Thousands of Armenians dead as 100 year anniversary of 1915 genocide marked (VIDEO)

by Karen L. Willoughby, |
Armenians burnt alive in Sheykhalan by Turkish soldiers, 1915. | Armenian Genocide Museum-Institue

WASHINGTON D.C. (Christian Examiner) – In 2008, then Sen. Barack Obama said the facts are undeniable, "and as president I will recognize the Armenian genocide" -- a 1915 systematic ethnic cleansing that two decades later served as a model for the "permanent solution" known as the Holocaust -- but on April 24, the one-hundredth anniversary of the start of the genocide by Ottoman Turks, President Obama avoided the word "genocide" in a ceremony marking the event.

The L.A. Times revealed Sunday that the White House said the president intentionally did not use the word "genocide" during the 100th commemoration out of deference to Turkey, a key U.S. security partner which is fiercely opposed to the 'genocide' label." His seven-year stretch of avoiding the word defies his 2008 election rhetoric to "Armenian Americans" about "a principled commitment to commemorating and ending genocide."

Ben Shapiro editorialized in Breitbart News that the president's "reluctance to offend Turkey's leaders ... seems at odds with his willingness to confront Christians with the memory of the far more historically distant Crusades and Inquisition," a reference to Obama's remarks at the Feb. 5 National Prayer breakfast when he compared the Catholic crusades of nearly one thousand years ago to the present day terrorism by jihadists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Others also have called out the the president for his omission.

"I'm deeply disappointed that the president, once again, will fail to properly describe the extermination of 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 to 1923 for what it was: genocide," said Rep. Adam Schiff of California, one of the most outspoken U.S. lawmakers on the issue. "If not after 100 years, when?"

But President Obama appears to have been swayed by Turkey's insistence about "the seriousness of the genocide issue" in terms of "the potential threat it poses" to U.S.-Turkish relations, according to lobbying information shared by the L.A. Times from filings submitted with the Department of Justice.

Execution of Armenians in Constantinople, June 1915. | Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute

In explaining the president's reticence in calling the atrocity "genocide," the Muslim-owned Al Jazeera America media emphasized that Turkey's "national identity is built on a carefully crafted and tightly controlled version of history," and the New York Times said that government's  longstanding position is that "the killing of an estimated 1.5 million people was a tragic but unplanned outcome to a bloody war."

The lack of action or even apparent concern about the murderous program apparently emboldened Nazi leader Adolph Hitler in his military quest to conquer Europe. Just prior to his 1939 invasion of Poland, Hitler told his troops, "Go, kill without mercy... who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"

Currently, 24 nations officially recognize the Armenian Genocide including Canada, France, Italy, and Russia, according to the Breitbart report. "In addition, 43 U.S. States have passed bills recognizing the genocide."

Experts suggest that as many as 25,000 Armenians have fled Mosul and towns in the surrounding Nineveh plains since June 2014 when Islamic State militants overran the area. They are part of an estimated 1.5 million Christians who have been displaced from their homes in Iraq because of murders and abductions by Islamic extremists.


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