07 May 2007
Robert Manne is an Associate Professor in Politics at La Trobe University in Melbourne, Australia. That venue for unreliable information, Wikipedia, informs us he is "one of Australia's foremost public intellectuals."
This bad source tells us that "Manne's earliest political consciousness was formed by the fact that his parents were Jewish refugees from Europe and his grandparents were victims of the Holocaust."
"Robert Manne edited the 2003 anthology, Whitewash. On Keith Windschuttle's Fabrication of Aboriginal History, as a rebuttal to Keith Windschuttle's claims disputing there was widespread genocide against Indigenous Australians and the existence of a widespread guerrilla warfare against British settlement. Contributors included well known researcher into the frontier conflict, Professor Henry A. Reynolds, and Professor Lyndall Ryan, whose book The Aboriginal Tasmanians is one of the main targets of Windschuttle’s polemic."
Undoubtedly, Australia's aborigines were handed the most god-awful treatment by Australians, in the same vein as America's natives. Years ago, when I first had learned Australia had been behind the most successful extermination policy (of the Tasmanians, the only survivor is the one from the Bugs Bunny cartoons), it was easy to conclude a genocide. (And there are references in earlier TAT pages to this episode, as such.) While no doubt the Tasmanians were treated mercilessly, I have run into other viewpoints which made me realize (particularly now that I am more familiar with the knee-jerk operations of the emotional genocide industry) that, as with anything, one must not rush to judgment about these matters until all the pertinent information is in. And I don't pretend to be an expert on what happened to the regional natives of Australia and neighboring islands, but it's quite possible the arrogant "white man" engaged in their murderous sprees indiscriminately (massacres) without the "intent" to exterminate (genocide). No doubt the "white man" did not desire to totally kill off the dodo, either, but because the killers were unchecked, the dodo was gone before we knew it. (And the same nearly happened with America's buffalo.)
But the typical "genocide scholar" is so crazed, as with your average religious fanatic, the only facts he or she can see are the ones that affirm genocide. From the few clues we have about Robert Manne's life, one already does not have the best confidence that this "scholar" concentrates on the facts, and not faith. (A true scholar, of course, is defined as one who gathers all the relevant dope before arriving at a dispassionate conclusion. The genocide scholar begins with the conclusion first, and is not averse to using the most tainted evidence to support the conclusion. Those who practice such a method of operation normally are better known as "propagandists.")
Prof. Robert Manne
Now that Prof. Manne lined up some credits as a genocide man, he felt confident about jumping into the Armenian business.
He has contributed to the proceedings with a new angle: because Gallipoli (which has a tremendous significance for Australians, contributing as it did to greater independence from the United Kingdom) began almost on the same day as the "Armenian genocide" ("Anzac Day" is celebrated on April 25; the Armenian "genocide" began, according to Armenians, on April 24) he actually concludes that the Gallipoli invasion served as a primary factor to trigger the "genocide."
It is difficult to proceed with the rest of this analysis, when one must respond to such a level of intellectual absence and, as we shall soon see, incredible prejudice. On one hand, it is heartwarming that Robert Manne is demonstrating his qualifications as a "genocide scholar" by completely ignoring all that had gone on before: Armenian terror groups beginning in the 19th century, working on driving a wedge between Armenian Ottomans and their empire... and in rebelling and massacring, hoping to provoke a response in order to invite European intervention. This sorry process continued for thirty-odd years, until WWI began to gear up, where the Armenians allied themselves with the Entente, betraying their nation. As soon as Russia declared war, Armenians began their treachery full force, unearthing the weapons they had been storing for just such a fateful day. The Ottomans tolerated the violence perpetrated by their revolutionists (along with all the acts of sabotage perpetrated by the bulk of this rebellious community) for half a year, until making the difficult decision to move this great threat elsewhere, until the danger subsided.
Look at the dates: the Armenian "genocide" supposedly begins on April 24, Gallipoli takes place April 25. Already we can see Gallipoli could not have caused the Armenian "genocide," since the "genocide" had begun before Gallipoli. (Manne attempts to override this by referring to the bombardment of the Dardanelles, beginning the previous month.)
Any knucklehead can see the Entente Powers were working together with the Armenians, considered their "Seventh Ally."
Robert Manne presented his "revolutionary" theory in an article featured in The Monthly (Feb. 2007), entitled, "A Turkish Tale: Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide." Here's how he begins:
Who after all today is speaking about the destruction of the Armenians?
Adolf Hitler to his generals on the eve of the invasion of Poland, August 1939
We already need no further confirmation as to what an incompetent "scholar" this man is, as Hitler never uttered these words. The scholarship demonstrating this forgery has been around for decades, yet here is a man like Robert Manne, still passing it off as authentic, in the 21st century. It's inexcusable.
During the exact time Australian troops spent in hell on Gallipoli, another event of world-historical importance was taking place on contiguous ground: the Armenian Genocide. Some contemporary scholars think that during this catastrophe, one million people were murdered. The crime was committed by the leadership of the Ottoman Turkish Empire...
Even the Turk-hating New York Times lent
evidence; "TURKEY WANTS AID FOR 500,000
STARVING: Her Own People, Not Armenian
Refugees..." (April 2, 1916).
"The (Red Cross) dispatch added: 'Great
suffering throughout country, particularly
at Constantinople and suburbs, along shores
of Marmora, at Adrianople, Bruss, and Smyrna.
In these regions 500,000, not comprising
Armenian refugees, need help for bread.
Hundreds dying of starvation. No relief
in sight. Typhus is spreading, with high
mortality.' Supplies cannot be shipped to
Turkey from America because of the
Allies' blockade, and foodstuffs probably
will be purchased by the Red Cross
and sent from Rumania."
