The past often haunts both people and countries. Turkey’s past is haunting them now, that sad past with Armenia, in which Turkey did not act ethically. If they were trying to come to grips with their own past, it might be a good thing. That is often a healthy exercise. However, in this case, they are being prodded by the U.S. Congress, a legislative body from a country whose recent ethics record also leaves a lot to be desired.
Nor are the motives of the prodders lily-white. The timing of the anti-Turkey resolution is obviously intended to put a thorn under the saddle of the Bush Administration as they try to jump-start Middle East peace talks. I am certainly not in favor of the war in Iraq. But I’m not a fan of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict either. If there is a chance to resolve that situation, it would be purely ignorant to stand in the way by further destabilizing the situation, which is what the Democrat’s latest move amounts to.
What we have now looks to me like the unethical prodding the unethical to undermine an effort to stop a conflict steeped in years of unethical behavior on both sides. There is not a pure motive in the bunch. Bush is trying to rub some of the tarnish off his failed administration by finally ending the longest-running conflict in the Middle East, all the while perpetuating the youngest war for his own gain. The Democrats are trying to keep Bush from prosecuting either avenue. The Turks just want to forget the atrocities that were committed long ago by other leaders of that country. The Israelis and the Palestinians just want to bury each other.
All that one can really say is that seeking pure motives in a situation like this is a waste of time. Everyone is trying to get more, more, more for themselves or insure that their opponents get less, less, less (or hopefully both). The ethics in this would appear to be all bad. This is especially disturbing to me because the United States has given up the higher ethical ground in recent years. Torture, deceit, and a descent away from freedom have assured that we have no room to talk. It would seem, however, that we don’t know how to shut up, either.