Pelosi’s Refusal Will Have Dire Consequences


BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN

Outgoing Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi showed her true colors on Wednesday by refusing to schedule a vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution. For four years, as Speaker, she patronized the Armenian-American community and failed to honor her promise and articulated pledge to recognize the Genocide, becoming a pawn of the Turkish denialist movement.

By blocking the bill from a vote, the Democratic leadership of the House also demonstrated its inability to lead and take action on an issue, which is not merely a campaign pledge, but a matter of justice and human rights.

Effectively, they have become accomplices in the ongoing Turkish campaign of lies and historical revisionism.

The patience of the Armenian-American community has run out. Wednesday’s events will have dire consequences, the ramifications of which will be seen at local district offices of members of Congress and eventually at the polling booth.

By placating the Armenian community, these so-called leaders have garnered votes and enjoyed a long tenure as legislators. They have amassed power in a veiled attempt to act as true representatives of the people and their constituents. And, time and again, the community has applauded and thanked their efforts to advocate on behalf of our community.

That is why, their actions on Wednesday amount to a belligerent betrayal of their constituents for which they will have to answer.

Perhaps praise is due to those individuals who marshaled this effort to ensure that the 111th Congress will go down in history as the one that set the record straight on the Armenian Genocide.

This recent attempt at advancing the resolution mobilized an entire community to stand up and demand justice. One thing is certain: the community will remain standing and raise its voice louder and will send a clear message to those who underestimated the power of the community.

The vast majority of the Armenian-American community—led by the Armenian National Committee of America—was engaged in articulating its aspirations to Congressional members and leaders. Their unwavering commitment and will to advance the Armenian Cause must be recognized, praised and applauded.

The entity that does not deserve applause or praise is—once again—the Armenian Assembly of America, whose leaders were quoted in an RFE/RL news report Wednesday as opposing the Genocide Resolution.

Their cowardice was framed as such: “nobody wants to take a loss in a floor vote in these circumstances. The genocide denial industry would like nothing better than defeating the resolution, even in an unfair vote.” Furthermore, when Pelosi refused to schedule a vote, the Assembly responded by saying: “we also particularly commend the steadfast leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi…who… provided guidance and invaluable assistance throughout this process.”

As always, the Assembly spent the majority of the last two years kowtowing to the State Department and its interests and, in the last minute, is jockeying to become the representative of the Armenian community. It is time for the community to see the Assembly for the duplicitous organization that it is and call them out on their hypocrisy.

No one needs a reminder of the Assembly’s stance last year on the ill-fated protocols, which endangered the very security of the Armenian nation.

The grassroots effort that gathered momentum in the last few weeks in favor of an Armenian Genocide Resolution must shift its focus toward clearly articulating to law makers the community’s utter disappointment in their inability to deliver on their promises and their blatant refusal to advance justice.

The Genocide recognition campaign has now entered a new phase. We must ask ourselves whether there are other ways to leverage the US Congress to advance the just demands of the Armenian people for recognition, reparations and retribution from the Turkish government.

For now, however, the Armenian-American community can proudly declare that it fought the good fight as Pelosi and the rest of the Democratic leadership return to their districts in shame to face the music.

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77 Comments

  1. sylvie tertzakian said:

    ara, great job! you have articulated this whole process very well. a friend had read today’s AP article, where the assembly was quoted congratulating pelosi. he was questioning the assembly’s motive, how can any armenian organization betray the armenian cause? any suggestions?

  2. jack said:

    i used to be a member of arm assemb unfortunely they are nothing but group of people belong to a nursing home with average age 8o years old w/alzeimers

    • Heghapokhagan said:

      I believe “ARMENIAN ASSEMBLY” Is “Unethical Organization” and ANCA should find grounds to sue them!!

  3. Mourad said:

    Ara has said everything that needs to be said. Shame on Pelosi who sounded on CSPAN like she had begun drinking eggnog a few days ago. As to the Armenian Assembly they should abbreviate their name to the Armenian Ass since their only interest is their personal gains. The real winners in this effort were our Armenian youth who displayed their commitment to the heritage in true character: “abrik deghak”

  4. Garen said:

    Pelosi’s shameful behavior proves once again the need to get congressmen and congresswomen of Armenian descent elected to Congress – having been betrayed by supposed friends times and times over, we should start relying on our own folks

    • Armanen said:

      Yep! It is very pathetic how we continue to rely on otars to advance our cause and interests. Take a chapter out of the jewish book, and have Armenian-Americans in Congress and the Executive Branch. Instead of running for petty seats at the local or state level year after year lets encourage Armenian-American politicians at that level to go national.

