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Legislating Allegation of Genocide


Friday, April 5, 2013
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As a member of the Pax Turcica Institute, I share the pain of innocent Armenians who perished during World War I. But I am disappointed that the Assembly Joint Resolution 2 (AJR2), recently amended in the Rules Committee, seeks to legislate an allegation of crime against humanity which has never been tried in any court.

All recognized genocides, such as the Holocaust, Srebrenica, and Rwanda, have been determined by a tribunal in accordance with the 1948 United Nations Convention on Prevention and Punishment of Genocide. But the atrocities in the Ottoman Empire were never assessed by a competent court and the intent to exterminate Armenians was never established. Bernard Lewis, a renowned Princeton scholar of Ottoman history, described the genocide claim as “the Armenian version of history.” In 2012, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated that the Turkish-Armenian issue is a matter of historical debate by scholars.

Neither the federal government nor Congress recognizes the alleged Armenian genocide. In December 2011, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit overturned the California court decision in the Movsesian vs. Victoria Versicherung AG case of controversial insurance claims based on California’s recognition of genocide. The Ninth Circuit argued that a state law which conflicts with a federal statute or executive branch policy is “unconstitutional under the foreign affairs doctrine”.

Finally, between 1914 and 1922, an estimated 523,955 Turks, Kurds, Azeris, and other Muslims were mass murdered by the Armenian nationalist groups that sought to create a state in Anatolia and the Caucasus. The figure does not include those missing or buried in mass graves. AJR 2 is insensitive of this suffering, instead illicitly accusing Turkey of a grave crime. As such, I find AJR 2 to be unethical, ethnocentric, and contrary to Turkish-Armenian reconciliation.

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Independent Discussion Guidelines

There was a time the federal government and the United States Congress recognized Iraq, Saddam Hussein in particular, as having amassed weapons of mass distruction. The US will believe anything accompanied by a campaign donation. Doesn't mean it did or didn't occur. The whole business of politics is unethical today.

spacey (anonymous profile)
April 5, 2013 at 11:23 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Modern Turks need to accept their ancestors' role in the historically attested Armenian Genocide. Bernard Lewis supported our wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and has forfeited his legitimacy as a scholar of Islam.
It isn't hard to apologize, sincere heart, genuine acceptance....Erdogan should do it and finish with this business. Just hiding behind "the Ottomans" [Turks, after all, for most part] and saying "they made us do it..." hey, the Ottoman Turks also persecuted and wiped out hundreds of thousands of Pontic Greeks, too.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
April 7, 2013 at 11:06 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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