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Postby Yegoyan on Sun Jun 10, 2007 12:43 am

The following article titled "Genocide..." was published on 9th May 2005 in the popular Turkish political commentary website I would like to ask a very simple, ordinary question. Would you wish to be an Armenian in 1915? No, you wouldn't. Because now you know you would have been killed. Please stop arguing about the number of murdered or the denials or the attempts to replace pain with statistics. No one is denying that Armenians were murdered, right? It may be 300,000, or 500,000, or 1.5 million. I don't know which number is the truth, or whether anyone knows the true number accurately. What I do know is the existence of the death and pain beyond these numbers. I am also aware how we forget that we are talking about human beings when we are passionately debating the numbers. Those numbers cannot describe the murdered babies, women, the elderly, the teenage boys and girls. If we leave the numbers aside, and if we allow ourselves to hear the story of only one of these murders, I am sure that even those of us who get enraged when they hear the words "Armenian Genocide" will feel the pain, will have tears in their eyes. Because they will realize that we are talking about human beings. When we hear about a baby pulled from a mother's hands to be dashed on the rocks, or a youth shot to death beside a hill, or an old woman throttled by her slender neck, even the hard-hearted among us will be ashamed to say, "Yes, but these people killed the Turks." Most of these people did not kill anyone. These people became the innocent victims of a crazed government powered by murder, pitiless but also totally incompetent in governing. This bloody insanity was a barbarism, not something for us to take pride in or be part of. This was a slaughter that we should be ashamed of, and, if possible, something that we can sympathize with and share the pain. I understand that the word "genocide" has a damningly critical meaning, based on the relentless insistence of the Armenians' "Accept the Genocide" argument, or the Turks' "No, it was not a genocide" counterargument, even though the Turks accept the death of hundreds of thousands of Armenians. And yet, this word is not that important for me, even though it has significance in politics and diplomacy. What is more important for me is the fact that many innocent people were killed so barbarically. When I see the shadow of this bloody event on the present world, I see a greater injustice done to the Armenians. Our crime today is not to allow the present Armenians even to grieve for their cruelly killed relatives and parents. Which Armenian living in Turkey today can openly grieve and commemorate a murdered grandmother, grandfather or uncle? I have nothing in common with the terrible sin of the past Ittihadists, but the sin of not allowing grief for the dead belongs to all of us today. Do you really want to commit this sin? Is there anyone among us who would not shed tears for a family attacked at home in the middle of the night, or for a little girl left all alone in the desert during the nightmare called "deportation," or for a white-bearded grandfather shot? Whether you call it genocide or not, hundreds of thousands of human beings were murdered. Hundreds of thousands of lives snuffed out. The fact that some Armenian gangs murdered some Turks cannot be an excuse to mask the truth that hundreds of thousands of Armenians were murdered. A human being of conscience is capable of grieving for the Armenians, as well as the Turks, as well as the Kurds. We all should. Babies died; women and old people died. They died in pain, tormented, terrified. Is it really so important what religion or race these murdered people had? Even in these terrifying times there were Turks who risked their lives trying to rescue Armenian children. We are the children of these rescuers, as well as the children of the murderers. Instead of justifying and arguing on behalf of the murderers, why don't we praise and defend the rescuers' compassion, honesty, and courage? There are no more victims left to be rescued today, but there is a grief, a pain, to be shared and supported. What's the use of a bloody, warmongering dance around a deep pain? Forget the numbers, forget the Armenians, forget the Turks, just think of the babies, teenagers, and old people with necks broken, bellies slashed, bodies mutilated. Think about these people, one by one. If nothing moves in you when you hear a baby wail as her mother is murdered, I have nothing to say to you. Then add my name to the list of "traitors." Because I am ready to share the grief and pain with the Armenians. Because I still believe there is something yet to be rescued from all these meaningless and pitiless arguments, and that something is called "humanity."
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Postby Armanen on Wed Aug 22, 2007 3:40 pm


Sharp Reversal Comes in Wake of Nation-wide Protests

WASHINGTON, DC – The Anti-Defamation League (ADL), under pressure from a national campaign of protests initiated by the Armenian National Committee of Eastern Massachusetts, backed nationally by the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA), and supported by leading voices in the Jewish American community, today reversed its longstanding policy of complicity in Turkey’s denial of the Armenian Genocide.

In a statement issued today, ADL National Director Abraham Foxman formally recognized the Armenian Genocide but – in what appeared to be a gesture intended to appease the Turkish government – voiced the organization’s continued opposition to legislation before Congress (H.Res.106 / S.Res.106) marking this crime against humanity.

“The ANCA welcomes the Anti-Defamation’s League’s decision to finally end its longstanding complicity in Turkey’s international denial campaign by properly recognizing the Armenian Genocide. We remain deeply troubled, however, that elements of its national leadership seek to prevent the United States from taking this very same principled step by adopting the Armenian Genocide Resolution currently before Congress,” said ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian. “Much work remains, both in bringing the ADL fully to the right side of this issue and on the broader challenge of achieving proper U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide. But we are, today, gratified by this step forward, and want to offer our thanks to all the many Armenians and Jews who cooperated together on this issue on the basis of our shared values of tolerance, truth and justice. We further urge the ADL leadership to review its unfair and unjustified decision to fire New England Regional Director Andrew Tarsy, who had the courage to speak truthfully on this key human rights issue.”

The ADL’s actions come in the wake of a growing controversy stemming from the decision last week by the Watertown, Massachusetts Town Council to end its association with the ADL’s “No Place for Hate” program due to the ADL’s denial of the Armenian Genocide. This decision led to sharp divisions within the ADL, with Foxman firing New England Regional Director Andrew Tarsy for his public recognition of the Genocide, a move that precipitated the resignations of two regional board members.

The ADL National’s heavy-handed response was greeted by a groundswell of support by the Jewish American community for Tarsy and for ADL National recognition of the Armenian Genocide and its reaffirmation by Congress. The Boston Globe reported today that “Nancy K. Kaufman, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston, e-mailed a letter yesterday to some 40 prominent Jewish leaders in Massachusetts, asking them to support the ousted director [Tarsy] and to recognize the genocide against Armenians. . . Within hours of sending the letter, Kaufman said that 11 groups had signed and that more were expected to do so shortly.”

Members of Congress also added their concerns about the ADL’s Genocide denial and its effects on its credibility as a civil rights organization. In a statement issued yesterday, Congressional Armenian Genocide Resolution lead sponsor Adam Schiff (D-CA) condemned Tarsy’s firing, stating that “this decision does not reflect well on the organization and compound's the error of failing to speak candidly about the past with firing someone who did.” Rep. Schiff compared the move to the State Department’s decision to fire former U.S. Ambassador to Armenia John Evans for properly characterizing the Armenian Genocide."

Rep. Ed Markey (D-MA) stated that “The Armenian Genocide is not an historic dispute or a rhetorical argument over semantics. The failure of the international community to deter and, if necessary, stop genocide by use of force, has only served to embolden those who seek to do evil. . . As a friend of the ADL, I encourage the national organization to reconsider its position and recognize the Armenian Genocide, and I also commend the New England region for its principled decision on this important issue.”

For a full listing of the press coverage this issue has received, visit:

The Armenian Genocide resolution (H.Res.106), introduced on January 30th by Rep. Adam Schiff and spearheaded by Rep. George Radanovich (R-CA), Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI), Rep. Anna Eshoo (D-CA), Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) and Rep. Thaddeus McCotter (R-MI), calls upon the President to ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the United States record relating to the Armenian Genocide. The measure currently has over 220 cosponsors, more than 50% of the membership of the U.S. House. A similar resolution in the Senate (S.Res.106), introduced by Assistant Majority Leader Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV) currently has 31 cosponsors, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) and presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D-NY).

The complete text of the Abraham Foxman’s statement is provided below.


ADL Statement on the Armenian Genocide

New York, NY, August 21, 2007 … Abraham H. Foxman, National Director of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) today issued the following statement:

In light of the heated controversy that has surrounded the Turkish-Armenian issue in recent weeks, and because of our concern for the unity of the Jewish community at a time of increased threats against the Jewish people, ADL has decided to revisit the tragedy that befell the Armenians.

We have never negated but have always described the painful events of 1915-1918 perpetrated by the Ottoman Empire against the Armenians as massacres and atrocities. On reflection, we have come to share the view of Henry Morgenthau, Sr. that the consequences of those actions were indeed tantamount to genocide. If the word genocide had existed then, they would have called it genocide.

I have consulted with my friend and mentor Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and other respected historians who acknowledge this consensus. I hope that Turkey will understand that it is Turkey's friends who urge that nation to confront its past and work to reconcile with Armenians over this dark chapter in history.

Having said that, we continue to firmly believe that a Congressional resolution on such matters is a counterproductive diversion and will not foster reconciliation between Turks and Armenians and may put at risk the Turkish Jewish community and the important multilateral relationship between Turkey, Israel and the United States.
It's a custom of the human condition for the masses to remain ignorant. It's what they do. In fact, that IS how "the peace" is kept. Whatever democracy we have here is a spectator's sport.
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Postby Armanen on Tue Aug 28, 2007 6:50 am

American Thinker, AZ
Aug 26 2007

Congress Must Recognize the Armenian Genocide
By Andrew G. Bostom


A combination of official diplomatic correspondence, and private
memoirs -- most notably the diaries of Henry Morgenthau, the U.S.
ambassador to Turkey from 1913 to 1916, an extended report by
American consul Leslie Davis in Harput, Turkey, from 1915 to 1917,
and the recently published United States Official Records on the
Armenian Genocide, 1915-1917 -- provides lucid, often repellently
detailed historical accounting of what the U.S. government knew
regarding the Ottoman Empire and the Armenian genocide. These
materials are perhaps the most salient examples of the evidence, as
per the language of HR:/ SR:106, "documented in the United States
record," which support the formal U.S. recognition of the Armenian
genocide as proposed in the Congressional resolutions.

The wartime reports from German and Austro-Hungarian officials,
Turkey's World War I allies, as well as earlier British diplomatic
reports dating back to 1890, confirm the independent U.S. evidence
that the origins and evolution of the genocide had little to do with
World War I "Armenian provocations." Contemporary accounts by
European diplomats written from 1890 through the of World War I era,
also demonstrate that these genocidal massacres were perpetrated in
the context of a formal jihad waged against the Armenians because
they sought the equal rights promised to them, but never granted,
under various failed schemes to reform the discriminatory system of
Ottoman Islamic Law ("Shari'a"). A widely disseminated 1915 Ottoman
Fatwa entitled "Aljihad"(brought to the U.S. Consuls attention in
Cairo), for example, clearly sanctioned religiously motivated jihad
violence. Historian Johannes Lepsius' eyewitness accounts from Turkey
documented the results of such invocations of jihad:

"559 villages whose surviving inhabitants were converted to Islam
with fire and sword; 568 churches thoroughly pillaged, destroyed and
razed to the ground; of 282 Christian churches transformed into
mosques; of 21 Protestant preachers and 170 Armenian priests who
were, after enduring unspeakable tortures, murdered on their refusal
to accept Islam." Lepsius concluded with this rhetorical question:
"Is this a religious persecution or is it not?"
And in his eloquent Wednesday 8/22/07 column "No Room to Deny
Genocide" the Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby emphasized the nexus
between the jihad genocide of the Armenians, the contemporary
depredations of jihad, and the dangers of denial:

"And at a time when jihadist violence from Darfur to Ground Zero has
spilled so much innocent blood, dissimulation about the jihad of 1915
[emphasis added] can only aid our enemies."
Moreover the various "strategic rationales" and arguments put forth
to oppose formal U.S. recognition (as in HR:/SR:106) of the Armenian
genocide -- the U.S.-Turkish alliance, the Turkish-Israeli alliance,
the vulnerability of Turkey's vestigial Jewish minority -- appear
wanting and hackneyed in light of burgeoning evidence which
undermines their basic credibility.

But most importantly, there is a compelling moral imperative to pass
these resolutions which transcends the dubious geopolitical
considerations used to rationalize and sustain Turkey's ongoing
campaign of genocide denial. Professor Deborah Lipstadt, the renowned
Holocaust scholar, and author of Denying the Holocaust, and History
on Trial (which recounts her crushing defeat of Nazi-sympathizer
David Irving's "libel' suit"), in conjunction with twelve other
leading genocide scholars, elucidated the corrosive immorality of
genocide denial in this 1996 statement:

Denial of genocide -- whether that of the Turks against the Armenians
or the Nazis against the Jews -- is not an act of historical
reinterpretation. Rather, it sows confusion by appearing to be
engaged in a genuine scholarly effort. Those who deny genocide always
dismiss the abundance of documents and testimony as contrived or
coerced, or as forgeries and falsehoods. Free speech does not
guarantee the deniers the right to be treated as the 'other' side of
a legitimate debate when there is no credible other side"; nor does
it guarantee the deniers space in the classroom or curriculum, or in
any other forum. Genocide denial is an insidious form of intellectual
and moral degradation...

Senate: and House: Resolutions 106 both call upon the President, ensure that the foreign policy of the United States reflects
appropriate understanding and sensitivity concerning issues related
to human rights, ethnic cleansing, and genocide documented in the
United States record [emphasis added] relating to the Armenian
The diaries of Henry Morgenthau, the U.S. ambassador to Turkey from
1913 to 1916, in conjunction with the extended report by American
consul Leslie Davis in Harput (remote eastern), Turkey, from 1915 to
1917, and the recently published United States Official Records on
the Armenian Genocide, 1915-1917 -- the latter consisting of memos
filed on a daily basis, informing the U.S. Secretary of State and
Woodrow Wilson of the efforts to rescue as many Armenians as possible
(and including the obstacles confronting the rescuers' efforts) --
are perhaps the most salient examples of the evidence, as per the
language of HR/SR 106, "documented in the United States record." This
combination of official diplomatic correspondence, and private
memoirs, provides a lucid, often repellently detailed historical
accounting of what the U.S. government knew regarding the Ottoman
Empire and the Armenian genocide.

American Witnesses to the Armenian Genocide: Observations from U.S.
Diplomats, 1915-1917

Ambassador Morgenthau, wrote a letter to his son on June 19, 1915, as
the massacres of the Armenians reached a murderous crescendo,

The ruin and devastation that is being wrought here is heart-rending.
The government is using its present opportunity while all other
countries are at war, to obliterate the Armenian race...
His despair was intensified by feelings of impotence as a diplomat
for a neutral nation, made all the more distressing by his
sympathetic understanding of such mass persecution as a Jew:

...and the worst of it is that it is impossible to stop it. The
United States as a neutral power has no right to interfere in their
internal affairs, and as I receive report after report of the inhuman
treatment that the Armenians are receiving, it makes me feel most
sad. Their lot seems to be very much the same as that of the Jews in
Russia, and belonging to a persecuted race myself, I have all the
more sympathy with them.
Morgenthau reiterated his overall assessment that a frank genocide,
in modern parlance, was taking place, both in his diary, and a
plethora of memos submitted to the U.S. Secretary of State, Robert
Lansing. He stated, for example, that the

...persecution of Armenians is assuming unprecedented proportions.
Reports from widely scattered districts indicate a systematic attempt
to uproot peaceful Armenian populations and through arbitrary
efforts, terrible tortures, wholesale expulsions and deportations
from one end of the Empire to the other, accompanied by frequent
instances of rape, pillage and murder, turning into massacre, to
bring destruction and destitution on them.
Aleppo (Syria) Consul, J.B. Jackson wrote to Ambassador Morgenthau on
September 29, 1915 confirming the genocidal organization and scale of
the unfolding tragedy:

The deportation of Armenians from their homes by the Turkish
Government has continued with a persistence and perfection of
plan...32,751...[arrived in Aleppo] by rail from interior
stations...In addition thereto it is estimated that at least 100,000
others have arrived afoot. And such a condition as these unfortunates
are in, especially those coming afoot, many having left their homes
before Easter, deprived of all their worldly possessions without
money and all sparsely clad and some naked from the treatment by
their escorts and the despoiling depopulation en route. It is
extremely rare to find a family intact that has come any considerable
distance, invariably all having lost members from disease and
fatigue, young girls and boys carried off by hostile tribesmen, and
about all the men having been separated from the families and
suffered fates that had best be left unmentioned, many being done
away with in atrocious manners before the eyes of their relatives and
friends. So severe has been the treatment that careful estimates
place the number of survivors at only 15% of these originally
deported. On this basis the number of those surviving even this far
being less than 150,000 up to September 21, there seems to have been
about 1,000,000 persons lost up to this date. [emphasis added]
There have been persistent reports of the selection of great numbers
of the most prominent men from nearly every city, town and village,
of their removal to outside places and their final disappearance by
means of which we are not positively informed but which the
imagination can more or less accurately establish, as months have
passed and no news has come of their existence. The heinous treatment
of thoroughly exhausted women and children in the open streets of
Aleppo by the armed escorts, who relentlessly beat and kicked their
helpless charges along when illness and fatigue prevented further
effort, is evidence of what must have happened along the roads of the
interior further removed from civilization.

The exhausted condition of the victims is further proven by the death
of a hundred or more daily of those arriving in this city. Travelers
report having seen the numberless corpses along the roadside in the
adjacent territory, or bodies in all sorts of positions where the
victims fell in the last gasps of typhoid, fever and other diseases,
and of the dogs fighting over the bodies of children. Many are the
harrowing tales related by the survivors, but time and space prevent
the recital thereof.

And Harput Consul Davis contrasted the idyllic beauty of the Lake
Goeljuk region, with the gruesome atrocities committed against the
Armenians there, under the aegis of the Turks:

Few localities could be better suited to the fiendish purposes of the
Turks in their plan to exterminate the Armenian population than this
peaceful lake in the interior of Asiatic Turkey, with its precipitous
banks and pocket-like valleys, surrounded by villages of savage Kurds
and far removed from the sight of civilized man. This, perhaps, was
the reason why so many exiles from distant vilayets [provinces] were
brought in safety [from afar]...and then massacred in the
"Slaughterhouse Vilayet" of Turkey. That which took place around
beautiful Lake Goeljuk in the summer of 1915 is almost inconceivable.
Thousands and thousands of Armenians, mostly innocent and helpless
women and children, were butchered on its shores and barbarously

Some of the bodies had been burned...probably in the search for gold.
We estimated that in the course of our ride around the lake, and
actually within the space of 24-hours, we had seen the remains of not
less than 10,000 Armenians who had been killed around Lake Goeljuk.
This, of course, is approximate, as some of them were only the bones
of those who had perished several months before, from which the flesh
had entirely disappeared, while in other cases the corpses were so
fresh that they were swollen up and the odor from them showed that
they had been killed only a few days before. I am sure, however, that
there are more, rather than less, than that number; and it is
probable that the remains which we saw were only a small portion of
the total number in that vicinity. In fact, on my subsequent rides in
the direction of Lake Goeljuk I nearly always discovered skeletons
and bones in great numbers in the new places that I visited...
A True Genocide

Was the horrific fate of the Ottoman Empire's Armenian minority, at
the end of the 19th and early 20th centuries, in particular, during
World War I, due to "civil war", or genocide ? A seminal analysis by
Professor Vahakn Dadrian, the most accomplished historian of this
tragedy, published in 2002, validates the conclusion that the Ottoman
Turks committed a centrally organized mass murder, i.e., a genocide,
against their Armenian population. Relying upon a vast array of
quintessential, primary source documents from the World War I allies
of the Ottoman Empire, Germany and Austria-Hungary, Dadrian obviated
the intractable disputes surrounding the reliability and authenticity
of both Ottoman Turkish, and Armenian documents. He elucidated the
truly unique nature of this documentary German and Austro-Hungarian

During the war, Germany and Austria-Hungary disposed over a vast
network of ambassadorial, consular, military, and commercial
representatives throughout the Ottoman Empire. Not only did they have
access to high-ranking Ottoman officials and power-wielding
decision-makers who were in a position to report to their superiors
as locus in quo observers on many aspects of the wartime treatment of
Ottoman Armenians. They supplemented their reports with as much
detail as they could garner from trusted informers and paid agents,
many of whom were Muslims, both civilians and military...
Moreover, the documents analyzed possessed another critical
attribute: they included confidential correspondence prepared and
sent to Berlin and Vienna, which were meant for wartime use only.
This confidentiality, Dadrian notes, enabled German or
Austro-Hungarian officials to openly question the contentions of
their wartime Ottoman allies, when ascertaining and conveying facts
truthfully to their superiors in Europe. Dadrian cites the compelling
example of the November 16, 1915 report to the German chancellor, by
Aleppo Consul Rossler. Rossler states,

I do not intend to frame my reports in such a way that I may be
favoring one or the other party. Rather, I consider it my duty to
present to you the description of things which have occurred in my
district and which I consider to be the truth.
Rossler was reacting specifically to the official Ottoman allegation
that the Armenians had begun to massacre the Turkish population in
the Turkish sections of Urfa, a city within his district, after
reportedly capturing them. He dismissed the charge, unequivocally,
with a single word: "invented'".

Amassed painstakingly by Dadrian, the primary source evidence from
these German and Austro-Hungarian officials -- reluctant witnesses --
leads to this inescapable conclusion: the anti-Armenian measures,
despite a multitude of attempts at cover-up and outright denial, were
meticulously planned by the Ottoman authorities, and were designed to
destroy wholesale, the victim population. Dadrian further validates
this assessment with remarkable testimony before the Mazhar Inquiry
Commission, a Nuremberg-like tribunal, which conducted a preliminary
investigation in the post-war period to determine the criminal
liability of the wartime Ottoman authorities regarding the Armenian
deportations and massacres. The December 15, 1918 deposition by
General Mehmed Vehip, commander-in-chief of the Ottoman Third Army,
and ardent CUP (Committee of Union and Progress, i.e., the
"Ittihadists", or "Young Turks") member, included this summary

The murder and annihilation of the Armenians and the plunder and
expropriation of their possessions were the result of the decisions
made by the CUP...These atrocities occurred under a program that was
determined upon and involved a definite case of willfulness. They
occurred because they were ordered, approved, and pursued first by
the CUP's [provincial] delegates and central boards, and second by
governmental chiefs who had...pushed aside their conscience, and had
become the tools of the wishes and desires of the Ittihadist society.

