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Op-ed: It is Time for the United States to Properly Recognize the Armenian Genocide

 

Rep. Dave Trott (R-Mich.) Pens Op-ed Urging U.S. to ‘Stand with the Armenian People’

Special for the Armenian Weekly

I have the honor of representing the most ethnically diverse congressional district in Michigan and one of the most diverse districts in the entire country. A prominent presence in our district is the strong and vibrant Armenian community in Southeast Michigan, and, in representing them, I have led Congressional efforts to ensure they always have a seat at the table in our nation’s capital.

Rep. Dave Trott lays flowers at the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan in 2015 (Photo: trott.house.gov)

During my first term in Congress, I was humbled to have the opportunity to travel to Armenia to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. The Centennial remembrance ceremony was a solemn reminder of the heartbreaking deaths of 1.5 million Armenians that began in 1915, when Ottoman authorities initiated a concerted offensive, specifically targeting the Armenian people in an attempt to exterminate them.

In their coordinated campaign, the Ottoman Empire not only intended to wipe out the Armenians, but to also confiscate and destroy their Churches and artifacts—completely removing any memory of the Armenian people and their culture.

Sadly, for far too long, many nations, including the United States, have refused to recognize the genocide waged against the Armenian people over a century ago. It is time for the United States to stand with the Armenian people, here and around the world, and to properly recognize this dark period of history.

This month, I introduced a resolution that finally recognizes these atrocities and urges the United States government to stand in solidarity with the Armenian people to officially recognize the genocide that transpired over a hundred years ago.

I have been outspoken in my support for and solidarity with the Armenian people and I will not waver. While it is so important that we recognize the horrific events of the past, it is even more critical that we recognize the threats against the Armenian people have not subsided.

Today, Armenia finds itself facing a myriad of geopolitical challenges. Sharing a border with Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Iran, its security challenges are exacerbated by an economic blockade from Turkey and Azerbaijan and a region-wide refugee crisis. Furthermore, last April, we witnessed Azerbaijani aggression escalate in Nagorono-Karabagh (Artsakh), which led to the worst violence in the region in decades.

Since my election to Congress in 2015, I have worked alongside Chairman Ed Royce and Ranking Member Eliot Engel of the House Foreign Affairs Committee and led dozens of other Members of Congress to urge the implementation of a series of proposals that would reduce aggression in the region. These proposals included calling for the removal of snipers, increasing the Organization of Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) monitors at the line of contact, and deploying a gunfire locator system to clearly identify aggressors.

While these bipartisan proposals were agreed to by the State Department, Armenia and Artsakh, and the Minsk Group of mediators (France, Russia, and the United States), they have been met with continued provocations by Azerbaijan.

As the new Trump Administration took shape, I was encouraged to hear Secretary of State Tillerson recognize the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict as “a threat to stability in the region and U.S. national security interests,” and I will support any efforts by the Administration to play a larger role in this conflict.

After 8 years of disengagement from the international arena, I look forward to an America that re-establishes its prominence on the world stage, standing up for the world’s most vulnerable, holding Azerbaijan accountable for their aggression in the region, and ensuring religious minorities and their property rights are upheld in Turkey. A dealmaker at heart, I am confident that President Trump and his administration will exhaust all options to get positive results in the region.

As we approach the 102nd anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, it is long overdue that we not only recognize the violence waged against them in the past, but reaffirm our solidarity with the Armenian people as they continue to defend themselves and their vibrant culture in an increasingly unstable region.

12 Comments on Op-ed: It is Time for the United States to Properly Recognize the Armenian Genocide

  1. avatar John Mardian // April 7, 2017 at 6:16 pm // Reply

    Amen.

    • avatar Scott Noren DDS // April 13, 2017 at 10:08 pm //

      really? I was at the centeninial in NYC..was Hillary Clinton? You know, who said it was a matter of historical debate?
      did this rep support Clinton in the last race? if so, he is talking out of both sides of his mouth….did he call her out on that? If not, he is talking out of both sides of his mouth…period.

  2. avatar art K hagopian // April 7, 2017 at 6:37 pm // Reply

    very important targets that Rep. trott has espoused. However, while stating that the U.S. and “many other countries” have not recognized the genocide, I wonder why he does not mention big power countries that have. namely, Russia, Germany and France.

  3. avatar Ara Cherchian // April 7, 2017 at 7:31 pm // Reply

    We appreciate Congressman Trott’s courageous stand.

  4. avatar George K. Gulluian // April 7, 2017 at 7:50 pm // Reply

    I believe strongly America never recognize becose politically partner withe
    Turkey. so so so.

  5. avatar Armen Armenian // April 7, 2017 at 10:24 pm // Reply

    Seriously, or research us Armenian’s need to start disrespecting American History, Jewish,Black,and Turkish.Until they learn to respect Armenians.US Armenian’s need to stand up to our enemies and make them respect us either piecefully or by force.

    We Armenian’soccer can make America,Turkey,Isreal and the rest of outer Enemies respect us Armenian’s peacefully or we can make there lives a living he’ll they way they have been trying to make us.

    God bless the Armenian people and Power to the Armenian people.

    It’s time the world start respecting us Armenian’s.

  6. avatar Armen Armenian // April 7, 2017 at 10:26 pm // Reply

    Seriously, or us Armenian’s need to start disrespecting American History, Jewish,Black,and Turkish.Until they learn to respect Armenians.US Armenian’s need to stand up to our enemies and make them respect us either piecefully or by force.

    We Armenian’s need to make America,Turkey,Isreal and the rest of our Enemies respect us Armenian’s peacefully or we can make there lives a living hell they way they have been trying to make our’s.

    God bless the Armenian people and Power to the Armenian people.

    It’s time the world start respecting us Armenian’s.

  7. avatar Richard Hamasian // April 8, 2017 at 12:22 pm // Reply

    Congressman, thank you for your depth of feeling for the Armenians and Armenia. Please count on me as a supporter, even though my district (CT) is far removed from MI. I am humbled by your understanding of the importance of the American-Armenians’ campaign for US recognition of these atrocities of the past. Thank you and God Bless You.

  8. avatar Bryan Watson // April 8, 2017 at 1:09 pm // Reply

    This was all good, Rep. Trott. But I am disappointed that you could not resist spoiling a well-stated opinion with a cheap, and false, swipe at former President Obama. The piece would have been appropriate and effective without the false allegation of “8 years of disengagement from the international arena” and the assertion that America has, in those 8 years, lost “its prominence on the world stage.”

    As you noted, this is the 102nd anniversary of this terrible event. Many administrations have held office over the past 102 years. The Bush administration urged Congress to reject a similar resolution in 2007. Eight former secretaries of state from both Democratic and Republican administrations have opposed similar resolutions in the past. This is not a partisan issue, as is evident from your bi-partisan effort to craft the resolution. Yet, sadly, you included an unnecessary and false partisan attack into the conversation.

    Cheap politics ruin an otherwise well-stated piece. If you can remove that paragraph, this piece could stand up proudly. Sadly, you made the decision to be partisan, and that diminishes both the opinion piece and the resolution that it promotes.

  9. avatar ARMAN MANOUKIAN // April 11, 2017 at 3:49 pm // Reply

    thanks but no thanks,it is too late for recognition,if the turks deny it does not mean anything to me,do you think that turkey would after more then 100 yrs will recognize it?

  10. Very well said Arman. What difference will it make, after so many years, whether the US or Turkey recognize it as genocide? Will they give our lands and property back? Will Turkey and the US stop the Azeri aggression against Armenia and Artsakh? We should only depend on our own strength and unity and not rely on any outsider to be our savior.

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