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06 March 2010

3020) Was The 1915 Killing Of Armenians Genocide? The Question Is Debatable, But It's Not For The Us Congress To Decide by Stephen Kinzer

© This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com
Genocide Vote Harms Us-Turkey Ties

For the US house of representatives foreign affairs committee to decide that the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 constituted genocide, as it did Thursday by a one-vote margin, would be acceptable and even praiseworthy if it were part of a serious historical effort to review all the great atrocities of modern history. But the singling out of Turks for censure, among all the killers of the 20th century, is something quite different. This vote was a triumph of emotion, a victory for ethnic lobbying, and another example of the age-old American impulse to play moral arbiter for the world. . .
Turkey recalled its ambassador in Washington immediately after the vote, which was broadcast live on Turkish television. The resolution now goes to the full House of Representatives. Given the pull of moneyed politics, and President Obama's unwillingness or inability to bring Congress to heel on this issue, as Presidents Bush and Clinton did, it could pass. That would provoke much anger in Turkey, and might weaken the US-Turkish relationship at the precise moment when the US needs to strengthen it.

In the past few years, Turkey has taken on a new and assertive role in the Middle East and beyond. Turkey can go places, talk to factions, and make deals that the US cannot. Yet it remains fundamentally aligned with western values and strategic goals. No other country is better equipped to help the US navigate through the region's treacherous deserts, steppes and mountains.

Would it be worth risking all of this to make a clear moral statement? Perhaps. What emerged from Washington this week, though, was no cry of righteous indignation. Various considerations, including the electoral power of Armenian-Americans, may have influenced members of Congress. It is safe to surmise, however, that few took time to weigh the historical record soberly and seek to place the Ottoman atrocity in the context of other 20th century massacres.

Two questions face Congress as it considers whether to call the 1915 killings genocide. The first is the simple historical question: was it or wasn't it? Then, however, comes an equally vexing second question: is it the responsibility of the US Congress to make sensitive judgments about events that unfolded long ago? The first question is debatable, the second is not.

Congress has neither the capacity nor the moral authority to make sweeping historical judgments. It will not have that authority until it sincerely investigates other modern slaughters – what about the one perpetrated by the British in Kenya during the 1950s, documented in a devastating study that won the 2006 Pulitzer prize? – and also confronts aspects of genocide in the history of the United States itself. Doing this would require an enormous amount of largely pointless effort. Congress would be wiser to recognise that it does not exist to penetrate the vicissitudes of history or dictate fatwas to the world.

This vote has already harmed US-Turkish relations because it has angered many Turks. If the resolution proceeds through Congress, it will cause more harm. This is lamentable, because declining US-Turkish relations will be bad for both countries and for the cause of regional stability. Just as bad, the vote threatens to upset the fragile reconciliation that has been underway between Turkey and Armenia in recent months.

In this episode is encapsulated one of the timeless truths of diplomacy. Emotion is the enemy of sound foreign policy; cool consideration of long-term self-interest is always wiser. Congress seems far from realising this.

Genocide ruling harms US-Turkey relations | Stephen Kinzer

This article was published on guardian.co.uk at 00.28 GMT on Friday 5 March 2010


Comments in chronological order (Total 256 comments)
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blacknose blacknose

5 Mar 2010, 12:42AM

Was the 1915 killing of Armenians genocide? The question is debatable

No, it f*cking well is not.
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MrDa MrDa

5 Mar 2010, 12:43AM

@Stephen Kinzer

Yet it remains fundamentally aligned with western values and strategic goals. No other country is better equipped to help the US navigate through the region's treacherous deserts, steppes and mountains.

Quite! Although let's not forget what a pickle "Turkey" (I use the media's convention of identifying a people with its government) would be in without massive amounts of US aid over the past few decades as it has committed one massive human rights atrocity after another.
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blacknose blacknose

5 Mar 2010, 12:46AM

what about the one perpetrated by the British in Kenya during the 1950s

Hey look, A CIF piece that has built in whataboutery.
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paperplanes paperplanes

5 Mar 2010, 12:47AM

Completely agree with this article. It's a matter for scholars, not politicians.
While America walks around, taking the moral high ground, China is busy signing lucrative contracts, making important business deals, and forming good relationships with countries eager to co-operate.
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Harris2010 Harris2010

5 Mar 2010, 12:49AM

If the US Congress (and the former administration) were capable of cool consideration of long term interests, 2 wars would have been averted and the world would be a safer place.

This is another example of a cultural pattern that I find disturbing:
- Emotion rules over reason
- Quick "gut" decisions rule over reasoned responses
- Excuses/denial trump facts/accountability
- Catch phrases rule over consideration
- Volume & repetition trump facts

The most disturbing part is no longer being able to discern if the fault lies with the politicians/media for their short-sightedness or with the electorate for its complacency/support.
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Harris2010 Harris2010

5 Mar 2010, 12:50AM

If I remember correctly, the last public figure in the US to accept responsibility for a negative outcome without excuse or reservation was former Attorney General Janet Reno after the Waco incident. . . in 1993.
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BarryObummer BarryObummer

5 Mar 2010, 12:51AM

These are the kinds of stupid things that happen when you have libs running Congress. But aren't you left-limes always whining about wanting a moral American foreign policy? Well, there you go...
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stevejones123 stevejones123

5 Mar 2010, 12:51AM

The first question is debatable, the second is not.

No, other way round. That it was a genocide is undeniable. Like the Nazis, the Young Turks were good at documentation.
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paperplanes paperplanes

5 Mar 2010, 12:54AM

No, it f*cking well is not.

There is a huge lack of evidence surrounding the mass killings of Armenians from the late 1800s-1915. Many documents were destroyed up by the Ottomans before the Turkish Republic was declared in 1923. The figure or 1.5 million dead is not accepted by many historians, who place the figure in the hundreds of thousands. There is room for debate here, it's not a closed book.
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boristhegreat boristhegreat

5 Mar 2010, 12:54AM

So the US votes in support of largely Christian Armenia as opposed to the largely Islamic Turkey...... Hmmmmmm... surprising

And as for:

Emotion is the enemy of sound foreign policy

I think you could say emotion is the enemy of rational thought, not just foreign policy.

And besides the point, I don't think it's any of the US's business anyway!
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OneWorldGovernment OneWorldGovernment

5 Mar 2010, 12:57AM

You are missing the big picture. This has more to do with the deteriorating Israeli-Turkish relations than anything else. Israel stopped lobbying for this bill to be blocked so it finally passed.
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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 12:57AM

blacknose

Was the 1915 killing of Armenians genocide? The question is debatable

No, it f*cking well is not.

Well put, sir.

Take the experiences of the greatest of Middle East journalists, Robert Fisk.

In the spring of 1993, with my car keys, I slowly unearthed a set of skulls from the clay wall of a hill in northern Syria. I had been looking for the evidence of a mass murder - the world's first genocide - for the previous two days but it took a 101-year-old Armenian woman to locate the river bed where her family were murdered in the First World War.

The more I dug into the hillside next to the Habur river, the more skulls slid from the earth, bright white at first then, gradually, collapsing into paste as the cold, wet air reached the calcium for the first time since their mass murder. The teeth were unblemished - these were mostly young people - and the bones I later found stretched behind them were strong. Backbones, femurs, joints, a few of them laced with the remains of some kind of cord. There were dozens of skeletons here. The more I dug away with my car keys, the more eye sockets peered at me out of the clay. It was a place of horror.

In 1915, the world reacted with equal horror as news emerged from the dying Ottoman Empire of the deliberate destruction of at least a million and a half Christian Armenians. Their fate - the ethnic cleansing of this ancient race from the lands of Turkey, the razing of their towns and churches, the mass slaughter of their menfolk, the massacre of their women and children -was denounced in Paris, London and Washington as a war crime.

Tens of thousands of Armenian women - often after mass rape by their Turkish guards - were left to die of starvation with their children along the banks of the Habur river near Deir ez-Zour, in what is today northern Syria. The few men who survived were tied together and thrown into the river. Turkish gendarmes would fire a bullet into one of them and his body would drag the rest to their deaths. Their skulls - a few of them - were among the bones I unearthed on that terrible afternoon seven years ago.

The deliberate nature of this slaughter was admitted by the then Turkish leader, Enver Pasha, in a conversation with Henry Morgenthau, the US ambassador in Constantinople, a Jewish-American diplomat whose vivid reports to Washington in 1915 form an indictment of the greatest war crime the modern world had ever known. Enver denounced the Armenians for siding with Russia in its war with the Turks.

The historian Arnold Toynbee, who worked for the Foreign Office during the war, was to record the "atmosphere of horror" which lay over the abandoned Armenian lands in the aftermath of the savagery. Men had been lined up on bridges to have their throats cut and be thrown into rivers; in orchards and fields, women and children had been knifed. Armenians had been shot by the thousand, sometimes beaten to death with clubs. Earlier Turkish pogroms against the Armenians of Asia Minor had been denounced by Lord Gladstone.

It continues in detail, and includes the statements of Churchill, who called it a holocaust, and of Hitler, who recognised what Kinzer does - that successful genocides are forgiven and forgotten.

Every word of Fisks article deserves to be read by everyone who intends to contribute on this tread.

http://groong.usc.edu/fisk2.html

One wonders if Stephen Kinzer, in his former life as a New York Times would have questioned the condemnation of Nazi genocide of the Jews if it was harming US relations with right-wing political parties in Europe. Of course not. So, already according to Kinzer, the bones of one genocide are not as worth as the bones of another.

Victims to be sacrificed twice, first in a terror of rape and murder, and a second time at the alter of political expediencey.

There will never be a point in the future where I will treat any word uttered by Kinzer with anything than utter contempt. *
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camdencarrot camdencarrot

5 Mar 2010, 12:59AM

According to Wikipedia:

The Armenian Genocide was the deliberate and systematic destruction (genocide) of the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire during and just after World War I.

It is widely acknowledged to have been one of the first modern genocides and is the second most-studied case of genocide after the Holocaust.

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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 1:01AM

BarryObummer

These are the kinds of stupid things that happen when you have libs running Congress. But aren't you left-limes always whining about wanting a moral American foreign policy? Well, there you go...

One right set of words do not bring back or excuse the taking of millions of Arab lives. American foreign policy should have have implemented a similar policy in Iraq, through the self-described "genocidal" sanctions, to the obliteration of Fallujah and the long-term mass birth defects the poisoning of that city has resulted in.
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HuwSan HuwSan

5 Mar 2010, 1:16AM
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Harris2010 Harris2010

5 Mar 2010, 1:21AM

This is not a "liberal" or lefty issue.

House Resolution 252 was formally introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. Adam Schiff (D.-CA), George Radanovich (Republican.-CA), Frank Pallone, Jr. (D.-NJ), and Mark Kirk (Republican.-Ill) in 2009.

A similar measure in the US Senate (S.Res.316) is led by Senators Bob Menendez (D-NJ) and John Ensign (Republican-NV)

House Armed Services Committee, Democratic Rep. Ike Skelton of Missouri, warns that the measure would harm U.S. national-security interests.

This is emotion over reason in the run up to some challenging mid term elections. Long term thinking is not a strong suit for these people in the best of times.

Throw in a "genocide" issue involving Christians and Muslims and the stage is set for short-term, sound-bite legislation.

Do they teach Machiavelli anymore?
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DomC DomC

5 Mar 2010, 1:21AM

All I'm saying on this is I've seen Midnight Express... that was enough for me!!!
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turkism turkism

5 Mar 2010, 1:25AM

as a turkish cypriot i can tell you that my people have suffered under the greeks, i know this because, i have accuses to people with eye witness accounts, testimonies, when it comes to the ottomans i will say that i will make my mind up when both the american Armenians and the turkish peoples present there documents and discus it (which is something turkey has been adamant to do for while) also i would not put the young turks in the same class as the nazis they were entirely different, the young turks were very nationalistic and just wanted to protect the ottoman empires borders from other empires.
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edwardrice edwardrice

5 Mar 2010, 1:32AM

HuwSan

Thanks for the link to Robert Fisk's article. Quote:

Armenian academics have been investigating the identity of those young German officers who were training the Ottoman army in 1915 and who in some cases actually witnessed the Armenian Holocaust--whose victims were, in some cases, transported to their deaths in railway cattle-cars. Several of those German soldiers' names, it now transpires, crop up again just over a quarter of a century later--as senior Wehrmacht officers in Russia, helping Hitler to carry out the Jewish Holocaust. Even the dimmest of us might think there was a frightening connection here.

