Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Obama Sending Lew to Armenia; Why?

An Armenian friend emails:
It matters little to me what politicians say or do beyond being deeply concerned about all of the disaster caused by most of them most of the time. The same goes regarding Genocide Recognition for Armenians – I personally have no need for political statements concerning this horrendous tragedy that killed hundreds of thousands of Armenians, including many members of the families of all four of my grandparents. 
With that said: as has been normal practice – and fully expected – the president will not use the g-word during his annual announcement, despite this president and previous presidents having used the term prior to entering office. 
No surprise to me – the geo-politics overwhelm sanity for this issue just like every other issue effecting normal human beings. And nothing that I would write to you about. But here is what is curious (and sorry for the long preamble): Obama is sending Jack Lew to represent the United States. Why Jack Lew? Why not someone from the State Department, some department concerned with human rights or some such?
As you sometimes keep track of Lew’s comings and goings, I thought to send this along to you – you can make better sense of it than can I. Was he in the region anyway? Where else is he going?

This is a very interesting question. I receive a weekly update from the Treasury of public engagements of top Treasury officials. There are no public engagements listed for Treasury Secretary Lew outside the United States through April 24, the 24th being the date in Armenia set for the commemoration of the genocide. Perhaps, he has engagements in Europe on the other side of the commemoration, but I won't see notice of them until late Friday.

There appears to be no ethnic tie between Lew and Armenians. Lew's father, a rare book dealer, was a Polish-Jew. I haven't been able to specifically locate information on the background of Lews's mother, but she did emigrate from Poland also and was almost certainly Jewish., especially since Lew, himself, is an Orthodox Jew who observes the Jewish Sabbath.

Thus, it remains a mystery as to why the President would send the top financial official of the United States to a commemoration of the genocide, as opposed to a State Department official.


1 comment:

  1. there is a suggestion about Russia putting a gas pipeline through Turkey to southern Europe It would have to go through Armenia, i think.