Rep. Radanovich Leads Effort in Support of H.Res.193

March 12, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC – A bi-partisan group of over 60 House Members called on Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), today, to bring the Genocide Resolution – H.Res.193 – for a full floor vote, reported the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA).

The letter, initiated by Rep. Radanovich (R-CA), stresses that, “As we saw in Rwanda a decade ago, and as we witness today the signs of a possible new genocide emerging around the world – as a government and a people – we must make sure that we apply the lessons of past genocide to prevent future crimes against humanity.”

The Genocide resolution was introduced in the House last April by Representatives Radanovich, Adam Schiff (D-CA), and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI). It was adopted unanimously by the House Judiciary Committee in May and has 111 cosponsors. Its companion legislation in the Senate, S.Res.164, was introduced last June by Senators John Ensign (R-NV) and Jon Corzine (D-NJ) and currently has 37 cosponsors.

The resolution cites the importance of remembering past crimes against humanity, including the Armenian Genocide, Holocaust, Cambodian and Rwandan genocides, in an effort to stop future atrocities. Support for the measure has been widespread, with a diverse coalition of over 100 ethnic, religious, civil and human rights organizations calling for its passage, including American Values, National Organization of Women, Sons of Italy, NAACP, Union of Orthodox Rabbis, and the National Council of La Raza.

Joining Rep. Radanovich in cosigning the letter to Speaker Hastert were Representatives: Tom Allen (D-ME), Rob Andrews (D-NJ), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Xavier Becerra (D-CA), Howard Berman (D-CA), Michael Bilirakis (R-FL), Tim Bishop (D-NY), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Ken Calvert (R-CA), Michael Capuano (D-MA), Dennis Cardoza (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Jerry Costello (D-IL), Joseph Crowley (D-NY), William Delahunt (D-MA), Rosa DeLauro (D-CT), John Dingell (D-MI), Elliot Engel (D-NY), Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Chaka Fattah (D-PA), Michael Ferguson (R-NJ), Bob Filner (D-CA), Barney Frank (D-MA), Scott Garrett (R-NJ), Mark Green (R-WI), Jim Greenwood (R-PA), Raul Grijalva (D-AZ), Luis Gutierrez (D-IL), Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), Rush Holt (D-NJ), Michael Honda (D-CA), Steve Israel (D-NY), Marcy Kaptur (D-OH), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Jerry Kleczka (D-WI), Dennis Kucinich (D-OH), James Langevin (D-RI), Jim Leach (R-IA), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Sander Levin (D-MI), Zoe Lofgren (D-CA), Nita Lowey (D-NY), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), Edward Markey (D-MA), James McGovern (D-MA), Michael McNulty (D-NY), Marty Meehan (D-MA), Juanita Millender-McDonald (D-CA), Grace Napolitano (D-CA), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Devin Nunes (R-CA), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Charles Rangel (D-NY), Steven Rothman (D-NJ), Adam Schiff (D-CA), Chris Smith (R-NJ), Mark Souder (R-IN), John Sweeney (R-NY), Edolphus Towns (D-NY), and Chris Van Hollen (D-MD).

The full text of the letter follows.



March 12, 2004

The Honorable Dennis J. Hastert
Speaker of the House
235 Cannon HOB
Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Hastert:

We are writing to share with you our strong support for bringing H. Res. 193 to the House floor for a vote as soon as possible.

This measure, as you know, commemorates the 15th anniversary of the U.S. implementation of the Genocide Convention and reinforces our nation’s dedication to this landmark human rights treaty. Approved in the shadow of the Holocaust, the Convention stands today as the international community’s best hope for the realization of the noble aim of eradicating forever the crime of genocide. The House Judiciary Committee, recognizing the importance of this effort, adopted H. Res. 193 without opposition on May 21st. One hundred and ten Representatives have cosponsored this measure, including both the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Judiciary Committee.

As we saw in Rwanda a decade ago, and as we witness today the signs of a possible new genocide emerging around the world, as a government and a people, we must make sure that we apply the lessons of past genocide to prevent future crimes against humanity. Sadly, even as we confront new genocides, we still have among us those who, against all facts and morality, deny the Holocaust or seek to rewrite the history of the past atrocities. These hateful deniers dishonor the dead and threaten the living. They make the world a more dangerous place by emboldening future potential perpetrators of genocide to believe that their crimes can be committed with impunity. Adolf Hitler confirmed this with his chilling remark to his military staff prior to launching the Holocaust, “who, after all remembers the annihilation of the Armenians.”

Clearly, the struggle against genocide is not over. The pressing need to remain ever vigilant was underscored recently by Samantha Power, Pulitzer Prize winning author of ” A Problem from Hell: American in the Age of Genocide.” Commenting on similar legislation in the 107th Congress, she noted that, “For too long American leaders and citizens have reflexively uttered the phrase ‘never again’ without taking concrete steps to give the slogan meaning. This legislation marks the beginning of a twenty-first century campaign to get the U.S. government to commit itself politically and operationally to prevent future genocide.”

Recalling your support for H. Res. 596 in the 106th Congress and knowing of your principled advocacy for human rights around the world, we ask that you please move quickly to schedule a vote on H. Res. 193. Thank you for your consideration of our request.

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Elizabeth S. Chouldjian
Email / Tel: (202) 775-1918
Armenian National Committee of America
888 17th Street, NW, Suite 904, Washington, DC 20006
Tel. (202) 775-1918 * Fax. (202) 775-5648 * Email.anca@anca.org
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