Obama Statement a Misguided Attempt to Appease Ankara

Below is President Barack Obama’s April 24 “Armenian Remembrance Day” statement, which the Armenian Weekly received from the White House Press Office. Commenting on the statement, Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian said, “The sad spectacle of President Obama playing word games with genocide, so obviously dodging the truth at the direction of a foreign power, falls beneath the dignity of the American people.”

“Candidate Obama was right when he said that ‘America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides.’ He has, regretfully, proven to the world today that he is not that president. In fact, it’s now clear that President Obama’s misguided attempt to appease Ankara has only isolated Washington,” he added.

On April 23, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) Eastern United States Central Committee issued a strongly worded message to President Obama on the eve of the annual White House statement on April 24. “ 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,” read the statement.

The full text of the White House Statement is provided below.


Office of the Press Secretary
April 23, 2015

Statement by the President on Armenian Remembrance Day

This year we mark the centennial of the Meds Yeghern, the first mass atrocity of the 20th century. Beginning in 1915, the Armenian people of the Ottoman Empire were deported, massacred, and marched to their deaths. Their culture and heritage in their ancient homeland were erased. Amid horrific violence that saw suffering on all sides, one and a half million Armenians perished.

As the horrors of 1915 unfolded, U.S. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, Sr. sounded the alarm inside the U.S. government and confronted Ottoman leaders. Because of efforts like his, the truth of the Meds Yeghern emerged and came to influence the later work of human rights champions like Raphael Lemkin, who helped bring about the first United Nations human rights treaty.

Against this backdrop of terrible carnage, the American and Armenian peoples came together in a bond of common humanity. Ordinary American citizens raised millions of dollars to support suffering Armenian children, and the U.S. Congress chartered the Near East Relief organization, a pioneer in the field of international humanitarian relief. Thousands of Armenian refugees began new lives in the United States, where they formed a strong and vibrant community and became pillars of American society. Rising to great distinction as businesspeople, doctors, scholars, artists, and athletes, they made immeasurable contributions to their new home.

This centennial is a solemn moment. It calls on us to reflect on the importance of historical remembrance, and the difficult but necessary work of reckoning with the past. I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view has not changed. A full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts is in all our interests. Peoples and nations grow stronger, and build a foundation for a more just and tolerant future, by acknowledging and reckoning with painful elements of the past. We welcome the expression of views by Pope Francis, Turkish and Armenian historians, and the many others who have sought to shed light on this dark chapter of history.

On this solemn centennial, we stand with the Armenian people in remembering that which was lost. We pledge that those who suffered will not be forgotten. And we commit ourselves to learn from this painful legacy, so that future generations may not repeat it.


  1. When I read the words Armenian Remembrance Day, I felt at peace. It’s important for all to remember to never let Genocide happen ever again.

  2. “Amid horrific violence that saw suffering on all sides, one and a half million Armenians perished.”

    “Suffering on ALL sides”?? Did you hire a speech-writer from Turkey to write this statement for you, Mister President of a country that considers itself center of the Universe and the beacon of freedom and human rights? You mean the Turkish people of the Ottoman Empire were also deported, massacred, and marched to their deaths and thus experienced horrific suffering just like the Armenian side did?

    And what exactly did you mean by one and a half million Armenians “perished amid horrific suffering on all sides”? You mean, one and a half million Armenians died because there was a bad flue going on in the last days of the Ottoman Empire? That’s the reason why the Armenians perished? I thought your own ambassador to Constantinople, Henry Morgenthau, Sr., “sounded the alarm inside the U.S. government” that the “campaign of [Armenian] race extermination” was going on at the time when the term ‘genocide’ was yet to be invented. It seems that you’re not even capable of at least repeating what your own ambassador has described was happening against the Armenians back in 1915.

    You will go down in history as Lying President, Mister Obama.

    • Of course you are right, and it’s a shame we don’t have an Abe Foxman of our own, who would take him to task in the op-Ed pages across the country, demand meetings and explanations. These discussions need to be taken to the MSM.

  3. This statement is WORSE than those in previous years. Notice how he slipped in the phrase, “the horrific violence that saw suffering ON ALL SIDES.” This is disgusting false-equivalence Davutoglu “just memory” nonsense. It was not in previous statements.

    Now, there are some positives: he did mention Morgenthau and Lemkin, and he did, thankfully avoid talking about non-existent “reconciliation.”

    But none of these outweigh the genocide denial and the insulting “on all sides” false equivalency.

  4. On the 100-year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, I feel deeply ashamed that the US president decided not to do the right thing. I would like to express my strong support to Armenians all over the world. God bless you all.

  5. The ARF’s response to Obama’s surrender to Turkey is accurately expressed and applauded. Obama’s lie to Armenians reflects a character of the man. He can not be trusted. In plain English. he is the LIAR OF THE 20th CENTURY. His legacy has been written. It will be posted in the Hall of Shame.

