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1. ANCA Urges Senate to Block Hoagland Nomination
2. Lebanon ARF Condemns Israeli Attacks, Call for Community Unity
3. House Members Disturbed by State Department Non-Response to on Evans Firing
4. Karabakh Welcomes G8 Calls on Peace
5. US Warns Turkey Against Iraq Incursion, Erdogan Decries ‘Double Standards’

1. ANCA Urges Senate to Block Hoagland Nomination

WASHINGTON–Citing US Ambassador-designate Richard Hoagland’s denial of the
Armenian Genocide and his contradictory responses to Senate inquiries – both
against the background of the continued failure of the Administration to offer
a meaningful and forthright explanation of its reasons for firing the current
US Ambassador, John Evans – the Armenian National Committee of America Tuesday
issued a statement formally opposing Hoagland’s nomination to serve as the
next
US Ambassador to Armenia.
A July 16 policy editorial published by the Los Angeles Times called on the US
Senate to block Ambassador-designate Hoagland’s nomination until he properly
recognizes the Armenian Genocide. The strongly worded piece urged the Bush
administration to "explain forthrightly – not just to Armenian Americans
but to
all Americans who believe in calling evil by its proper name – why US
policy is
being dictated by Ankara nationalists."
"Ambassador-designate Richard Hoagland has disqualified himself as a candidate
to serve as our nation’s ambassador to the Republic of Armenia," said the ANCA
statement.
During the course of his Senate confirmation process, Ambassador-designate
Richard Hoagland has taken a number of actions that demonstrate that he cannot
effectively represent US interests and American values, among them:
1. Asserting that the Armenian Genocide does not qualify as an instance of
genocide
2. Providing contradictory statements or failing to respond to US Senate
inquiries
3. Abandoning America’s leadership on genocide prevention

The complete text of the announcement can be found on asbarez.com.

1. Asserting that the Armenian Genocide does not qualify as an instance of
genocide

Ambassador-designate Hoagland has disqualified himself as the next US
Ambassador to Armenia by engaging in denial of the Armenian Genocide.
Consistent with the denials issued by the Turkish government, Ambassador
Hoagland argues that the Armenian Genocide does not qualify as an instance of
genocide because of the absence, on the part of the perpetrator, of a
"specific
intent to destroy, in whole or in substantial part," the victim group.
In a July 14th response to a written question from Senator Barbara Boxer
(D-CA)
concerning why the US does not consider the Armenian Genocide an instance of
genocide, Ambassador-designate Hoagland selectively cited one of the five
"understandings" expressed by the US at the time of the US ratification of the
UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide,
namely
that, "genocidal intent meant a ‘specific intent to destroy, in whole or in
substantial part,’ the group as such."
Additionally, in a dramatic retreat to the more blatant forms of denial
typical
of the State Department’s opposition to Armenian Genocide recognition during
the 1980s, Ambassador-designate Hoagland referred to statements on the
Armenian
Genocide as allegations. In a response to a written inquiry from Senator John
Kerry (D-MA) concerning Turkey’s criminal prosecution of journalists for
writing about the Armenian Genocide, Ambassador-designate Hoagland
characterized their factual affirmations of the Armenian Genocide as simply
allegations.
As Senator Norm Coleman (R-MN) stated during Ambassador-designate Hoagland’s
confirmation hearing, "I am not sure how we can continue to have
Ambassadors to
Armenia who can be effective, unless they give recognition to the Genocide."
Sadly, Ambassador-designate Hoagland has gone far beyond the traditional
Administration practice of failing to properly recognize the Armenian
Genocide.
He has, instead, placed himself firmly into the camp of the Turkish government
by publicly denying the genocidal nature of this crime. His nomination, if
confirmed, would represent a dramatic escalation in US complicity in Turkey’s
campaign of denial.