    • Minas said:

      Garen i agree with you 1000000000000%.

      We have to prepare excellent candidates to run for congress. This might take few years but the result will be worth the hard work.

  5. Steve said:

    As usual the Asbarez got it right in identifying with crystal clear clarity of deceitful leaders in Congress and the State Dept supported parasitic shell organization known as the so called “Armenian Assembly of America”

  6. Garo said:

    It”s because we Armenians handle this all wrong. Truth be told, if we were more like the Jews, the genocide would have been recognized many years ago. We go about things by protesting and making as much noise as loud as possible. But real politics are never heard or seen. It”s time for Armenians to take a lesson or two from the Jews and begin thinking like real politicians and leaders. It”s a game of blackmail and threat. The day we start doing things underneath the table is the day the genocide will be recognized. The way that the oligarch control Armenia underneath the table is the same way we have to go about this genocide business. When all is said and done, the American government simply does not acknowledge us as human beings. We need to stop putting them on a peddle stool, and start speaking to them on the same level they deserve to be talked to.

  7. John Evans said:

    Ladies and Gentlemen, no one would have been happier than I if it had turned out that the House today had endorsed HR 252. But let’s give Speaker — soon to be Minority Leader — Pelosi a break. She has been a good friend of the Armenian-American community for years, and she is under huge pressure. Politics is always the art of the possible, and I am sure that, had it been possible, she would have acted as we all wished. This is not easy stuff. U.S. interests have to come first for the Speaker. If you suggest that this is easy, you diminish what I did when I defied U.S. policy and said “genocide.” We all know that what happened in 1915 was indeed a case of genocide. The Genocide Scholars have said so. President Obama has made it clear what he thinks, even if he has not been able to say it officially. Huge progess has been made. More progress will be made. Patience, my friends, but also: persistence. Don’t give up, but maintain formation. Truth will prevail. Trust me on that. And Merry Christmas!

    • John K. said:

      Dear Ambassador Evans,

      First I would like to thank you for all your support and your courage recognizing the Armenian Genocide. We have been very patient. As a matter of fact we have been patient for 95 years and this was the last straw that broke the horse’s back. We will not be nice anymore. It must be true that nice guys finish last. The gloves are off. No more nice guys. We will fight dirty from now on like the Jews. We will burry any politician that crosses us. We no longer trust any politician no matter what they say.

  8. Mike said:

    AG resolution is in deadlock.

    US will always need airbase in that region and Armenia cannot invite US airbase to its territory because that will upset Russians.

    We need to start thinking about what Armenia can do to support US interests without upsetting Russians. Otherwise, we can’t be hopeful that different speaker, president or a party will let AG resolution to succeed in US.

    It’s all about interests, not justice.

  9. Vazken said:

    We must cleanse a snake with two heads from Armenian Society- Corruption in Armenia and so called Armenian Assembly in USA.

  10. AP said:

    I am always critical of all political parties, but this article is right on. I don’t always agree with everything the ANCA states but this article is 100% right. Although I don’t think genocide recognition by odars is important (to me or our community), I believe in giving the denialist states hell and opposition by any means necessary. I was unaware of the AAA and its statements but they certainly do not speak for any Armenians that I know (most of which would support the ANCA statements though not a supporter in any other way).

    In an imperfect world, as Peter said, this article is well articulated.

  11. James Kizirian said:

    I just can’t believe it! Is it really true that Armenian Assembly of America sided with Turkey? If so, shame on them, they are no different than the author of the “black list” Harootiun Mugerditchian which gave the “black list” of the prominent Armenians in Constantinople to Talaat and based on that list they were rounded up on April 24 and they were mercilessly killed. It is historically interesting that Tehlirian, the one that killed Talaat, killed also Mugerditchian. Thank God. If it is true that Armenian Assembly of America sided with Turkey, they might as well change their name to “Turkish Assembly of America”. Shame on them!

