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Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship Clears The 200 Mark

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  • #51
    Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
    Clears The 200 Mark

    2 of 2
    Members of The Armenian Community React... (Part III)

    by Onnik Krikorian

    Global Voices Online, MA
    Oct 22 2007
    Apart from Raffi Kojian at and myself, few Armenian
    bloggers chose to participate in what can be considered an
    invitation to discuss and debate. In general, the Armenian and Turkish
    blogospheres remained polarized and isolated from each other although
    both Talk Turkey and Blogian were notable exceptions. Hopefully,
    as the resolution continues to be discussed in American political
    circles, there will be more examples of Armenian and Turkish bloggers
    communicating with each other on the matter.

    Certainly, and even though the fate of House Resolution 106 remains
    uncertain, Global Voices will continue to keep readers up to date
    on the latest developments. Until then, the latest posts from the
    blogosphere represent the two main views in circulation - that the
    Armenian Genocide happened and it should be recognized, or that it
    happened, but the resolution in the United States is not the way to
    right what most consider to be a historical wrong.

    While I understand the need to maintain good relations with an Islamic
    democracy, NATO member, and strategic ally, we cannot play along with
    Turkey's policy of whitewashing history and suppressing dissent. The
    United States cannot be a moral leader in the world if we only stand
    up for human rights issues when economic and strategic interests
    aren't at stake.As the bill's sponsor, Rep. Adam Schiff (CA-29) asks:

    "How can we take effective action against the genocide in Darfur if
    we lack the will to condemn genocide whenever and wherever it occurs?"

    Georgetown University College Democrats

    Is there an example of more extreme, hypocritical arrogance than
    the U.S. Congress, and other politicians, as well as newspapers
    columnists and human activists attempting to have a resolution passed
    acknowledging the Armenian genocide by Turkey?


    The fact that the U.S. Congress wants to pass a resolution regarding
    the genocide that Turkey has committed, but has not said anything
    about the genocides the United States is responsible for, shows that
    passing these type of resolution is completely meaningless.

    Getting Truth

    Two days ago, I lauded George Bush for having the courage to meet
    publicly with the Dalai Lama. Today I am embarassed to note that the
    American Congress has succumbed to the pressure exerted upon it by
    the Bush White House by refusing to recognize the Armenian Genocide.



    We are not talking here about a compromise on a tax treaty, a
    trade-off on a bill to support pork producers if someone supports
    your wheat farmers. We are talking about the killing of 1.5 million
    people. Recognizing genocide for what it is will not bring the dead
    back. But it will do justice to their memory and let others know that
    there will be no negotiating or compromising on the issue. Shame on
    Bush and shame on the US Congress.

    University of Alabama Faculty of Law

    There seems little historical doubt that the Armenian massacre
    was indeed genocide. The eye-witness accounts of the time are
    overwhelming, and Ottoman government documents talking openly about
    eliminating the Armenians as a people group are plentiful from the
    period 1915-1917. But with the U.S. dependent on the friendship of
    Turkey to support a difficult war in Iraq, it seems at the very least
    an ill-timed notion to rub Turkey's face in the judgment of history.

    True, all Armenians and American-Armenians will feel affirmed
    by official American national recognition of the injustice they
    suffered. But isn't it more important that the Turks themselves should
    finally come to acknowledge the truth of what happened to the Armenians
    92 years ago? That may yet take decades to come to pass.

    Assuredly, it won't be hastened by this week's Congressional
    resolution. And what if resupplying American troops in Iraq is
    seriously compromised by a Turkish curtailment of U.S. base usage
    in Turkey? To rephrase Congressman Lantos' well-stated dilemma: "Is
    the gratification of wounded Armenian sensibility worth the possibly
    serious risk that could ensure to American forces in wartime?" [...]


    The Armenian Observer also carries a summary of what Armenian bloggers
    in the Republic as well as the Diaspora wrote on the resolution,
    and there is full coverage on the Oneworld Multimedia blog. For now,
    the story looks set to continue.
    What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


    • #52
      Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
      Clears The 200 Mark

      Members of The Armenian Community React... (Part IV)

      By Garin K. Hovannisian

      Los Angeles Times, CA
      Oct 25 2007

      The grandstanding in Congress cheapens the Armenian genocide, but the
      resolution exposes enmity with Turkey that the president cannot ignore.

      Old promises never die; they just fade away. So it is with the House's
      Armenian genocide resolution, the delicate dream of an underdog
      people who have, since their slaughter and dispossession in 1915,
      struggled to bring memory to power.

      When the resolution cleared the House Foreign Affairs Committee on
      Oct. 10, I was in L.A. -- the diaspora's nerve center -- and Armenian
      schools and churches were rumbling in anticipation. All that remained
      was for Speaker Nancy Pelosi to keep her promise to give the resolution
      a full House vote.

      Then, suddenly, the Washington machinery growled. Turkey recalled
      its ambassador to the U.S., while its lobbyists caught up with
      members of Congress. The political media -- from National Review
      to the Nation -- showcased a powerful set of hostilities toward
      the resolution. And within a few days, at least a dozen co-sponsors
      withdrew their support. "It's a good resolution but a horrible time
      to be considering it," said Rep. Mike Ross (D-Ark.).

      A horrible time because Turkey is a "key strategic ally," or, to
      exorcise the flattery, a crutch in America's democratic balancing act
      in the Near East. As it happens, Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey
      serves as a transfer point for 70% of U.S. cargo headed for Iraq.

      Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates cited "our heavy dependence on
      the Turks" in his case against the resolution.

      Many other reasonable worries have been splashed around -- not all of
      them by the usual troublemakers. The Armenian patriarch in Istanbul
      opposed the resolution because he feared for the safety and standing
      of Armenians in Turkey. Even I, the great-grandson of Armenian genocide
      survivors, wrote against the resolution -- not because I don't believe
      there was a genocide but because the resolution's text and attendant
      political grandstanding cheapened the reality of that tragedy.

      The House has no business voting on the past. But the White House --
      the conductor of U.S. foreign policy -- has the obligation to face
      history honestly. If the absorbed historic narrative is wrong or
      politicized or incomplete -- like our understanding of Baathism and
      the Iraqi insurgency -- foreign policy falters.

      Unlikely though it sounds, the 92-year-old Armenian genocide is key
      to U.S. foreign policy. It unlocks a closet of skeletons -- but not
      that of the Young Turks of 1915, stuffed with 1.5 million Armenian
      skeletons. Instead, it opens the closet of today's Turkey, which puts
      its own Nobel laureate on trial for insulting "Turkishness"; which
      has become, according to a 2007 Pew survey, the most anti-American
      country in the world; where "Mein Kampf" hit the bestseller list in
      2005; which denies the Armenian genocide committed by a past fascist
      government probably because it retains some spiritual loyalty to it.

      It is no irony, then, that in denouncing the Armenian genocide
      resolution as a smear on its democratic name, Turkey is threatening
      extremely undemocratic behavior. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's
      recently issued plan of "six reprisals" includes a shutdown of Incirlik
      Air Base (a betrayal of the war on terrorism), a slow withdrawal from
      NATO (a betrayal of the West) and a revamped partnership with Iran
      (a betrayal of peace in the Near East). The flap over the resolution
      has revealed that Turkey's Western leanings are not based on steady
      principles but on friendships of convenience.

      Which is why I believe that the generally bad Armenian genocide
      resolution came at precisely the right time for the United States. It
      came at a time when our president could observe Turkey's fascistic
      convulsions and would be forced to choose between two historical
      narratives. Would he choose the denialist fiction that would keep
      afloat a rotting alliance and maybe his war? Or would he choose the
      bloody truth?

      At a news conference called just before the Foreign Affairs Committee
      debate two weeks ago, President Bush brushed off the truth. He urged
      Congress to stop the recognition, not because Congress trespassed
      into Bush's foreign policy jurisdiction but because it disrupted his
      agenda. In turn, our ally responded Monday by announcing that it would
      defy the pleas of the United States and cross Iraq's northern border
      to conduct military operations.

      This latest breach of friendship -- or, rather, revelation of enmity --
      affords the president yet another chance to recalibrate the national
      conscience and to reappear in the Rose Garden for two announcements:
      the first, a request that Congress withdraw its resolution; the second,
      a modest notice that the Armenian genocide of 1915 has not, in fact,
      faded away, but quietly has been absorbed by America's historical

      Garin K. Hovannisian is a graduate student at Columbia University's
      School of Journalism and blogs at

      By Dr. Nicole Vartanian

      Metro, NY
      Oct 25 2007

      Recently, the House Foreign Affairs Committee passed a non-binding
      resolution labeling as genocide the killing of 1.5 million Armenians
      by Turkish forces of the Ottoman Empire beginning in 1915. In
      response, the Republic of Turkey threatened to withdraw its support
      for U.S. efforts in the Iraq war, thereby inciting calls for the
      resolution to be blocked from a full House vote.

      The next day Jon Stewart and "The Daily Show" crack writers noted
      the apparent quid pro quo available for historical revisionism in
      exchange for participation in the war coalition. They hit their mark
      by conjecturing that if Germany would have joined the war on terror,
      the U.S. "could have turned the Holocaust into a 'Half-a-caust.'"

      Stewart distilled the debate's precise premise: If our politicians
      concede to Turkey's hyperbolic reactions toward our legislative
      process, we will be complicit in selling history.

      We even know what that price is. An article in last week's New York
      Times detailed the Turkish government's vast payouts to Washington
      lobbying firms - and the ex-Congressmen they employ - to fund genocide
      denial, including contributions to members of Congress.

      Guided by these tallies, we could prepare invoices for other
      governments seeking a means of obfuscating their past transgressions.

      In the face of this denial, 22 countries and 40 U.S. states have
      officially recognized the Armenian Genocide. Still, some people
      question the "relevance" of acknowledging the event as genocide
      92 years later. To illustrate the significance, I would ask us to
      fast forward 24 years and imagine if Jews were still fighting for
      acknowledgement of the Holocaust.

      Then, imagine the Republic of Germany funneling millions of dollars
      into Washington to propagate this denial, imperiling access to U.S.

      bases and threatening diplomatic relations. And please further imagine
      our administration begging Congress not to set the historical record
      straight. That is a world in which I most certainly would not want
      to live.

      However, this is the worldview we would endorse if we concede to those
      who wish to prevent recognition of the Armenian Genocide. At stake are
      both the sanctity of history and the sovereignty of our democracy -
      two sacred principles whose value should exceed any offers made by
      the highest bidder.

      Dr. Vartanian is on the board of the Genocide Education Project,
      a not-for-profit organization supporting the teaching of genocide
      in schools.

      Glendale News Press, CA
      Oct 27 2007

      FROM THE MARGINS: Recognition is the right thing to do


      A couple of weeks ago City Council members put their differences
      aside and voted unanimously to pass a symbolic resolution to urge the
      U.S. House of Representatives to pass a bill to recognize the
      Armenian Genocide.

      Gloomy Gus may argue that with a large segment of the residents
      tracing their roots to the Armenian highlands, the act was an
      expedient move to avoid political isolation. I briefly chatted with a
      couple of council members; I got a different vibe.

      Council members genuinely believed this was the right thing to do.

      Why? Let's look beyond historic evidence to understand this
      well-timed gesture. Living in a city with so many of the descendants
      of the survivors of the genocide, it has become second nature for
      some to realize this is the right thing to do.

      Council members understood how much this meant to many of the

      Yet, I am often asked why can't Armenians just move on. After all,
      it's argued, Poles and Jews have suffered in Europe and have `gotten
      over it.' African-Americans are dealing with the tragic chapters of
      their history. History has not dealt a much better hand to the Native
      Americans. The Irish have certainly recovered from the Potato Famine.
      And Darfur still bleeds today.

      The assumption is that every one of these groups is now healed and
      has recovered. I don't think that's the case.

      Genocide has left a scar on the Armenian people. If Turkey does not
      give acknowledgment, the offspring of the genocide generation will
      not heal. If the scars do not heal, it is difficult to look to the
      future. There seems to be no escape from this paradox but
      acknowledgment. advertisement

      Why is it important for Turkey to admit, I am asked.

      The obvious answer is: It's the right thing to do.

      Fortunately, Turkey can't just say `it wasn't us' and get away with
      it. Actually it can say, it wasn't modern Turkey, it was the
      Ottomans, but we're sorry. But by working so hard to deny the
      genocide, Turkey has become the inheritor and an accomplice to the

      Denial is not an easy task. For the denial to make mathematical
      sense, Turkey has to argue that not too many Armenians actually
      existed before the 1915. The disappearance of 1.5 million people is
      not easy to cover up.

      To put things into perspective, exterminating 1.5 million people is
      the equivalent to filling the Rose Bowl to seating capacity with men,
      women and children, murdering everyone, getting rid of the corpses,
      and repeating it 16 1/2 times.

      Let's take a minute to have that sink in.

      How do you deny such a crime? One could argue they all left the
      stadium willingly. But then the question is, where are they now? One
      could also argue that all the 1.5 million willingly converted to

      `Modern' Turkey's approach is to deny the existence of the Armenians
      on those lands. To do this, Turkey needs to toy with history to show
      that the Armenian civilization was not a major presence before World
      War I. And to do this, monuments and churches need to be
      re-categorized and history books need to be revised.

      The denial of the genocide is a denial of the existence of a

      It may be a tough task for Turks to come to terms with their history,
      but they also need to move forward and heal. The time will come when
      the Turkish state has to put its denial policies aside and live with
      the consequences of the crime.

      This issue is not going away. Unless of course, Turkey executes yet
      another scheme to eliminate what's left of the Armenian civilization
      to the east. As long as the world has not unanimously condemned the
      first genocide of the 20th century, given the right opportunity and
      Turkey's history of aggression in Cyprus, such a possibility
      shouldn't be discounted.

      It would have been the right thing for the U.S. House of
      Representatives to pass the resolution reaffirming the Armenian
      Genocide. Despite Turkey's threats to turn its back on America, it
      would not dare refuse our tax dollars. Besides, where is Turkey going
      to go - into the bed of radical Islam or into the arms of the newly
      refurbished Russian empire?

      City Council members had the right spirit. Thank you, council
      members, for acknowledging the pain of my grandparents. Thank you for
      reaffirming that their sufferings were real.

      Sometimes, even in politics, doing the right thing is the right

       PATRICK AZADIAN is a writer and the creative director of a
      local marketing and graphic design studio living in Glendale. He may
      be reached at [email protected]
      What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


      • #53
        Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
        Clears The 200 Mark

        Members of The Armenian Community React... (Part V)

        Waco Tribune Herald, TX
        Oct 28 2007

        Turkey blackmails U.S. to ignore its sins
        Art Tonoyan, guest columnist

        Sunday, October 28, 2007

        Some 90 years ago the Ottoman Turkish government set out in the most
        thorough fashion to destroy its Christian minorities. But the brunt
        of the Turkish ire fell on Armenian Christians.

        Death came in many guises. As a result, some 1.5 million Armenian
        men, women and children were killed - nearly two-thirds of all
        Armenians in Turkey.

        You might ask why I care.

        By chance or providence, my grandparents managed to survive the

        Actually, considerable credit went to the combined relief efforts of
        American Protestant missionaries, philanthropists such as John D.
        Rockefeller and statesmen such as William Jennings Bryan.

        The U.S. Congress is debating a non-binding resolution recognizing
        that the Ottoman government's efforts to destroy Armenians indeed
        constituted a genocide. That's the position of the International
        Association of Genocide Scholars.

        This initiative, backed by self-evident facts, has brought shameless
        Turkish tantrums combined with political blackmail, and meddling into
        U.S. internal affairs.

        So doing, Turkey indirectly has threatened the lives of U.S. service
        personnel in Iraq.

        As the saying goes, `With friends like these . . .'

        The Bush administration has urged Congress not to follow through with
        the resolution.

        Who would have thought that the United States could be so bullied?

        The timing of the resolution? I would argue it is 90 years too late.
        But similar resolutions have come up year after year in Congress.
        Year after year the proposal is shot down for fear of offending the

        Always, say the opponents, the time is not right.

        Either it's the Cold War, or the first Gulf War, or this Gulf War or
        the war on terrorism.

        We're told that Turkey is a reliable ally ad infinitum. Reliable to a
        point. And why?

        Turkey has been on the receiving end of U.S. favors for the past 50
        or so years without much positive change in its cultural outlook.

        Regardless, this Turkish government, while allowing the shipment of
        supplies, refused to allow the staging of coalition troops in opening
        of the northern front into Iraq. Turkey did so in hopes of scoring
        political points with the European Union.

        This ended up costing time, U.S. lives and U.S. tax dollars.

        That's not all. Turkey's Islamist government has courted the
        Palestinian terrorist group Hamas, called the Israeli treatment of
        the Palestinians a `genocide' (a dose of inescapable irony) and has
        signed lucrative business deals with the regime of Iranian mullahs by
        effectively sidestepping U.S. calls to isolate Iran.

        But these facts are not the only ones that put Turkey's democratic
        credentials in doubt. The Turkish state spares no effort to silence,
        intimidate, imprison or even kill anybody who dares to challenge the
        official narrative on the Armenian genocide.

        Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk was tried for `insulting Turkishness' when
        he mentioned it in a Swiss interview.

        Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink was murdered in front of his
        offices for an article he wrote about the genocide in his newspaper.

        Then his son was convicted for `insulting Turkishness' for reprinting
        his father's original article. He may well end up in a prison ward
        somewhere in Istanbul, if he doesn't end up with a bullet in his

        The symbolic resolution in question before Congress is a simple act
        of affirmation of history. It is not by any stretch of the
        imagination directed at the current Turkish government, although
        Turkey perceives it as such.

        Some 23 nations have passed similar resolutions in the past decade.

        The fault for the current debacle should not therefore be located in
        partisan politics, as the cynics at the Fox News and the likes of
        Rush Limbaugh would have us believe.

        It's in the fact that Turkey is yet to take an honest look at a past
        it tries so hard to deny. The tantrums it now throws are more worthy
        of my 2-year-old than a modern state aspiring to join the family of
        European nations.

