CR: 89th Anniversary of the Armenian Genocide – Rep. Weiner

89TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the
gentleman from New York (Mr. Weiner) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. WEINER. Mr. Speaker, this month many of us pause to remember the
Holocaust in Yom Hashoah commemorations. But on April 24, 1915, the
first genocide of the 20th century began. The Ottoman Empire began
rounding up a group of more than 250 Armenian intellectuals and civic
leaders. Then soldiers of Armenian descent who were serving in the
Turkish military were moved to labor camps and eventually murdered.
Across Anatolia, Armenian leaders were arrested and killed. So, too,
were the most powerless, children, women, and the elderly, all driven
from their homes into the Syrian desert. These mass deportations were
in fact slaughters. They were death marches. Soldiers themselves not
only permitted the attacks on the deportees but participated in the
killing and rapes. The inevitable end was thousands upon thousands
dying of starvation or simply being worked to death, but sometimes
these victims were the lucky ones.
When the Turks deemed deportations impractical, the genocide took
other vicious forms. In communities near the Black Sea, Armenians were
forced onto boats, driven out into the middle of the ocean, and
drowned.
In the end, 1.5 million Armenians were killed in the genocide as the
world stood by. Henry Morganthau, the U.S. Ambassador to Turkey, who
pleaded with world leaders to intervene, described the Ottoman effort
to eliminate the Armenian population this way: “The whole history of
the human race contains no such horrible an episode as this.” An
American diplomat stationed in eastern Anatolia cabled back to
Washington that “it has been no secret that the plan was to destroy
the Armenian race as a race, but the methods used could not have been
more cold-blooded and barbarous, if not more effective, than I had
first supposed.”
Like communities that survived the Nazis efforts at extermination,
the Armenian community today is often faced by those who deny the
Turkish effort to commit genocide ever occurred. Despite records and
accounts preserved in our own National Archives, there have been those
bent on erasing this horrible memory from the annals of history.
We will not let that happen. That is why today’s commemoration here
in the United States Congress and those going on this week is so
crucial. If the world fails to remember the Armenian genocide of the
early 20th century, we do more than a grave injustice to those who
perished. We do a disservice to the generations who have come after us
who would be left without the collective memory that binds those who
understand the depth of evil that one community is capable of
unleashing upon another.
Yet even as we remember and grieve, we thank those in the Armenian
community for the contributions they have made around the globe since
emerging from terror 89 years ago. One need not look too far to find
Armenian-Americans who have become pillars of American society.
Armenian-Americans are influential businessmen, like Kirk Kerkorian;
famous writers, like William Saroyan; and international sports stars,
like Andre Agassi.
In New York, internationally renowned scholar and Carnegie
Corporation president Vartan Gregorian spent 8 years as president of
the New York Public Library. Arshile Gorky was a leader of the abstract
expressionist school that flourished in New York during the 1940s. And
I am particularly proud that Raymond Damadian, who invented the MRI,
was not only a resident of New York but was a neighbor of mine in
Forest Hills. His parents were survivors of the genocide.
As we gather, we also pay tribute to those who have become famous
public servants, football coaches, astronauts and others. As we gather
to commemorate the Armenian genocide, we do so as a lesson to one
another that we must not forget the lessons that were learned. We also
gather to pay a message to those who would deny that the Holocaust ever
happened. But perhaps most importantly, we gather to send a signal
across the world that those who seek to deny the Armenian genocide do a
disservice to all of us.
We here in the United States House of Representatives should delay no
further in making our voices heard in this debate. It is worth noting
that the very same people who would deny this Holocaust actively push
that we do not consider the resolution that the gentleman from
California (Mr. Schiff) has proposed.
We gather here today to pay tribute, but we also gather to put
pressure on this United States Congress to finally designate what we
all know to be the case as genocide. The first genocide of the 20th
century was not the last, tragically; but it is time that we correct
the history in the minds of many and finally declare the Armenian
genocide the holocaust that it was.

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

CR: Commemorating the Armenian Genocide – Rep. Dooley

COMMEMORATING THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

______

HON. CALVIN M. DOOLEY

of california

in the house of representatives

Monday, April 26, 2004

Mr. DOOLEY of California. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my
colleagues in remembrance of the Armenian Genocide.

