First the American House of Representatives, against the wishes of President Bush and the urgrings of eight former secretaries of state, has decided to push for legislation calling the 1915 mass murders of Armenians a “Genocide”. This has gotten the Turks up in arms and ready to retaliate. The Turks have now passed legislation to allow its country’s military forces to enter into Iraq and attack Kurds.
In a post on the book The Bastard of Istanbul, I referenced the whole Turkey/Armenian Genocide controversy. And in a more recent post on the War in Iraq, I discussed Kurdish/Turkey tensions and their effect on U.S. policy in Iraq.
Genocide is a “hot word” for many reasons, and Turkey is in a “hot spot” for American interests. It was during the Balkans in the 1990s and is now with Iraq. Furthermore, there are hundreds of thousands of Armenian Americans lobbying for the Congress to act, and yet the Congress acting is contrary to the U.S.’s interests in the region. For a pretty good summary of the issues involved, check out this week’s The Economist article on the subject.