Sunday, October 14, 2007

Suckin’ Turkey Meat A Full Month Before Thanksgiving

Oh Lordy me, this is probably the most vulgarly titled blog post I’ve ever written. Shame on my parents, who clearly didn't raise me right. And how ever will I manage to look sexy in tight jeans again, now that I’ve made the shameful (for a woman) discovery that I apparently have bigger balls than the entire nation of Turkey and the Bush administration combined?

Read this statement I’m about to type: “As an American citizen, I admit that America has done some scummy things in the past, including the genocide of the American Indians. That’s GEN-O-CIDE. Our predecessors did some evil things.”

There. Wasn’t so hard, and furthermore The Truth Shall Set You Free, but Turkey refuses to say the g-word or much of anything else about what it did to the Armenians in World War One. Now there’s a huge debate over whether the United States should officially recognize the Armenian genocide. President Bush doesn’t want us to, because that would annoy the Turks and we really can’t afford to do that these days.

You know what’s fun? Go to one of those macho patriots whose self-worth is intricately linked to the notion that their country, the USA, can easily and unilaterally kick the ass of any nation on Earth. (If you don’t know how to find such people, they can often be identified by their dinner-plate-sized American-flag belt buckles.) Then say, “From a strategic perspective Bush could well be right, since we can’t afford to lose Turkish support for our Middle Eastern adventures, but doesn’t it suck that we used to be the world’s most ass-kickingest superpower and now we have to be all careful and watch what we say because we can’t afford to piss off Turkey?”

26 Comments:

Blogger rhhardin said...

That's Indigenous peoples, like Cowbogenous peoples. Responsible for popular grade-B genocide films, and organizing principle of childhood fun.

Games that have now, for all I know, gone to the happy hunting ground.

Fortunately there are enough Indigenous People spokesmen to keep the joke alive today.

As Kinky Friedman said, ``I'm getting more and more like an American Indian myself, I just believe you can't own land, you can't own a horse or a dog or a waterfall, you can only own a casino.''

The point of the congressional resolution is to cripple the US military by any means, so that they do not publically succeed in Iraq, whatever else happens. It's not about kicking Turkey's ass but kicking George Bush's.

12:53 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Sure, Ron. Our Iraq mission was going SO well until that mean ol' America-hatin' Congress decided to pass a resolution admitting to what most of the world admits to already.

4:39 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

With a nod to your point of pissing off Turkey, such resolutions are all silliness to me. What is the effect of them, other than specifically to piss off Turkey? There are no repariations as a result, to my understanding, there are no funds attached, no punishment for anyone. It's very strange, people wanting so hard to have external validation of being "right" so much.

5:03 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

other than specifically to piss off Turkey

Clarification-In this particular case. Resolutions like this are silly in general, and have no more effect than saying "Gee, they're being assholes", but they're not necessarily all designed to piss of Turkey.

Though I'm sure I'm guilty of offending Turkishness by saying so...

6:26 AM  
Blogger rhhardin said...

The only instance of sarcasm I remember that was good (normally it's a way of saying ``Something's wrong and you have to guess what it is,'' which of course saves the writer the effort of figuring out what's wrong), was a B.C. cartoon, Smiley and others, regular cast :

A : Meet Smiley, master of sarcastic wit.

B : Oh yeah? Say something sarcastic.

Smiley : Pleased to meet you.

Very funny, but it's not sarcasm. It's a clever reposte on a logical joke.

So sarcasm has a perfect record after all.

6:52 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

Moose, on the one hand I agree with you, but on the other hand, it adds insult to injury to the surviving victims, to say "We're going to deny what happened to you so we can curry favor with the ones who did it."

And since when did "denying genocide" become another one of America's talking points? Wow, we don't even pay lip service to human rights anymore.

If we have to suck up to genocide deniers to pursue our foreign policy, that's yet another indication that perhaps our foreign policy is fucked.

7:11 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

And since when did "denying genocide" become another one of America's talking points? Wow, we don't even pay lip service to human rights anymore.

Well, when did not affirmatively making nonsensical resolutions equate to denying something? Do we have to go so far as the French to make any statement against it illegal in a froth of showing that we recognize it?

