Astarjian: Shame on You Hillary!

Shame on you Hillary. Shame on you! If this is too harsh or impolite, it is not unprecedented in politically correct situations. You used it to highlight a lie or distortion of facts by the Obama camp during the recent Democratic primaries. In doing so, you set an example for us ordinary human beings who revolt against lies, distorted facts, cover-ups, or obstructions of justice. That much to justify my outburst, to which my late mother would have objected; she would have told me, “Shame on you for being impolite and for daring people in government.”

But thank the almighty God we live in these United States, not in Turkey where, until this moment, a comment like that would have subjected one to the tenets of Article 301, justifying criminal trial for “insulting Turkishness.”

Shame on you Hillary for reneging on your promise to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide as genocide and not some “tragic events of World War I”.

Shame on you for exploiting the memory of one and a half million martyrs. You knew that signing the pledge to recognize the genocide was essential in winning the Armenian vote, so you signed it.

Shame on you for cheating a million Armenian Americans, your fellow citizens, with false promises you made during your campaign. When you made that iron clad promise to recognize the genocide, you knew, or you should have known, the situation with your NATO ally Turkey. You knew or you should have known from your husband’s tenure that it is a sensitive subject to deal with. You knew from your husband’s tenure how he blocked a scheduled Congressional vote one minute before Speaker Dennis Hastert was to put the issue to vote.

If you knew then what you know now, then you have a credibility problem. If you did not know, then you were ignorant. You should have known as a potential world leader, and you should not have made the false promise.

I believe that you knew then, what you know now. I believe that in your heart and mind, there was no doubt that your election stance was the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. You know that Ottoman Turkey, the precursor of present-day Turkey, systematically executed a plan to ethnically cleanse Turkey of all Armenians, not sparing the Assyrians and other Christian populations, either.

I believe that you know but rationalize based on advice you have received from your State Department, that if you accept the truth you believe in, it would offend Turkey. And Turkey would then react with unforeseeable retaliation with untold consequences. Your decision to fight vigorously to block the vote in Congress is motivated by fear, not interests of the United States. If you feel that by siding with Turkey on the genocide you will win them over, then think again; you will be huddling a porcupine!

If you have not seen or read reports about it, I can send you excerpts of Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan’s speech, where he proudly announces that present-day Turkey is the inheritor of Ottoman Turkey (except, of course, when it pertains to the genocide). Turkey is not only a Muslim country, but a fanatical Islamic country (Middle East Quarterly, Winter 2009) that is making inroads in solidifying its position in the Islamic world.

Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) just launched a complete TV station in Arabic to spread the Caliphate Islamic doctrine. Turkey also just struck a $5 billion energy deal with Iran, and Erdogan recently stated Turkey’s refusal to participate in blocking Iran, should the United States and its allies impose sanctions.

In this week’s visit to Germany, Erdogan demanded the establishment of a Turkish high school in Germany. In a YouTube video, Erdogan is seen in a religious rally in Munich accompanied by his mentor, Necmettin Erbakan, and Turkish President Abdullah Gul supporting the Naqshbandi Sheikh Qubrusi, who after exciting the hot audience with religious fervor and promising a struggle for Islamic victories “everywhere,” exclaimed “Who needs America”? Kemal Ataturk’s doctrine of democratic secular Turkey is on its last breath. Kemalism is almost dead, and is being replaced by fanatical Islam.

Erdogan’s government has arrested both the retired and active-duty top brass of the military for plotting to overthrow his government. And his anger against Israel is public now, and reflects a deeper feeling of being humiliated by Israeli border authorities that made him wait for 20 minutes. Had that happened in Turkey, they would have been tried for “insulting Turkishness.” Of course Erdogan’s opposition to Israel is also to side with the Arabs.

So what is Washington afraid of? How did Turkey retaliate against France, when France, 1 of 30 some countries, accepted the genocide? Turkey withdrew its ambassador for a few weeks, and then returned him. Is that a dear price to pay for holding a high moral ground?

President Obama, our 4/24 is your and our 9/11. You have sent our loved ones thousands of miles away in harms way to seek justice and punish the criminals of al-Qaeda; is our peaceful, disciplined, political request from our own government to recognize the genocide more stringent than that? Why not let a democratic process take its course
in Congress? Why block an up and down vote in Congress to resolve this matter once and for all?

Mr. President, I am not Elie Wiesel. I do not have his noble mission, nor do I intend to elicit sympathy. Like him and you, the intent is to implement justice. Your and Hillary’s blocking of the genocide recognition vote in Congress does not serve justice. I reject the notion that in politics there are only interests, not justice. It is easy when both meet, but it is difficult when they are separated. But we have to do what is right.

I believed in you, Mr. President, and I still do. Even during the hotly contested primaries when Dr. Rice debated Hillary’s representative in Manchester’s Saint Anselm College, I autographed my book for you, addressing you as “Mr. President.” My request of you, Mr. President, is to be true to your intellect, true to your conscience, true to your promise, which you made during the campaign in a concrete statement, and with true belief. I believe you have not changed your conviction as you have reaffirmed it unofficially several times.

