Editorial: Truth Will Prevail, If We Persist


Jul y 31, 2009

On April 24 President Barack Obama did more than fail to deliver on
his repeated campaign pledges to recognize the Armenian Genocide as
president of the United States. He also delivered a body blow to many
Armenian-Americans’ faith in our collective ability to bring about
positive change through political organizing and action.

We certainly cannot deny that we are disappointed in the president
we helped elect. But we continue to believe profoundly in political
action. "When it comes to Turkey and Armenia, Turkey wins every time,"
our colleagues at the Economist quote a Western official as saying
this week.

We respectfully disagree.

In the confrontation between truth and falsehood, as in any other
grand confrontation, the outcome is not preordained. If good people
work hard and tirelessly, then truth will ultimately prevail.

It is with these sentiments that we greet the action of 81 members
of Congress this week, who wrote to President Obama, urging him to
correct course on Armenia-Turkey relations and the recognition of
the Armenian Genocide.

The members of Congress correctly pointed out that Turkey acted in bad
faith when it pretended to commit to a process of normalizing relations
with Armenia. Having closed the border with Armenia unilaterally 16
years ago, Turkey continues to refuse to open it – even though its
policy of strangling Armenia into concessions over Nagorno-Karabakh
has failed completely.

Turkey seems to believe that keeping the border closed and holding
occasional meetings with Armenian officials will yield a different
desirable result: persuading U.S. officials to hold off indefinitely
on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

The members of Congress quite reasonably point out that the two
issues should be delinked: recognize the Genocide, Mr. Obama, as
you said you would, and take away Turkey’s reason for dragging out
normalization talks.

The letter was initiated by four committed friends of the
Armenian-American community, Representatives Frank Pallone,
Jr. (D.-N.J.), Mark Kirk (R.-Ill.), Adam Schiff (D.-Calif.), and George
Radanovich (D.-Calif.) We should all thank them for their initiative.

Joining the four members of Congress as co-signers were 77 others. If
your representative is among those who signed on to this letter,
please call him or her and say thank you. They deserve our gratitude.