Stuck Between a Turk and an Armenian, So to Speak
President Obama over the weekend commemorated the 1915 murder of over a million Armenians without using the word genocide, a term he had used during the presidential campaign in speaking of the slaughter. The word from the lips of the U.S. president would have angered Turkey at a time when relations between Washington and Ankara are going so well. In the end, Obama’s rhetorical gifts were not enough to keep outraged Armenian-Americans from taking to the streets.
Turkey is one of the United States’ few allies in the Muslim world, and post-9/11 relations, although now better than earlier, are just beginning to thaw.
In the weekend statement Obama went out of his way to avoid trouble. He said he still believed in what he said as a candidate when he promised to press the issue of the 1915 genocide by the Turks. The statement used the Armenian Meds Yeghern (the Atrocity), and Obama called the mass murder “one of the great atrocities of the 20th century.” What he didn’t do is use the word genocide, which is what one usually calls an attempt to wipe out a people.
Wait, before you go…
Los Angeles Times:
His statement sparked furious protests in California as Armenians expressed outrage over his refusal to fulfill his campaign promise.
Obama said he still stands by the views he has expressed on the subject as a presidential candidate and a U.S. senator. Then, he called for Turkey to acknowledge the genocide — and promised to do so himself if elected president.
If you're reading this, you probably already know that non-profit, independent journalism is under threat worldwide. Independent news sites are overshadowed by larger heavily funded mainstream media that inundate us with hype and noise that barely scratch the surface. We believe that our readers deserve to know the full story. Truthdig writers bravely dig beneath the headlines to give you thought-provoking, investigative reporting and analysis that tells you what’s really happening and who’s rolling up their sleeves to do something about it.
Like you, we believe a well-informed public that doesn’t have blind faith in the status quo can help change the world. Your contribution of as little as $5 monthly or $35 annually will make you a groundbreaking member and lays the foundation of our work.Support Truthdig
There are currently no responses to this article.
Be the first to respond.