05 February 2007
We're going to put up the latest resolution in its entirety, with brief examinations of each of its thirty claims.
Even when politicians such as Pallone, Knollenberg, Schiff and Radanovich lie prostrate before their Armenian benefactors, it's appalling that these representatives — supposed to be guardians for truth, justice and "the American way" (a reminder of what that partly entails: "Condemnation without hearing both sides is unjust and un-American.") — could allow themselves to be such complete stooges for Armenian propaganda. Do these men possess absolutely no honor?
This particular resolution is remarkable for its totally shameless and extremist propagandistic claims, filled with outright falsehoods; one would think at this high level of operation, there would be at least some attempt to tone down the outrageous content, in case a few of the congressional representatives actually performed their duty, and made some attempt at objective analysis. Even if these men are "bought" or are in fear of the Armenians' great political power, how could they allow themselves to sink to such a dishonest level? How do they look at themselves in their mirrors?
How can any real American justify re-electing such politicians bereft of honor? If they are either so racist or incompetent as to not investigate all sides of an issue or are so willing to sell out, how can they be expected not to compromise other issues affecting their districts or nation?
One of our nation's greatest thinkers, Prof. John Dewey. warned Americans against being deceived by Armenian propaganda, all the way back in 1928 ("The Turkish Tragedy"). Indeed, the terrible reality is that most people of the West are too brainwashed or prejudiced to consider this issue fairly. But when those placed in positions of power to serve as our guardians against injustice allow themselves to act so incompetently or dishonorably, the situation becomes heartbreakingly contemptible.
Parliaments are elected to pass good laws; not to vote on historical facts about which the majority of the deputies do not have the slightest idea. For almost ninety years there is a debate about whether it was or was not a genocide, about the number of victims on both the Armenian and Turkish side, whether the killings of the Armenian population meet the criteria of the definition of the word "genocide", what ignited the violence, and other important facts. Very few historians studied this matter, and people often make up their mind about historical facts based on belief or prejudice. I tried to read as much as possible of professional books on that matter and based on the facts advanced by professors Bernard Lewis, Stanford Shaw, and Tadeusz Swietochowski, and after reading arguments to the contrary — I came to the conclusion that "armenian genocide " is a political, not historical concept.
Irena Lasota, president of the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe (IDEE), opining about the vote of the Polish parliament on the "Armenian genocide."
Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution (Introduced in House)
HRES 106 IH
H. RES. 106
Calling 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 , and for other purposes.
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
January 30, 2007
Mr. SCHIFF (for himself, Mr. RADANOVICH, Mr. PALLONE, Mr. KNOLLENBERG, Mr. SHERMAN, and Mr. MCCOTTER) submitted the following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs
Calling 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 , and for other purposes.
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This resolution may be cited as the `Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian Genocide Resolution'.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
The House of Representatives finds the following:
like Joe Knollenberg
(1) The Armenian Genocide was conceived and carried out by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923, resulting in the deportation of nearly 2,000,000 Armenians, of whom 1,500,000 men, women, and children were killed, 500,000 survivors were expelled from their homes, and which succeeded in the elimination of the over 2,500-year presence of Armenians in their historic homeland.
(1) Vahakn Dadrian (the “foremost authority on the Armenian Genocide”) himself has written that what is referred to as a genocide had “all but run its course” by 1916; defeated in 1918, the Ottoman Empire ceased as an entity not long after. Therefore, a practically nonexistent government could not have “carried out” a genocide until 1923. The consensus of western opinion of the period (e.g., the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica) settled on 1.5 million as the total pre-war Ottoman-Armenian population, and even Dadrian vouches for 1 million survivors. At the end of 1918, Armenian leader Boghos Nubar vouched for a resettlement of 600,000-700,000, not “nearly 2,000,000.” The half-million (not “1,500,000”) mostly died (and were not “killed”) of famine and disease, factors also claiming most of the 2.7 million other Ottomans who died. Not a single Armenian was "expelled"; all resettled were allowed to return by 1918's end, and 644,900 Armenians (nearly half the original population) remained in what was left of the Ottoman Empire by 1921, according to the Patriarch. Those who left on their own accord to lands outside Ottoman control (e.g., Iran [50,000], Greece [120,000] and Transcaucasia [500,000, Hovannisian]) were free to return, as stipulated by the Gumru and Lausanne Treaties.
(2) On May 24, 1915, the Allied Powers, England, France, and Russia, jointly issued a statement explicitly charging for the first time ever another government of committing `a crime against humanity'.
(2) The May 24, 1915 statement of the “Allied Powers, England, France, and Russia” rings hollow when they had secret treaties to divide the Ottoman Empire between themselves, and were overlooking Russia’s own ‘crime against humanity' against Jews. The British treated their own non-rebellious German-British men with greater relative severity (given that the British were not bankrupt and resource-challenged, as the Ottoman Sick Man, and not threatened with extinction), truly "deporting" (that is, banishing outside national borders) their Germans and imprisoning the rest in what amounted to "concentration camps." (By contrast, relocated Ottoman-Armenians were mainly distributed among villages and not kept behind barbed wire... but "fairly well satisfied... already settled down to business and... earning their livings," as Morgenthau recorded Representative Zenop Bezjian's message regarding Armenians at Zor.)
(3) This joint statement stated `the Allied Governments announce publicly to the Sublime Porte that they will hold personally responsible for these crimes all members of the Ottoman Government, as well as those of their agents who are implicated in such massacres'.
(3) The Allies made good on their threat to hold Ottomans “personally responsible” by conducting the Malta Tribunal (1919-1921), and holding up to 144 Ottomans prisoner. No evidence could be found to "implicate" anyone, and every accused was set free, aborting the need for trial.
(4) The post-World War I Turkish Government indicted the top leaders involved in the `organization and execution' of the Armenian Genocide and in the `massacre and destruction of the Armenians'.
(4) The “post-World War I Turkish Government” was a puppet of the Allies. Even the British held the findings of these kangaroo courts a travesty of justice, and dismissed them for heir own Malta Tribunal.
(5) In a series of courts-martial, officials of the Young Turk Regime were tried and convicted, as charged, for organizing and executing massacres against the Armenian people.
(5) Officials found guilty were tried without due process by a corrupt administration eager for retribution. As Dadrian tells us, they were pressured to find guilty verdicts, otherwise terms of the peace conference would be severe.
George Radanovich (R-CA; at right) poses with the Armenian Technology Group's Executive Director; Radanovich was co-sponsor of 2003's Armenian Genocide Resolution 193. Hye Sharzhoom interviewed the congressman on The Burning Tigris: “I read the Burning Tigris and thought it was so effective in telling the story of the Armenian Genocide that I distributed copies, donated by the Armenian National Committee of America, to every member of the House of Representatives...I believe the book raises awareness of the Armenian Genocide, and anything that raises awareness will help the effort to pass the resolution I introduced on the Genocide.” How reassuring that we have intellectuals like Radanovich in Congress, who determine complex issues strictly by consulting one-sided works of pure propaganda.
Radanovich raised eyebrows by trying to do away with a historic landmark in Yosemite National Park, adhering to the facts again by complaining that the publicly-owned history museum and library was for "private use." The Press criticized his proposal in terms of "childish petulance unbecoming the dignity of a congressman."
(6) The chief organizers of the Armenian Genocide , Minister of War Enver, Minister of the Interior Talaat, and Minister of the Navy Jemal were all condemned to death for their crimes, however, the verdicts of the courts were not enforced.
(6) Enver, Talat and Jemal were indeed found guilty by this illegal court, without producing factual evidence. Even a “genocide” champion of the period, Johannes Lepsius, vouched for Jemal’s protection of Armenians, demonstrating the worth of these verdicts.
(7) The Armenian Genocide and these domestic judicial failures are documented with overwhelming evidence in the national archives of Austria, France, Germany, Great Britain, Russia, the United States, the Vatican and many other countries, and this vast body of evidence attests to the same facts, the same events, and the same consequences.
(7) There is no “overwhelming evidence” in the archives of the countries mentioned; what there is an overwhelming amount of is “hearsay” and even some forgeries. The British examined the best of Armenian-related documents in the U.S. State Department, and rejected them all as “personal opinions.”
(8) The United States National Archives and Record Administration holds extensive and thorough documentation on the Armenian Genocide , especially in its holdings under Record Group 59 of the United States Department of State, files 867.00 and 867.40, which are open and widely available to the public and interested institutions.
(8) When perused, the “thorough documentation on the Armenian Genocide” in the U.S. National Archives almost all derive from Armenian testimony, of which an Associated Press correspondent had warned in 1895: "(Atrocity claims) must be established independently of Armenian testimony, or their value may be seriously questioned." Armenians told missionaries, and missionaries told everyone else. Hearsay is never a substitute for fact. If the records being referred to here in detestably "smokescreen" fashion truly amounted to concrete evidence, not a single one of the countless Armenian genocide web sites would have bypassed their reproduction. The bulk of these records document one-sided suffering, and suffering is not genocide.
(9) The Honorable Henry Morgenthau, United States Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire from 1913 to 1916, organized and led protests by officials of many countries, among them the allies of the Ottoman Empire, against the Armenian Genocide.
(9) Morgenthau’s private diaries and letters proved how “dishonorable” he was, contradicting his claims from the 1918 book ghost-written for propaganda purposes. During 1915, he was on friendly terms with Ottoman officials, in contrast to his later “efforts to make the Turks the worst being on earth” (as his critic, George Schreiner worded it, December 11,1918; see last link); Morgenthau was aware of the Armenians’ treason in his governmental communications (e.g., March 18, May 25, 1915), information he later suppressed in order to present Armenians as innocent.
(10) Ambassador Morgenthau explicitly described to the United States Department of State the policy of the Government of the Ottoman Empire as `a campaign of race extermination,' and was instructed on July 16, 1915, by United States Secretary of State Robert Lansing that the `Department approves your procedure . . . to stop Armenian persecution'.
