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Thursday, August 21, 2014
 
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Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 * Email.anca@anca.org

PRESS RELEASE

For Immediate Release ~ 2004-01-26
Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian ~ Tel: (202) 775-1918

PULITZER PRIZE WINNING AUTHOR SAMANTHA POWER ENDORSES WESLEY CLARK

"As President, [Wesley Clark] will do something long overdue: he will end nearly a century of denial of the Armenian genocide by the U.S. Government." - Samantha Power

WASHINGTON, DC - Pulitzer Prize Winning author, human rights advocate, and international law scholar Samantha Power - a powerful voice for U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide - today called on Armenian Americans to support Democratic presidential candidate General Wesley Clark as the individual who, if elected, will "end nearly a century of denial of the Armenian genocide by the U.S. Government," reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

In her letter, Power noted that, "For nearly a century, American politicians have put realpolitik before truth by denying the Armenian genocide. It is time to elect someone with the courage to speak the truth, to take on powerful lobbies, and at last to acknowledge the horror of what happened in 1915. Wes Clark is a brave man, a real leader and the best candidate to advance Armenian – which are American – interests."

On December 15th, Gen. Clark issued a public statement describing the horrors of the Armenian Genocide and called for strengthened U.S. resolve to prevent future atrocities. The statement noted that Ottoman Turkish authorities "rounded up and executed Armenian leaders in Constantinople and other towns, they desecrated Armenian churches, and they ordered the deportation of the Armenian people... what happened in 1915 was genocide.”

Samantha Power is a Lecturer in Public Policy at Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. Her recent book, "A Problem from Hell": America and the Age of Genocide, was awarded the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for general non-fiction, the 2003 National Book Critics Circle Award for general non-fiction, and the Council on Foreign Relations' Arthur Ross Prize for the best book in U.S. foreign policy. Power was the founding executive director of the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy (1998-2002). From 1993-1996, Power covered the wars in the former Yugoslavia as a reporter for the U.S. News and World Report, the Boston Globe, and the Economist. A graduate of Yale University and Harvard Law School, she moved to the United States from Ireland at the age of nine.

Power has been an outspoken advocate of Armenian Genocide recognition. In December 2001, she participated in an ANC-Greater Washington Area conference on Genocide denial held at Georgetown University. She was also a featured speaker at the Armenian Genocide commemorative program in San Francisco in April 2002, among a host of other Armenian American community engagements. The ANCA has distributed hundreds of copies of “A Problem from Hell: America in the Age of Genocide” to key Congressional offices as well as to genocide and Holocaust historians around the world.

Presidential Candidates Speak Out on Armenian American Concerns:
Each of the leading Democratic presidential candidates - except former Vermont Governor Howard Dean - have strong records advocating for U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Senators John Kerry, Joe Lieberman, and John Edwards are all cosponsors of the Genocide Resolution (S.Res.164) and have supported other Congressional initiatives to recognize this crime against humanity.

George W. Bush, as a candidate campaigning in Michigan in February of 2000, promised to properly recognize the Armenian Genocide. After his election as president, however, he broke this pledge, choosing instead to use evasive and euphemistic terminology, in his annual April 24th statements, to describe Ottoman Turkey's genocide of the Armenian people.

The full text of the Samantha Power letter is provided below.

#####


Dear Armenian Friend,

As a vocal advocate for American recognition of the Armenian genocide of 1915, I’m writing in support of my friend, General Wesley Clark. He is running for President to restore sound, visionary leadership to the White House. He needs and deserves our support today. Please join me.

I met Wes Clark in 1995, while he served as the U.S. military representative on a high-level negotiating team attempting to bring peace to Bosnia. We met just hours before he and his colleagues were setting out for the Bosnian capitol city of Sarajevo via a treacherous mountain road. In the hopes of evading hostile fire, the convoy raced around the steep curves, and the lead vehicle tumbled off the road into a ravine. Clark – who had already received a Purple Heart in Vietnam – risked his life to try to rescue his colleagues. He tied a rope around his waist, and repelled down the side of the mountain laced with landmines toward the burning vehicle. Three Americans lost their lives that day.

During his career in U.S. Army, Wes Clark consistently revealed a rare courage. In addition to risking his life to save others, he also risked his career, by leading the fight to convince the Clinton Administration to use military force to prevent genocide in Kosovo. He understands that the United States has the power to change the world – and he understands the great responsibility that comes with this power.

For nearly a century, American politicians have put realpolitik before truth by denying the Armenian genocide. General Clark is the only candidate with truly international stature. He is the only candidate with experience working with NATO officials, whom he is uniquely positioned to influence. And he is the only candidate to have actually commanded a military operation to stop genocide. It is time to elect someone with the courage to speak the truth, to take on powerful lobbies, and at last to acknowledge the horror of what happened in 1915. Wes Clark is a brave man, a real leader and the best candidate to advance Armenian – which are American – interests.

The Armenian-American voice must be heard in 2004, and we must start today. Please, I urge you, give Wes Clark your support. Get involved in his campaign, make contribution and encourage others to stand with you in support. Wes Clark will ensure that America lives up to its moral values, and, in so doing, he will make the United States and the world a more just, humane, and safe place.

Sincerely,

Samantha Power
Author, "A Problem from Hell": America and the Age of Genocide - Harvard University


 

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