26 November 2007

2210) A Major Whopper Of The "Shameful Liar"

Since too many fools rush in when the topic is genocide, few stop and analyze the claims made by Taner Akcam. His outer appearance is just too appealing; a noble Turk defying his evil, criminal government and nation, just made to order in this Turk-prejudiced world, precisely why the forces of Armenian propaganda made sure to recruit him. Of course, as the missionary Cyrus Hamlin instructed us back in 1893 (after being shocked by the statements of a Hunchak terrorist), "Falsehood is, of course, justifiable where murder and arson are," and this ex-PKK terrorist has absolutely no problem in formulating fibs when there is little wiggle room in support of his propagandistic agenda.

Evidence of his mendactiy is all around, from his works of "scholarship," including his Dadrian copy-paste jobs that have comprised his books; Vahakn Dadrian has become famous for his distortions, mistranslations, omissions and other examples where scholarly ethics are located on another planet. (I still have not read Akcam's "A Shameful Act," but I have been told that Akcam has referred to the 1999 Turkish version that this English translation was based upon as an extension of his Ph.D. thesis. Then that helps confirm my speculation that his doctorate was composed of Dadrian research from top to bottom. This is important, because Dadrian co-approved Akcam's thesis, in effect, sleazily approving Dadrian's own work.)

In his interviews too, we can always rely on catching Akcam with his pants down. He has engaged in a "I fear for my life" campaign in recent times, painting himself as a marked man, pointing to the murder of Hrant Dink as an example of what lies in store, and exploiting people's perception of Turks as nationalistic and mindless killing machines. To support his fear, he has pointed to how a group of Turks angrily cornered him after one of Akcam's genocide conferences, giving signs that they wished to attack him. This was in a Turkish-language publication, and yet in several English versions of this story, we learned that he had actually been attacked. (If he actually were physically attacked, the roof would have been raised, and this golden propagandistic opportunity would have been exploited to the hilt.) His bud, the pathological British journalist Robert Fisk, was happy to report news of Akcam's having been attacked by crazy Turks, in one of Fisk's countless "Armenian genocide" articles. (In one of these articles, Fisk also made it seem as though Akcam had described this web site as a "Holocaust denial" site, much as the presentation did not make it clear as to whose opinion this really was, Akcam's or Fisk's; I wrote to Fisk's publication, The Independent, and let them know that this site's denial of the Jewish genocide was an absolute falsehood, but I did not hold my breath on seeing a retraction.)

This page, however, will focus on a major whopper, as Akcam's series of regular falsehoods come with his territory. Major whoppers, in Akcam's case, include the validation of Aram Andonian's forged Talat Pasha telegrams. (That one is truly unforgivable, and Akcam actually switched tracks in a rare case of integrity-display; in his earlier book from 1992, Akcam had expressed doubt on the authenticity of this evil work, but one suspects simply because his mentor, Dadiran, is one of the few stalwarts still trying to make use of Andonian, Akcam felt that he, too, had to fall in line.)

A favorite major whopper uttered by Akcam took place in his 2006 PBS "debate" appearance, where he actually said: "Muslims killing ... by the Armenians, it is a legend." The Armenians slaughtered hundreds of thousands of Ottomans who did not fit the Christian-Armenian prototype, in what was the true systematic extermination campaign of the war years, killing far more "Turks" than the other way around (as most Armenians who had lost their lives, as most other Ottomans, died of non-murderous reasons, such as famine and disease), and for Akcam to have made it seem as though no Muslims were killed by Armenians provided for an excellent display of his moral character.

Akcam's latest whopper appeared in a journalism student's Nov. 6, 2007 article, entitled, "Experts respond to Turkey's Prime Minister on the Armenian genocide question." The student, Mrinalini Reddy, following in the footsteps of many "professionals" who never dig beneath the surface while writing about the "Armenian genocide," had made up her mind about the truthfulness of genocide claims, and gathered two extreme partisans to nay say the contra-genocide facts, one being Taner Akcam.

