Clinton Soft on Armenian Genocide Resolution


BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

WASHINGTON—Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in contrast to previous State Department positions, refrained from direct opposition to the Armenian Genocide resolution, when responding to inquiries Thursday at two separate hearings in Congress.

In response to a question from Arkansas Republican John Boozman, whose incomplete sentences and hesitant demeanor clearly indicated that he was prompted to address the issue during the hearing, Clinton reiterated the Obama administration’s interest in “a full, frank and just acknowledgements of the facts.”

“On Turkey-Armenia relations it is our position that the normalization process that Turkey and Armenia have undertaken carries important benefits for both sides and it should take place without preconditions and within a reasonable time frame. Last year in his Armenia remembrance day statement, President Obama made clear that our interest remains a full frank and just acknowledgement of facts related to the historical events, but the best way to do that, with all respect, is for the Armenian and Turkish people themselves to address the facts of their past as part of their efforts to move forward. In that spirit we are working very hard to assist Armenia and Turkey in their efforts and we would like to continue to support that effort and not be diverted in any way at all,” said Clinton at a hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, which is set to vote on the bill next week.

Later on Thursday, Clinton also addressed the House Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, where Armenian Caucus Co-chairman Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) thanked Clinton for her past support of the resolution as a Senator and expressed hope that the State Department would support the resolution.

In response, Clinton reiterated the US support for diplomatic efforts between Turkey and Armenia.

Clinton did not reference a question by Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the author of the the resolution, when he expressed hope that the State Department would not oppose the resolution and would support it, and instead responded to a second question by Schiff on another matter.

“Secretary Clinton’s remarks represent the third time in just the past few weeks that a senior Obama Administration official – in response to pointed questions about the Armenian Genocide Resolution – has chosen not to voice any opposition to the adoption of this genocide-prevention measure,” said Armenian National Committee of America Executive Director Aram Hamparian.

“The current Administration’s conduct, at least to date, stands in stark contrast to past Administrations – both Democratic and Republican – that used every opportunity to score points with Ankara by attacking the broad, bipartisan Congressional majority that has long existed in support of U.S. condemnation and commemoration of this crime against humanity,” he added.

At the House Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, Clinton also discussed the ongoing US support for the Armenia-Turkey protocols and expressed the administration’s unwavering commitment to the process when responding to a question from New York Democrat Michael McMahon, who asked Clinton whether the State Department could appoint a point person to ensure the ratification of the documents by both parliaments.

“We are very committed to work with both Armenia and Turkey, and I have personally been involved in this. I was deeply involved in the negotiation in Zurich some months ago that led to the signing of the protocols. I’m on the phone probably more with the leadership in Turkey, Armenia and Azerbaijan than any other part of the world on a regular basis. We are very committed to doing everything we can, both in furthering the protocols for normalization between Armenia and Turkey and working for a durable diplomatic solution for the conflict over in Nagorno-Karabakh. That is not a precondition for the normalization process between Turkey and Armenia but it is essential for the long-term regional stability in the Caucasus. So, we have a whole team committed to that and we are working as hard as we can,” explained Clinton.

On a related issue, California Democrat Brad Sherman asked Clinton about funding for Armenia, with the expectation that the secretary would respond in writing to his inquiry.

“I’m glad you’re providing more aid to Armenia, but I think Congress should enhance that. Thank you for having parity on military financing, but you do not have parity between Armenia and Azerbaijan and as to international military training and there should be a specific aid request for Nagorno-Karabakh,” said Sherman.

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15 Comments

  1. Berge Jololian said:

    ** Genocide Acknowledgment with Accountability **

    ** Reparation * Restitution * Land *

    ** Acknowledgment * Accountability **

    Keep an eye on Mt. Ararat, Armenia
    Keep an eye on Ani, Armenia
    Keep an eye on Kars, Armenia

  2. Barkev Asadourian said:

    I like Brad Sherman’s inquiries to Clinton, his dedication and his questioning to aid our Karapakh-Artsakh. You’re a great man Mr. Sherman!

  3. Papken Hartunian said:

    The normalization process between Turkey and Armenia implies that the relationship between these two nations has been abnormal. Unless and until the causes of this abnormality are not addressed and are not removed and are not resolved justly, all other efforts would not be durable.

  4. Norin Radd said:

    “On German-Israeli relations it is our position that the normalization process that Germany and Israel have undertaken carries important benefits for both sides and it should take place without preconditions and within a reasonable time frame. Last year in his Holocaust remembrance day statement, President Obama made clear that our interest remains a full frank and just acknowledgement of facts related to the historical events, but the best way to do that, with all respect, is for the Jewish and German people ‘THEMSELVES’ to address the facts of their past as part of their efforts to ‘MOVE FORWARD’ . In that spirit we are working very hard to assist Israel and Germany in their efforts and we would like to continue to support that effort and not be diverted in any way at all.”

