Sevres Granted Armenia 110,000 Sq. Km, Versus Today’s Republic Of Armenia, With 30,000 Sq. Km. We Therefore Demand 80.000 Sq. Km Land From Turkey
- Land Reparation: Statics And Dynamics, David Davidian
- Turkey: 51st State. Time Has Come, Avedis Kevorkian
- Boston Tea—rr—coffee Party… Turkish Coffee, That Is, Ergun Kirlikovali
- Iran: New Elite, fondsk.ru, Vladimir YURTAYEV
- Letter To Editor: Conquest By Faking History Asbarez
- Mixed Marriages/Epilogue, Artin Boghossian
- Interning for ANCA Cause, Elizabeth McIntyre Focuses on Civic Engagement
- Turkey’s TurKcell, Hariri Family and Armenian Lebanese Community, Appo Jabarian
- Amnesty: Choice Of Winning Armenia 24 June 2009, Ara Toranian
- Incirlikization, Soner Çağaptay
- Call It Genocide, Gavriel Horan
- Genocide Denial: Armenians Say That's Enough!!, Jean Eckian
- Dr. Israel Charny Condemns Denial Of Genocide In British Parliament, Harut Sassounian
- Letter To Editor, 2009/06/29 , HETQ
Land Reparation: Statics And Dynamics, David Davidian
Many individuals conclude that geopolitical change cannot occur without resorting to violence, power, or force. This leads many to mentally and politically disengage from actively entertaining involvement in the political or democratic process. After all, what can an individual or group expect to accomplish? This viewpoint assumes a constant static geopolitical stage.
In reality, when one looks at a map of the world from only a century ago, we find profound changes, some made through force, and others through negotiation. Many of these changes, such as frontier modifications and the creation of new states, occurred during times of dynamic geopolitics, be they wars or other destabilizing events such as the disintegration of the Soviet Union.
The extermination of the European Jews and Armenians could only have taken place during times of dramatic dynamic change. The fight for Nagorno-Karabagh could only have taken place during the chaos of the late 1980’s and early 1990’s—not today. The creation of Israel would never happen today, but could when it did and was a culmination of a long process of forethought and demands.
While this may seem obvious to some, what is not so obvious is the effort expended in preparing (or even exacerbating conditions) for times of dynamic change. Too often characteristics of dynamic change are mistakenly imposed upon a static situation and a stalemate is concluded. This latter condition leads to political complacency.
A generation ago, when the ever-present subject of reparations for the Turkish genocide of the Armenians was discussed within Armenians circles or in academic settings, dynamics such as what constitute historic borders or discussing the applicability of the Treaty of Sevres were common.
The treaty was negotiated between the Ottoman Empire and Allies at the end of World War I. It eventually granted Armenia about 110,000 sq. km. of land (versus today’s Republic of Armenia, with about 30,000 sq. km.) based on demarcations by U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. However, this treaty was never adopted and was superseded by the less favorable Treaty of Lausanne.
While the Sevres document is a strong reference in any land reparations settlement, to base reparation efforts today on this document would involve re-negotiating the end of World War I between “The British Empire, France, Italy and Japan, These Powers being described in the present Treaty as the Principal Allied Powers; Armenia, Belgium, Greece, The Hedjaz, Poland, Portugal, Roumania, the Serb-Croat-Slovene State and Czecho-Slovakia, These Powers constituting, with the Principal Powers mentioned above, the Allied Powers, of the one part; and Turkey, of the other part…” (see wwi.lib.byu.edu/index.php/Peace_Treaty_of_Sèvres).
Therefore, the chances of re-legitimizing this treaty is effectively zero, despite the fact that it was a just resolution to many issues that continue to haunt us today, including the war in Iraq.
A generation ago we might have heard Armenians say, “I don’t want my grandmother’s house in Kharpert!” or “How are we going to force the Turks to give reparations?” These responses are not surprising considering they are based on the fallacy of imposing a dynamic upon a static geopolitical environment and making conclusions.
It is not one’s family home in Kharpert that is the issue. It is the ability of Armenians to prosper on Armenian land that was taken away from the Armenians by genocide and the expropriation of their land and property. The ability of Armenia to live, prosper, and determine its own future is what Armenians demand.
Today’s Armenia is not the culmination of a natural evolutionary process, but is the geopolitical repository for the survivors of that genocide. This is today’s condition. Today’s conditions can only be addressed by today’s realities. Gone is the assumption that another 80,000 sq. km. will be awarded to Armenians simply by having a just case. There are no shortages of just cases.
Land reparations, as part of a comprehensive agreement between Turkey and Armenia, would include land between Armenia and the Black Sea placed under Armenian sovereignty. Armenia could then build an economy not subject to the whims and blackmail of its neighbors. Any land awarded Armenia would also rightfully include its inhabitants. This indigenous population would be offered Armenian citizenship. For Armenians, the concept of multi-ethnic Armenian citizens must be reconciled with before any land reparations can go forward.
Movement on such a demand will only take place when it is in the greater interest of the Turkish state to provide reparations rather than to deny genocide. Clearly it is in the immediate interest of Turkey for Armenian demands to degenerate into a nondescript apology. In addition, Armenia is not going to war with Turkey for land reparations. This is the static condition.
However, any positive outcome of a developing dynamic geopolitical situation is at least predicated on a reasonable demand—that is, a clear demand—stated by Armenians. Without a demand, the chance of failure is virtually guaranteed. For a reasonable demand, see www.regionalkinetics.com.
It is beyond the scope of this article to describe dynamic scenarios; however, consider the following simplistic dynamic: Iraq disintegrates into a Sunni, Shia administrative regions and a Kurdistan. Any Kurdistan will be taken as an existential threat to the Turkish state (it should be noted that a static condition rarely slips into a dynamic one without external interests modulating events). Turkey engages in heavy repression of its Kurdish population. Israel, having strategic interests in the emerging Kurdistan, finds itself at odds with Turkey and decides Kurdistan is more important than a wavering Turkey and uses its influence against Turkish interests. Syria is at odds with Turkey because its Kurdish population becomes radicalized. Syria subsequently demands the return of the Alexendretta province (given to Turkey by the French in 1938 as a bribe not to enter World War II on the side of Germany—another event that could not happen today) and an Israeli quid pro quo supports this as Syria gives up its demand for Golan.
Azerbaijan uses this regional instability and starts making claims against Iran’s northern Azerbaijani-populated regions, but still refrains against attacking Karabagh because Russia is attempting to influence events in Georgia as centrifugal forces try to dismember Georgia. Armenians have already made clear demands on a swath of land between itself and the Black Sea. Russia supports Armenian demands using them to further strangle Georgia. Iran sees this as a trade route to the Black Sea, as does Kurdistan. Turkey is petrified that it may lose all its eastern regions and determines that it is better to concede to Armenian land reparation demands and have any border with Armenia than to have an entire Kurdistan to its east.
While this is a simplistic scenario, who in 1910 would have thought that starting in less than 5 years half of the world’s Armenian population would be murdered and survivors would be left a starving mass? Who in 1985 would have thought that in less than 10 years the aggressive Azerbaijani treatment of Armenians in Nagorno-Karabagh would come to an end?
There will be no benefit from change without participation in its process.
David Davidian manages the U.S. office of Regional Kinetics. In 2005, he produced a documentary on the genocide
Turkey: The 51st State. The Time Has Come, By Avedis Kevorkian, Philadelphia, PA USA, 26 June 2009
Many years ago, when I first noted that Ankara was dictating policy to Washington, and Washington was reciprocating by pushing Turkey to be in the European Union (EU) and be given a larger role in European affairs, I suggested that Turkey should become America's 51st State.
Obviously, the suggestion got nowhere.
But, since a German gentleman suggested the idea, recently, in an Open Letter to President Medz Yeghern, I am now supporting the idea.
Think of some of the benefits to America.
--No need to push an unpopular Turkey into the EU. With Turkey the 51st State, there would be a part of the United States of America right on the edge of Europe and in Asia.
--No need for America to have to guarantee Turkey's loans from the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and other financial institutions. It would be the USA doing the borrowing, and who would be bold enough to stand up to the USA?
--No need to force a Muslim country onto the EU. "We have a Muslim state in our Union; what are you going to do about it?"
--As the two wars currently engaged in by America have shown, the country is woefully weak with regard to men in arms. With Turkey an American State, its Army would bolster the American Army, and the USA would be able to throw its now-heavier weight around more easily. Invading Iran would be child's play.
--Being a neighbor to the Republic of Georgia would make Russia think twice about its role in the Caucasus.
The advantages are endless.
Of course, there are some minor problems.
--At Turkey's request, America will have to permit honor killings.
--At Turkey's request, any mention of the Genocide of the Armenians, the Assyrians, and the Pontic Greeks will have to be forbidden (but since the US also denies this history, this is really no problem).
--At Turkey's request, Turkish will replace Spanish in public schools.
