Skip to comments.Backers of Armenia genocide bill agree to delay vote
Posted on 10/25/2007 3:32:42 PM PDT by mdittmar
Backers of a bill in the US Congress labeling massacres of Armenians as "genocide" Thursday bowed to White House pressure and agreed to delay the measure, which had sparked fury in Turkey.
Four key sponsors of the bill, censuring the Ottoman Empire for the World War I killings, asked House of Representatives speaker Nancy Pelosi not to hold a debate on the issue.
Despite signs that support for the measure had waned in recent days, its main sponsors, Democrats Adam Schiff, Brad Sherman, Anna Eshoo and Frank Pallone, said it still had significant backing in Congress.
"We believe that a large majority of our colleagues want to support a resolution recognizing the genocide on the House floor, and they will do so, provided the timing is more favorable," they said in a letter to Pelosi.
President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice had repeatedly called on the House Democratic leadership to pull the bill, fearing lasting damage with Turkey, a key US military and diplomatic ally.
But Pelosi had resisted pressure to pull the bill from the chamber, and had said she was determined it would go to a vote, buoying Armenian exiles who have pressed for years for the measure.
Democrats argued that by refusing to condemn the Armenian massacres as "genocide" the United States will encourage impunity for current and future crimes against humanity, for example the killings of civilians in Darfur.
Republican House minority leader John Boehner welcomed the move to pull the bill, but said the whole episode reflected badly on the Democratic leadership and "calls their judgment into question."
"Let's be clear: the suffering the Armenian people endured was tragic, there is no doubt about that," he said in a statement.
"But this 90-year-old issue should be settled by historians, not by politicians."
Armenians say at least 1.5 million of their people were killed from 1915 to 1917 under what they describe as an campaign of deportation and murder by the Ottoman Empire.
Turkey bitterly disputes the number of dead and the characterization of the killings as a genocide.
Although the resolution is only symbolic, Turkey recalled its ambassador to Washington week and called off visits to the United States by at least two of its officials.
The angry reaction has fueled fears within the US administration that it could lose access to a military base in Turkey, a NATO ally, which provides a crucial staging ground for US supplies headed to Iraq and Afghanistan.
The House of Representatives Foreign Affairs committee held an intense debate on the resolution on October 11, and passed it to the House floor.
It had been expected to come to a vote in November in the full House, but as its potential geopolitical impact became known, it started to lose support, even among some Democratic members of the House.
There should not be a Armenian Genocide bill. We already had one many years ago. How many times do we have to make a statement about something that happened so long ago?
“We believe that a large majority of our colleagues want to support a resolution recognizing the genocide on the House floor”
Why? Everyone involved is dead. Of course we all know the real reason they want this resolution.........because they are TRATOROUS BASTARDS that want to do all they can to ensure we loose in IRAQ.
“censuring the Ottoman Empire for the World War I killings.” “The bozos who dreamed this up should be ashamed of themselves.”
But what if they ain’t got no shame? I ain’t seen none yet. Have any of us? Don’t think so. And we ain’t gonna either.
According to Dr. Jack Wheeler's sources within the Kurdistan Regional Government in Irbil, Iraq, at that time [her visit to Syria] Pelosi's accompanying staffers established contact with representatives of the PKK in Damascus.
This was planned far in advance. The resolution was a SIGN to start what's taking place now in Northern Iraq by the the PKK.
Pelosi and her staffers need to be investigated...she is a modern day Benedict Arnold.
Not really,Benedict Arnold fought for us at one time,Speaker Pelosi never has.
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