Senators Call On Obama To Recognize Armenian Genocide

Boxer Letter Urges President to “Stand on the Right Side of History”

WASHINGTON–California Senator Barbara Boxer (D) was joined this week by more than a dozen of her Senate colleagues in calling on President Obama “to stand on the right side of history and unequivocally affirm the Armenian Genocide,” reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“We would like to thank Senator Boxer and her Senate colleagues for their effort to end Turkey’s gag rule on U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide – a morally bankrupt policy that continues to undermine our nation’s credibility in the fight to end the cycle of Genocide,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “President Obama has a clear choice to make on April 24th – to emerge as the torchbearer of truth regarding the Armenian Genocide or to remain the Turkish government’s accomplice in the denial of this crime against humanity.”

The letter, circulated by Senator Boxer and sent to the White House earlier today with the signatures of 14 Senators from 10 different states, underscored that, “despite an irrefutable body of evidence, the United States Government has yet to recognize the events of 1915-1923 by their rightful name.”  The signatories urged the President, this April 24 “to correct this injustice and finally acknowledge one of the greatest atrocities of the 20th century for what it was – genocide.”

In comments to the ANCA, Senator John Ensign (R-NV), a co-signer of the letter, noted that, “This month will mark the 95th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.  The atrocities that occurred 95 years ago have yet to be recognized by our government as a genocide.  Inthis letter, my colleagues and I urge President Obama to once and for all declare that the lives lost during this dark period were a result of a deliberate and intentional massacre of innocent men, women, and children.”

During his campaign for the White House, President Obama repeatedly promised to recognize the Armenian Genocide, but, since, taking office, has broken his pledge, even going so far as pressuring the U.S. Congress against adopting legislation commemorating this crime against humanity.

The full list of Senators co-signing the letter is as follows: Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee; Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Chairman of the Banking Committee’s Subcommittee on Economic Policy; John Ensign (D-OH), Ranking Member of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Communications; Russ Feingold (D-WI), Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Africa; Dianne Feinstein (D- CA), Chairwoman of the Select Intelligence Committee; Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Chairman of the Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Surface Transportation; Carl Levin (D-MI), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee; Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Chairman of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee; Jack Reed (D-RI), Chairman of the Armed Services Committee’s Subcommittee on Emerging Threats; Joe Lieberman (ID-CT), Chairman of the Homeland Security Committee; Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), Chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce; Charles Schumer (D-NY), Vice Chairman of the Democratic Caucus; Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chairwoman of the Energy Committee’s Subcommittee on Water and Power, and; Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Chairman of the Environment Committee’s Subcommittee on Oversight.

The full text of the Boxer Letter is provided below.

****

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As you know, April 24 marks Armenian Remembrance Day 2010, the ninety-fifth anniversary of the Armenian Genocide.  Despite an irrefutable body of evidence, the United States Government has yet to recognize the events of 1915-1923 by their rightful name. We urge you-on this April 24-to correct this injustice and finally acknowledge one of the greatest atrocities of the 20th century for what it was-genocide.

Over the years, this deliberate massacre of the Armenians has been well-documented through eye-witness accounts and confirmed by numerous scholars. Simply put-between 1915 and 1923, more than 1.5 million Armenians were marched to their deaths in the deserts of the Middle East, murdered in concentration camps, drowned at sea, and forced to endure horrific acts of brutality at the hands of the Ottoman Empire.

In his memoirs, Henry Morgenthau, the American Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire between 1913 and 1916, wrote: “When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact.” And even as it was just beginning, the New York Times reported the mass killing of Armenians as “systematic,” “authorized,” and “organized by the government.”

Tragically, Adolf Hitler even used the Ottoman Empire’s action against the Armenians to justify the extermination of the Jews, saying in 1939, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

The fact is that many have affirmed the Armenian Genocide, and it is long past time that the United States do the same, joining with Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Uruguay, Venezuela, the Vatican and over 40 U.S. states.

While we fully acknowledge the importance of the U.S.-Turkey relationship, we should never, for any reason, fail to call a tragedy of this magnitude by its rightful name. As such – on this April 24 – we urge you to stand on the right side of history and unequivocally affirm the Armenian Genocide.

Thank you for your consideration of this important request.

Sincerely,

Barbara Boxer
United States Senator
cc.  The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton, Secretary of State

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9 Comments

  1. manooshag said:

    Hy Barack and Hillary, the world today shall have been so different if the Turkish Genocide of the Christian Armenian peoples had been resolved early in the 20th century…
    Turkey shall have been made to admit its guilt, reparations and more shall have been given to the Armenian nation, and Armenia shall have been able to flourish amongst the nations of the world as the ancient and advanced society it has been – on its own lands of nearly 4,000 years!
    Too, all the Genocides that followed the Turkish Genocide of the Christian Armenian nation, all the innocents whose lives were lost, Survivors lives trashed with the unforgettable events of their Genocides, to be remembered all their lives! Imagine, the cycle of ALL Genocides shall have ended!
    Despots would have known not to pursue their convoluted reasons, race, religion, or more, since the civilized nations of the world would not ALLOW the pursuit of Genocides by anyone, anywhere, for any reason, to exist on our planet whether by a foe or an “ally”.

    The cycle of Genocides shall have ended forever… humanity shall have won, perpetrators lost.

    Hence, into today, the stance of the most powerful republic the world has known, the United States of America,
    has leaders who are incapable of speaking truths – albeit USA has recognized so many of the Genocides since the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation. USA, today is incapable of speaking up and recognizing what so many nations of the world, 40 states of the 50 US states, the Vatican, Archives in all the nations of the world – including Washington DC – International Genocide organizations and more, as truths – historically!
    Why this discrimination against the Armenians? Why discrimination for the Genocide of the Armenian peoples?
    Why discriminate against ANY Genocides?
    Rather, the leaderships of the United States of America shall, instead, be in the forefront of garnering the civilized nations of the world together incombined efforts to bring to an end the cycle of Genocides – forever!
    Manooshag

  2. Giorgos said:

    I lift my hat for U.S Senator Barbara Boxer. President Obama must keep his promise and recognize the Armenian Genocide. If not – then the Democratic party would lose many Armenian-American voters in the coming elecions. Just look at what happened recently in Massachusetts where the Democrats lost a critical U.S. Senate to a Republican.

  3. Nairian said:

    After reading Manooshag's post; I will succumb in a breeze of dreams that what Armenia today would have become if and when the senate in USA would have gone along with the late President Wilson and the Wilson Arbitration Award for Armenians as early as in the 20th century when it was awarded. Surely most of our parents would have returned to our anscestral homeland, we would have been born in our homeland, all of us speaking, working and dreaming in Armenian and in Armenia – our own land -. There would have been no assymilation problem, we would have have flourished our own lands, working for our own country and our children as well. We would not have to explain to everyone who Armenians are, where we came from, how we were annihilated and why we are scattered all around the world as we are today. We would have heard the Armenian language being spoken all around us, in our Churches, in our large and small organizations, in our schools, our markets and everywhere. Life for our nation would have been so different and so much better….

  4. Datevig said:

    Mr. President, years pass and the Armenian people try by all means to obtain recognition of the Turks to what their ancestors committed but in vain . Recognition can be given consideration for those men who have suffered severe suffering because they were born Armenians.
    Mr. President, i read and I often hear that the case was passed by the late years, and the Armenians should forget the past woes .they are preparing day and night waiting for the opportunity to discredit us and complement the commencement of their ancestors and they do not hide .we hear their threats day and night in the media,
    . Mr. President, even if we want to forget those around us do not want us to . Can you imagine that there are still some people who calls us cowards , hostages , immigrants and they do not deny the kidnapping and killing of many of us , because the state of Turkish law had analyzed them for this.
    Mr. President, isn't it fair to say to those peoplle to what your predecessors had committed is a shamful a reprehensible act, and organized crime .
    i want to Thank you and thank America
    cause without the American tecnology i wouldn't have been able to send and translate this from Arabic
    thank you google i hope my letter is undersatandable

  5. thekid201 said:

    Obama is such a liar. He couldn't have been any more clear in his statements as CANDIDATE Obama that he would recognize the Armenian Genocide. Now PRESIDENT Obama is failing to live up to his promise.

    You can put all the “lipstick on a pig” you want….it's still a pig. A lie is a lie. President Obama denies genocide. Therefore, he denies the humanity of the Armenian people.

    Nice Peace Prize winner. Real nice.

    Anyone who votes for a politician who denies genocide should be ashamed of themselves.

    What's the difference between Obama's position on the Armenian Genocide and Iran's position on the Holocaust?

  6. Pingback: Senators Call On Obama To Recognize Armenian Genocide | Asbarez … | armeniatoday

  7. sylva_MD_Poetry said:

    People immigrated fom Europe to USA.
    According to whikipedia–If it is correct,
    Do you know 44 out of 50 states of USA recognized the Genocide,
    Can any one tell me which are the 6 states left?

  8. Pingback: Genocide « Fuzzy English

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