Why the Armenian Genocide Matters for America

Why the Armenian Genocide Matters for America

It’s that time of the year again. The run-up to the 24th of April – Armenian Martyrs’ Day – usually sees a slew of activity in Washington with one of the nation’s most persistent ethno-national lobbies clashing with the millions spent in counter-advocacy efforts by an active long-time member of NATO and close ally of the United States. It is not a balanced battle, but even though American citizens of Armenian descent have been a presence in Washington since the 1970s, all the political and financial clout coming out of Turkey has managed to stop short a presidential acknowledgement of “the g-word” (even if it was sort of slipped in a speech by President Ronald Reagan to commemorate the Holocaust). And even though the US Congress has twice, in 1975 and 1984, gone ahead with condemning “man’s inhumanity to man,” the recognition and commemoration of the Armenian Genocide at the national level has never been implemented as a federal policy.

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