Saturday, April 25, 2009

Obama's Armenian Genocide Remembrance message

Apparently, now that Obama has made his Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day statement, it is clear that Genocide remains an elusive word. G, according the the new Commander-in-Chief is the new N word. The following is Obama's statement regarding the Genocidal massacres that effected the lives of every single Armenian alive today.

Ninety four years ago, one of the great atrocities (Genocide) of the 20th century began. Each year, we pause to remember the 1.5 million Armenians who were subsequently massacred or marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire. The Meds Yeghern (Genocide) must live on in our memories, just as it lives on in the hearts of the Armenian people.

History, unresolved, can be a heavy weight. Just as the terrible events (Genocide) of 1915 remind us of the dark prospect of man's inhumanity to man, reckoning with the past holds out the powerful promise of reconciliation. I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed. My interest remains the achievement of a full, frank and just acknowledgment of the facts.

The best way to advance that goal right now is for the Armenian and Turkish people to address the facts of the past as a part of their efforts to move forward. I strongly support efforts by the Turkish and Armenian people to work through this painful history in a way that is honest, open, and constructive. To that end, there has been courageous and important dialogue among Armenians and Turks, and within Turkey itself. I also strongly support the efforts by Turkey and Armenia to normalize their bilateral relations. Under Swiss auspices, the two governments have agreed on a framework and roadmap for normalization. I commend this progress, and urge them to fulfill its promise.

Together, Armenia and Turkey can forge a relationship that is peaceful, productive and prosperous. And together, the Armenian and Turkish people will be stronger as they acknowledge their common history and recognize their common humanity.

Nothing can bring back those who were lost in the Meds Yeghern (Genocide). But the contributions that Armenians have made over the last ninety-four years stand as a testament to the talent, dynamism and resilience of the Armenian people, and as the ultimate rebuke to those who tried to destroy them. The United States of America is a far richer country because of the many Americans of Armenian descent who have contributed to our society, many of whom immigrated to this country in the aftermath of 1915. Today, I stand with them and with Armenians everywhere with a sense of friendship, solidarity, and deep respect.

As can be seen, President Obama had every opportunity to mention this crime against humanity as the textbook definition known as Genocide. Although he did use the Armenian phrase, Medz Yeghern, he still avoided that troublesome G word. Further, he used atrocities and terrible events as another descriptive term to what amounts to a Genocide. I guess from now on, we can avoid calling other Genocides as such, but use the native term for those tragedies. It should be noted that this is the closest any president has ever come to acknowledge the atrocities as a Genocide, and yet avoid the term. This is yet another small victory that brings us closer towards achieving justice. However, justice will remain elusive, as long as Turkey continues to deny the past, and the US government functions complicit with this hypocritical lack of recognition. As usual, a president has reneged on his promise of recognition, millions of Armenians are disappointed, and the Turkish government is sighing in relief. Who knew that watching the annual perpetuation of the status quo would be so dramatic?

Considering the continuous disappointment endured by Armenians throughout the world, perhaps the ultimate message to take to heart is that importance of strength and unity in preventing these occurrences in the world. Regardless of the tragic history of our people, and the lack of acceptance by those playing politics, the onus is on Armenians to not only look to the past, but build a future that strengthens our resolve. We have a nation, a country we call our own, and if we truly want to prevent our ancestor's deaths to be in vain, our lofty goals and expectations should be focused on helping Armenia emerge from obscurity and join the technological stage of the future.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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