On Saturday afternoon, President Joe Biden became the first U.S. leader to officially recognize the “Armenian massacre” as genocide. The systematic mass murder and ethnic cleansing of more than one million Armenians began 106 years ago today during World War I under the leadership of the Ottoman Empire and its ruling party, the Committee for Union and Progress (CUP).
No Turkish government has acknowledged the crime, and all major political parties in Turkey expect the People’s Democratic Party to maintain support for denying the Armenian genocide. For the past 100 years, Ottoman and Turkish leaders have argued that the mass deportation of the Armenian population is justified by national security concerns.
In a statement marking the beginning of the massacre, Biden wrote: “Every year on this day we remember the lives of all those who died in the Armenian genocide of the Ottoman era and we pledge to prevent such atrocities in any recurrence.
“Today, as we mourn the lost, let us look to the future – the world we want to build for our children. A world untouched by the daily evils of fanaticism and intolerance, in which human rights are respected, and where all people are able to continue their lives with dignity and dignity. for sure, ”Biden added. “Let us renew our shared determination to prevent future atrocities from happening anywhere in the world. And we strive for healing and reconciliation for all people in the world.”
Numerous news organizations have already posted on social media links to the initial strata and background to help better understand the genocidal event.
Lawmakers are responding
Numerous U.S. lawmakers have also taken to social media to weigh Biden’s confession to the Armenian massacre. Among them was MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (DN.Y.) (@AOC), who announced: “Telling the truth and fully acknowledging injustice can be one of the most important steps towards recovery. Recognition of the Armenian genocide has long been needed, and I hope this day will bring some degree of peace to the affected families and communities as we move forward together. ”
Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) (@SenSanders) also praised Biden’s confession, “Recognition of the Armenian Genocide has long been needed, and I salute President Biden for this announcement. It is important for all of us to look honestly at history to make sure that such atrocities will never happen again. “
Tail. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.), (@RashidaTlaib) announced, “In District # 13 we always tell the truth. 106 years have passed since the 1.5 million lives lost in the #Armenian Genocide. We must remember this tragic history and continue to appreciate it the truth above all. “
It seems that this could be a crucial moment should to gather U.S. lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
“The Biden administration is doing a smart and sensible thing by recognizing an obvious historical mistake,” he said Harry Kazianis, senior director at the Center for National Interest. “President Biden should receive high praise from all parties and parties on the political spectrum, because this move has long been too late.”
Although we would like to think that such a moment would be without controversy – it is unlikely to be the case. Some voices on social media quickly suggested that the event took place during the Ottoman Empire, which was abolished at the end of the First World War. Therefore, accusing modern Turkey would be similar to accusing modern Italy of what happened in the Roman Empire, was among the common arguments not only today, but increasingly by some of the Turkish community in recent years.
@OzlemFinnegan was among those who stood so firmly on the facts, writing: “An interesting explanation; they said it, and others said it … The Turkish Republic was founded in 1922. Why does it have to accept and resolve it? We are not Ottomans “We are Ataturk’s Turks.”
Others also suggested that it was the Armenians who caused the problems, and the Ottomans only reacted to a potential uprising, a refrain that Turkish leaders have been repeating for more than 100 years.
@Hayrani responded to @RashidaTlaib, writing: “Then first learn the truth, not distorting the facts and figures and the hundreds of thousands of Muslims who first maimed Armenian gangs. Go to the US archives in DC and Boston. Repent of inciting slanderers ! “
As might be expected, there have been a few who have suggested that other historical events – recent and past – should also receive such recognition from our national leaders. This argument was also presented as a deterrent to the troubles of Armenians, but also to provoke their own American crimes from the past.
“I guess Americans weren’t on the hook for any genocide against Native Americans before the revolution (1776) because we were British then, and then they magically transformed into Americans,” @RiffSkjerven wrote.
“Isn’t it time to recognize the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima as genocide?” @Mouhab thought.
@ay_askar was among those who questioned Biden’s confession, writing: “We are all well aware of the age and memory problems of the current US President @POTUS. But his statement about the fake” #Army Genocide “really makes me remind him that if he’s looking for #Genocide, he should probably check on his own ancestors “
It should come as no surprise that some people would try to label the event as little more than “fake news,” but the fact that it is now recognized could change attention and how the tragedy is covered by the media and even on social media.
“The recognition of the Armenian genocide has been coming for a century,” he said Matthew J. Schmidt, PhD, Associate Professor of National Security and Political Science at the University of New Haven.
“America’s reliance on Turkey during the Cold War meant that no president was willing to risk losing such a key ally,” Schmidt added. “But President Biden’s confession finally acknowledges the truth. In doing so, it also warns China and other countries that have counted on the United States to seek temporary interests in the other direction. That will not happen now.”