Posts Tagged ‘Armenian Genocide’

By David Luhrssen

The persecution of Armenians and Jews has a long history, but in the 20th century, special milestones mark the road to tragedy. Much as the Armenian Genocide began with the April 24, 1915 arrest of community leaders and intellectuals, the Jewish Holocaust’s starting point is often said to have occurred on Nov. 9, 1938 with Kristallnacht (Crystal Night), so called because the smashing of windows in Jewish shops, synagogues and homes featured prominently in the pogrom.

 Milwaukee’s Jewish community will remember Kristallnacht with “An Afternoon of Remembrance and Hope,” 3:30-5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 4. It will begin with an outdoor ceremony at the Memorial to the Holocaust, 1360 N. Prospect Ave., and continue with an interfaith commemoration and program at the Rubenstein Pavilion of the Jewish Home and Care Center, 1414 N. Prospect Ave. Holocaust survivors Werner Richheimer and Betsy Maier Reilly will speak at the event.

Leaders of the Armenian communities of Milwaukee and Racine will be in attendance. We encourage our members to come and show solidarity with a people whose history parallels our own.

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By Harut Sassounian

http://www.armenianweekly.com/2012/08/16/sassounian-leading-muslim-cleric-issued-fatwa-condemning-turks-for-killing-armenians/

I recently came across an extremely significant Islamic document that severely criticizes Turks for using religion as a cover to killing Armenian Christians.

This rarely seen document is a fatwa, or religious decree, issued in May 1909 by Grand Sheikh Salim al-Bishri of Egypt, condemning Turkish Muslims for massacring 30,000 Armenians in Adana, a major city in the Ottoman Empire.

Sheikh al-Bishri of al-Azhar Mosque, the leader of the Muslim world’s preeminent center of Islamic studies in Cairo, issued this fatwa to counter the decree issued in April 1909 by a Turkish mufti (religious leader) that urged Turks to kill Armenians because “they were against Muslims and God.”

Upon seeing a passing reference to the Egyptian fatwa on the internet, I contacted Prof. Mohammed Rifaat al-Emam, an expert on Armenian history, whom I had met during a recent visit to Cairo. Dr. al-Emam kindly sent me the original Arabic text of this important religious document, excerpts of which are presented below in English translation for the first time:

“We have seen in local newspapers agonizing news and vile reports about Muslims of some Anatolian provinces of the Ottoman Empire attacking Christians and killing them brutally. We could not believe these reports and hoped that they were false, because Islam forbids aggression, oppression, bloodshed, and harming human beings—Muslims, Christians, and Jews alike.

“Oh Muslims living in that region and elsewhere, beware of actions prohibited by Allah in His Sharia [Islamic law] and spare the blood that Allah prohibited to spill and do not transgress on anyone since Allah does not like aggressors…

“Your duty towards those who are allied with you, who entrusted their safety to you and who reside among you and next to you from Ahlul Dhimma [Jewish and Christian minorities protected under Islam], as imposed by Allah, is to uplift them as you would uplift yourselves, prevent them from what you prevent yourselves and your kinsfolk, make your strength their strength, make pride and prosperity out of your strength, and protect their monasteries and churches the way you protect your mosques and temples.

“Whoever abuses their women, draws the sword on them, and oppresses them contradicts Muslims’ pledge to Allah, which is the obligation of Muslims.

“Be informed that if what the public is hearing is true, then you have angered your Allah and did not satisfy your Prophet and the Sharia. You kept your Muslim brothers away from their religion, whose rejection became hideous by this heinous act, violating what is forbidden, and you let loose tongues of people ignorant of your religion to pronounce hideous words against all Muslims.

“Then, hear some of what your Prophet said about conditions similar to what you are in today. He said: ‘He who kills an allied person [person joined with Islam by an agreement in order to give help and support] will not smell the fragrance of Paradise, and if he smells it, that would be at a distance of 40 years.’ He also said: ‘A person who rejects a dhimmi [a person from Jewish and Christian minorities] will be whipped with flagella of fire on Judgment Day.’”

This document makes it amply clear that the Armenian massacres of 1909 and the subsequent genocide of 1915 were not the result of religious conflict between Muslim Turks and Christian Armenians. The Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar rightly condemned the Turks for the mass murder of Armenians, which was committed for racist Pan-Turkic—not Pan-Islamic—reasons, along with the intent of capturing Armenian lands and properties. The various fatwa issued by Turkish muftis were intended to provoke fanatical Turkish mobs to attack and massacre innocent Armenians.

