NYT : Loser Pelosi Loses another Vote as Rats abandon Ship
- From: "Al Goreon's Great Global Warming Scam" <Scandal@AlGoreon's Home.com>
- Date: Wed, 17 Oct 2007 17:49:05 -0400
October 17, 2007
Support Wanes in House for Genocide Vote
By CARL HULSE
WASHINGTON, Oct. 17 - Support for a House resolution condemning as genocide
the mass killings of Armenians in 1915 continued to weaken today as Speaker
Nancy Pelosi, who only days ago vowed to bring the measure to the floor of
the House, signaled that she may be changing her mind.
"Whether it will come up or not, what the action will be, remains to be
seen," Ms. Pelosi told reporters on Capitol Hill today. Her uncertainty
stood in sharp contrast to her earlier pledge to bring the measure to the
floor if it emerged from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which it did a
week ago by 27 to 21.
Worried about antagonizing Turkish leaders, House members from both parties
have been withdrawing their support from the resolution, which had been
backed by the Democratic leadership.
The measure's prospects were weakened further today when Representative John
P. Murtha, the Pennsylvania Democrat who heads the Appropriations
subcommittee on military matters, spoke out against it.
"What happened nearly 100 years ago was terrible," said Mr. Murtha, who has
urged the speaker not to bring up the resolution for a vote. "I don't know
whether it was a massacre or a genocide, but that is beside the point. The
point is, we have to deal with today's world."
And dealing with today's world means dealing with Turkey, said Mr. Murtha,
long a Democratic leader on national security issues. "Until we can stop the
war in Iraq, I believe it is imperative to ensure continued access to
military installations in Turkey, which serve U.S. operations in both Iraq
and Afghanistan," he said.
"Turkey is a strong ally of the United States, and I believe that this
resolution could harm our relations with Turkey and therefore our strategic
interests in the region," Mr. Murtha said.Ms. Pelosi's new hesitation and
Mr. Murtha's new statement of opposition seemed to accelerate a trend that
became obvious Tuesday, as nearly a dozen lawmakers shifted their positions
in a matter of hours.
Some made clear that they were heeding warnings from the White House, which
has called the measure dangerously provocative, and from the Turkish
government, which has said that House passage would prompt Turkey to
reconsider its ties to the United States, including logistical support for
the Iraq war.
Before Tuesday, the measure appeared on a path to House passage, with strong
support from Speaker Pelosi. But by Tuesday evening, a group of senior House
Democrats had made it known that they were planning to ask the leadership to
drop plans for a vote on the measure.
"Turkey obviously feels they are getting poked in the eye over something
that happened a century ago, and maybe this isn't a good time to be doing
that," said Representative Allen Boyd, a Florida Democrat who dropped his
sponsorship of the resolution on Monday night.
Others who took the same action said that, while they deplored the mass
killings of Armenians by the Ottoman Empire, the modern-day consequences in
the Middle East could not be overlooked.
"We simply cannot allow the grievances of the past, as real as they may be,
to in any way derail our efforts to prevent further atrocities for future
history books," said Representative Wally Herger, Republican of California.
Representative Mike Ross, Democrat of Arkansas, said, "I think it is a good
resolution and horrible timing."
The Turkish government has lobbied heavily against the resolution, which is
nonbinding and largely symbolic. But lawmakers attributed the erosion in
support mainly to fears about a potential Turkish decision to deny American
access to critical military facilities in that nation and its threat to move
forces into northern Iraq.
"This vote came face to face with the reality on the ground in that region
of the world," said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the chairman of
the House Democratic Caucus and an opponent of the resolution.
The Bush administration and top American generals have been vocal in warning
that passage of the resolution could cause great harm to the American war
effort in Iraq and have put significant pressure on Republicans to abandon
their support for the measure. President Bush called Ms. Pelosi on Tuesday
and asked her to prevent a floor vote.
"The president and the speaker exchanged candid views on the subject and the
speaker explained the strong bipartisan support in the House for the
resolution," said Brendan Daly, a spokesman for Ms. Pelosi.
The Democratic leadership was examining the exact level of that support to
gauge its next step, but lawmakers and officials said it was now unclear
whether the resolution could be approved, given Republican resistance and
Democratic defections. "We will have to determine where everyone is," said
Representative Steny H. Hoyer of Maryland, the majority leader.
Backers of the resolution, which has the fervent support of the
Armenian-American community, described the shift as slight and attributed it
to the intense lobbying by the Turkish government, the administration and
their allies. They said they would try to change the minds of some of those
who were wavering.
"This is what happens when you are up against a very sophisticated
multimillion-dollar campaign," said Representative Brad Sherman, Democrat of
California, who chided the Turkish government. "Since when has it become
fashionable for friends to threaten friends?"
But he acknowledged there was little margin of error for backers of the
resolution, which had once boasted 225 co-sponsors. "If the vote were held
today, I would not want to bet my house on the outcome," he said.
Mr. Sherman and others noted that at the start of the war Turkey had refused
to let American forces operate from its territory and that its intentions
toward the northern border of Iraq clearly captured the attention of
American military officials in Iraq and in Washington said Tuesday they were
concerned about possible Turkish military raids into northern Iraq against
the Kurdish Workers Party, an ethnic separatist movement also known as the
At the moment, they said, they did not see many indications that the Turkish
military was preparing for a large-scale incursion into the insurgents'
mountainous strongholds and expressed hope that diplomatic efforts under way
between Iraqi and Turkish officials would ease the crisis, which was sparked
by a wave of attacks in eastern Turkey that its government has blamed on the
"We see no signs that there's anything imminent by Turkey," said one senior
military officer, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was
discussing military contingency planning. "So there's time for the diplomacy
to work for a few more days, if not weeks." But, he added, the situation
could get "ugly" if Turkey sent troops across the border and they clashed
with Kurdish militias or Iraqi forces.
The biggest fear, several former officials said, is that Turkish forces
could push past the border and head for Kirkuk. Such a move could force Iraq
to respond and the United States to mediate between two allies, and decide
whether to intervene. Such a crisis could also draw in Iran, which has also
had growing problems with Kurdish groups crossing into its territory from
In addition to the potential movement of Turkish forces, opponents of the
resolution continued to point to Turkey's role as a staging area for moving
American military supplies into Iraq.
While the resolution enjoyed more than enough support to pass earlier this
year, about two dozen lawmakers have removed their names from the official
list of sponsors in recent weeks as the vote grew more likely and the
reservations grew more pronounced.
"I think there was genocide in Turkey in 1915 but I am gravely concerned
about the timing," said Representative Jane Harman, a California Democrat.
She said she would remain a co-sponsor of the resolution but at the moment
would oppose it reached the floor.
Representative Doug Lamborn, a Colorado Republican who dropped his backing
on Tuesday, said: "Nothing changes the fact that mass killings and
unspeakable acts of brutality occurred. However, passing this nonbinding
resolution at this critical time would be a destabilizing action when the
United States needs the help of its allies, including Turkey, in fighting
the global war on terror."
David S. Cloud and David Stout contributed reporting.
- Prev by Date: New Attorney General says Torture authority memo a 'mistake'
- Next by Date: Re: Al Qae'da has become a paper tiger
- Previous by thread: New Attorney General says Torture authority memo a 'mistake'
- Next by thread: AMERICA IS A JESUS***ER NATION, A NATION OF FAKE JESUS***ERS, WHO ARE RUINING NOT ONLY THE US, BUT THE WHOLE WORLD