        Art Tonoyan is a Ph.D. candidate at Baylor University's J.M. Dawson
        Institute of Church-State Studies.

        Aris Janigian
        Oct 26 2007

        In an interview published October 26, 2007, Ami Eden of the Jewish
        Telegraphic Agency asked Abraham Foxman whether he had been wrong
        to refuse to describe the WWI-era systematic murder of 1.5 million
        Armenians by Ottoman Turks--an event known to historians as the
        Armenian Genocide--as a "genocide." Foxman replied,

        "We said it is a massacre, an atrocity, we've said it for 40 years.

        The Armenians wanted us to say genocide. To me it was sufficient for
        us to say I'm not a historian we don't adjudicate all the issues...

        "I respect the Armenian community for wanting their memory, their pain,
        their suffering to be recognized globally in the most sensitive way
        or the most meaningful way. So we said it is an atrocity and it is
        massacre, but we just don't think that Congress should [describe it
        as a genocide]."

        The following news story was published fifteen years later.

        Foreign relations Committee calls WWII Killing of Jews "Genocide."

        September 24, 2022, Los Angeles, CA Aris Janigian-staff writer

        On Wednesday, September 23, The House Foreign Affairs Committee
        voted 27 to 21 to condemn as genocide the mass killings of Jews in
        Germany during World War II. New Germany reacted angrily, recalling
        its ambassador from Washington and threatening to withdraw its support
        for the continuing War on Terror.

        "America has crossed a line with this resolution," Foreign Minister
        Helmut Gottschalk said. "Petty domestic politics has trumped American
        national interests. The New German people can only take so much
        insult. We will see our next steps."

        It was a harsh rebuke from one of America's closest allies, and
        sent shock waves through the White House. The resolution comes at
        a time when the United States is actively drumming up support for
        the War on Terror, and two deputies in the State Department departed
        for Berlin immediately after the vote in an attempt to forestall a
        diplomatic disaster. At home, Secretary of State Candid Price called
        the resolutionStill Waiting for Recognition: For the few remaining
        survivors of the Jewish tragedy, this year's resolution may be the
        last chance "irresponsible."

        In a Rose Garden press conference President Hernandez acknowledged the
        Jewish tragedy, but sternly warned against the resolution. "This is
        not the right time or the right place for this kind of resolution,"
        Hernandez said.

        Jews, along with the large majority of historians outside New Germany,
        say that from 1939 to 1945 the German Nationalist Socialist Party
        carried out a systematic campaign to kill as many as six million
        Jews in Europe. They claim the killings amounted to "genocide,"
        a term that the New German government fiercely rejects.

        New Germany acknowledges that between 1 and 1.6 million Jews died
        during the war, but contends that a vast majority of those deaths
        occurred in the throes of war when disease and starvation was
        widespread. According to New Germany the intent to exterminate Jews
        is historically unfounded. "There was a context for these events.

        Many Germans died and suffered as well, far exceeding the number of
        Jews. These were the sad unintended consequences of war."

        Since the establishment of New Germany, the influential Jewish
        American lobby has sought acknowledgment of their ancestors'
        suffering. The authors of the resolution are from heavily Jewish
        districts in California and Florida and New York. They note that
        the United States must recognize the Jewish tragedy while the few
        remaining survivors are still alive.

        Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee Gregory Demerdjian,
        a descendent of survivors of the Armenian Genocide, said, "These
        events must be characterized for what they were: genocide. It is
        well documented in our own national archives that genocide of Jews
        occurred during the Second World War. This is merely an acknowledgment
        of America's own understanding of the events during that time. None
        of this should be construed to mean that New Germany is in the least
        responsible for these deaths." Demerjian said that he would soon
        introduce a resolution reinforcing America's strong and lasting
        relationship with the New Germany.

        The Jewish tragedy is a sensitive issue in New Germany. Under a
        progressive movement called "Identity Reformation," the New Germans
        have radically reconsidered what an older generation had taken for
        granted. Historians in New Germany argue that between the First and
        Second World War Germany was caught between JewishTaking Pride in
        Our Past: The New German government has insisted that the alleged
        genocide is simply not consistent with the nobility of German
        history industrialists and Jewish socialists intent on overthrowing
        the German state. "They wanted to destroy the country from within,"
        said New German Ambassador Norbert Sommer. "It was a difficult time.

        Everyone regrets the death of Jews, but wartime choices had to be
        made to save Germany's very existence."

        Today, New Germany rejects the verdicts of the Nuremberg Trials
        that found members of the Nazi party guilty of war crimes, pointing
        out that Germans admitted to those crimes under duress from the
        prosecuting Allies. "No document has ever been produced that shows
        that Hitler ordered the extermination of Jews," Sommer said. "Indeed,
        many attempts were made by Germans at the time to find a safe harbor
        for Jews, including some negotiations with Zionists in Europe. It is
        a total fallacy that there was anything resembling genocide."

        Members of the House committee who voted against the resolution
        characterized it as unwarranted "meddling" in a foreign state's
        accounting of its own past. Representative Stefan Kohler said, "Maybe
        it was a genocide, maybe it wasn't. None of us here are historians.

        This was 92 years ago. All I know is that passage of the bill would
        cause real-time harm to real people."

        Democratic Representative Richard Wechsler had stronger words: "You'd
        think with the War on Terror ongoing and all, the congress would find
        something better to do than rummage through the trash bin of history.

        What congress should be acknowledging is that when the rest of
        Europe has turned its back on America, New Germany has stood strong
        by our side."

        After WWII, America provided Old Germany with massive economic support
        under the Marshall plan. Old Germany remained a strong ally of the
        United States, and in 2112 it began an accelerated militarization
        program. Virtually one-third of New Germany's GDP is devoted to
        military expenditure.

        Since 2017, when President Harold Jones stepped up the War on Terror,
        America's relationship to the European Union has been severely
        strained. Germany is one of the only European countries with which
        the United States has strong diplomatic and military ties.

        Under penal code 3001, a number of writers have been prosecuted and
        convicted for "insulting Germanness" after using the term "genocide"
        or "holocaust " to refer to the Jewish tragedy. In 2020, New German
        dissidents attempted to organize an academic conference in order
        to revisit the events of 1939-45 from a "Jewish perspective." The
        conference was cancelled when then-Foreign-Minister Helmut Gottschalk
        called the organizers "traitors."

        Some Parliamentarians of the European Union, of which New Germany
        remains a nominal member, have argued that Germany should be censured
        for its view towards the Jewish tragedy. Other countries have decided
        to stay neutral, sharing the position of the United States that the
        events of that time should be left to historians to sort out.

        "Let bygones by bygones," said Roland Young, Secretary of Defense.

        "In a time of war, the United States has precious few allies. We
        respect history, but the life of our society depends upon our strategic
        position vis-a-vis our enemies today."

        Some Jews in New Germany say the house resolution would be
        counter-productive. Chief Rabbi of Munich Abraham Grynszpan said,
        "New Germany must come to terms with its own history. We resist
        pressure from foreign countries to set a timetable." Members of the
        Jewish community in America believe that German-Jews are defending
        their dwindling numbers inside Germany, and yet others believe that
        the existence of Israel is in peril should they speak out.

        New Germany has no diplomatic ties with Israel, and has repeatedly
        called on Israel to renounce its "genocide" claims. Its satellite
        state of New Lebanon has closed its borders with Israel.

        Last year, some diplomats perceived a softening in the New German
        stance when it called on Israel to establish a joint commission to
        study the wartime atrocities, but that perception has since been
        altered. In January of this year Herschel Mintz, the ethnic Jewish
        editor-in-chief of the New German daily Agon was murdered in the
        streets of Berlin for attention he drew to the Jewish tragedies. The
        accused murderer, a 17-year-old German, is currently on trial for
        the crime, but human rights groups believe that the New German Deep
        Police were accomplices to the murder, and prosecutors claim that
        evidence was been destroyed.

        In 2021, New German novelist Otwin Polk was awarded the Nobel Prize
        in Literature. In an explosive interview with an Italian newspaper,
        he said "In New Germany today, nobody but me speaks of the killing
        of over six million Jews." Today Polk lives in exile.

        Aris Janigian has written for The Los Angeles Times and Warsaw
        Gazetta. His novel BLOODVINE was a finalist for the William Saroyan
        International Writing Prize. He lives in Los Angeles.
        What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


        • #54
          Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
          Clears The 200 Mark

          Members of The Armenian Community React... (Part VI)

          By Carol Azizian

, MI
          Oct 29 2007

          Once while giving her mother, Varsenig Gholdoian, a bath after she'd
          had a stroke, Rose Byder of Grand Blanc noticed something she hadn't
          seen before. It horrified her. "She had indentations or grooves on
          her back," Byder said. "It wasn't something a person would inflict on
          (herself)." Then she recalled the story that her mother, an Armenian,
          had told her about surviving a "death march" in 1915 in Turkey. "All
          the (Turkish) soldiers carried bayonets," said Byder, who's lived in
          Grand Blanc since 1972. "If you didn't move along, you were hit by
          a rifle butt."