Yes, there are other "genocide scholars" and academics who have forgotten their scholarly duty and who agree with the contention that a million were "murdered." Of course, most died of non-murderous reasons, such as famine and disease, the same as most of the 2.7 million other Ottomans, the ones Robert Manne sheds no "human rights" tears over. Even Ambassador Morgenthau wrote that "thousands of the (Turks) were daily dying of starvation." But let's get away from the complete lack of ethics — to charge another of a crime, particularly a ruinous crime such as "murder," on no evidence — and move on to the "scholarly" aspect of Manne's contention of one million murdered. (Here he ducks personal responsibility of believing in the very same by hiding behind the opinion of "some contemporary scholars," but he will show his true stripes in a Feb. 12 2007 ABC radio interview we'll be getting to later, where he stated as his own opinion: "[W]ithin a year or so, perhaps one million Armenians had been killed because they were a Christian minority in the Muslim Ottoman Empire." Yet, even many of the worst Turk-haters of the period concluded the pre-war Ottoman-Armenian population averaged 1.5 million, and the worst Turk-haters of this period, such as Dadrian and Balakian, concede one million survived. 1.5 million minus one million cannot equal "one million... murdered."
These facts are readily available; they are not too difficult to come by, especially now that we have the Internet. It's mind-boggling that a "scholar" can keep repeating such vicious propaganda without any shame.
And yet, despite the fact that the Armenian Genocide was one of the great crimes of history...
Forget about a "great" crime, what follows applies to any crime, even in the case of stealing pencils from the office: "There is no crime without evidence," as "genocide scholar" Henry R. Huttenbach instructs us, adding, "A genocide cannot be written about in the absence of factual proof." It is very, very unethical to accuse one of a crime, particularly when the "one" is a nation, and when there is no evidence. The British, who had every incentive to railroad the Turks at war's end, tried desperately to come up with real evidence in 1919-21 during the Malta Tribunal, but failed. A real scholar who examines everything, such as Prof. Guenter Lewy (whose 2005 book, "The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide," available before Manne began his "Gallipoli" connected crusade, and a book he could have made sure to consult) could not come up with any evidence of a pre-determined and systematic campaign for mass murder. It's very likely that a non-scholar who avoids critical information not in keeping with his cause is not going to manage any factual proof either.
Manne further writes that "not one Australian historian has devoted more than a passing page or paragraph to the relationship," faulting those who had the audacity to not dwell on "genocide," such as Charles Bean (silent), Les Carlyon (three or four lines), John Robertson (half a page), and the maverick Alan Moorehead (a full three pages). Only the Australian poet, Les Murray "has managed to hold the two events together in his mind." Here's our "historical connection": a character that the author of fiction has created, " the German Australian Fredy Neptune... witnesses, at the Black Sea port of Trebizond, Armenian women being doused in kerosene and set alight. He is numbed by this experience for the remainder of his life." The epic begins with the words of an Armenian poet: “These eyes of mine – How shall I dig them out, how shall I, how?”
Poet Peternocchio Balakian
With the knowledge that Manne was only pointing to the sorry state of affairs from Australian historians in linking these two "critical" events, that was some amazing "proof," wasn't it? Like Manne's "genocide scholar" role model Raphael Lemkin, who was behind the U.N. Convention on Genocide, and like Franz Werfel (who later wised up but fearfully kept mum) all that was available on the subject were the hearsay reports from a hopelessly bigoted Western press, exclusively listening to Armenian and missionary claims. Perhaps Manne pointed to the poet Murray for his "evidence" in the knowledge that prejudiced Westerners are quick to accept the "genocide" word of poets pretending to be historians. (Cue picture above left.)
Manne next takes issue with the glowing reports of Australian troops on the honorable character of "Johnny Turk," citing a poem entitled "Abdul" by Charles Bean:
For though your name be black as ink
For murder and rapine
Carried out in happy concert
With your Christians from the Rhine,
We will judge you, Mr. Abdul,
By the test by which we can –
That with all your breath, in life, in death,
You’ve played the gentleman.
Manne writes that while German atrocities against Belgians were exaggerated, the Aussies did not hold the Germans in high regard. So how could it even be possible that " the Turkish enemy, responsible for crimes against Armenians far more terrible, seems to have been respected"?
In the mind of the non-hateful or non-fanatical, such a paradox would lead one to question the genocide claims itself. How is it possible that such humanitarians as the Turks, known for their great tolerance over the centuries, and ones the Australians got to know firsthand, could have committed a genocide? But one as Robert Manne, clouded with genocidal thoughts and preferring to believe in the evil of man, cannot begin to attempt the logic.
In all his subsequent work, Bean continued to claim that the Anzac troops left Gallipoli with respect for the basic decency of the Turkish troops more or less intact. In 1934, the founder of the Republic of Turkey, Mustapha Kemal Atatürk, reciprocated with fine conciliatory sentiments of his own. I use the translation of Adrian Jones:
Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets where they lie side by side here in this country of ours. You, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land, they have become our sons as well.
Those who have a feel of Ataturk the man know those amazing words came from his heart, and he was not reciprocating, assuming Manne did not use the term as a figure of speech. It was not a case of hey, you guys were nice enough to point out our good side and now we'll return the favor.
Manne sounds slightly annoyed over Bob Hawke's praise of Ataturk in 1990, in light of the fact that "the reality of the Armenian Genocide was completely well known."
"During World War I, it was widely reported in the Australian press – the Age, for example, published 30 reports in 1915 alone – that a crime unprecedented in the history of humanity had occurred, where as many one million Armenians had been massacred. These reports drew upon a very long tradition of Christian condemnation of Ottoman crimes and the more recent Liberal rhetoric, from the time of the great Gladstonean agitation over the Bulgarian atrocities” of the “unspeakable Turk'"
Why, how dare this tradition of hate deriving from hearsay not be respected! It's amazing that a true liberal (in the sense of one compassionate and fair) from the 21st century would not give greater credence to the words of C. F. Dixon-Johnson instead: "There is absolutely no reason why we should implicitly believe the reports which have been so assiduously circulated in the Press.... The exploiters of these stories are under the same disability, having only heard one side, and that an extremely biased one." The author of 1916's The Armenians added: "We must not allow our standards of proof to decline in judging reports of atrocities," especially necessary "when sensational stories are passed as authentic reports for the acceptance of a public prone to believe anything."
Manne continues to voice his outrage: "Yet not only did the knowledge of the Armenian Genocide have no impact on the respect which official Australians expressed from the first for the decency and the courage of Johnny Turk. For the past 90 years, the moral tension between what is fine about the tradition of respect for the former enemy and what is callous about regarding the genocide of the Armenians as so minor a matter that it cannot dent that admiration has never been discussed."
