“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Genocide: The Hundred Year Old Atrocity Between Turkey and Armenia

Here is what I said about it three years ago:

With all the problems that we have in the Middle East, the last thing we need is Congress to stir up something that happened in 1915. It happened between Armenia and Turkey. It happened almost one hundred years ago and is no better or worse than thousands of other things that have happened on the sorry side of human history. It is the usual story of tribal hatred and the consequences. It was never American business. What is American business is the hornets nest that was just showing signs of settling down in Iraq and the area...

Genocide is part of every chapter of human history. It would be easier to list those those that did not do it, than those that did.

It is happening today in Africa and no one in Congress is seriously suggesting that the US should do anything meaningful about it.

The timing by The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee is foolish.

China and Russia are back-pedalling on sanctions against Iran. Serious sanctions without support from Turkey will be meaningless. We really are ruled by dopes.

US labels Turkish killing 'genocide'

Turkey has recalled their ambassador to Washington after a US congress panel voted to label the World War One-era killing of Armenians as genocide.

Published: 9:28PM GMT 04 Mar 2010

Prime Minister Recep Erdogan said he was seriously concerned that the resolution would harm ties between the US and Turkey, and the ambassador was being recalled for consultations.

The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee voted to label as "genocide" the massacre of Armenians by Turkish forces, despite pressure from the Obama administration and Turkey to drop the matter.

But it was unclear whether the measure will get a floor vote.

It calls on President Barack Obama to ensure US policy formally refers to the massacre as genocide, putting him in a tight spot.

On the one side is Nato ally Turkey, which rejects calling the events genocide.

On the other side is an important US Armenian-American constituency and their backers in Congress ahead of congressional elections in November.

Turkey had warned its ties with the United States would be damaged and Ankara's efforts to normalise relations with Armenia could be harmed if the resolution were approved.

"We highly appreciate the decision," Armenian Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian said.

"This is further proof of the devotion of the American people to universal human values and is an important step towards the prevention of crimes against humanity."

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton telephoned House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman, a fellow Democrat, on Wednesday to argue the measure could harm efforts to normalise Turkish-Armenian relations, the White House said.

Turkey and Armenia signed a protocol last year to normalise relations but it has yet to pass through the parliament of either country.

Obama called Turkish President Abdullah Gul on Wednesday to urge quick ratification, the White House said.
Despite Clinton's appeal, Berman went ahead with a committee debate and a vote.

He said Turkey was a "vital" ally but "nothing justifies Turkey's turning a blind eye to the reality of the Armenian genocide."

Muslim Turkey accepts that many Christian Armenians were killed by Ottoman forces but denies that up to 1.5 million died and that it amounted to genocide – a term employed by many Western historians and some foreign parliaments.

Congressional opponents expressed concern about harming ties with Turkey, whose help the United States needs to solve confrontations from Iraq to Iran and Afghanistan.


  1. wow... something I actually agreed with the obumbler about

    the turks showed the nazis how to commit genocide...


    truth hurts...

  2. Yes but, if there are going to be meaningful sanctions against Iran, we need the support of Turkey. Throw a dart at the map of the world, go to the closest country and unless you hit Antarctica, there will have been genocide.

    No one is doing anything about it anyway. Look at Cambodia under Pol Pot and Africa today. Just words to make some people feel good.

  3. Missed another good opportunity to keep our mouths shut.

  4. What in the world led you, Deuce, to the conclusion that the US is or ever was going to do anything "meaningful" about Iran?

    Or that a "sanctions regime" would ever be effective against Iranian interests.

    US sponsored economic deprivation, it certainly never changed Cuban policies.
    A forty year track record of failure, a record that many of US want to pretend was success, to be replicated elsewhere.

  5. The US Congress bowing to Turkish interests, that would be worse than bowing to a Saud.

    If it requires US suspending reality.

    Just to gain favor with the Islamoids ruling in Turkey, in an attempt to influence their actions towards Iran.

  6. An attempt that will fail to secure the publicly announced US goal of a non-nuclear Iran.

  7. With all the problems we are facing, Congressional pronouncements over Armenians and Turks killing each other 100 years ago accomplishes what?

  8. Placates Armenian interests.

    Announces to the whirled that the US accepts historical realities, when and where it suits US.