          Some 1.5 million Armenians living in Turkey during the time of the
          Ottoman Empire were killed in 1915. Many scholars call the mass
          killings a "genocide." The term was defined by Raphael Lemkin,
          a Polish-Jewish jurist, in his 1944 book, "Axis Rule in Occupied
          Europe," as "the destruction of a nation or of an ethnic group."

          Earlier this month, a U.S. House committee voted to condemn the mass
          killings as genocide, "rebuffing an intense campaign by the White
          House and warnings from Turkey's government that the vote would
          gravely strain its relations with the United States," the New York
          Times reported. Last week, House sponsors of the resolution asked
          Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a strong supporter, to delay a vote on the
          measure because they feared it would fail. Support for the resolution
          deteriorated this month after Turkey recalled its U.S. ambassador in
          protest. Turks acknowledge that hundreds of thousands of Armenians
          died nearly a century ago, but contend the deaths resulted from
          the war that ended with the creation of modern Turkey in 1923, the
          Times said. The Armenian genocide has been officially recognized,
          through legislation or proclamation, by 40 states and also by a growing
          number of countries, including Canada, France, Italy, Sweden, Belgium,
          Argentina, Russia and Switzerland. Byder said she called U.S. Rep. Dale
          Kildee's office to request that he support the resolution. "I told
          his office that I felt it was about time Americans recognize the
          Armenian genocide," she said. "I mentioned that my mother was one
          of the few survivors of the death march." Gary Keoleian, a surgeon
          with the Michigan Eye Institute of Flint Township and an Armenian,
          said he is pleased "that the primary goal has been met - at least
          it's reached the national stage and it's in people's awareness and
          part of people's discussion. "The dialogue of the genocide is on
          people's minds." Keoleian said he grew up listening to tales of his
          great-grandparents' and grandparents' escapes from Turkey. One of
          his great-grandmothers lived on a farm in eastern Turkey. Turkish
          soldiers came to her house and executed her brothers and father,
          Keoleian said. "The Turks were doing a sweep of the towns to get rid
          of able-bodied Armenian males," he said. "She (his great-grandmother)
          high-tailed it out with her son - my grandfather - and they hid
          in the hay in the barn for a long period of time. She could hear
          the screams and the gunfire. "After nightfall, she made her way
          to a friend's house," he added. "They got to a port town, got on a
          boat and made their way to Marseilles, France." Byder's mother was
          the youngest of nine born in the village of Yalova, near Istanbul,
          Turkey. Gholdoian's father was a farmer and a businessman.

          "Her family was wealthy enough to hire people to do the farm
          labor," Byder said. "She (Gholdoian) was sent to boarding school in
          Constantinople (now Istanbul)." During the week of April 24, 1915,
          Gholdoian, then 15, decided to come home to visit her family. The
          timing was unfortunate. That same week, Turkish soldiers knocked on
          their door and gave the family 24 hours to vacate their home. "They
          could take only things they could carry," said Byder. "When my
          grandmother asked why, the soldiers said 'it's only a temporary
          leave.' That's been imprinted in my memory (ever since). No reason was
          given." Gholdoian and her family members were sent on a "death march"
          across Turkey that lasted for months. "She cried a lot, especially
          when she saw people she grew up with being killed," Byder said. "You
          had to keep moving because if you fell, you were left to die or
          they killed you." At 4-feet-9, her mother was a petite, but feisty
          woman, Byder said. "She had a high IQ. She also made sure she didn't
          antagonize the soldiers." Still, she was subjected to many beatings,
          Byder said. Along the way, some Turkish villagers gave the deported
          Armenians food and water, Byder said. Byder's great-grandmother died
          in her daughter's arms. "She (Gholdoian) was devastated because her
          mother was her closest friend." Her father had died two months before
          she was born and most of her brothers and sisters were married and
          living elsewhere. Once, Gholdoian was in such despair that she threw
          herself into a river, hoping to drown. A Kurdish person rescued her,
          Byder said. "My mother kept saying, 'What's my crime? What did I do to
          deserve this?' That was her litany." Gholdoian ended up in Aleppo (in
          present-day Syria) and worked as a "slave" for a Turkish family. She'd
          heard that British soldiers were in the city. One night, she and
          a friend snuck out of the house and persuaded a couple of soldiers
          to help free them. The soldiers later arranged her escape to Paris,
          where she temporarily stayed with an aunt, Byder said. Eventually,
          Gholdoian agreed to an arranged marriage with an American-Armenian
          man who was a foundry worker in Detroit. They were married in 1921
          and had three children.

          "My mother always said that it was important to learn English,"
          recalled Byder whose late husband, John, was a senior vice-president
          of Braun & Braun Insurance Agency. "She went to night school to learn
          English and become a citizen," Byder added. "She was proud that she
          could vote and felt we all should be grateful to live in America."

          Writer Carol Azizian's grandmother, great-aunts and great-uncle also
          survived the Armenian genocide.

          Roxanne Makasdjian

          San Francisco Chronicle, CA
          Nov 4 2007

          The Armenian genocide resolution pending in Congress (HR106) has
          prompted debate about whether it's the right time for the United
          States to officially recognize the systematic annihilation of the
          Armenian population in Turkey, perpetrated by the government of the
          Ottoman Empire in 1915. Against increasingly bold denials of history
          and unjustifiable intimidation by Turkey, now is the best time for
          our country to tell it like it is.

          A wave of disinformation has been disseminated by the Turkish and
          U.S. administrations since the resolution passed the House Committee on
          Foreign Affairs on Oct. 10. Turkey's threats have included cutting off
          the use of our air base, thus restricting our military shipments, and
          intervening in northern Iraq, destabilizing the only relatively quiet
          part of that country. The rationale for those threats is deceptive,
          the resolution being a convenient excuse to threaten to disrupt
          U.S. military actions in Iraq to advance Turkey's own interests.

          The fact is that we needn't become hostage to blackmail. In 2003,
          without an Armenian genocide resolution up for a vote, Turkey refused
          to allow us to use our base at Incirlik to invade Iraq. We carried
          out the invasion successfully anyway. The United States has numerous
          military bases in the area - in Bahrain, Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan,
          Bulgaria, the United Arab Emirates and Afghanistan - from which we
          can operate.

          The New York Times, Wall Street Journal and the Turkish Daily News
          have all quoted U.S. officials saying that if Turkey cut off our base
          or supply lines, it would not greatly affect our military operations.

          And, according to a recent article in Defense News, the Armenian
          genocide resolution wouldn't even "dent" U.S. arms sales to Turkey.

          Several years ago, when France passed a similar resolution, arms
          sales between France and Turkey were back to booming within months.

          Turkey's strategic interests are much more dependent on good
          relations with the United States than vice versa. If we tolerate
          Turkey's blackmail, we actually weaken our position in the strategic
          relationship and embolden others in the region to blackmail us.

          Turkey's threats against the Kurds in Iraq are also not new, nor a
          result of the pending resolution. Successive Turkish governments have
          had claims on the oil-rich, northern Iraqi region of Kirkuk and Mosul
          from as early as the 1930s. Turkish governments have also treated
          their 20 million Kurds worse than second-class citizens.

          Anti-Americanism has reached new heights in Turkey not because of
          the Armenian genocide resolution, but because of opposition to the
          U.S. intervention in Iraq and the consequent formation of a Kurdish
          autonomous government controlling the oil revenue in northern Iraq.

          As Graham Fuller, former vice chairman of the CIA's National
          Intelligence Council, wrote recently, "Turkish-American relations have
          been deteriorating for years, and the root explanation is simple and
          harsh: Washington's policies are broadly and fundamentally incompatible
          with Turkish foreign policy interests in multiple arenas."

          Despite all this, the United States has been enabling Turkey's denial
          of the genocide, damaging our reputation and giving a junior ally
          the upper hand in a relationship in which we should be leading. Last
          year, the U.S. government went as far as dismissing our ambassador to
          Armenia, John Evans, for discussing the Armenian genocide. President
          Bush and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have recently gone
          further, referring to the Armenian genocide as an open historical
          question needing more study.

          This position contradicts the vast majority of historians and Holocaust
          and genocide studies that recognize this event as unambiguous genocide,
          as well as the abundant documentation in our own national archives,
          including the memoirs of the U.S. ambassador to Ottoman Turkey in
          1915, Henry Morgenthau, who wrote of witnessing the "extermination
          of a whole race."

          Turkey has even reached into our educational system by lobbying
          against inclusion of the Armenian genocide in our textbooks, and
          against local remembrances of the genocide, as was the case when
          Armenian Americans purchased San Francisco's Mount Davidson Cross in
          memory of their slain forefathers.

          In Turkey today, discussion of the Armenian genocide is a crime
          carrying as many as 10 years in prison. Scores of writers, professors
          and community leaders are being prosecuted under this law, legitimizing
          the undemocratic, nationalist fervor of the Turkish masses. In
          this context, the government's call for a commission of Turkish and
          Armenian historians to study the "events of 1915" is simply a way to
          bury the truth.

          Contrary to opponents' claims, House Resolution 106 does not condemn
          present-day Turkey for the crimes of its predecessor, nor does it
          demand that Turkey recognize the genocide. It simply reaffirms the
          historical record, a necessary affirmation when faced with massive
          denial. Congress has passed recent resolutions reaffirming the truth
          of the Holocaust as well as the genocides in Cambodia, Ukraine,
          Bosnia and Darfur.

