December 10, 2005

Is this man a patriot?

Turkish author Orhan Pamuk said the following, "a million Armenians and 30,000 Kurds were killed in these lands and no one but me dares to talk about it" and is now on trial for "publicly denigrating Turkish identity." He has received death threats and faces three years in prison if convicted.

Pamuk's "crime" was to broach a taboo subject—the Turkish actions against the Armenians, which many outside of Turkey label a genocide, a label which Turkey vehemently denies, asserting that the million Armenian deaths were the result of "internecine fighting."

However, it is almost certain that the actions of 1915-1916 constituted a genocide of the Armenians and Turkey's refusal to recognize that puts its application to the EU in a bad light and undermines its ostensible attempts to be the most progressive Arab nation on earth.

I think you know my feelings about the question in the title of this post. It is through people like Orhan Pamuk that anything decent in the world comes about.

See also Harold Pinter's Nobel acceptance speech. The media that have covered it have given it a wash of nutty artist spleen—just one simple writer venting his frustrations at the United States—but it's not that at all. It's a detailed critique of the way the US has operated in nations around the world for the past sixty years and it is based on solid facts, not just anti-American animus. It is measured, precise, and devastating. I urge you to read it.

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