Reckless Retreat: Obama Not to Recognize Genocide in Final Term

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan taps President Obama's face
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan taps President Obama's face

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan taps President Obama’s face

ANCA’s Hamparian: “This, sadly, is President Obama’s legacy – silence on the Armenian Genocide, complicity in Turkey’s denials, and encouragement of Azerbaijani aggression.”

WASHINGTON – White House National Security Council officials informed the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Thursday afternoon that President Obama will refrain from properly commemorating the Armenian Genocide, as he had promised to do as a candidate, in his eighth and final “Armenian Remembrance Day” statement, set to be released in the next few days.

“It seems President Obama will end his tenure as he began it, caving in to pressure from Turkey and betraying his commitment to speak honestly about the Armenian Genocide,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian, who met with the officials along with Government Affairs Director Kate Nahapetian.

“President Obama’s unwillingness to reject Turkey’s gag-rule on the Armenian Genocide or otherwise confront the growing regional wave of anti-Armenian aggression – particularly at a time when both Ankara and Baku are placing targets on the backs of Armenians in Artsakh, Armenia, Turkey, the Middle East, and across our Diaspora – represents something far worse than simply a betrayal of his own promise. His reckless retreat from America’s anti-genocide commitments – under pressure from Turkey and Azerbaijan – in the face of their open incitement, outright aggression, and other classic genocide red flags – emboldens Erdogan and Aliyev to escalate their hostility, raising the very real risk of large-scale anti-Armenian atrocities. This, sadly, is President Obama’s legacy – silence on the Armenian Genocide, complicity in Turkey’s denials, and encouragement of Azerbaijani aggression,” continued Hamparian.

Prior to his election to the oval office, President Obama was clear and unequivocal in promising to properly characterize Ottoman Turkey’s murder of over 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children between 1915 and 1923 as genocide. In a January 19, 2008, statement he wrote: “The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy. As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106), and as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

President Obama has broken that pledge in annual Armenian Remembrance Day statements issued on or near April 24th, the international day of commemoration of this crime.

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 of the ICJ Report: “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.


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  1. Greg said:

    Can’t afford to upset Turkey now can we. We should aim to bring presidents into our conventions and ask them to clearly say that they will recognise the AG. This is just the way AIPAC does it. I remember a video of Obama making this pledge, though the video quality was quite bad and he never personally said that he believed that there was a genocide. It was something like “as many of you know there was a genocide that took place”. This is the same game that the pope plays when he mentions that what happened to The Armenians was what many believe to be the first genocide of the twentieth century. He never said that he believed it, but framed it in a third person. Armrnians should pick up on these subtle verbal cues and immediately rebuke them

  2. Norin said:

    A real President of a world Superpower would have grabbed Erdogan’s hand off of his face and said “don’t EVER touch my face again”. My goodness, Obambi looks like a scared little child in this photo, cultural norms aside, this gesture by Erdogan is VERY demeaning towards our President. How the hell did he tolerate this?!?!?!?

  3. Sylva~MD~poetry said:

    Dr. OBAMA the LIAR…The LIAR …the LAIR
    He lies on him self… not us …
    He is ashamed from himself …

    We are dedicated Armenian race …
    He will leave the White House …
    With his lies …and will return to his place …
    Writing his autobiography to tell the world …

    To get their honest voices …and i got all…
    I’m a true lawyer and a LIAR” ….
    This is my history…
    During my eight years of presidency…

    I’m not Abraham Lincoln and…
    I will never be …”

    Dr. Sylva Portoian
    I have written 237 pages of condensed poems about him…
    it is in Amazon …Barnes and Noble and many sites
    “My Son My Sun…” (2011) was forwarded to him…no answer yet …!!

  4. Hamasdegh said:

    Instead of getting frustrated with the President’s attitude, we need to work harder at making sure that the US public opinion sees Turkey for what it is: unreliable ally and partner, suppressor of freedom of press and human rights , religious zealot in its duplicitous support of religious extremists and financier of ISIS, and violent oppressor of Kurds and other minorities in “modern” republican Turkey, a far cry from the democratic principles we in this country espouse and cherish. The fact that none of the presidential candidates have spoken about these issues, let alone mention the Armenian Genocide, shows that our efforts in that arena are still in their infancy. It is public opinion that counts , and in the recent past and to-day our politicians are focussed on issues that carry some weight in the final counting of votes. And by the way it is not only the US that seem to be “swallowing” its principles in dealing with Turkey . Look at what the European Union has done recently to woo Turkey in trying to stem the flow of illegal immigrants into their countries. They have bent backwards to accommodate Turkey in its quest to become an EU member: The French daily Le Monde carried recently an article about the EU-Turkey negotiations and said: “It is shameful that in these negotiations NOT a single word was uttered about Turkey’s failure to uphold human rights,press freedom, democratic principles and the rule of law, let alone condemning the physical and military oppression of kurds and internal dissent”. This makes all involved a bunch of strange bed fellows, part of the geopolitical B.S. we hear from badly informed, ignorant politicians who prefer spewing platitudes rather than raising their voice to uphold moral principles … except when it comes to a single source lobbying politics. So do not blame President Obama for caving in to such forces, nor any other president who comes after him but think about how you can influence policy at all levels and leverage all the influence we can muster to educate,sensitize public opinion and marshall their support to make a difference. You can blame others as much as you can, but let us continue and expand the serious work needed for an objective that has a deep human appeal.

  5. edward demian said:

    What an insulting pose! In American culture, one man touching another’s face is called “punking” A punk is a young boy used for homosexual purposes.
    It looks to me, that Erdogan, Turkey’s aspiring future emperor thinks and acts as if the American president is his punk. No wonder Obama has been shunning the Turkish leader.