Congress just stupid

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Somehow, you get the feeling that as soon as politicians cross the beltway surrounding Washington, D.C., that their IQs drop by at least 50 points. And for some of these guys that could put them in negative numbers.

It isn't often that we support President George Bush, but he was 100 percent correct in objecting to a vote in Congress last week that could lead to a resolution condemning Turkey for a case of genocide that is almost 100 years old.

The timing couldn't have been worse. Turkey is an ally of NATO and the United States. We rely heavily on it for access to northern Iraq and supply air routes into the country. Bush didn't handle Turkey very well prior to the war (it's why 4th Infantry didn't invade from the north), and relations have become increasingly strained as Turkey builds up troops on the Kurdish border with Iraq, threatening to launch a major invasion of northern Iraq to clean out Kurdish rebels fighting for a separate state in Turkey.

So to bring up a resolution at this time was just plain stupid. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said that members of Congress have wanted to do it for some time, but the timing was never right. Well, it wasn't right now, either. The U.S. has enough foreign policy problems without aggravating them unnecessarily.

The resolution, approved by committee and which will be taken up by the full Congress soon, refers to a time when Turkey was part of the Ottoman Empire. During a civil war between 1915-1923, in which Russia played a significant part, a large number of Armenians died, either in the fighting or as a result of the forced deportation of that ethnic group (which was primarily Christian). The present democratic government of Turkey had nothing to do with it, but Turks are very sensitive to the charges. They claim only 30,000 died. The Armenians say 1.5 million died. The truth is somewhere in between, but certainly involved several hundred thousand Armenian deaths.

If Congress absolutely must get involved in this dispute, why not wait until the anniversary of the war? By then, hopefully, we'll be out of Iraq and the consequences of angering the Turks won't be so great.

Bush was right to be angry. The timing was terrible and this was just plain idiotic.

-- Kelly Everitt