George W. Bush

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President of the USA from 2000-2008. Promised clearly as a candidate to recognize the Armenian Genocide if elected president, and has failed to keep his pledge. On May 10, 2005 Vladimir Arutiunian, a Georgian-Armenian, tried to assassinate Bush with a hand grenade that failed to detonate. He has not revealed his motivation.

Contents

Campaign Pledge

George W. Bush for President
February 19, 2000

Mr. Edgar Hagopian
Mr. Vasken Setrakian


Dear Edgar and Vasken,

Thank you for your inquiry to my campaign regarding issues of concern to Armenian Americans.

The twentieth century was marred by wars of unimaginable brutality, mass murder and genocide. History records that the Armenians were the first people of the last century to have endured these cruelties. The Armenians were subjected to a genocidal campaign that defies comprehension and commands all decent people to remember and acknowledge the facts and lessons of an awful crime in a century of bloody crimes against humanity. If elected President, I would ensure that our nation properly recognizes the tragic suffering of the Armenian people.

The Armenian diaspora and the emergence of an independent Republic of Armenia stand as a testament to the resiliency of the Armenian people. In this new century, the United States must actively support the independence of all the nations of the Caucasus by promising the peaceful settlement of regional disputes and the economic development of the region. American assistance to Armenia to encourage the development of democracy, the rule of law and a tolerant open society is vital. It has my full support.

I am encouraged by recent discussions between the governments of Armenia and Azerbaijan. The United States should work actively to promote peace in the region and should be willing to serve as a mediator. But ultimately peace must be negotiated and sustained by the parties involved. Lasting peace can come only from agreements they judge to be in their best interests.

I appreciate the tremendous contribution of the Armenian community to the United States. The Armenian community has been and will continue to be a model of dedication to values of faith and family.

Sincerely,
George W. Bush

April 24, 2008 Statement

WASHINGTON--In his eighth and final year in office, President George W. Bush, Thursday, again resorted to using evasive and euphemistic terminology to obscure the full moral, historical, and contemporary legal implications of Turkey's genocide against the Armenian people between 1915-1923, reported the Armenian National Committee of America.

"This April 24, President Bush's last in office, he completed his eight-year long betrayal of his campaign commitment to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide," said Aram Hamparian, Executiv Director of the ANCA.

"The President not only failed to honor his promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide, but used the full force of his White House to block Congress from taking the very step he himself had pledged to undertake as a candidate for office. He not only fired a sitting U.S. Ambassador who had the courage to honor his president's forsaken pledge by speaking truthfully about this crime, but then went on to nominate a genocide denier to take his place.

He not only pursued patently anti-Armenian policies throughout his two terms in office, but never once--amid his many meetings on Armenian-related issues with foreign leaders 's agreed to discuss these concerns with the leadership of the Armenian American community."

The complete text of the President's statement is provided below.

The White House April 24, 2008

Statement by the President on Armenian Remembrance Day

On this day of remembrance, we honor the memory of the victims of one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century, the mass killings and forced exile of as many as 1.5 million Armenians at the end of the Ottoman Empire. I join the Armenian community in America and around the world in commemorating this tragedy and mourning the loss of so many innocent lives.

As we reflect on this epic human tragedy, we must resolve to redouble our efforts to promote peace, tolerance, and respect for the dignity of human life. The Armenian people's unalterable determination to triumph over tragedy and flourish is a testament to their strength of character and spirit. We are grateful for the many contributions Americans of Armenian heritage have made to our Nation.

We welcome the efforts by individuals in Armenia and Turkey to foster reconciliation and peace, and support joint efforts for an open examination of the past in search of a shared understanding of these tragic events. We look forward to the realization of a fully normalized Armenia-Turkey relationship.

The United States is committed to a strong relationship with Armenia based on shared values. We call on the Government of Armenia to take decisive steps to promote democracy, and will continue our support for Armenia to this end. We remain committed to serving as an honest broker in pursuit of a lasting and peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

On this solemn day of remembrance, Laura and I express our deepest condolences to Armenian people around the world.

