President Trump Doubles Down on ‘Turkey First’ Armenian Genocide Policy

Annual Commemorative Statement again Fails to Properly Characterize Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON, D.C.—For the third year, President Donald Trump failed to properly condemn as ‘genocide’ the Ottoman Turkish government’s annihilation of millions of Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, Chaldeans and other Christians in his annual April 24th commemorative statement. “This is a cut-and-paste policy set in Ankara by Turkish dictators and enforced in Washington by American presidents,” said Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Suren Hamparian, whose complete response is provided below:

“President Trump has once again granted Turkish President Erdogan—an authoritarian and increasingly anti-American dictator—a veto over honest U.S. remembrance of Turkey’s WWI-era genocide of millions of Armenians and other Christians. This is a cut-and-paste policy, set in Ankara by Turkish dictators and enforced in Washington by American presidents. Having promised an ‘America First’ presidency, he has pursued a ‘Turkey First’ policy on the Armenian Genocide. Having pledged to protest the persecution of Christians, he has enforced a foreign gag-rule against honest remembrance of a century-old crime. Having vowed to restore U.S. leadership, he has, instead, outsourced American moral standing to a foreign dictatorship. We look now to the U.S. Congress to provide the leadership that the White House has failed to deliver.”

Background:

The Armenian Genocide was the centrally planned and systematically executed slaughter of the Armenian people, carried out by the Ottoman Turkish Government from 1915 to 1923.  The Greek,  Assyrian, Chaldean, and  Syriac communities suffered the same fate, with over 2.5 million Christians killed in that time period. April 24th is the international day of commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. At the time of the atrocities, the United States embarked on an unprecedented international humanitarian campaign, mandated by Congress in 1916 through the establishment of Near East Relief, saving over 130,000 orphans and some 1 million survivors of the Armenian Genocide by providing assistance valued at over $2.5 billion in current dollars.

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: “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-nine U.S. states have recognized the Armenian Genocide through resolution or proclamation. Earlier this month, Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA) and Gus Bilirakis (R-FL) spearheaded Armenian Genocide legislation (H.Res.296) calling for the proper remembrance of the crime, ending United States complicity in its denial and urging public education in an effort to prevent future genocides.  The legislation currently has 89 cosponsors.  A similar resolution in the Senate (S.Res.150) spearheaded by Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Ted Cruz (R-TX) has 16 cosponsors.

 

The full statement by the President on Armenian Remembrance Day 2019:

April 24, 2019

Today, we commemorate the Meds Yeghern and honor the memory of those who suffered in one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century. Beginning in 1915, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. On this day of remembrance, we again join the Armenian community in America and around the world in mourning the many lives lost.

On this day, we also honor and recognize the work of those who tried to end the violence, as well as those who sought to ensure atrocities like this would not be repeated, like human rights activist and lawyer Raphael Lemkin. We recall the contributions of generous Americans who helped save lives and rebuild Armenian communities. As we honor the memory of those who suffered, we also draw inspiration from the courage and resiliency of the Armenian people who, in the face of tremendous adversity, built vibrant communities around the world, including in the United States.

We pledge to learn from past tragedies so as to not to repeat them. We welcome the efforts of Armenians and Turks to acknowledge and reckon with their painful history. And we stand with the Armenian people in recalling the lives lost during the Meds Yeghern and reaffirm our commitment to a more peaceful world.

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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.

38 Comments

  1. And every president before him including Obama has not used the G word while doing this annual remembrance. Im sure that Turkey being an place where we put an bunch of military bases just said dont say genocide or you can´t have them here. It´s something people should be more aware of. Also we won´t call the trail of tears or similar things done to natives a genocide because we don´t want to hurt our own image.

    • American Presidents have been spineless wimps in regards to taking a stand to acknowledge and tecognize that the century old Armenian Genocide was indeed a genocide. In so doing, they’ve been agreeable to selling their souls to the devil. Trump, the current President, and his predecessors have disgraced themselves,

      When Turkey behaves like a schoolyard bully, it’s time for those whom are vested with leadership responsibilities to stand against them and speak the truth; otherwise, our noses can get muddied in the pigsty of Turkey’s sibs. The fact is that Donald Trump failed to uphold his ethical responsibilities, as did previous Presidents.

