One of the major achievements of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) regional offices and local chapters was to get Texas, Iowa, and Indiana to become the 46th, 47th, and 48th states to recognize the Armenian Genocide—all of which were highlighted in the pages of the Weekly.
This was a monumental accomplishment by the ANCA and its supporters. Bravo and kudos.
Now, only two states remain: Alabama and Mississippi. Imagine they were to recognize the Armenian Genocide tomorrow. What an embarrassing and shameful position will the Federal Government be in, when all states—Blue or Red—have recognized the genocide. Had this been a constitutional amendment, which is an extremely difficult and arduous process to be ratified, it would have been passed as the constitution requires passage by three quarters of the states… We already have 96 percent.
All U.S. administrations have been opposed to official national recognition. During his campaign, President Obama clearly committed and promised to recognize the Armenian Genocide, but for eight years, his declaration on April 24 was meaningless and disgraceful as he hid behind “Medz Yeghern”—a phrase that only Armenians know the meaning of.
The main openly visible opposition has been the State Department based on geopolitical considerations, which are hogwash, and shows their duplicity and ignorance. There are behind the scene oppositions influenced by the military establishment and “dirty” money.
- The money that the Turkish and Azeri lobbies poured and continue to pour buying the souls of immoral and dishonest people of influence in the U.S. The list is long; Michael Flynn, Dennis Hastert, Tony Podesta, Dick Gephartd; and others;
- The Defense Deptartment continuously preaching the benefits of Turkey’s membership in NATO and the critical importance of the military base in Incirlik. The cost to the U.S. tax payers in financing Incirlik and the other bases in Turkey is a mystery buried in the Defense Department budget of billions and billions of dollars;
- The military industrial complex. These companies are making millions of dollars in profits by selling military weapons to Turkey;
- The Israeli and Jewish lobby who wrongly believe that Turkey is the only Muslim country in the region that is not their enemy. Moreover, they have the unfounded fear that if the Armenian Genocide is recognized somehow the Holocaust will lose its weight and significance;
In spite of these oppositions and hurdles, we cannot and should not give up our cause, which is just: Recognition and reparations.
What can we do and should do:
- Continue to support the ANCA in its efforts, work and endeavors. Many Armenians are reluctant or sitting on the sidelines giving erroneous and invalid reasons and excuses for their lack of support. The ANCA is the only effective “Armenian Lobby.” No other Armenian organization is actively pursuing our cause. The Armenian Assembly sadly has been very quiet and absent. Put your personal differences aside if you believe in our collective cause;
- In addition to the State Department and the Administration, we have to engage directly with the Department of Defense. We need to defy the myths about Turkey’s strategic importance and its loyalty. Turkey’s continued blackmail and financial extortion has to stop;
- We have to exert a special effort both in Washington D.C. and nationwide to increase our contacts and relations with Republican Senators and Representatives;
- We have done a good job at the States legislative Level; at the Federal level Republican support is lacking. We need more Republicans in the Armenian-American caucus.
Hopefully in 2018 we shall make further advances in support of our cause.
Fort Lauderdale, Fla.