Is this man for real? Can you see what he is trying to tell us... that these Turkish animals have been pulling the wool over the eyes of Australians, and any "admiration" should give way to calling these half-human Nazis for what they really are.
History Prof. Inga Clendinnen;
she wrote "Reading the Holocaust."
But all is not lost. There are some Aussies coming out of the woodwork who are doing their duty in reminding everyone that it's time to go back to the glorious and "very long tradition of Christian condemnation of Ottoman crimes." Inga Clendinnen saves a little of the day (from ‘The History Question: Who Owns the Past?’) by explaining why the Turks are respected, but when it comes to “remembering the Armenians... we flinch”. Manne writes that "her brief discussion is hardly satisfactory." While questioning that Australians are flinchers, even in the case that they are:
"...(C)an it be argued that in the face of one of the most terrible crimes of which history has record, with which we became indirectly entangled by our proximity at Gallipoli, it is enough to flinch?"
"I am all too aware that the myth of Johnny Turk is benign. It is a wonderful thing when, at the end of warfare, hatred dies. But I struggle to understand why Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide continue to exist for Australians in parallel moral universes."
In some cases, to Manne's mind, hatred must not be allowed to die. He is a one-man band in demonstrating the absolute harm and prejudice perpetrated by his genocide industry, in the guise of serving good.
Jesus had something to say about such people, didn't he?
"Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep's clothing but inwardly they are ravenous wolves."
From Christian Scholar Samuel Weems' "Armenia: Secrets of a 'Christian' Terrorist State," p. 276. Read the rest.
"(D)id the Anglo–French Dardanelles campaign play any role in the Ottoman regime’s decision for genocide?" Manne asks, getting to the heart of his thesis. He tells us this subject matter has been dominated by nationalists on either side of the conflict.
But the Armenians (Manne cites Dadrian and Hovannisian as examples), are called "Armenian historians," while the other end is described as "Turkish nationalist historians." The difference is that the Dadrians and Hovannisians warp history, covering up their knowledge of what really happened, and yet their "end justifies the means" Dashnak agenda allows them to claim whatever they can get away with, as long as their precious Hai Tahd (the Armenian Cause) is served. They are the true nationalists. Most Turkish historians largely are in the defensive position, and in order to prove their case, often rely on the same bigoted Western sources, along with internal Ottoman archival material that was never intended as public relations (the kind "genocide scholars" avoid like the plague), that cannot be construed as propaganda. (Meanwhile, the pro-Armenians' sources constitute total propaganda, as Manne has given example with his beginning Hitler quote.)
In light of what motivates both sides, Manne has the audacity to imply that the Turkish historians are "nationalists," as though a Turkish historian cannot exist without expressing blind obedience to his/her nation. What a horribly racist attitude.
The Turks' attitude, Manne continues, has been "neatly summarised by Ronald Suny":
For deniers of genocide there is simply no need to explain an event that did not occur as stipulated by those who claim it did. What did occur, in their view, was a reasonable and understandable response of a government to a rebellious and seditious population in a time of war … The denialist viewpoint might be summarized as: There was no Genocide, and the Armenians are to blame for it!
That is not the "denialist" viewpoint. The genociders' case is so non-existent (if we value the real facts), they must resort to below-the-belt tactics, of which name-calling is only one. The aim here is to denigrate those who cite the actual history of events, by bringing them to the level of neo-Nazi Holocaust deniers. These are the tactics of a loser. If they were so certain about their facts, they would only let their facts speak for them.
But of course, they don't have the facts. Did Armenians rebel? There is no question about it. Even their primary leader of the period admitted it. Even the first prime minister of Armenia admitted it. Was the bankrupt Ottoman "Sick Man" on his last legs? Unquestionably. Were super-powered enemies on every front poised to invade and divide the conquered land, agreeing upon a death sentence for the Turkish nation? Secret treaties confirm it, as does the Sèvres Treaty that followed. Under these circumstances, what nation would not have reacted? Historically, such a traitorous part of the community would be treated severely by many nations. Even when the community targeted did not exhibit disloyalty did governments come down hard, as in the case of America's WWII treatment of their Japanese, and Britain's WWI treatment of their German men.
"If Turkey considers it necessary that Armenian uprisings and other intrigues be suppressed with all means possible, so that a repetition will be impossible, that does not constitute massacres or atrocities, but simply a measure of justified and necessary character, the more justified and the more necessary from the fact that the Turkish empire is in its hardest fight for existence and has enough foreign enemies. To demand that it shall also nourish an internal enemy on its bosom, because that would suit the British and Americans, is to demand a great deal."
Count von Reventlow, reacting to Amb. Morgenthau's telling the Turks to shape up, in a Tageszeitung article mostly reproduced in The New York Times (DEFENDS REPRESSION OF THE ARMENIANS, Oct. 10, 1915). If you don't agree, the next time there is a violent uprising from a segment of the population in your country, demand that your government do nothing.
This is not the "denialist" viewpoint, but the viewpoint of any objective party who cares to scratch beneath the surface. Even U.S. Secretary of State Robert Lansing found the Ottomans' decision to temporarily resettle the Armenians as "justifiable." Did the Armenians fire the first shot? Yes. (In this case, the instant war was declared by Russia, although Armenian rebellions were already underway months earlier.) If you start a fight and it doesn't go well, whom should you blame? The one you attacked? Not if you want to be fair about it. Of course the "Armenians are to blame for it!"
"'Do you believe that any massacres would have taken place if no Armenian revolutionaries had come into the country and incited the Armenian population to rebellion?' I [Sydney Whitman, from his book, "Turkish Memories," London, 1914, p. 74] asked Mr. Graves [The British consul]. 'Certainly not,' he replied. 'I do not believe that a single Armenian would have been killed.'" This conversation took place in regards to the 1894-96 events, but the same may be said about “1915.”
"Given the attitude on both sides, it is not surprising that the highly political pitched battles between the Armenian and Turkish nationalist historians have been both astonishingly bitter and rather sterile," Manne sniffs, as if he is the perfectly objective moderator and as if he is not completely on the side of the Armenians!