(10) Morgenthau was heavily under the influence of Armenian assistants for his information; he never ventured outside the capital’s environs in 1915 to see what was happening (as opposed to newspaperman Schreiner, a genuine eyewitness who knew there was no “genocide”). Secretary of State Robert Lansing later wrote (November 21, 1916, to Wilson) that the Armenians’ “disloyalty” essentially made their relocation (i.e., "persecution") “justifiable.”
Frank Pallone, Jr., center, at an ANCA event
Rep. Frank Pallone spoke at a 2005 ANCA-sponsored protest against the tragic events in Darfur. Does anyone believe the Armenians of ANCA care about Darfur? Or was this ANCA's sneaky and exploitative way to get their "Armenian genocide" message out there? Here's what their man said: "It’s very reminiscent of what happened in the case of the Armenian Genocide... There were people that were speaking out that were not listened to. In the case of the Turks, they were out there in the fields, constantly killing people and moving people into the desert. While there were those who were speaking out [about the Armenian Genocide], the Western powers really weren’t doing anything about it. We don’t want to be in that situation again here in the United States.”
It was not just a handful "speaking out" against the Terrible Turk during WWI, but everyone; in the case of the New York Times, for example, to the tune of 145 articles in 1915 alone. And what did Pallone expect the Western powers to do? Nobody could just walk in there and "fix" things, as they had their hands full; there was a world war going on. (Pallone was actually a history major as an undergraduate.)
Don't Quit till you make 'em say ANCA!
Pallone also serves as Co-Chair of the Congressional Sri Lankan- American Caucus and is the founder of the Congressional Caucus for India. Who knows which other caucuses this polished politician elected to serve on. What does serving on a caucus mean? It means the politician has an obligation to favorably look upon the interests of the foreign nation he represents, regardless of the issues. In short: "Politician for sale."
Pallone — which rhymes with "Baloney" — has been successfully elected with a majority of the vote since 1988, because his state of New Jersey traditionally goes with Democrats... and he supports some nice things, such as conservation. (And some not-so-nice things, as the death penalty.) Yet isn't a politician's eager willingness to marry himself with foreign interests a troublesome aspect of integrity?
According to opensecrets.org, Pallone's "Ideological/Single Issue PAC [Campaign] Contributions" more than doubled from 2002 ($13,825) to 2004 ($40,985), inching up to $46,685 in 2006. More tellingly, his "Individual contributions" (where identities need not be disclosed) doubled from 2002 ($474,755) to 2004 ($985,717), and then nearly doubled again in 2006, at $1,689,201. We'll never know how much these, and those from other categories (such as "Business PACs") constituted Armenian money, but this slick has made sure to cover his bases quite expertly... the truth be damned.
(11) Senate Concurrent Resolution 12 of February 9, 1916, resolved that `the President of the United States be respectfully asked to designate a day on which the citizens of this country may give expression to their sympathy by contributing funds now being raised for the relief of the Armenians', who at the time were enduring `starvation, disease, and untold suffering'.
(11) Then, as now, our Congress did not care for the ‘starvation, disease, and untold suffering' of all Ottomans, not just the politically powerful Armenians. Note, by the way, the prominent reasons given for the Armenians' ills in early 1916, when the "genocide" had "all but run its course": no mention of massacres. "Starvation, disease and untold suffering" aren't pretty, but have nothing to do with systematic extermination, particularly when all other Ottomans were enduring the same tragedies. ("...All over Turkey thousands of the populace were daily dying of starvation." Morgenthau.)
(12) President Woodrow Wilson concurred and also encouraged the formation of the organization known as Near East Relief, chartered by an Act of Congress, which contributed some $116,000,000 from 1915 to 1930 to aid Armenian Genocide survivors, including 132,000 orphans who became foster children of the American people.
(12) The most successful charity drive in American history resulted from massive Armenian propaganda, assisted by influential folks from all walks of society (such as the Chairman of the National Motion Picture Committee). Colonel William Haskell of the American Red Cross thought with greater humanity: “America should feed the half million Turks whose hinterland was willfully demolished by the retreating Greeks, instead of aiding the Greeks and Armenians who are sitting around waiting for America to give them their next meal. The stories of Turk atrocities circulated among American churches are a mess of lies. I believe that the Greeks and not the Turks are barbarians.” (Few Americans knew or cared about the worse crimes of the Armenians in the east.)
(13) Senate Resolution 359, dated May 11, 1920, stated in part, `the testimony adduced at the hearings conducted by the sub-committee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations have clearly established the truth of the reported massacres and other atrocities from which the Armenian people have suffered'.
(13) Our politicians, then and now, relied strictly on deceptive Armenian propaganda without bothering to scratch the surface. An exception was Senator James A. Reed, who declared, “The Armenian is not guiltless of blood himself,” pointing out the wholesale massacres committed by the Armenians, and criticizing General Harbord’s report as “a picture of the Armenians by the friend of the Armenians.” (Congressional Record, 1920.)
(14) The resolution followed the April 13, 1920, report to the Senate of the American Military Mission to Armenia led by General James Harbord, that stated `[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages'.
(14) Yet even this great friend of the Armenians, General Harbord, included in his report: “In the territory untouched by war from which Armenians were deported the ruined villages are undoubtedly due to Turkish deviltry, but where Armenians advanced and retired with the Russians their retaliatory cruelties unquestionably rivaled the Turks in their inhumanity.”
(15) As displayed in the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Adolf Hitler, on ordering his military commanders to attack Poland without provocation in 1939, dismissed objections by saying `[w]ho, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?' and thus set the stage for the Holocaust.
(15) Even an Armenian scholar, Dr. Robert John, summed up this Hitler quote as a "forgery." There were four versions of this Hitler speech, and the unsigned and undated one containing this statement was rejected by the Nuremberg authorities, “embellished” as it might have been (according to noted WWII historian William Shirer), and containing other dubious references such as the obese Goring’s jumping on a table and dancing wildly. The Holocaust Memorial Museum shamefully compromised its credibility by exhibiting this falsehood, a bone thrown to the Armenians, perhaps in appreciation for the big money donated by Armenians (such as the one million dollars promised by Seth Moomjian).
Armenian Assembly of America's Executive Director, Bryan Ardouny, poses with Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Joseph Knollenberg (R-MI) and Frank Pallone, Jr., (D-NJ). Below, Armenian Assembly of America Chairman Richard Mushegain presents Congressman Knollenberg with a book about Armenia.
(16) Raphael Lemkin, who coined the term ` genocide' in 1944, and who was the earliest proponent of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide , invoked the Armenian case as a definitive example of genocide in the 20th century.
(16) Raphael Lemkin knew of the Armenians what he had read in the biased western press, the hearsay of missionaries and Armenians. Lemkin’s prejudiced “personal opinion” is no substitute for historical fact.
(17) The first resolution on genocide adopted by the United Nations at Lemkin's urging, the December 11, 1946, United Nations General Assembly Resolution 96(1) and the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide itself recognized the Armenian Genocide as the type of crime the United Nations intended to prevent and punish by codifying existing standards.
(17) The United Nations has never “recognized the Armenian Genocide as the type of crime” defined in its genocide convention. A 1985 subcommittee vigorously debated the issue, after having been made aware of the actual facts, and refused to recognize it. (See "23" below.).
(18) In 1948, the United Nations War Crimes Commission invoked the Armenian Genocide `precisely . . . one of the types of acts which the modern term `crimes against humanity' is intended to cover' as a precedent for the Nuremberg tribunals.
(19) The Commission stated that `[t]he provisions of Article 230 of the Peace Treaty of Sevres were obviously intended to cover, in conformity with the Allied note of 1915 . . ., offenses which had been committed on Turkish territory against persons of Turkish citizenship, though of Armenian or Greek race. This article constitutes therefore a precedent for Article 6c and 5c of the Nuremberg and Tokyo Charters, and offers an example of one of the categories of `crimes against humanity' as understood by these enactments'.
(18 & 19) If this commission came up with such conclusions, its participants irresponsibly considered racist Armenian propaganda in exclusivity. If their intention was to provide an example of “crimes against humanity,” they totally ignored the systematic extermination campaign perpetrated by Armenians against fellow Ottomans unlike the Armenians. These points have been raised within this dishonest resolution as a deceptive subterfuge. The stillborn Sèvres Treaty’s purpose was to declare a death sentence against the Turkish nation, and to bring up an article from a criminal treaty marks the true “offense.”
(20) House Joint Resolution 148, adopted on April 8, 1975, resolved: `[t]hat April 24, 1975, is hereby designated as `National Day of Remembrance of Man's Inhumanity to Man', and the President of the United States is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe such day as a day of remembrance for all the victims of genocide , especially those of Armenian ancestry . . .'.
(20) In order to label people as victims of genocide, one must first prove a genocide had taken place. The simple fact is that there is no evidence demonstrating a systematic, government-sponsored extermination plan against Armenians; the actual evidence demonstrates the Ottoman government attempted to safeguard Armenian lives and property, and its power and resources were insufficient to curtail random violent acts committed by renegade forces. Prejudiced and ignorant politicians in 1975 once again considered harmful propaganda in exclusivity, and forgot to consider the universality of “Man's Inhumanity to Man”; if the victims were, say, Muslim, they did not count.
The deafening drumbeat of the propaganda, and the sheer lack of sophistication in argument which comes from preaching decade after decade to a convinced and emotionally committed audience, are the major handicaps of Armenian historiography of the diaspora today.
Dr. Gwynne Dyer, 1976; in the last thirty years, that "convinced and emotionally committed audience" has grown to include even more non-Armenians, proving once again that the more a lie is repeated (especially on a near-exclusive basis), the more people come to believe it.
(21) President Ronald Reagan in proclamation number 4838, dated April 22, 1981, stated in part `like the genocide of the Armenians before it, and the genocide of the Cambodians, which followed it—and like too many other persecutions of too many other people—the lessons of the Holocaust must never be forgotten'.
(21) The Armenians are a powerful and influential political force in the United States, and are obsessed with their “genocide”; the extremists among them sadly do not refrain from using falsehoods and other “end justifies the means” tactics. Politicians, including presidents, sometimes forget their responsibility to serve all of the people, and the truth. The fact that Ronald Reagan offered his “personal opinion” that there was a genocide against Armenians is meaningless without the historical evidence to back up such a claim.
