No Comments

Ahmadinejad, Bush and the Politicization of Genocide

Uncategorized Comments (0)

Ahmadinejad discussing the Holocaust on an interview with Der Speigel:

AHMADINEJAD: We don’t want to confirm or deny the Holocaust. We oppose every type of crime against any people. But we want to know whether this crime actually took place or not. If it did, then those who bear the responsibility for it have to be punished, and not the Palestinians. Why isn’t research into a deed that occurred 60 years ago permitted? After all, other historical occurrences, some of which lie several thousand years in the past, are open to research, and even the governments support this.

SPIEGEL: Mr. President, with all due respect, the Holocaust occurred, there were concentration camps, there are dossiers on the extermination of the Jews, there has been a great deal of research, and there is neither the slightest doubt about the Holocaust nor about the fact — we greatly regret this — that the Germans are responsible for it. If we may now add one remark: The fate of the Palestinians is an entirely different issue, and this brings us into the present.

AHMADINEJAD: No, no, the roots of the Palestinian conflict must be sought in history. The Holocaust and Palestine are directly connected with one another. And if the Holocaust actually occurred, then you should permit impartial groups from the whole world to research this. Why do you restrict the research to a certain group? Of course, I don’t mean you, but rather the European governments.

President Bush on the Armenian Genocide:

US President George W. Bush Friday opposed moves to legally term the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians during the Ottoman Empire a “genocide,” backing Turkey’s stand on the issue.

“The president has described the events of 1915 as ‘one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century,’ but believes that the determination of whether or not the events constitute a genocide should be a matter for historical inquiry, not legislation,” said White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe.

The comments came after Bush talked with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and discussed legislation before the US Congress, which describes the deaths of Armenians from 1915 to 1923 as genocide.

“The president reiterated his opposition to this resolution, the passage of which would be harmful to US relations with Turkey,” Johndore said.

Turkey is a key Muslim ally for the United States and a fellow member of NATO.

And then Turkish foreign minister Abdullah Gul warned after a visit to Washington in February that passing the draft would “poison” ties and “spoil everything” between the two countries.

As noted by Eunomia:

Do you suppose that PM Erdogan would be received in the same way that Ahmadinejad was last month? I doubt it. He would be welcomed, cheered as a “moderate” and “reformed” Islamist and a strong ally of the United States, and so on. He denies a genocide about which relatively few people care, and his government is allied with Israel, which makes his government’s affront to moral and historical truth rather more acceptable to a lot of the very same people who wanted to bar Ahmadinejad from setting foot on U.S. soil. Erdogan is the head of government in a state that prosecutes people for engaging in just such “historical inquiry,” which is why Turkish historians who wish to speak truthfully about the genocide, such as Taner Akcam, have had to leave Turkey. When Bush says that there should be more “historical inquiry” into the matter, what other politician does he sound like?

Irancove @ October 7, 2007

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>