Obama's Genocide Flip-Flop, Explained

Remember when President Obama reneged on a campaign promise to label the mass murder of more than one million Armenians by Turkish forces from 1915-1918 a "genocide?" The administration, at the time, concluded that reconciliation between the two countries -- the seeds of which were in place -- would be jeopardized if the U.S. took the rhetorical step of calling the genocide a genocide. For the sake of historical memory, it might have been a bad call, but for the sake of the lives of people in Turkey and Armenia today, it probably was the right call. Neutrality, of course, implied a de facto endorsement of the Turkish version of events, but behind the scenes, officials say, it was made clear to Obama that getting Turkey to come to terms with the genocide would require a lighter touch. Obama had been to Turkey several weeks before the April 24 day of remembrance and had discussed the issue with Turkish leaders (and separately, with the government of Armenia).