What a Difference a Title Makes : Obama on Armenia, From GENOCIDE to ‘Great Calamity’
In 2008 as a Presidential candidate, then Senator Barack Hussein Obama referred outright to the 1915 ethnic cleansing of 1.5 million Armenians as a genocide:
“There was a genocide that did take place against the Armenian people“
As President however, Obama has carried out the Presidential tradition of never once uttering the word ‘genocide’ next to the word Armenia. In fact, in his statement to mark the 96th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, Obama merely referred to it as Meds Yeghern, or ‘The Great Calamity.’
Along with circumventing the blood stained elephant in the room, Obama pontificated about addressing the unpleasantness of your own history to advance as a nation, saying even the United States has done so (that’s not Orientalist or ethnocentric, like AT ALL).
A full, frank, and just acknowledgement of the facts is in all our interests. Contested history destabilizes the present and stains the memory of those whose lives were taken, while reckoning with the past lays a sturdy foundation for a peaceful and prosperous shared future. History teaches us that our nations are stronger and our cause is more just when we appropriately recognize painful pasts and work to rebuild bridges of understanding toward a better tomorrow. The United States knows this lesson well from the dark chapters in our own history. I support the courageous steps taken by individuals in Armenia and Turkey to foster a dialogue that acknowledges their common history.
Hmm, yet you are unable to do what even Kim Kardashian has and call the murder of 1.5 million Armenians by its name – genocide.