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02 November 2007

2148) A Case Made Against "Genocide Deniers"

An article illustrative of the many brainwashed and lazy-thinking genocide-accepters appeared in insidehighered.com (appropriately entitled "Genocide Deniers," making clear the stance of the author, Scott Jaschik; Oct. 16, 2007). It begins by complaining about the advertisements taken by "Turkey" (I am not familiar with these advertisements, but I would not be surprised if Turkish-American organizations were behind some of them; in the minds of the prejudiced, these would be one and the same. Incidentally, a search on keywords provided by Jaschik's article did not bring up anything on these ads, making me wonder whether the impression of a series of advertisements could have been misleading) to protest the fallacy of the genocide resolution before Congress. (Resolution 106 was analyzed on TAT in February; it is remarkable that any fair outsider who would take the time to analyze its claims could not see what a blatant piece of propaganda it really is.)

Jaschik takes Turks, or reprehensible "Genocide Deniers," to account for daring to run such advertisements, reminding the rational ones among us that determining history is not the domain of politicians (who, at best, would not have the time to conduct appropriate research, and at worst, are beholden to powerful interest groups, as the Armenians), but historians. Jaschik tells us, "Normally, you might expect historians to welcome the interest of governments in convening scholars to explore questions of scholarship." Causing historians with different points-of-view to come together has nothing to do with this resolution; the idea of the resolution is to present vicious propaganda as fact, so already Jaschik's article displays disingenuousness.

The article continues:

"Turkey’s government also has been quick to identify American scholars (there are only a handful, but Turkey knows them all) who back its view that the right approach to 1915 is not to call it genocide, but to figure out what to call it, and what actually took place."

Is it only Turkey's "government" that identifies scholars of non-Turkish origin (not all of whom are "American", of course; there are Britons as Norman Stone and Malcolm Yapp, Italians as Augusto Sinagra and Stefano Trinchese, French as Gilles Veinstein, and others, as the Austrian, the late Erich Feigl), or anyone who wishes to demonstrate the falsehood of genocide claims? Once again, a naive lazy-thinker buys into the claim of Armenian propaganda that only the Turkish government says there was no genocide. And what offensive wording, "there are only a handful, but Turkey knows them all."

If there is a "handful," that is no indication something must be wrong, since majority opinion and truth do not always go hand in hand. Consent may easily be manufactured by those who hold the cards; not long ago, the majority believed Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, and only a "handful" dared to oppose this view, before the war on Iraq began.

In point of fact, there is more than a mere "handful" who are aware of what transpired during those tragic years, and knowing fully well that these events did not amount to "genocide," but since the bullying Armenians and their genocide scholar supporters waged a campaign of character assassination beginning in the mid-1980s, it has been the rare historian with the courage to step into this minefield. Naturally, Scott Jaschik is off the mark once again, by implying what happened was so obviously a genocide, that "Turkey's government" is misleadingly trying to "figure out what to call it, and what actually took place." Those who know the genuine history know exactly what took place: a rebellious minority sided with their nation's enemies, as even their leaders are on record for admitting; they hit the beleaguered Ottoman army in the back, and Armenian men who refused to be conscripted, in addition to those who had deserted, joined the enemy in the thousands by crossing the borders, or by staying behind and serving as guerilla units. These Armenians massacred defenseless Ottoman villagers in horrific numbers, and in the most sadistic ways possible, as documented by the officers of their own allies. (One example.) Anyone honest enough to see the facts as they actually transpired knows exactly what to call it: not "genocide," but war.

Was it "Genocide" or "War"?

"Few Americans who mourn, and justly, the miseries of the Armenians, are aware that till the rise of nationalistic ambitions, beginning with the 'seventies, the Armenians were the favored portion of the population of Turkey, or that in the Great War, they traitorously turned Turkish cities over to the Russian invader; that they boasted of having raised an army of one hundred and fifty thousand men to fight a civil war, and that they burned at least a hundred Turkish villages and exterminated their population."

Prof. John Dewey, The Turkish Tragedy, The New Republic, Nov. 12, 1928



"The relations of Armenia with the Ottoman Empire must cease completely, and the territory thus separated must contain all of the old Ottoman provinces. The Ottoman government of Constantinople, during long years, maintained the hostility and the civil war among the various local races..."

The British Armenia Committee of London, in an early February 1920 memorandum to Lloyd George; since Armenian propaganda often tells us the Kurds that the Armenians were warring with were in cahoots with the Ottoman government, the implication is that this civil war of the Armenians also took place against the Ottomans. Interestingly, the Armenians did not choose this time to depict themselves in their traditional role of helpless victims, but as belligerents on one side of a "civil war."

"[S]cholars who study the period say that the leaders of Turkey and the United States — along with that handful of scholars — are engaged in a profoundly anti-historical mission: trying to pretend that the Armenian genocide remains a matter of debate instead of being a long settled question."

The author of this piece has made no secret of fully being on the side of these "scholars," if only by his choice of article's title; the above words apply equally to Scott Jaschik.

The tragedy is, a pharisee so sanctimoniously certain of his position ("a long settled question," indeed; how embarrassing to say something like that on record) without responsibly having considered all the facts and factors, as Scott Jaschik, has no idea of the harm he is causing with such rash statements. Of course "genocide scholars" are going to attempt to discredit those who oppose their propagandistic views, because their facts are so weak. If their facts were strong, they would not need to stoop so low as to try and smear the actual historians, accusing them of carrying out an "anti-historical mission." (Or by calling them "deniers.") Such carries special irony, as the "genocide scholars" often come from fields other than history (most notably, sociology, as Taner Akcam and Muge Gocek, that the author will soon be championing), and those few who actually claim history degrees (as Frank Chalk and Margaret Lavinia Anderson) have forgotten the rules of honest history. (Here are those rules.)

