Why President Joe Biden Should Recognize the Armenian Genocide

An Armenian American community member holds  a sign which reads, 'YOZGAT 1915,' referring to a city in Western Armenia
An Armenian American community member holds  a sign which reads, 'YOZGAT 1915,' referring to a city in Western Armenia

An Armenian American community member holds a sign which reads, ‘YOZGAT 1915,’ in reference to a city in Western Armenia

BY DR. VAHRAM  SHEMMASSIAN

Here are some thoughts that have busied my brain in recent days.

The “period/full stop” that the Ottoman Turkish government tried to put as a punctuation mark to signal the end of the Armenian people must be removed from that horrendous phase of history.  The United States has the necessary sturdy pliers with which to pull it out.

The recognition of the Armenian Genocide would guarantee the survival of the Armenian people—a large percentage of which live in the United States— because without it, the possibility of repeating it is indeed very high.  The United States will also bleed in that eventuality.

The United States will benefit from its citizens of Armenian descent by their inordinate number of contributions to the welfare of the country virtually in every domain, as it has in earnest since the nineteenth century.

In this competitive world, winning over peoples and countries, large or small, can be beneficial to the United States.  The Armenians and Armenia can be an exemplary case.

Peoples should not live in fear for generations because of tyrannical states.  The recognition of the Armenian Genocide can eliminate that fear and send a strong message around the globe that criminal minds ought to think twice before their diabolical schemes are put into practice.

Recognizing the Armenian Genocide would be a tremendous achievement in the soul-searching state which the United States currently finds itself in following the tumult the nation has experienced in recent years.

A just United States should use only one yardstick.  Applying double standards in the human rights issue may certainly boomerang to haunt the country and its policy makers for generations to come.

The United States should not be intimidated  by or fear a NATO ally; it should only fear fear itself and break loose the shackles that have kept it in servitude to Turkey for over a century.

Faith in our system of government and the values upon which it was built shall remain our strongest weapon to fight injustice and rectify wrongs.

Vahram Shemmassian is a Professor and Director of the Armenian Studies Program at California State University, Northridge.

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