Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Let Me See if I have this Straight

by Ken Houghton

It's bad politics to acknowledge genocide, because Turkey is going to get angry, but it's great for the President to award a Congressional Gold Medal—the highest honour given to a civilian in the United States—to the Dalai Lama since that will only irritate China?

(To be pre-emptively clear, I have no problem with either act, though the irony of the man most similar to Nixon in his ways giving an award to a Tibetan should not be lost.)

(Edited to add appropriate, comparable FTD links.)

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I think a big difference is that, while I won't pretend to expertise on exactly why, all indications are Turkey is on its way to being much, much more angry about its irritant than China will be.
Since Turkey is already angry over much more important things, I'll admit the resolution may seem as if it is "piling on."

Otoh, acknowledging a genocide from 90+ years ago has no actual consequences, and should be done at some point. The argument of "why now?" is somewhat mitigated by "why not before?"

The same cannot really be said of feting the Dalai Lama.
I've been wondering pretty much the same thing.

I've seen commentators in one breath talk about the serious damage being done to US-Turkey relations, then turn around and say that China needs to "grow up" about Tibet. Whaaaaa? Holy mother of cognitive dissonance, dudes.

Frankly, I kind of think that the fact that Turkey is so pissed off by this is suggestive of why the genocide should be publicly acknowledged...
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