Shout out to Norm for the heads up: as recounted in the Forward, there is a bill currently before the US Congress which would formally recognise the Armenian genocide. And about time, too. Not surprisingly, this modest measure is being opposed by leading Jewish organisations. They’ve done this on numerous occasions, usually with some mystical invoking of the ineffable uniqueness of the Holocaust, but it is fair to assume the main reason for their hostility is the discomfiture the bill might cause Israel’s military ally Turkey. Norm, who has his moments, is distressed by this, as well he might be.
Turkey poses a bit of a problem for Decency – for instance, if you have a conflict between the secular Kemalist generals and an elected government inspired by (a moderate brand of) political Islam, what do you do? The usual answer is to resort to conventionalist stratagems, such as proclaiming that the AKP has zip to do with political Islam – which removes at the stroke of a pen your dilemma. So how do you reconcile support for Israel, support for the Turkish state and the recognition of genocide? Surely a conventionalist stratagem is called for? Here’s a thought – why not just blame it on the Serbs?