Unanimous Senate, What’s Next?

Garen Yegparian
Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian

BY GAREN YEGPARIAN

Unprecedented, exciting, unexpected, encouraging, positive, beneficial, hope-inspiring, satisfying, legitimating, wonderful, great, and countless other adjectives and participles are probably going through people’s minds regarding the UNANIMOUS passage on Thursday, December 12 of S. Res. 150, the U.S. Senate’s version of the measure passed by the House of Representatives on October 29.

Before proceeding, let’s clear one thing up. It seems to be unclear to people that there is no procedural “next step” to these resolutions. Specifically, there is no presidential, executive branch of government, action that can be taken by Donald Trump. He will not even have the option of signing or vetoing a “bill” because it will never land on his desk. Both were stand-alone statements of position/policy by the respective chambers of the U.S. Congress.

However, this does not mean that the president can’t act and establish a policy that is in line with what the House and Senate adopted. I don’t think that Trump, left to his own devices, will land on the side of truth and justice when it comes to the Armenian Genocide and Turkey. Turkey’s President Erdoğan seems to have some sway over Trump. Whether it is because of the Trump holdings in Turkey or the U.S. president’s affinity for autocrats, I don’t know.

Nevertheless, because of Trump’s arrogance, petulance, and self-importance, he might be goaded into taking a stand on the Genocide. This could come about if Ankara over-reacts to passage of the resolution prompting Trump to respond in turn. Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevloot Chavooshoghloo (Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu) was already threatening U.S. access to two air bases in Turkey if the package of sanctions Congress is preparing to impose on Turkey goes through. A combined response by Turkey to both of these unfavorable developments might just trigger Trump.

Even more interesting for me are two other aspects of this development: how it came to be and its legal/judicial ramifications.

Just a few days ago, to all outward appearances, it looked like the Senate’s Genocide resolution had stalled. But it turns out the ANCA was playing the political game like a grandmaster plays chess. Our Washington voice had recognized that the matter had come to a point of no return. Senators were ready to pass the resolution. Yet somehow, a few of them were prevailed upon by Trump to throw procedural obstacles in the path of the Genocide resolution. But that was akin to what happens in a chess game where one of players is up in pieces and slowly trades equal pieces until her/his advantage is relatively greater and proceeds to win the game. Those few senators were the “trades”, the last gasps of a losing player. I am also pleased to have been wrong about those senators who had earned my ire by throwing those last few bombs. It also didn’t hurt our cause any to have a queen waiting in the wings to pounce in the form of Kim Kardashian who posted on Instagram about the resolution pending in the Senate for her 153 million followers to see.

Now that the legislative branch of the U.S. government is on record with unambiguous recognition, will that affect how the judicial branch of government perceive cases that come before it related to the Genocide? This is very important since the U.S. Supreme Court ruled California’s Genocide-era life insurance claims law unconstitutional because it supposedly infringed on the federal government’s exclusive prerogative, under the U.S. constitution, to establish and conduct foreign policy (recognition of the Genocide being seen as a matter of foreign policy). Do this pair of resolutions change the legal calculus? I think it would be a great service to our U.S. communities (and Armenian worldwide) if the Armenian Bar Association were to prepare and distribute a layman’s-language analysis of this matter. I look forward to reading such a document.

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9 Comments

  1. Vatche said:

    UD Presidents have acknowledged the Genocide as massacres, crimes, and so forth.
    Is this enough for us to go back to the US courts and not use the G word if that has been a problem?
    I am just asking.
    Also, don’t forget the 1951 World Court filing by the US that used the G word.

  2. ardachece barseghian said:

    I am moved by this honourable decision finally wanted by American politicians, but I am grateful to all those valiant Armenians, women and men who have constantly claimed our rights for recognition and reparation. I respect and love our intellectuals on the sides of the people who until today offer their lives to defend our rights and dignity. You are our beacons and I try to respect your revolutionary ideals to follow your example in this country. I would like with you to sing our patriotic songs and dance with joy, as I was able to dance with great emotion with our heroes of Artsakh. May our martyrs and founding revolutionaries greet you as their worthy children.

  3. George said:

    Let’s hope this move is a change in America’s foreign policy. Let’s hope that America is trying to punish
    Turkey, because purchasing S-400 from Russian government and trying to clean up Kurds, Armenians,…
    from northern Syria. Let’s hope this move is to let Turkey know that America will not pamper them any more,
    not like previous US presidents, not only pay $$$ for US military base also, bend backwards for them too.
    It really worries me to think about how EASY this RES passed by House of Representatives and Senators
    without much of resistance from Trump or “friends” of Turkey and it did NOT land on Trump’s desk.

  4. HERAYER said:

    WE ARMENIANS WANT AND SEEK JUSTICE FOR OUR PEOPLE AND WE ARE GETTING THERE IS NOTHING THAT CAN STOP THE TRUTH , WE ALSO HAVE GIVEN SO MUCH TO CIVILIZATION AND THE WORLD IN MUSIC, ARCHITECTURE, CULTURE AND HOPE. WE ARE BUILDERS WE DO NOT DESTROY OR HATE. WE WANT JUSTICE AND I KNOW THAT WE CAN NOT BE STOPPED, BECAUSE WE ARE A PEOPLE OF HOPE,CARING AND LOVE WE WANT PEOPLE TO LIVE IN A PEACEFUL WORLD AND WANT TO KEEP OUR CULTURE,RELIGION AND BEING ARMENIAN WHICH IS OUR PRIDE

  5. JOE said:

    the word genocide has legal ramification; specifically restitution and reparation. that is why the US corrupt state department will avoid using that term at all cost because then it means real justice for the AG and not just symbolic declarations that pan out to nothing….

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