Corridors of Power: Congress Focuses on Human Rights, Condi in Moscow and More

Corridors of Power: Congress Focuses on Human Rights, Condi in Moscow and More

WIN SOME, LOSE SOME -- Almost the same day that foreign ambassadors in Washington received invitations to attend Wednesday's presentation of the Congressional Gold Medal to the Dalai Lama, the exiled Tibetan ruler, they got letters from the Chinese ambassador urging them to boycott the ceremony. Predictably, the decision to honor the Dalai Lama has drawn strong protests from the Chinese government, which controls his mountainous country.

The presentation was initiated by the U.S. Congress, and is supported by the Bush administration. But Congress also has plans to declare the death of up to 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey in 1915 as genocide, and that initiative has been vigorously -- and so far unsuccessfully -- opposed by the administration.

The Armenian resolution has sparked a serious crisis in U.S. relations with Turkey, a key ally in the Iraq war. In practical terms, Ankara's anger could hamper severely the supply lines to U.S. forces in Iraq: 70 percent of all airborne supplies to Iraq pass through Turkish airfields, for example. The mounting tension between Washington and Ankara over the resolution has also reduced the Bush administration's power to influence Turkish plans for an incursion into northern Iraq in pursuit of Kurdish separatists.

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