Obama prevents Smithsonian from display of Armenian artifact on genocide

October 27, 2013

The Islamic supremacist Ottoman government “embarked upon the systematic decimation of its civilian Armenian population.” Millions of Christians were slaughtered. The continuing denial of the Armenian genocide is a crime against humanity. Shame on those who, for political expediency, wish to sweep this annihilation  under the rug.

       The Armenian Genocide was one of the most compelling human rights crises of World War I, helping to inspire Adolf Hitler three decades later to carry out the atrocities of World War II.

Hitler said, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” Not Obama.

Hitler’s quote is still relevant today because the forces of denial and  revisionism are still striving to expunge from history the record of  this enormous crime against humanity – the first modern genocide of the  20th century.

Despite the monstrous lessons of the twentieth century, Obama is repeating the same terrible, ghastly pattern. Not even a precious rug can be displayed in Obama’s unending deference to the supremacist PM Erdogan. He prostrates himself at the feet of annihilationists.

Armenian ‘orphan rug’ is in White House storage, as unseen as genocide is neglected” Washington Post, October 26, 2013(thanks to Armaros)

Courtesy of The Armenian Cultural Foundation – Cover art for “President Calvin Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug” by Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian.

The rug was woven by orphans in  the 1920s and formally presented to the White House in 1925. A  photograph shows President Calvin Coolidge standing on the carpet, which is no mere juvenile effort, but a complicated, richly detailed work  that would hold its own even in the largest and most ceremonial rooms.

Armenian genocide rug’s freedom a worthy cause for American Jews JNS, October 25, 2013

Ninety-nine years after the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, one of the most poignant symbols of Armenian suffering is being held hostage—by the White House.


Caption:  Armenians are marched to a nearby prison in Mezireh by armed Turkish  soldiers in Kharpert, Armenia, in April, 1915. Ninety-nine years after  the Armenian genocide, one of the most poignant symbols of Armenian suffering is being held hostage by the White House, writes Rafael Medoff. Credit: Project SAVE via Wikimedia  Commons.

The prisoner is an 18-foot long rug. It was woven by four hundred Armenian orphan girls living in exile in Lebanon, as a gesture of appreciation for America’s assistance to survivors of the genocide. In 1925, they sent the rug to President Calvin Coolidge, who pledged that it would have “a place of honor in the White House, where it will be a daily symbol of goodwill on earth.”

Unfortunately, the rug is instead becoming a symbol of the unseemly politics of genocide. An Armenian-American dentist, Hagop Martin Deranian, recently authored a book called “President Calvin Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug,” and the Smithsonian Institution scheduled an event about Dr. Dernanian’s book for Dec. 16. But when the Smithsonian asked the White House to loan it the rug for the event, the request was denied.

Reporters who asked the State Department about it this week were referred to the White House. When they asked the White House spokesman, they were curtly told that he had nothing to say except, “It is not possible to loan it out at this time.”

Armenian-American leaders believe the Obama administration is responding to pressure from the Turkish government, which denies that genocide took place. And Armenians have good reason to be suspicious. As a presidential candidate in 2008, then-Senator Obama declared, “America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian genocide.” By contrast the statements that President Obama has issued each April on Armenian Remembrance Day have never included the g-word. Instead, he has used an Armenian expression—“Meds Yeghern,” meaning “the great calamity.” Fear of displeasing the Turks appears to be the only plausible motive for that rhetorical sleight-of-hand.

Armenian-Americans are not the only ones who should be upset. American Jews should be up in arms, too. Not only because of the sympathy that victims of genocide instinctively feel for one another—but also because if the White House can permit political considerations to trump recognition of the Armenian genocide, there is a danger that memorialization of the Holocaust could one day suffer a similar fate.

In any event, at least one president did keep his word: Calvin Coolidge proudly displayed the Armenian Orphan Rug in the White House for the rest of his term.

After he left office, Coolidge took the rug to his Massachusetts residence. It was still there in 1939, when former First Lady Grace Coolidge became a leading figure in the struggle to rescue a different group of children from a genocidal dictator. Mrs. Coolidge lobbied in support of the Wagner-Rogers bill, which would have admitted 20,000 German Jewish children to the United States. But President Franklin Delano Roosevelt refused to support the legislation, and it was buried in committee.


Ironically, FDR’s relative and predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, advocated declaring war on Turkey over the Armenian genocide. “The failure to deal radically with the Turkish horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense,” the then-ex-president asserted in 1918. Teddy Roosevelt was correct to fear that tolerating genocide would pave the way for it to happen again.

Indeed, Adolf Hitler reportedly once assured his subordinates that their atrocities would not be remembered since “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”

The genocide rug eventually made it back to the White House and was in use during at least part of the Clinton administration. But it has not been seen in public since then. If the Obama administration and the Turkish government have their way, it seems, the imprisoned rug may never again see the light of day.

Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, in Washington, D.C. His latest book is “FDR and the Holocaust: A Breach of Faith.”


The man revolts me.

Armenian Genocide: https://mediachecker.wordpress.com/2013/06/07/the-armenian-genocide/

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