2. Providing contradictory statements or failing to respond to US Senate
inquiries

Ambassador-designate Hoagland has disqualified himself as the next US
Ambassador to Armenia by making contradictory and inconsistent statements to
the US Senate regarding his views on the Armenian Genocide. In many instances,
he did not respond to specific Senate inquiries.
In responses to questions submitted by Senators Lincoln Chafee (R-RI) and John
Kerry (D-MA), he denied that he had been counseled not to refer to the events
of 1915 as the Armenian Genocide. Yet, in the course of responding to
questioning at his confirmation hearing and to several dozen written
inquiries,
he went to extreme lengths to avoid using this term. Either he has misled
Senators regarding the guidance he has received, or he has chosen to avoid
using the term genocide on his own accord – both profoundly troubling
developments that disqualify him from serving as the US envoy in Yerevan.
More broadly, Ambassador-designate Hoagland’s July 14th claim that the
Armenian
Genocide does not meet the US government’s definition of genocide stands in
stark contrast to his repeated assertions to US Senators that the
Administration does not deny the events of 1915:
* In response to a question about US policy on the Armenian Genocide from
Senator Allen (R-VA) during the June 28th confirmation hearing,
Ambassador-designate Hoagland asserted that, "No one in this administration
has
ever denied the events beginning in the 20th century at the end of the Ottoman
Empire that befell the Armenian nation and people."
* In response to a question from Senator Coleman (R-MN) regarding whether
Ambassador-designate Hoagland agreed with then-Governor Bush’s statements
affirming the Armenian Genocide, he stated: "I fully agree that the events
that
occurred on 1915 and following were of historic proportion. As I said
well-documented, horrific and horrifying and as we heard from Senator Sarbanes
in his statement early on — hundreds of valleys devastated no family
untouched. It was historic. It was a tragedy. Everyone agrees with that."
* In response to a written inquiry from Senator John Kerry (D-MA) asking if he
disputed a series of nine facts about the Armenian Genocide,
Ambassador-designate Hoagland did not dispute that: "The atrocities conceived
and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923 … resulted in the
elimination of the more than 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their
historic
homeland."
* In response to subsequent questions from Senator Kerry asking about the
Administration’s denial of the Armenian Genocide and the consequences of its
non-recognition, Ambassador-designate Hoagland stated that, "the
Administration
does not deny the tragic events that occurred in the final years of the
Ottoman
Empire," and that: "the Administration does recognize the massacre or forced
exile of as many as 1.5 million Armenians in the final years of the Ottoman
Empire."

3. Abandoning America’s leadership on genocide prevention

Ambassador-designate Hoagland has additionally disqualified himself as the
next
US Ambassador to Armenia by failing to grasp the fundamental need for US moral
leadership in condemning and preventing genocide.
In response to a question from Senator Kerry, Ambassador-designate Hoagland
stated that, "The US believes that the question of how to characterize these
horrific events is of such enormous human significance that it should not be
determined on the basis of politics, but through heartfelt introspection among
academics, civic leaders, and societies."
Ambassador-designate Hoagland’s formulation could not be more deeply
flawed. It
is precisely because of the enormity of the Armenian Genocide that the US
should address this crime with absolute moral and historical clarity. By
delegating the characterization of the Armenian Genocide to a dialogue between
the unrepentant perpetrators of Genocide and the survivors and descendants of
those who perished, the Ambassador-designate argues for effectively reducing
our nation’s response to genocide to the level acceptable to the Turkish
government. Our nation’s human rights policy should never be held hostage by a
foreign country–particularly one that is regularly cited as among the world’s
worst human rights abusers.
For these reasons, we respectfully request that the US Senate not move forward
with Ambassador Hoagland’s nomination.