[[Page E646]]

This terrible human tragedy must not be forgotten. Like the
Holocaust, the Armenian Genocide stands as a tragic example of the
human suffering that results from hatred and intolerance. The Ottoman
Turkish Empire between 1915 and 1923 massacred one and a half million
Armenian people. More than 500,000 Armenians were exiled from a
homeland that their ancestors had occupied for more than 3,000
years. A race of people was nearly eliminated. It would be an even
greater tragedy to forget that the Armenian Genocide ever happened. To
not recognize the horror of such events almost assures their
repetition in the future. Adolf Hitler, in preparing his genocide
plans for the Jews, predicted that no one would remember the
atrocities he was about to unleash. After all, he asked, “Who
remembers the Armenians?” Our statements today are intended to
preserve the memory of the Armenian loss, and to remind the world that
the Turkish government–to this day–refuses to acknowledge the
Armenian Genocide. The truth of this tragedy can never and should
never be denied. And we must also be mindful of the current suffering
of the Armenian, where the Armenian people are still immersed in
tragedy and violence. The unrest between Armenia and Azerbaijan
continues in Nagorno- Karabakh. Thousands of innocent people have
already perished in this dispute, and many more have been displaced
and are homeless. In the face of this difficult situation we have an
opportunity for reconciliation. Now is the time for Armenia and its
neighbors to come together and work toward building relationships that
will assure lasting peace. Meanwhile, in America, the
Armenian-American community continues to thrive and to provide
assistance and solidarity to its countrymen and women abroad. The
Armenian-American community is bound together by strong generational
and family ties, an enduring work ethic and a proud sense of ethnic
heritage. Today we recall the tragedy of their past, not to replace
blame, but to answer a fundamental question, “Who remembers the
Armenians?” Our commemoration of the Armenian Genocide speaks
directly to that, and I answer, we do.

CR: Commemorating the Armenian Genocide – Rep. Maloney

COMMEMORATING THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

______

HON. CAROLYN B. MALONEY

of new york

in the house of representatives

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Mrs. MALONEY. Mr. Speaker, as a proud member of the Congressional
Caucus on Armenian Issues, and the representative of a large and
vibrant community of Armenian Americans, I rise today to join my
colleagues in the sad commemoration of the Armenian Genocide. Today,
we continue the crusade to ensure that this tragedy is never
forgotten. This 89th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide is an
emotional time. The loss of life experienced by so many families is
devastating. But, in the face of the systematic slaughter of 1.5
million people, the Armenian community has persevered with a vision of
life and freedom. Armenian Americans are representative of the
resolve, bravery, and strength of spirit that is so characteristic of
Armenians around the world. That strength carried them through
humanity’s worst: Upheaval from a homeland of 3,000 years, massacre of
kin, and deportation to foreign lands. That same strength gathers
Armenians around the world to make certain that this tragedy is never
forgotten. Without recognition and remembrance, this atrocity remains
a threat to nations around the world. I’ve often quoted philosopher
George Santayana who said: “Those who do not remember the past are
condemned to repeat it.” And to remember, we must first acknowledge
what it is– Genocide. Tragically, more than 1.5 million Armenians
were systematically murdered at the hands of the Young Turks. More
than 500,000 were deported. It was brutal. It was deliberate. It was
an organized campaign and it lasted more than 8 years. We must make
certain that we remember. Now, we must ensure that the world
recognizes that Armenian people have remembered, and they have
survived and thrived. Out of the crumbling Soviet Union, the Republic
of Armenia was born, and independence was gained. But, independence
has not ended the struggle. To this day, the Turkish government
denies that genocide of the Armenian people occurred and denies its
own responsibility for the deaths of 1.5 million people. In response
to this revisionist history, the Republic of France passed legislation
that set the moral standard for the international community. The
French National Assembly unanimously passed a bill that officially
recognizes the massacre of 1.5 million Armenians in Turkey during and
after WWI as genocide. Several nations have since joined in the
belief that history should beset straight. Canada, Argentina, Belgium,
Lebanon, The Vatican, Uruguay, the European parliament, Russia,
Greece, Sweden and France, have authored declarations or decisions
confirming that the genocide occurred. As a country, we must join
these nations in recognition of this atrocity.