(22) House Joint Resolution 247, adopted on September 10, 1984, resolved: `[t]hat April 24, 1985, is hereby designated as `National Day of Remembrance of Man's Inhumanity to Man', and the President of the United States is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe such day as a day of remembrance for all the victims of genocide, especially the one and one-half million people of Armenian ancestry . . .'.
(22) It was a request the President refused. Hopefully he was made aware that it would be impossible to kill “one and one-half million people” when there were 1.5 million people to begin with, and even the worst Armenian propagandists of current times agree 1 million survived. At the end of 1918, the Armenian Patriarch broke down his inflated pre-war population figure of 2.1 million as such: 1,260,000 survivors, and 840,000 dead. The Armenians had initially settled on 600,000-800,000 dead at the postwar Peace Conference. Even Armenian propagandists of the period did not go as far as what the writers of this resolution would have us believe.
(23) In August 1985, after extensive study and deliberation, the United Nations SubCommission on Prevention of Discrimination and Protection of Minorities voted 14 to 1 to accept a report entitled `Study of the Question of the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide ,' which stated `[t]he Nazi aberration has unfortunately not been the only case of genocide in the 20th century. Among other examples which can be cited as qualifying are . . . the Ottoman massacre of Armenians in 1915-1916'.
(23) The claim of acceptance is an out-and-out falsehood. The 14-to-1 vote pertained to Resolution 1985/9 and not the "Study of Genocide" Report (also known as the Whitaker Report, named after the rapporteur who prepared it). The Sub-Commission refused to receive the report, deleting the word "receives" from the draft resolution, merely taking "note" of the study. It refused to praise the report by deleting words such as "the quality of," and refused to transmit it to the Commission on Human Rights. In order to clear the record in response to Armenian propagandistic claims, U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq stated on October 5th, 2000: "(The) United Nations has not approved or endorsed a report labeling the Armenian experience as Genocide."
(24) This report also explained that `[a]t least 1,000,000, and possibly well over half of the Armenian population, are reliably estimated to have been killed or death marched by independent authorities and eye-witnesses. This is corroborated by reports in United States, German and British archives and of contemporary diplomats in the Ottoman Empire, including those of its ally Germany.'.
(24) As even the Turk-hating missionary, Cyrus Hamlin, wrote in 1893, regarding the tactics of the Armenian terrorists who drove a wedge between Armenians and Turks: “Falsehood is, of course, justifiable where murder and arson are.” The Dashnak terrorist party is currently in control of the Armenian diaspora and Armenia. “Falsehood” becomes justifiable, as in many of the claims of this resolution. In this example, they totally misrepresent the status of this U.N. report (which was, after all, prepared by only one biased individual), and rely on non-evidence as the “personal opinions” of biased and/or ignorant diplomats who received their information entirely from missionaries and Armenians. Once again, 1 million people could not have possibly died if there were 1 million survivors from a pre-war population of 1.5 million, and most died of famine and disease, not from murder. Nearly the entirety of those “death-marched” reached their destinations intact. The very bigoted U.S. Consul Jesse Jackson vouched for nearly half a million emigres in 1916... "when the genocide had all but run its course.”
(25) The United States Holocaust Memorial Council, an independent Federal agency, unanimously resolved on April 30, 1981, that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum would include the Armenian Genocide in the Museum and has since done so.
(25) Relying on propaganda and not on fact damages the integrity of the Holocaust Memorial Council; some involved perhaps irrationally fear a lessening of the Armenian story would cast disbelief upon the Holocaust, stressing how politicized “genocides” have become. Crafty Armenians were all too aware that hitching their genocide ride on the untouchable Holocaust’s coattails would prove invaluable, and wealthy Armenians generously supported, and continue to support, Holocaust centers.
Congressman Brad Sherman (D-CA) with participants of the Armenian Assembly's 24th Summer Internship Program, and at right, with arm around Ms. Totah, an AAA Board of Trustees Executive. In 2002, as the AAA reported, Sherman considered that U.S. support of a Baku-Tiblisi-Ceyhan pipeline was "almost an act of hostility toward Armenia." (But all would be well as long as the pipeline went through Armenia, you see.) Here's wondering why Sherman never shows outrage over Armenia's actions in Nagorno Karabakh, which was unquestionably an act of hostility.
(26) Reviewing an aberrant 1982 expression (later retracted) by the United States Department of State asserting that the facts of the Armenian Genocide may be ambiguous, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia in 1993, after a review of documents pertaining to the policy record of the United States, noted that the assertion on ambiguity in the United States record about the Armenian Genocide `contradicted longstanding United States policy and was eventually retracted'.
(26) Once again a demonstration of the immense political power of Armenian-Americans. If this “aberrant 1982 expression” served as a contradiction, the Armenian genocide would have long ago been recognized through the countless resolutions introduced along the years, as this one. While Armenians have no monopoly on historical suffering, it is most telling that it is the Armenian genocide bill that has kept recurring with jarring frequency. This is the kind of power and intimidation the Armenian community utilizes on a regular basis, as in 2002 when pressured Feds commanded the U.S. Justice Department to drop Armenia from the watch-list of potential terrorist nations, freeing male Armenian nationals from the INS fingerprinting and registration process.
(27) On June 5, 1996, the House of Representatives adopted an amendment to House Bill 3540 (the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1997) to reduce aid to Turkey by $3,000,000 (an estimate of its payment of lobbying fees in the United States) until the Turkish Government acknowledged the Armenian Genocide and took steps to honor the memory of its victims.
(27) This dishonest resolution is making barely any effort to focus on historical facts (with good reason; to do so would cast doubt on the Armenians’ genocide invention), and attempts to make its case by citing the “personal opinions” of those swayed by propaganda, prejudice and ignorance... and money. Today, the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues makes up more than one-third of the entire House, a significant number when it comes to Armenians getting their way. Congressmen Pallone and Knollenberg serve as Co-Chairmen of this Armenian Caucus, and Schiff, Sherman and Radanovich likely feel beholden to the large numbers of Armenians residing in their state of California.
Not incidentally, the "aid" to Turkey generally comes in the form of monies that need to be paid back, and not free and clear cash, as given to Armenia, the second greatest recipient of U.S. aid after Israel, per capita. The undemocratic nation offers practically nothing of value to the USA, but they do spend millions in pushing their propaganda and in influencing U.S. Congressmen... befitting their reputation as "professional beggars," in the estimation of Col. Haskell (see "pg. 212"; the Armenians sought revenge by engaging in their familiar smear tactics, charging Haskell with stealing from the relief efforts... without offering proof, of course).
(28) President William Jefferson Clinton, on April 24, 1998, stated: `This year, as in the past, we join with Armenian -Americans throughout the nation in commemorating one of the saddest chapters in the history of this century, the deportations and massacres of a million and a half Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in the years 1915-1923.'.
(29) President George W. Bush, on April 24, 2004, stated: `On this day, we pause in remembrance of one of the most horrible tragedies of the 20th century, the annihilation of as many as 1,500,000 Armenians through forced exile and murder at the end of the Ottoman Empire.'.
(28 & 29) Further examples of Armenian political clout. Both presidents appear to have slowly become aware “that the facts of the Armenian Genocide may be ambiguous,” but it would take courage to desist from throwing a “genocide bone” to the obsessed and powerful Armenian community. Politicians would leave themselves open to the underhanded smear tactics of the extremists in this community. Some go farther; a Californian truck driver, Norayr Avetisyan, was accused of threatening the life of President George W. Bush for what was perceived as anti-Armenianism.
(30) Despite the international recognition and affirmation of the Armenian Genocide , the failure of the domestic and international authorities to punish those responsible for the Armenian Genocide is a reason why similar genocides have recurred and may recur in the future, and that a just resolution will help prevent future genocides.
(30) Despite the meaninglessness of international recognition shamefully based entirely upon propaganda, prejudice, money and intimidation tactics, what is forgotten is that nations cannot be held responsible for genocides; particularly successor democratic nations that overthrew what, in this case, was once an empire. Only individuals may be accused of genocide, and all of the accused Ottoman individuals were freed from their Maltese internment in late 1921, after the British failed to find any judicial evidence to convict them of massacres. Furthermore, the “human rights” argument presented here is another smokescreen tactic; none of those who have perpetrated genocides after the creation of the 1948 U.N. Convention (as, say, the Hutus of Rwanda, or the Pol Pot regime in Cambodia) looked back upon the Armenian episode to inspire them along their way. (As this awful statement is actually claiming as "a reason"..!) If criminals are set upon committing a crime, no law on the books will deter them from committing the crime.
Dishonest and racist resolutions as this one, in effect, work entirely contrary to the principle of human rights, as it fosters hatred against those unjustly accused of perpetrating the worst crime against humanity.
SEC. 3. DECLARATION OF POLICY.
The House of Representatives--
(1) 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 and the consequences of the failure to realize a just resolution; and
(2) calls upon the President in the President's annual message commemorating the Armenian Genocide issued on or about April 24, to accurately characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide and to recall the proud history of United States intervention in opposition to the Armenian Genocide .
The source site of this article gets revised often, as better information comes along. For the most up-to-date version, and the related photos, the reader may consider reviewing the direct link as follows:
The Importance of Genocide Resolutions
This essay appeared in response to a question regarding the U.N.'s having recognized the Armenian "Genocide." Afterwards, I wasn't sure whether the U.N. declared such a recognition... since the only ones saying so were the Armenian Assembly of America. Four paragraphs into the essay below, the AAA claimed U.N. recognition on or before the year 2000, and yet U.N. spokesman Farhan Haq declared on October 5th, 2000: "(The) United Nations has not approved or endorsed a
report labeling the Armenian experience as Genocide."
I believe you are asking what is my response to the United Nations' having recognized the Armenian "Genocide." In other words, the U.N. represents the world, and if the world has recognized the Armenian "Genocide," then what more need be said? That proves there must have been a genocide, and there is no need for further discussion.
In order to answer, we cannot simply look at the end result. This is the kind of case where we would need to examine the history of events that led to the end result.