April 24, 2007 Statement

The White House

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary

Presidential Message: Honoring Memory of 1.5 Million Armenian Lives
Lost During Ottoman Empire

April 24, 2007

Each year on this day, we pause to remember the victims of one of the greatest tragedies of the 20th century, when as many as 1.5 million Armenians lost their lives in the final years of the Ottoman Empire, many of them victims of mass killings and forced exile. I join my fellow Americans and Armenian people around the world in commemorating this tragedy and honoring the memory of the innocent lives that were taken. The world must never forget this painful chapter of its history.

All who cherish freedom and value the sanctity of human life look back on these horrific events in sorrow and disbelief. Many of those who survived were forced from their ancestral home and spread across the globe. Yet, in the midst of this terrible struggle, the world witnessed the indomitable spirit and character of the Armenian people. Many of the brave survivors came to America, where they have preserved a deep connection with their history and culture. Generations of Armenians in the United States have enriched our country and inspired us with their courage and conviction.

Today, we remember the past and also look forward to a brighter future. We commend the individuals in Armenia and Turkey who are working to normalize the relationship between their two countries. A sincere and open examination of the historic events of the late-Ottoman period is an essential part of this process. The United States supports and encourages those in both countries who are working to build a shared understanding of history as a basis for a more hopeful future.

We value the strong and vibrant ties between the United States and Armenia. Our Nation is grateful for Armenia's contributions to thewar on terror, particularly for its efforts to help build a peaceful and democratic Iraq. The United States remains committed to working with Armenia and Azerbaijan to promote a peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We are also working to promote democratic and economic reform in Armenia that will advance the cause of freedom and justice.

Laura and I express our deepest condolences to Armenian people around the world on this solemn day of remembrance. We stand together in our determination to build a more peaceful, more prosperous, and more just world.

GEORGE W. BUSH

April 24, 2006 Statement

Whitehouse.gov (press release), DC
April 24, 2006

http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2006/04/20060424-8.html

Presidential Message

April 24, 2006

Today, we remember one of the horrible tragedies of the 20th century -- the mass killings and forced exile of as many as 1.5 million Armenians in the final days of the Ottoman Empire in 1915. This was a tragedy for all humanity and one that we and the world must never forget.

We mourn this terrible chapter of history and recognize that it remains a source of pain for people in Armenia and for all those who believe in freedom, tolerance, and the dignity and value of every human life. It is a credit to the human spirit and generations of Armenians who live in Armenia, America, and around the globe that they have overcome this suffering and proudly preserved their centuries-old culture, traditions, and religion.

We praise the individuals in Armenia and Turkey who have sought to examine the historical events of this time with honesty and sensitivity. The analysis by the International Center for Transitional Justice, while not the final word, has made a significant contribution toward deepening our understanding of these events. We encourage dialogues, including through joint commissions, that strive for a shared understanding of these tragic events and move Armenia and Turkey towards normalized relations.

Today, we look with hope to a bright future for Armenia. Armenia's Millennium Challenge Compact reflects our confidence and the importance we place in Armenia making progress on democratic reform and advancement of free markets. We seek to help Armenia bolster its security and deepen its inclusion in the Euro-Atlantic family. We remain committed to securing a peaceful and lasting settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and hope the leaders of Armenia and Azerbaijan will take bold steps to achieve this goal.

On this solemn day of remembrance, Laura and I express our deepest condolences to the Armenian people. Our nations stand together, determined to create a future of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the citizens of our countries and the world.

GEORGE W. BUSH

April 24, 2005 Statement

The White House

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary

April 24, 2005

STATEMENT BY THE PRESIDENT

On Armenian Remembrance Day, we remember the forced exile and mass killings of as many as 1.5 million Armenians during the last days of the Ottoman Empire. This terrible event is what many Armenian people have come to call the "Great Calamity." I join my fellow Americans and Armenian people around the world in expressing my deepest condolences for this horrible loss of life. Today, as we commemorate the 90th anniversary of this human tragedy and reflect on the suffering of the Armenian people, we also look toward a promising future for an independent Armenian state.

