"Our common morality and our nation's credibility as a voice or human rights challenge us to ensure that the Armenian Genocide be recognized and remembered by the Congress and the President of the United States." -- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), while a senator representing NY.
After becoming Secretary of State, Mrs. Clinton must have suffered a bout of total amnesia. During a January 26, 2012 Town Hall meeting at the State Department, she reversed her earlier characterization of "clear case of genocide," to "a matter of historical debate."
Support for Armenian Genocide Resolution - Pledges to Recognize Genocide as President
Democratic Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, in a forceful statement shared today with the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), called for Congressional passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution and pledged that, as President, she will recognize the Armenian Genocide.
"Armenian Americans from across the United States welcome Hillary Clinton's strong support for the adoption of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, and her pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide as President of the United States," said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. "Hillary Clinton's statement, which reflects her consistent track record of support in public office, speaks powerfully to our community's deeply held concerns regarding the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the expansion of the U.S.-Armenia relationship, and a fair and democratic resolution of the Nagorno Karabagh conflict."
As a Senator, Hillary Clinton has, since 2002, has cosponsored successive Armenian Genocide resolutions. She joined Senate colleagues in cosigning letters to President Bush in 2005 and 2006 urging him to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
In recent weeks, the ANCA has invited each of the candidates to share their views on Armenian Americans issues, and to comment on both the growing relationship between the U.S. and Armenian governments and the enduring bonds between the American and Armenian peoples. Questionnaires sent to the candidates have invited them to respond to a set of 19 questions, including those addressing: affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, U.S.-Armenia economic, political, and military relations, self-determination for Nagorno Karabagh, the Turkish and Azerbaijani blockades, and the genocide in Darfur. Presidential hopeful Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) issued a statement earlier this week.
Armenian Americans, in key primary states and throughout the country, represent a motivated and highly networked constituency of more than one and a half million citizens. The ANCA mobilizes Armenian American voters through a network of over 50 chapters and a diverse array of affiliates, civic advocates, and supporters nationwide. ANCA mailings reach over a quarter of a million homes, and, with the addition of email outreach, action alerts reach well over 500,000 households. The ANCA website, which features election coverage from an Armenian American point of view, attracts over 100,000 unique visits a month. The ANCA also has broad reach to Armenian American voters via a sophisticated media operation of newspapers, regional cable shows, satellite TV, blogs, and internet news sites.
Statement of Senator Hillary Clinton on the U.S.-Armenia Relationship
Alone among the Presidential candidates, I have been a longstanding supporter of the Armenian Genocide Resolution. I have been a co-sponsor of the Resolution since 2002, and I support adoption of this legislation by both Houses of Congress.
I believe the horrible events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians constitute a clear case of genocide. I have twice written to President Bush calling on him to refer to the Armenian Genocide in his annual commemorative statement and, as President, I will recognize the Armenian Genocide. Our common morality and our nations 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.
If the mass atrocities of the 20th Century have taught us anything it is that we must honestly look the facts of history in the face in order to learn their lessons, and ensure they will not happen again. It is not just about the past, but about our future. We must close the gap between words and deeds to prevent mass atrocities. That is why I am a supporter of the Responsibility to Protect. As President, I will work to build and enhance U.S. and international capacity to act early and effectively to prevent mass atrocities. The Bush administrations words of condemnation have not been backed with leadership to stop the genocide in Darfur. I support a no-fly-zone over Darfur. I have championed strong international action to ensure that the government of Sudan can no longer act with impunity, or interfere with the international peacekeeping force, which is essential for the protection of the people of Darfur.
I value my friendship with our nations vibrant Armenian-American community. This is in keeping with my dedication to the causes of the Armenian-American community over many years. I was privileged as First Lady to speak at the first-ever White House gathering in 1994 for leaders from Armenia and the Armenian-American community to celebrate the historic occasion of Armenias reborn independence. I said at the time that America will stand with you as you realize what the great Armenian poet, Puzant Granian, called the Armenians dream to be left in peace in his mountains, to build, to dream, to create.
I will, as President, work to expand and improve U.S.-Armenia relations in addressing the common issues facing our two nations: increasing trade, fostering closer economic ties, fighting terrorism, strengthening democratic institutions, pursuing our military partnership and deepening cooperation with NATO, and cooperating on regional concerns, among them a fair and democratic resolution of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict. As President, I will expand U.S. assistance programs to Armenia and to the people of Nagorno-Karabagh.
I look forward, as President, to continuing to work with the Armenian-American community on the many domestic and international challenges we face together, and to build on the strong foundations of shared values that have long brought together the American and Armenian peoples.
