16 October 2007

2068) How Do You Reason With A Lynch Mob?

Your article “Labeling genocide won't halt it” (Los Angeles Times, October 15, 2007) provoked such a disturbance in me. . .

You quote the 1948 The United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide for a definition, but fail to read the article 6 of the same convention which clearly sets out a methodology as to how that verdict of genocide shall be reached: via a competent tribunal.

Such a tribunal, a la Nuremberg, was never convened and a genocide verdict was never given. How can then so many (Armenians and their sympathizers) benefit from a non-existent verdict for so long (since 1915) ? Isn’t what “lynching” is all about?

The genocide verdict is not reserved for newspaper columnists, community activists, missionaries, diplomats, academicians, and others. It is a legal term as you have quoted, where the “intent” has to be proven. Do not underestimate or dismiss that tiny word, like so many others, overwhelmed with stories of pain and suffering of only one side, find it so irresistible to do.

The whole controversy is surrounded around that one tiny word, intent, and Armenian propagandists and their allies know it well. That is why Armenians never dared to take Turkey to a competent tribunal since 1915 and chose to “fabricate” evidence instead. Talaat Pasha telegrams, for example, were forged to fill that gaping hole in their genocide allegation. Armenians falsified many other records after that. The infamous Hitler quote which was proven to be bogus by Prof. Heath Lowry of Princeton (It is a good thing the US prosecutor refused to use as evidence that bogus document in Nuremberg trials; it was unsigned, undated, out of sequence, and stuck out like a sore thumb in a pile of otherwise neat and orderly Nazi documents.) The American Ambassador Morgenthau, a rabid anti-Turk, is frequently used as a credible source. He posed as a career diplomat and a historian, but he was neither. He was a real estate agent and a developer from upstate New York who raised the most funds for the Wilson campaign in 1912 and was rewarded with an ambassadorial post by the president elect Wilson. Armenian falsifications go on and on.

If the Armenian allegation of genocide ever goes to a competent tribunal one day in future, which it may yet, the intent will be the fulcrum around which the final verdict will hinge. Turkey is confident that if non-partisan, dispassionate scholars looked at the communications, they will quickly realized that the intent was to temporarily resettle (TERESET) the Ottoman-Armenians who overtly or covertly supported Armenian uprising and treason.

Langer, William L., Prof. of History, Harvard, in his book “The Diplomacy of Imperialism”, Alfred a. Knopf, New York (1960), p 157, was more thorough and fair than you in your lynching piece:

“… Revolutionary placards were being posted in the cities and there were not a few cases of the blackmailing of wealthy Armenians, who were forced to contribute to the cause. Europeans in Turkey were agreed that the immediate aim of the agitators was to incite disorder, bring about inhuman reprisals and so provoke the intervention of the powers. For that reason, it was said, they operated by preference in areas where the Armenians were in a hopeless minority, so that reprisals would be certain.

One of the revolutionaries told Dr. Hamlin, the founder of Robert College, that the Hunchak bands would ‘watch their opportunity to kill Turks and Kurds, set fire to their villages, and then make their escape into the mountains. The enraged Moslems will then rise, and fall upon the defenseless Armenians and slaughter them with such barbarity that Russia will enter in the name of humanity and Christian civilization and take possession’. When the horrified missionary denounced the scheme as atrocious and infernal beyond anything ever known, he received this reply: ‘It appears so to you, no doubt; but we Armenians have determined to be free. Europe listened to the Bulgarian horrors and made Bulgaria free. She will listen to our cry when it goes up in the shrieks and blood of millions of women and children. We shall do it’…”

These findings are supported by another prominent scholar, a history professor at UCLA, Stanford J. Shaw (died in 2006), said in his book History Of The Ottoman Empire And modern Turkey , Cambridge University Press (1977), Volume II, page 315:

“…Armenians again flooded the czarist armies, and the czar returned to St. Petersburg confident that the day finally had come for him to reach Istanbul.

Hostilities were opened by Russians, who pushed across the border on November 1, 1914, though the Ottomans stopped them and pushed them back a few days later….A subsequent Russian counter offensive in January caused the Ottoman army to scatter…and the way was prepared for a new Russian push into eastern Anatolia , to be accompanied by an open Armenian revolt against the sultan.

…Armenian leaders in Russia now declared their open support of the enemy and there seemed no other alternative. It would be impossible to determine which of the Armenians would remain loyal and which would follow the appeals of their leaders. As soon as the spring came, then, in mid-May 1915 orders were issued to evacuate the entire Armenian population from the provinces of Van, Bitlis, and Erzurum, to get them away from all areas where they might undermine the Ottoman campaigns against Russia or against the British in Egypt, with arrangements made to settle them in towns and camps in the Mosul area of Northern Iraq. In addition, Armenians residing in the countryside (but not in the cities) of the Cilician districts as well as those of north Syria were to be sent to central Syria for the same reason. Specific instructions were issued for the army to protect the Armenians against nomadic attacks and to provide them with sufficient food and other supplies to meet their needs during the march and after they were settled. Warnings were sent to the Ottoman military commanders to make certain that neither the Kurds nor any other Muslims used the situation to gain vengeance for the long years of Armenian terrorism. The Armenians were to be protected and cared for until they returned to their homes after the war…”

69 other historians, scholars, and other experts on this issue, representing top American universities and colleges in this field, have signed a statement addressed to congress and published it in New York Times and Washington Post on May 19, 1985, supporting Lange’s and Shaw’s findings, saying:

“… The undersigned American academicians who specialize in Turkish, Ottoman and Middle Eastern Studies are concerned that the current language embodied in House Joint Resolution 192 is misleading and/or inaccurate in several respects. .. (W)e respectfully take exception to that portion of the text which singles out for special recognition: ‘. . . the one and one half million people of Armenian ancestry who were victims of genocide perpetrated in Turkey between 1915 and 1923 . . ..’

Our reservations focus on the use of the words ‘Turkey' and ‘genocide’ and may be summarized as follows:

From the fourteenth century until 1922, the area currently known as Turkey, or more correctly, the Republic of Turkey, was part of the territory encompassing the multinational, multi-religious state known as the Ottoman Empire. It is wrong to equate the Ottoman Empire with the Republic of Turkey in the same way that it is wrong to equate the Hapsburg Empire with the Republic of Austria. The Ottoman Empire, which was brought to an end in 1922, by the successful conclusion of the Turkish Revolution which established the present day Republic of Turkey in 1923, incorporated lands and people which today account for more than twenty-five distinct countries in Southeastern Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East, only one of which is the Republic of Turkey. The Republic of Turkey bears no responsibility for any events which occurred in Ottoman times, yet by naming 'Turkey' in the Resolution, its authors have implicitly labeled it as guilty of ‘genocide’ it charges transpired between 1915 and 1923;

As for the charge of ‘genocide,’ no signatory of this statement wishes to minimize the scope of Armenian suffering. We are likewise cognizant that it cannot be viewed as separate from the suffering experienced by the Muslim inhabitants of the region. The weight of evidence so far uncovered points in the direct of serious inter communal warfare (perpetrated by Muslim and Christian irregular forces), complicated by disease, famine, suffering and massacres in Anatolia and adjoining areas during the First World War. Indeed, throughout the years in question, the region was the scene of more or less continuous warfare, not unlike the tragedy which has gone on in Lebanon for the past decade. The resulting death toll among both Muslim and Christian communities of the region was immense. But much more remains to be discovered before historians will be able to sort out precisely responsibility between warring and innocent, and to identify the causes for the events which resulted in the death or removal of large numbers of the eastern Anatolian population, Christian and Muslim alike. Statesmen and politicians make history, and scholars write it. For this process to work scholars must be given access to the written records of the statesmen and politicians of the past. To date, the relevant archives in the Soviet Union, Syria, Bulgaria and Turkey all remain, for the most part, closed to dispassionate historians. Until they become available, the history of the Ottoman Empire in the period encompassed by H.J. Res. 192 (1915-1923) cannot be adequately known. We believe that the proper position for the United States Congress to take on this and related issues is to encourage full and open access to all historical archives and not to make charges on historical events before they are fully understood. Such charges as those contained H.J. Res. 192 would inevitably reflect unjustly upon the people of Turkey and perhaps set back irreparably progress historians are just now beginning to achieve in understanding these tragic events.

