The Armenian Student Association and Armenian Graduate Student Association at UCLA, the Armenian Youth Federation and the ARF Shant Student Association will be joining members of the UCLA community in protesting a visit, to the campus, by US Representative Jane Harman (D-CA-36) this Saturday, November 10th. The Protest will begin at 5 pm. While She is visiting the campus to accept the Jacoby International Award, her recent actions in opposition to H.Res.106, the Armenian Genocide resolution, have provoked outrage from a broad cross section of community leaders and elected officials.
While the Congresswoman has offered to meet with representatives from our organizations an hour before the event this Saturday, none of her statemen’s or actions to date from previous meetings with other community organizations to statemen’s of hers issued through various press outlets indicate that she is prepared to unequivocally support the passage of H.Res.106 at this time. We would be more than happy to meet with the Congresswoman when this is the case.
Congresswoman Harman has repeatedly referred to a causal or correlative relationship between the resolution and tensions in Iraq. However, recently, in an interview with Wolf Blitzer, the Turkish Ambassador to the United States, Nabi Sensoy, stated that there was no linkage between the resolution and any current or future tensions between Turkey, the United States and Iraq. Nonetheless, Turkey has continued to act in accord with its own interests. This is indicated by Turkish air strikes and military operations into northern Iraqi Kurdistan independent of developmen’s related to the resolution. Finally, in 2003 there was no Armenian Genocide resolution in Congress yet Turkey declined to allow the United States to open a northern front into Iraq. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and other high-ranking military officials have clearly stated that this lack of support from Turkey contributed heavily to coalition losses and damaged our troops’ strategic positioning. These facts and many others dispel the linkage conjured by opponents of the resolution between Congressional recognition of the Armenian Genocide and the reality of an ongoing war in the Middle East.
The ASA and AGSA remain concerned with the Congresswoman’s numerous offered statemen’s and explanations for her opposition to the resolution’s passage at this time. The fact of the matter remains, there is never a wrong time to do the right thing and passing H.Res.106, at this time, is the right thing to do.