Sheikh al-Bishri’s 1909 fatwa was further reinforced by the decree issued in 1917 by al-Husayn Ibn Ali, the sharif of Mecca, ordering all Muslims to defend Armenians and “provide everything they might need…because they are the Protected People of the Muslims about whom the Prophet Muhammad said: ‘Whoever takes from them even a rope, I will be his adversary on the Day of Judgment.’”

In 2009, when Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan stated that “Muslims don’t commit genocide,” he was only partly right. He should have said, “Good Muslims don’t commit genocide.” The leaders of the Young Turk Party who masterminded the Armenian Genocide in 1915 were not faithful Muslims, judging by the teachings of the Quran, the Holy Book of Islam. They were simply criminals who used Islam as a convenient cover to carry out mass murder. The compassionate fatwa of the Grand Sheikh of al-Azhar still rings true today as the Muslim world celebrates the end of Ramadhan.

http://www.armenianweekly.com/2012/08/16/sassounian-leading-muslim-cleric-issued-fatwa-condemning-turks-for-killing-armenians/

 

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By Tom Vartabedian On July 4, 2012 http://www.armenianweekly.com/2012/07/04/turks-rebuke-school-genocide-classes/

Just when you think life has dealt you a pat hand, along comes a conniver to steal your pot.

For the past four years, members of our Armenian Genocide Education Committee of Merrimack Valley have filtered in and out of high schools north of Boston.

We’ve also expanded our reach to include schools around Greater Boston like Newton South. Scores of children have benefitted from our lessons. In most every case, instructors have been overwhelmed by the impact being made, for they, too, come out learning a valuable lesson in history.

There hasn’t been one repercussion, not even a grunt from a naysayer—until now. A vile and vindictive article from a pro-Turkish website (History of Truth) crossed my eyes bearing the headline: “Armenians Spreading Their Lies at High Schools.”

The gutless piece failed to carry a byline, thus making it more intolerable.

What’s more, a photograph of Wilmington High students holding samples of postage stamps they had designed carried the inscription: “Their Lies Reached to Schools.”

The group photo also had the two presenters that day, myself and Albert S. Movsesian. The ideas for a postage stamp were being sent to the postmaster general of the United States in an effort to get a commemorative stamp minted for the 100th anniversary in 2015.

A completely harmless project meant to both elucidate and arouse our younger non-Armenian population was slurred with malice.

The rebuttal was generated in response to an all-encompassing piece written by chairman Dro Kanayan giving readers a fairly detailed account of the progress made in schools this year. How effective has it been?

While attending a grand niece‘s Chelmsford High graduation party the week before, I approached a table occupied by students who had been addressed during a genocide class taught by Jennifer Doak.

“Hey, you look familiar. Aren’t you the guy who spoke to us about the Armenian Genocide?” a co-ed remarked.

“Yes, that’s me,” I replied. “What do you remember most about the class?”

“How difficult it was for your race to be slaughtered like that,” she replied. “We loved the story about the Calvin Coolidge Orphan Rug and how it found its way to the White House.”

The article goes go to say that the “Armenian Diaspora is spreading its lies by telling them at high schools.”

The next paragraph quoted Kanayan’s story: “Armenian researcher Dro Kanayan said for those people who feel that our elders and the youth cannot work together, don’t worry. Kanayan and both of his peers, Albert Movsesian and Tom Vartabedian, have been working together to have the so-called Armenian Genocide included in the high school curriculum on Human Rights in the Merrimack Valley.”

“They are teaching students about the so-called Armenian Genocide and Armenian culture.”

The story went on to say how we have “poisoned” the students in over 10 high schools, providing individual classroom presentation on comparative genocides over the past 100 years.

It proceeded to include other high school students, including a deaf student we encountered at Newton South who had learned about the genocide through American Sign Language.

Adding more insult to injury, a second photo was used of Dro Kanayan holding a picture of his famous grandfather General Dro, who led the siege at Bash Abaran during World War I.

I should be fuming over such poppycock. Instead, I hold no regret over those who are ill-informed and continue to show their absurdity. The more Turkey refutes historical fact, the more scornful it becomes.

The more truth will prevail and people will see how superficial the Turkish government continues to remain. What people lack in intelligence, they usually make up for in stupidity.

I recall once how vandals had climbed to the top of a billboard in Watertown and defaced a genocide sign that had been sponsored by activist/artist Daniel Varoujan Hejinian. For years, Hejinian has been putting up these notices to draw attention during April 24th.

