Despite clear indications of displeasure from Turkey and a plea from the President, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi plans to press on with a full vote on on a resolution that labels the deaths of more than a million Armenians during World War I as genocide.
This genocide is considered the first attempt in the 20th century to destroy an entire people when the government of Turkey ordered executions and mass deportations of about 1 million Armenians during World War I. Christian Armenians became second-class subjects within the Ottoman Empire. They were tolerated, but only Muslims enjoyed full equality under Islamic law. The Armenians and other religious minorities paid special taxes, could not give testimony in Islamic courts, and were not allowed to carry weapons. These and other forms of discrimination denied the equal protection of the law to non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire.
The resolution has strained U.S. relations with Turkey and drawn criticism from the Bush administration.
"This resolution is one that is consistent with what our government has always said about ... what happened at that time," Pelosi said on ABC's "This Week."
When asked about criticism that it could harm relations with Turkey -- a key ally in the war in Iraq and a fellow member of NATO -- Pelosi said, "There's never been a good time," adding that it is important to pass the resolution now "because many of the survivors are very old."
"When I came to Congress 20 years ago, it wasn't the right time because of the Soviet Union. Then that fell, and then it wasn't the right time because of the Gulf War One. And then it wasn't the right time because of overflights of Iraq. And now it's not the right time because of Gulf War Two."
It's ironic isn't it, that Pelosi wants to make sure that the injustice done to these people is officially recognized, which is commendable, but other actions she take may hurt our efforts against world-wide islamist groups who are working non-stop to create a global Islamic state. One of the organizations, al-Qaeda, has been keeping us very pretty busy in Iraq but Pelosi wants us out of there. Don't you see this as odd?
Update 12/18/10: Once again, after every effort to pass the resolution has failied, US lawmakers may vote on Armenian genocide measure next week.