Friday, September 28, 2007

Former U.S. Secretaries of State oppose Armenian Genocide Resolution


Fearing an imminent vote on the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.Res.106), Turkey’s multi-million dollar lobbyists have solicited the assistance of eight former U.S. Secretaries of State in seeking to derail this human rights legislation, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA.)

"Facing a growing bipartisan Congressional majority demanding passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, Turkey’s lobbyists - out of desperation and a never ending desire to squeeze more billing dollars out of Ankara – have turned to the very architects of our government’s failed policy of appeasing Turkey," said Aram Hamparian, Executive Director of the ANCA. "Sadly, successive U.S. administrations have found themselves lacking the moral courage to end the cycle of genocide – from Cambodia, to Rwanda and, today in Darfur – precisely because of their legacy of caving in to, rather than confronting genocidal regimes."

"We are, as Americans, especially troubled that, in warning Congress not to make a simple anti-genocide statement for fear of upsetting Turkey, these officials would outsource our nation’s moral conscience to a foreign government," added Hamparian.

In their September 25th jointly-signed letter, former Secretaries of State Madeleine Albright, James Baker III, Warren Christopher, Laurence Eagleburger, Alexander Haig, Jr., Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and George Schultz, urged Speaker Pelosi to, "prevent the resolution from reaching the House Floor," thereby denying House
Members an opportunity to vote their conscience on the Armenian Genocide. The former State Department officials expressed concern that passage of the resolution "could endanger our national security interests in the region, including our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan, and damage efforts to promote reconciliation between Armenia and Turkey."

Introduced on January 30th by Rep. Adam Schiff along with Representative George Radanovich (R-CA), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), the Armenian Genocide resolution calls upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide. The resolution is cosponsored by 226 Members of Congress from 39 states. A similar resolution in the Senate (S.Res.106), introduced by Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) currently has 31 cosponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

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Note: Above are excerpts from the article. The full article appears here. Clarifications and comments by me are contained in {}. Deletions are marked by [...]. The bold emphasis is mine.

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