Monday, April 27, 2009

Quick add on Armenia 

Let me note with pleasure Eric Black's criticism of President Obama's non-declaration on the Armenian genocide.

I want to be mature and reasonable about such matters. Turkey is an important U.S. ally of long-standing, borders on Iraq and Iran and Syria (and the independent state of Armenia) and has one of the most developed democracies in the Muslim world. The argument is fundamentally historical, and not everyone cares as much about history as I do. Pissing off Turkey is not something to be done lightly.

But all of those reasons were well-known before Obama made his commitment to recognize the Armenian genocide. Like many Americans, I want to believe Obama represents an important break from the politics of lies and fancy spin, a break that has to do with honesty, integrity and promise-keeping. I still do believe that, but not on this matter.

If he wasn't going to keep the promise, he shouldn't have made it.

I don't see Obama the way Eric does, so perhaps I'm less disappointed than he is, even though I am half-Armenian. But you can hardly be surprised any politician, when faced with a group of voters who say "do anything else, but just promise me X," from making that promise. I guess Eric's surprise is that Obama turns out to be a politician.

I was unaware that Eric had interviewed Vahakn Dadrian; I attended Dadrian's talk here at SCSU during that trip in 2000. If he has a copy of that interview still, I will want to read it.

Thanks as well to the mention on Hot Air from my good friend Ed Morrissey.

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