Thursday, October 18, 2007

The delicacy of signals 

I appreciate very much Captain Ed's post about my thoughts on the genocide resolution question last night. He hasn't backed down from his position on the resolution in Congress (unlike Speaker Pelosi, it appears):
Congress does not exist to validate genocides. If it wants to start, it has plenty of nations on which to focus before it gets to Armenia, which I listed the other day. The Irish genocide not only preceded the Armenian, it had more direct impact on America. And that's the problem with demanding these resolutions; it creates a demand for Congress to address every insult to ethnic groups. Our ancestors came here to get away from those concerns, not to indulge them.

Congress exists to protect American interests. Period. And Congress hasn't even done its own job this session; it should do that before venturing into academic investigations.

The last thing we need is an argument about what are the A-list genocides, the B-list genocides, etc. Besides, communism killed even more of its own people than the Irish and Armenian genocides; should that one go first? It's a silly argument we should avoid.

But suffice to say that signaling is costly, and at times more costly than others. The Turkish government has repeatedly made signaling expensive regarding its own history; it is not an act of cowardice for the U.S. to react to that expense with an eye first and foremost to its own sons and daughters in the field. And it is not an act of disloyalty for Armenians to say in response, "well then, when?"

Rudy Rummel
says it well: Sometimes we have to accept the less-bad, when no good is available:
We can be satisfied with scholars and media accepting that the genocide occurred, without putting an official stamp on it. I want to do this. I want all genocides and democides to be recognized by democracies so that in world opinion, thug regimes are recognized for the murder they commit. And those so murdered did not die in vain. But life is a balance of values, I am sorry to say.
Patience wears thin sometimes, frustration fills one with grief. At some point, I can only hope, the balance will shift.