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Congressman Stephen Cohen and the Armenian Genocide Bill

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports, Two Jewish congressmen are working to keep the Armenian genocide bill from reaching the U.S. House of Representatives floor….U.S. Reps. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Stephen Cohen (D-Tenn.), as well as three other opponents of the … Read More

By / October 18, 2007

The Jewish Telegraphic Agency reports,

Two Jewish congressmen are working to keep the Armenian genocide bill from reaching the U.S. House of Representatives floor….U.S. Reps. Robert Wexler (D-Fla.) and Stephen Cohen (D-Tenn.), as well as three other opponents of the controversial bill memorializing the killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during World War I, spoke harshly of its implications for U.S. relations with Turkey at a news conference Wednesday in Washington.

"The Middle East is a tinderbox," Wexler said. "Our responsibility is to bring as much stability as is humanly possible."

Cohen added that passage of the bill would cause "real-time harm to real people."

Congressman Cohen claims that House Resolution 106 — the Armenian Genocide Resolution — would threaten our troops in Iraq.

This resolution is an affirmation of the American role in its humanitarian effort during the Armenian Genocide. It does not threaten our troops –Turkey does.

When I met with Congressman Cohen in August, I explained to him that Turkey has a tendency to use theatrics and bluff as foreign policy tools, just as it did with other countries that passed similar resolutions. And this is precisely what happened.

Turkey is now spending millions of dollars with PR firms and lobbying powerhouses to sway American public opinion with theatrics and fear-mongering tactics.

Turkey's tantrum reaction is unbefitting of a US ally — especially an ally with such a record of unreliability.

In 2003 The Turkish Government rejected a US request to use its territory for the invasion of Iraq. Our military used contingency plans and shifted the war effort to other parts of the region. It was determined then that Turkey cannot be counted on as a reliable ally.

In 2005 Defense Secretary Rumsfeld blamed the inability to gain permission to invade Iraq through Turkey for the surge of the insurgency that our military faces.

Analysts from both the US and Turkey agree that the US can now do without Turkey, but Turkey cannot do without the United States. The economic and political costs to Turkey of cutting off American access are too great to even consider.

What we are witnessing now is outrageous. Turkey wants to impose a gag order when it comes to discussion of the Armenian Genocide. In essence, by acquiescing, we would be outsourcing our morality and foreign policy to Turkey. This is unacceptable.

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