What Lies Beneath: President Biden’s Deceptive Acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide

In the following essay David Boyajian makes the case that President Biden’s recent acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide is less than it seems.

What Lies Beneath: President Biden’s Deceptive Acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide

by David Boyajian

President Biden’s April 24 statement acknowledging the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923+) carried out by Turkey was welcome but flawed. Indeed, “Turkey” appears nowhere in the document. Moreover, the State Department swiftly undermined Biden’s virtuous-sounding words.

American acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide isn’t even new. The U.S. House has passed several resolutions on the Genocide. And a nearly unanimous Congress did so in 2019.

Presidents going back to Woodrow Wilson have described the Armenian ordeals with language such as: an effort to exterminate all Armenians; terrible massacres; mass killings; death marches; and an ancient [Armenian] homeland was erased. If these don’t describe genocide, the word is meaningless.

In 1951, the State Department cited the Armenian “massacres [as a] crime of genocide” in a filing at the International Court of Justice. In 1981, President Reagan included “the genocide of Armenians” in a Holocaust proclamation.

Genocide acknowledgements should not — like car insurance — lapse if not renewed annually. Will the Holocaust become a non-genocide next year if the White House happens to overlook it?

Still, the president’s statement is noteworthy. It could even reinvigorate several Armenian American lawsuits against Turkey. But the statement has problems.

It tries to take the heat off today’s Republic of Turkey by blaming only “Ottoman-era … authorities” for the Genocide.

After the Allies defeated Ottoman Turkey in WWI (1918), Ottoman General Mustafa Kemal’s (Ataturk) forces continued to massacre Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks. Kemal also ordered that Armenia be “politically and physically eliminated.” When he established the Turkish Republic in 1923, Kemal appointed Ottoman genocidists and continued to persecute Christians.

Thus, as President Erdogan himself has confirmed, his country is a “continuation” of Ottoman Turkey. Knowing this, the Turkish Republic has always tried to evade accountability for the Genocide.

Disgracefully, though, Biden tries to assist Turkey in that regard by writing, “We do this not to cast blame” [on Turkey].” The president has no right to hand Turkey a “Get Out of Jail Free” card.

Just two days later, American Ambassador to Armenia Lynne Tracy tried to help Turkey duck accountability. “The Armenian Genocide took place in 1915, the [UN] Genocide Convention did not come into force until 1951 … from the legal perspective the Convention is not being applied retroactively.”

Tracy’s reasoning — disputed by experts — suggests that Jews should have received no restitution or reparations because the Holocaust (1933-1945) also occurred before 1951.

Turkey’s genocidal threats against Armenians continue to this day, something the president’s declaration ignores.

In 1993, Turkey was going to invade Armenia if the coup against Russian President Boris Yeltsin to had succeeded.

President Erdogan has branded Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks “Leftovers of the Sword.” It’s an obvious, existential threat against Christian populations who survived Turkey’s 20th century genocides.

In 2020, Turkey, its Turkic ally Azerbaijan, and jihadist mercenaries successfully attacked Armenian-populated Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabagh and Armenia.

Erdogan gleefully likened these attacks to Ottoman Turkey’s genocidal invasion (1918) of Armenia. “Today, may the souls of [General] Nuri Pasha, [Minister of War] Enver Pasha, and the brave soldiers of the Caucasus Islam Army, be happy.”

An analogy would be Germany’s denying the Holocaust, threatening Israel, arming its foes, calling Jews “leftovers of the concentration camps,” and glorifying Nazi Germany.

Azerbaijani President Aliyev simultaneously claimed huge chunks of Armenia, including its capital Yerevan.

Turkey and Azerbaijan’s military assaults and threats are all reminiscent of the Genocide.

Biden’s vow that America must “ensure that what happened [the Armenian Genocide] is never repeated,” therefore, rings hollow.

Moreover, Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act conditionally prohibits U.S. aid to Azerbaijan if the latter supports terrorism or engages in aggression against Artsakh/Nagorno-Karabagh/Armenia.

However, the White House just waived Section 907 despite Azerbaijan’s flagrant use of ISIS and other terrorists against Armenians.

Let’s not be deceived by the president’s April 24 statement and the State Department’s unprincipled actions.

David Boyajian is an Armenian-American freelance journalist. Many of his articles are archived at www.armeniapedia.org/wiki/David_Boyajian.

For his previous essays at Gates of Vienna, see the David Boyajian Archives.

5 thoughts on “What Lies Beneath: President Biden’s Deceptive Acknowledgement of the Armenian Genocide

  1. “Indeed, “Turkey” appears nowhere in the document. Moreover, the State Department swiftly undermined Biden’s virtuous-sounding words.”

    Joe Biden next month:

    “The Holocaust was terrible. I have by executive order formed a commission of experts, mostly Imams and public school teachers to investigate the causes of this tragedy. They are to report back in November of 2024. They have been given direct orders to omit any reference to our allies in Europe: Austria and Germany. The cost is approximately $4.8 billion but is this money will be well spent. Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib has graciously volunteered to head the commission.

  2. Why is anyone surprised at all that Sleepy-creepy is licking [fundament] of our sworn Enemy, an Enemy that has been attacking the West in one form or the other for the last 1400 years?
    He’s been sucking at the [udder] of the CCP for a long time already, so why not licking the [fundament] of Sultan Erdogan of the second Ottoman Empire?

  3. Those who know how “democracies) work were never excited about declaring the massacre of Armenians a genocide. No one believed Biden. When discussions were on he was conversing with erdogan intimately. That was to assure him that it meant nothing.

    In a democracy rulers don’t believe in anything: no principles. No honor. They talk about holocaust, armenian genocide, 1% rich, the hard-working class, take from the rich and pay the poor, improve education, improve racial relations, take away guns, . . .

    They shed crocodile tears about these topics in every election but they don’t feature in their daily life. They are clever enough to use these topics as a winning card. They forget them the nest day after inauguration. Every president has mentioned Armenian genocide for the sake of votes. Turkey did not lose any sleep.

    Why do we go to those old genocides. Just a few month ago turkey and azerbaijan repeated it with utmost malice under the noses of USA, Britain and all those who speak about human rights day and night. But human rights are not extended to Christians. They are only created to replace the western population with the soldiers of allahu akbar. allah is greater than democracy the god. Now that democry-god is replaced by allah because it is stronger.

    If allah is present who cares about democracy.

    we are shaking. we cannot resist allah. we are afraid. Allah is prevailing. Learn from swedish people, who are the most sophisticated and highly civilized population under the sun: You can avoid civil wars by not resisting the jihadis. Isn’t that clever? Only geniuses can come up with such apt solution.

    Turkey is our ally. . . it will defend us against ourselves committing suicide.

    • War one way or another is coming against the savages of islam and the 3rd worlders in our midst, it is now unavoidable. Those that side with these 3rd worlders will perish with their 3rd world pets, as they should.

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