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John Chuckman

COMMENT TO MICHAEL ENRIGHT ABOUT AN EPISODE OF CBC RADIO’S SUNDAY EDITION

What a shame you had a long segment about a very important and fascinating topic, the Armenian Genocide, and your effort was just plain dreary and uninteresting, all of it the personal reflections of three not-particularly-interesting people, like an hour’s worth of low-key chatter at a cocktail party.

You missed a great opportunity to do something worthwhile.

Why has this subject been so repressed, not just in Turkey but in many countries? What were Turkey’s motives? Why have the United States and others deliberately avoided offending Turkey for decades over this subject?

Perhaps most interesting, why has the Vatican at this time made this statement? Nothing the Vatican does is without politics, and there is, to a certainty, something which has occurred behind the scenes causing this statement. Concern over Turkey’s dealings with Russia?

Last, I have in the past heard spokespeople for Israel, one being Elie Wiesel, expressing sputtering fury over the very mention of an “Armenian Genocide.” According to these folks, there can be only one event in history worthy of the term genocide. Why? There’s an interesting sidelight on the subject.

You didn’t enlighten, Michael Enright, you only schmoozed with some folks who had little to say.

FOOTNOTE: Only shortly after this event, United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon made a stunning public statement that it would be incorrect to call the mass killing of 1.5 million Armenians a genocide! He said it was an “atrocity crime,” a silly minted-to-the purpose term which reminds me a bit of the time when Israel pressured everyone to stop saying “suicide-bombers” and use the silly expression “homicide bombers,” something the insipid George Bush quickly did in a speech, making himself sound more tongue-twisted than ever.  Clearly, new back-scene political pressure is being applied by someone.

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