Manne presents Donald Bloxham as an example of "recent non-nationalist historians" whose work "has been more fruitful." Why? Because "They have emphasised the role of war and imperial disintegration in the origin of the genocide." The problem is, speculation is plentiful in the works of the "genocide scholars." What's missing are the facts and true scholarship, taking everything into account.
"The decision to embark upon the total destruction of the Ottoman Armenians emerged gradually and as part of a wartime process of imperial crisis," Manne continues, not realizing he is setting a huge trap for his unscholarly self. At least he is helping us to undermine the theories of the unscrupulous "scholars" who came before (one good thing about Bloxham is that he has called Vahakn Dadrian on his unethical methodology), such as the 1910 agreement which supposedly served as a Wannsee Conference, or the "Ten Commandments" forgery, and other flights of fancy meant to show a pre-determined plan of extermination had been in effect. But if Manne is vouching for this "total destruction" as having "emerged gradually," which the desperation caused by the Gallipoli campaign helped trigger, he is neglecting facts such as these:
1) Talat issued an order in August 1915, instructing the relocations to come to a stop. Central command was weak, locals had other ideas, forcing Talat to repeat the order into 1916.
Even the Turk-hating New York Times lent
evidence: "SEND SHIP TO AID STARVING ARMENIA" (Nov. 26, 1916) This followed a Sept. 15 article where readers were informed that the "Ottoman Government Yields to Pleas by Washington for Starving People." The only condition set by the Turks, according to the latter article, was that "supplies for Syria be distributed from Beirut through the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies."
2) Talat permitted the citizens of another country fighting against its side to stay, feed, clothe, treat, educate and give moral support to the people which it was accused of exterminating, without demanding starving Turks be helped as well. (See Story of Near East Relief: 1915-1930, James L. Barton, 1930, and New York Times article at right.)
3) There was talk of an amnesty for the relocated Armenians in 1917, and indeed, many of the resettled were already returning to their homes anyway, before officially allowed to do so at the end of 1918. The Patriarch vouched for 644,900 survivors in what was left of the empire in 1921, a funny way to run a campaign for "total destruction." (Many hundreds of thousands had fled to other nations not under Ottoman control; what was left was nearly half the pre-war total.)
4) That kooky Vahakn Dadrian himself is on record for admitting that the genocide had "all but run its course" by 1916.
At least Manne deserves credit for not going overboard with the Armenian tolls pre-dating 1915; he's content with 100,000 for the 1890s (probably five times as much as the actual deaths) and 20,000 for 1909 Adana.
Then Manne loses major credibility by citing Taner Akcam as among "the best contemporary non-nationalist historians of the Armenian Genocide"! Yet the Armenian financed "village idiot" of Genocideland has almost completely recycled the "history" of his mentor, Vahakn Dadrian.
"Akçam, whose analysis of the mechanics of the genocide is the most convincing I have read," Manne writes, digging himself deeper into a hole, giving credence to Akcam's belief that "the fundamental decision to unleash the deportations and the massacres of the Armenians was taken during meetings... in March 1915, at the time of the beginning of the Dardanelles naval campaign." The Allies' bombing campaign was hardly much of a threat at that time, weakening Manne's link between the April 25 landing at Gallipoli with the triggering of the "Armenian genocide." There is simply no end to the dumb theories the genocide industry desperately latches on to, and the great holes within them.
The fact of the matter is, the resettlement policy was not in serious consideration before the pivotal May 2, 1915 telegram of Enver Pasha's.
If we are looking for speculative reasons as to why the Ottomans rushed off into a mad panic to supposedly exterminate Armenians, the far-away Dardanelles bombardment in March was a drop in the bucket vs. the virtual elimination of the Ottoman Third Army on the eastern front (during the winter of 1914-15), accompanied by the invasion of Russian troops into Ottoman territory, thanks to the treacherous help of Ottoman-Armenians. Early 1915 would have been the point to begin an alleged genocide. Yet, the tolerant Turks still stayed their hand; the action they preferred to take was to make sure the rest of the Armenians in the army would be disarmed (parts of the disarmament policy had already gone into effect; the main order came, however, on 25 February 1915, No. 8682, declaring, "Armenians shall strictly not be employed in mobile armies, in mobile and stationary gendarmeries, or in any armed services"), and the Armenian soldiers would be transferred into labor battalions. (Manne's genocide industry refers to this move as using the Armenians as "pack animals," as though sending the Armenians home would have been a feasible alternative. [They were in the army; they still had to do something.] Naturally, when the Armenian soldiers in the French Army proved unreliable, many had their arms taken away, and transferred to labor battalions, as well. But this was considered normal, of course.)
At this point, I have yet to read Akcam's "Shameful" book (still saving my pennies to afford the gallons of Pepto-Bismol required), but I'm not aware of any Armenian-claimed "Wannsee" type meetings held by the Ottoman Turks in March 1915, in order to plan their supposed extermination campaign. (The one remaining "Wannsee"-type secret CUP meeting endorsed by most Armenian propaganda was the one held in February, described by Mevlanzade Rifat; this is the one headed by Akcam/Dadrian's fall guy, Dr. Nazim. The trouble is, Rifat was a Kurd, an "avowed Ittihadist opponent" — as Dadrian described him, without further explaining how such a CUP opponent would have been privy to "super-secret meetings" — and even Christopher Walker concluded in 1997 that this account "appears to be a fraud." Consult Lewy, "Armenian Massacres," pp. 52-3) I hope Akcam did not utilize Rifat to back up Akcam's claim of "meetings... in March 1915," not only because this nonsense is another example of Armenian deception, but because the Rifat business took place the previous month. Yet Akcam's scruples are low, and if he did try to pull the wool over his readers' eyes in this instance, our scholar Manne would have a lot of explaining to do as to why he would single out Genocideland's "village idiot" as among "the best."
(What is curious is that these March 1915 meetings are absolutely critical to Manne's thesis that the April 25 invasion of Gallipoli triggered the "Armenian genocide," already begun one day prior. Whatever "evidence" Akcam presented to vouch for these supposed meetings, Manne should have highlighted them. But, of course, there is no evidence; this is why the genocide writer in the following paragraph dismisses the alleged March meetings.)
