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America Recognizes Armenian Genocide

April 26, 2021

Episode Notes:

Last weekend, Joe Biden became the first sitting U.S. president to declare the mass killing of up to 1.5 million Armenians between 1915 and 1922 a genocide. In a statement on April 24, the date Ottomans seized Armenian leaders and intellectuals in Istanbul in 1915 in what many scholars view as the opening phase of the genocide, the president acknowledged the tragedy of the Armenian genocide along with the contributions of Armenian immigrants to the United States. Biden’s predecessors had been reluctant to publicly comment on the Armenian genocide out of a fear of upsetting Turkey, a key NATO ally. Turkey summoned the U.S. ambassador to protest the statement.

Nicholas Danforth — a contributing editor at War on the Rocks and non-resident senior research fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP) — joins the Warcast to explain the significance of the president’s statement on the Armenian genocide and how Turkey might respond.


[ 01:16 ] What did Biden’s statement say and were there any specific details that stood out?

[ 02:29 ] How upset is Turkey?

[ 07:08 ] There is clearly a moral case for acknowledging the Armenian genocide, but was it in America's national interest to do so? In other words, what did the United States gain from Biden's statement?

[ 09:20 ] What do you think led the administration to make this statement now?

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