Contrary to President Joe Biden, in the United States the law is king, the king is not the law.

On April 13, 2022, Mr. Biden accused Russia of genocide of Ukrainians, and asserted the alleged crime would be adjudicated by international lawyers not in courts of law with due process safeguards against miscarriages of justice:

“Yes, I called it genocide. It has become clearer and clearer that Putin is just trying to wipe out the idea of even being able to be Ukrainian.”

“We’ll let the lawyers decide internationally whether or not it qualifies, but it sure seems that way to me.”

On April 24, 2022, President Biden declared Ottoman Turks commenced a genocide of Ottoman Armenians during World War I by arresting “Armenian intellectuals and community leaders in Constantinople.” But there has been no adjudication of the longstanding Armenian genocide claim as the European Court of Human Rights highlighted in Perincek v. Switzerland (2015), although the International Court of Justice has been empowered to entertain genocide accusations since 1951 under Article IX of the Genocide Convention. None of the numerous legislative resolutions and executive statements affirming an Armenian genocide would be admissible evidence in a court of law. They are opinions with no legal standing. Thus, the United Nations has declined to endorse the Armenian genocide claim.

Mr. Biden’s ill-informed statement underscores why non-judicial bodies denuded of due process safeguards are denied authority to adjudicate alleged genocide or other crimes. President Biden is biased. He pledged in his 2020 election campaign to affirm the Armenian genocide claim to attract the votes and funds of Armenian Americans. He provides no evidence to support the genocide accusation, and omits the arrestees on April 24, 1915, were released and unharmed by the Ottoman government. He omits that prior to April 24 in November 1914, the Hinchak Armenian [Revolutionary] Gazette bugled: “The entire Armenian Nation will join forces –moral and material, and waving the sword of Revolution, will enter this World conflict…as comrades in arms of the Triple Entente, and particularly Russia.” And on the eve of April 24, Ottoman Armenians and Russia collaborated in massacring Ottoman Turks at Van starting on April 18. The arrests did not happen out of the blue. President Biden gave no opportunity to Turkiye to rebut whatever evidence he believed supported the Armenian genocide claim.

Purposely excluded from the definition of genocide are politically motivated killings. Mr. Biden conceals that every contemporaneous statement made by Ottoman Armenians describing their losses and suffering during World War I assigned as the cause of their de facto military alliance with the enemies of the Ottoman Empire, not their religion or nationality. Ottoman Armenian leader Boghos Nubar Pasha, for instance, boasted during the Paris Peace Conference stating:

“In the Caucuses, without mentioning the 150,000 Armenians in the Russian army, about 50,000 Armenians volunteers…not only fought for four years for the cause of the Entente, but after the breakdown of Russia they were the only forces in the Caucuses to resist the advance of the Turks….”

Mr. Biden entered the domain of the Orwellian in stating: “As we reflect on the Armenian genocide, we renew our pledge to remain vigilant against the corrosive influence of hate in all its forms.” Doesn’t the President know Armenians have brandished their genocide claim to justify terrorism against scores of Turkish officials both in and outside the United States, for example, Harry Sassounian’s cold-blooded assassination of Kemal Arikan in Los Angeles, and material support for twin, notorious Armenian terrorist organizations, i.e., the Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia, and the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide? The Armenian genocide claims Mr. Biden supports has been employed to indoctrinate Armenians to hate Turkiye and all persons of Turkish ancestry which Mr. Biden professes to oppose. He is the author of the same hate he denounces.

President Biden should follow the lead of the United Nations. Tell Armenians to take their case to the International Court of Justice if they think it has merits and definitively resolve their Armenian genocide claim in a court of law where it belongs.

Bruce Fein

Counsel, Turkish Anti-Defamation Alliance