Trump’s Commemorative Statement Fails to Properly Characterize Armenian Genocide

President Trump Tightens Turkey's Grip Over U.S. Policy on Armenian Genocide

(Graphic: ANCA)

WASHINGTON–Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian issued this response to President Donald Trump’s failure to lead an honest American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide in his commemorative statement issued earlier today:

President Trump’s ‘Turkey First’ approach tightens Erdogan’s grip over U.S. policy on the genocide of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and other Christians.

In his annual April 24th statement, the President once again enforced Ankara’s gag-rule against honest American condemnation and commemoration of the Armenian Genocide.

In outsourcing U.S. leadership on genocide prevention to Erdogan – who openly undermines U.S. interests, attacks U.S. allies, threatens U.S. troops, imprisons American clergy, and even orders the beating of American citizens – President Trump is emboldening a foreign dictator who revels in the public spectacle of having bullied successive American presidents into silence on Turkey’s still unpunished murder of millions Christians.

Sadly, by caving in to Turkish pressure, President Trump is isolating America, which today stands alone as Ankara’s last genocide-denial lifeline. Forty-eight of our U.S. states have recognized the Armenian Genocide, as have a dozen of our NATO allies – including France and Germany, the European Union, and, of course, Pope Francis.

We will press ahead with our work to end U.S. complicity in Ankara’s obstruction of justice, in order to put in place a U.S. policy that actively pressures Ankara to abandon its denials, reckon with its responsibilities, and engage directly with Armenian stakeholders toward a truthful, just, and comprehensive international resolution of this crime against humanity.

The President’s full statement is provided below.

Background

Last week, one hundred and two U.S. Representatives–including the Chairmen of the House Foreign Affairs and Intelligence Committees–called on President Donald Trump to reject Turkey’s gag-rule by honestly and accurately commemorating the Armenian Genocide this April 24.  The letter to President Trump, led by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-N.J.), David Trott (R-Mich.), Jackie Speier (D-Calif.) and David Valadao (R-Calif.) as well as Vice-Chairs Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) and Gus Bilirakis (R-Fla.) explained that: “The Armenian Genocide continues to stand as an important reminder that crimes against humanity must not go without recognition and condemnation. Through recognition of the Armenian Genocide we pay tribute to the perseverance and determination of those who survived, as well as to the Americans of Armenian descent who continue to strengthen our country to this day. […] By commemorating the Armenian Genocide, we renew our commitment to prevent future atrocities.” They closed by asking that the President: “appropriately mark April 24th as a day of American remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.”  A copy of the letter is available here: https://anca.org/assets/pdf/Armenian_Genocide_Trump_Letter_2018.pdf

The U.S. first recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1951 through a filing which was included in the International Court of Justice (ICJ) Report titled: “Reservations to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.” The specific reference to the Armenian Genocide appears on page 25 of the ICJ Report: “The Genocide Convention resulted from the inhuman and barbarous practices which prevailed in certain countries prior to and during World War II, when entire religious, racial and national minority groups were threatened with and subjected to deliberate extermination. The practice of genocide has occurred throughout human history. The Roman persecution of the Christians, the Turkish massacres of Armenians, the extermination of millions of Jews and Poles by the Nazis are outstanding examples of the crime of genocide.”

President Ronald Reagan reaffirmed the Armenian Genocide in 1981. The U.S. House of Representatives adopted legislation on the Armenian Genocide in 1975, 1984 and 1996.  Forty eight U.S. states have recognized the Armenian Genocide through resolution or proclamation.

Over 25 countries have recognized the Armenian Genocide, including a dozen of our NATO allies the European Union, and, of course, Pope Francis.

***

Statement by President Donald J. Trump on Armenian Remembrance Day 2018
Issued on April 24, 2018

Today we commemorate the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century, when one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire.  We recall the horrific events of 1915 and grieve for the lives lost and the many who suffered.

We also take this moment to recognize the courage of those individuals who sought to end the violence, and those who contributed to aiding survivors and rebuilding communities, including the U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, who sought to end the violence and later raised funds through the Near East Relief to help the Armenian people. We note with deep respect the resilience of the Armenian people, so many of whom built new lives in the United States and have made countless contributions to our country.

As we honor the memory of those who suffered, we also reflect on our commitment to ensure that such atrocities are not repeated.  We underscore the importance of acknowledging and reckoning with painful elements of the past as a necessary step towards creating a more tolerant future.

On this solemn day, we stand with the Armenian people throughout the world in honoring the memory of those lost and commit to work together to build a better future.

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ANCA

The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) is the largest and most influential Armenian-American grassroots organization. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters and supporters throughout the United States and affiliated organizations around the world, the ANCA actively advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues. To learn more, visit www.anca.org.

5 Comments

  1. You are going to lose supporters with the way you are attacking Trump. I gave money to both Clinton and Obama campaigns when they repeatedly promised to recognize the genocide as such. Are you really attacking Trump for not lying to us????

    Why not put the blame where it belongs, and sorry to repeat a pro-trump message, but on the “SWAMP.” It is the entrenched career politicos at State that have blocked this over and over.

    You don’t even mention that our Armenian American leaders with ties to the Democrats presided over fundraisers and Samantha Powers assuring us — OVER and OVER — that Obama would recognize the Genocide as exactly that.

    • You must be kidding me – the “SWAMP” — he is the SWAMP – he is pugnacious, spineless and corrupt with moral compass –
      and simply considers “us” as just another group of immigrants polluting the gene pool. He could care less about genocide.

  2. There goes the ANCA with decades of financial support and finally realized they are in bed with the democraps I stopped supporting the ANCA because they just show their partisanship above Armenian issues and demands. And now they are crying that my Elected President isn’t recognizing the Armenian Genocide. Guess, Obama, Biden and Samantha Powers didn’t make us the laughing stock by promising and not delivering. Time to change the misguided leadership of the ANCA, not every Armenian drinks the Democrat Kool aid.
    What did you achieve by endorsing all Democrat candidates?? Why couldn’t you support both Trump & clinton?? Why be so partisan? Seems just like the democrats you don’t support the US constitution!!

  3. John, you have no way of knowing what Trump thinks about Armenians. But I will tell you that Franklin Roosevelt, Obama’s role model, hated Jews and Japanese and we have FDR’s writings to prove it. See the writings of Rafael Medoff, a historian who has examined FDR’s pro-Holocaust efforts. Recall that FDR was a Democrat still honored by his party, including Obama.
    Recall that FDR put Japanese-Americans in camps and worked against efforts to save Jews from Hitler’s mass murder program.

  4. “You are going to lose supporters with the way you are attacking Trump”
    You mean supporters of the Armenian Cause?
    Supporting the Armenian Cause has nothing to do with Trump or Obama or any other US politician.
    For them we’re nobody’s. They won’t do a thing. Democrats nor republicans. Nothing. For all politicians relations with Turkey will take priority.

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