--At Turkey's request, all women will have to cover their heads in public.
But, these are minor irritations, and Washington will be only too glad to comply.
With 72-million people, Turkey's representation in the Congress will be the largest of any state, and Congress may have to require that Turkish also be spoken during debates, and all documents be published in Turkish. But, Washington should have no problem with this, since it is, in effect, advocating these sorts of things for Europe so it must like the idea.
In addition, Mustafa Kemal's birthday will be a national holiday. Since Americans like holidays, this should go over big. There may be a problem with photos of Kemal being displayed on every wall and on the fronts of every building, but this can be resolved, I am sure. Since most Americans are ignorant of their country's history, they will probably figure that Kemal is another one of those Dead White Men frowned upon by today's history books.
As a member of the EU (does anyone have any doubts that the now 51-state America will be voted in?) all Americans will also be Europeans and will be able to travel freely and benefit from being European--like, for instance, getting free medical care. Of course, it will mean that all Europeans will be free to travel to and throughout America. But America should resolve that glich; after all, double standards have never presented any problems for the country.
But, I have left the best part for last. With Turkey the 51st State, all Armenian-American descendants of the Genocide victims will be able to go there and reclaim their ancestral homes or buy property in the cities, towns, and villages of their forebears. And, Mount Ararat will now be a part of America. Bordering Armenia will mean that Armenians from the Republic will be able to cross the border and “see Ararat from the other side.”
As I said, there are minor problems. However, just think of the powerful position in which America will find itself:
--It will also be in Europe and in Asia.
--No longer the need for "Official Observer" status with the Council of Europe--it will be a member.
-- It will be an EU member. It can then get billions of Euros (the Euro will have to go, in time, of course) in agricultural subsidies, jobs for its jobless, etc.
The mind boggles at the benefits if Turkey becomes America's 51st State. And, President Medz Yeghern will be the hero of the Muslim world.
Boston Tea—rr—coffee Party… Turkish Coffee, That Is, Ergun Kirlikovali, www.ethocide.com 27 June 2009
Attorney at Law, Harvey A. Silverglate of Cambridge and Boston, Massachusetts, has issued the following statement on Jun 11, 2009 after Judge Mark Wolf of the federal district court in Boston dismissed, on technical grounds, the complaint filed by a number of Massachusetts high school teachers and students, along with the Assembly of Turkish American Associations, seeking to reverse the censorship of the state-issued curricular guide that currently contains a one-sided selection, produced by political pressure, of historical materials on the question of whether the violent events during the World War One era in the fading Ottoman Empire constituted a genocide:
"The Supreme Court and the various courts of appeals have in a number of opinions asserted that it is a violation of the First Amendment for public officials to remove books from a library simply because pressure groups have agitated for removal of politically incorrect or ideologically controversial points of view. Judge Mark Wolf of the federal district court in Boston has ruled against our clients — public school teachers and students — on the mistaken assumption that theMassachusetts Curricular Guide is more like a classroom textbook than like a school library. That is clearly wrong. The Massachusetts Department of Education provided the materials contained in the Curricular Guide in order to give teachers a wide variety of supplemental instructional materials from which they could choose — or decline to choose — resources to use in their classrooms. This is precisely the role that a school library performs. The judge missed this point because he failed to see that, in the 21st century, school libraries are on-line, not necessarily on book shelves. The electronic nature of these supplemental instructional materials does not change the fact that they are more like library books than like classroom curricula. The Curricular Guide is in effect a school library in cyberspace.
We believe that the Court of Appeals will reverse Judge Wolf? s order because that order is stuck in an earlier century. The on-line nature of the materials do not condemn them to less constitutional protection than the books in a library have traditionally been accorded. We will seek the support of a variety of civil liberties and educational organizations in seeking to reverse this overly narrow view of how the First Amendment applies to speech in the current century. This case is not about whether the historical events involved are correctly or incorrectly characterized as a"genocide."That is a subject for scholars and educators, not politicians and pressure groups, to decide. This case is about censorship, pure and simple, at the hands of special-interest pressure groups that do not want both sides of the debate to be aired. The school teachers and students who are plaintiffs in this case will be making a decision over the next few days as to how to proceed. An appeal is likely."
Despite this written statement, when Harvey A. Silverglate was still misquoted, or quoted out of context, he had this to say about it:
"... I? m afraid that the Boston Globe reporter reported part of what I said, but not enough of what I said to put it into proper context. It is, in fact, undeniable that many Armenians died at the hands of the Turks, and that many Turks died at the hands of the Armenians. It was a war situation (World War One). The Armenian population within the Empire took the side of the Empire? s war enemy. The question debated is whether there was or was not a genocide. The most authoritative and fair account I know of is Guenter Lewy? s book, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide (University of Utah Press, 2005)... I? ve given it to some reporters, but I doubt any have read it. The Globe statement is unbalanced; I pointed out that the killing went in both directions; it was wartime. It may have been the reporter. It may have been his editor. I don? t write the stories. I did send a written statement ... and my written statement contains no such slanted statements, as you can see."
In another communication, Harvey A. Silverglate made it clear that this case was about censorship. He wrote, if scholarly opposing views are included initially in the curriculum on their academic merits and later on removed upon Armenian pressure, that is censorship. Here are his exact words: "... if (contra-genocide) materials are initially included on their educational merits, removal under pressure is not lawful..."
Can any reasonable, dispassionate, and fair person disagree with attorney Harvey A. Silverglate?
And here is my take on all this:
Firstly, I thank Harvey A. Silverglate, the plaintiff in the censorship case described above, for his principled stand against the aggressive, irrational, and fanatic Armenian lobby, on the manner in which the controversial Turkish-Armenian conflict should be taught in Massachusetts high schools. Silverglate wants all relevant views, facts, and figures included, without attempting to censor-just to appease some nagging Armenian pressure groups-those responsible, opposing views and scholarly counter arguments.
Secondly, one should be aware that this case is not about whether or not a genocide took place, but how a controversial subject, such as the Turkish-Armenian conflict, should be taught to our sons and daughters in high schools.
In view of the facts that Armenian terrorism claimed four innocent Turkish lives in America alone, including one in Boston-Orhan Gunduz, a Turkish-American businessman, assassinated by Armenian terrorists on 5 April 1982-not to mention hundreds of bombings, bomb threats, assaults and batteries, acts of intimidation and harassment, death threats and others directed at those who challenge the Armenian version of history nationwide, indeed worldwide, I must applaud Silverglate for his spirited fight and truly grand vision.
Finally, realizing the irony that the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions (i. e. Protestant Missionaries, since 1810,) Armenian Revolutionary Federation World Headquarters (ARF,) and the Boston Globe newspaper (1876,) all with deep-routed and slef-documented anti-Muslim, and anti-Turkish prejudices are located in Boston, Silverglate? s mission becomes all the more significant, courageous, and even revolutionary.
What? s a more brilliant tribute to Boston, the city of that revolutionary tea party of 1773, than a (Turkish) coffee party of 2009, as in the lawsuit challenging the bias, bigotry, and taboos in American education, media, and politics.
This was round one. Everyone is already on notice that hate-inspired groups (Armenian or others) can no longer dictate that their one-way propaganda material be taught as settled history to our impressionable, young sons and daughters. We, Americans of Turkish descent, simply shall not allow it. We shall fight it in courts, in academia, in media, in politics, and wherever there is anti-Turkish bias and bigotry. Just like anti-Semitism is quickly identified, condemned, litigated, and punished, all within the confines of the law, so shall be anti-Turkism. Next time you say genocide, you? d better be prepared to prove it with a court order, just like Nuremberg? s, otherwise you might be served one.
Even if the Turkish government comes to some sort of agreement with Armenia, and even opens borders with Armenia one day, we shall resist any such agreement if our history, culture, and/or heritage are disfigured, distorted, or even so much as disrespected in the slightest manner, under that nagging, deceptive, and hateful Armenian pressure.
Any history that does not address the six T’s of the Turkish-Armenian conflict [i. e. tumult (rebellions), terrorism, treason, territorial demands, the Turkish victims of Armenian war crimes (caused by the first four T’s) and, finally, TERESET (temporary resettlement order of May 30, 1915) triggered as a response to the first five T’s but not genocide] shall be challenged down to its last comma and period.
Iran: The New Elite, en.fondsk.ru, Terrarum, 02.07.2009, Vladimir YURTAYEV
The early days of summer of 2009 proved quite stormy in the Islamic Republic of Iran in terms of politics. Almost the entire politically vocal population of the 70-million strong Iran, that's 40 million people, took part in the election of a new president. It is for the first time in Iran's history that a fully-fledged election campaign has been launched in the country, with the main opponents, old rivals in the struggle for power since the 1980s, namely the incumbent leader (rahbar) Ali Khamenei and Mir Hossein Mousavi, then Prime Minister of the Islamic Republic of Iran, had an opportunity to rally their supporters.
