Pulitzer Prize-winning author and the former US ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, took to social media Monday to apologize for not properly acknowledging the Armenian Genocide during her tenure in President Barack Obama’s administration.
“I am very sorry that, during our time in office, we in the Obama administration did not recognize the #Armenian Genocide,” Power said in a series of tweets on Monday.
“Almost every Armenian-American family was touched in some way by the genocide. Ongoing Turkish denial makes the genocide an open wound…,” added Power who became the first high-ranking member of the Obama administration to apologize for the president’s failure to honor his campaign pledge.
“Thinking of Armenians everywhere on Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. 102 years ago, Ottoman authorities began a slaughter that wd kill 1.5 m,” continued Power.
In 2003, Power won a Pulitzer Prize for her well-reviewed and much publicized book, “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,” which underscored the denial of the Armenian Genocide as a precursor for other such atrocities in history.
She joined the Obama campaign in 2008 and a week before the election released a video directed at the Armenian-American community urging them to vote for Obama given his numerous promises to recognize the Genocide once elected president.
Of course, Obama reversed course and he didn’t honor his campaign pledge.
Many thought that Power would use her perch at the United States’ Ambassador to the UN to set the record straight. She faced criticism throughout the Obama years for her own public silence on the issue.
However, at an event in December honoring Holocaust survivor and Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel, Power hailed the human rights activist and said that “Genocide against the Armenians” was one of the reasons that injustices continue to this day. This comment was seen as a possible change in the Obama administration’s position on the matter during its final days.
However, when pressed, Power’s spokespeople were quick to point out that her remarks at the Wiesel event did not represent a change in Obama’s policy.