Dadrian's own compelling assessment of this primary source evidence
is summarized as follows:

Through the episodic interventions of the European Powers, the
historically evolving and intensifying Turko-Armenian conflict had
become a source of anger and frustration for the Ottoman rulers and
elites driven by a xenophobic nationalism. A monolithic political
party that had managed to eliminate all opposition and had gained
control of the Ottoman state apparatus efficiently took advantage of
the opportunities provided by World War I. It purged by violent and
lethal means the bulk of the Armenian population from the territories
of the empire. By any standard definition, this was an act of
Jihad as a Major Determinant of the Armenian Genocide

The wartime reports from German and Austro-Hungarian officials,
Turkey's World War I allies, as well as earlier British diplomatic
reports dating back to 1890, confirm the independent U.S. evidence
that the origins and evolution of the genocide had little to do with
World War I "Armenian provocations." Emphasis is placed, instead, on
the larger pre-war context dating from the failure of the mid-19th
century Ottoman Tanzimat reform efforts. These reforms, initiated by
the declining Ottoman Empire (i.e., in 1839 and 1856) under intense
pressure from the European powers, were designed to abrogate the
repressive laws of dhimmitude, to which non-Muslim (primarily
Christian) minorities, including the Armenians, had been subjected
for centuries, following the Turkish jihad conquests of their
indigenous homelands.

Led by their patriarch, the Armenians felt encouraged by the Tanzimat
reform scheme, and began to deluge the Porte (Ottoman seat of
government) with pleas and requests, primarily seeking governmental
protection against a host of mistreatments, particularly in the
remote provinces. Between 1850 and 1870, alone, 537 notes were sent
to the Porte by the Armenian patriarch characterizing numerous
occurrences of theft, abduction, murder, confiscatory taxes, and
fraud by government officials. These entreaties were largely ignored,
and ominously, were even considered as signs of rebelliousness. For
example, British Consul (to Erzurum) Clifford Lloyd reported in 1890,
"Discontent, or any description of protest is regarded by the local
Turkish Local Government as seditious."He went on to note that this
Turkish reaction occurred irrespective of the fact that "..the idea
of revolution.," was not being entertained by the Armenian peasants
involved in these protests.

The renowned Ottomanist, Roderick Davison, has observed that under
the Shari'a (Islamic Holy Law) the "..infidel gavours [dhimmis,
rayas]" were permanently relegated to a status of "inferiority" and
subjected to a "contemptuous half-toleration." Davison further
maintained that this contempt emanated from "an innate attitude of
superiority", and was driven by an "innate Muslim feeling", prone to
paroxysms of "open fanaticism". Sustained, vehement reactions to the
1839 and 1856 Tanzimat reform acts by large segments of the Muslim
population, led by Muslim spiritual leaders and the military,
illustrate Davison's point. Perhaps the most candid and telling
assessment of the doomed Tanzimat reforms, in particular the 1856
Act, was provided by Mustafa Resid, Ottoman Grand Vizier at six
different times between 1846-58. In his denunciation of the
reforms, Resid argued the proposed "complete emancipation" of the
non-Muslim subjects, appropriately destined to be subjugated and
ruled, was "entirely contradictory" to "the 600 year traditions of
the Ottoman Empire." He openly proclaimed the "complete emancipation"
segment of the initiative as disingenuous, enacted deliberately to
mislead the Europeans, who had insisted upon this provision. Sadly
prescient, Resid then made the ominous prediction of a "great
massacre" if equality was in fact granted to non-Muslims.

Despite their "revolutionary" advent, and accompanying comparisons to
the ideals of the French Revolution, the "Young Turk" regime
eventually adopted a discriminatory, anti-reform attitude toward
non-Muslims within the Ottoman Empire. During an August 6, 1910
speech in Saloniki, Mehmed Talat, pre-eminent leader of the Young
Turks disdainfully rejected the notion of equality with "gavours'",
arguing that it " an unrecognizable ideal since it is inimical
with Sheriat [Shari'a] and the sentiments of hundreds of thousands of
Muslims..." Roderick Davison notes that in fact " genuine
equality was ever attained...", re-enacting the failure of the prior
Tanzimat reform period. As a consequence, he observes, the Young Turk
leadership "...soon turned from Turkification..."

During the reign of Sultan Abdul Hamid, the Ottoman Turks massacred
over 200,000 Armenians between 1894-96. This was followed, under the
Young Turk regime, by the Adana massacres of 25,000 Armenians in
1909, and the first formal genocide of the 20th century, when in
1915 alone, an additional 600,000 to 800,000, or even 1 million
Armenians were slaughtered. The massacres of the 1890s had an
"organic" connection to the Adana massacres of 1909, and more
importantly, the events of 1915. As Vahakn Dadrian, the leading
scholar of the Armenian genocide, argues, these earlier massacres
facilitated the genocidal acts of 1915 by providing the Young Turks
with "a predictable impunity." The absence of adverse consequences
for the Abdul Hamid massacres in the 1890s allowed the Young Turks to
move forward without constraint.

Contemporary accounts from European diplomats make clear that these
brutal massacres were perpetrated in the context of a formal jihad
against the Armenians who had attempted to throw off the yoke of
dhimmitude by seeking equal rights and autonomy. For example, the
Chief Dragoman (Turkish-speaking interpreter) of the British embassy
reported regarding the 1894-96 massacres:

[The perpetrators] are guided in their general action by the
prescriptions of the Sheri [Sharia] Law. That law prescribes that if
the "rayah" [dhimmi] Christian attempts, by having recourse to
foreign powers, to overstep the limits of privileges allowed them by
their Mussulman [Muslim] masters, and free themselves from their
bondage, their lives and property are to be forfeited, and are at the
mercy of the Mussulmans. To the Turkish mind the Armenians had tried
to overstep those limits by appealing to foreign powers, especially
England. They therefore considered it their religious duty and a
righteous thing to destroy and seize the lives and properties of the
Bat Ye'or confirms this reasoning, noting that the Armenian quest for
reforms invalidated their "legal status," which involved a "contract"
(i.e., with their Muslim Turkish rulers). This

"...breach...restored to the umma [the Muslim community] its initial
right to kill the subjugated minority [the dhimmis], [and] seize
their property."
Lord Kinross has described the tactics of Abdul Hamid's agents, who
deliberately fomented religious fanaticism among the local Muslim
populations in Turkish Armenia, and the devastating results of this

It became their normal routine first to assemble the Moslem
population in the largest mosque in a town, then to declare, in the
name of the Sultan, that the Armenians were in general revolt with
the aim of striking at Islam. Their Sultan enjoined them as good
Moslems to defend their faith against these infidel rebels. He
propounded the precept that under the holy law the property of rebels
might be looted by believers, encouraging Moslems to enrich
themselves in the name of their faith at the expense of their
Christian neighbours, and in the event of resistance, to kill them.
Hence, throughout Armenia, the attack of an ever increasing pack of
wolves against sheep...

Each operation, between the bugle calls, followed a similar pattern.
First into a town there came the Turkish troops, for the purpose of
massacre; then came the Kurdish irregulars and tribesmen for the
purpose of plunder. Finally came the holocaust, by fire and
destruction, which spread, with the pursuit of fugitives and
mopping-up operations, throughout the lands and villages of the
surrounding province. This murderous winter of 1895 thus saw the
decimation of much of the Armenian population and the devastation of
their property in some twenty districts of eastern Turkey. Often the
massacres were timed for a Friday, when the Moslems were in their
mosques and the myth was spread by the authorities that the Armenians
conspired to slaughter them at prayer. Instead they were themselves
slaughtered, when the Moslems emerged to forestall their design. The
total number of victims was somewhere between fifty and a hundred
thousand, allowing for those who died subsequently of wounds,
disease, exposure, and starvation...In each of thirteen large towns
the numbers of those dead ran well into four figures. In Erzurum,
the bazaar of a thousand shops was looted and wrecked by the Moslems,
while some three hundred Christians were buried the next day in a
single massed grave...Cruelest and most ruinous of all were the
massacres at Urfa, where the Armenian Christians numbered a third of
the total population. Here in December 1895, after a two-months
siege of their quarter, the leading Armenians assembled in their
cathedral, where they drew up a statement requesting Turkish official
protection. Promising this, the Turkish officer in charge surrounded
the cathedral with troops. Then a large body of them, with a mob in
their wake, rushed through the Armenian quarter, where they plundered
all houses and slaughtered all adult males above a certain age. When
a large group of young Armenians were brought before a sheikh, he had
them thrown down on their backs and held by their hands and feet.
Then, in the words of an observer, he recited verses of the Koran and
"cut their throats after the Mecca rite of sacrificing sheep."...When
the bugle blast ended the day's operations some three thousand
refugees poured into the cathedral, hoping for sanctuary. But the
next morning - a Sunday - a fanatical mob swarmed into the church in
an orgy of slaughter, rifling its shrines will cries of 'Call upon
Christ to prove Himself a greater prophet than Mohammed.' Then they
amassed a large pile of straw matting, which they spread over the
litter of the corpses and set alight with thirty cans of petroleum.
The woodwork of the gallery where a crowd of women and children
crouched, wailing in terror, caught fire, and all perished in the
flames. Punctiliously, at three-thirty in the afternoon the bugle
blew once more, and the Moslem officials proceeded around the
Armenian quarter to proclaim that the massacres were over. They had
wiped out 126 complete families, without a woman or a baby surviving,
and the total casualties in the town, including those slaughtered in
the cathedral, amounted to eight thousand dead.
A 1915 Ottoman Fatwa believed to have been written by Sheikh Shawish
(entitled, Aljihad, and translated into English, March 10, 1915)
included a statement attached to its official United States consulate
translation indicating, "It was undoubtedly this and similar
pamphlets which inspired the Jewish community of Alexandria" to
contact the United States Consul General's office in Cairo. The calls
to religiously motivated violence against non-Muslims, as sanctioned
by Islam-jihad war-are unmistakably clear.

If you believe in God, in his faith and apostle, hear the words of
our sages as recorded by his holy prophet. 'You believers take not
the Jews and Christians as friends unto you, He who loves then shall
be called one of them'. 'God shall not foster the tyrants'. You
believers accept not unto you friends of these who abuse your faith
and mock thereof. They are called unbelievers, and you hearken unto
the words of God of you believe. Therefore if after you will put to
heart to these sacred words, perhaps they have been spoken to you by
God not to acquire unto us Jewish or Christian friends. From these
holy words you will realize that it is forbidden us to approach those
who mock our faith - Jews and Christians, for then God forbid, God
forbid we shall be deemed by the almighty as one of them God
forbid.... After all this how can we believe in the sincerity of your
faith when you befriend and love unbelievers, and accept their
Government without any rising without attempting to expel them from
your country. Therefore arise and purify yourselves of such deeds.
Arise to the Holy War no matter what it costs so as to carry into
execution this sacred deed. It is furthermore said in the Koran 'If
your fathers if children taken unto them friends of the unbelievers,
estrange yourselves even from them.'... The Mohammedan religion
enjoins us to set aside some money for Government expenses and for
preparations of a holy war. The rest of your tithes and
contributions you are duty bound to send to the capital of the
Caliphate to help them to glorify the name of God, through the medium
of the Caliph. Let all Mussulmans know that the Holy War is created
only for this purpose. We trust in God that the Mohammedan lands
will rise from humiliation and become faithfully tied to the capital
of the Caliphate until, so as to be called 'the lands of Islam'.
This is our hope and God help us to carry through our holy aims to a
successful issue for the sake of our holy Prophet... A holy war is a
sacred duty and for your information let it be known that the armies
of the Caliph is ready and in three divisions, as follows: War in
secret, war by word of mouth, and physical war. War in secret. This
is the easiest and simplest. In this case it is to suppose that
every unbeliever is an enemy, to persecute and exterminate him from
the face of the earth. There is not a Mussulman in the world who is
not inspired by this idea. However in the Koran it is said: 'That
such a war is not enough for a Mohammedan whether young or old, and
must also participate in the other parts of the Holy War. War by word
of mouth. That is to say fighting by writing and speaking. This
kind of war for example should pertain to the Mahomedans of the
Caucasus. They should have commenced this war three or four months
ago, because their actual position does not permit them to but the
carrying on of such warfare. Every Mahomedan is in duty bound to
write and speak against the unbelievers when actual circumstances do
not permit him to assume more stringent measures, as for instance in
the Caucasus. Therefore every writer must use his pen in favor of
such a war. Physical war. This means actual fighting in the fullest
sense of the word... Now let us mention here the means to be adopted
in carrying on this holy war, as follows: Every private individual
can fight with deadly weapons, as for example. Here is the following
illustration of the late Egyptian Verdani who shot the unbelieving
Butros Gal Pacha the friend of the English with a revolver. The
murder of the English police Commissioner Bavaro in India by one of
our Indian brethren. The killing of one of the officials of Kansch
on his coming from Mecca by the Prophet's friend 'Abu Bazir El
Pzachbi', peace be unto him! Abdallah ibn Aatick and four colleagues
killed 'Abu Raafah Ibn El Hakiki'. The leader of the Jews of Khaybar
so famous for his enmity to Islamism. This was executed by our
Prophet's command, so did Avrala Ibn Ravacha and his friends when
they killed Oscher Ibn Dawas one of the Jewish dignitaries. There
are many instances of similar cases. Lord of the Universal What
fails us now, and why should not some of us go forth to fight this
sacred war for exalting thy glorious name?
An intrepid Protestant historian and missionary Johannes Lepsius, who
earlier had undertaken a two-month trip to examine the sites of the
Abul Hamid era massacres, returned to Turkey during World War I. He
again documented the results of such invocations of jihad against
non-Muslims, as espoused by Sheikh Shawish, during the period between
1914-1918. Lepsius wrote:

Are we then simply forbidden to speak of the Armenians as persecuted
on account of their religious belief'? If so, there have never been
any religious persecutions in the world...We have lists before us of
559 villages whose surviving inhabitants were converted to Islam with
fire and sword; of 568 churches thoroughly pillaged, destroyed and
razed to the ground; of 282 Christian churches transformed into
mosques; of 21 Protestant preachers and 170 Gregorian (Armenian)
priests who were, after enduring unspeakable tortures, murdered on
their refusal to accept Islam. We repeat, however, that those figures
express only the extent of our information, and do not by a long way
reach to the extent of the reality. Is this a religious persecution
or is it not?
Finally, Bat Ye'or places the continuum of massacres from the 1890s
through the end of World War I, in the overall theological and
juridical context of jihad, as follows:

The genocide of the Armenians was the natural outcome of a policy
inherent in the politico-religious structure of dhimmitude. This
process of physically eliminating a rebel nation had already been
used against the rebel Slav and Greek Christians, rescued from
collective extermination by European intervention, although sometimes
The genocide of the Armenians was a jihad. No rayas took part in it.
Despite the disapproval of many Muslim Turks and Arabs, and their
refusal to collaborate in the crime, these masssacres were
perpetrated solely by Muslims and they alone profited from the booty:
the victims' property, houses, and lands granted to the muhajirun,
and the allocation to them of women and child slaves. The elimination
of male children over the age of twelve was in accordance with the
commandments of the jihad and conformed to the age fixed for the
payment of the jizya. The four stages of the liquidation --
deportation, enslavement, forced conversion, and massacre --
reproduced the historic conditions of the jihad carried out in the
dar-al-harb from the seventh century on. Chronicles from a variety of
sources, by Muslim authors in particular, give detailed descriptions
of the organized massacres or deportation of captives, whose
sufferings in forced marches behind the armies paralleled the
Armenian experience in the twentieth century.

