The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Eastern United States Central Committee issued the following message to President Barack Obama on the eve of the annual White House statement on April 24.
Tuesday’s meeting between President Barack Obama’s Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes, and representatives of the Armenian-American community once again demonstrated the Obama Administration’s lack of commitment to human rights and the truth, and the president’s inability to stand by his word. The president’s genocide statement on April 24 will once again avoid using the word “genocide.”
After six years of waiting for President Obama to keep his promise, our community’s patience has reached its limits. “The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy,” he once said about the Armenian Genocide. Those words should also apply to America’s chief diplomat himself.
The president could have spoken the truth and stood with the rest of the world, alongside the Pope, the European Parliament, and even Turkey’s World War I allies of Germany and Austria. Instead, President Obama has once again demonstrated an absence of courage and moral fiber, the leader of the most powerful nation in the world crumbling under empty threats from a genocidal Turkey.
Mr. President, the Armenian-American community, and indeed, people of good conscience from all over the world, expect more. If you cannot use the word “genocide” to appropriately mark the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide, then, Mr. President, it is better that you do not issue a statement at all. The Armenian-American community neither needs nor wants another April 24 statement that does not properly characterize the Armenian Genocide.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation,
Eastern U.S. Central Committee