Text: H.Res.398 — 106th Congress (1999-2000)All Bill Information (Except Text)

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Introduced in House (11/18/1999)

 
[Congressional Bills 106th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H. Res. 398 Introduced in House (IH)]







106th CONGRESS
  1st Session
H. RES. 398

  Calling upon the President to provide for appropriate training and 
materials to all Foreign Service officers, United States Department of 
 State officials, and any other executive branch employee involved in 
  responding to issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and 
                   genocide, and for other purposes.


_______________________________________________________________________


                    IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

                           November 18, 1999

  Mr. Radanovich (for himself and Mr. Bonior) submitted the following 
   resolution; which was referred to the Committee on International 
                               Relations

_______________________________________________________________________

                               RESOLUTION


 
  Calling upon the President to provide for appropriate training and 
materials to all Foreign Service officers, United States Department of 
 State officials, and any other executive branch employee involved in 
  responding to issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and 
                   genocide, and for other purposes.

    Resolved,

SECTION. 1. SHORT TITLE.

    This resolution may be cited as the ``United States Training on and 
Commemoration of the Armenian Genocide Resolution''.

SEC. 2. FINDINGS.

    The House of Representatives finds the following:
            (1) The Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by 
        the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the 
        deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 
        men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were 
        expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the 
        elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in 
        their historic homeland.
            (2) On May 24, 1915, the Allied Powers, England, France, 
        and Russia, jointly issued a statement explicitly charging for 
        the first time ever another government of committing ``a crime 
        against humanity''.
            (3) This joint statement stated ``[i]n view of these new 
        crimes of Turkey against humanity and civilization, the Allied 
        Governments announce publicly to the Sublime Porte that they 
        will hold personally responsible for these crimes all members 
        of the Ottoman Government, as well as those of their agents who 
        are implicated in such massacres''.
            (4) The post-World War I Turkish Government indicted the 
        top leaders involved in the ``organization and execution'' of 
        the Armenian Genocide and in the ``massacre and destruction of 
        the Armenians''.
            (5) In a series of courts-martial, officials of the Young 
        Turk Regime were tried and convicted, as charged, for 
        organizing and executing massacres against the Armenian people.
            (6) The chief organizers of the Armenian Genocide, Minister 
        of War Enver, Minister of the Interior Talaat, and Minister of 
        the Navy Jemal were all condemned to death for their crimes, 
        however, the verdicts of the courts were not enforced.
            (7) The Armenian Genocide and these domestic judicial 
        failures are documented with overwhelming evidence in the 
        national archives of Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, 
        Russia, the United States, the Vatican and many other 
        countries, and this vast body of evidence attests to the same 
        facts, the same events, and the same consequences.
            (8) The United States National Archives and Record 
        Administration holds extensive and thorough documentation on 
        the Armenian Genocide, especially in its holdings under Record 
        Group 59 of the United States Department of State, files 867.00 
        and 867.40, which are open and widely available to the public 
        and interested institutions.
            (9) The national archives of Turkey should also include all 
        of the records pertaining to the indictment, trial, and 
        conviction of the Ottoman authorities responsible for the 
        Armenian Genocide.
            (10) The Honorable Henry Morgenthau, United States 
        Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1916, organized 
        and led protests by officials of many countries, among them the 
        allies of the Ottoman Empire, against the Armenian Genocide.
            (11) Ambassador Morgenthau explicitly described to the 
        United States Department of State the policy of the Young Turk 
        government as ``a campaign of race extermination'', and was 
        instructed on July 16, 1915, by United States Secretary of 
        State Robert Lansing that the ``Department approves your 
        procedure . . . to stop Armenian persecution''.
            (12) Senate Concurrent Resolution 12 of February 9, 1916, 
        resolved that ``the President of the United States be 
        respectfully asked to designate a day on which the citizens of 
        this country may give expression to their sympathy by 
        contributing funds now being raised for the relief of the 
        Armenians'', who at the time were enduring ``starvation, 
        disease, and untold suffering''.
            (13) President Wilson concurred and also encouraged the 
        formation of the organization known as Near East Relief, 
        chartered by an Act of Congress, which contributed some 
        $116,000,000 from 1915 to 1930 to aid the Armenian Genocide 
        survivors, including 132,000 orphans who became foster children 
        of the American people.
            (14) Senate Resolution 359, dated May 11, 1920, stated in 
        part, ``the testimony adduced at the hearings conducted by the 
        sub-committee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations have 
        clearly established the truth of the reported massacres and 
        other atrocities from which the Armenian people have 
        suffered''.
            (15) The resolution followed the April 13, 1920, report to 
        the Senate of the American Military Mission to Armenia led by 
        General James Harbord, that stated ``[m]utilation, violation, 
        torture, and death have left their haunting memories in a 
        hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that 
        region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal 
        crime of all the ages''.
            (16) Setting the stage for the Holocaust, Adolf Hitler, on 
        ordering his military commanders to attack Poland without 
        provocation in 1939, dismissed objections by saying ``[w]ho, 
        after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the 
        Armenians?''.
            (17) Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term ``genocide'' in 
        1944, and who was the earliest proponent of the Genocide 
        Convention, invoked the Armenian case as a definitive example 
        of genocide in the 20th century.
            (18) Raphael Lemkin described the crime as ``the systematic 
