Observing Speaker Nancy Pelosi and a Democratic House imperil a U.S.-Turkish alliance of 60 years -- by formally charging Turkey with genocide in a 1915 massacre of the Armenians -- the question comes to mind:
Does this generation have the maturity to lead America?
About the horrors visited on Armenians in 1915, that year of Turkish triumph over the Royal Navy in the Dardanelles, which led to the ouster of First Lord Winston Churchill, and of victory over the British-French-ANZAC invasion force on Gallipoli, there is no doubt.
Between 1915 and 1923, as modern Turkey was being torn out of the womb of a dying Ottoman Empire, a million or more Armenians died in massacres and a forced exodus. It was one of the monstrous crimes and terrible tragedies of a 20th century that abounded in both.
That Armenian-Americans wish to have their holocaust recognized is understandable. But that Democrats could not put off that request -- for Congress to officially charge Turkey with genocide, 90 years ago -- is not.
For what was the necessity for the House to take this sensitive moment in U.S.-Turkish relations to rub our allies' noses in century-old sins by equating their fathers with Hitler and Himmler?
What was their motive?
Answer: House Democrats are pandering to an Armenian lobby that has long sought to have the United States formally declare that what Turks did to them is exactly what Nazis did to the Jews. The genocide resolution now goes to the floor, where Pelosi promises swift passage.
One trusts Democrats will be rewarded, for the damage they have done to the national interest is great.
In Turkey, America has always been regarded more warmly than the other Western democracies. We never declared war on Turkey in 1917. We were not party to the secret Sykes-Picot deal that carved up the Ottoman Empire. Though Woodrow Wilson agreed in Paris to accept a U.S. trusteeship of Constantinople, which would have put us on a collision course with Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's nation, the Senate rejected it.
When, after World War II, Stalin pressed down on Turkey, the Turks were among the first beneficiaries of Marshall Plan and Truman Doctrine aid. Turks reciprocated by sending their sons to fight beside Americans in Korea. They were then brought into NATO.
The Turks accepted U.S. intermediate-range ballistic missiles targeted on the Soviet Union, then accepted their removal as part of JFK's secret deal with Nikita Khrushchev to end the Cuban missile crisis.