Biden Must Act to Stop the Next Armenian Genocide Before It’s Too Late

The United States has a long history of inaction on genocide, while offering hollow statements like “Never Again.” It is time for that to change.

[Erin O'Flynn | The Daily Beast | Getty]

“Million Armenians Killed Or Exile.” “Tell Horror Done in Armenia.” “Armenians Are Sent To Perish In Desert.”

These are just some of the headlines from The New York Times in 1915 that described the first genocide of the 20th century, when more than 1.5 million Armenians were systemically exterminated by the Ottoman Turks, an event the Turkish government denies to this day. Despite the overwhelming evidence at the time, the world stood idly by and did nothing.

In his most recent project, Ken Burns, the celebrated American documentary filmmaker, looked at America’s response (or lack thereof) to the Holocaust and its indifference in preventing one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the 20th century by asking if the nation lived up to its principles and ideals.

The United States has a long history of failing to prevent or halt genocide, though it has a rich history of offering hollow statements like “Never Again.” Whether it was President Bill Clinton’s mea culpa for failing to intervene the 1994 Rwandan genocide, or the Trump administration’s loud but feckless accusation of genocide by China against the Uyghurs, U.S. foreign policy has been big on words but small on action.

That is why the current crisis taking place in the South Caucasus, where Azerbaijan is currently committing war crimes and atrocities against Armenians, offers the Biden administration an opportunity to change that narrative.