  6. “Meds Yeghern”. Who, other than Armenians understand the meaning of this word, its significance, or its truth. Use of “Meds Yeghern” is disrespectful, an insult to our intelligence and a dishonest play on words that tarnishes the memory of our grandparents who perished during the Genocide.
    Today, it is not ” Armenian Remembrance Day”. It is commemorating the Centennial of the Genocide, a crime committed by the Turks against the Armenians and humanity.
    Mr. President, you have lost your moral fiber, compass and integrity.
    Vart Adjemian

  7. On the occasion of the 100-year anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, I would like to express my strong support to Armenians all over the world. God bless you all.

  8. I find no solace in this latest statement. Once again President Obama comes up short from what he promised as a US senator and as a candidate for president. He is not even transparent as to why he has backed away from his promise.

    I applaud the ARF for taking their position.

  9. President Obama’s statement is typical of his double standard policy. What has he done to stop the atrocities of Armenians and Christians in Syria. The use of serin gas has been utilized by the Syrian government to kill 2000 Syrians has been totally ignored by the Obama administration. Forgive me if I am remiss, but didn’t American troops invade Iraq for precisely the same reason, costing thousands of American lives and many more innocent Iraqi lives. Most recently the use of Chlorine gas, another internationally banned biological weapon, has been used by the Assad regime, with no response by the Obama administration. The UN teams have witnessed these accounts with no support by the Uniited States.
    Thousands of Armenian refugees have fled to Armenia and Lebanon for shelter. Isreal has offered nothing! I wonder if the same thing happened in Isreal causing the Isreali’s to flee, what would be the US response?
    God bless our Armenian heritage and our children!


  11. Mr. President,
    You stated in the past that “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides.” I am saddened that you made the choice not to be that President and greatly disappointed in you. How disrespectful to the Armenian community in the USA as well as our nation.

  12. GENOCIDE IS WHAT IT WAS and the word TO AFFIRM what occurred. In remembrance of the 1.5 million Armenian SAINTS along with Assyrian, Greek and other Christians that were brutally murdered.

  13. I am greatly disappointed that Obama danced around the word genocide. Will it take another 100 years for a president to have enough moral courage to state directly what many know happened to the Armenians.

    • Yes, it’s nice that Gayane said what she said to Marie Harf (really). Too bad she works for RT News, Putin’s mouthpiece. Too bad she would never dare to show the same kind of courage towards Putin. She knows she can do it with an official of the U.S. because, well, the U.S. is a democracy. The U.S. would not make her suffer the consequences.

    • Too bad Marie Harf works for the, well, ‘democracy’ President Obama, who takes orders from criminal terrorist Aliyev and takes orders from denialist psychopath radical Islamist Neo-Ottoman Sultan Erdogan.

      President Putin respectfully went to Yerevan on April 24th and made a powerful speech re-affirming Russia’s unequivocal position on the Armenian Genocide. The Neo-Ottoman Sultan is still hysterically foaming at the mouth from the anger….

      The President of the supposed ‘democracy’, the self-appointed paramount champion of human rights of all galaxies, had to prepare a 500 page weaselgram to avoid using the word ‘Genocide’.
      The alleged ‘democracy’ President insulted and ignored the wishes of 100s of 1000s of Armenian-American voters by not even sending the US Secretary of State to Yerevan.
      Such a ‘democracy’.

    • Gayane said it best when she said if there was “suffering on all sides” also during the holocaust of WWII. Of course the neocon rep beats around the bush as always, avoiding the truth like the plague.

  14. What a con artist the President turned out to be. Yep, it sure is hard bein’ President of this here USA when the President has to do the bidding of the Power Elite!
    There are OTHER reasons than that Air Base over in Turk Land! Ally Schmally.
    Turkey secretly supports ISIS and the US looks the other way, Turkish diplomats smuggle heroin under diplomatic privilege. This is all hush hush. Genocide was supported by the European Union, most all are NATO allies. So What is the REAL Reason? Please tell us Mr Prez, I’m all ears. Tell it like it really is!

  15. One more thing….What is the REAL reason for the Presidents refusal to use the word Genocide? What form of blackmail, maybe even Reward for NOT using the word genocide, maybe he really doesn’t care. It can’t be that stupid airbase in Turk Land, its not that BS hype as being the US’s ally, You have to just shake your head and wonder what, who, where, when, why?

  16. In the middle of Radical Islamic Terrorism being perpetrated against Christians in the Middle East, Mullah Hussein goes to a Christian breakfast meeting and claims “don’t forget the Crusades did terrible things in the name of Christianity too”.

    Then later for the so-called April 24 speech proceeds to insult the entire Armenian nation and people by stating there was “suffering on all sides”. Sure Mullah, butchering people is a tough job and can tire people out causing extreme suffering for those doing the slaughtering.

    He sounds more like a Radical Islamic Cleric than the “president of the United States”.

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