- The Washington Times - Friday, January 2, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Tulin Daloglu’s Dec. 24 Op-Ed column, “The Armenian tragedy,” questions the authenticity of the Armenian genocide that many believe occurred in Turkey during World War I. It also questions whether the Armenian issue — as opposed to other issues, such as the persecution of Ukrainians in the former Soviet Union during the 1930s, or the evil perpetrated on the North Korean people by their own government — deserves the attention it is expected to get from Congress in 2009. Miss Daloglu is perplexed - especially given the other issues of the day — as to why Congress wants to consider an Armenian Genocide Resolution that will, if passed, condemn Turkey for the measures taken by long-defunct Ottoman authorities against the Armenians that resulted in the deaths — or, perhaps more accurately, the murders — of up to 1.5 million Armenians more than 90 years ago.

The persecution of Ukrainians by Josef Stalin in the 1930s is not an issue Americans are shy about condemning. As horrendous as the crimes against Ukrainians were, there still were Ukrainians in the Ukraine at the end of the Soviet persecution, and Ukrainians are in charge of their country today.

What happened to the Armenians in Turkey is different from what happened to the Ukrainians and also different from the suffering North Koreans continue to endure. The Armenians of Turkey were robbed, ethnically cleansed from their ancestral homes and, in essence, death-marched into the deserts of Syria, where most died of starvation, thirst, disease and a brutality that included murder and rape along the way. What happened to the Armenians was genocide, with little difference between what the Turks did to them and what the Nazis later did to the Jews. The only difference is that the Germans, unlike the Turkish government, admit to the crimes and the genocide that occurred.

In 2009, Congress is expected to go forward with a vote to recognize what happened to the Turkish Armenians as genocide despite the lobbying against such a resolution. This lobbying will be combined with the usual threats from Turkey concerning the irrevocable breach in U.S.-Turkish relations that passage supposedly would cause, including the loss of U.S. base rights. These tactics have worked in the past to quash similar resolutions. They may work again, but the issue will remain. Adolf Hitler, while discussing his plans for the Jews, is believed to have said, “Who, after all, remembers the Armenians?” Apparently, the American Congress does.

LT. COL. HARRY DINELLA (retired)

Adjunct professor of international relations

George Mason University

Fairfax

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