"Double Killing"- Ongoing Turkish Denial of the Armenian Genocide

Elie Wiesel has noted, appositely, that the final stage of genocide,
its denial, is "double killing". Ignoring absurd and scurrilous
allegations contained in Turkish propaganda documents (for example,
the May 27, 1999 eleven page document entitled, "An Objective Look at
House Resolution [HR] 155", submitted by the Turkish ambassador in
Washington, D.C., to all United States Congressmen, which contained
the mendacious claims that Armenians had murdered 100,000 Ottoman
Jews, and 1.1 million Ottoman Muslims), several persistent denialist
rationales at least merit exploration and sound rebuttal, before
being dismissed.

Dadrian has reduced these particular attempts to characterize the
Armenian genocide as 'debatable' into the following three lines of
argument (which he aptly terms "disjointed"):

(i) the Ottoman governments intent was merely to relocate, not
destroy, the deportee population;
(ii) in the context of the larger global conflagration, i.e., World
War I, the Armenians and Turks were engaged in a civil war, which was
itself directly responsible for heavy Turkish losses;
(iii) Turkish losses during the overall conflict far exceeded
Armenian losses.

Dadrian poses the following logical question as a preface to his
analysis of the spurious claim that the Turks engaged in a
'benevolent relocation' of Armenian deportees: did the Young Turk authorities expect to resettle in the
deserts of Mesopotamia hundreds of thousands of dislocated people
without securing the slightest accommodation or other amenities
affording the barest conditions of subsistence for human beings?
The sham of 'relocation' was made plain by the Chief of Staff of the
Ottoman Fourth Army who oversaw the areas designated to receive these
forcibly transferred Armenian populations. He rejected the relocation
pretense categorically in his memoirs stating "...there was neither
preparation, nor organization to shelter the hundreds of thousands of
deportees." This critical assessment from a key Ottoman official
confirms the observations of multiple consuls representing Turkeys
allies Austria and Germany (in addition to the US Ambassador to the
Ottoman Empire, Morgenthau). These diplomats maintained repeatedly
that dispatching the victimized Armenian populations to such desert
hinterlands sealed their fate -- death and ruination.. Moreover, the
hundreds of thousands of deportees were not merely transferred from
war zones, as claimed, but from all parts of the Ottoman Empire.
Dadrian further observes,

As official documents unmistakably reveal (and American Ambassador
Morgenthau confirms) only the rapid deterioration of Turkey's
military situation and the resulting time constraints prevented the
authorities from carrying out the projected comprehensive deportation
and liquidation of the rest of the Armenian population. In the case
of Istanbul, for example, then the capital of the Empire, by November
1915 already 30,000 Armenians had been surreptitiously, and by a
system of quotas, removed, according to a confidential report to
Berlin by German Ambassador Metternich. As to Smyrna, only forceful
intervention of German General Liman Von Sanders, the regional
military commander, stopped the completion of the deportation of that
major mercantile harbor city's Armenian population. That intervention
was triggered by the dispatch of Smyrna's first Armenian deportee
convoy as ordered by the province's Turkish governor-general Rahmi.
This intervention proved a mere respite, however, as in 1922 the
insurgent Kemalists destroyed Smyrna in a holocaust that consumed
large segments of the surviving Armenian population, as well.
Were the mass killings of the Armenians merely an unintended
epiphenomenon of a "civil war", characterized by one apologist as
"...a struggle between two nations for a single homeland"? Dadrian
ridicules this argument by first highlighting the essential
attributes of a bona fide civil war: the collapse of central
government authority, creating a power vacuum filled by armed,
antagonistic factions engaged in violent and sustained clashes.This
basic paradigm simply did not apply to wartime Turkey, whose Ottoman
state organization,

...was not only fully functional but on account of its armed forces
were able to wage for four years a multi-front gigantic war against
such formidable enemies as England, France and Tsarist Russia. The
wartime emergency measures, martial law and the temporary suspension
of parliament were conditions which helped invest the executive
branch of the Ottoman government with enormous and concentrated
power, power that was more than enough to exercise dictatorship.
Moreover, most able-bodied Armenian males were conscripted into the
Ottoman Army long before Turkey intervened in the war. What was left
of the Armenian population consisted by and large of terror stricken
women, children and old me desperately trying to stay alive in an
environment filled with the memories of past massacres, a consuming
apprehension regarding new and impending disasters and burdened with
all sorts of war-related hardships.
The 'civil war argument' also hinges on the assertion that four
specific Armenian uprisings-Shabin Karahisar (June 6-July 4, 1915),
Musa Dagh (July 30-September 1915), Urfa (September 29-October 23,
1915) and in particular Van (April 20-May 17, 1915)-comprise a major,
organized "Armenian rebellion." Reports by consuls of Turkey's
wartime allies Austria and Germany, debunk this argument. The
Austrian Military Plenipotentiary to Turkey during World War I, in
his memoirs, characterized the Van uprising as " act of
desperation" by Armenians who "...recognized that [a] general
butchery had begun in the environs of Van and that they would be the
next [victims]."

Germany's consul in Aleppo, Walter Rossler, described the Urfa
uprising in similar terms. Imbued with the recent memory of the
brutal 1895 massacre, and the unfolding spectacle of mas murder in
their vicinity during the summer of 1915, the Urfa Armenians made a
hasty, last ditch effort to defend themselves. German Ambassador Paul
Count von Wolff-Metternich filed a 72-page report to his government
in Berlin addressing all four of these uprisings. Metternich
maintained that each of these uprisings was a defensive act
attempting merely to ward off imminent deportation, and he stated
bluntly "...there was neither a concerted general uprising, nor was
there a fully valid proof that such a synchronized uprising was
organized or planned." As Dadrian observes,

How could desperate groupings of people trying to stay alive by
defending themselves be described as 'rebels'supposedly bent on
undermining a mighty state system intent on destroying
them?...without exception these uprisings were improvised last-ditch
attempts to ward off imminent deportation and destruction. Without
exception they were all local, very limited, and above all, highly
defensive initiatives; as such they were ultimately doomed to
failure. The temporary success of the Van uprising was entirely due
to a very fortuitous circumstance: the timely arrival of the advance
units of the Russian Caucasus army. A delay of one or two days in
this movement might well sealed the fate of the defenders.
Dadrian concedes that regardless of their justification --
underscored in wartime German, Austrian, and US consular reports of
the sustained historical record of Armenian oppression and episodic
massacre by the Turks,

Individual Armenians and even some small groups of Armenians in very
isolated cases resorted to espionage, sabotage, and other
anti-Turkish hostile acts...[and]...several thousands of Armenians
from all over the world, including several hundred former Ottoman
subjects, rushed to the Caucasus to enroll in the ranks of the
Russian Caucasus army to fight against the Turks; the majority of
them were, however, Russian subjects.
In his concluding remarks on the civil war apologetic, Dadrian poses,
and then addresses this "ultimate question":