For the most part, the Armenian papers publicized the act, but it also caught the attention of the American press, which matters more. The fact that some screwball scaled a building at night to commit an act of degradation suddenly became media hype. It appeared in newspapers and television networks, giving the Armenian Genocide more exposure than normal.

During a commemoration that week in Merrimack Valley, a local priest approached the podium and talked about the insanity.

“If that’s the way our genocide is going to catch the outside public’s eye, then let the billboards be vandalized,” he lashed out. “And let those responsible find guilt in the process.”

http://www.armenianweekly.com/2012/07/04/turks-rebuke-school-genocide-classes/

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BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN

http://asbarez.com/102833/lawsuit-happy-turkish-group-loses-appeal-on-armenian-genocide/

The Turkish Coalition of America (TCA) has been on a rampage in recent years, filing lawsuits against scholars, public officials, and civic groups who support the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Last week, a federal appeals court put an end to TCA’s legal tirade against the University of Minnesota by unanimously upholding a federal court’s decision dismissing TCA’s baseless allegations.

The Turkish advocacy group had filed a lawsuit against Prof. Bruno Chaouat, Director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the University of Minnesota, for labeling TCA’s website and others as “unreliable.” The university’s webpage had posted the following stern admonition to students: “We do not recommend these sites. Warnings should be given to students writing papers that they should not use these sites because of denial, support by an unknown organization, or contents that are a strange mix of fact and opinion.”

Initially, TCA had complained that the inclusion of TCA’s website on the university’s list of “Unreliable Websites” violated the Turkish group’s freedom of speech. The university rejected TCA’s allegation, although, the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies revised its website on Nov. 18, 2010, removing the “Unreliable Websites” and recommending new resources for genocide research. The university asserted that the revision was not prompted by TCA’s complaint and denied any wrongdoing. On Nov. 24, 2010, Prof. Chaouat posted a statement on the Center’s website explaining that the list of “Unreliable Websites” was removed because he did not want to “promote, even negatively, sources of illegitimate information.”

TCA then filed a lawsuit against the university, its president, and Prof. Chaouat, claiming that including its website on the same list as websites denying the Jewish Holocaust, stigmatized the Turkish organization. The court dismissed the lawsuit.

A three-judge panel of the 8th circuit federal appeals court upheld the lower court’s decision on May 3, 2012, ruling that the university did not violate TCA’s First Amendment rights, since it neither blocked nor restricted access to the Turkish website.

The judges also rejected the Turkish group’s second claim that it was defamed when the university stated that TCA’s website is “unreliable,” engages in “denial,” presents “a strange mix of fact and opinion,” and is an “illegitimate source of information.” In a sinister attempt to win the lawsuit, TCA claimed that its website did not deny certain underlying historical facts, affirming that “certainly hundreds of thousands of Armenians died.” However, since the Turkish website had alleged that it is “highly unlikely that a genocide charge could be sustained against the Ottoman government or its successor,” the judges ruled in favor of the university asserting that TCA had in fact engaged in “denial.”

TCA’s malicious lawsuit disturbed many US scholars who were worried that this case would set a dangerous precedent and have a chilling effect on academic freedom. The gravity of these concerns had prompted the Middle East Studies Association to demand TCA to withdraw its lawsuit.

Although TCA failed in its bullying tactics against the University of Minnesota, there is no guarantee that this Turkish group will stop suing other academic or civic organizations for refusing to cave in to Turkey’s denialist campaign. It should be noted that TCA spent $630,000 on legal fees out of its 2010 budget of $3.6 million. Significantly, no mention was made in its annual report of the sources of TCA’s funding, except a passing remark that it is “supported entirely by private donations.” The Boston Business Journal reported that Turkish-American Yalcin Ayasli, founder of Hittite Microwave Corp., contributed $30 million to TCA in 2007.

TCA engaged in the following wide ranging activities and political objectives with its $3.6 million budget in 2010:

– Delivered 75 position papers to members of Congress and US opinion leaders; – Monitored the American media; – Took a Native American business delegation to Turkey; – Lobbied the Congress against the Armenian Genocide resolution; – Advertised in Roll Call and Washington Quarterly; – Organized Summer internships in Washington for Turkish students; – Provided scholarships to African-American, Armenian-American, Hispanic American, Native American, and Turkish-American students to study in Turkish universities; – Awarded grants for academic conferences; – Offered research fellowships to professors Michael Gunter, Justin McCarthy, Hakan Yavuz, and others; – Contributed $100,000 grants to each of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations and Federation of Turkish American Associations, and a smaller amount to the Azerbaijan Society of America; – Spent $630,000 on lawsuits against various entities that support the Armenian Genocide issue; – Funded congressional trips to Turkey, and – Filed a report with the US government accusing the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) of being a “hate group.”

