WATERTOWN, Mass.,–Congressman Mike Capuano (D-Mass.) affirmed his positions on a number of issues of concern to the Armenian American community in his responses to the ANCA Questionnaire for candidates for the U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts. Concerning the provision in the Armenia-Turkey protocols for a “historical commission,” Capuano responded: “I consider the Armenian Genocide to be settled historical fact and I oppose establishing a commission or any other entity to reexamine that fact.”
Capuano clearly expressed his support for the independence of the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh and for providing continuing U.S. humanitarian and developmental aid to the republic, noting that he has voted for such aid in the past and “will continue to support this funding moving forward.” Providing aid directly to Karabagh is a key item in the legislative agenda of the ANCA as it both assists the people of the republic and bolsters its international legitimacy.
The congressman stated: “I am in favor of continuing military parity through funding provided by the U.S. to both Armenia and Azerbaijan. I believe it is essential that we not exacerbate any potential military conflicts in the region.” He also expressed support for Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act that limits U.S. aid to Azerbaijan until it lifts its blockades of Armenia and Karabagh. While he supports using legislative and diplomatic tools to urge Turkey to end its blockade of Armenia, he did not support linking Turkey’s ability to purchase U.S. arms to ending the blockade.
“Mike Capuano’s forthright opposition to the establishment of a historical commission, which would undermine decades of genocide research, is consistent with his long record in Congress of speaking out for justice for the Armenian Genocide” said ANC of Massachusetts co-chairman Dikran Kaligian.
The ANCA Questionnaire is distributed to candidates for federal offices so that the Armenian American community can be informed of their positions on critical issues of concern before casting their votes. The Democratic and Republican primary election will be held Tues., Dec. 8 to fill the U.S. Senate seat that fell vacant with the death of Senator Ted Kennedy.
Capuano (again) fooling Massachusetts Armenian National Committee
Cosponsor of H.Res.106, Armenian Genocide Res. Affirming U.S. Record? YES
Voted for H.Res.106 in the House Foreign Affairs Committee? *Did Nothing*
Cosponsor of H.R.6079, End the Turkish Blockade of Armenia Act? **NO**
Signed the February 2008 letter to Secretary Rice condemning Azerbaijani war rhetoric targeting the Nagorno Karabagh Republic? **NO**
Signed the September 2008 letter to Pres. Bush supporting additional U.S. aid to Armenia and Javakhk to offset the effects of the Georgian conflict?
Voted to Zero Out Military Aid to Azerbaijan in Foreign Operations Subcommittee? *Did Nothing*
Signed the March 2007 letter supporting pro-Armenian foreign aid issues? YES – but only after drastically reduced.
Signed the March 2008 letter supporting pro-Armenian foreign aid issues? YES- but only after yet again drastically decreased.
Participated in the March 2007 “End the Cycle of Genocide” Observance? *NO*
Participated in the March 2008 “End the Cycle of Genocide” Observance? *NO*
Participated in the April 2007 Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide Observance? *NO* Participated in the April 2008 Capitol Hill Armenian Genocide Observance? *NO* Participated in the September 2008 Capitol Hill Observance Marking the
20th Anniversary of the NKR movement? *NO*
Cosponsor of H.Res.102, Condemning the Assassination of Hrant Dink? YES
Capuano offers lip service fooling Massachusetts Armenian National Committee
As an American and a resident of Massachusetts’s 8th Congressional District, I attended a public forum given by U.S. Representative Michael Capuano on February 24, 2007 at Somerville City Hall. The event was videotaped, and the audience of about 90 people was allowed to ask questions.
After publicly thanking Mr. Capuano for co-sponsoring the Armenian Genocide Resolution (H.R. 106), I asked if there was more he could do to work for its passage.
“Nothing”, he replied.
Capuano did say that the Genocide was a fact and that he did not know why Turkey would not acknowledge it. He stated, however, that he had “no problem with Turkey” and that it was an important ally in a strategic location.
I reminded him that Turkey had not allowed U.S. troops to transit its territory at the start of the Iraq war in 2003.
Capuano countered that that was a very small and unimportant example. Germany, he added, had not sent troops to Iraq, yet was a good ally.
After I remarked that, “Genocide denied is genocide repeated,” Capuano asked, “Well, so?”
When the forum ended and Capuano was leaving, I approached him and shook his hand. If Germany denied the Holocaust, I asked, “would you do business with it?” He said, “Yes” – repeating it twice for emphasis.
Capuano clearly pays no more than lip service to Armenian-American issues, and his unqualified support for Turkey is disturbing. I question whether he cares that his district – previously represented in Congress by J.F.K., Tip O’Neil, and Joe Kennedy – is and has long been home to many thousands of Armenian-Americans.
I suspect that many other Congressmen and elected officials are, like Capuano, fooling their Armenian constituents by doing little more than occasionally giving a speech on April 24 and co-sponsoring a Genocide resolution. With rare exceptions, they will not expend any political capital whatsoever, or make any real effort for us.
– Berge Jololian
I don’t Believe any polition anymore, we got duped by OBAMA and Pelosi, by the way where is she. The Armenians should have clearer message to all so called friends in the senate and house, if they don’t get it wright by next year, we are going to jump Ilse and go for the other team, just to make a point. The point is we waited to long and the hypocrisies needs to stop, Starting with the President I voted for.
Democrats, time is ticking if you don’t do what you promissed, don’t come crying to the armenians.
You foul us once shame on you, you foul us twice shame on us.