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phco phco

5 Mar 2010, 1:35AM

This "genocide" is not "decided" by an american congress - it is just their opinion - and what is interesting is their motive for a subject normally left to historians to research.

What is horrifying is the importance these days of waffling on about whether a massacre is "genocide" or not - a kind of intellectual trivia quiz in the face of the appalling fear and suffering that some people must endure before they are killed by the contempt of angry arrogant males.

I am not interested in how a massacre is "defined" but that it happened and why?

But the interesting point about this "opinion of a congressional committee" is the reaction of Turkey. They could just deny it - as they usually do - or dismiss it as an opinion of those not qualified for one - but oh no - the great male is insulted - and he walks out in a huff and a puff.

Can we have an article Stephen on why males feel insulted and justified in walking around beating their chests?

Interesting is if all of present day Turkey feels condemned - no one living today in Turkey is responsible for the Armenian massacres - just as I am not responsible for the British Empire, or the First World War, or General Dyers massacre in Amritsar.

If they do feel responsible, what does that say about "tribal conciousness" and "ancestral respect" in Turkey - do they feel a need to see themselves as the continuation of some great past and not as a people who "are what they are by what they do in the here and now".
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candidusa candidusa

5 Mar 2010, 1:37AM
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jleonard jleonard

5 Mar 2010, 1:47AM

"The past is where the present happens".

When Turkey is a state that is happy to acknowledge the various peoples and cultures that have inhabited and do inhabit its lands then it will be able to accept the Armenian Genocide as an atrocious chapter in its history.
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phco phco

5 Mar 2010, 1:55AM

To "edwardrice",

I would be careful about quoting Robert Fisk and his intellectualizing "links" between Germans training the Turks in WW1 and "Wehrmacht Officers" in Russia.

What is interesting, and what Fisk would not bother to find out about, are letters archived in Berlin from German diplomats in Turkey at the time, worried about the effect that the massacres - that they clearly knew about - would have on the reputation of Germany, given their heavy involvement in supplying and training the Ottoman armies.

At that time Germany had not yet reached the bottom of the moral abyss that came with Adolf Hitler - they still like to think of themselves as honourable - despite their massacres of the Herreros in Namibia. The Armenians were a long way from "savages" for the German mindset - Fisk might have pointed that out instead of getting lost in his clever "genocide links".

Another interesting question is the attitude of the Turks to Armenians at the time - Armenans wanted to be independent but after the war the new Turkish government wasted no time in ignoring the post war agreements and accumulating territories for a "greater Turkey" from the Armenians and the Kurds - justifying their aquisitions as "theors" - as some part of an "ancient Turkey" that was the "cradle of civilization" given to humanity.
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stesimbrotos stesimbrotos

5 Mar 2010, 2:21AM

Perhaps the Turkish parliament could consider and evaluate the genocides which accompanied the continent wide land grab the USA refers to as its "Manifest Destiny"
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ParagAdalja ParagAdalja

5 Mar 2010, 2:22AM

Mr.Kinzer

The question is debatable, but it's not for the US Congress to decide

Turkey has always had it easy. Perhaps it is because of geographical stradling of the two continents. Perhaps its something else that dare not be spoken... Before the Armenian Genocide, in 1865-75 it was the massacre of Christians in Bulgaria and B&H. That too was a genocide.

The author may want to brush up his history. And he may want to look up the word GENOCIDE in the disctionary and reference books. Now, this is not as difficult as it may sound to some here.

For a more recent reading, try Robert Fisk on this subject. His book, (unable to recall the title right now) goes into some detail, not only what occured during the 1910s but also how the countries in the world has consistently tried to avoid making an issue out of this.

By the way, Mr.Kinzer how many times in the past say five years have you had the urge to write about what should or should not be the business of the US Congress? It is generally the prerogative of any organized body to make declaration on any subject they chose. That is a given. If the GLBT community decides to condemn the atrocity in Rawanda or the US invasion of Iraq, they certainly do not restrain themselves. And they should not. Similarly, the British parliament can certainly make pronouncements on all subjects under the sun, and even some farther away from the sun. It has.

Look up Smyrna. It is now Izmir. The name was changed, the history wiped out. Some 200,000 Jews and Christians killed alongwith Armenians. Some 250,000 forced to convert. Very few were able to catch the boat for Greece. Written history exists. It is there, if you wish to re-search. It would have helped if you had provided your readers with details.

Since you have felt strong enough re the US Congress action, I am assuming you have some knowledge on the subject of Genocide and Armenian migration. Or are you an expert on US Congress Prerogatives?
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NapoleonKaramazov NapoleonKaramazov

5 Mar 2010, 2:29AM
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blacknose blacknose

5 Mar 2010, 2:48AM

The figure or 1.5 million dead is not accepted by many historians, who place the figure in the hundreds of thousands.

Well that makes me feel so much better.

There is a contingent of particularly vicious, racist pro-Israel fanatics who think that the term "genocide" should be reserved exclusively for the Nazi slaughter of Jews. Elie Wiesel has on occasion supported this line.

That is completely untrue. Elie Wiesel has un-ambiguously stated that what happened to the Armenians was genocide.
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Villea Villea

5 Mar 2010, 2:54AM

Oh, enough, America. This is not your business and it never will be. The U.S.A is not the world's moral compass, and declaring acts committed by a foreign country as genocidal without concrete evidence to back it up is not the responsibilty of American politicians.

Show some grace and let the the Turkish and Armenians figure it out. It's their issue, so it's rightfully theirs to solve.
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MoveAnyMountain MoveAnyMountain

5 Mar 2010, 3:11AM

It will not have that authority until it sincerely investigates other modern slaughters ? what about the one perpetrated by the British in Kenya during the 1950s, documented in a devastating study that won the 2006 Pulitzer prize?

Except no such genocide took place in Kenya. The book is a crock. Britain executed people and did not treat everyone in prison as they should have but no more. The Armenians were actually killed.

There's the difference.
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MoveAnyMountain MoveAnyMountain

5 Mar 2010, 3:16AM

Villea

Show some grace and let the the Turkish and Armenians figure it out. It's their issue, so it's rightfully theirs to solve.

Then Turkey should shut the Hell up about Palestine because it is none of their damn business either. Right?
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SeattleOrca SeattleOrca

5 Mar 2010, 3:45AM

It's worth noting that the US has a fairly substantial Armenian population, no doubt it's largely behind this effort. My understanding is that it's pretty well-established that a genocide occurred. Given Turkey's strategic importance, however, it's surprising to see the US Congress tweaking Turkey in this way.
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jsb1080 jsb1080

5 Mar 2010, 3:51AM

It's a matter for scholars, not politicians.

for as long as you risk a criminal prosecution in turkey for mentioning it, i dare say it is also a question for politicians.
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edwardrice edwardrice

5 Mar 2010, 3:54AM

phco

I would be careful about quoting Robert Fisk and his intellectualizing "links" between Germans training the Turks in WW1 and "Wehrmacht OfficerI" in Russia.

I haven't a clue what you mean by - Fisk intellectualizing "links" between Germans training the Turks in WW1.

German officers were in Turkey "training the Ottoman army in 1915 and who in some cases actually witnessed the Armenian Holocaust ". "Several of those German soldiers' names, it now transpires, crop up again just over a quarter of a century later--as senior Wehrmacht officers in Russia, helping Hitler to carry out the Jewish Holocaust."
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Jutlandia1 Jutlandia1

5 Mar 2010, 4:10AM

MoveAnyMountain

Well said

The Armenian Genocide was real and the only reason why goverments around the world makes a statement about that is so that the turks finally accepts it so that the world can move on in respect of this part of history.

So turkey (mean to the goverment) accept and continue to improve the realtions in the region also with armenia - everybody will benefit from that
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Bochi Bochi

5 Mar 2010, 4:37AM

The idea that this is irrelevant to the realpolitik of today is given the lie by two things: firstly, that Americans cared enough to make the effort to get it through Congress and, secondly, that Turks care enough to broadcast the proceedings live on TV.

Doesn't sound like a dead issue to me.
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dagenhamblue dagenhamblue

5 Mar 2010, 4:59AM

Maybe it was genocide but what right do the Americans, who exterminated the indigenous population of their own land and who killed 2 million Indo Chinese just a generation ago, have to criticise?

More to the point, the Greek invasion of Turkey in 1919-1922 had as its specific object the extermination or expulsion of the Turks from land which had been theirs for over 1000 years. It is estimated that over half a million Turks were killed in that episode, most in massacres of civilians. When was this ever called "genocide"?

As for the person who mentioned "Midnight Express"; I really do hope you are joking. This film has long been recognised as sleazy, racist anti Turkish propaganda: Check the Greek and Armenian names in the credits.
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Mercurey Mercurey

5 Mar 2010, 5:15AM

Was the 1915 killing of Armenians genocide? The question is debatable.

No not really. Only to you and much of the Turkish Establishment. It is time Turkey grew up and accpeted it. And stop harrasing Turks that acknowledge the fact it was genoicide.

There is little inherent value in self exoneration, so I don't know why the Turkish government thinks all this huffing and puffing will chnage any minds.

There is a court case in ther Hague where they want to make genoicide debatable.
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Abi1975 Abi1975

5 Mar 2010, 5:21AM

>Was the American indiscriminate carpet bombing of Vietnam genocide?

Was the American use of agent orange (a chemical weapon) in Vietnam a crime against humanity?
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Mercurey Mercurey

5 Mar 2010, 5:24AM

@seattleOrca
So what if there is an Armenian population in the states. This is hardly Berstien and Woodward stuff. There are plenty of Jews and Blacks, with that logic why not thrown in denial of Holocaust and slavery.

Turkish regime, though has made advances recently is the most obsessively nationalistic and insecure, to the points facts are there not to be established but serve greater efforts of the state.

However, I'd add the decreased dependence of the US in Iraq may have this more likey. It doesn't change or make history.
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UPinARMS UPinARMS

5 Mar 2010, 5:31AM

Maybe it was genocide but what right do the Americans, who exterminated the indigenous population of their own land and who killed 2 million Indo Chinese just a generation ago, have to criticise?

For genocide we have a hell of a lot of Native Americans left even at that the numbers killed on both sides were pretty well equal. As to Indo Chinese a generation ago I think you have us mixed up with Indonesia.
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UPinARMS UPinARMS

5 Mar 2010, 5:34AM

As for the person who mentioned "Midnight Express"; I really do hope you are joking. This film has long been recognised as sleazy, racist anti Turkish propaganda: Check the Greek and Armenian names in the credits.

Well T.E. Lawrence didn't fare too well in Turkish custody.
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UPinARMS UPinARMS

5 Mar 2010, 5:35AM

Was the American use of agent orange (a chemical weapon) in Vietnam a crime against humanity?

It was a defoliate not a chemical weapon and very few died from it. It was the bombs that fell later that did them in.
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UPinARMS UPinARMS

5 Mar 2010, 5:38AM

Was the American indiscriminate carpet bombing of Vietnam genocide

It was no more indiscriminate that the carpet bombings of London, Dresden, or Tokyo
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Mercurey Mercurey

5 Mar 2010, 5:43AM

Yes what about everything. This way we won't have to address anything.
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dedicated dedicated

5 Mar 2010, 5:50AM
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jednight jednight

5 Mar 2010, 6:20AM

Genocide vote harms US-Turkey ties

It is time for Turkey to come to terms with the genocide against the Armenians during the final days of the Ottoman Empire. It is ridiculous and hypocritical for Turkey to be bashing Israel over its recent war with Gaza and be in complete denial about the actions taken by Turkish army during WWI. Countries that accept their guilt over war crimes, such as Germany, have become stellar models of democracy and tolerance while those skirting their responsibilities for war crimes become ossified and decadent. If Turkey is to become the role model for the Muslim world, it must accept the sins of her past. It does not bode well for countries not to confront their history and make some type of amends for past sins. Unfortunately too many Arab and Muslim countries suffer from this lack of historical candor.
Jed Nightingale
NYC
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factsveritas factsveritas

5 Mar 2010, 6:32AM

Thank you Mr. Kinzer for an insightful and clear article. The only reason the United States politicians harp on the allegations of an "Armenian genocide" is Armenian influence in American politics. Anyone who sets out to do an unbiased research on the subject will be very surprised by his/her findings, which is the main reason Armenian propagandists do not want to debate anyone not sharing their view, and why the Armenian government does not accept a joint historical commission to research the facts.

B ythe way, in reply to the person who has made a snide remark about T.E. Lawrence above, it is now well-known, thanks to a book by his comrade-in-arms, that Lawrence lied about what transpired while he was a prisoner of the Ottomans.
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CAPLAN CAPLAN

5 Mar 2010, 6:49AM

For those who doubt the evils of the turkish army towards prisoners I suggest checking what happened to the 10000 british troops who surrendered at kut.
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CAPLAN CAPLAN

5 Mar 2010, 6:51AM

IF ARMENIA WERE TO FIRE ROCKETS INTO TURKEY HOW WOULD TURKEY REACT?
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Zhubajie Zhubajie

5 Mar 2010, 6:54AM

Note that in 1915, the word "genocide" did not exist. Assyrians, who also suffered at the time, call it "The Sword." That might be the best locution.
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Alam Alam

5 Mar 2010, 6:58AM

a victory for ethnic lobbying

The Armenian ethnic lobby has proven itself to be far less successful than Jewish and Turkish pressure groups on the genocide legislation. Simply put, those in government objecting to the passage of laws on the Armenian genocide are mouthpieces for the Turkish regime.

that the killing of Armenians by Ottoman Turks in 1915 constituted genocide,

There is absolutely no debate about the systematic genocide against Armenians among independent scholars. The only ones who refuse to recognize as it as such as mouthpieces for the Turkish regime in Turkish universities and a couple of shameless apologists from the West like Justin McCarthy. Some of them not only deny history, but they rewrite and falsify it by turning the genocide against Armenians into an imaginary Muslim-Christian civil war in which millions of Turks were killed.

and might weaken the US-Turkish relationship at the precise moment when the US needs to strengthen it.

Other countries have recognized the genocide, and Turkey's relations with them are perfectly normal. Look at Turkey's increasingly warm relations with Russia, for example. It is unrealistic and exaggerated to predict that there would be serious diplomatic consequences with Turkey over recognition of the genocide.

Congress has neither the capacity nor the moral authority to make sweeping historical judgments.

The U.S. Congress has regularly made judgments on historical issues. For example:

Permitting the use of the rotunda of the Capitol for a ceremony as part of the commemoration of the days of remembrance of victims of the Holocaust.

The figure or 1.5 million dead is not accepted by many historians

Red herring. The issue is not about statistics, but about the policies and intentions of the Turkish regime against Armenians, which a consensus of historians conclude amount to genocide.

Maybe it was genocide but what right do the Americans, who exterminated the indigenous population of their own land and who killed 2 million Indo Chinese just a generation ago, have to criticise?

That is a ridiculous argument. It's like saying that an HIV positive person has no right to lecture young people on safe sex because he himself has not practiced it. America's aggression against Vietnam has nothing to do with whether the Armenian genocide should be recognized.
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forumsfeedback forumsfeedback

5 Mar 2010, 7:05AM

Sounds like genocide to me but then so does Vietnam.
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Alam Alam

5 Mar 2010, 7:07AM

allegations of an "Armenian genocide"...Armenian propagandists do not want to debate anyone not sharing their view,

Armenian nationalists' propaganda is irrelevant to the fact that a consensus of historians recognize the fact that genocide was committed against Armenians during World War I. For example, the International Association of Genocide Scholars confirmed...that the Ottoman campaign against Christian minorities of the Empire between 1914 and 1923 constituted a genocide against Armenians
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Berchmans Berchmans

5 Mar 2010, 7:11AM

jednight

## . Unfortunately too many Arab and Muslim countries suffer from this lack of historical candor. ##

.

Yes we are getting to a nerve ending. Some could speculate that this is more about putting Ali Muslim in his place than giving a toss about the poor Armenians.

B
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Hevallo84 Hevallo84

5 Mar 2010, 7:19AM

Europe has raided Roj TV's offices anticipating this vote. There is potential for Turkey to switch contracts for the new F35 Fighter jet worth billions of Euros. If Europe can show Turkey it is willing to suppress the Kurds and Turkey is angry with the US then Europe will be hoping for this contract to come it's way! Watch out for what happens to the F35 contract.
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DPerrone99 DPerrone99

5 Mar 2010, 7:24AM

Yes we are getting to a nerve ending. Some could speculate that this is more about putting Ali Muslim in his place than giving a toss about the poor Armenians.

Berchmans, if I could have a dinner conversation with one CIFer, it'd be you!
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SeattleOrca SeattleOrca

5 Mar 2010, 7:29AM

Maybe it was genocide but what right do the Americans, who exterminated the indigenous population of their own land and who killed 2 million Indo Chinese just a generation ago, have to criticise?

Why stop there? What right to the British have to ever criticize human rights violations after centuries of brutal oppression across the globe? Germans after the Holocaust? The French after Algeria and colonialism? Russians after the Cold War? Japanese after the Rape of Nanking, Korea, and WWII? Australians after the Aboriginals? New Zealanders after the Maoris?

Get the drift? Yours is a road to nowhere.
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godsend godsend

5 Mar 2010, 7:35AM

What hypocrites the Americans are.
They did their best to exterminate the Vietnamese Freedom Fighters and Civilian Inhabitants by using Weapons of Mass Destruction, including massed carpet bombing raids, and Chemicals such as Agent Orange sprayed indiscriminately over the jungle.
Vietnamese are still suffering today from the effects of these terrorist acts.
There is plenty of evidence to support charges of Genocide against the United States in that ghastly affair, but no charges have ever been laid.
The World has no conscience, alas.
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Musa1 Musa1

5 Mar 2010, 7:39AM
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chess chess

5 Mar 2010, 7:41AM

Some could speculate that this is more about putting Ali Muslim in his place than giving a toss about the poor Armenians.

One can, of course speculate anything, but just for argument's sake let's 'speculate' that this is true and not just Berchmans' self-confessed hatred of America talking. So what? If it was it was genocide surely it should be referred to as genocide. What else is relevant? After all facts are sacred!
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factsveritas factsveritas

5 Mar 2010, 7:53AM

Caplan wrote: "For those who doubt the evils of the turkish army towards prisoners I suggest checking what happened to the 10000 british troops who surrendered at kut."

They ate the same food as the Ottoman soldier, who already had almost nothing to eat, and they probably fell sick at the same rate, particularly to typhus. 600,000 Ottoman Army casualties due to the typhus epidemic alone. General von der Goltz died of same as well. Perhaps the prisoners were encouraged to proceed along their way every now and then, but unfortunately that happens everywhere in a war. Is there any non-propaganda publication indicating willful mistreatment of prisoners by the Ottomans? On the other hand, there is this rumor making the rounds that the Ottoman prisoners in a camp in Egypt were willfully blinded by the British by being forced to enter a communal bath with a certain chemical in it.
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Constituent Constituent

5 Mar 2010, 7:56AM

Unless there are people in America who need to be charged with this crime (they'd need to be over 110 years old) there is no reason for Congress to be discussing what happened in 1914. It seems like another type of filibuster, when america really needs to be examining its own role in world affairs and the effect it has on other countries.

It hardly seems worthwhile annoying other countries in the present for what happened in the past.
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Alam Alam

5 Mar 2010, 7:56AM

It is well known that the US Congress is dominated by proIsraeli influences

The fact is that Israeli and Jewish pressure groups have lobbied together with the Turkish regime for years to kill legislation on recognition of the genocide. To depict this latest move to recognize the genocide as the work of the Zionists is very disingenuous.

Armenians rebelled and seceded

They neither rebelled nor attempted to secede. Armenians remained loyal during WWI, and their reward was the disarming and massacres of Armenian soldiers and the extermination of the mostly women and children left behind. Armenians were not even prepared to try and resist Turkish rule.

to the deaths of over a million Ottoman citizens (Arabs, Turks, others).

Describe how unarmed Armenians killed over a million "Ottoman citizens". The Turkish regime had a burreaucracy, a regular army, warlords, death squads. Armenians had nothing comparable. Turkish deaths are attributable to how the Turkish regime foolishly led the country into World War I.
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Keo2008 Keo2008

5 Mar 2010, 7:59AM

1) Many countries have blind spots about their History. It is nothging to do with religion. The Japanese are in denial about what they did to China, many Russians are in denial about Stalin's crimes, Austrians in denial about their complicity in the Nazi era and so on.
2) Genocide does have a definition (see the UN definition). Not all massacres are genocide. Vietnam was not genocide. That';s no consolation fpor the millions who died there, but the fact remains it was not a systematic attempt to kill all Vietnamese.
3) The author's bias is appalling. Apparently we should not confront Turkey about its awful past because it is such a good ally. That's the same logic that led the USA to ally itself with Batista and other appalling dictators.
4) The author's comparison with Kenya in the 1950s is grotesque. He carefully forgets to tell us how many were killed there. Once again, appalling as it wasd, it wasnty genocidfe.
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Alam Alam

5 Mar 2010, 8:05AM

a victory for ethnic lobbying

So much is made of this allegedly powerful, conspiratorial, mysterious "Armenian lobby" even though draft resolutions on the Armenian genocide have been killed year after year. If Armenian pressure groups were so powerful, then surely they would have had the genocide recognized decades ago? Pretty much the only success Armenian lobbying has had is foreign aid to Armenia at tens of millions of dollars per year.
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UPinARMS UPinARMS

5 Mar 2010, 8:17AM

B ythe way, in reply to the person who has made a snide remark about T.E. Lawrence above, it is now well-known, thanks to a book by his comrade-in-arms, that Lawrence lied about what transpired while he was a prisoner of the Ottomans.

Then you must have a link to verify that. I wonder though, how would his "comrades in arms" have known that unless they were also prisoners.
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apint4me apint4me

5 Mar 2010, 8:18AM

@blacknose
"Was the 1915 killing of Armenians genocide? The question is debatable

No, it f*cking well is not."

As Blacknose says NO IT IS NOT. Mr Kinzer are YOU an apologist for genocide?
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makz makz

5 Mar 2010, 8:29AM

I have never understood why the Turks get so upset about this. Lots of countries have war crimes in their past, and the best way to deal with this is to accept that they happened and move on. What is the big deal? No Turk alive today can be blamed for it in any way. No-one blames any living German (well, not many, anyway) for the Holocaust. Turkey's reluctance to face up to the crimes of past Turkish administrations is anachronistic, and makes Turkey look far worse than acknowledging that genocide occurred would. At best, it makes the Turks look petulant and childish. At worst, it makes them look like apologists for genocide.
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londonderrry londonderrry

5 Mar 2010, 8:41AM

Let's summzarize the logic in Mr. Kinzer's argument. 1. The American congress shouldn't condemn the Armenian genocide of 1.5 million people, unless they thoroughly investigate and condemn all atrocities. So basically, America shouldn't have condemned the 9/11 or 7/7 attacks because they haven't condemned all atrocities? 2. This vote was driven by strong emotions and not clear thinking. Mr. Kinzer, of course people are going to have strong emotions after their homes and churches are stolen, their families and friends are raped and murdered and they are left for dead! But this vote was not driven solely by emotion as the overwhelming majority of historians and the International Association of Genocide Scholars recognizes the mass deportations and executions of the Armenian people as Genocide. 3. This vote will anger Turkey and the United States need's Turkey because it has so much power and influence in the region. Mr. Kinzer, are you seriously suggesting that power and influence should ever be more important then condemning the cold blooded murder of countless families and their children? 4. It's debateable if there even was a genocide committed. This is perhaps the most offensive point in your article as the evidence is overwhelming, but I will give you one quote from an ally of Ottoman Turkey, the German military attache, Major General Otto von Lossow who in 1918 said 'there hardly can be any doubt that the Turks systematically are aiming at the extermination of the few hundred thousand Armenians whom they left alive until now.' Was he just influenced by the Armenian 'lobbyists?' Your article is nothing more than a poor argument without a soul and it makes me sad that some of us have become so indifferent to doing right when our interests are threatened.
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Zogz Zogz

5 Mar 2010, 8:51AM

@Dedicated

Which muslim country (apart from Turkey) is denying the Armenian genocide by Turkey?

Is it too much to expect the USA to simultaneously speak out about wrong doings by a historic Turkey and the present day state of Israel for its transgressions?
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DRadov4 DRadov4

5 Mar 2010, 8:56AM

This vote has already harmed US-Turkish relations because it has angered many Turks. If the resolution proceeds through Congress, it will cause more harm. This is lamentable, because declining US-Turkish relations will be bad for both countries and for the cause of regional stability.

