- The Washington Times - Friday, November 10, 2000

'Armenian genocide' resolution was more than memorial

I was greatly disappointed by Paul Greenberg's Nov. 5 column, "The starving Armenians." This commentary is neither accurate nor objective. I can only believe that Mr. Greenberg is simply misinformed and hope that his omissions and obfuscations are not more calculated.

Mr. Greenberg is fundamentally in error regarding the aim and purpose of H.R. 596. He describes it as "the usual memorial resolution" and "just another gesture of remembrance" of the so-called "Armenian massacre." This resolution, however, calls on the U.S. government to characterize the tragic events of 85 years ago as genocide. This is a very different matter.

By obscuring the aim of this resolution, Mr. Greenberg is relieved of the responsibility of proving that genocide occurred. Instead, he simply conveys a one-sided view of the horrors of 1915 while glibly and offensively ridiculing the Turkish perspective.

Indeed, all the evidence and testimony in the column paints the Armenians as the sole victims of that war-torn time.

The horrors of 1915 were felt at least as severely by Ottoman Muslims as by Armenians. As the Russian army invaded the Ottoman Empire in World War I, Armenians living within the empire revolted with the aim of establishing an Armenian state. The Ottoman government was forced to relocate the Armenians. During this struggle, fighting, famine and an epidemic took a heavy toll on both sides.

Capt. Emory Niles and Arthur Sutherland, who were sent by the U.S. government to investigate events in eastern Anatolia, reported that "the only quarters left at all intact in the cities of Bitlis and Van are the Armenian quarters … while the Muslim quarters were completely destroyed."

Professor Justin McCarthy of the University of Louisville has concluded that perhaps 2.5 million Ottoman Muslims perished during this period. But Mr. Greenberg's column does not include this history.

Mr. Greenberg extensively quotes a "passage from Hitler's table talk" that refers to "the extermination of the Armenians." Though repeated many times, this quotation is fictional, as Princeton professor Heath Lowry proved in a published paper.

Instead of objectively arguing the House resolution's charge of genocide, Mr. Greenberg has crafted a sensationalistic and one-sided account of this Turkish-Armenian tragedy.

If he had objectively addressed the genocide charges, he might have noted that the British government recently concluded that there is no evidence to label those tragic events as genocide. He also might have reported that following World War I, the British held 140 Ottoman officials in prison on Malta while they endeavored to compile a case against the officials for ordering and organizing the Armenian massacres. Though they had full access to Ottoman archives, the British released their prisoners almost three years later for lack of evidence.

Mr. Greenberg states that there is only a "singular truth" to the events of 1915 and that everything else is "lies." But with his misleading description of H.R. 596 and his use of selective facts and one notable piece of fiction, Mr. Greenberg has shown just how elastic the truth can be.

NAMIK TAN

First counselor

Embassy spokesman

Embassy of the Republic of Turkey

Washington

Palm Beach voting 'irregularities' not so irregular

The Democrats claim that the Palm Beach County ballots confused many voters into voting for Reform presidential candidate Patrick Buchanan.

The 3,407 votes for Mr. Buchanan account for only 1 percent of the vote in Palm Beach County. This is representative of the state of Florida as a whole, which, with significant numbers of independent registrants, supported Mr. Buchanan with a similar 1 percent or more of the popular vote.

In addition, two counties gave Mr. Buchanan 2 percent or more of the popular vote. Therefore, the vote in Palm Beach County is within the realm of statistical probability.

Some people may have made the mistake, as it has been claimed, of poking the wrong hole, disqualifying their vote. However, the assertion that all 3,407 of Mr. Buchanan's votes in Palm Beach County were the result of a mistake is absurd.

JULIAN B. IRBY

Pensacola, Fla.

If Palm Beach gets new vote, so should everyone

If voters in Palm Beach County, Fla., get a second opportunity to vote, so should every other voter in the United States. Palm Beach voters would have an unfair advantage because they know how the rest of the country voted and how close the election is.

In a second election, Palm Beach voters also would have a chance to change their votes. Voters in Maine, California, Virginia and other states should have the same opportunity. And what about the registered voters in Palm Beach who didn't vote? If non-voters in Palm Beach get a second chance, so should every other registered non-voter.

The ballot in Palm Beach was clear. Every candidate was numbered, as was the hole to punch for that candidate. In addition, an arrow pointed from the candidate's name to the proper hole to punch..

ALEC A. DES ROCHES

Fairfax

Bush voters looking for more than drinking buddy president

Let me get this straight: If I voted for the Democrat for president, I was voting on the issues, but if I voted for the Republican, I was voting merely because the guy is likable and the kind of person I would want to have a beer with? This nonsense is being spread around by a party whose constituent members and organizations advocate and financially support:

• The expanding practice of abortion, supported by tax dollars, both in the United States and around the world.

• The registration and seizing of guns in defiance of the Second Amendment.

• The elimination of hunting, fishing and trapping.

• The elimination of roads on public lands and the reduction of road building around cities.

• The doubling of gas prices.

• The continued expansion of federal authority and control over schools, health care, inland waters and private property.

• Quotas and preferences based on race, ethnic origin and sex.

• The education of children to tolerate homosexuality and a show of disrespect for monogamous traditional marriages.

• The right of children to have abortions and birth control devices without parental knowledge and the right of homosexuals to be Scout leaders and enjoy the privileges of marriage under the law.

• Animal rights.

• The elimination of pet ownership, circuses and horse ownership.

• The elimination of animal experiments for human medicines.

• The elimination of the use of fur and leather.

• The elimination of any commercial uses or active management of wild plants or animals.

• The elimination of tree cutting, grazing and ranches.

• Higher federal taxes, which usurp more and more state and local authorities and responsibilities.

So, voting for leaders who don't stand for any or all of the above is voting on personality? Earth to Democrats, come in, please. This just is not so.

JIM BEERS

Centreville

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