10/15 Boston Globe: Letters: No more waiting to bear witness to genocide truth

No more waiting to bear witness to genocide truth

October 15, 2007

FOUR GENERATIONS of my family (of which I am the third) would not exist were it not for the courage and strength of one woman: my great-grandmother, Azneve Ohanian. As a 9-year-old girl, she marched through the deserts of Der-el-Zor with her infant brother strapped to her back, while the rest of her villagers were raped, mutilated and massacred by Turkish soldiers.

It was more than 90 years ago; the Ottoman Empire no longer exists. But its successor, the Republic of Turkey, shares in the human obligation to acknowledge the past. If we let Turkey erase it, how long until we erase Croatia? Burundi? Rwanda? Darfur?

The White House argues that now is not the "right time" for the United States to speak on this chapter of history ("Genocide vote sets a face-off with Bush," Page A1, Oct. 11). And Turkey, in keeping with its longstanding policy of intense lobbying and indignant posturing, has suggested that repercussions could be felt by American troops in Iraq should the resolution acknowledging the genocide pass the House.

I am not so incensed as to ignore the resolution's less-than-ideal timing. But I wonder when it will be the "right time," because in the last 90 years, we have yet to find it convenient. Perhaps, for the truth, it is always the right time.

When it began, the final solution to the Armenian question was "annihilation." Later, it was "a tragedy." Today, it is "unfortunate."

What will it be tomorrow?


Source: http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/letters/articles/2007/10/15/no_more_waiting_to_bear_witness_to_genocide_truth/