Today is the 92nd anniversary of the Armenian genocide. Matt Welch reports on a piece of linguistic doubletalk:
Every April 24 since 1994, the U.S. president has delivered a proclamation honoring the people Congress has declared to be "the victims of genocide, especially the 1 1/2 million people of Armenian ancestry who were the victims of the genocide perpetrated in Turkey between 1915 and 1923." And every year since 1994, the U.S. president has managed to do it without once uttering the G-word. It's a ritual of linguistic realpolitik in deference to the massive objections from Washington's important NATO ally, Turkey.See the rest of the report for information on a move by Congress to get the president to call the genocide a genocide, and for Matt's explanation why this issue isn't going to go away. He concludes:
Of all issues subject to realpolitik compromises, mass slaughter of a national minority surely should rank at the bottom of the list.See also here:
Even outside the zones of armed conflict, Armenians were deported from their homes during the first half of 1915. In their tens of thousands they were driven - men, women and children - over hundreds of miles, into the deserts of Syria.
This was said to be a programme of resettlement, but these Armenians were forced with great brutality to walk all the way, and it was clear that these were death convoys. The double advantage for the CUP [Committee of Union and Progress] was that while removing enormous numbers of Armenians from their midst it left all their wealth and properties intact and easy to plunder.
In addition to these death marches there were mass killings of Armenians. Most of the able-bodied Armenian menfolk had already died in forced labour details, or were simply split up into groups and executed. They had often been tortured first.