    OBSERVE: With a little word play, the statement above, when put in the context of Jews and Germans sounds ludicrous, it takes on an almost mythic proportion because we all know exactly what would happen if Secretary of State Clinton said these things in such a context involving Jewish interests. She would become the EX-Secretary of State not to mention the target of every media hound Abe Foxman and the ADL could muster. By we’ll digress on the current hypocrisy of things for now . . .let’s look at “exhibit B”

    “We are very committed to work with both Israel and Palestinians, and I have personally been involved in this. I was deeply involved in the negotiation in Zurich some months ago that led to the signing of the peace accords. I’m on the phone probably more with the leadership in West Bank, Israel and Gaza than any other part of the world on a regular basis. We are very committed to doing everything we can, both in furthering the peace accords for normalization between Israel and Palestinians and working for a durable diplomatic solution for the conflict over in Gaza/West Bank. That is not a precondition for the normalization process between Palestinians and Israel but it is essential for the long-term regional stability in the Middle East. So, we have a whole team committed to that and we are working as hard as we can,”

    OBSERVE: This type of zeal and initiative you would never see being deliberately pushed on Israelis for the situation in that region. Why you ask? Well because Ms. Clinton knows who butters her toast each morning here in the US, these days its pretty obvious, 50 years ago it was not so obvious.

    As such, Armenians worldwide, keep a keen eye on things and stay vigilant. If any attempts are made by any foreign power to violate, dictate, or infringe on our national ethnic rights to self determination or if Arstakh or the Armenians of Arstakh are bullied in any manner, those responsible will be held accountable by whatever means are deemed fit by Armenians worldwide.

  5. Aram Suren Hamparian (ANCA) said:

    Ask yourself: If the Armenian Genocide Resolution represents (as Turkey claims) such a major threat to U.S. interests, why didn’t the Secretary of State officially call on Congress to block its adoption yesterday during her testimony on Capitol Hill?

    • Berge Jololian said:

      I don’t particularly care for US recognition. Russia (and Armenia) have the US State Department by the pipelines.

      I think the majority of Armenians are looking for Genocide Acknowledgment with Accountability. Let’s discuss land, reparation and restitution.

    • Papken Hartunian said:

      “..why didn’t the Secretary of State officially call on Congress to block its adoption yesterday during her testimony on Capitol Hill?”
      Mr. Aram Suren Hamparian, trying to answer a question by asking another question dose’ t answer the original question.
      There are several possible answers to this question. First, the Secretary of State by not officially calling to block the adoption of the Resolution shows respect to the Constitution which presumes the Congress as one of three independent branch of our government. She sets protocols between the executive branch and legislative branch expecting that I don’t over arch on your functions and I expect the same.
      Second, not being explicit does not mean that she would not lobby the Congress behind closed doors. In fact being passive about the issue she might sending signal to the Congress that the executive branch is not excited about the passage of the Resolution.
      Third, If the passage of the Resolution is not threat to USA’s foreign policy, there is no tangible benefit to it either. Therefore, the argument that the Congress must address issues that involve national interest is valid one.
      Fourth, the Secretary by definition of her job description must be consistent with the policies of the President. She did just exactly that.
      Fifth, Armenians rather than trying and failing the same processes over and over, they must raise genocide of the Azerbaijan against Armenians which there are substantial evidence. The embargo of the Republic of Armenia by Turkey which has been supported by members of NATO is clearly violation of international law. Why ANCA is not raising these issues? Your possible answer is that ANCA does not have legal standing to do so. It is the responsibility of the Republic of Armenia which has legal standing. Then, as main opposition, ARF should exert pressure on the Republic of Armenia to raise and pursue these issues. I wander, if we cannot get justice for what happened in Summgate and other cities of Azerbaijan, how can we expect to obtain justice for genocide of Ottoman Empire against Armenian children?

  6. Ari Esayan said:

    I do not mean to sound cynical, but I do not think we are there yet. To me, Clinton saying “President Obama made clear that our interest remains a full frank and just acknowledgement of facts related to the historical events, but the best way to do that, with all respect, is for the Armenian and Turkish people themselves to address the facts of their past as part of their efforts to move forward.” and “…we would like to continue to support that effort and not be diverted in any way at all,” means that even if the President personally acknowledges the Armenian Genocide, we should not expect any positive steps from the administration to support it.

    After all, they all acknowledge the fact and do not deny the Armenian Genocide. However, I wonder if Clinton did not officially call on Congress to block the resolution’s adoption because she has no reason to think that it would pass anyway…

    I think our day will be the day when our politicians will not only choose not to voice any opposition to the adoption of the resolutions, but put thier support behind them openly.

  7. Nairian said:

    Thank you Norin Radd for your input. It is exactly how I have been and many Armenians here in the Diaspora have been thinking, especially in the past 5 years. The injustices in this world is dispecable and degradable. Come to think of it the U.S. was found and ruled democratically by the father of this country George Washington, when only 214 years ago within 40 years the government has prayed about a thousand times to God as they called it a country ruled under God. Where is our Gods’ inspirations today, the rulers of democracy and in justice? I don’t know, they seemed to have disappeared from the face of the earth as new rulers have taken their place; the ones that used to rule this country democratically and under God do not exist anymore.

