17 March 2008

2390) Free E-Book: History of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation - Dashnaktsutiun (1890-1924) by Hratch Dasnabedian

© This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.com The book relies extensively on the Dashnak archives in Boston that are closed to the public.

Note, it is part propaganda and useful for what it says about Armenian revolutionary groups, what they were doing, how extensive their networks were, how they functioned, how global in scope they were by 1895, their goals and the details of Dashnaks and Hanchak revolutionary groups history

The book is not currently in print and difficult to obtain. Therefore being presented under the fair use for educational purposes only, not for profit.
. .
© This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.com
Hratch Dasnabedian summarizes the situation prior to the establishment of the Armenian Revolutionary
Federation (ARF):

"Toward the close of the eighties, both Eastern and Western Armenians were caught up in the excitement of revolution. The Hunchakians had begun to expand throughout Constantinople.,Asia Minor and Trebizond. In Vasbouragan the Armenagans were at work. In Tiflis the Yeridasart Hayastan organization had been established; its members periodically visited Ottoman Armenia to become more familiar with the
situation and disposition of Armenians there; on both sides of the border they had established military cells, called the 'Droshak' groups. In various regions of Western Armenia bands of 'brigands' or groups of partisans were already operating or gradually being formed...In Russia, the cities of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Tiflis were centers of students moved by the spirit of revolution. In 1890, Sarkis
Gougounian, a student in St. Petersburg, formed an armed group of 125 young patriots to cross from Kars into Turkish Armenia."(page 29)

© This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.com

"Thus the eighties of the 19th century formed the period of preparation for the phase of armed struggle in the Armenian liberation movement. On both sides of the border revolutionary ferment gained momentum, and underground cells and clandestine armed organizations were formed."(Page 21)

© This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.com

Hratch Dasnabedian gives the following information about the formation of the volunteer movement and the volunteer battalions:

"At first, the volunteer movement that developed in the last months of 1914 was the result of the initiative taken by the Armenian National Bureau in Tiflis,with the encouragement of the Viceroy Vorontsov-Dashnov...Around mid-1916, by decision of the Russian command, the Armenian volunteer battalions were integrated into regular units of the Caucasian army, thus losing all independence of movement and
initiative...The volunteer battalions were not the only form of assistance the Armenians brought to the Allied war effort. More than 250,000 Armenians fought against the Central Powers, about 200,000 of them in the Russian army on the European front."

"Near the end of October, 1917 (on November 7 of the new calendar),
the Bolshevik Revolution shook the entire Russian Empire.Headed by Lenin, the new government (the Sovnarkom) not only adopted the principle of the free self-determination of nations but also issued, in January 1918, a decree on 'Turkish Armenia', which granted military, administrative, and political freedoms of 'Turkish Armenia' and its people.
© This content Mirrored From TurkishArmenians  Site armenians-1915.blogspot.com

Nevertheless, on March 13 of the same year, communist Russia signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Article 4 of which not only returned all the conquered 'Turkish Armenia' to Turkey but also gave up regions of Kars, Ardahan, and Batum..." In the meantime Armenians continued their back stabbing against the Ottoman forces.

Hratch Dasnabedian, History of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation - Dashnaktsutiun (1890-1924) Translated by Bryan Fleming and Vahe Habeshian, 221 Pages,
1989 OEMME Edizioni, Italy

The source site of the following 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:
© Holdwater

History of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutiun (1890 - 1924)
Hratch Dasnabedian

Photos from the originals in the ARF Dashnaktsutiun Historical Museum, Paris
Translated by Bryan Fleming and Vahe Habeshian 1989
Edited by Antranig Kassarian, Leo Sarkisian, Vahakn Sevanian
Thanks to Kemal.

British Consul Elliot reported in 1898:

As regards the revolutionists themselves, those who take an active part in what they consider the crusade against Turkey, may, I think, be justly divided into two classes. The professional Askaser (patriot) who dislikes honest work, and prefers a life of excitement and the role of a hero, while living on the funds of the Society; and the young man or lad who is induced by the story of his peoples' writings and a desire to emulate the brave deeds which he hears of and which lose nothing in the telling, to devote himself to his country's cause.

Many of the former class are unscrupulous rascals, capable of any excess or ruffianism. They are more of a terror to their own people than Kurds or Mahommedan officials. They quarter themselves on Christian villages, live on the best to be had, exact contributions to their funds, and make the younger women and girls submit to their will. Those who incur their displeasure are murdered in cold blood. The latter class deserves perhaps some pity, but when they place themselves in the power of the revolutionists they cease to be their own masters. They often belong to respectable and well-to-do families.

Many merchants and others who have no sympathy with the revolutionists and their wars are obliged to contribute to their funds, and would rejoice to see these societies broken up.

FO 424/196, Elliot to Currie, Tabreez, May 5, 1898. Extortion of funds for the Armenian revolution was an old tradition. See FO 195/1688, Devey to Lloyd, Van, December 6, 1880. Excerpted from Justin McCarthy and Company's The Armenian Rebellion at Van, 2006, pp. 84-85; 118. And aren't these two classifications representative of current day "patriots," with those such as Dadrian, Hovannisian as well as their Turkish agents, such as Taner Akcam, who are "unscrupulous rascals," and whose duties include recruiting new blood for the "cause"; these would comprise the faithful from the second group who mindlessly contribute to forums and spread their hateful propaganda, the "induced" class that "cease to be their own masters." and "deserves perhaps some pity."

What is the purpose of examining a work of history on the Armenian Revolutionary Federation, written by a Dashnak historian? Naturally, it will prove to be an exercise in futility, because we just know that the author, in this case Hratch Dasnabedian, will be following one of the specialties of the Dashnaktsutiun: the practice of propaganda as an art form. (Which in this book Dasnabedian makes no bones about, and actually points to Armenian propaganda efforts with pride.) Some of his practices, predictably, will prove to be nothing less than sickening; for example, the author will keep using the term “self-defense” as a mantra, no matter what the Dashnaks were engaged in. One wonders whether Dasnabedian actually thought readers would believe that such an aggressive and criminal organization as the Dashnaktsutiun conducted itself strictly in a defensive manner. (Of course, Dasnabedian is no fool and knows otherwise, so why does he insult everyone’s intelligence by using such a comical term? He knows he’s not fooling anyone who can manage minimal objectivity and honesty, so why does he do it?) And, of course, he’s going to shoot himself in the foot time and again, such as proving there was a genocide policy through the works of Aram Andonian and others who prepared forgeries. So why even look at a work of pure propaganda as this?

Despite Dasnabedian’s devotion to propaganda (a road he has no choice but to follow, because destructiveness and immorality go hand in hand with the Dashnaktsutiun; the crimes of the Dashnaktsutiun are, simply, indefensible), he lets the cat out of the bag in several instances, referring to Dashnak resources that are difficult to access for most of us. No matter how much Dasnabedian tries to whitewash the Dashnaks, it’s not difficult to see the Dashnaks for the criminals they were. Much as he will insist on how the heroic Dashnaks instructed Ottoman-Armenians to remain loyal to their Ottoman nation, we can see the extent of their treacherous rebellion.

Let’s see, then, whether Hratch Dasnabedian’s History of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation Dashnaktsutiun (1890 - 1924) will teach us any truths, at least between the lines.

The third paragraph into the introduction (p. 11) begins with:

"While the tyrannical regime of the Sultans, the corrupt administration of the Ottoman Empire and the outrages of Kurdish feudal lords continued to devastate the eastern provinces predominantly populated by Armenians, in the large towns, thanks to relatively more bearable conditions, Armenians gradually came into contact with the great currents of world thought and began to engage in the pursuit of their human rights."

Was the Ottoman Empire a democracy? Of course not. Was it tyrannical? Depending on the incompetence and immorality of some sultans, sometimes. Overall, however, even the Ottomans’ enemies have recognized the tolerance of the Ottomans, particularly in comparison to the heavy-handed treatment of minority peoples in other multi-ethnic regimes. The Armenians of the Ottoman Empire were allowed to keep their language, culture and traditions for centuries, and prospered as never before in their history. Predictably, the author paints the picture that the Armenians were living in a hellhole, but even Arnold Toynbee (whose job in WWI Britain's propaganda division was to demonize Turks) later wrote that “The Ottoman institution came perhaps as near as anything in real life could to realizing the ideal of Plato’s Republic.”

How did the minorities in the other multi-ethnic empires fare? How were Moslems treated, for example, in the British Empire? Could they have gone as far as the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire? Pierre Loti shed comparative light: “From Turkey we French have taken Algeria, Tunis, Morocco. The English have robbed her of Egypt. Poor, beautiful, meretricious Italy, thinking she was marching to glory, turned Tripolitania into a charnel house. We lay our heavy and disdainful hands upon these conquered countries; the least of our little bureaucrats treats every Moslem as a slave.” (Emphasis Holdwater's. As for the British, Hume-Beaman, a British “Oriental expert” in William Langer’s The Diplomacy of Imperialism was quoted as saying: “...We used to blow Moslems from the muzzles of our guns and burn whole villages and mosques in India for an insult offered to one of our officials.” Let us bear in mind this mistreatment occurred in the Muslims' own conquered nations. The better parallel to Armenians, who had no country, would be Muslims living in countries such as Britain and France in earlier centuries. How would they have been treated? Would the British and French administrations have allowed Muslims to work in practically any field, or to become part of their governments? Furthermore, would the British and French have allowed hostile foreign agents inside their countries to rile up any sizeable minorities, turning them against Britain and France — as the tolerant Ottomans gave free reign to the missionaries, naively thinking their educational efforts would serve the best welfare of Ottoman-Armenians?)

Furthermore, nowhere did Armenians form a majority in the east, and the claim that the eastern Anatolia was “predominantly populated” by Armenians was a false one. Note the grudging acknowledgement that the “larger towns” weren’t so bad, yet the main reason why Armenians were better educated had to do with their increased wealth, and parents could afford to send their children to better schools, often outside the country. In these larger towns, “the great currents of world thought” would have affected the other ethnic groups as well (including the Turks themselves), because the unfair ways of the system affected everyone, not just Armenians. (In other words, if the system was so rotten, everyone would have started terrorist groups to implement change.) The main reason why the poorer Armenians became affected by discontent had much to do with the racist missionaries who infiltrated every corner of the empire to school the Christians, and the Armenians began to believe that they were superior.

"It was essentially a yearning for human rights and democratic freedoms, intending to restore human dignity to the Armenians, to recapture their most basic rights, to achieve equality before the law with the Muslim subjects of the empire, and to at least gain the prospect of some internal autonomy in religious, scholastic, and cultural matters. There is no evidence of aspirations for national independence or demands for separation from the Ottoman Empire."

Of course, if Western ideas were put into the minds of the Armenians who were accustomed to living in an oriental environment, an environment where they lived peacefully for many centuries (if this “tyranny” were so intolerable, of course the Armenians would not have waited until the 19th century before they decided it was no longer worthwhile to remain the “Loyal Millet”), they were heading into a catastrophe.

In contrast to Dasnabedian’s claim that the Armenians were so without “internal autonomy” that they were hoping for at least a “prospect” of it, let’s allow Richard G. Hovannisian to instruct us on the truth: “The Sultan (Mehmed II) reduced his administrative problems by according internal autonomy (emphasis Holdwater's) to the non-Moslem communities. In return, the religious superior of each group was responsible for maintaining order among his people and for collecting the required community levies." ('Armenia on the Road to Independence,' 1967). Armenians of the east who resided in their villages, as the Kurds, had, generally, almost no contact with the Ottoman government, aside from tax collectors, and the army that the Armenians wished would make their presence better felt, whenever their Kurdish neighbors leaned on them.

As far as “There is no evidence of aspirations for national independence or demands for separation from the Ottoman Empire,” Dasnabedian at last offers some truth. Of course there were different Armenian groups with different ideologies, and liberation was interpreted differently by these groups. Since this is Dashnak history, let’s focus on what the Dashnaks planned. Their program adopted in the General Convention of 1892 (p. 15) stated: “The purpose of the A.R.Federation is to achieve political and economic freedom in Turkish Armenia, by means of rebellion...”

Kerope Papazian noted in his book, Patriotism Perverted (1934) that “the attitude of the Dashnag society towards Armenian independence was vague from the beginning.” He cited perhaps the most famous Dashnak historian, M. Varandian, quoting from “History of the A. R. F.”, where Varandian went out of his way to demonstrate the innocent Dashnaks “did not utter the word Independence.” Papazian clarifies (pp. 10-11) that “This vagueness and equivocation was designed from the beginning, in order to appease the ultra radicals and socialists,” as these groups, according to Papazian, preferred political and economic freedom (Armenians did not have economic freedom? Then how did they get to be so rich?) rather than “political independence or autonomy.” Papazian criticizes the Dashnaks for their vagueness (according to Papazian, the idea of an independent Armenia came about after the Russian Revolution which demonstrates that even non-Dashnak Armenians, as Papazian, can alter the truth when it suits their purposes. When the Dashnak, Aram Manoukian, led up to 25.000 Armenians to rebel in Van of early 1915, as Ambassador Morgenthau himself affirmed, Manoukian wasn’t thinking about a Greater Armenia?): “From its very beginning the society has lacked consistency of purpose and method, and opportunism and lack of common sense have characterized most of its actions.” (It is fairly obvious to most of us, however, that the reason why the Dashnaks avoided the word “independence” was to forestall the superior Ottomans from coming down harder on them; they hated the Turks, and independence was the underlying goal from the outset. They simply needed to bide their time until the Ottomans were at their weakest, preferably during war. In short, as Papazian put it, "To run with the hare and hunt with the hound, has been the tactics of the A. R. Federation." Their specialty was to play both sides of the fence, as the back-stabbing, throroughly dishonorable sneaks they were, always looking to the end to justify their creepy means.)

Even before the Dashnaks were formed in 1890, Dasnabedian indicates what (at that time, the more extreme) Ottoman-Armenians truly desired. He writes on p. 18 that the “Armenian movement’s efforts at reform reached their peak at the end of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-78, when due to the efforts of Patriarch Nerses Varzhabedian, the victorious Russians included Article 16 in the armistice treaty of San Stefano, requiring reforms in favor of the Armenians.

Victims of fresh outrages during the war, but heartened by the occupation of most of historical Armenia by Russian troops under the command of generals of Armenian origin (Loris-Melikov, Der Ghougasian, Lazarian), the Armenian people had placed much greater hopes on the Russian victory.”

That strongly implies that the hearts of many Armenians lay not with reforms, but with a Russian takeover, often in the naive believe that these big brother co-religionists would eventually hand over these lands to the Armenians. (The Russians were not allowed to hold on to most of their gains, of course, as the other European imperialists feared their dominance. The Treaty of Berlin replaced the San Stefano treaty.) As the years passed, and especially with the consolidation of Dashnak dominance, the majority of Armenians sought an end to Ottoman rule. British Consul J. Molyneux-Seel wrote, for example, that the Armenians of Van "have thrown off any pretense of loyalty they may once have shown, and openly welcome a prospect of a Russian occupation of the Armenian vilayets." (FO 881/10376, Molyneux-Seel to Lowther, Van, April 4, 1913.)

