They said it couldn’t happen but the Armenian Genocide resolution just passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee in a vote of 27-21–all this even with the opposition of eight U.S. Secretaries of State and the White House.
It is worth reading Rep. Tom Lantos’ (D-CA) opening statement, as the only Holocaust survivor in Congress and a tried and true San Francisco Democrat, he nails the issue on the head. I was also moved when he noted that this vote was one of the proudest days of his life in the House.
This is the first time the issue has received such major play in the international media and I captured a series of screen shots of major news sites and how they covered the issue before the vote (posted above & below). BBC, ABC & CNN gave it prominent coverage on their website until the shooting in Ohio bumped it from the front spot on CNN.com. I also I hear that CNN was repeating the story in its news loop all day.
ABC also has a great online video news piece on the issue that includes footage from a White House press conference against the resolution that features President Bush, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Defense Secretary Robert Gates (link here).
It was also very fortunate that today His Holiness Karekin II, Catholicos of All Armenians, [aka the Pope of the Armenian Apostolic Church] was in Congress today during his official tour of the United States, here’s what AP had to say about his visit and remarks:
Yet with the House’s first order of business Wednesday, Speaker Nancy Pelosi made clear that Turkey’s position was a hard sell. She chose the Supreme Patriarch of all Armenians, Karekin II, to deliver the morning prayer — a daily ritual intended to be apolitical.
“With the solemn burden of history, we remember the victims of the genocide of the Armenians,” he said in the House. “Give peace and justice on their descendants.” (source)
Everyone of Armenian descent I know is very happy and relieved today…and justifiably. It isn’t the first time that it’s passed this House committee but it looks like it may be smooth sailing to a full House vote (well, the smoothest it has ever been anyway) and that would definitely be a first…let’s see if truth will prevail there too…
***UPDATE: Looks like Jewcy’s Joey Kurtzman is back on the Armenian Genocide issue…click out his latest post on the Daily Shvitz here, he has such a way with words***