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Ambassador Evans Recalled?


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#1 Arpa

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 06:34 AM

AZG Armenian Daily #042, 08/03/2006

Diplomatic corps

AMBASSADOR EVANS TO BE RECALLED FOR ACKNOWLEDGING THE GENOCIDE

Ever since last year, when John Evans, the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, during a tour of the Armenian American community, broke rank with his superiors and publicly acknowledged the Armenian Genocide, there have been persistent stories circulating about his possible recall.

Last year, during a public gathering at the University of California at Berkeley, Amb. Evans courageously said: "I will today call it the Armenian Genocide…. I informed myself in depth about it. I think we, the US government, owe you, our fellow citizens, a more frank and honest way of discussing this problem. Today, as someone who has studied it … there’s no doubt in my mind [as to] what happened…. I think it is unbecoming of us, as Americans, to play word games here. I believe in calling things by their name." Referring to the Armenian Genocide as "the first genocide of the 20th century," he said: "I pledge to you, we are going to do a better job at addressing this issue." Amb. Evans also disclosed that he had consulted with a legal advisor at the State Department who had confirmed that the events of 1915 were "genocide by definition."

Within days of making these statements and after complaints from Turkish and Azeri officials to the State Department, Amb. Evans was ordered by his superiors to issue "a clarification" in which he said that "misunderstandings" might have arisen as a result of his earlier comments. He said that he had used the term "genocide" in his "personal capacity."

The very next day, Amb. Evans was further embarrassed when he was ordered to issue "a correction" to his "clarification," amending the words "the United States policy on the Armenian Genocide" to "the United States policy on the Armenian tragedy." The Turkish press reported that the State Dept. had forced him to make this "correction," after receiving complaints from Turkey’s Ambassador to Washington.

Several months later, under pressure from the State Department, the American Foreign Service Association took the very unusual step of rescinding a "Constructive Dissent" award that it had decided to grant Amb. Evans during a special ceremony that was to be held at the State Department on June 17, 2005. It is highly ironic that Amb. Evans was deprived of a "dissent" award for deviating from official U.S. policy! Around that time, he was abruptly summoned to Washington, D.C. by his superiors for consultations.

After months of uncertainty, it now appears that the rumors about his possible dismissal have finally become reality. The State Department recently finalized the decision to recall him. According to reliable Armenian governmental sources, Amb. Evans informed high-ranking Armenian officials last week about his departure in the coming months, pending the Senate approval of his likely successor, Richard E. Hoagland, who is currently the U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan. Knowledgeable U.S. sources in Washington have confirmed to this writer that Amb. Evans was being recalled because of his candid remarks on the Armenian Genocide. Neither the Ambassador nor the State Dept. has made any public comments regarding these developments.

It is noteworthy that during a hearing before the House International Relations Committee last month, Cong. Adam Schiff (Democrat of California) asked US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice several pointed questions regarding Amb. Evans. Cong. Schiff asked that Secretary Rice explain in writing if the State Dept. played any role in the reversal of the decision to grant Amb. Evans the "dissent" award. Cong. Schiff also asked the Secretary State to assure the House Committee that the Department of State has not taken, and will not take, any punitive actions against Amb. Evans for speaking out about the Armenian Genocide. Secretary Rice has not yet responded to these questions.

Amb. Evans has taken a principled stand for which he is sacrificing his diplomatic career. Even if it is too late to reverse the State Dept.’s decision, Armenians in general and Armenian-Americans in particular need to express their objection to the State Department’s punitive action against a distinguished diplomat for telling the truth about the Armenian Genocide.

Unless Armenians take a strong stand, they would be sending the wrong signal to the U.S. government that the Armenian Genocide is not an important issue for them! If they remain quiet on this occasion, never again would another U.S. diplomat dare to speak up on the Armenian Genocide, knowing full well that he would jeopardize his career and no one would care.

Write to your congressional representative and send a complaint to the Secretary of State at: www.state.gov. Click on "contact us" and then click on "send a message to the Secretary of State."

