Why I Will Not Conflate Ottoman Empire Ethnic/Religious Cleansing with Turkey Today

Today, U.S. Congressman Paul A. Gosar, D.D.S. (AZ-04) released the following statement after voting "present" on House Resolution 296:

"I voted present on Adam Schiff’s poorly worded, inflammatory and false Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res. 296. Make no mistake—the Democrats do not care about the Armenian Christians from 1915. In fact, most Democrats today don’t care about U.S. Christians, much less Armenian Christians from a century ago. This resolution is a pretext to attack Donald Trump. 

Contrary to the Dear Colleague statement that accompanies this resolution, there is no credible evidence that Turkey has engaged in a genocide, or war crimes, or atrocities, against the Kurds in 2019. There was a completely fabricated story and video by ABC news of a “slaughter” of Kurds by Turkey, but ABC News was caught in its false flag propaganda efforts. Make no mistake—ABC News got caught, but there is likely other misinformation that the mainstream media is passing off that is just as false. There is plenty of evidence that the Turks have, for decades, suffered thousands of dead at the hands of Kurdish communist terrorists, under the umbrella of the Kurdish Workers Party, the PKK, and its new name, the SDF. As I have explained previously, the PKK/SDF is not our ally. They were fighting a common enemy (ISIS) with us, but they are not allied with our values, our system of capitalism, and our tolerance and our foreign policy objectives in the region. 

If we want to acknowledge the conflict with the Ottoman Empire, an entity that has not existed for a century, and Armenian Christians that were removed in a brutal campaign, then let’s have that discussion.  The Turks today say the Ottoman’s were engaged in a war with the Armenians and thus the deaths were legitimate war casualties.   Most historians disagree with that assessment as spin and apologia.  Today’s Armenians have a legitimate issue with the forcible removal, ethnic cleansing, and catastrophic deaths of their people.  Armenia, the first Christian nation in the world, has a proud history and an incredible story.   One need not be a “denialist” to correctly, factually and somberly recognize the illegitimacy of the Ottoman Empire’s brutal campaign that killed over a million Armenian Christians while simultaneously trying to paint today’s Turkish government with that brush and falsely claim the same thing is now occurring to the Kurds. That is false, it is deceiving and it is war propaganda.  

Nor is it balanced, thus it is unfair. President Wilson sent a U.S. Army expedition to Turkey and Armenia in 1919 to investigate the situation on the ground. Maj. Gen. James G. Harbord issued a detailed report that confirmed Turkish, as well as Armenian, hostilities directed at civilians. This is to say that the events of over a century ago are not to be pinned to the Turkish government today, or the Turkish people today. So too we should not forget the Armenians, their struggles, and the gross atrocity inflicted upon them for the mere crime of being Christian. As a Christian I stand with the Armenians, but I will not vote for a lie, for something that is propaganda and inflammatory. Nor will I allow Democrats to broadly paint the Turkish government today as a genocidal regime based on events from a century ago. 

I will have no part of supporting false comparisons, war-mongering, and agit-prop from the Democrat congress. I voted present, instead of NO, because I want it to be clear I fully recognize the historic record of the brutality in the Ottoman Empire campaign against Armenian Christians. I reject any effort to conflate that tragedy, over a century old, with what is happening in Turkey today."

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