Following his secure win of the presidential election of the 12th of June 2009, the incumbent president M. Ahmadinejad had a chance of getting in the lead of a united country after a dynamic election and his win in the first round. But this failed to prove the case. The proclaimed loser Mir Hossein Mousavi of the Islamic Revolution `Old Guards' urged his supporters to energetically contest the election returns and to take to the streets. The ensuing clashes in Tehran resulted in spilt blood and loss of human life on both sides. Judging by reports in western news media, the standoff was expected to spiral up, but it has grown clear that a repetition of the 1978 anti-Shah boat-rocking scenario will fail to become a reality. Back in 1978 the Islamic revolution in Iran began precisely with mass-scale street protests during the ceremonies of remembering the victims of the Shah's repressions. Today the opposition is still weak and unprepared to go it too far. Of no minor importance was the determination that the Islamic Revolution Guard Corps displayed by saying it was prepared to make short shrift of protests to enforce law and order.
Understandably, just one candidate was to win. It seems strange that the opposition has elected for their leader someone who is, true, a political heavyweight, but who's unable to win from a younger candidate. But then the decision may well have been due to an over-assessment by the opposition of their resources and positions in Iranian society, where western election technologies will still misfire.
On the 27th of June 2009 M. Ahmadinejad addressed an all-Iranian meeting of Iran's judiciary to sum up the first results of the election and formulate the key points of his new programme. First, Iran's president feels that a mass-scale turnout in the election of the 22d of Hordad 1388 (12th of June 2009, according to the Gregorian calendar) makes it safe to assume that the recent presidential election was a referendum during which the people of Iran reiterated their choice of the Islamic republic as a form of political power. Secondly, by making this choice the people of Iran `said liberal democracy was over'. Ahmadinejad believes the West has a `controlled' and limited democracy, when the people have their will mediated by political parties and are not immediately involved in the election process, whereas in Iran `the people were organizers, monitors and electors in the election process', which is evidence of freedom and democracy.
When elaborating on his programme, Ahamdinejad focused on the notion of `fairness' (`adalyat', which is also used to denote `justice'), the lack of which is the main reason for `strife in the world'. Iran's president feels that a fair treatment of one and all is the solution for world peace. When addressing foreign reporters in what proved a most important election meeting on the 25th of May 2009, M. Ahmadinejad also spoke of `orientation towards God, adherence to f s, promotion of love and kindness' and urged the dominant forces to return in international relations to `fairness and kindness', something the entire world was craving. Ahmadinejad said that fairness that's been established in Iran is `a harbinger of fairness around the world' and pointed out that `ministering to fairness is the highest form of service of Allah'. It is thus safe to point out that the new regime has shaped a stable set of ideologemes it addresses both to the people and government of Iran and the entire world community. Of basic importance was M. Ahmadinejad's indication of the inviolability in Iran of the principle of `velayat-eh fakikh', that is rule by a Shia jurist on the basis of fairness, which is a concept of Imam Khomeini.
On western countries' reaction to the presidential election in Iran M. Ahmadinejad said Iranians were surprised that `Mr. Obama interferes in Iran's affairs and allows statements that go beyond the bounds of decency (`adab'). Perhaps, the US president is trying to find a pretext to prolong or even disavow his pledge of holding direct talks with the president of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Barack Obama and Angela Merkel have spoken in concert to denounce acts of violence in Iran in the wake of the presidential election in the Islamic Republic. Obama said he admired the courage displayed by the people of Iran `in the face of cruelty', adding that the Untied States would always support the Iranians' right to the freedom of choice and freedom of expression.
So, Iran's leaders have tested a model of holding presidential elections, the one that energetically involved the population into the political process. Just how the opposition will act now will determine the degree of severity, to which this freedom of expression will be restricted. In general, the presidential campaign that's drawn to a close has shown a higher degree of development of the Iranian society's political system, and this will inevitably affect the election technologies to be used in future. It is safe to claim that now the Iranians are through a course of training in a higher-level political struggle, with a growing threat of using the election-related technologies from the `colour revolution' arsenals against the existing political regime.
But then, Iran remains Iran, which was borne out by the election returns, - we have already pointed out in a forecast on the Website of the Strategic Culture Foundation on the 5 `Iran's new president will be a person who should be M. Ahmadinejad's coeval. Iran's incumbent president has no competitors in this age group'. I personally took as indicative of whether the presidential election returns would or would not be recognized as legitimate the congratulations to M. Ahmadinejad on his re-election for a second term in office that the Catholicos of All Armenians Karekin II extended on the 27th of June 2009. The Armenian community in Iran is quite strong, so their recognition of and support for the election returns means a lot.
Meanwhile things in and around Iran are moving in groove, with the partisan media are working off what money they got to (what some quarters thought) spin-doctor a new president, although the previous one has been re-elected. 200 protesters are presented as if they were 200,000. Almost 13 million people make their home in Tehran, so even one million is just one sixth of the city's grown-up population. The others voted against the protesters. The whole thing boils down to the following: part of the old revolutionary elite that's taken possession of economic profits gave way to the new elite following M. Ahmadinejad's win in 2005, an elite that's emerged on the basis of the Army and that's relying on the other part of the old revolutionary elite, related to rahbar Ali Khamenei. The problem is whether the new old elite will manage to persuade the opponents not to take all of their money out of the country or not.
Mass-scale money transfers from Iran came to everyone's knowledge when La Stampa reported the news that banks Saderat, Bank-e Melli, Bank-e Sepah and Melat had begun remitting their clients' currencies to Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan, Indonesia and the United Arab Emirates. It is deplorable, of course, if another segment of the formed Iranian society moves away, but then the Islamic Republic may stand to gain in the long run, since if all one knows is Islam, there's nothing they could compare it with.
One of the US leading foreign p izes up the situation in Iran as explosive. Z. Brzezinski warns that the situation is likely to be aggravated in the wake of the disputable presidential election, but one shouldn't rule out that the regime will stand out. Anyway, he says, today Iran is at the start of a deadly crisis. But the West cannot afford to ignore any regime in Iran. Brzezinski goes on to say that there are a number of issues that one just has to negotiate with the current Iranian regime, namely the nuclear programme, regional security and economy-related problems. Sanctions alone will fail to keep Iran away from its nuclear programme. Nor does Brzezinski rule out that Iran's nuclear weapons might prove conducive to regional stability. When elaborating on Iran's future, Brzezinski claims that the country boasts a social potential to become some time in future the West's important partner in the region, and even a partner of Israel, which supported Iran in the war against Iraq back in the 1980s. If only because, Zbigniew Brzezinski says in conclusion, Iran is more `pro-western' than the neighbouring countries.
On the 29th of June 2009 President M. Ahmadinejad told the head of the national judiciary Ayatollah Hashemi Shahrudi to launch an investigation into the murder of a young Iranian girl called Neda, who was shot at and killed by unknown people during a demonstration in Tehran. The opposition tried to use the murder as a banner of their struggle. President said the political defeat should not separate Iranians form one another, since all of them were under his protection as their country's citizens.
It is obvious that keeping the situation stable in Iran is of paramount importance. Meanwhile some new scenarios for Iran's destruction start looming, the ones that have to do with the weakening of the proper Persian component of the Iranian elite as a result of emigration or its physical destruction. Russia has long-term interests in Central Eurasia and it needs peace in the region to advance them. The situation perfectly suits Russia and Iran to promote their interaction at all levels, while Russian businesses are prepared to carry out joint large-scale economic projects as indicated in the framework of strategic partnership proposals. But the expediency of separating economics from politics in Russian-Iranian relations should not mean ignoring change in Iran's foreign policy concepts, as well as the promotion in practical terms of the `diplomacy of fairness and dialogue'.
Letter to the Editor: Conquest By Faking History Asbarez
To The Editor:
In recent years the Azeris have intensified their efforts by publishing propaganda books which fakes the history of the Caucasus region. One such book is “Les Monuments d’Azerbaijan Ouest” The Monuments of Western Azerbaijan by Aziz Alakbarli. By Western Azerbaijan the author means historical Armenia; by Eastern Azerbaijan they mean the present Republic Of Azerbaijan.
