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Brought up Mar 4, 2010

What is the Armenian Genocide Resolution?

What is the Armenian Genocide Resolution?

I was curious so I decided to read the Resolution for myself, the following is what I learned.

In the early 1900s the Ottoman Empire performed acts of genocide on the Armenian people. In May of 1915 the continuing genocide lead to a group of allies made up of France, Russia and England to jointly issue a statement charging the Ottoman Empire with crimes against humanity. This statement is regarded as the first time any group of nations condemned the crimes against humanity of another.

Unfortunately, the genocide continued for 8 more years ending the lives of seventy five percent of the total Armenian population. The Ottoman Empire finally dissolved in 1923 due to economic crisis and entanglements in WWI. The young Turkish government surrendered the key individuals who caused and organized the Armenian Genocide. Each offender was brought to trial and each sentenced to death for crimes against humanity. All of these individuals were never actually killed and lived out the rest of their lives in peace.

Long story short: The Ottoman Empire committed acts of genocide in the modern age with little or no consequence. The result of that is most clearly seen in Hitler’s 1939 defense regarding the invasion of Poland, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

The congress is asking for the Armenian Genocide to be formally recognized every April 24, with a speech from the President of the United States on that day.

In my opinion this resolution is simply an attempt to honor the dead, and to recognize the mistake that was made by letting the genocide continue. However, I can’t help but feel that it is a hypocritical move on the part of the American Government. How can our government scorn the genocide of a people, when we ourselves committed genocidal acts within our own country? How can we officially recognize the genocide of the Armenians and not officially recognize our own genocide of the American Indians? This is not to say that the Armenians do not deserve proper recognition, but shouldn’t we address our own sins first?


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