Donald Bloxham, in his book, "thinks the final decision(s) for the genocide came later than March 1915, Akçam’s view. Nonetheless, he too links the process with key moments in the Dardanelles campaign," believing "that the arrests of the Armenian intelligentsia on 24 April were triggered by the news that the British and the French were about to land their troops at Gallipoli."
No consideration whatsoever as to what role this "intelligentsia" played in the Armenians' treacherous rebellion. Fortunately, some of the involved Armenians (as V. Papazian, a Van Parliamentarian and leading Dashnak) preserved on record precisely as to how much danger the Istanbul intelligentsia (the genociders' euphemism for "ringleaders") posed. When the Ottomans got wind there was to be a "D-Day," they had no choice but to finally take action and to neutralize the leadership of the traitors among them. (While still speculation, Bloxham makes a logical point, in other words; however, arresting a couple of hundred people is one thing, and the reasons for deciding upon the resettlement of hundreds of thousands run deeper. One would be foolish to make such simplistic cause and effect conclusions.)
(Bloxham's speculation from above notwithstanding, The actual reason why the Ministry of the Interior ordered the Armenian Committee Centers to be closed, documents seized, and their leaders arrested on April 24 was because Turkish intelligence got word of a plot that the Armenians would be revolting on the 27th of April. In other words, the timing of such a revolt appears very much to have been in conjunction with the Allied invasion; most figured the Turkish defenses would not hold.)
It may be more accurately said (figuratively; of course the Allies were going to go on their course, regardless) that it was the work of these rebellious traitors that helped trigger Gallipoli, rather than the other way around. There were times the Entente Powers would have gone about their war strategies more gingerly, were they not assured to count on their Armenian allies within the Ottoman Empire.
Manne foolishly repeats the May 24 "solemn warning" given by Britain, France and Russia, as if enemy declarations would constitute proof of genocide; naturally these powers would cling to a pretentious moral high ground, in order to justify their planned land-grabbing schemes, while ignoring the ethnic cleansing crimes of Russia, against Jews and Muslims. (Keeping the heat off their Russian ally, hoping to entice the USA into the war; it served their evil purposes to come up with a greater monster.)
"During the European war, while people in England were raking up the Ottoman Turks' nomadic ancestry in order to account for their murder of 600,000 Armenians, 500,000 Turkish-speaking Central Asian nomads of the Kirghiz Kazak Confederacy were being exterminated - also under superior orders - by that "justest of mankind," the Russian muzhik. Men, women and children were shot down, or were put to death in a more horrible way by being robbed of their animals and equipment then being driven forth in winter time to perish in mountain or desert. A lucky few escaped across the Chinese frontier."
Former Wellington House propagandist, Arnold Toynbee, The Western Question in Greece and Turkey, 1922. Is there a genocide scholar on record who has seriously considered this murderous episode, surely no less significant in terms of universal "human rights"? You can bet Robert Manne has not; Turkish victims are off the agenda of his unscrupulous industry.
"Following this threat, with nothing more to lose, the Turkish regime abandoned all restraint," Manne argues; he next quotes Bloxham: “From the very next day... eyewitnesses suggest that the atrocities intensified yet further.”
What eyewitnesses? There were no eyewitnesses to atrocities. (At least not atrocities committed against Armenians. Some Entente officers definitely saw atrocites against Turks, and were honorable enough to record them.) What we have are the personal opinions of bigoted Westerners, influenced by their own conditioned anti-Turkish prejudices, along with the stories whispered in their ears by Armenians, the only Ottomans around, practically, who could speak English. Those who saw corpses could not usually verify how the corpses got killed, or more importantly, by whom. (That is, government troops? Or renegade forces?) Dead people by themselves do not constitute a "genocide." Yet the corpses seen were few, if any (as this Western observer told it, a genuine eyewitness; this latter one saw plenty of Muslim corpses). What was seen were suffering people. Suffering is not genocide.
Manne next resorts to Henry Morgenthau, referring to him as "the ambassador of the then neutral US," as if Morgenthau was a non-partisan! Resorting to Morgenthau's discredited "Story" book, Manne abominably repeats the propagandistic lines that Talat was supposed to have said, the ones about three-quarters of the Armenians having been disposed of, and Talat's "I have accomplished more toward solving the Armenian problem than Abdul Hamid did in thirty years."
Is Manne truly so mentally inadequate? Does he have no awareness at all of the role propaganda played in the First World War, and that there was a small industry of those stuffing words into the mouths of Talat and other Young Turks? It is truly criminal of this "scholar" to be pushing such defamatory propaganda in this day and age.
Peter Balakian threw the disposal allegation along with endless others in his "Burning Tigris," and after an examination, our conclusion was "How could Peter Balakian, with a straight face, repeat such a ridiculous assertion... in this day and age?" As for the other bit regarding the Abdul Hamid-outdoing "boast," Balakian's nearly-as-equally unscrupulous genocider-in-arms, Samantha Power, tried to pass that one off in her genocide book, "The Problem from Hell" (the one that actually won a Pulitzer Prize). Please tune in for an examination of that one, capped off by a powerful newspaper account which really blows the lid off of it.
This is the kind of nonsense our "scholar," Robert Manne, is passing off as actual historical evidence. It's embarrassing... what an amateur.
Manne then partly reproduces the scant "equal time" Morgenthau provided (in his "Story" book, and covered here on TAT) for Enver Pasha, and then points to it as "evidence" that the March 15 bombardments (although when Enver referred to the Dardanelles at this stage of the game, the Allies had gained a foothold and posed a far more dangerous situation; Manne is trying to inflate the importance of the pre-invasion attacks) and the April 25 landings linked to the "genocide" that followed. But then he tells us:
In pointing this out, I hope not to be misunderstood. To argue that the Dardanelles campaign was one of the crucial triggers for the Armenian Genocide is not to argue that the Entente leaders bear even a partial moral responsibility for the catastrophe that occurred. Once the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers and attacked the Russian Black Sea fleet, the bombing of the Straits fortresses and the troop landings at Gallipoli were entirely legitimate, if ill-judged, acts of war. Indeed, not only do the Entente powers bear no moral responsibility for the genocide: if the Dardanelles campaign had succeeded and the Ottomans had surrendered, hundreds of thousands of Armenian lives might have been saved. Nor, in outlining the wartime circumstances surrounding the decision for genocide, am I seeking to dilute in any way the gravity of the Turkish crime. No maxim is more important for the historian than the one that tells us that to explain is in no way to excuse.