          Most recently, we watched Bush and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi give the
          Congressional Gold Medal to the Dalai Lama, despite China's warnings
          that such action would be detrimental to U.S.-China relations. Giving
          in to similar warnings from Turkey would highlight the hypocrisy
          in that action and signal to the world that we have a clear double
          standard when it comes to human rights. The longer the United States
          helps Turkey's denial, the longer the denial will continue, and the
          longer we'll be hostage to it. Instead, we should help steer Turkey
          toward democracy, for its own sake - and ours.

          Roxanne Makasdjian is chair of the Bay Area Armenian National
          Committee. Contact us at [email protected].

          This article appeared on page E - 3 of the San Francisco Chronicle

          What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


          • #55
            Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
            Clears The 200 Mark

            Members of The Armenian Community React... (Part VII)

            The Washington Post Perpetuates a Destructive Myth
            By Khatchig Mouradian

            Nov. 2, 2007

            The Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106) has attracted enormous
            media attention since it was passed by the House International Affairs
            Committee on October 10. However, the content of many of the articles,
            columns and stories make one thing clear: Writers across the United
            States were ill-prepared to tackle the issue of the Armenian genocide,
            simply because they knew very little about it.

            One case in point is Richard Cohen's article in the Washington Post,
            titled "Turkey's War on the Truth" (Oct. 16, 2007). Cohen makes
            arguments based on false premises. After conceding--with
            condescension--that what happened to the Armenians in 1915 was "plenty
            bad," he concludes that it falls short of genocide "because not all
            Armenians...were...affected." Clearly, if we follow his train of
            thought, Cambodia, Rwanda, Darfur and several other cases should not
            be labeled as "genocide."

            Cohen's standards are clearly different from those of the UN
            Convention defining genocide, but Cohen doesn't just introduce his own
            novel definition of genocide, he also creates his own facts. He
            suggests that jurist Raphael Lemkin, the author of the Genocide
            Convention, coined the term "genocide" based solely on "what the Nazis
            were doing to the Jews." This is blatantly wrong. Although this
            factual error was pointed out by many--including myself--to the
            editors of the Washington Post, no correction was issued and, to this
            day, no letter to the editor on this issue has appeared in the paper.

            To set the record straight, the horrors of the Armenian genocide--and
            not only the Holocaust--played a central role in Lemkin's lifelong
            pursuit to find a name for the ultimate crime against humanity--the
            cleansing of a group--and to incorporate into international law the
            prevention of this crime and the punishment of its perpetrators.

            The destruction of the Armenians came to Lemkin's attention when, in
            1920, Soghomon Tehlirian--an Armenian whose entire family was killed
            during the genocide--assassinated Talaat Pasha, the mastermind behind
            the Armenian genocide, in Berlin. Lemkin read about Tehlirian's trial
            and, during a discussion with his professor at the University of Lvov,
            asked, "It is a crime for Tehlirian to kill a man, but it is not a
            crime for his oppressor to kill more than a million men?" His
            professor argued that states are sovereign and they can do what they
            want to their citizens. "Consider the case of a farmer who owns a
            flock of chickens. He kills them and this is his business. If you
            interfere, you are trespassing," his professor argued. Lemkin was
            proud of Tehlirian for defending "the moral order of mankind," but
            wanted international law--and not individuals--to punish the

            Lemkin, a Polish Jew who lost 49 relatives in the Holocaust, coined
            the term "genocide" in 1944 based on the planned extermination of the
            Armenians by the Ottoman Turks in 1915 and the Jews by the Nazis
            during World War II. He worked tirelessly to have the United Nations
            pass a law on the prevention and punishment of that crime. Finally, on
            Dec. 9, 1948, the UN General Assembly ratified the Genocide

            In a CBS program first broadcast in 1949, Lemkin said, "I became
            interested in genocide because it happened to the Armenians... So, you
            see, as a lawyer, I thought that a crime should not be punished by the
            victims, but should be punished by a court, by a national law."

            In an article in the Hairenik Weekly (later the Armenian Weekly)
            published on Jan. 1, 1959, he confirmed that the suffering of the
            Armenians had paved the way to the ratification of the Genocide

            "The sufferings of the Armenian men, women, and children thrown into
            the Euphrates River or massacred on the way to [the north Syrian
            desert of] Der-el-Zor have prepared the way for the adoption for the
            Genocide Convention by the United Nations. ... This is the reason why
            the Armenians of the entire world were specifically interested in the
            Genocide Convention. They filled the galleries of the drafting
            committee at the third General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris
            when the Genocide Convention was discussed."

            At the end of this article, Lemkin asserted, "One million Armenians
            died, but a law against the murder of peoples was written with the ink
            of their blood and the spirit of their sufferings."

            There are numerous similar references in Lemkin's private papers as
            well as in the press. In an age where information is readily
            accessible, columnists and editors have little excuse to make grave
            factual mistakes. When they do, they ought to correct themselves
            promptly--unless, of course, their aim is to perpetuate those


            Want to read more about the origins of the concept of genocide? Check
            out either of the following books:

            Steven L. Jacobs, "Raphael Lemkin and the Armenian Genocide," in
            Richard Hovannisian's Looking Backward, Moving Forward (Transaction
            Publishers, 2003), pp. 125-135.

            Samantha Power, A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,
            (Basic Books, 2002).


            About Khatchig Mouradian
            Khatchig Mouradian is editor of the Armenian Weekly. From 2000 to 2007
            he was an editor of the Lebanese-Armenian Aztag Daily. His writing has
            been translated into more than 10 languages, and he has translated
            such works as Paulo Coelho's "The Alchemist" (Hamazkayin, 2004). He
            also contributes to a number of U.S. and European publications.

            Mouradian has presented papers on genocide and the media at
            conferences such as the 5th Workshop on Armenian-Turkish Scholarship,
            held at NYU in 2006.



            Friday, November 09, 2007

            Frank V. Zerunyan, Esq. [Chairman, Board of Governors of the Armenian
            Bar Association; Mayor Pro Tem, City of Rolling Hills Estates]:
            "The People's House of the United States of America must follow its
            tradition and uphold the truth above all else. The speaker of the
            House of Representatives must bring HR106 to a floor vote because
            the resolution is morally, intellectually, historically and legally
            consistent with our American values. We Americans must insist that
            our leaders promote truth, justice and the rule of law. We have a
            long tradition of accepting human dignity as an inalienable right
            and as the basis of our jurisprudence. No one could have described
            it better than Alexander Hamilton when he said "The sacred rights
            of mankind are not to be rummaged for, among the old parchments,
            or musty records. They are written, as with a sun beam in the whole
            volume of human nature, by the hand of divinity itself; and can never
            be erased or obstructed by mortal power."

            "Never again" to Armenians, Jews, Cambodians, Rwandans, Darfurians
            is not just a slogan in the context of the human rights debate in
            the world; it is a call to meaningful action to eradicate genocide
            from the world.

            Experts and scholars confirm that each perpetrator has used previous
            crimes against humanity with impunity. Indeed Adolph Hitler himself
            in 1939, before the invasion of Poland, reminded his commanding
            officers in a passionate speech "who still talks now days of the
            extermination of the Armenians?" Denial is part of and a completion
            of this crime against humanity. Our values simply do not permit us
            to be co-conspirators to the commission of or to the completion of
            the crime of genocide.

            At stake today in Washington DC, of course, is the question of
            whether the United States House of Representatives should offend
            Turkey by voting on a resolution condemning the Armenian Genocide
            of 1915. All actors in this debate are playing the roles they have
            played for decades. Turkish generals and ministers are threatening
            our military ties, the closure of our bases, air space and logistics
            routes. Ironically however, even before any word of this resolution,
            those routes were already closed to our sons and daughters when our
            nation went to war to liberate Iraq. There is also a new threat by our
            own government; "radical Islam". Most if not all credible experts will
            agree that this threat is simply not credible as the Republic of Turkey
            will never chose this form of a regime over the great and overwhelming
            legacy of its founding father Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Moreover, such
            a threat completely undermines contemporary Turkish identity.

            While the Republic of Turkey may react negatively in the short term
            (I think to their own detriment), recognition of the Armenian genocide
            is warranted for several reasons. First, the HR106 declares the truth;
            a truth that 23 other countries, 40 American States and countless
            Counties and Cities have already recognized. Second, no one discusses
            or even mentions our influence and the basis of our influence over
            the Republic of Turkey. The truth is that we brought Turkey into
            the NATO Alliance without which Turkey's security could not be
            guaranteed. We support Turkey's membership into the European Union;
            an economic "must" for the survival of Turkey into the 21st Century
            and beyond. We granted Turkey a most favored nation trading status
            resulting in more than $7 billion in annual trade and $2 billion in
            US investments in Turkey. Only Israel and Egypt outrank Turkey as
            recipients of US Foreign assistance. Third, it is inconceivable that
            even back in the days when the US prized West Germany as a buffer and
            deterrent against the Soviet Union, we Americans would have refrained
            from condemning The Shoah (the Holocaust) at Germany's behest.