Before we get to Akcam's major whopper, it is going to be difficult to resist pointing to his other pitiful prevarications. In response to the Prime Minister Erdogan's statement, "Our documents indicate that there is no genocide that has taken place. Those who claim it must prove it," Akcam replied, "Our Prime Minister is wrong because we can prove the genocidal intent without any problems."

(Here is a man who has been vehemently working against Turkey's national interests, making Turkey out to be a rogue nation whenever possible, and he really has no problem in terminology such as "our prime minister." Of course, Akcam is a Turkish citizen and the prime minister is "his" prime minister, so he's not engaging in an outright falsehood. Yet there is something not right about working against a nation's interests on false grounds while pretending to still be on the same team. Since Akcam has decided on the course of lying so fully in bed with his nation's enemies, the honorable thing for him to do would at least be careful about his terminology; the really honorable thing, of course, would be to give up his citizenship.)

Naturally, the whopper here... and it is actually a major enough whopper in its own right... is that "intent" can be proven (not just proven, mind you, but proven "without any problems"); once "intent" is factually proven, the genocide discussion will be over.

Here is how Akcam backed up his claim to prove "intent":

"One set of documentation are the trials in Istanbul between 1919 and 1921. These are the indictments, verdicts, hand-written testimonies and eye-witness accounts which were recorded during that time. There is a lot of evidence here showing the killing of the Armenians. The originals of these documents are not known. We assume that they have been destroyed after Turkish nationalists took over Istanbul. [Turkish officials] only trust the documents in prime ministerial archive today in Istanbul. I can show very easily, based on prime ministerial archives, the genocidal intent of Ottoman Turkey. I will publish a book in the Turkish language in 2008 where I am presenting more than 500 documents from prime ministerial archives in Istanbul."

How many times are we going to go through the same ground? Sorry. The 1919-20 trials (where did "1921" come from?) do not constitute valid evidence. The purpose of these trials was retribution, the puppet Ottoman government had a gun held to its head to find culprits, due process was next-to-nonexistent, and the transcripts of these trials have been lost. (He even concedes "The originals of these documents are not known." If only the bits and pieces that have appeared in the puppet government's newspapers exist, without the context of the originals being known, how could such corrupt sources be relied upon to prove intent?

Even the British rejected the findings of these courts, finding them to be a travesty of justice, in their preparation for the Malta Tribunal (1919-21), where the British could not find any evidence of "intent.' If anything, they found evidence against intent (having pilfered such documents from the Ottoman archives, where they rest today in the British archives; see "Shocking New Documents," Sonyel, London,1975).

We have a recent example of what these courts were like. The U.S. set up a puppet government in Iraq after that nation's conquest, the U.S. wanted Saddam Hussein dead, their puppet government conducted a farce of a trial, and in blinding speed, Hussein, after having been denied a defendent's legal rights for the most part, was executed. (Yes, Hussein was a tryrannical despot, and some feel he deserved what he had coming to him. But what we are examining here is the legality of conquerors' courts.)

Naturally, the 1919-20 trials constitute the "bread and butter" "proof" of the corrupt Vahakn Dadrian, and his hapless protégé is dutifully following in Dadrian's squeaky footsteps. He is doing an excellent job of pulling the wool over the eye of naive and prejudiced English-speaking readers, because what Akcam is claiming makes for powerful effect: Ottoman records themselves prove intent. But it's another gigantic falsehood, as there is no evidence whatsoever demonstrating governmental complicity regarding an extermination plan. (Proof of "killings of Armenians," as Akcam put it, does not prove genocide any more than the killings of Vietnamese at My Lai proves the U.S. government intended to exterminate the Vietnamese people. We know Armenians were killed.)

