President Obama failed again to keep a campaign promise when he marked Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day this morning by calling it Armenian Remembrance Day.
Obama has carefully avoided using the term “genocide” to mark each April 24 Genocide Remembrance Day despite promising in a Jan. 19, 2008, campaign statement “as president I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.”
This year, he tried to hint at it while avoiding the fact that he has not “consistently” stated it — or stated it at all — in the White House.
“I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915,” Obama said. “My view of that history has not changed.”
The president used “Meds Yeghern,” which means “great tragedy.”
“On this solemn day of remembrance, we stand alongside all Armenians in recalling the darkness of the Meds Yeghern and in committing to bringing a brighter future to the people of Armenia,” Obama said.
The Armenian Assembly of America said that a day after Obama stressed his commitment to fighting genocide and announced an Atrocities Prevention Board, the president had an “important opportunity to carry his message forward by honoring his commitment to affirm the Armenian Genocide.”
Congressional efforts to recognize the killings as genocide have provoked angry reaction from Turkey and pushback from the Congressional Turkish Caucus, which has about 125 members.
“President Obama today completed his surrender to Turkey, shamefully outsourcing U.S. human rights policy to a foreign state, and tightening Ankara’s gag on American recognition of the Armenian Genocide,” said Armenian National Committee of America Chairman Ken Hachikian. “The President’s capitulation to Turkey – on this, the last April 24th of his term – represents the very opposite of the principled and honest change he promised to Armenian Americans and to all the citizens of our nation. President Obama’s pledge to recognize the Armenian Genocide stands today as a stark lie, a painful promise etched on the hearts of all who had hoped and worked for change, but who, today, have been betrayed by a politician who failed to live up to his own words.”