Rouben Galichian in his recent new book The Invention Of History writes about the above Aziz’s book, which has four more academicians as editors, saying:
“The map on page 7 of the book is that of the Republic of Armenia whose caption reads ‘the map of western Azerbaijan [actually Republic of Armenia] the homeland of the ancient Oguz Turks.’ The authors claim that in ancient times the territory occupied by present day Armenia was in fact Azerbaijan, a country [The Republic of Azerbaijan] invented as late as in 1918. Furthermore, the above mentioned supposed academicians pretend not to know that Oguz Turks were from Central Asia and the Altai regions, who migrated to Asia Minor via Iran and the Northern Caspian territories during the middle ages.. The academic fabrication and sham extend as far as claiming that the ancient monuments, including the Hellenic temples, Urartian fortresses, Christian churches, monasteries and cemeteries, with a few exceptions, belong to the Turkic tribes…the book depicts photos and short descriptions of various historic monuments found in Armenia, claiming them to be mainly Azeri. These include the prehistoric stone monoliths of Zoratz Karer (Karahunj, which can be translated as Stonehenge), the Urartian fortresses of Erebouni and Taishebani, various rock paintings, the Hellenic temple of Garni, the Armenian monasteries of Tatev, Goshavanq, Haghardzin, Echmiadzin, Haghpat, Sanahin as well as the churches of Yereruk, Kasakh, Mastara, Talin, Talish, Khor Virap, Odzum Avan, Gayaneh, Hripsimeh and many more.”
Those same falsifications are also though in the schools of Turkey. Another propaganda book is entitled “War Against Azerbaijan” compiled by Kamala Imranli. About this one R. Galichian writes saying:
“The book is full of reversed and untrue claims and statements, which are aimed to misinform and mislead the reader. It even blames the Armenians for starting the conflict between the population of Nagorno-Karabagh and Azerbaijan government forces, conveniently forgetting the Azeri attacks on Sumgait (February 1988) and continuous bombardment of the population of Stepanakert and other towns (from 1989), which started the war. Books of this type can only serve propaganda purposes by aiming to create and instigate animosity between neighboring people by direct geopolitical agitation, disinformation and outright reversal of truth.”
In my opinion the Turks and Azeris are attempting to brainwash their people by presenting falsehood as truth, and are preparing their population for eventual occupation of Armenia (finishing with the Armenians with another genocide during the next global war) and creating a new Turkic nation extending from the Bosporus to the Caspian Sea based on lie. This is their long range plan. Do not ever trust the Turks, they are of their father the evil one who was a liar from the beginning.
Mixed Marriages/Epilogue , By Artin Boghossian PhD, Toronto, 3 July 2009
Dr. Artin Boghossian is a retired mathematician. He is the owner and moderator of 24 April Forum (Canada) where much of the "independent" deliberations take place in the community about various subjects that concern Armenians at large. Over the past few weeks a near exhaustive discussion was devoted to the subject of mixed marriages and the following is an excellent summary.
24april is not an organization; hence it cannot make decisions or take actions as such. It is a virtual "coffee shop” like medium, where individuals come and go and leave their impressions and opinions. However, it is known that many people inside and outside the group closely monitor the discussions and take notes. While we were on the topic of Mixed Marriages, people have been privately pondering methods to further encourage and involve mixed couples in Armenian community life.
The fact that there were no readily available statistics on Mixed Marriages involving Armenians was not the main interest for initiating this discussion. One of the intents was to highlight that we are so engulfed, albeit justifiably, with matters involving Turks, Azeris, and are forced to repeat the same old information so often and to such an extent that we are left with no time or opportunity for institutionalizing various studies in timely social and other issues, mixed marriages being one such matter.
Mixed marriages are a fact of life. One purpose in tackling this matter was, as it was also the majority opinion expressed here, to publicize the need for a liberal outlook within the community as a whole to accept and retain all members of mixed marriages, and appreciate the vitality and other benefits that they may import to our community. In this regard, I have personally heard in Toronto sermons by Father Zareh Zargarian and Rev. Sam Albarian, who have exhibited an exemplary attitude, which I have no reason to doubt that other clergy also share it.
This discussion also brought to light the efforts of Dr. Hranoush Hagobyan, the Minister of The Diaspora, with Calabrina Boyajian as her assistant for North America, to recognize the mixed married group as an important component of our community and that a conference in this regard is scheduled to take place in March of 2010 in Yerevan. This is a first of its kind and one cannot expect perfection at this time.
The second aim was to see if members thought there was any direct correlation between this phenomenon and the often-mentioned disappearance of the Western Armenian language and the Diaspora by assimilation. Actually, the question is not even well defined. To begin with, the Diaspora is not disappearing anytime soon, except perhaps as poetic proclamations of doom and gloom conveniently used for various effects.
Sure, the Armenian Diaspora may be shifting centres, but certainly not disappearing. If it appears to be disappearing perhaps because of the divergence of youth priorities and their dispersion away from Armenian centres, one wonders if that is due to our traditional approach being out of synch with the times.
Whole new sets of generations are probably eagerly waiting for the emergence of novel ways of conducting our affairs for them to step up their involvement in a meaningful way. Our youth cannot be expected to perceive nor cope with their surroundings with an outlook identical to those of the survivors of the Genocide and their immediate descendents, who continue to this day to grab the reins of all our organizations.
The verdict on the fate of the Western Armenian language in the Diaspora is far from being clear. Some seem to feel that we need to keep it alive at all costs, rightfully pointing out the desirable end result that this will instill and enhance a sense of national belonging, association and attachment. Why not, if possible, and at what cost.
On the other hand, the facts on the ground seem to suggest that the language is on its way out of circulation. To address and offer a solution to this problem, Onnig Beylerian may have hit the nail on the head when he wrote: "I believe that the idea of Armenia goes well beyond its language. Armenia is a creed or belief, a perspective of life and values, a way of acting and behaving, all of which can be learned and acquired even if you are not Armenian."
There was a suggestion to discuss in this forum "more important" topics than mixed marriages, such as Church unity, the role of political parties in the Diaspora, etc. Church unity has been discussed in the past in this forum. The subject definitely continues to remain of paramount interest and it cannot be separated from political parties. There is no reason why we cannot revisit such topics in the weeks ahead by launching appropriate subject lines for discussion, provided extra care is exercised to refrain from making off-the-cuff statements.
I truly wish to thank and commend all members who provided their opinions on this sensitive issue of mixed marriages. The fact that I labeled this message "Epilogue" should not be interpreted as the end of the road.
Interning for the ANCA Cause, Elizabeth McIntyre Focuses on Civic Engagement
GLENDALE, CA– With the 2009 Summer Session of the Armenian National Committee-Western Region Internship-Externship Program (ANC-WR IEP) off to a fast-paced start, Elizabeth McIntyre joins the ANC-WR office as an Administration and Development Intern. Focusing on Armenian American civic engagement and community development initiatives, McIntyre will be working with her fellow interns as well as the ANC-WR staff and assisting local ANCs with summer projects.
“I wanted to participate in the IEP because I think the skills and experiences that I will gain in it will be invaluable to the things I want to do with my life,” says Elizabeth. “In the last few years I have become more interested in issues of policy, activism, and international opportunities. I wanted to participate in a program like this because I want to be equipped to do more with my career than make a paycheck and I am becoming more interested in Armenian things.”
McIntyre is researching on current and previous state legislation related to the Armenian American community. She will also be working with the ANC Professional Network where she will assist with their professionals panel series featuring careers in public service and public policy.
McIntyre received her Associates Degree at Chaffey College in Rancho Cucamonga where she also served in the student government and is currently a senior at CSU “Cal Poly” Pomona, where she is majoring in Finance. As vice president of Cal Poly Pomona’s Interdisciplinary General Education Student Organization, she helped to create, set up, and market various events. She feels that this campus experience helped her prepare for the ANC-WR IEP.
While McIntyre’s maternal grandfather is Armenian, she sees this internship as an opportunity to become more involved in the Armenian American community.
“I grew up with less knowledge of the issues and culture than one might expect of most Armenian Americans in southern California,” she says. “I am always looking to make a positive difference and want to be more engaged in this part of my heritage.”
In the past year, McIntyre joined the Armenian Student Association at Cal Poly and has been involved in the on-campus meetings and events. She is looking forward to her experience in the IEP and hopes to remain an active member of the ANC after she completes the program.
McIntyre hopes to professionally apply her academic training overseas where she can encourage sustainable business practices and economic development.
The Armenian National Committee – Western Region is the largest and most influential Armenian American grassroots advocacy organization in the Western United States. Working in coordination with a network of offices, chapters, and supporters throughout the Western United States and affiliated organizations around the country, the ANC-WR advances the concerns of the Armenian American community on a broad range of issues.
Turkey’s TurKcell, The Hariri Family and The Armenian Lebanese Community, By Appo Jabarian, Executive Publisher / Managing Editor, USA Armenian Life Magazine, June 26, 2009
Lebanon is not a vast country. It does not have a mighty army. Its air force has modest capabilities. Its soldiers are still not capable to liberate the Sha'aba farms forcibly occupied by Turkey's ally Israel.
But Lebanon is an integral part of the world commerce and politics thanks to its strategically important position on the eastern Mediterranean basin.
It is a small country that has given so much to the world civilization. It is believed that the scriptures were written on papyrus from Lebanon’s ancient Phoenician seaport city Byblos (today’s Jubeil), hence the word Bible came to be. It is also credited for having introduced the color magenta (al-urjuan al-ahmar).
Lebanon's importance is further enhanced by several other factors, including centuries-old Armenian ties and presence.