2. Lebanon ARF Condemns Israeli Attacks, Call for Community Unity

BEIRUT, YEREVAN (Aztag, Armenpress)–The Armenian Revolutionary Federation
Central Committee of Lebanon issued an announcement Monday condemning the
Israeli bombing of Lebanon and "infringing on Lebanon’s sovereignty," reported
the Beirut-based Aztag daily newspaper.
The announcement called on "the international community and humanitarian
organizations to immediately intervene in order to suppress Israel’s attacks
against Lebanon."
The Lebanon ARF Central Committee concluded by announcing that its affiliate
relief, social service and humanitarian organizations were prepared to take in
all Lebanese refugees who have been displaced by the bombings.
In Yerevan, some 160 Armenian nationals and dozens of other residents of
Lebanon have been evacuated to Armenia since the start of Israel’s devastating
strikes against the war-torn nation, officials there said on Tuesday, reported
Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty.
According to the Armenian Foreign Ministry, just over a hundred of them were
airlifted to Yerevan from the Syrian city of Aleppo on board an Armenian
passenger jet early in the morning.
"The Armenian consulate in Aleppo was directly involved in the effort,
accompanying this group of people from the Lebanese border to Aleppo
yesterday," a ministry spokesman, Vladimir Karapetian, told RFE/RL. "Then the
group headed to Armenia by air."
Karapetian said most of these evacuees are Lebanese citizens, many of them of
Armenian descent, as well as other foreigners. Less than half of them are
citizens of Armenia, he added.
The Foreign Ministry estimates that there were approximately 1,200 Armenian
nationals residing in Lebanon at least before the start of the Israeli
military
campaign a week ago. Prime Minister Andranik Margaryan on Thursday held an
emergency meeting with high-ranking government officials to discuss ways of
organizing their repatriation. A government statement quoted Deputy Foreign
Minister Gegham Gharibjanian as saying at the meeting that two Armenian
diplomats have already been sent to Lebanon and Syria to assist in the
effort.
The head of the Armenian government’s civil aviation department, Artyom
Movsesian, suggested that the Armavia national airline will have to carry out
additional flights to Aleppo and Damascus to cope with a "large number of
those
willing to arrive in Armenia." Markarian agreed, saying that the government is
ready to partly subsidize the extra flights, according to the statement.
"I wouldn’t say there is a widespread desire [to escape to Armenia] at the
moment," said Karapetian. "Nonetheless, our embassy there does receive such
requests."

