27 August 2007

1906) Hurricane Katrina and The "Armenian Genocide"

Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast of the USA on August 29, 2005. The levees in place meant to avert such a disaster were built inadequately by the Army Corps. of Engineers, and although the storm was designated as a monstrous “Category 5,” Katrina’s effect was evidently reduced to the lower level of Category 1 or 2 by the time her outside perimeter hit New Orleans, Louisiana.

No mercy from Hurricane Katrina

The resulting tragedy was devastating, offering some interesting parallels with the tragedy of the “Armenian Genocide.” Naturally, this discussion can’t purport to be an outright comparison, as there were no massacres in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. However, in both situations, we are dealing with projects of enormous magnitude forced to be undertaken at very short notice. With Katrina, the authorities were faced with the prospect of saving the people from a disaster, and then dealing with the problems that resulted. With the Armenians, the authorities were forced to handle a rebellious community allied with the enemies of their nation in a life-or-death war, after over one-half year of enduring the violence and acts of sabotage from fifth-column “volunteers”; the Ottomans’ solution was to move the Armenians out temporarily from zones the Armenians were determined to be a potential threat.

Given the question of massacres, contrary to belief, the Armenians who were massacred by lawless tribes (during what propagandists term as the "death marches") were relatively few. (The generally anti-Turkish French newspaper Le Figaro figured only 15,000 in 1977, and that was from all causes, not just murder.) Most Armenians who died as a consequence of relocation lost their lives from non-murderous factors, such as famine and disease; the same causes that claimed the lives of the majority of the 2.7 million other Ottomans who died. The Armenians who were massacred in large numbers were mainly among those who had stayed behind in Eastern Anatolia, and were killed by revengists for what Armenians had done to their families. (The Armenians, with a little help from their Russian and French allies, systematically wiped out hundreds of thousands of Turks/Muslims/Jews and others who were "different," from 1915-1920, in an effort to allow the Armenians to form a majority, on the path to create a racially pure Greater Armenia. The immoral genocide industry turns a complete blind eye to this other side of the tragedy, and to what appears to have constituted a real genocide perpetrated by their officially designated exclusive victims.)

The aspects to bear in mind are:

1) The United States of America is the wealthiest nation in the world, and the Americans' disaster occurred in the technologically modern 21st century. The Ottomans were bankrupt and without many resources, facing their disaster nearly a century earlier, in comparatively "ancient" times.

2) The Americans had the expenses of the Iraq occupation to consider, but were without the pressure of their nation being threatened with extinction, as was the situation with the Ottoman Empire; the latter was dealing with three superpowers of the world bent on dividing the spoils of the “Sick Man” between themselves.

The facts of Hurricane Katrina in this discussion are based upon a documentary directed by Spike Lee, entitled, “When the Levees Broke.” Naturally, every documentary has its own point-of-view, and one must be wary of accepting every claim at face value. None of us should aspire to be like Robert Jay Lifton, content to form conclusions on singular sources (in Lifton’s case, a very corrupt source named Vahakn Dadrian. Not that Lifton is an isolated case; another "genocide scholar," Robert Manne, amateurishly relied upon recycled Dadrian in the form of Taner Akcam's book); so let’s bear in mind that the necessary research has not been conducted here to verify the film’s claims.

Tent cities of Hurricane Betsy, New Orleans

New Orleans, Louisiana, was hit by another catastrophic hurricane in 1965, Hurricane Betsy, giving many who weathered that storm a false sense of security. In the aftermath of that disaster, many residents were put up in tent cities... a featured photograph of which struck a familiar chord with, for one, some images of Armin Wegner.

Armenian camp; Wegner was likely the shutterbug

However, the mayor of New Orleans could not ignore the prediction that Katrina was shaping up to be a whopper, and ordered a mandatory evacuation of the city. And here we have a parallel with the Armenian case: people were forced to leave, against their will.

The TV news warnings on Hurricane Katrina

Those without vehicles were forced to gather at two places: the Convention Center, which was relatively high and dry, as well as the city's sports arena, the Superdome. Tens of thousands were holed up, in these places, and many more remained in their houses, dealing with the rising water levels.

In days to come, the promised help would not arrive: no buses, no food, no water, no medical supplies.

