Marat Terterov: Armenia’s long term security will be better served by strengthening economic security, rather than defining national security on the basis of the Tsarist Russian catch-cry “armiya i flot”
The second part of the debate between two Democratic Congressmen, Howard Berman and Brad Sherman washeld at the Ferrahian School's Avedissian Hall in Encino, California, on Sept. 29. The debate was organized by the Armenian National Committee of America, Western Region.
"We need to recognize the Genocide not only for Armenia, not only for America, but the Turkish state will never be a modern state until it comes to grip with its own history." Criticizing US government's reluctance to use the term Armenian Genocide, Cong. Sherman asked: "What kind of superpower cowers before history? What kind of superpower worries about Turkish threats? Dozens of parliaments around this world have recognized the Genocide. It is about time for Congress to have the same level of courage!" Congressman Sherman said.
He urged his Israeli colleagues to recognize the Armenian Genocide even before the U.S. does it. ":Here, there is still this mirage that somehow Turkey is the critical American ally. In Israel, that same mirage was more or less shattered recently, and so we may indeed find that Israel is able to beat the United States in recognizing the first genocide of the 20th century. And given the history of Israel and the history of the Jewish people, I think it's an important thing to do. So I for one don't believe we should wait to urge Israel to move forward, but we should be inspired to move forward ourselves as quickly as possible," Sherman said.
In response to a question on what the two Congressmen would do to encourage America's allies such as Israel to recognize the Armenian Genocide, Cong. Berman stated that "it is audacious for a country that itself hasn't recognized the Armenian Genocide, to start telling other countries what they should be doing. So number one: get this [genocide] resolution passed, and push and persuade the Executive Branch to support what the Congress has done, and then you do want to make it into an international consensus. But, we are not effectively going to tell a government that they should do something that we
haven't yet done. :"
In response to a question on whether the United States should stop paying rent to the Turkish government for the Airbase in Incirlik, Turkey -- located on occupied Armenian territories -- and pay that money to the heirs of original Armenian owners, Cong. Sherman stated: "I look forward to developing a foreign policy where we are less dependent upon the use of bases in Turkey, because I've seen them try to lobby the Pentagon, to lobby Congress not to recognize the Genocide on the theory that, 'oh, you need our bases.' We can and should work with our other southeast Asian NATO allies to have a basing structure that does not require us to be paying rent to the Turkish state. :However, as long as our base is on that land, that becomes an excellent argument for additional aid to the Armenian state because we're on that territory."