The Armenian Genocide Resolution is not dead, this is only a time-out

December 23, 2010

Although I’m not much of a sports fan, I empathize with the football today. (Please forgive my simple analogy, but it comforts me and my hope is that it may serve you similarly.)

Once again, yesterday, the Armenian Genocide Resolution (HR 252) almost made it over the finish line in one of the world’s most important political arenas, the United States House of Representatives. But, in the final moments of the 111th Congress, the resolution was not brought to the floor for a vote, leaving many Armenians angry and discouraged.

If you know anything about football, you know the objective of the game is to keep the ball on the field and you must keep moving it forward until your team gets the football over the goal line (before the time runs out). There are many factors that can make this seemingly straight-forward game hard to win. Here are a few:

  1. As any parent of a little league soccer player knows, if the players on the opposing team are bigger than your players (and if they have more money to outfit and train their players), your team is probably going to get crushed.
  2. Even among the most honorable opponents, fair and objective referees and linesmen are needed. If the other team unfairly influences the officials, then no matter how talented your team is, they will not win.
  3. Your team members must develop the ability to come together and work as a team. When the stakes are high, no team can afford bickering, catering to egos, or fighting over differing agendas.

When we look back at great moments in sports history, we are reminded of countless examples of the underdog prevailing. Such champions have an unwavering faith, perseverance, skill, and an understanding that defeating a stronger opponent takes patience and the ability to wear them down. It also helps to win the hearts and minds of onlookers.

Dear Armenian peoples of the world, we are smaller than our opponent. But, we know our cause is just and important, not only for ourselves, but for everyone concerned about basic human rights.

There are many signs that we are close to defeating our opponent as long as we keep persevering. We are succeeding at exposing the dishonest officials and disqualifying them from influencing the outcome of our objective to win pass of the Armenian Genocide Resolution in the US House of Representatives. We have also gained yardage in our struggles to move our resolution forward toward its passage. Now, we must stop allowing in-fighting among our own team members.

This ‘game’ is not over, their is no time clock for exposing the truth, it is only the time for this session of Congress that has run out. But, during 2010, we became wiser and stronger. We succeeded in winning more friends the world over—people who now share our commitment to gaining the US Government’s official recognition of what it already knows, Turkey committed a genocide. (Most governments, including Turkey’s know this truth as well, but they remain attached to unethical reasons for keeping silent.) I’m hearing more and more people tell me that by denying the Armenian Genocide, the government of Turkey has done more to promote awareness of the Armenian Genocide than we could possibly do ourselves.

Let’s rest, celebrate the coming of a New Year, and share the joy of Christmas with our loved ones. When the clock starts up again, we will join together again and focus on winning the US’s formal recognition of the Armenian Genocide. And, when we win, envision how we will dedicate this victory to the last living Armenian Genocide survivors among us, and the memory of our dear family members who died or were separated from us almost a century ago.

 


US House of Representatives did not vote on Armenian Genocide Resolution – HR 252 during final session of 2010

December 22, 2010

House Resolution 252 (H. Res. 252) – The Armenian Genocide Resolution – did not come up for a vote on the last day of this 2010 Congressional session. There were reports that an unprecedented number of calls and emails were sent to members of the United States House of Representatives in support of the resolution.


Congress is reconvening Wed – Vote for HR 252, Armenian Genocide Resolution, possible

December 21, 2010

If you do not follow the politics concerning the United States Government’s recognition of the Armenian Genocide, you may not realize the news reported by Asbarez is a significant development (see link below). Despite threats from Turkey, President Obama is not actively pressuring Congress to dismiss the resolution. Past administrations have buckled to Turkey’s demands for political purposes, for decades. However, when President Obama was a senator, he made his views clear that he knows a genocide was committed by the Turkish Government at the beginning of the 20th century.

When you begin to learn about the history surrounding the Armenian Genocide, the eyewitness accounts and records locked in the government archives of the United States, France, and Germany, offer overwhelming evidence that genocide was committed by Turkey. Non-Armenian government diplomats, missionaries, doctors, and nurses, are among the individuals who recorded what they witnessed in letters, cables (telegraphs), photographs, and memoirs. The New York Times, National Geographic and other periodicals of the time also documented what journalists saw happening in Turkey.

