The United States, Armenia, and Turkey
The Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP aka “The Young Turks”) controlled Ottoman Empire in the years of 1915 – 1923. An estimated 1 to 2 million Armenians were slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks at this time, and it is reprehensible for Turkey and others to deny this with lame excuses, such as the following:
“The Armenian claim that they were victims of a premeditated genocide does not ring true, however. Rather, what appears more likely is that there was an honest, though inaccurate belief among the Turkish leaders that they were faced with a widespread and coordinated Armenian uprising from within at the very time their state was in mortal danger from without.”
“Armenians suffered a high mortality. But one must likewise consider the number of non-Christian dead. The statistics tell us that more than 2.5 million Anatolian Muslims also perished.”
And I think President Theodore Roosevelt puts the situation in the proper context in relation to American values:
“the failure to deal radically with the Turkish horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense; and because when we now refuse to war with Turkey we show that our announcement that we meant “to make the world safe for democracy” was insincere claptrap.”
Of course we don’t need to go to war with Turkey today, but if our words are to be taken seriously and not considered “insincere claptrap” we need to stand up against those who deny atrocities like the Armenian Genocide. One way of doing this is by officially recognizing and condemning the horrific actions.
But what about our relationship with Turkey? Doesn’t this come at a bad time considering the role that Turkey plays in the Global War on Terror?
Well, yes, it does come at a bad time. It would have been more prudent of the US if we had recognized the genocide years ago, as it is not a new controversy at all, and the cowardice of US politicians has prevented an official recognition many times. Regarding Turkey’s role in the GWOT,
If Turkey is truly going to be one of the good guys, they need to stop denying the fact that the first genocide of the 20th century was committed by Turkish Islamic extremists.