The United States is grateful for Armenia's contributions to the war on terror and to efforts to build a democratic and peaceful Iraq. We remain committed to supporting the historic reforms Armenia has pursued for over a decade. We call on the Government of Armenia to advance democratic freedoms that will further advance the aspirations of the Armenian people. We remain committed to a lasting and peaceful settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We also seek a deeper partnership with Armenia that includes security cooperation and is rooted in the shared values of democratic and market economic freedoms.

I applaud individuals in Armenia and Turkey who have sought to examine the historical events of the early 20th century with honesty and sensitivity. The recent analysis by the International Center for Transitional Justice did not provide the final word, yet marked a significant step toward reconciliation and restoration of the spirit of tolerance and cultural richness that has connected the people of the Caucasus and Anatolia for centuries. We look to a future of freedom, peace, and prosperity in Armenia and Turkey and hope that Prime Minister Erdogan's recent proposal for a joint Turkish-Armenian commission can help advance these processes.

Millions of Americans proudly trace their ancestry to Armenia. Their faith, traditions, and patriotism enrich the cultural, political, and economic life of the United States. I appreciate all individuals who work to promote peace, tolerance, and reconciliation. On this solemn day of remembrance, I send my best wishes and expressions of solidarity to Armenian people around the world.

April 24, 2004 Statement

On this day, we pause in remembrance of one of the most horrible tragedies of the 20th century, the annihilation of as many as 1.5 million Armenians through forced exile and murder at the end of the Ottoman Empire. This terrible event remains a source of pain for people in Armenia and Turkey and for all those who believe in freedom, tolerance, and the dignity of every human life. I join with my fellow Americans and the Armenian community in the United States and around the world in mourning this loss of life.

The United States is proud of the strong ties we share with Armenia. From the end of World War I and again since the reemergence of an independent Armenian state in 1991, our country has sought a partnership with Armenia that promotes democracy, security cooperation, and free markets. Today, our Nation remains committed to a peace settlement in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and is grateful for Armenia's continuing cooperation in the war on terror. By advancing understanding and goodwill, free nations can help build a brighter future for the world. Our country seeks to help Armenia expand its strategic relations with the United States and our European allies.

Generations of Armenian Americans have also strengthened our communities and enriched our Nation's character. By preserving their heritage, faith, and traditions, Armenian Americans enhance the diversity that makes America great.

I commend individuals in Armenia and Turkey who have worked to support peace and reconciliation, including through the Turkish-Armenian Reconciliation Commission, and call on Armenia and Turkey to restore their economic, political, and cultural ties. I also send warm wishes and expressions of solidarity to the Armenian people on this solemn day of remembrance.

GEORGE W. BUSH

April 24, 2003 Statement

Today marks the anniversary of a horrible tragedy, the mass killings and forced exile of countless Armenians in the final days of the Ottoman Empire. Many Armenians refer to these appalling events as the "great calamity," reflecting a deep sorrow that continues to haunt them and their neighbors, the Turkish people. The suffering that befell the Armenian people in 1915 is a tragedy for all humanity, which the world should not forget. I join the Armenian-American community and Armenians around the world in mourning the horrendous loss of life.

I also salute our wise and bold friends from Armenia and Turkey who are coming together in a spirit of reconciliation to consider these events and their significance. I applaud them for rising above bitterness, and taking action to create a better future. I wish them success, building on their recent and significant achievements, as they work together in a spirit of hope and understanding.

As we remember those who perished and suffered, we salute the nation of Armenia, and Armenians everywhere. The United States is grateful for the contributions of Armenian Americans to our national life. Generations of Armenians have employed wisdom, courage, and centuries-old traditions to overcome great suffering and enrich their adopted American homeland.

The United States is proud to be a friend of Armenia, a young state with an ancient heritage. We are deepening our partnership to help achieve a secure, prosperous, and dignified future for the citizens of Armenia. The United States is committed to achieving a just and lasting settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict. We will also continue to help Armenia as it strives to strengthen its democracy and market economy.

