

Harry Schell on April 27, 2009 at 9:27 AM

Always remember Soghoman Tehlirian.
MadisonConservative on April 27, 2009 at 9:23 AM

I had that last night at the local Mongolian-cuisine restaurant; it’s spicy but good.

Bishop on April 27, 2009 at 9:27 AM

Why should she be ashamed of being deceived? Lies and deceptions are standard operating procedures of the left that promote hate in dividing our country. She is just being a willing tool to spread the propaganda of one who has lied consistently in his campaign for the presidency. His didain for the truth is underscored in his selection of Joe Biden for VP. Biden is, and has always been, a compulsive liar who will lie when the truth would be more expedient.

volsense on April 27, 2009 at 9:29 AM

CarolynM…you sound like my lady,,Susan has imbued me with a sense of Armenian pride and the horror of that genocide,, and that’s what it was, GENOCIDE..Susan , my beloved Armenian girlfriend and her family, what is left of them, are proud Americans, and they will not forget the so called president’s lies,,,,lies,,,lies,,,,lies,,,lies,,,lies,,,Susan lives in Chicago, most likely you know of her ex husband or even her family, i know your community is tight.

Jeff

JJKRN on April 27, 2009 at 9:29 AM

After I read the article and before I came to the comments I wondered how quickly someone would whine Well what about Bush?”. And bingo – first comment. The Left is so predictable.

katiejane on April 27, 2009 at 9:33 AM

Obama should note the atrocities committed (dating back to the 1890s, by the way) and then do what’s right… apologize on behalf of the United States.

mankai on April 27, 2009 at 9:36 AM

With Samantha Power advising Obama on foreign relations and Rosa Brooks in the Pentagon, why should we worry about genocidal history? Adults are in charge here. Right?

Rovin on April 27, 2009 at 9:39 AM

“What I’ve seen in Obama… is his unshakable conscientiousness when it comes to human rights…”

Oh, he’s shakable… see also Cuba, Valenzuela, Iran, Nicaragua, North Korea… and this surprises anyone?

mankai on April 27, 2009 at 9:48 AM

Hahaha! Soon as I graduate from U of I, I’m heading out of here too.

Rightwingguy on April 27, 2009 at 9:11 AM

I hope you do. You won’t regret it.

DannoJyd on April 27, 2009 at 9:52 AM

Like many Americans, I want to believe Obama represents an important break from the politics of lies and fancy spin, a break that has to do with honesty, integrity and promise-keeping. I still do believe that, but not on this matter.

It will always be a “but not on this matter” excuse. Liberals will never take a step back, see the forest for the trees, and admit that their guy is a hack liar.

Grafted on April 27, 2009 at 9:53 AM

Uhhh, made it 7 seconds before I drifted off…

rgranger on April 27, 2009 at 9:55 AM

The last time a democrat took a stand on the Armenian issue was when democrats in congress brought the matter in a resolution in a transparent effort to inflame Turkey and thereby sabatoge the Iraq war effort.

As to Samantha: hey, Satan called, he said you can’t have your soul back.

jeff_from_mpls on April 27, 2009 at 10:04 AM

Like many Americans, I want to believe Obama represents an important break from the politics of lies and fancy spin, a break that has to do with honesty, integrity and promise-keeping. I still do believe that, but not on this matter.

Dear God, based on what?

How can people possibly still believe this? Is it just the “Since I was gullible and taken in, I will say I believe it till I die” syndrome?

eucher on April 27, 2009 at 10:07 AM

Like many Americans, I want to believe Obama represents an important break from the politics of lies and fancy spin, a break that has to do with honesty, integrity and promise-keeping.

That was your first mistake, buddy. Obama is a corrupt Chicago machine politician; that’s all he’s ever been, and it’s all he ever will be — no matter how hard you wish he were something better. Obama (along with a complicit MSM) used lies and fancy spin to convince you he was above lies and fancy spin — and you fell for it. Admit your mistake and move on.