The relations between Lebanon and the Armenians go back several centuries. Under King Tigran II, Lebanon/Phoenicia, was a part of the Armenian Empire 95-55 B.C. Even though the empire receded, the tiny Armenian presence continued to exist.
During the Ottoman years, in order to bring an end to the decades-old inter-ethnic violence between the Maronites and the Druze, Lebanon was placed under the administration of the "Mutasarrifieh" system (special government status) from 1864-1918. With the consent of various Lebanese leaders, it was served by succeeding neutral governors of which the first, Dawud Pasha Al-Ermeni (David Pasha The Armenian), and the last, Ohannes Pasha Kouyoumjian, were Armenians.
During the Armenian Genocide at the hands of Turkey (1915-1923), waves of orphaned and uprooted Armenians arrived in various hospitable Arab countries and Lebanon. During the 1930's introduction of the Lebanese nationality identification system, the Armenian-Lebanese were officially recognized as an integral part of Lebanon. They were granted Lebanese nationality.
According to the 1943 intra-Lebanese National Pact (al-mysaqh alwatani), the Armenian Lebanese were officially recognized as one of the key ethnic groups that was granted its proportional share of seats in the Parliament of Lebanon.
According to the Pact, during many decades before 2000, every four years the Armenian Lebanese along with the rest of other ethnic denominations directly elected its representatives thanks to fair districting and understanding with other communities not to interfere in or influence the process of intra-Armenian Lebanese democratic process. At that time the districting system accurately reflected the prevailing demographics.
However, during the 1975-89’s civil war, both a population shift and migration occurred. Several families relocated in Metn’s Antelias, Zalka, Beit Koko, Rabieh, Bikfaya, Muzher and many nearby localities. As a direct result, the districts of Beirut I, II and III no longer reflect accurate demographics.
With the ending of the civil war in the 1980’s, several new political forces entered Lebanon’s political arena. One of the new forces was the late Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. Mr. Hariri had just returned from Saudi Arabia with an impressive financial accomplishment under his belt. Through his very controversial yet attractive Solidere project, he eventually gained political clout that helped him secure the post of the Prime Minister.
According to several reliable sources, soon after he became PM, Mr. Hariri accelerated his relations with Turkey on both economic and political levels.
On May 2008, The (Gulf) Khaleej Times reported that in 2005, “Oger Telecom (Rafik Hariri’s Saudi Arabia-based company) bought a 55 per cent controlling stake in Turk Telecom, beating out consortia that included Carlyle — KOC and Etisalat Dubai Islamic Bank. Yet Saudi Oger valuation in 2005 was $12 billion, meaning that the Turkish government is taking no premium for its stake in the current IPO even though the company has paid dividends, shed a third of its payrolls, added millions of new subs, entered the GSM/data traffic businesses and totally restructured its IT, billing, network architecture and marketing divisions. A useful comparative data point in this context is that Turkcell has soared 120 per cent since Saudi Oger bought its stake in Turk Telecom three years ago.”
One wonders, what did Sr. Hariri promise to the anti-Armenian Ankara leaders in order to receive such Turkish co-operation facilitating his acquisition of the Turkish fat cash cow called Turkcell?
Ironically, parallel to developing the 2000 anti-Armenian parliamentary election laws in Lebanon, Hariri was laying the foundations for a silky takeover of Turkcell. And the laws of the year 2000 paved the way for his 2005 massive hijacking of the majority of the Armenian seats in the Lebanese Parliament.
The result was disastrous both for Lebanon and the Armenian Lebanese.
One also wonders, did Mr. Hariri, independently of any Turkish influence, chose to amass gigantic political power, and in the process, overstepped his boundaries? In this regard, one factor is certain that he attempted to subordinate the most popular Armenian Lebanese Tashnag party to him “offering” in “exchange,” the “preservation” of the traditional Armenian Lebanese Parliamentary Bloc.
Remaining truthful to its role as an independent force in the Lebanese political landscape, the Tashnag party refused to surrender. Such surrender would have put an end to the viability of the Bloc as an independent entity.
During the 1970’s, the consistently popular Armenian Lebanese Tashnag party reached out to the minority Armenian Lebanese groupings by including a Ramgavar and a Hunchak candidate in its party list thus fostering intra-Armenian Lebanese consensus and the formation of the traditional unity list.
The parliamentarians, elected on that list, were completely accountable to the Armenian Lebanese community. But currently, four out of six are controlled by Hariri. And as such, they are accountable only to him.
Now, the burning question is that, “how much longer, the Hariri family, under the leadership of the late PM’s son Saad, will continue to usurp the rights of the Armenian Lebanese majority?”
The right of the majority in the Armenian Lebanese community to direct representation must not be tempered with by Hariri or anyone else in favor of a foreign deal such as Turkcell; or for any other political motive.
Amnesty: The Choice Of Winning Armenia 24 June 2009, Ara Toranian/ armenews
Finally some good news. The decision of the President to grant amnesty for political prisoners sentenced to less than five years' imprisonment is the first positive power in place since the events of March 1st. We would have hoped that this measure applies to all members of the opposition in prison. But such an extension may be involved in a second time, thanks to the new climate that should underlie the initiative by Serge Sarkissian, ratified by Parliament on Friday 19 June
This decision is instructive in more ways than one. She teaches first that the power is less that there seems autistic. And probably also less monolithic. Instead of stubbornly in a blind repression that would have resulted in the long run his total disqualification, it was revealed by some of its components fairly open to criticism and able to lay the groundwork for a dialogue to build. They come from international forums, particularly in Europe, the diaspora or the opposition, the pressure eventually be due to the authoritarian logic that seemed to settle in the long term after 1 March 2008. They probably also sharpened the questions and cracks in the dominant coalition, as evidenced by the recent municipal elections which saw its forces go to the electoral battle in order.
It should not interpret this relative flexibility and diversity as signs of weakness. They are contrary to the credit of a leadership team that could indeed be more limited and enrégimentée. Like many of his fellow men of the former USSR, it could have ruts arm, form a block enclosed in its certainties and continue every year as well. Who would have actually been able to neutralize it? The opposition? It has been largely rolled through repression. And his recent performances in the city of 31 May does not have a great capacity to change the situation. Ditto for the Council of Europe, including the pressure for the release of political prisoners has been in recent months although declining. This shows, and Armenian leaders have widespread recognition that the defense of human rights in Armenia is obviously less important to the West regional stability. Armenian and a weakened state of his internal contradictions and the way to go to Canossa in its relations with Ankara suited to its needs.
Is this then the popular discontent which would have forced the authorities? The latter are well aware that the public respects the power, it naturally gives a bonus to the winner, it follows the curve of power. Especially in systems from dictatorial traditions, such as corporate outings recently of Stalinism, which favored by nature with the power, cowardice individual and generally uncivil behavior. Finally, the Diaspora, the last player to have been involved on behalf of prisoners, it also knows enough about the limits of its influence on key policy areas of the country to qualify to claim a decisive choice in Yerevan.
So if any of the above factors alone can not explain this massive release-but still partial - you need to attribute the cause to their addition and their combination. The result reflects, in fine, a certain ability of power to "the listening" and a propensity to find reasonable solutions. It was sufficiently criticized in these places the regime, to give it this good. Power, in the true tradition of his predecessors, had so far mainly shown its inclination to authoritarianism. Note that it has not crossed the rubicund which would have tipped in a dictatorship pure and simple.
At the crossroads, when they actually had a lot of cards in hand, the Armenian leaders have taken the right decision. That of appeasement. The opposition now be up to the situation, responding in a manner appropriate to this desire for calm on Thursday Guidance already anticipated by Levon Ter Petrossian, who in his historic speech on 1 March 2009, dismissing temptation revolutionary to the reformist path. What seems preferable if one wants to build democracy. A fortiori in a country sitting on a regional powder keg ready to explode at the slightest internal destabilization.
Involved in the mere right to exist by their neighbors and Azeri Turks, Armenians have a duty to agree among themselves. That the eight demonstrators and two policemen killed on 1 March 2008 will recall the meaning of responsibility. So that gives them at least a small chance of not being killed for nothing.
Incirlikization, Soner Çağaptay
Oftentimes, lecturing on Turkey to audiences across the United States, I find myself amiss, in need of a map to identify Turkey’s geographic location. In such cases, I resort to a virtual map, using my fingers to sketch Turkey’s surrounding regions: the Middle East, Europe, Black Sea, Mediterranean and Caucasus. However, this virtual map often further confuses my audience, leaving people wondering where Turkey really is.
Then, I utter the magic word: Incirlik. This base in southern Turkey, one of the U.S. military’s most important airbases, often appears to be more important than Turkey.
People who do not know Turkey’s location know where Incirlik is and it is hard to find anyone in the U.S. military who has not stopped at Incirlik en route to a post.
