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Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship Clears The 200 Mark

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  • #31
    Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship

    The House Foreign Affairs Committee’s 27-21 vote now sends the measure to the House floor — unless the Democratic leadership reverses course and heeds Bush’s warnings.

    It means that they have to vote on it. No it hasn't been recognized yet, but it's getting there.

    How laws are made:

    The first is more simplistic and the second is detailed.

    Here's a visual if anyone prefers that. Of course, you would replace Governor with President.
    Last edited by LadySilver; 10-11-2007, 08:45 PM.
    If you have it,
    you don't need to have anything else.
    If you don't have it,
    it doesn't matter much what else you do have.
    -J. Barrie


    • #32
      Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
      Clears The 200 Mark

      By Kevin Bogardus and Jim Snyder

      The Hill, DC
      Oct 10 2007

      Following visits to Ataturk's Mausoleum and the Museum of Anatolian
      Civilizations in the Turkish capital of Ankara, members of Congress
      in May sat down for a series of meetings with top Turkish officials,
      including the Speaker of the national assembly, the deputy chief of
      the Turkish General Staff and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

      In every meeting, Rep. Steve Cohen said, U.S. lawmakers heard the same
      message: Oppose a congressional resolution that defines the killing
      of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians in the early 1900s as genocide,
      perpetrated by Ottoman Turks.

      Government officials "were constantly saying to vote against the
      resolution. Constantly," Cohen, a freshman Democrat from Tennessee,
      said. "The Turkish government doesn't want it passed."

      Hosting American officials - three privately sponsored trips, two of
      which were staff-only, have visited Turkey in the last six months -
      is just one piece of a furious campaign the Turkish government and its
      supporters have used to try to turn Congress against the resolution.

      The measure is scheduled for a House Foreign Affairs Committee vote
      Wednesday, the resolution's first legislative test under the new
      Democratic majority.

      "This resolution enjoys strong bipartisan support and is consistent
      with concerns long expressed by the American people on the suffering
      of the Armenian people," Nadeam Elshami, a spokesman for House Speaker
      Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), said.

      If the measure gains committee approval, Elshami said, the Speaker
      is "supportive of bringing it to the floor." Another Democratic
      congressional aide said that it was unclear whether the resolution
      would pass the committee, although it has supported similar resolutions
      in the past.

      The measure calls upon President Bush to "accurately characterize
      the systematic and deliberate annihilation of [1.5 million] Armenians
      as genocide."

      Lobbying on the issue intensified after the panel vote was scheduled.

      Three members of the Turkish parliament traveled to Washington Tuesday
      for a series of meetings with lawmakers and State Department officials
      to discuss the ramifications of the vote. One delegation member said
      the trip was his fourth this year.

      Turkey has relied heavily on K Street to make its case. Former House
      Democratic leader xxxx Gephardt (Mo.) and ex-Appropriations Committee
      Chairman Bob Livingston (R-La.) are among the lobbyists who have
      argued that the resolution would unnecessarily harm relations between
      the two countries.

      Livingston shot an eight-minute video that members can see on the
      Capitol Hill Broadcasting Network. In it, Livingston says Congress
      "ought not be going out and just gratuitously kicking [Turkey] in
      the shins with issues that are unnecessary."

      Livingston Group lobbyists have passed out polling data to members
      that show that 83 percent of Turkish citizens would oppose assisting
      the United States in Iraq if Congress approves the resolution.

      American forces now use an airbase in Turkey to re-supply troops
      in Iraq.

      Meanwhile, Gephardt's firm, DLA Piper, has distributed a small
      booklet titled "An Appeal to Reason" that disputes Armenia's claims
      of genocide, published for meetings with House members in March,
      according to public records.

      Despite the intense lobbying, backers of the resolution are optimistic
      the House panel will vote in favor of the resolution Wednesday, which
      would represent a victory for the Armenian-American community that
      has mounted an aggressive grassroots campaign for the better part of
      two decades to push the measure through Congress.

      "I feel pretty good about things, but they are certainly spending
      a lot of money on this," Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), who is a main
      sponsor of the resolution, said.

      Schiff argues there is a "compelling moral and ethical reason" to call
      the killings in eastern Turkey a genocide. Not doing so, he said,
      would undermine the United States' own aggressive posture with the
      Sudanese government over the crisis in Darfur, which President Bush
      has labeled a genocide.

      However, the Bush administration, like the Clinton administration
      before it, remains opposed to the Armenian genocide resolution,
      fearing damage to the U.S.'s relationship with a key ally.

      Turkey acknowledges the deaths of tens of thousands of Armenians in
      clashes from 1915 to 1923, but it says the catastrophe was part of
      a civil war sparked by the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. It says
      atrocities occurred on both sides.

      "No one claims those were not horrible days," said Egemen Bagis,
      a Turkish member of parliament who is leading the Turkish delegation
      this week.

      Bagis said a request by the Turkish prime minister to set up an
      international historical commission along with Armenia to study the
      killings has not been answered by the Armenian government.

      "I believe the job of the politician is to determine the future to
      make the best world for our children, not to determine the past. That
      is the job of the historian," the Turkish official said.

      Armenian-American backers of the resolution say the evidence that
      what happened is correctly labeled a genocide is overwhelming and
      that calls for a commission amount to a delaying tactic.

      Armenian genocide resolutions have been debated in previous
      Congresses. In 2005, for example, what was then the House International
      Relations Committee voted overwhelmingly to approve a similar
      resolution. But the measure never reached the floor.

      Twice before, the House has voted for a resolution calling the killing
      of Armenians a genocide, but the measures never passed Congress.

      Supporters say that with Democrats in charge of Congress this year,
      the lobbying has intensified. Those efforts include a well-organized
      grassroots campaign by the Armenian diaspora, which form significant
      voting blocs in key states such as California.

      The Armenian Assembly of America has sent an action alert to its
      10,000 members and has been running phone banks targeted at Foreign
      Affairs Committee members.

      In a letter sent to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, the assembly said the
      resolution would be an important gesture to survivors of World War
      I atrocities to "irrevocably and unequivocally reaffirm this fact
      of history."

      The assembly also has handed out a cable Henry Morgenthau, the
      ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1916, sent to the State
      Department in 1915. In it, Morgenthau wrote, "The great massacres and
      persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared to
      the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915."

      So far, 226 lawmakers have co-sponsored the resolution, enough to
      pass the measure in a floor vote.

      Still, Turkey's lobbying campaign seems to have had some effect. Nine
      members have dropped off as co-sponsors. At least three of those
      members changed their minds after they or their staff members heard
      from lobbyists from the Livingston Group, according to public records.

      Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.) was one of those. His spokesman, T. Q.

      Houlton, said Tancredo dropped sponsorship after sitting through
      a committee markup for a resolution that encouraged Japan to accept
      responsibility for the sexual enslavement of so-called "comfort women"
      during World War II. Tancredo voted against that resolution.

      "After the hearing, he felt it would be equally unfair to imply that
      the current Turkish government bears responsibility for the actions
      of the now-defunct Ottoman government," Houlton said.

      Houlton added that Tancredo's "decision had nothing to do with pressure
      from any foreign government in either case."

      Cohen, the freshman Democrat who visited Turkey in May, said he, too,
      likely would vote against the measure.

      Cohen said he has always heard what happened to Armenians referred
      to as genocide. "Whatever happened was awful," he said.

      But he called Turkey the only democracy and "our strongest ally"
      in the Middle East.

      "It is important that we have good relations," he said. Cohen is
      trying to convince the Congressional Study Group on Turkey to meet in
      Memphis next year, which would draw a number of Turkish and American
      officials to his district.
      What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


      • #33
        Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
        Clears The 200 Mark

        October 5, 2007

        International Association of Genocide Scholars Letter on Armenian Genocide Resolution


        The Honorable Tom Lantos, Chairman
        The Honorable Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, Ranking Member
        House Foreign Affairs Committee
        US House of Representatives

        Dear Chairman Lantos and Ranking Member Ros-Lehtinen:

        We write to you as the leading international organization of scholars
        who study genocide. We strongly urge you to pass H. Res. 106.

