The Armenian Genocide Resolution and NATO Treaty Obligations

A reader sends me this:

Can you tell me or post a blog on explaining why congress is wasting tax payer money and time and not to mention causing instability for the United States. In my opinion this is why this country will not exist in its present form in the future because our congress, does not act as the voice of the people, they should be hung for treason, any senator that voted for this, this issue does not have any relevant meaning to the majority of this country! here is the resolution:

In the last session of Congress, the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.316) had 160 bipartisan cosponsors and was overwhelmingly passed the House International Relations Committee.

I’m not going to answer the questions posed directly… I’m merely going to note that this has become a cause celebre on the right. Of course, the same level of indignation isn’t directed toward GW’s meeting with the Dalai Lama which has caused similar rifts with China… but perhaps its thought we don’t need China’s support (and money) for dealing with the situation in Iraq and North Korea.

That said, I would argue that the administration is already severely antagonizing Turkey, and acting in violation of our NATO treaty accord with them. (Not incidentally, it also means that the administration is in violation of Article VI of the Constitution, for our right wing friends.)

Here’s Article 5 of the NATO treaty:

The Parties agree that an armed attack against one or more of them in Europe or North America shall be considered an attack against them all and consequently they agree that, if such an armed attack occurs, each of them, in exercise of the right of individual or collective self-defence recognised by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith, individually and in concert with the other Parties, such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

Any such armed attack and all measures taken as a result thereof shall immediately be reported to the Security Council. Such measures shall be terminated when the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to restore and maintain international peace and security.

And here’s Article 6:

For the purpose of Article 5, an armed attack on one or more of the Parties is deemed to include an armed attack:

* on the territory of any of the Parties in Europe or North America, on the Algerian Departments of France (2), on the territory of or on the Islands under the jurisdiction of any of the Parties in the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer;
* on the forces, vessels, or aircraft of any of the Parties, when in or over these territories or any other area in Europe in which occupation forces of any of the Parties were stationed on the date when the Treaty entered into force or the Mediterranean Sea or the North Atlantic area north of the Tropic of Cancer.

So what does it mean that the administration has chosen to arm, train, support and promise to defend the very folks who are engaging in cross border raids against a fellow NATO country, that itself is living up to its NATO obligations? I note that this has been going on for a while now… and predates the House’s Armenian Genocide Resolution. And I repeat that by violating a treaty obligation, the administration is also directly violating the Constitution. So why the dual standard?