The Campaign Spot

Armenian-Americans, Trade Opponents Played for Fools This Week

This expiration date was visible a mile away — President Obama breaks his campaign promise to the Armenian-American community to declare the massacre of Armenians in 1915 an act of “genocide.”

In a January 2008 letter to the Armenian Reporter, Mr. Obama said he shared “with Armenian Americans — so many of whom are descended from genocide survivors — a principled commitment to commemorating and ending genocide. That starts with acknowledging the tragic instances of genocide in world history.”

In 2006, Mr. Obama noted, “I criticized the secretary of State for the firing of U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, John Evans, after he properly used the term ‘genocide’ to describe Turkey’s slaughter of thousands of Armenians starting in 1915. I shared with secretary Rice my firmly held conviction that the Armenian Genocide is not an allegation, a personal opinion, or a point of view, but rather a widely documented fact supported by an overwhelming body of historical evidence.”

Asserted Mr. Obama, back then: “The facts are undeniable. An official policy that calls on diplomats to distort the historical facts is an untenable policy.”

Mr. Obama also stated unequivocally that “as President I will recognize the Armenian Genocide.”

Today Obama’s statement on the anniversary avoided the g-word.

As with the flip-flops on Colombian trade and NAFTA, I prefer Obama’s new position to his old. But it is rather breathtaking to watch Obama win votes by loudly and repeatedly pledging “I will do X” and then turn around and do the precise opposite of “X.”


The Latest