Twelve Years Betrayed

Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden, Wilmington, Del., September 4, 2020 (Flickr: Adam Schultz/Biden for President)

Joe Biden owes Armenians an apology. 

All of us. Armenian Republicans, Democrats and Independents.

In 2008, he took our votes then tossed us under the bus – and he never looked back…until now, when he needs our votes again.

We all remember it well. It was 12 years ago. The Obama-Biden campaign traded on Obama’s promises, Biden’s record and Samantha Powers’ video to win Armenian American endorsements and votes.

But by their first April 24th in office, they had betrayed us. For the next eight years, they turned on us. Neither Obama nor Biden met with Armenian Americans to explain their reversals, much less apologize to us for their outright lies.

Now – 12 long years later – Biden wants something from us once again. No surprise: our endorsements and our votes.

Why wouldn’t he? Our votes in Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida and other swing states could turn a close election.

The question is, why would we – knowing his track record – have any reason to believe that he would not pull exactly the same stunt? Make big promises. Take our votes. Then turn his back.

The fact of the matter is that the Obama-Biden administration did far more than break a solitary pledge or fall short of honoring their promises. The record shows that they pursued a whole array of policies 180 degrees opposed to the commitments that they had made:

—They broke their explicitly stated and repeated campaign pledges to properly commemorate the Armenian Genocide.

—They actively backed the Turkey-Armenia protocols and called for a “historical commission” to examine a known genocide as a disputed set of competing claims.

—They opposed passage of H.Res.252 commemorating the Armenian Genocide during its consideration by the Foreign Affairs Committee.

—They described the Armenian Genocide as a matter for “historical debate,” through an on-the-record statement by their Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

—They filed an official brief opposing Supreme Court consideration of a case allowing descendants of Armenian Genocide survivors to pursue insurance claims.

—They recklessly nominated Matt Bryza, an anti-Armenian, pro-Aliyev diplomat, as US Ambassador to Azerbaijan.

And now – adding insult to injury – Biden has hired Elvir Klempic, the former executive director of the venomously anti-Armenian, genocide-denying Turkish Heritage Organization to manage his campaign’s outreach to Armenian, Greek and other ethnic American constituencies.Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

If Biden wants Armenian American support – our volunteer hours, our donations and our votes – he will need to do far more than roll out a new set of promises.

He’ll need to start with an apology.

Armen Martin

Armen Martin

Armen Martin is a Los Angeles-based corporate attorney and active member of the Armenian-American community.
Armen Martin

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    • Great points, the only problem with the reasoning is that it cant take place in a vacuum. Trump is the one who actively tried to stop the Senate resolution on recognizing the genocide and was successful in the short run. Neither of the candidates has done anything to earn Armenian American votes and both have earned our distrust. No valid reason for any Armenian American to favor one candidate based on Armenian issues, specifically genocide recognition

    • @ jack, Your comment is not factual. The Obama administration worked actively to block the Armenian Genocide resolution. So too did the GW Bush administration, so to did Clinton, GHW Bush, Reagan, and for that matter Carter, Ford and Nixon.

      My father was an L.D. on the hill for 20 years and worked on this each year for decades as part of his work, and followed and worked on it after he retired.

      The GOP candidates/incumbents never promised us, but Biden and Obama specifically did as did Carter — and in turn betrayed that promise to us. Similar to Carter promising the Greek Americans to continue the arms embargo against Anakara, and then actively and powerfully moving to remove the arms embargo as soon as Carter got into office.

      So please don’t give us a totally false narrative attacking Trump on this issue, and one that simply shows you have never worked on promoting the Armenian Genocide Resolution.

      Samantha Powers’ own inner circle will tell you how she was DISGUSTED by Obama and Biden administration blocking the Armenian Genocide resolution in years when it was most likely to succeed.

  1. American-Armenians should unite …
    And tell Joe Biden, not to betray Armenians any more …
    Obama betrayed us 9 times … Shame on him …
    Where was he sleeping ???!!!!…
    Armenians have a High IQ, Served America
    Never betrayed any place they lived…
    Every nation knows we are honest, no one can change us …
    This is in our genes… We will breathe with it forever…
    Dr. Sylva Portoian

    • OK, fair enough but what is the Trump administration doing to speak out right now and stop the war? Has Trump condemned in forthright terms the key roles that Turkey and Israel are playing here? Does anybody seriously expect him to do so? Across the Middle East, Erdoğan has been given a free hand to play the Sultan.

