Making Armenians (and Turks) a tool for French domestic politics is quite disgusting.

An article of mine that appeared in Todayszaman in September 2007 is highly relevant again now.

Armenian resolution:’ Bad for Armenia, Turkey and the US

25.09.2007
Today’s Zaman
Countries are free to let their parliaments decide on historical issues. For example, you may have the Japanese parliament vote unanimously that it was the American air force who first struck Japan to start the eastern episode of World War II.

That will not change history, but may have repercussions on the politics and economics of the day.

Letting parliaments decide on historical facts may also seem one of the silly features of the political system of our times when future political historians, say a hundred years from now, describe the beginning of 21st century.

One of the prime weaknesses of democracies is probably the possibility of making parliaments hostage to strong lobbies. Lobbies are not bad per se; so long as they are a means to convey sincere preferences of voters to parliament, they are a useful ingredient of the democratic system. They are bad when they become just a stick to prod a parliament to vote as a specific clique wants; the parliament then becomes a stamping authority of the strong lobbies of smaller cliques.

What Armenia needs today is economic growth and political stability. When a poor country invading its neighbor’s land is no news to the world, one can conclude there is a problem somewhere, including for the invading party. Armenia, instead of using its resources properly to drive growth and development for its people, is allocating today a significant portion of those resources to feed its official and unofficial invasion army in Azerbaijan.

The result is closed borders with Turkey and Azerbaijan, and animosity instead of cooperation for Armenia. Armenia has about 70,000 illegal workers in Turkey, maybe more. It could trade freely with Turkey and Azerbaijan to create mutual prosperity. It could see higher growth rates and a more prosperous society. Its invasion of Azerbaijan does not help all this.

A vote of so-called genocide by the US Congress will also not help. The prime result will be increased animosity with Turkey. Nor will Turkish-US relations benefit from a Congress-stamped slander of Turkey which will also be taken as encouragement of a country’s invading its neighbor.

The Armenian diaspora in the US sabotaged a speech by Armenian Patriarch Mesrob II (Mutafyan) to be delivered at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., last week. The patriarch was probably going to voice his appeal for more cooperation instead of hostility, more dialogue instead of bickering. Perhaps Congress should listen to him.

I am not sure if the Armenian diaspora will also be ultimately happy with a “Congress victory.” Their insistence on unduly affecting US policy will result in damaged US foreign relations, a further damaged Armenian economy and a damaged Turkish openness to dialogue with Armenia.

The Turco-American economic relationship spans more than 100 years. This is a close relationship, but still weak compared to its potential. A vote by congress will damage that potential as well. This is probably what the diaspora wants. Is this what all Americans want?

Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

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