08 August 2004

Do you believe that John Kerry will recognize the Armenian Genocide?

New poll in www.Azad-Hye.com:

AZAD-HYE: Asking some Armenians who live in the United Arab Emirates about their opinion in the US Presidential Candidate John Kerry's intention to formally recognize the Armenian Genocide after being elected to office, they all expressed disbelief about keeping his vows. They mentioned that it is almost the same scenario occurring with every Candidate who promises to use the word "Genocide" before the elections, but after the elections starts using any other word except Genocide in describing the events of 1915.

Radio Free Europe (based in the Czech Republic) reports on the 4th of August 2004, on the role that could be played by the Armenian Americans in the forthcoming US elections (2nd November 2004)

Journalist Andrew Tully underlines the fact that the American Armenians (who number one million in a total population of 280 millions) are politically active and their influence is stronger than their size would suggest. He refers to the recent decision of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) to formally endorse Senator John Kerry's campaign for the presidency against President George W. Bush.

President Bush is being accused by the Armenians for not honoring a promise he made when he needed votes during his first campaign for president four years ago. In February 2000, Bush was fighting hard for support in Michigan, which has a small but politically active Armenian population. He issued a statement saying his administration would recognize that Armenians were the victims of genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Turks from 1915 to 1923. Bush eventually won the presidency, but later he not only refused to endorse the bills that each year come before Congress for recognizing the Armenian genocide, but also did not use the term Genocide in his announcements referring to the events of 1915. He was also behind the reduction of US aid to Armenia and even tried to formally designate Armenia as a state sponsor
of terrorism.

John Kerry, on the other hand, has for decades been active on issues important to Armenian-Americans, such as sponsorship of legislation on the Genocide issue, on improved U.S. trade with Armenia and on supporting Armenia against Turkey and Azerbaijan. Being from Massachusetts has created for him opportunities to develop strong relationships with the Armenian Community there over the last 20 years. He has always been supportive of all Armenian-American initiatives.

Therefore, he is considered as far more attractive candidate than Bush to Armenian-Americans.

Armenian Americans are not so numerous in any given location to tip the balance, unless the races get extremely close. The same applies to many other politically active groups or societies in the United States.

On the other hand, in its 5th August 2004 issue, the "Turkish Daily News" informs its readers that ANCA had declared support for Kerry in the presidential run. The newspaper describes ANCA as being "known for its hard-line opposition of Turkey and staunch position for recognition of the so-called Armenian genocide". The reason for supporting Senator Kerry is
mentioned to be President Bush's retreat from his pledge to recognize the Armenian genocide.

"Turkish Daily News" reports also that Kerry's position regarding the Armenian groups will likely cause Turkish Americans to become disenchanted with him. E-mail messages are circulating among members of the Turkish community, calling them not to vote for Kerry in the upcoming elections.

The newspaper reminds its readers about the decision of a US court last week ordering a U.S. insurance company to pay $20 million to the descendants of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire. The suit against New York Life Insurance involved thousands of policies sold in the Ottoman Empire between 1880 and 1915, many of which were held by Armenians killed during the Genocide.

From our side, just to have a wider scope about the credibility that John Kerry's stance on Genocide enjoys among Armenians, we would like to invite you vote about what he would be doing on this issue (cast your vote in the poll that appears on your right side of the main pate of www.Azad-Hye.com).

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