"To those scholars of the period who accept the widely held view that a genocide did take place, it’s a matter of some frustration that top government officials suggest that these matters are open for debate..."

Then these would not be true scholars, would they? Particularly if opposing scholars come from legitimate ranks of scholarship. Any person entrenched in his or her view, and not open to further research that might prove him/her wrong, is not a real scholar. If such a person is troubled by annoying debate, that person reveals himself to be a propagandist, and not a real scholar. (Even if the opponent is not established and not respectable. Even if the opponent is a neo-Nazi ideologue, as false "genocide scholars" despicably try and paint the real historians telling the truth about the Armenian genocide myth, a real scholar would have no reason to fear debate. Only those who do not have the facts on their side would have reason for fear.)

(Of course, that is not to say if the opponent is nuts, or if the opponent stresses religious faith and not the reason of science, that a real scholar should go out of his or her way to engage in futile debate. This is the problem with debating Armenian-genocidists, because either they are too "religious" and therefore irrational — there can be no arguing with them — or, some are so unscrupulous, they simply lie. [As Taner Akcam and Peter Balakian freely falsified in a PBS debate; this is what we call the "Armenian AND? Anthem."] However, if the opponent is reasonable and honest, then it should be "bombs away," for those certain of their facts. What legitimate scholar could even resist such a challenge?)

(A recent private exchange conducted between myself and one of the genocidists interviewed by Khatchig Mouradian at Aztag, for example, came out empty for the genocidist; his final shot was that it was "irrelevant" whether the Ottoman government systematically exterminated Armenians, but that Turkey should apologize anyway. Little did this fellow realize he completely undermined his entire genocide thesis. Anyone certain of the facts can derive no greater reward than by exposing the opposition as the scholarly incompetents that they may be.)

"'Ultimately this is politics, not scholarship,' said Simon Payaslian, who holds an endowed chair in Armenian history and literature at Boston University. Turkey’s strategy, which for the first 60-70 years after the mass slaughter was to pretend that it didn’t take place,'has become far more sophisticated than before' and is explicitly appealing to academic values, he said.

Wrong! Turkey's strategy has basically been no strategy at all. Turkey deliberately kept the matter under wraps in Turkey itself, so as not to breed hatred among Turks, for the heinous atrocities committed by Armenians and Greeks. Even Fatma Muge Gocek is on record (she repeats the assertion even in Jaschik's article, here adding that she only learned about the Armenian "genocide" while studying in Princeton) for telling us Turks were "not taught anything about it in school." (This is in direct contrast with how the youngest Armenian children have this poison forced down their throats by parents, teachers and churches, in order to enlist soldiers for Hai Tahd, the Armenian Cause.) This fact puts a damper on what Armenian propaganda claims, that Turks are mindless drones of the evil Turkish government, and therefore "brainwashed," when in fact it is the Armenians who have been brainwashed. (Yet another example of Armenians performing the crime, and blaming Turks with the same crime.)

It was only in the 1970s-80s when Turks began to seriously speak up, emphasizing the real history, in response to the destructive global Armenian terrorism unleashed during those years, in order to put genocide on the map. Particularly after more and more scholars' eyes began to open up to the real truths, as with this 1985 advertisement of sixty-nine academicians, the Armenians stepped into high gear in order to stifle these voices. It was around this time when the Turks were "appealing to academic values," but now that most Western historians' voices have been effectively silenced through the underhanded and fanatical genocide forces (Turkish academicians, too, were largely inactive in this area until the last few years; not that it mattered too much, because in the prejudiced Western world, Turkish sources are automatically looked upon as worthless — assuming Turkish sources are made available, since the clueless Turks largely neglect the necessity of translating their works into English), Turkey's unwise strategy has boiled down not as much to emphasize the history, but to remind congressmen (through expensive lobbying firms) that such a proven Western ally should not be antagonized. (Jaschik alluded to this point with the following: "...[M]any raise political arguments that don’t attempt to deny that a genocide took place, but say that given Turkey’s sensitivities it isn’t wise to talk about it as such. This was essentially the argument given by some House members last week who voted against the resolution, saying that they didn’t want to risk anything that could affect U.S. troops. Similarly, while Holocaust experts, many of them Jewish, have overwhelmingly backed the view that Armenians suffered a genocide, some supporters of Israel have not wanted to offend Turkey..." One chief reason why "Holocaust experts" are pro-Armenian, of course, is because if they question the Armenian tale, they irrationally fear that the Holocaust itself may be questioned.)

And wasn't that the most ironic statement, Payaslian's "Ultimately this is politics, not scholarship." That is exactly what it is, but certainly not on the part of the Turks — among the least talented people in the world, when it comes to public relations. Once again, the Armenians commit the crime, and blame the hapless Turks with the same crime.

