GLENDALE–The Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region issued a statement Tuesday regarding House Speaker Dennis Hastert’s efforts to derail the Armenian Genocide resolution.
Below is the text of that statement:
The betrayal of our community – the withdrawal of the Armenian Genocide resolution by the Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert – represents only the most recent chapter in the long story of US government appeasement of the Turkish government.
It stands–sadly–as only the most recent example of how Congressional and Executive Branch officials have allowed the government of Turkey to intimidate–threaten–and–ultimately influence US foreign policy on the Armenian Genocide–the security of Armenia–the defense of Nagorno Karabakh–and other pressing issues of concern to our community.
The Speaker’s broken pledge to bring the resolution to a vote on the House floor falls into the same pattern that has led the American government – the elected officials of the world’s most powerful nation – to become complicit in Turkey’s continued violations of internationally accepted standards of human rights.
As with previous attempts to have a vote by House of Representatives on the Armenian Genocide Resolution–the slow progression of this resolution through the committee process attracted media scrutiny–perhaps more intensely than before because of the involvement of a vulnerable member of Congress–who extracted the pledge from the Speaker of the House just weeks before the November 7 general elections–and only after the endorsement of the ANC-PAC of his opponent.
Our broad-based campaign for the Armenian Genocide resolution was a major step in bringing an end to the cycle of US appeasement of Turkish violations of human rights and standards of international conduct. During this effort–Turkey’s strategy of threats–pressure–and intimidation against the US government–once conducted behind closed doors–was brought out into the open. The Turkish government’s doomsday scenarios were seen by American policy-makers as out of all proportion–sharply diminishing Turkey’s credibility.
In the days since the Speaker withdrew the resolution–we have already begun to see this process gain momentum. We are witnessing–especially in Congress–a growing resentment of Turkish manipulation over US policy on the Armenian Genocide. The Speaker’s decision is being viewed by an increasing number of Members on both sides of the aisle as an unacceptable sacrifice of US interests and American values to a Turkish government that has repaid decade’s of support from the American taxpayer with intimidation–lies and threats on American lives
Sadly–there have been those who have sided with the Speaker Remarkably–here–in the 27th District–Congressman Jim Rogan has said repeatedly that he agrees with the Speaker’s decision to withdraw the Armenian Genocide resolution. This represents a serious breach of faith by Congressman Rogan with a community that has worked extremely hard to bring this measure to the House floor. He has sided–not with his Armenian American constituents–but with the House Speaker who broke his pledge with our community.
Armenian American voters did not send Jim Rogan to Washington to make excuses for politicians who lie to our community–betray our cause–and play politics with the sacred memories of our martyrs.
In the final analysis–Congressman Rogan and Speaker Hastert failed to make good on their pledge–and instead are offering excuses and seeking to shift responsibility for this betrayal.
What message is Jim Rogan sending to Speaker Hastert and the House leadership?
More to the point–what message would we be sending to the House leadership if we re-elect Jim Rogan on November 7th?