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France24 has topics for both Sri Lanka and the Armenian Genocide. No stories on the Armenian Genocide 104th anniversary appear on CNN’s website. Then again, CNN is in good company with Fox News, also silent on the anniversary. As a brief refresher, the Ottoman Empire, almost on its death bed—before a group of younger officers dragged the Turkish nation into secular modernity—launched a campaign against Armenian communities. This ethnic cleansing and mass murder campaign was not only ethnic but also religious.
The Ottoman sultan would no longer tolerate the existence of some of the most ancient Christian communities in the world. There was much unrest in the larger region over borders and nations. The rationale offered by the Turks’ German allies, at the time, was that there was only room for one people on the land. Americans launched large humanitarian relief efforts, but no nation stepped in to stop the atrocities. Indeed, who could, as war raged in Europe, then gave way to the task of rebuilding and redrawing maps.
Once secular Turkey became a NATO member, no other member state was going to offend the Turkish government too much. Today, the man who would be sultan is playing Russia against NATO, trying to get both S-400 Russian advanced networked anti-aircraft missile systems and American F-35 aircraft. If he is allowed to have both, Russia will instantly start collecting intelligence on the radar profile of the F-35 and on its performance.
We are muddling our way through this latest difficulty with an unfriendly ally, as we have for many years. So, around this day each year, Congress may posture but presidents go no further than recognizing “Armenian Remembrance Day.” President Trump has not tweeted about this, only issuing the standard annual statement:
Statement by the President on Armenian Remembrance Day 2019
LAW & JUSTICE
Issued on: April 24, 2019
Today, we commemorate the Meds Yeghern and honor the memory of those who suffered in one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century. Beginning in 1915, one and a half million Armenians were deported, massacred, or marched to their deaths in the final years of the Ottoman Empire. On this day of remembrance, we again join the Armenian community in America and around the world in mourning the many lives lost.
On this day, we also honor and recognize the work of those who tried to end the violence, as well as those who sought to ensure atrocities like this would not be repeated, like human rights activist and lawyer Raphael Lemkin. We recall the contributions of generous Americans who helped save lives and rebuild Armenian communities. As we honor the memory of those who suffered, we also draw inspiration from the courage and resiliency of the Armenian people who, in the face of tremendous adversity, built vibrant communities around the world, including in the United States.
We pledge to learn from past tragedies so as to not to repeat them. We welcome the efforts of Armenians and Turks to acknowledge and reckon with their painful history. And we stand with the Armenian people in recalling the lives lost during the Meds Yeghern and reaffirm our commitment to a more peaceful world.