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26 April 2008

2439) Armenians in the Diaspora by Michael van der Galien

Although I think that Jason Epstein is right to point out at Pajamas Media that Armenians in the Diaspora should stop forcing governments to recognize the events of 1915 as genocide, and that they should - instead - focus on Armenia itself (with its massive problems, such as corruption), I think that it has to be said that Armenia has received a lot of financial aide from several countries in the past century or so, especially from the United States. As such, it doesn’t make any sense to me whatsoever to ask the US and other Western countries to invest in this country which has been driven into the ground by corrupt, mafia-like, selfish leaders.

The Armenian Diaspora should, most certainly, do all it can to help the country of their relatives - we presume - survive, if they care about the fate of this country at least, but asking other countries to invest once again isn’t the way to go.

What should happen is this; Armenians have to take responsibility for the state Armenia is in, and they should stop blaming Turkey for everything. The events of 1915 have nothing to do with the fact that this Armenia’s leaders have done everything in their power - from the get-go - to oppress their people, and to enrich themselves, to draw more power to themselves, regardless of what doing so would do to their people.

So, in that regard, I’m in complete agreement with Epstein. Members of the Armenian Diaspora would be wise to stop calling on governments to ‘recognize’ the so-called ‘genocide’ and to, instead, focus on making Armenia a better country. It has a lot of problems, most of which are caused by Armenians themselves. Most of its wound are self-inflicted. If you want to heal this country, you’ve got to start with yourself; that means with Armenia, and with the leadership of this country.
April 25, 2008
Comments »
1
JudasPriest
April 25, 2008
If diaspora invests 1/100th of what they pour in to support "genocide’" claims towards Armenia instead which its infrastructure is dire need of even a dime, they’d at least help the cause of prospering their own people today. I think they have no stake in their mother land anymore, this is more like a mission for them. It makes happy to score against Turkey when they got another country notch recognizing genocide. The reality of Armenia is so far and not-interested for these isolated communities. Their communal power also depends on how much hatred they’d inject to their new generation in the diaspora. Instead they are missing the point as-to how much good it’d bring to Armenia today to have a peaceful relationship with the neighboring Turkey particularly by means of increased trade and modernization. They are not helping Armenians in Armenia.

2
Michael van der Galien
April 25, 2008
JP, that’s because they don’t really care, in my opinion. They worry about other things; they’re almost like a people themselves. They care less about Armenians - if these Armenians suffer today, because of the ‘genocide’ push, the Armenians in the diaspora think to themselves ‘you’re suffering for a good cause,’ and leave it at that. Lets not forget that Armenians have been oppressed most by their own people.

3
JanJan
April 25, 2008
"What should happen is this; Armenians have to take responsibility for the state Armenia is in, and they should stop blaming Turkey for everything."

But this insinuates Armenians ARE responsibility for their predicament. Yes corrupt leaders don’t help and are a blight on the country, but the first year or so of Armenia’s independence in 1991 is regarded as its democratic pinacle. It was also one of the most dire moments in Armenia’s history with no electricity or heat for the entire country. The fact the Soviet Union evaporated leaving it and all the other SSRs stranded was not their faults and is the number one reason for the massive problems each country faces- as I said while oligarchs don’t help they did not single handedly create Armenia’s problem.
Meanwhile Armenia does blame Turkey for at least part of its problems, since the blockade it imposed does nothing to help Armenia free itself of oligarcs, Russia, etc. Expecting Armenians to just never speak about their past again as Turkey lists as procondition for opening the border, no matter what you qualify 1915 as, is something you should be able to admit is an extremely tall and frankly unfair order to impose on an entire people and its diaspora of whom Armenia has little control over.

"The events of 1915 have nothing to do with the fact that this Armenia’s leaders have done everything in their power - from the get-go - to oppress their people, and to enrich themselves, to draw more power to themselves, regardless of what doing so would do to their people."

I enjoy this attack on Armenia, since I can be 100% sure you’d never apply the same standard to Azerbaijan’s own extremely corrupt elite since you like them so much more.