    However, I am happy now that Turkey and Israel are not in good terms about the Palestinians; and because of it Israelites both in Israel and in the US are coming closer to us to hopefully support our Genocide Resolution in Congress this year. I am ready to go forward with all of them; for the sake of our just cause and for the memory of our befallen martyrs.

  8. Berge Jololian said:

    The Russian Federation (and Armenia) have the US State Department by the pipelines.

    That is, oil & gas pipelines. Armenia & Georgia are the gateway to the Caspian basin oil & gas fields. The goals of the US State Department is to reach the gas reserves of Turkmenistan and the oil fields of Kazakhstan. It is reported that Turkmenistan has enough gas to supplies to satisfy the needs of the West for the next 300 years; and Kazakhstan has more oil reserves than the entire middle-east.

    So, how does this relate to Armenia?

    Europe is dependent on gas supplies from the Russian Federation; the US State Department would like to lift that dependency. This will weaken Russian leverage and power over Europe and deprive it form revenues. The original plan was to bring Georgia into NATO to secure a corridor from Turkey, Georgia and Azerbaijan, and across the Caspian to Turkmenistan and Kazakistan. The project will entail several pipelines known as NABUCCO.

    Should the US State Department plan succeeded in bring Georgia into NATO ranks; Russia would have been effectively surrounded, and it would have lost control of Central Asia’s energy energy reserves. Under no circumstance was the Russia Federation going to allow that to happen; so, Gerorgia was invaded in August of 2008, with on-going Russian destabilization attempts in Georgia. The US State Department deems Georgia as unreliable and unstable as a pipeline route.

    Attention was focused on Armenia (Plan B)

    Armenia is viewed as a homogeneous state with no separatists movements as in Georgia’s Abkhazia or Ossetia; and does not have borders with Russia. Unlike Georgia’s disastrous incalculable foreign policy conduct of siding 100% with the US State Department and 0% with its giant neighbor to the north; Armenia has proven itself to follow a balanced complimentarian foreign policy towards the superpower’s interests in the region.

    Why is it so important for the West to see Armenia’s borders open?

    1) Because, it provides an end to Russian dominance (leverage and influence) over gas supplies to Europe.

    2) Russian Federation would be wakened and in the future dismembered into the independent republics that form it (dagestan, tataristan, chechnya, etc..).

    3) Control China’s economic development and prevent it from challenging the West; as China is competing for the same energy reserves in Central Asia.

    4) Prevent Iran from gaining direct access to Europe via Armenia and the Black Sea port of Batumi in Georgia. Iran is deploying oil & gas pipelines, with plans for railway and highway projects from Tabriz in Iran, across Armenia and on to the port of Batumi. The Armenia route provides Iran with the shortest direct route to Europe; for import and export independent of Turkey’s influence.

  9. sebouh said:

    I agree wholeheartedly Norin Radd…why does our intelligent, noble and wise race always get taken for a ride???????Both by low life US politicians and the unoti shoon oligarchs in Armenia who are too pre occupied with spending their Armenian earthquake donation moneys which they kept to start their evil empires rather than hand out to Earthquake victims?????

  10. Dickran said:

    Armenian Americans, YOU KNOW WHAT YOU NEED TO DO!!! Vote the con votes out of Congress, keep the pro votes in Congress.

    Member Vote
    Sheila Jackson Lee abstain
    Bill Delahunt con
    Gregory W. Meeks con
    Russ Carnahan con
    Gerald E. Connolly con
    Michael E. McMahon con
    John S. Tanner con
    Mike Ross con
    Brad Miller con
    David Scott con
    Ileana Ros-Lehtinen con
    Dan Burton con
    Ron Paul con
    Jeff Flake con
    Mike Pence con
    Joe Wilson con
    John Boozman con
    J. Gresham Barrett con
    Connie Mack con
    Jeff Fortenberry con
    Michael T. McCaul con
    Ted Poe con
    Bob Inglis con
    Howard L. Berman pro
    Gary L. Ackerman pro
    Eni F.H. Faleomavaega pro
    Donald M. Payne pro
    Brad Sherman pro
    Eliot L. Engel pro
    Diane E. Watson pro
    Albio Sires pro
    Gene Green pro
    Lynn Woolsey pro
    Barbara Lee pro
    Shelley Berkley pro
    Joseph Crowley pro
    Jim Costa pro
    Keith Ellison pro
    Gabrielle Giffords pro
    Ron Klein pro
    Christopher H. Smith pro
    Elton Gallegly pro
    Dana Rohrabacher pro
    Donald A. Manzullo pro
    Edward R. Royce pro
    Gus Bilirakis pro

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