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Despite pleas from the Obama Administration, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs has voted to label Turkey’s 1915 pogrom against Armenians as a genocide.

From a strategic standpoint, this is madness.  The Turks have already made clear their feelings on the issue, and to persist in this course risks alienating our closest Muslim ally (Turkey, it should be noted, is a model among predominately Muslim nations for its staunchly secular government).  Moreover, the raising of this issue now risks undermining recent overtures between Turkey and Armenia.

Conversely, Turkey’s argument is that the 1915 massacres did not constitute a genocide, claiming that the death statistics have been exaggerated.  While that is indeed very likely, it is a specious argument.  A genocide is both a deliberate and a systematic elimination of a people.  It is a crime of intent, and the relative size of the body count doesn’t matter.

Turkey Shoot Here: Turkey recalls ambassador after US vote on Armenia ‘genocide’ – Times Online.