...does the ensemble of these facts warrant a decision to deport and
wantonly destroy an entire population? The answer should be no for a
variety of reasons but in one particular respect that answer is cast
into special relief. The reference is to a host of other ethnic and
nationality groups and individuals who likewise indulged in such
anti-Turkish hostile acts during the war, including sabotage,
espionage and volunteering for service in the armed forces of
Turkey's enemies. Foremost among these were the Kurds, who like the
Armenians, were engaged in pro- as well as anti-Turkish activities.
On the eastern front several of the spies caught by the Turks were
themselves Turks; so were a number of Greeks operating in the west of
Turkey. Nor can one exempt the Jews who provided two distinct
volunteer corps fighting the Turks at two different fronts, the
Dardanelles (in 1915) and Palestine (in 1918). Moreover, one of the
largest wartime espionage networks, the NILI in Yaffa, Palestine,
which was caught by the Turks, was run by a small Jewish group. And
yet...[T]hese [Turkish] authorities at that time did not think it
prudent to extend their operations of ethnic cleansing to these
nationalities and minority groups and thereby compound the already
existing problems arising from the ongoing mass murder of the
Dadrian dismisses as "blatant sophistry" the non-sequitur Turkish
claim of 2.5 million victims in the 1914-1922 period because it
includes (and conflates),

... disparate categories of events such as losses in World War I,
losses in the post-Turkish campaign for independence, as well as
losses due to epidemics, malnutrition and succumbing to the rigors of
the elements... What is fundamental in all these losses is that
overwhelmingly they are the byproducts and the results of warfare
with Turkey's external enemies. These warfare losses are cryptically
blended, juxtaposed and composed with the number of victims of an
organized mass murder. Indeed, the two categories are collapsed
whereby victim and victimizer groups are subsumed under a single,
undifferentiated category, having been leveled almost beyond
differentiation, and no longer discernible as separate, if not
antithetical, categories.
The Commemoration Date

Within 24-hours of agreeing to a secret military and political pact
with Imperial Germany on August 2, 1914, the Ittihadist ('Young
Turk') government ordered a general mobilization, which resulted in
the military conscription of nearly all able-bodied Armenian males
aged 20-45. Additional calls were soon extended to the 18-20, and
45-60 year old age groups. The preponderance of these Armenian
recruits were executed by Turkish officers and fellow soldiers after
having been employed as labor battalion soldiers. German and Austrian
military and political officials, as well as the American Ambassador
to the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau, all rejected the subsequent
Turkish arguments during the commission of the genocide that massive
deportations of the Armenians were justified due to concerns for
military security.

Aleppo's veteran German Consul, Walter Rossler, in a report of 27
July 1915 to Berlin declared, "In the absence of menfolk, nearly all
of whom have been conscripted, how can women and children pose a
threat?"...German Colonel Stange, in charge of a detachment of
Special Organization Forces in eastern Turkey, questioned the
veracity of the argument of Ottoman military authorities. These
authorities were maintaining that the deportations were a military
necessity because they feared an uprising. In his report to his
German military superiors, Stange retorted, "Save for a small
fraction of them, all able-bodied Armenian men were recruited. There
could, therefore, be no particular reason to fear a real uprising
(emphasis in the original)"...Austrian Vice Marshall Pomiankowski,
Military Plenipotentiary at Ottoman General Headquarters, provided
his answer to these questions. The Turks, "began to massacre the
able-bodied Armenian order to render the rest of the
population defenseless." After graphically describing the scenes of
these serial massacres of conscripted Armenian men which were "in
summary fashion," and "in almost all cases the procedure was the
same,",...Morgenthau noted with emphasis the same rationale: "Before
Armenians could be slaughtered, Armenia must be made defenseless." In
this connection, the Ambassador notified Washington on 10 July 1915
that "All the men from 20 to 45 are in the Turkish army."

Dadrian has argued that perhaps this initial isolation of the 18-60
year old Armenian male population in the first week of August 1914
heralds the onset of the subsequent genocide. However, the Armenian
genocide is formally commemorated on April 24, this year marking the
92nd year since the events of April 24, 1915. On that date, the
Turkish Interior Ministry issued an order authorizing the arrest of
all Armenian political and community leaders suspected of
anti-Ittihadist or Armenian nationalist sentiments. In Istanbul
alone, 2345 such leaders were seized and incarcerated, and most of
them were subsequently executed. The majority were neither
nationalists, nor were they involved in politics. None were charged
with sabotage, espionage, or any other crime, and appropriately
tried. As the intrepid Turkish scholar Taner Akcam recently

...Under the pretext of searching for arms, of collecting war levies,
or tracking down deserters, there had already been established a
practice of systematically carried-out plunders, raids, and murders
[against the Armenians] which had become daily occurrences...
Within a month, the final, definitive stage of the process which
reduced the Armenian population to utter helplessness, i.e., mass
deportation, would begin.

Today's Status Quo of Immoral Denial and Diplomatic Confusion

But ninety-two years after the events of April 24, 1915, the Turkish
government persists in its denials of the Armenian genocide, abetted
by a well-endowed network of unsavory political and pseudo-academic
lobbyists operating with the imprimatur of morphing geo-strategic
rationales. Until the Soviet Union imploded, "Turkey as a bulwark
against Communism," was the justifying mantra; now, "Turkey as a
bulwark against radical Islam," is constantly invoked

This leeway afforded Turkey is both morally indefensible, and
increasingly, devoid of any geo-strategic value. West Germany was
arguably a much more direct and important ally against the Soviet
Communist bloc, while each successive post-World War II West German
administration, from Konrad Adenauer through Helmut Kohl, made
Holocaust denial a punishable crime. Moreover, there is burgeoning
evidence, available almost daily, that Turkey's government under the
Muslim ideologue Erdogan, and large swaths of the Turkish media,
intelligentsia, and general public, are stridently anti-American, and
hardly qualify as "bulwarks against radical Islam." Indeed, Turkey's
contemporary Islamic "revival" is of particular relevance to the
tragic events that transpired between 1894 and the end of World War
I, precisely because the Armenian genocide was in large measure a
jihad genocide.

Another source of lobbying pressure in opposition to the
Congressional resolutions formally recognizing the Armenian genocide
are major Jewish organizations such as the Anti-Defamation League
(ADL), The Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA),
B'nai B'rith, and the American Jewish Committee (AJC). All have
opposed the Armenian genocide recognition legislation in the
Congress, including the presentation of letters from the Jewish
community of Turkey, complemented, in the cases of ADL and JINSA, by
their own statements opposing these Congressional resolutions. Even
the most recent statements by ADL and AJC -- which recognized the
Armenian Genocide under duress -- actively oppose (ADL), or fail to
support (AJC), the resolutions. These groups maintain that passage of
HR/SR 106 jeopardizes both the safety on Turkey's small Jewish
minority (which is glaringly inconsistent with their simultaneous
hagiography of Turkey's treatment of Jews, past and present), and
what they profess to be the ongoing congenial and strategic
relationship between Turkey and Israel.

While Germany openly recognizes the Holocaust, and prosecutes
Holocaust deniers, Turkey refuses to recognize the Armenian genocide
and in fact has prosecuted its own citizens if they dare to affirm
this established genocide. Nobel Prize winning Turkish author Orhan
Pamuk, for example, was prosecuted under penal code Article 301,
which states: "A person who, being a Turk, explicitly insults the
Republic or Turkish Grand National Assembly, shall be punishable by
imprisonment of between six months to three years." A complaint was
also filed against the Turkish scholar Taner Akcam who forthrightly
acknowledges the Armenian genocide, and the late Armenian editor
Hrant Dink -- ultimately assassinated by a Turkish nationalist -- was
earlier prosecuted and punished, under this same statute.

