After President Obama announced his shameful decision to refuse to recognize the Armenian genocide as a “genocide” on its 100th anniversary, Super Bowl winning coach Bill Belichick made a bold statement of his own.
Attending the annual White House celebration of the year’s Super Bowl winners, Belichick stood right next to Obama and wore an Armenian flag lapel pin. Although the coach is not himself Armenian, he wore it in solidarity with the 1.5 million Armenians massacred in the first genocide of the 20th century and the millions of descendants and people of good conscience across the world who demand Turkey admit its crimes.
Astoundingly, Turkey still denies the genocide happened and, even more disturbing, they have managed to browbeat other countries like the U.S. into banning the word “genocide” as a description. This is the seventh time Obama has failed to recognize the genocide after promising to do so as a candidate.
There was possibly a case to be made for acquiescing to Turkey’s petulant demands for denial when we needed the use of bases and air space to conduct combat operations, but, as Obama constantly reminds us, the wars are over. We can no longer pretend that it is in our national interest to remain silent to atrocities. In fact, it is our moral duty, as Christians in the Middle East are similarly being slaughtered today, to stand up and shout it from the rooftops.
Obama not taking the opportunity to recognize the Armenian genocide on its 100th anniversary with so little at risk for doing so is cowardice of the worst kind.
I can only hope that at an event Obama no doubt thought would be a light-hearted relief, he saw Belichick’s pin and was rightfully shamed. At least one person in the White House was brave enough to speak truth to power that day.
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