In addition, how about that line regarding “fresh outrages” directed against the professional victims, the Armenians? The ones who were outraged, to the closed eyes of racist Westerners, were the Ottoman Muslims and Jews, some 262,000 (as documented in Death and Exile, 1995) getting polished off by the Russians and Bulgarians in the west of the Ottoman Empire, and, to lesser extent, by the Russians and Armenians in the east. (“As the Russian armies, commanded chiefly by Russian-Armenian generals, approached Erzurum in 1877, the Christian population was enthusiastic and prepared to join the invaders, but when the Russians were obliged to fall back the Armenians hastily changed their minds.” W. Langer, The Diplomacy of Imperialism, p. 151). Here are some hair-raising accounts regarding what these sadists and psychopaths committed upon the innocent population.)

“Far from implementing reforms, Sultan Abdul-Hamid II unleashed ravages without precedent upon the Armenians.” The period Dasnabedian is referring to followed the devastating 1877-78 war, coinciding with the emergence of murderous Armenian revolutionary groups, as the Dashnaks and Hunchaks, which committed violence against innocent Muslims, in order to incite the Muslims to do the same; this would invite the imperialists to step in and give the Armenians what they wanted, as the Armenians illogically figured. (Of course, the imperialists were looking to step in at the drop of a hat, but they were not thinking of the welfare of the Armenians.) Anytime an Armenian got hurt, and many times they did not get hurt, the Western press would eagerly publish such stories of hearsay, and the sultan was depicted as a monster. A hundred years after these events, the Armenian author is still continuing in this fine tradition of pushing such a false version of events.

Dasnabedian later elaborates that the way in which the sultan would nullify reforms was “to effect changes in the ethnic-demographic character of... Bitlis, Van” and Erzurum, “where his Armenian subjects had constituted an absolute majority until that time [of the mid-1890s].” It is a matter of historical record that many thousands of Armenians were leaving on their own accord during the late 19th century, affecting the demographics the most, since Armenian losses from massacres probably amounted to some 20,000 — despite propaganda telling us of a toll at least ten times greater. This means if the sultan planned on making such demographic changes, for which there is no evidence, he failed miserably. And there’s the false “absolute majority” claim again. An Armenian clerical writer (Vahan Vardapet) figured 1,263,900 Gregorian-Armenians in 1886, leading Vital Cuinet (famed for his Ottoman population studies, on behalf of the French Debt Commission) to conclude 1.5 million as the total for Ottoman-Armenians throughout the entire empire. Even the Armenian Patriarch went with 1.78 million at the 1878 Congress of Berlin, revised downwards from his initial 3 million. As these population figures are in line, more or less, with the count before WWI, there is no way the Armenians formed a majority. (From Armenia On the Road to Independence, Richard Hovannisian: "...even if the maximal figures of the Patriarchate [of 2.1 million] are accepted as accurate, there is conclusive evidence that the Armenian population in the eastern province did not represent a majority.")

We get the rundown on several revolutionary groups such as the Black Cross, and brigand bands that “soon became partisan units that openly fought government forces," and from 1887 on, an “Armenian Revolutionary Association” led by Chakurian of Zeytoun, “operating in the very capital of the Ottoman Empire.” The first large-scale organization was begun in the beginning of the 1880s, “Defender of the Homeland,” aka “The Secret Association of Upper Armenia, ”the main purpose of which was the purchase of arms and military training, appearing to have had several hundred members. In August of 1882, the Turkish police began a series of mass arrests (over 400), holding two trials in 1883. Other organizations formed in Transcaucasia and Iran, “all elements that naturally merged in the summer of 1890 to create the Federation of Armenian Revolutionaries.”

"Population movements due to the Russian occupation: some Armenians moved from Turkey and Persia to Eastern ('Russia') Armenia to seek more bearable living conditions." Some moved because that is what they were told, until they found out how "bearable" conditions were on the other side of the border, at which time many wanted to come back. The Russians provided economic incentives for Armenians to settle, hoping to increase their Christian population so that the Russians could keep practicing their "divide and conquer" tactics. In addition, after each war, many Armenians felt they had to leave once the Russians withdrew, since too many Ottoman-Armenians colluded with the enemy with each Russian invasion.

Mgrdich Portugalian’s students established Armenagan, the purpose of which was to “secure the sovereignty of the Armenian people through revolution” (that's Armenagan's quote from p. 25, and not Dasnabedian's; it sure smacks of “independence”). It never became a national organization, their main activities being "propaganda and military training, although they engaged in some armed action, which had its martyrs” such as two “who were killed by Turkish police” in 1889, during a clandestine arms shipment to Van. Their last and “brilliant” military action was their participation, along with the Hunchaks and Dashnaks, “as leaders in the battles of self-defense of Van in June of 1896.” These leaders, along with a thousand combatants, “as they were about to reach the Persian border,” were killed by “Turkish forces and armed Kurdish bands.”

The author will refer to any military action by the Armenians as “self-defense” throughout the book. Of course, “self-defense” is frequently the Armenian synonym for “attack.”

We get a rundown of “Hnchak” history, where we’re told splintered and “For years, the Hnchakians were to accuse and harass each other.” (Dasnabedian must have forgotten to mention how they murdered one another.)

"Rosdom Zorian with an ARF team in Bulgaria, 1900." The ARF was a great way to meet chicks.

We learn the military cells many of these organizations established were known as “Droshak” (meaning, flag) groups. “Droshak” would become the name of the Dashnaks' official newspaper, published in Geneva. Its editor-in-chief (for six years) was one of the three founders of the Dashnaks, Rosdom (Stepan Zorian, whom Vahakn Dadrian’s Zoryan Institute was almost certainly named after, the one that largely pays the bills of Taner Akcam). The author lists many of the Dashnak personalities involved, most of whom were “martyred while carrying out their revolutionary activities; many others became living martyrs, spending their young lives in dungeons and prisons." It seems that any Armenian, in the mind of Dasnabedian, was an automatic “martyr.”

“During the period of the Ottoman Constitution (1908-1914), when the Dashnaktsutiun operated in Turkey as a legal, parliamentary party, the Programmatic objective of an autonomous Armenia was adopted as its political platform and was pursued in the Ottoman Parliament and government circles. In 1914, a variation of this objective, in the form of two autonomous Armenian regions under the control of two European High Commissioners, was about to be realized when the First World War broke out, and Turkey entered the war on the side of Imperial Germany.” This agreement of the two "inspectorates" (affecting Erzurum, Sivas and Trabzon with one, and Van, Bitlis, Mamuretülaziz and Diyarbakir with the other), in spite of Dasnabedian's trying to make it sound as though it evolved internally, was forced upon the Ottomans by the European powers, disregarding Ottoman input, and marked the beginning of the end for the Ottoman Empire. The road to dismemberment was clear (all elements of Ottoman sovereignty were to be done away with, including the police, the military, the administration, and the courts; assembly member elections would have made one Christian vote the equal of three Muslim votes), and was one of the factors that drove the Ottomans to war, in a “sink or swim” decision.

On page 47, Dasnabedian wrote, that Constantinople “was of fundamental importance to the Dashnaktsutiun as a theater of operation for demonstrative activities and propaganda. It is in this light that we should view the ‘terrorist’ activity that evolved from 1894 to 1896, when the Dashnaktsutiun assassinated Armenians who served the Sultan and the Turkish government.” As though terrorism did not lie at the core of Dashnaktsutiun ideology, and was limited only to these three years! (Prof. Louise Nalbandian spelled out exactly where the Dashnaks were coming from, in her Armenian Revolutionary Movement: “The Program of 1892 officially sanctioned terrorism as a method of activity.” But at least our Dashnak historian used the "terrorist" word.) Some of the victims included “Maksoud Bey, the spy Ardashes, police chief Haji Dikran, defrocked celibate priest Mampre Benlian, the surgeon M. Tutunjiev.” (Note an Armenian was appointed in this tyrannical regime as a police chief; the source was Documents for the History of the ARF, Beirut, 1985, which probably has other interesting revelations.) The two major 1896 demonstrations, the Ottoman Bank takeover and the “battles of Samatia,” had the intent of compelling “the Great Powers to intervene forcefully to help resolve the Armenian Question.” (And these old habits die hard. The Dashnaks’ latter-day terror arm, the Justice Commandos of the Armenian Genocide (JCAG), along with rival ASALA, similarly had the aim of getting the “Powers” to recognize this politically beneficial “genocide,” through the use of extreme violence against innocents.)

The Soviet-Armenian historian Borian was far more honest regarding the intentions of the great powers, and they had nothing to do with the welfare of their Armenian pawns: “After the Berlin Conference, the Armenian question has become an instrument for the diplomacy of great powers to pressure Turkey. The British and Russian diplomacy and the Russian and German diplomacy in pursuit have used the Armenian question as an instrument for their colonialist policies in the East.” Armeniya Mejdunarodnaya Diplomatiya; SSSR (Armenia, International Diplomacy and the USSR), Moscow, 1928/9.

The leader of the Ottoman Bank takeover, Papken Siuni, “was killed on the steps of the Bank as a result of the explosion of the bombs he was carrying,” (according to Christopher Walker's ARMENIA: The Survival of a Nation, he was only seventeen years old), and the rest took nearly 150 staff members and customers as hostages, “leaving behind four dead and five seriously wounded.” That does not count the many they murdered when they threw bombs from the roof or windows not only of the bank, but of surrounding buildings as well. (At the same time as the attack, a raid was made on the “Vaivoda” police-station in order to prevent assistance, as recorded by F. A. Baker, the secretary of Sir Edgar Vincent, the president of the Ottoman Bank, once the terrorists were taken safely aboard Vincent’s yacht.) A participant, Hrach, wrote: “We had also inflicted considerable losses on the enemy. The wounded lay howling on the ground. The pain and agony they felt must have been frightful.” On the same page linked above, an American newspaper reported that the terrorists “killed and beheaded the gendarmes, throwing heads of the dead men out into the streets... Four Turkish women who were driving along in a carriage were blown to pieces by the explosion of one of the dynamite bombs.” Yet Dasnabedian tried to make it appear as though these sadistic killers were humanitarians: “No hostage had been harmed, and no attempt made to plunder or even open the Bank’s vaults.”

(The American newspaper reported: “Two of the French employes of the bank, while descending from a window by means of a rope were wounded by one of the explosions.”; they were only saved from death by the intervention of imperial troops. Christopher Walker's ARMENIA: The Survival of a Nation, gives a count of four dead and six wounded for the terrorists on p. 166, adding, "casualties were the same among bank employees." And in contrast to Dasnabedian's attempt to make these terrorists into humanitarians, they threatened: "if the demands were not met ... the bank, its employees and the group who had seized it would all be blown up." We can be sure they meant it at the time, but were persuaded otherwise by the Russian, and/or too frightened to continue. Walker, by the way, pooh-poohs this heroic episode as "the 'crime' of terrorising a terrorist society.")

In a footnote, the author tells us that “The only promise Maximov (of the Russian Embassy) kept was first aid for the five wounded, who were delivered to the Armenian Patriarchate of Constantinople.” In other words, when Dasnabedian wrote about the “four dead and five seriously wounded,” he was referring to the terrorists! (At least he was being consistent. The only lives that matter to Dashnak Armenians in these conflicts are Armenian lives.)

Dasnabedian continues:

“On August 14 and 15 (Note: August 14 is also the date provided for the Ottoman Bank takeover by Dasnabedian, as well as the Turkish historian Esat Uras, similarly relying on M. Varandian’s "History of the ARF" book. But Kamuran Gurun provided the date of Aug. 26, which is corroborated by the American newspaper account, linked above), another bitter, intense battle took place against Turkish forces in the Samatia district. There, too, the bombs of the Dashnak combatants wreaked havoc. After more than 12 hours of fighting, Khachig Knouni, the Misakian brothers, Souren (Ardashes Antreasian) and others were killed.

Abdul Hamid II retaliated by organizing the massacre of unarmed Armenians in the streets of Constantinople. But the audacity and noble behavior of the Armenian revolutionaries aroused a wave of sympathy in European public opinion. Jean Jaurès and others spoke in favor of the Armenians from the dais of the French National Assembly; the elderly Gladstone multiplied his efforts on behalf of Armenian rights; Russia even began making preparations for a naval attack. As always, however, the wave of pro-Armenian sympathies quickly died down, and the promise of reforms remained a dead letter.”

The overreaction and danger posed by the Powers is precisely what made Abdul Hamid afraid, one reason why he caved in and pardoned such terrible killers as the ones behind the bank takeover. The last thing he would have done was order massacres in “Constantinople,” of all places, under the noses of the foreigners. However, we can expect no less from a Dashnak historian, to make such ugly, unsubstantiated claims. And did you catch the bit about the “noble behavior of the Armenian revolutionaries”? It certainly takes much nobility to toss devastating bombs upon innocent people.

More from our historian:

“A year later, in the summer of 1897, the ARF Central Committee of Constantinople carried out a bomb attack at the Sublime Porte. That attempt, however, did not achieve the expected results and was unsuccessful as an act of propaganda.”

P. 50: “On the night of July 24, 1897 (old calendar), after taking solemn oaths, the expeditionary force consisting of 253 fighters crossed the Turkish-Iranian frontier at the Araol mountains. They descended onto the plain of Khanasor, which was the campsite of the Kurdish chieftain Sharaf Beg and his tribe, the Mazriks. On July 25, the Mazrik fighters — nearly all the adult males in the tribe — were annihilated. A Turkish lieutenant visiting Sharaf was also killed; but Sharaf, disguised as a woman, managed to flee. By the strict order of the ARF commanders, all women and children were spared. Soon, however, the nearby hills were thronged with armed Kurds, and the expeditionary force, continuing to fight, retreated toward Iran. The fedayees lost 20 men, including lieutenant Garo (Rosdom’s brother)...”

Perhaps an exception was made in this case and the Dashnaks were more humanitarian in this massacre they perpetrated (we always hear about the Kurds making trouble for Armenians; how many times did Kurds “annihilate” whole Armenians villages? "...It is contrary to their [Kurds'] interests to ruin the Christians entirely, as by so doing they kill the goose that lays the golden eggs," according to Christopher Walker's ARMENIA: The Survival of a Nation. p. 171, citing the Turkey series of the British), but the attempt to make the Dashnaks into heroes here, where “all women and children were spared,” has a false ring. The Dashnak terrorists didn’t discriminate, as a rule. Some Armenian writers, in fact, wrote that "the entire tribe was annihilated,” and William Langer (The Diplomacy of Imperialism, 1960, p. 350) reported that the Armenians had "killed or barbarously mutilated men, women and children" of this tribe. Esat Uras wrote, “...a great part of the tribe of Mazrik, men, women and children were exterminated. They were stopped only by the coming of the regular troops, upon which the bands withdrew to Persian soil.” On the other hand, the anti-Dashnak K. S. Papazian wrote that the Dashnaks only "killed a few Kurds. The main body of the Kurds put up a stiff fight, and drove back the attackers, who in their confusion fired upon each other."