3. House Members Disturbed by State Department Non-Response to on Evans Firing

WASHINGTON–Members of the US House of Representatives have expressed
disappointment at the Administration’s repeated failure to provide a clear and
straightforward explanation for the
dismissal of US Ambassador to Armenia John Marshall Evans, even as the State
Department issued yet another letter sidestepping the issue, reported the
Armenian National Committee of America.
In their response to the May 22 letter spearheaded by Rep. Edward Markey
(D-MA)
and cosigned by 60 House members, Assistant Secretary for Legislative Affairs
Jeffrey Bergner failed, once again, to address reports that Amb. Evans’ was
being recalled for his statements on the Armenian Genocide.  The letter began
with the well-worn refrain that "All Ambassadors serve at the pleasure of the
President and as advocates of the President’s policies."  He went on to argue
that, "allegations that the US is removing Ambassador Evans under pressure
from
the Government of Turkey are simply untrue," despite the fact that numerous
Turkish press accounts in March of 2005 reported  that then Turkish Ambassador
to the US Faruk Logoglu did indeed protest Amb. Evans’ remarks to State
Department officials.
The State Department’s letter, sent to House Members on July 11th, went on to
state that "The United States has never denied the tragic events of 1915 .
. . 
We believe this tragedy is of such enormous human significance that its
characterization should be determined through heartfelt dialogue, not through
diplomatic or political proclamations."
Several House Members immediately reacted to the response, expressing concern
that the State Department has, yet again, avoided providing a clear reasoning
for the Amb. Evans firing.
"The Bush Administration has once again failed to answer the question of
whether or not the early departure of US Ambassador to Armenia John Evans is
related to comments he made about the Armenian Genocide. Moreover, the Bush
Administration continues to duck when given the opportunity to properly
recognize the Armenian Genocide," explained Rep. Markey.  "The time has long
since passed for President Bush to follow through on his campaign promises and
properly recognize the Armenian Genocide.  Only after President Bush
accurately
refers to the mass killings of 1.5 million Armenians as genocide can we
finally
tear down the last walls of
denial."
Similarly, Congressional Armenian Genocide resolution lead sponsor George
Radanovich (R-CA), lamented that "This response was, unfortunately, what we
have come to expect from the Administration and those before it  respectfully
acknowledging the mass killing
of 1.5 million Armenians, but refusing to properly call it genocide.  It is
simply incomprehensible to me how anyone can recognize the tragic events of
1915, then turn around and implicitly deny that genocide occurred by refusing
to call it such for political reasons.  I just don’t understand that."
Rep. Sander Levin (D-MI) wrote a letter back objecting to the State
Department’s response and calling the President’s actions on Armenian Genocide
recognition "woefully inadequate."  Rep. Levin stated, "I did have a strong
negative reaction to your comments about 1915.  I urge the President to do
more
than ‘call on all concerned parties to engage in thoughtful introspection’
which is woefully inadequate in the face of the Administration’s repeated
failure to call a genocide a genocide."
Again responding to the State Departments July 11 letter, Rep. Adam Schiff
(D-CA) noted that, "The State Department’s non-response on the issue of
Ambassador Evan’s departure confirms what we all know — the Ambassador was
pushed out the door for telling the truth about the Armenian Genocide. This
marks a sad day for the State Department when it compounds an unwillingness to
acknowledge one of the great crimes in human history and more, disciplines
those who do."
Rep. Schiff also commented on the State Department’s lack of response to a
series of questions submitted during a House International Relations Committee
hearing with Secretary Rice in February 16, 2006.  "Secretary of State Rice’s
failure to adequately respond to questions I posed to her on this issue at a
hearing months ago, is a further indication of the Department’s illicit motive
for Evan’s hasty removal."
Similarly, Rep. Frank Pallone (D-NJ) noted that "The belated response from the
State Department regarding our inquiry into the removal of Ambassador Evans is
yet another statement without a real explanation. Reports suggest that
Evans is
being unjustly penalized for speaking the truth.  It is unacceptable for the
Bush administration to punish Evans for his comments. What he did was
courageous and should be viewed as such."
In their letter to the State Department, Rep. Markey and fellow Congressional
cosigners expressed special concern about the destructive precedent of
recalling a US diplomat for speaking truthfully on matters of historical
record. They wrote that, "we must not allow the perception to linger that he
[Amb. Evans] is being required to vacate his position early for accurately
labeling the cataclysmic events of 1915 as genocide." The Representatives,
noting President Ronald Reagan’s references to the Armenian Genocide, reminded
Secretary Rice that Amb. Evans "did nothing more than succinctly repeat the
conclusions enunciated by those before him."
The Congressional signatories also expressed concern about the role of the
Government of Turkey in the impending removal of Amb. Evans from his posting.
"Were the United States to allow the views or beliefs of a third country to
interfere with our diplomatic postings to the Republic of Armenia," wrote the
House members, "it would establish a dangerous precedent and be injurious to
the long-standing relationship built on trust and friendship between the two
countries."

4. Karabakh Welcomes G8 Calls on Peace

STEPANAKERT (Armenpress)–Nagorno-Karabakh Republic authorities Tuesday
welcomed a statement by G8 leaders issued  in St. Petersburg  calling over the
weekend calling on Armenia and Azerbaijan "to demonstrate the political will,
reach agreement and prepare their publics for peace and not for war."
"We confirmed that the Group of Eight supports the mediation efforts of the
co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group and stressed the need for agreeing on the
basic principles of a peaceful settlement of the conflict as early as in
2006,"
the G-8 statement said.
"One may only welcome the  G8 statement on maintaining the mediation
efforts of
the OSCE Minsk Group and on the necessity for coordinating the core principles
of the conflict’s peaceful resolution,"  Nagorno-Karabakh foreign minister
Georgi Petrossian said Tuesday in an statement issued by the ministry.
"The Nagorno-Karabakh Republic has always been in favor of a peaceful
resolution to the conflict and is prepared to exert every effort to achieve an
agreement on establishing long-term peace in the region. Unfortunately, not
everything hinges on the efforts of the mediators. Azerbaijan’s extremely
negative position and its unwillingness to be in any contact with
Nagorno-Karabakh has made finding an acceptable and proper solution very
difficult to date," added Petrossian
"The Russian president has fairly suggested that it would not impose any
solutions on the parties to the conflict and that the compromise must be
reached by the people. Taking into account the Russia’s readiness to become a
guarantor of the agreement’s provisions, once again, we reiterate that
resolutions directly concerning the future of our country and our people only
would be possible with participation of representatives of legally elected
authorities of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic–the main party to the conflict,"
he said.
In an interview with the Itar-Tass news agency, Azeri foreign ministry
spokesperson Tayir Taghizadeh also welcomed the G8 statement on the Karabakh
conflict resolution process.
"This is very positive for Azerbaijan. We have always called on the world
community and its leaders to accelerate their efforts toward the resolution of
the conflict," Taghizade said.
The foreign ministry official characterized Azerbaijan as a "victim of
Armenian
aggression," and questioned a portion of the G8 announcement, which calls on
both Armenia and Azerbaijan to make equal concessions in the conflict
resolution process.
"Azerbaijan supports the peaceful resolution of the conflict," Taghizade said,
adding that the OSCE Minsk Group efforts were the necessary factor for the
successful continuation of the peaceful negotiations.
"At the same time we cannot conduct negotiations just for the sake of
negotiations. In case the diplomatic efforts produce no results, our country
has the sovereign right to restore its territorial integrity," the
spokesperson
said.

