US Armenians slam Rice over ‘genocide’

US Armenians slam Rice over ‘genocide’

Ümit Enginsoy ANKARA
US Armenians slam Rice over ‘genocide’

Former US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice gestures while delivering a speech at the National Auditorium in Mexico City on Sept. 9. AFP photo

The largest U.S. Armenian group has condemned former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice “for bragging about twice killing U.S. recognition” of what the Armenians call the “Armenian genocide.”

In an open letter to the Armenian-American community, Ken Hachikian, chairman of the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), said Rice in her new memoir “boasts of stopping the dreaded Armenian genocide resolutions” in 1991 and 2007.

“Rice taking pride in covering up genocide shows what’s wrong with Washington... The powerful Armenian lobby she attacks is you. It’s me,” Hachikian said Nov. 8.

“Help us bring about the day when someone in Rice’s position would never dare compromise America’s standing by so wretchedly playing the genocide card as a political commodity,” he said.

Rice, now a political scientist at Stanford University, was national security advisor to former President George W. Bush, a Republican, during the latter’s first term between 2001 and 2005. She was secretary of state during his second term between 2005 and 2009.

Rice recently wrote and published “No Higher Honor: A Memoir of My Years in Washington.”

Armenians label World War I-era killings of their kinsmen in the Ottoman Empire as “genocide” and particularly urge the U.S. administration and Congress to recognize it as such. In recent decades such efforts have been unsuccessful.

Turkey has warned that in the event of the administration’s or Congress’ formal “genocide” recognition, its relations with the U.S. will deteriorate in a major and lasting way.

The Bush administration successfully fought against these Armenian efforts in 2005 and 2007.

The current Democratic President, Barack Obama, had pledged to recognize the “Armenian genocide” before his election. But after he became president he, like earlier presidents, fought against such recognition. The Obama administration, in a behind-the-scenes effort, prevented the latest “genocide” resolution in the House of Representatives, Congress’ lower chamber, from coming to a floor vote last year.