A proposed House resolution that would label as “genocide” the deaths of Armenians more than 90 years ago during the Ottoman Empire has won the support of a majority of House members, unleashing a lobbying blitz by the Bush administration and other opponents who say it would greatly harm relations with Turkey, a key ally in the Iraq war.
All eight living former secretaries of state have signed a joint letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) warning that the nonbinding resolution “would endanger our national security interests.” Three former defense secretaries, in their own letter, said Turkey probably would cut off U.S. access to a critical air base. The government of Turkey is spending more than $300,000 a month on communications specialists and high-powered lobbyists, including former congressman Bob Livingston, to defeat the initiative.
House Resolution 106, officially the Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide, has been pushed doggedly by a congressman whose Southern California district contains the largest concentration of Armenian Americans in the country. Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D) won his seat in 2000 after his Republican predecessor was sandbagged when then-House Speaker J. Dennis Hastert reneged on a pledge and pulled the bill from the floor after a last-minute plea from President Bill Clinton.
Schiff, who defeated Rep. James Rogan after Hastert killed the floor vote, said the deaths so long ago still resonate with Armenians. “It is an insight you get when you have lots of Armenian constituents,” he said, saying it reminded him of conversations he had while growing up Jewish. “But imagine losing the entire family and having the successor state say it never happened.”
Few people deny that massacres killed hundreds of thousands of Armenian men, women and children during and immediately after World War I.
But Turkish officials and some historians say that the deaths resulted from forced relocations and widespread fighting when the 600-year-old Ottoman Empire collapsed, not from a campaign of genocide – and that hundreds of thousands of Turks also died in the same region during that time
These fuckers have too much time on their hands.