Is it true, that Turkish officials "only" trust the archival documents? When I set about studying this matter, I ignored Turkish sources almost completely, as there is voluminious evidence from Western and Armenian sources that would have had no reason to defend Turks. The few Turkish historical sources I have consulted make extensive use of hostile Western sources. We don't need the Ottoman records to show there was no genocide, but since it would be ridiculous to write a nation's history by ignoring that nation's records (which is how Armenian propaganda makes its case, with reliance almost solely through the sources of the Turks' enemies; note how Richard Hovannisian, for example, was called on such amateurism), of course they would need to be consulted. And as Vahakn Dadrian himself has instructed us (in reference to German archival material), "...[T]hese records were at the time compiled for strictly internal use, i.e. for in-house consideration, and were not intended for public consumption, [so that] one may be reasonably safe in declaring the evidence obtained thusly as incontestable." In other words, while not necessarily "incontestable," the Ottoman records represent "the sort of solid data that is the basis of all good history," since "There is no record of deliberate deception in Ottoman documents," as Justin McCarthy has wisely pointed out.

What Dadrian and Akcam have dishonestly done is to cherry-pick only the dirt that serves their propagandistic purpose, and to ignore (or sometimes try and discredit) the reams of genocide-busting evidence of the archives. So genocide-fanciers should not get their hopes up as far as Akcam's promise of finding new evidence in what has suddenly become legitimate archival material. (For years, the propaganda forces have walked the line that the Turkish archives were unreliable, because they had been cleansed.) For one thing, a couple of his genocide colleagues, Ara Sarafian and Hilmar Kaiser, have already been through the same archives, nearly tooth and nail. What Akcam very likely has done is compile the material that demonstrated injustices against Armenians (and there certainly was injustice against Armenians), and closed his eyes to the rest. We shall wait and see if he has truly broken new ground, with the coming of his 2008 book.

Later in the article, Akcam is quoted as stating, "Turkey cannot become a member of the European Union if talking about history is a crime." Talking about history may be a crime in "civilized" European Union countries such as France, Switzerland and Belgium (where presenting the historical truth regarding Armenians is more-or-less verboten), but if Akcam has been permitted to have books in Turkey published on this topic since the early 1990s, why is he presenting the false picture that genocide talk will land you in jail? How has his friend and university professor, Halil Berktay, gotten away with his genocide line all of these years, poisoning the minds of impressionable Turkish youth? How did Taner Akcam appear on Turkish television in the early 2000s, according to an article by Robert Fisk, where Akcam pleaded to Turks that they should beg forgiveness from the Armenians?

To Erdogan's "This is a problem of the Armenian Diaspora. They are looking for a way to create some sort of benefit for itself and this is what they have found," Akcam replied: "It is a stupid distinction to think that there is a difference between Armenians and Armenians in the Diaspora. They are all asking that the perpetrator must face their history."

Do you get the feeling Akcam has become a little too big for his britches? He has adopted more arrogance lately, dismissing commentary not to his liking with undiplomatic words such as "stupid." Probably he has gotten extremely spoiled, knowing that fools rush in when it comes to genocide, and he has the biased and naive world's ear, no matter what he says.

Not long ago, I remember coming across an article where diaspora Armenians were expressing their frustration as to their cousins in the homeland not getting with the program. Armenia's corrupt dictatorship has made life so miserable for its inhabitants, where a million or so have blown town in the last decade, a poll indicated the "genocide" was understandably at the bottom of the list of people's concerns. It's not hard to comprehend; during the Soviet years, Armenians in Armenia barely gave a rat's gas for the irrelevant "genocide," and the nation's leader after independence attempted to steer Armenia away from the destructive influence of fanatical Dashnaks, the force behind the diaspora. With cries of "Death to LTP (Levon Ter-Petrossian)," the leader couldn't have lasted long, and the Dashnaks wrested quick control of the "Christian" Terrorist State. So, yes, there is indeed a distinction between fanatical diasporans and their poorer counterparts trying to eke out respectable livings in Armenia (with thousands having moved to the nation of the "perpetrator" next door), much as a propagandist as Taner Akcam would prefer to lead you to believe the idea would be "stupid."