The next paragraph was very funny, as Payaslian criticized the Turks for focusing "on the idea of objectivity," which was "very attractive on campuses to say that you should hear both sides of the story.” (Attractive, or necessary, particularly in institutions devoted to higher learning? How else does one get at the truth but to consider all of the relevant information?) But then Payaslian makes sure to add that he "doesn’t favor censoring anyone or firing anyone for their views." This kind of hypocritical "having one's cake and eating it too" type of presentation provides a chilling reminder of how, during the years of Armenian terrorism, respectable members of the Armenian community would give the idea that what the terrorists were doing was somehow good, while making sure to add that they did not condone terrorism.

(Payaslian's justification for the hypocrisy: he thinks that, in Jaschik's words, "it is irresponsible to pretend that the history of the period is uncertain." The history is certainly not uncertain; the Armenians turned traitor, and were resettled during a period when everyone was suffering immensely; in other words, they took a gamble, and lost. As an "endowed chair in Armenian history and literature at Boston University," we must wonder how Payaslian proves his genocide, when even Richard Hovannisian reportedly conceded [in 1982's "Congress on the Problems of World Armenians"] that "The Armenian problem could not be proved. The genocide is not valid legally and it is exposed to prescription." .Who is doing the real pretending, and who, ultimately, is the real irresponsible party of this equation?)

Finally, Payaslian talks about “the collaboration between the Turkish Embassy and scholars cooperating to promote this denialist argument.” Exactly what form does this collaboration take? Does Bernard Lewis, for example, have a hotline to the Turkish Embassy? (Assuming "the Turkish Embassy" is adept enough to prompt academicians on what to say or do, as if they would have no other matters to attend to?) And what exactly do these scholars hope to gain, other than having their reputations under fire, being compared to neo-Nazis, or as Peter Balakian alluded about Justin McCarthy, to "white supremacists"? Is Payaslian saying, as Margaret Lavinia Anderson speculated about a 19th century German writer, without proof, that these scholars are "almost certainly on the take" from the sinister Turkish government? Is this the same manner by which Simon Payaslian teaches his version of Armenian history at Boston University, forming conclusions that cannot be backed up by factual evidence? (Conclusions, in this case, amounting to below-the-belt ad hominem attacks, too.)

Now listen to this:

"To many scholars, an added irony is that all of these calls for debating whether a genocide took place are coming at a time when emerging new scholarship on the period — based on unprecedented access to Ottoman archives — provides even more solid evidence of the intent of the Turkish authorities to slaughter the Armenians. This new scholarship is seen as the ultimate smoking gun as it is based on the records of those who committed the genocide..."

You realize what Scott Jaschik is getting at, don't you? (Particularly with his follow-up in the next paragraph, "the most significant new scholarship is being done by scholars who are Turkish, not Armenian...") He is simply taking Taner Akcam's word, as we will see later on in Jaschik's essay. (Note also the irony here, that Taner Akcam's research is "Turkish," even though the bulk of his work is a copy-paste job of the work of Akcam's Armenian mentor, Vahakn Dadrian. In addition, what precisely was so "unprecedented" about research in the Turkish archives, when Ara Sarafian and Hilmar Kaiser were permitted the same access, years ago?) The critical question for Jaschik to have asked was:

What is this "solid evidence of the intent of the Turkish authorities to slaughter the Armenians."? (Note, in fact, that Jaschik phrased his assertion with "even more" preceding the sentence. In other words, Jaschik is actutally telling us there already is evidence for intent, and now the new Akcam promises will amount to "even more.")

Don't these people think? Jaschik is so convinced that the "Armenian genocide" is a fact (bringing to mind how on-the-spot Americans imagined atrocities committed by Turks, simply because their belief systems were conditioned to expect Turkish barbarities), all he needs to tell us is that the evidence for intent is already in existence. Well, then, what is it? We'll return to this point later, particularly in Jaschik's section, "The Evidence for Genocide" ... where he will have the best opportunity to come up with the goods.

(I am reminded by how Arnold Toynbee equally assured Marshall Pickthall, in a 1915 letters exchange in The New Age, that the evidence for genocide was all spelled out in Toynbee's Blue Book. Pickthall didn't simply take Toynbee's word for it, however, perhaps in the knowledge that Toynbee was, no differently than Akcam, a propagandist. Pickthall looked, and concluded that he found "there nothing serious in support of [Toynbee's] contention that the Turkish Government ordered ‘the extermination of the Armenian race.’” Why don't the people of our time look? Or think?)

Dr. David Cuthell

Jaschik next goes to the "other side," interviewing David C. Cuthell, executive director of the Institute for Turkish Studies. The ITS is described as "a center created by Turkey’s government to award grants and fellowships to scholars in the United States." In other words, the reader gets the impression that the ITS is yet another "agent of the Turkish government." I don't know the inner workings of the ITS any more than I'm sure Jaschik does, but when I looked into this institution years ago, I was surprised to discover there was nothing regarding the "genocide" (at that time) on their web site. What's more, they featured a work by genocide proponent Fatma Muge Gocek. (I wrote them a letter asking questions on why they were genocide-shy, but received no response.) My understanding is that the ITS was created mainly to create Turkish Studies departments in universities, attempting to fill a huge gap that existed at the time in U.S. education. (The Armenians and their allies have now become so successful, that when a university is offered a grant to set up a Turkish studies department, sometimes these grants can be turned down... in an environment where grants normally never get turned down.) Now the ITS certainly issues grants to scholars (they issued one to Gocek, for example), but I don't know if that is their primary role, as we are told in this article. The big point, however, is that even if the Turkish government created the ITS, that does not mean the ITS is controlled by the Turkish government; (I understand the ITS receives a major portion of their funding from U.S. corporations, likely doing business with Turkey. )