  2. Failure by any president to call the 1.5 million Armenian massacre not a genocide tells me that these people run with Satan. It is amazing how these people cannot enter the truth as to what happened to our people. When you put politics above morality you have in mind mine told me that you are a minion of Satan. It really doesn’t matter if he uses genocide or not because God knows exactly what happened and all those people who killed every one of these Armenians is in hell unfortunately we can’t witness it or see the suffering they’re going through that in my opinion it will never be enough. Everyone on this earth pays for their sins one Way or another.

  3. Are you people serious? You support and endorse Democrat after Democrat and expect him to give a damn about your issues. Maybe you should have been this indignant when your buddies Pelosi, Schiff, Waters and Obama were making statements.

    • Sadly, I agree with you Sadie. There are many conservative American Armenians, but they don’t have the voice of the organizations. I’m a Trump supporter and I hope he recognizes the Genocide in his second term.

  4. This is not a Trump thing. This is not an Obama thing. This is an American thing.
    As I have always said, American-Armenians (who are conduits of all sorts of toxic American and Western agendas in Armenia) deserve every drop of spit their get on their faces by Uncle Sam…

    • Concerned Armenian…I don’t see you refusing money from American-Armenians. What sort of toxic “Western” agendas are you referring to? Freedom? Cuba still maintains a Soviet-style government. They may be more to your liking.

  5. Why should recognize it? I live in LA which has the largest Armenian population in the US. By and large they all (generalization)talk bad about America and Americans. The majority of Armenians I know will say how much better it is in Armenia than it is here yet they still live here. The majority of them take advantage of welfare when they don’t need it. They come here and get free stuff and bad mouth the people who provide it. The sence of entitlement in that community is astronomical. Start showing some humility and appreciation for what you have here and maybe you’ll start getting some respect.

    • Sir you are out of line. You don’t know much about Armenians. We are a hardworking nation with pride. And even some might need support from welfare others work and pay taxes to support those in need. Stop badmouting ” THE FIRST NATION WHO ACEPTED CHRISTIANITY IN THE WORLD, WHO ALWAYS IMPACTED THIS WONDERFUL WORLD WITH TALANTS AND ABILITIES. YES WE MIGHT STILL LOVE 💘 OUR COUNTRY AND CHERISH EVERYTHING ARMENIAN, BUT WE DO ALSO LOVE AMD APPRECIATE LAND OF FREEDOM USA AND DO PUT EFFORT IN BUILTING THIS WONDERFUL COUNTRY WHILE STILL SUPPORT OUR LITTLE HOMELAND.

      SHAME ON YOU !!!

    • Genocide has nothing to do with getting welfare, Turkey have been betraying the US every time US needed some kind of help, Iraq, Afghanistan, Iran, Syria,….. the list goes on, besides the US is not an NGO, if US is issuing visas to Armenians he should know why, by evacuating the Armenian land from Armenians most probably is giving a helping hand to Turkey.

    • Gary…
      I served in the US Army, two of my sons are in US Army, and my daughter is married to a serving member of the US Army. Which branch did you serve in?

  6. April 24 is the day we remember the Armenian men, women, children, and babies yet in the womb, who were annihilated by the Turkish government simply because they were Armenians and Christians. Beginning on April 24, 1915, three-quarters of the Armenian Nation was systematically annihilated by the Turkish government. This horrific act is known as the 1915 Genocide of the Armenian People. April 24 is the day we honor and remember those victims.

    • Also April 24th, is the day of mass killings of special talented and famous writers, artists, actors, musicians, officials ( this list was taken forcefully from Armenians) they killed thousands of important elite people on that horrible day April 24th, 2015.