What can be said about this character?
The irony for this gigantic genocide lie is that of course Russia, Britain and France bore a huge responsibility for the great tragedies that befell the Armenians. These imperialist superpowers were making sure to use the Armenians as their pawns, beginning in the 1890s, in their grand scheme to divide the Ottomans' riches between themselves, as they had done with Greeks, Bulgarians and others in earlier times. The Armenians were terribly excited and encouraged by their great protectors, for which references in this site are numerous. When the war began, the British and French conducted a naval blockade, contributing in an enormous way (along with other factors as fewer farmers, plagues and general bankruptcy) for the wide scale famine and disease that resulted. Most of the 2.7 million Ottomans, along with the half-million Ottoman-Armenians who died can point to the Allies' "starve-them-out" strategy. (Although at least some Armenians could count on relief aid; the Turkish people were entirely on their own.) The British reportedly came close to the shore in boats to kill grazing cows, so intent were they to make sure the Ottomans would go hungry. Many people were reduced to eating grass, as a result.
It is absolutely despicable of Robert Manne to attempt to shield the Allies from blame, in what he calls a "genocide."
Note as well how he refers to the Ottomans' attack on the Russians' "Black Sea fleet," as if the Ottoman navy would have been powerful enough to challenge the Russians. The Germans were behind this move to force the hesitant Ottomans' hand, and the Russians were aware of exactly what was going on — here's more, including a link to a New York Times article revealing the behind-the-scenes shenanigans. It is truly a disgrace for this "genocide scholar" to tell only part of the story and attempt to distort history... but that is what genocide scholars do. (And he has the nerve to end his "apology" with "No maxim is more important for the historian than the one that tells us that to explain is in no way to excuse." How dare he classify himself as a "historian.")
After going through a long tirade of why Australians have not given the prominence to the "Armenian genocide" that they should (two words: "collective memory"), Manne wraps up by writing that "For the entire course of its history, the Turkish Republic has ... (conducted) a ferociously enforced state policy of denialism in regard to the genocidal crime that coincided with, and stained, its national birth." [A] This "genocide" took place in the Ottoman Empire, a regime modern Turkey overthrew in a spectacular way, and had nothing to do with staining its "national birth." If anything stained this birth, it was the half-million Turks/Muslims/others the Armenians killed from 1915-1919/20, with what was a real systematic extermination campaign, and the over-600,000 killed by the Greeks (helped by local Ottoman-Greeks and Armenians) in their invasion of 1919. These are irrelevant deaths, for Robert Manne. [B] The Republic of Turkey did not bring up this topic in the schools, not because of shame or covering one's tracks, but because the Turks engaged in the mature policy of choosing brotherhood, looking to the future, and not to remain bitter about the past. This is why the Turkish people are free of hatred, while too many Armenians and Greeks are taught, by churches, parents, schools, to thrive on hatred. It hasn't been a matter of "denial" for the Turks over the past generations, but a matter of deliberate forgetfulness. Of course, the forces of hatred have thrown a monkey wrench into this strategy.
Robert Manne is unfortunately so prejudiced, he actually believes, as his propagandistic industry loves to embellish, that Turkish people don't have the brains for independent thought; the "state" dictates their minds, in an Orwellian "1984" type setting. He seems to have no idea that Turkey is a democracy, and Taner Akcam's books have been available since the early 1990s. Here is a widely-covered "genocide conference" in Turkey, from 1990, where the worst genociders were invited to attend. The Turks have nothing to hide. It's the corrupt forces of the genocide industry that is frightened of debate; one must belong to the genocide club (that is, one must have agreed to genocide) before being allowed to participate. The genocide industry is the antithesis to true scholarship.
Finally, his despicable article ends with:
The very future of Turkey – whether, both literally and metaphorically, she will or will not enter Europe – will be partly determined by whether or not the denialist legacy regarding the Armenian Genocide can be transcended or will endure.
What a fool.
The Europeans entertain similar bigotry as Robert Manne, and have cleverly resorted to their old imperialistic tool, the Armenians, in order to come up with a condition for entry into the European Union. (For the record, at least literally if not at times metaphorically, Turkey has been part of Europe for many centuries, and has already entered Europe.) The "future of Turkey" has nothing to do with this horrible genocide lie.
An Interview with Robert Manne
Manne spoke more off the cuff in a Feb. 2007 radio interview mentioned previously, entitled, "Professor outlines Armenian connection to Gallipoli."
Journalist Mark Colvin
The interviewer, Mark Colvin, asks, "What links the first genocide of the 20th century with (Gallipoli)"? At this point, if Manne were a "professor" true to his profession, he would have reminded his ignorant host that even if the Armenian business actually conformed to the rules of genocide, several mass-murder extermination campaigns had preceded it. Including the Filipinos, the Hereros, the Albanians, and the one no one will care about, the Balkan Turks. (Greeks, Serbs, Bulgarians and Montenegrins conducted a systematic campaign to kill any innocent Turk/Muslim falling into their hands, in order to chase the rest from their centuries-old homes; of 1,445,179 expulsed, 632,408, or 27% of the Muslim population of the conquered European territories, were killed. While the numbers parallel the Armenians in terms of their pre-war population of 1.5 million and their dead of some 500,000, the difference is the Muslims were targeted solely for who they were, and were completely innocent. These are the true requirements for "genocide.")
In 1915 the Ottoman Government began one of the first really systematic genocides in history, certainly of the 20th century.
Horrifying. Making a statement as that, without possessing real proof. As we have seen, he has plenty of theories and speculation, but no hard evidence. How would he like it if someone were to accuse him of even a petty crime, without proof? He would find such a person to be very bereft of morals, would he not?
And within a year or so, perhaps one million Armenians had been killed because they were a Christian minority in the Muslim Ottoman Empire, which was in its point of crisis.
