After he broke his 2008 campaign promise to recognize the Armenian genocide by refusing to use the term “genocide” this week on the 100th anniversary of the tragedy, most of the mainstream media, unwilling to slam their beloved president, has been conspicuously silent.
But there are some others in the media that have ripped Obama for his blunt refusal to honor his promise.
The Fresno Bee wrote, “It was teed up for President Barack Obama as never before. On April 12, Pope Francis used “genocide” to describe the slaughter of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire a century ago. In anticipation of Friday, the designated centennial of the Armenian genocide, Americans of varying ethnic backgrounds are imploring Obama to recognize the genocide by using that specific word. But Obama whiffed again.” On April 21, the Austrian Parliament drafted a statement condemning the Armenian Genocide.
The Bee continued, “Obama’s tiptoeing around the genocide reflects negatively not just on himself but on the entire United States. Our country is the world’s leader. We speak the truth … It is our view that Obama is paralyzed by a fear whipped up by the many former Beltway officials now on Turkey’s payroll … Unless Obama reverses course, his legacy will be forever stained by his refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide.
The Bee was joined by the Minnesota Post, which wrote of Obama, “He has never taken back what he said as a candidate, but he has never repeated it as president — which explicitly violates the promise that he made.” Reason magazine echoed:
On the 100th anniversary of the beginning of Turkey’s genocide against an estimated 1.5 million Armenians, a handful of naïve and/or indefatigable Armenian-American activists had been hoping that somehow, despite a convincing track record to the contrary, President Barack Obama would use this April 24 National Day of Remembrance of Man’s Inhumanity to Man (in which U.S. presidents are tasked with leading “a day of remembrance for all the victims of genocide, especially the one and one-half million people of Armenian ancestry who were the victims of the genocide perpetrated in Turkey between 1915 and 1923, and in whose memory this date is commemorated”) to finally fulfill his very loud and insistent 2008 campaign promise to call the genocide by its proper name.
White House officials said Obama reneged on his promise because the U.S. needs cooperation with Turkey, according to the Los Angeles Times, which added that the Turkish embassy has spent “millions lobbying Congress on the issue.”
Obama told Armenian-American groups on Tuesday that he would not honor his 2008 remarks, in which he stated, “Armenian genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence. The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy.” He also flatly stated, “As president I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.”
Aram S. Hamparian, executive director of the Washington-based Armenian National Committee of America, blasted, “The president’s surrender represents a national disgrace. It is a betrayal of the truth, and it is a betrayal of trust.” Bryan Ardouny, executive director of Armenian Assembly of America, told the Times, “Given Pope Francis and his statement, the European Parliament, the German chancellor [Angela Merkel], all coming out in the last many days encouraging Turkey to come to terms with its past, we had hoped and expected that President Obama would have done the same.”