One of the especially specious arguments against the Armenian Genocide Resolution was that Congressmen are not historians, and are unqualified to determine whether the systematic slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman Turks constitutes “genocide.”

For the sake of discussion, let’s accept this sophistry and agree that Congress should take its cue from historians whose job it is to know these things. Earlier this month, scholars and academics of genocide studies gathered at McGill University (Montreal) for the Global Conference on Genocide Prevention signed a petition urging Congress to recognize the Armenian Genocide by approving floor votes on HR/SR 106. In his opening remarks, symposium chair Payam Akhavan, S.J.D. noted, “The 20th century has been described as the Century of Genocide. It opened in 1915 with the mass killing of almost 1.5 million Armenians in Eastern Anatolia by the Ottoman Empire.” Among those who signed the petition: Roméo Dallaire, former commander of UN peacekeeping forces in Rwanda; Yehuda Bauer, Holocaust historian and scholar, Yad Vashem and Hebrew University; and Dr. Gregory Stanton, President of Genocide Watch.

Not content to publish not one, not two, but three editorials against HR/SR 106 in the space of two weeks (perhaps more than one of the genocide deniers on its staff wanted his own crack at it), The Wall Street Journal also sacrificed G-d knows how many trees to allow Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a platform to spew anti-Armenian propaganda and genocide denial:

Efforts to rewrite the history of the events of 1915 through legislative fiat and vilify Turks are not new to the U.S. Congress. But past attempts were always contained through support in Congress and from successive presidential administrations. This time, it seems that the House of Representatives may be forced to take sides and pass unilateral judgment on a historic controversy that is as contentious as it is complex.

The truth is that the Armenian allegations of genocide pertaining to the events of 1915 have not been historically or legally substantiated.

Erdogan asks, “why the Republic of Armenia is obstinately evading Turkey’s offer to establish a Joint History Commission to examine together the events of 1915 through bilateral dialogue – all the while openly supporting efforts to defame Turkey.”

The truth is, Erdogan can’t handle the truth. Like all Turks, he has been brainwashed from childhood to believe that “many Turks lost their lives during the mutual killings.” It goes without saying that the word “genocide” never appears in Turkish schoolbooks – but then, there are no references whatsoever to the mass murders. Instead, schoolchildren are taught that the “events of 1915” – a code term used only by Armenian genocide deniers – were attributable to “treacherous” Armenians who had joined the Russian Imperial army in attacks on the Empire.

Conservative pundits who know as little about Turkish culture as they do about Ottoman Turkish history marveled that Turks would be “insulted” by a symbolic resolution passed by the government of a country a world away – even as they scrambled to scotch the resolution so that the bratty tot would get what he wanted and shut up. The Stiletto can explain: Every morning in school, Turkish children recite an oath that inculcates them with the idea they are a superior breed of human:

I am a Turk, I am honest. I am a hard worker. My rule is to protect those younger and to respect my elders, and to love my country and my nation more than myself. My goal is to enhance and to get higher. May my life be a present to the Turkish people. Honorable, unreachable Ataturk! I give my oath to continue towards reaching the targets you showed, to walk on the road you have opened, in the country you created. How happy I am to say I am a Turk.

Hard as it may be for right-thinking people to believe, it is entirely within the realm of possibility that Erdogan sincerely believes that Ottoman Turks did not – and are too decent and honorable to – commit genocide. Unfortunately for Turkey, the governments of 22 nations worldwide and 40 states here in the U.S. know different because their schoolbooks and newspapers aren’t censored, and their writers and journalists aren’t prosecuted (or murdered) for telling the truth.

It is Turkey that needs to constitute historical commissions to undo decades of lying to and brainwashing its citizens. Armenians know all too well the truth of the matter. They need a stinkin’ “Joint Commission” like Jews need Mahmoud Ahmadinejad telling them whether there was a Holocaust.

Note: The Stiletto writes about politics and other stuff at The Stiletto Blog.

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