  2. Armen Martin Great article … Congrats…
    Well explained…
    Because we are honest we are used…
    Totally, Utterly Unfair …
    We should stand hard … Unite …

    And show them who are we

  3. Huh? Where is your criticism of the dictator in chief right now? Let’s talk about the real reasons Armenians back TRUMP. It’s because a lot of them do con jobs just like him. Bankruptcy fraud, medicare fraud, fake schools, etc.

    Let’s be honest as a community. Armenians have become one issue voters? Do we not have any interest in the country that we live in?

    • This is about Joe Biden’s record on our issues. One candidate is actively asking for our support (which is regrettable). We should know his deplorable record before we give it to him as a community.

    • First off don’t conflate a few bad apples with an entire community while you promote your anti-Trump feelings. Trump has been in office for less than 4 years yet is beign blamed for everything as if he was in office for 51 years like Biden. You perspective comes from the mainstream media which spoon feeds you information just as they please. You have never been on Capitol Hill, walked our congressional halls, or meet with any Representatives. I have. Growing up in America I was indoctrinated into being a Democrat. It wasn’t until my work in D.C., and the experience I gained from it when I realized how the Democrats operate. They operate as a sheep in wolves clothes. They are a mafia, actually a virus. They find a host and destroy it. Look at where are the problems are. They are in Democrat runned cities which are Democrats ruined cities. The justice system has been in their hands to fix. We had Obama for two terms and a time when the Dems controlled the House and the Senate. What did they accomplish or fix – nothing. Obama was asked if he would recognize the Armenian Genocide he said “without a doubt”. He spoke in capacity as someone who had voted for the issue, a lawyer, and a Senator. What a con job.

  4. As an Armenian American this article infuriates me. Let’s please step out of Myopia for a minute to vote and back the candidate that is for the greater good of the USA.

    • So, Trump then?

      Frankly the only reason to consider Biden is that he might be slightly more confrontational with Turkey. Armenians have no reason to make common cause with violent Marxist scum.

  5. Misleading article considering the fact that we are talking about an election and not a referendum on Biden. We need to put both candidates next to each other and compare. Biden is not perfect but if we look at it from different angles he is far better than Trump. When it comes to the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, Democrats have done much more than Republicans. In fact, most outspoken opponents of the recognition have always been Republicans. One of them was VP pence’s brother, representative from Indiana, who was one of the only congressmen voting against the genocide resolution. But Armenian issues are far more diverse than the genocide.
    Trump has probably been the worst anti-Armenian president we have ever had. His personal obsession with Erdogan has resulted in Turks getting away with all the terrible things they have been doing in the region, from attacking Kurds to purchasing Russian weapons. This kind of Turkish behavior would have never been tolerated by any other administration and has emboldened Erdogan to create more chaos.
    What is even worse was his decision to include pro-Azeri/ pro-Israel hawks in his administration like Pompeo and Bolton. Few Armenians are aware of the fact that Trump administration has decided to increase military aid to Azerbaijan to 150 million dollars. This is an astronomical number compared to the previous administrations which always maintained parity between Armenia and Azerbaijan aid. Despite US assurances that this aid is not directed against Armenia, there are credible reports of Azeri special forces trained by this money participating in the recent skirmishes in Tavush. To add insult to injury, Trump administration cut the meager amount of money USAID used to allocate for demining work in Artsakh.
    But this is not the whole story yet. Trumps decision to abandon the nuclear deal with Iran has lead to hundreds of millions of dollars damage to Armenian economy. Apart from Georgia, Iran is Armenia’s only other option for trade with outside world. Trumps draconian sanctions against Iran made it impossible for Armenians to trade with their southern neighbors.
    Again, I am not saying Biden is perfect but I strongly believe that any Armenian American who cares about Armenian issues should vote Biden. I have absolutely no doubt that a Biden administration in WH will increase US aid to Armenia, will be far tougher on Turkey and will reach an agreement with Iran which is extremely important for Armenia.

  6. My children, my grandchildren, and extended family live in the USA. Considering all the salient issues and then voting for the best interests of my family is the appropriate course. It would be great if Biden and Trump both recognized the genocide. The genocide is a fact with or without their recognition. Their recognition brings no justice; takes away no pain from this heinous crime. This country is threatened by mistaking Trump theatrical patriotism for dedication to American ideals. By accepting his baseless; glib assertions as truth. By failing to challenge Trump’s false choices. By allowing Trump’s thinly shrouded racism to legitimize our greatest and most enduring evil.

    Whatever Biden’s failings, it is Trump that is the threat to my family.