    Sticks the Turks in the symbolic eye, which after the 4th ID debacle, they certainly deserve.

  9. If NATO's future is hinged in Afpakistan, where are the Turks?

    Why is their Army not deployed, there?

  10. That the Turks are not involved in NATO efforts, to any meaningful degree, in Afghanistan illustrates, perfectly, the true nature of the conflict there.

    It may well be, as the Taliban claim and the US denies, a religious war.

    Our Muslim allies from Turkey, the southern flank of NATO for fifty years, those that stood shoulder to shoulder with US against the Chi-coms in Korea, they will not participate.

    Not in any of our adventures in the Islamic Arc.

  11. This comment has been removed by the author.

  12. So what actions have the Turks taken, in the last nine years, that would lead anyone to the conclusion that the Turks would be with US, in any "meaningful" stand against Iran?

    While there are numerous recent trade agreements 'tween Turkey and Iran that exemplify where their real interests lay.

  13. And if we are, as many advocate, in a religious war, one that has spanned centuries ...

    Well then, we'd be duty bound to support the Armenians, as they are Christians, of a sort.

    Just as "we" are.

  14. Our "closet Muslim" President takes a stand that is decried in an Islamic stronghold, and the anti-Obama crowd here at home grabs onto it, like a life preserver at sea.

    While doing so is seemingly at odds with all their other poised and polished positions.

    If Islam is the problem, than Turkey certainly is part of it, too.

    When the US finally takes a principled stand, against an Islamic "ally", on an issue of no real importance, both the Islamoids abroad and the "loyal" opposition here at home, begin to wail.

  15. The real story about turkey is the recent arrests by the islamists of members of the army and politicians.

    It is rumored that a military coup d'état is in the works to return turkey to it's NON_islamic modern roots...

    turkey has been embracing hamas, iran, syria, hezbollah and out and out blood libel anti-semitism lately..

    From Turkey's claims that Israel committed GENOCIDE in Gaza, to putting on TV shows showing Israelis stealing/harvesting organs, turkey is spinning out of control

    Let us not forget that Iraq COULD have been much different if it had allowed US troops access to Iraq from it's southern border...

    And finally, just how many KURDS has turkey killed in the last 15 years? 67,000... yep that's right, 5 times as many than the ENTIRE Israeli-Arab death count in 60 years... The Turks did that to JUST the KURDS (5 times the ENTIRE KILLED, both sides)

  16. Some state, I don't remember which, has a very large Armenian voting bloc. There are no big Turk voting blocs.

    The Turks are NATO's token Mohammedans. Not of any use for anything large. The Muslims that are going to hate us are going to hate us. This vote was Less than the proverbial fart in the windstorm.

  17. Crisis in Turkey
    by Daniel Pipes
    National Review Online
    March 2, 2010

    The arrest and indictment of top military figures in Turkey last week precipitated potentially the most severe crisis since Atatürk founded the republic in 1923. The weeks ahead will probably indicate whether the country continues its slide toward Islamism or reverts to its traditional secularism. The denouement has major implications for Muslims everywhere.

    "Taraf" broke the Balyoz conspiracy theory on Jan. 22, 2010.
    Turkey's military has long been both the state's most trusted institution and the guarantor of Atatürk's legacy, especially his laicism. Devotion to the founder is not some dry abstraction but a very real and central part of a Turkish officer's life; as journalist Mehmet Ali Birand has documented, cadet-officers hardly go an hour without hearing Atatürk's name invoked.
    On four occasions between 1960 and 1997, the military intervened to repair a political process gone awry. On the last of these occasions, it forced the Islamist government of Necmettin Erbakan out of power. Chastened by this experience, some of Erbakan's staff re-organized themselves as the more cautious Justice and Development Party (AKP). In Turkey's decisive election of 2002, they surged ahead of discredited and fragmented centrist parties with a plurality of 34 percent of the popular vote.

    Parliamentary rules then transformed that plurality into a 66 percent supermajority of assembly seats and a rare case of single-party rule. Not only did the AKP skillfully take advantage of its opportunity to lay the foundations of an Islamic order but no other party or leader emerged to challenge it. As a result, the AKP increased its portion of the vote in the 2007 elections to a resounding 47 percent, with control over 62 percent of parliamentary seats.

