November 6, 2007

Who died and made you Bernard Lewis?

My dear old congressman in the Massachusett's Ninth, Stephen F. Lynch, is one of 21 co-sponsors for a non-binding House resolution praising the Boston Red Sox on a successful 2007 season. It's all pretty bland, and hopefully the New York delegation will vote against it so we can have a faux-controversy and possibly bloodshed.Anyways, it brought to mind another ridiculously worded non-binding resolution: the Armenian Genocide resolution.I have many issues with the Armenian resolution. For one...why is this even being discussed by a governing body? I don't think lobbying groups (in this case Armenian–Americans) should be empowered to legislate history. There's a similar resolution condemning the US Government for the Trail of Tears--introduced by none other than Sam Brownback!--that has sat dormant for three years now. The historical circumstances are very similar--if anything the case agains the US is much clearer--but Congress only elected to vote on the one with the multi-million dollar lobbying effort.But more importantly, why knowingly damage this nation's relationship with a vital ally for the historical equivelant of this. The Armenian Genocide is a serious and hotly debated historical issue. No less an authority than Bernard Lewis disputes its particulars--why should the words of a few US Congressman be held in equal weight?Non-binding resolutions are for the most part a joke; any attempt to use them to answer academic questions is nothing less than an abuse of power.