As we know in “genocide” reports, Armenians were often deprived of these essentials. (As much as the government had planned for these needs to be met, through the refugees’ fund. But there were certainly times the provisions never made it to where they were supposed to go, given corruption of the locals and general ineptitude. On the other hand, much obviously had made it through, otherwise, the survival rate could not have been as high as it was. Out of a pre-war population of some 1.5 million, even propagandists concede one million survived.)

Makeshift shelters under the sweltering sun

Another problem plaguing the Louisianians was the intense summer heat, hovering at 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Not too different from the Armenians who were marching through what we’re often told was the hot “desert.”

One parallel was that these two detention centers were meant to be temporary, while nobody from the government was taking action, and their stay dragged on for days. This is similar to the Armenians who were intended to be relocated to villages (as long as they did not exceed ten per cent of the village’s population), but sometimes clearing the way for these destinations did not come through fast enough, and what was intended to be temporary detention centers turned out to be a lot more permanent.

In both cases, we had people dying from the lack of necessities. In New Orleans, one’s mother had died on September 1, for example, and her corpse stuck around for four days. In stories from the film, when people died, they were pushed out of the way to make room for others.

The point was made in the film that people were “treated like cattle,” or animals; certainly a point in agreement with enough Armenian "deportation" stories from “eyewitnesses.”

Dudley Do-Rights do the right thing, as Spike Lee
himself might have put it

Interestingly, another point made was that while authorities from the Federal and local governments were disturbingly absent (the Coast Guard forming a notable exception), help had arrived from other nations. (Such as the mounted police from Vancouver, Canada; Venezuela also lent a hand.) No direct parallel here with the Armenian case, except possibly relief organizations chiefly from the USA stepping in, to fill the void of the Ottomans’ lack of care, or to serve as a supplement. (See newspaper clipping below for 1916 help; in 1917, Talat Pasha would allow for hostile Near East Relief personnel to come in en masse to care for the Armenians, without conditions that the equally starving Turks should also be cared for, a gargantuan humanitarian gesture, given that the USA was on the side the Ottomans were fighting against.)

Looter helping himself inside a New Orleans
department store

The Turk-unfriendly New York Times
reported: "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."

During times where law and order was absent, looters ran rampant in the city. There were murders and rapes as well, of course. Sometimes these would run across racial lines; a white man was relating how he almost got pulled out of his vehicle to possibly get stomped on by black rioters, and a black bystander told of how he got shot from a white man, guarding against looters.

Certainly no parallel to the Armenians who got massacred, but the idea is the same: when law and order is absent or inefficient, opportunities become available for the criminals. The gendarmes guarding the caravans were ripe pickings for lawless bands descending upon Armenians on the march, either because the gendarmes did not have enough numbers, or were corrupt to begin with.

The film related how the people who got tired of waiting for the buses decided to cross a bridge (the example given to provide an idea: as though people from New York City’s Brooklyn would be trying to cross into Manhattan), in order to meet the expected buses, but were prevented by "redneck cops" with shotguns, calling the people from New Orleans "thugs." Of course, the citizens were aghast such a thing could happen in America, where Americans would be prevented from freely travelling within America. Naturally, resettled Armenians did not have the freedom to travel either, otherwise that would have defeated the whole purpose, if they were allowed to go back to their homes.

The ones in the administration of George W. Bush were accused of incompetence, such as the fellow in charge of FEMA (the Federal Emergency Management Agency), Michael Brown, who was said to be unqualified for the post. (His specialty was doing junkets for the oil lobby.) Another talking head defended Brown, claiming his hands were tied because the head of the Department of Homeland Security failed to declare a national emergency. The parallel here, of course, is that regardless of the good intentions of the government (the Ottomans showed their good intentions off the bat, with carefully laid plans to safeguard Armenians and their properties; by contrast, the Bush government appeared to ignore the needs of the people entirely, at least initially), a government can only be as good as the people running the show. Bureaucracy, ineptitude and corruption can always be relied upon to muck up the works. There certainly were local Ottoman officials who did not do their jobs well enough.

The governor

The mayor

We were told the Louisiana governor (Blanco) was upset with the New Orleans mayor (Nagin) because the mayor had backed a rival candidate during the governor’s election. But as a talking head correctly observed, "when there's a crisis, like a hurricane crisis... all political B.S. has to go to the side." As silly and undesirable as such “politics” may be, the human dimension of pettiness and selfishness usually cannot be avoided. No doubt such politics existed in the local Ottoman level as well.

Cynthia Hedge-Morrell, a New Orleans City Council Member, observed: "The feeling that residents had about the National Guard, and the state police... they were in an armed, occupied city. I can't help but believe that that's the same way they treated people in any city that we go and invade... I guess maybe that's the way the Iraqis feel sometimes."

Imagine being treated as criminals, while caught in a disaster not of one’s making. Of course, the entirely innocent people of New Orleans were a far cry from the Ottoman-Armenian community, whose hearts so clearly belonged with the enemies of their nation. (Leon Surmelian, for example, related a story where Armenians would actually applaud Russian prisoners-of-war transferred through the streets), although certainly there were innocent Armenians caught in the mess created by their greedy and fanatical leaders. (Aided as well through generations of superiority complexes, taught by the missionaries, and education in foreign countries. The prosperous Armenians had the money to afford to send their kids to such schools.)

A telling moment appeared when the sensible general (Honore) assigned to clear up the situation went around ordering the troops to put their “goddamn” weapons down. What were the soldiers doing, pointing their guns at the poor civilians in the first place? Such is the arrogance of power, and it can be found anywhere.

Languishing in the lines

The documentary tells us that there was complete chaos in getting out of the Superdome, because "no one had any clue or direction." (40,000 people was the estimate.) At any rate, the buses finally arrived, and Louis Armstrong Airport in New Orleans had to face “wall to wall people” as a result. There was unbelievable stench, and no air, for the many hours the people endured getting stuck in this new place.

A personable victim named Phyllis LeBlanc related how she encountered a bad attitude from the check-out police or airport security, and spoke about lack of compassion or empathy. (Again, being treated as a criminal.) A little earlier in the film, while relating how the crowds were being directed through the Hyatt Hotel, an activist named Fred Johnson made the following observation about the National Guard:

The soldiers keep the order

“And as they (the people) came through, the military was good and bad. Because, I guess, as a trained soldier, you have to see things and act like you don’t see it; you’re oblivious to it. For much pain, I mean, people were carrying people, and dragging... and crippled people, and people bleeding, and, I mean it was just horrific conditions. Horrific conditions. Womens’ periods was down on ‘em, they had shit on ‘em, piss on ‘em, children were by themselves, you would have thought we were in the middle of a war and everybody took out running and hiding, and all of a sudden, they were able to flee. And I saw that, and all I could do was cry, and stand up there and feel helpless...”

I’m reminded of enough anecdotes from “genocide eyewitnesses,” such as Auguste Bernau, whose heart bled exclusively for the people sharing their faith (never mind the Muslims who were suffering in droves elsewhere in the Ottoman graveyard), and making rash conclusions about the guards in charge (in Bernau’s case, they became “exterminators,” as related in Andrew Goldberg’s PBS propaganda show). But when there is much human misery to contend with, it is a universal concept for the “police” dealing with suffering people to maintain a distance; otherwise emotions can get in the way of performing one’s duty. Naturally, when Ottoman gendarmes were cast in this thankless role, they all became heartless oppressors. This is what Armenian propaganda teaches us.

The Texas figures were upgraded to up to 200,000.

People at the airport had no say in their destinations, and were sent to far-away places many had no desire to travel to. (Such as Utah or Texas, Oklahoma or Colorado, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida or Arkansas.) Sound familiar?

Families were completely scattered in different states. An airport man offered the rationale that at least the people were getting back to civilization. A talking head (the articulate Dr. Michael Eric Dyson) offered the parallel of slaves on a ship, explaining that children were being separated from their parents.

Naturally, Armenian propaganda tells us the men were separated in order to be killed, but there is plenty of Armenian “oral history” lending evidence that families were kept intact, such as Hrant Sarian’s diary. (At least initially; in the case of this family, separation occurred as conditions worsened and survival became a factor. But the authorities never forced the family to separate, except in a later period, when the father was conscripted into the army.)

One of many corpses strewn about town

Dead victims of Katrina were left on the roads. A reporter noticed a dead man in the same spot days later, shocked that something like that could happen in a major city like New Orleans.

I’m reminded of the “oral history” offered by U.S. Congressman. Frank Pallone, in support of the latest genocide resolution. Pallone remarked that “Mrs. Hanessian recalls that if someone died on the train, they were thrown off the train and were left on the side of the tracks.” Now, were these terrible conditions bad out of “intent,” as strongly implied, or because of the wretchedness of the times affecting all? We also know of the dead bodies left on the sides of the roads from the “death marches.” Were they left on the side of the road because of contempt toward Armenians? Or was the grim reality such that there simply were not enough resources for follow-up caravans or trains assigned for pick-up duties?

Let's dwell on this morbid point a moment longer. Of course, who is going to argue that leaving a dead body... particularly when loving family members are nearby... by the road is not inhuman? It's certainly not very "civilized." But when conditions offer no immediate alternative, what other choice is there? We can see it can even happen in the modern and mighty United States. So let's get a reality check, here. We are talking about 1915's backward "Sick Man of Europe," where the standards of normal living did not apply during a desperate war, and even wounded soldiers were expected to trek under their own steam to the nearest hospital! (And when they finally arrived at the miserable and hygienically-challenged hospital without enough beds, medical supplies and qualified doctors — many soldiers certainly could not even make the trip — the soldiers' lives were placed, at times, even more at risk.) Then there was a cultural difference as well, when people were expected to fend for themselves, and the victim's mentality was frowned upon; applying modern Western standards as a gauge is not only unrealistic, but unfair.

Lots of suffering.

A charismatic radio host named Garland Robinette made a point sure to win the hearts of genocide advocates: "How do I feel about a million-plus people being just thrown out of the place they've lived their whole lives? That's indescribable.. I never thought I'd live in a place where that could happen."

The scatterd folks were outraged that some would refer to them as “refugees,” as though (as the Rev. Al Sharpton put it) they were from elsewhere, needing charity; refugees is a term applied to those who don't have a country, and these were United States citizens. The same could be said about the Armenian “refugees,” as they are also sometimes termed. The Armenians were not exiled, since they were moved from one place of the country to another, and were Ottoman citizens.

Many of those relocated decided to remain where they were transferred to, which could apply to a number of the Armenians who were sent to the Arabic regions of the Ottoman Empire. One bitter civilian stated, in a manner once again sure to win the hearts of "Final Solution" believers, that:. "If they wanted us in New Orleans, they wouldn't have tried to drown us and kill us. So I'm not going back so they can finish it off."

An additional point made in “Act IV” of the four-plus hour program was that the authorities deliberately put off getting the place back in order (The “streets look like a bomb hit it”), because there were plans to industrialize the area, or now perhaps it would be easier to gentrify the neighborhoods and make them "white." The residential trailers that were finally provided (after months of waiting) had no electricity, and featured other frustrating inadequacies.

Hip-hop artist Kanye West declared,: "George Bush
doesn't care about black people," as Mike Myers
looked on.

In the Ottomans’ case, the Armenians were trickling back to their homes even before they were allowed to return, at the end of 1918. Many came back, and the victorious and occupying British made sure the Armenians would get as many advantages as possible, at the expense of the Turks. Then a lot of Armenians were encouraged to move to the Cilicia region, to carve a new Armenia under the French. When those plans went awry, a lot of Armenians decided to move away, as too many Muslims had been massacred to clear the way for the usual Armenian-pure state, and a lot of bad blood had developed. Yet the door remained open for Armenians who wished to return, as stipulated in the Gumru and Lausanne Treaties. As history has shown, the Armenians who decided to remain in Turkey encountered no problems to speak of from the state (as opposed to the Turks/Muslims/Jews and other "different" ones who decided to remain in Armenia. The CIA Fact Book tells us Armenia is now some 98% "pure," when Muslims had constituted a large part of the population during the 1920 era. In 1820, there were hardly any Armenians in the area at all, before Russia conquered today's Armenia from Iran and embarked on a re-population plan).

Another interesting point was that the insurance companies cheated the homeowners whose homes were ruined from the hurricane; the companies would usually find a loophole. This served as a reminder that Armenians who were killed could not collect on their life insurance policies. Of course, one money-grubbing political benefit of crying genocide is to try and bleed insurance companies out of millions of dollars, as Armenians have succeeded in doing... in order to benefit those who were never there to begin with.

As we have covered, there was a good number of disturbing parallels between the two cases. The governments were supposed to take care of their respective peoples, once the people were put in the position of being in the government’s care. We can see, however, that such large-scale efforts don’t always run smoothly, and sometimes really badly. (As Swedish Eyewitness H. J. Pravitz logically wrote of the Armenians' tragedy, "I have seen dying and dead along the roads — but among hundreds of thousands there must, of course, occur casualties.") We must again keep in mind that we are comparing the wealthiest nation in modern times vs. a desperate and poor nation with cultural differences, during wartime, in times that were not modern. When the Armenians were not getting adequate supplies, neither was the rest of the nation, where "thousands of the (Turks) were daily dying of starvation," according to the "Story" book of U.S. Ambassador Morgenthau.

The idea of this page was to demonstrate that hatred against Turkish people is so out-of-control, exacerbated by the racism perpetuated by the Armenians and their allies within the genocide industry, they are pointing to an extremely tragic time of human history in the most unethically subjective way possible, in order to (among other goals) demonstrate that Turks belong to a different species. Of course, a major shortcoming of this page is that we are really comparing apples with oranges; the Armenians were massacred by renegade forces, and the people from New Orleans were not (as if they didn't have enough else to contend with!).

Another Katrina victim

But let's greatly suspend our disbelief now. Let's imagine the USA was in a desperate war and was on its last legs, when Hurricane Katrina hit. Let's imagine the enemies of the USA decided to take advantage of the frustration of the people of New Orleans, and stirred some of the more emotional ones, who in turn took it upon themselves to stir up the rest. (Yes, we are going to require a colossal suspension of disbelief here!). The enemies said, look: the USA does not care about you. Why don't you join us, and when we win, we will give you New Orleans as your own country? And let's say a good portion of the embittered New Orleans people decided to go along, and put the more moderate people in line through threats and violence (just as the Armenian terrorists did with the Ottoman-Armenians). And let's say the enemies managed to get millions of dollars and arms to the people, just as the Ottoman-Armenians were fed by the Russians and the other Entente Powers, and that the New Orleans people hit the U.S. Army in the back and massacred fellow Americans to make room for their hopeful new nation.

Of course this is all nonsense, and it could have never happened the way events transpired (and it's actually painful to offer this scenario, casting the poor victims of New Orleans in villainous light), but we are simply IMAGINING here. Okay, then, what would have happened? How would the National Guard have treated these "traitors," as if some military personnel did not already display an arrogant and bad enough attitude? (Pointing their guns at the people, for God's sake.) How would the U.S. Government have treated the New Orleans people? And what would the response of fellow Americans have been, keeping in mind the survival of their nation was at stake?

As great a nightmare as the people of New Orleans suffered, you can bet it would have been paradise, compared to the aftermath of the suggested scenario. In light of this, the humanistic way in which the Ottoman government treated their traitorous Armenian community was actually pretty extraordinary.

The United States of America, lone superpower of the world, did a pretty poor job in responding to the Katrina disaster, and in alleviating the needs of a segment of their people. Many of these people suffered, and many died, as a result of governmental neglect. But it takes a lot more than ineptitude to prove an intentional “genocide.”

Click On The Image To Enlarge


© Holdwater
The source site of this article gets revised often, as better information comes along. For the most up-to-date version, links and the related photos, the reader may consider reviewing the direct link as follows:


Reader's Comment


If Armin Wengler had found the following, it would have been Armenians (only) starving, even in a country rich in grains.


Russia, once the granary of much of western Europe, was now inaccessible economically. This was a background which revolutionaries could exploit. The communists were happy and ready to do this, for they believed that histqry had cast them for this role, and soon their efforts were reinforced in some countries by another radical phenomenon, fascism.


Following upon war, revolution and civil war, famine brought immeasurable suffering to millions of Russians and Ukrainians in 1921.

Source: History Of the World - p.724


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