Hillary Clinton’s ‘Flip-Floppery’ on Genocide

Few people can honestly dispute Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Rodham Clinton’s (HRC) record of ‘flip-floppery’—and that her flip-flop record is lengthy…

The North American Free Trade Agreement, Trans-Pacific Partnership, Cuban embargo, Keystone oil pipeline, sanctuary cities, same-sex marriage, charter schools, and more.

Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton

But HRC’s flip-flops on the most extreme form of mass murder—genocide—may be the most disturbing.   In her case, it is the genocide of 1.5 million Armenians (as well as Greeks and Assyrians) committed by Ottoman Turkey from 1915–23.

Evolution of a Flip-Flopper

HRC probably learned genocide flip-floppery as First Lady (1993-2001) to her husband President Bill Clinton.

Breaking his promise to call the Armenian murders “genocide,” President Clinton dubbed them simply “deportations and massacres.” In 2000, and encouraged by Israel’s Shimon Peres, the President got then House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R- Ill.)—now a convicted child molester—to cancel what would have been a winning vote on an Armenian Genocide resolution.

As a U.S. Senator from New York (2001–9), however, HRC did cosponsor Armenian Genocide resolutions, though they did not come up for a vote.  She also cosigned letters to President George W. Bush in 2005 and 2006 asking him to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide.

Running for president against Obama in 2008, Senator Clinton assured human rights advocates that “the horrible events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians constitute a clear case of genocide, and that “Congress and the President” should recognize the Armenian Genocide because of “our common morality and our nation’s credibility.”

But HRC totally flip-flopped when she became President Obama’s Secretary of State (2009–13). She refused to utter the G-word with regard to Armenians.  And she opposed Congressional resolutions on the genocide.  Clinton believed that kowtowing to Turkey—a major human rights violator that was still persecuting Kurds and its remaining Christians—was more important than denouncing genocide.

Touring the Caucasus in 2010, Secretary Clinton visited Armenia’s Genocide Memorial, as many foreign diplomats do.  The U.S. Embassy emphasized, however, that her visit was strictly “private,” not official—again, to appease Turkey.

At a Jan. 2012 State Department “Town Hall,” a staffer asked HRC about the Armenian Genocide.  It has “always been viewed,” she decreed, “as a matter of historical debate.” She had transmuted what four years earlier was “a clear case of genocide” into an issue that is “always debatable.”

Sixty U.S. House members from both parties immediately blasted Clinton for “mischaracterizing the Armenian Genocide.” Cross-examined a month later by a House committee, Hillary was unrepentant.  She had conveniently forgotten all about America’s “morality and credibility,” perhaps because she herself is deficient in those qualities.

Turkish Foreign Agents and Cash

Political expediency and U.S. State Department cowardice certainly played roles in HRC’s genocide flip-flops.  But she may also have been influenced by paid, registered foreign agents for Turkey, such as David Mercer, who regularly try to block Armenian Genocide acknowledgment.

A former finance official with the Democratic National Committee, Mercer was subcontracted by another Turkish foreign agent, the DLA Piper lobbying firm.  Mercer and DLA executives have contributed generously to HRC campaigns.

Two months after becoming Secretary of State in 2009, according to recently released emails, and just before her visit to Turkey, Mercer contacted two top HRC operatives: Huma Abedin and Capricia Penavic Marshall. There’s speculation that Mercer wanted HRC to assure Turkey’s leaders that she opposes Armenian Genocide recognition.

Followers of the powerful Turkish Muslim cleric Fethullah Gulen have also donated heavily to HRC’s campaign and the Clinton Foundation.

Incidentally, David Mercer failed to report his political contact with Abedin and Marshall as required by the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA).

Another Flip-Flop and Beyond

In yet another flip-flop, an aide to HRC told Newsweek last year that she “has a record of expressing her own view that this was a [Armenian] genocide.”   And yet, Clinton is not embarrassed by any of this.

In 2015, HRC belatedly labelled as “genocide” the mass murders that ISIS has been committing against Christians, Yazidis, and others in Syria.  As president would she flip-flop on the ISIS genocide too?

Two Columbia University studies, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and others say that Turkey has directly aided ISIS and other jihadists for years.  That makes Turkey complicit in the ISIS genocide.

So, just as they caved in to Turkey on the Armenian genocide, Hillary could relabel the ISIS as non-genocidal simply to spare Turkey any responsibility.

If we also recall that President Bill Clinton refused to label as “genocide” the 1994 Rwandan mass murders, it is clear that genocide denial or diminishment goes far beyond the Armenian case.

And it’s not just about the Clintons.   A number of other elected and appointed U.S. officials, including UN Ambassador Samantha Power, have been similarly unprincipled on the Armenian and other genocides.  Neither is it about America’s becoming the “world’s policeman.”