Turkey Claims Clinton Pledge On Genocide Resolution
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has assured Turkey the White House opposes a congressional resolution labeling the World War One massacres of Armenians in Turkey as genocide, the Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Monday. RFERL
Clinton Keynotes At Genocide Deniers' Conference
CLINTON KEYNOTES AT GENOCIDE DENIERS' CONFERENCE BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN
asbarez Tuesday, November 1st, 2011
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was the keynote speaker Monday at the annual conference on U.S.-Turkey relations organized by the notorious Genocide denier group the American-Turkish Council.
While the American-Turkish Council mainly promotes business relations between the two countries, it has taken a significant role in lobbying for the defeat of Armenian Genocide recognition efforts in Congress.
In her remarks, Clinton not only extolled the virtues and importance of US-Turkey relations, but went on to welcome "Turkey's growing role in the region and on the world stage," after acknowledging that Turks and Americans alike have begun questioning the viability and durability of US-Turkish relations.
Of course, she used the opportunity to once again discuss the importance of the State-Department engineered dangerous Armenia-Turkey protocols by urging Turkey to ratify the documents.
"Improving relations between Turkey and Armenia would be a positive step, and we hope that the Turkish parliament will ratify the protocols during its current session and normalize ties with Armenia.
These festering conflicts hold back progress and development in the region. Reducing tensions with neighbors, increasing stability, is a recipe for expanded growth and influence," she asserted.
Emphasizing a similar message, Assistant Secretary for Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs Philip Gordon said the US continued to exert pressure for sides to ratify the protocols.
The important aspect is not the message delivered but the message sent. Despite overtures to Armenia's leadership and claims that the Obama Administration has done more for Armenia than any other administration, the US staunchly and unequivocally remains a supporter of Turkish interests, including on the matter of Turkey's continued denial of the Armenian Genocide.
[The sad reality of this equation is that the Armenian authorities have also bought into this charade with Foreign Minister Eduard Nalbandian constantly enumerating the number of meetings and phone calls he has had with Clinton and other US officials.]
If she were such a staunch supporter of Genocide recognition, as both she and president Obama claimed during their presidential bids, to a point that she was compelled to make that now historic "personal" visit to Dzidzernagapert last year, she could have used the opportunity at the ATC conference to urge Turkey and the Turks to come to grips with their past and acknowledge history. She did take time to urge Turkey to protect minority rights, end corruption and ensure the freedom of press. It seems acknowledging the Genocide does not fall in the human rights agenda for Secretary Clinton.
Since Clinton took office, she has not met with any Armenian organization. In 2009, she insisted on meeting with several Armenian organizations with the express aim of discussing-peddling-the Turkey-Armenia protocols. After rescheduling several times, the meeting was postponed due to a massive blizzard in Washington. Not only did that snow melt, but Washington has had two more winters since then. But, the meeting with the Armenian community is still on ice.
This continued courtship of Turkey and bowing to pressure of organizations such as the ATC further demonstrates that the Obama Administration is very comfortable with the gag rule imposed by Turkey. She is right to point out that Turkey owes its economic prosperity to the US, but fails to mention that the dividends of that relationship dictate its actions and not the interests of US citizens.
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Davutoglu Thanks Clinton For Remarks On Armenian Bill
Noyan Tapan 2012-01-30
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held a phone conversation with his U.S. counterpart Hillary Clinton on Saturday.
Diplomatic sources said that Davutoglu phoned Clinton and thanked her for the remarks made over an Armenian bill adopted at the French Senate last Monday.
In her statement, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had said that using the power of a government over historical issues would open a very dangerous door.
On Monday, the French Senate adopted an Armenian bill that criminalizes the denial of Armenian allegations pertaining to the incidents of 1915.
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Mischaracterization of the Armenian Genocide
SECRETARY CLINTON RESPONDS TO ANCA; CONTINUES TO CHARACTERIZE GENOCIDE AS A CONFLICT INSTEAD OF A CRIME
WASHINGTON, DC – Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, in a written response to a letter of protest from the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), refrained from again mischaracterizing the Armenian Genocide as a “matter for historical debate,” but stopped far short of properly characterizing this atrocity as a crime, much less keeping the pledges that both she and President Obama have made to fully and formally recognize this clear case of genocide.
"While we value the willingness of Secretary Clinton to engage with Armenian American voters during this political season, and certainly take note of the fact that she has refrained from repeating her recent highly offensive comments directly calling into question the Armenian Genocide, we remain deeply troubled by her misguided efforts to downgrade an international crime of genocide to a simple bilateral conflict," said ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian. "This is the Turkish government's false and immoral narrative, fabricated by Ankara and its allies to somehow defer the day when the Turkish state and society will – voluntarily or not – face the inevitable moral and material responsibilities for their crimes.”