You may rationalize by saying, “What can I do? It is not in the United States’ interest to alienate Turkey. Turkey is a NATO ally. We need Turkey’s cooperation in implementing our policies in the region. We can’t offend them. The genocide happened almost a century ago.” Mr. President, that is a stark deviation from the moral high ground you believe in. Turkey is a weak, untrustworthy ally if it does not face its criminal past.

In pursuit of your agenda, Mr. President, you argued that depriving some 46 million people of basic healthcare “is not right.” Letting al-Qaeda commit its crimes and remain unpunished is not right.

Now I say, Mr. President, that blocking a vote in Congress to recognize the Armenian Genocide is not right. Please let it come to the floor.

Dr. Henry Astarjian

Dr. Henry Astarjian

Dr. Henry Astarjian was born in Kirkuk, Iraq. In 1958, he graduated from the Royal College of Medicine and went on to serve as an army medical officer in Iraqi Kurdistan. He continued his medical education in Scotland and England. In 1966, he emigrated to the U.S. In 1992, he served as a New Hampshire delegate to the Republication National Convention in Houston, Texas. For three years Astarjian addressed the Kurdish Parliament in Exile in Brussels, defending Armenian rights to Western Armenia. For three consecutive years, he addressed the American Kurds in California and Maryland. He is the author of The Struggle for Kirkuk, published by Preager and Preager International Securities.
Dr. Henry Astarjian

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  1. You, and the rest of the world, will wait until hell freezes over before President Obama does anything based on conscience or moral high ground.  He discarded those character assets long ago, and the agenda, “the ends justify the means” is the platform from which he rules.

  2. To: Astarjian

    Thank you for the Excellent Letter to President Obama . You have simply asked him to do the right thing! Period!


  3. I am baffled and shocked at this article. Why does the writer hold Hilary responsible when we know where the Clintons stood on this subject. The treachery lies with Hilary’s boss  the revered President Barack Hussein Obama. Shame on you Dr. Astardjian! Have you never heard of “Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me!” Your “suck up” to Mr Obama nauseates me to no end. You and the Armenian leadership in the United States have played up and venerated this man to such an extent that I want to vomit violently! He lied and ridiculed the Armenian community. His very first overseas visit was to Turkey where he lavished their parliament with his words of love and affection through his beloved teleprompter. He then disrespected all Armenian Americans by referring to theArmenian Genocide as the “tragic events of WWI”. What a cop out!  You state, “I believed in you Mr. President and I still do” . Have you no pride man? This man just lied to you and your fellow Americans and you pander to him as if he has had his hands twisted. He had no problem treating the Prime Ministers of Britain and Israel, our strongest allies, with disdain and yet he brownnoses to the his Turkish counterpart!
    Oh learned Doctor, you represent what is wrong with our Armenian leadership in this wonderful land. You cosset the liberal press and the Democrat party as if they understand, empathize and are the key to Armenian causes. My grandmother used to say that when it come to politics, there is no master of this art better than the Turk. Well for years they have worked the US system running circles around their Armenian foes. I don’t see the Turks being partisan. They manipulate both parties tactfully, diplomatically and if necessary by threat  to their success. Yes they have the upperhand but they play their hand masterfully. We have spent too much effort and money on this Genocideresolution.
    When it comes to politics we are clearly inept and bias. The message you should be sending President Obama is that we will deliver every Armenian vote to the Republicans in November and again in 2012 if he doesn’t succinctly recognize the Genocide. End of story! Even the few Democrats that are on our side should be held accountable for their leadership’s position so that they exert pressure on this discredited President. Then when the Republicans take office threaten them with the same until they understand we will exercise our power through the ballot box!
    Meanwhile, lets stop wasting our hard earned dollars trying to pass a resolution in a Congress that really doesn’t give a hoot about the Genocide!This strategy has failed and it’s time to develop a new one that we can all support. Education is the key.
    What we should have done is spent these resources in developing Armenian departments in each and every University in the United States. Departments that teach Armenian language, culture, religion and history. Imagine educating the American public about who and what we are. Every school boy and girl in France studies the Armenian Genocide as a factoid of World War I. Perhaps this would be difficult to implement in the US but all Colleges in this country accept big donations. More Colleges offer Turkish language courses than Armenian. Well they are beating us at this too. Time for us to review, reflect, reorganize, develop and execute on a new long term strategy.

  4. Thanks for this letter Dr. Astarjian!!!  Once they get what they want, they “suffer”  sudden loss of memory and forget about most of their pledges.   I am talking about many elected US officials during past 30 years.   They are NOT afraid to loose friendship with Armenia, but in the meantime are very careful with Turkey.  Armenia always has been friendly to the US,  as far as I remember, but maybe it is time to send a formal protest to the US government for deliberately blocking the justice and the truth for decades.   To fight our cause we are using a very powerful tool (our voices), however this is not enough, because the powerful Turkish lobby is blocking our effort.  We need to leverage other groups like the Jewish lobby,  and  engage the diplomacy of course.  Our priority should be to get stronger with stronger partners,  take political sides with Iran and Russia,  if US doesn’t pay enough respect to our cause very soon!

