Posted tagged ‘Recognition’

Scholars and Politicians (Part 1)

April 24, 2010

Here’s a map of the countries that have recognized the Armenian genocide:The dark green are the countries that have recognized the Genocide (20 of them)

The light green are countries where there are parties or regions who have accepted the genocide. (For example 44 states in the US,  Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland in the UK)

I used to look at that map, and start the strategic thinking. Good progress in Europe and the Americas, but the key countries are just a touch away. Of the Arab countries we only have Lebanon (Syria has made the very diplomatic position of providing everything until it can’t be that it hasn’t accepted, without officially recognizing). But most can’t recognize because Turkey is too major a geopolitical power to annoy.

Obama is going to address the Armenian community tomorrow, and he’s either going to say “Genocide” or “Massacre”. Years of works by activists, lobby groups, petitions, boycotts from both sides of the fight depend on one of those two words.

But this year, I’ve been thinking. Is what we are doing right? Trivializing the hundreds of thousands of victims into a pawn in the political game? Lobbying for governments who don’t really care about us and just use our cause to pressure a nation it wants under control.

What do I care that Germany, France and Italy accept? Where did it get us? It didn’t give us more legitimacy, because the Armenian Genocide is already legitimate enough a cause. All major genocide scholars recognize it happened. Even the word “genocide” was coined by Raphael Lemkin to describe the suffering of the Armenians.

Oh no all that map means nothing to me, and I don’t need recognizing by anybody, except that one little Middle-Eastern country, the one who started it all…