        In passing this resolution the US Congress would not be adjudicating
        history but instead would be affirming the truth about a genocide that
        has been overwhelmingly established by decades of documentation and

        Truth of the Scholarly Record

        It is disingenuous of the government of Turkey to use the red herring
        of a "historians' commission," half of whose members would be
        appointed by the Turkish government, to "study" the facts of what
        occurred in 1915. As we have made clear in our Open Letters to Prime
        Minister Erdogan (6/13/05 and 6/12/06), the historical record on the
        Armenian Genocide is unambiguous. It is proven by foreign office
        records of the United States, France, Great Britain, Russia, and
        perhaps most importantly, of Turkey's World War I allies, Germany and
        Austria-Hungary, as well as by the records of the Ottoman
        Courts-Martial of 1918-1920, and by decades of scholarship. A
        "commission of historians" would only serve the interests of Turkish
        genocide deniers.

        The abundance of scholarly evidence led to the unanimous resolution of
        the International Association of Genocide Scholars that the Turkish
        massacres of over one million Armenians from 1915 to 1918 was a crime
        of genocide.

        America's Own Record

        The Joint Congressional Resolution recognizing and commemorating the
        Armenian Genocide will honor America's extraordinary Foreign Service
        Officers (among them Leslie A. Davis, Jesse B. Jackson, and Oscar
        Heizer) who often risked their lives rescuing Armenian citizens in
        1915. They and others left behind some forty thousand pages of
        reports, now in the National Archives, that document that what
        happened to the Armenian people was government-planned, systematic
        extermination - what Raphael Lemkin (the man who coined the word
        genocide) used in creating the definition.

        By passing this resolution, the U.S. Congress would also pay tribute
        to America's first international human rights movement. The Foreign
        Service Officers and prominent individuals such as Theodore Roosevelt,
        Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, and Cleveland Dodge, who did so much to
        help the Armenians, exemplify America's legacy of moral leadership.

        The parliaments of many countries have affirmed the fact of the
        Armenian Genocide in unequivocal terms, yet H. Res. 106, a
        commemorative, non-binding resolution, has faced opposition from those
        who fear it would undermine US relations with Turkey. It is worth
        noting that, notwithstanding France's Armenian Genocide legislation,
        France and Turkey are engaged in more bilateral trade than ever
        before. We would not expect the US government to be intimidated by an
        unreliable ally with a deeply disturbing human rights record,
        graphically documented in the State Department's 2007 International
        Religious Freedom Report on Turkey. We would expect the United States
        to express its moral and intellectual views, not to compromise its own

        The Armenian Genocide is not a controversial issue outside of Turkey.
        Just as it would be unethical for Germany to interfere with the
        historical memory of the Holocaust, we feel it is equally unethical
        for Turkey to interfere with the memory of the Armenian Genocide. Elie
        Wiesel has repeatedly called Turkey's denial a double killing, as it
        strives to kill the memory of the event. We believe the US government
        should not be party to efforts to kill the memory of a historical fact
        as profound and important as the genocide of the Armenians, which
        Hitler used as an example in his plan to exterminate the xxxs.

        We also believe that security and historical truth are not in
        conflict, and it is in the interest of the United States to support
        the principles of human rights that are at the core of American


        Dr. Gregory H. Stanton
        International Association of Genocide Scholars


        Gregory Stanton
        Genocide Watch

        First Vice-President,
        Steven Leonard Jacobs
        University of Alabama

        Second Vice-President
        Alex Hinton
        Rutgers University

        Marc I. Sherman
        Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, Jerusalem, Israel

        Jack Nusan Porter, Newton, MA


        Joyce Apsel
        New York University, USA

        Peter Balakian, USA
        Colgate University, USA

        Ben Kiernan, USA
        Yale University, USA

        Daniel Feierstein
        U. of Buenos Aires, Argentina

        Charli Carpenter
        University of Pittsburgh, USA

        Henry Theriault
        Wellesley College, USA

        Immediate Past President:
        Israel W. Charny
        Institute on Holocaust & Genocide, Jerusalem, Israel
        What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


        • #34
          Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
          Clears The 200 Mark

          October 11, 2007
          House Panel Raises Furor on Armenian Genocide

          Correction Appended

          WASHINGTON, Oct. 10 — A House committee voted on Wednesday to condemn the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey in World War I as an act of genocide, rebuffing an intense campaign by the White House and warnings from Turkey’s government that the vote would gravely strain its relations with the United States.

          The vote by the House Foreign Affairs Committee was nonbinding and so largely symbolic, but its consequences could reach far beyond bilateral relations and spill into the war in Iraq.

          Turkish officials and lawmakers warned that if the resolution was approved by the full House, they would reconsider supporting the American war effort, which includes permission to ship essential supplies through Turkey and northern Iraq.

          President Bush appeared on the South Lawn of the White House before the vote and implored the House not to take up the issue, only to have a majority of the committee disregard his warning at the end of the day, by a vote of 27 to 21.

          “We all deeply regret the tragic suffering of the Armenian people that began in 1915,” Mr. Bush said in remarks that, reflecting official American policy, carefully avoided the use of the word genocide. “This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings, and its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in NATO and in the global war on terror.”

          The resolution was introduced early in the current session of Congress and has quietly moved forward over the last few weeks. But it provoked a fierce lobbying fight that pitted the politically influential Armenian-American population against the Turkish government, which hired equally influential former lawmakers like Robert L. Livingston, Republican of Louisiana, and Richard A. Gephardt, the former Democratic House majority leader, who backed a similar resolution when he was in Congress.

          Backers of the resolution said Congressional action was overdue.

          “Despite President George Bush twisting arms and making deals, justice prevailed,” said Representative Brad Sherman, a Democrat of California and a sponsor of the resolution. “For if we hope to stop future genocides we need to admit to those horrific acts of the past.”

          The issue of the Armenian genocide, beginning in 1915, has perennially transfixed Congress and bedeviled presidents of both parties. Ronald Reagan was the only president publicly to call the killings genocide, but his successors have avoided the term.

          When the issue last arose, in 2000, a similar resolution also won approval by a House committee, but President Clinton then succeeded in persuading a Republican speaker, J. Dennis Hastert, to withdraw the measure before the full House could vote. That time, too, Turkey had warned of canceling arms deals and withdrawing support for American air forces then patrolling northern Iraq under the auspices of the United Nations.

          The new speaker, Nancy Pelosi, faced pressure from Democrats — especially colleagues in California, New Jersey and Michigan, with their large Armenian populations — to revive the resolution again after her party gained control of the House and Senate this year.

          There is Democratic support for the resolution in the Senate, but it is unlikely to move in the months ahead because of Republican opposition and a shortage of time. Still, the Turkish government has made it clear that it would regard House passage alone as a harsh American indictment.

          The sharply worded Turkish warnings against the resolution, especially the threats to cut off support for the American war in Iraq, seemed to embolden some of the resolution’s supporters. “If they use this to destabilize our solders in Iraq, well, then shame on them,” said Representative Joseph Crowley, a Democrat from New York who voted for it.

          The Democratic leadership, however, appeared divided. Representative Rahm Emanuel, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, who worked in the Clinton White House when the issue came up in 2000, opposes the resolution.

          In what appeared to be an effort to temper the anger caused by the issue, Democrats said they were considering a parallel resolution that would praise Turkey’s close relations with the United States even as the full House prepares to consider a resolution that blames the forerunner of modern Turkey for one of the worst crimes in history.

          “Neither of these resolutions is necessary,” a White House spokesman, Gordon D. Johndroe, said Wednesday evening. He said that Mr. Bush was “very disappointed” with the vote.

          A total of 1.5 million Armenians were killed beginning in 1915 in a systematic campaign by the fraying Ottoman Empire to drive Armenians out of eastern Turkey. Turks acknowledge that hundreds of thousands of Armenians died but contend that the deaths, along with thousands of others, resulted from the war that ended with the creation of modern Turkey in 1923.

