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Armenian Betrayal? Obama Shuns the Word 'Genocide'

04-22-2015
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President Barack Obama is once again stopping short of calling the 1915 massacre of 2 million Armenians a genocide.
    
That's prompting anger and disappointment from people who have been urging him to fulfill a campaign promise and use that politically significant word on the 100th anniversary of the massacre this week.

"President Obama's surrender to Turkey represents a national disgrace. It is, very simply, a betrayal of truth, a betrayal of trust," Ken Hachikian, the chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America, said.

Officials decided against calling the massacre a genocide after some opposition from the State Department and Pentagon.
 
"We know and respect that there are some who are hoping to hear different language this year," CNN quoted an administration official.

"We understand their perspective, even as we believe that the approach we have taken in previous years remains the right one -- both for acknowledging the past and for our ability to work with regional partners to save lives in the present," the official said.
    
Obama did call the killings genocide when he was a senator and presidential candidate. And he promised to apply the term as president, but never has -- mainly out of deference to Turkish President Erdogan, a U.S. ally and friend of the president.

Meanwhile, CNN reports that even California Rep. Adam Schiff, the Democratic leader of the House Intelligence Committee, expressed disappointment with the White House decision.

"How long must the victims and their families wait before our nation has the courage to confront Turkey with the truth about the murderous past of the Ottoman Empire?" Schiff wrote in a statement.

"If not this president, who spoke so eloquently and passionately about recognition in the past, whom? If not after 100 years, when?" he asked.

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