On this solemn day of remembrance, we pause to recall that ninety-five years ago one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century began. In that dark moment of history, 1.5 million Armenians were massacred or marched to their death in the final days of the Ottoman Empire.Early in his term, Obama also disingenuously avoided use of the word "genocide" when asked about his campaign promise during a press conference in Turkey. In yesterday's statement, Obama referred to the Armenian genocide only as "the inhumanity of 1915" and "the awful events of 1915."
Today is a day to reflect upon and draw lessons from these terrible events. I have consistently stated my own view of what occurred in 1915, and my view of that history has not changed. It is in all of our interest to see the achievement a full, frank and just acknowledgment of the facts.
Obama had promised early in his presidential campaign that he would call the mass killings genocide if elected. "The facts are undeniable," Obama said in a January 19, 2008, statement. "An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy. As a senator, I strongly support passage of the Armenian Genocide Resolution, and as president I will recognize the Armenian Genocide."
Moments like this tell us more about a president than lofty speeches, I suppose.