NEW YORK—On April 24, CNN anchor and chief Washington correspondent Jake Tapper reported on President Barack Obama’s dramatic retreat from his pledge – for the sixth year in a row – to properly characterize the murder of 1.5 million Armenians as “genocide.”
Using video of then Senator Obama,and Samantha Power’s campaign pitch for the President in 2008, Tapper concluded that the facts once characterized by Obama as undeniable, are in fact, for the President “quite deniable.”
“For the sixth year in a row, President Barack Obama has broken his promise to the Armenian community, made when seeking their votes as a senator and a presidential candidate, to use the word “genocide” to describe the massacre of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire a century ago. He did this in deference to the government of Turkey, which – historical revisionism aside – the Obama administration regards as a more crucial ally,” Tapper wrote in an article.
The disappointment from Armenian-Americans is all the more profound because not only did then-Senator Obama promise to call the massacre a “genocide,” he held up his willingness to do so as an example of why he was the kind of candidate the nation needed, noting as a presidential candidate that in 2006 he had criticized then-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for firing U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans “after he properly used the term ‘genocide’ to describe Turkey’s slaughter of thousands of Armenians starting in 1915. I shared with Secretary Rice my firmly held conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence.”
“The facts are undeniable,” Obama said then, though today he denied them.
“America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides,” he said in 2008. “I intend to be that president.”