After a three weeks delay which kept important U.S. military troops
at sea, on March 1, 2003, the Turkish parliament rejected a
resolution that would have allowed these forces to open a northern
front against Iraq from Turkish soil. This serious rupture, and other
evidence adduced by the founder and chairman of a leading Turkish
think tank prompted his candid observation in May, 2005 that,
"Turkish-American relations have been in a process of erosion for a
long time. The strategic partnership is long over. [emphasis added]
And after it ended, unfortunately no effort was made to redefine our

Public attitudes in Turkey towards the U.S. are overtly negative.
During early March 2005, an announcement poster inviting the public
to attend a large scale anti-US demonstration, on March 19, 2005 was
displayed extensively throughout the streets of Istanbul, and in the
lobbies and hallways of public buildings as well. The poster depicted
the US as a giant octopus with long tentacles strangling the globe,
and proclaimed, "America Get Your Hands Off the Middle East."
Signatories of the poster represented millions of members from the
most prominent national organizations, trade and labor unions, and
professional associations of Turkey. Valley of the Wolves (released
February, 2006), the wildly popular, most expensive film ever made in
Turkey, is a stridently anti-American propaganda piece, which appears
to mirror the widespread hateful Turkish attitudes towards the U.S.
expressed in polling data from the spring of 2006.

There is also no evidence that the diaspora dhimmitude of ADL and
like-minded U.S. Jewish community advocacy groups has done anything
to ameliorate the chronic plight of Turkish Jews (whose numbers have
steadily declined from a post World War II census of 77,000 to less
than 17,000 at present), or bolstered the so-called "alliance"
between Turkey and Israel. Such servile efforts have failed to alter
a virulently Antisemitic Turkish religious (i.e., Islamic), and
secular culture which continues to target Turkey's vestigial Jewish
population -- only 16% of Turks view Jews favorably according to a
Spring 2006 Pew Global Attitudes survey -- and the Turkish populace
is virulently anti-Zionist, and anti-Israeli.

Interviewed for a November 19, 2003 story in The Christian Science
Monitor, following the bombing of Istanbul's two main synagogues by
indigenous Turkish jihadist groups, Rifat Bali, a scholar, and
Turkish Jew, acknowledged the chronic plight of Turkey's small,
dwindling Jewish community, whose social condition remains little
removed from the formal "dhimmi" status of their ancestors. "The
Turkish Jews have not been fully integrated or Turkified, and they
have had to limit their expectations. A kid grows up knowing he is
never going to become a government minister, so no one tries, and the
same goes for positions in the military."

These acts of jihad terrorism targeting Jews occurred against a
backdrop of relentless Antisemitic propaganda conflating Jews,
Zionism, and Israel -- spearheaded by groups emphasizing traditional
Islamic motifs of Jew hatred -- a campaign that continues unabated.
For example, Milli Gazete, the daily produced by former Prime
Minister Erbakan's National Salvation Party since January, 1973, and
a major organ of fundamentalist Islam in Turkey, published articles
in February and April of 2005 which were toxic amalgams of
ahistorical drivel, and rabidly Antisemitic and anti-dhimmi Koranic

"Secular" Turkish antisemitism was perhaps best exemplified by a
"cinematic motif" in Valley of the Wolves (mentioned earlier for its
anti-Americanism) which featured an American Jewish doctor
dismembering Iraqis supposedly murdered by American soldiers in order
to harvest their organs for Jewish markets. Prime Minister Erdogan
not only failed to condemn the film, he justified its production and
popularity. This is the same Mr. Erdogan who in 1974, then serving as
president of the Istanbul Youth Group of the Islamic fundamentalist
National Salvation Party wrote, directed, and played the leading role
in a theatrical play entitled Maskomya, staged throughout Turkey
during the 1970s. Mas-Kom-Ya was a compound acronym for
"Masons-Communists-Yahudi [Jews]", and the play focused on the evil,
conspiratorial nature of these three entities whose common
denominator was Judaism.

During the Hizbollah-initiated war of July-August 2006, Prime
Minister Erdogan also repeatedly blamed Israel for the conflict,
emphasizing that "nobody should expect us [Turkey] to be neutral and
impartial." Concurrently, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, the Turkish
secretary-general of the 57-Muslim nation Organization of the
Islamic Conference denounced Israel's self-defensive actions as
"state terror."


The Ottoman Turkish destruction of the Armenian people, beginning in
the late 19th and intensifying in the early 20th century, was a
genocide, and jihad ideology contributed significantly to this
decades long human liquidation process. These facts are now beyond
dispute. Milan Kundera, the Czech author, has written that man's
struggle against power is the struggle of memory against forgetting.
In The Banality of Indifference, Yair Auron reminds us of the
importance of this struggle:

Recognition of the Armenian genocide on the part of the entire
international community, including Turkey (or perhaps first and
foremost Turkey), is therefore a demand of the first order.
Understanding and remembering the tragic past is an essential
condition, even if not sufficient in and of itself, to preventing the
repetition of such acts in the future....
And in his eloquent Wednesday 8/22/07 column "No Room to Deny
Genocide" the Boston Globe's Jeff Jacoby emphasized the nexus between
the jihad genocide of the Armenians, the contemporary depredations of
jihad, and the dangers of denial: "And at a time when jihadist
violence from Darfur to Ground Zero has spilled so much innocent
blood, dissimulation about the jihad of 1915 can only aid our
enemies." Moreover the various "strategic rationales" and arguments
put forth to oppose formal U.S. recognition of the Armenian
genocide-the U.S.-Turkish alliance, the Turkish-Israeli alliance, the
vulnerability of Turkey's vestigial Jewish minority-appear wanting
and hackneyed in light of burgeoning evidence which undermines their
basic credibility.

But most importantly, there is a compelling moral imperative to pass
these resolutions which transcends the dubious geopolitical
considerations used to rationalize and sustain Turkey's ongoing
campaign of genocide denial. Professor Deborah Lipstadt , the
renowned Holocaust scholar, and author of Denying the Holocaust, and
History on Trial (which recounts her crushing defeat of
Nazi-sympathizer David Irving's "libel' suit"), in conjunction with
twelve other leading genocide scholars, elucidated the corrosive
immorality of genocide denial in this 1996 statement:
Denial of genocide -- whether that of the Turks against the Armenians
or the Nazis against the Jews -- is not an act of historical
reinterpretation. Rather, it sows confusion by appearing to be
engaged in a genuine scholarly effort. Those who deny genocide always
dismiss the abundance of documents and testimony as contrived or
coerced, or as forgeries and falsehoods. Free speech does not
guarantee the deniers the right to be treated as the 'other' side of
a legitimate debate when there is no credible other side"; nor does
it guarantee the deniers space in the classroom or curriculum, or in
any other forum. Genocide denial is an insidious form of intellectual
and moral degradation...
Andrew G. Bostom is the author of The Legacy of Jihad (Prometheus,
2005) and the forthcoming The Legacy of Islamic Antisemitism "
(Prometheus, November, 2007) ... he_ar.html
It's a custom of the human condition for the masses to remain ignorant. It's what they do. In fact, that IS how "the peace" is kept. Whatever democracy we have here is a spectator's sport.
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