ANCA: Sen. Durbin and Ensign Introduce Armenian Genocide Resolution

Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street NW
Washington, DC 20036
Tel. (202) 775-1918
Fax. (202) 775-5648
Email [email protected]


March 14, 2007
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Tel: (202) 775-1918


Over 20 Senators Join as Original Cosponsors to Resolution Calling
for Proper U.S. Reaffirmation of Armenian Genocide

WASHINGTON, DC – The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA)
welcomed the introduction today of the Armenian Genocide Resolution
in the U.S. Senate by Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL)
and Senator John Ensign (R-NV). The measure is similar to the House
Armenian Genocide resolution (H.Res.106), introduced by
Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA), George Radanovich (R-CA), and
Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and
Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), which currently has over 180 cosponsors.

In introducing the measure, Assistant Majority Leader Durbin noted,
"We must honor those who died in the Armenian Genocide by
recognizing their suffering and by dedicating ourselves to
preventing human suffering and tragedy in the future. It is
important and long past time that the United States speak with
appropriate clarity on this historical fact."

Sen. John Ensign added that "The murder and torture of the Armenian
people was undeniably genocide, and we must recognize this terrible
reality. We are a nation that embraces freedom and justice, and we
have a responsibility to uphold these values in order to not repeat
the mistakes of the past. This important resolution officially
recognizes history and the truth of the crime of genocide
perpetuated against the Armenians."

"We appreciate the leadership of Richard Durbin and John Ensign and
value the strong support of their Senate colleagues for the
introduction today of this anti-genocide legislation," said Aram
Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. "Armenian Americans
around the nation are joined by all those devoted to ending the
cycle of genocide in looking forward to the early adoption of the
Armenian Genocide Resolution."

Joining Senators Durbin and Ensign as original cosponsors of the
Armenian Genocide resolution are Senators Wayne Allard (R-CO),
Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Norm Coleman (R-MN),
Susan Collins (R-ME), Christopher Dodd (D-CT), Elizabeth Dole (R-
NC), Russell Feingold (D-WI), Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Edward
Kennedy (D-MA), John Kerry (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Frank
Lautenberg (D-NJ), Joseph Lieberman (I-CT), Barbara Mikulski (D-
MD), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Jack Reed (D-RI), Charles Schumer (D-
NY), Olympia Snowe (R-ME), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Sununu (R-
NH), and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).

The resolution calls upon the President "to ensure that the foreign
policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and
sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic
cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record
relating to the Armenian Genocide." The resolution includes thirty
detailed findings from past U.S. hearings, resolutions and
Presidential statements on the Armenian Genocide from 1916 through
the present, as well as references to statements by international
bodies and organizations.

The full text of the Senate resolution is included below.


Text of Senate Armenian Genocide Resolution
Introduced by Assistant Majority Leader Richard Durbin (D-IL)
and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV)


Calling on the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the
United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity
concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and
genocide documented in the United States record relating to the
Armenian Genocide .

Whereas the Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the
Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of
nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and
children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their
homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of more than 2,500-
year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland;

Whereas, on May 24, 1915, the Allied Powers issued the joint
statement of England, France, and Russia that explicitly charged,
for the first time ever, another government of committing `a crime
against humanity’;

Whereas that joint statement stated `the Allied Governments
announce publicly to the Sublime Porte that they will hold
personally responsible for these crimes all members of the Ottoman
Government, as well as those of their agents who are implicated in
such massacres’;

Whereas the post-World War I Turkish Government indicted the top
leaders involved in the `organization and execution’ of the
Armenian Genocide and in the `massacre and destruction of the

Whereas in a series of courts-martial, officials of the Young Turk
Regime were tried and convicted on charges of organizing and
executing massacres against the Armenian people;

Whereas the officials who were the chief organizers of the Armenian
Genocide , Minister of War Enver, Minister of the Interior Talaat,
and Minister of the Navy Jemal, were tried by military tribunals,
found guilty, and condemned to death for their crimes, however, the
punishments imposed by the tribunals were not enforced;