The Armenian Diaspora has spread all over the world. We know the one million Armenians in the United States of America (where probably more Armenians live in the world outside of Armenia itself, the latter of which had 3.4 million people in 2000) and the half a million Armenians in France have contributed to immense Armenian influence in those two particular countries. However, when I look at lands I would have never suspected coming across as pro-Armenian... a local Armenian group residing within that land always emerges from the background, as the driving force behind the pro-Armenian activity.
Here is a description (www.aaainc.org/genocideintro.htm) from the Armenian Assembly of America (with a $2.5 million budget) of the "Armenian Genocide Reaffirmation":
A growing number of countries and multinational organizations, including the European Parliament and the United Nations, now recognize and reaffirm the Armenian Genocide as historical fact. In 1995 the Russian parliament adopted a resolution on the Armenian Genocide; in 1996 the Canadian House of Commons and the Greek Parliament also adopted similar resolutions. The Lebanese Chamber of Deputies followed in 1997 and in 1998 the Belgian Senate, French National Assembly and the Council of Europe all passed resolutions that reaffirmed the Armenian Genocide. Now members of U.S. House of Representatives are working diligently to ensure Congressional Affirmation of the Armenian Genocide in the year 2000.
(This particular resolution, out of the many that have been introduced over the years in the U.S. Congress, was brought by Republican James Rogan, representing the 25,000 potential Armenian-American voters from his Californian district, in a bid to help Rep. Rogan's uphill fight for re-election. The resolution almost passed, until President Bill Clinton wisely nipped it in the bud... keeping America's national interests in mind.)
And here is a list (to 1998) of all the many countires who have mindlessly adopted resolutions to support the Armenian "Genocide," courtesy of a web site from Armenian friends in Greece: http://virtuals.compulink.gr/armen-yth/pages/aguk.htm/.
On this list, I especially enjoyed the neutral ones from 13 June 1997 — The Association of Genocide Scholars ... and from 22 April 1998 — The National Assembly of the Republic of Nagorno Karabagh. Russia, in particular, should be ashamed for hopping on this bandwagon. Ultimately, the Armenians must accept their own responsibility for their own actions that led to the relocation policy in 1915... however, the Russians (and the British, to a lesser extent) had a huge part to play in using the Armenians as pawns. Russia played a key role in emboldening the Armenians to systematically massacre 500,000-600,000 Turks/Muslims, out of the over 2.5 million who died from all wartime causes.
Let's examine the anatomy of these resolutions. Case study: America.
The Armenian lobby in the United States has been resoundingly successful. The main reason: they play the ethnic race/Christian vs. Muslim cards expertly well. No "Muslim" lobby of any power exists to effectively refute and oppose them, and the Armenians know how to exploit this inequity.
Just one example of their success: they actually managed to get the U.S. Congress to cut foreign aid to Azerbaijan after the Armenians' sneak, unprovoked attack on Azerbaijan in 1992. The Armenian soldiers, true to their ways, swooped down on the citizenry, and murdered many in the most inhumane of ways (The Armenian-friendly Boston Globe reported in November 21, 1993: What we see now is a systematic destruction of every village in their way, said one senior US official. It’s one of the most disgusting things we’ve seen).... taking at least 20% of Azerbaijan's territory, and driving a million human beings from their homes. Yet, cowardly/self-serving and ignorant U.S. Congressmen decided to penalize Azerbaijan.
And it's not only because Armenia claims to be Christian like the United States, while Azerbaijan is Muslim. Muslim Azerbaijan has no real lobby in America, but the well-financed Armenian-American lobby has plenty of greenbacks to fill the pockets of unprincipled politicians.
Here's what Samuel Weems said, in 2002:
The Armenians have perhaps 40-50 full time professionals in Washington DC doing nothing but working each and every day to undercut Turkey and Azerbaijan and promote themselves for more foreign aid taxpayer funding. Turkish Americans have - 0- staff and office working for them in Washington DC. The Turks really should do more to protect themselves. All they have to do is tell truth! Here is an eye-opening calculation for you: Armenians, in the last 10 years, have probably spent about 14 million dollars to support all the political candidates that they did. When those candidates got elected, Armenia got 1.4 billion dollars in the same 10 years as US Foreign Aid. That is, for every one dollar Armenian Americans "invested", they got $100 back in US Aid to Armenia! 100 to 1 return! This is a better return than Las Vegas casinos! (smiles) Wake up Turkish Americans!. Get involved!
Now, pro-Armenians may not like Sam Weems, but the only relevant matter is whether these facts and figures are correct.
Frank Pallone, Jr.
Here is an Armenian Assembly of America page that lends evidence to how frightened Americans should be, demonstrating the lack of objectivity and limited intellectual capacity of their elected political leaders (of course, there are those, like Frank Baloney Jr... others call him Frank Pallone, Jr. ... who might well have been bought by the Armenians):
Notice how almost all are human rubber-stamps, saying exactly what they've been told, parroting what Armenian-Americans have been moaning about for a century and longer, such as how the Terrible Turk massacred 1.5 million of their Christian forefathers. If they haven't been bought, these people are either Christian sympathizers, or simply naive... they've been hearing a big lie all their lives, and they firmly believe it, by now.
(I would have loved to hear how Rep. Adam Schiff of California handled his testimony of rattling off an endless list of Armenian victims' names, for dramatic effect. I wonder if he managed, without getting tongue-tied. Rep. Schiff, by the way, was James Rogan's Democratic opponent in the election Rogan hoped to salvage by introducing the genocide resolution. The one thing both men had in common was kissing Armenian buttocks.)
I don't have the time to check the exact figures now, but in the case of the world's second most Armenian-loving country, France (I can't be sure, but perhaps the order of Armenian-loving countries would work out thus: 1. America 2. France 3. Armenia), their Armenian genocide resolution passed when only about one-tenth -- a "skeleton crew" -- of the Assembly people were present. The next time the fuller body of representatives came in for a full day's work, they didn't dare to veto what went on before. There are so many powerful Armenians in France, after all. It's the country where Boghos Nubar began the powerful Armenian organization (the AGBU), that today has an annual budget of 27 million dollars. This is only one of many powerful Armenian organizations throughout the world, albeit likely among the better financed.
Throughout the world, Armenians have been successful in getting similar resolutions adopted. Many are countries where Turkey is practically a non-entity. It doesn't help that Turkey has no real friends in the world. Even those friends like the United States are only friendly when Turkey acts like a vassal state... as proven earlier in 2003. Every wonderful thing Turkey has done over the years supporting America's interests is quickly forgotten, the moment Turkey steps out of line. (And this particular example was probably the first time Turkey stepped out of line, in U.S.-Turkish relations.)
It was the United States that put an embargo on Turkey after the Cyprus intervention. It didn't matter that the Greeks broke every rule in the book in years past, violating all the agreements... it didn't matter that Turkish Cypriots were getting massacred in years past, and had the plan to unite with Greece succeeded, every Turkish Cypriot would have been massacred (as Nicos Sampson, the leader, admitted years later in a Feb. 26, 1981 interview with the Greek newspaper, Eleftherotipia), and it didn't matter what Turkey did was legal, as even an Athens court admitted in 1979. No nation has recognized the validity of Northern Cyprus. (I remember reading Bangladesh did, for at least a while..? And North Korea..!)
So if Armenians have established themselves all over the world and are active on this issue, of course they will succeed in getting their resolutions passed... all over the world. Especially if they are wealthy. The usually apathetic and ignorant Turks who are in these countries are mainly in their own little worlds, and the playing field is wide open for the Armenians.
Let's put aside the fact that "Resolutions" are worthless and have no legal meaning. These "Resolutions" merely express the thoughts of the officials who vote for them. The sneaky Armenian plan all these years has been to get these resolutions passed, just so they can say, see. The world agrees with us. Next step: reparations and land.
(Of course, the Treaty of Gumru that was signed on December 2, 1920 between the young Turkish government and the Armenian Republic declared there shall be no reparations, and we all know Armenia would never dream of breaking her word. This treaty also gave a provision to allow the relocated Armenians to return to their lands within one year. By contrast, according to an addendum to Dr. Dennis Papazian's amazing "What Every Armenian Should Know," "Russia... forbade Armenian refugees...from returning to their lands, which the Russian armies had overrun during the war." Armenians may want to read stories of William Saroyan, such as Antranik of Armenia — to get the perspective the real enemy of the Armenians were not the Turks, but the Russians.)
So let's get to the United Nations' recognition of the Armenian "Genocide." The U.N. is also a political body. if Turkey has no friends in the world, and if the Armenians have sneakily succeeded in getting many countries to adopt these resolutions, how do you think the representatives of these countries are going to vote? Are they going to go against the resolutions their home countries have already passed? Those countries that the Armenians haven't gotten around to passing resolutions yet... the ones that have no affinity for Turkey... how do you think they're going to vote? Why, everybody is saying there is an Armenian genocide, so there must have been one. Is anybody really going to take the time to study this issue?
"If you tell a lie big enough and often enough and no one challenges you - a great number of people will believe the lie no matter how big it is."
If one looks to prove the Armenian "Genocide," it won't do to point to people's opinions formed exclusively by distorted Armenian history, or who have ulterior motives. People of honor and integrity... genuine truth-seekers... have only one place to look: the facts of OBJECTIVE history.
Do most Western sources that lend evidence... like Morgenthau, foreign consuls, Bryce, the missionaries, Lepsius, the N.Y. Times... have conflicts of interest? Yes, they do. Do most Western sources that lend counter-evidence have conflicts of interest? Westerners who have grown up being told the Turks were cruel savages? No, they don't. Did the "Nuremberg" of WWI, the Malta Tribunal, find the Turks innocent... after nearly two-and-one-half years of desperately searching all documents within reach in Allied-occupied Istanbul (and in other countries), employing a crack team of Armenian researchers? Yes, it did. (Remember, the British could have conducted a mock trial in 1919 and gotten the matter over with as they originally planned.... just like the 1919 Ottoman kangaroo courts. Keep that in mind when you come across Armenian reasons to discredit the Malta Tribunal.)