Incirlik is a blessing, endowing Turkey with importance in policymakers’ eyes. But it is also a curse, reducing Turkey’s strategic importance to the number of flights that can be flown through the base.
This phenomenon, Incirlikization, is a pitfall for U.S. President Barack Obama. If President Obama reduces his Turkey policy to Incirlik, he would be repeating the mistakes of the past administration, setting up a short-term transactional relationship with Turkey at the expense of long-term, multi-faceted, and strategic cooperation with Ankara.
To be fair, Incirlik is important to the United States and Turkey. Aviation experts say that, as far as airbases go, Incirlik is as good as it gets.
Thanks to a confluence of topography, runway architecture, and weather conditions, Incirlik is a rare base that can accommodate any plane at any time and also nearly as many planes as one can imagine.
Seventy percent of all cargo going to Iraq and Afghanistan passes through Incirlik, and the base sits only minutes-flight away from Iran, Iraq, Syria, Russia and Israel.
Incirlik is an asset for Turkey as well, providing Ankara with a tangible possession to flaunt in Washington when needed.
Not a year goes by that yet another "Armenian Genocide" bill in the U.S. Congress is thwarted thanks to the "Incirlik factor," Washington’s fear that U.S. military access to Incirlik would be hampered if the United States offended Turkey.
All that is well and good, but Incirlikization Ğ focusing solely on the number of planes the United States can fly through Turkey to Iraq and Afghanistan Ğ miscalculates Turkey’s strategic value to Washington. Turkey is militarily important for Washington, but that is a short-term and narrow vision. The country’s strategic value far exceeds what Incirlik provides.
Since the Iraq War, despite the efforts of Turkey specialists in the U.S. government, Incirlikization has been the leitmotiv of bilateral ties. U.S.-Turkish relations have focused on Iraq and Afghanistan, with the chief concern being Washington’s capacity to use Incirlik to fly planes to and from these countries. This development came at the expense of previous and vital U.S.-Turkish cooperation in the Caucasus, Black Sea, Central Asia, and within Europe and NATO.
President Obama has a grasp of this issue. In this regard, the new administration’s early policy review on Turkey is a useful effort to expand the foundation of the countries’ relationship beyond Incirlik and take full advantage of Turkey’s strategic value to the United States. But with Iraq and Afghanistan remaining major concerns for the Obama administration, Washington always faces an Incirlikization trap.
Incirlikization reduces the U.S.-Turkish relationship to a transaction, preventing the alliance from gaining its full potential as a values and interests-based relationship. Incirlikization also presents long-term challenges. For the moment, Washington can fly planes as it wishes through Incirlik, but if President Obama does not convert the U.S.-Turkish relationship from a transactional one into a strategic one, Incirlik might not be securely available for United States disposal in the long-term.
In this regard, Washington’s experience with Kyrgyzstan and the Manas base in that country ought to be telling.
After Sept. 11, U.S.-Kyrgyz ties were bolstered through U.S access to Kyrgyzstan’s Manas base for flights into Afghanistan.
In due course, Manas dominated the U.S.-Kyrgyz relationship.
Kyrgyzstan’s recent threat to expel the U.S. from Manas, subsequent to Russian lobbying, serves as a warning that, when reduced to a transactional nature, ties between the United States and other countries will face serious pressures from third countries.
What is good for the U.S.-Turkish relationship is also good for Incirlik. Only a strategic, multi-faceted relationship, supported by the Turkish public, will provide the United States with unhindered and long-term access to Incirlik.
Accordingly, the U.S. administration should be interested in Turkey not just through the lens of its capacity to use Incirlik, but also with an eye to a broader and sustainable strategic relationship.
Ensuring that Turkey’s European Union accession moves forward and that Turkey consolidates its liberal democratic political system, for instance, should be as important of goals as maintaining a steady flow of planes taking off and landing at Incirlik.
A non-European Turkey will be a half-hearted and irregular U.S. ally. President Obama would be better served in making sure that Turkey is not Incirlikized, yet again.
Soner Cagaptay is director of the Turkish Research Program at the Washington Institute and author of "Islam, Secularism and Nationalism in Modern Turkey: Who is a Turk?" (2006) © Copyright 2008 Hürriyet
Call It Genocide By Gavriel Horan Aish http://www.aish.com June 29, 2009
The man who coined the term 'genocide' also fought to make it an international crime.
Applause shook the gallery of the grand Palais de Chaillot. The year was 1948. In the wake of the Holocaust, the fledgling United Nations met in Paris for the first convention on human rights in history. All eyes fell on a single, unassuming man in the front row -a Polish Jew named Raphael Lemkin, the man responsible for it all. Few people imagined that this moment could ever be possible, but he never gave up hope, never stopped fighting, and literally gave his life to make it a reality.
The U.N. General Assembly voted unanimously 55-0 in support of the Genocide Convention, declaring genocide an international crime liable to punishment. The president of the General Assembly described it as an "epoch-making event" regarding the "sacred right of existence of human groups."
When the clamor died down and the delegates left the hall, the reporters searched for the man who made it all happen, but Lemkin was nowhere to be found. Instead of celebrating his monumental victory, they finally found him sitting in the darkened gallery that he had occupied all day. "Let me stay here alone," he muttered, while tears of sadness mixed with joy rolled down his cheeks. Having lost over 40 members of his family in the ashes of the Holocaust, including his parents, he dreamed for this day when the world would stand up in opposition to the most heinous of crimes against humanity. The convention, he later told a reporter, would be an "epitaph on my mother's grave."
A Crime without a Name In a chilling radio broadcast, Winston Churchill referred to the horrors of the Nazi perpetration against European Jewry as "a crime without a name." Raphael Lemkin believed that in order to prevent such crimes in the future, it had to have a title fitting of its malicious intent. As part of his life's mission he gave it one, taken from the Greek, genos, meaning people, together with the Latin, cide, meaning death, coining the term genocide.
How could someone stand by and watch a fellow human being brutally murdered without doing anything?
Lemkin's obsession with putting an end to genocide went all the way back to his childhood. He was born to Yosef and Bella Lemkin in 1900 on a large farm near Bezvodene, on the flatlands of eastern Poland, then part of czarist Russia. His father was a farmer and his mother was an intellectual, artist, and linguist. Winters were so fierce that the three Lemkin boys were usually stuck at home all season long with little else to do but read. Bella served as her children's teacher and she instructed them in the classics, philosophy, and language. By the time Raphael entered university, he had already mastered half a dozen languages. He would soon add another four to the list, including Arabic and Sanskrit.
When he was 11, Raphael read a Polish novel about ancient Rome. One scene depicted a Roman mob watching as early Christians were fed to the lions. He couldn't understand how someone could stand by and watch a fellow human being brutally murdered without doing anything. He asked his mother how such injustice could exist. "Isn't there a law preventing one from killing people just because they are different?"
His mother responded that there were indeed laws against murder. But growing up as a Jew in Eastern Europe, witnessing pogroms on a regular basis, it did not appear that way. "The laws do not seem to be any good against massacres," he replied. She told him that he would have to find the answer himself. "That was the day," he later recalled, "I began to crusade [against genocide] because I started looking for the answer."
Lemkin entered the University of Lvov in 1920 and majored in philosophy, hoping to find answers to his questions. While he was there, an incident occurred that greatly altered his direction. In 1915 he was shocked to read about the massive slaughter of Armenians by the Ottoman Turkish Empire resulting in the massacre of over a million innocent people. Six years later, a young Armenian assassinated the Turkish Interior Minister in retaliation. "That is for my mother," he said, before giving himself over to the police. Lemkin asked one of his professors why the Chief of Police had not been brought to justice for the grotesque perpetrations that he sanctioned against the Armenian people. The professor responded that he had not transgressed any international law and that it was an impingement of a nation's sovereignty to interfere with their internal affairs. He compared it to a farmer who has a right to slaughter his own chickens whenever he wishes.
"Why is the killing of a million a lesser crime than the killing of a single individual?"
Lemkin was shocked at the comparison. "Why is the killing of a million a lesser crime than the killing of a single individual?" he asked, echoing his childhood query.
This time he decided that the only way to find an answer was to become an expert in international law. He steeped himself in legal studies for the next six years, and was then appointed the position of Warsaw public prosecutor. He felt that the law was the only way to uphold moral truth. While "it is moral power that counts -- the law can make it count more," he said.
The Murder of Truth With the Nazi rise to power, Lemkin began to draft his first treatise against genocide -- what he then termed the "crime of barbarity" -- which was presented at the League of Nations assembly in Madrid in 1933. His proposal provoked jeers of laughter. The German delegates walked out, knowing that it was primarily directed at them. Although the world was still oblivious, Lemkin saw what horrors lay ahead.
Lemkin was derided by Polish government officials for "insulting our German friends" and ridiculed in the press for his idealism. In order to invest his energy fully into fighting genocide without government pressures and restrictions, he was forced to resign from his government position. But his efforts ended abruptly when Germany invaded Poland in 1939.
