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Obama Again Fails to Honor Armenian Genocide Pledge

April 24th Statement Avoids ‘Genocide’ Characterization

WASHINGTON—In yet another disgraceful capitulation to Turkey’s threats, President Obama today once again failed to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide, offering euphemisms and evasive terminology to characterize this crime against humanity, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“Today we join with Armenians in the United States and around the world in voicing our sharp disappointment with the president’s failure to properly condemn and commemorate the Armenian Genocide,” stated ANCA chairman Ken Hachikian. “After more than a year of Turkey’s manipulation of the Obama Administration’s policy on this core human rights issue, and the collapse of even the pretense of progress of any sort coming from Ankara, President Obama faced a stark choice: to honor his conscience and commitment to recognize the Armenian Genocide or to remain an accomplice to Turkey’s denial of truth and justice for this crime. Sadly, for the U.S. and worldwide efforts to end the cycle of genocide, he made the wrong choice, allowing Turkey to tighten its gag-rule on American genocide policy.”

As a Senator and presidential candidate, Obama pledged repeatedly to recognize the Armenian Genocide and promised “unstinting resolve” to end the Darfur Genocide, stating, “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that president.” View his record on the issue at http://www.anca.org/change/docs/Obama_Armenian_Genocide.pdf.

Since then, while stating that his personal views of the events of 1915 have not changed, Obama has refrained from properly characterizing this crime against humanity and going so far as to oppose Congressional Armenian Genocide legislation (H.Res.252), which he had pledged to support during the 2008 presidential campaign.

In contrast to his remarks in 2009, the president chose not to use the April 24th statement as a platform to push the flawed Turkey-Armenia protocols process, stalled by Turkey’s reconditions related to the Nagorno-Karabagh negotiations and shameful efforts to use the protocols to block international affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. The ANCA, in an April 7 letter urging the president to honor his genocide pledge, asked the White House to “mark this day sincerely and not, as has too often been the case, to view it as an opportunity to present a policy statement on the region.” The letter continued to note that an “explanation of U.S. priorities regarding Armenia-Turkey relations or other current foreign policy issues, while certainly entirely appropriate in other settings, clearly does not belong in a presidential April 24th statement, just as a statement of U.S. policy on the Israel-Arab peace process would not be appropriate in presidential remarks devoted to remembering the Holocaust.”

To view Obama’s complete statement, click here.

7 Comments on Obama Again Fails to Honor Armenian Genocide Pledge

  1. NoChange Obama.
    Might as well have voted for McCain.

  2. Dear President Obama,

    Despite my initial skepticism regarding your campaign avowals to call the Armenian Genocide as such, now that you have once again broken your promise to do so, I am surprised to find myself feeling disappointed. It turns out that I had some faith in your eloquent speeches.

    As a first-generation Armenian, this issue is important to me. Were I not Armenian, it would be as important to me, if I were aware of the facts. This leads me to one of the problems with your euphemistic actions: they teach a whole country, even the most erudite newspaper reading public, to doubt something that is a very real historical fact. You are promoting ignorance.

    The only upside to being a descendant of Genocide is that it forces me to judge other government policies with critical skepticism: seeing the way you treat the Armenian Genocide of 1915 leads me to seriously doubt your speeches and political stances.

  3. avatar Michael K. // April 27, 2010 at 3:30 pm // Reply

    What did the Russian leaders, Putin and Medvedev, have to say this April 24, and all throughout the year?  ZERO.   Same as in previous years.

    So, I ask you: Why is it so important that the US, which is not even an ally of Armenia, to acknowledge the Genocide when Russia, which is a so-called strategic ally of Armenia, does not commemorate the genocide in any substantial way, except that years ago the Duma acknowledged it?

    Because while we expect the US to get Turkey angry with an acknowledgment, we understand completely that Russia does not want to ruffle Turkey’s feathers.

    I would like to ask the Armenian Weekly and all Armenian papers to take a closer look at Russia if they  are going to harp incessantly on the US.
    I’m waiting.

  4. Hi, Mike,
    The answer is simple. In contrast to the U.S. Russia is already among almost 30 countries that recognized the genocide of the Armenians. In contrast to the U.S. Congress, Russian Duma (lower chamber of the Russian Parliament) has passed resolutions acknowledging the historical fact. Therefore, there’s little incentive for the Medvedev/Putin duo to utter the ‘G’ word specifically on or before April 24. They can do so  whenever they like. Besides, Russians don’t have a Western democratic tradition of making addresses on various domestic and foreign policy issues on regular basis. Russian Armenians, Russian intellectuals, media reps, members of federal and provincial administrations, and members of the Russian Parliament, as a rule, attend Genocide commemoration events.
    Why is it so important that the U.S. acknowledge the Genocide? Because in contrast to Russia, the U.S. likes portraying itself as a beacon of democracy, human rights and high moral standards. Because being a democratic country the U.S. needs to respect the 95-year old plea by its almost 2 mln constituencies of Armenian origin. Because if the U.S. does not want to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, the country’s presidential candidates don’t need to give baloney promises to recognize it during the election campaigns. And finally, because Armenian-Americans have invested hundreds of millions of dollars to representatives on federal and state levels to acknowledge the historical truth.
    But it appears that mighty U.S. cowers before the paper tiger Turkey, a country for which the U.S. has provided 240 bln in aid, saved it from communism, provided help in smashing the Kurdish insurgency, and champions its entry to the European Union.
    But where are your moral values, America the Beautiful, America ‘the Great’?

  5. Hye, thanks Paul.  The USA leaderships,today, with Obama not recognizing the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation – as he had pledged – hence he cannot also recognize the Darfurian Genocide.  Obama cowtows to a nation that ridicules the issue of Genocides – using PLOYS over and over to delay, distract and to even destroy efforts  bringing their guilt to justice . Too, the American media, takes a stance which negates the horrors of Genocides by barely giving any recognition of the facts… committed by Ottoman and their leaderships that follow…
    – 44 of 50 USA states today recognize the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians
       (including Hawaii – where Obama says is his birthplace(…
    – International Genocide organizations recognize Turks Genocide of Armenians
    – Archives the world over filled with eyewitness accounts of Turks violence
    – the Vatican recognizes the Genocide of the Armenian nation by Turks
    – the New York Times, having overcome their omissions, printed news of the
       Turkish violence during the years of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians
    – Members of Congress, recognizing the need to end the cycle of Genocides,
       dedicate their efforts, against paid Turkish lobbyists…
    – Learned and honest writers, the world over, who number amongst those who
       continue to speak up for the Armenians, dedicated to the honest of the issue…
    And, for shame to the US State Department, their former Ambassador Henry Morgenthau’s continued pursuit seeking recognition of the Turkish leaderships
    inhumanity to the Amenians written as well, in his memoirs. 
    Omissions of the facts aids the Turks, who have been violating truths these 100 years…
    Hence today, a Turkey has ‘gotten away with murders’ and worse!   Crimes which, when commited  in most nations the perpetrators would be found guilty and penalized by their laws. 
    As yet, Genocides are not considered to be ‘against the laws’…
    – perpetrators – winners;
    – victims – losers!
    Politics wins – Morality lost…
    Manooshag

  6. Hye, thanks Paul.  The USA leaderships,today, with Obama not recognizing the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation – as he had pledged – hence he cannot also recognize the Darfurian Genocide.  Obama cowtows to a nation that ridicules the issue of Genocides – using PLOYS over and over to delay, distract and to even destroy efforts  bringing their guilt to justice . Too, the American media, takes a stance which negates the horrors of Genocides by barely giving any recognition of the facts… committed by Ottoman and their leaderships that follow…
    – 44 of 50 USA states today recognize the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians
       (including Hawaii – where Obama says is his birthplace).
    – International Genocide organizations recognize Turks Genocide of Armenians
    – Archives the world over filled with eyewitness accounts of Turks violence
    – the Vatican recognizes the Genocide of the Armenian nation by Turks
    – the New York Times, having overcome their omissions, printed news of the
       Turkish violence during the years of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians
    – Members of Congress, recognizing the need to end the cycle of Genocides,
       dedicate their efforts, against paid Turkish lobbyists…
    – Learned and honest writers, the world over, who number amongst those who
       continue to speak up for the Armenians, dedicated to the honesty of the issue…
    And, for shame to the US State Department, their former Ambassador Henry Morgenthau’s continued pursuit seeking recognition of the Turkish leaderships
    inhumanity to the Amenians written as well, in his memoirs. 
    Omissions of the facts aids the Turks, who have been violating truths these 100 years…
    Hence today, a Turkey has ‘gotten away with murders’ and worse!   Crimes which, when commited  in most nations the perpetrators would be found guilty and penalized by their laws. 
    As yet, Genocides are not considered to be ‘against the laws’…
    – perpetrators – winners;
    – victims – losers!
    Politics wins – Morality lost…
    Manooshag

  7. THANK YOU PAUL… Excellent commentary…

    THANK YOU MANOOSHAG.. for confirming and validating..

    Hopefully it was enough for Michael K to understand as to WHY USA who repeatedly us the Armenian Genocide matter to collect the votes from million of American Armenians at every election… needs to stop this cowardice and wipe his nose from the crying as a baby …. US CAN”T bow down to a country like Turkey… What is wrong with this picture?? What is wrong with this system? What is wrong with our govt???

    Gayane

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