          Mr. Bush discussed the issue in the White House on Wednesday with his senior national security aides. Speaking by secure video from Baghdad, the senior American officials in Iraq, Gen. David H. Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker, raised the resolution and warned that its passage could harm the war effort in Iraq, senior Bush aides said.

          Appearing outside the West Wing after that meeting, Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates noted that about 70 percent of all air cargo sent to Iraq passed through or came from Turkey, as did 30 percent of fuel and virtually all the new armored vehicles designed to withstand mines and bombs.

          “They believe clearly that access to airfields and to the roads and so on in Turkey would be very much put at risk if this resolution passes and the Turks react as strongly as we believe they will,” Mr. Gates said, referring to the remarks of General Petraeus and Mr. Crocker.

          Turkey severed military ties with France after its Parliament voted in 2006 to make the denial of the Armenian genocide a crime.

          As the committee prepared to vote Wednesday, Mr. Bush, the American ambassador to Turkey, Ross Wilson, and other officials cajoled lawmakers by phone.

          Representative Mike Pence, a conservative Republican from Indiana who has backed the resolution in the past, said Mr. Bush persuaded him to change his position and vote no. He described the decision as gut-wrenching, underscoring the emotions stirred in American politics by a 92-year-old question.

          “While this is still the right position,” Mr. Pence said, referring to the use of the term genocide, “it is not the right time.”

          The House Democratic leadership met Wednesday morning with Turkey’s ambassador to Washington, Nabi Sensoy, and other Turkish officials, who argued against moving ahead with a vote. But Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, who now holds Mr. Gephardt’s old job as majority leader, said he and Ms. Pelosi would bring the resolution to the floor before Congress adjourned this year.

          In Turkey, a fresh wave of violence raised the specter of a Turkish raid into northern Iraq, something the United States is strongly urging against. A policeman was killed and six others were wounded in a bomb attack in the Kurdish city of Diyarbakir in southeastern Turkey on Wednesday, the state-run Anatolian News Agency reported.

          The Associated Press reported from the town of Sirnak that Turkish warplanes and helicopters were attacking positions along the southern border with Iraq that are suspected of belonging to Kurdish rebels who have been fighting Turkish forces for years.

          The Turkish government continued to prepare to request Parliament’s permission for an offensive into Iraq, with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan suggesting that a vote could be held after the end of Ramadan. Parliamentary approval would bring Turkey the closest it has been since 2003 to a full-scale military offensive into Iraq.

          Sedat Laciner, from the International Strategic Research Institution, said that the Turkish public felt betrayed by what was perceived as a lack of American support for Turkey in its battle against the Kurds.

          “American officials could think that Turkish people would ultimately forget about the lack of U.S. support in this struggle,” Mr. Laciner said, using words that could apply equally to views about the Armenian genocide. “Memories of Turks, however, are not that easy to erase once it hits sensitive spots.”

          Sebnem Arsu contributed reporting from Istanbul, and Sabrina Tavernise from Baghdad.

          Correction: October 13, 2007

          A front-page article on Thursday about a House committee’s approval of a resolution defining mass killings in Armenia as genocide misidentified the committee. It is the Foreign Affairs Committee, not the Foreign Relations Committee.

          What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


          • #35
            Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
            Clears The 200 Mark

            ""The only remedy of yesterday's mistake is concrete cooperation in
            the fight against the PKK," said Egemen Bagis, an MP and foreign
            policy advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "I
            don't know of any other option that can somehow soften the hearts of
            72 million Turks."

            "Some members of the US Congress yesterday wanted to play hardball,"
            he continued. "I can assure you that Turkey can play hardball. Our
            experience of having a state is 1,000 years old. The ball is in your
            court, and you have to show us that Turkey matters. Show us on the
            PKK, show us on bringing this to the floor or not bringing this to
            the floor, or other issues."

            Asked if the PKK-for-genocide-resolution trade might be the strategy
            before the full House vote, another parliamentarian, Gunduz Aktan,
            said, "We don't know yet, but that is a possibility, that is a real
            possibility." The Turkish MPs declined to speculate on what specific
            action Ankara would seek from Washington regarding the PKK issue."

            Joshua Kucera

            EurasiaNet, NY
            Oct 12 2007

            The US House of Representatives appears set to approve a resolution
            that would officially characterize the World War I-era massacre of
            Armenians in the Ottoman Empire as genocide. The resolution, though
            lacking any force of law, would mark the culmination of years of
            effort by Armenian-Americans to win such recognition from Congress.

            Turkey has already expressed its anger over developments by recalling
            its ambassador to Washington for consultations.

            On October 10, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed the
            resolution on a 27-21 vote. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, a
            Democrat from California, has said that the matter will come to a
            full vote before the House by the end of November. The resolution
            currently has 220 co-sponsors, which would represent enough votes
            for the measures adoption.

            The resolution is strongly opposed by the Bush administration, but
            it is not clear whether the White House, which made great efforts
            to defeat the bill in committee, will continue to expend political
            capital on what increasingly appears to be an inevitable defeat.

            President George W. Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and
            Secretary of Defense Robert Gates all personally called members of
            the committee to try to persuade them to vote against it.

            Under one scenario, provided the genocide resolution is adopted, the
            Bush administration may attempt to undertake a pro-Turkish initiative
            to mollify Ankara. A delegation of Turkish members of parliament,
            who were in Washington to lobby against the resolution, warned on
            October 11 that the US-Turkish alliance could suffer serious damage
            unless Washington made a goodwill gesture, such as adopting a much
            tougher stance toward the PKK, a Kurdish terrorist organization.

            "The only remedy of yesterday's mistake is concrete cooperation in
            the fight against the PKK," said Egemen Bagis, an MP and foreign
            policy advisor to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. "I
            don't know of any other option that can somehow soften the hearts of
            72 million Turks."

            "Some members of the US Congress yesterday wanted to play hardball,"
            he continued. "I can assure you that Turkey can play hardball. Our
            experience of having a state is 1,000 years old. The ball is in your
            court, and you have to show us that Turkey matters. Show us on the
            PKK, show us on bringing this to the floor or not bringing this to
            the floor, or other issues."

            Asked if the PKK-for-genocide-resolution trade might be the strategy
            before the full House vote, another parliamentarian, Gunduz Aktan,
            said, "We don't know yet, but that is a possibility, that is a real
            possibility." The Turkish MPs declined to speculate on what specific
            action Ankara would seek from Washington regarding the PKK issue.

            Meanwhile, Turkish leaders in Ankara were infuriated by the House
            committee vote. "This unacceptable decision of the committee, like
            similar ones in the past, is not regarded by the Turkish people as
            valid, or of any value," the Anatolia news agency quoted President
            Abdullah Gul as saying. Turkish officials indicated that the
            ambassadorial recall would be temporary.

            Bush administration officials said immediately after the vote that they
            will continue to work to oppose the resolution. "The administration
            continues strongly to oppose this resolution, passage of which may
            do grave harm to US-Turkish relations, and to US interests in Europe
            and the Middle East," said State Department spokesman Sean McCormick
            in a statement.

            "If what we saw before the committee vote was any indication, I think
            the administration will continue to press," said Aram Hamparian,
            executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America.

            "But we have truth and morality on our side."

            For the October 10 hearing, both a large hearing room and an overflow
            room were filled. Dozens of Armenian-Americans, including a handful
            of elderly survivors of the 1915 tragedy, wore stickers reading
            "Stop the Cycle of Genocide." A large Turkish press corps was also
            in attendance, as were a much smaller number of Turks opposing the
            resolution. In the overflow room, where a closed-circuit television
            showed the proceedings, the Armenians and Turks alternately cheered
            or booed the members' statements.

            Several members of Congress described agonizing decisions they had
            to make on the resolution. Most recognized that that the events of
            1915 met the standard of genocide; Many of those who opposed the
            resolution said they did so out of respect for Turkey as a friend,
            or out of fear that Turkey could retaliate by curtailing cooperation
            on Iraq. On the other hand, many who voted for the resolution said
            they resented Turkey's threats

            "There was indeed a genocide of the Armenians and it will not
            be forgotten," said Representative Mike Pence, a Republican from
            Indiana. "But I can't support this resolution. With American troops
            in harm's way, dependent on a critical supply route from Turkey,
            this is not the time for our nation to be speaking about this dark
            moment in history."

