The Swedish parliament took a vote Thursday on an important wording issue, and the end result led to diplomatic strain between Sweden and Turkey. That’s because the word that parliament members decided on was genocide, and the incident they were applying it to was the mass killing of Armenians in Turkey in 1915.
If the issue doesn’t trip Obama up on his visit to Turkey, he is going to have to walk into a far worse minefield on April 24 when he has to honor a campaign promise to call the 1915 massacre of 1.5 million Armenian Christians by Ottoman Turkey a “genocide.”
I have long raged against any comparisons with the Second World War—whether of the Arafat-is-Hitler variety once deployed by Menachem Begin or of the anti-war- demonstrators-are- 1930s-appeasers, most recently used by George Bush and Lord Blair of Kut al-Amara.
Another member of Lebanon’s parliament, Antoine Ghanem, was killed on Sept. 19 when a bomb went off in his car outside his home in Beirut. This means, The Independent’s Robert Fisk reports, that ” ... It only takes one more murder for the democratically elected government of Lebanon to fall.”