This is just another example of how meaningless are Barack Obama’s promises.
I noticed this story because the Heritage Foundation blog recommended a segment by CNN’s Jake Tapper. Here it is.
The nationalist Young Turks initiated the Armenian genocide of 1915, a campaign of ethnic cleansing against Armenians in the Ottoman Empire that included massacres and mass deportations. The government of Turkey, which emerged after the dissolution of the Ottoman Empire in 1922, has maintained a policy of denial, refusing to call the atrocities genocide.
Obama, wary of alienating Turkey on diplomatic and political fronts, has not made good on his campaign promise of six years ago. He has chosen instead to commemorate the anniversary with different terminology
Of course, no one can be surprised that Obama refuses to call the actions “genocide,” even though he promised he would. He is still trying to support the overthrow of Syria’s Bashar al-Assad. He needs Turkey’s support to do that. So, in an ironically appropriate twist of fate, Obama is both silent about the Armenian genocide and also about the extermination of Christians by “Syrian rebels”—i.e. the Al Qaeda linked terrorists that we or our allies support.
But even though the Heritage Foundation is promoting CNN (!) and pointing out that the genocide really did take place, it can’t quite push for the principle of telling the truth.
The issue is not as black and white as it seems, Heritage Foundation foreign policy analysts wrote during the tenure of Obama’s predecessor, George W. Bush, when a similar House resolution was proposed in 2007.
“The historical evidence of the genocide is solid and documented by contemporary eyewitness accounts of foreign diplomats — which in fact at the time caused considerable international uproar,” Heritage’s Helle Dale wrote in a commentary, adding: “But the problem is that the Armenian genocide is the past — and this is the present.”
“With war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan in the balance, lawmakers should take care not to undermine vital and sensitive American foreign policy goals,” Ariel Cohen cautioned in a paper. ” … Those who have criticized the Bush administration for weakening America by alienating its allies should recognize that this resolution would do just that.”
I don’t dispute that sometimes, when your survival is at stake, you must make friends with people by keeping silent. But our “war efforts” were wars of choice. Iraq was completely unnecessary and Afghanistan deserved reprisals, not over a decade of futile, troop-killing, attempted nation-building. In a world where we are constantly going into debt and shedding American blood for vague and utopian foreign goals, we find we are constantly blocked from telling the truth.