EDITORIAL: The Ukrainian Weekly, No. 4, Vol. LXXII
Parsippany, New Jersey January 25, 2004
The U.S. Congress is back from its holiday recess, resuming its sessions as
of Tuesday, January 20. As noted by various news media, the Congress has to
deal with a number of leftover issues and bills - not the least of them an
$820 billion spending measure that funds diverse federal agencies. Also in
the legislative mix are such significant measures as bills on energy,
highway programs and taxes. Thus the legislative calendar is quite full.
Plus, with 2004 being an election year - and a presidential election year at
that - the congressional calendar will be cut short due to breaks for the
two party conventions during the summer and an early recess in the fall that
provides time for members of Congress to travel back home and campaign.
Thus, observers say, the congressional schedule will be dominated by
In the midst of all this, there is a Senate resolution that deserves the
Senate's affirmative vote. We speak of Senate Resolution 202, "expressing
the sense of the Senate regarding the genocidal Ukraine Famine of
1932-1933." The resolution was introduced half a year ago, on July 28, 2003,
by Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell (R-Colo.), co-chairman of the U.S. Helsinki
Commission. While it continues to gain co-sponsors - the count is now up to
27 - it continues to languish in committee. (See update on S. Res. 202 on
page 4 and adjoining columns on this page.) That is why there continue to be
calls for Ukrainian Americans and others to contact Sen. Richard Lugar
(R-Ind.), who chairs the Foreign Relations Committee, to seek his support
for this significant measure.
In addition, Ukrainian Americans and friends of our community are being
asked to contact their senators, if they are not yet co-sponsors of S. Res.
202, to impress upon them the importance of this resolution and explain why
it is imperative that it be passed. At the same time, Sen. Campbell has
written a "Dear Colleague" letter to all the members of the Senate, in which
he underscores: "It is important that the world not forget this genocidal
famine and that we support Ukraine's independence and democratic development
as the best assurance that atrocities such as the Famine become truly
It is noteworthy that this resolution includes senators on both sides of the
aisle - 10 Republicans and 18 Democrats. Thus, it is neither a Republican,
nor a Democratic initiative, but a bipartisan expression of the sense of the
Senate at a time when communities throughout the world have been
commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Famine-Genocide, at a time
when there are few survivors of that horror left among us.
Why should we rally to secure passage of this particular resolution? The
answer is simple. S. Res. 202, which unequivocally states that "the man-made
Ukraine famine of 1932-1933 was an act of genocide as defined by the United
Nations Genocide Convention," is the strongest resolution dealing with the
horrific events of 1932-1933 introduced in either house of the U.S.
Congress. It tells the world the truth about what happened during the Famine
years in Ukraine and neighboring ethnically Ukrainian regions, and it
resolves that the millions of victims should be "solemnly remembered" and
that the anniversary of the Famine "should serve as a stark reminder of the
brutal imperialistic Soviet regime."
Through this resolution the Senate "condemns the callous disregard for human
life, human rights and manifestations of national identity that characterize
the Stalinist policies that caused the Ukrainian Famine" and supports
efforts "to publicly acknowledge and call greater international attention"
to the Famine. In short, S. Res. 202 is both an important statement of the
facts and a statement of U.S. concern.
We cannot fail to advocate and secure passage of this landmark resolution,
for we cannot fail the memory of the millions of our kin who perished during
the Famine of 1932-1933. And, the Senate must not fail to acknowledge the
deaths of between 7 million and 10 million men, women and children during
one of history's worst genocides.
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