Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Voting On History.

US-Turkish relations are in trouble over the decision by congress to formally recognise the Armenian genocide at the hands of the Turks. It is beyond any reasonable doubt that the genocide happened and the attitude of modern Turkey towards it is sinister and dishonest.

Having said all that, there is also something faintly sinister about history being determined by political bodies such as congress. Does anyone seriously believe that a bunch of US politicians have any special expertise to make these sort of determinations?

There is I suppose a case for them recognising contemporary genocides because that may necessitate political action but stuff like this is political grandstanding and is determined more by political expediency that a heartfelt desire for truth.

It would make much more sense to criticise Turkey's present day suppression of free speech over the genocidal campaign than to vote on the actual events themselves.


Senior said...

I agree. If the US government was to criticise Turkey's attitude towards those who believe that Turkey committed genocide against Armenians, as part of those efforts, the US government could describe the actons of Turkey towards Armenians as genocide, without having to vote on it as a separate issue.

Ross said...

Yeah, I wouldn't have a problem if the US government simply referred to the genocide as genocide, it's the implication that history is something determined by a vote that is sinister.