"Members of the Armenian Diaspora would be wise to stop calling on governments to ‘recognize’ the so-called ‘genocide’ and to, instead, focus on making Armenia a better country. "

Who says they don’t? Kirk Kerkorian alone has rebuilt Armenia’s entire road infrastructure and he’s just one of many wealthy diasporans who invest billions in Armenia. This doesn’t count the numerous other diasporans who invest in their own ways or with themselves by repatriating and working for change from the inside. I don’t like Armenia’s leaders either and the corrupt way they stole this election- but I also recognize the opposition in the form of LTP was hardly democratic when he was in charge either and unfortunately was more about hating the authorities than real change. The recent election cycle cannot be painted as good vs. bad, or that the diaspora totally neglects the country in favor of their own diasporan issues. While I would like more concentration on Armenia, it is clear after this last election that the diaspora doesn’t have a dog in Armenia’s internal issues and there is little they can do to change it. This needs to come from within Armenia and there isn’t all that much they can do to change that, short of teaching the authorities a lesson by cutting off all support and contact for Armenia- which ironically would then confirm your notion that the diaspora does nothing for Armenia. So what exactly are you proposing here? All I see is empty talk devoid of real ideas.

4
P. Connolly
April 25, 2008
"So what exactly are you proposing here? All I see is empty talk devoid of real ideas."
I think the proposal is for Diaspora Armenians to start looking at what they have become. In all this fanatical campaign for recognition of a "genocide" label for the events of 1915 Diaspora Armenians have involved themselves in political intrigue and deceit on an international level, have financed terrorists and lent them moral support and instead of becomming fully integrated into their host cultures continue dreaming of re-conquering Eastern Anatolia and drawing Americans (of all people) into this plan (shall we say "crusade"?) to take back land that was conquered 1000 years ago by a non-Christian people. Seriously!!! Has it occurred to you that other cultures have come here and become fully integrated into American culture and that -coincidentally- they did not harbor such dreams and hatreds against their former rulers?

5
JanJan
April 25, 2008
"instead of becomming fully integrated into their host cultures"

Are you daft?! Armenians have assimilated plenty!! In fact maybe too much for most of their liking! An Armenian has been governor one of the largest states in the union, there are two Armenians sitting in Congress and have been others in the past, Armenians can be found in every aspect of the culture from the one who invented the very greenback color on American money in the 19th century to… well I don’t need to list Armenian contributions to America today but without being patronizing or cliche they can be found in every industry and aspect of life.
This isn’t just American either, for example in France Patrick Devedjian is the head of the president’s own party!! The President of the Cyprus House of Representatives is also Armenian.
I’m sick of people who clearly don’t know the first thing about Armenians except what they hear from Turkish propaganda circles making such bizarre and utterly unfounded claims like Armenians are unable to integrate into their societies when they have more than done so!!! It is as if your burden of proof is your ability to type it!
How about loooking at the Turks in Germany instead!

6
P. Connolly
April 25, 2008
Okay, If Armenians are so fully integrated then why do they agitate for the "return" of "Turkish Armenia" ?

7
JanJan
April 25, 2008
First you are using the old Turkish propaganda tactic that the diaspora is a monolith and that all Armenians have salica dripping from their fangs as they scream for a transfer of territory.
Why do Irish-Americans celebrate St. Patrick’s day? Why have Italian-Americans maintained ethnic organizations for 100 years and identify with Italy strongly? Why do Jewish-Americans support Israel’s territory dispute against Palestinians?
None of these things have kept Irish, Italians, and Jews from integrating quite a bit into American society, so how do those Armenians differ?

8
P. Connolly
April 26, 2008
1. I certainly do not consider the Armenian Community a monolith and I certainly recognize the diversity among them.
2. I’m an Irish-American and marched (in uniform) during my four years in High School in what is probably the largest St. Patrick’s day parade in the country. However I do not see any parallel in the Irish, Italian -or any other fully-integrated non-Jewish immigrant community for anything similar to this:
http://setasarmenian.blogspot.com/2007/12/armenians-demand-justice-not.html
http://www.defacto.am/index.php?OP=205520896
Comparing this to the Irish celebrating St. Patrick’s day is clearly unbalanced.

