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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcard

    Talking Turkey in the House

    A symbolic resolution in the House of Representatives declaring the 1915 massacre of Armenians by the Ottoman as Turks genocide was approved by the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee. Speaker Nancy Pelosi has promised to put the resolution to a full House vote, despite the fact that the non-binding statement is already straining relations with Turkey, an important ally in the Iraq war.


    What happened to the Armenians was the first genocide in the bloodiest, most vile, most ‘progressive’ century in history. We’re only 7 percent done with this century and already we’re making the same mistakes as last time: Darfur, Iraq, repressing free speech – ignoring the lessons of history…

    After receiving a call from President Bush, Mike Pence (R-Indiana) changed his vote on the resolution, saying: “”With American troops in harm’s way, dependent on critical supply routes, available through an alliance that we enjoy with the nation of Turkey, I submit that at this time, this is not the time for this nation to speak on this dark chapter of history.””

    Yes, raising this issue is a cheap shot against the Bush administration ð- kicking a man when he’s down, so to speak. It forces Bush to either deny the truth or to offend his allies in the Iraq war. That said, I’m all for this resolution. Until we’ve secured a heavenly utopia in which the U.N. does its job, genocide is a thing of the past, and fruit doesn’t go bad when you leave it outside, we must always dwell on the hellish crimes of our past.

    We need to stop using the safety of American troops as an excuse for action or inaction. Our soldiers are men and women, not flags to be hoisted on poles. If Bush wants them out of ‘harm’s way,’ he should bring them home. If his goal is to make the world safer for democracy, then perhaps he needs a history lesson.

    -Eric Moll is a sophomore majoring in creative writing and environmental science.

    Nancy Pelosi claims the rationale for the recent resolution is straightforward: “”As long as there is genocide, there is need to speak out against it.”” Where, then, is a similar House resolution declaring the current tragedy in Darfur as genocide? Don’t fall for Pelosi and company’s faulty reasoning: condemning the Armenian genocide hardly heralds the possibility of a similar condemnation against the genocide in Darfur – one that would require substantive action.

    I don’t mean to undercut the horror of the Armenian genocide, but the largely symbolic and non-binding resolution is not only ill-timed, but also ill-conceived.

    It’s ill-timed in its potential to erode U.S.-Turkish relations in spite of continuing Turkish support for American forces and military bases within Turkey.

    Furthermore, the resolution is ill-conceived, since the advocates of the resolution may not have launched the current campaign for moral reasons as much as selfish, political reasons (to please an influential Armenian constituency in an electoral district perhaps?).

    The purely symbolic, non-binding resolution won’t stop future genocides as some na’ve advocates proclaim; Sure, it’s important to recognize genocide even after a century; but the current attempts to justify the resolution as a step towards mitigating the crisis in Darfur are unfounded, self-righteous and absurd.

    -Christina Jelly is a senior majoring in biochemistry and philosophy.

    Mission (finally) accomplished?

    In an essay titled “”Mission Accomplished”” in this month’s edition of “”Prospect,”” a British newsmagazine, war correspondent Bartle Bull argues that the war in Iraq is more or less won. He argues that broad acceptance of democracy, a relative decrease in insurgent violence, and the avoidance of full-scale civil war should be chalked up in the “”win”” column – and American forces may be able to safely withdraw. Have we finally emerged victorious in Iraq?


    On Aug. 23, the United States’ National Intelligence Estimate was declassified, stating unequivocally “”The Iraqi government will become more precarious over the next six to 12 months”” and questioning Iraqi president Nouri al-Maliki’s ability to heal sectarian divisions within the country. Remember doing something deeply stupid as a child, like finger-painting on the living room wall, only to regret it when your mom forced you to scrub away all the evidence? The United States government has done quite a bit of finger-painting in the Middle East, and though the public may be weary of the war, that is insufficient reason to withdraw troops from Iraq when the government is not stable enough to function alone. A poll at the end of September showed a majority of Americans in favor of withdrawal, even at the expense of civil order in the fledgling democracy. The invasion of Iraq was a huge mistake, but the United States has a global obligation to remain there until order is restored, or risk the collapse of a nation with possibly catastrophic consequences for stability in the Middle East. Our credibility in the global community has already been soiled – there’s no reason to exacerbate tension by refusing to clean up our mess.

    -Sarah Devlin is a sophomore majoring in political science and English.

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