Charlie Coon (of Stars and Stripes) reports that military officials are worried about the backlash that may result if Congress passes a new non-binding resolution stating that the Armenian Genocide was in fact genocide.
Post-empire Turkey, a moderate, Muslim-majority nation and NATO member since 1952, hosts Incirlik Air Base, home to 1,500 U.S. troops and an important cargo and refueling hub. A resolution could sour Turkish public sentiment toward the U.S., possibly leading to restrictions regarding Incirlik and Turkish air space.
“I’m worried about the potential impact to our operations in Iraq and Afghanistan,” said Maj. Gen. Robertus Remkes, director of strategy, policy and assessments at the U.S. European Command.
House Resolution 106, introduced by Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., and backed by House Speaker Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., among others, could come to a vote in April.
As usual, the debate that’s taking place is largely political and has little to do with the actual event. While the various governments involved have no problem disinheriting families from acknowledging the past, history, and even the powers involved, had no problems recognizing genocide when it happened.
On May 24, 1915, the United States, Britain, France, Italy, and Russia issued a statement saying:
In view of these new crimes of Turkey against humanity and civilization, the Allied Governments announce publicly to the Sublime Porte [court of the Ottoman Empire] that they will hold personally responsible for these crimes all members of the Ottoman Government, as well as those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres.
This example was later used to codify the act of Crimes Against Humanity during the drafting of the London Charter of the International Military Tribunal. It stands as the first modern example of a Crime Against Humanity, and leaves little doubt that our past leaders recognized what had taken place in the former Ottoman Empire.