When Hillary said it is about America’s “common morality and our nation’s credibility,” she was correct, though she obviously did not mean it.

No, it is also about campaign contributions and payoffs, playing word games to please bullies and bluffers such as Turkey, and deceiving the American people.

It’s something to think about as we cast our votes.

 

David Boyajian
David Boyajian is an Armenian American freelance journalist.

21 Comments

  1. Yet this paper still supports voting for her? I can’t imagine why someone so flippant concerning Armenian issues and human rights issues would find favor in your eyes.
    Meanwhile Donald Trump is probably so uncalculating that he’ll label the genocide properly very early. After all, Erdogan is no friend of his.

  2. ‘If we also recall that President Bill Clinton refused to label as “genocide” the 1994 Rwandan mass murders, it is clear that genocide denial or diminishment goes far beyond the Armenian case.’ More crucial than Bill’s ‘non-labeling’ of Rwanda as genocide is the fact that he did not lift a finger to prevent the genocide when it was in his power to do so. One wonders if the First Lady at the time ever raised the matter with her husband at the kitchen table.

  3. Well written and factual.
    Sadly, politics is always influenced by “dirty money” and the Clintons have been master manipulators of money flows and contributions whether made to their political campaigns or the Clinton Foundation.
    Raises serious questions and doubts about their integrity and honesty.
    Think well and review the facts before you cast your vote.
    Vart Adjemian

  4. Why do you continue trying to make american politicians acknowledge the Armenian Genocide? surely by now you would have known that these people do not want to mention the “G” word – it’s a political game – they are all ready to talk about it and mention the genocide but when the time comes that they will take office they change the tune – it’s called “convenience”. Remember Obama? You really cannot take these people seriously. turkey is an ally remember? check the same issue with israel – they don’t care, they have turkish and NOT Armenian interests in mind.

  5. A good update on where Clinton stands regarding the greatest crime against humanity. She is just one of many hawks in U.S. politics.

    I’m not a fan of either major candidate in this year’s elections. I don’t see this article as an endorsement of Trump for president. It simply states where Hilary is on genocide and Syria…issues of great import to many in addition to the Armenians. Trump doesn’t have a record on the Armenian genocide or Armenian issues, as far as we know. The article’s author cites a Republican, Dennis Hastert, as having helped President Clinton quash an Armenia genocide resolution. The article also says that other U.S. officials besides Hillary have done similar Armenian genocide flip flops.

  6. Hillary is a criminal, period. It is not just what she says about the genocide but the level of corruption under the democrats. Who ever doubted that Clinton was not for sale to the highest bidder?

  7. Impossible to vote for donald trump.
    Dark deed that Putin is bombing Aleppo, a friend sic of the ARMENIANS.
    TURKEY is DEPLORABLE; donald trump doesn’t know where he stands on anything, except
    himself.
    I am voting for Hillary Clinton.
    I LOVE the ARMENIANS!

    • If you love the Armenians, it would be better for you to praise Putin rather than condemn him. The self-legitimized liars of the Mainstream Media have been lying to you and every other American, because that’s what they do best.

      About Aleppo, just to let you know about its reality: Aleppo is now divided into two parts, the main western part in which there are more than a million residents, where all the real Syrians live, including the Armenian community, and which is under the protection of the the Syrian government and Russia. Here Syrians are trying to live a normal life thanks to this protection, although it is difficult to do so with mercenary terrorists all around. Then there is the eastern part, surrounded by the Syrian army, and which has up to two hundred thousand residents, including Syrian Sunnis, ALqaeda, Alnusra, ISIS, their extended families and foreign invaders from places like Azerbaijan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Turkey, etc which are there for the sole purpose of terrorizing Syrians and toppling the Syrian secular government and turning Syria into an Islamist wasteland. This is where “Putin is bombing” according to the liars of the American media. Needless to say, the terrorists of east Aleppo, which do not belong there, have been given the opportunity to leave, and they have refused by orders from Saudi Arabia, Turkey and NATO. So the suffering in east Aleppo is on this latter group, not the Syrian and Russian governments.

      Only one month ago, the terrorists from east Aleppo started bombing western Aleppo, in which several Armenians were killed including two adolescents, a promising Armenian champion swimmer and her brother. Did you hear anything about it from the liars at CNN, FOX, MSNBC, etc? Of course you didn’t – it does not fit their false narrative of Syria.

    • IToo bad. She is a thief, a liar and and possibly the most despicable person in the world. I often think she is the spawn of Satan. Good luck to you and hopefully you will be able to live with your decision.

  8. let’s concentrate on the states which most of them have approved of the WORDS. let’s also concentrate on all the other countries that will approve, that I believe will be most of them.
    what is the u.s. going to do then.

