Will Obama Hide Behind Erdogan’s Hypocrisy?

Is Erdogan telling Obama to continue denying the Genocide?


BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

It’s that time of the year again when Armenians across the world—but especially in the United States—await the annual White House statement on the Armenian Genocide, which, since 1981, has never actually used the word “Genocide.”

This will be President Obama’s sixth such statement, the last five of which clearly veered from his campaign promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide and used euphemisms to characterize what actually happened and played into the an almost century-long campaign by Turkey to deny the events of 1915. Essentially, the president who campaigned for “change” himself became complicit in the crime of Genocide by unabashedly denying it as an apologist for Turkey.

This year, however, two recent statements make us wonder whether Obama’s April 24 statement will be different—different bad or different good?

Earlier this week, US Ambassador to Armenia John Heffern said that the White House was planning to issue a statement that would signal a change in US policy regarding the Armenian Genocide. He did immediately add that he was unsure whether the word Genocide would be used or not, signaling that whatever the vernacular not much change was coming down the pipeline.

Then on Wednesday, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, issued a verbose and absurd statement, which in a nutshell was adeptly characterized by the ANCA as “repackaging denial.” Using the tried and true “shared suffering” argument articulated by Turkish officials for decades, Erdogan offered condolences to the descendents of Genocide survivors—almost a century too late.

In 2009, Obama chose Turkey as the destination of his first official visit and during public appearances urged the government and citizens of Turkey to come to terms with their past. Then in a defeatist move, the Obama administration took to pushing the State Department-crafted Turkey-Armenia protocols, which was inherited from the Bush Administration, but nevertheless was embraced by the then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Did Heffern preview a “change” in US policy based on his knowledge that Erdogan was about to issue an announcement? Does the Obama Administration view Erdogan’s feeble attempt at, once again, rewriting history as a sign that Turkey is heeding his call and coming to terms with its past?

One thing is clear: If any mention of Erdogan’s statement finds its way into Obama’s April 24 statement, then it cements the reality the US is unable to advocate for justice and human rights around the globe and is a victim of Turkey’s imposed gag rule on the Genocide, further perpetuating US’s complicity in the crime.

Will Obama hide behind Erdogan’s/Turkey’s hypocrisy? As Americans we hope that he will NOT!

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18 Comments

  1. Zareh Sahakian said:

    Yes, Obama will indeed hide behind this latest Turkish hypocrisy. Who knows maybe it was Obama calling Erdogan to “save” his sorry ass. Next year it will be something else, another charade, another play on words, another craftily worded statement, aided by Samantha Powers most probably.

    It is time Armenia as a state, Armenians worldwide as a nation brought Turkey to its knees by demanding our lands back. NOW!

  2. Vindicated Man said:

    Whether or not he or someone else will use the word “genocide”… I hate to sound like a maverick, but is this really the most important thing? Of course, the wording IS important, but I want to see the perpetrator honoring the arbitration award by President W. Wilson. I’m shocked when I see how far we have deviated from this. Too many of us feel happy or unhappy at this or that wording. I wish we mentioned LAND just as often. Sometimes it seems to me that this lack of our attention is all that the criminal country needs.

  3. GB said:

    Obama keep asking this Turk Oghloo, that “how much are you willing to pay back for the word of Genocide?”

    What a shame for a US president to hide the truth of AG behind a blood coloured Ottoman’s flag!

  4. Berge Jololian said:

    Genocide Acknowledgment without Accountability is hollow and meaningless.

    Acknowledgment must be accompanied with accountability, otherwise, it is worse than denial.

    Genocide Acknowledgment with Accountability!

    Accountability is land, reparation and restitution.

    Artsakh is land. Nakhichevan is land. Ararat is land. Ani is land. Kars is land.

  5. PAUL BARDIZBANIAN said:

    OBAMA NEVER HEARD OF THE GAME HIDE AND SEEK. HE LEARNED TO HIDE TO SAVE HIS HIDE. HE COULD CARE LESS ABOUT THE ONGOING GENOCIDE OF ARMENIANS. IF HE DOESN’T COME THRU WE SHOULD BAN HIM FROM ANY AND ALL ARMENIAN SUPPORT OR RECOGNITION. ARMENIANS NEED TO RAISE THE POLITICAL ANTE ON DENIERS AND OBSTRUCTIONISTS WHO GIVE AID AND COMFORT TO THE TURKISH GOVERNMENT GENOCIDE DENIERS.

