Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the lead sponsor of the Armenian Genocide resolution in Congress, called on President Barack Obama to finally recognize the Armenian Genocide on April 24th. Each year, Obama has issued a statement marking the anniversary of the start of first genocide of the 20th Century, but has consistently failed to properly refer to this campaign of killing as a "genocide."
In the letter to President Obama, Schiff states: "I urge you to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide in your statement this year, to call genocide, genocide, and to stand with the ever-dwindling number of survivors, as well as the descendants of those who were lost, and who must otherwise continue to suffer the indignity, injury and pain of denial."
The full letter sent today is below:
April 17, 2013
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Dear Mr. President:
Next week marks the 98th anniversary of the start of the systematic murder of 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children, and I urge you to refer properly to this campaign of killing as "genocide" in your annual statement marking the April 24 anniversary of the start of the Armenian Genocide.
In the spring of 1915, the government of the Ottoman Empire unleashed a savage campaign of massacres, forced desert marches, rape, and looting upon the Armenians of eastern Anatolia. By 1923, one and a half million Armenians were dead and the world's oldest Christian nation had been shattered -- with its survivors scattered around the world.
As a Senator, you spoke often of the massacres of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman government as genocide, a view shared by the overwhelming majority of historians, including some notable Turkish historians. The Armenian Genocide has also been recognized by many local and state governments here in the United States and by many governments around the world.
I urge you to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide in your statement this year, to call genocide, genocide, and to stand with the ever-dwindling number of survivors, as well as the descendants of those who were lost, and who must otherwise continue to suffer the indignity, injury and pain of denial.
Adam B. Schiff
Member of Congress