The Jewish case is different. They were subjected to persecution for centuries in the Christian West (culminating in the Holocaust); they are a special case. Clearly the Armenians would like their case to be viewed as similar to the Jews but the facts show otherwise.

9
JudasPriest
April 26, 2008
JanJan you are saying that diaspora have little control over Armenian politics. I find it hard to believe as diaspora seems to have a lot of muscle when it comes to genocide claims over many countries by exerting financial and political means. How come Armenian lobby of France and US can not deal with home problems, I think there is great unwillingness to do it so. Yes, the blockade from Turkish side will continue if diaspora does not change its mind and start acting on matters that will improve life in Armenia on all cylinders. This is more practical than rhetorical since you can only achieve by having countries accepting genocide claims but nothing more. Also you should realize that there is no way that you’d get a penny or portion of Mt. Ararat. Therefore a smarter move for you would be to act responsible for the sake of your motherland country. Otherwise, Armenia would definitely suffer more, as simple as that.

10
JanJan
April 26, 2008
" The Jewish case is different. They were subjected to persecution for centuries in the Christian West (culminating in the Holocaust); they are a special case."

Wow, I didn’t think you’d actually go there. Certainly brave to tread into "Jews-don’t-have-to-fully-intergrate-because-of-the-Holocaust" territory, and then especially to compare them to Armenians and their lack of similarity- despite the fact their events of 1915 are widely put up there second after the Holocaust, whether or not you think it was a genocide.
Sorry but Americans are Americans, you have no right to create a double-standard where it is ok for American Jews to have ties to a foreign entity but not for anyone else. It’s this kind of exceptionalism which leads to resentment.

"Therefore a smarter move for you would be to act responsible for the sake of your motherland country."

Once again I ask for a real plan of action that should be pursued. Turkey says that until Armenians forget that a genocide ever happened and never talk about it again, period, there is no hope for relations. What kind of a sick ultimatum is this?!

11
P. Connolly
April 26, 2008
"Jews-don’t-have-to-fully-intergrate-because-of-the-Holocaust"

Any reader can see that this is clearly a misrepresentation of what I said. I never said -or meant- that they don’t have to fully integrate because of the holocaust. Quite to the contrary; In the case of the Jews, their interest in Israel does not prove a failure to integrate. But with the Armenians their interest in "Turkish Armenia" raises serious questions about their level of integration in their Host Cultures.

Based on previous experience with Armenians resorting to attacks on their opponents when cornered, one has to ask serious questions about "JanJan’s" misrepresentation of my statement.

12
Paul
April 26, 2008
It was the Jewish diaspora that fostered the notion of a Jewish State in an area with little to no Jewish population. That number did increase dramatically thanks to the Holocaust, but the fact remains there was no Jewish population in Israel to speak of at the beginning of the Zionist movement. This has continued to expand to today where American Jewish establishment (certainly not all Jews) continue to support the incursions into Palestinian territory via settlements which run unabated with the US President’s seal of approval. How is this different than some Armenians claiming Turkish land- a claim which certainly is nowhere near as serious a threat of coming true as Zionism? It is a wider reflection of the injustice of not just 1915 when Armenians were totally removed from their historic homeland but the treatment of Armenian property in places like Istanbul for the Armenians who did remain up until today. Their treatment and the ease with which their property still gets confiscated is totally indefensible (unless you are afraid the Armenian community of Istanbul is preparing to join up with Russia tomorrow) and there is absolutely no doubt that even without considering 1915 a serious soul-searching needs to occur in Turkey about this issue and simply saying ’sit down and shut up (and in some cases "love it or leave it")’ is not going to fix it. This is a deep issue which needs resolving, blaming the whole problem on Armenians and then villifying them for "creating" this issue is totally missing the point and origin of it.

13
JudasPriest
April 26, 2008
"Once again I ask for a real plan of action that should be pursued. Turkey says that until Armenians forget that a genocide ever happened and never talk about it again, period, there is no hope for relations. What kind of a sick ultimatum is this?!"

As you could remember, Turkey has been proposing Armenian co-operation to form a joint summit with the historians and offered opening up all Ottoman archives. Diaspora vehemently opposed to this investigation as they thought there was nothing up for debate in their mind. Do you remember? As this uncooperative attitude and hatred towards Turkey at every international platform continues, the relations will never improve, and whether you like it or not, we dont believe Armenian genocide and it can not be pushed down upon us either. The best is to leave it to historians, and stop this hatred.