The Armenians were absolutely not targeted because of their Christian status. This is a lie, and Robert Manne should be extremely ashamed of himself. There was no network of hatred against the Armenians, as there was against Jews in the Nazi regime of WWII. If Armenians were targeted for being different (this is the genociders' unsupported "pan-Turanism" theory, or "Turkey for the Turks"), then the other minorities would have been affected as well. The only reason why the Armenians were subjected to the resettlement policy was because they rebelled during an extremely dangerous situation.
It "was nothing else than an act of open rebellion and had to be dealt with accordingly by organized and legal forces," as written in an Oct. 18, 1915 letter by Zia Mufty-Zade Bey that The New York Times allowed to be published. ("THE KIND OF ARMENIANS A TURK KNOWS; They Betray Their Rulers, Take Refuge in Christian Missions, and Have to be Dealt With as Dangerous Rebels."):
"I see the justification of this act of the Ottoman Government in the aide the Armenians gave to the Russians. It is well to notice that only in Van and its neighborhood, where the internal revolt of the Armenians took effect, did the Russians succeed in invading Turkish territory. It stands, therefore, to reason that a legally constituted Government, having been deceived by the treason of a certain element of the population, will take necessarily severe measures to prevent the repetition of a similar treason, and the consequences it would have in any other part of the country, by concentrating, in a place easy to control, all and every member of such a turbulent element. Of course an expulsion on such a large scale is bound to create miseries, sicknesses, and even illegal and immoral actions. This is again evidenced by the results noted on the Belgian refugees in England, Holland and other countries. It is most deplorable that similar miseries had to fall on the shoulders of a race included in the Ottoman family as well, but the Armenians have only themselves to blame."
The fact that the source was Turkish bears little relevance. What truth-seekers need to determine is, did the events happen in the way described, or did they not? Is he making sense, or is he not?
And there'd been persecution for a long time, but this was not persecution, it was the attempt to eliminate a people.
A thorough propagandist. Manne should be reminded if he has any interest in preserving whatever exists of a scholarly reputation, the one thing he absolutely cannot afford is to parrot propaganda. Propaganda is the assassin of scholarship. This was not only not an attempt to eliminate a people (travel up to be reminded of some reasons why not), there was no persecution of the Armenian people. If anything, the Armenians were the masters of Ottoman society, allowed to prosper in power positions as they were. Even U.S. Consul Leslie Davis informed us in what was made into his "genocide" book, "The Slaughterhouse Province," that "Most of the business of the region was in their hands. 95% of the deposits in the banks belonged to them." (P. 59.) The ones suffering were the eastern Armenians, but nothing at all as propaganda has told us. (Russian General Mayewski, serving as a consul in the eastern region, bore witness to such a fact.) Sometimes the Kurds made the Armenians' lives miserable in a part of the country where central command was particularly weak; but what is rarely considered is that these Kurdish tribes did not discriminate, even against fellow Kurds. (In the world of genocide, there must be no other victims save for the officially designated ones, in this case the Armenians.)
The interviewer then brings up: "A journalist, Hrant Dink, was just murdered the other day for talking about the Armenian genocide." How many of these non-thinkers can one respond to? At the point of this writing, we don't know exactly why Dink was murdered, but it certainly was not for the reason Mark Colvin foolishly stated. This "genocide" has been an open topic in Turkey for many years, and no one has gotten killed over it before. Probably the right-wing loons were behind the murder, but then again so many forces wish to destabilize Turkey, who knows? It would serve the purpose of these evil forces to have unsophisticated analysts like Colvin make such simplistic conclusions, showing Turkey to be such a barbaric state. The better question is, how come none of the worldwide outrage poured over Dink was to be found when Armenian terrorists were murdering Turks and others right and left, during the 1970s-80s?
Robert Manne expresses delight that the Armenians have not let go of their genocide obsession, but "I don't think it's as well known as it ought to be." Yes, we should always be reminded of genocides and constantly wallow in misery; good plan. (Particularly one-sided genocides; if a "genocide" condemns a people designated by this hateful industry as nothing but victims, forget about it.)
The two events not only coincided in territory and in time, but there is quite a lot of evidence that the genocide was pushed on because of the Dardanelle campaign of the Anglo-French forces in which the Australians were involved.
If there was any such "evidence" in his article, I didn't see it. Did you? I saw plenty of speculation, but someone should tell Manne that speculation is cheap. Anyone can speculate. Speculation can never take the place of hard facts.
Manne is asked about the "casual link" between the "genocide" and Gallipoli:
"Well, there are some contemporary historians, there's a wonderful Turkish historian, Tanner Akcham, who think that when the Gallipoli campaign began, or when the Dardanelles were first bombed by the Anglo-French in March 1915, that was the final moment of reckoning, and that the Turkish regime... set upon and decided on a systematic extermination of the Armenians, saying that at this moment of crisis, where Constantinople might fall, we can't afford to have a subversive minority within our country.
So, the Dardanelle campaign and the Gallipoli landings pushed on and maybe not exactly caused, but at least triggered the final events that led to the genocide."
Akcam is not a historian; his degree was in sociology. And he is anything but "wonderful," distorting and cherry-picking his points as his mentor Dadrian excels at. And why should we care about what such a propagandistic tool of the Armenians (groomed by the Armenians — Dadrian co-approved his Ph.D. thesis — and brought into the USA by Dennis Papazian, and supported through Armenian foundations) should "think"? To reiterate, speculation is cheap.
Once again, Manne lends credence to the notion that the Ottoman Turks had "set upon and decided on a systematic extermination of the Armenians." What is the proof of that? How could this man make such horrible assertions without the factual proof?
(In case any of you are wondering, here is the "proof" presented by genociders, in a nutshell. And Robert Manne has actually put whatever reputation he has on the line for these charlatans.)
Naturally, a part of the interview that I found to be a "Freudian slip" in writing was when Manne stated:
ROBERT MANNE: Yes, that's what I think. That is because, as I say, I don't think …
And then he was cut off by his interviewer.
But there was the greatest truth in the entire interview: the "admission," I don't think.
Another revealing part of the interview that can make one burst out in tears:
MARK COLVIN: But historians are supposed to be interested in facts not national myths, aren't they?