On behalf of the American people, I send solemn wishes to the Armenian people on this day of remembrance. Our nations stand together, determined to create a future of peace, prosperity, and freedom for the citizens of our countries, for our regions, and for the world.

Signed GEORGE W. BUSH

April 24, 2002 Statement

Today, we commemorate an appalling tragedy of the 20th century, the massacre of as many as 1.5 million Armenians through forced exile and murder at the end of the Ottoman Empire. These horrific killings left wounds that remain painful for people in Armenia, in Turkey, and around the world. I join the Armenian community in America and across the globe in mourning this horrendous loss of life.

Today is an occasion for the world to reflect upon and draw lessons from these terrible events. It is a day for recognizing that demonizing others lays the foundation for a dark cycle of hatred. Transcending this venomous pattern requires painful introspection about the past and wise determination to forge a new future based on truth and reconciliation. In this spirit, I look forward to Turkey restoring economic, political, and cultural links with Armenia.

The United States greatly values the contributions that Armenians make to our national life. With faith and courage, generations of Armenians have overcome great suffering and proudly preserved their centuries-old culture, traditions, and religion. The United States is also deeply grateful for Armenia's swift and decisive cooperation in the war against terrorism.

Just as the United States reached out to the Armenian people to provide shelter and freedom early in the last century, so did Armenia extend a supportive hand to the American people in the immediate aftermath of September 11. Our two peoples stand together in this fight in support of values that define civilization itself.

I am also very proud of America's strong support for a free Armenian state, whose citizens enjoy the fruits of peace and increasing prosperity. In the months to come, America will continue to increase its security cooperation with Armenia and with Armenia's neighbors to combat terrorism and pursue a lasting and just settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, which will strengthen peace and stability in the Caucasus. The United States will also continue its strong support for Armenia's efforts to develop democratic and free market institutions, and to deepen its integration into the Euro-Atlantic community.

On behalf of the American people, I send warm wishes and expressions of solidarity to the Armenian people on this solemn day of remembrance. Together, our nations look with hope and determination toward a future of peace, prosperity, and freedom.

April 24, 2001 Statement

Today marks the commemoration of one of the great tragedies of history: the forced exile and annihilation of approximately 1.5 million Armenians in the closing years of the Ottoman Empire. These infamous killings darkened the 20th century and continue to haunt us to this day. Today, I join Armenian Americans and the Armenian community abroad to mourn the loss of so many innocent lives. I ask all Americans to reflect on these terrible events.

While we mourn the tragedy that scarred the history of the Armenian people, let us also celebrate their indomitable will which has allowed Armenian culture, religion, and identity to flourish through the ages. Let us mark this year the 1700th anniversary of the establishment of Christianity in Armenia. Let us celebrate the spirit that illuminated the pages of history in 451 when the Armenians refused to bow to Persian demands that they renounce their faith. The Armenian reply was both courageous and unequivocal: "From this faith none can shake us, neither angels, nor men, neither sword, fire or water, nor any bitter torturers." This is the spirit that survived again in the face of the bitter fate that befell so many Armenians at the end of the Ottoman Empire.

Today, that same spirit not only survives, but thrives in Armenian communities the world over. Many Armenian survivors and their descendents chose to live in the United States, where they found safety and built new lives. We are grateful for the countless ways in which Armenian Americans continue to enrich America's science, culture, commerce and, indeed, all aspects of our national life.

One of the most important ways in which we can honor the memory of Armenian victims of the past is to help modern Armenia build a secure and prosperous future. I am proud that the United States actively supports Armenia and its neighbors in finding a permanent and fair settlement to the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute. I hope that this year we will see peace and reconciliation flourish in the south Caucasus region between Armenia and all its neighbors. The United States welcomes the opportunity to support the courageous efforts by the Armenian people to overcome years of hardship and Soviet repression to create a prospering, democratic, and sovereign Republic of Armenia.

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