I am a truth-seeker... and I hope you are, too. I don't care what the Turkish government says, I don't care what any Turk says... I make up my own mind for myself. The moment I run into GENUINE proof, I would be the first to say... yes, there was an Ottoman government sponsored plan to exterminate the Armenian people. Why not? The government in charge, after all, was overturned by the present Turkish government in charge. I owe no allegiance to the Ottoman government. In fact, ultimately, I owe no allegiance to anybody or any entity, but the principles of truth and honor. I love my country, but if America does something clearly wrong, you would not find me defending what America has done. Definitely no less would apply to the nation of Turkey.
The source site of this article gets revised often, as better information comes along. For the most up-to-date version, and the related photos, the reader may consider reviewing the direct link as follows:
The "Genocide Resolution" in America Almost Passes
See also "The Power of Ethnic Haters and the Cowardice of Politicians" at page bottom.
Also: A Pole Opines on the Polish "Genocide" Resolution
The U.S. House International Relations Committee approved the so-called "Genocide Bill" (Resolution 596) on October 3, 2000, by a vote of 24-11... blaming The Ottoman Empire for killing 1.5 million Armenians between 1915-1923. The following articles which appeared in the American press shed interesting light on the inner mechanisms that took place, leading to the success of the bill's passage. How much of the process do you think had to do with morality, and how much was due to politics?
This resolution was not implemented, however... I'm not quite sure of the process involved, but I gather its next stop was the Senate. President Bill Clinton deep-sixed the resolution at that point, warning that it could would harm U.S. interests.
The Armenians tried many times over the years to introduce similar resolutions... in fact, the statement of the sixty-nine scholars disagreeing with the "genocide" notion was prepared to counter one such resolution (H.J. Res. 192) back in 1985! Persistence obviously pays off.... and to have American politicians totally open to this one particular example of "man's inhumanity to man" (when there are countless examples of others throughout history, as Justin McCarthy mentioned... when he gave testimony to oppose yet another resolution, H. Res 398, in... September 14 2000... confusingly, around the same time as this one), and allowing for such resolutions to come to the floor time and time again, did not hurt.
Republican's Unusual Gift: A Vote on the House Floor
The New York Times
October 7, 2000
WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 — For years, a measure to condemn the mass killings of Armenians in Turkey 85 years ago as genocide languished in Congress. That was before James E. Rogan’s seat was in jeopardy.
Now that Mr. Rogan, a House impeachment manager and perhaps his party’s most vulnerable incumbent, is fighting for his political life in next month’s elections, the Republican leadership in the House is coming to his rescue in an unusual way.
It is common for party leaders to help embattled incumbents bring home political prizes — often in the form of bridges, dams and highways. But Speaker J. Dennis Hasten of Illinois is clearing the way for the House to vote next week on the contentious Armenia resolution, a priority in Mr. Rogan’s Southern California district, which has the largest Armenian-American constituency in the country. Prospects for passage are unclear.
By fulfilling a promise to bring up the measure, Mr. Hasten was defying critics who said he was putting party interests ahead of foreign policy. The Clinton administration said the measure would damage relations with Turkey, an important ally in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. Backers argued that the resolution had bipartisan support, which included the two top Democrats in the House, Richard A. Gephardt of Missouri, the minority leader, and David E. Bonior of Michigan, the minority whip. But Republican aides acknowledged that Mr. Rogan’s lobbying and his re-election battle pushed the measure to a vote.
“If it weren’t for Jim Rogan, this wouldn’t be coming to the floor,” said John P. Feehery, Mr. Hasten’s spokesman.
The resolution has been the talk of the three Armenian-language television stations and five newspapers in Mr. Rogan’s district around Pasadena, Calif. Rogan aides estimated that more than 20,000 registered voters of Armenian descent live in the district.
Armenians have maintained that thousands of their people were killed from 1915 to 1923 as part of a campaign by the Ottoman Empire to force Armenians out of eastern Turkey. The Turks have acknowledged that some 300,000 people were killed, but have said the deaths occurred when the Ottoman Empire tried to quell civil unrest. The Ottoman Empire became Turkey in 1923.
Mr. Rogan’s stature has been slipping with Armenian-Americans because they think he has not paid enough attention to issues they care about. The influential Armenian National Committee had endorsed Mr. Rogan in the past, but this year was backing his Democratic rival, Adam Schiff, who also supported the resolution. House Republican leaden hope Mr. Rogan reaps enough credit for the measure to help sway undecided voters.
“The fact this is of interest to Rogan’s constituents is not lost on the leadership,” said Representative Thomas M. Davis III of Virginia, head of the House Republican reelection campaign. “This resolution will be a very tangible debating point for him.”
Opponents are fighting back. Turkey has hired, for $1.8 million, two former chairmen of the House Appropriations Committee, Robert L. Livingston of Louisiana and Gerald B. H. Solomon of New York, both Republicans, along with Stephen J. Solarz, a former Democratic representative from New York, to lobby against the bill.
Armenia’s supporters have mustered a counterattack, hiring former New York congresswoman, Susan Molinari, a Republican.
The measure, approved this week by the House International Relations Committee, 24 to 11, has split the Republican leadership. Representative Dick Armey of Texas, the majority leader, is leaning against the measure, his aides say, although he supports allowing a floor vote. Mr. Hasten and Representative Tom DeLay of Texas, the majority whip, would not say how they would vote. The resolution has stirred bipartisan concern, particularly among the Texas delegation because Turkey has threatened to cancel a $4.5 billion deal to buy 145 attack helicopters made by Bell Helicopter Textron in Fort Worth, a division of Textron Inc.
Even though the resolution is nonbinding and does not go to the Senate or to President Clinton for approval, it has ignited opposition. On Monday, the president of Turkey, Ahmet Necdet Sezer, called Mr. Clinton to complain, just days after the Turkish foreign minister, Ismail Cem, warned that if the resolution passed, “serious effects of it should be expected on Turkish-U.S. relations.”
Turkey, officials said, could ground American warplanes that fly out of Turkish air bases to patrol northern Iraq. Mr. Clinton expressed his concerns directly to Mr. Hasten on Thursday, aides said.
“I don’t think this would be a good time to be rocking the boat unnecessarily,” said Representative Porter J. Goss, the Florida Republican who heads the House Intelligence Committee.
For his part, Mr. Rogan is trying to play down his role and dismisses talk that the Republican leaders are doing him a favor, noting the support from Mr. Gephardt and Mr. Bonior.
“It’s time for the House to answer the question who remembers the Armenians?” Mr. Rogan said.
Holdwater adds: Oooo! A play on words with the presumed Hitler Quote. Good going, Mr. Politician! It's plain to see your desire to get the resolution passed had everything to do with your sincere concerns for the Armenians' plight... having nothing to do with your own political welfare.
Taking On Turkey: Republican Gambit For Armenian Vote Risks U.S. Interests
Frank J. Gaffney Jr.
Investor’s Business Daily
October 3, 2000
As House Speaker Dennis Hasten and his Republican colleagues struggle to retain control of Congress, they have had to endure the indignity of accepting deals — from raising the minimum wage to new entitlement programs to busting the budget caps — they would consider unthinkable under other circumstances. It remains to be seen whether their constituents will reward or punish the GOP at the polls for such behavior.
Unfortunately, there is one Faustian deal Hasten has felt obliged to strike that may help his party in November, but that will surely cost the nation dearly down the road. In a bid to help Rep. James Rogan’s uphill fight for re-election in a California district said to have more Armenians than any other place on earth outside of Armenia itself, the speaker is personally twisting arms to ensure passage of a resolution condemning the Ottoman Turk government for engaging in “genocide” against ethnic Armenians early in the last century.
If the full House of Representatives approves this legislation, which was favorably reported out of a House International Relations subcommittee last month, U.S. ties with Turkey will suffer serious, possibly irreparable, harm. Estranging Turkey is about as reckless an international action as the U.S. could take at this juncture. After all, Turkey is today a pro-Western, secular democracy has proven to be one of America's most reliable allies. It has also developed an enormously important strategic relationship with Israel. U.S. interests are especially well served by having such an ally where it is. In geopolitics, as in real estate, location makes all the difference. Turkey is situated amid most of the nations, crises and potential conflicts with which America is concerned at the moment: Iran, Iraq and the rest of the Persian Gulf; Serbia and the Balkans; the southern Caucasus and Caspian Basin; Russia, the Levant and North Africa.
Congress is hardly equipped to adjudicate the arcane and contentious question of whether the undisputed murder of hundreds of thousands of Armenians was a centrally planned and systematic genocidal act by the Ottoman Turk government or was the result of widespread but uncoordinated ethnic warfare
The very reasons that make Turkey such an asset to the U.S. explain why it is in the cross hairs of many who oppose American interests and values, including Russia, Armenia, Iran, Iraq and Syria. These nations have not only worked to undermine Turkey abroad, but also have, to varying degrees, supported internal Islamist and Kurdish elements working to subvert Turkish democracy from within. Turkey’s foes will be emboldened even as the Turks themselves will be infuriated if Hastert succeeds in bringing an “Armenian genocide” resolution to the House floor and securing its approval before adjournment this fall, as he recently promised Jim Rogan’s politically active Armenian-American community during a campaign swing through that Los Angeles district. This is all the more regrettable, since Congress is hardly equipped to adjudicate the arcane and contentious question of whether the undisputed murder of hundreds of thousands of Armenians was a centrally planned and systematic genocidal act by the Ottoman Turk government or was the result of widespread but uncoordinated ethnic warfare. As compelling as Hastert’s considerations are for pursuing this “Armenian genocide” initiative, they risk a potentially serious rupture with one of America’s most important foreign partners. To make matters worse, such a rupture would come at a particularly unpropitious time. Iraq’s Saddam Hussein is emerging once again as a mortal threat to his neighbors and Israel. Uncertainties about the future course of pivotal Persian Gulf states such as Iran and Saudi Arabia are exacerbating concerns about, among other things, future oil shocks and their economic consequences. And Israel is dealing with a new outbreak of violence as the Palestinians prepare to liberate the rest of “Palestine” with or without another fraudulent “peace agreement.” A stable, secure Turkey closely tied to the West is an indispensable counterweight to these and a number of other worrisome developments. It behooves the House Republican leadership, therefore, to find ways to secure a renewed mandate without jeopardizing vital national interests.
