WASHINGTON, DC – Placing profit over human rights, the Chief Executive Officers of five top defense firms have urged Congress to block a measure calling for U.S. affirmation of the Armenian Genocide, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).
“Lobbying against genocide recognition for financial gain is morally reprehensible – whether it’s the Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust or the ongoing genocide in Darfur,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “The CEO’s of Lockheed, Boeing, Raytheon, United Technologies and Northrop Grumman should be ashamed of themselves – trampling on the memory of 1.5 million men, women and children to justify their inflated salaries.”
In a letter to House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Howard Berman, just days before his Committee considers H.Res.252 – the Armenian Genocide resolution , leaders of Lockheed Martin Corporation, Boeing Corporation, Raytheon Corporation, United Technologies and Northrop Grumman warned of “alienating a significant NATO ally and trading partner” and “negative repercussions for U.S. geopolitical interests.”
However trade statistics from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development tell a different story. Turkey’s trade levels with countries, which have recognized the Armenian Genocide since 1995, have increased between 24% and 351%. U.S. trade with Turkey has increased ten-fold since President Ronald Reagan cited the Armenian Genocide in a Presidential Proclamation in 1981. Click here to see a chart detailing expanding trade levels.
“The statistics prove that Turkey’s doomsday trade scenarios are hollow,” said Hamparian. “Once again, the Turkish lobby is using threats and intimidation to gag America from speaking truthfully about the Armenian Genocide.”
Spearheaded by Representatives Adam Schiff (D-CA), George Radanovich (R-CA), and Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), the Armenian Genocide Resolution H.Res.252, calls upon the President to properly characterize the annihilation of 1.5 million Armenians from 1915-1923 as genocide and to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide.
The resolution currently has over 137 cosponsors. While in the Senate, President Barack Obama, Vice-President Joseph Biden and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had supported similar legislation.