    • The problem with your analysis is that a large percentage of the violence is happening in cities controlled by democrats. Many democrats have even denied the violence exists. Moreover, Biden would not condemn the violence in major citites until his poll numbers started dropping. Neither Biden or Trump are perfect, but Biden seems worse.

  7. Excellent article! It is high time that Armenians come to terms that the strategic interests of the United States Government are the priority and not the grievances of the Armenians. It is time that we stop expecting any presidential candidate to pay attention to the Armenian Genocide narrative. Time for Armenians to change strategy regarding our expectations from the US Government and focus on what the government can do to the Armenian people that is realistic.

  8. This is an excellent article. Biden has broken a lot of promises to the Armenian community. There are other reasons why biden does not deserve the presidency.

    1. In addition it should be noted that Biden has been in politics since 1972. There is no reason for someone to be in office/politics that long. He has no accomplishment outside of politics.

    2. Biden refused to condemn the left wing violence that was taking place in cities until it became clear that he was dropping in the polls.

    3. The media refuses to ask biden any hard questions. Instead, the media tries to defend Biden evertime he says something ridiculous or covers up for him entirely.

    4. Under Trump the United States has become more energy sufficient and is not as dependent upon foreign sources for energy.

    4. Prior to the virus the economy was doing very well. The democrats are complaining about the economy while wanting to keep the economy closed. Despite all of this, the economy grew in August.

    5. Despite the democrats wanting to shutdown the economy Republican controlled states like Florida that refused to shutdown the economy are doing better then Democratic controlled states like New York, which have imposed a shutdown on the economy. The result has been very negative for New York. It would be better to follow the model of Repulican states and open up the economy.

    While neither Biden or Trump is perfect, on balance Trump and the Republicans are preferable.

  9. Armen

    Great article. The Obama/Biden Administration had 8 years to get it right. They failed the Armenian/American community and many others by only enriching themselves and their cronies. Not to mention lied to us while lying to us and supporting anti-Christian policies and ruining much of the Middle-East where we had long thriving communities. The choice is clear Biden has been there long enough.

    President Trump is doing an amazing job despite all the obstacles to clean up after the mess previous administrations made in particular the garbage left behind by Obama/Biden. We do not need any more politicians. Instead we need leaders willing to fight for restoring of the American Dream. This is what many Armenian Americans came for and as such is why we should support a Trump/Pence Administration and do our best to keep the progress they have made moving forward.

    • You’re spot on. It’s time for Armenian Americans to wake up and walk away. I’ve seen it from the inside, people getting too comfortable with the Democrat Party, getting personal favors and positions, etc. We need to line up with the Republican Party and work to get meaningful policy positions for our community and our homeland.

    • 1) Reason: SERVE THE COUNTRY. And please, don’t ask why he hasn’t made the country perfect in that time – he is one senator in the minority party. Our Senate has been blocking anything from happening in the public interest for many long years.
      2-5) The good things you describe as happening under Trump were happening under Obama-Biden. The “left-wing violence” comment shows you are underinformed or disinformed by propaganda outlets. Most of the violence arising from protests was set off by right-wing instigators, many of whom have been arrested by the FBI for it. Let’s pray they don’t succeed in their avowed goals of starting a civil war around this election. And there is no Democratic push to shut down the economy-only to save it by squashing the pandemic. Don’t fall for rhetoric please, keep eyes wide open. (Achke patz!)

  10. The Trump/Pence Administration, certainly hasn’t done any less lying than the Obama/Biden Administration. After all, in order to be the president/vice-president of the USA, it’s indeed a requirement that he/she be a persistent liar, in order to protect “American interests”.

    In terms of “ruining much of the Middle East”, Israel, combined with the U.S. government, had already begun to ruin this particular region of the world long before the Obama/Biden Administration. In fact, Obama wasn’t even born when the USA and Israel began to enormously ruin much of the Middle East.

    In terms of supporting anti-Christian policies, let me remind you that it happened to be the “Christian” United States who created Al-Qaeda and ISIS. Here’s some education for you on that:

    “Instead, we need leaders willing to fight for restoring the American Dream.”

    Your American patriotism is certainly very inspiring, however, none of these American leaders have ever fought for any “American dream.” On the contrary, the dream that they’ve all been fighting for, is the Israeli Zionist dream. After all, the biggest financial support for both Republican and Democratic politicians is the Israel lobby.

  11. Dose anyone remember whare Obama’ 1st speach was in the middle east it was turkey Do we really think any American president cares about Armenian we don’t have anything to offer for them We need to look to EU as Humanitarian assistance.

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