How about the truth?
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SeanThorp SeanThorp

5 Mar 2010, 8:58AM

So what was the massacre, transplantation and decimation of the Native American nations?
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lefktra lefktra

5 Mar 2010, 9:02AM

The evidence for the mass Armenian genocide is as irrefutable as that for the Holocaust, yet the Holocaust is not only "not debatable," in some countries it is punishable by imprisonment simply to question it. Is the suffering of Armenians less important than the suffering of others just because they are politically less influential?
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DRadov4 DRadov4

5 Mar 2010, 9:16AM

Also there are more the 500 000 Assyrians and Orthodox Syrians that were massacred... My Grandfather is from Turkey...
But nobody is trying to look into the 1915 from the other perspective... It was mostly UK, but also French and Russians who in order to break up Ottoman Turkey have provoked, armed and lied to Armenians, Assyrians and Greeks.. Promising them autonomy... and then left them, betrayed them just like what they did with Arabs, Jews and Palestinians. Promised to Arabs the united Caliphate (sounds familiar) and to Palestinians and Jews the very same lands that they are fighting for the very now? That lie and the set up was so obvious that British diplomats and MI 6 agents were disgusted themselves with it and they were addressing their concerns to Foreign office (I read it myself)? Thus the Armenians and Assyrians lost their home land they peacefully coexisted with muslims, jews alike for thousand of years, and got butchered and roobed by mostly Kurds from the silent content of Turkish Government.. It is just one of MANY crimes committed by UK over the centuries? UK and it?s overgrown dummy son US should keep out of Middle East as since they got in the very beginning form the Crusades and on the population of Middle East Christians went from almost a HALF! In Medieval times, 25 % before WWI and to 3 % NOW. Middle East would be a different place now if these dirty Anglo-Saxons burglars and rapists wouldn?t of shown up there in the first place and mingle in their affairs STILLL.
GET YOUR HANDS OF BET-NAHREIN ? the CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION,,, Barbarians
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Pairubu Pairubu

5 Mar 2010, 9:17AM

Unfortunately, Israel cannot be blamed for the Armenian genocide in 1915 because it did not then exist

Neither did Turkey, in it's present secular form.
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DRadov4 DRadov4

5 Mar 2010, 9:19AM

sorry for typos... read ... instead of ?
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thefalseego thefalseego

5 Mar 2010, 9:24AM

Maybe the turks can have a vote on whether or not the US committed genocide against the Native Americans.. there is no shortage of evidence for that.
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daviddixit daviddixit

5 Mar 2010, 9:25AM
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MacAdder MacAdder

5 Mar 2010, 9:29AM

Awful article, both logically and morally rubbish.

First, Turkey has not been singled out, many many countries have been condemned by various agencies including or supported by the various arms of US govt for abuses up to and including genocide. The guilty invariably complain of victimisation, unlike their dead victims.

Two, It is a specious argument to say that it has no moral authority unless it condemns every other injustice. Its like saying no court should ever convict for any crime unless it convicts for every crime. You deal with as much as you can. Even the Guradian lets many of the evils of the world go unreported because there simply isn't room for them all. Every international stand for good is a bonus and the more the better, but no-one is under any illusions every crime will get investigated and ruled on, the tortuous history of this case is a illustration of the logistical complexities, but better some that none. (One does lose moral authority with double standards, if two otherwise similar genocides were ruled on with different conclusions based on our friends/our enemies.) But that is not the case here.

Three, the broad facts of the genocide are not in serious "debate" outside Turkey or its various local proxies.

Four, "don't condemn them for genocide - look how influential they are and useful they can be" is not just realpolitik, it is immoral, it equates good and evil. It would have let for example Nazi Germany - powerful and influential - off the hook. An extreme example but accurat for teh purpose of his argument. On a more pragmatic basis its not good politik, a licence - tacit or otherwise - to do horrid things for realpolitik reasons has always encouraged those things to happen.

Last, it is entirely modern Turkey's decision to associate itself with the Ottoman Empire's awful deeds for nationalist reasons. Legally and functionally the modern Turkey of Ataturk was not responsible for the Armenian genocide and it could have condemned it utterly without attracting liability, indeed it would be a powerful symbol of all wrong with the old empire and right with the modern nation. Instead it has chosen to associate itself with the deed, Turkey's own choice. And done in full acceptance of the consequences.

It is perverse to plead the virtues of modern turkey to excuse (if only by by silence and omission) an ottoman genocide.

T
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BishopKingPawn BishopKingPawn

5 Mar 2010, 9:47AM

thefalseego wrote

Maybe the turks can have a vote on whether or not the US committed genocide against the Native Americans.. there is no shortage of evidence for that.

The evidence pales in comparison to the evidence that Europeans, particularly the Spanish, committed genocide against Native Americans.
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bousteezi bousteezi

5 Mar 2010, 9:48AM

Don't anger Turkey,and don't mention the Armenian genocide,after all what is a little genocide among friends.

Don't mention the way Turkey brutalizes it's Kurd citizens either,that too might upset the Turks.That's right leave Turkey alone,go for Israel instead.

If Turkey can't come to terms with the Armenian Genocide,then the rest of the world should make sure that they do.The chances of that happening,are nil zilch nada.The radical left is too busy gazing at their navels.And smearing Israel.
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SUMWON SUMWON

5 Mar 2010, 10:04AM

Yes, but what are the established facts of the case ? Just to repeat Fisk's and other journalists' stories are not good enough. What do the forensics and proper historical research have to say ?

The House of Un-Representatives might like to declare the US Invasion and Bombing of Baghad, China's invasion of Tibet and the ethnic cleansing of Palestine by the Irgun, Haganah etc as War Crimes, Crimes Against Humanity and Crimes against Peace as well.

In the Lands of the Blind, the One Eyed Un-Representative is King !
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Zogz Zogz

5 Mar 2010, 10:08AM

So Bousteezi, are you ok with the radical left criticizing Israels actions on a civilian population provided that also criticize Turkeys treatment of the Armenians?

Sounds a bit of an unfair comparison-but hey, if that how you far rightists roll...!
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gymnutkamal gymnutkamal

5 Mar 2010, 10:10AM

Singling out and killing/deporting a people based on their genetics is genocide - whatever the scale be it a few thousand like in Sebrenica or the 11-12 million of Jews, Romanies and others killed by the nazis. The scale doesn't come into it - that's just splitting hairs. It's the intent that is the important point. All the evidence point to the fact that something terrible occured to the anatolian armenians, and it's time the Turkish people woke up to this and prevent something similar ever occuring again. For instance - the Turkish systematic oppression of the Kurds. Did you know they have over 3000 kurdish children between 13 and 18 in prison as "terrorists"?

No - I think these things should always be called as it is. If it causes some soul searching in the Turkish people - then that is probably a good thing in the long term. Any people can be taken in and manipulated by clever evil people out to spread their hate - just learn from this and don;t let it happen again...
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nightside242 nightside242

5 Mar 2010, 10:11AM

So the US Congress should just forget about it because it upsets a society where it is built-in to lie about the event from birth? As much as the US government has taken some ridiculous political decisions during it's time in existence, this is admittedly a welcome move. Arguing that the US should reconsider merely because of political and economic ties with Turkey is ridiculous, and exposes the entire political lobbying system for what it really is.

If the Turkish government really believe that Congress has no authority on the matter, then why not just reject the claim out of hand and forget about it? It would be quite easy to accept it and move on; after all, the Ottoman Empire was a completely different form of government than modern, secular Turkey supposedly is. Refusing to accept the past mistakes of a previous government makes a mockery of everything that Ataturk fought for, ironic given the hallowed place he holds in Turkish history.

The only real point that Mr. Kinzer makes is regarding British actions in Kenya. If people were taught about both the glorious and dispicable parts of their histories, people might start to realise that all nations have an equal capacity to act as beasts.
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headstheywin headstheywin

5 Mar 2010, 10:18AM

Modern Turkey is a country held together by nationalism and imposed rigorously through the media and education system.

I just checked on the Spiegel International page which ran the story of writer Orhan Pamuk's flight from Turkey to Cairo following the murder of Armenian Hrant Dink in Istanbul 2007. The mere mention of the massacre can proke 'muderous nationalism' from some extremist quarters.

I don't believe Erdogan or Gul seriously doubt the atrocity occured, they are far too intelligent for that....... but the civil unrest that an admission could unleash ..and the backlash from the Turkish equivelent of the BNP is something they will seek to avoid.
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headstheywin headstheywin

5 Mar 2010, 10:19AM

'murderous'
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UralMan UralMan

5 Mar 2010, 10:30AM

Well done, the USA, but long overdue. As always, the USA - forever juggling its desire to be seen as a beacon of world human rights on the one hand and cruel realpolitik on the other, and veering (sometimes) towards the former when adhering to the latter becomes too embarrassing - has to hurriedly jump on the departing train. Needless to say that even now this victory was achieved with a margin of one vote and the whole campaign was driven by Californians where a large Armenian Diaspora lives.

Even more embarassing is the lack of the official recognition of the crime by the UK ? the only remaining major power in the WWI that has not done so yet. Ironically, even the countries that fought on the other side such as Germany, recognised the atrocities. One can see the list of countries that recognised the Armenian genocide here.
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OneManIsAnIsland OneManIsAnIsland

5 Mar 2010, 10:39AM

@headstheywin

"Modern Turkey is a country held together by nationalism and imposed rigorously through the media and education system. "

And that is a bad thing..why? Presumably in your view, the ideal nation should be riven by warring racial factions who can only agree when it involves general self-loathing and breast-beating over their last 500 years of their history?

Not all countries share Britain's fixation with constantly trying to repaint its own history in competingly negative interpretations so that it can grovel a bit more each time and find someone to compensate.

Perhaps the House Of Representatives could pass some resolutions re-labelling the activities of the British in India, Africa and the Middle East. They would be equally relevant, but at least we would welcome the opportunity to grovel and do ourselves down a bit more.
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PeterClay PeterClay

5 Mar 2010, 10:40AM

Why is the Guardian running articles apologising for genocide?
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Danny69 Danny69

5 Mar 2010, 10:41AM

Yes, it may well hurt US Turkey relations but the key question is this: did what occur in 1915 constitute a genocide or not?

Most scholars of human rights believe that what occurred to the Armenians was indeed a genocide. It may be politically convenient to call it something else, but that is not the same as truth.
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emgrup emgrup

5 Mar 2010, 10:42AM

This is an excellent, excellent article.
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g0annahead g0annahead

5 Mar 2010, 10:47AM

Outstanding Hypocricy on the US part.
The past is the past, can we not move forward.
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MiddleEnglandLefty MiddleEnglandLefty

5 Mar 2010, 10:48AM

BarryObummer
5 Mar 2010, 12:51
These are the kinds of stupid things that happen when you have libs running Congress. But aren't you left-limes always whining about wanting a moral American foreign policy? Well, there you go...

Why don't you stick to Fox News, Bummer? You'd be happier, and we wouldn't have to read your moronic excretions. Now go and stuff some more donuts.
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Danny69 Danny69

5 Mar 2010, 10:53AM

@ PeterClay

"Why is the Guardian running articles apologising for genocide?"

A very good question. There have been other articles questioning the indictment of Sudanese President Bashir by the ICC. Darfur has been as clear a case of genocide as one could imagine.

I too have asked myself why a "progressive" newspaper is often the leading apologist for such cases.
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chrisjwmartin chrisjwmartin

5 Mar 2010, 10:55AM

There's a difference, that many commenters here don't seem to understand, between "mass murder" and "genocide". There was no attempt by the Ottoman authorities to go after Armenians outside the Empire. The murders took place during an Armenian ethnic uprising in the middle of the most devastating war ever seen, in which Armenians themselves made their ethnicity the central dividing issue and allied en masse with Russia, the eternal enemy of the the Turkish state.

The events of the period were one of the many horrendous tragedies of the twentieth century. But it is far from clear that they merit description by that emotive term 'genocide'.
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BoutrosDiveris BoutrosDiveris

5 Mar 2010, 10:58AM

Excuse me,

How is it OK for the Congress to decide on the Holocaust and the victims of Stalinism but not on the Armenian genocide? Are you on the payroll of some PR company acting for the Turkish military "elite" ?

The world is full of random idiots who think we have no memory or knowledge of history.
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saphire saphire

5 Mar 2010, 10:58AM

Armenians in the Ottoman empire were the previleged group who controlled the commerce and trade, living in well decorated houses in the city centres. And in the late 19th century(early 20th century) what happened in Anatolia is never questioned, the atrocities of those Armenians who enthusiastically killed Turkish villagers hoping to receive Russian and Western support to establish their own nation-state.