  12. Rita said:

    fool me once, shame on you. fool me twice, shame on me.

    enough trying to get americans to care. they dont care, they never will. lets focus on other powers such as china to support armenians

  13. Alec said:

    Armenians should drop Dems and Reps, stick with honest Independent or some other party, Trough 100% support to it, over years it will win, At least we won’t be played. Dems and Reps are just waist of time.

  14. Zareh said:

    Cool down people. This is not the end of the world and Pelosi’s actions are not necessarily anti-Armenian. Think about it, why would the US “spoil’ the card that it has in his hands against Turkey by getting nothing back in return? We, in our haste, underestimate the wonderful gift Turkey has given to the US by reacting so violently against any mention of “Genocide” in the US Congress, why would any government receiving such leverage would not opt to use or just merely threaten to use it against a foreign government (Turkey) who would do anything to stop the process. At this point in time I think pro-Armenian lawmakers realized that the use of this once-to-be-used bullet still has a long milage.

    So, everybody cool down and let Turkey face a barrage of US demands from her, surely a long list of demands, mostly about Iran.

    All is well, let’s not burn bridges with long-time friends.

  15. Raffi Boyadjian said:

    the Armenian Assembly of America is no longer relevant after today ! Obama needs to held accountable especially from the Armenians for Obama group and I believe from now on the Armenian American community will need more than just a verbal promise for a vote. Hold the politicians accountable, the strategy has really got to change ! Enough is Enough. I am a peed off Canadian Armenian. Hats Off to the AYF youth and the ANCA !

  16. Arto T. said:

    You American-Armenians should move to Canada. We got the Genocide resolution done years ago. Canadians do not Kow-Tow to Turks like the U.S.

  17. Gary said:

    Genocide news is bad for Turkey. More we get it in the news, the more likely other governments who don’t have interests in Turkey are likely to pass resolutions. We need more public boycotts of companies that have contributed on Turkey’s behalf.

  18. Vacheh said:

    We shouldn’t have expected more. Even though ARF tries its best to move our cause forward, the behavior of Armenian Assembly results in giving excuses to others and especially to the Turk lobbyists to claim that “Armenians can not agree among themselves”.

    All that has been seen from Armenian Assembly over decades (pre and post soviet times) is as follows: “In whatever situation that Armenia and Armenians are, is the best and we have nothing to do.”

  19. Armen said:

    I guess Turkey has come to some agreement with Israel. Therefore, recognition of the Armenian Genocide is no longer an issue for the US Congress.

    The best revenge is to build our communities and to LIVE!!!

  20. jacob said:

    there is more than a million of you in the usa ,take your money out,invest it in armenia in china(ive been to china many times feels better than newyork there,brand new city in shanghai).pudong) india anywhere in asia,there is lots of opportunities there ,the usa is going bankrupt,you can hurt its economy too,that the only way they listen

  21. Garo said:

    Honestly we middle-eastern Armenians can’t understand why are Armenian-Americans are so naive. Don’t be like the sheep the American people are. Brothers and sisters, lets be realistic here. Does anyone honestly believe that in the eyes of the US government the genocide is more important that the ties they have with turkey? Do you really believe that Americans care about ethics and morality and human rights or justice? They use those words whenever it suits them, for example , like invading the world “threatening Iraq” (not stealing their oil) for the human rights of the poor Iraqi people who suffer under the Sadam regime, as if the Iraqi people wanted their “help”. Their “help” was the destruction of the country, the death of thousands of innocent civilians.

    • Hovhannes said:

      What do you suggest, dear Garo? Do nothing like the Armenian assembly and let the Turks get away with the Genocide?

      • Garo said:

        How can you force Turkey to recognize the genocide? Does a killer admit its guilt if he knows his waiting for the death sentence? NO !!! Brother, this is not a good world we are living in, nobody cares about our genocide or about moral values. We have to bring to the table something which is more valuable that the US/Turkey strategic alliance, not just the ” Human rights” thing we use as a tool.

