Friday, March 5, 2010


Mar 5, 4:22 AM (ET)

ANKARA, Turkey (AP) - Turkey's foreign minister is warning of a breakdown in ties with the U.S. after a congressional committee approved a resolution branding the World War I-era killing of Armenians genocide.

Ahmet Davutoglu said Friday the Obama administration had not sufficiently put its weight behind efforts to block the vote. He called on the administration to prevent the measure from coming to the full House.

Turkey angrily withdrew its ambassador to the U.S. minutes after Thursday's vote.

Davutoglu said the issue was a matter of "honor" and said the country would assess what other measures to take.

Historians estimate up to 1.5 million Armenians were victims of genocide. Turkey denies the deaths constituted genocide.

And from Wikipedia:

The Nanking Massacre or Nanjing Massacre, also known as the Rape of Nanking, refers to a six-week period following the Japanese capture of the city of Nanjing (Nanking), the former capital of the Republic of China, on December 9, 1937. During this period, hundreds of thousands of civilians were murdered and 20,000–80,000 women were raped [1] by soldiers of the Imperial Japanese Army.[2][3] The massacre remains a contentious political issue, as various aspects of it have been disputed by some historical revisionists and Japanese nationalists,[3] who have claimed that the massacre has been either exaggerated or wholly fabricated for propaganda purposes.

And again from Wikipedia:

The Catholic sex abuse cases are a series of lawsuits, criminal prosecutions and scandals related to sexual abuse committed by Catholic priests and members of religious orders, both under diocesan control and in orders which care for the sick or teach children,[1] that first rose to widespread public attention in the last two decades of the 20th century.[2] Although awareness of the widespread scope of these abuses first received significant media attention in Canada, Ireland and the United States, other cases were also reported in a number of other countries.

A matter of "honor."

Governments and corporations hire public relations spokesmen in order to gloss over what might prove damaging to their financial or psychological interests. Josef Goebbels, the Nazi propaganda minister during World War II, was a big believer in telling a lie 'long enough and often enough.'

And which one of us does not scurry and re-speak facts as a means of upholding our "honor?"

I am less interested in a self-serving governmental tactic that has gone on for a long time and is unlikely to stop any time soon than I am in the "honor" that an individual might imagine s/he was bolstering or protecting.

A. It seems to me that upholding an imagined "honor" speaks more to a deep-seated fear of "dishonor" than it does to any real honor. B. What is it, precisely, that wishes to swath itself in protective raiment? C. Does an honorable person shy from admitting blunders? D. What is it, precisely, that is being protected and advanced ... and why?

As I say, I am not interested in getting into a political pissing match -- another bit of the white-whine tapestry. I am interested in the willingness of individuals to investigate their own ministry of propaganda.

Without such an investigation, how could there conceivably be a valid claim to anything that might be called "honor?"

What "you" do may irritate me, but what "I" do is the only thing I can revise with any certainty.

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