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Digging Up Armenian Bones In Turkey - Is The Pot Calling The Kettle Black?

By James Donahue

A proposed Congressional resolution labeling the World War I-era killings of Armenians a genocide has created yet more trouble for the United States . . . this time in Turkey, an Islamic nation already steaming over issues at its border with war-torn Iraq.

Turkey has already recalled its ambassador to Washington for consultation and warns that it might cut logistical support to the U.S. if Congress doesn't back down on this issue. And General Yasar Buyukanit this week warned that ties between Turkey and the US will be "irreversably damaged" if Congress plunges ahead with this proposal.

Turkey is a major cargo hub for military forces in both Iraq and Afghanistan, and the Turkey parliament is presently debating a military campaign into norther Iraq against Kurdish rebels, so the timing of this proposed resolution is troublesome. Yet House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is pressing for the resolution while a few survivors of that historic event are still around.

Historians say some 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks during that period. Turkey says the mass killings and deportations were not systematic and that many Turkish Muslims also died in the chaos of that war.

That the Armenian tragedy occurred is not to be questioned. The question is why are American legislators so anxious to dig up these old bones now, while our own military is engaged in a conflict in Iraq that many world leaders claim was an illegal assault that has resulted in the loss of an estimated one million Iraqi men, women and children since the assault began in 2003, and the killing continues to this day.

Are we not caught up in that old proverbial saying . . . the pot calling the kettle black? President George W. Bush launched that attack based upon a false premise that former dictator Saddam Hussein was harboring weapons of mass destruction and was in the process of developing nuclear weapons. This later proved to be false. Yet Hussein was arrested, tried for crimes against humanity and hung.

This estimate was reached earlier this year as a result of a Johns Hopkins University study, based on a cross-sectioned cluster survey, and based on the rate of killing over each year of fighting. When the study was made one year earlier, the Iraqi death toll was 601,000. Since then the number of Iraqis being killed, mostly by each other, has intensified, authorities say.

Are we not just as guilty as those Ottoman Turks when it comes to mass killings? How dare we point fingers when our own deeds in that region are perhaps even more grave than those committed in the distant past.

Is there something wrong with Nancy Pelosi's head? What is driving her and other supporting legislators to stir up these ancient issues at a time when America needs all the help it can get. Turkey has been a supporting nation in our military adventures in that region, but we are treading on very thin ice just now.