Efforts are being made to claim that the killing of 1.5 million Armenians during WW-1 under the Turkey Sultanate be termed as ‘genocide’, but what about the massacres by United States, asks the writer.
Former Secretary of United States Henry Kissinger says, “It is better to be at war with the US and face hardship for sometime than to be its ally and suffer forever”.
It is easier to defend oneself from an open enemy but God save us from friends. United States is the super power of today and it will change its policies to suit its interests as and when required. Many countries, including Pakistan, which extended hands of friendship to the US, are learning this the hard way.
The situation in Pakistan has deteriorated to such an extent that the person going out of his house is not sure whether he will return back home.
This is a heartbreaking figure about the country which is in the frontline of peace propagation. Even Genghis Khan, Halaku Khan, Taimur Lang and Adolf Hitler, put together, had not killed so many people in their times. They are among those who are considered the most barbarous entities of their time. However, if one goes on comparing them with US and its presidents, they stand nowhere.
The Superpower of the world, U.S. of America, intruded into Afghanistan with the notion that they would finish off the Taliban, a band of unorganised primitive minded fighters, and replace the Talibani government with democracy. But what it did during the last eight years shows that the things didn’t go according to plan. Majority of the Afghanis still believe, now with more conviction, that Taliban were a better lot.
Iraq is the other chapter. The frequency of bomb blasts there has increased. Peace it seems is still a dream for the Iraqis. The common factor in all these countries is that the problems started after the US step foot on their soil.
Turkey is one of the main allies of United States and also occupies important place diplomatically because the country has a seat in the UN Security Council. America will need it in the push for sanctions against Iran over its nuclear programme. Turkey is also helpful to the US on a host of other diplomatic issues in the Middle East and Central Asia.
Yet the House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee of U.S. Congress has passed a resolution against it. The resolution calls the World War-1 killing of 1.5 million Armenians during the Ottoman Empire as “genocide”. Earlier too, the Foreign Affairs Committee had approved a similar genocide resolution in 2007 but owing to the intensive pressure from then-President George W. Bush, the measure was not brought to the House floor. On the other hand Turkey has always been denying it and asserts that the killing was not the part of a programme to eliminate the population. Rather, it said that many of them had died of disease. The Turkish officials also said that the Armenians killed in the war were far less than the Turks and that they were killed during the civil wars.
This time too, though it does not seem that the resolution will go to the full House of Representatives for vote as both the President Barrack Obama and secretary of state Hillary Clinton do not favour the move, Turkey has responded harshly by recalling its ambassador from Washington for consultations. Notably the UN Convention on Genocide also does not categorize the massacre under genocide.
The Turkish Foreign minister Ahmet Davutoglu has said that describing the 1915 Armenian killings as genocide is an insult to Turkey’s ‘honour’. He also threatened to downgrade its strategic relationship with the US.
Whether the US Congress approves the resolution with full vote or not, one question remains unanswered: if the label of “genocide” can be stuck to Turkey, as it was under its Sultanate that the Armenians were killed, why can the US not be called the culprit of Genocide. It has intentionally obliterated millions of people from a certain group and community.
In Turkey, Suat Kiniklioglu, the influential deputy chairman for external affairs in the ruling Justice and Development party (AKP), warned of “major consequences” if the resolution was accepted by the full House of Representatives.
“If they chose to bring this to the floor they will have to face the fact that the consequences would be serious – the relationship would be downgraded at every level,” he said. “Everything from Afghanistan to Pakistan to Iraq to the Middle East process would be affected. “There would be major disruption to the relationship between Turkey and the US,” he added. Whether the US Congress approves the resolution with full vote or not, one question remains unanswered: if label of “genocide” can be stuck to Turkey, as it was under its Sultanate that the Armenians were killed, why can the US not be called the culprit of Genocide. It has intentionally obliterated millions of people from a certain group and community.
Interestingly, the 2009 annual report of the very US State Department on human rights has revealed that discrimination against Muslims is on the rise in Europe. Whether it is Switzerland’s ban on the construction of new minarets on mosques or continued bans or restrictions on head scarves and burqa worn by Muslims in France, Germany and the Netherlands. The report particularly focused on problems in the Netherlands, where Muslims number about 850,000, saying that Muslims face societal resentment based on the belief that Islam is not compatible with Western values. The report blamed right-wing politicians for playing a role in fuelling the resentment.
Among other countries, the report most critically faulted human rights practises in Belarus, China, Cuba, Iran, Myanmar, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Sudan, Syria and Russia.
The report is prepared from the same country which so far has killed at least 173 million people across the world and its atrocities still continue. According to a report, the US by 2007 had killed 100 million Red Indians, 60 million Africans, 10 million Vietnamese, 2 million Afghans and one million Iraqis.
Interestingly, the figures also show that since its independence in 1776 till 2005 American army have attacked Muslim countries about 220 times.
This is a heartbreaking figure about the country which is in the frontline of peace propagation. Even Genghis Khan, Halaku Khan, Taimur Lang and Adolf Hitler, put together, had not killed so many people in their times. They are among those who are considered the most barbarous entities of their time. However, if one goes on comparing them with US and its presidents, they stand nowhere. Genghis, Halaku, Taimur and Hitler are believed to have on their hands the genocide of 34 million, 4 million, 14 million and 21 million people respectively. But there is huge difference between America’s 173 million and their collective 73 million.
In the post World War-11 period, United States has bombarded 30 countries. It attacked China twice, Guatemala thrice, Korea, Indonesia, Cuba, Congo, Peru, Sudan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Grenada, Lebanon, Libya, El Salvador, Panama, Yugoslavia and a few more.
Our country India is very keen to establish strong relations with the United States. We do not oppose this. What is needed is to remain cautious. As US does not quit its interests, India too should keep first its interests then the relations. But the 123 nuclear deal has revealed something otherwise.
By Ismail Khan