Make your voices heard loud and clear!

By Harut Sassounian; Publisher, The California Courier


© Copyright AZG

#2 phantom22

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 06:42 AM

This is a canard. Evans is not being replaced. State Department as categorically denied this is going to happen.


QUOTE(Arpa @ Mar 8 2006, 06:34 AM) View Post
AZG Armenian Daily #042, 08/03/2006

Diplomatic corps

AMBASSADOR EVANS TO BE RECALLED FOR ACKNOWLEDGING THE GENOCIDE

Ever since last year, when John Evans, the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, during a tour of the Armenian American community, broke rank with his superiors and publicly acknowledged the Armenian Genocide, there have been persistent stories circulating about his possible recall.

Last year, during a public gathering at the University of California at Berkeley, Amb. Evans courageously said: "I will today call it the Armenian Genocide…. I informed myself in depth about it. I think we, the US government, owe you, our fellow citizens, a more frank and honest way of discussing this problem. Today, as someone who has studied it … there’s no doubt in my mind [as to] what happened…. I think it is unbecoming of us, as Americans, to play word games here. I believe in calling things by their name." Referring to the Armenian Genocide as "the first genocide of the 20th century," he said: "I pledge to you, we are going to do a better job at addressing this issue." Amb. Evans also disclosed that he had consulted with a legal advisor at the State Department who had confirmed that the events of 1915 were "genocide by definition."

Within days of making these statements and after complaints from Turkish and Azeri officials to the State Department, Amb. Evans was ordered by his superiors to issue "a clarification" in which he said that "misunderstandings" might have arisen as a result of his earlier comments. He said that he had used the term "genocide" in his "personal capacity."

The very next day, Amb. Evans was further embarrassed when he was ordered to issue "a correction" to his "clarification," amending the words "the United States policy on the Armenian Genocide" to "the United States policy on the Armenian tragedy." The Turkish press reported that the State Dept. had forced him to make this "correction," after receiving complaints from Turkey’s Ambassador to Washington.

Several months later, under pressure from the State Department, the American Foreign Service Association took the very unusual step of rescinding a "Constructive Dissent" award that it had decided to grant Amb. Evans during a special ceremony that was to be held at the State Department on June 17, 2005. It is highly ironic that Amb. Evans was deprived of a "dissent" award for deviating from official U.S. policy! Around that time, he was abruptly summoned to Washington, D.C. by his superiors for consultations.

After months of uncertainty, it now appears that the rumors about his possible dismissal have finally become reality. The State Department recently finalized the decision to recall him. According to reliable Armenian governmental sources, Amb. Evans informed high-ranking Armenian officials last week about his departure in the coming months, pending the Senate approval of his likely successor, Richard E. Hoagland, who is currently the U.S. Ambassador to Tajikistan. Knowledgeable U.S. sources in Washington have confirmed to this writer that Amb. Evans was being recalled because of his candid remarks on the Armenian Genocide. Neither the Ambassador nor the State Dept. has made any public comments regarding these developments.

It is noteworthy that during a hearing before the House International Relations Committee last month, Cong. Adam Schiff (Democrat of California) asked US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice several pointed questions regarding Amb. Evans. Cong. Schiff asked that Secretary Rice explain in writing if the State Dept. played any role in the reversal of the decision to grant Amb. Evans the "dissent" award. Cong. Schiff also asked the Secretary State to assure the House Committee that the Department of State has not taken, and will not take, any punitive actions against Amb. Evans for speaking out about the Armenian Genocide. Secretary Rice has not yet responded to these questions.

Amb. Evans has taken a principled stand for which he is sacrificing his diplomatic career. Even if it is too late to reverse the State Dept.’s decision, Armenians in general and Armenian-Americans in particular need to express their objection to the State Department’s punitive action against a distinguished diplomat for telling the truth about the Armenian Genocide.

