As Armenians around the world applaud the German Parliament’s recent recognition of the Armenian genocide, this somewhat surprising turn-of-events casts a very unfavorable light on the integrity of the current Obama administration and puts into question the State Department’s more than 30-year-old policy to avoid, at all costs, official use of the term “genocide” in this context. This is by no means a partisan issue. Since President Reagan’s landmark acknowledgment in 1981, subsequent presidents, Republican and Democrat, have yielded to the State Department’s gag-rule.
Opponents of recognition commonly claim that “the time isn’t right” or that it will unnecessarily upset relations with Turkey. The Bundestag’s near unanimous decision, which was supported by President Merkel, threw that rationale right out the window. Arguably, Germany has a lot more at stake than the U.S., considering Turkey’s role in stemming the flow of Syrian refugees entering Europe and that 3 million Turks currently reside in Germany. Most significantly, among the resolution’s supporters were 11 parliamentary ministers of Turkish descent.
Even Turkey’s prime minister emphasized following the vote that ties between Germany and Turkey would not be destroyed, essentially stating what everyone already knows. Everyone, that is, except our own president and State Department.
Raffi Pilavian, Fresno