[Congressional Record Volume 152, Number 48 (Thursday, April 27, 2006)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E633]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                        ON THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE


                       HON. CHRISTOPHER H. SMITH

                             of new jersey

                    in the house of representatives

                       Wednesday, April 26, 2006

  Mr. SMITH of New Jersey. Mr. Speaker, I rise to join my voice with 
those of my colleagues who once again are commemorating the Armenian 
Genocide. On this somber day, we take time to recall the horrors of 
long ago, as Armenians are doing all over the world. Beginning in 1914, 
over 1.5 million people were systematically killed in what historians 
call the first genocide of the twentieth century, and over half a 
million Armenians had to leave their homeland.
  Knowledge about the Armenian Genocide is spreading. Just recently, 
PBS broadcast an extremely detailed and heart-rending examination of 
the subject. Even in Turkey, where the government refuses to 
acknowledge what happened or consider accepting any responsibility for 
it, a growing number of historians and prominent individuals have 
openly defied Ankara to speak truth to power. They include Orhan Pamuk, 
the country's leading writer. Turkish officials sought to bring 
criminal charges against him for ``defaming Turkishness'' but in the 
end, thankfully, thought better of it.
  Unfortunately, President Bush, in his annual message about the 
Genocide, did not use the word. Once again, terms like ``mass 
killings'' and ``forced exile'' mask the depth of the horror that took 
place, carefully avoiding the plain truth. In fact, as has been 
described in numerous newspaper articles, Ambassador John Evans, who 
was posted in Yerevan, is being recalled for having the courage to say 
publicly that what happened to the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire was 
Genocide. It saddens me that the U.S. Government would go to such 
lengths to deny the undeniable. I would like to commend Ambassador 
Evans for his bravery--as a career Foreign Service Officer, he must 
have known what the consequences might be.
  I express solidarity with my colleagues in this Congress who called 
upon President Bush to call the Genocide a Genocide. I hope this is the 
last year when the United States Government will shrink from using the 
word in its description of what the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire 
  Finally, in my annual statements on the Armenian Genocide, I often 
refer to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict and comment on the status of the 
talks underway to resolve it. In the last year, official sources in 
Yerevan and Baku, as well as Washington, have occasionally indicated 
that a deal was close. Hopes were high for the meeting last month 
between Presidents Kocharian and Aliev in Rambouillet, France. 
Unfortunately, we did not see the desired outcome.
  I hope that the negotiations will soon succeed in resolving this 
painful conflict. An Armenia at peace with Azerbaijan would not dampen 
the painful memories of events in the early twentieth century, but it 
would offer reassurance over the prospects of Armenia in the twenty-