Taleen Khalafian

Sundial, California State University in Northridge
March 30 2010

France has done it. Italy, Germany, and Switzerland have done it, too.

About twenty countries (and forty-two U.S. states) have officially
recognized the Armenian Genocide. Now, it's time for the United States
government to step up and do the same.

Doing so will affect relations between the U.S. and Turkey and for this
reason, President Obama's administration, including Secretary of State
Hillary Clinton, is against the measure. The truth of the matter is,
though, justice and human values should take precedence over politics.

The genocide of 1915 sought to wipe out the Armenian culture with the
massacre of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians. Women and children
were brutally raped, dehydrated, and starved while on death marches
led by the Ottoman Empire.

The term genocide is defined by Merriam-Webster as the "deliberate
and systematic destruction of a racial, political, or cultural
group." By this legal definition, it is impossible to deny that the
mass-killings of 1915 were indeed intended to exterminate the Armenian
people altogether and was, therefore, a genocide.

Earlier this month, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed
House Resolution 232 which would officially label these massacres as
genocide. However, this is only the first step, and a baby step at
that. The measure has yet to go through Congress in April and win the
floor vote. And although President Obama promised to acknowledge the
genocide while on the campaign trail, he has recently discouraged
the passing of the resolution due to the U.S's current alliance
with Turkey.

Clearly, it is all about the politics; while the President does not
deny that the genocide has occurred, he has noted that the timing of
the resolution is just not right, the alliance being too important
to the United States.

So, why should we care? This issue is not only in the best interests
of the Armenian people, it is a human rights issue. By passing this
resolution, we can gradually begin to put an end to genocides around
the world, such as the current situations in Congo and Sudan.

Adolf Hitler, influenced by the Armenian Genocide, was infamously
quoted to have said, "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation
of the Armenians?" By shining an international light on the genocide
of 1915, we will ultimately be saying, "This is not ok." Think of
what would happen, for example, if murderers and sex offenders were
brushed off and not convicted; crime rates would sky rocket and basic
human rights would go out the window.

Turning a blind eye to the mass killings of an entire nation is
morally wrong, no matter how significant the ties between the U.S. and
Turkey. The very fact that the Turkish government is adamantly denying
the genocide rather than accepting it as a part of history should
prompt the United States to do the right thing, even if it means
cutting off its political ties.

Do we really need an ally that, almost one hundred years later,
fails to accept the truth... even going so far as to recall its U.S.

ambassador upon the passing of House Resolution 232 and arrest any of
its citizens who claim the genocide occurred (while, interestingly,
that law is just the opposite in Switzerland and France, where it is
illegal to deny the genocide happened)?

Hopefully, our government will do the right thing by finally accepting
the Armenian genocide and facing any backlash with heads held high. liticking-and-recognize-armenian-genocide/

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress