OBAMA AND GENOCIDE

Spectator.co.uk
http://www.spectator.co. uk/alexmassie/3451421/obama-and-genocide.thtml
Mar ch 18 2009

It's nearly April which means it's nearly Armenia time too. That is,
we are approaching the latest edition of Washington's reluctance
to call the Armenian genocide what it is and was: genocide. On the
campaign trail, of course, everyone says how important this is; in
power such concerns melt away. My friend Matt Welch points out that,
unsurprisingly, the Obama administration is no different to any of
its predecessors in discovering that the responsibilities of power
require a degree of historical trimming.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the administration is "hesitating"
about making any presidential statement affirming the genocide or,
presumably, endorsing the annual effort to have Congress call a
genocide, you know, genocide. Apparently...

"At this moment, our focus is on how, moving forward, the United States
can help Armenia and Turkey work together to come to terms with the
past," said Michael Hammer, a spokesman for the National Security
Council. He said the administration was "encouraged" by improvements
in relations and believed it was "important that the countries have
an open and honest dialogue about the past."

If you think you've heard this tune before it's because you have. It's
become a ritual: all Presidential candidates decry the Armenian
genocide on the campaign trail and the successful ones always welsh
on calling it that once they are in power. George W Bush was no
exception. Realpolitik you say? Just the usual campaign stuff you have
to say? Well, perhaps. But if politicians want to be taken seriously
perhaps they should cease being quite so cynical.

Here's what Obama said on the campaign trail:

I also share with Armenian Americans - so many of whom are descended
from genocide survivors - a principled commitment to commemorating and
ending genocide. That starts with acknowledging the tragic instances
of genocide in world history. As a U.S. Senator, I have stood with the
Armenian American community in calling for Turkey's acknowledgement
of the Armenian Genocide. Two years ago, I criticized the Secretary
of State for the firing of 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. An official policy that
calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable
policy. As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian
Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106), and as President I
will recognize the Armenian Genocide.

In a better world it would be tough to walk back from this.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress