Monday, August 27, 2007

I say "Genocide," you say "Massacre" - Let's Call the Whole Thing Off!

The current media shitstorm over Abe Foxman of the ADL's upgrade from "massacre" to "genocide" to describe the murder of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire between 1915-1918 really stinks.

"Genocide" is the attempted extermination of a group of people by another group of people. The Turks did it to the Armenians. The Nazis did it to the Jews. The Soviets did it to the Russian dissidents. The Japanese did it to the Chinese. The Khmer Rouge did it to the Cambodian people, Rwanda's Hutu's did it to the Tutsi, and the Serbs did it to the Muslims in Bosnia-Herzegovina too.

Turkey is in an uproar because the American Congress (which apparently has nothing else to do) is about to pass a non-binding resolution to condemn the Ottoman Empire (FYI: no longer in existence) for its atrocities during the early part of the 20th Century. "Don't you dare call it genocide," they warn. Heavens no, anything but that! Mass murder, pre-planned massacre...that's ok, but dear Lord - not "genocide!"

"What's in a name?" mused Juliet, leaning over the balcony in her reverie. "That which is called a rose by any other name would smell as sweet! So Romeo would, if he were not Romeo called, retain that dear perfection which he own! Oh Romeo!" she swoons, thinking herself alone in the night, "Doff thy name! And for thy name, which is no part of thee - take all myself!"

Juliet, whose last name was Capulet, stabbed her own heart out, and died entombed with her Romeo, whose last name was Montique, poisoned by his own hand.

Apparently there is something in a name.

Hey so-called modern State of Turkey - what's in a name? Let the U.S. Congress, the ADL and anyone else call a proverbial spade a spade. Take it like a man - if a country can be asked to do such a thing.

Anyway, the world will forget. It always does. Genocide is, after all ... so very 20th Century.

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