While not discounting the survivors, making a resolution characterizing something a certain way with no particular point seems at best a waste of time, and since I'm paying a part of the bill for such, I don't like it.

It is like a rash of comment at a friend's blog, where he trashes someone for making a comment about a group of leather bound people in San Fran. His comment was that these people weren't like us, and he gets jumped in some froth of "Homophobic" screaming tantrums. He's right, these clowns are putting on show to try to get attention, and the freak show attention they get is what they are asking for and is not representative of most people, heterosexual or homosexual.

However, must we jump about renting clothing and banging sharp implements against ourselves and others just to prove we're more antihomophobic than someone else? What if we dont' give a rip and dont' feel so inclined to thrash about when someone says "Hey, dude, you're kind of out of my realm of normal there" which is largely a subjective judgement anyway. I would see an objection if he said "All homosexuals should be maimed, or at least forced to listen to Rosie four hours per day" or something akin, but that's not what he said.

So, on an international scale, we now must characterize mass murder, which is bad enough, specifically as "genocide". For what purpose? Is it like a "hate crime" where the people are somewhat more dead than if they were just simply murdered?

To have a resolution simply for the sake of a resolution is stupid. If it were for having a trade sanction pending restitution to the surivors, then at least it would have a point (albeit not so big a chance of success, but at least a point). People were murdered, that appears to be a fact beyond question by anyone. Why do we have to ascribe a certain characteristic to that fact?

9:04 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

...we now must characterize mass murder, which is bad enough, specifically as "genocide". For what purpose? Is it like a "hate crime" where the people are somewhat more dead than if they were just simply murdered?...

People were murdered, that appears to be a fact beyond question by anyone. Why do we have to ascribe a certain characteristic to that fact?


Why? To make the act and its perpetrators seem more Nazi-like and therefore more evil. "Everyone knows" that only extreme right-wingers and fascists could commit such acts. The peace-loving and brotherly-love types of the left along with the Marxists and Communists would never kill so many. Of course not! Even if they did, it would not be quite so bad, because it would not be because of the victims ethnicity - it would not be out of hatred. Kill as many as you like, but be careful not to hate anyone. Hate implies that a judgement has been made; one mustn't make judgements.

9:50 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

So turn the question around: what is to be gained by letting the country that committed the 20th century's first genocide call the shots on whether or not other countries can even acknowledge this fact? Also: should China just "get over" World War Two, rather than insist Japan admit to and take responsibility for the atrocities it committed? Should the women forced into Japanese military brothels stop whining that Japan refuses to admit what it did to them?

10:12 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

...should China just "get over" World War Two, rather than insist Japan admit to and take responsibility for the atrocities it committed?

Well, in the case of China, yes, they really should "get over" it. Given the millions of Chinese that China itself slaughtered all through the 20th century it would seem just a tad hypocritical of them to complain about Japanese atrocities.

...the country that committed the 20th century's first genocide...

I don't know that Turkey did commit the first genocide or mass murder of the 20th Century. What of the pogroms of Czarist Russia that began in the 1800's and continued into the 1900's?


Should the women forced into Japanese military brothels stop whining that Japan refuses to admit what it did to them?

Granted that as a man I am really sticking my neck out(or whatever) by even commenting - but, yes, I really think they should. They are probably just wasting their time - I don't think the Japanese are going to admit to anything. Demanding an apology or acknowledgement of wrongdoing from scumbags is to sacrifice what little dignity these women might retain. Monetary damages would be much more satisfying.

11:59 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

To further illustrate my point about the Japanese Pleasure Women:

I once heard or read an interview with a famous Nazi concentration camp survivor (I believe it was Simon Wiesenthal). He was asked: if it were possible for him to confront such as Hitler or Mengele, what would he have to say to them? His reply was "nothing."
His point being, I suppose, that it would be a waste of time to expect rationality, compassion, regret or any other human virtue from such monsters. Also, why give them even that little bit of importance?

12:35 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

If Hitler or Mengele were still in power, I think the importance factor would be quite different.

12:37 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

If Hitler or Mengele were still in power, I think the importance factor would be quite different.

And what would be the effect of a "resolution" saying they were naughty be? Would it put them in prison? No. Would it be a declaration of war? No. Would it stop them? No. Would it piss them off? Maybe, might kill more people as a result.

That's my point, it has nothing to do with the right or wrong moral aspects, but the silliness of spending our congress time with such things. Admittedly, it might be less expensive than letting them earmark, but don't make it right.

For your korean women, two big issues. One, they want money, so there is a practical effect. Two, since the Japanese are denying that they were even used, there's an issue of truth. That said, it would be more akin to passing a resolution declaring it "Slavery" instead of simple "Forced prositution", simply to ascribe the negative label of "slavery" to it for no concievable purpose.

You're acting like I'm condoning it. I'm not, I just don't see the sense of making a nonsensical gesture. If you're going to do something, go bomb the Turks for it, confiscate money, take over their country, leave not one inhabitant alive, but passing a "resolution" seems right silly, a waste of time, and complete pandering to a group to ascribe a particular "tag" to an event so they feel it's somehow more horrific than it was (as if that wasn't horrific enough or something).

1:45 PM  
Anonymous NoStar said...

"And how ever will I manage to look sexy in tight jeans again, now that I’ve made the shameful (for a woman) discovery that I apparently have bigger balls than the entire nation of Turkey and the Bush administration combined?"

Jennifer, if you really do sport a moose-knuckle and not a camel-toe, my unrequited love will be immediately rescinded.

NoStar

PS: Seriously, it is Bush's fear of alienating the Turks that prevents the surest way to bring peace and stability to Iraq, partition into three separate countries. Turkey fears a revolt (or mass migration) of their own downtroddened Kurds should Iraqi Kurds get their independence.

1:46 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Moose (et al):

Regarding Congress here's neat little video you might find amusing even though it's a bit out of date.

2:48 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I agree reparations (if punishment of the actual perpetrators isn't possible) is the ultimately desirable goal, but how do you expect that to happen if the offending party doesn't even admit to it first?

3:59 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

.. how do you expect that to happen if the offending party doesn't even admit to it first?

And so it would logically follow...how do you expect the offending party to admit it by issuing a 'resolution'? There is no bite to it, it's got no force, why bother? This is a national statement, not a personal one.

4:34 PM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

If Hitler or Mengele were still in power, I think the importance factor would be quite different.

Yes, you are right! But the importance would be in removing them, stopping them. Not in getting them to admit what they had done, much less getting them to apologise for it. What good would an admission of guilt or an apology be from the likes of them? They were sorry? Like Monica Lewinsky's famous quote, "only sorry to have gotten caught."

4:47 PM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...


To End


Whether it's worth the time (Congressional salaries) and diplomatic impact (pissed-off Turkey) is an open question. However, I think a pretty good case can be made that such a resolution serve a purpose...indeed, several.

----------------------------

1. Genocide -vs- Mass Murder: we (and most of the world) have signed binding treaties that allow (theoretically, require) international intervention in the case of certain war crimes. Mass Murder is not one of these; Genocide is. Perhaps two names for the same thing, but a world of difference if we (or somebody else) ever does want to "step it up a notch". With such a declaration, we are publicly asserting our right, even duty, to intercede in Turkish national affairs if things "don't work out". In reality, of course, just a bunch of mealy-mouthed gum-flapping, but it does set an important stake in the ground.

----------------------------

2. The (Holocaust, Rape of Nanking, Armenian Genocide, Tianamen Square Massacre, etc.) never happened: We have at least one very vocal and increasingly-powerful group that claims their ethnic prospects can and will be severely damaged by allowing "revisionist history" to deny that crimes were ever deliberately promulgated against them as a group. The Jews may be correct, or may not - but the Armenians and others can reasonably be expected to look at their downtrodden place in the world, versus that of the State of Israel, and ask "what is the difference between us?"

There are lots of differences, of course - but one of the most-obvious has a more than half-century program of vigorously challenging any claims that The Holocaust never happened. So vigorously, in fact, that they have managed to get laws passed in major Western Powers that make it illegal to deny the Holocaust.