    Repeated AKP electoral successes encouraged it to drop its earlier caution and to hasten moving the country toward its dream of an Islamic Republic of Turkey. The party placed partisans in the presidency and the judiciary while seizing increased control of the educational, business, media, and other leading institutions. It even challenged the secularists' hold over what Turks call the "deep state" – the non-elected institutions of the intelligence agencies, security services, and the judiciary. Only the military, ultimate arbiter of the country's direction, remained beyond AKP control.

    Several factors then prompted the AKP to confront the military: European Union accession demands for civilian control over the military; a 2008 court case that came close to shutting down the AKP; and the growing assertiveness of its Islamist ally, the Fethullah Gülen Movement. An erosion in AKP popularity (from 47 percent in 2007 to 29 percent now) added a sense of urgency to this confrontation, for it points to the end of one-party AKP rule in the next elections.

    Gen. Ibrahim Firtina, a former head of the air force, was questioned in court about a plot to overthrow the government.

  18. The AKP devised an elaborate conspiracy theory in 2007, dubbed Ergenekon, to arrest about two hundred AKP critics, including military officers, under accusation of plotting to overthrow the elected government. The military responded passively, so the AKP raised the stakes on Jan. 22 by concocting a second conspiracy theory, this one termed Balyoz ("Sledgehammer") and exclusively directed against the military.
    The military denied any illegal activities and the chief of general staff, İlker Başbuğ, warned that "Our patience has a limit." Nonetheless, the government proceeded, starting on Feb. 22, to arrest 67 active and retired military officers, including former heads of the air force and navy. So far, 35 officers have been indicted.

    Thus has the AKP thrown down the gauntlet, leaving the military leadership basically with two unattractive options: (1) continue selectively to acquiesce to the AKP and hope that fair elections by 2011 will terminate and reverse this process; or (2) stage a coup d'état, risking voter backlash and increased Islamist electoral strength.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President Abdullah Gul and Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. İlker Başbuğ met on February 25.
    At stake is whether the Ergenekon/Balyoz offensives will succeed in transforming the military from an Atatürkist to a Gülenist institution; or whether the AKP's blatant deceit and over-reaching will spur secularists to find their voice and their confidence. Ultimately the issue concerns whether Shari'a (Islamic law) rules Turkey or the country returns to secularism.
    Turkey's Islamic importance suggests that the outcome of this crisis has consequences for Muslims everywhere. AKP domination of the military means Islamists control the umma's most powerful secular institution, proving that, for the moment, they are unstoppable. But if the military retains its independence, Atatürk's vision will remain alive in Turkey and offer Muslims worldwide an alternative to the Islamist juggernaut.

  19. "Placates Armenian interests."

    And the benefits of doing so manifest themselves as what?

    "Announces to the whirled that the US accepts historical realities, when and where it suits US."

    How is that any different than before - or is that sarcasm? And if it's not sarcasm, again, what sort of benefits should we hope to reap via this "announcement to the whirled"?

    "Sticks the Turks in the symbolic eye, which after the 4th ID debacle, they certainly deserve."

    Hear! Hear!

    "Our "closet Muslim" President takes a stand that is decried in an Islamic stronghold, and the anti-Obama crowd here at home grabs onto it, like a life preserver at sea."

    Seems to me that Muslims are famous for competing with other Muslims (up to and including killing them), so the fact that Obama stuck his finger in the eye of one set (a virtually non-oil pumping set at that) of Muslims doesn't clarify his status as a Muslim one way or the other.

    "Yes but, if there are going to be meaningful sanctions against Iran ..."

    I want those meaningful sanctions, but someone needs to explain to me how just those are going to come about, Turkey's help or non-help notwithstanding.

    And true, Cuba hasn't been defeated via sanctions, but save for those belonging to the Russians, nobody's worried about a Cuban bomb, are they?

    I usually post here (all of 2 or 3 times!) as "Anodyne", but I don't have my login info handy. Great blog (entertaining interpersonal churn, too, when it's not indicative of severe mental illness) - keep up the good work Deuce and whit!!

