Armenian Genocide: US official blasts Obama over “caving in to pressure from Turkey”

Last year, people laid flowers at a memorial in Yerevan, Armenia, to mark the centenary of Armenians’ expulsion from present-day Turkey. Sunday will mark the 101st anniversary of what Armenians say was the first genocide of the 20th century. President Barack Obama, however, refused once again to use the word in his annual proclamation commemorating the events. Sergei Grits AP
Last year, people laid flowers at a memorial in Yerevan, Armenia, to mark the centenary of Armenians’ expulsion from present-day Turkey. Sunday will mark the 101st anniversary of what Armenians say was the first genocide of the 20th century. President Barack Obama, however, refused once again to use the word in his annual proclamation commemorating the events. Sergei Grits AP

President Barack Obama on Friday soothed a key foreign ally but antagonized some Americans with long memories, by issuing an annual proclamation commemorating the 1915 expulsion of Armenians from present-day Turkey that studiously avoids the term “genocide.”

In his eighth and final Armenian proclamation, Obama followed his past practice and that of previous presidents by finding synonyms for the word, which Armenian-Americans say is essential to an accurate description of what took place but that the Turkish government finds objectionable.

Obama used “Meds Yeghern,” an Armenian phrase sometimes roughly translated as “great catastrophe” or “great calamity,” to describe the events in commemorating their 101st anniversary. While Armenians consider the phrase essentially synonymous with “genocide,” it lacks the same global punch.

“Today we solemnly reflect on the first mass atrocity of the 20th century – the Armenian Meds Yeghern – when one and a half million Armenian people were deported, massacred and marched to their deaths in the final days of the Ottoman Empire,” the president said.

erdogan armenian genocideThe White House issued Obama’s five-paragraph statement in advance of Armenian Remembrance Day, April 24. On that day in 1915, hundreds of Armenian intellectuals were arrested in Turkey and killed or exiled, the start of an eight-year-long mass ordeal.

“We honor the memory of those who suffered during the dark days beginning in 1915 – and commit to learn from this tragedy so it may never be repeated,” Obama’s statement said.

But as with presidents including George W. Bush, Bill Clinton and George H.W. Bush before him, Obama drew far more attention for the word he didn’t use than for the words he’d polished and made public.

As a candidate, Obama had sought Armenian-American votes by endorsing the “genocide” term as appropriate for the events that lasted through 1923.

“We have learned that there is a difference between campaigning and governing,” Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America, said in an interview.

An exception was Ronald Reagan, who on April 22, 1981, issued a proclamation citing “the genocide of the Armenians” that preceded the Holocaust.

“Recognition of the Armenian genocide could have been a proud part of (Obama’s) legacy,” said Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif. “Instead, this decision will be just another sad milestone in the struggle to prevent genocide by exposing genocide and its perpetrators.”

Turkish official teasing starved Armenian children by showing bread during the Armenian Genocide, 1915
Turkish official teasing starved Armenian children by showing bread during the Armenian Genocide, 1915

Hamparian, who met with White House National Security Council staff Thursday about the issue, likewise blasted Obama for “caving in to pressure from Turkey and betraying his commitment to speak honestly about the Armenian genocide.” Other activists said much the same.

“America deserves a president who speaks truthfully and condemns all genocides,” said Armenian Assembly of America Executive Director Bryan Ardouny, adding that “selective acknowledgment . . . is indefensible, sends the wrong message and hurts U.S. credibility.”

In past debates, genocide-resolution critics have cautioned that the language could inject uncertainty into a restive region and strain relations with a strategically placed NATO ally. American warplanes make heavy use of Turkey’s Incirlik Air Base.

The country also is a serious customer of the U.S. defense industry, which further strengthens its hand. Last year, for instance, the Obama administration approved selling $70 million worth of “joint direct attack munitions” and $310 million worth of upgrades for the Phalanx ship defense system.

The Turkish opposition – echoed by some U.S. diplomats, military leaders and corporate executives – has also helped block congressional Armenian genocide resolutions for years. The latest House of Representatives resolution – introduced 13 months ago, with 66 co-sponsors – has still not had a hearing.

In 2000, then-Rep. George Radanovich, who represented much of the Fresno, California, area, came close to getting a genocide resolution to the House floor. But then-Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., yanked it, at the request, Hastert said, of the Clinton administration. Hastert subsequently joined a lobbying firm paid $35,000 a month by Turkey.



28 responses to “Armenian Genocide: US official blasts Obama over “caving in to pressure from Turkey””

  1. 5thDrawer Avatar

    Doesn’t just everyone who’s anyone cave in ??

    1. Hannibal Avatar

      Obama broke every promise he’s made to anyone but the minorities shifting undeserved wealth from the middle class to minorities while protecting the rich turning the working middle class into a poorer class and changing nothing for the minorities who still can’t compete for jobs because despite all the opportunities given to them they are still as useless as before. He just bought them some time before the entire country collapses under the debt weight which he has done nothing to alleviate. Don’t get me started on the mess he left the world in because of his foreign “no” policy.