Frank J. Gafftzey Jr., who held senior positions in President Reagan‘s Defense Department, is president of the Center for Security Policy in Washington, D.C.
Local Politics is Global as Hill Turns to Armenia
Monday, October 9, 2000
Rep. James E. Rogan (R-Calif.) doesn’t pretend to be a foreign policy expert. A former state assemblyman and onetime deputy district attorney who made his name prosecuting rapists, gang murderers and drug dealers, Rogan, 43, has traveled outside the United States only once in his lifetime.
But this is an age when politics can be local and global at the same time. Thus Rogan has sided with Armenians in an 85-year-old historical dispute that threatens to disrupt U.S. relations with Turkey, one of America’s most staunch allies and a moderate, democratic bulwark against Islamic extremism.
Rogan’s district in Southern California happens to be home to the largest concentration of Armenian Americans in the United States. Locked in a tight race for reelection, Rogan has been courting this voting block with help from House Speaker J. Dennis Hasten (R-Ill.), who agreed in August to push a resolution labeling as “genocide” the massacres of Armenians that took place under the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923. That resolution was passed by the House International Relations Committee last week and may come to a vote on the floor this week. But what began as a nod to a local constituency has turned into an international incident — and the latest example of the role Congress often plays when it seizes on one narrow facet of foreign policy. The Turkish government, successor to the Ottoman Empire, objects to branding the killings as “genocide.” Turkish President Ahmet Necdet Sezer called President Clinton last Monday to express “grave reservations” about the resolution. U.S. corporate lobbyists fear that it could endanger billions of dollars in defense contracts. And U.S. diplomats fret that Ankara might limit U.S. use of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey for patrolling the "no-fly" zone over Northern lraq. A letter signed by 13 former U.S. Cabinet members and military commanders said adoption of the resolution “would deliver a severe blow to U.S. interests in the region.” The flap is a case study of the clout wielded by members of Congress who latch on to a single dimension of U.S. foreign policy with little regard to broader national interests. Often these members are motivated by a constituency, contributor or personal passion. Such parochial interests are not new. But with the end of the Cold War, the breakdown of the congressional foreign policy establishment, and an administration that has been unable to forge a new foreign policy consensus, these lawmakers have stepped into a vacuum and acquired tremendous influence.
“The old adage that politics stops at the water’s edge has long since gone by the boards,” says former representative Lee H. Hamilton (D-Ind.). “Too many people place constituent interests above national interests. They don’t see much difference between lobbying for highway funds and slanting foreign policy toward a particular interest group.” One former U.S. diplomat joked last week that politics still stops at the water’s edge, only now it’s the waters of the Bosphorus.
A former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Chas. W. Freeman Jr., laments what he calls “the franchising of foreign policy,” with various interest groups dictating areas of policy. The American Israel Public Affairs Committee, or AIPAC, influences policy toward Israel. The Congressional Black Caucus often sways Haiti policy. Non-proliferation crusaders rule on North Korea. Farmers bend trade policy. Christian groups dominate discussion of Sudan, whose Muslim-dominated government is waging war on the largely Christian south. Cuban Americans resist any easing of sanctions on Havana. Part of the problem is ideological. Without a Soviet foe, the foreign policy agenda has become diffuse, with congressional power now spread among committees on banking, finance, appropriations, judiciary and the environment.
Part of the problem is institutional. Senior foreign policy specialists in Congress have departed, including senators Nancy Landon Kassebaum (R-Kan.), Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.), Sam Nunn (D-Ga.) and William S. Cohen (R-Maine). In 1999, first-term senators chaired all seven subcommittees of the Foreign Relations Committee. Many of them would have preferred other committee assignments.
Meanwhile, the Republican congressional leadership is isolationist and often uninterested in foreign policy. One exception was the effort by Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) to persuade the Clinton administration to sell to Taiwan destroyers built in a shipyard in his home state.
As a result, individuals can drive policy — even, as in Rogan’s case, when they are junior lawmakers and do not sit on the foreign affairs committees. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), whose district includes many Indian Americans, uses his position on the Commerce Committee to promote India’s interests. Rep. Christopher H. Smith (R-N.J.), who was once director of the New Jersey Right to Life organization, uses his perch on the International Relations Committee to restrict funding for United Nations organizations he feels promote abortions worldwide. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), who also has a seat on International Relations, vociferously reflects the anti-Castro views of her Cuban American constituents. “What we’ve lost in Congress are the statesmen,” said William A. Reinsch, who has grappled with Congress as undersecretary of commerce for export administration. “People who tended to look at the bigger picture, who understood the broader range of U.S. interests and how at any given moment one would be more important than another, and who understood that presidents need flexibility.”
The Armenian genocide resolution illustrates this clash of special and national interests, as well as the stakes involved. Although the resolution is non-binding and does not have a Senate counterpart, the International Relations Committee debated it for seven hours in two sessions before a throng of Armenian Americans, corporate lobbyists, defense contractors, human rights activists and Turkish parliamentarians.
Lines outside the hearing stretched down the hail of the Rayburn House Office Building. “This is the most closely fought election in the House in 50 years,” said a lobbyist for Turkey. “Control could hinge on the outcome of a single race. And the speaker has succumbed to the temptation to bring this resolution forward, unaware of the consequences to the country if it were to pass.”
The Armenian Assembly of America ... has 7,000 individual and organizational members and a budget of $2.5 million.
Though Hastert’s support for Rogan was a catalyst, the resolution is also the product of years of political lobbying by Armenian Americans, who founded the Armenian Assembly of America as a grass-roots organization in 1972. Today it has 7,000 individual and organizational members and a budget of $2.5 million. It grades members of Congress on votes concerning Armenia. On the genocide resolution, it has retained the lobbying services of former representative Susan Molinari
Ross Vartian, executive director of the Armenian Assembly, says it has modeled itself on groups such as AIPAC, the tobacco lobby and the gun lobby. “You look at their methodologies,” he said. “It’s standard stuff. It’s numbers and intensity and the quality of your argument.” The Armenian Assembly has also made allies with Greek Americans and human rights groups, longtime critics of Turkey. In Congress, Sen. Paul S. Sarbanes (D-Md.), a Greek-American, has been a strong supporter. The organization has chalked up a string of victories. Armenia, with just 3.4 million people, receives $102.4 million in aid from the United States.
Moreover, Section 907 of the Freedom Support Act bars U.S. assistance to Azerbaijan, a strategically located oil producing country that has a long-running dispute with Armenia over the territory of Nagorno-Karabakh. “Azerbaijan ends up becoming a very important location, and here we are with 1 1/2 hands tied behind our backs,” said one administration official. For more than a decade, however, the Armenian Assembly has sought and failed to win passage of a genocide resolution. Few people deny that massacres took the lives of hundreds of thousands and perhaps as many as 1.5 million Armenian men, women and children during and immediately after World War I. But some historians and Turkish officials say it resulted from forced relocations and widespread fighting in the region. They also say millions of Turks died in the same region over the same period. Usually the Armenian Assembly has pushed its genocide resolution around April 24, the anniversary of an initial 1915 roundup of 235 Armenian intellectual and religious leaders who were later murdered. This year Armenian groups changed their timing to take advantage of the importance of Rogan’s race to Republican efforts to keep control of the House. Rogan’s district boasts Armenian Boy Scout troops, churches and community groups; five Armenian newspapers; three Armenian-language cable TV stations; and more than 21,000 Arrnenian American registered voters. Armenian organizations are trying to boost their rolls to 25,000, about 8 percent of the electorate.
Rogan has long wooed these voters. In September 1999, he made his first and only overseas trip, visiting Armenia for five days and stopping in Rome to meet the pope.
The resolution, which directs the president to use the word “genocide” in statements marking the event, “is not an issue of foreign policy,” argues Rogan spokesman Jeffrey Solsby. “This is a moral issue. . . . It is our obligation to work with the Armenian community and their friends in Congress to make sure they are remembered and that this atrocity does not occur again on the face of the Earth.”
Rogan’s Democratic opponent, state Sen. Adam Schiff, does not intend to be outdone. Schiff has co-sponsored California legisltion on the Armenian genocide, to prohibit Turkey from funding academic chairs in Ottoman studies, and to fund an Armenian film foundation to document the massacres. Two weeks ago, Gov. Gray Davis (D) signed legislation Schiff sponsored to remove the statute of limitations and enable Armenian families to file insurance claims for losses that occurred during the massacres.
“This is an issue I’ve been active on for several years,” Schiff said in an interview. As for Rogan, Schiff charged, “how does he explain that in 3 1/2 years he’s never tried to bring this [genocide resolution} to a vote?”
To many policymakers, the stakes seem higher than 25,000 votes in Southern California.
In a letter to the House International Relations Committee, seven former top officials and six former military commanders — including former defense secretaries Frank Carlucci and William J. Perry and former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff John Shalikashvili — urged members to consider “the real world consequences” of adopting the resolution.
The former officials noted that Turkey has helped combat terrorism, contributed to NATO forces in the Balkans, hosted U.S. and British forces enforcing the Iraqi no-fly zone and imposed sanctions on Saddam Hussein’s government even though the sanctions have cost the Turkish economy billions of dollars.
American defense contractors also quietly support Turkey, which plans to spend $20 billion modernizing its armed forces over the next five years. Textron Inc. is trying to wrap up a sale of 145 attack helicopters for an estimated $4.5 billion. A Russian diplomat said last week that tensions over the House resolution have revived Moscow’s hope that Turkey might choose instead a Russian helicopter equipped with Israeli avionics.
Turkey has also deployed lobbyists, including former Republican representatives Bob Livingston (R-La.) and Gerald B.H. Solomon (R-N.Y.), each of whom gets $700,000 to represent Ankara, and former Democratic representative Stephen Solarz (D-N.Y.), who is being paid $400,000. Turkey’s parliament dispatched a delegation to attend last Tuesday’s session of the International Relations Committee. One Turkish lawmaker told the committee that the massacres were “indisputable” but that there was no evidence their purpose was genocide.
