History boys: Armenians demonstrating against Turkey in Athens, April 2013
Yannis Behrakis / Courtesy Reuters

One hundred years ago this April, the Ottoman Empire began a brutal campaign of deporting and destroying its ethnic Armenian community, whom it accused of supporting Russia, a World War I enemy. More than a million Armenians died. As it commemorates the tragedy, the U.S. government, for its part, still finds itself wriggling on the nail on which it has hung for three decades: Should it use the term “genocide” to describe the Ottoman Empire’s actions toward the Armenians, or should it heed the warnings of its ally, Turkey, which vehemently opposes using the term and has threatened to recall its ambassador or even deny U.S. access to its military bases if the word is applied in this way? The first course of action would fulfill the wishes of the one-million-strong Armenian American community, as well as many historians, who argue that Washington has a moral imperative

To read the full article