AZCoyote on April 27, 2009 at 10:10 AM

Boy, she certainly was convinced at this time, anyway, that he would acknowledge the truth.

She must be terribly disappointed in him.

AnninCA on April 27, 2009 at 10:10 AM

Like many Americans, I want to believe Obama represents an important break from the politics of lies and fancy spin, a break that has to do with honesty, integrity and promise-keeping. I still do believe that, but not on this matter.

This statement alone is the most comical I’ve read in weeks. Obama supporters are such fools. I wish he’d make me chief bridge salesman. I could lower that deficit.

Griz on April 27, 2009 at 10:19 AM

Really? Those are interesting “facts.” Hmm, Armenians tried to break away from Turkey?

CarolynM on April 27, 2009 at 9:19 AM

Go back and read my post carefully. Lewis’s statements were made on a video I saw once. I thought that he said that the turkish government had some justification (or pretext) to crack-down. His quibble is with the term “genocide”. He does not question the fact that 1.5M Armenians were slaughtered.

I’ve heard things about “Armenian terrorists” from people on the Turkish side and I understand that there is some justification for that also.

gh on April 27, 2009 at 10:21 AM

Like many Americans, I want to believe Obama represents an important break from the politics of lies and fancy spin, a break that has to do with honesty, integrity and promise-keeping. I still do believe that, but not on this matter.

So she’s saying that just because Obama has lied on those things which she can verify, is no reason to believe he might have lied on those things she can’t verify.

Typical liberal, ideology over reason.

MarkTheGreat on April 27, 2009 at 10:28 AM

I thought that he said that the turkish government had some justification (or pretext) to crack-down

Well, that was one hell of a crackdown – the rape, kidnapping and forced conversion of young Armenian women, the slaughter of men and women, the forced starvation march, the killing of children, offering money per head (literally)…a government crackdown that Turks can be so very proud of.

And I guess those Armenians who didn’t lie down and submit to their own beheadings,or who didn’t watch as their women were raped and killed were the “terrorists”.

Thanks for clearing that up.

CarolynM on April 27, 2009 at 10:28 AM

This from the woman who said that the Taliban was playing checkers on the Afghanistan and Pakistan border.. The people that O has surrounded himself with are IDIOTS…

reshas1 on April 27, 2009 at 10:33 AM

Like many Americans, I want to believe Obama represents an important break from the politics of lies and fancy spin, a break that has to do with honesty, integrity and promise-keeping. I still do believe that, but not on this matter.

How many times are democrats across the country entitled to say “we were duped” before we simply refer to them as dupes?

jeff_from_mpls on April 27, 2009 at 10:40 AM

Libs have do values, so when they lie (which is often) it doesn’t bother them one little bit.

BO’s word is worth less than a diaper full of poop.

la.rt.wngr on April 27, 2009 at 10:41 AM

should have read Libs have no values in previous post

la.rt.wngr on April 27, 2009 at 10:42 AM

Ah yes, Darfur. That’s a genocide the left knows about. Seems to me that when we were liberating Iraq, the “anti-war” left wanted us there to stop THAT genocide. I wish they would make up their mind.

Rightwingguy on April 27, 2009 at 9:05 AM

Samantha Powers, George Clooney, and other Save Darfur people think that we can solve it by sending out an indictment of the President of Sudan from the ICC and using unicorns to sprinkle pixie-dust over the region. They don’t really think that we’d have to send in American troops or that it would make UBL and other radical Muslims mad.

Illinidiva on April 27, 2009 at 10:45 AM

Ah yes, Darfur. That’s a genocide the left knows about. Seems to me that when we were liberating Iraq, the “anti-war” left wanted us there to stop THAT genocide. I wish they would make up their mind.