After he was wounded while fighting briefly in the Polish Resistance, Lemkin escaped through Lithuania and eventually took refuge in Sweden. He later commented that witnessing the bombing of hundreds of refugee children by German war planes and being forced to leave his home and family made his passion to fight genocide even stronger. His final goodbye to his parents "was like going to their funerals while they were still alive." He was certain that the crime which he had devoted his life to prevent was about to come to fruition in his own backyard. Few people shared his ominous vision. "Hitler had already promulgated ... his blueprint for destruction," he wrote. "Many people thought he was bragging, but I believed that he would carry out his program."
In Sweden, Lemkin set to work developing a fully documented piece on Nazi policies that would provide solid evidence of their demonic plans, in the hope that the world might take notice. He was successful at obtaining hundreds of orders signed by Wehrmacht commanders and Reich cabinet ministers, including Heinrich Himmler and Hermann Goering, desperately wishing that he could alert the world before the Final Solution was implemented. "Would this blind world only then see it, when it would be too late?" he asked.
Deciding that his efforts would be more effective in America, Lemkin obtained a visa and immigrated to the United States in 1941 as a member of the law faculty of Duke University. When he arrived, he immediately dispatched duplicate sets of his extensive portfolio on Nazi crimes to the State and War Departments. He wasn't the first to bring evidence of the slaughter that had already begun to take place, but it was of little interest to politicians or press. He sent an urgent letter to President Roosevelt pleading for immediate action, but the response he received back was that he should have patience.
"Patience... but I could bitterly see only the faces of the millions awaiting death."
"Patience," Lemkin wrote. "But I could bitterly see only the faces of the millions awaiting death... All over Europe the Nazis were writing the book of death with the blood of my brethren." Jewish groups pressed Washington to bomb the camps or rail lines to no avail, even though Allied planes were within striking distance. "The impression of a tremendous conspiracy of silence poisoned the air," Lemkin wrote. "A double murder was taking place. . . It was the murder of the truth."
Legacy Seeing the futility of effecting change through the government, Lemkin decided to attempt to reach the public sector instead. He began writing his most important work, entitled Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, in which he depicted the reality of Nazi rule and gave name to the crime of genocide. It was published in 1944 by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, but did nothing to save the lives of the six million victims.
Following the attack on Pearl Harbor when the United States entered the war effort, the U.S. Army recruited him to teach classes on military government at Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Board of Economic Warfare drafted him as a chief consultant, which eventually included advising US Chief Justice Robert Jackson at the Nuremberg Tribunals. The word "genocide" became famous after its use in Nuremberg by two British prosecutors in their case against the 21 Nazi officers, but Lemkin was not satisfied. The trials did nothing to codify genocide as an international crime and did little to prevent it from happening again.
After a lifetime of heartache and hard work, his efforts finally came to fruition in 1948 when his Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocidewas finally adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris. It was only a half victory, considering that the Convention wasn't ratified until 1986. Prior to its ratification, the United States Senate was treated to a speech by Senator William Proxmire in favor of the treaty every single day that the Senate was in session between 1967 and 1986. The Convention was first implemented during the creation of the International Criminal Tribunals for Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. To date, 132 nations have ratified the Convention but almost 60 have not, including Indonesia, Japan and half of the countries of Africa.
Days after the adoption of the Genocide Convention, Lemkin fell terribly ill. When doctors were unable to render a diagnosis, Lemkin offered one himself: "Genociditis -- exhaustion from work on the Genocide Convention."
He died alone, despite giving his entire life to help humanity.
Raphael Lemkin passed away of a sudden heart attack in the office of his publisher in 1959, at the age of 59. He remained unmarried, too busy with his single minded obsession to burden himself with a family. Only seven people came to his funeral. He died alone, despite giving his entire life to help humanity. All that remains is an obscure, unvisited gravestone in the Mount Hebron cemetery in Queens, New York. His gravestone reads "Dr. Raphael Lemkin (1900-1959) Father of the Genocide Convention." Some years later, the B'nai Brith commissioned a bronze bust of Raphael Lemkin which my great uncle --his distant relative and talented amateur sculptor -- gladly made.
Today, the life and work of the father of the first human rights convention is hardly known, nor is his name given any recognition anywhere in the UN. It is arguable whether or not his efforts really succeeded in preventing such crimes from taking place again in the future. Since his time the world has witnessed the Khmer Rouge reign of terror in Cambodia, the repression of Kurds in Iraq, the slaughter of Tutsis in Rwanda, the ethnic cleansing of Muslims in Bosnia, and rampant killing in The Congo and Darfur.
Most recently, we watched with horror as Iran's president was hosted by the United Nations itself, despite his unabashed public display of hatred against Israel and the Jews, in standing violation of the Genocide Convention's prohibition against the "direct and public incitement to genocide." One cannot help feeling sad that nothing has really changed in the world. Was Lemkin's life's all for naught?
Although the picture looks grim, Lemkin's contribution to the world may not have been in vain. The world may not yet be ready to practice what they preach, but the fact that most nations acknowledge, at least in theory, the evils of discrimination on the basis of race, is a step in the right direction towards the ultimate unification of humanity. It's like a diet. How many do you have to break before you actually lose weight? The first step in successful dieting is to recognize that you have a problem; it takes a life time to work on it. Everything follows after the desire.
At least the world is doing lip service to the right ideals. We may have gotten it wrong again and again over the past few millennium, but the Torah's message of world peace will eventually prevail. Until then, we must continue to look forward to the day when "nations will no longer lift sword against one another and will study war no more."
Genocide Denial: Armenians Say That's Enough!! By Jean Eckian, Nouvelle d'Armenie, 8 June 2009
Since new techniques have allowed for gobal communications, racial hatred and genocide denial have spread like wildfire, growing exponentially. That hits in the first place the Jewish community, and as of 2005 Turkish and AzerbaÃ¯djani ultranationalists keep spreading an insulting and unbearable denial towards Armenians. They rage blithely on the web. No authority is putting them to silence, although over seventy countries, legislative assemblies, and international authorities have acknowledged the genocide of the Armenians in 1915 in their homeland, in addition to the 1894 and 1909 massacres. Visit Nicole Rouffiac's website It is about time to end these devastating attempts of denialists. For that purpose they should be denounced to get them out of the Web, specially from Facebook and You Tube. The countries which recognized the Armenian genocide must take steps to pass a law which will expose any Armenian Genocide denial to penalties.
Ten millions of Armenians spread over the world have contributed to the development of the host countries at all levels, but they have been misled too many times since the year 1915. They do not expect any false commiseration. They wish, they now demand justice on grounds of human rights and morality, not on the basis of geostrategic considerations which finally led to the 20th century20atrocities.
Now Armenians say that's enough! Armenians are not as flexible as one could think. They will not accept the excesses of 'realpolitik'.
When all is said and done, while some in Turkey are moving softly towards the acknowledgement of the Ottoman crime, we observe an ultranationalist toughening aiming to definitively shelve the Armenian issue.
Unfortunatelly, we observe that the constant denial of the turkish state does nothing but strenghen the ultranationalist determination to the detriment of truth and justice.
We call on our lawyers to bring action against denialist groups acting in Facebook. We ask every Armenian to bring these groups to the attention of Facebook and You Tube for putting these insults to our Martyrs to an end. As their descendants, we are also affected and will remain affected until 'modern' Turkey will acknowledge the crime which "Young Turks" have perpetrated.
See Jean Eckian's work to "popularize" the Genocide of Armenians at INHOMAGE
PERMANENT PEOPLES TRIBUNAL : SENTENCE (extracts) 1984
a) General rules on Genocide
Under the terms of the prevention and repression of the crime of genocide, adopted by the Assembly General of the United Nations, the 9th of December 1948, genocide is a Â" crime under international law Â", Â" whether committed in times of peace or times of war Â" (article 1).[...] This Convention was=2 0formally entered in force on January 12, 1951, and was ratified by Turkey on July 31, 1950.
b) Accusation of genocide of the Armenian people
The Armenians constitute beyond doubt a national group as seen by the rule prohibiting genocide. The conclusion is all the more evident that they constitute a people protected by the right of self-determination, which necessarily implies that they are also a group the destruction of which is prohibited by the rule relative to genocide. [...]
The government of Young Turks is guilty of this genocide, in regards to the acts perpetrated between 1915 and 1917 ;
The Armenian genocide is also Â" International Crime Â", of which the Turkish State must assume responsibility, without being able to use the pretext of discontinuity of this State in order to excuse itself there from ;
This responsibility requires the primary obligation to recognize officially the reality of this genocide and the consequential prejudice suffered by the Armenian people. The Organization of the United Nations and each of its members have the right to claim this recognition and to assist the Armenian people to this end.
Paris (France), april 13-16, 1984.
