Hamparian: Truth, Justice, and the Armenian Way

Your Support for ANCA Telethon 2012 Will Help Bring Down Ankara’s Last Firewalls Against the Justice Turkey Owes the Armenian Nation: www.ancatelethon.org

Here are three examples that illustrate the inextricable connection that so often exists between, on the one hand, acceptance of a moral and factual truth—by the public and, ultimately, by the perpetrators of wrongs, and, on the other hand, the ability of reformers to implement meaningful remedies to punish the guilty and restore the rights of those victimized by these crimes.

Aram Hamparian

1)  American condemnation in the 1980s of apartheid in South Africa, a major U.S. Cold War ally, was the first step toward a U.S. policy of actively seeking to reverse this hateful policy.  Pretoria pushed back aggressively against human rights and U.S. civil society criticism in the 1970s and 1980s because they knew that, once the American public became broadly aware of its racist policies, it would only be a matter of time until their elected officials would be compelled to pressure them make reforms.

2)  Acceptance of the reality of global warming – first by the public, and then by corporate contributors to this environmental disaster – were the first steps toward meaningful public policy steps to mitigate the harm caused by polluters.  Corporate America spent decades and tens of millions of dollars on fake science to discredit the environmental movement, seeking to muddy the waters and defer the day when the American people—as they do today—demand government action to lessen the harm global warming inflicts upon the planet.

3)  The acceptance by the general public and, later, the open admission by the tobacco executives themselves that their cigarettes cause cancer was the first step toward enforcing meaningful restrictions on the tobacco industry.  Pro-tobacco legislators, lobbyists, and lawyers spent the better part of a century protecting their products and their profits against the thoroughly documented medical science that their cigarettes are life-threatening to smokers.  Why?  Precisely because they knew that an admission of guilt would—as it eventually did—lead to government-enforced multi-billion dollar anti-smoking policies.

In each of these three cases, the public’s understanding of the truth and the perpetrator’s eventual acceptance of its wrongs represented powerful steps—perhaps even necessary steps—toward the justice required to remedy great offenses against humanity.

These examples, while not perfect analogies, shed some light as to how recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the U.S. government and the acceptance by the Turkish government of its responsibilities for this crime can, very meaningfully, help pave the way for a truthful and just resolution of the Armenian Genocide.

The Turkish government understands this reality. It’s leaders, intelligence officers, and diplomats are well aware of the stakes.

Denial is their last firewall against justice.

That’s why Ankara devotes millions of dollars and a growing share of its political capital to preventing U.S. and international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

And that’s why we need your help to in generating the Armenian American political power to both end U.S. complicity in Ankara’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, and to finally break the back of the Turkish state and society’s obstruction of the truth and justice owed to the Armenian nation.

Do your part.  Join the dialogue about truth and justice. Share your ideas, inspirations, and suggestions.  And support ANCA Telethon 2012: www.ancatelethon.org.


Aram Hamparian

Aram Hamparian is the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

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1 Comment

  1. Recognition and Condemnation of the Armenian Genocide is a global matter, it will safe future generations of ALL nations from similar tragedies.

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