Dr. Quataert, from "The Ottoman War Machine"

As another example to demonstrate that the ITS is out of the clutches of the Turkish government, not long ago its chairman was Donald Quataert, one of the 69 scholars who had signed the 1985 advertisement signifying there was no genocide. Quataert has since revised his views; one must suspect the historian has found striking new genocide evidence in order to have performed his 180 degree turnaround. From the bits and pieces I have gathered, an academician, whom I'm sure has no ties to the Turkish government, pointed out this oddity to some higher-ups, wondering why a "genocide advocate" should be in charge of the ITS, and as a result, Donald Quataert was replaced. If the sinister Turkish government was pulling the strings of the ITS, it stands to reason Donald Quataert would have never been appointed. (That is, if we buy the argument from Armenian propaganda that the Turkish government is sinister. In reality, the Turkish government is so tolerant and/or clueless, they give prestigious awards to genocide advocates.) The question then becomes, why is Jaschik making it seem as though the Turkish government is practically synonymous with the ITS? That kind of thing is Israel Charny territory.

The current ITS executive director is quoted as saying, "There are reasonable doubts in terms of whether this is a genocide” (I'd think if there is no evidence for intent, the better way of phrasing that would have been, what are the reasonable doubts that this is not a genocide? Shouldn't we at least pretend to be abiding by the principle, "innocent until proven guilty"?); Jaschik continues:

"...[S]cholars of genocide (many of them focused on the Holocaust) have broadly endorsed applying the term to what happened to Armenians in 1915, and many refer to that tragedy as the first genocide of the 20th century. When in 2005 Turkey started talking about the idea of convening historians to study whether a genocide took place, the International Association of Genocide Scholars issued a letter in which it said that the “overwhelming opinion” of hundreds of experts on genocide from countries around the world was that a genocide had taken place."

Why should anyone listen to these agenda-ridden frauds who don't know the first thing about real scholarship, and who indulge in falsehoods from beginning to end? Consulting propaganda makes them propagandists, not scholars. We get their usual goop, about the Ottomans conducting a "systematic genocide of its Armenian citizens" (a highly immoral accusation, if there simply is no factual evidence), beginning on April 24 (the resettlement policy actually went into effect over one month later; why should the April 24 arrests of the Armenian rebellion's 235 ringleaders constitute a genocide? Don't these "genocide scholars" at least know what genocide means? Comparative note: while ruthless repression of Armenians in Russia wound down by 1905, as late as 1912 — just three years before "April 24" — 500 Dashnaks were tried in Russia, and all but 50 were found guilty. Why, then, is not this episode similarly called a "genocide"?), and that "More than a million Armenians were exterminated" (it cannot be argued that the total mortality was around half a million, if the pre-war population was around 1.5 million and there were, as propagandists agree, 1 million survivors; note also that every death was a result of "extermination," which must also include the 150,000-odd who died of starvation, as Richard Hovannisian wrote in 1967, while they were with the Russians), with the rest having "fled into permanent exile." (Nobody was exiled. In 1921, the Armenian Patriarch vouched for 644.900 in what was left of the empire, and around half a million had already left on their own accord to lands not controlled by the Ottomans. Every Ottoman citizen, including Armenians, had the right to return within a specified time, as decreed in the Gumru and Lausanne Treaties.) If there is anything "scholarly" about what these genocide scholars are saying, where is it?

We are next given the obligatory round-up of the views of "Turkey":

"Turkey has put forward a number of arguments in recent years, since admitting that something terrible did happen to many Armenians. Among the explanations offered by the government and its supporters are that many people died, but not as many as the scholars say; that Armenians share responsibility for a civil war in which civilians were killed on both sides; and that the chaos of World War I and not any specific action by government authorities led to the mass deaths and exiles."

Did "Turkey" only acknowledge that Armenians had suffered in "recent years"? I am not aware of a time when Armenian suffering was ever hidden, if the topic was ever raised. Certainly, when this debate began heating up for the first time in a serious way, back in the 1970s-80s, massacres of Armenians were never kept a secret. That was over thirty years ago, and not what we would call "recent."

Here, Scott Jaschik commits the same sin that genocide-affirmers are uniformly guilty of. Are the provided explanations simply what "the government and its supporters" emptily say, or are these explanations based on the real historical facts? The answers would only be a few mouse clicks away in this age of information, and all one would need do is consider whether the sources backing up the above claims had reason to falsify. It's really not all that difficult, but someone like Jaschik has his mind made up, and cannot even bring himself to conduct the necessary research. (Or his beliefs are so ingrained, the rock-solid facts simply become unacceptable. Instead, he prefers to stress the evidence for intent, which is nowhere to be found.)

In the serious "equal time" section entitled, Dissenters or Deniers? Scott Jaschik refers to Bernard Lewis as "Probably the most prominent scholar in the United States to question that genocide took place," Lewis appears to be faulted for once thinking there was a genocide, and then changing his mind. (Yet, isn't that what a real scholar is supposed to do, as better information comes along? Lewis was a genocide believer back in the 1960s, when all that was readily around was the Armenian perspective. Donald Quataert became a "revisionist" as well, and I sure would love to know the "better information" that he based his change of heart on; I read a recent piece of his touching on this business, and he sounded very confused.) Another claim to fame of Lewis that is mentioned is that he is "a favorite of the Bush administration and neoconservative thinkers," which probably was not designed to enhance Lewis' credibility. (The composer Wagner would have no doubt cringed too, if a main claim to fame was presented as his being the favorite of the leader of a future German administration filled with idiots, and worse; not that the Bush administration would be quite on the same level, naturally.) "Lewis did not respond to messages seeking comment for this article," but Jaschik makes sure to add that the ANCA called him an “academic mercenary.”

