OBAMA LACKS COURAGE TO SAY GENOCIDE IN HIS APRIL 24 STATEMENT
- On the fourth Armenian Remembrance Day of his presidency, President Barack Obama has for the fourth time in a row broken his promise to the Armenian community to use the word "genocide" in describing what happened at the hands of the Turks roughly a century ago, ABC News says.
"Today, we commemorate the Meds Yeghern, one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century. In doing so, we honor the memory of the 1.5 million Armenians who were brutally massacred or marched to their deaths in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire. As we reflect on the unspeakable suffering that took place 97 years ago, we join millions who do the same across the globe and here in America, where it is solemnly commemorated by our states, institutions, communities, and families. Through our words and our deeds, it is our obligation to keep the flame of memory of those who perished burning bright and to ensure that such dark chapters of history are never repeated," Obama said in his April 24 address.
"I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915. My view of that history has not changed. A full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts is in all of our interests. Moving forward with the future cannot be done without reckoning with the facts of the past. The United States has done so many times in our own history, and I believe we are stronger for it. Some individuals have already taken this courageous step forward. We applaud those Armenians and Turks who have taken this path, and we hope that many more will choose it, with the support of their governments, as well as mine.
"Although the lives that were taken can never be returned, the legacy of the Armenian people is one of triumph. Your faith, courage, and strength have enabled you to survive and prosper, establishing vibrant communities around the world. Undaunted, you have preserved your patrimony, passing it from generation to generation. Armenian-Americans have made manifold contributions to the vibrancy of the United States, as well as critical investments in a democratic, peaceful, and prosperous future for Armenia. The United States is proud of your heritage, and your contributions honor the memory of those who senselessly suffered and died nearly a century ago.
On this solemn day of remembrance, we stand alongside all Armenians in recalling the darkness of the Meds Yeghern and in committing to bringing a brighter future to the people of Armenia," he said.
As a senator, and then as a presidential candidate, Barack Obama often talked about how bold he was to call the slaughter of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire just what it was: a genocide.
"America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides," he said. "I intend to be that president." In a January 2008 letter to the Armenian Reporter, Mr. Obama said he shared "with Armenian Americans — so many of whom are descended from genocide survivors — a principled commitment to commemorating and ending genocide. That starts with acknowledging the tragic instances of genocide in world history."
In 2006, Mr. Obama noted, "I criticized the secretary of state [Condoleezza Rice] for the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans, after he properly used the term 'genocide' to describe Turkey's slaughter of thousands of Armenians starting in 1915. I shared with Secretary Rice my firmly held conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence."
Asserted Mr. Obama, back then: "The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy."
That was then, this is now. As previous presidents have concluded, Mr. Obama has decided that distorting the historical facts is better than alienating ally Turkey, which disputes that term. And that policy has been, at least in the short term, quite tenable, ABC News notes.
- 775 Battle of Ardzni (Bagrevand).
- 1877 Tsar Alexander the Second starts the Russian-Turkish War in the Balkans and on the territory of ancient Armenia. The war ended with the victory of Russia.
- 1910 Death of Armenian writer Victoria Azanoor (Pompili). She wrote in Italian. Her books were translated into Armenian by Father Arsen Ghazikian.
- 1915 The arrest, exile and murder of the Armenian intellectuals (about 800) of Constantinople. The Turks start the implementation of their state plan for the Armenian Genocide. About one million Armenians are killed.
- 1937 The Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia decides to dissolve the Committee of the Transcaucasian Countries.
- 1965 The Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide took place in about 25 countries out of respect for the memory of the innocent victims. A monument was unveiled in the Main Cathedral of Echmiadsin. The monument to the memory of the Armenian Genocide in Montebello, California.
- 1968 The World Congress of Peace Movements, with the participation of organizations from 64 countries and of 16 international organizations, commemorated the Armenian Genocide.
- 1973 A monument to the memory of the Armenian Genocide is unveiled in Marseilles, France.
- 1975 Opening of monuments commemorating the memory of the 1915 Armenian Genocide. They were in Bikfaya (Lebanon), Athens (Greece) and Milan (Italy).
- 1978 A monument to the memory of the Armenian Genocide is unveiled in Lyon, France.
- 1984 A monument to the memory of the Armenian Genocide was placed in Alfortville, near Paris.
- 1987 An Armenian stone-cross dedicated to the memory of the Armenian Genocide is unveiled in Stuttgart, Germany.
- 1989 A monument dedicated to the memory of the Armenian Genocide was unveiled in Sydney, Australia.
- 1990 President Bush issued a news release calling on all Americans to join with Armenians on April 24 in commemorating "the more than a million Armenian people who were victims".
- 1994 President Clinton issued a news release on April 24, to commemorate the "tragedy" that befell the Armenians in 1915.