We're anything but experts on the long and storied history of American-Turkish-Armenian relations. We're also not particularly partisan, or inclined to come to the defense of the Democrats. But we do have a thing about facts and fairness.
So with Rush Limbaugh, this morning, leading the charge of the Rightwing goon squad attempting to characterize an increase in saber rattling in Turkey as "Nancy Pelosi's War," it seems a bit of a fact-check reminder is necessary here.
The brouhaha, which Limbaugh hopes to turn into a Republican electoral advantage, surrounds a House resolution to declare the 1915 mass killing of more 1.5 million ethnic Armenians a "genocide." While the resolution passed out of the Foreign Affairs Committee last week on a bi-partisan 27 to 21 vote, the Bush Administration has suggested it will make life difficult for their efforts in Iraq, such that they are, which depend on Turkish support. Passage of the resolution could lead to inflamed ethnic violence on the Turkish/Kurdish border and lead to a widening of the war.
Limbaugh and the GOP opportunists have been declaring the resolution a Democratic ploy to ruin Turkish-American relations, embarrass George W. Bush, and help spread the war into a full-blown regional conflagration.
But what Limbaugh and friends seem to be avoiding is the fact that it was Republican Dennis Hastert who, as House Speaker back in 2000, last pushed for the same resolution, seeing it through the then-Republican-led International Relations Committee, where it passed by a large majority, and then scheduled it for a full vote on the House floor, only to pull the legislation just minutes before the vote --- supposedly at the urging of President Bill Clinton.
A similar resolution made it through the then-Republican-led House International Relations Committee by a lopsided vote of 40 to 7 just two years ago, even though Republican Minority Leader John Boehner now declares the measure to be "totally irresponsible."
When reporting on claims made by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds in 2005, Vanity Fair's David Rose reported notable details on the 2000 Hastert-pushed version...