Congratulations to Armenian Americans who won a resolution 23-22 from the House Foreign Affairs Committee today recognizing the genocide against their people by Turkey in 1915.

I met with some of their leaders some years ago to discuss how ethnic issues can be raised in American politics. They showed today they have perfected the art.

It is a similar moment to when British Prime Minister finally apologised for the Irish Famine over 150 years later. The sense of closure, of blame accepted was very real.

The Los Angeles Times reports that the committee's nearly split vote came after a packed meeting attended by three genocide survivors, who support the measure. "Pointing to the survivors -- ages 97, 98 and 105 -- Rep. Gary L. Ackerman (D-N.Y.) said: "They're here for justice. How long can they wait?"
How long indeed.

It is time this administration stood up for human rights as promised and accepted the proper definition of what happened in Armenia almost a century ago. Obama came into power promising a far more justice based foreign policy. To date he has been a disappointment in this arena as well as in many other areas.

The verdict of history is clear at least 500,000 Armenians were massacred by the Ottoman Empire during the genocide and millions more were displaced. Concentration camps were set up, forced marches were common. Innocents were killed by the thousands.
The House should now do the decent thing and pass the resolution . The ghosts of those genocide victims, like those of the Holocaust and the Irish Famine demand no less.


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