            Finally and more importantly to this American of Armenian decent,
            it brings finality and closure, bringing back human dignity to
            humanity lost almost a century ago. I assume most of you know the
            eternal resting grounds of your great grand fathers and grand mothers;
            I don't. My ancestors formed the first Christian nation in the world
            (301 A.D.) only to become the invisible Christians in unmarked graves
            in the early stages of the 2oth Century.

            I am the great-grand son of a victim and the grand son of a survivor.

            Ironically, I live today as the direct result of the kindness of a
            Turkish gentleman (Effendi) who had the humanity to shelter my grand
            father. I applaud his humanity and encourage our leaders to follow
            in his footsteps."

            Opinions expressed in JURIST's Hotline are the sole responsibility
            of their authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of JURIST's
            editors, staff, or the University of Pittsburgh.
            What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


            • #56
              Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
              Clears The 200 Mark

              1 of 2


              Oct 10 2007

              Harut Sassounian is a prominent public figure, author, publisher of
              The California Courier newspaper, President of the United Armenian
              Fund, Lincy Foundation Vice President.

              REGNUM: A number of the US-based Armenian organizations are currently
              advocating the recognition of the Armenian Genocide in Ottoman Turkey
              in 1915. At present, 226 US Congressmen are reportedly advocating
              the adoption of a resolution on the Armenian Genocide. What is your
              opinion of the prospects for the adoption of the resolution? What is
              the importance of the resolution, considering the fact that Armenian
              political circles have no clear idea of their further steps after
              the worldwide recognition of the Armenian Genocide?

              Regarding your question about the prospects for the adoption of the
              resolution by the US Congress, I can say that more than half of the
              435 Members of Congress have co-sponsored the resolution. This means
              that, if the resolution is submitted to a vote even tomorrow morning,
              it will be adopted without any problems. I think that around 350
              Congressmen will vote for the resolution and just a few will vote
              against it. The major problem is whether the leadership of the
              US Congress will submit the resolution to a vote or, under Bush
              administration pressure, the resolution will be shelved, which was
              the case in 2000, when Speaker Hastert withdrew the resolution at the
              last moment. Otherwise, it would have certainly been adopted. The
              question is whether the scandal similar to that in 2000 will recur
              or the resolution will be submitted to a vote. I think that this
              time the resolution will be submitted to a vote, and its adoption
              has almost a hundred-per-cent chance, as Speaker Nancy Pelosi has
              been making statements advocating the recognition of the Armenian
              Genocide for 20 years. Besides, when I contacted her last November,
              before she was elected Speaker, she stated that she had been advocating
              the recognition of the Armenian Genocide for many years and intended
              to do so in the next year as well. Thus, we have a promise made by
              Nancy Pelosi who has not changed her position for many years. Also,
              a majority in the US Congress favors the adoption of the resolution.

              The submission of the resolution to a vote was postponed because of
              the parliamentary and, later, presidential elections in Turkey. We
              did not want the Armenian side to be accused of aiding the radicals
              in the Turkish elections. Now we have nothing to wait for and the
              resolution will certainly be submitted to a vote.

              Of course, a tough struggle over the resolution has started. The
              Turkish Government is constantly blackmailing the United States,
              making statements on severing relations, putting obstacles for US
              troops in Iraq, and so on. The blackmail is actually senseless, as
              each statement like that damages the image of Turkey itself. Turkish
              commentators have recently pointed out that the time of threats have
              passed, and the blackmail damages Turkey itself. Alternative ways of
              admitting past events need to be found. We are now witnessing the
              formation of a favorable atmosphere both in the US Congress and in
              Turkey. However, the Turkish side still does not find the courage to
              admit this Crime Against Humanity, and the most likely reason is a
              psychological barrier - it is difficult to admit the fact that their
              forefathers committed such a barbaric act against another people.

              Turkish leaders realize that the Genocide is a fact, and their
              statements on the necessity for "studying and discussing" the issue
              are a political game. They do not need either historians or studies,
              they know the truth. However, Turkish authorities fear that the
              admission of the Armenian Genocide will cause a negative reaction
              by their public and radical forces. But for this fear, the Genocide
              would have been admitted long ago.

              The United Nations has recognized the Armenian Genocide. Over
              20 countries, the European Parliament, hundreds of specialists in
              genocide and Holocaust, historians and other scholars recognized the
              Armenian Genocide long ago. But, the most important thing is that
              the US Congress has already approved a similar resolution on the
              Armenian Genocide in 1975 and 1984. Moreover, in 1981, US President
              Ronald Reagan signed a Presidential Proclamation designating the
              events of 1915 as Genocide. Since the US President has admitted the
              fact of the Armenian Genocide by signing an official declaration and
              the US Congress has approved the aforementioned resolution twice,
              the adoption of the resolution for the third time is of little
              importance. The Armenian Genocide has already been recognized and
              the resolution will not add anything new.

              The only problem is that the Turkish side is fighting the resolution,
              claiming that it is the first resolution of this kind. If the Turkish
              side did not fight it, I would not care about whether the resolution
              would be adopted or not. However, since the Turkish side is waging a
              political struggle, and the resolution has been submitted, we cannot
              retreat. Otherwise, it will be viewed as the Armenian side's defeat.

              The real purpose of the resolution is not recognition of the Armenian
              Genocide, but a political struggle - the issue of which side has a
              larger political capital in Washington.

              So we must not give up the struggle and allow Turkey to gain victory by
              exerting pressure. We must struggle for the adoption of the resolution
              so that Turkey's political strength should be sapped once and for all.

              As regards your question about the potential benefit from the adoption
              of the resolution and further steps, the following can be said:
              the recognition of the Genocide is not the Armenians' demand.

              The Genocide did take place, and we know it. The Genocide was admitted
              as far back as 1915-1923, when it was actually taking place.

              When our forefathers were being killed, no one had any doubts about
              what was going on. The Turks, who organized the Genocide, were well
              aware of what they were doing. So the recognition of the Genocide is
              not a step to be viewed as a great achievement. No, the recognition
              is an actuality - for 92 years. The issue should be considered
              from quite a different angle, and the Armenian people must come to
              realize it. If the resolution is passed, and should Turkey admit the
              Armenian Genocide, Armenians who are not well-grounded in politics
              will think that they have achieved their cherished dream. No, the
              admission of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey is an issue of secondary
              importance for us. The following issue must be raised: a cruel crime
              was committed against the Armenian people. The whole nation was
              actually annihilated, our lands were seized and our 3,000-year-old
              culture was destroyed. This is not only a cruel crime, but also a
              great injustice. Therefore, our true demand is compensation for this
              injustice. The world must know about what happened, and we have to a
              great extent succeeded. The Turkish side is well aware that the step
              to follow the admission of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey will be a
              demand for compensation and return of the lands. This is the reason
              why Turkey will not admit the Armenian Genocide, thereby trying to
              force the Armenians to stop at this stage, so that we keep demanding
              the admission of the Genocide for hundreds of years and will be unable
              to go to the next step. I declare with all responsibility that it is
              not so, the admission of the Armenian Genocide is of no value.

              Our demands are: Turkey must compensate for the damages and return
              our lands. Our demands do not depend on the recognition of the
              Armenian Genocide before going on to the next steps. This is the
              reason that a symposium recently was held at the University of
              Southern California. Renowned specialists in international law were
              invited. They explained the rights the Armenian people have under
              international law, and to which courts Armenians could apply to
              settle this issue. Now specialists must study the lawyers' advice and
              decide which issue should be submitted to which court, as there is
              the International Court of Justice, European Court of Human Rights,
              US Federal Courts, etc. This is a most important issue. It must be
              studied with all seriousness, because, if we lose in court, Turkey
              will claim that Armenians have no legal demands.

              REGNUM: There is an opinion that Armenian Diasporan organizations,
              while dealing with the issue of the Armenian Genocide, do not pay
              enough attention to the Nagorno-Karabakh problem. Do you agree with
              this viewpoint, and is it possible that the international community
              should recognize the Armenian Genocide, without saying anything about
              the necessity for compensations, and oblige the Armenian side to make
              certain concessions in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue instead?

              I disagree with the opinion that the Diaspora is ignoring the Artsakh
              problem (In our conversation, I would prefer using the historical name
              of Nagorno-Karabakh - Artsakh). I have heard such an opinion, but I
              can state with confidence that not only this point of view is wrong,
              but also the real situation is quite the opposite. Our people, neither
              in Armenia nor in the Diaspora, have political sophistication. This
              has been true throughout our history. Armenians have always had an
              advanced culture, we have many excellent musicians, a rich literary
              and architectural heritage, but, in contrast to Turkey, we have never
              had political maturity. And no wonder. Turks ruled an empire for 600
              years. We never had such an experience. We have always been under other
              nations' yoke. All that we do in the political arena, including on the
              issue of the Armenian Genocide, is unprofessional and insufficient. We
              speak of the Armenian Genocide everywhere, make statements and give the
              impression that we are making great efforts towards the settlement of
              this issue. However, these are mere words without any value. The same
              is true in the Artsakh problem. Everybody says: "We are for Artsakh.

