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Tancredo's Armenian Genocide Denial

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Paul Sheldon Foote


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September 30, 2007


The Europeans send professors to jail for denying the Jewish Holocaust during World War II.  In America, Congressman Tom Tancredo, a Republican candidate for President, has removed his name as a co-sponsor of an Armenian Genocide (1915 – 1917) resolution.  When will someone in the presidential debates ask all Democratic and Republican candidates to answer a question about which major events could be classified as genocides and which could not be classified as genocides?  For example, were there genocides in the Soviet Union, Communist China, Pol Pot’s Cambodia, and during the Iraq War?

“Tancredo withdraws support of Armenian bill”

Today’s Zaman, a major Turkish newspaper, has described “an alleged genocide of Armenians at the hands of the Ottoman Turks” in a September 29, 2007 article, “Tancredo withdraws support of Armenian bill”.  Today’s Zaman cited an announcement by the Armenian-American Political Action Committee (ARMENPAC) that Tancredo had withdrawn his name as the co-sponsor of resolutions without explanation.   This article noted also:

(a) The U.S. State Department reiterated on September 27, 2007 that the Bush administration is opposed to the use of resolutions on this issue.

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(b) Eight former U.S. Secretaries of State have sent a letter to U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to ‘prevent the resolution from reaching the House’:  James Baker, Warren Christopher, Lawrence Eagleburger, Alexander Haig, Henry Kissinger, Colin Powell, and George Shultz.

(c) On September 27, 2007, in a speech at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan reiterated his strong opposition to the resolutions.


ARMENPAC accused Tancredo of caving in to pressure from the Turkish lobby on the Armenian Genocide resolutions (Senate Resolution 106 and House Resolution 106):

"I have no doubt in my mind that Congressman and Presidential candidate Tom Tancredo caved in to the lobby of a foreign government. That is the only logical explanation for the sudden and unexplained withdrawal of support for the Armenian Genocide recognition legislation. Recognition of a genocide that took the lives of 1.5 million people isn't one of those issues that legislators tend to flip-on. Either you understand that it happened and you recognize the value of having it reflected in our foreign policy to ensure that it never happens again – or you don’t.," said ARMENPAC Rocky Mountain Regional Director Pamela Barsam-Brown.

"Those of us in the Armenian community who work with legislators on this issue know how they are constantly pressured by the Turkish lobby to withdraw their support, and we commend those who have remained steadfast in their support in the face of denial. Obviously Congressman Tancredo, who has Presidential aspirations, felt that he could no longer lend his support to an issue he once believed in after the representatives from a foreign government came calling. I can only assume that this type of purposeful indecisiveness is what we can expect if Mr. Tancredo is ever elected President," concluded ARMENPAC Executive Director Jason Capizzi.

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ARMENPAC failed to research Tancredo before accepting Tancredo as a co-sponsor of the resolution.  Time will tell whether Turkish political leaders would blunder by allying themselves with Tancredo.  Tancredo avoided military service in Vietnam using a mental excuse.  Tancredo is a strong supporter of the Iranian Communist MEK (MKO, PMOI, NCRI, Rajavi Cult, or Pol Pot of Iran) terrorists.  The State Department has had the MEK on the list of terrorist organizations since the administration of former President Bill Clinton.  The MEK has committed atrocities in Iran and in Iraq.  Tancredo cannot claim to be ignorant about the issue of genocide.  Even the New York Times reported in 2003 that many Iranians regard Massoud Rajavi as the Pol Pot of Iran.

“Erdogan enlists U.S. Jews’ support for opposing the Armenian Genocide Resolution”


PanARMENIAN.Net has reported that Turkey’s prime minister met in New York on Wednesday with representatives of the American Jewish community to discuss this issue:  Conference of Presidents, the Appeal of Conscience, the Foundation, the Anti-Defamation League, the American Jewish Congress, and Bnai Brith International.   Erdogan described genocide recognition claims as baseless, suggested the creation of a joint commission of Turkey and of Armenia to study historical facts, and requested the Jewish community to support Turkey’s position.  Abraham Foxman, national director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) reported that the ADL regards the events of 1915 ‘as being tantamount to genocide’ but that members of Congress are not historians and should not be voting on such resolutions.

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Professor, California State University, Fullerton

After marriage to an Iranian lady in Tehran, Iran in 1968, I returned to Tehran in the summer of 1970 to work at the American Embassy. After earning an MBA from Harvard Business School, I (more...)

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