Armenia: Oil, Genocide and Obama

Writing for Voices Without Votes in June, Jillian York introduced readers to Facebook's Armenians for Obama and some of what was being said on the social networking site. Since then, however, other Facebook Groups have sprung up which seem to identify a strong backing from Armenians, both inside and outside the republic, for the Democratic candidate in the November 4 U.S. Presidential Election.

Primarily this is because of one reason — recognition of the 1915 massacre of ethnic Armenians living in Ottoman Turkey which most historians consider to be the first Genocide of the 20th Century. Commemorated every 24 April, recognition of the Armenian Genocide has become a key issue for the Armenian authorities in Yerevan and especially for the country's large and powerful diaspora.

The issue is not new, with almost every U.S. presidential candidate promising to recognize the massacre, deportation or assimilation of the Ottoman Empire's Armenian population as Genocide in past elections, but failing to do so once in office. However, with recent albeit stalled momentum towards a related resolution in the U.S. Congress last October, many Armenians at home and abroad believe that Barack Obama might actually follow through with his campaign promise.

In response, some Azerbaijanis and Turks set up their own anti-Obama Facebook Group. One member, Sonya Reynet, explains why.

In order to garner votes from one and a half million people of Armenian origin living in the United States, both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton stepped up their rhetoric regarding the Armenian Genocide Resolution 106 in the House and the Senate. They reiterated their “commitment” to the recognition of Armenian Genocide by the United States while at the same time condemning Turkey and Azerbaijan as well as siding with Armenia for the Armenian occupation of the Nabarno-Karabagh territory. 

Yet, not everyone is convinced. Despite promises to recognize the Armenian Genocide from both Republican and Democratic candidates in the past, none followed through with their promises. The reality of geopolitics once in office was not lost on Davut Suicmez.

Being a politician and being the president of US are totally different. Even he talks about the Armenian allegations right now he will see the reality if he becomes president. Current president Bush promised Armenians for the same claims on his first run for presidency on 2000. But now he is totally against it. I guess they reborn with a new brain even smarter after becoming the pres… 

Maybe it's for this reason that other Azerbaijanis decided to set up their own Facebook Group in support of Obama. Ironically, they argue that such a candidate does represent change, and this even goes as far as eventually changing his mind on issues such as the Genocide and the conflict between Armenians and Azerbaijanis over the disputed territory of Nagorno Karabakh.

Azerbaijanis all over the world support Barack Obama. He can bring the CHANGE we belive in!The planet needs CHANGE, USA needs CHANGE and Azerbaijan needs CHANGE!We also believe that he will CHANGE his position in issues concerning Azerbaijan-Armenian conflict. WE support him because we believe that he can also CHANGE! The power of CHANGE is limitless, once you discover it! 

Interestingly, given the track record of past presidents of whatever political denomination, Yerevan-based Armenia Discovered appears to suspect that history will be doomed to repeat itself.

US presidentation candidate sen. Barack Obama tells America deserves a president who is able to tell truth about Armenian Genocide and any other genocides. Obama critisizes Bush administration position in Armenian Genocide Recognition, claiming his administration is going to solve the problem.Anyhow most of the US presidents of the recent times, including Georgia W. Bush used the genocide adoption factor during election campaign, but till now no action is taken. 

Even so, and bound to encourage Armenians, disappointment comes from the American husband of one Turkish woman who says that his letter to Obama's campaign team on the issue was effectively ignored. Whether Obama actually personally read the letter is debatable. Jeff Martens was not impressed by the response.

I sent him two letters in the last past 6 months concerning Turkey’s dilemma ”the so-called genocide”.However, two days ago, finally, I received a mail from him telling me how important his presidency would be for this country and asking me to support him by my contributions for his campaign by Aug.30th not mentioning anything on the genocide issue and nothing about Turkey, no concerns or whatsoever. All he is showing me is the ways of payment and he needs the money by Aug. 30th. 

Meanwhile, even if the likelihood of recognition of a tragic past is uncertain even in the event of an Obama victory, many Armenians consider that there are other issues of relevance, and not least as they pertain to the conflict with oil-rich Azerbaijan. In particular, they point to the Republican party's reliance on links to, and donations from, large multinational oil companies.

