Moral preening (or something worse) is about to cost the United States dearly in the war on terror-just as improvement in Iraq is obvious even to the media. Thomas Sowell has this to say about the U.S. Congress condemnation of “genocide” in the Ottoman Empire:

“People of Armenian ancestry in the United States and around the world are justifiably outraged at what happened in the Ottoman Empire — and at subsequent governments in Turkey which have refused to acknowledge or accept historical responsibility for the mass atrocities that took place on their soil.

“But the sudden interest of Congressional Democrats in this issue goes beyond trying to pick up some votes.

“They want a resolution to condemn what happened as ‘genocide’ — a word that provokes instant anger among today’s Turks, since genocide means a deliberate government policy aimed at exterminating a whole people, as distinguished from horrors growing out of a widespread breakdown of law and order in the Ottoman Empire during the First World War.

“These are issues of historical facts and semantics best left to scholars rather than politicians.

“If Congress has gone nearly a century without passing a resolution accusing the Turks of genocide, why now, in the midst of the Iraq war?

“It is hard to avoid the conclusion that this resolution is just the latest in a series of Congressional efforts to sabotage the conduct of that war.”