Obama Won’t Use The Word Genocide During Armenian Genocide Remembran


Latin Post
April 22 2015

By Rodrigo Ugarte ([email protected])

In spite of promises made during his first presidential campaign and
the hopes of the Armenian-American community, President Barack Obama
will not use the word “genocide” when referring to the massacre of
Armenians by the Ottoman Empire during World War One.

In a carefully worded statement released on April 21, Obama
administration officials confirmed the president would not be using
the word “genocide” when referring to the atrocities of 1915 at the
hands of the Ottoman Turkish government.

A White House press release explained Chief of Staff Denis McDonough
and Deputy National Security Advisor for Strategic Communications Ben
Rhodes met with leaders of the Armenian-American community to discuss
what the president would say, as well as “the significance of this
occasion for honoring the 1.5 million lives extinguished during that
horrific period.”

“They pledged that the United States will use the occasion to urge
a full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts that we believe
is in the interest of all parties,” the statement continued.

According to CNN, the two officials did not use the word “genocide”
in their statement to Armenian-American leaders.

“We know and respect that there are some who are hoping to hear
different language this year,” the officials said. “We understand
their perspective, even as we believe that the approach we have taken
in previous years remains the right one — both for acknowledging
the past, and for our ability to work with regional partners to save
lives in the present.”

The president’s decision to avoid referring to the killings of more
than 1 million ethnic Armenians as genocide is a strategic one. The
U.S. does not want to anger Turkey since American forces operate from
the country in its fight against Daesh, or ISIS.

Nonetheless, the president will send a delegation lead by Treasury
Secretary Jacob Lew to Armenia for the centennial commemoration to
be held on Friday, April 24, according to the White House.

National Security Advisor Susan Rice met with Turkey’s Foreign
Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu and, while the two discussed Daesh, Rice
also mentioned the Armenian Genocide.

“Ambassador Rice encouraged the Minister to take concrete steps to
improve relations with Armenia and to facilitate an open and frank
dialogue in Turkey about the atrocities of 1915,” a White House press
release stated.

However, the Armenian-American community has not accepted the
administration’s excuse and expressed their disappointment.

“President Obama’s surrender to Turkey represents a national disgrace.

It is, very simply, a betrayal of truth, a betrayal of trust,” said
Ken Hachikian, the chairman of the Armenian National Committee of
America, CNN reports.