The Foreign Affairs Committee of the U.S. Congress voted yesterday to call the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey in 1915-1919 for what it was, the genocide. The vote along with the intense opposition to it by the White House teaches us three important lessons.
First, the vote shows the strength of the Armenian lobby, one of the best ethnic lobbies in America. Two major organizations, Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) and Armenian Assembly of America (AAA), have worked hard to make it happen, and yesterday, it was their day.
Second, the Bush administration’s resistance to the G-word shows that if a country is perceived to have value in the so-called "war on terror," it will be allowed to get away with anything, even with murdering of 1.5 million innocent people.
Third, the way the U.S. treats its friends and allies is abhorrent. For what the Turkish government has done to us in Iraq alone, it deserves only our gratitude, not a public slap in the face. But the gratitude is a forgotten, if not forbidden, word in the U.S. Congress or, for that matter, in Washington. For some reasons, we believe that the rest of the world must do favors to us without getting anything in return, even a simple gratitude. No wonder, the list of our friends gets shorter every day.
I’m still unsure what was more on display yesterday: the stupidity of the U.S. Congress or the inability of the Bush administration to deal with it.