After running a string of editorials against the Armenian Genocide Resolution (fourth item) – plus an anti-Armenian diatribe written by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan – The Wall Street Journal belatedly lets the other side present its case when it’s too late to resuscitate the symbolic bill. On Friday’s edition of “The Journal Editorial Report” on FOX News, Paul Gigot, editor of The Wall Street Journal’s editorial page, interviewed Congressman Adam Schiff (D-CA) who authored the resolution.In his introductory comments about the segment Gigot notes that Schiff has “more than 70,000 ethnic Armenians in his Los Angeles district.” In the second of its three editorials torpedoing the resolution, The Journal noted:

California is home to the country’s largest number of politically active Armenians. Speaker Pelosi has many in her own district. Mr. Lantos represents the San Francisco suburbs. The bill’s leading sponsors include Representatives Adam Schiff, George Radanovich and Anna Eshoo, all from California.

Since when is it somehow sinister for a congressman to represent his constituents? Only when they’re Armenian, right Gigot?

In the beginning of the interview (video) Schiff makes the same point about the Bush Administration’s incomprehensible foreign policy inconsistency in appeasing the Turks but antagonizing the Chinese that The Stiletto argued last week:

GIGOT: This atrocity occurred 90 years ago. Why bring it up now at this delicate moment in the Middle East?

SCHIFF: We have tried to recognize the genocide really for years, even decade. We introduced this resolution before the Iraq war and the administration said now is not a good time. We introduce it before the war in Afghanistan and the administration said it wasn’t a good time, before 9/11 and said it wasn’t a good time.I … watched the president bestow the Medal of Honor on the Dalai Lama and I was proud of him. I was proud of him doing that notwithstanding the fact China protested that it was deeply offensive to our strategic partner in China.

Someone asked him, Mr. President, why do you risk antagonizing China? The president earlier said that preventing Iran from getting a nuclear weapon could be so important it might stop World War III. Paul, you know whose vote we need on the Security Council to pre-investment Iran from getting the bomb? We need China’s vote. But, you know, the president said when America stands up for human rights and freedom, America is always serving its national interest. The president was right then.

Schiff also tackled the issue of free speech restrictions in the supposedly “democratic” Turkey:

GIGOT: Congressman, the current dispute in Tibet is ongoing and it is about human rights in Tibet now. This resolution is 100 years ago.

SCHIFF: … Just last week, Turkey brought up on charges the son of a murdered Armenian journalist in Turkey, who was killed this year, on charges of publishing his father words about the genocide. Is that freedom in Turkey to speak out about the genocide not important? Is the freedom of expression the freedom to talk about some of the darkest chapters in the history of the world not important? Why is freedom in China important but freedom in Turkey of so little value? …

The interview then took an ironic twist, with a Dem asking, “What would Reagan do?”:

GIGOT: Congressman, there is a long list of people on the other side of this. General David Petraeus, head of American forces in Iraq, eight former secretaries of state, including Madeleine Albright. When this issue came up in 2000, President Clinton called the Republican speaker of the House, then Denny Hastert, and asked him to pull this so if wouldn’t compromise our situation in the Middle East. He did. Why shouldn’t the Democrats now, at the request of an American president, decide to pull something like this at a similar moment?

SCHIFF: Paul, these eight secretaries of state you mentioned, this was their policy. They are defending their policy during those – the administrations of those eight secretaries they were willing to deny the genocide and become complicit in Turkey’s denial.

The last president, Paul, who had the courage to recognize the Armenian genocide, was President Reagan. What would you have said to President Reagan if you were his advisor? Mr. President, I know you talk about the United States being a moral beacon for the word but we are in the middle of the Cold War this was antagonize Turkey. Mr. President, you shouldn’t do it. …

As for the canard that acknowledging this crime against humanity will hobble our efforts in Iraq and in the larger War on Terror, Schiff said:

I think the president needs to look to the greater war on terror and say what about our moral standing in the world. What role does it have when we espouse truth about history in terms of fighting this ideological struggle in the war on terror? That’s not General Petraeus’ responsibility. It is the responsibility of the president.

I think Ronald Reagan had it right and I think this president has it wrong.

Meanwhile, The Stiletto’s pal at The Oread Daily* reports on Armenian citizens of Israel protesting the government’s policy of Armenian genocide denial – as well as on Turkey’s thinly veiled threats against its “ally”:

Armenians in Israel are calling on a state that should understand their anguish to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Armenian-Israelis marched in Jerusalem’s Justice Square singing and chanting Armenian songs and slogans. The protest was attended by two parliamentary officials, Yaeer Tsaban and Khayeem Oron, who both gave speeches castigating the denial of the genocide by the Israeli government.

Israel has acknowledged that massacres were perpetrated against the Armenians and expressed sympathy for their suffering. But the government has stopped short of calling it genocide.

So how can the Israeli government join the ranks of pragmatic deniers? Just like US leaders, they don’t want to tick off the Turks.

But the Turks don’t seem concerned with saying things that sure as hell ought to tick of the Israelis.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ali Babacan on visit to Israel last week, told The Jerusalem Post,

“All of a sudden the perception in Turkey right now is that the Jewish people – or the Jewish organizations, let’s say, and the Armenian diaspora, the Armenian lobbies, are now hand-in-hand trying to defame Turkey, and trying to condemn Turkey and the Turkish people. This is the unfortunate perception right now in Turkey. So if something goes wrong in Washington, DC, it inevitably will have some influence on relations between Turkey and the US, plus the relations between Turkey and Israel, as well.”

The Turks have implied that this whole episode could put the Jewish community in Turkey at risk.

In other words, the Turks are threatening to counter charges of genocide against Armenians by committing genocide against Jews. The OD post also quotes a recent article in Haaretz pointing out that in characterizing the Armenian genocide as a lie, Turkish officials make their case using anti-Semitic invective. At least the US can take comfort in knowing that the Turks treat all their allies like turds.

*Disclosure: OD has posted items from The Stiletto Blog, and we often exchange friendly correspondence on topics of mutual interest.

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

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