The Whopper!

All right, gang, this is what you've been waiting for: Taner Akcam's latest "shameful" whopper.

To Erdogan's "What took place was called deportation because that was a very difficult time....Given the context of the time and the events that took place, there was provocation by some other countries and the Armenians became part of the rebellion in those years."

And here is what Taner Akcam flat out said:

"The argument says there were Armenian uprisings. It is simply a lie."

Can the reader believe the utter gall of this professional propagandist?

It is one thing for Arnold Toynbee to have tried and get away with a statement to the effect of there not having been an Armenian rebellion, in his 1916 "Treatment" Blue Book. That was at a time when Wellington House's propaganda was getting near-exclusive coverage in the Western press (for example, Britain had cut the communication cable from Germany to the USA and established a Wellington House branch on U.S. soil), and there were few ways to check up on what was really happening (not that prejudiced Westerners of the WWI years were interested in checking; just as people today accepting the word of a propagandist as Taner Akcam at face value, people then unthinkingly accepted such falsehoods as well. Everyone knew how "Terrible" the Turks were, after all). But for Taner Akcam to expect to get away with such a horrendous lie in this day and age, when the Armenian rebellion is a simple, irrefutable fact verified even by Armenian leaders of the period (such as Boghos Nubar, Hovhannes Katchaznouni, and even the terrorist "Armen Garo" Pastermadjian), is nothing less than extraordinary! (Well... in reality, such dishonesty from genocidists is to be expected, and hardly extraordinary.)

The Armenian rebellion was an extremely serious matter, involving as many as 100,000 Ottoman-Armenian men, either having crossed the border to join the enemy (the Ottoman army conscripts among them frequently with their weapons), or by staying behind the lines and acting as a fifth column. By this time, the entire Ottoman-Armenian community was infected, after thrity-forty years of getting worked on (via racial superiority notions) by their terrorist leaders and the missionaries, and it was the rare Armenian whose heart did not belong with the Entente Powers. Even if individuals did not carry firearms in active rebelliion, it was this community, the "defenseless women and children" that provided support for the traitorous rebels.

Akcam tries to negate this fact in the rest of what he had to say, with "They (the rebels) were individual Armenian deserters and even Armenians were against them," the proper response would be Which Armenians were against them? (Of course, not to say there were no loyal Armenians at all. One would go on to actually save Ataturk's life, and even Pastermadjian's own brother, Vahan, paradoxically, had his heart in his own Ottoman country. Read here.) But the fact of the matter is, almost all Ottoman-Armenians had sided with the enemy. Even those who didn't want to felt they had little choice, as not only did they have to face the fanatical Dashnaks quick to make fatal examples of loyal Ottoman-Armenians, but the distrusting Turks.

(As a side note, despite Akcam's claim, the rebels constitued more than "deserters." Many Armenian men joined the enemy before being conscripted, such as Soghoman Tehlirian, and an alarmingly large number simply refused conscription.)

Here was the rest of Akcam's shpiel:

"The deportations were taking place before any Armenian uprising. There was only one incident in April 1915 and the deportation decree occurred at the end of March."

Armenian uprisings began well before the war began in November 1914, as with the Zeitun rebellion beginning August 30, 1914 (in defiance of the nation's mobilization begun on August 3), and continuing (in the case of Zeitun) until the relocation was implemented; the plan to strike was underway for years, waiting for the time when the Ottoman nation would be at its weakest, while at war. (For example, in 1910 the revolutionary committees began to distribute the “Instructions for Personal Defense” throughout eastern Anatolia, the blueprint for their impending rebellion. With sections such as “To Attack Villages,” it was far from a manual on self-defense. See McCarthy and company's The Armenian Rebellion at Van, 2006, p. 183. This book is a must-read for those wishing to get the factual history of the rebellion.)