Rep. Smith of New Jersey said the Turkish parliamentarian’s denial “made our case” and showed the need for the resolution. Other committee members bristled at the thought that they should mute historical facts for the sake of strategic interests. One asked whether some future German government, in the name of strategic alliance, could insist that the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum be dismantled “brick by brick.” After the committee passed the resolution by a vote of 24 to 11, Turkey announced that it would send an ambassador back to Baghdad for the first time since Iraq invaded Kuwait in 1990, but it did not link the move to the resolution. Separately, the leaders of Turkey’s five major parties said they would bear in mind the resolution when Turkey’s parliament decides whether to renew the U.S. mandate to use a Turkish base for flights over northern Iraq. The mandate expires Dec. 30. “What is most important for us is that the resolution should be stopped before it can overshadow the strategic partnership we have,” Turkey’s ambassador to Washington, Baki Ilkin, said in an interview. He contended that passing the resolution would be “a disservice to Armenia” because “Armenia needs Turkey more than Turkey needs Armenia.” And he warned that “the fabric of our relations with the United States would inevitably be affected.”
That, however, would be a matter for the next administration, and Congress, to deal with.
Holdwater adds: If this Res. 596 was the same bill as Res. 398, both bills having been brought up at the same time, one has to wonder about the ethics of the twenty-four politicians who voted for its passage... after hearing the compelling testimony of Professor McCarthy. Even if they were convinced of the genocide's having taken place, surely the points the professor raised must have created room for uncertainty; a courtroom would have needed far more evidence before a jury would have voted to convict the killer. A sad day for Truth and Integrity.
Consider this: Armenian-Americans perhaps spent less than 1.5 million
dollars per year on average, to get some of these congress people elected
to the U.S. Congress, which totals $ 15 million in 10 years (1991-2001).
In the same ten years, these congress people paid back "their debt" to the
Armenian-Americans by sending $ 1.5 billion (with a"b"!) to that terrorist
state called Armenia… Each dollar invested into the election campaigns of
Pallon and Knollenberg came back as $100 in U.S. aid to Armenia ! Not
bad for a country whose number one export is terrorism and number one
import is American handouts, don't you think?
Samual A. Weems, excerpt from THE AMERICAN CONGRESS SELL OUT!
AMERICAN FARMERS GET NO FARM BILL BUT ARMENIA GETS 1.5 BILLION DOLLARS!, early 2002
The Power of Ethnic Haters and the Cowardice of Politicians
THE GOVERNOR OF ALABAMA RETRACTED THE RESOLUTION IN FAVOR OF TURKEY
Washington, 12 October 2001 (17:30 UTC+2)
The director of the US state of Alabama Governor's office announced on October 3 that the August 30 resolution declaring that day as the "Day of Remembrance of the Tragedy of the people in Asia Minor and also Turkish Republic Independence Day" is not in effect anymore. The resolution described the Turks as the victims of the tragic events of the period 1912-1922.
The resolution in question was retracted as a result of the mobilization of the Greek and Armenian communities which condemned the attempted falsification of history.
The governor's office issued an apology for the sorrow it caused to Greeks and Armenians and put an end to the issue by retracting the controversial resolution.
Holdwater: Was this resolution in favor of "Turkey," or in favor of Truth and Humanity?
In his original statement Governor Don Siegelman said that many Turks and Ottoman citizens from different ethnic groups were killed as a result of the Greek occupation in Anatolia. "With its leader Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the Turkish public showed a heroic struggle against occupying forces and than found the Republic of Turkey on September 29th, 1923," Siegelman said, adding that recognizing the tragedy of Turks will be important in preventing human tragedies in the future. (From a Turkish Daily News account.)
Greek atrocities (from 1919 until Greece's defeat) are a matter of historical record. And nobody can argue the struggle of the Turkish nation was a heroic one, with the odds stacked so highly against the crippling situation. What the governor apparently failed to acknowledge was the bloodthirsty actions of the Armenians, responsible for ethnically cleansing over half a million Ottomans, with some Russian help.
ANCA bragged in a press release that "The retraction came after a major statewide grassroots effort focused on setting the historical record straight." Among the "myths" of the proclamation, according to ANCA, was that Turkey enjoys a long history of friendship and harmonious coexistence with different ethnic groups under its rule, and that Turkey is a staunch ally of the United States.
Those are "myths"?
“Governor Siegelman stood firm in the face of revisionism and has shown the world the importance of maintaining historical truths," ANCA Eastern Region Director Arin Gregorian beamed. With tail between legs, the governor's policy director declared the proclamation(s) "were retracted due to historical inaccuracies."
"The Governor’s Policy Office regrets any pain that may have been caused to Hellenes, Armenians, and Assyrians world-wide due to historical inaccuracies in the proclamations of August 8th and August 28th, and due to the misinformation reported by the Turkish media. The Governor’s Office’s considers its involvement in this matter to be over."
And not a moment too soon! The governor's office must not have known what hit it, with this thunderous barrage from the obsessed hate-mongers in all corners. The power of these forces of evil is nothing but mind-boggling.
Too bad Governor Don Siegelman did not have the courage of his convictions; no doubt he became acutely aware he would have been dead meat in the hands of these fanatics, come re-election time. A sad day in the annals of truth and justice.
A Pole Opines on the Polish "Genocide" Resolution
"III Sector" Democracy Journal called Irena Lasota, president of the Institute for Democracy in Eastern Europe (IDEE) to ask her about the vote of the Polish parliament on the "Armenian genocide". Irena Lasota left Poland as a political refugee. She visited Azerbaijan many times since 1995, and in Washington since that time was fighting publicly against the article 907. She is known as one of the real friends of Azerbaijan.
Ms. Lasota, what do you think of the vote of the Polish parliament "recognizing" the "Armenian genocide"?
- Parliaments are elected to pass good laws; not to vote on historical facts about which the majority of the deputies do not have the slightest idea. For almost ninety years there is a debate about whether it was or was not a genocide, about the number of victims on both the Armenian and Turkish side, whether the killings of the Armenian population meet the criteria of the definition of the word "genocide", what ignited the violence, and other important facts. Very few historians studied this matter, and people often make up their mind about historical facts based on believe or prejudice. I tried to read as much as possible of professional books on that matter and based on the facts advanced by professor Bernard Lewis, Stanford Shaw, and Tadeusz Swietochowski, and after reading arguments to the contrary - I came to the conclusion that "armenian genocide " is a political, not historical concept.
I seriously doubt if any Polish deputy could defend his vote with any facts. I could even bet that many of them could not find on the map the Turkish-Armenian border or answer the question who was Ataturk. I am sorry, but I am afraid that some Polish MPs would confuse him with Genghis Khan. Why did they vote? Wrongly understood geopolitical interests of Poland? Ignorance? Anti-Turkish sentiments growing in some parts of Europe? Christian solidarity? All of it doesn't justify why such a big country, who was recognized in the end of 18th century only by the Ottoman Empire committed such a stupid move.
Mavi Boncuk, April 23, 2005
An essay by Nick
The evolution of quasi-legal “resolutions,” in various state and national legislatures or court systems around the world, of genocide committed by the Ottoman government against its Armenian citizens during (and after) the First World War has been an interesting, if curious, phenomenon. Of course, the passing of a resolution has no legal force and certainly does not demonstrate historical veracity as one cannot legislate the direction or flow of historical events in retrospect. What resolutions do, however, is to attempt to achieve a perception of events in order to increase the visibility and importance of a community, achieve a specific political goal or to gain some sort of compensation. Resolutions of the kind relating to the “Armenian Genocide” serve to enhance the status and importance of the Armenian community in a cultural environment where victimhood is a badge of honour. The fact that so many of these highly dubious documents have passed through national and state legislatures is a tribute the tight knit, affluent and highly clannish nature of the Armenian diasporas. In short, over many years they have shown themselves adept and manipulating the sympathies and resources of their hosts in order to further their own financial, political or cultural agendas.
The content of the resolutions or affirmations that have “passed” through legislative systems can be viewed in a number of internet web sites or publications and they make for interesting reading. While organisation is clearly evident from the beginning the evolution of the format and content is quite informative as it demonstrates a growing level of co-ordination and an increasing level of orthodoxy as the years have progressed. From the start certain central claims have been made (1,500,000 dead for example) but enthusiasm and zealotry made for the production of some quite startling “facts” — in other words, although everybody was trying to sing from the same hymn sheet the chorus was somewhat ragged
One of the earliest resolutions passed through the California State Assembly on April 15th 1968 and related specifically the establishment of the Armenian Martyrs Monument in Montebello, California. However, it is not until terrorist campaigns conducted against Turkish individuals and institutions got underway in the early 1970s that the flow of resolutions began increase. The reasons for this should be obvious. Although terrorism conducted against Turks was carried out by a variety of disgruntled or ill individuals and by a variety of politically radical and extremist Armenian groups, they presented the mainstream Armenian communities around the world, and particularly in North America, with both an opportunity and a problem. High profile terrorist atrocities served to bring Armenians’ sense of grievance to the wider public around the world- this was a great opportunity. The problem was that the 1970s and 1980s was a period that was almost defined by a terrorist driven crisis directed primarily against western targets and western values and tied up in Cold War issues. All of these terrorist groups were left wing and extremist in outlook and all had support from the Soviet Union, one of its dependencies or one of its third world proxies. The numerous Palestinian factions are an obvious example but to this we can add the IRA, the Red Brigades, Bhader-Mienhoff, Sandero Luminoso, the Japanese Red army, the PKK and so on; all high profile, anti western and ruthless.
Into this complex political mix comes the Armenian terrorist, in various formats revisiting the terrorism of the Armenian radicals of the 19th and early 20th centuries. The majority of people in the west viewed the Armenian terrorists with the same jaundiced eye that they viewed all the other terrorists. This time round, unlike the “problem of the Near East” in the late 1800s and early 1900s the Armenians had no rationale, no viable agenda…….no value.
What were they murdering and mutilating for? There were no oppressed Armenians in Turkey. There was no land or people to liberate. Their philosophy was nihilistic and hate driven; an opportunity for publicity, but also a problem. How could the mainstream Armenian community — whose leaders rarely unequivocally condemned the terrorists, benefit from the publicity without tarnishing the carefully nurtured aura of innocence? Part of the answer must have been in the campaign for “legal” recognition.