Naturally, it is the duty of the sleazy ANCA to discredit those who don't go along with their genocide agenda, but why is Jaschik including this information? Particularly without adding information that would have readers doubt the ANCA's charge? In other words, what the ANCA is really telling us in a roundabout way is that Lewis' services must be for sale, and that he must be "on the take." Perhaps Jaschik agrees; the responsible journalist would have made sure to require the evidence for such a defamatory claim, unless the claim was presented as one of the ways in which the claimant is made to look disreputable. There is no hint that the ANCA is on anything but the up and up, in this article.

Next, we learn that "The two scholars who are most active on promoting the view that no genocide took place are Justin McCarthy... and Guenter Lewy.... Both of them are cited favorably by the Turkish embassy and McCarthy serves on the board of the Institute of Turkish Studies."

Could that be a backhanded way to inform readers that McCarthy must be an "agent of the Turkish government"? (Not that the ITS is synonymous with the Turkish government, but Jaschik appears to be making it seem that way.) Later in his essay, it is interesting that Jaschik will conspicuously not make reference to Armenian affiliations of, say, Taner Akcam. (For example, the ones who claim the copyright to Akcam's "A Shameless Act" book, I'm told, is the Zoryan Institute. That is a much greater example of partisanship, but it is not mentioned, nor the fact that Akcam is reportedly subsidized by an Armenian foundation, Cafesjian.)

(After writing the above, I took a quick new look at the ITS site. Their "organization" page, at the time of this writing, is outdated, since Quataert is still listed as the Chairman, and there are deceased people listed, as Ahmet Ertegun and Stanford Shaw. On this page, McCarthy was only an "associate member," as was... Fatma Muge Gocek! It is on their updated "About ITS" page (with a new chairman) that McCarthy is listed as being a board member, so this must have been a very recent appointment. Yet don't you get the impression that Jaschik is offering the news of this board membership as a kind of "proof" that McCarthy is somehow tainted? Meanwhile, Gocek is still slumming as an associate member. Regardless, Jaschik makes no mention, when he talks about Gocek at the end of his article, about Gocek's ITS affiliation; why not? Could it be because there is no way anyone would believe she is "an agent of the Turkish government" as a result of this affiliation, any more than Justin McCarthy?)

To his credit, however, Jaschik does allow both McCarthy and Lewy to get some truths in, which is more than can be said for articles of this nature.

A revealing paragraph:

"Lewy said that before he started to study the issue, he too believed that a genocide had taken place. He said that intellectuals and journalist[s] 'simply echo the Armenian position,' which he said is wrong. He said that there is the 'obvious fact' that large numbers of Armenians were killed and he blamed some of the skepticism of Turkey’s view (and his) on the fact that Turkey for so long denied that anything had taken place, and so lost credibility."

Lewy was not correct if he claimed Turkey had "denied" Armenian suffering, although of course Turkey has denied culpability. Turkey's strategy had been silence in the face of Armenian allegations, but if any government spokesmen was challenged in the days of old, I can't imagine any would have said, "oh, no, nothing happened to the Armenians." (Here is a 1959 example of a Turkish ambassador taking on some Armenians. Do you get the impression that if challenged, he would have insisted everything was hunky-dory?)

Justin McCarthy got it right when he explained in a 2000 Congressional hearing: "The Turkish government felt that pressing the Turkish case against Armenians and others would rekindle old hatreds and invite war, so the Turks said nothing of their grievances. This was the right decision for the time. The unfortunate result was that no one spoke for the Turks."

Some may interpret "silence" as a way of covering up, but these are the ones who don't understand a different cultural way of thinking; Pierre Loti knew exactly, however, in 1928's “Fantome d’Orient”: "The dignified silence of the Turks against the mounting unjustified attacks and mean slanders can only be explained by their pity for the blind. How beautifully this attitude of theirs answers the undignified calumnies.”

In addition:

"Lewy’s argument, he said in an interview, 'is that the key issue is intent" and that there is 'no evidence' that the Young Turks sought the attacks on the Armenians. 'In my view, there were mass killings, but no intent.'"

Let's bear in mind, by the way, that immediately after World War I ended, the Armenians did not emphasize "genocide," but instead bragged about their belligerence. The "Dissenters" of Jaschik's sub-heading, then, are mainly following in the Armenians' footsteps, relating this actual truth. In other words, the real dissenting ones are the ones who have changed tracks by stressing "genocide."

The Evidence for Genocide

Now we get to the section we've been looking forward to, The Evidence for Genocide, important particularly since Jaschik allowed Lewy to make the all-important point that there simply is no evidence for intent. Since Jaschik is a genocide believer, here was his chance to prove Lewy wrong.

He starts with casting doubt on Lewy's integrity:

"Many scholars who believe that there was a genocide say that Lewy ignored or dismissed massive amounts of evidence, not only in accounts from Armenians, but from foreign diplomats who observed what was going on — evidence about the marshaling of resources and organizing of groups to attack the Armenians and kick them out of their homes, and the very fact of who was in control of the government at the time."

A problem to be careful of when preparing articles as this is that there can be no shortage of partisans to try and sully the reputation of one of the subjects. Since Jaschik has made no secret of being on the side of the genocidists, naturally he will highlight the kind of quotes that will cast doubt. Yet, wouldn't the honorable thing for Jaschik to have done was to try and overcome his prejudices at least to some extent, and to conduct a little beyond-the-surface homework?

Did Jaschik read Lewy's book? One of the marvelous aspects of Lewy's book was its comprehensiveness; Lewy investigated, and expertly, practically every nuance of this subject. What "many scholars" (not that these one-sided folks could have been actual scholars) are quoted as saying is simply untrue.

Lewy certainly did not ignore personal accounts from Armenians, but correctly did not stress them, since "oral history" can never be a substitute for real history. (He actually protected these accounts, by disagreeing with what Turks say, that many of these Armenians had been coached.) And Lewy relied extensively not only on the accounts of foreign diplomats, but even the potentially corrupt accounts of missionaries, displaying how far Lewy bent over backwards, in fairness to the Armenian perspective.

Lewy was accused of ignoring or dismissing "massive amounts of evidence"; could these have been like the thousands of pages of documents in the U.S. archives, emanating from consuls and missionaries? If the British rejected these documents, in regards to the genuine evidence the British were seeking in preparation for the Malta Tribuanal ("...the accounts given were confined to the personal opinions of the writers; no concrete facts being given which could constitute satisfactory incriminating evidence," is the way the British put it), then why would any real scholar prefer to give them weight? (Which begs the question, who were these "many scholars" criticizing Lewy? They certainly can't claim to be true scholars, by preferring to give weight to hearsay-ridden propaganda.)

As far as the "organizing of groups to attack the Armenians," let's hope these "scholars" were not referring to Dadrian and Akcam's "invented Gestapo fall guy," the Special Organization. There is no real proof that their activities included massacre duties, and there is no evidence for the organization of any other kind of group. Finally, as for the "who was in control of the government at the time," that, of course, would be the CUP government. Yet even Ambassador Morgenthau is on record (March 1915) for testifying that the CUP's "authority throughout the empire was exceedingly tenuous." In other words, it becomes nearly impossible to run a systematic extermination campaign of the scope the Ottoman Turks are accused of, if the machinery is rusty, and there is plenty of room for renegades to act independently.

"Rouben Adalian, director of the Armenian National Institute, called the Lewy book part of an 'insidious way to influence Western scholarship and to create confusion.' He said it was “pretty outrageous” that the Utah press published the book, which he called 'one of the more poisonous products” to come from “those trying to dispute the genocide.'"

"Insidious"? Is Rouben Adalian trying to tell us that Guenter Lewy is somehow an "agent of the Turkish government"? (And this regarding a book that was overly protective of Armenians.) Why must Armenian "scholars" specializing in "genocide" be so without integrity, feeling free to make such defamatory statements as this?

"Notably, other presses passed on the book. Lewy said he was turned down 11 times, at least 4 of them from university presses, before he found Utah. While critics say that shows the flaws in the book, Lewy said it was evidence of bias. 'The issue was clearly the substance of my position,' he said."

It's simply miserable for us to even consider the notion that Lewy's book may "notably" be unscholarly, when the essence of the work epitomizes true scholarship, and from a mainstream and respected academician with an established track record... Lewy professionally dug up "everything" on this issue, and was so incredibly objective and fair to Armenians. (In some sections, overly so; for example, in quite a few sections, after pointing out something "bad" that the Armenians had done, Lewy would quickly add, "but that does not excuse the Turks...") The fact that Lewy's book could not find a publisher has to do, and only to do, with the censorship in place for those not agreeing with the politically correct genocide world. Wouldn't any real scholar applaud the fact that the University of Utah Press had the fortitude to go against the tide?

The problem, many say, is that the evidence the Turks say doesn’t exist does exist, so people have moved on.

Ross Vartian of the AAA; they are the ones
who accused Sam Weems of being a
"convicted felon."

All right, then, what is this evidence? I repeat, what is this evidence? We are still on "The Evidence for Genocide" section, and we're still waiting for Scott Jaschik to provide at least a glimpse of this evidence. (It can be embarrassing when genocide partisans are asked to come up with the actual goods. For example, here is how the Armenian Assembly of America's Ross Vartian fared when placed in this unenviable position.)

(It's not just the "Turks" who say the evidence does not exist, by the way, but true historians and any honorable party who scratches beneath the easy surface.)

The real problem, of course, is that this evidence simply does not exist, and people like Scott Jaschik who ought to know better, but are too influenced by their prejudices, have decided to "move on" anyway.

Andras Riedlmayer at the Hague
in 2006, as witness against Serbs


"Andras Riedlmayer, a librarian of Ottoman history at Harvard University and co-editor of the H-TURK e-mail list about Turkish history, said that in the ’80s, he could remember scholarly meetings 'at which panels on this issue turned into shouting matches. One doesn’t see that any more.' At this point, he said, the Turkish government’s view 'is very much the minority view' among scholars worldwide."

Again, the historical truth is not only "the Turkish government’s view"; naturally, one aim for Armenian propagandists is to single out what has come to be known as a sinister Turkish government to be the lone hold-out. But yes, the real historical truth has certainly become the "minority view," thanks to Armenian wealth, influence, alliance with powerful genocide forces, anti-Turkish prejudice and Turkish apathy. And, yes, panel discussions occurring in the 1980s are rarely seen these days, simply because of the effective censorship that the Armenians and their supporters have succeeded in establishing, by likening those who speak the historical truth to neo-Nazi "deniers," and thanks to too many lazy-thinking "neutrals" simply going along for the ride.

Jaschik is getting into the late rounds for his "Evidence for Genocide," so he may need a knock-out punch. (Then again, he is so far ahead on points made on his terms, perhaps not.) He continues:

Among the scholars attracting the most attention for work on the genocide is Taner Akçam, a historian from Turkey who has been a professor at the University of Minnesota since 2001, when officials in Turkey stepped up criticism of his work. Akçam has faced death threats and has had legal charges brought against him in Turkey (since dropped) for his work, which directly focuses on the question of the culpability of Young Turk leaders in planning and executing the genocide. (Akçam’s Web site has details about his research and the Turkish campaigns against him.) Opposition to his work from Turkey has been particularly intense since the publication last year of A Shameful Act: The Armenian Genocide and the Question of Turkish Responsibility.

Indeed, Akcam is attracting a lot of attention thanks to the P.R. team, probably from the Zoryan Institute, blasting the media with interviews where Akcam is now fond of proclaiming that he is fearing for his life, not only to play up his importance, but also to play up how fascist his country of origin is. (Yet he has no problem traveling back and forth to Turkey; here he explains — in the following paragraph of this article (not shown) — that he tries to keep a low profile, but does he really expect anyone to believe that "keeping a low profile" would save him, if there are those seriously out to get him?)


Akcam's Ph.D. cover; if his books serve as indication, this doctorate
almost certainly comprised of Dadrian's research from beginning to
end, and then we have Dadrian — not affiliated with the German
universtiy or with any university — as one of the two approvers,
approving, in effect, his own work. What we have in Taner Akcam
is one who has been carefully groomed by sly Armenian propagandists.

Taner Akcam, of course, is not a "historian." His Dadrian-approved Ph.D. was in sociology. It's too bad Jaschik does not explain how this "visiting scholar" who magically became a "visiting professor" could be teaching in a foreign university since 2001. Isn't it fishy that "visiting professors" are expected to head back to their home universities after, at most, a few short years? (But it doesn't appear Taner Akcam ever taught in a faculty before, so how could he have been a visiting scholar/professor to begin with? The answer has to do with the Armenian genocide network making sure to bring this "Turkish scholar" in to the United States to work as their propagandistic agent, subsidized generously by Armenian foundations.

(Jaschik writes that Akcam began his stint at the University of Minnesota, evidently as a consequence of Turkish officials having "stepped up criticism of his work"; of course, that isn't true. Akcam was probably not a blip on the radar of any Turk's mind, since Akcam was in Germany years prior, dodging the bullets of his former PKK teammates, and started his U.S. career in the University of Michigan-Dearborn. (Where he eventually got kicked out, for not following the university's regulations on visiting scholars/professors. However, it's not like Akcam was unknown in Turkey either, as he found limited distribution for his Dadrian-inspired books; his "Shameful Act" is the English translation of one of these from 1999.)

If opposition to his work has increased since the publication of his thoroughly propagandistic "A Shameful Act," that would be understandable. (However, the signs I have picked up in recent times is that the Turkish press has been overly reverential with this fellow, actually referring to him as a "historian," so this, too, may be an exaggeration.)

"To those like Lewy who have written books saying that there is no evidence, 'I laugh at them,' Akçam said, because the documents he has already released rebut them, and the new book will do so even more. 'There is no scholarly debate on this topic,' he said."

Spoken as a true propagandist. Akcam's level of scholarship cannot come close to the authenticity of Lewy's work, and the only defense from one such as Akcam would be to make statements such as "I laugh at them." (In a March ‘07 review in The Journal of Genocide Research, Akcam actually had the gall to write that Lewy’s exceptional book “was not a work to bother with.”) Now, there would be an enormous amount in Lewy's comprehensive book to rebut, and I am not aware of any documents Akcam "has already released" that rebuts anything. What I am aware of is that his "Shameful Act" book is a series of one Dadrian-distortion after another; here's a look. (Akcam has gone so far as to legitimize the Andonian forgeries in this one, while most Armenian propagandists no longer go near Andonian. When Lewy analyzed Andonian's fakery, could it have been one of the things that made Akcam "laugh"?)

Akcam on Andonian:

While in his first book of 1992 Akcam provided a rare indication of integrity, by dismissing Andonian, come 1999 (or at least its English translation), Akcam reversed course. (He became a... "revisionist"!) On p. 378 of "Shameful" he writes, "I shall not enter into the debate over their authenticity here" (what, there is a debate? Practically only Vahakn Dadrian embarrasses himself by vouching for these crude, obvious and proven forgeries), and then points out there are similarities in sentences (he actually says the sentences are "identical") with documents published after the time of the 1919-20 Ottoman kangaroo courts (mind you, Andonian's propaganda appeared in 1920.) Akcam promises more Andonian in his forthcoming "Denial and Rewriting History." Then, on p. 171, he actually presents an Andonian telegram as historical evidence! ("Aram Andonian published two similar documents from Talat Pasa, in which he persuaded the Ministry of War to order local garrison commanders and military branches not to interfere with the expulsions.") This is Akcam's way of "proving" that "the Interior Ministry's gendarme units were to play a part in the killing operations," alongside Dadrian's Special Organization, of course

It is simply remarkable that anyone could point to Andonian's work as legitimate, unless one tries to say, "Yes! I am indeed Genocideland's village idiot." What are we going to do with this boy?