14
JudasPriest
April 26, 2008
Also we did not forget ASALA and our innocent diplomat victims in Europe during 1970s and 80s. But still this debate would continue and I have no hope that Armenian church and diaspora will ever give up on it.

15
Paul
April 26, 2008
"The best is to leave it to historians, and stop this hatred."

Armenians would say ‘why leave to historians what we already know?’

I would say ‘how many historians do you need to say yes it was genocide before you stop feeling so confident in your handful who says it wasn’t?’ What kind of an answer is leave it to the historians except "let’s let Halacioglu havae the final say because we like what he says and he’s a ‘historian’, while simultaneously discounting all historians who say it was genocide because we’d rather have the (Turkish official) HISTORIAN decide!"

16
P. Connolly
April 26, 2008
Leave it to historians is a polite way of saying: "Why don’t you deceitful Armenian Propagandists stop seducing our politicians with your guaranteed deliveries of huge voting blocks and let the Historians uncover the historical facts." Let’s face it; Politicians have a vested interest in getting votes; they are not qualified to decide on the facts of one of the most complex historical events in the history of the human race. And there’s no need for the services of a group of self-proclaimed genocide "scholars" either. Historians - not politicians or self-proclaimed genocide "scholars" uncover the facts of history and a group of no less than 69 AMERICAN HISTORIANS and specialists in Ottoman and Middle Eastern studies put their names to an open Paid Ad published in the Washington Post and the N.Y. Times in 1986 expressing their opposition to this characterization of the 1915 events as "genocide". Armenians responded with Terrorist acts directed against Turkish Civil Servants, fund-raising for the legal defense of these criminals, and increased political pressure on American Politicians. The home of a highly reputable Historian who opposed the Armenians claims vocally was -coincidentally- bombed!

17
R
April 26, 2008
‘P. Connolly’ your quite partisan for someone who claims to be ‘Irish-American’.

18
P. Connolly
April 26, 2008
Well …like "JanJan" said above, the Armenians are not a monolithic block; she’s quite correct there. I’m well aware that there are many of them who deviate from the "party line". I happen to have studied -independently- the History and Culture of the Turkish people over a period of many years; and the history of Christianity …all from sources carefully screened and chosed for their impartiality. When one investigates the facts that carefully, it’s relatively easy to see that there’s alot of lying coming from the Christian Armenian side against the Moslem Turkish side. Ultimately, I don’t consider myself partial; the Armenians as a people are clearly being harmed by soiling their hands with such a hateful, lying campaign. They could make significant contributions to the human family if they would channel their energy in a more productive direction.

Humiliation of the Armenian people is not the outcome that I seek at all and the Turks don’t seek that outcome either. In the huge crowd of tens of thousands of Turkish Citizens who followed Hrant Dink’s funeral procession there was undoubtedly an overwhelming majority of people who -while oppoesed to this "genocide" label- care sincerely about the Armenian people.

19
Robert
April 26, 2008
Questions to Paul:
How many of your Historians that said "Yes" have actually conducted serious researches in national archives of countries like France, England, Russia and Turkey of course ???

How many of the self-proclaimed Genocide Scholars and the people from the Zoryan Intitute have actually done their own researches in the Archives ???
I mean, even Ara Sarafian that actually devotes his life searching and reading various archive documents, STILL hadn’t come up with the "Unrefutable" proof…
Same for Hilmar Kaiser…

It would be wise to actually let "REAL" historians do their jobs instead of relying on fraudulent, self proclaimed "Scholars".

20
Burnell
April 26, 2008
With all due respect, all the above comments are pretty short sighted. The Armenians as an ethnic group are well assimilated in every country the live in from Russia to the US to Egypt to Romania to Turkey. They are integrated so much so that many Armenians do not recognize the common characteristics of the Armenian culture when meeting a fellow Armenian from another country.

When comparing diaspora, there is not another more powerful diaspora than the Jews. In the US alone, they hold 18% of seats in Congress as well as important cabinent posts. The Armenians, while the second most powerful lobby ethnic group, do not have near the power.

When looking at the effect the Armenian Diaspora can have on Armenian politics, we see they have minimal effect. As correctly mentioned above, most diaspora especially those with family ties to Turkey and Syria are much more focused on Genocide than on Armenia herself. Most Armenians view the people who remain in Armenia as the "left overs" and look down their nose at the citizens of Armenia.

While many Armenians will jump up to the call "Manq Hay enq!", sadly this practice only extends to the diaspora outside of the former Soviet territory. Many hope that one day the diaspora will become a monolith and help Armenia herself but it will be generations to come before that is a reality.

21
Eugenie
April 27, 2008
"Ultimately, I don’t consider myself partial; the Armenians as a people are clearly being harmed by soiling their hands with such a hateful, lying campaign. They could make significant contributions to the human family if they would channel their energy in a more productive direction."

This is just absurd. You seem to be more obsessed with the notion that Armenians make no contribution to the world except to lie and hate and scream about genocide every day of every year and have no other function. Your insinuation that Armenians are devoid of contributions to the "human family", in the face of the numerous ways Armenians have contributed which are easily discoverable with a two second internet search, just shows your totally ignorance. It’s laughable how you rave abour your detailed study with each choice carefully selected for its impartiality, and yet when it comes to Armenians you can’t bring yourself to say a single positive thing about them. You’ve obviously done no real research on Armenians themselves outside of what you hear from Turkish propaganda sources- claiming you are not impartial on the Turkish/Armenian question because Armenians are so wrong and evil that it is impossible to be anything but partial is downright racist and disgusting. I can’t believe you are allowed to get off commenting like that at what is allegedly a professional blog.

22
P. Connolly
April 27, 2008
Response to post #20:
My intention was to simply point out that -other than the Armenians- I’m not aware of any Ethnic group here in the U.S. that is essentially saying to Americans: "We’re a Christian People! Please help us take back land that was conquered by those Moslem Turks a thousand years ago - our ancient hereditary ‘homeland’." …and that such a request raises serious questions about their level of assimilation in the host culture. I provided a link in post #8 above proving that that’s essentially what they’re saying and if that’s not enough I’d be happy to provide more. Response to post #21:

Any reader can see that I never said that the Armenians are ‘devoid of contributions to the human family’. That’s a completely false and groundless charge. However:
1. Clearly Armenians are best known for their "genocide" campaign against the Turks.
2. A huge amount of energy and resources are poured into this campaign by the Armenian Community.

3. The campaign is full of lies and based on deceit and Ethnic hatred.What I said and will now repeat, is that if all this energy were diverted to more productive and ethical ends, the Armenians could make significant contributions to the Human family.

23
Burnell
April 27, 2008
@P. Connolly
While I like the fact your continued combativeness has propelled this discussion forward, your lack of information and perspective on the issue is certainly evident.

Your made up quote shows that you have not understood the interaction of the various ethnic groups that exist in Anatolia as well as the Middle East. Up until the late 1800’s the Armenians, Kurds, Turks, Georgians, Persians, Arabs (Syrian, Iraqi, etc) all lived in together. It was not until the West imposed the ideas of the nation state that we saw the rise of ethnic nationalism.

The core of the Armenian argument is not about the land which is important but not central to the Armenian identity in the way Israel is center the Jewish identity. However, they are saying that the Turks systematically slaughtered 1.5 million Armenians and flung them around the world. Recognition of this atrocity is the core issue.

Most Armenians will correctly say that "Right of Return" as we understand in the Zionistic context is not nor will it be a reality. However, the Armenian heritage in Eastern Turkey in the cities such as Ani is being systematically destroyed. The Armenians inhabited these lands for thousands of years. The Turks are the new comers to the area being there only a mere 1,100 years. Recognising this is the part of the central issue.

Regarding your quip about other ethnic groups complaining to the US Government about past events, obviously you are not very well read on the ethnic group lobby. The Jews and the Armenians are two of the most powerful. However, there are numerous others such as: Hibernian Society of America, National Association of Arab-Americans, Cuban-American National Foundation and Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

Once you are a bit more educated on the topic, I would welcome further comment.

