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27 03 2009 - To: The President of the United States of America
Union of Armenian Associations in Sweden
March 26, 2009
"Mr. Minister, The persecutions of the Armenians have reached hair-raising proportions and all points to the fact that the Young Turks want to seize the opportunity, since due to different reasons there are no effective external pressure to be feared, to once and for all put an end to the Armenian question. The means for this are quite simple and consist of the extermination [utrotandet] of the Armenian nation." - Per Gustaf August Cosswa Anckarsvärd, Swedish Ambassador to Turkey, in his report to the Swedish Foreign Minister Knut Wallenberg, July 6, 1915, Constantinople

Dear President Obama,

The above stated report is merely one of several which were recently found in the Swedish National and Military Archives, confirming the reality which has since long been established by the genocide scholars regarding the events in the Ottoman Turkey during World War I. The world was far from as hesitating as it is today in condemning the treatment of the Armenians, demanding justice for the victims and punishment of those guilty of “crimes against humanity and civilization”, the very first occurrence of the term in international circumstances. However, the soon growing Kemalist movement put a stop to the demands for justice and the clever politics of the Republic of Turkey have ever since held the world conscience as hostage in exchange for economic and political gains.

In nine decades the Armenians and other affected minorities have lived this reality on daily basis while the rest of the world just recently has become aware of the “forgotten genocide of the 20th Century”. The Armenian Diaspora, a direct result of the 1915 Genocide, has during the last 90 years of its struggle for recognition, been called liars and propagandists, smearing the Turkish reputation. But, what is more hurtful, is the fact that the surrounding world, including USA, has indirectly joined Turkey in labeling the victims as liars and propagandists, simply by refusing to recognize what is a historical fact. As the prominent Turkish Professor Taner Akçam pointed out recently, on April 24, the USA annually joins Turkey in its lie, “denying for one day what they believe
the other 364 days of the year.”

The Turkish denial has developed and evolved, changing shapes and strategies during the past 94 years, adapting to the prevailing world situation and argumentation. The most recent morphing has supplied Turkey with the argumentation that the ongoing reconciliation process between Armenia and Turkey must be left unharmed and that external interference, such as an American recognition of the genocide, will jeopardize the fragile process. By saying this, however, Turkey is rather stating that history is a matter of negotiations. Taking into account the existing consensus among the majority of genocide scholars, evident not only in the massive bulk of research and publications, but also in the very resolutions of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), the Armenian Genocide does not need revisiting or reconsideration. Thus, neither USA nor any other country in the world should refrain from recognizing the truth while the reconciliation process between Turkey and Armenia continues and must go on. That process will not change the already established fact about the Armenian Genocide. Furthermore, it is my firm belief that no reconciliation process or any democratization process will
benefit from harboring lies and suppressing the truth.

Like the election campaigns of Your predecessors, the issue of the recognition of the Armenian Genocide and calling it by its true name, was one of the issues You have addressed at several occasions, correctly pointing out that “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian Genocide and responds forcefully to all genocides. I intend to be that President.” I hope that You will bring the change You promised during the election campaign, breaking the tradition of Your predecessors in failing to honor their campaign vows in this regard, and that You, unlike the US Presidents before You, will tell the truth about the Armenian Genocide in each and one of the 365 days of the year.

I wish You the very best in the tremendous challenges that You and Your Administration are faced with in the current world situation, and I am confident that You will fulfill our expectations regarding “The Change We believe in.”

Yours truly,

Vahagn Avedian
Historian and Editor in Chief,

Chairman of the Board
Union of Armenian Associations in Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm, Sweden


Vahagn Avedian

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