Members of the Court
- Francois RIGAUX (Belgium), President - Madjid BENCHIKH (Algeria) -Georges CASALIS (France) - Harald EDELSTAM (Switzerland) - Richard FALK (USA) - Ken FRY (Australia) - Andrea GIARDINA (Italy) - Sean MACBR IDE (Irland) - Leo MATARASSO (France) - Adolfo PEREZ ESQUIVEL (Argentina) - James PETRAS (USA) - Ajit ROY (India) - George WALD (USA)
Lists of Nations, Parliaments and Municipalities having recognized and condemned the genocide committed on the Armenian people in 1915 by the government "Young Turks", visit Committee of Union and Progress
TURKISH DENIAL GROUPS OF ARMENIAN GENOCIDE
- Offensive contents
You can " indicate " in a anonymous way that a group is offensive. A button situated below and to the left of the group allows you to denounce this group. Facebook controls the alerts and deletes groups considered unsuitable. To execute this function you must be registered on Facebook and connect you (top of page) with your user identification to see appearing "Indicate an abuse"
Mr. Jean Eckian has provided links to denialist sites and has meticulously searched the Facebook providing links to each site. Please visit Nouvelle d'Armenie
Dr. Israel Charny Condemns Denial Of Armenian Genocide In British Parliament, By Harut Sassounian Publisher, The California Courier
In an earlier column I wrote about the special conference held at the British Parliament on May 7, organized by the British-Armenian All-Party Parliamentary Group. Dr. Israel Charny and I were invited as guest speakers. I spoke about "The Armenian Genocide and Quest for Justice." Dr. Charny could not attend due to illness, however, his prepared remarks were read by Peter Barker, a former broadcaster of BBC Radio.
Dr. Charny is an internationally-known authority on the Holocaust and the Armenian Genocide. He is the Executive Director of the Jerusalem-based Institute on the Holocaust and Genocide, past President of International Association of Genocide Scholars, Editor-in-Chief of Encyclopedia of Genocide, and author of several scholarly books. Dr. Charny's lengthy paper was titled: "Confronting denials of the Armenian Genocide is not only honoring history, but a crucial policy position for confronting threats in our contemporary world."
In his remarks presented at the British Parliament, Dr. Charny described the conference on the Armenian Genocide he attended two years ago in Istanbul. He found "the prevailing discourse stilted, blocked and rigid with denials." The overwhelming majority of the statements were "one-sided rehashes of Turkish denial propaganda; a basic intellectual failure since they did not even mention or refer to or in any way acknowledge any of the voluminous documentation and evidences of the Armenian Genocide that are now part of world culture; and a great number were emotional diatribes rather than 'scientific' or properly scholarly contributions."
In his paper, Charny singled out the presentation at the Istanbul conference of Prof. Yair Auron, his colleague from Israel, who spoke "in a strong resonant voice that there was no question but that the Armenians had suffered genocide at the hands of the Turks."
In his London remarks, Dr. Charny's also discussed the "failure of the State of Israel, but not of Israelis, to recognize the Armenian Genocide," expressing his "deep regret and shame" that Israel (where he lives) and the United States (where he was born), "have failed seriously in their moral responsibility towards the Armenian people." He felt "particularly wounded as well as angry at such failures by my Jewish people when we too have known the worst horrors of being victims of a major genocide, and therefore we should be all the more at your side as deeply committed allies in all aspects of preserving and honoring the record of the Armenian Genocide."
Dr. Charny announced "the happy news [that] the battle for recognition and genuine respect for the memory of the Armenian Genocide [was won] on the level of everyday Israeli culture." In great detail, he explained that "throughout the year there are major statements in our culture about the Armenian Genocide, including many full-length feature stories and interviews in all of our major newspapers and on our television. On April 24, there is powerful coverage, for example, this year on Roim Olam or Seeing the World, a major TV news magazine; there is an annual seminar at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem at which this year the keynote speaker was Prof. James Russell of Harvard University, and it was my honor to be the keynoter the year before together with an influential member of the Knesset who was totally knowledgeable about the Genocide and totally clear about Israel's error in not recognizing it; and there is of course an annual commemoration by the Armenian Community -- it was there that the two ministers in the past announced their recognition of the Armenian genocide. During a too-brief period, we also had two ministers of the Israeli government who officially recognized the Genocide, and although the governments in question promptly disavowed these ministers' statements as private and not speaking for the country, the records of those ministers honoring the Armenian Genocide on behalf of the State of Israel cannot be erased. I would say that both the everyday Israeli man on the street and the professional scholars of the Holocaust, such as Prof. Yehuda Bauer perhaps the ranking scholar of the Holocaust at Yad Vashem, are basically sympathetic and committed to paying homage to the Armenian Genocide. A few years ago four of us, including one of the above former ministers, Yossi Sarid, Prof. Bauer, Prof. Yair Auron, an indefatigable scholar of the Armenian Genocide and of Israel's denials of same, and myself traveled together to Yerevan to lay a wreath at the Armenian Genocide Memorial."
As he has done many times in the past, Dr. Charny expressed regret that "sadly and shamefully the pull of practical government politics still leads to official Israel cooperating with Turkey in gross denials of the Armenian Genocide. No less than the arch fighter for peace in the Israel-Palestinian conflict, Shimon Peres, now President of Israel, then serving as Israel's Foreign Minister, twice went notably out of his way to insult the history and memory of the Armenian Genocide."
In a scathing letter, Dr. Charny told Peres in 2001: "You have gone beyond a moral boundary that no Jew should allow himself to trespass=80¦. As a Jew and an Israeli, I am ashamed of the extent to which you have now entered into the range of actual denial of the Armenian Genocide, comparable to denials of the Holocaust."
In response to a second "especially insulting" denial by Shimon Peres in 2002, Dr. Charny sent him one of my columns from The California Courier, with the following note: "I am enclosing with great concern for your attention an editorial in a leading US-Armenian newspaper calling on Armenia to expel the Israeli Ambassador. For your further information, the author of this editorial, who is the head of the United Armenian Fund in the US -- comparable to our United Jewish Appeal -- was for many years a delegate to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva."
Dr. Charny concluded his London remarks: "I am happy to emphasize that the people and the culture [in Israel] very strongly recognize and honor the [Armenian] Genocide, and know how serious and important it is for us and the whole world." He expressed his sincere hope that "some day we will succeed in changing the official Israeli government position."
Letter to the Editor, 2009/06/29 , HETQ
Like many Armenian Americans, I am unhappy that our organizations hosted the recent public tour by the U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, Marie Yovanovitch.
Nevertheless, trying to make the most of the situation, I attended her presentation at the Armenian Cultural Foundation in Massachusetts.
As expected, Yovanovitch largely evaded the audience’s pointed questions and comments.
From having spoken to Armenians who atte nded Yovanovitch’s public presentations elsewhere, such as in New York City, I know that similar scenarios unfolded there.
Even worse, the Armenian American press failed to critically and frankly assess Yovanovitch’s opening remarks, questions from the audience, and her replies. Such press outlets include Armenia Now, the Armenian Weekly, the Armenian Reporter, the Armenian Mirror-Spectator as well as the email newsletters of the Eastern U.S.A. Diocese and Prelacy.
Unfortunately, even HETQ, the investigative journalism website in Armenia, merely republished an article from the Glendale News-Press about Yovanovitch’s visit to Southern California.
What separated HETQ from some of the outlets mentioned above, however, is that it didn’t censor critical reader comments posted under their online articles. While most of us recognize that Armenia suffers from a democracy and free-speech deficit, few of us have said publicly that our Diaspora media and organizations suffer from the same ailment.
I am forwarding HETQ’s reader comments about Yovanovitch to our Diaspora organizations, media, and clergy because there are many questions they need to answer. Among the very first is: why did American Armenian organizations agree last year to the U.S. Senate’s confirming Yovanovitch even though she and the State Department were as evasive on the genocide issue as John Hoagland, the previous failed nominee, had been?
Given Yovanovitch’s and the U.S.’s dishonesty about the genocide, and the obvious fact that she was going to give evasive replies regarding a host of issues on her present tour, why did Armenian organizations even agree to host her? If their reasoning was that she needed to hear what we had to say, she undoubtedly already knew that from reading the Armenian press and news releases since assuming her ambassadorship.
Frankly, this tour was an honor and privilege that neither the State Department nor the ambassador deserved.
Armenian organizations held private meetings with Yovanovitch. What, may we ask, was the outcome of these meetings, or are our organizations once again practicing the same lack of transparency for which they criticize the Armenian government? They are accountable to the communities they claim to represent and serve, or haven’t they noticed?
Ultimately, we must reject the vassal mentality that has been ingrained in us after centuries of Ottoman occupation. If we don’t take a harder line in defense of Armenian rights in the post-genocide age, we have only ourselves to blame — and not the Turkish government — for jeopardizing our survival as a nation, on or off our native lands.
I direct you to HETQ, where outspoken Armenians have their say:
New Jersey, USA