5. US Warns Turkey Against Iraq Incursion, Erdogan Decries ‘Double Standards’

ANKARA (AFP) –The United States has warned Turkey that a cross-border
operation against Kurdish bases in northern Iraq would be "unwise," drawing
angry accusations from Ankara that Washington is using double standards in the
region.
"We have repeatedly said that we believe that unilateral military action
across
the border with Iraq would be unwise," the US amabassador to Turkey, Ross
Wilson, said in an interview with the NTV news channel.
He was speaking after Ankara on Monday urged Washington and Baghdad to act
against the separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), whose militants have
enjoyed safe haven in the mountains of northern Iraq, signaling that it is
ready to take cross-border action if they fail to do so.
Ankara says the PKK, listed as a terrorist group by Turkey, the United States
and the European union, uses bases in northern Iraq as a springboard to launch
attacks in adjoining southeast Turkey.
It has made clear that its patience is running out after rebel attacks claimed
the lives of 15 security force members over the past week.
"The PKK is not a just a northern Iraq problem — it’s a problem in Europe and
it’s a problem in Turkey," Wilson said.
"Going to deal with the PKK in northern Iraq will not solve the problem," he
said. "It will not lead to what we or Iraq or Turkey want to see, which is the
termination of these terrorist activities and the termination of the death and
suffering that the people of Turkey have faced."
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan quickly hit back, highlighting
Washington’s
support for Israeli military offensives against militants in Lebanon and the
Gaza Strip.
"Terrorism is terrorism everywhere," Erdogan said in Istanbul. "It is not
possible to agree with a mentality that tolerates country A and displays a
different attitude when it comes to country B."
Dismissing the ambassador’s warning, Erdogan reiterated that Turkey would be
prepared to conduct cross-border military operations in northern Iraq and
hinted that contingency plans were already being drawn up.
"At the end of the day, we know how to take care of our problems," he said.
"The competent authorities are working accordingly… We keep ourselves ready
against possible developments."
The United States’ failure to crack down on the PKK has often poisoned its
ties
with Turkey, a key Muslim ally in the Middle East, and has been blamed as a
prime reason for growing anti-US sentiment among Turks.
At least 87 PKK members and 51 members of the security forces have died this
year in southeast Turkey, according to an AFP count.
Kurdish militants also claimed responsibility for 11 bomb attacks in urban
centers, in which nine people were killed and nearly 140 injured.
Wilson said Washington had achieved "some success" in disrupting the flow of
funds financing the PKK’s armed campaign and pledged continued support.
The United States, he said, is discussing both with the central government in
Baghdad and the Kurdistan regional authorities in the north "the need to take
action to curb PKK activities and their apparent freedom to maneuver and
operate."
Washington is ready "to continue and make more effective US-Turkish
collaboration in Iraq to cut off funding, apprehend PKK leaders who are
operating there and shut down PKK front groups," Wilson said.
Washington has been unwilling to take action against the PKK in northern Iraq,
arguing that Iraqi and coalition forces are swamped with violence in other
parts of the country and that military operations could upset the relative
stability of the Kurdish-populated region.

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Emil Lazarian

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