April 22, 2007

Americans afraid to say "genocide"

The politics of saying 'genocide'On Tuesday, President Bush will be obliged, by law, to wrap his double-talking mouth around one of the most curiously persistent debates in modern geopolitics: Whether to call a 92-year-old genocide a "genocide."

Every April 24 since 1994, the U.S. president has delivered a proclamation honoring the people Congress has declared to be "the victims of genocide, especially the 1 1/2 million people of Armenian ancestry who were the victims of the genocide perpetrated in Turkey between 1915 and 1923." And every year since 1994, the U.S. president has managed to do it without once uttering the G-word. It's a ritual of linguistic realpolitik in deference to the massive objections from Washington's important NATO ally, Turkey.
Comment:  Americans are also reluctant to acknowledge the genocide against Native Americans, of course.

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