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13 October 2007


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Hoyer is simply demonstrating his narcissism and his lack of knowledge of history - including American history.

90 years is not a long time to hold a grudge. Ask the Scots, or visit the Southern States of America.

The Turks might want to "get over it" but the Armenians don't and won't.

Babak Makkinejad


The Azeri Turks [Azar: from Persian - "Fire"] of the so-called Azerbaijan ["Land of Fire"] Republic were historical enemies of the Sunni Ottomans since it was the Shia Azeri that created modern Iran.

It is truly a delicious historic irony to watch these two little Iranian provinces of Aran and Nakhchevan re-branding themselves as Aerbaijan Republic, beating the drums of pan-Turkism, and yet identifying themselves with Turan of the Persian Legends.

In the Armenian-Ottoman-Turkish dispute they truly have no dog and are real suckers if they take any one’s sides.


Col: I am confused by all of this. Angering Turkey, Israel's only Muslim friend, cannot be Lantos's goal. And encouraging anti-Americanism in Turkey surely isn't Congress's goal. Is this an an example of Congressional parochalism in action? Maybe the sponsors think they Armenian lobby will remember but the rest of the world--particularly those friends in Anakara--will quickly forget. It's like Peter King's support of the IRA. It was a meaningless insult to England. But it never affected the bilateral relationship. Maybe our Congresspeople are profoundly miscalculating...they mistake the Turkish memory for British forebearance?


In order to help J.Rega understand:

"and Armenians refusal to heed the Turks’ national sensibilities and near past."
I do not understand this portion of your argument at all. Armenians are supposed to respect - or heed - "Turkey for the Turks" mentality and the past attempt by that mentality to annihilate them? How does this further co-existance?

As far as Turks’ national sensibilities and near past, I don’t understand how you deduced it to be “Turkey for the Turks” argument. That exists, but is pretty artificial and comes pretty low in describing “Turkish sensibilities and near past.” At the end of WWI Turkey was an exhausted nation at the verge of extinction, with no army, government, treasury or hope. Istanbul was under Allied occupation, as well as four fifths of what is modern Turkey today was under a brutal occupation by Greeks, British, French and Italians. Only after a superhuman effort by a war weary population under the leadership of Ataturk it gained, yes, earned to be free and independent. The sensibility I refer to is the determination never to be in that situation again, and to pay any price not even to entertain the possibility. And the near past has met again and again with the resistance of former colonial powers to admit and accept the strides Turkey has made to become a modern, independent nation state. The people who refer to the traditional Turkish American friendship refer to the fact that US has always been at the front of other traditional world powers to see Turkey distinguish itself among emerging post WWI, post colonial nations with a future. Turkish people, as angry as they are at the moment know and sense this. This is what I am referring to when I cite the experience of the near past. Nobody in Turkey has, or will deny the constructive effect of the Marshall Plan after WWII, and more sensible ones may even grudgingly accept the fact that early entry into NATO kept Turkey protected from a Hungarian-Chekoslovakian-Afghanistan style invasion by the Soviet Union. Turkey showed its gratitude by sending a Brigade to Korean war which fought side by side the US Army, fending off the North Koreans and the Chinese, please, can you point out to a more concrete sign of a sensibility that responds to good will and royalty in a better way?
Also, acccepting the fact that “Turkey for the Turks”argument exists and is used by the ultra nationalists, it only appeared after the establishment of modern Turkey in 1923 way after the massacres and turmoils of WWI had ended. In order to define a new Turkish identity, it served its purpose at the time, but has became insufficient in the last 30 years to address ethnic realities of Turkey which had always existed.
With respects,

al palumbo

Genocide. Just sit quietly and meditate for a few minutes with that word rolling around in your head and see what thoughts come up.


Perhaps history is largely a torrent of horrible injustices. Can one really say anything sensible or at least not excessively sentimental about how to deal with the collective memory of these painful injustices? Restorative justice or reparations by those responsible certainly makes sense in the lifetime of those affected. Beyond that the requirement of restorative (material) compensation is less clear.

