October 15, 2007
We're Noting a Genocide to End the War In Iraq?
That's what John Cole seems to think the Democrats are up to. I think that's flat-out wrong. If the Democratic leadership in the Congress really wanted to end war in Iraq there are several other things they could do that would be more likely to work, and the reason this is up now is because the Democrats (who are more naturally allied with the Wilsonian sentiments at the heart of this proposal) are now in charge of the congressional agenda and are going to force a vote on it. This may or may not be a good idea, but I think he's really reading the Democratic leadership incorrectly on this.
Though if this is what they are up to, it makes President Bush's lack of a strong response to this even weirder. I mean he's willing to take his party over a cliff by opposing children's health care, but he won't turn the screws to ensure that a vote on a proposal that could badly weaken his war fails?
Posted by armand at October 15, 2007 01:01 PM
| Posted to International Affairs
In 1984, U.S. House Joint Resolution 247 recognized this genocide specifically. In 1996, the House adopted a resolution to reduce aid to Turkey until they recognize this as a genocide. The question is, since these reprimands are by no means new, what motivates the timing for this reprimand? Do you think the first woman speaker of the House is saber rattling, picking a fight with the Turks? Why doesn't she just say they're part of an axis of evil?
Saber rattling? Axis of evil? Huh? What she and the rest are calling for is simply to recognize it as a particularly horrible crime. No one is rattling sabers or saying that the current government in Turkey is responsible for it. You simply have members of Congress saying that when a great wrong occurs it should be recognized as such and a stand should be taken against it.
If you want to put this on Pelosi specifically, this isn't anything new for her. She's long prioritized human rights concerns, probably most prominently in the 1990's when she was one of the leaders in the fight against adopting business as usual practices with the brutal Communist Chinese regime.
That's so fun! Bush was not only supporting the genocide language he was using it as a campaign issue against John McCain.
You're making my point here. This is cowboy diplomacy, George W. Bush's specialty. When Bush does it, he's raked over coals for not being sensitive to some diplomatic reality. When Pelosi does it, she's "prioritiz[ing] human rights concerns". Or can you explain to me how she expects this to accomplish something when even tying aid to this recognition has failed in the past. Or explain to me how it's consistent to beat up on Turkey but extend warm diplomatic relations to Syria, going for a personal visit, unless she doesn't care about the human rights of Lebanese and only cares about the human rights of Armenians killed about a century ago.
I'm also just a little confused as to how the human rights of Shiites and Kurds in Iraq didn't warrant any American military intervention. But now that we're over there, and the Democratic Party line says our troops are targets in the middle of a civil war, why would people who actually believed our troops are targets then threaten the very supply lines by which our soldiers get their needed body armor, by sponsoring a resolution with less power than the last one which failed. Idiot, craven, or traitor?
I'm so confused by this I can't really follow what you are saying. Are you saying that recognizing instances of genocide isn't about human right concerns? Are you saying that taking a stand against it isn't in and of itself accomplishing something? While the Turks are reading this as beating up on them, the document is criticizing something that happened almost a century ago and before Turkey existed - so I don't think it's at all clear that this is "beating up on" the Turks. And the idea that visiting a country conveys "warm diplomatic relations" is flat-out silly. Politicians of all stripes talk and yell at each other with nothing remotely warm being a part of it.
And gosh I don't know, a lot of Americans would say that the human rights of Iraqis aren't worth over a trillion dollars, thousands of dead Americans, essentially destroying our soft power, and killing and uprooting hundreds of thousands or millions of Arabs in the process. That is rather a high cost for human rights. Here the potential costs (and at this point they are entirely potential) are vastly smaller.
[And of course one can have quite the argument about whether or not the human rights of the Shiites are better or worse now than pre-2003, even after the gigantic price we have and will pay.]
And what, should Americans not recognize that the Holocaust took place? How about Rwanda? Just what historical stains should we wash away to protect today's concerns?
I'm not saying there's a clearly right or clearly wrong way to vote on this - but I think the comparisons you are making aren't on target.
"Are you saying that recognizing instances of genocide isn't about human right concerns? Are you saying that taking a stand against it isn't in and of itself accomplishing something?"
I'm saying, why now?, and what does this accomplish besides feel good moralizing?
"While the Turks are reading this as beating up on them, the document is criticizing something that happened almost a century ago and before Turkey existed - so I don't think it's at all clear that this is 'beating up on' the Turks."
The Turks apparently disagree with your assessment:
A Turkish government statement Thursday said the "irresponsible" resolution was likely to endanger bilateral relations.
"We still hope that the House of Representatives will have enough good sense not to take this resolution further," said the statement.
To do so, it added, would jeopardise a strategic partnership with an ally and friend and would be an "irresponsible attitude", it added.
"And the idea that visiting a country conveys "warm diplomatic relations" is flat-out silly."
Unless of course you do so in opposition to the stated policy of your own country, to freeze out Syria for assassinations et al, in which case it does convey a warmer level of relations.
"And gosh I don't know, a lot of Americans would say that the human rights of Iraqis aren't worth over a trillion dollars, thousands of dead Americans, essentially destroying our soft power, and killing and uprooting hundreds of thousands or millions of Arabs in the process. That is rather a high cost for human rights."
So we should just go around preaching morality but not follow through?
"Here the potential costs (and at this point they are entirely potential) are vastly smaller."
Less access to supplies like body armor=more dead soldiers, maybe that's a vastly smaller cost to libs.
"And what, should Americans not recognize that the Holocaust took place? How about Rwanda? Just what historical stains should we wash away to protect today's concerns?"
We've already recognized this genocide, in 1984. This is just Pelosi using yet another back door method to keep us from succeeding in Iraq, just like
"http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0207/2751.html">war hero Jack Murtha's strategy to slow bleed the soldiers of support, supported by Nancy Pelosi at the time for the same dastardly reasons:
"As described by participants, the goal is crafted to circumvent the biggest political vulnerability of the anti-war movement -- the accusation that it is willing to abandon troops in the field. That fear is why many Democrats have remained timid in challenging Bush, even as public support for the president and his Iraq policies have plunged."
"What good does it accomplish?" Errr, if it is the truth, generally exposing horror and taking a stand against it is considered to be an accomplishment. If you don't like the Holocaust example, try the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and other such bodies? And as to why now - why not now? Should horrible facts only be exposed when it's convenient? The Turks will oppose this for years to come.
As to your next comment I explicitly stated that the Turks see it that way - but just because they see it that way doesn't mean we actually are directly beating up on them if this passes.
I don't get whatever point it is you are trying to make about Syria - talking to someone isn't necessarily warm.
"So we should just go around preaching morality but not follow through?" Uh, in some cases, yes, obviously. Look into cost-benefit analysis and rational choice.
Less access to supplies is waaaaaay less costly than the war in Iraq. You can spin it however you pleases you, but the costs aren't remotely in the same ballpark.
And I think your Pelosi thing is just dead wrong - her human rights and foreign policy record is far and away better than this administration's. She's just doing what she's been doing since she joined the Congress in the 80's. If she really wanted to end the war, there's all kinds of legislation that would accomplish that much more directly.