|Pro-Turkish, Anti-Armenian Bias
Internal State Dept. Memos Show
Pro-Turkish, Anti-Armenian Bias
By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California Courier
Recently declassified confidential State Department memos reveal the extent
of prevailing pro-Turkish and anti-Armenian attitudes among Washington
Even though government censors have deleted the most sensitive parts of
these documents, they still reveal a definite pro-Turkish bias at the State
Dept. While American officials outwardly act very friendly toward
Armenian-Americans -- invitations to high-level meetings at the White House,
lavish receptions at the State Department, and glowing proclamations --
behind closed doors, these same officials take positions that are
unfavorable and often hostile to Armenian interests.
These declassified documents are valuable because they provide not only a
rare glimpse into policy positions of American officials on Armenian issues,
but also show what they privately say to Turkish officials on these issues!
Some of these memos are so pro-Turkish that they sound like they were
written by a Turkish rather than an American official. Occasionally, the
Americans support some Turkish demands, even when taking such a position
would be contrary to the best interests of the United States,
For example, some of the declassified documents state that exports of
Turkish textile to the U.S. increased by 173% in 1985, "on top of a
tremendous increase in 1984 over 1983." As a result of these growing
imports, "the [U.S.] textile and apparel sector has lost 168,000 jobs or 8%
of that sector's work force since 1980." The documents mention that "a
coalition of labor and industry organizations has mounted a powerful
campaign in Congress for further protection from imports. The Textile and
Apparel Trade Enforcement Act of 1985 now has been passed by the House. A
slightly different version is pending in the Senate."
One would think that if cheap Turkish imports were causing the loss of
168,000 U.S. jobs, the White House would come to the protection of American
workers and limit the importation of foreign textiles. Amazingly, the
confidential memo states that "the Administration is strongly opposed to
this legislation; it is expected that the President's advisors will
recommend a veto of this legislation." The memo provides the following
incredible reason for taking such an anti-American position: "Turkish
textile exports would be seriously affected by cutbacks if this bill is
passed!" In other words, the Administration was placing the interests of
Turkish workers ahead of the interests of American workers!
There are many other indications in these documents that the White House
bent over backwards to accommodate Turkey, often at the expense of U.S.
It is therefore not surprising that when some members of Congress in 1985
introduced a resolution to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Armenian
Genocide, the Administration left no stone unturned to block it. The
Turkophiles in the Departments of State and Defense, then and now, care more
about appeasing Turkey than defending American interests and basic values
like justice and human rights!
One of the State Department's declassified documents, F95-039/1/108,
provides the following totally perverted version of the events leading to
the Armenian Genocide: "During World War I, severe fighting among Turks,
Armenians, Kurds and other ethnic groups took place in eastern Turkey,
encouraged by Russia and other powers hostile to the [Ottoman] Empire. In
1915, the government deported large numbers of Armenians to what is now
Syria. In this period, hundreds of thousands of Armenians, Turks, and
others, died or suffered."
The document goes on to state: "the Turks deny a genocide occurred (many
Armenians still live in Turkey today)." The State Department official who wrote this sentence is totally ignorant about the definition of genocide. He
or she seems to be implying that since "many Armenians still live in Turkey
today," no genocide must have taken place! This statement is as idiotic as
saying that there was no Holocaust, since there are still Jews living in
The document further states: "the Administration opposes favorable action on
the [genocide] resolutions on grounds they would reward and encourage
terrorism and harm relations with a vital NATO ally. Secretary [of State
George] Shultz and NSC [National Security Advisor Robert] McFarlane have
assured the GOT [Government of Turkey] of our best efforts to prevent
passage. The secretary has written to the five top leaders of Congress
seeking their assistance on the matter."
These confidential documents reveal the position of American officials on
Armenian and Turkish issues in the 1980's. Regrettably, the strong
pro-Turkish and anti-Armenian bias persists to this day in the highest
echelons of the U.S. government. It is up to the Armenian-American community
to come up with the necessary resources and the proper action plan to ensure
that such anti-Armenian and anti-American attitudes are not perpetuated!