[[Page E668]]

I am proud to join more than 100 of my colleagues in cosponsoring H.
Res. 193, which emphasizes the importance of remembering and learning
from past crimes against humanity. We must demand that the United
States officially acknowledge the forced exile and annihilation of 1.5
million people as genocide. Denying the horrors of those years merely
condones the behavior in other places as was evidenced in Rwanda,
Indonesia, Burundi, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Pakistan, Ethiopia, Sudan, and
Iraq. Silence may have been the signal to perpetrators of these
atrocities that they could commit genocide, deny it, and get away with
it. As Americans, the reminder of targeted violence and mass
slaughter is still raw. We lost nearly 3,000 people on September 11. I
cannot imagine the world trying to say that this did not occur. The
loss of 1.5 million people is a global tragedy. A peaceful and stable
South Caucasus region is clearly in the U.S. national
interest. Recognizing the genocide must be a strategy for this goal in
an increasingly uncertain region. One of the most important ways in
which we an honor the memory of the Armenian victims of the past is to
help modern Armenia build a secure and prosperous future. The United
States has a unique history of aid to Armenia, being among the first
to recognize that need, and the first to help. I am pleased with the
U.S. involvement in the emphasis of private sector development,
regionally focused programs, people-to-people linkages and the
development of a civil society. I recently joined many of my
colleagues in requesting funding for Armenia including for Foreign
Military Financing, for Economic Support Funds, and for assistance to
Nagorno-Karabakh. Armenia has made impressive progress in rebuilding
a society and a nation in the face of dramatic obstacles. I will
continue to take a strong stand in support of Armenia’s commitment to
democracy, the rule of law, and a market economy–I am proud to stand
with Armenia in doing so. But there is more to be done. Conflict
persists in the Nagorno- Karabakh region. Congress has provided
funding for confidence building in that region, and I will continue my
support of that funding and the move toward a brighter future for
Armenia. But in building our future, we must not forget our past. That
is why I strongly support the efforts of the Armenian community in the
construction of the Armenian Genocide Memorial and Museum. Because so
many Armenians have spoken of the destruction, they have made certain
that we remember. Nothing we can do or say will bring those who
perished back to life, but we can imbue their memories with
everlasting meaning by teaching the lessons of the Armenian genocide
to the next generation and help Armenia build its future.

CR: Armenian Genocide – Rep. Pallone

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under a previous order of the House, the
gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Pallone) is recognized for 5 minutes.
Mr. PALLONE. Mr. Speaker, last Sunday, I attended a ceremony to
remember the victims of the Armenian genocide in Times Square in New
York City, and I have to say it was a very moving moment. There were
several, I would not say many, because there are not that many genocide
survivors that are still around, but I did have a chance to talk
briefly with maybe 10 or so.
It was incredible to hear them tell the stories of the families and
atrocities that had occurred 89 years ago now. More and more countries
and States and even the media are now in the process of recognizing the
genocide, and I just wanted to mention specifically that the Canadian
House of Commons last week joined France, Italy, the Vatican and a
number of other European countries and the European Parliament in
acknowledging this crime against humanity as genocide.

