ANCA Challenges Obama Administration Attack on Genocide Resolution

Hachikian Voices Moral Outrage over Administration’s Complicity in Turkey’s Genocide Denials

WASHINGTON–Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Chairman Ken Hachikian gave voice Monday to the profound moral outrage of Armenian American voters over the decision last week by President Obama, who had earlier this year abandoned his own pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide, to launch a White House drive to block proper Congressional commemoration of this crime against humanity.

In a letter, sent today to the White House, Hachikian noted: “Mr. President, in attempting to enforce Ankara’s gag rule on U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide – both within your Administration and now in Congress – you have, very sadly, signaled to all the world that our silence on genocide can be bought in exchange for perceived geopolitical advantage or compromised under threat from a foreign power. Your policy is now fully complicit in Turkey’s campaign of Genocide denial.”

Despite threats and intimidation from the Turkish Government and a last-minute Obama Administration attempt to block the measure, the House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.252) on March 4th, paving the way for a vote on this genocide-prevention legislation by the full U.S. House of Representatives.

The full text of Hachikian’s letter is provided below. It may be viewed in PDF format by CLICKING HERE.

March 8, 2010

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

I am writing, on behalf of Armenian American voters, friends of the Armenian American community, and genocide-prevention advocates from across our nation, to share our profound disappointment over your recently launched campaign to block Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Your Administration’s efforts to undermine the adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, coming, as they do, in the wake of both your broken pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide and your abandoned promise to “strongly support” the Armenian Genocide Resolution, represent a stark departure from the commitments you made to the American people during your campaign for office. Rather than honoring your words, you are, today, using the full force of your Administration to attempt to block Members of Congress from doing exactly that which you yourself promised, namely properly commemorating this crime against humanity.

As you recall, as a U.S. Senator, you sharply criticized President Bush’s policy of non-recognition and opposition to Congressional commemoration as “inexcusable.”  In fact, while in Congress you were joined by then-Senators Joe Biden and Hillary Clinton in formally calling on President Bush to properly mark this crime against humanity, noting that full U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide serves “the best interest of our nation and the entire
global community.”  While running for the presidency, as early as January of 2008 and as late as four days before the 2008 election, when the “soccer diplomacy” between Armenia and Turkey had already begun, you assured voters that you both strongly supported passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution and would, as President, recognize the Armenian Genocide.

Compounding your betrayal of your campaign promise to call upon Turkey to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide – which you explained was “not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence” – is the intense pressure that your Administration has applied to the impoverished, blockaded, and land-locked country of Armenia to accepting one-sided, pro-Turkish Protocols that call this very crime into question.  Your Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, who pledged to recognize the Armenian Genocide during her own campaign for the White House, has, in a statement that is both profoundly offensive and lacking in any moral or historical basis – publicly put your Administration on record as supporting the Turkish government’s long held position that third party nations should not speak about the Armenian Genocide.

Mr. President, in attempting to enforce Ankara’s gag rule on U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide – both within your Administration and now in Congress – you have, very sadly, signaled to all the world that our silence on genocide can be bought in exchange for perceived geopolitical advantage or compromised under threat from a foreign power. Your policy is now fully complicit in Turkey’s campaign of Genocide denial.

In promising American voters a principled course of action as a candidate and then, under foreign pressure, pursuing exactly the opposite course as President, you have transformed the broad support you enjoyed during your campaign among Armenian American voters into outrage and anger toward both you and also, fairly or unfairly, the party that you are leading into the November elections.

I would like to take this opportunity, once again, to encourage you to honor your as-yet unfulfilled pledge to remain actively engaged with Armenian American leaders.  As it stands now, more than a year into your Administration, despite the considerable personal attention you have devoted to Armenian issues and your multiple discussions with Turkey’s leaders about the Armenian Genocide, you have not even once met with the American citizens descended from the survivors of this crime.  As a first step toward addressing this imbalance, I would respectfully recommend that you call a
meeting, at your first opportunity, with our broad-based community leadership.

Sincerely,
Kenneth V. Hachikian
Chairman, Armenian National Committee of America

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11 Comments

  1. manooshag said:

    Hye Ken, you said the truths – with the recognition of theTurkish Genocide of the Armenian nation,
    this shall be the first step towards efforts to end the cycle of ALL Genocides. For, if Turks had been
    brought to face their guilt, justice shall have been served, reparations resolved – and further, just imagine…
    Genocides shall have ended on our planet – Genocides by anyone, anywhere, by foe or “ally”…
    All the Genocides that followed the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation shall never have been!
    Those who saw Turks escape any judgements realized that they too could ‘get away with murders’…
    The mllions and millions of innocents slaughtered, terrorized, raped and more… shall never been…

    Despots shall have known that their convoluted goals were not to be gained via a Genocide. Too, Turkey
    in all these years, instead has been paying millions to their U.S. lobbyists (former/retired members of the Congress of the United States of America) to continue its policies of denying the truths – denying what the world recognizes as Genocide – the Turkish Genocide of the Christian Armenians since the 19th, the 20th, and now the 21st century – for a Genocide has not ended until the perpetrator faces justice.
    In 2010, the Darfurians Genocide continues, still. Why?
    Manooshag

  2. Varto said:

    Great letter
    Bravo, its about time to raise our voice and demand….and tell the wrong doers they are WRONG
    Lets Post more letters like this on our websites so all our Arminians can sign, send and raise their VOICE

  3. Pingback: ANCA Challenges Obama Administration Attack on Genocide Resolution … | armeniatoday

  4. Nairian said:

    Imagine, all the bilions and billions of dollars that Turkey gave to U.S. lobyists through the years to gag the U.S. government and the Senate to deny the Armenian Genocide as Turkey surely did to other major countries around the world as well; instead Turkey could have paid all those billions of dollars to the Genocide survivors and their heirs for renumeration as “blood money” and plus the stolen lands (Western Armenia) that Turkey owes to both Armenia and Armenians worldwide. Sadly for nearly a thousand years Turkey remains to be Turkey – the same slaughtering herdsmen who charged in from Mongolia towards our civilized nation and people.

    • Araxi said:

      Turkey also paid large sums of money to so called Armenian ‘historians’ in America to falsify Armenian History, which is an act of ‘White Genocide” of Armenian youth studying in American universities. That is why Erdoghan says it is the historians and the history books that can prove the Armenian Genocide as false.
      I think Erdoghan’s days as a leader is numbered.
      I am dismayed and ashamed at the attitudes of Mr. Obama and Hillary Clinton. They now stand in line with Genocide deniers. America is meant to be the greatest democracy in the world, yet they are being gagged by Turkey.

  5. Anoush said:

    Good letter but you failed to bring to his attention that even those who voted against the
    resolution stated that “it was Genocide”….therefore, winning by one vote did not mean that the rest questioned
    whether there was a genocide or not.
    They voted “no” under pressure from the Turks.
    Turkey has been saying the resolution was passed by only one vote, therefore, that’s proof that
    Armenian’s claim of Genocide is false. We are being blackmailed by Turkey despite the fact that its not
    a question of whether or not Genocide occurred… insulting Turkey is a crime IN TURKEY–it
    is not a crime in the USA???
    Keep up the good work. Anoush D.

  6. Katia K. said:

    Ken, you and your team of lobbyists are our modern day Heroes!

    This letter is the most brilliant, powerful and dignified letter yet. I am proud to have you as my representative in Washington. The Armenian Genocide should have been recognized by the US, a long long time ago. I really think that the US government is not acknowledging it because that would mean letting go of a bargaining chip with Turkey. It has come down to… you will work with us; otherwise we will recognize the Armenian Genocide. A position that the Jewish Lobby has openly declared to Erdogan’s administration not too long ago. I voted for Obama, because I believed in his promise to bring back morality to Washington. I am afraid that he has now become the puppet of those who really run Washington.

    I believe the time has come to be straighter with the US government. One fact that we have been afraid to address is Washington’s complicity with Turkey to cover up the fact of the Armenian Genocide in the last 95 years. The fact that the US has dragged its feet to recognize the truth of the Armenian Genocide when it possesses the most damning archives on it has been very traumatic and taxing on our community. The US government should be sued for covering up this crime against humanity and standing in the way of our rights as descendents of the survivors of the Genocide to pursue legal routes to get what is legally and justly ours: Justice for the massacre of our innocent ancestors, reparations for the loss of properties that were going to be our inheritance, and our historical lands that were illegally snatched from us when they were depleted from their native inhabitants. Yes, The US needs to know that it owes us a LOT!!! We have been pushovers, we have donated close to 9 million dollars towards Obama’s campaign… we have been too soft… And look at the way Hillary dares to put that vote down as if it was not cast by free American congressmen… And by the way, she says she will block the resolution from going to congress … Isn’t that unconstitutional? She is forgetting that she lives in a country that is run by the people for the people. She should be impeached for standing in the way of a resolution that law abiding congressmen voted for. The last I checked we were still living in a Democratic country… it sure smells like a Dictatorship now…

    • Nairian said:

      Dears Hachikian and Katia, I stand with every words that you truthfully and justifiably uttered. Hillary is well known in the New York Metropolitan area as a notoriously bad woman and she is proving to us all her demeaning and destructiveness to our free will and our free speech as Americans. I agree with you Katia that she should be impeached. Obama has indeed lost my vote after he went to Turkey, never uttered the word Genocide and pushed Armenia to the destructive protocols. He is surely the puppet of the ones in the US government who DOES NOT stand for justice, DOES NOT stand for freedom of speech nor DOES IT stand for freedom to vote freely. Both Obama and Hillary are surely playing dirty polytik with the destructive, lying Mongolian herdsmen Turks. Armenians all over the world must revolt for the injustices that we endured for 95 years. Enough already. We must stand up for our rights of the Genocide recognition, reparation for our historical Western Armenian lands and for Artsakh’s freedom and to be part of Armenia proper.

  7. Suren said:

    Obama lost my vote when he visited Turkey, with this action I will campaign against him in the next election…enough…

  8. Araxi said:

    Gorbachev was in power when the Azeris started the Armenian massacres in Karabagh and did nothing to put an end to it. I think this man should be exposed, because he sent in Soviet troups to help the Azeris in their slaughter of Armenians in Karabagh.
    I do not trust him and no Armenian should.

  9. Mihran Keheyian said:

    Obama,Hillary, and Biden,need to be treated with the utmost contempt. as they are first class liars,never to be trusted again.

    Come November all those who voted against us must be voted out of office.

    As for Hillary, can you imagine she seems to know what’s best for the Armenian nation, what a load of horse manure.

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