March 17, 2007


In a statement dated March 15, 2007, that Daniel Fried, United States Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian affairs, made before the House Foreign Affairs Committee's Subcommittee, Fried had the following to say regarding House Resolution 106 (Armenian Genocide Resolution),

"Against this backdrop, we believe that H.Res. 106 would undercut those voices emerging in Turkey who call for a truthful exploration of these events in pursuit of Turkey's reconciliation with its own past and with Armenia. We hear from members of the 60,000-70,000 strong Armenian-Turkish community that any such resolution would raise popular emotions so dramatically as to threaten their personal security."

Fried's testimony, entitled "U.S. - Turkish Relations and the Challenges Ahead", basically spells out how the current Bush Administration views Turkey as an important strategic and political ally in the Middle East and in particular in the "Fight Against Terrorism."

True to form, the Assistant Secretary stresses that Turkey and the United Sates share interests and common values. He concludes that,

" Our common values start from our two countries' deep commitment to democracy. Turkey, a majority Muslim state with a deepening democracy with a tradition of secular governance is of strategic importance to the U.S. It's 160-year legacy of modernizing reform, dating back to the late Ottoman period, can inspire people throughout the broader Middle East who thirst for democratic freedom and market-based prosperity."

Rhetoric? To be sure! But does Fried actually believe his own words? The whole convoluted analysis is part and parcel of what is called the "Shared Vision" statement that the U.S. Secretary of State Rice and Turkish Foreign Minister Gul came up with in Washington last July.

Fried continues in this same hackneyed vein of praising Turkey's steadfast march to greater democratic reform and specifically as it relates to Ankara's coming to grips with its historical past by stating,

"But after a long silence, Turkey is making progress. The terrible murder of Armenian-Turkish journalist Hrant Dink by an ultra-nationalist accelerated an intellectual opening in Turkish society, with more than 100,000 Turkish citizens of all political, confessional, and ethnic backgrounds demonstrating at Dink's funeral in support of tolerance and a candid exploration of Turkey's past. Their shouts of "We are all Hrant Dink; we are all Armenian" resonate in the ears of millions of people in Turkey and the world over who believe in freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and human dignity for all of Turkey's citizens."

To add insult to injury Fried also hinted that the passage of the Armenian Genocide resolution would lead to greater anti-American sentiment in Turkey which in turn might prompt the Ankara government to close the U.S. Air Force base at Incirlik, which is used in U.S. actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. Who knew that Armenians enjoyed such far-flung leverage??

Seriously though, Fried and his ideological mentors in the upper echelons of the United States government should hang their heads in shame for their not too subtle ploy to hold the Armenian community in Turkey hostage!! It's as if they are saying - Armenians, don't wag your tongues too much over the genocide issue or the 60,000 Armenians left in Turkey might face the same fate as their grandparents did in 1915 at the hands of the reform-minded Ottomans..

All concerned, including the government in the Republic of Armenia, need to read the Fried Statement. We might have to deal with the Turkish-American alliance, but we should know who and what they represent!!!


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