Rightwingguy on April 27, 2009 at 9:05 AM

Samantha Powers, George Clooney, and other Save Darfur people think that we can solve it by sending out an indictment of the President of Sudan from the ICC and using unicorns to sprinkle pixie-dust over the region. They don’t really think that we’d have to send in American troops or that it would make UBL and other radical Muslims mad.

Illinidiva on April 27, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Ah yes, Darfur. That’s a genocide the left knows about. Seems to me that when we were liberating Iraq, the “anti-war” left wanted us there to stop THAT genocide. I wish they would make up their mind.

Rightwingguy on April 27, 2009 at 9:05 AM

Samantha Powers, George Clooney, and other Save Darfur people think that we can solve it by sending out an indictment of the President of Sudan from the ICC and using unicorns to sprinkle pixie-dust over the region. They don’t really think that we’d have to send in American troops or that it would make UBL and other radical Muslims mad.

Illinidiva on April 27, 2009 at 10:48 AM

The only time anyone on the left feels shame, is when contemplating the actions of others.

That is, they are always ashamed of the actions of our ancestors, or of conservatives.

Of their own actions, shame is not possible.

MarkTheGreat on April 27, 2009 at 8:52 AM

Well said

E9RET on April 27, 2009 at 10:54 AM

Obama’s just glad that he isn’t being blamed for something that happened when he was just -46 years old young.

TugboatPhil on April 27, 2009 at 10:56 AM

Obama’s just glad that he isn’t being blamed for something that happened when he was just -46 years old young.

TugboatPhil on April 27, 2009 at 10:56 AM

I have no sense of humor on this subject but that was very funny.

CarolynM on April 27, 2009 at 11:00 AM

In researching on the internet I find apologists and people obfuscating, saying it was a complex political problem, giving lists of extraneous fact and never once using the words Muslim and Christian. This was a jihad against a dhimmi population who wanted nothing more than what we in America have (up to now) – equality under the law.

Here is an excellent article by Dr. Andrew Bostom on this subject and is well worth your time to read:
http://www.frontpagemag.com/Articles/Printable.aspx?GUID={4A8473A5-87F0-4F0D-8DF0-15DB7B2D81BA}

rishika on April 27, 2009 at 11:01 AM

Samantha Power certainly has fallen for Barack’s platitudes and farcical spin, hasn’t she?

The fierce urgency of now.

Barack is half Kenyan, Half Kansan. (This is my favorite. Apparently we’re half wherever our parents were born even if we spent no time there growing up, and where we did grow up doesn’t count. I’m guessing it pains Samantha too much to say that someone is “American” and to be proud of it.)

He’s a personChicago politician who can actually be trusted.

Buy Danish on April 27, 2009 at 11:08 AM

1. Bernard Lewis touts the Israeli govt line, which is “genocide for me and not for thee”. The Israeli’s maintain this position due to geopolitics and dependency on Turkey. The downside is that it pushes the local Armo population closer to the Palestinians, who are still half Christian Orthodox.

2. The “break away” argument is technically true, except then you’re talking about a hundred years of Ottoman history, the Czars, Greek/Cyprus and a Western European push to China. The date chosen for Genocidal recognition is the breaking point between Ottoman’s fighting all separatists, (Greeks, Serbs, Armenians, Lebanese, etc..), and when the Young Turks decided to wipe out anyone inside the country who was not Turkish.

3. The Turks are the Ottoman Turks. Same people. Same land. The difference is nationalism. The current Turkish govt is splitting historical hairs. Consider if modern Americans didn’t only disown slavery because we weren’t physically involved, but we tried to deny it should be taught in school because The Confederacy no longer exists.

4. Armenians are still being jailed and killed in Turkey for voicing a dissenting opinion. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hrant_Dink

5. W used the term “genocidal acts” in his last April radio address. Has Obama gone that far?

6. Dick Gephardt is a lobbyist for the Turkish govt who has been making a hard attempt to “re-educate” Americans on a school level.