The policies pursued by Senator McCain would ensure that the U.S. remains a hostage to nations, such as Azerbaijan, which have large oil and gas reserves but are major human rights violators and remain sources of regional instability.”It would be more of the same with a McCain Administration in the White House. The Arizona Senator would ‘s as he has for the better part of the last three decades – continue supporting big oil companies that profit from high gas prices and are pouring billions of dollars into countries like Azerbaijan, which lack the basic principles of human rights,” said Areen Ibranossian Chairperson of Armenians for Obama. 

To date, however, there has been little other discussion among ethnic Armenians at home and abroad on other issues. And for now at least, the Azerbaijani blogosphere and online community appears even quieter.


  • […] The full post is available on Voices Without Votes. […]

  • […] Without Votes takes a look at why many Armenians at home and abroad support U.S. Presidential Election Democratic Party Candidate Barack Obama and how Azerbaijanis and Turks are responding to his campaign promise to recognize the 1915 […]

  • John

    Obama is just empty promises with the grandiose oratory used by dictators. Why believe him? “We are the ones we have been waiting for.”

  • […] him over his opposition to recognition of the 1915 Armenian genocide), I read that an Armenian socnet war is on the make. Due to the perception that Obama is stronger on the issue of recognition (even […]

  • Sukru S. Aya

    Suggest those believing in the GENOCIDE tale, first read following three documents available on free E library “” and see how much they are misinformed:
    a- Relief Report 22.4.1922 of Joint US Senate/Congress
    b- Book “Why Armenia should be free” G. Pasirmaciyan, 1918 Boston
    c- Memorandum given to Paris Peace Conference, Feb. 1919

    Doc.(a) mentions no atrocities, says 1.4 million were alive at end 1921, docs (b-c) Repeatedly reaffirm treasons, wars, victories against Turks with photographs and undeniable details.


    Taxpayers voting for Obama is like chickens voting for Colonel Sanders!!!! DEMOCRATS ALWAYS RAISE TAXES!

    First, Obama said, “I will bring our troops out at a pace of one two brigades a month” which would mean the United States would be totally out of Iraq in 16 months. “That is what I intend to do as president of the United States.”

    Later, he said, “it is possible the 16-month timeline could slip if the pace of withdrawal needs to be slowed some months to ensure troop safety. I have always said … I would always reserve the right to do what’s best.”


    This man will do and say anything to get what he wants.

    Vote for John McCain in 2008.

  • XUG

    It’s debatable if the promises of politicians during election campaigns will hold.

    Obama, for his part, released a statement on northern Uganda and called the situation “heartbreaking” — the Obama campaign might as well have said nothing.

    “Heartbreaking” to describe an ongoing genocide which is slowly claiming the lives of hundreds and thousands of Acoli people while the world looks on and sanctions its government and leader, Yoweri Museveni, is clearly missing the point.

    The hope Obama brings can only be realized if his words match his actions. So far, his words have been sparse concerning Uganda, though he’s dropped the “genocide” word frequently of late, seemingly in order to paint himself as the crusader the world needs.

    Take a stand for human rights. Take a stand for truth. Xpose Uganda’s Genocide.

  • Gee Ling

    Barack Hussein Obama said he would never have gone to war in Iraq. Then, in the 2nd Presidential Debate, Obama said the USA should always use our military to prevent genocide. That is a huge contradiction because before the International Coalition deposed Saddam Hussein, Saddam was conducting two genocides in Iraq:
    1) Genocide against the Kurds in the North, where Saddam was killing 2,000 Kurds a day, and
    2) Genocide against the Shiite’s in the Southern marshes, where Saddam was draining the marshes, causing huge environmental damage, and using helicopters to machine gun the exposed villages.
    (Fact Check: facts obtained from “The War Crimes of Saddam Hussein” By Tom Head,

    We must remember that a free Iraq, convicted Saddam Hussein of the Genocide of 50,000 Iraquis. That is why he was found guilty of genocide in his trial and put to death.

    Before the International Coalition invaded and deposed Saddam Hussein, the USA was in an continuous hot war with Saddam to stop his genocides. That is why the USA maintained two No-Fly Zones in Iraq, one in the North and one in the South. It was a hot war, because Saddam Hussein’s military was shooting Russian missles at our war planes every few days. If one of those missles ever killed a USA plane and pilot, then the big war would have been started before the United Nations issued its mandate to depose Saddam Hussein.

    So Barack Hussein Obama lies about his own positions, statements, and beliefs, by changing them to fit whatever position that Obama thinks will give him a momentary advantage. More importantly, this shows really is dangerously inexperienced and ignorant of facts and history.

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