The US Congress’ recognition of the Armenian Genocide goes beyond trying to vex Turkey
Amidst all the ruckus over impeachment, Ukraine and whistleblowers at Congress, the House of Representatives took a landmark decision on Tuesday 29 October, to formally recognise the Armenian Genocide.
Various incarnations of the resolution, which passed overwhelmingly by 405-11, have appeared and been shelved on a number of occasions over the past few decades. Pushed forward by Armenian-American advocacy groups with the support of key representatives and senators, it was always countered by lobbying led by the Turkish government, often with the backing of the State Department or the defence establishment.
Although a majority of scholars have long agreed that the experience of the Armenians and other non-Muslims in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War amounts to genocide, the government of Turkey denies that designation, instead describing the massacres and deportations as general wartime catastrophes during which Muslim populations suffered and died as well.