7. As for the Turks helping us with Iraq – how ignorant are some of you people?

Go ask Rumsfeld about the initial Iraq invasion and how are great Turksih friends refused to let us enter from the North, which led to the creation of the Sunni Triangle and Fallujah. Let’s just forget how the Turkish military was going to invade Northern Iraq just last year, way before Pelosi shot her mouth off. It took warnings from Petraeus to kill that action.

8. The current state – Obama said nothing because he fucked things up for Turkey entering the EU. The Turks are beginning to mend fences with Armenia because Iran is using the Caucuses as a pipeline to Russia. If Turkey doesn’t improve relations, they’re going to end up in a loggerhead with the Iranians over the Black Sea. It gets more complicated than that, but you can thank Clinton and BP for us being caught in the middle of that cluster.

9. How to solve all this? Drill at home.

10. Samantha Power – credibility gone and she knows it. But her and Barry are freaky close in a way that would be tabloid fodder if he was a Republican.

budfox on April 27, 2009 at 11:23 AM

Its amusing to me how many of Barry’s policies “morph” into almost the exact same position as Bush, once he was in office.

Tells me he had not studied those positions at all BEFORE making a bunch of campaign speechs…. and yet his whole campaign was based on “Change” and good decision making abilities.

Not sure if he was really that clueless, or whether he is just a very effective liar…

But he sure reminds me of the Person running for 6th grade class President who promises to expand Recess and to have Soda Pop in all the drinking foutains…

Romeo13 on April 27, 2009 at 11:35 AM

Power: “Obama is a person of incredible integrity”
I agree with her. Obama’s “integrity” is not credible.

Putz Prize winner Power is headed for a huge karma comeuppance, possibly at the behest of the monster Hilliary Clinton.

Western_Civ on April 27, 2009 at 11:44 AM

I want to believe Obama represents an important break from the politics of lies and fancy spin, a break that has to do with honesty, integrity and promise-keeping. I still do believe that, but not on this matter.

It sure is rough on these people, isn’t it, to lose their “belief.”

Some of them go down awful hard and slow, and in hurt disbelief.

Alana on April 27, 2009 at 11:54 AM

“If he wasn’t going to keep the promise, he shouldn’t have made it.”

You are kidding…right?

He is keeping all of his promises.

In a large steel-clad box in the basement of the Old Executive Office Building.

Obama lies.

The Obamatrons believe.

Nothing else matters.

Next.

coldwarrior on April 27, 2009 at 11:58 AM

The simplest solution is probably to request/allow the modern day Turkey to admit/blame the true culprit, the Ottoman Empire.

It’s pretty obvious that the goal here isn’t to go prosecuting anyone for the genocide, but to just have it recognized (much like the Holocaust in modern-day Germany). The problem is that mentioning the Armenian genocide (remember, the word genocide was coined to describe what happened to the Armenians, so the idea that it’s not a genocide is like saying that the Wright brothers craft was not an airplane) is punishable by imprisonment in Turkey. (see Turkish Penal Code Article 301).

Imagine if it was stricly illegal in the United States to write about or discuss what happened to the Native Americans, and you can imagine what the policy is like over there. The Armenian question in Turkey is more representitive of how repressive this “modern democracy” remains more then anything else, which is why calling for it’s recognition by the Turkish government is so important. You can’t expect to get into the EU if you’re going to imprison people for writing books based on the historical record, can you?

Rainsford on April 27, 2009 at 12:27 PM

I wonder if Power is ashamed

Let me stop you right there. The answer is: No.

Jim Treacher on April 27, 2009 at 12:39 PM

CarolynM on April 27, 2009 at 10:28 AM

I was thinking of these guys

gh on April 27, 2009 at 12:51 PM

remember, the word genocide was coined to describe what happened to the Armenians

Rainsford on April 27, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Actually, no it wasn’t:

The term “genocide” was coined by Raphael Lemkin (1900–1959), a Polish-Jewish legal scholar, in 1944, firstly from the Latin “gens, gentis,” meaning “birth, race, stock, kind” or the Greek root génos (γένος) (same meaning); secondly from Latin -cidium (cutting, killing) via French -cide.

