July 24, 2008
LOS ANGELES - Armenian Americans - a community of one a half million citizens that has experienced the horrors of genocide and continues to endure the pain of its denial - today defended Senator Barack Obama against Senator John McCain's unfounded and starkly hypocritical charges that the presumptive Democratic nominee is not serious about preventing future genocides.
Wednesday, Senator McCain's presidential campaign issued a press statement attacking Senator Obama as lacking sincerity in his calls of "never again," even as the Illinois Senator personally traveled to Israel's Yad Vashem memorial to honor the millions slaughtered in the Holocaust. Senator Obama has been a consistently strong and effective leader on issues of genocide, leading Congressional efforts to stop the Genocide in Darfur, and fighting vigorously against the Bush Administration's complicity - enthusiastically backed by John McCain - in the Turkish government's denial of the Armenian Genocide.
"Armenian Americans, a community with a long and painful experience of genocide, know that John McCain lacks the standing to lecture anyone - especially a genocide-prevention leader of the stature of Barack Obama - regarding America's compelling national interest and moral obligation in opposing all genocides, past or present," said Armenians for Obama Chairman Areen Ibranossian. "Barack Obama has led the fight against the Darfur Genocide, and publicly taken on the Bush White House's obstruction of recognition of the Armenian Genocide, while John McCain has done little more than to meekly accept the gag-rule imposed by the Turkish government on the discussion of this crime against humanity."
"John McCain, who has outsourced U.S. genocide policy to the Turkish government, really hit bottom by launching such an obviously hypocritical attack against Barack Obama, who is so far out in front of him in fighting for real U.S. leadership to end the cycle of genocide," added Ibranossian.
On January 19 Senator Barack Obama issued a forceful and passionate statement on the topic of genocide, which reads, in part:
"Genocide, sadly, persists to this day, and threatens our common security and common humanity. Tragically, we are witnessing in Sudan many of the same brutal tactics - displacement, starvation, and mass slaughter - that were used by the Ottoman authorities against defenseless Armenians back in 1915. I have visited Darfurian refugee camps, pushed for the deployment of a robust multinational force for Darfur, and urged divestment from companies doing business in Sudan. America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President."