Saturday, April 24, 2010

Change! Obambi Breaks Promise to Call Armenian Genocide 'Genocide'

Barack Obambi proves once again that he'd do anything to get elected in 2008.

At NYT, "
Obama Marks Genocide Without Saying the Word":

President Obama, who as a candidate vowed to use the term genocide to describe the Ottoman mass slaughter of Armenians nearly a century ago, once again declined to do so on Saturday as he marked the anniversary of the start of the killings.

Trying to navigate one of the more emotionally fraught foreign policy challenges, Mr. Obama issued a statement from his weekend getaway here commemorating the victims of the killings but tried to avoid alienating Turkey, a NATO ally, which adamantly rejects the genocide label.

“On this solemn day of remembrance, we pause to recall that 95 years ago one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century began,” Mr. Obama said in the statement, which largely echoed the same language he used on this date a year ago. “In that dark moment of history, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred or marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire.”

When he was running for president and seeking votes from some of the 1.5 million Armenian-Americans, Mr. Obama had no qualms about using the term genocide and criticized the Bush administration for recalling an ambassador who dared to say the word. As a senator, he supported legislation calling the killings genocide, and in a statement on Jan. 19, 2008, he said that “the Armenian genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact.”

Two years later, as president, he used none of that sort of language, though as he did a year ago, he hinted to Armenians that he still felt the same way. “I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed,” he said. “It is in all of our interest to see the achievement a full, frank and just acknowledgment of the facts.”

His statement came as the issue has grown as a source of tension between the United States and Turkey, and as a reconciliation effort between Turkey and Armenia that Mr. Obama has championed has seemingly stalled.

In March, the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted narrowly to condemn the killings as an act of genocide, defying a last-minute plea from the Obama administration to forgo a vote because it would threaten the Turkish-Armenian reconciliation efforts. Turkey briefly recalled its ambassador from Washington in protest
And see the report at Armenian National Committee of America, "Barack Obama’s Track Record of Armenian Genocide Recognition." Citing candidate Obama's webstie, "Change We Can Believe In" (complete with screencap):
I ... share with Armenian Americans – so many of whom are descended from genocide survivors - a principled commitment to commemorating and ending genocide. That starts with acknowledging the tragic instances of genocide in world history. As a U.S. Senator, I have stood with the Armenian American community in calling for Turkey's acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide. Two years ago, I criticized the Secretary of State for the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, after he properly used the term "genocide" to describe Turkey's slaughter of thousands of Armenians starting in 1915. I shared with Secretary Rice my firmly held conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy. As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106 and S.Res.106), and as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.