Armenians all over the world can tell you some of what their grandparents and great grandparents told them. But, like my grandfather, most of what happened to the survivors remained burned into their memories and souls without ever being fully shared with anyone. Tonight, Armenians across America have hope that tomorrow the few remaining Armenian Genocide survivors may live to know that our government finally publicly will recognize the Armenian Genocide. Please read some of the other pages on this blog to learn more.

White House Indifferent on Genocide Resolution
Asbarez.com | December 21, 2010

The following outstanding documentary and books are highly recommended:

  • ‘Aghet: Armenian Genocide‘ an award-winning documentary by Germany’s ARD Television and Eric Friedler
  • ‘A Shameful Act’, one of the definitive books about the Armenian Genocide written by Turkish scholar Taner Akcam
  • ‘Armenian Golgotha’ by Grigoris Balakian, an Armenian priest’s devastating eyewitness account of the Armenian Genocide
  • Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story‘ by Henry I. Morgenthau, the American Ambassador at Constantinople from 1913-1916
  • If you haven’t called your Congressional representative and the House Majority Leader, it will take you less than one minute to make these calls. All you need to know is your zip code: MAKE THE CALL TO VOTE YES FOR HOUSE RESOLUTION 252

    Read the full text of House Resolution 252


    Rep. Schiff’s latest effort to pass US House Resolution 252

    June 15, 2010

    Schiff Renews Push for Congress to Recognize Armenian Genocide
    Asbarez.com | June 15, 2010

    [Search Schiff and HR 252 in the right margin ‘search’ box for more information about the resolution for the US to recognize the Armenian Genocide.]


    Armenian Genocide Resolution Opinion from New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof

    March 10, 2010

    In case you missed it, Nicholas Kristof shared his thoughts about the Armenian Genocide resolution (HR 252) a few days ago in his New York Times column. In today’s column he wonders if he ‘spoke too soon’:

    Hmmm. Did I Write That? | March 10, 2010

    (You can link to the earlier article from the March 1oth article.)


    Armenian Genocide Resolution: President Obama and the price of moral courage

    March 8, 2010

    Christian Science Monitor | March 8, 2010

    [Note: Last week the Christian Science Monitor published a story related to the Armenian Genocide resolution (HR 252) which appeared to be sympathetic to Turkey. Several readers of this blog wrote to the CSM’s editors via the link to their news site’s feedback page. Today’s Opinion piece in the Christian Science Monitor offers a realistic appraisal of the Armenian Genocide issue; it is certainly more balanced, which is what readers must demand from responsible journalists and publishers.]


    Thank the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs on HR 252

    March 6, 2010

    Contact the committee

    In addition to thanking the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs, you can access the actual vote tally (see who voted for and against the resolution).

    Here is the letter I sent:

    Dear Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs,

    Thank you to all who made the choice to vote YES on HR 252–as Ron Kampeas wrote in his Capital J Blog, “for voting in the interests of never again denying a genocide occurred.”

    My grandfather was Karnig Kalpakian (Dr. John Karnig) and his father was Dr. Janik Kalpakian. In 1920, they escaped the killings in Marash, Turkey, that claimed the lives of my great grandmother Mary Mesrobian, as well as the lives of my great aunts Anais and Armenouhi (they were butchered in a mosque).

    During the Ottoman Turks’ mass deportation of the Armenians, Mary Mesrobian’s entire family, with the exception of her brother Kevork, were deported “to the deserts of Arabia” (this is what my grandfather wrote in his letter to our family, but it was most likely Der Zor).

    My grandfather and great grandfather were among the ‘lucky’ victims of the Ottoman Turks. Leaving everything behind, they survived. Starting off in a horse-drawn carriage to Aintab, Janik and Karnig set out on their journey to safer shores in America. From Aintab they traveled to Aleppo (Syria); then to Beirut (Lebanon), then on to Jerusalem, and finally to Alexandria, Egypt, where they waited to immigrate to America.

    In 1923, Karnig, together with his father, new stepmother and a new baby brother, Hagop, finally arrived at Ellis Island in New York.

    My grandfather became a prominent dentist, a Mason and one of the leaders responsible for establishing the Armenian community in the New York metropolitan area. His baby brother “Jack” served in WWII and worked for Harvard University until his retirement a few years ago. Both men and their families owe their lives to the United States of America.

    Sincerely,

    Sheri Jordan


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