  9. Yet many democrat Armenians, I know vote for Hillary. Party aside we are voting for the individual who is running for the presidency. On the other hand, Trump could recognize the Armenian Genocide, because he is Christian & do not like Erdoghan.

    • “because he is Christian”

      Really? He lies and exaggerates, cheats people, his charitable foundation does not contribute to charities and has cheated on his wives? What makes him Christian?

      That said, I don’t see how Clinton will be good for Armenia. Then again, i don’t see how Trump will be good for the USA. We don’t even know how he will be for Armenia.

  10. Clinton’s mattress must stink because they been in bed for many years with the rest of corrupt US politicians

  11. As always, I don’t think it is going to matter for Armenians (and not even for Americans in general) who becomes president, there are invisible forces which always call the shots and which we have no control over. So whichever side Armenians vote for, it boils down to personal choice. But I have some observations for the presidency.

    If Trump had deflated his ego and mostly kept his mouth shut, he may have stood a chance, because he has some good ideas from a business perspective, jobs for Americans, and also the correct attitude towards Russia and Syria. But unfortunately for him, Hillary has all the inside connections and represents all the interests of Washington insiders, big corporations, banks, Saudis, Israelis, the media etc. which is why she will most likely win. The “traditional establishment” mentioned above is also terrified of a Trump presidency because regardless of what Trump says, in their view he remains “unpredictable” – a big no no for “the establishment”… they need a predictable puppet like Hillary which they have already invested in to keep their interests intact. In my view neither of these two are qualified to be POTUS, and neither are the other two candidates. The presidency of the United States is now at its lowest point in its history, but perhaps it is a perfect representation of the state of the American public with it quickly eroding morals.

    Its also unfortunate that the women of America think that “they are doing the right thing by voting for a woman – because – she is a woman”. Is that the only ‘positive’ reason we can come up with? This is the same as the Obama effect 8 years ago, which is also why Clinton is the extended term of Obama as well. I would welcome the first female American president, but I think Hillary is not it for me (not that Trump is either).

    I find the notion that “Hillary represents the interest of women and gays” to be quite ironic funny – considering she is funded by the same insane Wahabists of Saudi Arabia which also fund ISIS and who proudly repress the same people and groups Hillary claims to represent.

    However, I will admit there is a possibility of a silver lining for either presidency: a Trump presidency will likely bring more peace in the Middle East thus positively affecting Armenians. And with a Clinton presidency: 1. Her relations with Erdogan are not rosy and she might put him and Turkey in its place. 2. The puppets of the USA – ‘Islamist nations’ – will be confronted with a woman as their overlord, making for some fun times.

    Lastly I will pose a question: what happens if at the last week one of the two candidates “suddenly” give the Armenian Genocide Recognition an Obama-inspired promise, will we all support that candidate regardless?

  12. Hilary clinton’s flip-flop will continue as she will be the next president.
    what a shame for us to be in such a position. but we have resilience.
    we will never give up and because of that, we will succeed.

  13. Hillary Clinton’s foreign policy is dangerous for Armenians. Destabilizing Syria and thus eradicating the Armenian presence in Aleppo. Being hostile toward Russia and undermining it(Russia is the only strong Ally Armenia has right now). And she has made clear she will not recognize the Genocide. We do know that Trump wants improved relations with Russia. that’s good enough for me. Even though i don’t expect him to recognize the Genocide either.

  14. Turkish Denialism and the Clintons: How many people know that the board members of the Institute of Muslim Minority Affairs include Huma Abedin’s mother, Saleha Abedin, as Editor; Huma Abedin’s brother, Hassan Abedin, as Associates Editor; and M. Hakan Yavuz, Prof. of Political Science at the University of Utah, who also serves as Book Review Editor for this organization? Yavuz is on the editorial board of the Journal of Muslim Minority Affairs, which is a publication of the IMMA. The latter was co-founded by the Abedins.

    Yavuz is currently the leading “academic” apologist in the United States for Turkish denial of the Armenian Genocide. He is grooming these graduate students as future Armenian Genocide deniers and revisionists. He is the organizer of the Turkish Studies Project at the Univ. of Utah. He is responsible for helping to create the Utah Series in Turkish and Islamic Studies (currently known as the “Utah Series in Middle East Studies”), which has published a number of Armenian Genocide denialist / revisionist books on the Armenian Genocide including:

    1.) The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey :: University Press Catalog by Guenter Lewy.

    2.) The Armenian Rebellion at Van :: University Press Catalog by Justin McCarthy.

    3.) The Turk in America :: University Press Catalog by Justin McCarthy.

    Not surprised by the Abedin family’s direct connection to Yavuz, and the U.S. government’s complicity in setting up such an “academic” chair at the Univ. of Utah.

    Either way you slice it, Yavuz and the Turkish Studies Project at the Univ. of Utah are closely connected to the Clintons.

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