By Edmond Y. Azadian
Armenians around the world were euphoric, when, on March 4, the House Foreign Affairs subcommittee voted by a narrow margin (23-22), to adopt HR 252, a resolution to recognize the Armenian Genocide. Once the euphoria settles down, we need to give an objective assessment of what actually transpired in the subcommittee and what are its short- and long-term impacts.
It is not the first time that this scenario has played out in Washington. Actually, there were three near-misses in recent history when the panel adopted the Genocide Resolution with even wider margin, yet the resolution never made it to the House floor. Similar resolutions were voted on in the subcommittee in the years 2000, 2005 and 2007, and in the latter case, the vote was 27-21 in favor of passing the resolution.
The Clinton and Bush II administrations actively pressured the legislators to table the resolutions.
One may ask why did Armenians vote in mass to elect President Obama, when they knew full well that the candidate and incumbent presidents would act differently and would renegue on their pre election pledges?
The question may be answered with another answer: what was the alternative? Barack Obama’s moral stature, and Samantha Powers’ convincing arguments swayed many Armenians.
Remembering preceding reversals, Armenians did not have an alternative but to go through the process to further mobilize the inactive masses, to keep politicizing the Genocide issue and demonstrating to Turkey that the Armenian lobby is something to be reckoned with.