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Fisk On The Genocide

How are the mighty fallen! President George Bush, the crusader king who would draw the sword against the forces of Darkness and Evil, he who said there was only “them or us”, who would carry on, he claimed, an eternal conflict against “world terror” on our behalf; he turns out, well, to be a wimp. A clutch of Turkish generals and a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign on behalf of Turkish Holocaust deniers have transformed the lion into a lamb. No, not even a lamb – for this animal is, by its nature, a symbol of innocence – but into a household mouse, a little diminutive creature which, seen from afar, can even be confused with a rat. ~Robert Fisk

It is still a little strange to find myself agreeing with Robert Fisk as often as I have in recent years, but on the subject of the Armenian genocide he has been absolutely right.  Fisk makes many of the points that I did in my column on the genocide last month (10/22 issue).  We have all heard the arguments claiming that “no one denies” that what happened to the Armenians was genocide (I have heard another one of these today), when there is a small industry dedicated to just this kind of denial and our government evidently cowers in fear of them.  Some people, who have gotten their history from some of the denialist historians, come to the debate misinformed and so react very strongly against charges of denialism, since they think (erroneously) there is some legitimate doubt about what happened.  There really isn’t.  Some who are better-informed, but apparently still unaware of the denialists, think it is redundant to say yet again what they believe everyone already acknowledges.  Yet the absurdity of the situation is clear: if “no one” denied the genocide, there would be no controversy over acknowledging it as genocide, since no one would have any stake in preventing recognition.  Clearly, some interested parties are very intent on preventing that recognition, or else there should scarcely have been much attention paid to a House non-binding resolution. 

Speaking of the Turkish threats against our supply lines, Fisk correctly notes: “In the real world, this is called blackmail…”  Exactly so.  And the administration yielded to it without hesitation.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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