Group Foreign Policy
Bandow writes that the recent controversy surrounding the recent Armenian genocide
resolution (1) did not have any "conceivable relevance" to the U.S. government
and (2) modern-day Turkey has nothing to do with the genocide perpetrated by
the predecessor Ottoman Empire, and is unlikely to stage a "repeat performance."
One could only
hope that Bandow's analysis is correct; however, the reality presents a considerably
more complicated and disturbing picture. It is a crime in today's Turkey to
publicly accept the Armenian genocide, just as it was a crime, up until a few
years ago, to acknowledge the very existence of Kurds. Stated plainly, the Turkish
body politic is suffering from too many self-imposed taboos and restrictions
on free thought and self-analysis. These taboos and limits on free speech have
created a malignant and institutionally intolerant atmosphere toward non-Muslims,
ethnic minorities, and all those who dare not parrot the official line. Whoever
has the audacity and temerity to challenge these taboos is exposed to judicial
sanctions, imprisoned, physically threatened and attacked, harassed, or simply
The Turkish authorities,
though, are not merely content with exercising their taboos inside Turkey proper;
they are hard at work in importing and promulgating these "valiant" practices
to other counties as well – and with considerable success. Last year's firing
of the U.S. ambassador to Armenia is a case in point. The ambassador's fault?
His State Department superiors simply fired him for publicly stating that the
Armenians had suffered genocide.
Had the higher
echelons of the State Department adopted a more transparent approach and addressed
this issue in an intellectually honest and ethical manner, there would be no
need for any commemorative resolutions. As the firing of the ambassador demonstrates,
however, this is hardly the case.
~ R. G. Adontz
Veterans Against the War
am writing to share some exciting news, Iraq Veterans Against the War is launching
a public investigation into the atrocities we witnessed and committed as veterans
of Iraq and Afghanistan. We are circulating a statement
of support throughout the antiwar community. This statement will be the
basis for a full page NY Times advertisement. We believe the patrons
of Antiwar.com would be interested in hearing about this project.
~ Liam Madden,
Iraq Veterans Against the War
Are They So Afraid of Ron Paul?
Smear Bund brought out a 'psychological analysis' by a group of psychiatrists
that diagnosed Barry Goldwater as being mentally unstable
interesting to recall that when Ralph Ginsberg was idiot enough to publish an
article in one of his magazines to this effect (something like "1,800 psychiatrists
say Goldwater is insane"), Barry sued him for $6 million and won, effectively
breaking him. Sometimes the good guys win. Maybe the Paul campaign will prove
to be another such instance.
~ L. Neil Smith
American in Paris
would dispute that democracy is a worthy goal."
goal? Regime change by any means including aggression? I am pretty sure there
are many people who would dispute this. I for one.
the United States should encourage the formation of liberal democracies throughout
What right has
the U.S. to do that? The same right that USSR had to encourage the formation
of communism throughout the world?
are at least twenty countries in the world that can be categorized as undemocratic
by the dictionary definition of democracy: 'a form of government in which the
supreme power is vested in the people and exercised directly by them or by their
elected agents under a free electoral system.'"
There are many
definitions of democracy. The current pragmatic definition of a democratic country
is "What the U.S. says." I do not think there is a single country in the world
that is truly democratic. Switzerland is probably the closest to that (though
only for natives).
~ Predrag Ostojic
you for your note. I think it should have been pretty clear from what I wrote
that I was not advocating that the U.S. should be imposing democracy around
the world, by regime change or otherwise. And "encourage" is certainly not the
same thing as "force." And I thought I was pretty clear when I used the phrase
"dictionary definition" as I found it in the dictionary. Your criticisms are
certainly fair criticisms of current U.S. policy under the Bush administration,
but the point of what I wrote is that the U.S. should not make democracy a goal
of its foreign or security policy.