Unless Armenians take a strong stand, they would be sending the wrong signal to the U.S. government that the Armenian Genocide is not an important issue for them! If they remain quiet on this occasion, never again would another U.S. diplomat dare to speak up on the Armenian Genocide, knowing full well that he would jeopardize his career and no one would care.

Write to your congressional representative and send a complaint to the Secretary of State at: www.state.gov. Click on "contact us" and then click on "send a message to the Secretary of State."

Make your voices heard loud and clear!

By Harut Sassounian; Publisher, The California Courier


© Copyright AZG


#3 Arpa

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 06:43 AM

If handled correctly this incident can be a valuable tool for us to publicize the hypocrisy.
Amb. Evans should run for public office whereby he, with our support bring forward his experience bot h as an ambassador and resident of Yerevan.

#4 Yervant1

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 11:00 AM

QUOTE(Arpa @ Mar 8 2006, 07:43 AM) View Post
If handled correctly this incident can be a valuable tool for us to publicize the hypocrisy.
Amb. Evans should run for public office whereby he, with our support bring forward his experience bot h as an ambassador and resident of Yerevan.

If ever elected he could be a good friend of Armenians but I don't think he would dare to touch the issue of hypocricy, we all know U.S. politics is all about double standards and hypocricy.

#5 DominO

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Posted 08 March 2006 - 10:54 PM

QUOTE(phantom22 @ Mar 8 2006, 07:42 AM) View Post
This is a canard. Evans is not being replaced. State Department as categorically denied this is going to happen.


I also doubt his replacement.

#6 karakash

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Posted 28 March 2006 - 10:33 AM

QUOTE(QueBeceR @ Mar 8 2006, 11:54 PM) View Post
I also doubt his replacement.


Evans is not the only one to publically say Armenian Genocide. In 1998, I and other students at Boston College met with Nicholas Burns and he said it was genocide but he kept saying "off the record, off the record."

#7 gamavor

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Posted 11 October 2007 - 11:54 AM

I think Ambassador Evans can re-assume his duties, after the vote in the Congress. It looks like he never ceased to be an Ambassador to Armenia, just recalled for consultations. smile.gif

#8 Lev7

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Posted 27 November 2007 - 07:51 PM

By Harut Sassounian

Publisher, The California Courier

More than two years after her husband became the first U.S. diplomat to publicly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, Donna Evans revealed some of the behind-the-scene details of Ambassador John Evans’ tenure in Armenia and his dramatic forced retirement from the U.S. Foreign Service. She spoke at the Armenian Assembly’s Annual Capital Region Holiday Reception held at the Armenian Embassy in Washington, D.C., on November 18.
Mrs. Evans began her talk by describing the phone call she received from her husband, telling her, “Assistant Secretary of State Beth Jones had just informed him that he was the State Department’s choice to be assigned as Ambassador to Armenia in the summer of 2004. She told him that it was a small country but growing in importance and had a significant assistance program and a new Embassy was being built. She encouraged him to accept it and he did, without hesitation.”
After Senate confirmation, Amb. Evans and his wife moved to Armenia in fall 2004. Mrs. Evans described the constant “tension” because the “unwritten policy of the State Department was that the word ‘genocide’ had to be in quotation marks and, if spoken, it would be referred to as the ‘g’ word.” She said Foreign Service officers “knew, for certain, that the word ‘genocide’ was a strict taboo.”
She went on to state, “The Armenian genocide was a very sensitive subject and therefore avoided in diplomatic circles in Yerevan. The wives of other ambassadors did not talk about it even in private. The first time we drove by the Genocide Memorial my husband whispered to me ‘there’s the Genocide Memorial.’ I looked over and caught a fleeting glance of the spire. As I turned back, our driver’s eyes caught mine in the rear view mirror. I was so uncomfortable. My husband told me that we were allowed to go there once a year, on April 24th.”
Amb. Evans’ problems began during his speaking tour of the Armenian communities in the United States in early 2005. Upon the couple’s arrival in California, Mrs. Evans said her husband informed her that “he was going to use the word ‘genocide’ and that it might cost him his job." She said she was "stunned at first but then very proud of him. I hoped that telling the truth would result in no more than a reprimand and that he would be marginalized for a while. I thought that losing his job was the very worst-case scenario.”
Once her husband used the term “genocide” in public, Donna Evans was amazed that the Armenian American media did not rush to publicize it immediately – “It was as if they were protecting the Ambassador.” Eventually, after a press release from ANC revealed that Amb. Evans had actually used the words “Armenian Genocide” during his talk at Berkeley, she said her “husband went on to Washington to brief the State Department on what had transpired. The reaction was not pretty to say the least” which made her “sick at heart.” Meanwhile, the Ambassador did not know “whether his recall orders would be on his desk when he returned to Yerevan. I did not know whether I would be returning to Yerevan myself.”
Mrs. Evans had harsh words for the State Department for buckling under Turkish pressure. “It was unthinkable that the Turkish ambassador and the Government of Turkey had enough clout to get a knee-jerk reaction from the State Department and cause the recall of an ambassador,” she said.
Leaving his ambassadorial post voluntarily was out of question, Mrs. Evans said. “Not resigning was the right thing to do. My husband had not committed a crime, he only acknowledged a crime,” she said.
Upon returning to Yerevan, Mrs. Evans said her husband went on carrying out his diplomatic duties and “acted as if it was business as usual.… However, each morning he arrived at the office wondering if the morning e-mail and telegram traffic would include his official recall. Then, on July 2, 2005, the dreaded telephone call came.” Dan Fried, the Assistant Secretary of State, called to inform that her husband’s position was “about to be posted as open for the summer of 2006 and that we could be removed at any time,” she said.
Mrs. Evans said she was “furious” particularly since this call had come “just before July the 4th, Independence Day and axed a professional diplomat with 35 years of faithful service to his government -- and a 12th generation American -- just because he said ‘genocide’ in an academic setting in the United States.”
Mrs. Evans further revealed that she wrote a personal letter to First Lady Laura Bush because she said she believed “in spouse power.” She never received a reply.
When the word got out -- this writer was the first to report that Amb. Evans was about to be recalled for his statement on the Armenian Genocide -- Mrs. Evans reported that “the pressure was on…[there was] wild speculation in the Armenian papers, some calling my husband a hero and others not so flattering and some downright ridiculous. Again the press had a field day. My husband’s answer had to be ‘I serve at the pleasure of the President.’ I died a little every time I heard him say it.”
Notably, Mrs. Evans revealed that during those tumultuous days, “the diplomatic community” supported her husband “privately.” She then described April 24, 2006 as “an unforgettable day” in her life when thousands of Armenians from all walks of life tied yellow ribbons to a fence at the Genocide Memorial Monument in Yerevan, in support of her husband. “How this was pulled together and who supported it is a remarkable story. I wish I could give them all a hug individually. This event inspired us to stay strong during a very trying time,” she said.
As they say, the rest is history. The White House cut Amb. Evans’ service short and announced the nomination of his successor, Richard Hoagland, who never made it to Armenia.
Showing her continued support for the reaffirmation of the Armenian Genocide, Mrs. Evans said that when the House Foreign Affairs Committee adopted the Armenian Genocide resolution, it was one of the happiest days of her life.
However, she was “stunned and outraged” when her husband showed her the letter that was signed by eight former Secretaries of State opposing the congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide. “How could Secretaries of State so blindly sign such a document? What I would say to the former Secretaries of State is ‘shame on you’ for being used by the Turkish lobby. By your actions, you have set back any progress that has been made to normalize diplomatic relations between Armenia and Turkey. It would have been better to remain silent. A special shame on Secretary [of State Alexander] Haig because he served under President Reagan, who acknowledged the genocide,” she said.
Donna Evans described her dismay at some of the negative reactions to the genocide resolution. “What followed was the worst turn of events that I had witnessed in all my time in Washington. The supporters of the recognition of the genocide were in shock and awe at the cruel commentaries, articles, and Internet buzz. What we were witnessing was a hyper-overkill of a human rights issue.”
She concluded her remarks with heart-warming words: “The Armenian experience has woven itself into my soul like the intricate carvings in the Khachkars. It is beautiful, it is sad and it is hopeful. So what do we do now? We don’t give up. We bide our time and return to the fight, more experienced, better informed and therefore better armed. Most important of all we continue to educate. Grassroots support is vital. You are vital. This issue needs to be resolved. You and your ancestors deserve an apology and recognition of the first genocide of the 20th century…the Armenian Genocide.”