Apologies by the perpetrator are always helpful, but of course rare.

In any case it is very hard to see how pronouncements by a third party nearly a century after the event is of any material benefit.

Am I missing something?

Andy Mink

I remember reading that Kurdish bands or tribal warriors inflicted much suffering on the Armenians during their death march into the Syrian desert. Is this true or of relevance here?

As to Armenian reparations: These already took place to an extent. In the early 2000s the Cal. lawyer Bill Shernoff negotiated a small ($10 million, I think) settlement with U.S. insurance companies for survivors (or heirs) of the Armenian genocide. Shernoff had played an important role in negotiations for Jewish claims against European insurers. In the Armenian matter, he was supported by Cal. politicians.

Reparation demands can hinder moral or historical reckoning. In recent holocaust restitution negotiations gvts. and corporations shied away from aknowledging responsibility, fearing that this could be used as pretext for legal action against them (specifically in U.S. courts under the Alien Tort Claims Act). On the other hand, Germany combined the big slave labor settlement of 2001 with a declaration of historical responsibility. But the German model is not really useful here: The U.S. and the Adenauer gvt. regarded compensation of (mostly Jewish) “victims of Nazi persecution” as precondition for Western Germany´s re-admission among the “family of civilized nations.” After this, the Federal Republic negotiated numerous agreements with Poland, the Czechs, etc about letting “the crimes of the past not stand in the way of friendly relations in the future,” taking reparation claims off the table while usually making significant payments.

Following Col. Lang´s arguments, I think that this model was never applicable for Turkey which fought its way into the “family of nations” in the early 1920ies against pretty heavy odds. The hour of legal action also has long passed (Shernoff´s chance in the courts was rather slim and his targets extremely tangential to the crimes). Although I strongly sympathize with Avedis here, outside pressure esp. from the U.S. doesn´t help to move official Turkey to aknowledge this history (in their schoolbooks…). If politicians here would be serious about this issue, patentiently organizing discussions, round tables and the like for the Armenian diaspora and Turkish officials and private citizens would be much more useful. This was done by German politicians like Hans Dietrich Genscher with regards to Poland.

Andy Mink

Clifford Kiracofe


Seems to me one could posit Lantos and Ackermann could be concerned that: 1) Rising Islamist trends in Turkey will cut against secular Turkish circles' alignment with Israel and 2) give other Islamist parties and movements in the Middle East some ideas.

Moving such a resolution through Congress sends a "message" of some sort to the Turks. In the past, the Turks thought that close alignment with the "pro-Israel Lobby" would insulate them somewhat from the Armenian issue and bring all manner of benefits.

This is why some Turkish circles worked closely with the Neocons, for example. I seem to recall the days in the 1980s when Neocon heavies like Feith waxed fat through certain contracts involving Turkey and Israel.

But Wolfie miscalculated when it came to the Iraq War now didn't he? Those Islamists....pesky folks.

So what are Lantos and Ackermann signaling to the Turks? Lantos and Ackermann are very astute players and their moves in Congress should be followed closely by those interested in the Middle East.


You should say "pro-Israel lobby" to be pc and sort of mumble it under your breath after looking around the chat room. To be pc the "l" should not be capitalized.

The new Mearsheimer and Walt book deals with the Zionist Lobby in extenso: The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy (New York: Farrar, Strauss, 2007). But earlier works are also useful: J.J. Goldberg, Jewish Power. Inside the American Jewish Establishment (Reading: Addison-Wesley, 1996) and Edward Tivnan, The Lobby. Jewish Political Power and American Foreign Policy (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987).

Here is an interesting tv show-documentary from the Netherlands. Think it will play on US TV?



PKK-Kurdish Issue
And the Kurdish issue? Consider the relationship of the PKK to the heroin trade:

Start with this:

then as examples:


an article in Xinhua proclaims the first publication of the Asian genotype- saying in the future a person's genes will be analyzed as easily as his blood is typed.