24
Eugenie
April 27, 2008
Very good points Burnell. The talk about land restitution which comes from some corners of the diaspora is directly related to the fact they were uprooted from these places and sent away for good. No one has seen them for 93 years and so obviously they take on the role of a wrongly lost homeland, because after all what else could you call it? Armenians watch as their sites of historic heritage throughout the region are systematically destroyed. You might point to Akhtamar as an (arguable) counter (I say arguable because Turkey was extremely heavy-handed in all aspects of that ‘PR campaign’, from trying to have the event on April 24 to making it next to impossible for the Armenian delegation to actually attend to refusing it to be used even once a year for church services to not even allowing the cross which used to adorn it go back up, meaning of course that the renovation was never finished, but that’s a different story) but Akhtamar was one event in the very near future.

One would just look a few decades before that and the Turkish government was actively going around Turkey dynamiting all the Armenian buildings they found. My ancestral church in the town of Cakirtas is just one of numerous examples of Armenian cultural heritage which was wantonly destroyed on purpose, you can find many more examples on the beautiful Virtual Ani webpage (which comes in Turkish too if you prefer) http://www.virtualani.org/ .

Those buildings which escaped this cultural genocide (ironically Akhtamar was almost a victim but luckily someone with a conscious who found out got a reprive) and still by a miracle remain and haven’t been turned into a stable or mosque are in a state of serious decay and are being left to fall in on their own. This is an example of being impartial P. Connelly, look at it from the Armenian’s point of view as well. This is what they have seen over the decades happen to every shred of their cultural history in Turkey. Are you surprised that many see no other solution to save what little is left than to get these lands back, or why so many Armenians resent Turkey’s ownership of these places? Instead of just looking at the effect of the problem, which is that many Armenians see eastern Turkey as historic Armenia (which is indisputable) and as a result claim those lands as belonging to Armenia, look at why these Armenians are furious at Turkey for its stewardship over those lands. Much of this destruction happened before 1965, the year when the global genocide protests began and Armenia was part of the Soviet Union, so you cannot blame either a hostile independent Armenia, the blockade, or a recognition campaign as reasons for this wanton destruction.

The destruction was indefensible of millenia of Armenian cultural history (though I’d like to see you try now) and has caused a lot of this anger, but I’m sure that’s just the Armenians fault too for caring what Turkey does within its own lands since they should just forget about ever living there or building or dying there at all.

25
P. Connolly
April 27, 2008 @ 5:09 pm CEST
It is not necessary for Burnell to attack or denigrate his opponent it is only necessary for him to state his arguments and proofs and let the reader decide.1. Nothing I have said shows ignorance of the condition of the milliet system under which the various ethnic groups lived in the Turkish empire. And yes, ethnic nationalism was a major factor in the Armenians’ decision to lean toward the Russians -the Hereditary enemy of the Ottomans- in 1914, in the hour of dire peril for the Turkish People.

2. Note that Burnell mentions in passing "the land which is important" - as if it were some piece of Real Estate which is up for sale. The fact of the matter is that there was a terrible war fought nearly a century ago. It’s now over, treaties were signed, peace was made and that "land which is important" has been governed by a legitimate government which the Armenians are constantly blackballing, calumniating and denigrating here in the West. This is no coincidence!

3. The Armenian argument that the "Armenians inhabited these lands for thousands of years. The Turks are the new comers to the area being there only a mere 1,100 years" (a **MERE** 1100yrs?) is precisely the problem. Similar arguments could be made for almost every square centimeter of the inhabited earth’s surface in connection with so many other ethnic groups. Armenians need to understand that World War 1 is over.Again, it is not necessary for Burnell to attack or denigrate his opponent, it is only necessary for him to state his arguments and proofs and let the reader decide.