"There is no scholarly debate on this topic." This reminds me of the time Akcam repeated the word "genocide" a mind-boggling sixty-four times in his first English work, "The Genocide of the Armenians and the Silence of the Turks," as though repeating the word so often would make it true. Similarly, perhaps Akcam feels making such bold and utterly untrue statements as "no scholarly debate" would similarly get the suckers in line. The only thing such an assertion demonstrates is the man's patent dishonesty.

Akcam is promising that his new research in the Turkish archives will close the door on the matter, but genocide fanciers had better not get their hopes up. Following in Dadrian's footsteps, what Akcam does is single out any bits useful for genocide affirmation, and ignores all the rest (a real scholar, of course, would only be interested in seeking truth. Akcam has nerve for even using words such as "scholarly"). What he will be doing is compiling a list of such bits (I noticed one used by Fatma Muge Gocek not long ago; some old document had an Ottoman official refer to Armenians in a derogatory fashion. A-ha! "Genocide proof.") Secondly, while Akcam might have developed a rudimentary knowledge of Ottoman (I'm not sure if he has any), the slightest nuances of Ottoman "hieroglyphics" can throw the whole meaning off. There aren't many who can do a professional job of translating Ottoman, and since Akcam almost certainly is not one of these people, how can he be trusted? Particularly since he has been caught with his pants down so often, with his own Dadrian-style distortions? (My understanding is that there are separate divisions of the Ottoman archives, as Michael A. Reynolds described in his 2003 dissertation; some don't allow copies to be made. If Akcam conducted his research in such a division, that would mean he would need to make a quick translation then and there.)

Fatma Muge Gocek next gets the spotlight as one of those "Turkish" scholars shedding new light on genocide research. We are told that "Armenians she met at Princeton talked to her about it and she was shocked and angry. Upon reading the sorts of materials she never saw in Turkey, the evidence was clear, she said." In other words, Gocek took a look at Armenian sources and actually found real evidence? (What IS this evidence?) She surely demonstrates herself to be one ace scholar.

(One wonders what exactly made her so "shocked and angry." Could it have been Toynbee's Blue Book? Armenian oral history, as I recall reading was part of her indoctrination? Didn't it occur to this "scholar" that these could have been exaggerated? And should not a "scholar" keep her cool, in any event? It sounds like her shock and anger might have played a part in the one-note course she has subsequently pursued, where the Turks' guilt needed to be highlighted at any and every turn.

We learn that Gocek's next book will also be on the "genocide," and then... that's it.

We were promised the "evidence" for "genocide," but we didn't get any. All we got was the word of those like Akcam and Gocek that the evidence is there.

Why was this word good enough for Scott Jaschik?

The troublesome thing here is that Scott Jaschik is supposed to represent "Higher Ed.," or education. Arriving at serious conclusions based on no evidence seems to me a sign of lower education, or no education at all.

"Endnote"

Scott Jaschik

After completing the above, I learned more about Scott Jaschik. He spent a good many years (some twenty?) co-editing The Chronicle for Higher Education (a publication serving university faculty members and administrators); in August 2000, this was the publication that broke the story on how the evil Turkish government laid muscle on Microsoft (all somebody did was bring the matter to Microsoft's attention, of course), in order to get its "Encarta" genocide information corrected, and when Microsoft approached Ronald Suny and Helen Fein to perhaps be a little more even-handed, the duo refused. (The ANCA organized a campaign, naturally, still available on their web site; the faithful were asked to thank Mr. Jaschik, for "taking a powerful stand against censorship" [CENSORSHIP! Can you believe it? Again, they do the crime, and then blame Turks with the same crime.] on the "pressure" to "deny the Armenian Genocide.")

(I see I had gotten into this topic on an old TAT page I'm not too crazy about anymore; but there was a report at the time that read, “When Ms. Fein and Mr. Suny threatened to remove their names from the article and to publicize Microsoft's censorship... Encarta editors backed down. Ms. Fein and Mr. Suny agreed to add that the Turkish government denies the genocide, but held firm to the facts of its occurrence.” Note that the "genocide scholars" went ahead and publicized the bloody business anyway, by contacting Mr. Jaschik's publication. Integrity!)

After an apparent falling out, Mr. Jaschik next started up Inside Higher Ed, similarly targeting university folks, along with friends. Once his "Genocide Deniers" article appeared, someone in cyberspace provided the following description:

"Scott Jaschik of the InsideHigherEd has a very important piece on the complicity of a number of US academics in aiding and abeting of the Armenian Genocide..."

If that was one of Mr. Jaschik's aims, to make it seem like the "handful" of scholars ("Turkey knows them all"!) were "agents of the Turkish government," then it looks like he may have succeeded in some circles. That is what a trio of genocide scholars attempted to do with Heath Lowry, years ago.

The webmaster of an Armenian site (oneworld.blogsome.com, operated by Onnik Krikorian) wrote:

"I’ve just received an email from Scott Jaschik, Editor of Inside Higher Ed, who has requested that I post a link to an article on the Armenian Genocide..."

So Mr. Jaschik actually went a little out of his way to publicize his "Genocide Deniers" article, approaching Armenian web sites. Shouldn't he, as a journalist, strive to be more impartial?




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© Holdwater
 © www.tallarmeniantale.com This image is located at http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com 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:
www.tallarmeniantale.com/deniers.htm
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