WASHINGTON, Oct. 16 — Worried about antagonizing Turkish leaders, House members from both parties have begun to withdraw their support from a resolution backed by the Democratic leadership that would condemn as genocide the mass killings of Armenians nearly a century ago.
Almost a dozen lawmakers had shifted against the measure in a 24-hour period ending Tuesday night, accelerating a sudden exodus that has cast deep doubt over the measure’s prospects. Some made clear that they were heeding warnings from the White House, which has called the measure dangerously provocative, and from the Turkish government, which has said House passage would prompt Turkey to reconsider its ties to the United States, including logistical support for the Iraq war.
Until Tuesday, the measure appeared on a path to House passage, with strong support from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. It was approved last week by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. But by Tuesday evening, a group of senior House Democrats had made it known that they were planning to ask the leadership to drop plans for a vote on the measure.
Once again, Nancy Pelosi gets called out and shown to be the political dog she is and others are backing away. More on this tomorrow. [End Update]
I am the first to come down on politicians that will harm our National Security and endanger our troops, so to be fair, I must also point out when they stand up to their irresponsible leadership and say enough.
Nancy Pelosi has shown that she has no compunction about endangering our troops further as long as she can gain a political point or two, but the reports today, from The Hill, show that five prominent Democrats are standing up against her and speaking out publicly.
Five House Democrats plan to hold a news conference Wednesday to urge their leadership not to bring the resolution to the floor, although the measure passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee last week with strong Democratic support.
Reps. Alcee Hastings of Florida, John Murtha of Pennsylvania, Robert Wexler of Florida and Steve Cohen and John Tanner, both of Tennessee, will participate in the news conference. They plan to urge House leadership to “reconsider its decision” to bring the Armenian genocide resolution to the floor.
We questioned the timing of this resolution last Thursday and wondered if this was Nancy Pelosi's backdoor method to harm our relationship with an ally that our troops depend on in Iraq and Afghanistan, we showed yesterday that we weren't the only ones to see through her obvious attempt to harm our war efforts, to turn the recent successes and progress around because the good news from Iraq has been bad news for Pelosi & Co.
Today the Wall Street Journal also questions Pelosi's motives.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, famous for donning a head scarf earlier this year to commune for peace with the Syrians, has now concluded that this is the perfect moment to pass a Congressional resolution condemning Turkey for the Armenian genocide of 1915. Problem is, Turkey in 2007 has it within its power to damage the growing success of the U.S. effort in Iraq. We would like to assume this is not Speaker Pelosi's goal.
To be clear: We write that we would like to assume, rather than that we do assume, because we are no longer able to discern whether the Speaker's foreign-policy intrusions are merely misguided or are consciously intended to cause a U.S. policy failure in Iraq.
They also point out how Tom Lanto's is playing political games along with Pelosi.
Back when Bill Clinton was President, Mr. Lantos took a different view. "This legislation at this moment in U.S.-Turkish relations is singularly counterproductive to our national interest," he said in September 2000, when there was much less at stake in the Middle East. According to Reuters, he added that the resolution would "humiliate and insult" Turkey and that the "unintended results would be devastating."
If Nancy Pelosi and Tom Lantos want to take down U.S. policy in Iraq to tag George Bush with the failure, they should have the courage to walk through the front door to do it. Bringing the genocide resolution to the House floor this week would put a terrible event of Armenia's past in the service of America's bitter partisanship today. It is mischievous at best, catastrophic at worst, and should be tabled.
Admiral Michael Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, obviously not having enough on his plate with our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, is now having to do crisis control because of Pelosi's irresponsibility.
The Bush administration has been trying to mend frayed relations with Turkey, which recalled its ambassador on Thursday, and to keep the resolution from being approved by the full House.
Mullen contacted Gen. Yasar Buyukanit and assured him that the Pentagon was working hard to warn Congress of the military implications if the Turks were to cut off U.S. access to the air base at Incirlik, Turkey, according to a senior U.S. military official.
Seventy percent of the American air cargo going into Iraq and 30 percent of the fuel for U.S. troops in Iraq flies in through Turkey, according to Defense Secretary Robert Gates.
Despite all this, because Pelosi does not care if her political games get our troops killed she is still planning to bring this to the floor.... even though her own party is telling her it will not pass because although they might disagree with conservatives regarding Iraq, they do not want to be seen as deliberately endangering our troops further.
From The Hill (linked above)
Despite the pushback, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) has indicated she would bring the controversial resolution to the floor......
Weekly Standard points out that those five Democrats mentioned above are not the only ones that tried to discourage Pelosi from this irresponsibly timed resolution.
Besides the Congressmen participating in this press conference, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Ike Skelton (D-MO) has quietly written Speaker Pelosi and asked her to defer consideration of the genocide resolution....
Kudos to the Democratic politicians that are standing up to Pelosi, I do not care what their reasons are, if they realize this is exactly what it looks like, a backdoor attempt to harm our war efforts, or whether they are doing it because they understand the timing is wrong, whatever their reasons... KUDOS for doing the right thing for our National Security and the lives of our troops abroad.
Now we just have to wait and see if Nancy Pelosi has shred of common sense in that empty head of hers.
From Thomas Sowell:
Make no mistake about it, that massacre of hundreds of thousands -- perhaps a million or more -- Armenians was one of the worst atrocities in all of history.
As with the later Holocaust against the Jews, it was not considered sufficient to kill innocent victims. They were first put through soul-scarring dehumanization in whatever sadistic ways occurred to those who carried out these atrocities.
Historians need to make us aware of such things. But why are politicians suddenly trying to pass Congressional resolutions about these events, long after all those involved are dead and after the Ottoman Empire in which all these things happened no longer exists?
The short answer is irresponsible politics.
Let me be clear here for the idiots that would say I should be coming out against genocide... that is nothing more than a distortion and distraction. Everyone should be against genocide, but the timing of this particular resolution is suspect, at best, and a direct attempt on Nancy Pelosi's part to harm our war efforts, at worst.
Timing is important and there may never be a "right" or "perfect" time, but there certainly is a wrong time and this is it.
Tracked back by:
Observing the Game(s) of International Chess and Bluffing from StormWarning's Counterterrorism...