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August 29, 2004

Bill Clinton, Holocaust Denier

Do you remember how, at the end of Bill Clinton's second term, numerous members of Congress prepared a resolution formally recognizing the "ethnic cleansing and genocide" by Germany during World War II? But then Clinton asked Dennis Hastert not to bring it to a vote, because it "could have far-reaching negative consequences for the United States"? And how Clinton explained, "We fully understand how strongly both Germans and Jews feel about this issue. Ultimately this painful matter can only be resolved by both sides examining the past together"? And Hastert told Clinton: no problem, I'll take care of it?

You might be saying: No way that happened. I've never heard that, and if Clinton had done it there would have been such a huge outcry everyone on earth would know about it. And you're right -- it didn't happen.

What did happen is that members of Congress, as they have for many years, tried to put the United States on record as recognizing the ethnic cleansing and genocide of Armenians by Turkey. And Bill Clinton did ask Dennis Hastert to stop this because it "could have far-reaching negative consequences for the United States." And Clinton did say, "We fully understand how strongly both Turkey and Armenia feel about this issue. Ultimately this painful matter can only be resolved by both sides examining the past together."

Why was this resolution so dangerous? Well, Clinton said, "We have significant interests in this troubled region of the world: containing the threat posed by Saddam Hussein; working for peace and stability in the Middle East and Central Asia; stabilizing the Balkans; and developing new sources of energy."

It's worth reading that sentence out loud. That bland, bureaucratic language is the sound of millions of people dying.

Why did France and England turn down a chance to halt the Armenian Genocide? Significant interests. Why did the US and Cuban governments turn away the passengers of the SS St. Louis? Significant interests. Why did the Reagan and Bush I administrations help Saddam Hussein massacre the Kurds? Significant interests.

One way or another, there are always significant interests that are more important than whether regular people live or die. And even decades after regular people die, there are always significant interests that prevent us from telling the truth.

Posted at August 29, 2004 11:08 PM | TrackBack

That is chilling.

I was interested in the statistics of the Armenian genocide and started looking for info on the internet a couple of years ago. I soon got really, really confused. I suppose I need to buy a good history book, because on the internet you soon feel really bogged down between competing claims. The Turkish government continues to insist that nothing happened, which is incredible.

Posted by: Anna in Cairo at August 30, 2004 02:16 AM

Wait, what the hell does Turkey have to do with developing new sources of energy?

Posted by: Omar K. Ravenhurst at August 31, 2004 04:15 PM


I will suggest some books I've found useful in a subsequent post. The internet really is a fever swamp on this issue (as opposed to other issues, where it is 100% accurate).


Thanks for stopping by -- I'm a longtime admirer of your work.

"Developing new sources of energy" is a euphemism for "the United States controlling the mideast and its oil, and also controlling the 'stans region if they turn to have lots of sweet crude too." And Turkey is one of our most important allies in this effort.

Posted by: Jonathan Schwarz at August 31, 2004 04:48 PM