        destruction of whole national, racial or religious groups. The 
        sort of thing Hitler did to the Jews and the Turks did to the 
        Armenians''.
            (19) The first resolution on genocide adopted by the United 
        Nations at Lemkin's urging, the December 11, 1946, United 
        Nations General Assembly Resolution 96(1) and the United 
        Nations Genocide Convention itself recognized the Armenian 
        Genocide as the type of crime the United Nations intended to 
        prevent by codifying existing standards.
            (20) In 1948 the United Nations War Crimes Commission 
        invoked the Armenian Genocide ``precisely . . . one of the 
        types of acts which the modern term `crimes against humanity' 
        is intended to cover'' as a precedent for the Nuremberg 
        tribunals.
            (21) The Commission stated that ``[t]he provisions of 
        Article 230 of the Peace Treaty of Sevres were obviously 
        intended to cover, in conformity with the Allied note of 1915 . 
        . ., offenses which had been committed on Turkish territory 
        against persons of Turkish citizenship, though of Armenian or 
        Greek race. This article constitutes therefore a precedent for 
        Article 6c and 5c of the Nuremberg and Tokyo Charters, and 
        offers an example of one of the categories of `crimes against 
        humanity' as understood by these enactments''.
            (22) The United Nations Commission on Human Rights adopted 
        in 1985 a report entitled ``Study of the Question of the 
        Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide'', which 
        stated ``[t]he Nazi aberration has unfortunately not been the 
        only case of genocide in the twentieth century. Among other 
        examples which can be cited as qualifying are . . . the Ottoman 
        massacre of Armenians in 1915-1916''.
            (23) This report also explained that ``[a]t least 1 
        million, and possibly well over half of the Armenian 
        population, are reliably estimated to have been killed or death 
        marched by independent authorities and eye-witnesses. This is 
        corroborated by reports in United States, German and British 
        archives and of contemporary diplomats in the Ottoman Empire, 
        including those of its ally Germany''.
            (24) The tragedy of the Armenian Genocide has been 
        acknowledged by countries and international bodies such as 
        Argentina, Belgium, Canada, the Council of Europe, Cyprus, the 
        European Parliament, France, Great Britain, Greece, Lebanon, 
        Russia, the United Nations, the United States, and Uruguay.
            (25) The United States Holocaust Memorial Council, an 
        independent Federal agency, unanimously resolved on April 30, 
        1981, that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum would 
        include the Armenian Genocide in the Museum and has since done 
        so.
            (26) President Reagan in proclamation number 4838, dated 
        April 22, 1981, stated in part ``like the genocide of the 
        Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians, which 
        followed it--and like too many other persecutions of too many 
        other people--the lessons of the holocaust must never be 
        forgotten''.
            (27) President Bush, in 1988, speaking of the Armenian 
        Genocide, stated ``we must consciously and conscientiously 
        recognize the genocides of the past--the enormous tragedies 
        that have darkened this century and that haunt us still. We 
        must not only commemorate the courage of the victims and of 
        their survivors, but we must also remind ourselves that 
        civilization cannot be taken for granted. . . . We must all be 
        vigilant against this most heinous crime against humanity''.
            (28) President Bush, in 1988, stated further ``[t]he United 
        States must acknowledge the attempted genocide of the Armenian 
        people in the last years of the Ottoman Empire, based on the 
        testimony of survivors, scholars, and indeed our own 
        representatives at the time, if we are to insure that such 
        horrors are not repeated''.
            (29) President Clinton, on August 13, 1992, stated ``[t]he 
        Genocide of 1915, years of communist dictatorship, and the 
        devastating earthquake of 1988 have caused great suffering in 
        Armenia during this century''.
            (30) Reviewing an aberrant 1982 expression (later 
        retracted) by the United States Department of State asserting 
        that the facts of the Armenian Genocide may be ambiguous, the 
        United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 
        1993, after a review of documents pertaining to the policy 
        record of the United States, noted that the assertion on 
        ambiguity in the United States record about the Armenian 
        Genocide ``contradicted longstanding United States policy and 
        was eventually retracted''.
            (31) Despite the international recognition and affirmation 
        of the Armenian Genocide, the failure of the domestic and 
        international authorities to punish those responsible for the 
        Armenian Genocide is a reason why similar genocides have 
        recurred and may recur in the future, and that a proper 
        judicial and firm response, holding the guilty accountable and 
        requiring the prompt enforcement of verdicts would have spared 
        humanity needless suffering.
            (32) In a commendable letter on April 9, 1999, Ambassador 
        Stuart Eizenstat, then Under Secretary of State for Economic, 
        Business, and Agricultural Affairs, pledged that the 
        administration would raise with the Republic of Turkey the 
        issue of the recovery of Armenian assets from the genocide 
        period held by the Imperial Ottoman Bank.
            (33) It is important that all Foreign Service officers, 
        officials of the United States Department of State, and any 
other executive branch employee involved in responding to issues 
related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide are made 
familiar with the United States record relating to the Armenian 
Genocide and the consequences of the failure to enforce the judgments 
of the Turkish courts against the responsible officials.

SEC. 3. DECLARATION OF POLICY.

    The House of Representatives--
            (1) calls upon the President to provide for appropriate 
        training and materials to all Foreign Service officers, 
        officials of the United States Department of State, and any 
        other executive branch employee involved in responding to 
        issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide 
        by familiarizing them with the United States record relating to 
        the Armenian Genocide and the consequences of the failure to 
        enforce the judgments of the Turkish courts against the 
        responsible officials; and
            (2) calls upon the President in the President's annual 
        message commemorating the Armenian Genocide issued on or about 
        April 24 to characterize the systematic and deliberate 
        annihilation of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide and to recall 
        the proud history of United States intervention in opposition 
        to the Armenian Genocide.
                                 <all>