Is that really "the reason" the Jews rose from a historically-oppressed minority of second-class citizens, into the ethnic rulers of a Nuclear Power at the forefront of Western Technological development? Of course not - but it undoubtedly plays a strong role in allowing them to maintain their "moral superiority" and favored stance in dealing with international politics.

Similarly-afflicted groups rightly see that there really can be a long-term advantage to having the relatively-toothless condemnation of your oppressors working on your side. Especially if it comes from one of the largest military and economic powers around. Even more especially if it comes from one of the most historically righteous Powers around (unfortunately, no longer as applicable - we've become more self-righteous than actually righteous).

----------------------------

3. Realpolitik: Without actually committing any significant resources to a project we (the Administration and/or Congress) don't really want to deal with, it still provides a way to raise the awareness of the American People that "they" have done bad things. Sure, everyone responsible is probably dead, by now - as are anyone who might reasonably be held responsible for slavery "reparations" in the U.S. But (whether we agree with the agendas or not), this is a classic maneuver to "keep the rabble aroused" when not yet ready to "make a move", and not willing to let things quietly slide into a comfortable status-quo.

Whether as a bargaining tool to keep the Turks paying well for our military "assistance", or a lever to keep the Administration from forging a "too tight" alliance with Turkey, or even in the unlikely case that some CongressCritter actually cares about the fate of the Armenians, this move is actually quite a powerful - yet inexpensive - tool in the geopolitical sense. At least to some vested interests, it is most certainly not a waste of time, paper, and ink.

Is it worthwhile to the American Public as a whole? That, of course, is another question entirely - and I am by no means wise enough to divine that answer.

----------------------------

4. National Character: This, I think, has been one of the most-neglected areas of our society throughout my lifetime. In fact, by jumping into the general mnemetic vacuum caused by the political abdication of this issue, the "Christian Right" has been able to leverage its relatively small numbers into a functional political majority for the last couple of decades.

We have a set of founding and fundamental documents that attempt - rather eloquently and succinctly - to describe (if not define) this National Character. One, the Constitution, even explicitly provides for deliberate (and well-deliberated) change, as technology, people, and the world change over time.

We should strive, as a Nation, to uphold, adhere to, and even promulgate these elements of National Character - or we should update the Constitution to reflect the change in that Character. And by "update", I don't mean turning a blind eye while the Executive Branch blithely runs rampant over all the explicit and implicit limitations on, and protections against, executive abuse of power!

As currently enshrined, and still given "lip-service", we "as a Nation", theoretically do condemn both the past action against the Armenians, and the current atmosphere of heavy-handed oppression used in an attempt to deny the truth. I maintain that it injures us, and contributes to our ever-increasing moral erosion, to not take at least a "token" stand in this case.

As pointed out, such a declaration is in many ways "noise". It doesn't involve any real commitment to "do anything" about the situation. On the other hand, it also doesn't really "cost anything" either - and for that reason alone, we would be remiss not to take it, if we honestly believe the principals we espouse.

Should we do even more, if we are not to be hypocritical? Probably. But, this theoretically is a democracy, and everyone has a different take, a different stand, on every issue. A small step, such as a "resolution of condemnation" or other unfunded act of Congress, is also a necessary first step to doing anything more meaningful. Only in fortunately rare episodes of national catharsis - such as 9/11, the bombing of Pearl Harbor, or the (probably engineered by government agents) sinking of the Maine, do you get a rapid-enough coalescence of public-opinion to bypass the otherwise-meaningless political maneuvering that helps sway public opinion until a reasonably well-focused and clear majority-opinion is achieved.