  5. Very accurate characterization of Turkey.  Fundamentalism is on the rise, Kemalism is on the decline and Erdogan is confidently leading the charge into a new Ottoman order.  The West is ignoring these developments and is maintaining the fiction that Turkey is secular, democratic, and Western, and therefore a “model” for other Islamic countries when in fact it is becoming less and less Western.  Turkey’s refusal to join a sanctions regime against Iran is yet another instance in which Turkey refuses to cooperate with the West.  No doubt they are once again looking for a massive monetary “incentives” to get them to cooperate.   

  6. True story:  Samantha Power, our alleged friend, recently met with an Armenian American.   Power said she knew Armenians were disappointed with Obama, but also said that she (Power) was too busy now with her new role in Iraq (as refugee head) to do anything.

    See one Armenian’s view of Power here:
    Power without principle. 
    As for Hillary, she wouldn’t know a principle if it was in front of her nose.

  7. To Dr. Astrajian,

    Actually, those comments, if made in Armenia, would have you picked up and taken to some desolate area, where you’d be quickly executed! If you don’t believe me, then go there, try it and see for yourself (assuming that you survive to report back, of course). Remember, Armenia didn’t acheive a 98% national purity rate by being fair or playing nice (many of the ethnically cleansed were never found). 

  8. With respect to Powers, Boyadjian comments:
    “Notice that since Obama’s dishonest April 24 declaration, Power has said nothing to Armenian Americans.   No explanation.  No apology.  Nothing”

    For God’s sake people! You were played like a fiddle as were many Americans, by the Obama Campaign machine. You bought their BS lock, stock and barrel. What were you thinking? Did you actually believe he would be different to Bush, Clinton or the Bush before him? Did you think his predecessors were just plain evil. You think that George W, a devout Christian, didn’t feel for the Armenians and their plight under the Turks? I put it to Dr. Astardjian that “W” also knows the truth and doesn’t deny the Genocide off the record. But he never promised you as did Obama! Chastising Hilary and leaving the door open for Obama to revisit the Genocide is so subtle and very middle eastern. However, you clearly don’t understand this political animal. They are all politicians and will do what is politically expedient. However, Obama is special. He will make promises and he will break them without remorse or hesitation. He doesn’t need a door to be left ajar, he will break the door down if that is what suits him. The Persians have a saying that when you spit on a politician he will react as if he felt a rain drop. This is Obama!

  9. If this article was in Turkish, I’d say he is another republican claiming he loves his country and thinks only he knows the best for it. The fact is, Kemalism no longer represents democracy and modernity. I have met so many people who define themselves as Kemalists and who, with no shame, say out loud that every Armenian, Greek,  Kurd and Jew living in this country should be killed.  People described in this comment, for example, are typical Kemalists. And let me tell you this: If a Turkish government is to accept Armenian genocide, it won’t be a Kemalist one.

  10. Henry; Congratulations again on your excellent artice to Hillary Clinton as she as others have back down on our Armenian Genocide recognition.  Because of Turkish pressure and using five Jewish Organizations to do their dirty work in the U.S. State Dept. is the reason our well recognized Genocide has not been recognized.  As you has wrote, up to 30 Nations around the world have recognized this first Genocide in the 21st  Century and although Turkey threatened these countries on backing down on their contracts, nothing happened.  Keep up the good work  Henry.  Stephen T. Dulgarian

  11. Dr Astarjian, what’s really more to say….Hillary Clinton is a politician. That short statement speaks volumes as to her character, and the answer to everything you have written here.

  12. Surely, cj, you would not offer the Armenian vote to Obama, or any other Democrat, even if he did what you want regarding the genocide!  There are many, many issues that demand getting rid of this entire Administration.

  13. NC, yes there maybe many reasons to remove his administration, but who are you going to replace him with. The Republicans??!!!. They’d be even worse, you only have to look at their track record and it doesn’t matter who’s running the show for them. The ultimate power is their big business mates (although, it’s pretty much the same no matter who you vote for.) What America needs, is new blood. A new approach. However, there’ll be a lot of resistance to such a notion and movement. But if it’s not done, you’ll be getting more of the same, no matter who you vote for, for forever and a day. Remember, the politicians and such aren’t really the ones in charge…the people are. They’re the ones with the ultimate say and it’s a good reason why voting should be compulsory. To make sure everyone gets a say. So that parties can’t rig elections (a la Bush). It’s the old adage, you get what you pay for, or in this case you get who you vote (or don’t vote) for. Caveat emptor.

  14. I was referring to the change in the balance of power after flipping the House.  I realize that taking out this Administration is not the answer because there is no replacement.  However, if we all remain vigilant with respect to the new candidates for the November election, we can get the new blood in and the old blood out.  It will take time, and the problem with most of us is that we want immediate gratification.  We didn’t lose  our way overnight, and we will not find it overnight either. 

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