by Gordon Taylor | 11/07/2008 04:40:00 PM
Draft Resolution (The Armenian Genocide of 1915)

Be it resolved, etc.

(1) By this act, the Congress of the United States recognizes the unique heritage of suffering borne by its citizens of Armenian descent, specifically those forced migrations and mass killings committed by authorities of the Ottoman Empire, beginning in 1915, that have come to be known throughout the world as the Armenian Genocide.

(2) While we recognize that signal event in the history of twentieth century, the Genocide of the Armenians, the Congress of the United States calls not only for renewed study of this terrible episode but for acknowledgment of, (a) the historical realities that foreshadowed it, and, (b) the context in which it took place. In this spirit we affirm the following: that no nation holds a monopoly on virtue, victim-hood, or villainy; that the prelude, conflict, and aftermath of World War I brought suffering and death to uncountable multitudes in Anatolia, the Balkans, Greece, and Trans-Caucasia; that the war-aided dissolution of the Ottoman Empire, continuing throughout the nineteenth century and up to 1922, brought desperation, death, and exile to millions of Muslims as well as to Greek Orthodox, Assyrian, and Armenian Christians; and that many descendants of those refugees-from Anatolia, Bulgaria, Rumania, Macedonia, Crete, Greece, Albania, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro, Thrace, Circassia, Chechnya, Daghestan, Georgia, Kurdistan, and Trans-Caucasia-are now citizens of the Republics of Turkey, Greece, Armenia, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and Iran, and thus bear their own heritage of suffering.

(3) The Congress of the United States, with this Act, appeals also for reconciliation. We applaud the Republics of Armenia and Turkey for their recent efforts at rapprochement, and we call upon the current Administration to take all appropriate measures to assist them in this quest. Finally, to those two great nations, Armenia and Turkey, we express our best wishes for Peace and Friendship in the future, and for a renewed appreciation of their common Anatolian heritage.



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Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/08/2008 2:40 AM:

Send this to someone in Congress, or to Obama -- it's brilliant.

Very well done.


Blogger Ahistoricality on 11/08/2008 12:27 PM:

It's nicely done.

I'm having a "It'll never fly, Orville" gut reaction, but I'm not entirely sure why. Perhaps because the bulk of it is context and complication, so the actual Armenian Genocide fades too much into the background.

Don't get me wrong: I like it, but I'm trying to think in terms of whether it can get the job done.


Blogger Gordon Taylor on 11/08/2008 12:52 PM:

Ahist, I certainly understand what you're talking about. I wrestled with that while writing it. Para. 2 kept getting bigger as I realized that, gosh, I can't neglect the Greek refugees from Asia Minor, the Assyrians, the people from this or that geographical area. In the end it looks unbalanced, but really I don't think it is. It has the virtue of being equally loathsome to both sides. Whether it will fly or not: well, that's beyond my power.

The impetus for this was simple: I couldn't comment on this endless controversy unless I was willing to sit down and write a resolution that gets as close to "truth and reconciliation" as I can make it. Otherwise it's just back and forth, forever and ever.(I've been reading "A Shameful Act," by Taner Akcam, an incredibly brave work by an incredibly brave man, and it seemed like the least I could do.)


Blogger Jeremy Young on 11/08/2008 1:57 PM:

I really wish there was a way to turn this draft resolution into an editable wiki -- so it doesn't become "Gordon, change this," but allows for a "sense of the community" to take place in the final form. Maybe there is.