By Edmond Y. Azadian
American-Armenians were anticipating the failure of the use of the word “genocide” in President Barack Obama’s annual statement about the Armenian Genocide, and they were proven right once again. Despite the repeated calls from the Armenian Assembly, the Armenian National Committee and some legislators, President Obama did not deliver what he had promised during his election campaign. Not only had the president made the pledge, so had one of his most trusted advisors, Samantha Power. Yet both reneged on their promise, angering large masses of American Armenians, who, at this time, are working against his re-election.
The president has extremely difficult challenges ahead of him in his re-election campaign. And in view of those challenges, he chose to take this seemingly calculated risk.
The Armenian media and the public are so incensed that it will be a very difficult task to analyze objectively the political causes behind the president’s stand.
As we carefully review the president’s message, we are convinced that it is a very powerful one, yet he has substituted the word “genocide” with its Armenian equivalent, “Medz Yeghern.”
The message seems to have been crafted by Power, who is more knowledgeable on the issue than many scholars. By the way, the use of “Medz Yeghern” was concocted by Pope John Paul II during his visit to Armenia. As a spiritual leader, he did not need to resort to political diversions. On many controversial issues he had been more blunt, but in our case, he chose to be more political, because he could get away with murder, given Armenia’s weak position on the power chessboard of world politics.