Byrza Is the Wrong Man for this Job, Hachikian Says in WSJ

The Wall Street Journal published a Letter to the Editor this week by ANCA chairman Ken Hachikian, in which the latter criticizes the paper for being off the mark in its editorials on the Bryza issue and the offensive language employed when referring to Armenians pursuing the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Below is the full text of the letter.


You are off the mark in your editorials attacking Sen. Barbara Boxer and the Armenian-American community for opposing President Obama’s flawed nomination of Matt Bryza as ambassador to Azerbaijan (“Barbara Boxer (D., Armenia),” Sept. 20, and “Undiplomatic Hold-Ups,” Oct. 6). The stakes for U.S. interests, regional stability, and international energy security are too high for this type of political finger-pointing.

In the last three months, at least eight soldiers have died on the Azerbaijan-Karabakh border. The U.S. government, in a failed exercise in artificial even-handedness, has consistently refused to stand up to Baku’s threats of war and attacks. Mr. Bryza is the poster child for this strategy of appeasement. His refusal to call out Azerbaijan’s aggression, his silence in the face of Azerbaijan’s demolition of a 1,300-year-old Armenian cemetery, and his ardent defense of Stalin-imposed borders at the expense of democracy, have all contributed to the instability of this pivotal region. Add conflict of interest issues to the mix and he is clearly the wrong diplomat, at the wrong time, for this post.

America needs a fresh start in the Caucasus, with a new ambassador who will stand strong against Azerbaijani aggression. Sen. Boxer and Sen. Robert Menendez have provided the president an opportunity to put U.S. policy back on the right track.

Finally, your dismissal of the ANCA’s support for the commemoration of the Armenian Genocide as a “tribal Caucasian obsession” is offensive. The International Association of Genocide Scholars has unanimously concluded that what happened to the Armenians at the hands of the Turks was a genocide.

Kenneth V. Hachikian
Armenian National Committee of America


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  1. SEERVART said:

    I am absolutely supportive of your justified letter to the Wall Street Journal Mr. Hatchikian. It is indeed very well worded and certainly well said. Thank you.