Obama stops Smithsonian from displaying Armenian Genocide-era artwork for fear of irking Turks


Turkey’s ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide is consistent with an unbroken Islamic supremacist pattern: never, ever admit wrongdoing; never, ever take responsibility for actions that cause harm; never, ever acknowledge that jihad actions (such as the Armenian Genocide) cause immeasurable suffering to human beings; always, always instead blame the kuffar who have the temerity to point out the wrongdoing.

And Obama, who counts Recep Tayyip Erdogan as a friend, falls right in line.

“Armenian “˜orphan rug” is in White House storage, as unseen as genocide is neglected,” by Philip Kennicott for the Washington Post, October 21 (thanks to AINA):

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.

If you can read a carpet’s cues, the plants and animals depicted on the rug may represent the Garden of Eden, which is about as far removed as possible from the rug’s origins in the horrific events of 1915, when the fracturing and senescent Ottoman Empire began a murderous campaign against its Armenian population. Between 1 million and 1.5 million people were killed or died of starvation, and others were uprooted from their homes in what has been termed the first modern and systematic genocide. Many were left orphans, including the more than 100,000 children who were assisted by the U.S.-sponsored Near East Relief organization, which helped relocate and protect the girls who wove the “orphan rug.” It was made in the town of Ghazir, now in Lebanon, as thanks for the United States” assistance during the genocide.

There was hope that the carpet, which has been in storage for almost 20 years, might be displayed Dec. 16 as part of a Smithsonian event that would include a book launch for Hagop Martin Deranian’s “President Calvin Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug.” But on Sept. 12, the Smithsonian scholar who helped organize the event canceled it, citing the White House’s decision not to loan the carpet. In a letter to two Armenian American organizations, Paul Michael Taylor, director of the institution’s Asian cultural history program, had no explanation for the White House’s refusal to allow the rug to be seen and said that efforts by the U.S. ambassador to Armenia, John A. Heffern, to intervene had also been unavailing.

Although Taylor, Heffern and the White House curator, William G. Allman, had discussed during a January meeting the possibility of an event that might include the rug, it became clear that the rug wasn’t going to emerge from deep hiding.

“This week I spoke again with the White House curator asking if there was any indication of when a loan might be possible again but he has none,” wrote Taylor in the letter. Efforts to contact Heffern through the embassy in the Armenian capital of Yerevan were unsuccessful, and the State Department referred all questions to the White House.

Last week, the White House issued a statement: “The Ghazir rug is a reminder of the close relationship between the peoples of Armenia and the United States. We regret that it is not possible to loan it out at this time.”

That leaves the rug, and the sponsors of the event, in limbo, a familiar place for Armenians. Neither Ara Ghazarians of the Armenian Cultural Foundation nor Levon Der Bedrossian of the Armenian Rugs Society can be sure if the event they had helped plan was canceled for the usual political reason: fear of negative reaction from Turkey, which has resolutely resisted labeling the events at the end of the Ottoman Empire a genocide. But both suspect it might have been.

“Turkey is a very powerful country,” says Der Bedrossian, whose organization was planning to fund a reception for the event.

And it’s a sign of the Obama administration’s dismal reputation in the Armenian American community that everyone assumes it must be yet another slap in the face for Armenians seeking to promote understanding of one of the darkest chapters in 20th-century history.

Aram Suren Hamparian, executive director of the Armenian National Committee of America, says the president has had “a very negative reception across the board in the Armenian world, and that includes both Democrats and Republicans.” The principal emotion is profound disappointment. As a candidate, and senator, Obama spoke eloquently about the Armenian genocide, risking the ire of Turkey and Turkish organizations. But since taking office, says Hamparian, Obama has avoided the word, making more general statements about Armenian suffering. Critics of his silence point to the geopolitical importance of Turkey in a region made only more complex by the Arab Spring and a brutal civil war in Syria.

Calls and e-mails to the Turkish Embassy in Washington weren’t returned….

