Senate panel backs U.S. Armenia envoy nominee

Reuters, UK
Sept 7 2006

Senate panel backs U.S. Armenia envoy nominee
Thu Sep 7, 2006 2:36pm ET
Politics News

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A Senate panel backed President George W.
Bush’s pick for ambassador to Armenia on Thursday after an
impassioned debate over the administration’s withdrawal of the
previous ambassador who described Turkey’s 1915-1923 assault on
Armenia as genocide.

Several members said the committee should reject Richard Hoagland to
protest the administration decision to recall John Evans in May after
he asserted the killing of 1.5 million Armenians during the Ottoman
Empire should be called genocide.

U.S. administrations have avoided that term in order not to offend
Turkey, a key ally.

"In Darfur we are witnessing the first genocide of the 21st century
and the Bush administration called it that," said Sen. Barbara Boxer,
a California Democrat. Boxer said she could not support Hoagland
"until we call the first genocide of the 20th century by its rightful

At his confirmation hearing, Hoagland avoided using the term

The committee approved Hoagland’s nomination 13-5, advancing it for a
full Senate vote.

Committee Chairman Richard Lugar, an Indiana Republican, said no one
was questioning Hoagland’s credentials and said rejecting a qualified
nominee "because of concerns of U.S. policy toward that country would
set a troubling precedent."

While Turkey has acknowledged that atrocities were committed, it
contends there was not an intention to eradicate Armenians so it was
not genocide.

The Bush administration is trying to patch relations with Turkey,
which it holds up as a model of democracy among Islamic countries,
after they were frayed by the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq.

Sen. John Kerry, a Massachusetts Democrat, said to withdraw an
ambassador "because he uttered the word genocide is to kow-tow" to
other countries. "I think the vote is bigger and more important than
just Ambassador Hoagland and that’s why I’ll vote ‘no’."

But Ohio Republican Sen. George Voinovich said he felt the
administration was justified in recalling Evans.

"By golly, if they recalled a person because of this, it had to be
something really, really important in terms of this country’s
relationship with Turkey," Voinovich said.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

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