Joined: 25 Oct 2003
| Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2007 7:26 am Post subject: How Schiff grilled Condy on the Genocide
|Here is a transcript of the hearing this week in which Adam Schiff grilled Condy on the Genocide.
> SCHIFF: Thank you, Madam Chair.
> Madam Secretary, welcome.
> About a week or so ago, Madam Secretary, you and Secretary Gates
> sent a letter to some of the chairs of committees here on the Hill
> opposing recognition of the Armenian genocide .
> This concerned me for a number of reasons, not the least of which
> that I don't see how we can have the moral authority that we need to
> condemn the genocide going in Darfur if we're unwilling to recognize
> other genocides that have taken place, if we're unwilling to recognize
> the first genocide of the last century, where 1.5 million people lost
> their lives.
> We're all well aware of how the Turkish lobby and Turkey has,
> either implicitly or explicitly, threatened because it doesn't want
> the genocide recognized and its own difficulty in coming to grips with
> that chapter of Ottoman history.
> So I'm not going to ask you about that, but I do want to ask you,
> is there any -- do you have any doubt, in your mind, that the murder
> of 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1923 constituted genocide ?
> Is there any doubt about that, in your mind?
> RICE : Congressman, I think that these historical circumstances
> require a very detailed and sober look from historians and what we've
> encouraged the Turks and the Armenians to do is to have joint
> historical commissions that can look at this, to have efforts to
> examine their past and, in examining their past, to get over their
> But I will tell you, Congressman, I don't think that it helps
> that process of reconciliation for the United States to enter this
> debate at that level. I just don't think it's helpful.
> SCHIFF: Madam Secretary, your comments, you think that there
> should be some kind of debate or discussion about the genocide
> suggests that you have a question about whether genocide occurred.
> Is that correct?
> RICE : Congressman, I believe that this is something that Turks
> and Armenians are best to address through their own processes of
> coming to terms with their history.
> Lots of people have had to come to terms with their history...
> SCHIFF: Yes, and, Madam Secretary, we have to come to grips with
> our own history.
> RICE : Yes.
> SCHIFF: And we did.
> RICE : I personally am well aware of that.
> SCHIFF: But, Madam Secretary, you come out of academia.
> RICE : Yes.
> SCHIFF: Is there any historic debate outside of Turkey? Is
> there any reputable historian you're aware of that takes issue with
> the fact that the murder of 1.5 million Armenians constituted
> genocide ?
> RICE : Congressman, I come out of academia, but I'm secretary of
> state now and I think that the best way to have this proceed is for
> the United States not to be in the position of making this judgment,
> but rather for the Turks and the Armenians to come to their own terms
> about this.
> Lots of people are coming to terms with their history in Asia, in
> Europe people have had to come to terms with their own history and
> SCHIFF: Madam Secretary, we have no reluctance to recognize
> genocide in Darfur. We have no reluctance to talk about the Cambodian
> genocide or the Rwandan genocide or the Holocaust.
> Why is it only this genocide ? Is it because Turkey is a strong
> ally? Is that an ethical and moral reason to ignore the murder of 1.5
> million people? Why is it we don't say, "Let's relegate the Holocaust
> to historians" or "relegate the Cambodian genocide or Rwandan
> genocide ?" Why is it only this genocide that we should let the Turks
> acknowledge or not acknowledge?
> And, Madam Secretary, Hrant Dink, who was murdered outside of his
> office, is not a testimony to Turkish progress. The fact that Turkey
> brought a Nobel-winning author up on charges of insulting Turkishness
> because he talked about the murder of the Armenians doesn't show great
> efforts of reconciliation of Turkey.
> Why is it only this genocide we're incapable of recognizing?
> RICE : Congressman, we have recognized and the president
> recognizes every year in a resolution that he himself issues the
> historical circumstances and the tragedy that befell the Armenian
> people at that time.
> We do recognize it. But I don't -- if you'll just allow me. I
> do not see that this situation is going to get better in the sense
> that it allows Turks and Armenians to move on to deal with their
> present unless we are able to let them deal with their past as to the
> murder that you...
> SCHIFF: Madam Secretary, because I'm going to run out of time.
> You recognize more than anyone, as a diplomat, the power of
> RICE : Yes.
> SCHIFF: And I'm sure you supported the recognition of genocide
> in Darfur, not calling it tragedy, not calling it atrocity, not
> calling it anything else, but the power and significance of calling it
> genocide .
> Why is that less important in the case of the Armenian genocide ?
> RICE : Congressman, the power here is in helping these people to
> move forward. After the murder that you talked about, Turks went into
> the streets to embrace Armenians and to say that this is not the way
> that Turks behave.
> The foreign minister himself has called into question the issue
> of arresting people for Turkishness. I do think that there is an
> evolution that is going on in a Turkey that is democratizing and
> democratizing before our very eyes and where Turks will be able to
> deal better with their history.
> But I do believe that people are better left to try and deal with
> this themselves if they're going to be able to move forward.
> We have to ask ourselves, "What is the purpose here," and I think
> the purpose is to acknowledge, of course, the historic tragedy, but
> the purpose is also to allow Turks and Armenians to be able to move
> And, yes, Turkey is a good ally and that is important. But more
> important is that like many historical tragedies, like many historical
> circumstances of this kind, people need to come to terms with it and
> they need to move on.
> We've done that in our own country. People have done it in
> Europe. People have done it in Asia and I think...
> SCHIFF: Madam Secretary...