  20. rat seems to be right on this. oh the pain! "those that stood shoulder to shoulder with US against the Chi-coms in Korea"
    were either an anomoly or interests have changed and gone more islamic.

  21. "The expression on the president's face as Ryan made his case was absolutely priceless.

    Simply put, he looked like someone who realizes he's met his match.

  22. You better believe Rufus. He ain't dredgin for votes, or tryin to get rich.

    However, Rufis never said insuring 30 Million people wuz free. In fact, I think he said it would cost about $150 Billin/yr - some of which will come straight out of ol' Dougie's ass, whether in rate increases, Medicare cuts, or higher taxes will be determined on his individool sitooation.

  23. Welcome, Anodyne, it's always nice to get a new pickup.

    Turkey was putting on a dog-and-pony show to get into the Eurozone, but now that's off the table, and probably no longer even desirable to Turkey, so they are reverting to pursuing their natural interests. With Greece basically in bankruptcy, now would be a good time for Turkey to make their move on Cyprus. I don't care about getting Turkey on board for sanctions against Iran, sanctions don't work. Blowing up reactors works.

  24. OPEC Exports were Down 550 barrels/day last month. THAT is intrestin. TOTALLY unfreakinexpected.

  25. Fri Mar 05, 09:37:00 AM EST

    FOS usual.

  26. A Bunker Buster is incoming, and Rufus sees a firecracker.

  27. Glad to see you're up to your usual high level of political/economic repartee, Pineapplehead.

    Let me try one:


    Yeah, I can do that.

  28. Rufus pretends he cannot see a humungus Ponzi Scheme when it's staring us all in the face.

  29. You're going to be in for a hell of a surprise come about Sept. dumbunny.

  30. Show me the arithmetic that proves that Medicare in not actuarially bankrupt, Rufus.

  31. You're listening to politicians, dumbo. I looking at the numbers, and listening to my own good common sense. I told you where the problems are coming from. It ain't where the pols are telling you.

  32. What will I be surprised about, moron?

  33. Doug, Medicare is a "Statuary" program. There is no Legal liability with Medicare. You can't be bankrupt if you have no "Legal" liabilities.

  34. Money will fall from the heavens to pay for entitlements.
    Rufus and The One
    tell me so.

  35. Exactly, Rufus, you just RATION Medicare with DEATH PANELS!
    Margret Sanger's Nirvanna.

  36. Nothing is going to look like you think it will, Doug. That huge Deficit will be a lot smaller due to all that Bail Out, Tarp money reappearing on the balance sheets, and Gasoline prices will be through the roof, and over the moon.

    In other words: It'll be a Mess, but Not the mess you're anticipating.

  37. Better to reneg on promises from the Govt than to pay private insurance companies.
    We can ALL experience England Level "healthcare."

  38. Health care is rationed, now, Dumshit. It's just rationed in a way you like.

    The money won't fall from heaven, Doug. We'll borrow it. Then inflate it away. Just like we always do. This isn't something "New" to you, is it?

  39. I'm not talking September, Rufus, I'm talking about Medicare being actuarially bankrupt.

    Pure and simple.

  40. Doug, we'll get what we pay for. Whether we work through the crooks in the insurance bisness, or the crooks in government doesn't really matter a nickle's worth.

    England, and Canada don't pay much, they don't get as much. Unless you're a poor Mississippian with a health condition, Then they get a Lot More. They get Treatment. Which you don't.

    You're letting these politicians get you all het up over something that's not that big a deal in the whole scheme of things.

  41. Doug, there is no such thing as "actuarilly, bankrupt."

  42. But dead sister denture wearing Mississippians are a reality not to be ignored.

  43. The "crooks" in the insurance business in Hawaii deliver a hell of a lot more on their promises than Federal, State, or County Governments.

  44. ...and Canuck bigwigs go to Florida to address their health problems.

  45. Doug, this time last year gasoline was heading toward $1.35/gal.

    Gasoline, as we speak, is heading for $3.35 with a rocket tied to its tail.

    That's an extra $280 Billion/yr, and the money's going overseas.

    Now, THAT can knock an economy down, and kick the dogshit out of it.

  46. I'm not concerned with Canuck Bigwigs, Doug. I'm concerned with poor Americans. THEY don't go to Florida for their healthcare. Many of them don't GET healthcare.

