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Monday, October 15, 2007



There are those who condemn the Democrats for not ending the Iraq War upon assumption of Congressional power after the 2006 elections. I've always felt that, as unpleasant as it may be, we must be realistic about what Congress can actually do. A presidency without oversight for years is a dangerous thing. Restoring some semblance of that is constitutionally justified; an absolutely necessary.

Now we're being given a lesson in Congressional irresponsibility. Take your pick among the different stories, but I found this one by Brian Knowlton of the International Herald Tribune: U.S. HOUSE SPEAKER VOWS DEBATE ON ARMENIAN GENOCIDE RESOLUTION.
WASHINGTON: The speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives insisted Sunday that she would bring to the full chamber a resolution condemning the killings of Armenians nearly a century ago as genocide, even as a Turkish general warned that this could lastingly damage a military relationship crucial to American forces in Iraq.

A House committee Wednesday passed a nonbinding resolution declaring the killings, which began in 1915 in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire, to be genocide, and the speaker, Representative Nancy Pelosi, said Sunday that "I've said if it passed the committee that we would bring it to the floor."


If Pelosi does bring the matter to the full House, probably late this month or next month, it would be "the most irresponsible thing" to come from Congress this year, said Representative John Boehner, Republican of Ohio, the House minority leader.

"There's no question that the suffering of the Armenian people some 90 years ago was extreme," he said on Fox-Television. But that chapter in Turkey's past, Boehner added, "ought to be a subject for historians to sort out, not politicians."

An ABC-TV interviewer put to Pelosi the tough question at the core of the debate: What if forcing a vote on the resolution were to endanger the security of American troops in Iraq?

"Some of the things that are harmful to our troops relate to values - Abu Ghraib, Guantánamo, torture," said the California congresswoman, whose district includes thousands of Armenian-Americans. "Our troops are well-served when we declare who we are as a country and increase the respect people have for us as a nation."


Representative Steny Hoyer , Democrat of Maryland, the House majority leader, said he hoped Turks would understand that the resolution was not aimed at modern-day Turkey or its people. But he seemed to imply that the economic and political costs to Turkey of cutting off U.S. access might be so great that it might ultimately back down.

"Turkey's help to us is vital," he said on Fox TV, but "more vital is the United States' help to Turkey."

Eight former U.S. secretaries of state oppose the resolution, and on Sunday, former President Jimmy Carter joined them.

"I think if I was in Congress I would not vote for it," he said on CNN.

It's a strange day when I find myself in agreement with John Boehner, eight former secretaries of state, and former President Jimmy Carter. There are many definitions of maturity, one of them being the process of anticipating the consequences of our actions before we actually take such actions.

As someone with an avid interest in history, I am always saddened and outraged by man's inhumanity to man. Josef Stalin once said that killing one man is murder; killing a million is a statistic. Stalin was right and wrong; when the numbers of victims reach into the millions it is impossible to grasp the true horror of mass deaths.

But let me say that I am horrified by the needless deaths of millions of Irish during the great hunger of the 19th century. The Irish "Famine" as it's known is not accurate because while people were literally collapsing and dying from hunger, wheat was being exported from that country. The Holocaust, the systematic extermination of Jews, the millions murdered by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, the millions slaugtered by Stalin BEFORE World War II, the millions who died under the tutelage of that moron Mao Tse Tung, the suffering of Native Americans......I could go on for pages and never finish listing all the atrocities.

The suffering of the Armenians at the beginning of the 20th century was no less nor no more horrible than other instances of the callous application of power. For the Congress to take up a resolution NOW, aimed at what is purported to be an important ally which just happens to be a NEIGHBOR OF IRAQ, is one of the more bone-headed things I've ever heard of.

Like it or not, foreign policy is determined by the president. It is not wise, or mature, for Congress to alienate a nation that the president is trying to work with during combat operations. For this I voted for Democrats in 2006? I don't think so.

One comedian said that Congress was issuing a strong warning to the Ottoman Empire. But it's true, that's exactly what they're doing. How stupid would it appear if Congress passed a resolution condemning Britain for what happened in Ireland between 1854 and 1865? What purpose would it serve other than to unnecessarilly anger and alienate a nation that only shares the name of those who caused such suffering?

For once in his life John Boehner is right: it is a matter for historians, not politicians to debate. Nancy Pelosi is illustrating Harry Truman's point about a "do nothing Congress."

More precisely, this Congress is turning out to be more of a "do something worse than nothing."

Is there such a thing as a voter's refund?
Cross posted at Michael Linn

This post kindly featured at MemeOrandum

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Blogger AnnabelleDickson said...

For every complaint launched against President Bush, Nancy Pelosi has placed herself firmly in line to receive the same. For every short sighted ill- thought out plan of action offered up by Bush, Pelosi is second only in title.

1:48 PM  
Blogger Muslims Against Sharia said...

Muslims Against Sharia commend House Democrats and Speaker Pelosi for pressing ahead with an Armenian genocide bill. Republican opposition to the bill is pure manifestation of moral relativism.
Muslims Against Sharia condemn Turkish government for refusing to acknowledge Armenian genocide and recalling its US ambassador in response to the bill.

Source: AFP

6:21 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

I happen to agree with the writer of this post that Congress has no business dictating world history.

We have enough of a problem with the President re-writing science.

9:16 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

I'm not pleased with the timing of this resolution, and I too wonder about the Democratic leadership of Congress.
But Pelosi did make a good point when she pointed out that this resolution has been adopted by more than 20 countries, and yet has been debated in this country for 20 years, always the answer being "It's not yet the right time..."
I know foreign policy has to be realistic, but you've got to wonder how long political expediency has to remain dominant.

5:57 AM  

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