Mr. President, Armenian-Americans Reject Your Offensive Word Games on Genocide

Harut Sassounian


Despite Armenian-Americans’ persistent admonishment of Pres. Obama to refrain from substituting “Meds Yeghern” (Great Calamity) for the Armenian Genocide in his annual April 24 statement, he has continued to do so for three years in a row.

Apparently, henchmen of the denialist Turkish regime and their American cohorts have been able to compel the President of the United States to avoid any reference to the “genocide” or “tseghasbanoutyoun” — its Armenian equivalent. Otherwise, why would the President of the United States address the American public in a foreign language known only to a few? Armenian substitute words such as “Meds Yeghern” are simply meant to fool some gullible Armenian-Americans. This is a cheap trick that is beneath the dignity of the Presidency!

Over the past three years, rather than mending his ways and discontinuing the use of “Meds Yeghern,” Pres. Obama has done the exact opposite. Incredibly, he is using that term in this year’s April 24 statement not once, not twice, but three times! The President shamefully continues the silly and offensive word games of his predecessors — whom he had severely criticized — reducing genocide to “horrific events,” “atrocities,” “massacres,” and “devastating events.”

Earlier this month, Pres. Obama declared his candidacy for reelection and asked Americans to reelect him for another four more years. In my view, anyone who so blatantly breaks his promises on both Armenian and non-Armenian issues, including acknowledgment of the genocide, does not deserve to be reelected. It is hard to imagine that any self-respecting Armenian would vote for him again.

To show how offended they are by Pres. Obama’s broken promises, over a thousand Armenian-Americans held a spirited protest at Sony Studios in Culver City, at the site of his major fundraiser on the eve of April 24. Their anguished message was carried far and wide by the assembled local, national and international media. Just about every news outlet highlighted the protesters’ mistrust of Pres. Obama, casting a shadow on the celebratory atmosphere of the hiss reelection campaign.

Helping to amplify the protesters’ message was vocalist Serj Tankian of the System of a Down whose presence and fiery remarks electrified the crowd, attracting considerable media attention.

Another major boost for the demonstration came from TV celebrity Kim Kardashian who sent a twitter message to her 7.2 million fans around the world, along with a link to her blog: “Today, thousands of Armenians will come together in Los Angeles to protest against the denial of the genocide and urge the United States government to recognize the Armenian Genocide. I hope that I can bring some attention to this today.”

During my recent appearances on ABC-TV and FOX-TV, I explained that the purpose of the protest was not to beg Pres. Obama to use the word genocide. It was rather to let him and other politicians know that Armenian-Americans would no longer remain silent when an elected official makes lavish campaign promises to get their votes and money, only to ignore them after the election. These officials should be made to pay a political price for their hypocrisy. To make democracy work, citizens should ensure that dishonest politicians are not reelected. It is bad enough to be fooled once; but allowing ourselves to be fooled twice is truly unforgivable!

Using the Culver City rally as a precedent, Armenian-Americans throughout the United States should hold protests at every campaign appearance of Pres. Obama in the next 18 months!

Furthermore, Armenians do not really need Pres. Obama to repeat what Pres. Reagan stated 30 years ago by referring to the Armenian Genocide in his Presidential Proclamation of April 22, 1981. By breaking his campaign pledge, Pres. Obama compromises his moral and political standing as the leader of the free world!

Let us not forget two other major culprits in this deplorable affair! Where is Vice President Joe Biden hiding these days? Does he recall that he delivered dozens of strongly-worded speeches on the Armenian Genocide during his long years in the Senate and as presidential candidate? What about Hillary Clinton? How quickly did she transform herself from a champion of genocide recognition as Senator and presidential candidate, into a Secretary of State who hides from the media while placing a “personal” wreath at the Genocide Monument in Yerevan, and lobbies Congressmen to vote against a genocide resolution?

The 2012 elections present an ideal opportunity to settle scores with all those who have betrayed the trust of the Armenian-American community.

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  1. Sabina said:

    Settling scores by supporting one of the republican buffoons who are threatening to run in 2012 will not get us any closer to the goal of having US recognize AG. Do you rally think any of the republican candidates out there would go against Turkey? Look at the record of AG bills support or sponsorship among the republicans in Congress. Settling scores with Obama while handing this country to the liars and hypocrites who are fit for a circus is simply illogical and immoral.

    • Halo said:

      There was one President who used the legal term ‘Genocide’ and he happened to be a Republican. Do the math.

    • sebouh nazarian of australia said:

      So what is your suggestion….to stick with the Democrats??PPPPPPPPPPlease!!!!!!

    • manooshag said:

      So, create a third party candidiate… One fine Armenian… who might very well win since there
      Democrats/Republicans candidates may be lacking in the morality that is needed for the American nation… in all its actions… too, ending the cycle of slaughters and worse of innocent via unending Genocides!!

  2. Berge Minasian said:

    When will our “leaders” quit drinking the “kool Aid” offered to them by American politicians on the campaign trail? Enough already! Harut laid it our clearly. We have already expended massive amounts of “Armenian Treasure ” and political capital on trying to get politicians to officially state what our great Republican president Ronald Reagan did some thirty years ago. Publicly demonstrating against President Obama will only serve to drive a deeper wedge between our agenda and the mainstream American political hierachy.

  3. Dave said:

    I expect the President of the United States to act for the best interests of the US. We need access to Incirlik airbase in Turkey. We need the efficient transport of troops and supplies that Incirlik supports. My son just came back temporarily from Afghanistan and spent an overnight at Incirlik. It was a plane ferrying back wounded some of whom needed assistance that was available at Incirlik before continuing on.

    So enough of the histrionics and feigned surprise that US national interests and the safety of our troops trumps diasporan Armenian priorities however righteous.

    • Christo said:

      You’re so right, Dave. Your “son’s” overnight rest outweighs “diasporan” Armenian priorities “however” righteous. I wonder how you would feel witnessing powerlessly, if your son was forced to position himself on a stake with horseshoes nailed to his heels, a bible ( if he even knows anything about Judaism or Christianity) in his hands asking his God to save his life. I wonder at that point would you get it? I doubt it very much, then again maybe, when they do a number like Nick Berg on your hero son, who likes RR in Incerlik, that’s when you’ll get a nice slap and finally get it. It the mean time Salamu Aleykom.
      Then again, living in America, why would that happen to you or your family. Thank the state department, a mosque is coming to your neighborhood real soon. HOPING YOUR SON WON’T BE INFLUENCED BY HIS NEW RELIGIOUS ENVIRONMENT AND CONVERT, life would really be hell for you and your family.

      • Dave said:


        Before America, our family home was Kharpert in Western Armenia. On my mothers side we had both my grandparents and one great grandparent who survived the genocide. On my father’s side my grandparents survived the genocide. Three generations have been born here in the USA. Multiple generations have served in the military.

        We’ve made our choice-we have pledged our allegiance. If you feel strongly about putting Armenian interests ahead of the United States, then I hope you would have the courage of your convictions. Armenia needs help-if you are young and fit-join the Armenian Army-if you have a skill, then bring it to Armenia. Go and make Armenia strong. I sincerely wish you every success and hope that Armenia becomes strong and able to defend its own interests.

        If you live in Armenia and are placing your life in service to your people and country-God Bless.

        • Christo said:

          I appreciate your families service to the armed forces. I also have family members who lost their lives in WWII, Korea, Vietnam, and Desert Storm. Please, DON’T SHORT CHANGE ME BY SUGGESTING THAT THE CURRENT REPUBILC OF ARMENIA IS WHAT I NEED TO BE SATISFIED WITH. None of my ancestors, have ever set foot on Eastern Armenia. Since, you claim that your ancestors are from Kharpert, then you should also know that Western Armenia, and CILICIA is Armenian territory. Do NOT short change me, by lecturing me about the current Republic of Armenia. Out of the destruction of the Ottoman Empire, 22 nations emerged. Only two nations were not allowed to become independent nations, Armenia and Kurdistan.
          Your allegiance excuse is comical, I wonder if your ancestors a couple of thousand years ago, argued that their allegiance is to the Byzantine or the Persian or the Roman, Mameluk, Ottoman empire, therefore, our village politics at the Armenian level is not valid.
          Dave, does it bother you the dual-allegiance God’s chosen people have? Why, is it that they can be comfortable with their dual-allegiance and a person like yourself can’t?
          From your response, I can deduce, that you will blindly be in lock step with the state department pin heads who for personal gains and reasons map out the foreign policy of our beloved country.
          I guess, living as a third generation American, you haven’t understood what
          America is about.
          My advice to you stop drinking so much Kool Aid, because you have become a TOKEN Armenian who is being played like a pawn in the hands of the state department.
          That said, if you have made your allegiance to America, and trust me there is nothing wrong with that whatsoever. Why would you even bother with anything Armenian, let alone, visit an Armenian news web site and leave comments? I’m sure there are a lot of websites where they praise the turks, Turkey, and their contribution to world civilization, why bother with the village politics?
          FYI, I’m sure you know that successive American presidents, and European leaders keep reminding privately the leadership of RoT that they are occupying Armenian lands, but, in order to not rock the boat they would receive concessions. Thus, Incerlik.
          Did you ever question, that an independent Western Armenia or Cilicia, would not allow an American air, or naval base on it’s territory?
          Salam Soyla, Dave!

          • Dave said:


            I am struck by your dismissal of the idea that an Armenian patriot might better serve Armenia by volunteering in its Army or bringing needed skills and capital to that country. You state and this is a direct quote: “None of my ancestors, have ever set foot on Eastern Armenia”.

            Yet, you expect American families to up the risk to their military sons and daughters,through the potential loss of vital supply routes through Turkey ,by standing up for Armenia–a place where none of their ancestors ever set foot.

            Whining about what others have not done for Armenia doesn’t seem like a successful plan to win back Western Armenia. No more successful than Halo’s plan of demanding impotent world institutions to get the countries & successor states of WW1 to give justice to Armenians.

            There doesn’t seem anyway to avoid it–if you want a strong Armenia. An Armenia that can more effectively represent the interests of Armenia and its disaspora then patriots are going to need to stop braying at the world for not doing enough and intensify the hard work of building a strong country characterized by democracy and the rule of law.

    • Halo said:

      I got news for you “Dave”. Had justice prevailed rather than injustice, your son would have speant the night in Armenia, not Turkey. Incirlik is in Armenian territory, and illegally occupied by a terrorist government, and the wester free world agrees so far, but primarily because of the Soviet Union. Since the Soviet Union is no more, it is once again time for justice to prevail.

      “American interests” meaning the pursuit of profit are irrelevant and illegal when crimes against humanity have not been addressed properly. Armenians will not rest until they finally get the countires involved in WWI to follow the rule of law and bring justice to the criminal government of Turkey.

  4. Anon said:

    Great article, Sabina you couldn’t be anymore right. Democrats and Republicans can’t do anything for us cause they are way too far up Turkey’s you know what. The federal government will not listen to the American people. It’s sad to say that our cause in an example of this kind of corruption. Solution? Revolution!

    • manooshag said:

      So, create the third party candidate – an Armenian to run for president. Appears many others, in addition to Armenians will choose a non-Democrat or a non-Republican candidate.