Yes, but the historians that move time and again back to Gallipoli, I think are driven by the interests of myth. Even if they want to revise the story, what they're doing is revising the myth. But they're not really interested in the kind of overall historical questions that are connected to it.
Look who's talking about being "driven by the interests of myth." Not to mention being "not really interested in the kind of overall historical questions..."
(Although it is kind of fitting that a professor of politics should pretend to be a historian, over material that is political from top to bottom.)
Manne Over-roared (The Prof. in the Press)
In a Sydney Morning Herald article (Dec. 16, 2002) entitled "Scholars clash over claim of 'soft plagiarism,'" we get a hint that the fellow Manne was griping about earlier (Keith Windschuttle, The Fabrication of Aboriginal History) was involved in a fun little feud with our genocide scholar. We're told a leading Australian historian (Professor Henry Reynolds) was forced to apologize, after Windschuttle went after a former governor-general for getting the facts wrong. (Reynolds is the same professor who contributed to Manne's Whitewash rebuttal to Windschuttle in 2003, as covered near the top of this page.) Windschuttle also accused another "leading academic of lying."
Manne vs. Windschuttle
Manne doesn't like this denialist fellow, so he struck back, accusing Windschuttle of plagiarism. Windschuttle's response: "I won't cop that; I'll sue the bastard." He explained the part Manne singled out was not supposed to be original, but source material both he and the author Windschuttle has been accused of stealing from were drawing from. "No one who reads my book with an open mind would see this as any kind of plagiarism, hard or soft. The suggestion is false and defamatory." The newspaper's journalist does wonder about a few sentences, however.
If a couple of sentences bear a resemblance to an already published work, that does not sound so disastrous. It seems to me like Manne was doing what those in his genocide industry do best: attempt to discredit their opponents any way they can.
The laugh-getter of the article was Manne's contention that "Standards should be very high."
Another article catching my eye was Robert Manne's "The Cruelty of Denial," The Age (September 9, 2006) Here he went after a reporter from the Herald Sun, named Andrew Bolt. Manne wrote:
One of the qualities of nationalist extremists is the anxious denial of their own group's historic crimes. As soon as the cultural warriors of the right embraced Keith Windschuttle, perhaps for the first time in our history an authentic version of Australian denialism began to emerge.
This is the common, and dishonest, tactic of the genocide industry. It might be true in this particular case — I have no knowledge of Andrew Bolt; perhaps he is a mindless flag-waver, and perhaps he is not — but again, this is a tactic to close debate. The idea is once again, to go after the character of the opponent, instead of concentrating on the facts. If people like Manne are so sure of their facts, they don't need to engage in ad hominem attacks. (Perhaps Manne was sure of his stuff here, as he claims to have challenged Bolt to a debate. If Manne were to find himself in a fair debate regarding his latest passion, the Armenian "genocide" — with a moderator who would not allow participants to get away with nonsense, as the partisan hosting this one did — going head to head with a real scholar such as Guenter Lewy or Justin McCarthy, he would not stand a chance.)
Regardless, the statements of irony in this article were these:
Most denialists have at least an awareness of the relevant historical evidence. Their tactic is to distort and twist.
Look who's talking!
And then there was:
The omissions and distortions took my breath away.
That one simply left me speechless.
A Response to Manne's Article
We can thank the kangaroo gods that there are intelligent and fair people out there to expose the hypocrisy, hatred and scholarly incompetence of those such as Robert Manne. Here is a superb response, in the April, 2007 letters section of themonthly.com.au, written by David Harrison, dated 16 March:
Robert Manne’s article “A Turkish Tale” (The Monthly, Feb 2007) strikes me as curious in several ways. First, to support his argument he advances as facts several strongly disputed points: (a) that an Armenian ‘genocide’ occurred, (b) that it was state-organised and (c) that a million Armenians were slaughtered. The evidence he presents for these ‘facts’ is diaphanous.
There is no doubt that many hundreds of thousands of Armenians died, by way of murder, ill-treatment, illness, exhaustion and starvation, in those dreadful months of 1915, at various hands including those of Ottoman troops and vengeful Kurds. There is no doubt that their forced removal south to Syria was state-ordered. The figure of one million dead is, as Manne fleetingly mentions, disputed. But the disastrous relocation surely does not of itself constitute a genocide. Hard facts are required to support such a profound claim.
Manne’s published evidence is a couple of conversations – at least one of which is capable of a different interpretation – and poet Les Murray’s fictional character Fredy Neptune. It would take more than Manne’s substantial academic reputation to make something solid of this flimsy fabric. He offers nothing from official sources, such as the dauntingly voluminous Ottoman archives. Not surprising: the victorious allies searched unsuccessfully after WWI for evidence to back the genocide claim.
The second and more curious element of his linking Gallipoli to the Armenian tragedy is Manne’s invitation that we realign our view of the ‘gentleman’ Turk more towards William Gladstone’s ‘unspeakable’ Turk, the slavering beast who would unhesitatingly and enthusiastically commit genocide on innocent Armenians. The British PM invariably went slightly loony at the mention of the Ottomans, for religious and empire reasons. He, along with the US and the British empire (including its supporters at the Age), swallowed so much garbage from US missionaries in the Ottoman empire that it is no wonder Gladstone and others became unsteady on their feet when the word ‘Turk’ was spoken.
In making this link Manne seems to be inviting us to indulge in a group slander – that the Turks at Gallipoli should be bundled in with the Turks involved in the Armenian ‘genocide’ – the ‘all men are bastards’ argument. If it is not such an invitation, what point is Manne making? And why, incidentally, does he gratuitously attack Ataturk’s reputation in the process?
The Ottoman decision, made in desperate times, to move the Armenians away from the area where they were causing trouble, turned into a catastrophe that could well have been foreseen. But the Armenians were Ottoman citizens acting as a Fifth Column in the east with Russian support. “We cannot permit people in our own country to attack us in the back,” Young Turk leader Enver Pasha said. It is a fair point. The Armenian tragedy sprang from what the Ottomans saw as Armenian treason.
We still await proof that a genocide was state-planned.
Thanks to Gokalp for the newspaper clips
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: