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ChatChat - Claudia Cragg

Apr 22, 2021

President Joe Biden is to declare the massacre of an estimated million or more Armenians under the Ottoman Empire a "genocide", risking a potential fracture with Turkey but fulfilling a campaign pledge. This pledge was to, at long last, use the word to describe the horrendous mass killings after a series of his predecessors stopped short.

Two sources have today, Thursday 22nd April, 2020, said that President Biden will make the declaration as part of an official statement this Saturday.
There are many people all over the world who have worked solidly towards this moment, towards this recognition of a historical horror.  One such is Lou Ureneck, formerly of The Philadelphia Inquirer, who we revisit here with our @KGNU interview.

Ureneck was a prime mover behind the movie 'The Promise', set against the background of World War I dealing with the program by The Ottoman Turks to exterminate the Armenians.

This was a cinematic project dear to the late Kirk Kerkorian, perhaps best known for his Las Vegas hotel and casino connections and his ownership of MGM, but himself an Armenian for whom the massacre was not just some tale of history..

The events covered in the movie and in his book,  'The Great Fire' @smyrnafire Ureneck explains, constituted the final episode of what he terms "the 20th Century’s first #genocide" — the slaughter of three million Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians of the Ottoman Empire.

The massacre occurred as warships of the great powers stood by — the United States, Great Britain, France and Italy. The deaths of hundreds of thousands seemed inevitable until a minister, who happened to be an American, staged a bold rescue with the help of a courageous naval officer.