Armenia Genocide – Obama’s About Face
Alex Massie and Matt Welch hammer President Obama for joining a long line of politicians who use the phrase “Armenian genocide” on the campaign trail and then scrupulously avoid the G-word once in office. Andrew Sullivan seems to agree.
Certainly, Obama boxed himself into a corner on this one, talking boldly on the campaign trail and then acting less boldly upon talking office. In my New Atlanticist piece “Obama Rethinks Armenia Genocide Declaration,” though I argue that,
Being president carries different responsibilities than being a Senator, a presidential candidate, or a political pundit.Of course the slaughter of a million and a half people between 1915 and 1923 constitutes genocide. Of course, the history books should acknowledge this.
But it’s far from clear why the President of the United States must declare this fact from the perch of his office and alienate a key ally in the region.The tragedy ended 86 years ago, after all. Turkey straddles Europe and Asia, Christendom and Islam, and is the linchpin of the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions. It borders Georgia, Iran, Iraq, and Syria — all rather important actors in the region.
Much more at the link.
Photo by Flickr user Rita Willaert under Creative Commons license.