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Saturday, February 28, 2009

How To End A Genocide Debate

"How To End A Genocide Debate

The frozen relations between Armenia and Turkey are now showing some signs of melting.
By Grenville Byford | NEWSWEEK

It's almost April, so Washington is gearing up for another performance of the "Armenian Genocide Resolution Spectacular," a regular event since 1984. Here's the historical plotline: the Armenian-American lobby gets a few U.S. congressmen to sponsor a resolution recognizing the 1915 massacre of Armenians in what is now Eastern Turkey as a "genocide." Then other members of the House are induced to support it. (Members of the House may not be history buffs, but they understand the importance of stroking a powerful domestic lobby.) Next, the Turkish government says Turkey is too important to be insulted like this. In response, the American administration, recognizing that Turkey is indeed a critical NATO ally whose Incirlik Air Base is vital to the Iraq mission, starts twisting congressional arms to abandon the resolution. Offstage, the Israeli lobby, generally keen to boost Turkish-Israeli relations (though less so this year), works against the resolution. Finally, the House leadership reluctantly shelves the whole thing and the curtain falls."

More:Grenville Byford on Turkish-Armenian Reconcilation | Newsweek International Edition | Newsweek.com