Trump Joins Grand Bipartisan Tradition Of Denying Armenian Genocide by Ottoman Turkey. (HuffingtonPost).
President Donald Trump on Monday adopted a controversial but traditional Washington line by avoiding the term “genocide” in describing the Turkish government’s pogrom against its Armenian citizens in 1915.
In a statement issued on the day historians say the genocide began, Trump noted Armenians’ mass suffering and the deaths of more than 1 million people, but he did not say there was a “genocide,” a step advocates say is essential for the sake of victims, honesty about the past and America’s credibility as a moral actor.
For years, concerns about angering Turkey, a strategically important partner for the U.S., and strong lobbying efforts by the Turks have stymied attempts to change official U.S. government policy to acknowledge the genocide.
Presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan did use the term in office, but George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama shied away from it, even fighting congressional efforts to endorse it.Trump crafted an image of himself as a gutsy outsider on the campaign trail and in doing so had raised expectations that he might challenge the taboo, Oshana said. But his statement reflected the power that Washington orthodoxy ― the logic of the “swamp” that he pledged to drain ― retains in the nation’s capital.
It’s hard to publicly admit to toeing the Washington line while in office. But former top officials have more leeway to expose hypocrisy and moral failures. Hours after Trump issued his statement, Samantha Power, a top aide to Obama, tweeted out a public apology for the former administration’s failure to acknowledge the genocide ― rare for a member of a team that has loudly defended its approach to foreign policy and human rights in the face of serious criticism.