Tsitsernakaberd Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, Republic of Armenia (Photo credit Onnik Krikorian / Oneworld Multimedia 2006)

By Kate Nahapetian

Recognizing and remembering past genocides is an important step toward ending this cycle of violence. The denial of genocide is widely recognized as the last stage — a “double killing.” This double killing continues today with regard to the Armenian Genocide. What is unique about the denial of the Armenian Genocide is that it is promulgated by a multimillion dollar state-sponsored campaign by Turkey. Countries like the United States have acquiesced to Turkey’s threats and have failed to recognize the genocide, while countries like France have stood up and are taking action to prohibit denial.

On January 23, 2012, the French Senate followed the lower house of the French Parliament in passing legislation criminalizing the denial of all instances of genocide officially recognized by France, adding the Armenian Genocide to an earlier version of the law prohibiting denial of the Holocaust.

Turkey reacted with predictable fury, threatening irreparable harm to bilateral relations, and trotting out its tired dog-and-pony show of withdrawn ambassadors, irate declarations, and hypocritical sermons.  Turkey, which has prosecuted, jailed, and – according to the European Court of Human Rights – effectively allowed the assassination of a writer, Hrant Dink, for speaking honestly about the Armenian Genocide, is today preaching to France about free speech and democratic values.

Unlike France, the United States continues to participate in this last stage of genocide by aiding and abetting Turkey in this “double killing,” at tremendous cost to our nation’s credibility on human rights.

When asked why the United States does not recognize the Armenian Genocide, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed, as recently as January 26, 2012, “that this has always been viewed, and I think properly so, as a matter of historical debate and conclusions rather than political.”

Previously, almost four years ago to the day, then-Senator Clinton stated that the Armenian Genocide was “a clear case of genocide” and that:

“[o]ur common morality and our nation’s credibility as a voice for human rights challenge us to ensure that the Armenian Genocide be recognized and remembered by the Congress and the President of the United States.”

She had consistently cosponsored the Armenian Genocide resolution as a Senator and had even demanded that President Bush recognize it on multiple occasions.  The only thing that changed prior to her very public retreat from the truth is that she was subjected, as our nation’s top diplomat, to Ankara’s high-pressure arm-twisting. Instead of standing up to Ankara’s bullying, she – and the rest of the Obama-Biden Administration – let Turkey impose a gag-rule on American condemnation of a crime against all humanity.

As one French parliamentarian stated, it was precisely because of Turkey’s state-sponsored campaign of denial and its rage against France’s efforts to safeguard the truth that dictated the need for passage of a bill on the Armenian Genocide.  Denial of genocide is a celebration of genocide and a warning that it can easily happen again.  Armenia and the entire region is under threat because of Turkey’s denial.  It is no accident that Turkey also provided political shelter to the genocidal government of Sudan, with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan himself vocally denying Khartoum’s genocide in Darfur.

Help end the cycle of genocide, by standing up against Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide. Learn more and take action here.

The author is the Government Affairs Director at the Armenian National Committee of America.

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  • pauljamushian

    I agree with the author very much so. I like the thrust of what she says

  • pauljamushian

    I’m supportive of what the author wrote. She is on target

  • David

    Hillary Clinton has no principles whatsover and never has.
    By the way, the French law also make Holocaust denial illegal.

  • http://same Stephen T. Dulgarian

    Secretary Clinton has failed the Armenian People on backing down on the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. It is a shame that the Turkish Government has used her to back down after she formerly recognized it years back.

  • Raffi

    After killing millions in Vietnam Korea Afghanistan and Iraq does it look like the united states cares about human rights? The only way the US is going to pass the genocide resolution if it is beneficial to it’s policy.

  • Ara Nahapetian, Sc.D.

    I confirm every point the author has made in the article. Apparently, our politicians miss the point that they should honor their WORD.

  • CARINE LUEHMANN

    CHAPEAU MR. SARKOZY ET LA FRANCE! KUDOS TO MR. SARKOZY AND FRANCE!
    IT IS SAD THAT OUR OWN US POLICITICIANS ARE NOT ABLE TO DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN HISTORY AND RISE ABOVE THE POWER OF THE LOBBYISTS WHEN SUFFICIENT PROOF EXISTS IN THE US LIBRARY OF CONGRESS SUPPORTING THAT THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE WAS A FACT! ALL PERTAINING DOCUMENTS WERE SUPPLIED FIRST HAND BY OUR OWN US AMBASSADOR AT THAT TIME, MR HENRY MORGENTHAU, AND EXIST TODAY IN THE US LIBRARY OF CONGRESS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.
    SPECIAL THANKS TO THE AUTHOR FOR AN EXCELLENT, EDUCATIONAL AND IN DEPTH ARTICLE REGARDING THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE.

    • Sard

      You Armenians are delusional people as you are deciding on something by looking at ambassador reports or newspapers etc. In the real world, A recognized legal body which is ICJ deals with it. I checked the website of the ICJ which was founded 1922, I couldn’t find a case filed by Armenians so Good luck on your propaganda

  • Lucine Kouchakdjian

    Thank you for the moral values that guided you to write the article.
    Equivocation on this point serves only to legitimise the Turkish Government’s denial.
    If Turkey wants to be considered or percieved a progresive demovracy, it should start with acknowleging its past history instead of spending millions to lobby for denial.

  • Harry

    Need to encourage Armenian Americans to come out of their own gag order and preach to odars as the French Armenians have. This is not an Armenian secret to keep bottled up any longer but as other ethnic groups to use to overcome obstacles to Truth, Justice, Integrity, Moral Values even within Turkey. The message is not only for politicians and must reverberate starting from schools, churches, friends, and colleagues.