Foreign Policy

For Fourth Year in a Row, Obama Breaks Campaign Promise to Call the Century-Old Armenian Genocide a "Genocide"


I guess "Armenians for Obama" will have slightly fewer members this time around?

From Jake Tapper over at ABC News:

As a senator, and then as a presidential candidate,  Barack Obama often talked about how bold he was to call the slaughter of an estimated 1.5 million Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Empire just what it was: a genocide.

"America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides," he said. "I intend to be that president." In a January 2008 letter to the Armenian Reporter, Mr. Obama said he shared "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."

In 2006, Mr. Obama noted, "I criticized the secretary of state [Condoleezza Rice] 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."

Asserted Mr. Obama, back then: "The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy."

That was then, this is now.

Whole thing here.

I wrote about the fact-avoiding broken pledge in 2009 and 2011, and about G-word politics for the L.A. Times in 2007. Go ahead, re-watch the president's foreign policy bestie Samantha Power give her sincere plea to the Armenian-American community back in 2008:

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  1. The vast majority of Armenians live in Massachusetts and New York.

    Obama has the MA electoral votes in the bag, and I think will win NY handily.

    The pandering to Armenians was only required when he faced a serious primary challenge. Back then he had to prove to people that he would be different than Hillary Clinton on foreign policy. Now that Hillary Clinton is running his foreign policy he doesn’t need that anymore.

    He will need to lie to a different set of people to beat Romney.

    1. There are also a significant Armenian populations in Fresno and Glendale, so surely Obama will follow through on his promise to prevent California from going to Romney.

      1. Yes, and New Jersey, too.

  2. Samantha Power — pimping overseas intervention since 1999.

    1. I really can’t stomach a Samantha Power video this early in the morning. Is she advocating the US deploy troops to 1915 to stop the genocide?

      1. I didn’t watch TFV; I just know her schtick.

  3. Why are we so afraid to Irk the Turk?

    1. Turkey – as it has since the Crimean war – conscripts huge numbers of cannon fodder to die on behalf of their allies.

    2. Why are we so afraid to Irk the Turk?

      It’s nobody’s business but the Turrr-rrks.

  4. Isn’t it simply obvious? Turkey is in NATO, Armenia is not. Turkey is also a NATO member on the verge of becoming an Islamic state. The cost of pissing off Armenian-Americans and Armenia is much less than the cost of pissing off Turkey.

    True to character, our illustrious Dear Leader opened his yap without understanding much about the situation.

  5. There was no such thing as genocide before 1948, because the crime was not legally established before the Genocide Convention of that year.

    There has always been such a thing as murder – and that murder of millions of innocent civilians by the Turks in 1915, the Soviets in the early 30s, and the Germans in WWII, was murder on a large scale.

    Isn’t that enough? Why retroactively extend a new crime which is already covered by the existing crime of murder?

    1. Just like nothing had DNA before 1869.

      1. Just like an ex post facto definition is the same as a discovery of a previously existing fact.

        1. They’re both concepts used to describe a phenomenon.

          1. As a basis for criminal liability, retroactive laws are dubious – especially when murder was already a crime.

            And mass murder isn’t always genocide: “Sure, he killed millions of people, but we can’t prove he was motivated by racial hatred.”

            Plus, politically-motivated mass killing was deliberately *excluded* from the definition of genocide.

            So we have the fascinating spectacle of examining what are admittedly cases of mass murder and trying to discern whether it’s genocide or just regular, boring murder.

          2. Which doesn’t make them the same any more than “beautiful” and “ugly” are the same simply because they are both concepts used to describe phenomena.

  6. They really do seem to know what is going on over there lol.

  7. Because fuck you, that’s why, kid.

    1. “Beat it kid! Come back when you’ve got connections!”

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