The ANCA – Clinton exchange was precipitated by a factually inaccurate description, made by the Secretary during a January 26, 2012, publicly broadcast town hall meeting for State Department employees. At this event, in response to a question regarding the Administration's refusal to recognize the Armenian Genocide, she stated: "this has always been viewed, and I think properly so, as a matter of historical debate."
On February 9th, the ANCA sent a six-page letter featuring ten direct questions to the Secretary about this and prior Administrations’ century long failed policy of attempting to appease Ankara by compromising America’s stand on a fundamental issue of human rights. In that letter, ANCA Chairman Ken Hachikian explained that: "Honest and open responses to these questions, in addition to bringing a badly needed measure of transparency to American policy on the Armenian Genocide, would also serve as a meaningful foundation for a reasoned discourse among government and civil society stakeholders about ending the era of the United States’ complicity in Turkey’s denials." He added that: "More broadly, full and formal recognition of this crime - representing, as it would, a very public rejection of Ankara's efforts to impose a gag-rule on America - would represent a meaningful step toward stopping the worldwide cycle of genocide that continues to plague humanity."
In her March 1st response, Secretary Clinton noted that in 2011, “President Obama memorialized the 1.5 million Armenians who, in 1915, were massacred or marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire, resulting in one of the worst atrocities of the twentieth century.” She went on to cite her visit to Armenia’s Genocide memorial, Tsitzernagapert, “as a sign of respect for those who lost their lives during this tragedy.” The Secretary then, abdicating both America’s and the international community’s moral and legal responsibilities, sought to place the onus solely on Turkey and Armenia “to work together to address their shared history,” side-stepping repeated pledges, in 2008 and prior, by President Obama, Vice-President Biden and Secretary Clinton, herself, calling for full and formal U.S. affirmation and commemoration of this crime.
Secretary Clinton was equally evasive in responding to questions from Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.304) lead cosponsor, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), during her testimony before the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Foreign Operations last week. Rep. Schiff asked “is there any question that you have that the facts of that tragic period between 1915 and 1923 constitute genocide? Do you have any different view on the subject now than you did as a state - as a U.S. Senator?”
Secretary Clinton resorted to euphemisms such as “terrible events,” and “one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century,” stopping short of her clear statements as Senator in 2008, when she affirmed that, “the horrible events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians constitute a clear case of genocide.” Video of the exchange between Rep. Schiff and Secretary Clinton has been viewed over 4,000 times and is posted on the ANCA YouTube page.
Prior to her testimony, over 60 Members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to Secretary Clinton, asking her to renounce her recent public mischaracterization of the Armenian Genocide. In that letter, Members stated that the "historically inaccurate description of the Armenian Genocide as an open question, in addition to the offense it represents to Armenian Americans and other victims of genocide, provides American encouragement to the Republic of Turkey in its shameful campaign of denial."
Click here for the full text of the ANCA’s February 9th letter to Secretary Clinton.
The full text of Secretary Clinton's March 1st response is provided below.
THE SECRETARY OF STATE
Mr. Kenneth V. Hachikian
Armenian National Committee of America
1711 N Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036
Dear Mr. Hachikian:
Thank you for your recent letter regarding my remarks during the January 26 State Department Town Hall meeting.
The issue you raise is a serious one. On April 24,2011, President Obama memorialized the 1.5 million Armenians who, in 1915, were massacred or marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire, resulting in one of the worst atrocities of the twentieth century. During my visit to Armenia in 2010, I visited the memorial at Tsitsernakaberd as a sign of respect for those who lost their lives during this tragedy. In his statement, the President also noted "History teaches us that our nations are stronger and our cause is more just when we appropriately recognize painful pasts and work to rebuild bridges of understanding towards a better tomorrow." In support of the President's policy, I continue to urge Armenia and Turkey to work together to address their shared history. Only by working together to address these horrific events can they achieve a full, frank, and just acknowledgment of the facts.
In addition to my ongoing dialogue with Armenian and Turkish officials, the United States will continue to support the courageous steps taken by individuals in Armenia and Turkey to foster a dialogue that acknowledges the history they share in common as part of efforts to move forward. It is my belief that their efforts are laying the foundation for a more prosperous and peaceful future for the peoples of both countries and the region as a whole.
Hillary Rodham Clinton
2012 Armenia Visit
Clinton To Visit Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia
28.05.2012 U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will arrive in Yerevan on June 4 at the start of what will be her second tour of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia in less than two years.
Clinton will visit the three South Caucasus states as part of an eight-day trip to countries in northern Europe, the Caucasus and Turkey, which she is due to start on Thursday.
