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 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 â€œcommitmentâ€ 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.Â
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…Â
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!Â
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.Â
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 Turkeyâ€™s dilemma â€the so-called genocideâ€.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.Â
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.Â
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.