Whereas the Armenian Genocide and the failure to carry out the
death sentence against Enver, Talaat, and Jemal are documented with
overwhelming evidence in the national archives of Austria, France,
Germany, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, the
Vatican, and many other countries, and this vast body of evidence
attests to the same facts, the same events, and the same

Whereas the National Archives and Records Administration of the
United States holds extensive and thorough documentation on the
Armenian Genocide , especially in its holdings for the Department
of State under Record Group 59, files 867.00 and 867.40, which are
open and widely available to the public and interested

Whereas the Honorable Henry Morgenthau, United States Ambassador to
the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1916, organized and led protests by
officials of many countries, among them the allies of the Ottoman
Empire, against the Armenian Genocide ;

Whereas Ambassador Morgenthau explicitly described to the
Department of State the policy of the Government of the Ottoman
Empire as `a campaign of race extermination’, and was instructed on
July 16, 1915, by Secretary of State Robert Lansing that the
`Department approves your procedure . . . to stop Armenian

Whereas Senate Concurrent Resolution 12, 64th Congress, agreed to
July 18, 1916, resolved that `the President of the United States be
respectfully asked to designate a day on which the citizens of this
country may give expression to their sympathy by contributing funds
now being raised for the relief of the Armenians’, who, at that
time, were enduring `starvation, disease, and untold suffering’;

Whereas President Woodrow Wilson agreed with such Concurrent
Resolution and encouraged the formation of the organization known
as Near East Relief, which was incorporated by the Act of August 6,
1919, 66th Congress (41 Stat. 273, chapter 32);

Whereas, from 1915 through 1930, Near East Relief contributed
approximately $116,000,000 to aid survivors of the Armenian
Genocide , including aid to approximately 132,000 Armenian orphans;

Whereas Senate Resolution 359, 66th Congress, agreed to May 11,
1920, stated in part, `the testimony adduced at the hearings
conducted by the subcommittee of the Senate Committee on Foreign
Relations have clearly established the truth of the reported
massacres and other atrocities from which the Armenian people have

Whereas such Senate Resolution followed the report to the Senate of
the American Military Mission to Armenia, which was led by General
James Harbord, dated April 13, 1920, that stated `[m]utilation,
violation, torture, and death have left their haunting memories in
a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that
region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime
of all the ages’;

Whereas, as displayed in the United States Holocaust Memorial
Museum, Adolf Hitler, on ordering his military commanders to attack
Poland without provocation in 1939, dismissed objections by saying
`[w]ho, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the
Armenians?’ and thus set the stage for the Holocaust;

Whereas Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term `genocide’ in 1944, and
who was the earliest proponent of the Convention on the Prevention
and Punishment of Genocide , invoked the Armenian case as a
definitive example of genocide in the 20th century;

Whereas the first resolution on genocide adopted by the United
Nations, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 96(1), dated
December 11, 1946, (which was adopted at the urging of Raphael
Lemkin), and the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of
Genocide , done at Paris December 9, 1948, recognized the Armenian
Genocide as the type of crime the United Nations intended to
prevent and punish by codifying existing standards;

Whereas, in 1948, the United Nations War Crimes Commission invoked
the Armenian Genocide as `precisely . . . one of the types of acts
which the modern term `crimes against humanity’ is intended to
cover’ and as a precedent for the Nuremberg tribunals;

Whereas such Commission stated that `[t]he provisions of Article
230 of the Peace Treaty of Sevres were obviously intended to cover,
in conformity with the Allied note of 1915 . . . offenses which had
been committed on Turkish territory against persons of Turkish
citizenship, though of Armenian or Greek race. This article
constitutes therefore a precedent for Article 6c and 5c of the
Nuremberg and Tokyo Charters, and offers an example of one of the
categories of `crimes against humanity’ as understood by these