That’s from wikipedia so if it’s wrong then you correct it.

gh on April 27, 2009 at 1:04 PM

I’m wrong … should have read further before posting:

The concept of the crime, which later evolved into the idea of genocide, originated with the experience of the Assyrians[5] massacred in Iraq on 11 August 1933. To Lemkin, the event in Iraq evoked “memories of the slaughter of Armenians” during World War I.

Sorry.

gh on April 27, 2009 at 1:06 PM

I think Lewis’ quibble is with “intent”.

The Convention (in article 2) defines genocide:

…any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:

(a) Killing members of the group;

gh on April 27, 2009 at 1:09 PM

I was thinking of these guys

gh on April 27, 2009 at 12:51 PM

That’s a bogus Wikipedia link regarding a group formed 60 years after the genocide.

Do you have an argument somewhere? You know, where you use your own words rather than quote or link to someone else?

CarolynM on April 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM

That’s from wikipedia so if it’s wrong then you correct it.

gh on April 27, 2009 at 1:04 PM

This, along with this previous quote of yours I’ve heard things about “Armenian terrorists” from people on the Turkish side and I understand that there is some justification for that also.
shows your hand. You’re a turk, you argue like one and I would know because I have several secular Turkish friends. You are trying to gain credibility with your stupid statements and bogus links by pretending you have nothing invested in this issue, but you do.

CarolynM on April 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

Well, that was one hell of a crackdown …

Thanks for clearing that up.

CarolynM on April 27, 2009 at 10:28 AM

I apologise. Ed said:

Eric notes that Obama at least used the Armenian name for it, which translates to “Great Calamity” rather than genocide.

and I was just posting what I remembered of Lewis’s position (wikipedia):

the issue is not whether the massacres happened or not, but rather if these massacres were as a result of a deliberate preconceived decision of the Turkish government

However he’s been accused of a bias in favour of the Turkish government on other issues.

gh on April 27, 2009 at 1:22 PM

CarolynM on April 27, 2009 at 1:19 PM

I am not nor have I ever been a Turk.

gh on April 27, 2009 at 1:23 PM

CarolynM on April 27, 2009 at 1:12 PM

If the link is not “bogus” what is your explanation.

I remember the turkish embassy bombings from the 1970s and 1980s and I remember claims of armenian responsibility. I don’t remember who made the claims or if they were debunked.

gh on April 27, 2009 at 1:26 PM

I am not nor have I ever been a Turk.

gh on April 27, 2009 at 1:23 PM

“That person is not a liar who makes peace between two people, and speaks good words to do away their quarrel, although they should be lies. Mishcat, vol ii. p.427.

CarolynM on April 27, 2009 at 1:45 PM

CarolynM on April 27, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Sorry, I don’t understand your reference.

gh on April 27, 2009 at 1:51 PM

OK, I’ve had ENOUGH of this.

nice343:

We need Turkeys help to fight the war in Iraq. What if we upset them and they refuse to allow us to use their air space then what?

Then… we pretty much ignore them.

Why?

Because they haven’t LET us use their airspace in Iraq since the war started, and they sure as HELL haven’t helped with supplies or land access either.

And since when did right wing nut jobs consider the Armenian genocide a serious issue?

Cute.

How about since the increasingly Jihadist Turkish government continues to ignore it, and since it is largely the prototype of the modern Jihad, I think it would be of more than passing import.

Did they even talk about it when Bush was President.

Yes, they did.

doriangrey:

As I understand it modern day Turkey did not commit Meds Yeghern, the Ottoman Empire did. The Ottoman Empire is no longer around to admit what they did and modern day Turkey should not be held responsible for something it did not do.