Note: Lev7 I merged your topic with this existing topic since it deals with the same issue.

Edited by Yervant1, 28 November 2007 - 12:14 AM.


#9 Anoushik

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 12:14 AM

Very interesting and touching read. It's because of people like Amb. Evans and Mrs. Evans that humanity has survived and goes forward.

#10 Takoush

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 08:10 PM

It's both just and kind of both Amb and Mrs. Evens. I am very proud of our people in Armenia as well to stand behind the Evenses when they needed some backup.

Amb and Mrs. Evens are not only humanly people but they are also very brave to stand behind their gut feelings and the truth regardless of getting heat from both the While House or the Turkish denialist government.

#11 AK-47

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Posted 28 November 2007 - 08:51 PM

QUOTE(Lev7 @ Nov 27 2007, 08:51 PM)
Mrs. Evans began her talk by describing the phone call she received from her husband, telling her, “Assistant Secretary of State Beth Jones had just informed him that he was the State Department’s choice to be assigned as Ambassador to Armenia in the summer of 2004. She told him that it was a small country but growing in importance and had a significant assistance program and a new Embassy was being built.

Very interesting statement by Mrs. Beth Jones "growing in importance"...

#12 Yervant1

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Posted 27 April 2017 - 09:01 AM

Former U.S. Ambassador calls Armenian Genocide denial ‘worst alternative fact’ of the century
Intent-to-Destroy-620x300.jpg
 

At the premiere of the Intent to Destroy documentary, a former U.S. ambassador called Armenian Genocide denial the worst alternative fact, David Crow writes in the Den of Geek

An eye-opening documentation about the history of the Armenian Genocide—as well as a companion film to Terry George’s sweeping melodrama on the same subject, The Promise—the Intent to Destroy makes for an efficient and precise record on a grim topic many Westerners have been deprived of learning about for the better part of the last century.

According to the author, the most fascinating aspect of the film is not a recollection of where the bodies were buried (both in reality and on the Portugal set of George’s narrative fiction), but rather how a multi-generational campaign by the Turkish government, and with an increasing complicity by the U.S. one, has attempted to erase this devastating crime against humanity from the history books.

Former US Ambassador John Evans was present at the screening.

“The denial of the Armenian Genocide, I think, is the worst case of alternative facts of the last hundred years,” Evans told a theater full of filmmakers, journalists, and descendants of Armenian survivors. “Governments do tell falsehoods from time to time for reasons they think outweigh the ethical considerations.” And that includes 102 years of denials first by the Ottoman Empire during World War I and then by its Turkish successor.

“It has everything to do with the alliance with Turkey, with all the things we saw in the film about Turkey’s position in the Middle East,” Evans said during the premiere. “We’ve invested great hopes in Turkey over the years, and after the recent referendum, we’re very worried about the direction in which Turkey is going. But it’s significant in 1951, in a written submission to the World Court at The Hague, the United States characterized the Turkish massacres of Armenians as one of the outstanding examples of genocide in human history, along with the first Roman persecutions of the Christians and the Nazi massacres of Jews and Poles in World War II. In 1952, a year later, Turkey joined NATO. Since that time, the United States has not used the word genocide.”

http://www.armradio....of-the-century/


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