WASHINGTON–Armenian National Committee of America Chairman Ken Hachikian strongly criticized President George W.Bush’s most recent April 24th statement as the final step of his betrayal of his campaign promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide, and a symbol of his Administration’s "morally bankrupt" eight-year policy of complicity in Turkey’s lies and denials.
The letter also notes that the President, during his two terms in office, has refused repeated requests by the leadership of the Armenian American community to discuss the Armenian Genocide and other issues of mutual concern. Earlier this year, on April 4th, Hachikian wrote a separate letter to the Secretary of State outlining 13 specific areas in which the Administration pursued policies at odds with the views and values of America’s one and a half million citizens of Armenian heritage.
The full text of the ANCA letter to President Bush is provided below:
May 9, 2008
The Honorable George W. Bush
President of the United States of America
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500
Dear President Bush,
I am writing, in the wake of your final April 24th statement, to share with you the Armenian American community’s profound sadness over your betrayal of your own pledge to properly recognize the genocidal campaign committed against the Armenian people.
In each of your eight statemen’s, you retreated from your campaign statement, choosing instead to use evasive and euphemistic terminology to obscure the full moral, historical, and contemporary legal implications of Turkey’s genocide against the Armenian people between 1915-1923. Beyond the depths of this moral failing, as President you went further, utilizing the full force of your White House to silence others who, through their own words and actions, sought to properly commemorate the very crime that you had promised to recognize as a candidate for office. You fired U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Marshall Evans, for remarks that were entirely within keeping with the spirit and letter of your own campaign pledge. More recently, using every government resource at your disposal, you sought to block Congress from adopting a resolution that simply reaffirmed the vow, now forsaken, that you made to the American people.
As you know, despite repeated requests on our part over your past two terms in office, you never once offered the leadership of the Armenian American community an opportunity to consult with you on this issue, even as the media has consistently reported that you have discussed the Armenian Genocide in meetings with leaders of foreign nations.
We are truly saddened by your broken campaign pledge and, of course, by your morally bankrupt policy of complicity in Turkey’s campaign of Armenian Genocide denial. We respectfully ask, once again, for a meeting between you and the leadership of our community to discuss this and other issues of mutual concern.
Kenneth V. Hachikian