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        Ok. Don’t need another guy in here with heart problems. 😉

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar

            If he ‘gets started’ and all worked up about it, it could be too stressful.
            Us old guys know these things … ;-))

          2. Hannibal Avatar

            Not if you exercise, don’t drink and don’t smoke 😛

      2. Hind Abyad Avatar
        Hind Abyad

        Obama not the first. America’s “Jewish Triangle” to Iraqi’s “Sunni Triangle.
        Government Job Notice: No Gentiles Need Apply

        From Truman, to Clinton, to Obama, to…..

  2. Hind Abyad Avatar
    Hind Abyad

    ‘Multiple reports have indicated that the Kurdish Democratic Union Party’s militia (YPG) in northern Syria attacked the Assyrian Christians in the region, leaving several people dead.’

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      I’m beginning to think ‘Uniform Swaping’ goes on a lot … 🙁

      1. Hind Abyad Avatar
        Hind Abyad

        No..look at the land they steal from Christians for their ‘state’.
        They participated in Armenian Genocide.. they are Israeli tools.

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          And, it says, Marxists … Figures. They don’t like the ‘Christian Checkpoints’ … but I think they have all gone nutty over there anyway. Toooooo many years of living in Battles of Sects … and Yazidis continue to get potted at too, no matter where they go.

          1. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            There were no battles of sects in Syria..before the Zionist US plan to take out Assad.

          2. 5thDrawer Avatar

            There were many ‘plans’ afoot, as they say … most happened at the same time.
            I rather enjoyed the Hungarian …. hope Trudeau&Co. is listening … at least they can’t walk here, and there’s a little bit of ‘control’.

          3. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            It’s a process of population TRANSFER !

          4. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Yes, and Europe was a target … Merkle fell into a trap, unfortunately. Didn’t qualify that only Sincere Refugees – as the Syrians are, and some others from ‘wars’.
            Here they state it was not Syrians doing the nasty deeds …

          5. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            Let’s stop this. I’m not interested

          6. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Remember I have an Armenian friend. He escaped.

          7. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            It’s all planed for Greater Israel, an American Jew said it.

          8. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            If you want to know history.. you seam very sarcastic due to your Western mind. 100,000 Armenian fled to Syria while attacked fleeing in the desert, they found shelter and security in Syria, 60,000 went to Palestine, others to Lebanon and beyond.

            Erdogan continued Ataturk’s job opening his borders to Khazar Sunnis.
            Why won’t Israel and the Congress recognize the Armenian Genocide? There are statues for Ataturk in Israel.
            Jabotinsky was Editor of ‘The Young Turks’ paper in 1916 it all had to do with preparing Palestine for Jews only.

            Anti Defamation League and the Armenian Genocide

            As for Marxists, read banned book
            RUSSIA & THE JEWS by Aleksandr Solzhenitsynon
            Russian-Jewish relations & the Christian holocaust

          9. 5thDrawer Avatar

            ‘Connections’ of ALL the ‘Tops’ seem weird over a century. Idiologues carry them on by reading past material, thinking they found something ‘new’, but don’t advance much in the zone of human feelings they don’t have.
            Good old Solzhenitzyn wrote about what happened to him and the people of his time … and the methodologies of the communist … As was ‘lightly’ written in ‘Animal Farm’ … but I am sure the whole experience crushed him anyway, and he didn’t become a happy person for being a very good historian ….

          10. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            You’re nuts. You have no history.. without the past there’s no future,
            I think you’re Zionist as Ygor said.

          11. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Well, like Trudeau or Obama, ‘I have a dream’ of what ‘could’ be for all humans … but see that no-one is using the history to learn anything except how to, (or find a reason why they should), screw people into the future. And I am not burning kids in their beds, nor ever would.
            Maybe THAT is the ‘New Sanity’???
            And YES, I have a ‘western mind’. WHY would it be any different than ‘average Canadian’ in feelings? It’s admitedly older than the average, of course.

          12. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            Obama is called monkey by Zionists.

          13. 5thDrawer Avatar

            As the Hungarian points out, there’s a disconnect from reality by ‘Liberals who lean Left’ – They are not the same as ‘Historical Liberals’ in Canada any more … None of the ‘party minds’ are. Being and staying ‘In Power’ is the main goal … ‘Business’ blows us away.
            And ‘proper rules’ are not adheared to, when they are written.
            Although, even a guy like Mike Duffy can’t understand them, they are so badly written.
            And THAT whole pile of events was strictly ‘political’.

          14. Hind Abyad Avatar
            Hind Abyad

            What are we talking about here? Not all Canadians share your Canadian feeling.. not, ‘no-one is using history to learn’.

  3. Matrix Avatar

    On June 2, the Bundestag will decide on a joint resolution of the Union, the SPD and Greens will decide, in the expulsion of the Armenians by the Ottoman Empire in the year 1915th is classified as “genocide”.

    Will Erdogan than take the revenge on Merkel?

    The Pope stoking hatred – Francis had called in April 2015, the persecution of the Armenians as the “first genocide of the 20th century” and urged Turkey to cherish the memory of the genocide.

    The Turkish protest was prompt.
    The Foreign Ministry summoned the Vatican ambassador and protested officially.
    Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said the Pope brochure “hatred”.

  4. Matrix Avatar

    Mutual admiration club has spoken.

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