            Another Republican, Dana Rohrabacher of California, however, decried
            the "the audacity that some Turks have to threaten to cut logistics
            to US troops... Perhaps they're not as good friends as they profess,"
            he said.

            The hearing was broadcast live in both Armenia and Turkey, and the
            Turkish parliamentarians said that even the tenor of the hearing
            offended them. For example, several congressmen suggested that
            Turkey might be bluffing and that if the resolution passes it will
            be forgotten quickly in Ankara.

            "Those people who claim Turkey is bluffing should not mock Turkey on
            live TV," Bagis said. "I think that was a big mistake. Turks are very
            peculiar about their honor."

            "What was bothering me yesterday was that those [US representatives]
            who were supporting the Turkish case, 21 of them, they said loud and
            clear that the events of 1915 amounted to genocide," Aktam said.

            "Despite this fact, because of the strategic importance of Turkey,
            because of the national interest of the US, they are voting no. This
            was unbearable."

            What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


            • #36
              Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
              Clears The 200 Mark


              110th CONGRESS

              1st Session

              H. RES. 106

              Calling upon the President to ensure that the foreign
              policy of the United States reflects appropriate
              understanding and sensitivity concerning issues
              related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and
              genocide documented in the United States record
              relating to the Armenian Genocide, and for other


              January 30, 2007

              Mr. SCHIFF (for himself, Mr. RADANOVICH, Mr. PALLONE,
              Mr. KNOLLENBERG, Mr. SHERMAN, and Mr. MCCOTTER)
              submitted the following resolution; which was referred
              to the Committee on Foreign Affairs


              Calling upon the President to ensure that the foreign
              policy of the United States reflects appropriate
              understanding and sensitivity concerning issues
              related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and
              genocide documented in the United States record
              relating to the Armenian Genocide, and for other


              SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

              This resolution may be cited as the `Affirmation
              of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide

              SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

              The House of Representatives finds the

              (1) The Armenian Genocide was conceived
              and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to
              1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000
              Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children
              were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from
              their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of
              the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their
              historic homeland.

              (2) On May 24, 1915, the Allied Powers,
              England, France, and Russia, jointly issued a
              statement explicitly charging for the first time ever
              another government of committing `a crime against

              (3) This joint statement stated `the
              Allied Governments announce publicly to the Sublime
              Porte that they will hold personally responsible for
              these crimes all members of the Ottoman Government, as
              well as those of their agents who are implicated in
              such massacres'.

              (4) The post-World War I Turkish
              Government indicted the top leaders involved in the
              `organization and execution' of the Armenian Genocide
              and in the `massacre and destruction of the

              (5) In a series of courts-martial,
              officials of the Young Turk Regime were tried and
              convicted, as charged, for organizing and executing
              massacres against the Armenian people.

              (6) The chief organizers of the Armenian
              Genocide, Minister of War Enver, Minister of the
              Interior Talaat, and Minister of the Navy Jemal were
              all condemned to death for their crimes, however, the
              verdicts of the courts were not enforced.

              (7) The Armenian Genocide and these
              domestic judicial failures are documented with
              overwhelming evidence in the national archives of
              Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, the
              United States, the Vatican and many other countries,
              and this vast body of evidence attests to the same
              facts, the same events, and the same consequences.

              (8) The United States National Archives
              and Record Administration holds extensive and thorough
              documentation on the Armenian Genocide, especially in
              its holdings under Record Group 59 of the United
              States Department of State, files 867.00 and 867.40,
              which are open and widely available to the public and
              interested institutions.

              (9) The Honorable Henry Morgenthau, United
              States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to
              1916, organized and led protests by officials of many
              countries, among them the allies of the Ottoman
              Empire, against the Armenian Genocide.

              (10) Ambassador Morgenthau explicitly
              described to the United States Department of State the
              policy of the Government of the Ottoman Empire as `a
              campaign of race extermination,' and was instructed on
              July 16, 1915, by United States Secretary of State
              Robert Lansing that the `Department approves your
              procedure . . . to stop Armenian persecution'.

              (11) Senate Concurrent Resolution 12 of
              February 9, 1916, resolved that `the President of the
              United States be respectfully asked to designate a day
              on which the citizens of this country may give
              expression to their sympathy by contributing funds now
              being raised for the relief of the Armenians', who at
              the time were enduring `starvation, disease, and
              untold suffering'.

              (12) President Woodrow Wilson concurred
              and also encouraged the formation of the organization
              known as Near East Relief, chartered by an Act of
              Congress, which contributed some $116,000,000 from
              1915 to 1930 to aid Armenian Genocide survivors,
              including 132,000 orphans who became foster children
              of the American people.

              (13) Senate Resolution 359, dated May 11,
              1920, stated in part, `the testimony adduced at the
              hearings conducted by the sub-committee of the Senate
              Committee on Foreign Relations have clearly
              established the truth of the reported massacres and
              other atrocities from which the Armenian people have

              (14) The resolution followed the April 13,
              1920, report to the Senate of the American Military
              Mission to Armenia led by General James Harbord, that
              stated `[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death
              have left their haunting memories in a hundred
              beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that
              region is seldom free from the evidence of this most
              colossal crime of all the ages'.

              (15) As displayed in the United States
              Holocaust Memorial Museum, Adolf Hitler, on ordering
              his military commanders to attack Poland without
              provocation in 1939, dismissed objections by saying
              `[w]ho, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of
              the Armenians?' and thus set the stage for the

              (16) Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term
              `genocide' in 1944, and who was the earliest proponent
              of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and
              Punishment of Genocide, invoked the Armenian case as a
              definitive example of genocide in the 20th century.

              (17) The first resolution on genocide
              adopted by the United Nations at Lemkin's urging, the
              December 11, 1946, United Nations General Assembly
              Resolution 96(1) and the United Nations Convention on
              the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide itself
              recognized the Armenian Genocide as the type of crime
              the United Nations intended to prevent and punish by
              codifying existing standards.

              (18) In 1948, the United Nations War
              Crimes Commission invoked the Armenian Genocide
              `precisely . . . one of the types of acts which the
              modern term `crimes against humanity' is intended to
              cover' as a precedent for the Nuremberg tribunals.

              (19) The Commission stated that `[t]he
              provisions of Article 230 of the Peace Treaty of
              Sevres were obviously intended to cover, in conformity
              with the Allied note of 1915 . . ., offenses which had
              been committed on Turkish territory against persons of
              Turkish citizenship, though of Armenian or Greek race.
              This article constitutes therefore a precedent for
              Article 6c and 5c of the Nuremberg and Tokyo Charters,
              and offers an example of one of the categories of
              `crimes against humanity' as understood by these

              (20) House Joint Resolution 148, adopted
              on April 8, 1975, resolved: `[t]hat April 24, 1975, is
              hereby designated as `National Day of Remembrance of
              Man's Inhumanity to Man', and the President of the
              United States is authorized and requested to issue a
              proclamation calling upon the people of the United
              States to observe such day as a day of remembrance for
              all the victims of genocide, especially those of
              Armenian ancestry . . .'.

              (21) President Ronald Reagan in
              proclamation number 4838, dated April 22, 1981, stated
              in part `like the genocide of the Armenians before it,
              and the genocide of the Cambodians, which followed
              it--and like too many other persecutions of too many
              other people--the lessons of the Holocaust must never
              be forgotten'.

              (22) House Joint Resolution 247, adopted
              on September 10, 1984, resolved: `[t]hat April 24,
              1985, is hereby designated as `National Day of
              Remembrance of Man's Inhumanity to Man', and the
              President of the United States is authorized and
              requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the
              people of the United States to observe such day as a
              day of remembrance for all the victims of genocide,
              especially the one and one-half million people of
              Armenian ancestry . . .'.

              (23) In August 1985, after extensive study
              and deliberation, the United Nations SubCommission on
              Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of
              Minorities voted 14 to 1 to accept a report entitled
              `Study of the Question of the Prevention and
              Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,' which stated
              `[t]he Nazi aberration has unfortunately not been the
              only case of genocide in the 20th century. Among other
              examples which can be cited as qualifying are . . .
              the Ottoman massacre of Armenians in 1915-1916'.

