04.23.16

Editorial: Obama's silence on Armenian Genocide speaks volumes on geopolitics (Glendale News Press)

Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide takes place on Sunday, the 101st anniversary of the atrocities that historians tell us began on a spring night in 1915 when more than 200 Armenian intellectuals and civic leaders living in Constantinople were rounded up and imprisoned by the "Young Turks" then in power.

Executions ensued, but the Ottoman Turks weren't done. The Armenian Genocide continued into the 1920s, brutally taking the lives of an estimated 1.5 million people.

Each and every year, we join the chorus demanding that our country and, perhaps most importantly, President Obama recognize the atrocities by calling it — publicly and without flinching — the Armenian Genocide.

Obama made a commitment in 2008 when he was seeking our country's highest office to do just that, but has bowed to political pressures to avoid using the term "genocide." It became clear this week, as the final commemoration date of his eight years in office arrived, that he will not utter the word as the sitting president.

Our local face in Congress, Rep. Adam Schiff, has doggedly fought the battle, not only on behalf of our Armenian population, but on behalf of all of us who understand and share their anguish. Schiff said Friday he's "gravely disappointed" by Obama's silence on the matter, calling it "painfully inexplicable."

We agree. We also believe, like Schiff, that Obama's reluctance to offend today's Turkish government does nothing to enhance his legacy. It's a missed opportunity. Worse than that, it's just plain wrong.


Source: Glendale News Press