  7. Gary,
    First and foremost, this is a Nation of Immigrants, and NOT only British, Fish, and Chips. There are over 1.7 million Armenians residing in this country contributing in Social, political, medical, scienctific, economic fields, and paying their share of taxes to Uncle Sam. Most likely portion of those taxes are being applied in helping Armenians who are on welfare or unemployed. So chill out, your HELP is NOT NEEDED. There are over 47 million Americans ( (your cousins) on welfare here in the good ol’ USA , so go do something constructive, if you care. The reason majority of the Armenians are residing here in the United States is due to their unfortunate past history and ,also, due to screwed up US foreign policy.You would not understand that TRUST me. Armenians talk bad about America? Hard to believe, however, I’ve seen people of your KIND talk bad about the Canadians, French, Italians,Armenians, Greeks, Californians, Floridians, Blacks, Hispanics, Middle-Easterns, LGBQ’s, women …get the hint right? Coming from people like you, please Save your respect, we don’t want it.

  8. Concerned Armenian,
    The Russian State Duma, have recognized the Armenian genocide in 1995, 2005, and reaffirmed by Mr. Putin in 2015. Thank you Russia, OK, now what? The relations of Russia and Turkey are far better now than it has been in the past. So, what has the recognition by Russia accomplished? Zero. Same logic with the US government, there will be no miracles, suprises or pro Armenian stance, period.

    • Russia recognizes the Armenian genocide, it therefore cannot have good relations with Turkey?… Armenia is Russia’s ally, it therefore cannot have good relations with the European Union and the United States?…
      How old are you?!

  9. You missed my point entirely, Hoss. Every year on April 24th,Armenians,including yourself,eagerly await and see if the US president will recognize the Armenian Genocide, as if by recognizing it, it will pave the way for, reparation, compensation and return of Wilsonian Armenia. So, having said that, Hoss , Russia’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide has been nothing but symbolic gesture to humankind. The borders remain the same as it was back when Stalin re-arranged and handed most Eastern provinces of Armenia to Turkey on a silver plate. Most Armenians may have expected a different outcome.

    • Jay, you are making a lot of silly assumptions about me. I don’t expect anything from Washingtonian or European reptiles. Genocide recognition by the US or even Turkey’s apology means nothing without land and money reparations.

      As a sign of respect and allied relations, Moscow recognizes the genocide. That’s good enough for me. What’s even better than Moscow’s recognition of our genocide however is the following: Russia provides Armenia with affordable (sometimes free) modern weaponry and military training; Russia protects Armenia’s western border with Turkey, allowing Armenia’s small military to concentrate its attention on the more manageable adversary on its eastern border; Russia provides Armenia with affordable energy (natural gas, benzine and nuclear fuel); Russia is Armenia’s largest investor; Russia is Armenia’s largest trade partner; Russia hosts the largest and most affluent Armenian Diaspora in the world; Russia provides work opportunities to hundreds of thousands of Armenia’s unemployed annually; Russia provides Armenia the largest numbers of tourists…

      This is what Russia provides our small, poor, landlocked and blockaded republic, and it officially recognizes the genocide. This is why agents of the West don’t want Armenians to talk about or properly recognize.

    • The very idea of Wilsonian Armenia was a joke to begin with. Woodrow Wilson was an imperialist autocrat bent on maintaining US and European domination of the globe. He would’ve just as soon spat on the Armenians as give them any land.

    • “Stalin re-arranged and handed most Eastern provinces of Armenia to Turkey on a silver plate”
      I believe you are referring to the Treaty of Brest Litovsk in 1918 whereby the bolsheviks, led by Lenin who owed a lot to the Germans who had brought him back to Russia from Switzerland in a sealed train, gave away Kars and Ardahan to Turkey. At that time, the Ottoman Empire was Germany’s ally in WW One. This treaty was concluded when Lenin was still in charge. Stalin was evil but don’t blame him for everything.

  10. When you take a few step back and see what’s going on is that the Armenians are being conned by the superpowers. They look like they are pawns.
    Also, who in their right mind thinks that the Israeli diaspora will allow any pro Armenian agenda proceed in the Congress?