  6. Hratch said:

    My guess is that Obama will acknowledge and use the Genocide word on a personal basis, but will stress that it is not the official US position…Just a guess.

  7. Hratch said:

    Unless and until AIPAC gives the go ahead, nothing will change in the US position. This is as elementary and one – two – three.

  8. Herant Bablanian said:

    Erdogan’s announcement is encouraging as 1st step with no return to DENIAL TABU of the Armenian Genocide, The Turks and the whole world will eventually accept the truth of the Armenian Genocide and the loss of our people and homeland. Now more than ever we have to demand JUSTICE & RETURN OF OUR RIGHTS.

  9. John Ahmaranian said:

    Mr. Erdogan, the only agenda we accept :

    2014 = Condolence (done)
    2015 = Apology
    2016 = Retribution

    • Berge Jololian said:

      No John. Never mind Turkish “condolence, apology”. What matters is accountability. Accountability for the 2 million lives that were brutally taken away from us, land, reparation and restitution.

      Accountability for land that was taken by way of genocide (Artsakh is land. Nakhichevan is land. Ararat is land. Ani is land. Kars is land.

  10. Sylva-MD-Poetry said:

    A True Man, We Thought is O.B*
    (but He’ll Never Be!)
    The Honest President was
    Woodrow Wilson Only

    My Painful Poetry
    Dedicated to a ‘True Man’

    Obama is not a true man
    Our Genocided cohorts trusted and blessed him
    To recognize our dignified pain.
    We feel that once he became President,
    He closed the page
    On Woodrow Wilson’s* signature
    On the Armenian Map.

    If President Lincoln** were still alive
    Would He have changed his punctuated oat?

    Our dear president
    I hope you will be immortal like Abraham Lincoln***
    Hope you live long enough
    To clean the earth from past Genocides . . .
    Prevent further ones.

    We’re called Armenians
    We can shatter the rocks . . .
    Open Our ‘Rusted Ancient Roads’.

    As we are born from real human genes.
    No one has been able to
    Crush our hands through millenniums;
    A nation carved crosses on the rocks, defined
    ‘Khachkars’
    Through centuries proudly stands.

    We still stay sincere for ‘Our Oats’.
    From our honest harts (hearts)
    Once we bless, we will continue to bless
    Who can’t clean our tearful face
    And continue smiling at our slayers
    Who murdered us, and others, mercilessly;
    Still playing with dignified carcasses.

    (C) Sylva Portoian,M.D

    January 2, 2014

    * O.B – President Barak Obama: his name abbreviated in the author’s book,
    (My Son–My Sun: Chants Ann, Obama’s Mother, 2011)

    ** President Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1856-1924): Was the 28th President of the United States. The only president qualified with a PhD. A leading intellectual of the Progressive Era, he served as President of Princeton University from 1902 to 1910, and then as the Governor of New Jersey from 1911 to 1913. With Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) and William Howard Taft (1857-1930) dividing the Republican Party vote, Wilson was elected President as a Democrat in 1912.

    *** President Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

  11. Alex Postallian said:

    You expect the obummer to mention the genocide,when he is opening his back pocket for Turkish bribes…Look what he has done to the U.S, promoting a nose candy generation,who wants welfare at 18 yrs old,a laughing stock of our country,a complete failure in the job..lost all world respect.

  12. Arn.Sweden. said:

    I Quote –

    Will Obama Hide Behind Erdogan’s Hypocrisy?

    Comment –

    No – He will hide behind His own !.

    Arn.Sweden.

  13. gerard said:

    I agree with zareh sahakian (april 23/14 – 1:03pm)
    it is not just time to get our lands back but it is hye time that we do so, but not only that, the international high court at the hague should be notified that it is hye time that they look into this. why have we waited so long and why are we still waiting. let’s start the process rolling now, not later.

  14. Alex Postallian said:

    NOTICE: I just finished reading a book…An American Success Story,by Dial Torgerson…..Every Armenian should read this book…Its about Kirk Kerkorian,truly a amazing man.He did wonders in the business world,gave away millions to charity..Yes to Armenia TOO. Do you know why you don’t hear about his charities,he gave,but never wanted people to know..A stand up kind of guy,modest,generous,great businessman…never went past the 8th grade…I am not his stooge…At one time he owned 57% of M.G.M..Instead of talking about the jerky turkeys,who will never change,bring in some fresh light.

*

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