P. 51: “By 1895-1896, ARF Gomidehs and groups operated in Ottoman Armenia in the following population centers and corresponding provinces: Trebizond, Garin (Erzurum), Yerznga (Erzincan), Van, Moush, Paghesh (Bitlis), and Khnous (Hinis). ... Other early ARF fieldworkers in Sasoun and Daron included... the priest Vartan (father superior of the monastery of Saint Garabed)... During 1895-1896, the prime mover of this work of infiltration, arms transport, and organization was Rosdom, who stopped editing the Droshak...

In July of 1896, Hrayr and Tatoul were arrested during one of their trips to Pasen. Hrayr managed to have himself released, but Aram Aramian was detained, tortured, and hung in Garin in August, 1899. His last words were ‘Long live the revolution.’”

Poor Tatoul. He was such a victim of the cruel Ottomans, wasn’t he? (But heroic to the last.) The thing I’d like to know is how Hrayr escaped a similar fate. Since the Ottomans were such tyrants, how could Hrayr manage to “have himself released”? Is the author inadvertently telling us the rule of law prevailed, even with these Dashnak murderers? Also, don’t you love it when “men of God,” as the priest Vartan, freely joined these criminals and hoodlums? (On p. 53, we’re told Vartan had a terrorist group of his own, “often clashing with Kurds,” participating in the “June 1896 self-defense of Van,” and leading in “the self-defense of Pesantashd,” where he saved the Armenian peasants from being “exterminated.” If Vartan wasn’t there in the first place, inflaming the crowds, none of these peasants would have had anything to worry about.)

“The military activities of the ARF in the regions of Akhlat...(Bitlis), and Sasoun gained momentum around the end of 1895, when Serop Vartanian returned to his native village of Sokhort with his group of 27 fedayees. He quickly organized the villages of Akhlat by not only establishing ARF gomidehs but also forming self-defense units, which proved to be the salvation of the region during the massacres ordered by Abdul Hamid II in 1896.”

It is simply flabbergasting to deal with such overt dishonesty. Here we have this Dashnak terrorist and his gang of 27 followers, and they are going around Armenian villages in order to induce the people to go with the murderous program, recruiting more Armenians to go off and commit violence, and then our author has the audacity to call them “self-defense units.”

The reality is exactly as Sydney Whitman had reported in his book, "Turkish Memories," 1914, p. 74: “‘Do you believe that any massacres would have taken place if no Armenian revolutionaries had come into the country and incited the Armenian population to rebellion?' I asked Mr. Graves. (The British consul.) `Certainly not,' he replied. `I do not believe that a single Armenian would have been killed.’” In other words, Abdul Hamid did not “order” any massacres, and if Armenians got killed as a result of the Armenians’ own violence, where authorities would have had a duty to confront such violence (and, of course, in cases that the Dashnaks and Hunchaks were hoping for, when hot-headed Muslim peasants sought revenge), that is the kind of thing that can happen when one starts a murderous fight. Regardless of the facts, someone as Dasnabedian is going to go on pushing vicious propaganda.

“The battles waged by his band of fedayees against government forces and Kurds — at Shamiram, Chrhor, Sokhort, Nemrout, Teghoud, Sasoun, Kharavin... are historic examples of daring and selfless devotion. Often Serop’s wife Sosse fought next to her husband.”

Sounds like a lot of “self-defense” activities, doesn’t it? Nice of Dasnabedian to demonstrate what these armed rebels were engaging in amounted to “attacks,” treasonously against their own government, where a lot of innocents wound up getting hurt. John Brown, “the father of American terrorism,” engaged in the same activity against his U.S. government (the unfamiliarly named cities or provinces listed above appear to be the Armenian version of Ottoman locales), and although Brown hardly went as far as the murderous Dashnaks and his cause was far more noble (fighting for a people who were horribly oppressed, African-Americans), he was still hanged by the U.S. government for treason.

(By the way, for those who are interested, here is an Armenian report on the fate of Sose Vartanian. Take a look at how the "tyrannical" Turks treated her, despite her having treasonously taken the lives of Ottoman soldiers, in the same vein as the American, John Brown.)

Artin Pasha

P. 56: “During 1896-1898, the editorial board (of the Droshak) carried out negotiations with the representatives of Sultan Hamid and the Turkish government, in particular with Artin Pasha Dadian, a high-ranking Ottoman official whose son and nephew often traveled between Constantinople and Geneva. Members of the high bourgeoisie of Constantinople, these Armenians, who were undoubtedly patriots, hoped to eke reforms from the Sultan’s regime if only the revolutionaries would curb their more extreme activities. A priori it was certain that such negotiations would lead nowhere.”

If the Dasnaks were told that they had to “curb their more extreme activities,” of course the negotiations would have gone nowhere, since the entire essence of the Dashnaktsutiun was “extreme.” (What, they were going to stop their murdering and bombing?) The author is also saying that Artin Pasha was a traitor (since Artin, his son and nephew were “patriots,” which does not signify patriotism toward the country they was serving, the Ottoman Empire. Or was that really the country they was serving?) In any event, since the Dashnaks killed loyal Ottoman-Armenians, it says something that the Dashnaks left the Artin clan alone. By the way, if Abdul Hamid hated Armenians so much that he engaged in extermination campaigns against them, how is it possible that Artin Pasha acquired such a high post? (He was [Under-]Secretary of the Foreign Ministry. See "pp. 334-335" on this page for more on Artin and this episode.)

On pages 59-60, we learn that Rosdom (whom most of us may be fascinated by, to learn more about the probable namesake of Vahakn Dadrian and Taner Akcam's Zoryan Institute) settled in Bulgaria in 1898, and inspired “the spirit of practical cooperation between the ARF and Macedonian revolutionaries. The propaganda machine of the ARF adopted the Macedonian cause as its own. In Bulgaria, Rosdom freely engaged in the work of testing and perfecting explosives. Dashnaktsutiun youth were accepted into the Bulgarian Military Academy.”

“The Armenian-Macedonian alliance was to be sanctified in the summer of 1901. Near Adrionople (Edirne), a band of Armenian and Macedonian revolutionaries became embroiled in a battle with Turkish regular troops.” (Six were killed, and four prisoners were taken, evenly split between the Armenians and Macedonians, later hanged.)

"The ARF military academy at the monastery of Rila in Bulgaria (1906-1907)."

In 1906-07, “the ARF Central Committee of the Balkans established its own military training academy in the monastery of Rila.” (In the “monastery”?) In 1906, Antranik went to Bulgaria to assist in this school, and “The United States Central Committee dispatched its representative Tovmas Jelalian and took on the vast majority of the school’s expenses.” The school was “unfortunately” closed down in 1907 “as a result of the Bulgarian’s complete change of policy and financial difficulties.”

We are given more of a rundown of the “ARF network” in Western Europe, Egypt, and the “growing stronger, especially from 1899 on” United States region. Kind of clarifies which country these Armenians directed their loyalty to; doesn’t sound like they cared that much about the countries they settled in. These were “colonies,” as Richard Hovannisian called them, all working for one singular cause, that of Hai Tahd.

Pro Armenia, No. 7, 1902.

“The Second World Congress (1898) had decided to greatly expand the work of propaganda and external relations in Europe.” A Dashnak newspaper named Pro Armenia was begun in France, with editors and contributors “from the political and literary-cultural elite of France, including Pierre Quillard (editor), Jean Jaurès, Anatole France, Francis de Pressensé, Georges Clemenceau, Victor Bryant,” etc. (Clemenceau, of course, led France during WWI.) “From England, the main contributor was James Bryce.” (Of Wellington House fame, during WWI.) “Dr. Hovhanned Loris-Melikian (Loris) was to supervise, and give impetus to, Pro Armenia and the work of propaganda in Europe.” The periodical was “entirely financed by the Western Bureau” of the ARF, although “understandably... this fact was revealed only to the most important executive bodies of the Party.” (Do you think if it were more widely known that this rag was propaganda produced by a terrorist organization, the good Clemenceau and Bryce would have thought twice before contributing? We all know it probably would not have made a difference.)

“Thanks to the persistent efforts of Loris, the Western Bureau was able to create an unprecedented movement in European countries in favor of the Armenians. That movement mobilized all known Armenophiles, including the non-Armenian friends of the Dashnaktsutiun, especially the leaders of the socialist parties. Propaganda was also conducted on behalf of the Macedonians and other peoples oppressed by Ottoman rule. Throughout the years 1899-1906, and within the context of the ARF’s activities in political relations and propaganda, the following types of activities were organized: attempts in the parliaments of Europe (especially in France, but also Italy, Belgium, England, the Netherlands, and elsewhere) to ensure intervention on behalf of the Armenians; Public meetings and demonstrations in Paris and other capitals, with the active participation of many eminent personalities, including Jaurès, Marcel Samba, Francis de Pressensé, and others; international conferences of friends of the Armenian Cause; pro-Armenian resolutions in successive peace conferences and successive socialist organizations.”

Looks like nothing has changed. With over a century of experience of spreading their lies, added to Western prejudice against the Turks, made even more “Terrible” through such relentless and racist propaganda, no wonder the Armenian genocidists are stronger today than ever. (And how fitting that they are especially so in France, to the degree of getting France to actually outlaw contra-genocide thought, given this history of wholesale, mindless French support.)

"Routes and transit lines of men and ammumition." The Ottoman Empire became a virtual depot of Armenian arsenal and belligerent manpower, much as the propaganda keeps telling us how "unarmed" the Armenians were. A February, 1913 report by the British Consul in Van is illustrative:

The Taschnakists are now busy arming the Armenian population of the vilayet. They tell the villagers that the Turks will revenge themselves for the loss of their European provinces by a general massacre of the Christian inhabitants and that they must therefore put themselves in a position to defend their homes and families. The majority of the arms supplied are ten-shot automatic Mauser pistols. The price these pistols now fetch is £12, so that the Taschnakist trade of smuggling them from Russia and obliging the villagers to buy them must prove a lucrative business.

The following story related to me by a Gendarmerie Officer is illustrative of the Taschnakist agents' methods:

An agent arrived in a certain village and informed a villager that he must buy a Mauser pistol. The villager replied that he had no money, whereupon the agent retorted, "You must sell your oxen." The wretched villager then proceeded to explain that the sowing season would soon arrive and asked how a Mauser pistol would enable him to plough his fields. For reply the agent proceeded to destroy the poor man's oxen with his pistol and then departed.

Justin McCarthy and Company's The Armenian Rebellion at Van, 2006, pp. 163-164. Footnoted source: FO 195/2949, Molyneux-Seel to Lowther, Van, February 17, 1913.

Pp. 62-63: “...As an unavoidable measure for alleviating the financial crisis of the Party, the Body adopted a plan of collecting funds through coercion. The plan was to secure, with threats and if necessary assassination, significant amounts of money from apathetic wealthy Armenians, in order to finance the revolutionary and propaganda activities. The results of this 'unavoidable maleficence' were to secure the continued publication of Pro Armenia and the continuation of external propaganda; the implementation of the assassination attempt on the life of Sultan Hamid; the concentration of manpower and material in Sasoun and the battles of self-defense in 1904; the positive outcome of the Armeno-Tatar clashes of 1905; and countless other revolutionary undertakings. However, considered fundamentally incompatible with ARF ethics, the project would be repudiated by successive World Congresses."

Talk about “the end justifies the means.” It’s comical the way Dasnabedian is apologizing for this criminal organization that preyed on fellow Armenians and caused so much destruction and grief for so many. Can you believe that line about all of this criminal activity being “fundamentally incompatible with ARF ethics”? (The ARF has ethics?) Of course, the 1904 Sassun matter is an established example of Armenian rebellion, yet it will still be called “self-defense.” (How interesting that “the concentration of manpower and material” took place in anticipation of attacks by the Ottoman government, whereby the poor, innocent Armenians had no choice but to engage in “self-defense.”) As for the assassination plot against the sultan, the footnote tells us “the enterprise needed a budget of at least 50,000 rubles” (roughly $25,000, which went a long way in those days), and the source once again is “Documents for the History of the ARF,” Beirut, 1985. That sounds like a really valuable book, exposing the behind-the-scenes shenanigans of this terrorist organization. Do you think any of the sleepy “Turkish scholars” got their hands on this book?

“The collection of funds was to be implemented formally in the name of the Responsible Central Committee of Constantinople,” and this program was given the name “Potorig,” meaning storm. Potorig was run by a number of Dashnaks, including Rosdom. So the one the Zoryan Institute likely named themselves after was directly involved with extortion, terror and assassinations of fellow Armenians.

Rosdom actually joined a gang in 1903 as they leaned on a millionaire from Karabagh, Isahag Zhambarian. “After promising to pay the amount demanded (30 thousand rubles), Zhambarian denounded those who had met him to the Tsarist police. As a result, Sarkis Perseghian was arrested.

Three months later, in the courtyard of the Armenian church in Moscow, in the midst of a large crowd, Isahag Zhambarian was stabbed to death by the Dashnaktsutiun terrorist Mateos.”

Now why would Dasnabedian single out poor Mateos as a “terrorist” when all of these criminals engaged in terrorism? (But at least Dasnabedian gets credit for using the word, instead of calling Mateos something like “avenger,” which is a favorite word of Vahakn Dadrian, to describe Dashnak assassins. The Dashnak historian, Varandian, in his History of the Dashnagtzoutune, 1932, worded this episode as such: “..this traitor paid for his sin; he fell under the blows of a dagger...” K.S. Papazian, who spelled the name of the victim as “Isahag Jamharian,” commented in Patriotism Perverted: "Jamharian had committed the sin of defending himself from the arbitrary demands of self-appointed and irresponsible saviors of our people, who had gone so far as to abduct him and threaten him with violence. He was, therefore, a traitor in the eyes of these people. He was still a traitor for the Dashnag historian Varandian, in the year of grace 1932, and was even denied the right of self defense. All those who disagreed with the Dashnag leaders, or against whom the local Dashnak chiefs nourished a grudge, were denounced as traitors, and betrayers of the cause.")

Dasnabedian continues on p. 63: “Certain capitalists who obstinately refused to pay (e.g., Janpoladian, Atamian) were sentenced to death. But on the whole, the majority of the upper classes paid heed, sometimes complying completely wth the demands, and sometimes bargaining.”

The Potorig program, according to the Third World Congress (1904) had raised 432,500 francs or 163,208 rubles (roughly some $80,000), and was confined mainly to victimizing the wealthy Armenians of Transcaucasia and Russia. But Hrach got into the racketeering act in “Smryna” (Izmir), where “the ARF lost a few of its men; nevertheless, it also carried out several dramatic assassinations.” (Yay!)

Once again we get the Armenian account of clashes with Ottoman armed forces that left only a handful of Armenian heroes dead, as on p. 65: “In the fall of 1899, near ... (Eleshkirt), another arms-transport fedayee band, composed of 80 fighters and led by Khan (Parsegh Tiriakian), clashed with Turkish troops and Kurds. Leaving 15 of their own men and hundreds of the enemy dead on the field of battle, the fedayees retreated to Kars.” (Not that it really matters, but the propagandistic source for this one was “Chronicles of the ARF,” Boston, 1950.)

In Sassun, where the impulsive Antranig was at odds with “the low-key but popular organizer, Hrayr” (the official regional leader), the “fedayees executed many Armenian informers and government collaborators.” (P. 67.) In 1900, Antranig, Kevork and Magar “assassinated the Kurdish chieftain Bshareh Khalil, who had murdered Serop and destroyed the village of Sbaghank.”

