Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Open letter to honorable represantatives for H. Res. 106

Dear Honorable Representatives,

I am writing in strong objection to H.Res. 106, a callously one-sided effort, spearheaded by some members of Congress with large Armenian communities in their district, to rewrite Turkish history and defame people of Turkish heritage as perpetrators of genocide and genocide deniers. H.Res. 106 reflects no more than the “buying power” of the Armenian lobby in the United States. It forces the sale of American principles of fairness and justice, for it is not the purview of the legislature to be fact finder and judge on what is in essence a criminal charge by the Armenian lobby. It forces the sale of American foreign policy which consistently supports greater research and dialogue on what it defines as a historical and legal controversy. It foresees the sale of American interests abroad by alienating a staunch ally who deserves nothing less than fairness and justice. It purchases a resolution replete with anti-Turkish and anti-Muslim hatred that reflect ultra-nationalist Armenian orthodoxies. H.Res. 106 damages the definition of the high crime of genocide. As Princeton University history professor, Bernard Lewis stated on April 14, 2002, at the National Press Club on C-Span 2: “[T]hat the massacre of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire was the same as what happened to Jews in Nazi Germany is a downright falsehood. What happened to the Armenians was the result of a massive Armenian armed rebellion against the Turks, which began even before war broke out, and continued on a larger scale. But to make this a parallel with the holocaust in Germany you would have to assume the Jews of Germany had been engaged in an armed rebellion against the German state, collaborating with the allies against Germany. That in the deportation order the cities of Hamburg and Berlin were exempted, persons in the employment of the state were exempted, and the deportation only applied to the Jews of Germany proper, so that when they got to Poland they were welcomed and sheltered by the Polish Jews. This seems to me a rather absurd parallel.” The authors of H.Res. 106 claim that the charge of genocide fits the bill. But they ignore experts and scholars who disagree with the Armenian allegation of genocide. They conveniently ignore the war crimes of Armenian militias and Armenians fighting with the Russian Army against the Muslim and Jewish populations of the Ottoman Empire. In H.Res. 106, they have dangerously over billed America in their corrupted version of history and perverse understanding of the crime of genocide.

Fred Barensine

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