Whereas House Joint Resolution 148, 94th Congress, adopted by the
House of Representatives on April 8, 1975, resolved that `April 24,
1975, is hereby designated as `National Day of Remembrance of Man’s
Inhumanity to Man’, and the President of the United States is
authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the
people of the United States to observe such day as a day of
remembrance for all the victims of genocide , especially those of
Armenian ancestry’;

Whereas Proclamation 4838 of April 22, 1981 (95 Stat. 1813) issued
by President Ronald Reagan, stated, in part, that `[l]ike the
genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the
Cambodians which followed it–and like too many other persecutions
of too many other people–the lessons of the Holocaust must never
be forgotten’;

Whereas House Joint Resolution 247, 98th Congress, adopted by the
House of Representatives on September 10, 1984, resolved that
`April 24, 1985, is hereby designated as `National Day of
Remembrance of Man’s Inhumanity to Man’, and the President of the
United States is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation
calling upon the people of the United States to observe such day as
a day of remembrance for all the victims of genocide , especially
the one and one-half million people of Armenian ancestry’;

Whereas, in August 1985, after extensive study and deliberation,
the United Nations Sub-Commission on Prevention of Discrimination
and Protection of Minorities voted 14 to 1 to accept a report
entitled `Study of the Question of the Prevention and Punishment of
the Crime of Genocide’ , which stated `[t]he Nazi aberration has
unfortunately not been the only case of genocide in the 20th
century. Among other examples which can be cited as qualifying are
. . . the Ottoman massacre of Armenians in 1915-1916′;

Whereas such report also explained that `[a]t least 1,000,000, and
possibly well over half of the Armenian population, are reliably
estimated to have been killed or death marched by independent
authorities and eye-witnesses and this is corroborated by reports
in United States, German, and British archives and of contemporary
diplomats in the Ottoman Empire, including those of its ally

Whereas the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, an
independent Federal agency that serves as the board of trustees of
the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum pursuant to section
2302 of title 36, United States Code, unanimously resolved on April
30, 1981, that the Museum would exhibit information regarding the
Armenian Genocide and the Museum has since done so;

Whereas, reviewing an aberrant 1982 expression by the Department of
State (which was later retracted) that asserted that the facts of
the Armenian Genocide may be ambiguous, the United States Court of
Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1993, after a review of
documents pertaining to the policy record of the United States,
noted that the assertion on ambiguity in the United States record
about the Armenian Genocide `contradicted longstanding United
States policy and was eventually retracted’;

Whereas, on June 5, 1996, the House of Representatives adopted an
amendment to H.R. 3540, 104th Congress (the Foreign Operations,
Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1997),
to reduce aid to Turkey by $3,000,000 (an estimate of its payment
of lobbying fees in the United States) until the Turkish Government
acknowledged the Armenian Genocide and took steps to honor the
memory of its victims;

Whereas President William Jefferson Clinton, on April 24, 1998,
stated, `[t]his year, as in the past, we join with Armenian –
Americans throughout the nation in commemorating one of the saddest
chapters in the history of this century, the deportations and
massacres of a million and a half Armenians in the Ottoman Empire
in the years 1915-1923′;

Whereas President George W. Bush, on April 24, 2004, stated, `[o]n
this day, we pause in remembrance of one of the most horrible
tragedies of the 20th century, the annihilation of as many as
1,500,000 Armenians through forced exile and murder at the end of
the Ottoman Empire’; and

Whereas, despite the international recognition and affirmation of
the Armenian Genocide , the failure of the domestic and
international authorities to punish those responsible for the
Armenian Genocide is a reason why similar genocides have recurred
and may recur in the future, and that a just resolution will help
prevent future genocides: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the Senate–

(1) calls on the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the
United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity
concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and
genocide documented in the United States record relating to the
Armenian Genocide and the consequences of the failure to realize a
just resolution; and

(2) calls on the President, in the President’s annual message
commemorating the Armenian Genocide issued on or about April 24 to
accurately characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation
of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide and to recall the proud history
of United States intervention in opposition to the Armenian