by Gordon Taylor | 1/19/2009 02:15:00 AM
Hrant Dink, d. 19 January 2007

But in the importance and noise of tomorrow
When the brokers are roaring like beasts on the floor of the Bourse,
And the poor have the sufferings to which they are fairly accustomed,
And each in the cell of himself is almost convinced of his freedom;
A few thousand will think of this day
As one thinks of a day when one did something slightly unusual.

O all the instruments agree
The day of his death was a dark cold day.

--W.H.A., "In Memory of W.B. Yeats" (d. January 1939)




Blogger AndrewMc on 1/19/2009 7:44 AM:

Dink's assassination gets to the heart of a problem with which the US will have to grapple in the coming years. Wen certain California congrescritters put forth legislation condemning Turkish genocide [rightly or wrongly] in order to curry local favor but without thinking about the international dimensions, it shows me that our "leaders" have a poor understanding of this serious problem.


Blogger Unknown on 1/19/2009 4:36 PM:

So you're against the genocide resolutions? I find that a difficult position to sustain, but I'm open to hearing your view.


Blogger Gordon Taylor on 1/19/2009 11:54 PM:

I have always wondered why such a thing has to be the subject of a statement by the U.S. Congress. These people are not historians. To paraphrase Kant (and Isaiah Berlin), out of the crooked timber of Congress nothing straight was ever made.

If ever an historical incident needed context and nuance in the telling, the Armenian Genocide is it. The Armenian genocide resolution as presently written shows none of those qualities.

But the event can't be ignored, and the political reality is that the genocide resolutions have to be dealt with, not postponed to another decade. There are many in Turkey, as well, who would like to get it over with, as well as many who need a dose of reality.

That's why I wrote my own version, as previously posted. I intended it as an act of diplomacy, a way of partially satisfying both parties but also of confronting them with the facts. I wanted to say, "We sympathize with your heritage of suffering"; but as to the exact enumeration of that suffering, I deliberately left it out.

I continue to think that the paragraphs I constructed are the best thing I've yet seen to get all of us past this minor but extremely difficult problem.


Blogger Gordon Taylor on 1/20/2009 3:05 AM:

By the way, go to the following link:

For photos of the Istanbul 2nd anniversary commemoration, as well as for some very interesting commentary on aspects of the Armenian question in contemporary Turkish society. (In French) The little hand-held signs say, in Turkish, "Justice for Hrant." Another big banner says, "We will not forget; we will not forgive."


Blogger AndrewMc on 1/20/2009 10:00 AM:

Jeremy wrote:

"So, you're against genocide resolutions?"

Ha. "SO, when did you stop beating your wife?"

No, I'm not opposed to them, per se. But this resolution serves no concrete purpose. The event occurred nearly 100 years ago. The US Congress' condemnation of it doesn't make it any more or less real, nor does it solve a current problem.

And when not carefully thought out, it serves to aggravate a close ally.

I guess what I'm opposing is the meaningless gesture that on balance does more harm than good. They'll vote on that and take as much action on that as they will voting to name a firehouse after some dead white guy.