Since Serop was the fedayee leader whom Antranig replaced, a violent fellow in his own right, how is it that the Kurdish chieftain “murdered” Serop? A few paragraphs earlier, the author informed us that “Serop became the victim of a conspiracy; he was poisoned, and then killed.” Sounds like Serop got it in the same manner as Julius Caesar, in the hands of his own men/rivals. The Kurd certainly was not in Serop’s inner circle, and could not have taken part in a “conspiracy.” (The same Armenian source pointed to earlier, examining the fate of Serop's wife, Sose, verifies that Serop was betrayed by his own poisoning fellows and was “killed in fierce battle with the government troops.”)

Antranig, perhaps 1900s, "in Daron.".

When Antranig and sixty desperadoes holed themselves up in a monastery in 1901 and shot it out with Ottoman forces, a “resolute demonstrative-military action” organized by the Central Committee of Moush in order to “once again attract the attention of the Powers to the fate of the Armenians... news of the fighting echoed outside the Ottoman Empire, and the work of external propaganda received a boost.”

An example of how well this propaganda worked may be seen in the last of the newspaper articles presented on this page, examining this very episode. The Greek-Ottoman ambassador to Great Britain gave a perfectly truthful account of the goings-on, and yet the biased newspaper’s headline was: “An Unsatisfactory Explanation.” (Dasnabedian added that Antranig held out for twenty days. Perhaps it helped that the great Armenian hero and his “bandits brought about sixty women and children as prisoners to the monastery,” as the newspaper article put it.)

As a preliminary description of the Sassun rebellion in 1904, here is how the Dashnak author worded it: “...Enemy forces had tightly encircled Sasoun and were preparing for a general offensive.” What can be said for about such outrageous dishonesty and/or delusion? Let’s figure: The owner of Sassun was the Ottoman Empire. By describing the owner as “enemy forces,” we are being given the deliberately misleading impression that the owners of Sassun were the Armenians. Later, in the same paragraph, Dasnabedian, as if to reveal his dishonesty, informs the Dashnaks were “transporting arms,” and that they would be “supporting the Sasoun movement through hit-and-run actions, sabotage, and assassinations.” If anyone was planning a “general offensive” within Ottoman territory, it was obviously the Armenians.

P. 73 gives the Dashnak telling of the 1904 rebellion. “Sasoun was completely surrounded,” according to Roupen, “Memoirs of an Armenian Revolutionary,” Beirut, 1974 (with what is called the “insurgent” region — the placement of quotation marks around the word was Dasnabedian’s doing, as he quoted Roupen in Footnote 8 — numbering 8,000-9,000, “only a small portion of the Armenian population of... 180,000." Most would agree that 8,000-9,000 insurgents would represent a serious threat to any government's security). Quoting M. Varandian’s History of the ARF., 1932, p. 267, the sultan "planned to annihilate the stronghold of Armenian rebellion Sassoun, which he had failed to crush in 1894-1895." This prior Dashnak historian did not mislead, at least in this instance, with terms such as "self-defense," and called the rebellion for what it was — a rebellion.

According to Roupen, a combined Turkish-Kurdish force of up to 17,000 (“with cannons, sophisticated weapons, and abundant ammunition”) were up against less than 200 fedayees (although an elite unit, and assisted by up to 800 villagers). Vahan and Hrayr were the bosses, Antranig the military commander, and Keri the supplies/logistics chief.

After the Turks suffered “heavy casualties,” Roupen tells us that the Ottomans sent an Armenian priest in on April 12, “attempting to trap [the fedayees] with false promises,” but the battles continued. On April 20-22, “the great battle of Gelieguzan took place," where the Armenian forces had “gradually concentrated... bringing with them thousands of unarmed villagers.” (We must make sure to point out they were all “unarmed,” of course. Meanwhile, “the Turkish forces again suffered heavy casualties,” despite their superior weaponry, and despite the fact that these Armenians were mostly “unarmed.”)

Murad of Sivas (Sebastia) was also in on the action, and he led 115 armed men “to transport the unarmed population” to Moush. “Encumbered by a large group composed of children, the elderly, and the wounded, Mourad nevertheless succeeded in breaking through enemy lines and safely delivering the people...” Wow!

The rest of the fedayees followed, and then “the portion of the population that had refused to leave was subsequently subjected to massacres and unspeakable torture.” The source: Roupen. (Since Roupen was a fedayee and had left with the others, how did he know what had happened to the villagers left behind?) Here is how he described the goings-on: “It so happened that the old women, having tied themselves to their daughters-in-law, threw themselves in the rivers to avoid their honor being smeared by the ‘Turk.’ It so happened that Armenians threw themselves into the void, to smash down at the foot of the rocks. It so happened that the vanqished, seated at their hearth, calmly awaited the massacres, and fell under the bayonets unconcerned. But never once did one witness supplication, never once did they beg for mercy.” Yes, folks, of such accounts is history written. This is the kind of report the missionaries and consuls ate up, and accepted as the God-honest truth.

Here’s part of the description on the 1905 plan to assassinate Sultan Abdul Hamid, “the chief executioner of Armenians,” on p. 76:

ARF co-founders: Stephan Zorian,
Christophor Mikaelian and Simeon
Zavarian. (Alt. spelling: Rostom Zorian,
Christaphor Melikian, & Simon Zavarian.)

“Having secured places as Europeans at the pavillion reserved for guests, Kristapor [Holdwater: Christaphor Melikian’s alter ego would be "Samuel Fein"], Vram, Safo, Ashod, and one or two others would shower the area with small bombs hidden on their persons.” These were in addition to the main bomb placed in the sultan’s carriage. “In January 1905 Kristapor went to Bulgaria, where Vram Kendirian joined him. Making use of the facilities and assistance provided by Macedonian friends, they tested and perfected the small bombs...”, after which Kristapor, “the principal founder of the ARF,” along with Vram, “were killed by the accidental explosion of the very bombs that had been destined for the Red Sultan.” (An interesting report on the Dashnak women behind this plot may be accessed here.)

Once the ARF’s role became apparent upon the arrest of “one of the conspirators... the initiatives planned for Smyrna were aborted.” The footnote explains what lay in store: “...to blow up banks and bridges, burn the customs house, occupy consulates and so on; in other words, to attack European interests so as to oblige the Powers to concentrate on the Armenian Question.” Note how Dasnabedian finally used the word “attack,” rather than his synonym, “self-defense.” The source for these Smyrna operations is Tokajian, Mgrdich, “Demonstrative Operations,” Hairenik, 36th Year, no. 9, p. 72.

P. 75 features yet another photograph of fierce looking Armenians, with rifles and “Pancho Villa”-style cartridge belts, and the caption reads: “Kayl-Vahan (Minas Dolbashian) with his adjutants, during the punitive expedition against the Mosoun-Korun Turkish border barracks, where he died on the field of honor (summer 1904).” What does “punitive expedition” mean? It means “attack,” doesn’t it? Yet their constant attacks are couched in such deceptive terms as “self-defense” or “punitive expedition,” and when the government went off to counter these attacks, which is the real “self defense” (since it is the duty of any government to preserve law and order), we are told the response to such attacks is (as we have just seen with the description for Abdul Hamid) “execution.”

The author then gets into the “Armeno-Tatar Conflict” of 1905-06: “The anti-Tsarist struggle unleashed by the ARF as a result of the confiscation by Russia of the properties of the Armenian Church...”

It could have happened that way, because Armenian treatment under the Russians generally were far more heavy-handed and exploitative than the way Ottomans ruled the Armenians. (In "Turkish Memories," London, 1914, author Sydney Whitman quoted an Ottoman "Israelite," while travelling in the Ottoman east, circa 1898: "If [the Armenians] had ventured to play their revolutionary game in Russia, the Russians would not have left a man of them alive.") But that claim calls for more looking into. The Dashnaks were becoming a thorn in the side of the Russians during these years, and perhaps (since the Dashnaks had taken over the Church), this move by the Russians was a response to the Armenians' belligerence. The ARF, as the author tells us, was actively involved with other “opposition organizations (Finns, Latvians, etc.),” holding a “secret conference in Paris in November of 1904.”

“Especially after the publication of the “Plan of Action for the Caucasus,” the ARF would have certainly played a much more active role in the Russian revolutionary movement, were it not forced, throughout 1905, to once again dedicate itself to the self-defense of the Armenian population, this time against the attacks of the Transcaucasian Tatars (Azeris.)”

Brace yourselves; you can already see where the entire blame for this 1905 conflict is going to be pinned.

"The Turkish Armenian was much more advanced and much freer with regard to his national culture, language, history and literature than his Russian counterpart."

Mikael Varandian, Origins of the Armenian Movement, Geneva, 1914, in Armenian, as excerpted in E. Uras' The Armenians in History and the Armenian Question, 1988, pp. 270-271. In vol. 2, p. 238 of Origins, Varandian also wrote:

"...[T]he Armenians in Turkey preferred to exploit the peace and prosperity bequeathed by the sick man of Europe."

“The Tatar Azeris, racial brethren of the Turks, having been carried away by hatred nourished by Pan-Islamic and Pan-Turanian dreams, unleashed a war against Armenians in the cities and villages, with a clear intention to massacre, pillage and destroy.”

Dasnabedian got carried away with his dishonesty in that passage as, to my knowledge, “Pan-Turanism” — espousing the cultural unity of all Turkish people — was the brainchild of Ziya Gokalp, and his ideas were probably not established or widespread in 1905. (His poem, “Turan,” for example, was written in 1911.) At any rate, there was nothing racist or expansionistic about these ideas; they were unpolitical, and as Gotthard Jaschke wrote, large empire fantasies “ran counter to his [Gokalp's] entire inner nature.”

Of course, Pan-Turanism runs at the core of Armenian propaganda, in their desperation to find motives for genocide. But to apply this as a cause for the conflict between Armenians and Azeris, all the way back in 1905? (Along with “Pan-Islamism.” Whom exactly would have been the leaders inciting the Azeris, citing both of these “Pans”?) The common people among the Azeris were basically a simple folk, trying to eke out livings, and it remains to be seen whether they had significant leaders at the time, inflaming the passions of the commoners, telling them to go off and massacre Armenians because of dreams to create a vast Islamic and Turkic empire. It’s ridiculous!

(That is, once the Armenians committed their terrible crimes, no doubt there were leaders among the Azeris who got angry enough to organize the people to commit their own crimes, in the form of “payback.” In most if not all cases, however, it’s not like they suddenly came up with reasons to fire the first shot, and to kill Armenians for no reason — or invented reasons, like “Pan-Islamism” or “Pan-Turanism.” Dasnabedian refers to these leaders as such, on p. 81: “Those responsible for inciting the Azeri mobs, the brigand chiefs, and high-ranking Russian officials and military personnel were one by one assassinated by ARF avengers. The battles ended in early 1906, when the Azeris proposed reconciliation.”)

Azeris, as the Turks, were not bred to hate Armenians; most were illiterate, so it’s not like they were going to read books about these “Pans,” or any books telling them to hate Armenians. Where was the real hatred? Ohanus Appressian, who participated in the slaughter campaigns against the Azeris, and was the subject of the 1926 book Men Are Like That, fills us in on the truth:

“I can see now that we Armenians frankly despised the Tartars, and while holding a disproportionate share of the wealth of the country, regarded and treated them as inferiors. The fact that the Russians looked down upon all Armenians in much the same way as Armenians regarded Tartars, far from proving a bond between ourselves and our racially different neighbors, intensified an attitude and conduct on our part that served only to exacerbate hostility.

As a boy, I was taught that the Tartars were always at fault. My reading of Russian literature helped to confirm this teaching, for Russian writers have emphasized Tartar ferocity.”

As with Ottoman-Armenians brainwashed by their fanatical leaders and the missionaries to develop a racist hatred against Turks, no differently than today’s Dashnak-led diaspora, the only ones who were hateful were the Armenians.

As far as what caused the war of 1905, was it the Azeris who suddenly developed a bloodlust against the Armenians, attacking them so that the Armenians may perform their time-honored acts of “self defense”? Appressian tells us the truth:

"The Russian Government through its agents, in order to suppress the revolutionary movement in Russian Armenia and in other provinces in 1905 when her hands were full with revolution at home, incited a Tartar-Armenian war throughout the Caucasus."

As usual, it was the Armenians doing the attacking, or at least firing the first shot that would incite the Azeris to counter-attack. Appressian explains the logic behind why the Azeris weren’t going to be dumb enough to go on the warpath for no reason:

“In the Armenian-Tartar War of 1905 the Armenians had much the better of the fighting. Many of our men had served in the Russian Army, and were trained soldiers. We Armenians were rich and possessed arms. The Tartars had never received military training. They were poor, and possessed few arms beyond knives.”

In 1919, the U.S. investigative team Niles and Sutherland discovered that the Muslim villages in the Ottoman east under Armenian control were almost completely destroyed, whereas the Armenian villages were left intact. The American author of Men Are Like That, discovered exactly the same on p. 181 of his book: “The Armenian villages we passed on the road were deserted. The Tartar villages were in ruins.” We can see who the true aggressors were, but even when the Armenians commit systematic slaughter, Dashnak propagandists must still depict them as poor and innocent victims.

Dasnabedian exposes a little of Kevork Chavoush’s unappealing character, on p. 84: “Kevork, at the head of a handful of fedayees, intimidated or assassinated the Kurdish begs (feudal lords) who had been persecuting the Armenians of the Plain of Moush. Sometimes, Kevork was confronted with and also fought against the Turkish regular troops pursuing him (the battles of Araghi and Kars), but he was never captured. Goriun, however, was unhappy with Kevork’s method of operation and left for the Caucasus in the spring of 1905. Also, on October 1 of the same year, ten of Kevork’s fedayees lost their lives, and 134 villagers were massacred by enemy troops, during the unfortunate battle of Arvarinch. Consequently, although Kevork had acquired a half-mythical standing among both the Kurds and Armenians of the region, even his own fedayees began to oppose his impulsive, imprudent behavior, and the tradition of unquestioning obedience to the orders of fedayee leaders gradually began to erode.” (When Kevork was finally killed in battle in 1907, the author tells us, citing the Memoirs of an Armenian Revolutionary book by Roupen Der Minasian as the source, that “the Turkish army lost more than 120 men, including Keoseh Binbashi.” The latter is described as the Circassian commander of the Turkish army in the region, with whom Roupen had secret talks, in order to better relations with the Kurds. Roupen also spoke with Mehmed Efendi, chief of police, who, we are told, happened to be an “Islamized Armenian, and who did everything in his power to assist the revolutionaries.” How interesting that Armenians were allowed to serve in the police force, and even became the head of the police.)

On March 26, 1908, immediately after the 1908 troubles in Van, Consul Elliot met with Armenian "notables," the merchants, and other nonrevolutionary elements of the Van Armenian community. What he heard in the meeting convinced him that even those who had once been opposed to the revolutionaries now saw the Armenians as a separate "nation" in opposition to the Ottomans:

Even these better educated Armenians have the idea that in their present struggle with the Turks, they are entitled to rights analogous to those of a belligerent power. They hold, that is, (and in all good faith,) that the Fedais are in the position of an Armenian army, engaged in war with the Ottoman Empire, and therefore, though the Turks have a right to use force against avowed Fedais, (even this is barely acknowledged by some,) they have no such right to molest "civilian" Armenians, no matter what assistance in the way of shelter, information, &c, these may give to the "active army."