    • Your claim is false. In Israel people know about the Armenian genocide and detest Turkey and erdung for many reasons. The Jewish Diaspora too would not oppose a recognition of the genocide. The Armenian genocide has already been recognized by the Knesset, our Parliament. However, the foreign ministry does not want to do so at this time, possibly motivated by our import of oil from Azerbaijan. Former member of Knesset Aryeh Eldad was talking about the need to recognize this event on radio.

    • Do you forget that Trump’s great enemy, former prez Barack Hussein Obama, promised to recognize the genocide if elected. When elected, he forgot his promise and deliberately disregarded it. Trump did not promise and therefore did not break any promise to Armenians. Moreover, Trump has stood up to the Turks as no previous American president ever did. What about the sanctions on Turkey and Trump’s threats against Erdung?

  11. Concerned Armenian,
    With all due respect the assistance the Russians are providing to tiny Armenia, I consider that to be insufficient and insignificant. Consider the ILLEGAL, Treaty of Moscow, signed on March 16th 1921 by Lenin and Ataturk, the leader of internationally unrecognized then country of Turkey. This so called ,Treaty of Moscow, aka ‘ Treaty of Brotherhood ‘ handed the Turks, the Eastern provinces of Armenia, such as, Kars and Ardahan, on a silver plate by Russians. Tidats Russia bears sole responsibility of their misdeeds. They have the moral obligation to compensate the Armenians in monetary sum until such time that the Armenians recover those lands. Just so you know, if it wasn’t for the cold war, there may never have been a ‘landlocked’ Armenia.

  12. first, as a Canadian Armenian I m proud that my government recognized the genocide in 2006. As far as the U.S. is concerned taking orders from Israel when they recognize your gov may follow. Lastly I have great respect for John McCain who contrary to Obama’s empty and insulting promises before the election rejected recognition. “now is not the time “.

    • The USA does not take orders from Israel. Prior to Trump we suffered many US interventions in our domestic policy and foreign relations by the US and/or factions of the State Dept and CIA.

  13. Why is it that we need the USA, the UK or
    Israel or even Turkey to recognize the Armenian Genocide. What does that gain us as Armenians. We as an ethnicity who know what happened. The recognition of others is a feel good but nothing more. The Turkish Mia culpa is meaningless.
    We who are the descendants of what happened in Aintab, Izmir, Marash and etc know and for generations will remember. We do not need anyone to legitimize the truth.

  14. Many, if not most of you will hate what I will say, but I will say anyway.
    Why this hysteria about what Obama or Trump has said? They dutifully still do say something every year and in return we just insult them. What presidents of other countries do even that much?
    Now, instead of cursing and lamenting, as is our unfailing but flailing reaction every year, why not turn the tables on the world by thanking Obama and Trump for adopting the MEDZ YEGHERN term which is our very own, coming as it does from the very generation that suffered it. Think about it! It actually defines the EVENT itself and has an identification unique to what happened to us, as compared to the generic ultimate outcome that GENOCIDE generally implies. Think of the Jewish parallel: they are smart enough to sell theirs as HOLOCAUST or SHOA, thus preserving their “copyright” and focused recognition of that historic event which they then claim is unique!
    Take a second good look at Trump’s words: “Beginning in 1915, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. On this day of remembrance, we again join the Armenian community in America and around the world in mourning the many lives lost.”That is explicitly saying everything for a “genocide” by any educated world history and human standards under the banner of our own “copyright” term. The record remains while still throwing some sham face-saving political cover of “Ottoman Empire”to the Turkish sensitivity similar to “Nazis”.
    Let us publicize“MEDZ YEGHERN” and add the “Armenian Genocide”to it when and where needed. Our truly real concern should be how to make that Medz Yeghern or Genocide recognized by the world at large when Armenia or Armenian is not recognizable by the crushing majority of masses of the world. You would not be interested in someone or something you do not recognize already through current practical realities. But that is another long and hard to understand issue.

    • I agree METZ YEGHERN it is. Done !!! Lets just announce the world that America also accepted the Genocide and get it over…Also continue pressing Turkey with all means , we actually need Turkey to say they did it !!! Then we will start lawful process of reimberesment etc.