The whole idea of nation as a repository of race and language is undergoing assault. What is a "Turk?" I've already commented that the "Turk" president has Arab blood and the premier's name is Georgian origin, or vice-versa. A third of the "Turks" are "mountain turks" or Kurds. The Iskenderetta region, a gift of the French from Syria, are Alawite Arabs or Aramaens. DNA studies show the "Turks" are mostly "Hellenes." Note well the original Turks originated from the steppes close to China and had slant eyes and wide cheekbones- still found in isolated pockets of Turkomans.

Note well, the Azeris (the Ayatollah Khomeini was Azeri stock as well as a significant part of Northwest Iran), though they speak a form of Turkish are IRANIAN Indo-European DNA.

The White Huns were Iranians.

And a delicious Anatolian irony. Virgil extolled the Anatolian connection of the Latins by having the emigrant Trojan prince Aenus marry into the Latin race. But it was the non-Indo European Etruscans, speaking a language like no other (our word person is Etruscan origin) that are thought to have emigrated from Anatolia. One clue is DNA evidence from Tuscan and Anatolian cattle. There are, of course, others.


Clifford Kiracofe,

Thank you for the reply. I only used "Jewish," because you used "Ethnic." I grew up in San Francisco. SF is a very interesting place when it comes to ehtnic issue's.


I feel all state sponsored acts of barbarism should be condembed. To my understanding the present bill condemns the murder of over 1 million Armenians by the then Turkish government, as an act of genocide. The bill does not say that present day Turkey is responsibile or needs to pay anything back.
Perhaps Turkey wants an excuse to go into Iraq and that is why there are expressing such righteous indignation.

William R. Cumming

Again demonstrating my ignorance but is the Turkish enmity towards their Kurdish population and the Iraqi Kurds a Muslim against Muslim issue? Is the US intervention really just accelerating tensions between Muslim populations and sects in the Islamic world? Where is the long-term ebb and flow of Muslim populations do the Turks stand and the Kurds stand? And is the interest in the Armenian tragedy/holocust in part their largely Christian faith? I could argue that the 20th Century will be known as the HOLOCOST Century and if not that the Century of World War or European Wide Civil War. Boy do we all ignore history at our peril!

Clifford Kiracofe

"Turkey's top general has warned that military ties with the US will be irreversibly damaged if the US Congress passes a resolution that labels the first world war killings of Armenians a genocide.
General Yasar Buyukanit told Turkey's Milliyet newspaper that a congressional committee's approval of the measure had strained ties between the two countries.

"If this resolution passed in the committee passes the House as well, our military ties with the US will never be the same again," he told Milliyet.
Turkey, which is a major cargo hub for US and allied military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, has recalled its ambassador to Washington for consultations and warned that there might be a cut in the logistical support to the US over the issue.
About 70% of US air cargo headed for Iraq goes through Turkey as does about a third of the fuel used by the US military there. US bases also get water and other supplies carried in overland by Turkish truckers who cross into Iraq's northern Kurdish region."


"Eight former US secretaries of state – including Colin Powell, Henry Kissinger and Madeleine Albright – have written to Nancy Pelosi, the speaker of the House of Representatives, to ask her to prevent a vote on the issue.

The bill has 226 co-sponsors. It calls on Mr Bush “to accurately characterise the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1.5m Armenians as genocide”. The massacres were carried out by Ottoman troops beginning in 1915, before the creation of the republic of Turkey. Turkey rejects characterisation of the deaths as genocide and takes diplomatic and other measures against countries that adopt such a stance.

Last year Ankara restricted military co-operation with France after the French national assembly passed a bill that would criminalise denial of the Armenian genocide. Turkey has not suggested it would retaliate against the US if the bill is approved. But some commentators suggest that, in extremis, Ankara could restrict US access to Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, which the US uses to supply its military forces throughout the Middle East."

