To be read on November 21, 2010
Dear Defense Council of Western Armenia, President Sosikian, officers, members, distinguished guests, elected officials, friends, and fellow Armenian Americans:
In view of Turkey’s unceasing denial of the Genocide and its confiscation of Armenian land and property – not to mention the massacres, persecutions, forced conversions, abductions, expulsions, and the deliberate importation of non-indigenous people into Armenian provinces, which whittled away at the Armenian population in the era preceding the Genocide — it is essential that the DCWA continue to work for the restoration of the Armenian homeland, Wilsonian Armenia, and our national patrimony.
I’ll say it outright: The DCWA has guts.
Sadly, the one institution established by the U.S. Congress to honor President Wilson’s – and I quote – “ideals, concerns, and accomplishments” – has violated its Congressional mandate.
I am referring to the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, created by the Woodrow Wilson Memorial Act of 1968.
For 42 years, the Woodrow Wilson Center has consciously ignored President Wilson’s arbitral award and the American people’s historical support for the Armenian cause.
The Wilson Center has published genocide denial material.
A Wilson Center trustee works for DLA Piper, a registered foreign agent of the Turkish government.
Besides your own tax dollars, the Wilson Center takes in money from corporations such as Boeing and Coca-Cola that directly lobby the U.S. Congress to defeat Armenian genocide resolutions or are members of genocide-denying organizations that do so, such as the American Turkish Council.
Wilson Center president, Lee Hamilton, is a board member of one such corporation – defense contractor BAE Systems.
The Wilson Center traveled to Istanbul in June in order to raise money from wealthy Turks — as well as to give awards to a multi-billionaire Turkish businessman and to Turkey’s Foreign Minister.
The Wilson Center should spurn all Turkish tainted money, invite recognized genocide scholars to write in its Wilson Quarterly and speak at the Wilson Center, and create a principled program on genocide.
Only Armenian Americans, however, along with other American taxpayers and principled members of Congress, can make this happen.
A final point, if I may:
There are unprincipled persons in both governmental and non-governmental organizations who have been using so-called “reconciliation” or “historical” commissions to try to nullify Armenian rights to property and territory.
They are covertly promoting a deal in which Turkey acknowledges – probably using evasive or deceitful wording – that massacres took place. In return, Armenians are expected to formally abandon all claims for territory, restitution, and restoration.
It’s a bad deal and a trap. You know it, and I know it.
However, those who are behind this alleged “settlement” are pressuring well-intentioned but nevertheless ill-informed or naïve Armenians to agree to such a deal.
We must ensure that this does not happen.
And it will not happen as long as organizations such as the DCWA and their dedicated leaders, members, and friends continue to fight for our Cause.
My best wishes and congratulations to the DCWA and to all of you.