Given TCA’s tax-exempt charitable status, the Internal Revenue Service should investigate the legality of this Turkish group’s involvement in such extensive political and lobbying activities.

http://asbarez.com/102833/lawsuit-happy-turkish-group-loses-appeal-on-armenian-genocide/

 

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http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-cachet/armenian-genocide-anniversary_b_1448315.html

Courtney Cachet
Designer, TV Personality, Style Slave, Writer, Ninja

April 24th marks the 97th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide. Armenians mark this date in 1915, when several hundred Armenian leaders were rounded up, arrested and later executed as the start of the Armenian genocide and it is generally said to have extended to 1917. In total, over 1.5 million Armenians were massacred by the Turks in what is known as the Armenian Genocide. It was the first Holocaust of the 20th century. This, the world knows for sure. Turkey still denies this and whenever another country — as so many have — stands up and recognizes what happened to the Armenians as a genocide, they flex their political muscle and governments cave.

The reasons for their denial are simple. They want to be members of the European Union. The reasons governments such as the U.S. always promise the Armenians they will do something and never do is equally political. They are a key NATO ally, they are in a strategic geographic location for the U.S. and we have a military base there.

The thing is, Turkey can deny what they did over and over again but there are men and women who survived the reprehensible atrocities they inflicted on the Armenian people. They’ve told their stories.

We know them and we know what you did.

One such person was my grandfather, whom I knew as Marcel Cachat. Let me tell you about his life as it was told to me by him.

I can’t tell you when he was born, because when he lost his entire family in the infamous death marches. He was just a little boy. After all, who else could survive countless days without food or water marching into the Syrian desert? Only young, strong children. He was rescued by Greek missionaries who raised him in an orphanage in Greece. As a young man, he made his way on a boat and went to the South of France where many Armenians had gone. There, he went to work for a farm family because that is what he knew how to do. He needed to learn the language. As a a kid, I visited that farm family with him and my father. Soon after his arrival, local authorities got wind of his presence and he was called down to the local office. The French naturalized him, but suggested he change his name, as to assimilate into French society a little easier.

His name was changed from Missak Kachadurian to Marcel Cachat. Date of birth: unknown.

Eventually, through the Armenian community in Marseille, he met my grandmother Ardemis Tashjian. They married, started a little business and had my father, Marc.

During World War II, my grandfather fought for the French army and was captured right away without ever firing his gun. He was kept a German prisoner of war for several years while my grandmother raised my father back in France. Till the day he died, the very little English he spoke was with a heavy German accent. Not only did he speak fluent German, but he spoke fluent Turkish, Armenian, Greek, French and enough English later in life to hold a job in New York.

My father came to New York as a young man and started his life here in America. After my grandmother passed away in 1969, he followed him to New York, as well. He never knew his birthday and he had no known blood relatives besides us. He told me he remembered lots of people in his home growing up, but the memories were sketchy, at best.

I remember him as kind man who possessed a level of intelligence that was mind boggling, given his obvious lack of formal education. He was generous, too. He would buy us frivolous gifts and cook us wonderful dinners on Sundays. My mother told me he used to send donations in to PBS because he appreciated the educational shows they aired. He was a painter and had a garden that would make people stop their cars and ask him who his gardener was. He was humble, hard-working and very funny.

Pepe Marcel eventually went back to Marseille after several years in New York. He was happiest there, I believe. After all, it was practically his country. He raised his family there and most of my cousins still live there today. He remained active, walking four miles a day on the Corniche, one of the most beautiful streets in Marseille. He ended every day with a glass of red wine, how very French. He was very French, but he was always an Armenian man. With no roots, very little memories of a childhood and no place to go back home. Nevertheless, he married an Armenian woman, remained active in the Armenian community and raised his family in the Armenian Church. My husband is also Armenian and we will raise our children with the same values instilled in most Armenians. We work hard, we value family, education and are widely considered as high achievers in business. And no matter what happens to us, we will endure as my grandfather did.

 A famous quote comes to mind today:

 I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia. See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia. — William Saroyan

So to anyone who denies the Armenian Genocide ever happened I say only this. We know you did it and the world does, too. It will always be the stain you cannot remove from your history, no matter how hard you try to silence the truth.

