ANCA-Western Region Endorses Sanders Over Clinton in California Democratic Primary

Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed by ANCA-WR for the upcoming Calif.  Primary
Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed by ANCA-WR for the upcoming Calif.  Primary

Senator Bernie Sanders endorsed by ANCA-WR for the upcoming Calif. Primary

Calls on Golden State’s Armenian-American Electorate to Back Sanders on June 7th

GLENDALE—The Armenian National Committee of America – Western Region on Wednesday endorsed Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders as the Democratic candidate in the California presidential primary to be held on June 7. The ANCA-WR believes that Sanders is best positioned to advance foreign policies and international humanitarian principles supported by California’s Armenian-American electorate.

“The Armenian National Committee of America- Western Region is proud to endorse Bernie Sanders in California’s June 7th Democratic presidential primary as the only candidate with a proven record of consistent and strong support for issues that advance the Armenian Cause,” said ANCA-WR Chairwoman Nora Hovsepian.

As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives (1991-2007) and U.S. Senate (2008-present), Bernie Sanders has supported Armenian Genocide legislation, Section 907 restrictions on U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan, and efforts to secure Turkey’s return of confiscated Armenian and other Christian Churches.

As senator and later a presidential candidate in 2008, Clinton supported Armenian-American concerns, including her pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide. However, as Secretary of State, Clinton reneged on her promises and advanced an agenda through which she called the US recognition of the Armenian Genocide “a door that is a very dangerous one to go through” saying that it was a “matter of historical debate” rather than a political decision.

This stood in stark contrast to her pledge as a presidential candidate in 2008 when she unequivocally said: “I believe the horrible events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians constitute a clear case of genocide.” In her book, “Hard Choices” Clinton characterized the Genocide issue as an “emotionally charged conflict” between Turkey and Armenia.

Immediately after assuming office as Secretary of State, Clinton zealously shepherded the intellectually dishonest Armenia-Turkey protocols that posed a threat to Armenia’s national security. Her approach to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and her failure to properly condemn Azerbaijan’s military threats and aggression, further complicated the fragile peace process and resulted in loss of military and civilian lives in Karabakh.

In assessing the protocols process, as well as her worldview in the region, it is clear that Clinton’s motivations were to advance Azerbaijan’s oil interests over concerns for humanitarian law and human rights.

Clinton explicitly said in “Hard Choices” that the aim of the protocols and other initiatives in the Caucasus was not necessarily to achieve peace but to advance short sighted US corporate interests.

In Clinton’s own words, “The conflict in the Caucasus posed problems for our plans for piping Central Asian natural gas to European markets to lessen their dependence on Russian energy.”

“Based upon Bernie Sanders’ positive legislative record, and in comparison to Hillary Clinton’s troubling opposition to Armenian-American issues as Secretary of State, it is our view that he would, as President, be more supportive of our community’s foreign policy priorities,” explained Hovsepian.

Below is a Sanders’ detailed and consistent record on Armenian-American issues.

104th Congress (1995-1996) – Voted for the Radanovich Amendment to the House Foreign Aid Bill cutting aid to Turkey by $3.0 million, a symbolic amount equaling the annual amount spent by the Turkish Government to lobbying against Armenian Genocide legislation and other top Turkey priorities.

104th Congress (1995-1996) – Voted for the Visclosky Amendment to the House Foreign Aid Bill strengthening the Humanitarian Aid Corridor Act, which withheld aid to any country, including Turkey, which obstructs the transit of humanitarian assistance to a third country in need.

105th Congress (1997-1998) – Voted for the Pallone-Radanovich Amendment which maintained Section 907 restrictions on U.S. aid to Azerbaijan due to that country’s ongoing blockades and aggression against Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh.

105th Congress (1997-1998) – Signed a letter to the White House urging it to stop the sale of Seahawk helicopters to Turkey due to the likelihood of their use in committing human rights violations.

106th Congress (1999-2000) – Cosponsor of H. Res. 398, the United States Training on and Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Resolution.

107th Congress (2001-2002) – Signed April 2002 letter to President Bush urging him to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

108th Congress (2003-2004) – Voted for the Cunningham Amendment cutting aid to Turkey for undermining U.S. priorities in Iraq.

108th Congress (2003-2004) – Signed April 2003 letter to President Bush urging him to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

108th Congress (2003-2004) – Signed April 2004 letter to President Bush urging him to recognize the Armenian Genocide.

112th Congress (2011-2012) – Cosponsor of S. Res. 392, Return of Churches Resolution, which urges the Republic of Turkey to safeguard its Christian heritage and to return confiscated church properties.

112th Congress (2011-2012) – Cosponsor of S. Res. 399, Armenian Genocide Resolution, which calls upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide, and for other purposes.

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13 Comments

  1. steve said:

    For once we have a candidate who wont sell out to the highest bidder and believes that policy should reflect our stated values as a nation not be carted out for election pandering. If nothing else this send a message to the major political parties that we are not content with the politics as usual culture that has permeated DC since the 80s. Enough with the lies and deception.

  2. Aris said:

    It seems the Armenian community always picks the wrong politician to represent us as the President of USA. Maybe its time we looked at a different party – or maybe even we looked at how a President might help the country we live in first then promote the idea of recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

    I dont believe a socialist republic would serve us (Armenians in USA) well – rather than listing Bernie Sanders record on Armenian Genocide issues, post his achievements and how he could help us here in the USA first.

  3. rubina gharakhanian said:

    FINALLY, thank you ANCA-WR, Nora Hovsepian, for your work.
    HOW COME THIS LETTER WAS NOT SENT OUT LAST WEEK OR BEFOR, AT EVERY OPPORTUNITY TO INFORM OUR MEMBERS.

  4. Armen Atashian said:

    This is a very positive step by ANCHA. All of us should vote as discussed above for Sanders, and totally deny Hillary of a single vote. This election results will send a very important message to current and future politicians. That’s because after all is over, the political parties continue to analyze the details, and comb thru the results of voting, and I hope they will conclude and publish in their internal memoes, as to the political strength of Armenians in California, which will be taken seriously in future local and general elections. So hurry and vote to leave a mark, and do not neglect your input to Armenian cause indirectly.

  5. Charlene Davies said:

    Thank you all for standing with the people who priortize people over profits. We will stand with you as well. Please forgive me if my wording is awkward. I’m having trouble finding the right words.

  6. Anik Bhattacharya said:

    My heartfelt thanks to the Armenian community for this most incredible endorsement. Sen. Sanders has started a movement, indeed a kind of social and economic awakening, the likes of which have not been seen in this country in decades, perhaps even half a century at least. We stand with the Armenian community and all communities which choose to take the side of working people, working families, the poor, the oppressed, and the marginalized – for in our unity, in our diversity, and in our commitment to defend one another lies our common strength – greater than the sum of its parts.

    On June 7th, California will hold its presidential preference primary. Please go out and vote – not for Bernie, but for yourself, for your kids, for your families, and for this beleaguered planet of ours, so weary with blood spilled from unnecessary wars, and poisoned with the contempt, corruption, and all the other negative externalities of mankind.

    A better world is possible.

  7. Russell Person said:

    To endorse Sanders just because he is willing to cosponsor or vote to hold Turkey accountable….and forget he is a big government Socialist who would turn this country into a Valenzuala or a Cuba is not very good for our country.

    • BoomDynamite said:

      Venezuela* if you’re going to simplistically insult a country, learn how to spell it’s name.

  8. Sylva~MD~poetry said:

    BERNIE SANDERS

    You’re a Human
    I’m Sylva …
    I’m like you, a human

    I like Sanders …I like this man…
    He is a human…
    He speaks humanity…
    He believes in what he says …
    He is not a selfish man
    He is not a liar
    He is not … hubris
    and never arrogant
    He is a true human … by his genes
    By every cell in his Mind and Heart
    He speaks and wants to serve… not only America
    But each human

    I call him … just a true human …
    I’m a physician ,
    I’m old and a new poet … I have sixth sense…
    I feel it … I can say more and more about this man.

    I’m not American,
    I am only a human
    I repeat and say,
    “The earth belongs to everyone,
    and everyone must sigh one day.
    Let us enjoy the green planet
    and let others enjoy the same way…”

    I will choose him
    Even my voice will not count today
    It will be counted one day …
    Through my stanzas…
    What I have stanzed…

    (C) Dr. Sylva Portoian
    February 26, 2016
    Written instantly

  9. Sylva~MD~poetry said:

    I say, “Jesus was a Jew and created Christianity …
    Bernie is a Jew … He decided to create Christian Politics”

    ARMENIAN-AMERICANA should choose Bernie and no one else.

    Bernie…The new Jesus of politics
    Is the man and the only the honest man
    He must be the president.

    Who doesn’t choose him
    He doesn’t understand humanity politics.

    This man will make America great …
    and never another one.

    He will distribute peace
    In every corner of this troubled world,
    Filled with hate, massacres, genocides …

    Dr. Sylva Portoian
    June 1, 2016
    Written instantly

  10. Serj Bulanikian said:

    Are we going to be fooled one more time? Have we not learned our lesson? Before becoming president all candidates have supported the Armenian Cause. I ask you what did they do after becoming president? NOTHING…. What makes you sure that Bernie will support our cause? NOTHING, These are all wishful thinking. Besides, Bernie is not good for America. His extreme left wing ideas should remind us what extreme left did to us and to Armenia in the past. Now we are living in the USA and its future should concern us as much as the future of Armenia.Bernie Sanders is not the way to go..

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