{Empty title} | The Nation

My father, my grandmother and most of the adults who helped raise me were survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Thanks to the denial of the Kemalist Turks--the direct descendants of the Young Turk government--I've lived with the Armenian Genocide every day of my life.

The Armenian Genocide occurred between 1915 and 1923. The atrocities against Jews began in the late 1920s and continued through the Holocaust in the 1940s. How do you manage--in your own mind, at least--to characterize as ancient history the Armenian Genocide, which was finalized at almost exactly the same time as the persecutions of Jews in Europe began? How does one mock another people's genocide, knowing full well that survivors of that genocide as well as their children are reading such words?

Last year, when the Armenian Genocide Resolution wasn't even on the table, a poll in Turkey revealed that 89 percent of the Turks believe that America is their worst enemy. Their most popular novel in recent years--Metal Storm--climaxes with a Turkish agent setting off a nuclear bomb in America. The number-one best seller in Turkey is Mein Kampf. A few months ago, three Christian missionaries were mutilated and murdered for the crime of passing out Bibles. I won't go into the assassination of the Armenian editor in Istanbul. I can't imagine you would consider the killing of an Armenian in 2006 any more relevant than you do the killing of Armenians in 1915.

In 2003--after decades of giving them billions in military and economic aid--the Turks refused to allow a northern front to be opened by US troops, an act that Donald Rumsfeld and many others in the Administration have characterized as the primary reason for the quagmire into which America has sunk. What is perhaps most ironic is your self-righteous indignation at Armenian Americans' having the audacity to request a symbolic gesture from our own government and not one word of criticism about the millions in revenue generated by lobbyists pandering to agents of a foreign government. You claim to want the war in Iraq to end and yet you conveniently overlook the fact that the Turks closing the supply route may be the only thing that can force the Bush Administration to bring the troops home.

Perhaps the Democrats in Congress are not as crass as you portray them. The Armenian Genocide Resolution may catalyze your Turkish friends into inadvertently doing what our Congress is apprehensive of doing--ending the war in Iraq. Why would someone who claims to want the war to end argue so passionately against alienating the only country that's enabling the war's continuation? You failed to inform your readers that the Turks have been generating mountains of lira via Incirlik and the overland supply chain during the entirety of the Iraq war. They've been massacring the Kurds by the tens of thousands for decades and began their threats against Kurdistan in 2004. Their using the passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution as a pretext for killing more Kurds is almost as specious as your allegations.

America's alliance with Turkey is the worst thing that ever happened to my country, and perhaps the only thing as hollow as your half-truths.