More importantly, the survivors like Missak Kachadurian know you did it.

À la mémoire de mon Grand-Père Missak “Marcel” Cachat.

We will always remember.

 

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“I CALL UPON OUR PEOPLE TO DEMAND
THEIR STOLEN RIGHTS FROM TURKEY”, Said His Holiness Aram I

The summary of the message of His Holiness Aram I delivered on 24th April 2012 in Antelias to thousands of Armenian people who were gathered to commemorate the Armenian Genocide.

We are gathered today in front of the Martyrs Chapel, where the remains of some of the victims of the Armenian Genocide were buried in 1935 when the Catholicosate of Cilicia finally settled in Antelias.

We are here to recommit ourselves to the legacy we inherited from our martyrs, irrespective of the changing political conditions around us. Our martyrs also want us to make our voice heard by the leadership in the Arab world and Europe.

Turkey is seeking to expand its political and economic influence in the Arab World, Europe and Africa. Claiming to be a defender of minorities and a champion of democratic principles and human rights, Turkey is presenting itself as a peace-builder in the Arab World.

Can a nation that fills its prisons with human rights advocates and journalists lecture others on the imperative to champion democratic principles and human rights? Can a nation that systematically killed a million and a half members of one of its minority peoples and today denies that act demand that others defend their minorities?

The Prime Minister of Turkey has cynically stated that if there really was a genocide we should be able to show them where the graves of the victims are. We can tell them that the graves are in places that the Turks have renamed in order to attempt to erase historical memories: the Turkish towns and villages in Western Armenia, Cilicia and in Der Zor, the Syrian Desert.

In a cynical attempt to appear reasonable, Turkish authorities suggest that historians should sit down together and attempt to determine what really happened in Turkey in 1915. Neutral historians have long ago determined what happened by having read the internationally accepted and verified Western Diplomatic, Armenian and Turkish sources that document the horrors that the Turkish government foisted upon the Armenians in 1915.

We hold the present Republic of Turkey, in its capacity as the legitimate successor of the Ottoman Empire, accountable for its crimes against our people. We demand our rights to compensation for the confiscated Church, community and individually owned properties not only since 1936, as the August 2011 decision stipulated, but also those confiscated from1915 to 1920.

During the international conference that we organized last February, here in Antelias, we said that recognition and compensation are inseparable. Therefore, and in consultation with the government of Armenia, the Catholicosate of Cilicia will work together with the Armenian Catholic and Evangelical communities to obtain the legal rights to confiscated properties.

On the eve of our 100th anniversary, I call upon our people in Armenia, Karabagh and the diaspora to renew their commitment to the legacy of the martyrs of the 1915 Genocide.

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http://www.armenianweekly.com/2011/12/22/breaking-news-french-parliament-passes-bill-criminalizing-armenian-genocide/

PARIS, France (A.W.)—On Dec. 22, the French Parliament approved a bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide and rendering it punishable with a year in jail and a fine of 45,000 euros ($58,000).

1111111 300x199 French Parliament Passes Bill Criminalizing Armenian Genocide Denial (Update)

The French Parliament approved a bill criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide.

“I will vote thinking of Hrant Dink,” said one Member of Parliament as he concluded his remarks.

“We are not punishing any country, but we are fighting against genocide denial in our country,” said another.

“We are taking part in the mass destruction of Armenians when we allow its denial… We are voting in the name of Armenians who sought refuge here. How can we look in the eyes of our fellow citizens of Armenian heritage, while we know that there are those among us who deny the suffering of their grandparents?” said yet another Member of Parliament.

“Racism is not an opinion, it’s a crime,” said another.

The MPs who spoke highlighted the stories of the survivors who arrived in France after the genocide, and talked about the significance of honoring the memory of the victims, the survivors, and their descendants, as well as safeguarding historical truth.

Several proposed amendments that aimed at diluting the bill were voted down.

More than 2,000 Turks demonstrated against the bill outside the French Parliament building.

The French Senate is expected to vote on the bill in March 2012.

Turkey recalls ambassador, announces sanctions on France

Official Ankara announced it has recalled its ambassador to France. According to Turkish State Television (TRT),  Ambassador Tahsin Burcuoglu will promptly return to Ankara.

Ankara also announced sanctions on France. “As of now, we are canceling bilateral level political, economic, and military activities,” said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to Zaman. “We are suspending all kinds of political consultations with France” and “bilateral military cooperation, joint maneuvers are canceled as of now.”

