Posted: 1:29 pm PT
Updated: Dec 7, 9:01 am PT
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Excerpt from Ambassador Power’s statement, as delivered:
“… How cruel was it, then, that young Elie Wiesel, who was taunted by his perpetrators that nobody would ever know or care what had happened to him and his people, how cruel was it that he encountered a world that again didn’t seem to care what he had gone through. When he was hawking that manuscript, did he feel somehow like Moshe the Beadle, a man who possessed the truth, but was ignored?
And yet none of this appears to have tamed the determination – or even the spark and sparkle – in and of Elie Wiesel. Night of course did eventually find its publishers and after several years, its readership did begin to grow, at first gradually, and then exponentially. Indeed, arguably no single work did so much to puncture the silence that had previously enveloped survivors, and bring what happened in the Night out into the light, for all to see. And yet. Injustice was still all around. Genocide denial against the Armenians, the horrors of his lifetime – Pol Pot, Bosnia, Rwanda, Darfur, Syria, in his later years. He lived to see more and more people bear witness to unspeakable atrocities, but he also saw indifference remained too widespread.”
We should note that Ambassador John M. Evans, a career diplomat who was appointed to Armenia from 2004-2006 lost his job during the Bush II administration after calling the Armenian killings a genocide. In the waning days of the Obama Administration, we doubt if any reference to the Armenian Genocide as she did here in her tribute to Elie Weisel would make a difference career-wise. She will leave her post on/around January 20, so it’s not like they’re going to fire her between now and then. Also, that’s a public speech she delivered, which means it has been through a clearance process, and not an accidental or even rogue reference.
For folks who want to read about the Armenian Genocide, also known as the “Events of
2016 1915,” the place to start is the Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS) from history.state.gov: Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1915, Supplement, The World War > Page 981
Click here for Samantha Power and what she said about the Armenian Genocide back in 2008 when she was campaigning for then candidate, Barack Obama. Ambassador Power is also the winner of the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Critics Circle Award for “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide” published in 2003.
Turkey has been there many times before, of course, below are some sample reactions just from 2016 alone:
Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1915, Supplement, The World War > Page 981
U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power
1915 Armenian Genocide — The “G” Word as a Huge Landmine, and Diplomatic Equities (April 2015)
John M. Evans: The diplomat who called the “Events of 1915” a genocide, and was canned for it (Aril 2015)
$4.2 million to dispute a single word (August 2009)
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