Genocide Deniers in Congress Try to Shift Focus

A group of House members, who have traditionally opposed Congressional resolutions recognizing the Armenian Genocide, wrote a letter to the presidents of Armenia and Turkey expressing their support for what they called “lasting Armenian-Turkish rapprochement.”

These notorious genocide deniers—Representatives Robert Wexler, a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee (D-Fla.); Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), the chairman of the House Armed Service Committee; John Murtha (D-Penn.), chairman of the House Subcommittee on Defense Appropriations; and Alcee Hastings (D-Fla.), co-chairman of the Commission on Security and Cooperation in Europe—are the lead signatories of the letter.

“As Members of Congress who agree that lasting Armenian-Turkish rapprochement should be a top priority for the United States, please know we are ready to assist your nations efforts to normalize relations and build a better future for generations of Armenians and Turks,” the representatives wrote in the letter.

“It is essential that the building blocks of trust and cooperation are established between Armenia and Turkey to heal open wounds, mend broken hearts, and create a better future for both nations and peoples,” they added.

“This process is difficult and at times painful, but we remain hopeful that ongoing bilateral engagement will lead to a positive breakthrough that forever changes the dynamics of the region and opens the door to new possibilities and brighter futures for Armenia and Turkey,” they concluded.

The objective of the letter is to divert attention from the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.252, which was introduced by representatives Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and George Radanovich (R-Calif.), to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide.

On the eve of President Barack Obama’s planned visit to Turkey and the Turkish government’s efforts to shift the focus from genocide recognition to the so-called “Turkish-Armenian rapprochement,” this letter goes on record as an almost organic follow-up to Turkish propaganda efforts and its current posturing on Capitol Hill.

This effort should be viewed as nothing more than an insult to the Armenian American community, whose history is being summed up as an effort to “mend broken hearts” while at the same time fueling the cycle of genocide.

It no surprise that the Turkish and Azeri press hailed this effort by prominently placing it on their websites. It is also a bit discomforting that the Armenian press, similarly, trumpeted this development without providing proper perspective to their readers.

The opening of the Armenian-Turkish border and the establishing of diplomatic relations should not be confused with the imperative to recognize the Armenian Genocide. One has nothing to do with the other and the effort by the aforementioned members of the House should be deplored as a cheap effort to water down the genocide issue and compare apples with oranges.

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