Massachusetts Congressman Lobbies Against Genocide Resolution

Nazarian: ‘It is reasonable to assume that Rep. Delahunt’s signature on the Dear Colleague letter is a job interview sweetener for his upcoming gig as a Turkish government lobbyist’

The current co-chairs of the Congressional Caucus on Turkey have sent a Dear Colleague letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi to express their “grave concerns” regarding the imminent consideration of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.252) in the House of Representatives. In their letter, they resort to the standard arguments against this measure, such as the strategic and military importance of Turkey for the United States, the economic fallout from alienating Turkey, and the United States’ policy not to condemn modern-day nations for the sins of their fathers.

Congressman Delahunt (D-Mass.) is actively lobbying against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

As always, the use of the Incirlik Air Base by the United States Armed Forces and Turkey’s constant threats to withhold access to the base have taken a front and center role in the “strategic” importance of Turkey for the United States. The idea for this airbase was born out of a change in U.S. foreign policy following the successful detonation of a nuclear weapon by the Soviet Union in 1949. As a result, the National Security Council deemed it necessary to be able to destroy the vital centers and elements of the Soviet Union’s military capacity. Given that the United States did not posses any long-distance bombers capable of flying from bases in the U.S. or Europe to Soviet territory, the importance of establishing a base in eastern Turkey became a vital priority. The base became fully operational in 1955 and was originally called the Adana Airbase. (For those unfamiliar with the history of the Armenian Genocide, Adana was the site of the massacre of more than 30,000 Armenians by Ottoman Turkey in 1909). While an important air base, Incirlik has certainly lost much of its Soviet era luster and is not an irreplaceable part of U.S. operations in the region, as it is lead to believe by Turkey and its apologists. The use of the Incirlik Air Base is governed by the Cooperation on Defense and Economy Agreement between the U.S.and Turkish governments and has many implications for both countries and their status as NATO members. The withholding of U.S. access to this base, then, is not as simple as Turkish government apologists would like one to believe; neither is it a decision that the Turkish government can afford to make given its significant dependence on the U.S. for battle readiness, among other sectors.

On Dec. 15, three descendants of Armenians who lost their property in the Ottoman Empire filed a suit against the Turkish government for restitution of more than $63 million for illegally confiscated ancestral lands that includes the Incirlik Air Base. So, in effect, the Turkish government is blackmailing the United States against acknowledging the Armenian Genocide by threatening to withhold access to an air base that was built on illegally confiscated Armenian lands during the genocide.

The cosigners of the Dear Colleague letter site an economic fallout and the U.S.’s policy not to condemn modern-day nations for the sins of their fathers as two other reasons not to pass the Armenian Genocide Resolution. In 2007, Congress passed a resolution expressing the believe that the government of Japan should formally acknowledge, apologize, and accept historical responsibility in a clear and unequivocal manner for the coercion—by its Imperial Armed Forces—of young women into sexual slavery (known to the world as “comfort women”) during its colonial and wartime occupation of Asia and the Pacific Islands from the 1930’s through World War II. So, in 2007, it was appropriate for the United States to condemn a modern-day nation for the sins of its father, and to do so with little fear of economic consequences from a country that underwrites a large part of our deficit as the world’s fifth largest economy with U.S. imports of well over $50 billion per annum. More interestingly, this bill (H.Res. 121) was co-sponsored by two of the co-signers of the current Dear Colleague letter, representatives Steve Cohen of Tennessee and William Delahunt of Massachusetts.

Even more striking is the recent change of heart by Delahunt regarding the Armenian Genocide Resolution, given that he was a co-sponsor of H.Res.106 (the Armenian Genocide Resolution) in the 110th Congress and voted for the resolution as a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee in 2007. So, it was fine to vote for this resolution while it could more significantly “endanger” U.S. strategic interests at the height of the U.S. military engagement in Iraq in 2007, but it is not OK to do so in 2010. This change of heart by the outgoing Congressman could be explained by his close friendship with Bruce Fein, a frequent invitee of the Congressman while chairing a number of House Foreign Relations Committee hearings. Bruce Fein, among his many hats, is the resident scholar (Rottweiler) of the Turkish Coalition of America (TCA).

It is reasonable to assume that Delahunt’s signature on the Dear Colleague letter is a job interview sweetener for his upcoming gig as a Turkish government lobbyist.