From the outset, the most consistent and uniform claim was the casualty figure- 1,500,000 — a figure that can not be changed since it is inscribed in stone, quite literally, on the Martyrs Monument. Apart from this, things did vary, probably due to over enthusiasm. Some of the embellishments are quite amazing, for example, part of the April 4, 1980 New York State Assembly resolution claims in one section:
“The land (Armenia) became a vital trade route between East and West and was coveted by the Persians, the Medes, the Mongolians, the Russians, the Greeks, the Romans and the Arabs; however, the Christian Armenians were able to peacefully coexist with invading armies until the birth of the Ottoman nation, when the Turks established dominion over an empire stretching some one thousand five hundred miles from Vienna to the Caucusus Mountains; and
WHEREAS, The Turks could neither tolerate nor integrate the independent Armenians, who spoke their own language and practised their own religion………..” and so on in similar vein for another twenty sections.
Clearly, anyone with a rudimentary knowledge of the relevant time periods and regions will know that this is quite simply arrant nonsense and is laced with a racist subtext of the kind that obscures much of what is written about Turkish history. One would have hoped that an august body of legislators would know better.
"The first genocide of the 20th century"
Hereros, possibly from the period in
question; see related news story, below
Governor Dukakis, in his proclamation of February 19th, 1986 says that the Armenian genocide was “the first genocide of the 20th century..” Leaving aside the fact that such arbitrary chronological parameters are meaningless devices intended to merely take out of context and frame a particular event, he seems to be unaware of the extermination of the Herero people carried out by German colonial forces in South West Africa between 1904 and 1907; about 75% -80% of Hereros were exterminated by direct orders of the German colonial commander Von Trotha. Possibly the reason for Governor Dukakis’ oversight may have something to do with the fact that he did not have a Herero constituency to pander
The March 26, 1990 resolution by the Oklahoma State Legislature introduce a slightly different and rather interesting variation on the theme; it compares the “deportations” of Armenian with “Oklahoma’s own Trail of Tears,” presumably suggesting that the authorities in Oklahoma and in the Federal government were guilty of their own genocide prior to that magical chronological cut off point on January 1st 1900. It is also a little unclear as to casualty numbers, straying from scripted 1,500,000 and only referring to “As many as one million Armenians may have died on this death march from lack of water and food…” and goes on to observe that “the number of Armenians killed at the hands of the Turks will never be known, but estimates as high as one million eight hundred thousand have been quoted..” Quite.
Peter Torigian, Mayor of Peabody, Massachusetts, comes up with an interesting spin in his proclamation on April 24th , 1990 when, while referring to the 1,500,000 victims of genocide says that the Armenians were deported to Der-El-Zor on foot during which time more than 1,000,000 died or were killed. It is about this time (late 1980s early 1990s) that we see the message evolving to include direct reference to the Nazis and the Jewish Holocaust; Torigian refers to Armenians at Der-El-Zor being held in “concentration camps………that resemble those of the Holocaust of World War II.” Also, in a number of resolutions from this period and onwards references are made to Hitler’s quotation from a speech at Obersalzburg referring to the Armenians — a quote that probably was never uttered and is often even misquoted.
By the mid 1980s Armenian terrorism was a spent force but the process of accumulating resolutions had acquired and independent force of its own and continued with a much greater degree of conformity — by 2000 they appear to working from a standard text in some cases. For example, from the Main Joint Resolution June 3rd, 2001, we find reference to:
“.. atrocities committed against the Armenians…..including the torture , starvation and murder of 1,500,000 Armenians, death marches into the Syrian desert and the exile of more than 500,000 innocent people”
This section is repeated almost verbatim in the California State Resolution of the 10th April 2003 and with minor changes in the New York State Legislature resolution of April 19th 2002. The resolutions from Main and California also both use the now almost obligatory reference to Adolph Hitler’s quotation and they also use the identical quotation from Ambassador Morgenthau in which he states, among other things, that previous massacres in history are “insignificant when compared to the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915.” All the stops are clearly being pulled out in order to put across an emotive, tailored message that will appeal to people’s historical misconceptions and ignorance. Armenians are unique; their suffering is unique and preceded that of the Jews.
This last California resolution is particularly interesting as it carries the mark of Senator Poochigian, a lawyer and law maker of some repute in California — apparently.
Senator Chuck Poochigian
Senator Poochigian has made the next logical step beyond resolutions and has formulated a law. The law he has formulated, however, is significantly different in form and scope from his resolutions. Firstly, it is limited in scope as it applies only to the area of insurance claims held by Armenians in Ottoman lands, their heirs and beneficiaries. It is modeled directly on a law covering insurance claims of Jews in German occupied Europe of the 1930s and 1940s. Promulgation of law in this area is a logical progression and appears to have been running, in this instance, in conjunction with attempts made by a number of Californian Armenians, supported by Armenian community groups, to cash in on insurance policies they either held or felt that they were entitled to benefit from and which date from the late 1800s and early 1900s. According to an article in The Fresno Bee in September, 2000 the value of these “lost” insurance policies could run to as much as $3 billion.. Poochigian’s Law was formulated specifically to aid these claims.
Poochigian’s Law is really quite fascinating and is remarkable because of the difference in tone, scope and definition when compared to all the resolutions on the subject of the Armenian Genocide- even the California resolution drafted by Poochigian himself. No mention of numbers here. The definition of “genocide” in the context of the law is so wide as to be meaningless in any real sense and the definition of who exactly is a “victims” of the “Armenian genocide” is quite spectacular!
The first section of the law sets out its perameters:
Section (a) The Legislature recognises that during the period from 1915 to 1923 many persons of Armenian ancestry residing in the historic homeland then situated in the Ottoman Empire were victims of massacre, torture, starvation, death marches and exile. This period is known as the Armenian Genocide.”
This is innocuous stuff — the number 1,500,000 (always given in numerical form in resolutions for greater impact) is substituded for the word “many”. This could apply to anybody who had the misfortune to live in the region including Turks, Kurds, Circassians, Jews and Greeks since all were subjected to starvation, expulsions, disease and massacre by someone. In fact, Armenians and Russians perpetrated atrocities and massacres of their own on Muslim communities before, during and after the relocation of Armenians occurred. However, at this point he restricts himself to Armenians.
The bill goes on to state that many Armenians and their descendants live in California and deserve an expeditious resolution to their claims because they have suffered enough. In fact, any further delay would represent an ”undue, unreasonable and unjust hardship on Armenian Genocide victims and their heirs.”
It is Poochigian’s definition of who is an Armenian Genocide victim that is most amazing of all. In Section 2) subsection 1) the bill states the following:
“Armenian Genocide Victim” means any person of Armenian or other ancestry living in the Ottoman Empire during the period of 1915 to 1923, inclusive, who died, was deported, or escaped to avoid persecution during that period.”
One hardly needs to highlight any part of this definition; it is amazing in both in its scope and its departure from the many resolutions passed through state and national legislatures. Why could this be? The answer is quite simple- a resolution is meaningless and free of political and monetary costs because its victims are Turks who, as yet, are only a small and relatively insignificant minority with little lobbying power. A law on the other hand, can be tested in court therefore it was necessary to frame the law as broadly as possible in order to ensure that challenges over facts and figures did not risk the outcome. This law is an admission that the basic facts to be found in every Armenian Genocide Resolution are unsafe.
According to the definitions in this law — anyone (literally anyone) who was living in the Ottoman Empire in 1915 and wasn’t living there in 1923 is an Armenian Genocide Victim — a Turk who died of influenza, a Kurd who fell of his horse, a Greek who left to live in Greece, and Armenian who had a stroke on his sofa in Istanbul or a British POW who died of typhus……. Anyone. Using constructions like this we could produce all sorts of ridiculous scenarios — Sudeten Germans expelled by the Czechoslovak government after WWII because they collaborated with the Nazis could conceivably claim to have been victims of a “genocide.” In fact, some are demanding apologies and even recompense!
How successful has the law been? Well, not very successful so far, in spite of the majestic breadth of its vision. Have any Armenian individuals, suffering or otherwise, benefited from a just and speedy resolution of the claims? Well, no; not exactly. What has happened has been a class action suit, settle out of court between Armenians and New York Life. What about that estimated £3 billion The Fresno Bee mentioned? Well, not really. What actually happened- as reported by the Armenian, Assyrian and Hellenic Genocide News (!) — was that New York Life agreed to donate £3 million to Armenian civic organisations. New York Life avoids going to court and incurring costs and possible embarrassment and gains praise and a considerable amount of business from a wealthy, clannish and grateful community. The Armenian lobby gets to tick a box and something they will try to portray as an endorsement of their position. Everyone is a winner- until you scratch the surface and have a look at it.
Poochigian’s Law contains no reference to numbers of dead in any way substituting instead the word “many” because the Armenian lobbyists know that they can not prove their statistics. The law makes no reference to Hitler or his words because such references are not provable. The law contains no preamble portraying Turks as worse than such legendry despoilers of civilisation as the Mongols of popular western myth because such references are demonstrably false and clearly racist. The law does not make reference to the “first Genocide of the 20th century” because this is as false as it meaningless. This law does not refer to the Armenian Genocide as being similar in “ratio” to the Jewish Holocaust as the two experiences are qualitatively and demonstrably different.
In short, Poochigian’s Law is a pale shadow of the genocide resolution because it cannot risk the light of day.
A Holdwater Addition
Tying in with reference to the Hereros above, it's interesting to provide one example of how a related topic was covered in the American press, when it was covered at all:
A German Garrison Annihilated.
"Beaufort, West Cape Colony, Nov. 2. — It is reported that the German garrison at Warmbad, in German Southwest Africa, has been annihilated by the Hottentois[?].
Warmbad is a mission station in Great Namaqualand."
Daily Kennebec Journal, Nov. 3, 1903
The source site of this article gets revised often, as better information comes along. For the most up-to-date version, and the related photos, the reader may consider reviewing the direct link as follows: