Obama Refuses to Recognize Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON–In yet another disgraceful capitulation to Turkey’s threats, President Obama on Saturday once again refused to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide, offering euphemisms and evasive terminology to characterize this crime against humanity, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

“Today we join with Armenians in the United States and around the world in voicing our sharp disappointment with the President’s failure to properly condemn and commemorate the Armenian Genocide,” stated ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian. “After more than a year of Turkey’s manipulation of the Obama Administration’s policy on this core human rights issue, and the collapse of even the pretense of progress of any sort coming from Ankara, President Obama faced a stark choice: to honor his conscience and commitment to recognize the Armenian Genocide or to remain an accomplice to Turkey’s denial of truth and justice for this crime. Sadly, for the U.S. and worldwide efforts to end the cycle of genocide, he made the wrong choice, allowing Turkey to tighten its gag-rule on American genocide policy.”

As a Senator and presidential candidate, President Obama pledged repeatedly to recognize the Armenian Genocide and promised “unstinting resolve” to end the Darfur Genocide, stating, “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President.” View his record on the issue at: http://www.anca.org/change/docs/Obama_Armenian_Genocide.pdf

Since then, while stating that his personal views of the events of 1915 have not changed, President Obama has refrained from properly characterizing this crime against humanity and going so far as to oppose Congressional Armenian Genocide legislation (H.Res.252) – which he had pledged to support during the 2008 Presidential campaign.

In contrast to his remarks in 2009, the President chose not to use the April 24th statement as a platform to push the flawed Turkey-Armenia Protocols process – stalled by Turkey’s preconditions related to the Nagorno Karabagh negotiations and shameful efforts to use the Protocols to block international affirmation of the Armenian Genocide. The ANCA, in an April 7 letter urging the President to honor his genocide pledge, asked the White House to “mark this day sincerely and not, as has too often been the case, to view it as an opportunity to present a policy statement on the region.” The letter continued to note that an “explanation of U.S. priorities regarding Armenia-Turkey relations or other current foreign policy issues, while certainly entirely appropriate in other settings, clearly does not belong in a Presidential April 24th statement, just as a statement of U.S. policy on the Israel-Arab peace process would not be appropriate in Presidential remarks devoted to remembering the Holocaust.”

President Obama’s complete statement is provided below.

****

THE WHITE HOUSE

Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release

April 24, 2010

Statement of President Barack Obama on Armenian Remembrance Day

On this solemn day of remembrance, we pause to recall that ninety-five years ago one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century began.  In that dark moment of history, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred or marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire.

Today is a day to reflect upon and draw lessons from these terrible events.  I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed.   It is in all of our interest to see the achievement a full, frank and just acknowledgment of the facts.  The Meds Yeghern is a devastating chapter in the history of the Armenian people, and we must keep its memory alive in honor of those who were murdered and so that we do not repeat the grave mistakes of the past.  I salute the Turks who saved Armenians in 1915 and am encouraged by the dialogue among Turks and Armenians, and within Turkey itself, regarding this painful history.  Together, the Turkish and Armenian people will be stronger as they acknowledge their common history and recognize their common humanity.  

Even as we confront the inhumanity of 1915, we also are inspired by the remarkable spirit of the Armenian people.   While nothing can bring back those who were killed in the Meds Yeghern, the contributions that Armenians have made around the world over the last ninety-five years stand as a testament to the strength, tenacity and courage of the Armenian people.  The indomitable spirit of the Armenian people is a lasting triumph over those who set out to destroy them.  Many Armenians came to the United States as survivors of the horrors of 1915. Over the generations Americans of Armenian descent have richened our communities, spurred our economy, and strengthened our democracy.  The strong traditions and culture of Armenians also became the foundation of a new republic which has become a part of the community of nations, partnering with the world community to build a better future.  

Today, we pause with them and with Armenians everywhere to remember the awful events of 1915 with deep admiration for their contributions which transcend this dark past and give us hope for the future.   

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57 Comments

  1. Pingback: Obama Refuses to Recognize Armenian Genocide | Asbarez Armenian News | armeniatoday

  2. barkevasadourian said:

    Thank you Mr. President, For supporting THE TURKS
    CRIMERS OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE HOPE
    TO BE NOT REPEATED

  3. Nora Armani said:

    The above could be said a lot more eloquently in one word: GENOCIDE!
    Regardless of how many sentences and back handed compliments Mr. Obama uses to counteract his 'selling out' to the Turks, the message remains loud and clear!!! He has betrayed the truth, he has betrayed justice, he has betrayed Armenian Americans and most of all he has betrayed himself!
    Who wants a lair and a cheat for president? I am certainly not voting for his second term.
    You blew it Mr. Obama. You are ignoring an important segment of your constituents along with denying a serious injustice committed against Humanity.
    I don't like feeling betrayed and I don't think close to 2 million Armenian voters like that either!!!!
    Shame, shame, shame.

  4. gregvee said:

    I am not surprised that Obama would not use the word genocide, so long as Turkey has the Military base that the USA needs in the middle east the USA and it's president are not going to ruin their relationship with Turkey. The only way we are going to win this genocide battle is to build Armenia into a power house over the next 10-15 that can over power Turkey financial and politically at which point we will be able to turn the tables on Turkey and get them to shamefully admit that they committed genocide. Armenian people around the world must unite every day of the week not once a year on April 24th. Coming together once a year will not achieve our goals as a nation. Nor will it achieve victory for those who at the hands of the Turks.

  5. gregvee said:

    I am not surprised that Obama would not use the word genocide, so long as Turkey has the Military base that the USA needs in the middle east the USA and it's president are not going to ruin their relationship with Turkey. The only way we are going to win this genocide battle is to build Armenia into a power house over the next 10-15 that can over power Turkey financial and politically at which point we will be able to turn the tables on Turkey and get them to shamefully admit that they committed genocide. Armenian people around the world must unite every day of the week not once a year on April 24th. Coming together once a year will not achieve our goals as a nation. Nor will it achieve the victory our ancestors who died at the hands of the Turks deserve.

  6. Hovsep Mardirossian said:

    To all I say : redouble efforts and do not slacken no matter who says what ; build partnerships across all communities in USA , educate neighbours, friends, co-workers, deepen historical research so that others can pick up and elaborate further , and carry on without being disheartened from temporary setbacks or what may seem as broken pledges or promises . Whoever thought that this was just one battle to win are mistaken. The issue of the Genocide can not be limited by time , nor by the non-recognition of those who have temporary agendas. Our fight is for justice and the fight for justice never ends. It took us a long time to wake up, but thank God the new generation is pushing forward , better prepared, committed and stronger in every respect.

  7. Ara Hacobian said:

    Shame on You Mr Obama, for not recognizing the Armenian Genocide for what it is…A Genocide, the first of the 20th century!!! Hope you can sleep at night

  8. edward said:

    don,t forget that obama used the word of Meds Yegern which means genocide in armenian and as president of united states ,he needs also to think about the his countries foreign policy

  9. Garo Armenian said:

    This is the standard White House product, devoid of any morality, that we have been seeing, over many years, from Bush, Clinton, Bush Jr. and now Obama administrations. It is evasive, insensitive and transparently cynical. In fact, it is patently disrespectful toward all those — starting with Armenian Americans — who have taken the worldwide threat of genocide seriously and have been fighting to eradicate this mass crime from the face of the earth. President Obama may not realize that the genocide prevention movement in the US — and in the world — is robust and growing. It's a shame he has chosen the path of accommodation and has turned his back to this most noble and vitally relevant human rights struggle. Mr. President, I am sorry to say, you have failed us! Your support organization may now take my name out of its “contacts” list. If you cannot keep your word on the Armenian Genocide recognition, I am afraid all your policies relating to health care, financial reform, economic restructuring, education, immigration and foreign affairs are in potential danger of being compromised.

  10. Sylva Natalie Manoogian said:

    ~~~ Մեծ Եղեռն = Medz Yeghern continues to be President Obama's comfort phrase every April 24. What happened to his presidential campaign rhetoric. Is it the “G” word uttered out loud that causes him discomfort? Let him use “ARMENOCIDE” then ~~~

  11. hamshetsi said:

    If massacre of 1.5 million people is not genocide, so what is it? Is there another name for such an evil action? Suppose it bothers your Turkish buddies to hear the G-word from your mouth, Mr. President. But at least CONDEMN the massacre of 1.5 innocent lives. Be a man!

  12. Guest said:

    Mr Obama!

    You are comfortably miserable president!
    No even Turks like to be like you!

  13. Arto said:

    Were you all naive to think he would say Genocide? You people should move to Canada. We got this done years ago. No wonder Sarkisian feels compelled to move Armenia’s agenda forward by dealing with the Turks. If he waits for the ANCA or the Tashnaks to get something done in the US, Armenia will have disappeared because the Turkish and Israel lobby wins every time. Instead of being disappointed every year, why don’t you all try something new. Support and encourage the Armenian government in their efforts to resolve the Genocide issue instead of calling them liars and traitors.

  14. Simon said:

    Massacres & March to death of the whole population in that area, which used to be Arminia, is called
    GENOCIDE What happened to the 1.5 million Armenian people who lived there, the ground were
    opened & swallowed All of them?…They were All killed whether 1 old child or 80 or 90 years old
    human being Christen Armenians…Denying this fact is not healing the wound…but is making the
    wound deeper & worst…Officials should have courage to accept this GENOCIDE…Many many
    Countries have already Accepted this fact…the time will come that All big countries will Accept
    this Fact…My Grand Father was one the individuals who was brutally killed by those Turks…
    How can I forget this fact…particularely when they deny the GENOCIDE…

    Simon

  15. Kevork said:

    Shame on Obama! Armenian Genocide is part of our history and history will NEVER be changed or forgotten.

  16. Hratch Tourikian said:

    It is sad to see a president of United States to deny its own country's moral, human, democratic principals and his pre-electoral promises in favour of political reasons
    The Refusal to recognize the Armenian Genocide is an insult to the memory of the great Preisdent Wilson who with the Great Powers recognized already in 1921 the Armenian massacres as CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY which was considered and named GENOCIDE later by the UNITED NATIONS decision. ( Lemkin's report)

  17. Vanik Baboumian said:

    I think it was a bit optimistic to believe Obama is going to “recognize” The Armenian Genocide. Tactically if Obama is ever going to recognize the genocide it would be during his second term in office and only after the failure of Armenian -Turkish current attempt to normalise the relations. Two days ago Serzh Sargsyan tried to give the impression that the process of normalization of the the relations has come to a halt therefore Armenia is suspending its effort to further the goals but at the same time or should I say earlier this week, Armenia and Turkey said they had agreed on a roadmap towards normalising relations. So Serzh Sargsyans's tactic didn't work. However I am very optimistic that the genocide would be recognised by its 100 anniversary.

  18. Ishkhan Babajanian MD said:

    DEAR MR. PRESIDENT OBAMA, IF YOU ARE GOING TO CONTINUE TO DENY ARMENIAN GENOCIDE OVER AND OVER AGAIN UNTIL 2012 PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION. BE AWARE THAT MY FAMILY AND VAST MAJORITY OF AMERICAN -ARMENIAN PLUS MILLIONS OF THEIR REAL FRIENDS ARE GOING TO WITHDRAW THEIR SUPPORT AND NEVER VOTE FOR YOU….EVEN THOUGH YOU ALWAYS TALK ABOUT HUMANITY? …..

  19. Suleyman said:

    Even if i do not mind what Mr President said but it is good to know that Obama knows how Turkey is important to lose and Armenians are not our enemies.

  20. Leo said:

    President Obama recognize Armenian Genocide and that is clear- he call that Meds Yeghern, which means exactly genocide. Same is with Holocaust which means genocide as well.

    Thank you

  21. hairenaser said:

    did anyone really expect to hear obama or any other president use the word genocide???

  22. nanaz said:

    Remember when he criticized Bush for not having leadership on Genocide ….well, where is your moral leadership Mr. President.

    you lied to Armenian community to get elected, at least McCain said he will not support it and he lost honorable, and you won by deceit!!

    No wonder there are site like this for Obama:
    http://www.obamasgaffes.blogspot.com

  23. Nairian said:

    The heck with Obama's naming Genocide. We must send a message to the world that we want to go through the route of the Sevres Treaty and the Wilson Arbitration Award.

  24. Fredrick Badalian said:

    There is a danger that Turkey will recognise the genocide before US. That will be an insult to all Americans. They would then have to soul search and ask the great questions that need asking.

  25. aussie said:

    obama did'nt say genocide because he know's it was'nt genocide it's a pitty you people beat your chest and rave and rant this time of year, year after year,you need to generate a REAL nation idenity other than the TURKISH identity you have and more than believing in a non exixtant genocide.

  26. Kurt said:

    Mr. President.. You did the right thing. Turks are being crucified without being a lawful trials. International and US law requires that. There was only one Genocide which was against Jewish people. Turks did not kill rather relocated Armenians in their Empire. Like US did to its Japanese citizens in the WW II, relocated Japanese-Americans from California to New Jersey. You did the right thing Mr. President because American Law requires a fair trial.. Unfortunately here is Nothing to prove rather allegations by Armenians..

  27. Azniv Avakian said:

    Mr Obama's knowlede of the Armenian language delights me greatly. Bravo. Indeed it is very good. Bravo.

  28. Narine said:

    ONE MORE UNACCOMPLISHED DREAM.
    As one of my friends like to say “EVERYBODY LIES'

  29. Jacques Simon said:

    President Obama's speech is impressive and necessary, but unsufficient and incomplete.It is political but weak
    and inhumane to the rights of democratic society.
    As in Turkey in U.S.of “America”, the sincere truth is not told publicly.
    The words”The indomitable spirit of the Armenian people is a lasting triumph over those who set out to distroy
    them”should have been completed by telling the true perpetrators(Turks).
    I am not supprised with President Obama's denial to use the word Genocide.After few years when Mr. Obama
    will step down from presidency then and (only) then this speech will be complete and the word Genocide uttered.

  30. Baronian said:

    Does Obama's opinion or statement really matter. I, for one think not. Neither Mr. Obama, nor the United States has any credibility on world affairs.
    We do not need Obama to confirm what happend to our people…! We know what happend. The World knows what happened..and certainly, the Turks know what happened with so many skeletons in their closets.

  31. Unimportant said:

    Everyone knows that there is no evidence about ''Genocide'' Even though Turkish history professors requested you to discuss on the matter You refused that because you know reals and do you know the fact that Armenian killed more than 400.000 people in different locations in Turkey before 1915 .. see you take care of yourselves..

  32. Maida said:

    to bad we believed you and we voted for you obama you dissapointed us AGAIN.

  33. Maida said:

    Obama we believed you and we voted for you thank you for dissapointing us AGAIN.

  34. tomik shabani said:

    i wounder where the news choppers were yesterday.
    was the media paid by the turks not to film anything at april 24th 2010?
    tomik shabani

  35. Tomas Cardoso said:

    How did he not recognize the Genocide? According to this, it seems like he DOES recognize it

  36. Diana said:

    Pres. Obama is no different than any other President in recent history . . . . the problem HE has, is that he made a strong promise that, by any calculation, he never intended to keep.

  37. manooshag said:

    Hye Barack Obama, has recognized many of the Genocides of nations in the 20th century. Barack Obama cannot verbalize the word GENOCIDE as it applies to the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation (begun in the 19th century) and still denied by perpetrator Turks into today, 2010. Thus, Obama's stance with the Armenians is that the word GENOCIDE cannot be used as this will 'insult' the perpetrators, the Ottoman Turks and all the Turk's leaderships' of today – and for nearly these 100 years!
    Why is this discrimination being applied to the Armenians? Why is this discrimination being applied to the crimes
    of Genocides? Why cannot the leader of the greatest republic the world has known speak the truths, without fear and without intimidation from the Turks – what earthly reason to allow a nation, recognized the world over of its guilty crimes not only to the Armenians but to the Greeks, Syrians, Assyrians and more? As this expression has been asked: Why can a Turkey place a 'gag' on the leaderships of the United States of America – formerly, yes formerly,the leader amongst nations with highest morals – now unable to speak truths – beholden to a nation which does not allow freedom of religions, freedom of speech, freedom of ethnicities (yet ethnic Turks have this in all the nations where they have fled to) and more… A Turkey – has the gall to claim to be a democracy amongst the nations of the free world? If Turkey is a democracy amongst the world's nations, so too are South Korea, China and more!
    Why can a Turkey 'gag' the leaders of our American government? What is the 'hold' that has gagged USA leaders?
    And why? What other nation on our planet can use these same tactics against the USA – and still get away with mass murders by their stance of denials of Genocides. Today, Sudan, 'aping' the Turks pursuit of denials now too, deny their Genocide of the Darfurians… and why not? Perpetrators = winners; Victims = losers. Whither USA? USA together with the Armenians – losers! Thus the end of the cycle of Genocides continue – the USA incapable of leading to end of the cycles of Genocide rather, a leaderr, with a Turkey, in the continuity of future Genocides to come – based upon the denials… based upon lies…

  38. CJ said:

    It's very simple. The Armenian community in the US has been in bed with the Democrat Party. With candidate Obama and an absolute majority in both houses we still can't get them to pass the resolution and acknowledge the Genocide.

    SEND OBAMA a strong message. VOTE AGAINST all Democrats, especially Barbara Boxer who had the President by her side endorsing her.

    Enough of the excuses. Obama LIED to the Armenian community. He turned his back on all those who voted for him. Make him and his party pay. It will also send the Republicans a strong message.

  39. manooshag said:

    Hye, why Obama Barack's discrimination against the historically known Turkish Genocide of the Christian Armenian nation? Why, until today, Obama Barack's omission of the recognition of the Sudanese Genocide of the Darfurians – now nearly eight (8) years. Actually, the USA, in taking the stance of noncommittment, appears to be siding with the guilty Turks and Sudanese – Genocide perpetrators par excellance!
    Today Sudan too, 'aping' the Turkish stance of denials hence, uses the same stance, and denies having committted any Genocide of the Darfurians!! And, why not? It seems to be working for the Turks – Obama?
    Moral leaderships should be joining the world's civilized nations to end the cycle of Genocides – and not, as it is with Obama, to take sides with the Genocide perpetrators against the victims of Genocides!

  40. Donald Abcarian said:

    To expand on my earlier comment: The Armenian Genocide remains nameless and faceless in President Obama's statement, a true orphan among genocides. The point of the April 24th statement is to communicate something of importance to the American people. Using a term which virtually no American understands or can pronounce is a disservice to the purpose of the statement and an affront to the victims commemorated. The use of “Meds Yeghern” to substitute for plain and honest English name is the result of the predominant translation of it as “calamity” or “catastrophe”. It's primary meaning is “Great Crime”, not an act of God. Since the President has made this an important issue, it's very important for Armenians to get clear on this.

  41. alongigal said:

    well, i don't see him refusing anything – he is acknowledging this is part of a painful past – what difference what “NAME” he gives it?? We move ON as survivors! Building a better (hopefully) future… I mean, don't forget there was war in Kosovo, too, or how many of the nation-states in Africa!? Do we have a memorial event every year for EVERY one? I commend him!

  42. alongigal said:

    well, i don't see him refusing – he is acknowledging this is part of a painful past – what difference what “NAME” he gives it?? We move ON as survivors! Building a better (hopefully) future… I mean, don't forget there was war in Kosovo, too, or how many of the nation-states in Africa!? Do we have a memorial event every year for EVERY one? I commend him! – not for much, but for this one…

  43. barkevasadourian said:

    Mr.PRESIDENT, WE GOT ALL OVER THE WORLD ALMOST 10 MILLION OF ARMENIANS
    INCLUDING ARMENIAN-AMERICAN, WE PEOPLE SO CLOSE TO THE WORD “METZ YEGHERN”
    IT MEAN “HUGE GENOCIDE” THANKS FOR REAPITING FOR SECOND TIME, ACTUALY WE KNOW
    VERY WE WHAT DOES MEAN AS MENTION ABOVE, ALL WE ARE ASKIING FROM HONOUR TO PRONOUCE
    THAT IN ENGLISH (OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF THE USA) SINCE YOU'R ADDRESING TO YOUR PEOPLE, THIS
    MOMENT THEY CAN'T REALIZE THAT DOES MEAN, METZ YEGHER WHAT U MEAN , ALTHOUGH U GAVE GOOD EXPLAINATION BUT YOUR PEOPLE MUST UNDERSTAND WHAT TURK DOES ARMENIANS AND THIS
    SHOULD BE WITH YOUR MESSAGE, NOT ONLY GENOCIDE WAS HUGES ARMENIAN GENOCIDE I AM SURE
    WHEN THEY REALIZE THE FACT THEY GONNA BESIDE YOU AND AGAINST TURKEY'S LIES, WE PEOPLE
    KNOWS STRUGGLING AND PATIENT TRY WELL STUDY POLICY WITH TURKEY TO GET THE RIGHT NEXT YEAR.

  44. Ed said:

    next time Armenians should ask in writing BEFORE the elections then help to be elected. We must learn that if it's not signed, IT'S A LIE

  45. Pingback: Disgraceful! | Red Dog Report

  46. Jockey said:

    That so weird to say in one hand devasting and unacceptable, but in another refusing to recognize geniocide. How “two faced” can a person be, these poor people were uprooted from their homes and marched to the desert without food nor water facing abuse, sexual assualt and rape untill finally being mass murdered regardless of age, gender or sex. I’ve seen some of the disgusting photo’s of the Ottoman genocide when I was a child and remember very clearly one photograph of Ottoman stands proudly right next to a cut of head of a Armenian. It’s absolutely horrifying and whats worst Hilter looked upon this genocide and stated “Who after all speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” – Hitler, August 22, 1939

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