Wednesday, March 18, 2009

The difference between dishonesty and tact

(H/T: Normblog)

I wonder who will be blamed for breaking this Obama promise?

As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106), and as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Here is Samantha Power, appealing to Armenian-Americans to put their trust in President Obama.

Yet here is the deal:

... unsurprisingly, the Obama administration is no different to any of its predecessors in discovering that the responsibilities of power require a degree of historical trimming.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the administration is "hesitating" about making any presidential statement affirming the genocide or, presumably, endorsing the annual effort to have Congress call a genocide, you know, genocide.

Norm Geras, in his customary understatement

The reason for doing so would be that the administration doesn't want to 'imperil Turkey's assistance' on various important matters. I've indicated my view about this before, so I won't repeat it. But spokespersons for the diplomatic dishonesty tact might at least credit their audience with some intelligence. Get this:

Administration officials are considering postponing a presidential statement, citing progress toward a thaw in relations between Turkey and neighboring Armenia. Further signs of warming - such as talk of reopening border crossings - would strengthen arguments that a U.S. statement could imperil the progress.

"At this moment, our focus is on how, moving forward, the United States can help Armenia and Turkey work together to come to terms with the past," said Michael Hammer, a spokesman for the National Security Council. He said the administration was "encouraged" by improvements in relations and believed it was "important that the countries have an open and honest dialogue about the past."

You see, the diplomatic tact is also in aid of further improving relations between Turkey and Armenia. How balanced. Even though it's Turkey that would be alienated by an official statement from the president. Armenians, as the report immediately goes on to say, see things differently.

Wrote about this subject here and here.


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