{time} 2000

Also last week, The New York Times reversed decades of ambiguity by
declaring in favor of using the term “genocide” to describe the
Armenian cataclysm of 1915. The Boston Globe adopted a similar policy
change last year. Mr. Speaker, the unfortunate thing is, although so
many other countries and so many of our own States have recognized the
Armenian genocide, we in the Congress continue not to recognize it. I
think it is important that we do so. The gentleman from California
(Mr. Schiff) was here earlier, and he mentioned the House Genocide
Resolution, H. Res. 193, which has now 111 cosponsors. The resolution
was adopted unanimously by the House Committee on the Judiciary on May
21, 2003, but it has not been brought to the floor for
consideration. I would urge the Speaker and the leaders on the
Republican side of the aisle to bring this resolution to the floor. It
is important that they do so. Now, this year, as we do every year,
the members of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues put
together a letter to the President of the United States asking him to
acknowledge the Armenian genocide. This year there were 169
signatures, more than we have ever had before in that letter that we
sent to the President; and I just wanted to read, if I could, some
sections of that letter, because I think it is important. We say,
“Dear Mr. President: We are writing to urge you to join us in
reaffirming the U.S. record on the Armenian genocide in your April 24
commemorative statement. “By properly recognizing the atrocities
committed against the Armenian people as genocide in your statement,
you will honor the many Americans who helped launch our first
international human rights campaign to end the carnage and protect the
survivors. The official U.S. response mirrored the overwhelming
reaction by the American public to this crime against humanity and, as
such, constitutes a proud, irrefutable and groundbreaking chapter in
U.S. diplomatic history. “Now, more than ever, as your
administration seeks to bring an end to global terrorism and to help
establish democracies in Afghanistan and Iraq, the memory of the
genocide underscores our responsibility to help convey our cherished
tradition of respect for fundamental human rights and opposition to
mass slaughters. The victims of the Armenian genocide deserve our
remembrance and their rightful place in history. It is in the best
interests of our Nation and the entire global community to remember
the past and learn from these crimes against humanity to ensure they
are never repeated.” That is really the essence of what we are
trying to achieve here today in asking that the President and this
Congress basically reaffirm the Armenian genocide, because we simply
do not want it repeated again. We know how many times in the 20th
century that genocide occurred. House Resolution H.R. 193, and also
its Senate counterpart, Senate Resolution 164, which I would like to
add has 37 cosponsors right now, basically state that the purpose of
the resolutions are to strengthen America’s commitment to the value of
the genocide convention that was implemented 15 years ago. This
convention recognizes essentially a number of the genocides that
occurred in the 20th century. And as some of my colleagues mentioned
earlier, not only the Armenian genocide, but that in Rwanda, Burundi,
and, of course most important, the Nazi Holocaust genocide against the
Jews. The fact of the matter is, Mr. Speaker, that when we talk about
the Armenian genocide, we are simply acknowledging the fact. And we
feel very strongly that if at the time the genocide occurred the world
and the nations of the world had taken more notice and had tried to
prevent it, I think it would have served as a lesson so that the Nazi
Holocaust against the Jews and so many other atrocities that took
place in the 20th century would not have occurred. If we are going to
see a situation in the future, in this 21st century, where we do not
repeat the mistakes of the past, we must acknowledge the Armenian
genocide.

CR: Armenian Genocide – Rep. Honda

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

______

HON. MICHAEL M. HONDA

of california

in the house of representatives

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Mr. HONDA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to ask the Members of the House
to join us in recognizing past instances of genocide and reaffirming
our Nation’s commitment to never again allow the perpetration of such
atrocities anywhere on this earth. House Resolution 193 appropriately
reaffirms America’s obligation to international genocide conventions,
and underscores the importance of recognizing past crimes against
humanity, including the Holocaust and the Armenian, Cambodian, and
Rwandan genocides. We all know that silence in the face of genocide
only encourages those who would commit such atrocities in the
future. Israel Charney, the noted genocide and Holocaust scholar, has
written extensively about the psychology of genocide denial. He has
explained to the world what we should all know from history: to deny
genocide is to celebrate the mass murder and to endorse the doctrine
of corrupt power that brought about the destruction in the first
place. To erase agonizing memories of genocide only mocks the
sensibilities of the victims and their descendents–in essence, once
again, victimize the victims. For this reason, America must recognize
the Turkish massacre and displacement of Armenians as an act of
genocide. The House Judiciary Committee, upon its unanimous approval
of the Genocide Resolution, described the Armenian Genocide in the
following terms:

Beginning in 1915, the Islamic Turkish state of the Ottoman
Empire sought to end the collective existence of the Christian
Armenian population. From 1915 through 1918, during World War 1,
the Ottoman Empire subjected the Armenian people to deportation,
expropriation, abduction, torture, massacre, and starvation. The
atrocities were renewed between 1920 and 1923. It is estimated
that one and a half million Armenians were killed out of over two
million Armenians who had lived in the Ottoman Empire. It should
be noted that these activities ceased with the institution of the
new Republic of Turkey in October, 1923.

U.S. recognition of the Armenian genocide is long past due. By
failing to admit and recognize atrocities that clearly took place we
undermine our Nation’s credibility and commitment to combat genocide.
On April 24, President Bush issued his annual message in remembrance
of the victims of the Armenian Genocide–only he failed to use the
word “genocide.” In failing to refer to the Armenian Genocide
accurately, he has turned his back on his own campaign pledge and on
190 Members of Congress who want the Armenian Genocide recognized. It
is not enough to say “never again.” We must take concrete steps to
give it meaning and to bolster our own resolve. Passing House
Resolution 193 is a small but important step in this ongoing effort to
thwart those who would commit genocide. It is the least we can do for
the millions who have been killed in Turkey, Germany, Rwanda, and
Cambodia. Understanding the lessons of these tragedies will help
prevent future crimes against humanity. Mr. Speaker, I appreciate
this opportunity to honor the victims of genocide, and to urge my
colleagues to always remain cognizant of the pledge our Nation has
made to prevent future acts of genocide.