To Top

4:52 PM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

Ok...
1) So we do want to be involved in invading Turkey? If not, why take the step? You speak of milestones towards something, all this is silliness, if we're going to go in, we go in, if we're not, don't.
2) As I've said, nobody appears to be denying that people were killed. The Turks object to a characterization (probably because of the escalation noted above), yet at least one congressman has said "We hope they understand it as a condemnation of a previous govt.." or something akin. What is the point of the characterization, and why is it so important if we are not prepared to invade?
3) Politics is never a good answer in my experience, to anything. It inevitably involves subterfuge which we are much better without.
4) The only reason to take a "stand" is because you make it so. We should, I guess, while we're at it, take a "stand" on, say, the roman sacking of Jerusalem? At what point does the necessity to declare a formal stance get alleviated by the passage of time? In this case, we have an event which is not currently going on, that we can do nothing to further or hinder, and appears to have no difference of opinion on the fact that people were killed. The single and solitary difference is that you believe we will somehow suffer a blow to our integrity by the lack of characterizing it a certain way. I would submit that such a focus on characterization actually is a negative towards our national character.

Example: Matthew Shepherd's murder. This was characterized as "homophobia", and the drums were brought out and anyone who differed was subjected to public hanging. Later, it comes out that the guys that killed him didn't even know he was homosexual, they were more about a meth rush. Therefore, we sacrifice due process as characterizing somethign a certain way is so important to us as a nation. We were wrong, but everyone feels good about not hating homosexuals so it's ok I guess?

Example: "Jena 6". Reason put out a pretty good summary of reasons that this wasn't so much a racist thing as people would make it seem. Yet, in the rush to public characterization, it's public heresy to suggest otherwise. So, you have a very violent individual out on bail (though I believe it was subsequenty revoked) simply due to characterization of a "national character" kind of issue.

Example: Just about anything Al Sharpton gets involved in, as a correlary.

These do not help, they hurt our national character as freedom, innocent until proven guilty, etc.

That said, if you really feel that we need to do something, how about any number of corrupt dictatorships in Africa? Myanmar is also a good place, probably less military difficulties invading than Turkey.

2:24 AM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

@A Moose:

Sorry, Moose (and everybody else). I'd been up for thirty-something hours, and just felt querulous. Thus, the long and fundamentally pointless post.

I was responding to your assertion that "...such resolutions are all silliness to me" - which, now that I read it with a clearer mind, is unarguable. To you, it is silliness, by your own assertion.

For some reason, I got it into my muddled head that you were claiming such motions were fundamentally silly and useless (in fact, you had not made such a claim), and I was taking the Devil's Advocate position of pointing out that to some other people, these motions were in fact meaningful (if still basically toothless).

I am not (and hopefully was not) actually advocating in favor of this particular motion of condemnation. At this point, I think it very ill-advised to aggressively offend one of our very few allies in the Mideast.

7:00 AM  
Blogger Anne O'Neimaus said...

I really do think we need to pay much more attention to "National Character" or mores and fundamental ethics (as opposed to morals), but this is not a "my way or the highway" sort of issue, especially in any version of the U.S.A. that I want to live in.

Our National mores will probably always be fractured, because of our diversity; but they are currently so fragmented and contradictory, that it's going to take something much more profound and subtle than a few non-binding resolutions to counter the polarizing effects of radical demagoguery, single-issue extremism, persistent economic inequities, and a looming ecological and/or economic disaster - among myriad other divisive issues.

8:40 AM  
Anonymous A Moose said...

At this point, I think it very ill-advised to aggressively offend one of our very few allies in the Mideast.

Exactly. It is silly to simply chase defining something a certain way with no foreseeable purpose. That's my point. It would be better to conserve actions so when we do stuff, people listen, and to determine a true purpose, not just intellectual or emotional self gratification. Hence, I keep asking "why are we doing this?" and haven't gotten a good answer. If I did see a good answer, I wouldn't be averse to it, but the benefits would then have to outweigh pissing off what has evolved into an ally.

9:28 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Suckin’ Turkey Meat A Full Month Before Thanksgiving

Speaking of Thanksgiving, are we gonna get another post before then? ;-) I was also wondering why there presently are no stories at the Advocate site with your byline; you still on vacation?

11:09 AM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I was on vacation last week, which is why I had nothing up this week. For next week (meaning this Wednesday) I have two thoroughly non-political pieces: an interview with a romance-novel reviewer, and the story of me going on a ghost hunt.

Heck. It's Halloween.

11:26 AM  
Anonymous smartass sob said...

Heck. It's Halloween.

BOO! * :-)










*Scary boo

11:49 AM  

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