    • Indeed, you should carefully examine Trump’s words and acknowledge that they come very close to what Armenians want. Trump’s statement mentions Raphael Lemkin. He is known as the originator of the term genocide, which he saw as affecting the Armenians. Lemkin cited the Armenian genocide as an example of genocide. By using Lemkin’s name, Trump was hinting that what happened was a genocide. I think that using his name is very significant.

  15. Disappointing and frustrating but not surprising nor unexpected.
    Every April 24th we are faced with this abhorrent ugliness,
    and react with the same and similar comments.
    Please see the article “ Major Hurdles We Face” published
    On 3/27. Until these hurdles are overcome, we cannot expect any change in US policy.
    This is a sad stark reality.
    Vart Adjemian

  16. The USA does not take orders from Israel. Prior to Trump we suffered many US interventions in our domestic policy and foreign relations by the US and/or factions of the State Dept and CIA.

    • You’re right. Instead, the USA takes orders from American citizens with loyalties to Israel before the US (while making it look like the opposite). Big difference, at least on paper. In the case of the latest episode for “president of the USA”, the Puppet-in-Chief actually takes all his orders directly from his son-in-law by way of his clueless shiksa daughter.

      Pat yourselves on the back for a job well done though, you’ve managed to place all the gullible “Christian” simpletons of America over a giant barrel they won’t be hopping away from anytime soon. If only we Armenians were that effective…

  17. I have this suspicion that since Ronald Reagan, the policy of every president to refrain from using the word ‘genocide’ has had more to do with helping Israel than Turkey, or perhaps at least equally. There are several possibilities for this and it is not just because the Zionist Jewish community wants to place a ‘monopoly’ on the act of genocide based on their arrogant and racist claim that the WWII Holocaust “was unique”.

    For one, it could also be a possibility that the Turks and WWI era Zionist Jews both have dirty laundry to display when it comes to revealing actual responsibility for the Armenian Holocaust. Thus they both have an “understanding” with each other. The Turks do not really care if a people here and there recognize, they are primarily concerned with governments making the recognition. And it is feasible that when push comes to shove, the Turks have threatened to blame WWI era Jewish elements – and “revealing the truth”. Even though, that still would not absolve Turkey’s responsibility since no “Jewish state” existed at the time officially.

    Another possibility is that the US uses Turkey for more than just to have a front against Russia. Turkey is in the ideal location to “place watch over Arab nations which might go rogue and also protect Israel thereof”. So for the USA Turkey thus far has played a multifaceted role, and Israel’s security is one of them, supposedly.

    Israel also gets its oil through Turkey. The relationship between Turkey and Israel is and has always been rosy and has never broken down in history, even though the dishonest media paints it that way. Turkey has never even threatened to shut down the pipeline, because it knows that if it does, it will have to contend with the wrath of the USA.

    Remember, Trump caused massive damage to the Turkish economy using just twitter over the detention of a ‘pastor’ who was held in Turkey on espionage charges. So no one should be foolish enough to believe that the USA is not using the word ‘genocide’ because it is “afraid of Turkey”. The USA has so much influence over European nations and so many of its tentacles in Turkey that it could destroy Turkey just using economics without even firing a shot.

    The point is, if the USA really wanted to recognize the Armenian Holocaust as an official genocide, it would have done so with little to no consequence, and Turkey’s feelings being hurt is the last reason it hasn’t done so. Very simply, what it boils down to is, American politicians take their instructions from their donors, and those donors happen to instruct them not to recognize the Genocide based on the interests and their loyalties to a foreign nation. Again this all shows just how little influence Armenians have in American politics, despite those silly claims that “Armenians have a powerful lobby in the USA”. That claim just comes up once in a while for the sole reason the detract attention from the foreign organizations that have wielded real power and have been interfering in American politics for a long time now, and those include the likes of ADL and AIPAC. And their trick is always the same: give us a powerless front-man who excitedly promotes genocide recognition while they work behind the scenes to prevent such recognition.

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