Wednesday, 10 October 2007

Despite pressures and despite Bush, US Foreign Affairs Committee approved Armenian Genocide bill

Was watching live US Foreign Affairs Committee debate. Despite enormous pressures and despite Bush, they approved the bill, and now it reaches US Congress for final vote.

House speaker Nancy Pelosi re-affirmed her support for the resolution that recognises Armenian Genocide.

House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer said Democrats plan to bring an Armenian Genocide resolution to the House floor before they leave on Nov. 16 for the Thanksgiving recess.

P.S. (1)
According to Jewish sources, seven of eight Jewish members on a U.S. Congressional Committee voted for a resolution to recognize the Armenian genocide. The only Jewish member to vote against was Robert Wexler, who cited among other reasons Turkey's close relationship with Israel. Others cited Holocaust remembrance as a reason for their votes. Jewish congressmen who supported the resolution included the Committee chairman Tom Lantos, the only Holocaust survivor in Congress.
In an interview with BBC news channel, Hratche Koundarjian of the Aegis Trust, a Genocide prevention organisation based in the UK, said that after the final Congressional approval, Britain will remain the last major Western power to yet acknowledge Armenian Genocide as such. He expressed hope that British parliament will follow suit.

P.S. (2)
Not that there is need to prove, but still... 'classic' Bush:

George W. Bush, Man of Principle

February 19, 2000:
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.

October 10, 2007:
I urge members to oppose the Armenian genocide resolution now being considered by the House Foreign Affairs Committee. We all deeply regret the tragic suffering of the Armenian people that began in 1915. This resolution is not the right response to these historic mass killings, and its passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in NATO and in the global war on terror.


artmika said...

From a press release by Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA):

WASHINGTON, DC – With a vote of 27 to 21, the influential panel of the U.S. House of Representatives took a major step toward ending U.S. complicity in Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide, adopting H.Res.106, the Armenian Genocide, over in intense campaign of threats and intimidation by the Turkish government and its lobbyists in Washington, DC, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The Committee decision opens the way for full house consideration of the measure.

“The Foreign Affairs Committee’s adoption today of the Armenian Genocide Resolution represents a meaningful step toward reclaiming our right - as Americans - to speak openly and honestly about the first genocide of the 20th Century, free from the gag-rule that Turkey has, for far too long, sought to impose on nation’s elected officials,” said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. “As Americans, we must always remain free to speak openly about human rights and should never outsource our nation's foreign policy - or our morality - to another nation.”

artmika said...

Armenian Assembly of America

[Established in 1972, the Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian issues.]:

Washington, DC – The Armenian Assembly of America today commended Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee for voting 27 to 21 in favor of a resolution that affirms the Armenian Genocide as fact. The measure was approved despite heavy lobbying by the Turkish government, which has refused to acknowledge the atrocities against the Armenian people and had threatened the United States government with retribution if the Congress approved the genocide resolution.

Hours before the Committee vote, President Bush in a video address, publicly contradicted his earlier acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide and urged lawmakers to oppose the resolution. The President’s last minute attempt to kill the legislation only backfired, and helped pass the resolution.

"This is a historic day and a critically important step forward on this issue,” said Bryan Ardouny, Executive Director of the Armenian Assembly of America. “I am grateful for the support of Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who resisted efforts by the Administration to pressure them into voting a certain way. It is long past time for the U.S. government to acknowledge and affirm this horrible chapter of history – the first genocide of the 20th century and a part of history that we must never forget.”

The resolution is non-binding, but represents the first official U.S. recognition of genocide against the Armenian people – events that are amply documented by historians and other nations but which the government of Turkey has denied.

House leaders have not yet scheduled the resolution for a vote, though Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) has said that he’d like to have a vote by the full House before Thanksgiving. The Armenian Assembly will encourage the House to consider this measure as quickly as possible. In addition, the Assembly will work with Senate leaders to secure an affirmative vote in that chamber on legislation supported by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) that already has 32 co-sponsors.

Anonymous said...

Didn't realise he was so blatantly hypocritical in this instance. :( thanks for posting that!
now we just have to get our silly government (UK i mean!) to recognise it too!!!


belinda said...

thanks for posting P.S. note.
very important !