              (24) This report also explained that `[a]t
              least 1,000,000, and possibly well over half of the
              Armenian population, are reliably estimated to have
              been killed or death marched by independent
              authorities and eye-witnesses. This is corroborated by
              reports in United States, German and British archives
              and of contemporary diplomats in the Ottoman Empire,
              including those of its ally Germany.'.

              (25) The United States Holocaust Memorial
              Council, an independent Federal agency, unanimously
              resolved on April 30, 1981, that the United States
              Holocaust Memorial Museum would include the Armenian
              Genocide in the Museum and has since done so.

              (26) Reviewing an aberrant 1982 expression
              (later retracted) by the United States Department of
              State asserting that the facts of the Armenian
              Genocide may be ambiguous, the United States Court of
              Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1993, after a
              review of documents pertaining to the policy record of
              the United States, noted that the assertion on
              ambiguity in the United States record about the
              Armenian Genocide `contradicted longstanding United
              States policy and was eventually retracted'.

              (27) On June 5, 1996, the House of
              Representatives adopted an amendment to House Bill
              3540 (the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and
              Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1997) to reduce
              aid to Turkey by $3,000,000 (an estimate of its
              payment of lobbying fees in the United States) until
              the Turkish Government acknowledged the Armenian
              Genocide and took steps to honor the memory of its

              (28) President William Jefferson Clinton,
              on April 24, 1998, stated: `This year, as in the past,
              we join with Armenian-Americans throughout the nation
              in commemorating one of the saddest chapters in the
              history of this century, the deportations and
              massacres of a million and a half Armenians in the
              Ottoman Empire in the years 1915-1923.'.

              (29) President George W. Bush, on April
              24, 2004, stated: `On this day, we pause in
              remembrance of one of the most horrible tragedies of
              the 20th century, the annihilation of as many as
              1,500,000 Armenians through forced exile and murder at
              the end of the Ottoman Empire.'.

              (30) Despite the international recognition
              and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, the failure
              of the domestic and international authorities to
              punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide is
              a reason why similar genocides have recurred and may
              recur in the future, and that a just resolution will
              help prevent future genocides.

              SEC. 3. DECLARATION OF POLICY.

              The House of Representatives--

              (1) calls upon the President to ensure
              that the foreign policy of the United States reflects
              appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning
              issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and
              genocide documented in the United States record
              relating to the Armenian Genocide and the consequences
              of the failure to realize a just resolution; and

              (2) calls upon the President in the
              President's annual message commemorating the Armenian
              Genocide issued on or about April 24, to accurately
              characterize the systematic and deliberate
              annihilation of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide and to
              recall the proud history of United States intervention
              in opposition to the Armenian Genocide.


              What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


              • #37
                Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
                Clears The 200 Mark


                Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock)
                October 16, 2007 Tuesday

                "When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations
                [of the Armenians], they were merely giving the death warrant to a
                whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations
                with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact. . . .

                Practically all of them were atheists, with no more respect for
                Mohammedanism than for Christianity, and with them the one motive
                was cold-blooded, calculating state policy."

                -Henry Morgenthau, U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, 1913-1916.

                "For nothing is lost, nothing is ever lost."

                -Robert Penn Warren, All the King's Men

                WHAT WAS it Mr. Faulkner said? The past is never dead. It's not even
                past. The man was on to something. Because his words keep coming
                to mind whenever somebody tries to ignore the darker episodes of
                man's history.

                Who's the latest to put on the blinders? Once again, it's Turkey,
                whose leaders have been trying for nigh unto a century to minimize
                the massacre of Armenians there during the First World War. This
                time, the Turkish denial threatens to turn into an international
                incident. With the United States on the other side.

                It's always sad when man cannot or dare not face his past-whether
                it's a person who can't admit the harm he's done or a whole country
                that avoids owning up. In either case, the one who suffers most is
                the denier. Without an admission of responsibility, there can be
                no selfforgiveness. Instead, those in denial embark on an endless
                series of explanations that don't explain, excuses that don't excuse,
                or even outright falsehoods, which are soon enough exposed.

                In the case of Turkey and the Armenians, by now most of the world
                has recognized the terrible thing that happened there: As many as
                1,500,000 Armenians, who found themselves an ethnic and religious
                minority in the old Ottoman Empire, were systematically led to their
                deaths under Turkish rule. Hundreds of thousands more were forcibly
                deported. The massacres peaked in 1915-1917. In the pitiless glare
                of history, the massacre of the Armenians is rightly regarded as the
                first genocide of the 20th Century. Or at least one of the first. (It
                wasn't exactly a bloodless century.) What the world knows, however,
                and even knew at the time, the Turkish government has always denied.

                Ankara insists that what was done to the Armenians was not genocide.

                In the usual tradition of deniers, the Turks say the number of
                Armenians who died has been inflated, that the deaths were the result
                of civil war and unrest, that there was no deliberate government
                policy behind the slaughter and degradation of the Armenians, that
                it just happened . . . . Uh-huh. History says otherwise.

                A FEW MONTHS ago, the French parliament voted to recognize what was
                done to the Armenians as a genocide. France was only the latest
                in a long series of countries to do so. Turkey took offense. In
                a demonstration of how past events still affect the present, the
                French vote raised tensions between Turkey and the European Union,
                which Turkey wants to join.

                In this country, a committee of the House of Representatives has
                approved a bill labeling the Turkish actions against the Armenians
                a genocide, sending it on to the full House. In response, Turkey has
                recalled its ambassador to Washington for consultations.

                The delicate relationship between our two countries is crucial to
                the joint war on terror. Turkey is a vital shipping point through
                which we supply our troops in Iraq. The Turks' anger over the truth's
                finally being recognized threatens to complicate our position in Iraq
                even further.

                William Faulkner wouldn't have been surprised at Turkey's reaction.

                But its intensity might cause those who know little about the Armenian
                massacres to wonder what all the fuss is about at this late date. Does
                a vote by outsiders have any relevance today? Modern Turkey isn't
                responsible for what happened 100 years ago, is it? Why burden an
                important ally with the presumed guilt of long-ago crimes?

                Who cares?

                In the midst of his own genocidal career, Adolf Hitler cynically asked
                who remembered the Armenians. The German dictator was wrong about a
                lot of things. It's no surprise he was wrong about the Armenians,
                too. Long after Adolf Hitler met his end, the world does remember
                the Armenians. With good cause: justice. It demands that what was
                done to them be recognized, not covered up.

                When the injustice is on such an historic scale, the need to
                recognize it is all the greater. The crimes against the Armenians
                aren't forgotten because they cannot be forgotten. Truth is its
                own justification, and until the truth is recognized, justice isn't

                Some in Congress and the administration would buckle to Turkey's
                huffing-andpuffing. Mere truth, they seem to be saying, isn't worth
                harming "our national interest," as if this republic's deepest
                interest could ever be served by denying the truth. It's instructive
                that those in Congress who oppose this congressional resolution,
                this long delayed act of simple decency, don't deny the truth of the
                Armenian massacres. They prefer to say that now is not the right time
                to do the right thing, which is what they've been saying for decades.

                The nature of the world is such that there will never be a time
                when recognizing this truth is convenient, not as long as Turkey is
                determined to deny its responsibility for this monumental crime. As
                usual, there is no better time than now to do the right thing. Why?

                Because recognizing injustice cleanses the soul. It restores peace.

                It makes reconciliation possible. That's what happened in South
                Africa, where truth-and-reconciliation committees heard the stories
                of the atrocities that were committed during the dark reign of
                apartheid. The hearings allowed the guilty and their victims to find
                some peace. Notice the connection: Truth and reconciliation. They go
                together. Just as justice is thwarted by denial, so reconciliation is
                impossible without a full accounting of the wrongs committed.COMING
                to terms with the past isn't always agreeable work. Against all the
                evidence, Iran's fiery president still questions the truth of the
                Holocaust. Japan has yet to fully accept its responsibility for the
                brutalities carried out by the Japanese empire in the Thirties and
                Forties. Did modern Japan commit those war crimes? No. But by refusing
                to acknowledge them, the descendants of the criminals take on part of
                the guilt that should have been laid to rest with their ancestors. And
                so the sins of the fathers are visited on later generations.