Fein has been very busy with a recent string of lawsuits against David Krikorian (a Congressional candidate of Armenian American descent running against incumbent Jean Schmidt, the largest recipient of campaign dollars from Turkish sources), the Southern Poverty Law Center, and the University of Minnesota, all with regards to the Armenian Genocide. Fein could use all the help he can get for his newly found appetite for lawsuits on the Armenian Genocide. This litigation upsurge coincides with a recent $30 million donation by Yalcin Ayasli, the founder of Hittite Microwave of Chelmsford, Mass., to the TCA to stifle debate on this issue and intimidate individuals and organizations engaged in genocide awareness and affirmation campaigns. Ironically, Ayasli amassed much of his wealth through U.S. government contracts and grants. In essence, he is donating our money to the agents of the Turkish government, who are engaged in blackmailing the U.S. against acknowledging the Armenian Genocide by threatening to withhold access to an air base that was built on illegally confiscated Armenian lands during the Armenian Genocide.

While the apologists of the Turkish government can thread a laundry list of reasons against H.Res.252, this resolution is simply about the United States government acknowledging a historical wrong and acting in accordance with its own standards for justice and accountability.

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Ara Nazarian

Ara Nazarian is the co-chair of the ANC of Massachusetts and a contributor to the Armenian Weekly.

19 Comments

  1. OH how “GRAVE” it would be to actually TELL THE TRUTH? BUNCH OF NONSENSE! ALL OUR SENATORS AND CONGRESSMAN NEED TO BE TOLD THAT THOSE DAYS ARE OVER! IT”S TIME TURKEY TO FACE YOUR PAST!
    Turkey = The Country that cries WOLF!

  2. We need strong leadership in the U.S. not cowards that succumb to the bullying or crooks that are influenced by bribery from Turkish lobbyists.  Congressman Delahunt is just such a pushover. We Americans don’t need his leadership; he can step down from his post and have someone with dignity and character take over.

  3. “Congressman Delahunt (D-Mass.) is actively lobbying against the recognition of the Armenian Genocide”.

    Shame on you Delahunt, I was wondering for how much “Ghooroosh” sold your soul to Turks.
    If you are a believer then you know that someone was watching you from above and regardless of what you did before; now your soul doesn’t worth a “Penny” in His Court. 

    Shame on you Delahunt.

  4. Armenians don’t even know the depth of the Turkish government’s organization and budget against them.  Now all together, start singing PROTOCOL and happily cross the open boarder into the arms of a loving nation!

  5. I always thought from way, way back when he was a local official that Delahunt was simply a typical, run-of-the-mill, cheap Massachusetts politician, to put it mildly, and nothing he has done or not done since has changed my mind.

    He was a D.A. before, and his blindness on the mass murders commited by Turkey is reflected in this murder case he messed up (see Wikipedia entry below).  The woman he refused to charge went on to murder SIX people.  Nice job, Bill.
    From WIKIPEDIA:
    In February 2010, questions were raised about how Delahunt and the Norfolk County
    D.A.’s office had handled the case of
    Amy Bishop. Bishop was arrested in Huntsville, Alabama, after shooting six co-workers at the University of Alabama at Huntsville. Reports linked Bishop to the shooting death of her brother in Braintree in 1986. At the time the state police and the medical examiner charged with investigating the shooting determined that no criminal charges were brought against Ms. Bishop.[3]

  6. “We need strong leadership in the U.S. not cowards that succumb to the bullying or crooks that are influenced by bribery from Turkish lobbyists.”

    We need them to be in the pockets of Armenian lobbyists!

    This is just so precious!

  7. Please our dears …wait …
    The day will arrive
    And every human will recognize…

    from: “A poetic Soul Shined of Genocides”

    Armenian Sun on the Rise by the Help of Bastillians*
     
    Our sun is on the rise,
    From the grave arisen
    To give us our rights
    In narrating our cause.
     
    At last, the mighty heard
    Our suppressed musical voice,
    Massacred kids in paradise
    Greeting joyful songs.
     
    Armenian sun will never fade;
    Genocide will be recognized in the end
    By our human rights friends
    Who believed in our tortured faith.
     
    “Blood cannot turn to liquid,”—as been said.
    The killers will live in shameful hate,
    Souls will rest in eternal bate, Lands will return in a miraculous date.
    Our springs will provide waters to Arab lands
     
    Who saved us from killers and nationalized us;
    We are grateful to all nations caring for us
    Survived and still breathing the natural human rights.
     
    France’s commitment** was extremely brave;
    Bastillians do not glitter for metals in a safe.
    Liberty is in their genetics, thus abide.
    Their pride always existed in “liberation rights.”
     
    We Armenians are ready to replace their loss;
    We will work hard with all our souls
    Till the end of our last sighed noise
    As honest, sincere, dedicated hosts.
     
    October 2006
    _____________________________
    * Bastille: French fortress (1370-1383) that later became a prison. Stormed on July 14, 1789, during the French Revolution.
    ** October 12, 2006: Bill on Armenian Genocide was passed.