As the above comments illustrate, the history of the Ottoman-Armenians is much debated among scholars… By passing the resolution Congress will be attempting to determine by legislation which side of the historical question is correct. Such a resolution, based on historically questionable assumptions, can only damage the cause of honest historical inquiry, and damage the credibility of the American legislative process…”

If the scholarship above does not satisfy you, perhaps you would like to hear from the horse’s mouth.
Look how Boghos Nubar, leader of the Armenian delegation at Paris Peace Conference, in a letter to the Times of London, published on January 30, 1919, begs the allies at Paris conference at the end of World War I, urging them to reward the Armenians for their service:

“…The Armenians have been, since the beginning of the war, de facto belligerents - since they fought alongside the Allies on all fronts - in Palestine and Syria, where the Armenian volunteers, recruited by the Armenian National Delegation at the request of the French government, made up more than half of the French contingent. In the Caucasus, where, without mentioning the 150,000 Armenians in the Imperial Russian Army, more than 40,000 of their volunteers offered resistance to the Turkish Armies."

What genocide are you talking about? This is war… Plain, simple…and ugly… As all wars are…

You say “you reviewed” the evidence and found it damning. You simply fall for the same mistake many other scholars usually do: you use the pro-Armenian, partisan sources, all of which take wartime propaganda and bias produced by Armenian nationalists, clergy, and their Western supporters at face value and regurgitate them. Look what another historian, Guenter Lewy, who also reviewed existing Armenian evidence, says in his article titled “Revisiting the Armenian Genocide” published in Fall 2005 edition of Middle East Quarterly ( http://www.meforum.org/article/895 ) :

“…Most of those who maintain that Armenian deaths were premeditated and so constitute genocide base their argument on three pillars: the actions of Turkish military courts of 1919-20,…, the role of the so-called "Special Organization" accused of carrying out the massacres, and the Memoirs of Naim Bey which contain alleged telegrams of Interior Minister Talât Pasha…. Yet when these events and the sources describing them are subjected to careful examination, they provide at most a shaky foundation from which to claim, let alone conclude, that the deaths of Armenians were premeditated….”

Based on this, isn’t it a bit dishonest to present a complex, contested, and clearly unresolved historical event as “settled history” to unsuspecting masses? Don’t you think you should perhaps qualify your views as those of the Armenian camp?

It is because of these considerations, I have coined the term “ethocide” back in 2003, a brief definition of which is “mass deception for political benefit”. (For a more thorough and scholarly description, please refer to my article “Ethocide, Not Genocide” in my column at www.turkla.com.)

As for the Turkish reaction to the ceaseless actions of some lynch mobs in America, defaming Turkish history and heritage, the Turkish prime minister Erdogan summed up the Turkish feeling of perpetual damage to Turkish-American relations with the unfair, unjustified, and unprovoked HR 106 vote, with this: “Ip inceldigi yerden kopsun”, a famous Turkish saying which means “let the thread break where it is thinnest” ( let the chips fall where they may.)

Allies do not defame allies for petite self-interests. Allies do not lynch allies based on falsified history.

Ergun Kirlikovali
Son of Turkish survivors from both paternal and maternal sides
Polymer scientist and Writer at www.turkla.com



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