              This is our historical land." But what is really being done for
              Artsakh? Yes, some young men went to war and sacrificed their lives
              for Artsakh's freedom, which is the most valuable thing they could
              do. But what are others doing? They are only talking. We are always
              only talking. So I do not agree that we do more in this area than in
              another, and this is the reality.

              As regards the possibility of the international recognition of
              the Armenian Genocide in exchange for certain concessions in the
              Nagorno-Karabakh issue, such an idea does not exist, it is senseless.

              I have said that the Genocide is a fact, and its recognition is not a
              concession, as we do not benefit anything from it. If anyone, guided
              by political games, denies this fact, then this is that person's
              problem. Moreover, we have reached a stage where the admission of
              the Armenian Genocide is more in Turkey's interests than that of
              Armenians. If Turkey should admit the Armenian Genocide even tomorrow,
              the Armenians, who are politically naive, would think that they have
              achieved their dream. That is, the Armenian side will just relax and
              stop trying to achieve its true goals, namely, the return of lands and
              compensation. The Armenian people must be mature enough to realize
              their true goals. In this context, if Turkey admits the Armenian
              Genocide, it will be the first to benefit. Although no official demand
              for the admission of the Armenian Genocide is made on Turkey in the
              context of the country's admission to the European Union, this issue
              is constantly raised and used as a lever for exerting pressure on
              Turkey. That is why, if a Turkish leader admits the Armenian Genocide
              today, the next day the entire world will praise him as liberal and
              progressive, for having admitted his forefathers' crimes. He will be
              awarded a Nobel Peace Prize and many other prizes. Moreover, even if
              Turkey fails to meet all requirements for the admission to the European
              Union, the positive reaction to its admission of the Armenian Genocide
              will be so great that a blind eye will be turned to other shortfalls,
              thereby facilitating the process of Turkey's entry into the EU. Thus,
              Turkey will benefit much, without losing anything. The principal error
              of both Armenians and Turks is that they think that, in case Turkey
              admits the Armenian Genocide, Armenians will demand their lands. In
              fact, the two issues have nothing in common. If, in conformity with
              international law, the Armenian people can demand their territories,
              it is not at all necessary to wait for Turkey to admit the Armenian
              Genocide for 90 or 900 years. Even if tomorrow we apply to court and
              demand our territories, no court will say: "no, you cannot demand
              territories until Turkey admits the Genocide." This is tantamount to
              refusing to convict a murderer until he admits his guilt.

              REGNUM: You often visit Armenia and, naturally, are acquainted with
              the situation. If you had to enumerate the priorities of the country's
              foreign policy, which issues would you first of all point out?

              If we establish certain problems as priorities, the first thing to
              note is, of course, Armenian-Azerbaijani relations, as the conflict
              over Artsakh is unresolved. The major problem is a state of war or
              rather a bloody ceasefire with Azerbaijan - shots can be heard on
              the Armenian-Azerbaijani border, both sides sustain losses.

              The second issue is the Armenian-Turkish relations - from the viewpoint
              of both the past and the current blockade of Armenia

              The third item is, I think, the Armenian-Georgian relations, which
              are not problematic in general, but we have a problem of the Javakhk
              Armenians - not a territorial issue. However, the problem is the
              observation of the rights of the Armenians residing there. Of course,
              some problems of human rights, social conditions, schools and churches
              must be resolved in the context of friendly relations with Georgia.
              What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


              • #57
                Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
                Clears The 200 Mark

                2 of 2


                Oct 10 2007


                REGNUM: The necessity for concessions has recently been spoken of
                more and more often in the context of the Nagorno-Karabakh peace
                process. From the viewpoint of the Armenian Diaspora, what is the
                degree of concessions?

                Conflict can be settled through compromises - this is a fundamental
                principle. Another way of settling conflicts is a decisive victory
                over the enemy in military operations. The issue is settled either
                at the negotiating table or on the battlefield. We gained a victory
                on the battlefield, and cannot be defeated at the negotiating
                table. I do not think that there exists any threat of resumption of
                hostilities. Azerbaijan is not ready for war. If they were, they would
                resume military operations without asking anyone. If hostilities
                are resumed now, Azerbaijan may lose all the other territories,
                particularly Shahumyan. That is, if Azerbaijan unleashes a war now,
                it will lose more than it may gain. I disagree with the opinion that
                the Armenian side must not cede even an inch of land.

                Some territories surrounding Artsakh, which are of no strategic
                importance or historically Armenian lands, may be ceded. It is not
                up to us to decide which particular region, town or village may be
                ceded to the Azerbaijani side. Time will come, and representatives
                of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Artsakh, standing over a map, will draw
                a border. However, we must not just cede the territories to them,
                stating that this is our concession. In exchange, we must have them
                recognize Artsakh as an independent state or as part of Armenia. A
                relevant document must be signed, and an international peacekeeping
                force must be stationed in adjacent territories. That is, concessions
                are only possible in case of concessions on the part of Azerbaijan
                and observation of the aforementioned terms. I think it must be a
                comprehensive solution.

                REGNUM: Do you think that the Azerbaijani side will agree to such
                a solution?

                If they do not, we have nothing to propose to them. We gained a
                victory, and the Artsakh problem is resolved for us. We have nothing
                else to solve. We are quite satisfied with the present-day situation -
                Artsakh was liberated, full stop! It is in Azerbaijan's interest to
                propose something to us, and concessions on our part will be possible
                in exchange for that "something."

                REGNUM: At present, Northern Martakert, Shahumyan and Getashen -
                the last named is part of Nagorno-Karabakh - are under Azerbaijan's
                control. In your opinion, what is the solution to the problem of the
                regions in question?

                A solution to the problem of the territories may be based on the
                principle of territorial swap. If we cede part of some territories
                under Artsakh's control to Azerbaijan, the Azerbaijani side returns
                the aforementioned territories. Another way is the resumption of
                hostilities and return of the territories by force.

                REGNUM: Nevertheless, you rule out the possibility of resumption
                of hostilities in the immediate prospect. How long can this
                neither-peace-nor-war state last?

                I am not a prophet. However, I personally rule out the possibility
                of such developments in the next few years. But we must always be
                ready for an attack.

                REGNUM: What is your description of Armenia's present-day foreign
                policy - nationalistic, liberal?

                Once again I have to say what I have already said. I am not
                delighted with the political maturity of Armenians, both inside and
                outside Armenia. In general, I am not satisfied. I would not like to
                criticize Armenia's authorities, because they have the same problem
                as all Armenians. Armenia's policy in the international arena is not
                impressive. I can neither say that they committed major blunders nor
                can their work be called brilliant.

                REGNUM: As a specialist in the field of communication, what is your
                opinion of Armenian information policy? If we consider the presence of
                Azerbaijan, Turkey and Armenia in the sphere of information activities,
                what problems can you see?

                Our work in most fields lacks professionalism. Whatever field you
                ask about, I will have to repeat the same phrase. The work carried
                out in the information field is equal to zero.

                REGNUM: To what do you attribute this deficiency and how can it
                be improved?

                To improve in an area, one should first of all realize its value.

                Neither the Armenian people nor the authorities realize the value
                of the information field. For example, when Presidents Aliyev and
                Kocharyan agree on specific issues, and Aliyev then goes back on his
                word, it takes our authorities almost a year to reveal this fact.

                This information must be spread within 24 hours through all media
                outlets, PR-companies should be employed to flood Western newspapers
                with analytical articles, to show the world that we are a peaceful
                nation and ready for negotiations and concessions. And it is not us,
                but Azerbaijanis, who are the cause of war. We must clearly realize
                that information is power. It must be collected and used at the
                right moment.

                REGNUM: As seen from Armenia, the Diaspora seems to be strong,
                but disunited? We have a 3-million-strong community in Russia,
                rather strong communities in the US and Europe. However, they do not
                cooperate. In your opinion, is there a necessity for at least these
                communities to cooperate, or the currently applied method is right and
                no need for coordination of Armenian communities' activities exists?

                What is going on now is both wrong and a waste of energy. We are a
                small nation, and cannot afford to be disunited. We need centralization
                of forces, cooperation not only between the aforementioned three
                communities, but also among Armenian communities worldwide. I have
                some ideas of how to organize Armenians worldwide, but I would not
                like to go into the details at this time. The unification of Armenians
                around common national ideas is a goal that can be attained. Members of
                Armenian communities worldwide must set themselves tasks and determine
                the ways of accomplishing them.

                Armenians worldwide can elect their leaders by democratic principles,
                by means of a vote. No one in the Diaspora should declare himself to
                be a leader without the vote of the Armenian public. Thus, we will
                have an elected body in the Diaspora that will cooperate with the
                elected leaders of Armenia and Artsakh.

                REGNUM: You are also a representative of the Lincy Foundation. I
                would like to ask you a question. It is a hypothetical question, to
                be exact. In your opinion, in the context of the current situation,
                when Armenia's borderline villages are hardly populated, would not it
                be better to direct the Foundation's resources to the implementation of
                a repatriation program for Armenians, which is of paramount importance,
                rather than to the renovation of Armenia's roads, which is important
                as well?