This absolutely ridiculous idea was propounded to me also by the Fedai leaders during my interviews with them, and it is probably from them that the others imbibed it. Of course I pointed out to them that the "Societies" are not an independent power, but at best rebels against a recognized government, and that no government would admit that sheltering rebels and conspirators was anything but a criminal offense. Further, I urged that on their own showing the Fedais were breaking the laws of civilized war, in that they wear no uniform, and pass whenever possible as peaceful citizens. Naturally, my arguments quite failed to convince them.

Justin McCarthy and Company's The Armenian Rebellion at Van, pp. 138-139; footnoted source: FO 195/2283, Dickson to Barclay, Van, April 6, 1908.

On p. 87, come 1907, we begin to get into the alliance of the Dashanks and what would become the CUP government: “Gradually, the ARF strengthened ties with the Turkish opposition parties" — the “Ittihad” of Ahmed Riza and the “Terakki” of Prince Sabaheddin. Radicalized officers in the Turkish army in Macedonia rebelled in July, 1908, forcing the sultan to restore the 1876 Constitution. “The Ottoman Empire thus became a constitutional monarchy, in which individual freedoms and national-ethnic rights were, at least in principle, recognized and safeguarded. For several months, the entire population of the empire was ecstatic: overnight, Turks, Armenians, Greeks, Arabs and Kurds became brothers.” In its circular of September 1, 1908, the ARF would recognize “the independence and territorial integrity of Constitutional Turkey,” and that “Turkish Armenia” would become “inseparable” from Turkey... In short, the Dashnaktsutiun thus associated itself with the concept of ‘Ottomanism’.”

Sultan Abdul Hamid was dethroned in March-April 1909 once Istanbul was occupied by the Turkish army in Macedonia, in response to a reactionary coup, and “the Armenians became the most ardent defenders of the new regime.”

You know what that means, don’t you, folks? There was no network of hatred in existence against the Armenians. If there were, the Armenians would have sensed bigotry from their Turkish neighbors, and could hardly have been so exuberant, despite what a new constitution promised them. So the next time you hear that the reason for the 1915 “genocide” was motivated out of seeing Armenians as “The Other,” a la the Nazis and Jews of WWII, you can see it is as what it is worth.

On p. 90, Dasnabedian writes the Armenians did not deter from their path as loyal Ottomans, “despite the massacre in Adana of more than twenty thousand Armenians — the victims, once again, of Turkish fanaticism.” In other words, these fanatical Turks woke up one day and decided to engage in their favorite sport of murdering poor, defenseless Armenians. It does not serve the cause of propaganda to tell the truth, that the Armenians fired the first shot as almost always (they revolted in Adana on April 14, 1909, shortly after the supporters of Sultan Abdul Hamid threatened to regain power), mainly incited by the sermons of the Armenian Bishop Mushech (who sought revenge for Armenians killed in the last century, and urged every Armenian to buy arms; Adana was a powderkeg, as a result), and the chaos that ensued resulted in more Armenian deaths (less than 19,000, according to Richard Hovannisian, based on the report of an Ottoman-Armenian parliamentarian; however, this report was part of an effort to discredit the sultan’s supporters, sharply differing with the actual investigative reports. Adana had a total population of 45,000 — perhaps 48,000 — 27,000 of which were Muslims, with three-quarters of the rest being Armenian. So it would have been impossible for nearly 20,000 Armenians to have died. The newspaper La Turquie figured one thousand deaths in all, 250 being Turks), and the only reason why more Armenians were killed than Muslims was because there were more Muslims than Armenians. After the smoke cleared, there was a trial, and a good number of Turks (nearly fifty) were hanged, according to Jemal Pasha, along with one Armenian. Here is a closer look at 1909 Adana.

P. 93: “The adherence of the ARF to the idea of ‘Ottomanism’ and the continuation of cooperation with the Ittihad — even after the initial elation brought about by the Constitution had died down — were not always looked upon with favor by various Armenian factions. Moreover, the ARF was subjected to fierce criticism, and Armenian opposition parties, as well as some clergymen, actually made slanderous accusations against the ARF. Although sensing danger, and taking some precautionary measures, the Dashaktsutiun continued its realpolitik.”

It is arguable that the ARF was ever as one with the Ottoman government; regardless of whatever notions of loyalty were coming out of their mouths, the idea of home rule was always the motivating factor. Yet if other Armenian factions criticized the Dashnaks for, in effect, being traitors to the cause, what a delightful example of the murderous Dashnaks getting a taste of their own medicine.

Meanwhile, Tsarist Russia, troubled by the ARF’s role with the new government of the Ottoman Empire (“and its role in the Iranian revolutionary movement”), began to accuse the ARF of “separatist intentions,” and the Tsar’s secret police began a series of arrests. 160 were accused of being Dashnaks, whether they were or not, and were sent off to prison. The indictment (which a Varandian footnote informs was based mainly on the evidence of Mihran, a fedayee-informer) “accused the ARF of being an illegal organization, the aim of which was to topple the regime of the Tsar by use of political and economic terrorism.” (M. Varandian’s 1932 book was the source.) “‘The trial of the Dashaktsutiun’ took place at the end of 1911,” and “in early 1912, 52 persons were sentenced to prison and exile, but only four of them to forced labor in Siberia.” The one who brought the indictment, Leizhin, conducted a corrupt process in court, and was “himself brought to trial.” (According to Varandian. In addition: too bad the source wasn't included, since at the time the detail didn't seem all that significant, but a recent TAT page has it that "500 Dashnaks were tried in [1912] Russia, and all but 50 were found guilty." So that's 160 vs. 500 for the total, and 52 vs. 450 for the convicted; whose numbers are correct?)

Meanwhile, in Iran, once the shah died in early 1907, his successor became the target of an assassination attempt, and as a result, his army, “under the command of the Russian colonel Liakhov,” surrounded and bombarded the Iranian parliament. While the rebellion was brought under control in Teheran, the “anti-government rebel forces” remained in “firm control” in Tabriz. At this point, “Abdul Hamid II sent an army to Adrbadagan with the blatant intent of annexing the region.” An alarmed Rosdom dashed to the rescue, and “The Iranians expected the Dashaktsutiun to provide experienced leaders, explosives experts, weapons and ammunition; moreover, they justly placed great hopes on the ARF in regards to external propaganda (Europe). In turn, the Iranians promised to broaden the national rights of the Armenians in liberated Iran...” Dashnak forces began to arrive in Adrbadagan, and the rest of the account tells us how the combined might of the Armenians and Iranian rebels successfully brought the new shah (Mehmed Ali), along with his Russian help, practically to their knees.

So what happened to the Ottoman army that Abdul Hamid sent in, to annex the region? It sounded like “the Red Sultan” was going to be the villain of this story, in line to get routed by the glorious Dashnak heroes. (Did the beleaguered sultan actually have forces to spare to carry out aggressive military campaigns outside his country, particularly an area that had practically been colonized by pugnacious Russia? It would be interesting to find out more about this chapter, as to what really took place.)

An ARF newspaper published in Istanbul, 1912, Ousanogh.

The ARF’s Sixth World Congress of August 1911 decided to send a declaration to the CUP government. “clearly stating conditions under which cooperation can continue,” as though the government should have given Armenians priority over the nation’s unbearable concerns, as the deplorable economy, foreign interference, not to mention wars (the annoying one with Italy, as well as the devastating Balkan War that would erupt the following year). During this Congress, the ARF elected a “self-defense body” to direct military affairs, and officially broke with the CUP on May 5, 1912. The CUP “not only did not alter its conduct but also intentionally arranged the elections in such a way that the number of Armenian members of Parliament decreased,” which sounds like a natural reaction to hostile parties who demanded their needs be taken care of before the needs of the Ottoman nation, and the “oppression of non-Turkish minorities... had become unbearable — a consequence of the Pan-Turanian ‘Turkji’ movement.” (One of the three sources listed for the latter baseless claim is Zerevant’s United and Independent Turania, translated from the Armenian by Vahakn Dadrian.)

P. 101: “Having no other choice, Turkish Armenians once again sought external intervention. Catholicos Kevork V formed an ‘Armenian National Delegation,’ led by Boghos Noubar Pasha, to present new appeals to the Powers. Armenian community authorities in Constantinople established contact with the Russian consul, who had begun to express signs of being positively disposed toward Armenian demands.” All of this was happening at the worst time for the Ottomans, what with the ruinous upheaval in the Balkans; and, of course, the Russians did not care about the Armenians, keeping on using the Armenians as pawns for the Russians’ own ends.

Another Istanbul ARF newspaper, Yergounk, 1913; this sixth issue featured ARF co-founder Zavarian

P. 107: “At the end of October 1913, Simon Zavarian, the second of the ARF’s founders, died suddenly in Constantinople. The strength of Zavarian’s moral and ideological convictions had gained him the title of ‘secular saint.’” The leader of one of history’s worst terrorist organizations, bringing such destruction and misery to so many non-Armenians as well as Armenians, is actually being described as “moral.”

Dasnabedian makes much of the ARF Seventh and Eighth World Congresses declaring that in case of war, “the citizens of each state were to fulfill their civic responsibilities to their state.” It is one thing to have an official position, and quite another to follow it. Leading Dashnaks as Vahan "Goms" Papazian (a.k.a. "The Doctor") have revealed in their own writings that the idea was to plan for revolts, enlistment in the Russian army, the formation of volunteer bands, and attacks on Ottoman troops. The Russians helped finance the operation to arm and prepare Ottoman-Armenians for revolt, and the Dashnaks forced many Ottoman-Armenian males over the age of 13 to join the committee, either as soldiers or functionaries.

P. 109: "Convinced that Germany would emerge victorious, the Turks considered an alliance with it a unique opportunity to realize their Pan-Turanian aspirations.” Since there were no such aspirations in the form of actual governmental policy (if a few individuals entertained mad dreams, such would have nothing to do with reality), the real reason was that the Ottomans were backed into a corner, and were forced into a “sink or swim” decision. If mortal enemy Russia, along with new mortal enemies Britain and France were to win a world war, the Ottomans realized there would be no other power to come between them and the extinction of the Ottoman Empire. “They proposed that the ARF start an insurrection in the Transcaucasus to strike the Russian amry from the rear and to facilitate the advance of the Turkish army toward Baku. In exchange, they promised to aid in the establishment of an autonomous Armenia in the Transcaucasus. The leadership of the Dashnaktsutiun attempted to dissuade the Turks from entering the war, finding such a step dangerous for the future of the Empire...”

If one needs further proof regarding how insincere these Ottoman-Armenians were as far as performing their "civic responsibilities to their state,” here it is. What was the ARF, a separate government negotiating with the Ottoman government? If a nation decides to go to war, the people of the nation have to go along with that decision. If what was required of these Dashnaks, as loyal Ottoman citizens, was to stir trouble for Russia, without question they would have needed to say yes.

But of course, these Armenians were not loyal to the Ottoman Empire. They preferred Russia, who offered a deal for them as well, so these Dashnak sneaks were pretending to be friendly while they clearly had other plans. (You can read below on P. 119 Dasnabedian's wording of the Russians' promises on this matter, and how successfully they made suckers out of the Armenians.) K. S. Papazian spelled this episode out in his book, “Patriotism Perverted” (emphasis Holdwater's):

“In August 1914 the young Turks asked the Dashnag Convention, then in session in Erzurum, to carry out their old agreement of 1907 and start an uprising among the Armenians of the Caucasus against the Russian government. The Dashnagtzoutune refused to do this and gave assurance that in the event of war between Russia and Turkey, they would support Turkey as loyal citizens... The fact remains, however, that the leaders of the Turkish-Armenian section of the Dashnagtzoutune did not carry out their promise of loyalty to the Turkish cause when the Turks entered the war... Prudence was thrown to the winds; even the decision of their own convention of Erzurum was forgotten and a call was sent for Armenian volunteers to fight the Turks on the Caucasus front.” (More on the “loyalty” matter.)

(The only evidence that this meeting between CUP representatives and Dashnaks took place at the Erzurum convention comes strictly from Armenian sources, by the way; not to say it did not happen.)

Time now for the cherished genocide propaganda, in the chapter entitled “Genocide” (p. 109). “The plan for the total extermination of the Armenian nation had been worked out well before the war. The proceedings of meetings of Ittihad leadership, the memoirs and testimonies of Turkish statesmen and government officials such as Melanzade Rifaat and Nayim Bey, as well as the telegrams sent by Minister of the Interior Talaat to provincial governors, clearly give proof of what in legal terms is called ‘premeditation.’”

The footnoted evidence provided the details. Hold on to your hats... not that any of this "evidence" should come as a surprise:

“‘THE MEMOIRS OF NAYIM BEY, published in Paris in 1920 by Aram Andonian and ‘RAPPORT SECRET SUR LES MASSACRES D’ARMENIE’, by Dr. Johannes Lepsius, Paris, 1918 (reissued by Payot, 1987)... See also ‘THE DARK ASPECTS OF THE TURKISH REVOLUTION,’ by Mevlanzade Rifaat (in Turkish), Aleppo, 1929.”

It is, by this point, practically criminal to cite any of these exercises in deception as valid historical evidence. For a look into two, see the top of this page. Lepsius was known for his access to German archival documents, some of which the missionary felt free to alter. He certainly was not going to be privy to “secret reports” from the Ottomans, unless they were in the order of Kazarian’s "Minutes of Secret Meetings Organizing the Turkish Genocide of Armenians,” which Dr. Gwynne Dyer examined, and described as “capering caricatures of the historical method,” and “often taken from some Armenian newspaper... which in turn attributes them at one or two further removes to some reliable source, such as 'Armenian officers in the Turkish Army'.” See Dyer’s essay, also examining the foolishness of the Kurdish intriguer, Mevlanzade Rifaat, who tried to pass himself off as one of the CUP’s inner circle. The worst offense was the inclusion of the Andonian forgeries, which most Armenian genocide proponents would not dare point to at this stage of the game. The work we’re examining here, however, is written by an unabashed Dashnak historian, and the sky serves as the limit, in regards to including the most outlandish claims. As Dr. Dyer put it so knowingly in his article, “The deafening drumbeat of the propaganda, and the sheer lack of sophistication in argument which comes from preaching decade after decade to a convinced and emotionally committed audience, are the major handicaps of Armenian historiography of the diaspora today.”

After giving a run-down on how the evil Turks implemented their extermination policy (which makes one wonder how a single Armenian could have remained alive), Dasnabedian caps off with, ”...The extermination of the Armenians was to inspire and serve as an example to Hitler and the Nazis decades later. Talat could justifiably boast: ‘I have done more for the solution of the Armenian Question in three months than Abdul Hamid did in thirty years.’” Naturally, the only link to Hitler and his genocide inspiration is from the infamous quote that was manufactured in the embellished Lochner version of the Fuehrer's 1939 speech, and the Henry Morgenthau source for the “Abdul Hamid” quote is another repetition of tired old propaganda. Morgenthau’s book was filled with falsehoods, there was an industry of manufactured statements placed in Talat Pasha's mouth, and the best way to get the idea of this quote’s hearsay-ridden fakery is to read an American newspaper’s account of it.

On p. 110, Dasnabedian gives a run for his own money in disingenuousness, as he actually writes: “The Armenians in Turkey — including the executive ranks of the Dashnaktsutiun — were not psychologically or practically ready in 1915 to resort to general self-defense, let a lone a general uprising.” Not only were they ready, but as willing and able as possible, having stored vast quantities of arms throughout the empire, anxiously awaiting their golden opportunity to strike, while their nation was at its weakest, during war.

The next section is entitled “The 1915 Battles of Self-Defence,” with the expected dishonest claims. For example, we’re told that “Van was at first surrounded by 6,000 and later 10,000 Turkish soldiers,” and the “Armenians had 800 fighters, only 400 of whom were armed with military weapons (Mausers)." Henry Morgenthau, in an internal report to his own government, knew better, figuring there were close to 25,000 Armenian fighters (In his “Story” book, Morgenthau would reduce the Armenian number to only 1,500.) Morgenthau correctly called the situation for what it was, a seeming “Armenian insurrection to help the Russians [that] had broken out at Van.” (In other words, an “insurrection,” and not “self-defense.”)

On May 5, “Dro, General Nikolayev, and the Russian army arrived,” and two days later the Russians rewarded Aram Manougian (Manukian) with the governorship of the region. His administration lasted 70 days, until the Russians retreated. “Panic-stricken, the Armenian population of Van retreated along with the Russian troops, losing thousands of their numbers along the road and in the Plain of Ararat. Thereafter, several times the Russians re-took Van then abandoned it. Each time the surviving Armenians of Van returned to their homes only to leave again months later and to be gradually decimated in the process. The last Armenian administration in Van was the longest (from 1917 to the final retreat in the spring of 1918)...” Richard Hovannisian estimated the loss of these Armenians to be nearly 150,000, in his 1967 book, and Dasnabedian will cite, on p. 125 below, Simon Vratsian's estimate for 180,000. This number serves as at least a quarter of the entire Armenian mortality, or even about a third. These Ottoman-Armenians died of famine and disease, entirely without Turks nearby to perfrorm their familiar slaughtering duties, and these Ottoman-Armenians are all designated, in Armenian propaganda, as “genocide victims.”

Continuing on p. 113, we’re told: “The population of Daroun and Sassoun, relatively distant from the war front, was subjected to an even crueler fate. Under the leadership of veteran ARF fedayees, the people heroically defended their home and ancestral land, but in the end most were massacred.” Roupen returned to Daroun at the end of 1913, “foreseeing imminent danger, worked feverishly to arm the people with the assistance of his colleagues...” They kept at it “Until the autumn and end of 1914, when Turkey had already entered the war and the government had already embarked upon its outrages in the Armenian provinces...” It does sound like Dasnabedian has his timing off, as everyone knows the “genocide” began on April 24 of the following year. Perhaps he is suffering from mild schizophrenia, for in the next sentence he writes about how the military segment of the ARF leadership “favored an attempt at a general uprising,” and “a plan was drawn up in January 1915 for a general uprising in the Plain of Moush and in Sassoun,” which was aborted thanks to rapidly changing events. (Source: Memoirs of an Armenian Revolutionary, Beirut, 1974.) Then we hear about how Goriun, “on February 6-7, after a skirmish in the village of Koms... was forced to abandon and set fire to his own ancestral home, withdrawing toward Sassoun with Roupen.... and a band of fedayees.”

The dishonesty is absolutely incredible. Who started that “skirmish” in February, before the “genocide” began almost three months later? (According to the Armenian timetable. Of course, the resettlement, that is, the synonym for “genocide,” was signed into law on May 27 and officially started on June 1st, four months later.) Are we being asked to believe the Ottoman forces, already short of manpower in the east thanks to the disaster at Sarikamish (a failed campaign thanks in no small meaasure to the treachery of the Armenians), and trying to deal with the invasion of the Russians, had nothing better to do but to divert their strained forces and make life misearble for the Armenians?

At the very least, it was nice of the Dashnak author to confirm all of this arming and fighting by the Armenians, all much in line with what the internal reports of the Ottoman command had recorded.

Once the fedayee group leaders had arrived in Sassoun, Roupen and the “others decided to resort to self defense, dividing the entire Sasoun front into seven lines of defense. The Sasoun battles of self-defense lasted more than six months.” Roupen was joined by the fedayee group of Vahan Papazian (Goms), breaking through the Turkish lines and reaching the Russian outposts. (Papazian, as covered above, was the parliamentarian who had nicely recorded the plans for rebellion, as the Armenians would go about their “self-defense.”)

P. 118: "Ottoman regions in Armenia occupied by the Russian army, as from 1915.
In 1917, they came under the Armenian administration before being evacuated by the same Russian army after a Bolshevik appeal and were reconquered by the Ottoman troops (beginning of 1918)." The Russians sure managed to penetrate in deeply. If it wasn't for their revolution, looks like it would have really been curtains for the Turks.

Meanwhile, in “Shabin Karahisar, by the first months of 1915, the arrests of Armenians and efforts at disarming them had become blatant...” (After all of this “self-defense,” what did they expect?) Come June, “A fistful of Armenian fighters had held off the Turkish force of 6,000 for 18 days.” Once the fighters “broke through the Turkish encirclement in hand-to-hand fighting” and succeeded in escaping, “On June 28, the Turks entered the citadel and massacred the unarmed population.” No source is provided for that last claim, but is one necessary? The author has relied almost strictly upon Armenian sources, and all one needs is the “say-so” of Armenians.

The author brags that “the battles of self-defense in 1915 (and later, in 1920) were entirely initiatives of the Dashnaktsutiun,” regarding Urfa, on p. 115. Once the Turkish army arrived on October 5-6 (why would an “army” need to arrive into what was an Ottoman city? Obviously because these Armenians fired the first shot, and were fighting a war), and broke through by Oct. 23, “Many Armenians, to avoid capture by the Turks, threw themselves into the wells or burned their homes with their families and themselves in them.” What an interesting method for suicide. Here is more on the Urfa rebellion and the mad attitude of the Dashnak leader Mugerditch whom, we are told here (the name is spelled Mgrdich Yotneghpayrian), shot himself in order to avoid capture. “The Turks announced his death with 24 fusillades of cannon fire,” the author informs us, and we can’t be sure whether it is with contempt, or pride.

“The Armenians of Urfa who suffered the Genocide...” How is it possible to survive an actual genocide, regarding a city that was completely under Ottoman control? If the idea was to exterminate Armenians, there could not possibly have been one Armenian left alive. At any rate, to continue: “... were forced to defend themselves against the Turks also in 1920, during the French occupation of Cilicia. The Armenians fought with the assistance of 500 French troops.” The reason why the French armed and trained their “Armenian Legion” was because the French troops boiled down mainly to officers, and the “French troops” were mainly the Armenians. (As well as colonial troops, mainly Muslim Algerians, whom the Muslim-hating Armenians sometimes could not refrain from actually attacking.) The French immorally released these hateful, murderous Armenians on the defenseless Muslims, and the French were so disturbed by the outrages committed by their Armenians that the French were forced to disarm the unruly soldiers, and set some of them in labor battalions (that is, to be used as “pack animals,” as the way Armenian propaganda describes the fate of the disarmed soldiers under Ottoman control; ultimately, the Armenian Legion was disbanded, for good). The only ones doing the attacking, as usual, were the uncontrollable Armenians, and the rag-tag forces of the Turks were the ones engaged in defense. No surprise that the author switched the roles here as he has done throughout his propaganda work, but this was a particularly tasteless example; the Armenians were engaging in wholesale slaughter.

We next get into how 800 Armenian fighters (only 600 with weapons) faced “4,000 Turkish troops and an equal number of irregulars,” at Musa Dagh. “After numerous attempts to contact and request assistance from the French fleet in the Mediterranean, on September 7 and 8, two French warships, the Guichen and Dezek, approached the coast” and took the survivors to Port Said, Egypt. (We’re told many from this bunch joined the Eastern Legion, fighting in Palestine and Syria under General Allenby. Usually, these Musa Dagh fighters are known to have joined the French forces, and it’s curious why Dasnabedian preferred to give the nod to the British. Regardless, it is to Dasnabedian’s credit that he didn’t emphasize the absurd bed sheet story (“Christians in Need!”) since these Armenians communicated with the French ships via radio. (As asserted by Erich Feigl, Armenian Mythomania.) Armenian propaganda usually wants to present the idea that these ships appeared out of coincidence, but in reality, the Armenians and the Allies were working together; most Armenians had joined the enemies of their Ottoman nation, in the most traitorous fashion, without regard for performing their “civic duty,” as the ARF supposedly advocated.

P.119: “The main objective of the volunteer movement was to save, as soon as possible, the Western Armenian masses threatened by massacre.”

Since thousands were behind the Ottoman lines, armed and ready (Captured Armenians confessed to 15,000 in Sivas alone, per an April 1915 secret Ottoman report, before the “genocide” had begun, with another 15,000 going off to join the Russians), why didn’t these rebels target the convoys? Particularly since the few-in-number and low-quality gendarmes were picked from the bottom of the Ottoman barrel? If these brave and heroic fedayees did not scurry to save their women and chidren from “extermination,” that can mean one of two things: [1] The Armenians did not care about their women and children, or [2] There was no “extermination.” (A closer look.)

“During the first year, the Russians themselves encouraged the Armenian volunteer movement, half-officially promising the Armenians ‘autonomy for the six vilayets and Cilicia, an inseparable part of the whole, under the powerful protection of Russia.’ But with the Russian victories came the return of what had been the policy of Lobanov-Rostovsky: creating an ‘Armenia without Armenians.”

For such a clever people, the Armenians kept falling for the promises of the Russians again and again, since the times of Peter the Great. More enlightened Armenians knew the truth; William Saroyan wrote in “Antranik of Armenia,” for example, that "The Turk is the brother of the Armenian,” and Saroyan did not hesitate to call the Russians the “real enemy of the Armenians.” The Ottomans made the same offer of autonomy, as Dasnabedian informed us on p. 109 (above), but the Dashnaks did not even consider it. Yet the Ottomans were a lot more honest. They even helped establish an independent Armenia in 1918, much to the sharply temporary gratitude of Dashnak leaders of the time (one of these, Aharonian, would repay the Turks’ kindness by playing a part in the 1920 Sèvres Treaty, the death-blow to the Turkish nation.) Would the Russians have helped establish an independent Armenia?

“During their one and one-half years of existence, the Armenian volunteer units, with their military daring, not only had helped in the Russian victories, but also had saved more than 200,000 Western Armenians from the Turkish sword and safely brought them to the Transcaucasus.”

If “the Turkish sword” served as a magnet to “the Armenian neck,” not a single Armenian could have survived under Ottoman control. Yet the Patriarch vouched for over 600,000 still kicking in what was left of the empire, by 1921. (An additional 400,000-500,000 had left to other lands, out of a pre-war population of some 1.5 million.) What we can be more confident of is that the frightened Armenian population fled over the border under their own steam, with little help from their glorious fedayees, who were customarily more interested in saving their own necks. We also know most of those 200,000 died anyway, of famine and disease, because corrupt Dashnak leaders were more concerned with making a profit, or in pursuing greedy land-grab schemes, than for caring about their people, resulting in what may more accurately be called (as Sam Weems put it) the real genocide of the Armenian people. (R. Hovannisian: "In 1919, for each 1000 persons in Armenia there were 8.7 births and 204.2 deaths, a net loss of 195.5. It was verily a land of death.")

P. 120: “More than 250,000 Armenians fought against the Central Powers, about 200,000 of them in the Russian army on the European front. Keeping all proportions, these numbers and the corresponding losses suffered place the Armenians alongside the French and Serbs as one of the nations who sacrificed most for the Allied victory.”

[1] Only military losses may be measured; civilian deaths from famine/disease, along with death through massacres, do not count to measure “corresponding losses,” since Ottoman people were dying of famine/disease across the board, and no Armenians would have died of massacres if the Armenians had remained loyal — admitted by such leaders as Katchaznouni and Garo Pasdermadjian. [2] Armenian soldiers who were French, Russian and British nationals technically belonged to and were fighting for these nations, and not for the “Armenian” nation. “The Pride of Race” allows most to arrogantly think Armenians are an exception to the rule of citizenship-loyalty, as all Armenians must be regarded as Armenians first. [3] Note the numbers presented surpass Boghos Nubar’s by a whopping 50,000, and [4] Note as well no secret is being made that the “Armenians fought against the Central Powers,” the side the nation for most Armenians of the period, the Ottoman Empire, was on. On this note alone, we cannot legally use the word “genocide,” since the 1948 U. N. Genocide Convention disallows political groups. Those who are killed via genocide must be killed for who they are and nothing more, provided “intent” can be proven. If there was real “intent,” the “Turkish sword” would have made a memory of all Armenians under Ottoman control, and two-thirds of Armenians could not have possibly survived.

Under the heading “1917-1818: The War of Independence,” the Armenians tried to transfer their officers and soldiers of the European Russian army to fortify and secure the Turkish Armenian war front, but these "Armenian units returning to the Caucasus did not reach Armenia. Obliged to pass through Baku... these Armenian forces later participated in the defense of Baku against the Turkish army and Pan-Turanian Azerbaijani mobs.” (Source: Hovannisian, Armenia On the Road to Independence, 1967, p. 81.)

Anyone who looks at a map of Azerbaijan can see Baku is located all the way away from Armenia, and cannot be construed as part of Armenia in any way, shape or form. The deception level gets to be amusing when we start using terms as “the defense of Baku.” Who were these Armenian forces defending Baku from? From the “Pan-Turanian Azerbaijani mobs”? That is, were the Armenians defending Baku from the people who owned Baku? (At the time, Baku was uneasily ruled by a Soviet revolutionary committee, and the Dashnaks. From March 30 to April 1, 1918, the Azeris were attacked, and almost half the Baku Muslims were forced to flee; 8,000-12,000 were killed in Baku alone. As Armenian forces retreated the night of Sept. 14, the Azeris took revenge by killing almost 9,000 Armenians. The remaining Armenians were protected by Turkish troops, entering on Sept. 16. Hundreds of Muslim villages were destroyed by the Armenians. Source: Death and Exile, McCarthy, 1995, p. 214.)

(Dasnabedian will go into further detail on the “Defense of Baku” beginning on p. 136, and he will tell us the Turks also entered Baku on Sept. 14, two days before they actually did, just so Dasnabedian can go on to barf: “For three days the Azeri mobs and Turkish forces plundered, raped, and massacred the remaining Armenians of Baku.” Whereas McCarthy’s source for the Turkish entry and subsequent protection of Baku’s Armenians came from the rock solid 1953 work, Caucasian Battelfields, by Allen and Muratoff, p. 495, Dasnabedian will point to mainly Simon Vratsian’s book, but apparently only in relation to killed Armenians [“greatly” exceeeding 10,000, and according to a Bashkni Ishknanian’s say-so, “close to 30,000”], as well as an anonymous document — “entitled simply ‘A Document’” — in Vratsian’s book pointing to 16,000 ARF combatants vs. only 200 Bolsheviks; it seems Dasnabedian’s best evidence boils down to this: “Three years later, on July 19, 1921, Behboud Khan Jivanshir, the butcher of Baku, was duly punished in Constantinople by the avenger Misak Torlakian.” This indirectly exonerates the Turkish army, as the Dashnak hit squad, “Nemesis,” did not target the Turkish commander.)