Who benefits from the convergence of Iran and Turkey?
Robert Spencer in FrontPage Magazine: The Muslim Brotherhood's Man in the White House
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  1. says


    Is relation with Turkey worth that much? They think they are so big and bad, let them defend themselves. I don’t think they’ll get far.

  2. says

    Muslims loudly insist on respect for Islam

    Yet they disrespect Armenian history of genocide by Muslims.

    The world is changing.
    The truth is about to rip Islam apart.
    The truth is about to tear Islam to shreds.
    The truth is as relentless as Islam is shameless.

  3. says

    Please watch Ararat, it is very illuminating:

    The Armenian Christian Genocide in 1890:

    But do not forget the Rhom Greek genocide, that happened directly after:

    The Roum-Greek Christian Genocide in 1920:

    For us in Britain, the Great War ended in 1918. What we forget, is that the Great War started for Greece in 1918…

  4. says

    >>consistent with an unbroken Islamic supremacist
    >>pattern: never, ever admit wrongdoing

    And this is not simply in politics. A Turk is NEVER wrong – in anything. Any stupid excuse will be dreamed up to cover the truth, but a Turk is never wrong.

    Read about the Great Fire of Smyrna. The Turks say that the Greek set their own city alight. Hmmm, yes, we believe you.

  5. says

    Oh, and one other point – most Turks don’t know anything about these genocides. The education system is woeful, and only teaches Turkish propaganda. They are now opening a mosque in every school.

    So when Turks say: ‘why are these Greek Islands right next to our country, why did we let them take them over?’ – they really do not know that these islands have always been Greek, as was all of Turkey until 1453.

    In fact, 50% of most Turkish cities were Christian, until 1922, but the Armenian and Greek genocides have reduced the Christian population to less than 1%.

    The tourist guide to Diyarbakir boasts that there are 12 ancient churches in the old city. But negates to say that 11 have been burned down since the 1920s. Like other eastern Turkish cities the census for 1860 had 55% of the population as Christian. Now, there are only 40 people, out of 900,000 who are Christian. They have one church left – a 3rd century church – hiding behind fortress walls. A haven of peace in a turbulent, chaotic and aggressive city.

  6. says

    Turks have to learn how to be adults. The world is not black and white. Why is the US babying them like they are children? Let them get angry and pout. They have to grow up someday. All countries should accept and study their past. Turks should honor and commemorate all the history of the land they live on. Not only the times that the Turks ruled the lands. Egypt respects its ancient history and thinks of it as its own. Why cannot Turkey accept its Greek, Armenian, Assyrian, and Kurdish past. It is good Turkey did not get the Olympics because its denial of its past.

  7. says

    Calvin Coolidge is the butt of every Leftist’s japes and thought of as one of the most bland and indistinguished prsidents in American history. However, he presided over a period of real economic growth and prosperity, when the average person could actually own things like automobiles. He showed a level-headed sensibility about international affairs which Wilson had lacked. His acceptance of a testimony to one of the great horrors of history (and I am related to people who perished in the Shoah) only increases his stature with me.

  8. says

    … Paul Michael Taylor, director of the institution’s Asian cultural history program, had no explanation for the White House’s refusal to allow the rug to be seen …

    Can’t violate the party line.

  9. says

    The group should hold the exhibition and include a life size photo of the carpet with an explanation about the White House refusal to allow the original to be used.

  10. says

    There’s something else that’s very badly needed.

    An independent-minded film-maker with a lot of money and a lot of chutzpah who will be prepared to move mountains, buy the film rights from the last possessor, and make a really *good* film – a massive all-stops-out blockbuster epic – out of the classic novel about the genocide of the Armenians: “Forty Days of Musa Dagh”.


    The Turkish Muslims have done everything they possibly can to suppress the original novel and to stymy all attempts at turning it into the sort of film it *ought* to be.

    It’s time they got one almighty slap in the face from *someone*.

  11. says

    And I understand that one of the few functioning churches in Diyarbekir, a new Evangelical one with no aesthetic or historical fame, is used largely by Turkish and Kurdish ex-Muslims.