America Deserves

“I know I haven’t spent a long time to learn the ways of Washington, but I’ve been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change.”
–Barack Obama

The ANCA this week decided to endorse Barack Obama as the Democratic Presidential candidate who can change “the ways of Washington” when it comes to issues of concern for Armenian-Americans and the anti-genocide community in the U.S.
The decision was made because the ANCA, and the Armenian-American community on the whole, are sick and tired of the ways of Washington–the way continuous administrations have insulted the memory of the victims of the genocide and the ever-dwindling numbers of genocide survivors by trivializing their suffering. These survivors have since become citizens of this country, have fought and struggled for this nation, while their presidents–leaders of the free world–have yet to validate their history.
The Armenian-American community–and, we believe, every informed and concerned citizen of this country–cannot help but be sick and tired of how the ways of Washington and the ways of Ankara merge when it comes to denial, the falsification and complete disregard to the suffering of an entire people.
The Armenian-American community is also sick and tired of the way the Bush Administration has treated Armenia and the Karabakh question, succumbing more often than not to policies dictated by a country considered to be America’s ally–Turkey.
For all these, and many other reasons, America deserves a leader;
America deserves a leader who will not say, “It is not the right time” when it comes to recognizing genocide.
America deserves a leader who will not say that there’s “more important work to do” for Congress than setting the historical record straight.
America deserves a leader who will stand up against human rights violations, atrocities and genocide, whether past or present, whether committed by allies on enemies.
America deserves a leader who says, “I’m asking you to believe. Not just in my ability to bring about real change in Washington; I’m asking you to believe in yours.”
And, finally, America deserves a leader who says, “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President.”
And stands by what s/he says.
We look to Barack Obama to be that leader.

Khatchig Mouradian is the editor of the Armenian Weekly.

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