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Words over genocide, past and present

October 16, 2007

I had a conversation with a friend on Friday. He felt that in order to change people, you have to remind them of the past. He said that it was important for people to know how they arrived at this point before they could accept the need for change. I countered that people don’t like having their noses rubbed in their mistakes. Define the problem of today and offer corrective actions. We like to argue, but we do so with civility.

By now, most anyone not living in a cave in Arkansas knows that the two houses of the U.S. Congress are considering resolutions condemning the Ottoman Turks for the genocide of over a million Armenians – almost 100 years ago. I’ve looked for the question behind the question on this matter and I have to say, the answers are as clear as mud. But I’ll offer a couple of possible scenarios at the close of this post.

Members of Congress stated that bloodshed today demanded a righting of past wrongs. Whose wrongs are being righted by this waste of tax-payer resources?

Nothing said today can change that fact that almost 100 years ago, the Ottoman Turks committed atrocities and mass murder on over a million Armenians, the majority of whom were Christians. No amount of U.S. congressional condemnation of those events will make a difference to either the murderers or their victims – they are all long dead.

Will we see legislation in the near future condemning Mao Zedong for the mass-murder of the Chinese populace that opposed him and the Communism he brought to China? Perhaps Congress will next pass a resolution calling for the resurrection and trial of Pol Pot for the mass-murder of over two million Cambodians?

It appears that the U.S. Congress has not forgotten about the mass killing of Tutsis and Hutus in the Rwandan civil war. Although that genocide could have been stopped, it was allowed to continue until an estimated 800,000 to 1,000,000 were slaughtered.

Today, genocide is being committed in the Darfur section of the Sudan. The world sits idly by, watching with jaundiced eyes as the annihilation of one group by another takes place. I’ve heard some claim that nobody cares because it’s blacks killing blacks, in Africa. That reason is easily discounted when one discovers the dirty little secret of the Darfur brand of genocide… it is a mostly Christian group suffering atrocities and genocide at the hands of a Muslim group.

No, this is not a call for a holy war. Genocide, no matter the perpetrators or the victims, must not be tolerated. Inaction amounts to tacit approval and this brand of evil will spread to other areas of the world. If you agree that this is an unacceptable outcome, then something must be done to stop it now.

I’ll wager that the U.N. won’t get involved. So it’s up to a nation or a group of nations to put an end to the killing. Preferably the actions should be undertaken by neighboring countries. I could see the U.S. providing some logistical support, but not actually committing troops to the effort.

Now, getting back to those Congressional resolutions I discussed a few paragraphs ago… there are two scenarios that come to mind for this Congressional action, at this particular time.

1.    The U.S. Congress really cares deeply about the plight of the Armenian Christians who were so brutally murdered 90+ years ago.

2.    The U.S. Congress really wants to hamper war efforts in Iraq but is too spineless to vote to de-fund combat activities. Condemning Turkey for the actions taken by the long-dead Ottoman Turks could mean the loss of a conduit for the majority of logistical support for our troops and curtail combat operations in that theater of operations.

I’ve never been one to be easily won over to conspiracy theories, but given that the first is highly unlikely, I’m left to assume that scenario 2 is a plausible answer for why choose that particular genocide to condemn, and why now?

I’m not an advocate of war, but I’m also not one in favor of leaving combat troops out on the field of battle with no logistical support.

Think that over. Your comments are always welcome.

My next post will deal with something I hinted at in my last post.

Until next time,


One Comment leave one →
  1. October 16, 2007 4:09 pm

    Genocide is bad. We know that.

    But to use it as a political tool to tear your own country apart and guarantee defeat in a war (and put more of your soldiers at risk) just to score political points borders on the treasonous.

    Pelosi and crowd are despicable and unworthy of being called “American.”

    OBTW, I, too, look forward to the resolutions condemning Pol Pot, et al.

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