(Jivanshir, as described on p. 157: “a leader of the Musavat party... [and] Azerbaijan’s Minister of the Interior.”)

"The chiefs of the Vasbouragan ARF region, members of the Central Committee."
Aram Manukian is at center, as "Number Three."

After describing on p. 123 how the Ottomans fought to regain their own land from the mass-murdering Armenians (as an example, here is the atrocious way in which they behaved in Erzurum, or "Garin," in Dasnabedian's confusing "Armenian-speak"; apparently, the Dashnak only intended his book for Armenian eyes, with his annoying tendency to use Armenian names instead of the names the cities/provinces went by for centuries), and how Armenia was abandoned by Georgia and Azerbaijan (the three nations had formed a Transcaucasian Federation, which dissolved after only three months) to engage in a “battle for existence,” thanks to Aram Manoukian (“the leader of the 1915 battles of self-defense in Van”), now declared “dictator” in Yerevan with the support of all Armenians (on the side of the army, “generals Nazarbegian, Siligian, Dro and Taniel Beg-Piroumian”).

“...The Armenian forces stopped the Turkish advance... in the last days of May 1918.” That’s what Armenian propaganda tells us, but there was no way to stop the Turks, if the Turks were of the mind to keep marching. Even Dasnabedian indirectly “admits” this fact a few lines later, when he writes, “On June 4, 1918, Turkey became the first nation to officially recognize the Republic of Armenia.” (Dasnabedian refers, naturally, to the Ottoman Empire as “Turkey” throughout his book.) Logic tells us if “Turkey” had it in for the Armenians, and if Armenia would have had to have “fought for its life,” as Dasnabedian put it in the same paragraph, “Turkey” would not have made such a magnanimous gesture, leading Avedis Aharonian to gratefully write that “the Armenian nation would never forget,” in his Sept. 9, 1918 telegram to Prime Minister Katchaznouni.

p. 125: “Armenia was filled with more than 300,000 Western Armenian refugees who were being cut down by famine and typhus.” In the footnote: “According to Simon Vratsian, ‘in six months, about 180,000 people died of illness and starvation in Armenia.’ (Vratsian, The Republic of Armenia, 2nd Edition, Beirut, 1958, p. 192.) It was only at the beginning of 1919 that the first help from the ‘Near East Relief’ plan arrived in Armenia.” Note that “Western Armenian refugees” stands for “former Ottoman-Armenians.” The huge numbers who died — as well as the thousands who similarly died when the French retreated from Marash after the war, taking 30,000 Ottoman-Armenians with them — all lost their lives as far as they could be from “the Turkish sword.” Yet, without exception, they are counted as those who were “exterminated” by the Ottoman Turks.

(Aram Manoukian himself was claimed by Yerevan’s typhus epidemic on Jan. 29, 1919, as Dasnabedian reveals on p. 128.)

“After the declaration of Armenian independence, ARF forces continued to fight in Baku (until September 15), as did Antranig’s regiment in the mountains of Zankezour (until the Treaty of Mudros), alongside Allied forces, obstructing the Turkish-German advance and thereby assisting in the achievement of final Allied victory. On October 30, 1918, after the signing of the Treaty of Mudros between the Allies and Turkey, the Armenian Republic justly regained pre-war Russian-Armenian lands and became a viable state covering nearly 50,000 square kilometers.” (As opposed to “barely 12,000 square kilometers around the capital Yerevan, Echmiadzin, and Lake Sevan,” as was the case before.)

The way ARF forces “continued to fight” was usually not against real armies, but against practically defenseless villagers. As Richard Hovannisian himself wrote (Armenia On the Road to Independence, 1967, p. 194) of the great “hero,” Antranik:

”The routes south were blocked by regular Turkish divisions. Backtracking, Antranik then pushed over Nakhichevan into Zangezur, the southernmost uezd of the Elisavetpol gubernia. Remaining there for the duration of the world war, Andranik’s forces crushed one Tatar village after another.” Justin McCarthy continues with a footnote in Death and Exile, p. 248): “Andranik’s forces were also active in the Nahcivan region in 1918, as witnessed in a telegram from the Armenian military commander Nazarbekov [Nazarbekian] to the Chairman of the Independent Armenian Commission in Gümrü: “Please inform the Turkish Commander that Andranik and his entire detachments, which did not obey my orders and which have been dismissed from the Army Corps, are indeed carrying out very cruel actions on the people of the Nahdjuvan [sic] region.” Belgeler I, number 79, no. 1008, 27 Jume 1919, sent on to the Chairman of the Turkish Commission by the Chairman of the Commission, Brig. General Trakopov).

On p. 131, Dasnabedian apologizes for the incompetence of the nation’s early leaders, writing that “of course ... [they] were not always successful.... small, weak, and surrounded by enemies, the country was exhausted, after all, and the people who led it... inexperienced.” Greedily and stupidly starting wars against neighbors Georgia and Azerbaijan, and provoking a war against Turkey, certainly was no way to win friends. Then Dasnabedian continues with a shameless canard: “Nevertheless, whatever they attempted, they did so with a high level of national consciousness, unselfishly, and with wholehearted dedication.” Really! Few leaders in history were more selfish than the Dashnak leaders, sacrificing the welfare of their own people in order to pursue their greedy goals. It could be said the whole history of Dashnak leadership was based upon opportunism, and selfishness, and criminally sacrificing the Armenian people to glorious “martyrdom,” while the leaders would often be safely tucked away, far away.

On p. 133, Dasnabedian ventures into truly offensive territory: “Beginning in the days of the war of independence and continuously thereafter, the rebellions and outrages of the Turkish Azeri-Tatars in Armenia and the need to restrain them formed the objects of primary concern for the Armenian army and ARF armed forces and organizational bodies. In turn, after mid-1919 agitation by the Bolsheviks compounded the problem, resulting in armed uprisings in May of 1920 in the regions of Kars, Ichevan, and especially Alexandropol.”

P. 132: "Azeri claims, the expression of an unlimited expansion fueled by Ottoman Pan-Turanists (same period)." Exactly which Azeri thought these regions constituted part of Azerbaijan? Particularly if the influence stemmed from "Ottoman Pan-Turanists." Did these Ottomans desire Azerbaijan to take out a huge chunk of the Ottoman Empire?

Dasnabedian accuses the Turks and Azeris of “aggressive appetites” on p. 134, and the “Turco-Tatar population” near Yerevan as being in “a state of constant revolt against the Armenian government.” In addition, we are told of “the exhausted remnants of the population of Sasoun, numbering about 70,000...” (How could so many Armenians from one region have survived Ottoman “extermination”?) and that “Mt. Arakadz... held by the Azeri-Tatars [served as] a permanent threat to the Armenian army and the Armenian population in the region.” On May 6, 1918, the Armenian forces from “Sasoun, Daron, and Khnous occupied the fortress of Talin, thought to be impregrable, and cleared the Arakadz region of the Azeris.”

What do you suppose “cleared” means? Let’s hold that thought.

"The fedayee units from Sasoun and Daron participated in checking the Turko-Tatar revolts and played a crucial role in safeguarding the Armenians of Armenia and resettling the refugees from Western Armenia. They participated in the battles of self-defense in Zankezour, subdued the Azeri-Tatar regions of Aghoud and Bashgiami, (etc.)”

On p. 135, Dasnabedian makes this all-important statement, getting to the crux of the real agenda: “Their role in making the Armenian Republic actually Armenian was crucial.”

In other words, the Dashnak author is trying to make it seem as though the Armenians were the poor, innocent, persecuted victims. There is nothing new there, but the reason why this particular misrepresentation is so sickening is that during this period of some two-and-one-half years (1918-1920) of Dashnak rule, the idea was to have Armenia, in Dasnabedian’s word, “cleared” of the hated Muslims.

Let’s imagine for a moment that this despised “Turco-Tatar” element was indeed in “a state of constant revolt against the Armenian government.” Very much like the Armenians were against the Ottoman government. Did Armenia react by temporarily resettling the treacherous population, as the Ottoman Empire did, with their treacherous Armenians?

The answer, as a writer of a 1990 issue of The Jewish Times noted, was that the Armenian government conducted a “a systematic extermination of the entire Muslim population of ... Armenia” that served as "an appropriate analogy to the Holocaust."

Or, as the Soviet-Armenian historian Lalayan put it on P.85 of “Revolyutsionniy Vostok” (Revolutionist East) No. 2-3 of 1936: “During the dictatorship term of the anti-revolutionist Dashnak government (1918-1920), all of the population which was not Armenian was considered illegal. The Dashnaks' activities to “Armenianize” all of the country — which implied the killing of Azeri and Kurdish people living on Armenian soil.”

But of course, the poverty-stricken Muslims who were haplessly caught in this murderous state were not in revolt. If they caused disturbances, the actions were only in response to Armenian aggression, in exactly the same manner that Dasnabedian and so many other dishonest Armenian historians have deceptively classified aggressive Ottoman-Armenian action — the Azeris and other Muslims were truly acting in “self-defense”!

(Even Richard Hovannisian grudgingly agreed, in The Republic of Armenia, Volume III; emphasis Holdwater’s: “When Muslim villagers attempted to defend their lands by attempting to seize the roads and bridges spanning the Araxes River, Armenian militiamen and irregulars exacted retribution from the most vulnerable Muslim settlements and sacked the large villages of Djanfida and Kiarim-Arkb.... On August 24 Arsham Khondkarian used the tactic of parliamentary questions to ask if the interior ministry knew that a number of Tatar villages had been pillaged and depopulated. He received no satisfactory reply. Khondkarian's pointed questioning was frequently cited in Azerbaijani sources as proof of Armenian culpability."

"The Azerbaijani foreign ministry and press frequently protested the maltreatment of the Turkic population under Armenian domination. Aside from doing nothing to prevent atrocities committed by Western Armenian irregulars, the Erevan government was charged with disregarding the Muslim destitute, who were denied shelter, medical attention, and employment.")

Armenia’s campaign of systematic extermination is clearly in line with the 1948 U.N. Genocide Convention’s stipulations; the victims were targeted strictly because they belonged to a different ethnic/religious group.

The devastating population losses, according to Lalayan’s estimation, may be accessed here. The Great Soviet Encyclopedia of 1936 figured the 1918 population constituted 38%. Justin McCarthy, relying on the 1915 Russian Statistical Yearbook and the 1926 U.S.S.R. Census, tells us there were 270,000 “Turco-Tatars” in 1914 (adjusted to postwar boundaries), and 89,000 in 1926, resulting in a loss of 67%. (Death and Exile, p. 217. Today, the race-obsessed Armenians have ensured that Armenia is some 98% ethnically pure, according to the CIA Fact Book.)

Dasnabedian continued on p. 135: “In February 1920, the forces under the command of General Hovsepian put down the Turkish rebels in the region of Kars.” (As related on pp. 333-335 of Vratsian’s book.)

According to the 1915 Russian Statistical Yearbook, the Muslims formed a clear majority in Kars, at 50%, with Armenians at some 25%. The British gave control of Kars to the Armenians, and disarmed the Muslims. It was a recipe for disaster. Col. Rawlinson wrote in his 1924 book (Adventures in the Near East, 1918-1922, p. 227):

“I had received further very dubious information of horrors that had been committed by the Armenian soldiery in Kars Plain, and as I had been able to judge of their want of discipline by their treatment of my own detached parties, I had wired to Tiflis from Zivin that ‘in the interests of humanity the Armenians should not be left in command of the Muslim population, as, their troops being without discipline and not being under effective control, atrocities were constantly being committed, for which we [the British, who gave Kars to the Armenians] should with justice eventually be held to be morally responsible.”

(The above is from Death and Exile, and McCarthy comments in his footnote on p. 247 that “Rawlinson’s testimony is especially reliable because he had good reason to be anti-Turkish,” for he was treated badly as a P.O.W., “but nevertheless reported honestly.” Furthermore, Rawlinson’s description of Armenian atrocities against Muslims was similar to his conversations with the American intelligence agent Lt. Dunn, as Dunn recorded in his own book, World Alive, 1956, p. 309.)

Dasnabedian: “Dro, in turn, led various army operations to subdue Turkish revolts; he also saved the Armenians of Karabagh from extermination by rushing there in April of 1920 and remaining for about 45 days.” (As related on pp. 366-369 of Vratsian’s book.)

An ARF newspaper published in Fresno; Asbarez, no. 116, 1910.

Dro was at his bravest when his opponents (or more correctly, his victims) were not firing back. The worth of Dro was summed up by U.S. High Commissioner Admiral Mark Bristol: “I know from reports of my own officers who served with General Dro that defenseless villages were bombarded and then occupied, and any inhabitants that had not run away were brutally killed, the village pillaged, and all the livestock confiscated, and then the village burned. This was carried out as a regular systematic getting-rid of the Muslims.” (Briistol War Diary, 14 August 1922, U.S. 867.00/1540, Death and Exile, p. 215.)

Even Avetis Aharonian referred to Dro’s culpability, in an article that appeared in Armenian Review (“From Sardarapat to Sevres and Lausanne,” Vol. 16, No. 3-63, Autumn, Sep. 1963, p. 54): “It is the armed bands led by Dro, Hamazasp and Kulkhandanian who during the past months have raided and destroyed many Muslim villages in the regions of Surmali, Etchmiadzin, Zangezour, and Zangibasar. There are official charges of massacres by the Armenians."

On p. 135, the Dashnak author repeats the usual propaganda that “Armenia was in serious danger,” in May 1920. because of “the pact between the Soviet Bolsheviks and Turkish Kemalists.” If this agreement exists (certainly Kemal was keeping the lines of communication open, playing on the hopes of the Soviets to have Turkey become communist, much as Kemal had no intentions for his country to go red), does it say these two countries were planning to gang up on poor little Armenia? (Footnote 27 informs that Simon Vratsian was one of the three members of the ARF Bureau who had a copy of this agreement, and the opinion of a Bolshevik Armenian in Tiflis convinced them that “the Armenian state would be sacrificed.” This opinion must have served as the “proof.”

To get at the truth, all we need do is consult the 1923 manifesto of First Armenian Prime Minister Katchaznouni, who flatly admitted it was his country that was doing the provoking, because the usually belligerent Armenians felt that they could win. The Turks wished to talk (at the time, the Turks would have probably preferred to have concentrated their desperate and limited forces on the Greeks invading from the west), but the Armenians refused. (“...the Turks proposed that we meet and confer. We did not do so and defied them.”) To seal the fact that Turkey and the Soviets were not in collusion, after the Dashnaks invited the Soviets to take over, and after some unhappy factions decided to put up a fight some months later (It would appear the booted-out Dashnaks missed their days as greedy dictators, and wanted to get back on the power seat; of the previous Dashnak gang, only Vratsian remained as president, to oversee the change of government. On p. 144, Dasnabedian tells us Dashnaks left the country on December 1, much as a good number were jailed, and "Only Simon Vratsian would remain to transfer power to the country's new rulers." On the next page, the February revolt broke out on Feb. 16 after "mass arrests on February 9-10, 1921...freeing hundreds imprisoned by the government" Vratsian and others went underground, and Vratsian headed "The Committee for the Salvation of the Homeland"), the Armenian government asked Turkey for military aid on March 18, 1921. (See Appendix IV of last link.) Obviously, if Turkey and the Soviets were collaborating to see Armenia “sacrificed,” such a request could not logically have been made. Particularly since Armenia's leader of that time was none other than that “symbol of Dashnag failure and chicanery” (in the words of Arthur Derounian), and the one we are told had a copy of the Soviet-Turkish agreement, Simon Vratsian himself.