        We have to do our best to built up strong friendly ties with the Jewish lobby, especially now that the Israel/Turkey relationship is under pressure. Another point worth mentioning is the fact that we have a 2 million Armenian population in LA, and we haven’t even managed to make a high standard film for our genocide, which can be arranged if we built strong ties with the Jewish Lobby.

    • peran said:

      Garo:

      I really like this comment that you have made, i agree with you a 100%, I am a citizen of the USA but i was born in the middle east, and your kind of thinking is something missing from the Armenians in the US. Your comments shows the type of common sense, and realistic thinking which here in USA the Armenians are missing. Here they blindly throw their support to these candidates year after year, they campaign for them, raise money for them, they believe every word they say and not 1 of these politicians do anything of substance, they co-sing this and co-sign that and fool the Armenian Community and all they do is give lip service, and every year is the same thing nothing happens. As you said the US is not interested in the Armenian Genocide or any other Armenian cause. Can we really expect the US government to end their relations with Turkey, a country of such strategic interest to the US?, The US is only interested in what a particular country has to offer it, and unfortunately poor little Armenian the size of probably the State of Rhode Island, and a nation of 3 million people has nothing to offer the US, so the US really has no interest in Armenian, but they have a lot of interest in Turkey. Menk Hayeres kich me menk mer aghdod latere bedk e esgesink levalou, adk e verch bidi gernank degh me hasnil.

  22. Vartan said:

    DOES ANYONE REMEMBER THE WORDS OF KHRIMIAN HAYRIG WHEN HE CAME BACK FROM THE TREATY OF BERLIN……? ANYONE IN ANCA, ANYONE…..

    • Hye mart said:

      I agree and have been telling people the same thing. But before the yerkate sherep we need to fix our country by getting rid of corruption and re-populating Armenia so we have the man power and will power

      • Heghapokhagan said:

        Armenia’s Government turned it’s back on it’s people globally by not backing ANCA!

  23. Simon said:

    What do you think the result would have been if the genocide resolution had gone to the floor? Do we have any idea?

    You know whom I blame, too? Cong. Anna Eshoo and Jackie Spier. Did they beat the drums? Did they lash out at Obama? Did our Republican friends? Did Armenian Democrat and Republicans leaders across the country?

    I don’t think so.

    I would also like to see President Sargsian of Armenian lash out harshly at the US – Obama, Hillary Clinton, and others – and their hypocrisy.

    Is this too much to ask? Where’s the anger and action?

    As long as we ourselves do not have the wherewithall to do these things, we will not win what we want.

  24. Doc S said:

    Did you “really” believe Pelosi would give support to our cause?
    She is bought and paid for by the Turkey lobbyists!
    What an unscrupulous fake!

  25. eddy said:

    I would say H. Clinton played a big roll to block Pelosi. Still last week Turkish FM got a positive signal from Hillary Clintion …

    I n my opinion both H. Clintion and Pelosi jointly with democratic leaders did everything to save President Obama to take direct actions to kill the bill! Democrats were busy how to protect President Obama to not be in awkward situation like Bush and Bill Clinton – that was the whole game of Democratic leadership about!

  26. Levon Lokmanian said:

    This is happening because armenians are devided.We should never vote for a democrat and they will get it.If republicans do th same we’ll vote for 3th party and show them we’re united and we are a power.If we vote as a block we can rule California.Armenian organizations should get together and make a statement who they all recommend to vote and it should not be for any democtrat,no matter what he did for the armenians, the reason given shoud be Pelosy’s decission..2012 election should show them we can be united when Obama is defeated in CA..

  27. HyeGuy said:

    oh PLEASE…ANC will be hand in hand with Pelosi at her next election. They will support Obama at his also.

  28. John Krikorian said:

    Ara, on TARGET. It is time that the Armenian American community wake up. We stand alone. It is time to take stronger action to those who we have kissed up to prior to the election. Gave recognition to at banquets, certificates, along with our money and votes. Our lobby failed. It is time to take off the gloves. We can not even get Hampik pardoned in California…with Pelosi, Boxer, Feinstein and others. The President pardoned a turkey for Thanksgiving. Let’s move from the Genocide issue to adding claim to Wilson Armenia, Mt Ararat and more. Will President Obama now give several million dollars to Armenia and all will be forgotten? Turkish Airlines with Kobe going in to LA – in the heart of Armenian Power is a in your face statement….now endorsed by the Present Administration.
    Our work is cut out. New Energy. New Strategy for 2011 – for survival. Khimian Hyrik was right. The Paper Spoon. Nothing has changed over the past century!