26
P. Connolly
April 27, 2008
Eugenie’s post (#24) is most constructive and helpful in my opinion. Yes I recognize the value of Armenian culture, would not approve of any injury to it and acknowledge fully that what happened in 1915 should never have happened. Certainly I can see how the Armenians feel as Eugenie expresses it. I think many of the Turks can see this too. One must remember that the Turks are not a "monolithic group" either. Let’s look for a moment at American culture. While many Americans feel that something very wrong happened when the "Enola Gay" discharged its payload over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the official view is that America owes the Japanese no apology whatsoever. Even former president Clinton was asked this question just a few years ago and he responded "No, I think Truman made the correct decision based on the information available to him at the time". This decision brought a instant death to tens of thousands of innocent non-combatant women and children and a life of agonizing suffering from the effects of radiation and other injuries to tens of thousands of others - so many of them innocent and non-combatants. Furthermore here in America African Americans live out their entire lives suffering injustices related to the treatment meted out to their ancestors by Americans. Armenians are holding the Turks to a Utopian standard. One must see it from the point of view of the Turks also.

27
Burnell
April 28, 2008
@P. Connolly
I am amused you viewed my comments as being denigrating. I think most would view them as a in the similar tone to your comments previous to mine which are joyfully direct. Apologies if I offended your sensibilities but I was simply drawing attention to your non sequitur errors.

Your comment in #26 again uses straw man fallacies to exemplify your point. Comparing what occurred from 1915 to 1924 as war is contrary to every definition of warfare outside of genocide. Your last statement, "One must see it from the point of view of the Turks also", is like saying that World War II needs to be seen from the side of the Germans. Most Germans, my extended family included, recognise that Hitler’s plans to exterminate the Jews was unforgivable. The distinction is that most Turks do not recognise what was done to the Armenians and actively work to refute the events using much of the logic you have exemplified above.

As I pointed out directly in comment #23, you need to go beyond the survey material you have been reading from Wikipedia and being to understand the real issues involved. You do a lovely job of using basic fallacy to advance your point and walk the fence of indecision. These comments are not attacking you but pointing out the detriment of your position.

Your third point in comment #25 underscores the limited grasp of the issue. If the Turks had not slaughtered the Armenians, there would still be a large population of of Armenians in Anatolia and we could say they would be living in the same peace they have lived in for the previous 1000 years. The issue is that there was a systematic extermination of an ethnic group and the exterminators refuse to acknowledge their culpability. This was not a case of migration. This was not a case of prolonged warfare. This was a premeditated execution of a group of people.

You can remain smug in your argument that the Russians were to blame for the slaughter. You can use straw man fallacies such as comparing the atomic attack on Japan to the nine year systematic slaughter of women in children. You can complain that your peers are attacking you. You can even go so far as to reference the material put online by the Turks to refute the events of 1915. However, in the end, you are left knowing that you are defending one of the most atrocious inhuman acts of modern times.

With all this said, we can go back to the original argument. Armenians are divided and will be for generations to come. For some, the genocide has defined them. For others, the genocide was a superfluous. However, the Armenians in the US, Russia, France, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Norway, England, Wales, Israel and the Netherlands all strive to be good local citizens while they preserve what they view is a special culture. By the way, I have visited Armenians or know Armenians from all of these places. In the end, they want people to realise that the Armenians are a strong people who have made a defining mark on history but continue to be denigrated because many will not official recognise their blight.

In conclusion, P. Connelly, once again I applaud you for remaining argumentative and using basic fallacy to push along a dialogue. It is great amusement to see what you will construct next. I am hopeful in the end that you might be a bit more educated but I suspect you will stick to your current modus operandi. Of course, if you still feel I have offended, I acquiesce and apologise.

28
Robert
April 28, 2008
From post #27: "…If the Turks had not slaughtered the Armenians, there would still be a large population of Armenians in Anatolia…"

That is quite true, but considering the activities of the Dashnaks at the time, I wonder how many Turks would still be living/alive in Anatolia today ???

29
Eugenie
April 28, 2008
Wow, thanks for the drive-by thoughtful comment Robert! Really appreciate all the thought you put into that one line rhetorical (or should I say propagand…ical?) comment. Really adds a lot to the discussion.

30
P. Connolly
April 28, 2008
Burnell first states that he is amused that I take his comments as denigrating, then he feigns apology. For his information the following comments from his post #23 most certainly are condescending, denigrating and veiled attacks:"your continued combativeness has propelled this discussion forward, your lack of information and perspective on the issue is certainly evident."