She will discuss “regional security, democracy, economic development and counterterrorism” in Yerevan, Baku and Tbilisi, the U.S. State Department said on May 25. The State Department also said Clinton would meet with leaders from civil society groups in all three of the countries.
The Armenian Foreign Ministry announced on Monday that Clinton will hold talks with President Serzh Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Edward Nalbandian on “a broad range of issues relating to the development and deepening of the U.S.-Armenian friendly partnership.” A ministry statement said they will also discuss the unresolved Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and “regional and international issues of mutual interest.”
Clinton already toured the region in July 2010. U.S.-backed efforts to normalize Armenia’s relations with Turkey were high on the agenda of her talks in the Armenian capital. She publicly praised Sarkisian’s position on the issue as “very statesmanlike and very impressive” and said the onus is on Ankara to revive the normalization process.
The chief U.S. diplomat also met with Armenian journalists, human rights campaigners and other civic activists at the time. She promised continued U.S. support for their activities.
Clinton Calls Genocide Recognition a ‘Dangerous Door’
BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Thursday said the recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the US “opens a door that is a very dangerous one to go through.” This is the same Hillary Clinton who, four years ago, pledged that she would recognize the Genocide as President of the United States.
Responding to a question from a participant of a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, who asked why the US does not recognize the Genocide, Clinton characterized the Armenian Genocide as an historical issue and not a political one.
“I think it’s fair to say that this has always been viewed, and I think properly so, as a matter of historical debate and conclusions rather than political. And I think that is the right posture for the United States Government to be in, because whatever the terrible event might be or the high emotions that it represents, to try to use government power to resolve historical issues, I think, opens a door that is a very dangerous one to go through. So the issue is a very emotional one; I recognize that and I have great sympathy for those who are just so incredibly passionate about it,” Clinton told the audience.
“But I think the free market of ideas, the academic community, the open architecture of communication that is even greater now than it was in the past, are the proper fora for this kind of engagement, and that’s where I hope it is worked out. And eventually, people will have their own conclusions, which needs to be respected, but we need to encourage anyone on any side of any contentious historical debate to get out into the marketplace of ideas. Muster your evidence, put forth your arguments, and be willing to engage, and that’s what I think should happen on that too,” added Clinton who received a round of applause from the audience.
She also took time to respond to a question from the same person on Monday’s passage of the French Senate resolution criminalizing the denial of the Armenian Genocide.
“…One of our great strengths is we do not criminalize speech. People can say nearly anything they choose, and they do, in our country. And so other countries, including close friends and allies like France, have different standards, different histories, but we are, I hope, never going to go down that path to criminalize speech,” explained the Secretary of State, who seems to have forgotten that there are succinct laws against hate speech in the US, under which people can be prosecuted.
Exactly four years ago this week, then Sen. Clinton had this to say: “I believe the horrible events perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against Armenians constitute a clear case of genocide. I have twice written to President Bush calling on him to refer to the Armenian Genocide in his annual commemorative statement and, as President, I will recognize the Armenian Genocide. Our 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.”
This is, by far, one of the more patronizing statements coming out of the Secretary of State, and the Obama Administration. Her statement today calls into question whether the US has ceased to be “a voice for human rights” or has the definition of that principle changed since Barack Obama took office three years ago. Or, how did the Armenian Genocide, about which she wrote to President Bush become “a dangerous door” in a matter of four years?
Her statements indicate that the US government is beholden to a foreign government—Turkey—in its policy making and is really not an advocate for human rights worldwide but a willing participant in a systematic and calculated campaign of lies that continues to stain Turkey as a citizen of the civilized world.
“The Obama-Biden Administration – with Secretary Clinton’s latest remarks – continues to dig itself deeper and deeper into a hole of complicity in Turkey’s genocide denial,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America.
“It’s a sad spectacle to see Secretary Clinton hiding behind cynical appeals to scholars – the overwhelming majority of whom have already spoken forcefully against Turkey’s denials of the Armenian Genocide – to divert attention from either President Obama’s, Vice President Biden’s or her own personal promises to properly recognize this crime and, more broadly, to divert attention from America’s failure to meet her moral obligation to stand up against a foreign government’s veto of our defense of human rights,” continued Hamparian.
“The Secretary’s unfounded and offensive references to ‘historical debate’ in regards to the Armenian Genocide only embolden the Turkish Government – which, just today, again took steps toward deporting Armenians,” concluded Hamparian.
The Obama Administration’s latest ploy to massage this ridiculous message is laughable at best and devoid of any credibility. Its defense of Turkish interests at any cost, goes counter to the international community’s conventional wisdom and makes US policymakers seem backward in their approach to human rights issues.
This latest statement by Clinton should not elicit anger, but rather it should further call into question this administration’s ability to effectively lead.
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