    • Seervart said:

      You are right John Krikorian, truly right. We have to take off our kid gloves and fight for our Wilsonian Armenia. Never mind just for acceptance of the Genocide by a president who lied to get only his election campaign, thanks to Obama. The same goes for Clinton. It is high time for our country and our people in Diaspora to fight for the WILSON ARBITRATION AWARD!!!

  29. Razmig said:

    Ara, good job, you spoke from many broken hearts. Payts baykar-e ge sharounagvi.

  30. Hye mart said:

    All these Armenian organizations (ANCA, AAA, etc…) should invest money in Armenian American college students who want to become politicians and help them go up in the ranks instead of throwing money away at these non Armenian assholes.

  31. Ara said:

    I think we should ask Mark Geragos to start suing the polititians who promiss and lie to citizens in order to aquire the votes and then not honor their promiss! This is going too far – when we invest in a polititian we should be able to collect.

    • Taleen said:

      Ara- on the contrary! We should sue the Armenian leaders
      who take money from our community, make everyone vote for the
      democrats and allow the Armenians to believe that they are working
      hard behind the scenes to accomplish our goals. It is time for an
      Armenian Leadership change as well as strategy change. What is the
      definition of insanity? When you do the same thing over and over
      again. Isn’t it time to analyze how long we have been doing the
      same thing over and over, throughout the years?

  32. facts said:

    This first of all a shame for US!

    Armenian American community should not underestimate the situation and what till now being achieved by Armenian Diaspora world wide!

    Turkish government including Turkish secret service and Turkish fascism had to mobilize all there resources in a fanatic way!. We will not know, but most probably this and that ugly threats might be voiced by Turkish against single members of US Congress and there families! I would recall the fact, how Turkish took British solders hostage to force British Empire to free jailed Turkish rulers in Malta in 1919..

    Turkey is a criminal state with- when Turkish foreign Minster issuing threats – such as “the world will see the Turkish reaction- this is a more an hapless call for help and a “go ahead” to Turkish ultra nationalist to use more useful threats and blackmails against US (of core using diplomatic language while terrorizing the Speaker and her staff! )

    PS: Didn’t Turkish threat to kill US solders a couple years ago?

  33. jacque said:

    Brothers and Sisters I think time has come to collectivley SUE turkey for our loss, in US and UN courts.
    Let’s bring justice to them. We have plantie of proof to win our case. History is our witness.
    let’s start a petition and gather 1.5 million names and submitt a law suit against all goverments whoe denie and cover up for turkey, as accomplisses for GENOCIDE.

  34. Garo said:

    ITs time that ANCA and all concerned Armenian organizations turn their attention away from Congress and towards reparations. What would one more congressional nonbinding resolution achieve? President Regan said it was Genocide, Two previous Congress resolutions have passed the recognition bills. Its time to go to the second R, Reparations!
    Garo

  35. Jay said:

    Yes ,Ara,very impressive ‘SPEECH,” So, what is the next plan? Electing Hispanics to represent our cause?

  36. Roman said:

    All democats out. Pizdosi FIRST! Vote Labor party in.All fresno armenians should continue pay her bills. What a joke.

  37. Mego said:

    Armenians of the Diaspora congratulation,we stood against the strong Oil companies, the biggest Businesses of the world,the corrupt liar goverenments, and the oldest lobbey that according to Christians crucified the son of God,and we are still standing, Invest in Armenian. in the next five years lets send five Representatives,and three Senators.

  38. mko Kaynakjian said:

    You’ll never get anywhere by trying to change things through Washington DC and the politicians there. Perhaps your chances would be better and your efforts more attainable if Armenians in the “diaspora” tried to push through their goals via ARMENIA itself. This would get you people actually involved in the political, social and cultural life of the only Armenian state exisiting today. Rather than begging for crumbs year in and year out from successive U.S. administrtaions that support NATO and Turkish hegemony over the ruins of western Armenia, you dispossessed Armenians might just contribute to something real and tangible – the development and democratization of Armenia.

