Friday, April 24, 2009

Obama refuses to use the “G” word

From ABC News today (the best article I have found on this story):

Despite a campaign promise that he would boldly use the word "genocide" as president when describing the Ottoman Empire's slaughter of up to 1.5 million Armenians in the early part of the last century, President Obama deliberately avoided use of that word in his statement today on Armenian Remembrance Day.

"We're profoundly disappointed," Aram Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America, told ABC News. "All the more so because his statements on this in his record  before he became president nailed it in terms the facts, the practical side and the moral dimension. He repeatedly talked about this during the campaign, and he was really harsh on President Bush, he said it was inexcusable that Bush refused to acknowledge that this was genocide."

Hamparian says President Obama "finds himself doing exactly the thing he so sharply criticized the Bush administration for, which is being euphemistic and evasive. It's a bitter thing for Armenian-Americans who really believed him and really worked hard." [read the rest]

I can understand why Obama decided that he needed to do his verbal dance around the G-word today. He didn’t want to disrupt potential Turkish-Armenian relations.  It’s just hard not to think of those ringing words, “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President.” 

Change we can believe in. Hmmm.  Too bad. It’s never going to get easier to call the Armenian Genocide for what it is, Mr. President. And words do matter. Your own statement today clearly demonstrates how well you understand this.

<a href="">Genocide: Should Obama have used the word in his Armenian statement?</a> | <a href="">BuzzDash polls</a>

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