  47. 75% of medical research in THE WORLD is conducted in the USA.
    ...under Socialised medicine, this will drop to 10%.

    When risk cannot be rewarded, fewer will risk.

  48. English people die in their own excretia under socialized medicine.

    ...I'd rather Mississippi would address the Health Needs of their residents rather than Washington DC.

  49. Anti-Bush 9/11 truther shoots up Pentagon Metro station -- buried on page 19

    His video manifesto

  50. Guess which state has the highest level of obesity/diabetes?

    How do we define poverty induced malnutrition?

  51. Blogger Doug said...

    75% of medical research in THE WORLD is conducted in the USA.

    I guess you don't mind subsidizing the rest of the world?

  52. Lucky he died, T...

    ObamaRuf might have been his next target!

  53. "I guess you don't mind subsidizing the rest of the world?"

    I appreciate benefitting from the fruit of that research.

    ...I wish the rest of the World was not a socialist cesspool.
    But wishes do not make it so.

  54. He would might wanta think that one through Twice Doug. :)

  55. Them DC cops was kinda lightly armed by Rufi Clan standards.

  56. Hawaii: 19.7% obese, rank: 50

    Jeeze, the Japs and the Flips must Save Our State.

    Native Hawaiians, and to a lesser degree whities, are fatasses.

  57. Ethnicity certainly plays a part, Doug.

  58. Doug,
    Mississippi may have the most fat people. But here in Alabama we have the best Bingo players.

    On Feb. 9, 2008, Larry Langford won $96,093, hitting 36 jackpots playing electronic bingo at VictoryLand casino in Macon County.

    On March 14, Langford, who was mayor of Birmingham at the time, hit 21 electronic bingo jackpots that paid out $93,811 at VictoryLand...

    Over three years, Langford won more than $1.5 million in 555 jackpots, tax records show.

    Langford told The Birmingham News on Tuesday he didn't remember winning multiple jackpots on any given day.

    Langford was convicted in October by a federal jury on 60 counts of wrongdoing, including bribery, money laundering and conspiracy all related to his time on the Jefferson County Commission. He is slated to be sentenced Friday.

  59. I thought we would have One more selloff in oil before Summer. Now, I'm not so sure. It's looking like this could be The wave.

    RBOB - $2.28 in New Yawk

    Ethanol - $1.62 in Sheecago

    *The ethanol is before any blender's credit is applied.

    *the RBOB is only 84 Octane. It still requires the addition of toulene, or some other octane enhancer. That adds a couple of cents.

    Even after allowing for 20% less mileage, ethanol is a $0.20/gal better value (with No subsidies.)

    I wouldn't doubt but what this is the "New Normal."

  60. Jeffrey Brown:

    Sam's most optimistic scenario is that (2005) top five net oil exports will be down to about 15 mbpd in 2018, versus 24 mbpd in 2005.

    For the sake of argument, if we extrapolate Chindia's 2005-2008 rate of increase in net oil imports out to 2018, their combined net oil imports would be about 15 mbpd.

  61. Doug said...
    Hawaii: 19.7% obese, rank: 50

    Jeeze, the Japs and the Flips must Save Our State.

    Native Hawaiians, and to a lesser degree whities, are fatasses.

    Fat Jews LIVED longer thru-out history....

    Skinny Jews? didnt last long in the warsaw ghetto...

    Being fit means you BURN calories faster than the unfit...

  62. You know it isn't often we see Deuce and Obama (and Hilary Clinton) on the same side. They all object to the foreign relations committee's resolution on the Armenian genocide.

  63. Rufus, I was half listening to the radio the other night and they were interviewing some guy who claimed that the US was sitting on 4 hundred years worth of natural gas. Recently proven.

    His point was why we weren't exploiting it? Guy said, if I heard correctly, that it could be liquefied (much like my coal to liquids dream.)

    Any comments?

  64. Gnossos, I've read about it some. They've, recently, gotten the technology together to use frac'ing, and horizontal drilling to get nat gas out of shale. It looks like this could be a pretty big deal. The first wells are producing a lot of gas, and there is a LOT of shale in the U.S., and abroad.

