Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Don't write history, Congress

The News & Messenger
Prince William, VA
March 2, 2010

The United States is currently confronted with a daunting number of challenges in our nation's foreign relations, including dual wars, meeting energy needs and preventing the growth of terrorist networks. In all these areas, we have an ally in Turkey.

In a bizarre move during such turbulent times, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, including Rep. Gerry Connolly, are preparing to vote on March 4 on House Resolution 252, which will recognize as "genocide" tragic events that took place nearly 100 years ago in the now defunct Ottoman Empire, despite many holes in the historical argument.

This begs the question: Why is the committee, at a time when we are dealing with pressing international and domestic issues, all of which require Turkey's support and active participation, squandering their time on an issue that has no relevance to America's foreign relations and interests? The answer is simple: lobbying.

Despite much bravado about limiting the influence of special interests, groups with money and manpower still control Washington's agenda. The Armenian-American lobby spends an estimated $40 million annually on furthering its agenda, which revolves around recognition of an "Armenian Genocide."

This issue, ultimately, should not be on the docket of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Congress is neither the "conscience" of the world, nor its revisionist historian. It's time to put an end to an dangerous game, played year after year when Congress is taken for a ride by a single-issue lobby at the expense of America's national interests. This is that time, but it will only end when Virginians pay attention and raise their voice and tell Rep. Connolly to oppose this resolution on March 4, and every time it comes up in the future.


President of the Turkish Coalition of America

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