* Proceeds to Benefit Recognition of the Armenian Genocide
System of a Down will headline a benefit concert on Saturday–November 4 at The Palace in Los Angeles. Dubbed "Souls A Benefit for Recognition of the Armenian Genocide to Stop Crimes Against Humanity," System will be joined on the bill by Buckethead and more acts to be announced. Presented by LA radio powerhouse KROQ-FM.
Proceeds from the concert will go to the Armenian National Committee of America–an organization that supports legislation in Congress to recognize the Armenian Genocide that was perpetrated during World War I. Members of System of a Down Serj Tankian–vocals–Daron Malakian–guitar,bassist Shavo Odadjian–and John Dolmayan on drums –are all of Armenian descent.
"It’s important for people to be aware of the atrocities inflicted on the Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire during World War 1," explained Tankian–"and that those actions continue to be covered up by the Turkish government–the US State Department–the US Administration–and Turkey’s allies in the defense and oil industries. The Armenian Genocide happened–it was very real to the 1.5-million Armenia’s who were murdered or deported from their homeland. Had the Armenian Genocide been deemed a Crime Against Humanity in the books after WW1–Hitler might not have thought he could get away with the Jewish Holocaust."
Since the 1970s–several different resolutions to officially acknowledge the Armenian Genocide have been put to Congress–but to date have been thwarted by heavy lobbying efforts the Turkish government and its allies have funded.
House Resolution 398: The Coalition for the Armenian Genocide Education and Commemoration Act is currently being debated in Washington. Complete details on ANCA and HR 398 are accessible at www.systemofadown.com.
The Turkish government has been busy elsewhere suppressing the Armenian Genocide–according to an article published in the Chronicle for Higher Education on August 18–2000. The Chronicle revealed a campaign by the Turkish government to pressure Microsofts online encyclopedia–Encarta–to deny the Armenian Genocide. The report states that the Turkish government threatened Microsoft with serious reprisals unless any mention of the Armenian Genocide was removed from its entry dealing with Armenia–written by Ronald Grigor Suny–and its entry on genocide–written by Helen Fein. According to the article–Microsoft approached both these authors to rewrite their entries to cast doubt on the historical facts of the Armenian Genocide–and both authors refused these requests.
Why should System fans be concerned about the Armenian Genocide–something that happened nearly one-hundred years ago–and far away from the United States? According to Tankian–"History does and will repeat itself if the lessons of genocide are not learned and taught. The US Holocaust Museum has Hitler’s quote stating ‘who remembers the massacre of the Armenia’s?’ when giving a speech about how to deal with the Jews–so to think that ‘this could never happen to me’ just isn’t necessarily the case. It was the US government’s continuous cover-up of the Armenian Genocide that prompted me to uncover so many other foreign and domestic policy crimes that have been committed. What else is going on that we don’t know anything about? Retaining our freedom and security for today and the future is why we all must support the official recognition of the Armenian Genocide."