CR: Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide – Rep. Costello

COMMEMORATION OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

______

HON. JERRY F. COSTELLO

of illinois

in the house of representatives

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Mr. COSTELLO. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to the
victims of one of history’s most terrible tragedies, the Armenian
Genocide. April 24, 1915 is remembered and solemnly commemorated each
year by the Armenian community and others throughout the world. On
that day, Armenian religious, political, and intellectual leaders were
arrested in Constantinople, taken to the interior of Turkey and
murdered. In the years that followed, Armenians living under Ottoman
rule were systematically deprived of their homes, property, freedom,
dignity, and ultimately their lives. By 1923, 1.5 million Armenians
had been massacred and 500,000 more had been deported. The Armenian
Genocide is a historical fact, despite the efforts of some to minimize
its scope and deny its occurrence. Many of the survivors of the
genocide came to the United States, where they and their descendants
have contributed to our society in countless ways. In my district,
there is a significant population of Armenian survivors and their
families that showed heroic courage and a will to survive. With faith
and courage, generations of Armenians have overcome great suffering
and proudly preserved their culture, traditions, and religion and have
told the story of the genocide to an often indifferent world. As
Members of Congress and people of conscience, we must work to overcome
the indifference and distortions of history, and ensure that future
generations know what happened. Mr. Speaker, genocide is the most
potent of all crimes against humanity because it is an effort to
systematically wipe out a people and a culture as well as individual
lives. Denying that genocide took place when there are recorded
accounts of barbarity and ethnic violence is an injustice. This was a
tragic event in human history, but by paying tribute to the Armenian
community we ensure the lessons of the Armenian genocide are properly
understood and acknowledged. I am pleased my colleagues and I have
this opportunity to ensure this tragedy is remembered.

CR: Remembering the Armenian Genocide – Sen. Feinstein

REMEMBERING THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

Mrs. FEINSTEIN. Mr. President, I rise today to honor the victims of
the Armenian Genocide, one of the great tragedies of the 20th century.
Last Saturday, April 24, 2004, marked the 89th anniversary of the
beginning of that tragic period and I urge all Americans to take time
to remember, reflect, and pledge never to forget what happened.
On April 24, 1915, under the guise of collecting supplies for its
participation in World War I, the Ottoman Empire launched a brutal and
unconscionable policy of mass murder. The New York Times reported that
the Ottoman Empire had adopted a policy to annihilate the Armenians
living within the empire. Throughout the following years, Armenians
faced violent attacks, starvation, deportation, and murder. Sadly, the
world took little notice.
Before the violence began in 1914, 2.5 million Armenians lived in the
Ottoman Empire. As a result of the genocide, 1.5 million Armenians had
died and another 500,000 had been driven from their homes and villages.
We must remember and pay homage to those that died. We must remind the
world of these deaths and renew our commitment to ensure that such
tragedies never happen again.
I am proud to represent an Armenian community of half a million in my
great State of California. They are a strong and resilient community,
taking strength in the tragedies of the past and the promise of a
better tomorrow. This community is leading the effort to preserve the
memory of the Armenian Genocide not only for future generations of
Armenian Americans, but, indeed, for all Americans and all citizens of
the world.
I urge my colleagues to join me in remembering the first genocide of
the 20th century. Through our commemoration of this tragedy, we make
clear that we will not tolerate mass murder and ethnic cleansing ever
again and we will never forget.
Mr. FEINGOLD. Mr. President, people around the world are joining
together to solemnly remember and honor the men, women and children who
perished in the Armenian genocide. Eighty-none years ago, 11/2
million Armenians were systematically massacred at the hands of the
Ottoman Empire. Over 500,000 more were forced to flee their homeland of
3,000 years. Before genocide was defined and codified in international
law, Armenians experienced its horror.
Yet it appears that the international community did not learn the
lessons of Armenia’s genocide. Throughout the 20th century, the
international community failed to act as governments in Germany,
Yugoslavia and Rwanda attempted to methodically eliminate people
because of their religion or ethnicity. Minority groups were abandoned
by the international community in each instance to be overwhelmed by
violence and despair. In Armenia, as in Rwanda and the Holocaust, the
perpetrating governments scapegoated their minority groups for the
difficulties they faced as societies. They justified their campaigns of
hatred with political and economic reasons in an attempt to rationalize
their depravity.
This is why we must remember the Armenian genocide. To forget it is
to enable more genocides and ethnic cleansing to occur. We must honor
its victims by reaffirming our resolve to not let it happen again.
In the shadow of the Holocaust, in 1948, the United Nations adopted
the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of
Genocide. What Winston Churchill once called a “crime without a
name”, was now called “genocide” by the Convention and defined as
“acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a
national, ethnical, racial or religious group.” The Convention
required its parties to create domestic legislation to hold
perpetrators of genocide accountable for their actions and to place
these perpetrators before domestic courts or international tribunals.
The international community has a long way to go in punishing and
especially, preventing genocide. But we have made the first steps. As
we move forward, we must learn the lessons of Armenia’s genocide. Can
we recognize the rhetorical veils of murderous leaders, thrown up to
disguise the agenda at hand? Have we, the international community,
learned that we must not stand by, paralyzed, as horrors occur, but
work collectively to prevent and stop genocides from occurring? We owe
the victims of the Armenian genocide this commitment.