"you have not understood the interaction of the various ethnic groups that exist in Anatolia as well as the Middle East"

"Once you are a bit more educated on the topic, I would welcome further comment."

And in the same post in which he feigns apology (#27), he goes on with:

"…you need to go beyond the survey material you have been reading from Wikipedia…"

"…You can remain smug in your argument…"
Apology is not accepted; it is clearly insincere. It’s quite clear that the Armenian position on this "genocide" issue is indefensible; we repeatedly see them resort to this tactic of attacks on their opponents instead of sticking to the subject at hand. The whole tactic of accusing their opponents of being "genocide deniers" and "Daniel Irving" is just another example of this inability of the Armenian Propagandists to defend their position. Ultimately they repeatedly resort to these personal attacks.

31
JudasPriest
April 28, 2008
"I am hopeful in the end that you might be a bit more educated" is exactly kind of logic that P. Connolly was indicating as hypocritical. Burnell, I’d say the same for you and that is a totally meaningless, pointless remark. You make your arguments, and we debate on those. I’d admit having read other comments particularly #20 by Burnell, It certainly helped me to calibrate my guessing regarding the extent of diaspora’s influence or power over Armenia’s internal politics. The later comment regarding "Most Armenians view the people who remain in Armenia as the "left overs" and look down their nose at the citizens of Armenia." was exactly my take on this subject anyways. So, when we say if the diaspora exerts more attention or money into their motherland, it’d certainly make more sense in terms of the reality of what could be achievable from Armenian perspective.

In my opinion, recognition of the genocide claim which is not the main subject of discussion on this post, is something that Armenian lobby could declare victory since many countries around the world bought their story. Personally, I don't see any benefit from Turkish perspective to whine about it every time the claim is recognized by a new country. You guys did a great job lobbying for selling it in every possible way and we Turks have failed to show what we believe as the right version of the story. Great many number of Turks perished during those years in the eastern provinces massacred by then turned militia of perfectly Turkish speaking Armenian residents who were happily supported by Russian army as the X-factor in the harsh territory.

This the crux of the issue that makes us think that it should not be treated as genocide but certainly be recognized as a great human tragedy affected all races in the region during WWI. Anyways, like I said before, I have no hope that you’d even be willing to debate what has happened 93 years ago historically, you’d flat out want everyone to define it as genocide, and that is not a subject to be up for debate in your logic. This uncompromising, one-sided approach would certainly fail to produce any possible consolidation on this hotly debated subject.

32
P. Connolly
April 28, 2008
Seeing this issue from the point of view of the Turks is not like "saying that World War II must be seen from the point of view of the Germans" (post #27). This is a typical tactic of the Armenian Propagandists. When backed into a corner they blackball and calumniate the Turkish Government and people. If there were a discussion on World War II and Nazi ideology were introduced, the fallacy of their arguments would be clear and evident to everyone. But what the Armenians insist on doing is arguing that the Turkish side must not be heard because that would be like listening to Nazis or to Daniel Irving. This logic is clearly circular and fallacious.

Regarding the argument that the "exterminators refuse to acknowledge their culpability" - The individuals who ordered the relocation of the Armenians in 1915 are quite dead; not only are they dead but they were killed by Armenians. The problem is that the Armenians in their frenzied thirst for revenge are trying to take out their hatred on people who weren’t even alive at the time of the events in question.

Regarding the accusation that I stated that "The Russians were to blame for the slaughter [of the Armenians]" …I never said this. In fact, it was Armenian leaders themselves who stated IN WRITING -after the events in question- that the decision of the Dashnaqs ("Armenian Revolutionary Federation") were reckless and placed the Armenian civilian population in great danger:

"…the methods used by the Dashnagtzoutune in recruiting these regiments were so open und flagrant, that it could not escape the attention of the Turkish authorities…"
Finally, I am not defending the relocation. Armenian Propagandists are insisting on nothing less than the "genocide" label for the events of 1915. The Turkish people overwhelmingly reject this charge which places them in the same category with the Nazis and their arguments are sound while the Armenian arguments attempting to place the relocation in the same category with the Nazi Extermination of the Jews are completely fallacious.


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