                All of this remains relevant today. Genocide isn't just some artifact
                of the 20th Century. A genocide is happening right now in Darfur,
                where the Sudanese government is as touchy about that damning word
                as Turkey remains.

                History is one thing, facts are another. History is the way we
                arrange the facts, and our perspective constantly changes. As time
                goes by, our sense of the past shifts. Each generation interprets it
                differently. What doesn't change are the facts. We may learn more
                of them over the years, for our knowledge of the past can never be
                complete. The past is too complicated for that. But to attempt to
                change the facts themselves is not just another interpretation of
                history. It is a crime against human memory.

                When we try to deny the plain facts, we cheat ourselves. Because,
                let us have faith, the facts will always have the final say. There
                will always be someone, some historian or memoirist or survivor or
                just plain conscientious observer, who will speak out-and the force
                of the facts will make the world listen.

                In the end, nations need to work through their history, not evade it,
                even for political reasons that seem so important at the moment. What
                we ignore in our past will come back to haunt us, as Americans should
                well know by now. We're still working on our own past. And until we
                acknowledge what's been done, the ghosts will linger. Forget the fate
                of the Armenians? Impossible. The wound remains raw. It needs to be
                recognized, and allowed to heal. Ignored, it festers.

                What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


                • #38
                  Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
                  Clears The 200 Mark

                  Lets be honest its not going to pass, I never thought it was even when I was told the Foreign Affairs Committe passed it.. I said the US government will not allow it to pass.
                  Its not going to, Turkey has too much pull, Bush said the bill is a waste of time.
                  The USA and Turkey are one together.
                  I'm just glad my grandparents have all died, they always prided themselves as Americans.


                  • #39
                    Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
                    Clears The 200 Mark

                    Originally posted by NightOwl View Post
                    Lets be honest its not going to pass, I never thought it was even when I was told the Foreign Affairs Committe passed it.. I said the US government will not allow it to pass.
                    Its not going to, Turkey has too much pull, Bush said the bill is a waste of time.
                    The USA and Turkey are one together.
                    I'm just glad my grandparents have all died, they always prided themselves as Americans.
                    Is it the Bush Administration or the American sense of Ethics - or should I say, the lack of it - that will not allow it to pass?
                    The question is: If the resolution is killed, can we build on the events of last week? Will what happened benefit our cause in the future or will it have a negative impact?


                    17.10.2007 18:47 GMT+04:00

                    /PanARMENIAN.Net/ With support for the Armenian Genocide resolution
                    rapidly eroding, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer indicated that
                    he's reconsidering plans to bring up the measure for a floor vote.

                    "I want to check [the votes] before we make a determination" about
                    floor action, the Maryland Democrat said Tuesday, stepping back from
                    comments he made earlier that the resolution would come up for a vote
                    by the middle of next month.

                    The non-binding resolution would urge the president to recognize as
                    genocide the deaths of 1.5 million Armenians in the former Ottoman
                    Empire nearly a century ago. It has drawn sharp opposition from Turkey,
                    and the administration has warned that House adoption of the resolution
                    would harm U.S. foreign policy efforts in the region.

                    7 cosponsors have recently withdrawn their support for the measure
                    (H Res 106), which the House Foreign Affairs Committee approved,
                    27-21, on Oct. 10.

                    Also, Democrats Alcee L. Hastings of Florida, who chairs the Commission
                    on Security and Cooperation in Europe, and John Tanner of Tennessee,
                    who chairs the House delegation to the NATO Parliamentary Assembly,
                    asked Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., to block a floor vote on the

                    Most Republicans oppose the measure.

                    Lincoln Davis, D-Tenn., cosponsored the resolution but pulled his
                    support, saying the resolution is not worth losing an ally in the
                    Middle East. "They are the only country with a large Muslim population
                    that has consistently been our friend," Davis said. "I want to keep
                    them there."

                    Despite the Democratic splintering, a spokesman for Pelosi said Monday
                    that the Speaker still intends to bring the resolution to the floor
                    before the end of the session.

                    Pelosi has long supported genocide recognition for the Armenians,
                    thousands of whom make up a vocal and influential community in her
                    home district.

                    Jane Harman, D-Calif., who cosponsored the resolution, wrote Pelosi
                    a letter last week urging her not to bring it up. Harman said she
                    would not remove her name from the bill but would vote against it on
                    the floor.

                    Those who pulled their support were adamant that they still believed
                    that the Armenian murders were genocide, but thought the timing
                    was bad.

                    "I would normally be anti-genocide," Sanford D. Bishop Jr., D-Ga.,
                    said. "But the issue has to do with the support of our troops in Iraq
                    and Afghanistan."

                    Bishop also cosponsored the measure but pulled his support.

                    Other members who removed their names as cosponsors were Carolyn
                    Cheeks Kilpatrick, D-Mich.; Allen Boyd, D-Fla.; Wally Herger,
                    R-Calif.; Marion Berry, D-Ark.; Mike Ross, D-Ark.; Hank Johnson,
                    D-Ga.; and Harry E. Mitchell, D-Ariz.

                    "This is not the time to stick our finger in the eyes of the Turks,"
                    Ross said.

                    The Bush administration and Turkish government officials, who visited
                    several congressional offices last week, have put intense pressure
                    on Congress not to take up the measure.

                    The committee vote sparked huge protests in Ankara and Istanbul and
                    prompted Turkey's top general Monday to threaten that ties between
                    the two nations would be forever changed if the House adopted the

                    The Turkish parliament also is considering a request from the military
                    to permit military incursions against Kurdish separatists holed up in
                    the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan. Turkey has been shelling villages
                    in northern Iraq where it believes the separatists are operating,
                    Congressional Quarterly reports.



                    xxxish Telegraphic Agency, NY
                    Oct 17 2007

                    Nearly a dozen U.S. lawmakers have turned against a congressional
                    resolution recognizing the Armenian genocide.

                    The resolution on the World War I-era massacres of Armenians, which
                    until Tuesday had seemed certain to pass, is now very much in doubt,
                    the New York Times reported. Among those now opposing the measure are
                    two prominent xxxish representatives, Rahm Emanuel (D-Ill.) and Jane
                    Harman (D-Calif.).

                    In explaining their shift, some legislators acknowledged that concern
                    for U.S. objectives in the Middle East could be compromised by the
                    resolution. The Turkish government has spent millions lobbying to
                    defeat the measure.

                    "We simply cannot allow the grievances of the past, as real as they
                    may be, to in any way derail our efforts to prevent further atrocities
                    for future history books," said Rep. Wally Herger (R-Calif.), who
                    withdrew his support for the measure Monday night.

                    The shift was prompted in part over reports that Turkey's Parliament
                    is considering authorizing incursions into Kurdish areas of northern
                    Iraq to attack separatists of the Kurdish Workers Party, or PKK. The
                    rebels have been fighting for more than two decades for autonomy in
                    Turkey's Kurdish-dominated southeast.

                    The United States opposes Turkish incursions, but Syrian President
                    Bashar Assad told reporters Wednesday that Turkey has every right to
                    act against the separatists, according to The Associated Press.

                    "We understand that such an operation would be aimed toward a certain
                    group which attacks Turkish soldiers," Assad said. "We support
                    decisions that Turkey has on its agenda, we are backing them. We
                    accept this as Turkey's legitimate right."



                    Times Online
                    October 17, 2007

                    (AFP/Getty Images)
                    The skulls and corpses of Armenian victims of Turkish deportation -
                    1.75 million were sent to Syria and Palestine, and 600,000 were killed
                    or starved Image :1 of 7

                    Jenny Booth and agencies
                    The United States Congress is backing off from its controversial plan
                    to pass a resolution condemning the mass killing of Armenians in 1915
                    as genocide.

