Friday, February 3, 2012

Turkey Out-Rummy's Rumsfeld

France passed a law focused on the Armenian genocide, deliberately antagonizing Turkey.  Among Turkey's responses: denying France overflight rights for planes serving the Afghan mission as well as access to its waters.  This reminds me of Rumsfeld since he sought to block all cooperation with the French military after Chirac opposed the invasion of Iraq in 2003.  He sought to turn off all military to military interchanges/exchanges, but the US uniformed folks pushed back a bit, making Rummy realize that the French actually were very helpful in Africa.  That the US is using a base in the former French colony of Djibouti (the recent SEAL rescue) is just a bit of evidence of the reliance the US has on France in building bridges in places the US has had little experience.

Anyhow, I was just struck by the Turkeys rummy-ing France.  Does xenophobia explain France's positions on Turkey or is there something else going on?


Anonymous said...

"Does xenophobia explain France's position on Turkey or is there something else going on?"


"Does xenophobia explain French - or for that matter European - laws that ban the denial of the Holocaust?"

Steve Saideman said...

Correct me if I am wrong, but doesn't the French law only address the Armenian genocide? Why is France so focused on that one case? If france was opposed to genocide denial, wouldn't the law address all genocides? Why select only the Armenian one?

Anonymous said...

There is no mention of the Armenian Genocide in the French law currently under review by the French constitutional court.

The law criminalizes the denial of all legislatively recognized genocides, the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide being the only ones that have been legislated upon.

Needless to say, there is no state entity today that that practices genocide denial as Turkey does today.

On a side note, note that under Code 301 of the Turkish Penal Code, acknowledging the Armenian Genocide is punishable by law. Many famous liberal Turks have been condemned under this law, such as Nobel Peace Prize winner Orhan Pamuk, thus the irony of the Turks attacking France for the denial of free speech.

Further, most European countries have criminalized denial of the Holocaust. In addition to France, only Switzerland has criminalized denial of the Armenian Genocide.

Anonymous said...

Irrespective of all this, we cannot ignore that there are Presidential elections coming in France, and Sarkozy is bleeding to the right.

(NB. Not the same anonymous as above)