The problem with this approach is that it is asnine. The Turkish nationalists who FOUNDED the “Republic” as it is today- including one Kemal Musfasta- were Ottoman Turkish officers who played a role in it and similar genocides, and part of the reason tehy revolted was to avoid war crimes tribunals. They basically deposed the Sultan and set up shop, so you would reward them for changing the nameplates but leaving the underlying rot in place?

More importantly their probably are not many if any people alive in modern day Turkey who were involved in the atrocity against the Armenians.

Directly? No. But there are plenty INDIRECTLY involved by persecuting Greek, Assyrian, and Armenian minorities under the penal code for the bogus crimes of “Insulting Turkishness” and “disrespecting Attaturk.” This is something you cannot just wash away.

The simplest solution is probably to request/allow the modern day Turkey to admit/blame the true culprit, the Ottoman Empire.

Which would mean dismantling much of its Constitution and removing its cult-worship of Attaturk.

The modern government is not as innocuous on the issue as you may think.

So hold them accountable for what they are responsible for and let what they are not responsible for go.

Which would involve their persecution of political prisoners who did not toe the line.

I never owned a slave and absolutely refuse to accept any responsibility for slavery in the US.

But there isn’t a law arresting anybody who dares speak of Antebellum slavery, now is there?

I see no rational justification for holding anyone else responsible for things they never played any part in.

So why are you letting the modern “Republic” off with a slap on the wrist for deliberate concealment of genocide?

gh:

According to Bernard Lewis, it is not correct to call the 1915 massacre a “genocide”.

And Bernard Lewis also has an annoying habit of whitewashing other Ottoman crimes. Forgive me if I will not take his word on this.

– the armenians tried to break away from turkey

Um, perhaps that would have something to do with
this

this

this

this

this

this

this

these

this

this

and this

So these do not constitute a genocide? Then how does the Holocaust?

– the turkish government put down the uprising

After CREATING it. Turkish paranoia about the Armenians and Russia LED to half of these uprisings in the FIRST place.

– in Armenian provinces local turks killed as many Armenians as they could

True, but not entirely so. Those bayonet wounds, stabs, and deportations came from somewhere.

So it was not an attempt to systematically destroy all Armenians

Not specifically, it was just Istanbul’s way of saying “TURKIFY OR DIE.” If they refused to do the former, they did the latter.

and there was some justification for the governments actions.

And pray tell me what? The Armenians were planning to defect to Russia? The Armenians and Greeks and Assyrians were not Turkish?

But remember everyone, it wasn’t only the Armenians. The Young Turks killed ANYBODY who was not sufficiently “Turkish” enough, and they did it brutally.

Don’t forget them.

Turtler on April 27, 2009 at 7:16 PM

We need Turkeys help to fight the war in Iraq.
nice343 on April 27, 2009 at 8:48 AM

I see… any idea what species? Don’t want to get a bulk price on gallopavos if we really need ocellatas.

What if we upset them and they refuse to allow us to use their air space then what?

Hate to break it to ya brainiac, but turkeys are kinda stupid and they don’t fly all that high. That’s why I don’t really see them “defending their airspace” from us.

And since when did right wing nut jobs consider the Armenian genocide a serious issue? Did they even talk about it when Bush was President.

What do right-wing nut jobs have to do with the Armenian genocide issue, period? Too much L-Tryptophan again? Lay off the A.M. guajolote, Pute!

RD on April 27, 2009 at 10:06 PM

Turtler on April 27, 2009 at 7:16 PM

Hear, hear.

RD on April 27, 2009 at 10:07 PM

But remember everyone, it wasn’t only the Armenians. The Young Turks killed ANYBODY who was not sufficiently “Turkish” enough, and they did it brutally.

Don’t forget them.

Turtler on April 27, 2009 at 7:16 PM

The most precise description I can find of the
Young Turks claims that Armenians were specifically targeted. It references this book

gh on April 28, 2009 at 5:27 AM