A special delegation of Turkish officials had arrived in Paris on Dec. 19 to prevent the bill from passing.

Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu had likened the move as one from the Middle Ages. “If this proposal is legislated, France will pioneer the return of the Middle Ages mindset to Europe,” Anatolia News Agency quoted him as saying. The law would “create a new dogma about understanding history, to forbid alternative thoughts. This is the mentality of the Middle Ages. The adoption of this mindset in France is the greatest danger to Europe.”

Addressing his government officials, Davutoglu said it would be “out of the question to leave unanswered an attempt by any country leader, government, or parliament to dishonor our country and nation.”

“There will be irreparable consequences in all bilateral relations,” the undersecretary of the Turkish ambassador to Paris, Engin Solakoglu, told AFP. He said the proposed law was a “hostile act” and that “all cooperation with the French government, all joint projects, will be frozen.”

In contrast, Turkey’s Human Rights Association’s Committee Against Racism and Discrimination had issued a press release and had initiated a signature campaign calling on Turkey to unite against genocide denial, not against the French Parliament.

In 2001, France adopted a bill officially recognizing the 1915 events as genocide.

ANCA welcomes vote

Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) Executive Director Aram Hamparian offered the following comment on the vote:

“Today’s overwhelming vote by the French National Assembly reinforces the growing international consensus—and the mounting pressure on Turkey—for a truthful and just resolution of the Armenian Genocide.”

“Closer to home, France’s stand underscores the need for our own American president and Congress to finally reject Ankara’s gag rule on the proper condemnation and commemoration of this still unpunished crime against humanity.  We mark this occasion by urging President Obama to honor his pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide and the House leadership to bring the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.304, for a full floor vote.”

http://www.armenianweekly.com/2011/12/22/breaking-news-french-parliament-passes-bill-criminalizing-armenian-genocide/

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By Khatchig Mouradian

Posted from The Armenian Weekly

In the newly released No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice brags about her efforts to kill the Armenian Genocide Resolution in Congress in 1991 and 2007, dismissing the genocide as “something that had happened almost a hundred years before” and about which “there are many historical interpretations.”

Rice reveals how in 1991, as the acting special assistant for European affairs for the Bush Administration, she was tasked with the responsibility “to mobilize an effort to defeat the [Armenian Genocide] resolution in the House of Representatives.”

“The Turks, who had been essential in the first Gulf War effort,” Rice remembers, “were outraged at the prospect of being branded for an event that had taken place almost a century before—under the Ottomans!”

“Back then I had succeeded in my assigned task,” Rice congratulates herself, noting that in the years that followed, presidents and secretaries of state continued “to fight off the dreaded Armenian genocide resolutions,” pushed forward, of course, by none other than “the powerful Armenian American lobby.”

Pulling a page from the Turkish state’s official narrative on 1915, Rice notes that the massacres of Armenians are better left to scholars.  “Tragic” as these deaths were, “it was a matter for historians—not politicians—to decide how best to label what had occurred,” she observes.

Rice then proceeds to discuss her second encounter with the “dreaded” resolution in 2007, “in the midst of tension on the Turkish-Iraqi border and with Ankara’s forces on high alert.” Rice recounts how she begged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to block the vote, and the latter said “there was little she could do.”

She continues: “Defense Secretary Bob Gates and I delivered a press statement outside the White House, reiterating our opposition and saying that our own commanders in Iraq had raised the prospect of losing critical bases in Turkey. Eight former secretaries of state signed a letter opposing congressional action on the issue.”

At this point, having already argued a few paragraphs before that 1915 was old and passé, Rice repeats herself: “All this occurred over a resolution condemning something that had happened almost a hundred years before.”

The former secretary of state then notes that the Bush Administration persuaded Ankara that everything possible was being done to prevent a vote. The administration eventually succeeds in its efforts.

Rice proceeds to chastise Congress’ tendency “to grandstand on hot-button issues.”

“This was all the more galling,” she adds, “because the democratically elected Armenian government had little interest in the resolution. In fact, it was engaged in an effort to improve relations with Turkey, and it didn’t need it either.”

In two pages, Rice manages to repeatedly trivialize and deny the Armenian Genocide; mention, twice, that it’s a disputed, century-old issue; rehash the official Turkish narrative; and brag about killing its recognition efforts twice!

No higher honor indeed!

http://www.armenianweekly.com/2011/11/04/condi-rice/

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