House Speaker Nancy Pelosi was a little embarrassed this week to find that the support she believed she had obtained for a bill that would classify the 1915 mass killing of Armenians as genocide melted away. This came in the face of stiff protests from the Turkish government, successor to the Ottoman Empire, which performed the deed, and the United States government, which needs relations with Turkey to remain warm. The recent intensifying of Kurdish separatist attacks from U.S. controlled Iraq into the Turkish homeland have already strained U.S.-Turkish diplomacy. Pelosi’s gesture, which has a wide base of support in California, simply came at the wrong time for this country.
The bill’s supporters have backed down this year, but there is every sign that the bill will be revisited in 2008. And with good reason, too.
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