Pressure Grows for President Bush to Honor his Campaign Pledge to Recognize the Armenian Genocide
WASHINGTON–The list of Congressional co-signers of a letter urging President Bush to properly characterize Ottoman Turkey’s campaign to annihilate its Armenian citizens between the years of 1915-1923 grew to over 135 this week–as Armenian American across the US continue their efforts to educate legislators about this crime against humanity–reported the Armenian National Committee of America.
To date–137 House Members have signed the letter–initiated by Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Joe Knollenberg (R-Mich.) and Frank Pallone (D-NJ). Representatives will have until April 12th to add their name to the letter.
Pointing out that the September 11 terrorist attacks have reminded many of earlier victims of mass slaughter–the Knollenberg-Pallone letter notes that "Perhaps now more than ever–we can commiserate with the horrors faced by 1.5 million Armenia’s who were brutally killed at the hands of the Ottoman Empire and those survivors who took refuge in the United States. . . We must ensure that the historical lessons of the Armenian Genocide be properly understood to prevent future genocides and senseless killings." The letter goes on to urge President Bush to "stand by your pledge made in 2000 and appropriately acknowledge the Armenian Genocide as genocide in your April 24th commemoration statement."
Members of Congress–including Reps. David Bonior (D-Mich.)–Anna Eshoo (D-Calif.)–Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)–Constance Morella (R-Md.)–George Radanovich (R-Calif.)–Ed Royce (R-Calif.)–Adam Schiff (D-Calif.)–John Sweeney (R-NY) have circulated over a dozen "Dear Colleague" letters urging fellow House Members to add their names in support of the Knollenberg-Pallone letter.
Following the anthrax attacks on Congress late last year–conventional mail delivery to Congress has slowed down considerably–to allow for he protective measures for all letters addressed to legislators. As such–Armenian Americans have turned to the ANCA WebFax system in greater numbers to relay their views to their Representatives quickly and easily. Community members are urged to visit the ANCA website–review the list of 137 Representatives who have already co-signed the letter–and send an ANCA WebFax to those who have not as yet voiced their support. F The number for the Congressional switchboard is (202) 225-3121.