                It is not up to me to decide where our Foundation's resources must
                be directed. In Armenia, I supervise the work carried out under the
                Foundation's programs. I am well acquainted with what is going on in
                Armenia, and if I had the authority, funds would have been directed
                to the resolution of some other problems. The process of allocating
                funds is as follows: Armenia's top-level authorities propose the
                direction and a schedule of necessary works. The Lincy Foundation
                considers the authorities' proposals under the following principle:
                "If we want to do anything good for Armenia, who is better informed
                of the country's needs - those living in far away Los Angeles or the
                ones that grew up in this land, who are governing the country and
                are responsible for their people's future?"
                What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.


                • #58
                  Re: Armenian Genocide Resolution Cosponsorship
                  Clears The 200 Mark

                  Well Known Supporters of the Recognition React...

                  Robert Fisk: Holocaust denial in the White House: The Turks say the Armenians died in a 'civil war', and Bush goes along with their lies

                  The Independent/UK
                  Published: 10 November 2007

                  How are the mighty fallen! President George Bush, the crusader king who
                  would draw the sword against the forces of Darkness and Evil, he who
                  said there was only "them or us", who would carry on, he claimed, an
                  eternal conflict against "world terror" on our behalf; he turns out,
                  well, to be a wimp. A clutch of Turkish generals and a
                  multimillion-dollar public relations campaign on behalf of Turkish
                  Holocaust deniers have transformed the lion into a lamb. No, not even a
                  lamb ` for this animal is, by its nature, a symbol of innocence ` but
                  into a household mouse, a little diminutive creature which, seen from
                  afar, can even be confused with a rat. Am I going too far? I think not.

                  The "story so far" is familiar enough. In 1915, the Ottoman Turkish
                  authorities carried out the systematic genocide of one and a half
                  million Christian Armenians. There are photographs, diplomatic reports,
                  original Ottoman documentation, the process of an entire post-First
                  World War Ottoman trial, Winston Churchill and Lloyd George and a
                  massive report by the British Foreign Office in 1915 and 1916 to prove
                  that it is all true. Even movie film is now emerging ` real archive
                  footage taken by Western military cameramen in the First World War ` to
                  show that the first Holocaust of the 20th century, perpetrated in front
                  of German officers who would later perfect its methods in their
                  extermination of six million xxxs, was as real as its pitifully few
                  Armenian survivors still claim.

                  But the Turks won't let us say this. They have blackmailed the Western
                  powers ` including our own British Government, and now even the US ` to
                  kowtow to their shameless denials. These (and I weary that we must
                  repeat them, because every news agency and government does just that
                  through fear of Ankara's fury) include the canard that the Armenians
                  died in a "civil war", that they were anyway collaborating with
                  Turkey's Russian enemies, that fewer Armenians were killed than have
                  been claimed, that as many Turkish Muslims were murdered as Armenians.

                  And now President Bush and the United States Congress have gone along
                  with these lies. There was, briefly, a historic moment for Bush to walk
                  tall after the US House Foreign Relations Committee voted last month to
                  condemn the mass slaughter of Armenians as an act of genocide. Ancient
                  Armenian-American survivors gathered at a House panel to listen to the
                  debate. But as soon as Turkey's fossilised generals started to threaten
                  Bush, I knew he would give in.

                  Listen, first, to General Yasar Buyukanit, chief of the Turkish armed
                  forces, in an interview with the newspaper Milliyet. The passage of the
                  House resolution, he whinged, was "sad and sorrowful" in view of the
                  "strong links" Turkey maintained with its Nato partners. And if this
                  resolution was passed by the full House of Representatives, then "our
                  military relations with the US would never be as they were in the
                  past... The US, in that respect, has shot itself in the foot".

                  Now listen to Mr Bush as he snaps to attention before the Turkish
                  general staff. "We all deeply regret the tragic suffering (sic) of the
                  Armenian people... But this resolution is not the right response to
                  these historic mass killings. Its passage would do great harm to our
                  relations with a key ally in Nato and in the global war on terror." I
                  loved the last bit about the "global war on terror". Nobody ` save for
                  the xxxs of Europe ` has suffered "terror" more than the benighted
                  Armenians of Turkey in 1915. But that Nato should matter more than the
                  integrity of history ` that Nato might one day prove to be so important
                  that the Bushes of this world may have to equivocate over the xxxish
                  Holocaust to placate a militarily resurgent Germany ` beggars belief.

                  Among those men who should hold their heads in shame are those who
                  claim they are winning the war in Iraq. They include the increasingly
                  disoriented General David Petraeus, US commander in Iraq, and the
                  increasingly delusional US ambassador to Baghdad, Ryan Crocker, both of
                  whom warned that full passage of the Armenian genocide bill would "harm
                  the war effort in Iraq". And make no mistake, there are big bucks
                  behind this disgusting piece of Holocaust denial.

                  Former Representative Robert L Livingston, a Louisiana Republican, has
                  already picked up $12m from the Turks for his company, the Livingston
                  Group, for two previously successful attempts to pervert the cause of
                  moral justice and smother genocide congressional resolutions. He
                  personally escorted Turkish officials to Capitol Hill to threaten US
                  congressmen. They got the point. If the resolution went ahead, Turkey
                  would bar US access to the Incirlik airbase through which passed much
                  of the 70 per cent of American air supplies to Iraq which transit

                  In the real world, this is called blackmail ` which was why Bush was
                  bound to cave in. Defence Secretary Robert Gates was even more
                  pusillanimous ` although he obviously cared nothing for the details of
                  history. Petraeus and Crocker, he said, "believe clearly that access to
                  the airfields and to the roads and so on in Turkey would be very much
                  put at risk if this resolution passes...".

                  How terrible an irony did Gates utter. For it is these very "roads and
                  so on" down which walked the hundreds of thousands of Armenians on
                  their 1915 death marches. Many were forced aboard cattle trains which
                  took them to their deaths. One of the railway lines on which they
                  travelled ran due east of Adana ` a great collection point for the
                  doomed Christians of western Armenia ` and the first station on the
                  line was called Incirlik, the very same Incirlik which now houses the
                  huge airbase that Mr Bush is so frightened of losing.

                  Had the genocide that Bush refuses to acknowledge not taken place ` as
                  the Turks claim ` the Americans would be asking the Armenians for
                  permission to use Incirlik. There is still alive ` in Sussex if anyone
                  cares to see her ` an ageing Armenian survivor from that region who
                  recalls the Ottoman Turkish gendarmes setting fire to a pile of living
                  Armenian babies on the road close to Adana. These are the same "roads
                  and so on" that so concern the gutless Mr Gates.

                  But fear not. If Turkey has frightened the boots off Bush, he's still
                  ready to rattle the cage of the all-powerful Persians. People should be
                  interested in preventing Iran from acquiring the knowledge to make
                  nuclear weapons if they're "interested in preventing World War Three",
                  Bush has warned us. What piffle. Bush can't even summon up the courage
                  to tell the truth about World War One.

                  Who would have thought that the leader of the Western world ` he who
                  would protect us against "world terror" ` would turn out to be the
                  David Irving of the White House?



                  12.11.2007 13:39 GMT+04:00

                  /PanARMENIAN.Net/ Turkey's Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan was in
                  Washington to meet with President Bush to discuss mounting tensions
                  between the Turks and Kurdish rebel factions in Northern Iraq.

                  Also on the agenda was the Armenian Genocide resolution which passed
                  in the House Foreign Affairs Committee last month. The Medill News
                  Service spoke with two experts who have challenged Turkey's position on
                  the Armenian question and asked them to respond to Erdogan's comments.

                  Turkish scholar Taner Akcam, author of "A Shameful Act: The Armenian
                  Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility," is one of the
                  first Turkish academics to acknowledge and discuss openly the killings
                  of Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish government in 1915.

                  Edward Alexander is a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer and author,
                  born in New York to Armenian parents who fled Turkey.

                  "The evidence is overwhelming and to many Armenians, it is utterly
                  preposterous for anyone, especially the Turkish government, to deny
                  what is historical truth.

                  For my research, one of my sources was the German press. My other
                  source was the cables that were sent to Ambassador Henry Morgenthau,
                  the U.S. ambassador in Turkey at the time of the genocide. These
                  are documents that cannot be refuted. In addition, I did research
                  eye-witness reports in Merseburg, Germany," Alexander said.

                  For his part, Mr Akcam said, "Our Prime Minister is wrong because
                  we can prove the genocidal intent without any problems. One set of
                  documentation are the trials in Istanbul between 1919 and 1921. These
                  are the indictments, verdicts, hand-written testimonies and eye-witness
                  accounts which were recorded during that time. There is a lot of
                  evidence here showing the killing of the Armenians. The originals
                  of these documents are not known. We assume that they have been
                  destroyed after Turkish nationalists took over Istanbul. [Turkish
                  officials] only trust the documents in prime ministerial archive
                  today in Istanbul. I can show very easily, based on prime ministerial
                  archives, the genocidal intent of Ottoman Turkey. I will publish a
                  book in the Turkish language in 2008 where I am presenting more than
                  500 documents from prime ministerial archives in Istanbul."

                  What if I find someone else when looking for you? My soul shivers as the idea invades my mind.