"This draft resolution will put US soldiers in danger," Egemen Bagis, an adviser to the Turkish president, Tayyip Erdogan, told CNN. "If our ally accuses us of crimes that we did not commit then we will start to question the advantages of our co-operation.

"Yesterday some in Congress wanted to play hardball. I can assure you Turkey knows how to play hardball."

He promised that if the resolution was passed "we will do something and I can promise you it won't be pleasant".

Turks bluffing? Wouldn't count on it. If Americans on the ground in Iraq are put in increased danger as a result of this legislation we might well take a hard look at ethnic lobbies generally and hold their Congressional supporters accountable.



Was there any benefit for the U.S. condemning Japanese sex slaves, or apologizing for the overthrow of Hawaii's monarchy, or the Senate apologizing to blacks for failing to pass any anti-lynching laws because of the filibuster?
If the slaves you mention(or their immediate descendants which themselves are victims) don't receive a compensation (or independently an apology from the perpetrator) the condemnation has little more value than a generic condemnation of sex slavery. Fine, but without teeth (meaning tools for enforcement), it's useless to prevent future occurences. Note that I'm not opposed to making a condemnation of a past atrocity. It's just a very weak measure, taken only because it has little domestic political cost. A harder and more significant act would be to propose some kind of restitution to victims of the US invasion of Iraq. I'd like to see Pelosi propose such a measure, but of course it won't ever happen.

As far as apologizing, I thought I said that apologies by the perpetrator were always helpful. Maybe I should have used a stronger term than "helpful".

There are many situations, currently, in which restitution is a necessary prerequisite for peace. That contentious issue we can leave for another time.


My take is that Pelosi & Co are willing to stand up for the Armenians but not for the Constitution. Since they are not exactly dumb, it means that they do not believe that there is a strong constituency for restoration of the Constitution.



William, the Turkish enmity stems in part from the Kurds attempts to form an independent Kurdish state on what is now (at least partially) Turkish soil.


Wow did everyone miss he point, go to Wikipedia and search for Armenian-Americans, then concentrations.

Who cares about the political realities in the Middle East when there is an election coming up and Congress needs all those rich Armenian-Americans?

Clifford Kiracofe

Some data on your point:

1."WASHINGTON, DC - Armenian American campaign contributions hit a record high this election cycle, with more than $3.9 million in documented donations and an estimated $5 million in total campaign contributions to federal level candidates and committees, according to a study released today by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).... Federal candidates/committees: $3,942,106 (4754 donations)

* Republican candidates/committees: $1,506,706 (1548 donations)

George W. Bush: $347,105 (350)
Republican National Committee: $429,746 (209)
Nat'l Republican Congressional Committee: $139,699 (277)
Nat'l Republican Senatorial Committee: $23,740 (26)

* Democratic candidates/committees: $1,396,833 (1585 donations)

John Kerry: $336,578 (395)
John Edwards: $55,350 (59)
Howard Dean: $31,495 (71)
Wesley Clark: $17,500 (22)
Dick Gephardt: $15,500 (18)
Democratic Nat'l Committee: $121,718 (84)
Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee: $61,402 (14)
Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee: $40,857 (25)

Among the Members of Congress who received the highest levels of campaign contributions from Armenian Americans were Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Rep. Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), Senate Majority Whip Mitch McConnell (R-KY), "Schiff Amendment" author Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Genocide Resolution lead sponsor Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA).

2.Campaign Contributions per ARMENPAC listed at:

3. Some academic background info:

4. Text of Cong. Schiff's HR 106, locate via THOMAS at Library of Congress website (search for H. Res 106)

5. Original Sponsors:
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

6. Cross check the ARMENPAC (as an example) contributions to sponsors:
Pallone : $1000
Knollenberg: $4073
Sherman: $1000
McCotter: $1500

You can use the same basic method for any of the ethnic lobbies to get a rough idea of how things work on the Hill. "Best foreign policy money can buy" as a former colleague of mine said recently in reference to a more high profile ethnic lobby.

7. So, one might argue, our "fellow citizens" (such as they are) purchase votes in Congress which result in legislation which causes the deterioration of relations with a key ally while we are in a war. Our men and women serving in Iraq may thereby be placed in increased danger and our long range security interests in the region undermined.

8. Seen any public opinion polls taken in Turkey per the US? Here is some background from 2005:

"The Turkish were displeased by what they saw as an American attitude of pursuing unilateral policies aimed solely at protecting American interests. The Turkish people believed that the U.S. decision on Iraq was taken without regard for Turkey's national interests or bilateral relations. In their eyes, the American intervention, and Turkey's possible participation in it, would be harmful for Turkey, especially in the context of the Kurdish question. Therefore, it was not surprising that the Turkish nation opposed supporting the Americans in Iraq."

9. Want some polling data from the University of Maryland research center on public opinion for September 2007? Try this:

"Nearly two-thirds (64%) of Turkish respondents name the United States—which guarantees Turkish security as a NATO ally and has urged the EU to accept Turkish membership—as the country that poses the “greatest threat” to Turkey in the future, Pew found. Among the Middle Eastern publics asked the open-ended question by Pew, only in Turkey did a majority name the United States. "

It's an inside the Beltway thing.

Cold War Zoomie

"It's an inside the Beltway thing."

What isn't?


the Col. stated upfront that Politics [often] is a local effect.

But the most compelling reason to recognize and inversely not to deny any holocaust, no matter its age is the following (from the wiki quoting Hitler:)

" I have issued the command — and I’ll have anybody who utters but one word of criticism executed by a firing squad — that our war aim does not consist in reaching certain lines, but in the physical destruction of the enemy. Accordingly, I have placed my death-head formation in readiness — for the present only in the East — with orders to them to send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language. Only thus shall we gain the living space [Lebensraum] which we need. Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?[74] "


Syndroma asks, "Why blame Russian people for the deeds of Stalin? Why not Georgians? Isn't blaming Russians looks like blaming the victim?"

Russia dominated the USSR. Stalin used Russian muscle to commit his crimes. The birthplace does not matter in assigning culpability. What matters is the auspices under which an act is done.

anna missed

Gosh, it looks like the Armenians have become for democrats - the new Cubans.

Clifford Kiracofe

Anna Missed,

on your point per Cubans:

Note the very influential "Cuban American National Foundation" started by Jorge Mas Canosa.

"Cuban" Americans "ethnically" (?) can be divided into: Roman Catholics, Jews both askenazik and sephardic, and conversos.

"The Cuban Synagogues:The Cuban Hebrew Congregation (a.k.a. Temple Beth Shmuel) at 1700 Michigan Avenue was first organized by Askenazim in 1961. A Cuban Jewish architect named Oscar Sklar was asked to design the t temple in 1981. The wing at the Lenox Avenue entrance is the most interesting.
Temple Moses is at 1200 Normandy Drive. It is a Sephardic Cuban synagogue; most of its members are of Turkish descent."

I cannot recall whether the Mas family was Jewish or in the converso category but that seems to have been the talk in DC I remember from the 1980s. At any rate,

"On March 28, 1996, he received the title of Honorary Consul for the City of Tel Aviv at a gala dinner in Miami hosted by Tel Aviv Mayor Roni Milo and the Tel Aviv Foundation. The award was presented for Mr. Mas Canosa’s efforts on behalf of pro-Jewish causes, and his support for the State of Israel and the causes of freedom, democracy, and human rights."

Remember Meyer Lansky and Cuba?

Illeana Ros-Lehtinen is perhaps the main Republican vector for this lobby and is a strong supporter of other ethnic lobbies. "Forced to flee with her family from the oppressive communist regime of Fidel Castro, Representative Ros-Lehtinen became the first Hispanic woman and first Cuban-American elected to Congress and a powerful voice for the South Florida community."

The logical policy IMO for the United States would have been to normalize relations like Canada and Spain and many others have and then to have moved in with some heavy investments to get a foothold and leverage in the future post-Fidel situation. There were and are ways to clear up the outstanding issue of confiscated and nationalized properties belonging to US interests. This matter was adjudicated and the claims courts decisions are well known and on file. I once worked on this issue.

Clifford Kiracofe

US press seems to have blanked out, so far, the significant Assad visit to Turkey this week.

"Syrian President Bashar al-Assad arrived in Turkey yesterday (October 16) at the beginning of a four-day visit, in another sign of a deepening rapprochement between the two countries less than a decade after they almost went to war over Damascus’s support for the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK)....
The rapprochement with Syria forms part of a strategy of what Professor Ahmet Davutoglu, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s chief foreign policy advisor, describes as “strategic depth” (Ahmet Davutoglu, “Stratejik Derinlik,” Küre Yayınları, 2004). Davutoglu maintains that the emphasis of previous governments on relations with Europe and the US has created an imbalance in Turkey’s foreign policy, which needs to be redressed by a more active engagement with the region.

However, there is little doubt that the concept also has considerable emotional appeal for the AKP and its supporters, not only because countries such as Syria are predominantly Muslim but also because the idea of Turkey playing a more active role in the Middle East plays into the AKP’s strong Ottoman nostalgia and its vision of Turkey emerging as a neo-Ottoman regional power....."

Clifford Kiracofe

An update from Turkey via Bloomberg, the only media source I have found to report this significant angle so far:

"Oct. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Turkey's rage over a U.S. congressional resolution accusing it of genocide against Armenians nearly a century ago is being felt in quarters far removed from Washington: its own Jewish community.

"Turkish Jews' concerns for their safety have been fanned by comments from Foreign Minister Ali Babacan that there's a perception in the country that Jews and Armenians ``are now hand-in-hand trying to defame Turkey.'' Turkey's complaint: Its usual allies among pro-Israel U.S. lobbyists didn't work hard enough to block the resolution.
"Turkey, which has close ties with Israel, has long relied on lobbying from Jewish groups in Washington to aid in fending off proposals like the one endorsed by a House of Representatives panel Oct. 10. But the alliance suffered a blow when the Anti-Defamation League, the largest U.S. organization aimed at combating anti-Semitism, issued a statement on Aug. 21 saying the killings of Armenians were ``tantamount to genocide,'' though it still opposed the congressional resolution.

"Babacan, in an Oct. 6 interview with Turkey's Vatan newspaper, said that ``we would not be able to keep the Jews out of this business'' if the resolution is adopted.

Defaming Turkey

"Three days later, in an interview with the Jerusalem Post, he said that ``the perception in Turkey right now is that the Jewish people, or the Jewish organizations let's say, and the Armenian diaspora, the Armenian lobbies, are now hand-in-hand trying to defame Turkey.'' ....

This article leaves out what some view as the connection between Israel and the PKK in Kurdistan in the context of Israel's Kurd strategy since the Iraq War.

For example, from 2004:

"Israeli military and intelligence operatives are active in Kurdish areas of Iran, Syria and Iraq, providing training for commando units and running covert operations that could further destabilise the entire region, according to a report in the New Yorker magazine. ....By supporting Kurdish separatists, Israel also risks alienating its Turkish ally and undermining attempts to create a stable Iraq. "If you end up with a divided Iraq it will bring more blood, tears and pain to the Middle East and you will be blamed," a senior Turkish official told Mr Hersh..."

See also for background:

"At the same time, the Mossad recognized the intelligence-gathering potential and destabilizing possibilities of the non-Arab Kurdish minority in the Middle East, which is split among six countries: Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Armenia and Russia."...

The Assad state visit to Turkey received major play on Turkish TV.

It is said that Turkey is just now in the midst of mediating behind the scenes some key issues between Syria and Israel. Perhaps this explains why some pro-Israel circles in Congress support the Schiff bill HR106 at this particular time. Curious timing. One could posit such circles may wish to derail the Turkish mediation with Syria. Time may tell.

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