  39. Jeffrey Jones said:

    The AAA is a joke. Probably a front for the State Department. I used to be a dues paying member – not anymore.

  40. An Armo said:

    I really feel sorry for all this, I think we are in crux of breaking point of Armenian unity at whole, as Ara mentioned rightly so in the title this refusal will have dire consequences, but unfortunantly these consequences will be forced on us as Armenian nation!
    it is painful and regretful to see that after one whole day passed, our own Armenian Government hasn’t issued any formal low or high-level statement in regard of this matter and has been indifferent like has always been on the issue of Western Armenian occupied lands and the genocide and instead is declaring Armenia is ready to open borders with Turkey, yes our president only cries loudly and openly on these matters only in private gatherings of Armenian rich and wealthy in his travels abroad to gather more donations for his state, I really can’t tell who is right or wrong anymore!
    But i feel this 2010 was year of great victory for Turkey’s goverment in all aspects, including better relations with neghbhoring Iran and Greece, nullifing Armenian threat, spanking Israel on the buttocks and in the same time getting closer than ever to USA and NATO and so on…really a great year for extention of their strategical weight, and what we Armenians did, feed some double-cross political agents and begged for their mercy

  41. ZARMAIR said:

    Dear Asparez,
    Pelosi didn’t show her true colors, in truth, she showed, once again, our true colors of impudence.

  42. Van Armenia said:

    Van is an Armenian city obtained in Genocide. We have to
    return to our roots, and point out the fact that Turks are 85%
    Armenian–geneticaly…from abductions in 1071 AD and
    beyond

  43. amb said:

    You overestimate the political power Armenians have in the US. The only representative in danger of losing Armenian votes is Adam Schiff who has already expressed displeasure against the measure not being put to vote. ANC and the Assembly can influence a little bit with money contributions to the representatives but I am sure the representatives can go on and will survive without financial contributions from Armenian PACs.

    • manooshag said:

      amb… what ASSembly?… this misdirected useless gathering of some monied peoples who have not offered any valued support, except to follow the USA State Department’s stance against the
      efforts of Armenians. amb, wake up, ASSembly is disassembled/misdirected/leaders still taking all the worst/wrong stances. Worry about the monies of the Armenian Genocide Museum funds … Manooshag

  44. garo avedis said:

    I am not sure what Pelosi was thinking of,was she day dreaming about being a comeback kid afer 2012 Elections?

  45. K.O. said:

    Pathetic. Almost all of you are in denial about Turkiye’s power. And honestly all of this stems from your denial that Anatolia is now 100% Turkish. Denying this fact is the impetus for all of the 1915 tragedies and the impetus for your modern foolishly naive world view.

    I’m not a religious person, a nationalist, or have any dogmatic world view. However a clear message must be sent to those people who hold perverse ideas of revenge. We will do anything to maintain our security. Thanks.

    • Genocide survivor's grandson said:

      K.O. the denialist,
      Young Turks once dreamed of having the Armenian Highlands without Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Alevies, Greeks and Arabs, to create 100% Turkish Anatolia (your dream too). They planned for the extermination of all non-Turkic groups and then started with the Armenian, Assyrian and Greek Genocides (extermination of Kurds and Alevies is in the process). I admit that they were succesful to some extent. They managed to kill (I’m sure you are not sad for that) millions of Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks. But . . .
      I have bad news for you K.O. That dream of 100% Turkish Anatolia will never ever become a reality. Instead I assure you that the land called Turkey nowadays will disappear fro the maps in the near future and the Turks shall be kicked out and sent back to the Central Asia where they originated from. This is not a dream. It is happening now. Remember Hrant Dink.

  46. KNjdeh said:

    Great article, once again. Ara you have done a great job of summing up exactly how we feel…disappointed, digusted, and angry…at not only Pelosi and the Dems in power, but also the sell out Armenian ASSembly. We need to call them out for going behind our backs, pretending to speak in our names and giving Pelosi, Obama, and all the other pansies in our government an out for doing the opposite of what the vast majority of the community wanted. That’s ok, because when 2012 rolls around, they will feel the pain of losing their Armenian voters, and thus losing their seats in Congress. What we need is Armenians elected in Congress.

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