CR: Armenian Genocide – Rep. Baca

ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

______

HON. JOE BACA

of california

in the house of representatives

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Mr. BACA. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to commemorate the genocide of
Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire. Starting in 1915, the
Ottoman Empire tortured and murdered up to one and a half million
Armenians. More than half a million were forced to leave and went into
exile. The Armenians settled across the world lending energy and
strength to their adoptive communities. It is important to recognize
the historical atrocities perpetrated against the Armenians. We must
teach our children about the fear, torture, mass graves, and
expulsions of the Armenian people. Through education and
commemoration, our children can grow up to be better citizens and
better Americans. By recognizing genocide for what it is, the world
can wake up to the obscene nature that sometimes grips nations and
work to prevent the mass killing that devastated the Armenian people.
With this year’s commemoration of the Armenian genocide, I urge all
Americans to be vigilant and watchful. We must prevent hatred and
bigotry. We must do all we can to prevent genocide. By commemorating
the past, we can make the future a better place to live.

CR: The Armenian Genocide – Rep. Watson

[Congressional Record: April 27, 2004 (House)]
[Page H2400]
>From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr27ap04-149]

The Armenian Genocide

Ms. WATSON. Mr. Speaker, a few remarks on the Armenian genocide. My
Armenian-American friends and neighbors in Los Angeles have asked me
to speak tonight as a tribute to the victims of the Armenian genocide.
As you know, in April 1915, approximately 1.5 million Armenians were
systematically killed in an organized fashion by the Ottoman
government. Ample documentation of these facts exist; yet today,
almost 9 decades later, the government of the modern state of Turkey
still fails to acknowledge the fact of the Armenian genocide.
Turkey’s failure to acknowledge the truth is a burden on the alliance
between our two nations. I would say to our President, it should be
called as it is, a crime of genocide. So I call upon the President of
the United States to uphold the commitment he made back when he was
running for President and put the United States of America on record
acknowledging the Armenian genocide.

CR: Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide – Rep. Waxman

COMMEMORATION OF THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE

______

HON. HENRY A. WAXMAN

of california

in the house of representatives

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

Mr. WAXMAN. Mr. Speaker, today we commemorate the 89th anniversary
of the Armenian Genocide, a painful chapter in world history when the
international community stood silent as Armenian villages were purged
and systematically destroyed. Between the years of 1915 and 1923,
close to one and half million Armenians were killed while hundreds of
thousands of others were mercilessly deported, exiled, and uprooted
from their homes. Although the atrocities were documented by the
United States and others, the information was never acted upon. Sadly,
even today, the issue remains buried. After 89 years, the victims and
their descendants deserve better. No longer should their suffering go
unnoticed or unmourned. Recognition of the Armenian Genocide is long
overdue. It is time for the United States to make a concerted effort
to overcome the historical denial that genocide took place, and put an
end to the harmful isolation of Armenia that tragically continues. We
must identify ways to facilitate the lifting of the blockade against
Armenia and encourage a peaceful resolution of the conflict in
Nagorno-Karabagh. We must help Armenia continue to flourish as a
burgeoning democracy, extend Permanent Normal Trade Relations (PNTR)
status to strengthen her economy, and stand ready to help maintain her
military strength. Let us resolve ourselves to ensure that the coming
year will be one that brings full recognition of the genocide that
took place, and peace to the region and the memory of those who
perished.