By Matt Welch
It probably won't get much press coverage, but today President Barack Obama will be met at the Sony Pictures lot in Culver City with a protest (featuring Kim Kardashian!) that specifically–and accurately–accuses him of breaking an explicit campaign promise: to officially recognize as president the Turkish genocide of Armenians nearly a century ago. How explicit was candidate Obama's promise in 2008? This explicit:
I shared with Secretary [Condoleeza] Rice my firmly held conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy. As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106), and as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.
Obama was so strongly in favor of calling "a spade a spade" that he dispatched the woman who would become his most important foreign policy adviser (and Libya War architect), Samantha Power, to give this special campaign shout-out to our Armenian American friends:
What's interesting to me here is not the predictable realpolitik switcheroo, or the now-familiar sight of Obama's rectitude preceding a total about-face, or even the genocide-recognition question itself (I know from experience that Reason readers do not share my weird interest in the topic). But rather it's this: The more that the Samantha Powerses of the world use military force to halt even pre-genocide, the less able they are to speak the noble truth-telling language of anti-genocide. Put more simply, if your anti-genocide crusade requires a drop of logistical or diplomatic support from Johnny Turkey (or anyone else in any kind of denial business), you can kiss your haughty truth-telling principles good-bye.
This has been true since at least the Paris Peace Conference: Wilsonianism, when it comes into (violent) contact with the real world, means never having to say you're sorry about selling out your friends in low places. Even when acting in the name of anti-"appeasement."