02 March 2010

3019) Response To LA Times (House Panel May Revive Armenian Genocide Resolution)

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com richard.simon (at) latimes.com, letters (at) latimes.com jjm.newton (at) latimes.com.

Mr Richard Simon,

As usual in The Los Angeles Times, your article entitled “House Panel May Revive Armenian Genocide Resolution” contained not a single word about the respectable historians who criticize the using of the notion of “genocide” for the Armenian case (like Gwynne Dyer, Edward J. Erickson, Michael M. Gunter, Bernard Lewis, Guenter Lewy, Justin McCarthy, Jeremy Salt, and Gilles Veinstein: www.theottomanarmeniantragedy.org/scholar.html). These scholars were frequently victims of defamation, intimidation and death threats; the late Professor Stanford J. Shaw was even victim of an attempt of assassination by bombing, together with his wife Ezel Kural Shaw, and their daughter, actually 14-years old (www.start.umd.edu/gtd/search/IncidentSummary.aspx?gtdid=197710030012); a part of their house was destroyed by the explosion. . .
Your article contained no reflection about the fundamental problem of this proposition of resolution: the highly controvertible intrusion of politicians in history, mostly for electoral reasons. Timoty Garton Ash summarized this issue: www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2008/oct/16/humanrights In an exceptional moment of honesty, The Los Angeles Times published this article, too, but it seems that the text was removed from the Web site, after the vitriolic reactions from some Armenian Americans.

Your article contained not a single word about Muslim civilians massacred by Armenian volunteers and Cossacks. An official report of US officers, approved by the US Senate, noticed however:

“In the territory untouched by war fom which Armenians were deported the ruined villages are undoubtedly due to Turkish deviltry, but where Armenians advanced and retired with the Russians their retaliatory cruelties unquestionably rivaled the Turks in their inhumanity.”

Maj. General James G. Habord, Conditions in the Near East. Report of American Military Mission to Armenia, Washington, Government Printing Office, 1920, p. 9.

Another official US report, by Captain Emory Niles and Arthur E. Sutherland, gives several precisions including the fact that “Armenians massacred Musulmans on a large scale with many refinements of cruelties” and that “Armenians are responsible for most of the destruction done to towns and villages” (to see the whole report: louisville.edu/a-s/history/turks/Niles_and_Sutherland.pdf).

Haig Shiroyan, an Ottoman Armenian who became an US citizens, writes in his Memories: “The Russian victorious armies, reinforced by Armenian volunteers, had slaughtered every Turk they could find, destroyed every house they penetrated.” (Smiling Through the Tears, New York, 1954, p. 186).

An anthology of several pages, from American, Russian, French, British, Ottoman and even Armenian sources, about atrocities inflicted to Turkish, Kurdish and other Muslim civilians would only give a beginning of idea about the considerable body of evidence about war crimes committed by Armenian volunteers.

Your article contained not a single word about Armenian terrorists. One of these criminals, sentenced in 2001 by a tribunal of Ohio for illegal storing of war weapons and explosives (www.youtube.com/watch?v=-a1c_5APvto), Mourad Topalian, is currently in charge of fundraising for US politicians in Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA). Mr. Topalian was before political director (1975-1979) and president (1991-1999) of ANCA. Another terrorist, sentenced in 1984 to 6 years of jail by a Californian tribunal, Vicken Hovsepian, is currently the principal leader of Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ANCA’s mother house) in USA. ARF of Californian and elsewhere celebrates the racist murderer Hampig Sassounian, sentenced to life by Californian justice, currently in a Californian jail (among many other examples: www.asbarez.com/45716/sassounian-thanks-community-for-continued-support/ www.asbarez.com/46446/more-than-70-000-raised-for-hampig-sassounian-defense-effort/ www.fra-france.com/print_article.php?id=56).

In 1984, The Wall Street Journal called the debate about resolution of “recognition” the “ASALA’s day”. The single error of this newspaper was to fail to mention the Dashnak terrorists in this expression.

I have no Turkish heritage, and the single person of Armenian ascent who I know (a bit) in my family’s town is a decent surgeon. I am simply a MA student in history, disgusted by ignorance of those who are supposed to inform the public opinion and by the politicization of history.

[Signatory removed for publication.].

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