Mouradian: Sen. Brownback Explains Reasons for Placing Hold

Frank Ricciardone

Frank Ricciardone

In a letter to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton dated Aug. 16, Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kansas) enumerated the reasons that prompted him to place a hold on Frank Ricciardone’s nomination, saying that the latter is not “the right Ambassador for Turkey at this time—despite his extensive diplomatic experience.”

Brownback’s letter, acquired by the Armenian Weekly this afternoon, included a critique of Ricciardone’s diplomatic record, with emphasis on issues related to democracy building and supporting opposition groups in Iraq and Egypt.

“My concerns about Ricciardone’s work on Iraq and Egypt lead me to similar concerns about his approach to a number of issues in our relationship with Turkey,” Brownback noted in his letter. He then noted that the ruling AK Party “is moving away from its secularist roots” and highlighted the importance of not ignoring the secularist political opposition in Turkey.

“Next year’s pivotal elections provide an opportunity for the secularists to demonstrate their strength, and we cannot let our desire for a strong bilateral relationship translate into de facto support of the ruling party, especially if we have reason to believe that opposition parties are in danger of being marginalized,” Brownback argued.

In the concluding paragraph of his letter, Brownback expressed concern that the U.S. has not fully explored the possible consequences “of a Turkish tilt toward Iran and away from Israel.”

The Senator’s letter did not make any direct reference to Turkey’s relations with Armenia, contrary to what Fox News had reported when quoting a spokesman at the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as saying, “I’m not going to get into it. It’s all about Armenia.”

Many Armenian Americans, however, believe this is yet another opportunity for the Obama Aadministration to engage in closer scrutiny of U.S.-Turkey relations and, in particular, the U.S. government’s decades-long pattern of caving in to Ankara on human rights, regional issues, and genocide denial.

In the words of ANCA executive director Aram Hamparian, Brownback’s hold on Ricciardone’s nomination “highlights the pressing need for the U.S. Congress—and all concerned elements of American civil society—to carefully reexamine whether our national interests and international standing are served by constantly caving in to Turkey on human rights, regional security, and genocide denial.”

For the full text of the letter, click here.

5 Comments on Mouradian: Sen. Brownback Explains Reasons for Placing Hold

  1. Oh come on! We ALL know the real reason, don’t we!! ANCA pockets run deep.

  2. Noo…  He only has the best interests of his country in mind!

  3. Bravo Sen. Brownback!
    Let’s face it, Turkey is no ally, as it is one of the most anti-semitic and anti-American countries on this planet. It is one of the worst violators of human rights on this planet. And above all it is a Genocide perpetrator who still occupies their victims property and enjoys the wealth it stole. Apparently it doesn’t know what genocide means as Erdogan recently stated that no genocide was occuring in Darfur? How stupid? It illegally occupies Cypress and has an agenda for liquidating the Kurds including the use of chemical weapons, which was recently confirmed by German experts. It seem what the Turks do best is: rob, rape and murder. Ans America needs garbage like this because?????

  4. I respect Sen. Brownback’s action.  Robert and Murat, you really need to study history with a more open mind and from a point of view other than Turkey’s.  You both risk coming across as Turkophile bigots and Armenian bashers.  Is this really how you want to be seen by civilized society?  Why be so intolerant of the Armenian desire for justice?  Why not try to dig a little deeper into your humanity and come to terms with the truth.  Kim Kardashian is right.  It’s time to admit to the genocide.

  5. We are loosing the propaganda war on the internet. Just because we are right does not mean that much in the publics perception. It is a numbers game. The Azery Tatars, keep posting outrageous lies and misinformation, and people read it. One could easily see the low quality of the articles, with many gramatical mistakes. But there are many more Azery postings than not. Outrageous historical misrepresentations that no one objects to. A lot of those articles do not even have a “reply” option.
    To counter this, the Armenians need to post more. A lot more, and lobby the administrators to ban inaccurate falsifying postings. 

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