Editorial

The Big Why

On the eve of the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide–Turkey has launched a worldwide offensive against Armenia’s.

The Turkish government and its domestic opposition–usually at each other’s throats (sometimes literally–with fistfights breaking out in Turkey’s parliament)–have agreed on a joint campaign to deny the Genocide–to minimize political damage to Turkey–and maybe even turn the tide against Armenia’s.

It’s "understandable" that Turkey’s allies–including the United States and Israel–would help in that effort–after all–they’ve already been helping Turkey minimize damage as the worldwide campaign for Genocide recognition has gained momentum in recent years.

But why–on the eve of the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide–is the Armenian Assembly of America helping Turkey deny justice to the Armenian people?

True–that’s what the Assembly has done in recent years with its support for the US-and Turkish-sponsored "Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission" (TARC)–and its most infamous outcome: an anonymously authored report concluding that Turkey doesn’t have to pay for its Genocide against the Armenia’s.

But why is the Assembly still pushing that shameful report?

Most recently–the Assembly leadership apparently convinced Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Frank Pallone and Joe Knollenberg to cite that report in an otherwise praiseworthy letter–addressed to US Secretary of State Rice–calling for US recognition of the Genocide.

Without doubt–the Assembly would say–as it has in the past–that the TARC-commissioned report also confirmed that a genocide took place–so what’s wrong with citing it?

Well–plenty’s wrong with it.?

That anonymous report–supposedly facilitated by the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ)–did in fact conclude that "The Events [the reference is to the Genocide –Asbarez]–viewed collectively–can thus be said to include all of the elemen’s of the crime of genocide as defined in the Convention [on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide]–and legal scholars as well as historians–politicians–journalists and other people would be justified in continuing to so describe them."

But–more significantly–the report also concluded: "no legal–financial or territorial claim arising out of the Events could successfully be made against any individual or state under the Convention."

So what’s wrong with the TARC-sponsored report is that it lets Turkey completely off the hook for Genocide!

It doesn’t say that Turkey should admit the Genocide–but it does say that Armenia’s shouldn’t expect to receive justice for the crime that Turkey committed against the Armenian people.

So what’s so great about that?

In fact–it’s the single most dangerous piece of "evidence" to cite–or to have Members of Congress cite–even when calling for US recognition of the Genocide.

There are thousands of credible reports and studies confirming the fact of the Genocide that could be cited. But there is only one with any sort of standing ("thanks" to Assembly’s support of TARC and the use of ICTJ’s name) that says the Armenia’s shouldn’t expect justice.

So–on the eve of the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide–in essence this is what the Armenian Assembly of America is saying: Turkey shouldn’t bear any consequence for the rape of tens of thousands of Armenian women and children–the murder of 1.5 million Armenia’s–the plunder of their valuables and property–the illegal occupation of the Armenia’s’ historic homeland of more than two thousand years–and the devastation of an entire culture.

It’s time–on the eve of the 90th anniversary of the Armenian genocide–that all concerned Armenia’s–including the many decent members of the Armenian Assembly–ask the Armenian Assembly’s leadership:

Why are you helping the Turks get away with the murder of 1.5 million Armenia’s?

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