(This would be the very Vratsian that Dasnabedian has relied on exclusively for certain claims, as Dro’s heroics, and the Turkish rebels of Kars, as we have seen a few paragraphs ago. What kind of a way is that to write history, by relying on a singular source, and an extremely partisan source at that? Of course, what Dasnabedian has produced serves as a mockery of history, but unfortunately the kind of account eaten up by Dashnak-brainwashed Armenian youth.)

(Incidentally, what follows is how Dasnabedian covered Vratsian's request to Turkey for help, on p. 145: "...Armenia was completely alone, especially after the Sovietization of Georgia on February 25, 1921. The appeals of the Armenian government, directed at the European governments for assistance; at Moscow for understanding; and at neighboring states for amicable relations, remained voices in the wilderness." The footnoted source for this information, or lack of information, was — fittingly — the book Vratsian wrote himself. As an additional point, we are told Yerevan was reconquered by the Soviets on April 2nd, but Zanzekour held on to sovereignty, thanks to the command of Karekin Nzhdeh. Probably this is the same fellow who started up the "Dashnak Boy Scouts," or the Armenian Youth Federation [AYF] across the United States, and if so, he was responsible for such lovely thoughts as these.)

Still insisting on Turkish-Russian cooperation to oppress poor Armenia, the author writes on p. 142 that “The Bolshevik-Kemalist plot against Armenia became all the more apparent especially after the Sovietization of Azerbaijan in April, 1920.” Reasons? Now-Communist Azerbaijan “began to harass Armenia by raising the issues of Karabagh, Zanzekour, and Sharour-Nakhichevan and by provoking internal instability.” Also: “Some of the most notorious among the Pan-Turanists and those that had participated in the Genocide against the Armenians gathered in Baku.” (Ex-Prime Minister Katchaznouni: “Was there an understanding between the Bolsheviks and the Turks? In our ranks that conviction was widespread. I think, however, that it was wrong; at all events there is no positive proof. It is probable that the Bolshevik agents (or individuals with Bolshevik leanings) were trying to destroy our Army from the inside, but for that it was not necessary to have an agreement with the Turks.”)

On p. 143, Dasnabedian gets briefly into “the disastrous Armeno-Turkish war” of 1920, and all he has to say about it is the following: “Despite the stubborn and heroic resistance of various Armenian army units, the Armeno-Turkish war ended with the defeat of Armenia...” (Source: Vratsian.) “...On October 30, Kars fell, as did Alexandropol on November 6.” Hovhannes Katchaznouni stated the exact opposite: “Our army was well fed and well armed and dressed but it did not fight. The troops were constantly retreating and deserting their positions; they threw away their arms and dispersed in the villages.” Admiral Bristol, in a March 28, 1921 letter to the missionary James Barton, on Kars: “...by starting an attack against the Turks which resulted in a counter attack by the Turks, and then the Armenians deserted and ran away and even would not stand and defend their women and children. The acts of the Armenian army at Kars absolutely disgusted our Americans, including Yarrow.”

Here’s how Dasnabedian justifies the voluntary “handing over” of Armenia by the Dashnaks to the Soviets: “Considering the ruthless terms presented by Karabekir, reaching an immediate accord with the Russians was an absolute necessity in order to save all that could be saved of Armenia’s territory and her people. And on December 2, within the difference of a few hours, Dro and H. Derderian signed the agreement for the Sovietization of Armenia with Legran, while Khadisian’s delegation signed the treaty of Alexandropol with the Turks.” (So it was the great Armenian fighting hero, Dro, who had a hand in selling out his nation without a fight.) Isn’t that explanation utterly silly? Turkey was not going to totally take over Armenia (particularly given Turkey’s vulnerability and lack of resources at the time, still needing to face the Greek invaders from the West), and risk upsetting the fragile equilibrium regarding the wishes of Britain, France and Russia. The Treaty of Gumru/Alexandropol spelled out precisely what the Turks wanted, and that was going to be that.

Katchaznouni provided what appears to be the real reasons:

“The Bolsheviks entered Armenia without meeting any resistance. This was the decision of our Party. There were two reasons for acting this way; first, we could not resist it even if we wanted to — we were defeated; second, we hoped that the Soviet authorities, backed by Russia, would he able to introduce some order in the state — a thing which we, all alone, had failed to do, and it was very plain already that we would not be able to do. It was our desire to let the Bolsheviks rule the country ...”

On p. 144, Dasnabedian caps off with: “Completely exhausted and with the terror of new Turkish atrocities in their hearts, the people of Armenia greeted the establishment of Soviet order not, understandably, with enthusiasm, but with a certain relief.”

The attitude of the Armenian people is not hard to understand, given that their terrorist leaders had totally botched everything up through four administrations in two-and-one-half years. (Katchaznouni: “If we are to evaluate the work we did and the results we obtained, we must confess that we have nothing to boast about from the time we declared the independence of our Republic... We have always miscalculated... And it is evident, to me at least, that it was on account of our ineptness, individually, that prevented us from conducting affairs of state properly.”)

P. 138: "The part of historical Armenia that passed from Ottoman Turkey to the Republic of Armenia, under the Treaty of Sèvres and Wilson's arbitration." One wonders how the Kurdish-Turk Taner Akcam has married himself to the Armenian Cause as extensively as he has; Is not a good part of the lower shaded area thought of as "Kurdistan"?

Let's compare the above version of "Western Armenia" with the map below, presented earlier in this book:

"Six eastern vilayets (founded in Ottoman Armenia around 1866): Sivas (Sepasdia), Harput (Kherpert/Mamuret-ul-Aziz), Diarbekir, Bitlis (Paghesh), Van and Erzurum (Garin, Karin)." Did you all know Armenia's claims, at least according to author Dasnabedian, actually went as far west as the Sivas region?

As far as the “new Turkish atrocities” claim, it is becoming very tiresome, given that the Turks proved again and again that they protected the Armenians under their care. For example, regarding the Turkish occupation of Kars, much as Vratsian reported (in Hayastani Hanrapetutiun, pp. 479-81, as sourced in Christopher Walker's Armenia: The Survival of a Nation): "For three days uninterruptedly the Turks looted, raped and killed, and perpetrated every kind of savagery in the city," it’s very difficult to take Vratsian seriously, especially since less than half a year after the Armenians lost Kars, where the Turks had subjected Armenians to such “savagery,” Vratsian asked for Turkey’s help and protection against the Soviets. That would be like the Jews asking the Nazis for help, if the Armenians were serious about their “Turkish atrocities” claims. But we know Vratsian is a liar, because the very anti-Turkish Near East Relief (in the form of Edward Fox, Kars district commander) had this to say in an Oct. 31 telegram to Admiral Bristol (emphasis Holdwater's): "All the Americans in Kars are well, and the Turkish Army is full of concern for us and accords us all considerations. We have been given permission to continue our activities as before. The Turkish soldiers are well disciplined and there have been no massacres."

Perhaps one other reason why the Dashnaks were in a hurry to sell out their nation to the Soviets is suggested by this comment: “The Bolsheviks had every reason to consider that treaty (of Gumru/Alexandropol) null and void, because it was signed by the representatives of the Independent Armenian Republic, after it had already been Sovietized.” Isn’t that the slimiest thing you’ve ever heard? Imagine trying to shirk one’s responsibilities in such a manner. Yet, as even Dasnabedian alludes in the corresponding footnote (as well as notes from a map on p. 154), subsequent treaties (Kars, October 13, 1921, which sanctified the Treaties of Moscow [March, 1921] and Brest-Litovsk [March 3, 1918]) basically incorporated the same terms; and besides, from what we’ve been told regarding “a two hour difference,” this point becomes all the more ridiculous. (Which one can understand had the Armenian delegation told the Turks, after already having begun the negotiations that certainly preceded the signing of the Sovietization agreement: "Hey, take it up with the Soviets. For the last two hours, they have owned us." Would the Turks have packed up and gone home?) Derounian had this to say about the chronological order by which these agreements had been signed: "...by all odds a masterful though asinine effort at double-dealing."

The Gumru-Alexandropol Treaty was also signed three months after its first (Dec. 2, 1920) signing, in Moscow. It was signed a third time in Kars on Sept. 22, 1921, after approval by the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

On page 155, Dasnabedian gets into “The Punishment of Those Responsible for the Genocide,” the details of which “are fully presented in the memoirs of the avengers.” The series began, “quite justly,” with Talat’s assassination, “the man most responsible for the Genocide.” (Let’s all thank Aram Andonian for providing the “evidence” for that claim.) “Six others, Jivanshir, Sayid Halim Pasha, Bahaeddin Shakir, Jemal Azmi, Jemal Pasha, and Enver Pasha, were also felled one after another in the years 1921-1922.” (Said Pasha was totally innocent, Jemal Pasha did all he could to help the Armenians, and why are the dishonest Dashnaks taking the credit for Enver’s death? In the footnote, there is a clarification: “...only Enver was to escape the Dashnaktsakan avengers...” then why is he on this list? “...for he was killed in August 1922 in Soviet Turkestan by an Armenian soldier in the Red Army.” If Enver was killed in battle, how could we possibly know where the bullet came from?) “Justice, thwarted by the Genocide of the Armenian people, was at least partially restored, while the shame of having walked like sheep to the slaughterhouse was wiped away from the face of the Armenian nation.” Vratsian called these murders “The Armenian Nuremberg.” (How could such a comparison be made with a straight face, between a trial offering due process, versus a ruthless execution squad?)

The real “Nuremberg” was the Malta Tribunal (1919-21), held by the British, who had every reason to convict Ottoman officials and personnel in order to justify their land-grab scheme; but try as they might, the British could not come up with any legitimate evidence, and were forced to release every single prisoner.

Misak Torlakian polished off the Azeri Minister of the Interior on July 28, 1921, in Istanbul, as Jivanshir was about to attend the theater (By the way, what did a non-Ottoman official have to do with the "Genocide"?). Dasnabedian writes, in the footnote: “The execution of Jivanshir was an act of extreme daring and an example of clear awareness of duty. Having slain Jivanshir and made off without being apprehended, Torlakian had doubts that he might have missed. He returned and right under the noses of the crowd and policemen, he emptied his gun into the body of the criminal. Only then was he arrested.” (At least the psychotic Torlakian provided some evidence supporting the phony "temporary insanity" clause that got him off, similar to Talat's killer, Tehlirian. The assassin wrote his memoirs in 1963, The Course of My Life, which our author suggests we consult. To round off the story, we read: “The avenger was arrested and badly beaten by the French security forces of Constantinople but was later handed over to the British occupation forces, whose court acquitted him in November of 1921.” It was because of the decisions of kangaroo courts like this, as well as the Tehlirian trial in Berlin of that year, that “future fedayees” felt greater courage in picking up their pistols and bombs; they figured they would get off easily in biased Western courts. For the most part, they were exactly right, as most of the handful of arrested Armenian terrorists from the 1970s and ‘80s, following in the footsteps of these “heroes” from a previous era, were released with a slap on the wrist.

Other killers got away without being arrested, as Arshavir Shiragian, who knocked off (in Rome) former Prime Minister Said Halim Pasha, whose connection to the Armenian relocation policy was anyone’s guess. Within a month, the killer was back in Istanbul, but didn’t stay long. Off to Berlin he went, assisted by a bunch of other Dashnak thugs, including “the veteran ARF avenger Aram Yerganian.” Hrach Papazian, “disguised as a wealthy Turkish student, had infiltrated Turkish circles and almost daily passed on information” to the others. On April 17, 1922, Shiragian and Yerganian murdered Shakir and “the butcher of Trebizond,” Jemal Azmi. “Both avengers escaped, disappearing into the night.” (Doing Germany an immense favor. Imagine the Berlin court system trying to wiggle its way out of another couple of cases of cold-blooded murder. Yerganian wrote a 1954 book, by the way, proudly entitled, “How We Killed.” This fanatic also murdered three Azerbaijanis, described as “leading Armenian-haters.” Shiragian also has another murder to his credit, in 1920; the victim was “the Armenian informer Vahe Ihsan in Constantinople.” His bio at the end of the book tells us he was born in Istanbul, marking him as yet another Ottoman traitor. He “grew under the wing of the Dasnaktsakan intellectual elite” — these would be the ones who were mainly arrested on April 24. Young and impressionable under the influence of these fanatics, Shiragian was indoctrinated at a very early age to become a killer. He was only 20 when he murdered Ihsan, his fellow Armenian.)

There is a chronology in the back of this book, with all kinds of fun descriptions, such as (for September 1922, on p. 184): “The Smyrna catastrophe takes place and the Greek and Armenian populations are massacred.” Then who were those thousands of wholly unmassacred Greeks and Armenians lining up on the quays, desperately trying to escape the fires started up by the Armenians and the Greeks, as personally witnessed by the veteran Austrian fire chief of Izmir, and supported by the facts as provided by other reliable evidence?

Perhaps what comes with the territory of being a “denier” is that no matter how often one comes across the historical approach of those such as Hratch Dasnabedian, those who allow their deceitful propaganda to take precedence over their personal honor, and those who feel no shame in offering very corrupt sources as though they would represent the truth, one still has trouble believing it. One still continues to be in “denial” that there are people like this, and what’s worse, that there are so many people like this. It is truly disheartening.

Prof. William Langer wrote, in The Diplomacy of Imperialism,1960, that “it is the duty of the historian to look at the facts from all possible angles.” What Hratch Dasnabedian has done, in the same manner as practically all Armenian historians (some worse than others; the one in a league by himself is Vahakn Dadrian), is use sources only in support of Hai Tahd, or the Armenian Cause. Obviously, if one sets out to write an honest history of the ARF, one does not rely almost exclusively on mendacious partisans such as Simon Vratsian and Mikayel Varandian. The last thing Hratch Dasnabedian had in mind, of course, was to write honest history; his goal was to glamorize this criminal, terrorist organization, appealing to the already corrupted and brainwashed minds of Dashnak-influenced youth. What is truly frightening is that the “patriotic” feelings of these Armenians have been made so passionate, fanned primarily by the flames of anti-Turkish hatred that has been instilled in too many of them since childhood, that these Armenians are wholly uninterested in learning the truth. Too many of these Armenians are completely ready to accept the claims, at face value, of those such as Simon Vratsian. Anything that goes against these hateful and deceitful claims, even when the sources are other genocide-believing Armenians, are rejected. The truth not in support of the all-important agenda simply cannot be tolerated. How can people— how can the majority of the Armenian people — allow themselves to choose such abject and harmful dishonesty?