Hello and welcome to the Armenian News Network, Groong. This episode was recorded on Thursday, May 12, 2022.
In this Conversations on Groong episode, we’ll be talking about the 2022 advocacy agenda at the Armenian National Committee of America, the ANCA for short, which is the largest grassroots organization advocating and promoting the views and values of the Armenian Americans.
To talk about these issues, we are joined by:
Aram Suren Hamparian, who is the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America.
So we wanted to touch base with you, because we’ve been seeing how active you and your entire organization, the ANCA is, and wanted to hear a little about your advocacy agenda for the balance of 2022. Can you give us an overview?
Let’s talk a little about the issue of the US providing latest generation fighter jets to Turkey. As a 50-thousand-foot view, Turkey was part of the US project to develop the F-35, but the US decided to not sell Turkey these fighters. As retribution, Turkey bought Russia’s S-400 air defense systems, totally pissing off the US, and NATO. Recently there’ve been talks for the US to provide the older but still very capable F-16’s to Turkey.
Why is the US suddenly considering selling Turkey the F-16’s?
Aram, let me come clean and say that I’ve never been a big supporter of US foreign aid. Frankly I think the US has enough domestic issues and there are plenty of very serious problems here that can use funding, rather than throwing away the US treasury into wars such as the nearly $50 BILLION we’ve currently committed to the war in Ukraine.
On the other hand, the EU has made significant allocations of targeted loan guarantees for Armenia, something like €2.6 Billion, and 2 billion for Azerbaijan. So those guys are putting their money where their values and goals are. Meanwhile, the US is merely a source of demands, opinions and agendas. US aid does not reflect the demands it has of Armenia, and the ambitions of US foreign policy in the South Caucasus.
What’s your perspective on this?
How do we convince the US of making billion-dollar investments into Armenia’s future?
Just a week ago the state of Mississippi recognized the Armenian Genocide, bringing the count to 50 states. So basically, every state.
What is the significance of each state recognizing the Armenian Genocide, in addition to the federal government’s formal recognition, which was basically completed with Biden’s formal recognition in 2021 on top of the House and Senate recognitions in 2019?
Friends of Armenians in Congress have recently introduced a bill to promote Genocide Education. Can you talk about this bill, and its goals?
How would it support the 50 states in including Genocide education in their school curricula?
Most people are only peripherally aware of this “Dr. Oz” topic in America. Dr. Oz is a Turkish American, who is running as a Republican candidate for the US Senate in Pennsylvania. But the ANCA has called for a DOJ investigation into his ties to Turkey.
Who is Dr. Oz, what warranted a call on the DOJ for a background investigation?
OK, finally let’s talk about the US elections from an Armenian American perspective. You recently posted that some contested 2024 California primaries might provide an opportunity for our community in the upcoming presidential election.
What scenarios might these be?
That concludes this Conversations On Groong episode. As always we invite your feedback, Thanks to Laura Osborn for the music on our podcasts. Don’t forget to subscribe to our channel on YouTube, Like our pages and follow us on Twitter. On behalf of everyone in this episode, we wish you a good week, thanks for listening and we’ll talk to you soon.
Aram Hamparian, ANCA, Armenia, Armenian American, Turkey, Azerbaijan, Section 907, F-16, F-35, S-400, Dr. Oz, Mehmet Oz,