                    The measure has caused outrage in Turkey - accused of responsibility
                    for the killings - and has proved an extra irritant at a time of high
                    tension between Turkey and the US over Iraq.

                    Turkey is today preparing to defy America and authorise its troops
                    to invade northern Iraq, in an attempt to wipe out Kurdish guerillas.

                    The Turkish Parliament is due to debate the military mission today,
                    and - with the support of the Government and most opposition parties -
                    is certain to give it authorisation when it is put to the vote.

                    Faced with this major setback at the hands of a country which has
                    until now been a key military ally in the Middle East, US House members
                    are backing away from the genocide vote which until last week seemed
                    certain to pass with a resounding majority.

                    "Turkey obviously feels they are getting poked in the eye over
                    something that happened a century ago, and maybe this isn't a good
                    time to be doing that," said Representative Allen Boyd, a Florida
                    Democrat who withdrew his support for the Bill on Monday night.

                    "I think it is a good resolution and horrible timing," Representative
                    Mike Ross, an Arkansas Democrat, told The New York Times.

                    Originally 226 of the 435 members of the House helped to write the
                    resolution, but at least 12 have backed out in the last day alone. A
                    group of senior House Democrats are planning to ask their leadership
                    to drop plans for a vote on the resolution, already condemned by the
                    Bush administration as dangerously provocative.

                    The White House has warned Turkey against unilateral action
                    in northern Iraq - the only part of the troubled country that has
                    remained relatively stable amid the violent political convulsions
                    that have torn apart the rest of Iraq.

                    Today's debate in the Turkish parliament is however likely to give
                    the country's army a free hand to cross the border and take any action
                    it feels necessary.

                    "This is self defence," said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Turkish Prime
                    Minister, in a television interview.

                    "Passage of this motion does not mean an immediate incursion will
                    follow, but we will act at the right time and under the right

                    Turkey says there are about 3,000 Kurdish separatist guerillas of
                    the PKK party using northern Iraq as a base to launch attacks in
                    Turkey. In more than two decades of conflict between Kurdish rebels
                    and the Turkish state, more than 30,000 people have been killed.

                    The immediate trigger for Turkey's desire to invade was a deadly
                    ambush against Turkish troops last week, which increased the public
                    pressure on the Government to be seen to take action.

                    The Turkish Government's invasion threat has caused alarm in
                    Baghdad. The Iraqi Government held a crisis cabinet meeting last night,
                    and decided to send a high-level political and security delegation
                    to Turkey to seek a diplomatic solution.

                    Tareq al-Hashemi, an Iraqi Vice-President, is already in Turkey
                    lobbying the Prime Minister and the President against the use of
                    military force.

                    Turkey has blamed Iraq and the US for failing to take action to root
                    out the Kurdish guerillas in the mountains of northern Iraq. The
                    Government in Baghdad has however got little clout in the Kurdish
                    north, whose leaders have repeatedly refused to take up arms against
                    their ethnic kin in the PKK.

                    Brent Scowcroft, a former US National Security Council adviser, blamed
                    Washington for failing to do enough to address Turkish concerns about
                    the PKK.

                    "We have taken some steps but they have been very inadequate," said
                    Mr Scowcroft.

                    Antonio Guterres, the head of the United Nations refugee agency,
                    says he is deeply concerned that Turkish action could lead to big
                    displacements of people. The "relatively stable" area had until now
                    acted as a haven for Iraqis displaced from other parts of the country.

                    Turkey is tremendously sensitive over the fate of the Armenians, and
                    has prosecuted Turkish writers who dared to mention the subject. It
                    says that large numbers of both Christian Armenians and Muslim Ottoman
                    Turks died during the First World War, many during forced relocations,
                    but it refuses to sanction the idea that the intention was to eliminate
                    the Armenians.

                    America has a million citizens of Armenian extraction, most of them
                    staunchly behind the resolution in Congress.

                    Last edited by Siamanto; 10-18-2007, 10:08 PM.
                    What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


                    • #40
                      Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
                      Clears The 200 Mark

                      By Bartholomew Sullivan

             , TN
                      Oct 17 2007

                      WASHINGTON - U.S. Rep. John Tanner, D-Tenn., has taken the lead asking
                      the Democratic House leadership not to bring a resolution condemning
                      the Armenian Genocide of 1915-1923 to a floor vote.

                      In a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny H.

                      Hoyer, Tanner and U.S. Rep. Alcee Hastings, D-Fla., wrote that the
                      resolution would inflame relations with Turkey at a time the NATO
                      member and ally in the Iraq war is critically needed.

                      "Enactment of (the resolution), which is directed at action of the
                      Ottoman Empire, would have serious consequences for the United States'
                      important relationship with modern-day Turkey, a strong NATO ally;
                      and threaten our operations and our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan,"
                      they wrote.

                      Tanner is chairman of the House delegation to the North Atlantic
                      Treaty Organization Parliamentary Assembly.

                      President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and every living
                      Secretary of State since the Ford administration have asked Congress
                      to drop the resolution, citing the harm it would do to American-Turkish

                      Tanner, whose district includes parts of Millington, Frayser and all
                      of Tipton County; U.S. Rep. Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn., whose district
                      includes parts of eastern Shelby County; and U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen,
                      D-Tenn., whose district is Memphis, were never sponsors of the
                      measure. Turkey is the honored country in next year's Memphis in
                      May events.

                      Until recently, the resolution had 225 co-sponsors. Of the 21
                      congressmen who have withdrawn their support in recent days, two are
                      from the Greater Memphis area: U.S. Rep. Roger Wicker, R-Miss., whose
                      district includes DeSoto and Marshall counties; and U.S. Rep. Marion
                      Berry, D-Ark., whose district includes Crittenden and Mississippi

                      The resolution was expected to go to a vote sometime this week,
                      but Hoyer is now saying he wants to get a floor vote before Congress
                      adjourns for the year.


                      Oct 19 2007

                      Pelosi Makes Political Misstep in Reversal on Armenian Genocide

                      By Laura Litvan and Nicholas Johnston

                      Oct. 19 (Bloomberg) -- The two meetings House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
                      attended before a vote on a resolution labeling the massacre of
                      Armenians in Ottoman Turkey a genocide foreshadowed the biggest
                      political misstep of her speakership.

                      In the hours before a House panel approved the resolution Oct. 10,
                      Pelosi was told in a tense meeting with Turkey's ambassador that the
                      vote would endanger his country's alliance with the U.S. She had a
                      warmer session with an Armenian cleric and representatives of
                      Armenian-Americans, who have a large presence in her home state of
                      California. In both, she made clear she intended to bring the
                      resolution to a full House vote.

                      Since then, Pelosi, 67, has been in retreat. Her vow to bring the
                      measure to a vote outraged Turkey, which recalled its ambassador and
                      threatened to cut off the use of its military bases to resupply U.S.
                      troops in Iraq. On Oct. 17, Pelosi said it ``remains to be seen''
                      whether the vote would occur after more than a dozen lawmakers pulled
                      their names from the measure and some Democrats asked her to drop it.

                      ``It's a good resolution but a horrible time to be considering it on
                      the House floor,'' said Representative Mike Ross of Arkansas, one of
                      the Democrats who withdrew his support.

                      ``She dug in her heels to find that she didn't have her members with
                      her,'' said Representative Ray LaHood, an Illinois Republican. ``If
                      you get too far out in front of them, it can be embarrassing.''

                      Democrats' Agenda

                      The turnaround is the first major failure for Pelosi, who has
                      successfully muscled through the agenda she set out when she became
                      leader of the Democratic majority in January. This year, the House
                      has passed a measure calling for a withdrawal of U.S. forces from
                      Iraq, a minimum-wage increase, a five-year farm bill and a $35
                      billion expansion of health coverage for children.

                      Until now, her biggest obstacles had been President George W. Bush's
                      veto power -- which he used this month to block the children's
                      health-care measure -- and the inability of Senate Democratic leaders
                      to overcome Republican opposition.

