Sunday, August 31, 2008

PoliGazette on Bruce Fein's Turkey/Armenia Analysis

Bruce Fein Explains the Turkey/Armenia Issue
Armenia, Europe, Turkey — Michael van der Galien, Editor-in-Chief on March 13, 2008

Bruce Fein wrote a great post for the Huffington Post (of all places) about ” the ongoing Armenian dispute with Turkey.” “The quarrel over World War I history in Anatolia — which many have difficulty even finding on a map — has been turned into a special interest issue by the Armenian lobby,” he writes, and American politicians seem all too willing to give in to Armenian pressure.

Political calculations prompted Senators Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton to release presidential campaign statements supporting a congressional resolution to mischaracterize tragic events which unfolded during the waning years of the Ottoman Empire as genocide. The two White House aspirants are aping the Armenian resolution initiative of the House of Representatives in the previous Congress, whereby Members would hijack the role of both historian and the World Court in deciding the genocide question; this resolution was derailed by the then House Speaker. The Obama-Clinton pandering to the Armenian lobby betrays the signature Washington habit of making promises now and thinking about them later. It speaks volumes that Senator John McCain, arch enemy of earmarks and sister special interest money, refrained from bowing to Armenian campaign contributions and votes.

For several decades, some outspoken Armenian-Americans have politicized the events of 1915 in lieu of seeking the full truth. By playing their game, Obama and Clinton wander from history, fan the flames of division, and stray ever farther from what they purport to be about: change from past myopia, folly, or pettiness.

He goes on to write that Turkey open its archives (for research) years ago. The Armenian archives, on the other hand, remain closed. Why don’t Armenians open their archives? Well, the reason is simple: Armenians misbehaved tremendously before, during and after the first World War. The world doesn’t have to know that, of course. Those who want to spend time investigating this matter know so nonetheless, but if the Armenian archives contradict the Armenian claims (and propaganda), well, they’ve got a problem.

So, that’s why many people who know a bit about this issue think the Armenians refuse to open their archives (interestingly enough, they continue to say that Turkey has to open its archives, even though Turkey has opened them; it’s all part of the propaganda war).

Fein also writes that if Armenians want reconciliation, they should open up the archives. The problem with this kind of reasoning is, of course, that Armenian lobbyists don’t want reconciliation. They want money and lands.

However; at the moment that Armenia understands that this isn’t going to happen, then - and only then - they might be willing to reconcile with Turkey. In order for that to happen, Fein writes, the US should stop functioning as a mouthpiece for Armenian propagandists. The US shouldn’t be an activist, it should play “the role of facilitator.”

The next president, he writes, should be a person who understands that. Not a person who’s willing to condemn Turkey for something that happened before Turkey existed and who doesn’t understand the difference between a tremendous tragedy with many deaths (on both sides) and genocide.

Well said Bruce.

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