Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The G-Word, and Why We Should All Just Drop It

Maybe it's short-sighted of me to say this, or maybe it exposes my Americentric viewpoint, but for the love of God, why does 1) Turkey and 2) the United States Congress care so much about this resolution that labels the deaths of a million Armenians in the time of World War I as "genocide"?

1. We'll start with you, Turkey. The alleged genocide happened 90 years ago, so there can't be more than a few hundred Armenian survivors still left, so it's not like there will be altogether too many petitions for reparations, if that is even legal in your system. The resolution is "non-binding", according to CNN.com, even though I don't even know what that means in this context. I guess there will be no sanctions against the Ottoman Empire then. Good news for Mehmed VI.

Plus, rather than stonewalling and denial of past wrongdoings, admitting past genocide can help out with your admission into the EU. If Germany can be in there, so can you, Turkey. Their genocide was much more recent than yours. Repent now, and ye shall be allowed into the secret EU club, which gets ye half off admission to Tivoli Gardens and a free pass to steal jobs away from hard-working Britons.

Additionally, so what if the United States calls your actions against the Armenians genocide? They don't own the world. They have nothing to do with any of these 90 year old killings. If it makes you feel better, you can try to edit out any reference to genocide in your Wikipedia entry and let bygones be bygones.

2. Moving on to you, United States Congress. Think about military bases, and go find a globe. Now point to the best location for a potential base that could respond to a threat from and is located really close to Iran and Syria, and Iraq too, should it become a full-fledged puppet state of Iran within the next decade. Now, get rid of any location inside a country that A) supports terrorism, or B) is under the thumb of Vladimir Putin. Why look, you're left with Turkey! Hey, good news. We already have two bases there. Let's try and keep our access to them.

Okay, so we know Turkey is serious about this resolution for some reason. How do we know this? After France's parliament made a similar resolution last year, Turkey severred military ties with France. Even though they really shouldn't care, Turkey sees this kind of thing as a punch in the geopolitical nads. The United States would have a lot more to lose than to gain if it tried to excoriate the most important secular Muslim pro-democratic nation in the Middle East, both now (our need for stability in northern Iraq; 70% of our wartime supplies for Iraq come through Turkey) and in the future (Iran? Possibly Russia?).

And hey, maybe it wasn't genocide anyways. Turkey has acknowledged all those Armenian deaths, but they claim it was all part of the horrors of many millions of worldwide war deaths, more specifically a part of the power struggle between Russia and the Ottoman Empire. Most regimes don't often take credit for killing millions of people, but Turkey already has. They just don't like the term "genocide".

And who gave you, the United States Congress, the power to non-bindingly define conflicts as "genocide"? The United Nations? NATO?

Look, I know Bush is all against this resolution, and normally that would be enough reason for anyone to be for said resolution, but in this matter, he's got a point. It's best not to butt our noses into something that happened 90 years ago, especially when the issue has nothing at all to do with us, and especially when it all boils down to a war of terminology rather than substance.

Having said that, let us now stick it to the Chinese by welcoming the Dalai Lama with open arms.

- QP

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