Oct 112007
 
If you want proof that the workings of congress are almost totally inexplicable, you need look no further than the committee vote to declare the Armenian genocide a genocide. Now, in the most basic terms I have no objection to the idea of calling a spade a spade, even though the Turks clearly do. This probably has something to do with their nationalist laws forbidding insult to “Turkishness”. At the same time, I wonder what business it is of our government to legislate the application of historical terms, even when the proper use is obvious. Moreover, the timing of this vote is fantastically ill-advised, given the tensions between Turkey and the Kurds, which may soon be coming to a head. Now is not the time to be alienating an ally who could easily make the situation in Iraq substantially worse.

But what gets me most is the planks in our own eye, the sins we rarely acknowledge. We tried to destroy a native people, too, and if we mean to criticize Turkey for “the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland”, then we ought to discuss more openly and frequently what we inflicted on the Cherokee and other native people. But that resolution languished, never even escaping committee in the House, despite its mild language. And one of the men most responsible for those crimes? Well, he’s on our twenty-dollar bill.

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