- Israeli P.M. Netanyahu backs out of Mandela funeral
- Elian Gonzalez makes first trip outside Cuba since custody battle
- U.S., British intelligence agents enter online sic-fi world to spy on gamers
- Sarah Palin to host the outdoors show ‘Amazing America’
- CIA admits $3 billion intelligence operation was a flop
- ‘127 Hours’ author Aron Lee Ralston, who amputated arm in canyon, arrested in Denver
- Men posing as cops break into home of former deputy
- Berkshire County eschews greenback for own currency — BerkShares
- Hagel warns Pakistani leaders of U.S. aid losses over drone-strike protests
- Florida authorities ban autistic boy from owning therapeutic chickens
‘SPOTLIGHT’ ON OBAMA
Armenian-Americans predict that Washington will be the next diplomatic battlefield after the French Parliament approved a bill that would make it a crime to deny that the Turkish massacre of Armenians during World War I was genocide.
Turkish-Americans, however, say the French bill will have no impact on the U.S. debate because France is “criminalizing thought,” said Gunay Evinch, a former president of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations.
The bill would impose a penalty of up to a year in jail and a fine of $57,000 for denying that the killings amounted to genocide - the deliberate attempt to eliminate an entire people.
When he was a U.S. senator, Mr. Obama supported congressional resolutions on the Armenian issue. As a presidential candidate in 2008, he promised Armenian-Americans, a small but powerful bloc, that he would declare the massacre a genocide if he won the White House.
“He supported legislation as a senator that he opposes as president,” said Mr. Hamparian, adding that Armenian-Americans will use the French action as leverage to get Congress to adopt an Armenian resolution.
A House resolution is awaiting action in the House Foreign Affairs Committee. A Senate resolution was sent to the Foreign Relations Committee last year, but Chairman John F. Kerry, Massachusetts Democrat, took no action.
He praised the French bill as a “very principled stand.”
Mr. Evinch said that Turkish-Americans see the French bill as an attempt to prohibit any independent research into the facts about the Armenian massacre.
Turkey disputes Armenian claims of 1.5 million deaths. It insists that about 500,000 Armenians were killed in an uprising during and after World War I and that Turks and Kurds died at the hands of Armenian rebels.
Asked whether the French action would affect the debate in Washington, Mr. Evinch said, “I don’t think so. … It puts the issue in a negative light.”
“As an American,” he added, “I can’t envision criminalizing thought.”
© Copyright 2013 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
James Morrison joined the The Washington Times in 1983 as a local reporter covering Alexandria, Va. A year later, he was assigned to open a Times bureau in Canada. From 1987 to 1989, Mr. Morrison was The Washington Times reporter in London, covering Britain, Western Europe and NATO issues. After returning to Washington, he served as an assistant foreign editor ...
- Embassy Row: 'What a tragedy,' African diplomat says of Mandela's death
- Embassy Row: Israeli at the White House in another Golda moment
- Nelson Mandela, South Africa's first black president, dies at age 95
- Russian diplomats busted bilking $1.5 million from Medicaid
- Huh? 'Universal word' signals total confusion wherever you go
Latest Blog Entries
By Brahma Chellaney
Beijing's creeping aggression signals a challenge to U.S. presence in the Asian Pacific
- CURL: Obama tells a whopper on IRS scandal
- WOLF: The president's other Obamacare lies
- Tech companies call for an end to NSA online snooping
- Lawmakers see 'false narrative' of Obama as a terrorist fighter
- Satanists petition for statue at Oklahoma Statehouse
- Obama lied about Syrian chemical attack, 'cherry-picked' intelligence: report
- Ted Cruz sees legal landmines ahead for Obamacare
- MSNBC host: Obamacare a 'wealthy white men' racist word
- Bill OReilly reminds: Nelson Mandela was a communist
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Brazen, leading-edge, “call it like it is” columns and reporting from Ohio native, radio host and writer, Sara Marie Brenner.
Let’s talk about everything, especially the absurdity of it all
Find the latest news and happening that effect those in the Washington D.C., Northern Virginia and Maryland Metro region.
Never apologetic. Never afraid. Lieutenant Colonel Allen B. West joins Communities to bring tales from the biggest Foxhole of them all, the one inside the Beltway.
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow