Letter: Recognition of the Armenian genocide is long overdue – MetroWest Daily News

Posted By on February 8, 2020

The Senate joined the House in rejecting Ankaras gag-rule against U.S. remembrance of the Armenian Genocide overriding the largest and longest foreign veto over the U.S. Congress in American history and is another example of foreign interference in U.S. politics.

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The past several weeks in Washington, D.C., have been busy for many reasons. One is the recent success for the U.S. Senate recognizing the Armenian genocide. Although this had been blocked three times by the Trump Administration, it strikes a blow against Turkeys century-long obstruction of justice for the 1915 Armenian Massacres now called the Armenian Genocide. It locks in U.S. recognition of this heinous crime.

Oddly, Turkish President Erdogan has not withdrawn his representatives from the U.S. as he has done earlier or with other countries that recognized the 1915 Armenian Massacres as Genocide. Following the Senates action, President Erdogan threatened to recognize the mass-killings of Native Americans in North America as genocide.

The resolution is identical to one passed in the U.S. House last October. Both Resolutions establish a U.S. policy that rejects Armenian Genocide denial, ongoing official U.S. government recognition and remembrance of this crime and support for education about the Armenian genocide in order to prevent other atrocities.

The Senate joined the House in rejecting Ankaras gag-rule against U.S. remembrance of the Armenian Genocide overriding the largest and longest foreign veto over the U.S. Congress in American history and is another example of foreign interference in U.S. politics. Turkey's government, as well as its business alliances, built a strong lobbying effort that opposed any acknowledgment of what Ottoman Turkey/Young Turks did. There is nothing similar from Germany for Holocaust matters.

The unanimous Senate action shines a light on Donald J. Trump who continues to enforce President Erdogans veto against remembrance of Ottoman Turkeys extermination and exile of millions of Christians at the time of the 1915 Armenian Massacres, all the while Trump supports this deceitful lie. This is aided by some Jewish people swayed by Turkeys political influence. It is time for the Executive Branch and Congress to end U.S. complicity in Ankaras lies.

There are 27 countries that have recognized the Armenian genocide, 11 are NATO allies. None of them have broken their relationship with Turkey after recognizing the Armenian Genocide.

While there are some senators who enforce Erdogans gag-rule, they should not prevent the will of the Senate on a bipartisan resolution that speaks to the U.S. commitment to genocide prevention, human rights, and religious freedom if such truly exist.

Henry Morgenthau, U.S. ambassador to Turkey from 1913-16, fully understood what was happening at the time. He organized and led protests by officials of many countries against what he described as "a campaign of race extermination," and was instructed by United States Secretary of State Robert Lansing that the "Department approves your procedure ... to stop Armenian persecution." He left his post in early 1916 because, as he later recalled, "My failure to stop the destruction of the Armenians ... had made Turkey for me a place of horror." Some believe this was a forerunner of the Holocaust.

An Armenian priest, Krikoris Balakian, recorded some massacres of innocent Armenians. The killing was done with "axes, cleavers, shovels, and pitchforks. It was like a slaughterhouse; Armenians were hacked to pieces. Infants were dashed on rocks before the eyes of their mothers. It was indescribable horror.

This article is not to bad-mouth Turkey, no more than Holocaust matters bad-mouth Germany, but rather to try to prevent future genocides. We must recognize past atrocities, educate the public, and uphold human rights. Passing this resolution aligns the U.S. with Canada, France, and Germany and the other nations that have recognized the Armenian Genocide.

This official recognition of the Armenian genocide and Turkey's role is long overdue. It is imperative that we overcome objections from those who seek to obscure the facts and the United States should not be a party to the denial of genocide.

Martin Demoorjian

Marlborough

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Letter: Recognition of the Armenian genocide is long overdue - MetroWest Daily News

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