                      The controversy also handed Bush and House Republicans an opening to
                      attack Pelosi's foreign-policy credentials. ``Congress has more
                      important work to do than antagonizing a democratic ally in the
                      Muslim world, especially one that's providing vital support for our
                      military every day,'' Bush said Oct. 17.

                      Some Democrats say Pelosi couldn't have anticipated the backlash. Yet
                      Representative Jack Murtha of Pennsylvania, one of her closest
                      allies, said he had warned her in February that the resolution could
                      erode U.S. support in the Middle East. ``This is not a way to help us
                      in an area where we need allies,'' Murtha said.

                      Moral Obligation

                      Pelosi said Oct. 11 that she decided to advance the legislation
                      because the U.S. has a moral obligation to take a stand and declare
                      the World War I-era killings of 1.5 million Armenians genocide.

                      ``There's never a good time,'' Pelosi said, adding that the entire
                      Democratic leadership team, and a bipartisan coalition comprising
                      most of the House's 435 members, supported it.

                      The reaction was swift. One day after the House Foreign Affairs
                      Committee approved the resolution, 27-21, Turkey withdrew its
                      ambassador for consultations, and Turkish legislators on Oct. 17
                      authorized the use of military force against Kurdish rebels in
                      northern Iraq, a step that may further destabilize Iraq and disrupt
                      oil supplies.

                      Pelosi said Turkey may be using the resolution to justify taking
                      action in Iraq. ``This is about Turkey's plans,'' she said. ``This
                      isn't about our resolution.''

                      `Home-State Politics'

                      The legislation, which has been introduced for decades, often
                      originates from California lawmakers, said John Pitney, a political
                      science professor with Claremont McKenna College in Claremont,
                      California. About 232,000 Armenian Americans live in the state, 54
                      percent of the U.S. total, according to 2006 Census data.
                      ``Home-state politics is a large portion of it,'' Pitney said.

                      This year's resolution was co-sponsored by California Democrat Adam
                      Schiff and Pelosi has said she promised him and other supporters that
                      they would get a vote if the measure was approved by committee.

                      When it was approved in committee last week, the resolution had 226
                      co-sponsors, more that the 218 needed to pass. But by yesterday, more
                      than 12 co-sponsors had withdrawn their support.

                      This week, Pelosi backed away from her pledge to advance the bill
                      this year, saying it would be up to its sponsors to decide whether it
                      comes up for a vote. Schiff said he would ask her to bring the
                      measure to the floor only if he has enough votes to win.

                      Murtha said he is working to persuade Pelosi to drop the matter, and
                      that as many as 60 Democrats would oppose the resolution and it would
                      fail any vote of the full House.

                      ``It's impractical at this point to go forward with it,'' Murtha

                      The dispute has cost Pelosi some credibility, Pitney said. ``This is
                      proving to be a lesson to the leadership to think through the
                      long-term consequences,'' he said. ``There's a great deal of
                      difference between taking positions in the minority and moving
                      legislation in the majority.''


                      By Carl Hulse

                      The New York Times
                      Oct 18 2007

                      WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 - House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Wednesday that
                      she was reconsidering her pledge to force a vote on a resolution
                      condemning as genocide the mass killing of Armenians starting in 1915,
                      as President Bush intensified his push to derail the legislation.

                      Representative Alcee L. Hastings of Florida, left, an opponent of the
                      Armenian proposal, conferring with three other House Democrats, some
                      of whom also expressed doubts: from left, Robert Wexler of Florida,
                      and John Tanner and Steve Cohen, both of Tennessee.

                      "Whether it will come up or not and what the action will be remains
                      to be seen," Ms. Pelosi said in light of the decline in support
                      for the proposal, which, though nonbinding, has angered Turkey and
                      raised fears that the Turkish government could reduce its strategic
                      cooperation with the United States.

                      The comments by the speaker, a key supporter of the measure, added
                      to growing evidence that modern-day pragmatism was overwhelming
                      supporters' demands that the House render a historical verdict on
                      the killings of the Armenians by Ottoman Turks.

                      Mr. Bush, who as a candidate in 2000 criticized what he called a
                      "genocidal campaign" against the Armenians, said lawmakers had better
                      things to do than be caught up in the past, pursuing legislation that
                      has unsettled an important ally.

                      "With all these pressing responsibilities, one thing Congress should
                      not be doing is sorting out the historical record of the Ottoman
                      Empire," Mr. Bush said. "Congress has more important work to do than
                      antagonizing a democratic ally in the Muslim world, especially one
                      that is providing vital support for our military every day."

                      Backers of the resolution said they would push ahead despite mounting
                      opposition and try to rally support for the declaration, which they
                      said was essential to deter future genocide and protect America's
                      credibility in speaking out against brutality in places like Darfur
                      and Myanmar.

                      It also was not lost on them that Mr. Bush was willing to risk
                      upsetting China by honoring the Dalai Lama in a ceremony in the Capitol
                      Rotunda in an expression of support for democracy and human rights.

                      "As we take this principled moral stand in defiance of the Chinese
                      government, we must similarly be willing to speak out on the Armenian
                      genocide," said a statement issued by the six chief sponsors of the
                      House resolution. "If we as a nation are to be a moral leader around
                      the world, we must have the courage to recognize genocide whenever
                      and wherever it occurs."

                      One of those sponsors, Representative Adam B. Schiff, Democrat
                      of California, acknowledged that the resolution had split xxxish
                      lawmakers, with some backing the resolution and others pointing to
                      the risk to Israel should Turkey's role as a stabilizing force in the
                      region be diminished. He said it would be tragic if Israel's security
                      became a rationale for not recognizing a case of genocide.

                      "There is no nexus, but Turkey would like to make one," he said.

                      A group of House Democrats pointed more to Turkey's continuing
                      cooperation in the war in Iraq in urging Ms. Pelosi to refrain from
                      scheduling any vote on the proposal, which they said would not pass
                      in the current environment.

                      "I've got the compassion for the people, the Armenians that are
                      fighting for their ancestors," said Representative Steve Cohen,
                      a Tennessee Democrat who visited Iraq this month. "But these are
                      real-life situations, and sometimes your heart has to give in to your
                      head and do what makes sense for your country."

                      Other lawmakers questioned whether it was wise for Congress to pass
                      judgment on the behavior of other nations when it had yet to weigh
                      in on some of its own, like the treatment of American Indians in the
                      settlement of the continent.

                      "All the time when we won, it was a victory, and when they won, it was
                      a massacre," Representative Alcee L. Hastings, a Florida Democrat who
                      opposes the genocide resolution, said of the Indians. "Yet they were
                      the ones being chased all the way across the country, and no one has
                      ever apologized to them."

                      Congress occasionally embarks on delicate historical issues with
                      foreign policy implications. It did so this year when it approved
                      a resolution calling for Japan to acknowledge using women from
                      occupied territories as sex slaves during World War II. The vote
                      angered Japanese officials, but their objections failed to persuade
                      the House to drop the matter.

                      Armenian-Americans saw parallels in the vote on the Japanese issue
                      and the Armenian proposal, and they urged the House to move ahead.

                      "It is shameful and hypocritical that the Bush administration would
                      cede our moral authority in condemning genocide, thereby becoming an
                      enabler in Turkey's worldwide multimillion-dollar campaign of genocide
                      denial," said a statement from the Armenian National Committee of
                      America, which painted Turkey as an unreliable ally.

                      But opponents of the resolution said that if Turkey should be lost
                      as a partner, any effort to bring the war in Iraq to a close could
                      be greatly complicated.

                      "This is not about Turkey, pro-Turkey or anti-Armenia, or vice versa,"
                      said Representative John Tanner, Democrat of Tennessee. "From my
                      perspective, it is about the United States being able to bring a
                      swift - hopefully - resolution to this conflict in Iraq."

                      Mr. Schiff, who had appeared close to expecting House approval of the
                      resolution after an initial victory in the Foreign Affairs Committee
                      last week, seemed resigned that it now might not prevail in light
                      of the push from the administration, Turkey's government, lobbyists
                      retained by Turkey and worried lawmakers.

                      "We have the truth on our side," Mr. Schiff said, "but the truth
                      doesn't always win."

                      What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.