  8. The level of corruption in the government is suffocating. Does anyone care about human rights and social justice anymore?  We chastise the Armenian Government for corruption and tell them to follow the example of the US and democratic governments.  Here is the example.  What do you expect from Armenian government?  They are following our advise!!

  9. It is surely the lack to space which explains that Mr. Nazarian fails to say that Mr. Krikorian was defeated by Ms. Schmidt in front of Ohio electoral commission, one year ago, then in appeal, this year.

  10. Murat, as usual you open your uneducated mouth in this forum and show the level of Turkish intellectuals in your society…just put into your head… The National interest of Turks are sold to US as long as Genocide Bill exist to vote…do you get it??so make sure your “guilt buyer” friends are fully prepare for the next round!!the price tag of US recognition of “Genocide Bill” for Turkey will go higher on a yearly basis, until newly crowned sick man of Europe learn the lessons of Genocide!!

  11. Please Mr. Fredrick
    If every where politics is corrupted.
    Let USA and UK apply Justice first
    Let them recognize our Genocide—
    Denial of Killings is worse than corruption.
    Tell me, What could the poor Armenians do!
    I like the Egyptians because never speak about their country
    They call their country Um Aldunia(The mother of the World).
    We only criticize each other
    “We see our mistakes larger than it is,
    More than our kindness to others.”


    Sylva
     
     

  12. Hye, today omission addressing the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation in the halls of the USA Congress brings to the fore the condition of the caliber of the persons who are in the leadership of our nation. Politics firstly, Turk monies, dominate.  Morality has become a lost art.
    The USA, having ignored, avoided facing the issue of Genocides – allows the Turkish leaderships to escape facing their guilt for the Genocides of the so many peoples, Greeks, Syrians, Assyrians and too the Turk ‘elimination’ of the Christian Armenian nation. Hence places the USA leaderships on the same playing field as the Turks who continue to ‘escape’ justice for their centuries of Genocides… 19th, 20th, 21st… Turk leaderships have ‘paved’ their way, actually in the usual Turk mode – paid their ways to avoid justice.  As in recent destruction of Woodrow Wilson site in the capital city of the USA, in Washington DC – under our noses – so to speak, as the Turks ‘remember’ Wilson’s stance for the Armenian nation in early 20th century.  Turks cannot ‘remember’ Genocides… yet recall Wilson’s stance enough to ‘eliminate’ his site today, 2010.  NOTE: USA leaderships, State Dept/White House not noticed destruction of Wilson site in DC!! Seems a Turkey has free reign in the United States of America – deceit, lies, destructions…
    Any civilized societies, where criminals are sought, thus face justice and must pay for their crime. (But not if the criminal commits any Genocides). Today, Turk leaderships, and for centuries, have ‘gotten away” with murders and worse… In truth, Turks have escaped again for Genocides they have committed… today, imagine, with the assistance of the Congress of the USA!
    Perpetrators of Genocides winner!  Civilization the losers!Imagine, Genocides continue – next?
    Today the Sudanese Genocide of the Darfurians.  (Sudanese and the Turkey are allies – but a Turkey leads as perpetrators, for centuries – unstoppable, evidently… For although the Turk (together with USA leaderships) label Kurds as ‘terrorists’ in order to ‘eliminate’ another “undesirable” peoples in a Turkey… REALITY: it is the Turk who are the ‘terrorists’ and have been “Genociding” over the many years – it is the Turk terroriziing the Kurds!!  Thus Genocides will not end since today the  USA has “insured” Genocides shall continue, via Turks, world watching… Genocides ala Turkish stlye, and the USA condoning, allowing and participating. Sad!  Manooshag

  13. Nice David. I messaged Delahunt’s office Tuesday asking him to reconsider his opposition and got back a robo-response saying his DC office was officially closed since he didn’t run for re-election. I’m wondering if his office is closed if he’s going to be accepting the final weeks pay as a congressman. Such a disappointment.

  14. Final week’s bakshish is the word you are looking for.  No doubt he will go on the payroll as a lobbyist
     
    Everybody knows that word…  guess where it comes from

  15.  “he was a co-sponsor of H.Res.106 (the Armenian Genocide Resolution) in the 110th Congress and voted for the resolution as a member of the House Foreign Relations Committee in 2007. So, it was fine to vote for this resolution while it could more significantly “endanger” U.S. strategic interests at the height of the U.S. military engagement in Iraq in 2007, but it is not OK to do so in 2010.”

    Regardless of who it is, any lame duck politician should be forced to explain the reasoning for the change in position on the way out the door.  If something stinks regarding his answers, then he should be barred from anything that would benefit him as a result of his change in position.  Same goes for all the rest of the opportunistic hacks in D.C. & the state level.

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