    HOWEVER, there are reasons to be cautious. The wells seem to decline very rapidly, and the "frac'ing" liquids are pretty nasty stuff - benzene, etc. The lawsuits are starting up.

    My guess is: it Will end up being a viable process, and we will have ample nat gas for several decades. 400 years is silly.

    It's ot a cheap process; they will need, over the long haul, eight, or nine dollar mcf to make it worthwhile. In the immediate future we will probably see the price of nat gas fluctuate until they get a handle on exactly what it is they've got.

    NG is considered the "widowmaker" of the commodity pits for good reason. It's volatile in price. It's being touted as a potential transportation fuel, but I have my doubts. The cost to transform the infrastructure, alone, would be Enormous. Then, there's always that "ground water," frac'in, thing.

    There will be some experimentation with fleets, ala Fed Ex, UPS. It might gain some acceptance, there.

  65. "NEW YORK (AP) — General Motors Co. will reinstate more than half the dealerships it targeted to drop from its network.

    GM executives said Friday that about 600 dealerships out of the 1,100 seeking to stay with GM will receive letters giving them the option to remain with the automaker…

    GM and Chrysler, which has slashed 789 dealers, have said they would reconsider the cuts. The decision was a compromise meant to avoid federal legislation that would require that the showrooms be kept open.

    GM to Keep 600 Doomed Dealerships Open

    One of the remifications of being "saved" by the government.


    Short Run: Good in that it saves jobs. Good for Obama. Good for the politicians.

    Long Term: Bad for GM. Bankruptcy was GM's only chance to get their Dealership structure in line. It appears that chance is slipping away. If they don't do it now, the politics and state laws will probably prevent them doing so in the future.

    Looks like Chrysler will suffer the same fate.


  66. So far three more banks were closed today:

    Waterfield Bank, Germantown MD
    Bank of Illinois, Normal IL
    Sun American Bank, Boca Raton FL

  67. Six Phases Of A Project

    1.Wild Enthusiasm
    2.Total Confusion
    4.Search for the Guilty
    5.Punishment of the Innocent
    6.Promotion of the Non-participants

    Brown blames US over Iraq reconstruction errors

    Mar 5, 4:38 PM (ET)


    LONDON (AP) - British Prime Minister Gordon Brown insisted Friday the decision to invade Iraq was justified, but told a major inquiry into the war that the United States dismissed warnings of chaos and violence once Saddam Hussein was toppled.

    In four hours of evidence to Britain's inquiry on Iraq, a somber Brown repeatedly expressed regret over the lost lives of soldiers and civilians, and acknowledged mistakes were made by leaders in Washington and London.

  68. Hamas is stirring the pot

    JERUSALEM (AP) - Israeli troops clashed with Palestinian stone-throwers at two contested holy sites and in a West Bank village Friday, seriously injuring a Palestinian woman and a 14-year-old boy, officials and witnesses said.

    At the Jerusalem shrine, home to the Al-Aqsa Mosque, hundreds of Muslim worshippers emerging from prayers threw stones at policemen and Jews praying below at the Jewish shrine known as the Western Wall, according to Israeli police.

    I heard recently that Hamas is under pressure now from Jordan and Egypt which have turned against them.

  69. Meanwhile, Mexico quietly descends into anarchy.

    Red Cross is latest victim of Mexican Drug War.

  70. Mexico ...
    Goin' to hell in a hand basket

    While we're dancing around in Warizistan.

  71. Wonder if our new Ambassador to Costa Rica can speak Spanish?

    Wonder if we even have a new Ambassador to Costa Rica?

  72. Gasoline closed at $2.27/gal, today. That's 84 octane, RBOB. It would probably be about $2.30 to bring it up to 87 octane.

    Ethanol was at $1.61 at one oclock. That's $1.61 before the blenders credit is applied.

    Allowing a 20% discount for mileage, Ethanol is Cheaper than Gasoline, today. Without subsidies.

    Gasoline may not, ever again, be cheaper than ethanol in America.

    After 100 years of price fixing, oil depletion allowances, tax credits for deep water drilling, and foreign sales, and Foreign Wars to protect the oil supply, Today, Ethanol is Cheaper.

    Without Subsidies.

  73. Oh, and Corn is still just a bit over $0.06 per pound.