As soon as Russia attacked, even the New York Times reported the Armenians were ready to betray their nation, as in these two articles, "ARMENIANS FIGHTING TURKS: Besieging Van—Others operating in Turkish Army's Rear," and "TURKISH ARMENIANS IN ARMED REVOLT: We’re Ready to Join Russian Invaders," Nov. 7 and 13 respectively; we needn't spell out the New York Times was rabidly anti-Turkish and was not going to lie for the Turks. (Other news accounts; here's one, "ARMENIANS AID RUSSIANS" from December 1914, examined in detail.)

There is a whole slew of internal communications documenting the rebellions, a partial sample of which may be found in Kamuran Gurun's The Armenian File (1985, pp. 194-201, beginning in October and November of 1914.) Some of these reports may be found at the TAT site, as with the three page "Documents" series, beginning with this one. (When Akcam looked through the Ottoman archives, he must have missed them.)

A small sampling of such internal reports may be found here. Note that on March 4, 1915 (before the "deportation decree" was issued in March, as Akcam shamefully claims; we'll be getting to that), in the province of Van's village of Merkehu, Armenians had killed 41 men,14 women, four of the latter after having been raped. This is the kind of serious danger the Armenians were presenting, despite Akcam's earlier great whopper, that Armenian killings of Turks was only a "legend."

Armenians themselves have documented their plans for uprising, a striking example being an article by Van Parliamentarian and leading Dashnak V. Papazian, and the Armenians' extermination policy of those who were different was only beginning.

The relocation was implemented May 27-June 1, after Enver Pasha's May 2 telegram (see prior link) forced the Ottomans' hand. Akcam's claim that the "deportation decree" was issued in March is total crock, and he should be ashamed for making such a statement as though it were a fact. Here is how he set about "proving" his "March" contention, in his Shameful book.

Even logic does not support Akcam's deception. If the relocation was agreed upon in March, why would the Ottomans have waited two full months before implementing it?

(Note as well that even if there was "one" uprising in April, as Akcam stated, it began before the "genocide," which even by the timetable of Armenians is famously marked by April 24. Even Akcam's sole April rebellion proves the Armenians "fired the first shot.")

On the matter of rebellion, Akcam's "expert" partner within the article, Edward Alexander ("a retired U.S. Foreign Service officer and author, born in New York to Armenian parents who fled Turkey"; such a background should make him an "expert," all right) contributed the following:

"One of the newer arguments that they are raising now is that it was the Armenians who attacked the Turks. This is ridiculous. How the Armenians would have done this, having been disarmed, calls for a great stretch of the imagination."

It is heartwarming that this fellow proved the caliber of his expertise with the statement that the Armenian rebellion is a "newer" argument. Earlier in this article, in response to Erdogan's assertion that no genocide had taken place, Alexander replied that the "evidence [was] overwhelming," and one of these, in his opinion, happened to be Ambassador Morgenthau-related. Yet even in Morgenthau's "Story" book of 1918, when Enver Pasha was granted equal time to explain the historical truth, the Armenian rebellion lay at the core of the argument. Far from new, the Armenians' rebellion is the one and only reason explaining the tragedy that befell the Armenians. Turks and a handful pf honest Westerners (as C. F. Dixon-Johnson) have been trying to explain this, but no one was listening, and the prejudiced world still is not listening.)

Interestingly, an excerpt from Mr. Alexander's book ("A Crime of Vengeance — An Armenian Struggle for Justice," 1991, p. 41) has been featured on TAT's "Armenian Rebellion" page, where he had written:

“Armenian volunteer units had been organized for the sole purpose of engaging in guerilla activities against the Turks.”

It looks like even Alexander, when he was in a less propagandistic mood, vouched for the fact that not all Armenians had been "disarmed."



© 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:
www.tallarmeniantale.com/akcam-whopper.htm