And in 1915, the catastrophe I would call, millions of people killed. Armenians, Turks and Kurds. Armenians were the biggest sufferer, unfortunately. It is not a genocide but a forced migration and conversion; there is no, to the dismay of poor Robert Fisk!, a concentration camp in any part of Anatolia. But the death of thousands of Armenian is a fact, as obvious as the deaths of thousands of Turks and Kurds -less in number-

I could show a set of skulls which belong to massacred Turkish villagers, so what should I call it, Turkish genocide? Of course No!

But Turkish government would apologize for the behaviour of Young Turks even if I am pretty sure that the Armenian state will never apologize for what they did to Azeris or those Armenian atrocties of the late 19th century.
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headstheywin headstheywin

5 Mar 2010, 11:01AM

OneManisanIsland

Just pointing out that the political implications for Erdogan and Gul of an admission/apology would be disastrous at this moment in time. The government has in custody 40 (mostly retired) right-wing senior members of the armed forces accused of plotting a military coup. In fact the Erdogan/Gul partnership is the most moderate and popular in recent times.
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nicomedia nicomedia

5 Mar 2010, 11:03AM

Armenian Diaspora lobby groups want people to think that turkey did to the Armenians pretty much what the Nazis did to the Jews 25 years later. Pushing this line has won them valuable ideological points in US public opinion. Use of the word genocide has been central to this. But to represent the Ottoman Armenians as victims in the same sense as the Jews under the Nazis is wrong. Jews in Germany or Poland had never engaged in political assassinations or terrorist bombing of civilians. They had never attempted to resist the government, destroy neighbouring villages, or the welcome invading enemy forces. The same could not be said of the Armenians. Their actual or aspiring leaders, grabbing at the new European invention of of ethnic national identity posed genuine military and political problems. The Young Turk authorities were desperately and incompetently, trying to hold together an ancient Empire that had been falling apart for a couple of century. But even then, they never developed a sinister strategy for a final solution on Nazi lines. The Armenian case is fundamentally different from Nazi Holocaust. And to that extent it may be best not to bundle together under the same label. This is not of course to justify mass slaughter of Armenians with which the Ottomans unwittingly ended up. This is not a tussle over what really happened in history, so much as a clash between the beneficiaries of one or other myth of ethnic -national victimhood today. Let?s do not forget that recent Gaza war and Turkish criticism of Israel hugely contributed to AIPAC lobby?s change of heart about this decision.
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BoutrosDiveris BoutrosDiveris

5 Mar 2010, 11:03AM

@paperplanes

David Icke and David Irving agree with you:

"There is a huge lack of evidence surrounding the mass killings of Jews from the late 1800s-1945. Many documents were destroyed up by the nazis before the Third Reich was destroyed in 1945. The figure or 7 million dead is not accepted by many historians, who place the figure in the hundreds of thousands. There is room for debate here, it's not a closed book."
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bousteezi bousteezi

5 Mar 2010, 11:06AM

When is a genocide not a genocide?

When political expediency says that it 's not a genocide.
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gkelly gkelly

5 Mar 2010, 11:08AM

Your argument might be sound if Turkey had shown a reasonable sense of responsibility in coming to terms with the historical events. But it hasn't. It has covered them up, denied them and thrown people in prison when they dared to raise questions about them. Imagine that the Germans had done the same about the Second World War. Would we all just shrug our shoulders and accept that? Obviously not.

The fact that Turkey is unable to deal with this issue maturely is one of the many indications that the country is nowhere near fit to be a member of the European Union.
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zavaell zavaell

5 Mar 2010, 11:10AM

I want Turkey to join the EU, and see the country as vibrant and self-questioning - apart from one thing: the 'alleged' genocide against Armenians. Turkey would do itself a lot of good and lay to rest much smouldering resentment if it could cross that barrier of self-confidence that would allow it to say 'mea culpa'.
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KrustytheKlown KrustytheKlown

5 Mar 2010, 11:11AM

I don't agree with everything in this article, but I definitely agree that it's the role of historians, not politicians, to make pronouncements on complex events which took place nearly a century ago.

This motion has come before congress before and has always been defeated. It's hard not to draw the conclusion that its narrow approval this time around was done as a way of punising the Turks for having the affrontery to have an independent foreign policy, particularly as regards Israel and Iran.
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HandandShrimp HandandShrimp

5 Mar 2010, 11:14AM

During war horrible things happen. Whether one calls it genocide or not (perhaps ethnic cleansing is more appropriate) a great many innocent civilians were slauthered by Turkish soldiers fearful of fifth columnists within their borders. Turkey threw off the Ottoman Empire in 1923 and created a modern forward looking country. A century has passed since those dark days and Turkey should face up to the crimes of an administration they themselves overthrew. They would gain in international stature rather than be diminished if they did this.

I can't see them coming into the EU fold until this sore has finally had the balm of regret eased over it. Nothing can undo those events and no borders or property are going to change hands. It would simply acknowledge a dark passage of history that I am sure most modern Turks would deplore. It would undoubtedly improve relations with key neighbours too.

I am not sure what Mr Kizner is trying to do with this article. There are numerous documented accounts of these events. The US has just rubber stamped what most academics and history books already accept as historical fact.

My experience of Turkey and the Turkish people is a positive one by the way.
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istanbullu istanbullu

5 Mar 2010, 11:14AM

As a Turk I must say as saddening and horrid as these past events were, I can't help feel that the context in which they happened are not being given their due mention. This is bad because, I understand a very important part of giving due recognition to such events is so that they are prevented in the future.

So I've no qualms about admitting a genocide, if it is shown freely and scholarly to be shown to be one, (not when it's voted by politicians though).

It would be a good thing to conclude what it was, as long as it is done in the right context, with a view to acknowldge all the other atrocities acknowledged against other peoples of the time (and there was plenty).

For example these things happened during a huge war in 1915 (1914-1918 anyone?), when the Ottoman Empire was on its last moments (ended 1918) when there was death and hunger for everyone in the realm - not when Turkey was about to embark on a war of ideological domination against other races of the world.

So I fear without giving due mention to all these important factors, this risks merely causing a witchunt-like victimisation of Turks which may do more harm than prevent such events in the future.
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john37 john37

5 Mar 2010, 11:20AM

The problem with this article is outlined in the subtitle.

Kinzer writes.

"Was the 1915 killing of Armenians genocide? The question is debatable, but it's not for the US Congress to decide."

The implication here is that at least in Kinzer's opinion, the deaths of some hundreds of thousands of Armenians back then (nearly all civilians) cannot really be called a genocide, and having shed doubt on that, he moves to his real problem, the fact that the US Congress (of all institutions) might call a spade a spade.

But a genocide referred to as such, say by Pol Pott for example, would still be a genocide.

Maybe Kinzer should make up his mind on this score and then the rest wouldn't bother him so much.

One last point.

I couldn't help noticing the sly reference to the power of the Armenian Lobby in America. Where have we heard that before?

All in all, a fairly corrupt piece of unpleasantness.
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HandandShrimp HandandShrimp

5 Mar 2010, 11:31AM

@istanbullu

I agree.

Set against the historical backdrop and in serious and scholarly way, a simple acknowledgement of those tragic events would go a long way to setting the record straight. There is no way that these events can impact upon modern Turkey any more than expressions of regret about Britain's involvement in the slave trade can impact upon Britain. It is simply about facing up to where we were and where we want to go.
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Clevo Clevo

5 Mar 2010, 11:35AM

When European settlers started arriving in the future U.S.A., they found it full of foreigners. These foreigners generally didn't want to share their territories and objected. The settlers started a policy of genocide to remove these foreigners, often justified by using the Old Testament fiction about the 'promised land'.
Does this U.S. Governemtn Committee recommend a universal policy regarding people who have suffered genocide and who need the victors' history correcting with the truth?
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OneManIsAnIsland OneManIsAnIsland

5 Mar 2010, 11:43AM

@headstheywin

"The government has in custody 40 (mostly retired) right-wing senior members of the armed forces accused of plotting a military coup. In fact the Erdogan/Gul partnership is the most moderate and popular in recent times."

Are we talking about the same Turkey? Erdogan's government is committed to revoking the secular constitution and reviving the Islamic state. His health minister even called for public midwives to be required to submit to examinations to prove their virginity. The headscarf is back in, and everwhere you look they are building mosques, fast.

The reason the current government has been rounding up military officers is because the army represents (or perhaps now 'represented would be more approriate) the only remaining power base capable of enforcing the secular consitution.
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SouthEndBrit SouthEndBrit

5 Mar 2010, 11:51AM

Shame the US didn't recognize the slaughter in Rwanda as a genocide at the time, if they had, certain treaty obligations would have kicked in and they would have had to intervene. They tip-toed around the word and avoided it's use so they wouldn't have to get involved so this Turkey-Armenia thing is hypocracy and damaging and too late!
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BishopKingPawn BishopKingPawn

5 Mar 2010, 11:53AM

Re Clevo: by the time the settlers arrived, most of the genocide of Native Americans had already taken place. Disease, murder and war were the first fruits of European explorers and plunderers. Decimation was rapid. By the time Europeans started moving in in major numbers, the population of Native Americans was still reeling. This is one reason so many blacks were imported as slaves... the local population was lacking.

Of course, the low population numbers didn't put a complete stop to the process of genocide.

By the way, I've heard that the US Congress is now considering funding an exhaustive catalog of all human history, in which every tribe, ethnic group and religion which has ever been crushed by another tribe, ethnic group or religion will now receive a commemorative medal. This effort is being led by Tom Cole, the only Native American member of the US Congress.
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yalebird yalebird

5 Mar 2010, 11:55AM

Fully agree with Istanbullu. As a Turk myself I've gotta say the government and those who support its position are being silly. They're attempting to rewrite history and unnecessarily complicating relations with a number of their neighbors and allies out of a misplaced sense of national pride. If the powers that be had any sense they'd own up to it, blame it on the corrupt vestiges of the Ottoman Sultanate and move on.

Hopefully you intelligent folks out there will read this and know that it isn't all Turks who abide by this ideology. In fact, most of my friends and family there are with me on this. I can only hope that issues like this won't breed misplaced anti-Turkish racism and jingoism, but for a large chunk of the world I'm not sure it's worth it.
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headstheywin headstheywin

5 Mar 2010, 12:03PM

OneManisAnIsland

'The headscarf is back in and everywhere you look they are building mosques fast...'

you sound as if you have first-hand knowledge therefore I stand corrected if I'm wrong, but the headscarf has never gone away in Turkey ,neither to my knowledge has there been a restriction on the building of mosques apart from in the centre of Istanbul.
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JohnHughes JohnHughes

5 Mar 2010, 12:03PM

So the US finally brings itself into line with France.

France recognises Armenian genocide

Wonder if this has anything to do with Sibel Edmonds

Her under-oath testimony for the Ohio Election Commission, given in a recent videotaped deposition, is both shocking and horrifying. (Edmonds was the star witness for Congressional candidate David Krikorian in connection with a formal complaint initiated by Representative Jean Schmidt [R-Ohio]. Challenging her in 2008, a Krikorian flyer had accused Schmidt of accepting ?blood money? from Turkish interests to help block a House bill recognizing Turkey?s genocide of Armenians in 1915.) The deposition was allowed to proceed by the Obama Administration, which chose not to invoke the draconian and little-known ?State Secrets Privilege? to gag her, as the previous administration had done, twice.

Edmonds testified that Congressman Dennis Hastert (R-Illinois), a former Speaker of the House, was involved in ?several categories? of corruption on behalf of Turkish agents, according to information she claims to have heard while translating and analyzing FBI counterintelligence wiretaps recorded from 1996 through 2002. She mentioned his ?acceptance of large sums of bribery in forms of cash or laundered cash? coupled with the ability ?to do certain favors?make certain things happen for? [the] Turkish government?s interest.?

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ChrispyDuck ChrispyDuck

5 Mar 2010, 12:15PM

Maybe I'm being a bit thick here (it wouldn't be the first time!) but what is the point of the US congress (aka the self-appointed world police) deciding whether an event that occurred in 1915 by the now non-existent Ottoman Empire was genocide or not?? What exactly does it achieve?

Are they now going to start looking at all massacres that have happened since the year dot and apportion blame accordingly? If that's the case then what about Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Native American Indians, Mexicans "ethnically cleansed" from the land stolen from Mexico to make up most of Texas? Just a few that spring to mind. That little lot should keep 'em busy for a while...
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stoneman stoneman

5 Mar 2010, 12:16PM

Can you imagine what we'd make of Angela Merkel if she denied the Holocaust?

It is completely unthinkable how Turkey persists in rejecting any responsibility for the genocide of the Armenian population of its eastern provinces early in the 20th century. This crime against humanity is just as well documented as the holocaust committed by the Nazis. The difference between the Turkish atrocities and the similar Nazi genocide against the Jews is that Turkey continues to deny such crimes ever took place.

The significance of genocide denial is that its intention is to eradicate the memory and historical presence of the targeted population. It is a continuation of genocide. Anyone familiar with the Turkish treatment of its Kurdish population and the occupation of northern Cyprus would recognise that Turkish crimes against humanity are not simply a part of Turkish history. They are still going on.

It is hard to comprehend how a state which shows such utter contempt for the truth and which refuses to atone for past crimes, is being considered by the European Union as a prospective member. Turkey, on current evidence, is simply not fit to be a member of the EU.
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istanbullu istanbullu

5 Mar 2010, 12:16PM

What disturbs me in all this is the huge amount of vested interests around this topic. This makes it hard to simply look for the truth, as few neutral scholar/person would want to get involved in a large controversy.

So I feel it's somewhat hypocritical to say, all is decided on the topic except for people/academics on the fringe when some solid scholars (like Bernard Lewis) voice doubts on the exact nature of the events - which they should do as science works on plausible doubt and investigation.

This is not to say, there was no genoice (or visa versa), I'm just saying, it feels like the time when people were discussing whether cigarattes caused cancer or not. It makes it very hard to reconcile on facts when people have such deep emotional attachments and/or vested interestests in their views.

All in all, I hope the truth comes out of all this but I'm not very optimistic, just yet.
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HarryTheHorse HarryTheHorse

5 Mar 2010, 12:20PM

The fact that Turkey is unable to deal with this issue maturely is one of the many indications that the country is nowhere near fit to be a member of the European Union

Absolutely right. These events happened nearly 100 years ago so no living Turk can be held responsible for them. But they can be held responsible for dissembling and using state power to crush any Turkish citizen who dares give a contrary view about the Armenian genocide. Turkish scholars have been sent to jail for saying that the treatment of the Armenians amounted to genocide. All countries have some pretty unpleasant episodes in their past but we should now judge them by how willing they are to admit fault and move on. That the Turkish state appears to be unable to do this, and uses totalitarian powers at home to suppress contrary views, is the most shameful aspect of this affair and why Turkey deserves censure.
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 12:21PM

This is nothing more than to appease the Armenian electorate in California and elsewhere in the States. How see through do you want it to be ?

Shameful really, I wouldnt be surprised if the house of reps. even ruled that the ASALA killings of Turkish diplomats children and families in the 70's was a perfectly fine way to go about getting "Genocide Recognition".

Interesting to see the "genocide" being compared to the Holocaust. Even more interesting when you see that the Armenian populations of all the Major cities in Turkey remained untouched and intact to this very day after the 1915 atrocities, Can anyone tell me how many Jews were left in the major German cities after WW2 ? - Answer - None.
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switzerland switzerland

5 Mar 2010, 12:32PM

Killing is killing and it must always be condemned. If 'many Turks are angered', tough. The fact that I wasn't born at the time and don't live in the area does not mean I have no right to condemn murder.
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HarryTheHorse HarryTheHorse

5 Mar 2010, 12:40PM

Interesting to see the "genocide" being compared to the Holocaust. Even more interesting when you see that the Armenian populations of all the Major cities in Turkey remained untouched and intact to this very day after the 1915 atrocities, Can anyone tell me how many Jews were left in the major German cities after WW2 ? - Answer - None.

Which is irrelevant. The UN defintion of the act of genocide states:

any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

It is sufficient that the Ottoman Empire sought to extirpate Armenians in Armenia for it to be legitimately counted as a genocide. Not every Armenian under the Ottoman sphere of influence had to die for it to be counted a genocide.
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 12:41PM

@Move Any Mountain

Then Turkey should shut the Hell up about Palestine because it is none of their damn business either. Right?

Yeh that's right MAM, but perhaps you need to stay silent on this subject too. You made a complete embarrasment of yourself in regards to the Naomi Klein article by supporting the Pinochet regime and god knows which side of the fence you are gonna sit on as regards the Armenian GENOCIDE.......... truly pathetic
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PeteK1959 PeteK1959

5 Mar 2010, 12:57PM

This is an important decision made by the House of Representatives. The Turks are in massive denial about the Armenian genocide. Likewise they deny that the Sudanese government is involved in genocide today. It can?t be happening because Muslims don?t behave that way apparently.
The delusion of superior Islamic morals must be confronted by the west. Muslims are just as capable of committing atrocities as the rest of us. Until the Turks are capable of being honest and open about the Armenian genocide they shouldn?t be allowed anywhere near EU membership.
As for you Mr. Kinzer, did you oppose the US intervening in Bosnia to prevent Christians carrying out genocide on Muslims? I bet you had no problem accepting the term genocide then. You ought to be ashamed of yourself writing apologist drivel like this. Will your next article be telling us how the Nazis or Apartheid regimes were misunderstood?
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Gegenschein Gegenschein

5 Mar 2010, 12:59PM

Counter claims of atrocity do nothing to further our understanding. This was murderous slaughter and so were other murderous slaughters. They co-exist.

Surely our task is to try to prevent new murderous slaughters. Mandela knew the necessity of drawing a line, without forgetting the crimes and suffering of the past, and moving forward. I have to imagine that accepting the truth of this horror is a necessary step towards Turkey's growth. It won't just go away.
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Muggedbyreality Muggedbyreality

5 Mar 2010, 1:05PM

Yet it remains fundamentally aligned with western values

Thank God for that. Has anyone told the Kurds? Or those imprisoned for questioning the official view of history?

My only question is why we limit the recognition of Turkey's atrocities to only 1915. What about the massacres of Greeks, Bulgarians and other Christians, the slave trade and dehumanisation suffered by non Muslims and the sponsorship of the Barbary pirates. You can take any European country at the height of their imperialist cruelty and they still look like angels compared to the Ottomans.
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 1:07PM

@PeteK1959

Couldn't agree more.......why don't we try a little experiment? If we take Kinzers diatribe and replace Armenian with Jewish then sit back and wait for the shrieks of disgust and horror.
It is not acceptable and morally repugnant to dispute the holocaust ( and rightly so of course) but unfortunately the 1.5 million innocent Armenians who were thrown into rivers to drown, raped in front of their families and systematically wiped out , both by Turks and their Kurdish thugs have not been given that same basic right...........the right that their barbaric deaths be unequivocally recognised and reported
Shame on Kinzer and all those who dispute this genocide
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BrendanOz BrendanOz

5 Mar 2010, 1:10PM

Whatever happened to all those American Indians, and Australian Aborigines?

Oh, deliberate genocide.

Which parliament shall say so?
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KK47 KK47

5 Mar 2010, 1:18PM

For the Armenian 'genocide' to be considered as such (i.e. as a historical fact) there needs to be a consensus, there is no consensus amongst reputable historians - e.g. Bernard Lewis and Elie Kedourie - in fact many would point out that atrocities were carried out by both sides, just to show how problematic the issue consider the following: most of the troops that were involved in the atrocities were even't ethnic Turks they were tribal Kurds and Circassians, they were mobilised as an ad hoc gendarmarie to supress escalating violence in eastern Anatolia between Armenian and Kurdish tribes, what CLEAR DOCUMENTED evidence there is does show that the Turks did order the removal of the Armenian population to Syria because the Russian army were so close to eastern Anatolia arming and financing Armenian irregulars to carry out massacres against Kurds and it's widely accepted that if the Russians weren't forced out the war by the Communist revolution we's be talking about the Kurdish genocide and not the Armenian genocide.

As for Congress passing this measure I say it's purely political, it has been passed to influence Turkey when it comes to vote in the UN on Iran's nuclear issue...as for tit for tat, how secure is northern Iraq these days?
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Ilikedthe80s Ilikedthe80s

5 Mar 2010, 1:18PM

Turkey has some lovely beaches. And the food is really interesting as well. Lots of interesting ingluences from all over the Ottoman Empire.

They were on the wrong side in The Great War in which several of my wifes great uncles were killed about 95 years ago. But you can't deny they have nice beaches.

Were the American still slaughtering the Indians in 1915 or had they pretty much got it over with by then?

Weel Wiki says they were taking no prisoners in 1890 (Wounded Knee) just killing Sioux Indians on the spot even if they gave up. Probably just a bit of mopping up in 1915. Last little skirmish of the genocide at Bear Valley in 1918.

Glass houses Y'all.
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properbostonian properbostonian

5 Mar 2010, 1:22PM

@keo2008

As usual, a really fine and clearheaded post (7:59). Thank you for it.
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KK47 KK47

5 Mar 2010, 1:27PM

muggedreality: Really? Angels? Who invented the concentration camp? (First used in Cuba) Who exterminated the entire native populations of North/Central/South Americas right upto the 20th century? Which country in the 20's had no qualms to gassing Kurds in Iraq for not paying Taxes on time? Congo massacre anyone? Or what about 20's Spain - gassed and exterminated half of Morrocco's Arab and Berber population? And as for the massacres against the Greeks and Bulgarians weren't a one way street the Bulgarians/Greeks (don't believe me? Next time you're near Kew gardens pop in to check the archives of British consuls from those areas in those periods, I did for university, shocking read) did exactly the same right in front of foreign consulates...this exceptionalism made of Turkey is absurd, fact is it is only made so because it's predominantly muslim.
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VincentUkraine VincentUkraine

5 Mar 2010, 1:29PM

When are US politicians going to vote on the genocide against native Americans or vote on the horrors of slavery? If they want to have the moral authority to judge others, they need to examine themselves first...
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BrendanOz BrendanOz

5 Mar 2010, 1:30PM

Someone mentioned Bernard Lewis as a 'reputable historian'?

Like Lord Haw Haw is a reputable broadcaster?
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Arby Arby

5 Mar 2010, 1:33PM

LosMagandos,

A lot of Armenians in Turkey had to get their names changed in fear of being recognised.

Is that enough proof ?

Am i right in assuming that IF they recognise 1915 as genocide then the Turkish gov has to make some sort of compensation to the survivors and hence the denial?!
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wikipedia wikipedia

5 Mar 2010, 1:34PM

You have no idea how angry I am that in the midst of current problems, this committee decides it's really, really important to make an historical judgement about something that happened about one hundred years ago. If they thinkt hat's what they were elected - and are paid - to do, they better think again. What are tey - recruiting agents for the Tea Party groups?!

I strongly recommend they memorize an important phrase: That's beyond our remit. they aren't required to take a vote on everything anyone tells them to do. They should repeat that phrase and then do the work they're supposed to be doing.

What to know how each member voted? Now go work to defeat each and every member who voted PRO, or at least get them off this committee. There's real work to be done, and they clearly aren't interested in doing it.
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ignorantpleb ignorantpleb

5 Mar 2010, 1:35PM

Didn't President Obama campaign on a promise to call it genocide?

http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/20100304/obama-administration-breaks-pledge-recognize-armenian-killings-as-genocide.htm

So he goes back on his campaign promise, but loses the house vote anyway. What a superman.
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HarryTheHorse HarryTheHorse

5 Mar 2010, 1:35PM

KK47

muggedreality: Really? Angels? Who invented the concentration camp? (First used in Cuba) Who exterminated the entire native populations of North/Central/South Americas right upto the 20th century? Which country in the 20's had no qualms to gassing Kurds in Iraq for not paying Taxes on time? Congo massacre anyone? Or what about 20's Spain - gassed and exterminated half of Morrocco's Arab and Berber population? And as for the massacres against the Greeks and Bulgarians weren't a one way street the Bulgarians/Greeks (don't believe me? Next time you're near Kew gardens pop in to check the archives of British consuls from those areas in those periods, I did for university, shocking read) did exactly the same right in front of foreign consulates...this exceptionalism made of Turkey is absurd, fact is it is only made so because it's predominantly muslim.

You tu quoque excuses for Turkey don't convince. The crimes you refer to are accepted. The 'exceptionalism' in Turkey's case is of its own making. Turkey criminalises those who contradict the official line on the Armenian genocide. This is not a country that has come to terms with its own past.
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HarryTheHorse HarryTheHorse

5 Mar 2010, 1:42PM

You have no idea how angry I am that in the midst of current problems, this committee decides it's really, really important to make an historical judgement about something that happened about one hundred years ago

Well apart from the obvious answer, that accepting the truth as the truth is always a worthy act, I suspect that this decision plays to American interests. Anything that prompts Turkey to reevaluate its position on the Armenian genocide, makes Turkey more elligible to join the EU, which would be in the longer term interests of the US.
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FaridG FaridG

5 Mar 2010, 1:43PM
This comment has been removed by a moderator. Replies may also be deleted.

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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 1:43PM

I'm really not sure what one needs to do to actually label the genocide a genocide

In 1915 the Armenian genocide attracted a huge amount of attention. Even the New York Times of all papers was documenting at length the barbarity meted out to the fleeing Armenians. What remains indisputable is that the Armenians were force marched out to the Syrian desert where hundreds of thousands died of starvation and exposure. This of course doesnt include the countless number who were systematically beaten to death or drowned in rivers ( many hundreds of testimonials have been collected from witnesses and survivors)

According to Fisk and a host of other historians ( both Armenian and Turkish) as many as 50,000 Armenians were murdered on the hill of Margada. On 15th September 1915 Talaat Pasha sent an instruction to his prefect in Aleppo. " You have already been informed that the government has decided to destroy completely all the indicated persons living in Turkey....Their existence must be terminated, however tragic the measures taken may be, and no regard must be paid to either age or sex, or to any scruples of conscience"........please note this was from the TURKISH INTERIOR MINISTER!The term genocide was coined specifically in regards to the events of 1915

What more do we need to say?
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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 1:52PM

I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Turkish genocide denials for their energy.

One hears so often about genocide deniers, but academics, and most other humans, have forced them out of polite society and to the function rooms of some of the more run-down pubs.

Little such hesitation is shown by apologists of the Turkish genocides of the Armenians, which is a strange combination refreshing, disturbing, and repellent.
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FrankX FrankX

5 Mar 2010, 1:56PM

The first is the simple historical question: was it or wasn't it?

It was

Thanks to the Americans for recognising this atrocity, which the Turks have managed to deny for years.

As for Turkish-US relations: they will survive as it is in the interests of both parties to maintain them. We needn't worry.
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TheHebrewHammer TheHebrewHammer

5 Mar 2010, 1:58PM

@Gangastaista

I would like to take this opportunity to commend the Turkish genocide denials for their energy.

One hears so often about genocide deniers, but academics, and most other humans, have forced them out of polite society and to the function rooms of some of the more run-down pubs.

Little such hesitation is shown by apologists of the Turkish genocides of the Armenians, which is a strange combination refreshing, disturbing, and repellent.

I hope that the Turkish population are much more reasonable than the Turkish government and don't deny the genocide done by Turks on Armenians .
And the Turkish Government reaction shows how important was the US congress decision .
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stam stam

5 Mar 2010, 2:13PM

Armenia - a tool used by big countries like US, France, Russia, etc. in their foreign policy.

This time it was used by US to "punish" Turkey for their disrespect to Israel.

Another example is how Armenia was used during collapse of Soviet Union. In 1992, supported by Russian military forces, Armenians themselves committed modern day genocide in Khojaly, Azerbaijan in 1992 which is well documented in video facts.

Let's see who will be next country who will use them. Perhaps, it will be EU which doesn't want Turkey to become its member.
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stoneman stoneman

5 Mar 2010, 2:19PM

Just because these atrocities occurred almost 100 years ago, it does not mean they are irrelevant to today. The barbaric Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus has followed a similar pattern. The ethnic cleansing of 200,000 Greek Cypriots from their ancestral homes, the rapes, mass executions and eradication of the Christian heritage of the original population has occurred within the last thirty-five years and is ongoing. Turkey still refers to this crime against humanity as a "peace operation" and calls the forced expulsion of the Greeks from northern Cyprus as an "exchange of land".

Indeed, Turkey's denial of the Armenian genocide is strikingly similar to the arguments it uses regarding Cyprus. At first, Turkey denies any genocide has occurred, then it claims that if any killings took place they were justified because it was the Armenians who attacked the Turks first; and then, when Turkey can no longer convince with its falsehoods, it claims there is an anti-Turkish conspiracy in the West.

It is precisely because the Armenian genocide is relevant to modern Turkish crimes against humanity that Turkey is in serial denial about its brutal past.
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USMaine USMaine

5 Mar 2010, 2:26PM

I wonder if this is payback from an Israeli controlled US congress in it's fight with Israel?
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 2:30PM

any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

It is sufficient that the Ottoman Empire sought to extirpate Armenians in Armenia for it to be legitimately counted as a genocide. Not every Armenian under the Ottoman sphere of influence had to die for it to be counted a genocide.

Harry the horse,

If the above definition is to be taken as Gold, Then nearly EVERY nation on earth is guilty of Genocide, therfore it begs the question :- why is Turkey being singled out ? Have a think about that. How obnoxiuos do you have to be to rule a bill on someone elses wrong doings, when you ahevnt even addressed your own atrocities (Native American Genocide, which fits perfectly with the definition you gave)
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 2:31PM

any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such: killing members of the group; causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life, calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; [and] forcibly transferring children of the group to another group

It is sufficient that the Ottoman Empire sought to extirpate Armenians in Armenia for it to be legitimately counted as a genocide. Not every Armenian under the Ottoman sphere of influence had to die for it to be counted a genocide.

Harry the horse,

If the above definition is to be taken as Gold, Then nearly EVERY nation on earth is guilty of Genocide, therfore it begs the question :- why is Turkey being singled out ? Have a think about that. How obnoxiuos do you have to be to rule a bill on someone elses wrong doings, when you ahevnt even addressed your own atrocities (Native American Genocide, which fits perfectly with the definition you gave)
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patnycusa patnycusa

5 Mar 2010, 2:33PM

Well said Gangastaista. What Turkey did to Armenia was genocide and the US Congress has a moral obligation to call it what it is.

While British actions in Kenya also were genocidal, as Kinzer mentions, that is no reason to call the Armenian genocide anything else. The logic really escapes me. Should we not call the Holocaust genocide because of this reasoning and not support resolutions stating this?
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 2:36PM

Just because these atrocities occurred almost 100 years ago, it does not mean they are irrelevant to today. The barbaric Turkish occupation of northern Cyprus has followed a similar pattern. The ethnic cleansing of 200,000 Greek Cypriots from their ancestral homes, the rapes

Hypocrite !!!!!!!! what about the Mass murders of Turkish civilians at the hands of EOKA B in Cyprus ??? Did that not happen ?? On yer Bike !!
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 2:38PM

What Turkey did to Armenia was genocide and the US Congress has a moral obligation to call it what it is.

While British actions in Kenya also were genocidal, as Kinzer mentions, that is no reason to call the Armenian genocide anything else. The logic really escapes me. Should we not call the Holocaust genocide because of this reasoning and not support resolutions stating this?

So by your arguement, why isnt the Kenya Genocide being brought up in house of Reps ? Or all other cases ??
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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 2:42PM

TheHebrewHammer

I hope that the Turkish population are much more reasonable than the Turkish government and don't deny the genocide done by Turks on Armenians .

I fear the national narrative is widespread, not ubiquitous, but widespread.

It's the same with nations with genocide in their recent history. The attack on Fallujah was clearly genocidal. The sanctions on Iraq were clearly genocidal. Sharon's running of the Sabra and Shatila camps were clearly genocidal.

In each of the aggressor countries the national narrative is they were not genocide, and those generally supportive of the state strongly argue that. The dissidents of society, including the academics and those wanting to discuss facts, clearly argue they were genocide.

If you're a nationalist, its always easy to recognise the genocides of other nations, but rare is the nationalist who recognises a domestically-organised genocide. If you're not a nationalist, it's as easy to see the genocides of your own state as the genocides of others.
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stevejones123 stevejones123

5 Mar 2010, 2:47PM

Legally and functionally the modern Turkey of Ataturk was not responsible for the Armenian genocide

Unfortunately it was the leaders of Ataturk's movement that were those behind the genocide.
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 2:49PM

Unfortunately it was the leaders of Ataturk's movement that were those behind the genocide.

Turkish Republic as we know it didnt exist then and the officers resonsible fled the country after their death sentences were ruled.
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SeanThorp SeanThorp

5 Mar 2010, 2:49PM

How many working class people did Winston Churchill genocide in his excursion to Gallipoli? I think he killed just as many as the numbers of Armenians who died and yet he's hailed as a hero.
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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 2:50PM

patnycusa

The logic really escapes me. Should we not call the Holocaust genocide because of this reasoning and not support resolutions stating this?

Note it didn't use to t be the Holocaust, not the "the" and not the capital "H". As has been said, Churchill described the genocide of the Armenians as a holocaust.

Personally I'm not comfortable with re-writing history to deny what the Turks did the Armenians was a holocaust, or to lock down future genocides by saying they cannot be called a holocaust, or for reserving holocaust for one genocide.

If the Nazi genocides of the Jews requires a specific, unique name, and I'm not convinced it does, but if it does, that word should be Shoa.
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TheHebrewHammer TheHebrewHammer

5 Mar 2010, 2:51PM

@Gangastaista

I fear the national narrative is widespread, not ubiquitous, but widespread.

It's the same with nations with genocide in their recent history. The attack on Fallujah was clearly genocidal. The sanctions on Iraq were clearly genocidal. Sharon's running of the Sabra and Shatila camps were clearly genocidal.

In each of the aggressor countries the national narrative is they were not genocide, and those generally supportive of the state strongly argue that. The dissidents of society, including the academics and those wanting to discuss facts, clearly argue they were genocide.

If you're a nationalist, its always easy to recognise the genocides of other nations, but rare is the nationalist who recognises a domestically-organised genocide. If you're not a nationalist, it's as easy to see the genocides of your own state as the genocides of others.

Im not so sure as you about nationalism and the inability to recognise other nations suffering .

Fallugia and Iraq are new events but Sharon was tried for his part of the Massacares in Sabra and Shatila and was found guilty .
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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 2:52PM

SeanThorp

How many working class people did Winston Churchill genocide in his excursion to Gallipoli? I think he killed just as many as the numbers of Armenians who died and yet he's hailed as a hero.

So is Ataturk a hero to many. So is Adolf a hero to many.

None of them are my heroes.
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TheHebrewHammer TheHebrewHammer

5 Mar 2010, 2:54PM

@Gangastaista

If the Nazi genocides of the Jews requires a specific, unique name, and I'm not convinced it does, but if it does, that word should be Shoa.

Shoa -> Holocaust , same word .

Anyway , no reason why the Armenian genocide can't be called Holocaust , infact in Israel its being referred as Shoat Ha'Armenim ( The Armenian Holocaust ) .
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meridan meridan

5 Mar 2010, 2:54PM

Yes, it was a genocide. Or something that pretty much resembled a genocide. However, does the US congress possess any moral authority to pass judgement on it? Afraid, not so. Maybe after America has not only acknowledged its own genocides committed against Native Americans, but has also reinstated these peoples's rights to the lands and the resources of the USA. W hich will of course never happen, anyway.
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hojo hojo

5 Mar 2010, 3:00PM

I reckon 1.5 milliuon people systematically murdered counts as genocide. Oh, and what about the Turkish, Iraqi and Iranian treatment of the Kurds? And, while we're at it, the US treatment of the native American Indians?

Sorry, but they were b'stards, all of them and no amount of splitting hairs on here by so-called apologists can cover up the facts.
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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 3:00PM

TheHebrewHammer

Fallugia and Iraq are new events but Sharon was tried for his part of the Massacares in Sabra and Shatila and was found guilty .

He was tried? That's news to me and I'm interested in some details (without derailing this thread). He was certainly brought before the Kahan Commission of Inquiry into the Events at the Refugee Camps in Beirut, who found him personally reponsible and recommended he never again serve in a public role. But that was not a court, it was not a trial, he was not convicted, and even its own weak (given the severity of the crime of genocide) recommendations were not in the least bit implemented implemented.

The genocidal sanctions were happening at the same time as the Srebrenica and Rwandan genocides, each of which have seen convictions for genocide, and more outstanding.

The difference between them is not the timing but the instigators.
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hojo hojo

5 Mar 2010, 3:00PM

I reckon 1.5 million people systematically murdered counts as genocide. Oh, and what about the Turkish, Iraqi and Iranian treatment of the Kurds? And, while we're at it, the US treatment of the native American Indians?

Sorry, but they were b'stards, all of them and no amount of splitting hairs on here by so-called apologists can cover up the facts.
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TheHebrewHammer TheHebrewHammer

5 Mar 2010, 3:04PM

@Gangastaista

He was tried? That's news to me and I'm interested in some details (without derailing this thread). He was certainly brought before the Kahan Commission of Inquiry into the Events at the Refugee Camps in Beirut, who found him personally reponsible and recommended he never again serve in a public role. But that was not a court, it was not a trial, he was not convicted, and even its own weak (given the severity of the crime of genocide) recommendations were not in the least bit implemented implemented.

The genocidal sanctions were happening at the same time as the Srebrenica and Rwandan genocides, each of which have seen convictions for genocide, and more outstanding.

The difference between them is not the timing but the instigators.

For me the inquiry is enough .
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 3:05PM

@SeanThorp

How many working class people did Winston Churchill genocide in his excursion to Gallipoli? I think he killed just as many as the numbers of Armenians who died and yet he's hailed as a hero.

Estimates of the Gallipoli fiasco range from 250-300,000 troops ( British and French) with way over that number for the Ottoman side

Of course Churchill is also implicated in the gassing of Kurds in Mesopotamia in 1920.......something which he openly espoused and keenly advocated

FYI......Estimates of Armenian genocide numbers are at least a million and quite possibly above 1.5 million
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 3:06PM

reckon 1.5 milliuon people systematically murdered counts as genocide. Oh, and what about the Turkish, Iraqi and Iranian treatment of the Kurds? And, while we're at it, the US treatment of the native American Indians?

Sorry, but they were b'stards, all of them and no amount of splitting hairs on here by so-called apologists can cover up the facts.

Fair enough,

but why is NO one answering my question ?? Why is the Armenian Genocide in the House of Reps and Not the Native American Genocide ? Or the Algerian Genocide ? or the Hundred other oners i can mention off the top of my head ?

Are Genocides more important when the victims are Christians ?
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stoneman stoneman

5 Mar 2010, 3:10PM

@ LosMagandos who wrote: "what about the Mass murders of Turkish civilians at the hands of EOKA B in Cyprus? Did that not happen?"

You make my point for me. As I said, Turkey justifies its ethnic cleansing of the Greek Cypriots from northern Cyprus by claiming the Greeks started it. Just as they claim it was the Armenians who attacked the Turks first. It's standard Turkish propaganda.

Just for the record, you have conveniently forgotten that the Turkish Cypriot terrorist organisation, the TMT, instigated the wave of communal clashes in Cyprus in 1958 when they planted a bomb outside the Turkish consulate in Nicosia. They subsequently blamed the Greeks and instigated riots, burning and attacking Greek Cypriot property in the surrounding areas. It was later confirmed by Rauf Denktash, the leader of the Turkish Cypriots, that the bomb was planted by Turks to foment clashes between Greek and Turkish Cypriots. A few days after the bomb was planted by Turkish terrorists, several Greek Cypriots were murdered outside a Turkish village.

The Turkish demand for "taksim" or partition lay behind the communal clashes of the 1960s and was the pretext for the 1974 invasion. Turkish Cypriots are still using the same old tactics, lies and propaganda from the 1960s. Forgetting their role in the violence and blaming the Greek Cypriots for everything to justify the Turkish policy of partition on the island. It is a tired old strategy. It is time to give it up.

Turkish lies about Armenia are essentially no different than the lies they use about Cyprus. That is one reason why Turkey cannot admit to the Armenian genocide. And that is why the Armenian genocide is still relevant today.
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 3:10PM

of course I should add not only British and French but also Oz, New Zealand, British Raj and Canadian
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prebender prebender

5 Mar 2010, 3:16PM

Once again the duplicity of the US has been laid bare. All we want is some consistency - is that too much to ask?
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jockrock jockrock

5 Mar 2010, 3:19PM

About time somebody took the Turks to task,I don't care if it hurts US/Turkish relations,Turkey has a horrendous human rights record,hundreds of women are butchered every year in so called "honour killings",this is a country that has no honour and doesn't have the guts to admit to its bloody past,just ask the kurds who the turks have been trying to wipe out for decades,if Turkey want to be a part of Europe they have a lot of groveling to do first
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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 3:20PM

TheHebrewHammer

Shoa -> Holocaust , same word

Holocaust, from the Greek holokauston ("burned whole") and kaustos ("to burn"). Devised for use in 13th century in the Christian Bibles to denote the ancient ritual sacrifices (the proverbial, or rather non-proverbial, burnt offerings).

Shoa is a Hebrew word meaning "calamity", and is preferred by some Jews because it does not have the meaning of "religious sacrifice" or "religious offering" that holocaust does.

Anyway , no reason why the Armenian genocide can't be called Holocaust , infact in Israel its being referred as Shoat Ha'Armenim ( The Armenian Holocaust ) .

I completely agree with you. Plenty of people disagree with us. Let's not give them an inch. ;-)
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 3:23PM

@stoneman

this is not the platform to bring up your grievances for you losing your property in the North of Cyprus, Not a single country lifted a finger to help Cyprus, and Not a single country is lifting a finger to help you now, ever wondered why ?

To me it seems that you are the one using Turkish actions to justify the BRUTALITY of EOKA - B against the Turkish Civilian population. You are quick to point out 200,000 (???) Greeks were killed and raped, but mention nothing of the Greek efforts to ethnically cleanse the island, (very well documented by British troops) you are Turcophobe and a blatant one at that, therfore no one should take you seriously.
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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 3:23PM

TheHebrewHammer

For me the inquiry is enough .

Well, at least you live up to your name. I wonder if you would feel the same way about a man who had mass-murdered thousands of Jews in the early 1980s. Or would in that case a criminal conviction be required?
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TheHebrewHammer TheHebrewHammer

5 Mar 2010, 3:25PM

@Gangastaista

Well, at least you live up to your name. I wonder if you would feel the same way about a man who had mass-murdered thousands of Jews in the early 1980s. Or would in that case a criminal conviction be required?

I disagree about Sharon's part in the massacres , not What punishment should be given to a person that kills thousands of civilians .
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 3:26PM

About time somebody took the Turks to task,I don't care if it hurts US/Turkish relations,Turkey has a horrendous human rights record,hundreds of women are butchered every year in so called "honour killings",this is a country that has no honour and doesn't have the guts to admit to its bloody past,just ask the kurds who the turks have been trying to wipe out for decades,if Turkey want to be a part of Europe they have a lot of groveling to do first

Idiot, defends the Kurds, then talks about Honor killings in Turkey !!! HAHAHAHA

Do you know that this is a Kurdish tradition ?? 90% of honour killings in Turkey are done by the Kurdish population, go look it up.

Why would Turkey want to Join the EU ??? To help bail out countries that are bankrupt ?? No thank you.
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OneManIsAnIsland OneManIsAnIsland

5 Mar 2010, 3:29PM

@headstheywin

I do, but you are right. Ataturk's secular consitution actually protected the right of any individual to private worship of any demonimation - Turkey was (still is, so far) one of the few predominantly muslim couries where churches, synagogues and mosques could stand together in the same square. But religion was banned from public life. It was illegal to wear a headscarf on a university campus, or in a government building. 5 years ago, on the streets of Turkey, headscarves were not the norm. Today I notice strangers not wearing scarves nodding to each other in crowded places. Erdogan's wife was the first premier's wife to wear a headscarf since Ataturk.

Any country which is in imminent danger of succumbing to an oppressive medieval political system should be a major worry to the West. Instead, our priority seems to be a historic relabelling exercise designed to provoke conflict, and help the Turkish government whip up nationalist pride. Good move President O'Bummer.
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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 3:32PM

zimmerman11

Of course Churchill is also implicated in the gassing of Kurds in Mesopotamia in 1920.......something which he openly espoused and keenly advocated

Yes. I remember Chomsky writing about that and quoting Churchill, in reference to Saddams mustard-gassing of the Kurds. I noticed he used "..." repeatedly and wondered if he cut out a lot of fluff that I might find of background interest. So I dug the quote up.

The words he cut and replaced with "..." were the words "non-leathal". He left in the worlds "lively terror" but again cut with "..." the words lachrymatory agent, which we know today as tear gas and is routinely used in western democracies. He did that with the entire document he quoted - he reprinted it verbatim but "..." cut all the references to non-lethality, and how it was better to use tear gas than obliterate them with standard munitions.

A small part of me died that day. I still have my Chomsky collection, and it is full of insight and learning, but I'll never trust another word he says without first fully researching every quote he gives. Or to use a phrase he loves to recite, he wished to demonstrate his case "clearer than truth".

The British had no right to use tear gas on the Kurds. But the use of tear gas is not the same as the use of mustard gas.
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dakma dakma

5 Mar 2010, 3:35PM

I agree with this article. Seems very hypocritical. Hopefully US Congress will not pass it.
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RunningDog RunningDog

5 Mar 2010, 3:35PM

The main reason the genocide vote is coming up in the U.S. is that Turkey is having a tiff with Israel over Israel's criminal war in Gaza. As a result, Turkey is unable to muster the support of the Israel lobby in the United States, as it has in the past, to stave off a vote. Turkey is now being punished for protesting against Israel's war crimes.
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 3:36PM

@The Hebrew Hammer

I disagree about Sharon's part in the massacres , not What punishment should be given to a person that kills thousands of civilians .

The Kahan commision found Sharon bore personal responsibility for the massacre, for for one thing allowing the Phalangists to enter the camp and doing nothing to prevent the massacre................

Sharon is a murderer....and can enter the psycopaths hall of fame along with the Turks
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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 3:38PM

TheHebrewHammer

I disagree about Sharon's part in the massacres

He had absolute military control of an area the massacres happened in. He had control of the unit that did the massacres (even though they were Christian Phalangists, he had control over them, and they took orders from him).

He certainly had a more direct control over those camps and the killers than Radovan Karadzic had over the Srebrenica camps. My understanding of the massacres is perfectly summarised by US envoy Morris Draper, who sent a note to Sharon during the massacres:

"You must stop the acts of slaughter, they are horrifying. I have a representative in the camp counting the bodies. You should be ashamed. The situation is absolutely appalling. They're killing children! You have the field completely under your control and are therefore responsible for that area."

That final sentence bears a re-read.
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stoneman stoneman

5 Mar 2010, 3:38PM

@Los Magandos,

The parallels between the Armenian genocide and the ethnic cleansing of Greek Cypriots from northern Cyprus are striking and relevant. Turkey uses the same lies and propaganda in both cases.

First, Turkey denies there was any ethnic cleansing. Then it claims if there were massacres the Greeks/Armenians started it. Then it disputes the numbers involved. Then when this fails, Turkey claims it is the victim of a Western anti-Turk conspiracy.

In two short replies to my posts, you have fulfilled all four criteria regarding Cyprus. Congratulations and thank you for making my point so clearly.
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greymatter79 greymatter79

5 Mar 2010, 3:42PM

By reading the comments here, I can say western people in general have an collective prejudice against Turkey and the Turks and only interested in one side of the story. There seems to be a general agreement on the Turks being the bad guys whenever there is a dispute between them and another nation. This could be the Greeks or the Armenians, but no matter who they are the Turks must always be the bad guys for sure.

There is no doubt that hundreds of thousands Armenians died in this tragic event, but how many of you know the number of Turkish people died? (It's more than 500 thousand) For example, how many of you know this report by Armenian Dashnak Party member saying "I annihilated all the Turks without making any distinctions for women, men, children, old or sick people. I didn't even waste any bullets on them. So I filled them in wells and crushed them to death by throwing large rocks at them" Dashnaks refer to these acts as acts of heroism. I'm sure similar terrible things happened to Armenians (by the Turks).

If we are to reveal the perpetrators of this tragedy, then we have to look at imperialist Britain and France of that period. Because it was them who provoked the Armenian committees and armed bands to revolt against the Ottoman Empire. Armenian gangs started terrorizing villages and many Turks were killed during this period. The Ottoman reaction to the revolt was relocation of 700 thousand Armenians in 1915-16, and many of them died from starvation aftermath of this reaction. As far as I've investigated the story so far, I can say this tragedy looks like a civil war between two nations of an empire than the systematic killing of Armenians. Turkey offered to investigate the Russian archives by Turkish and Armenian historians to shed a light to this great tragedy, but Armenian government declined the offer. If it's a genocide for sure, why afraid to investigate what really happened?
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 3:46PM

@Gangastaista

Direct quote from departmental minute 12th May 1919 War Office:

I am strongly in favour of using poisoned gas against uncivilised tribes. The moral effect should be so good that the loss of life should be reduced to a minimum. It is not necessary to use only the most deadly gasses: gasses can be used which cause great inconvenience and would spread a lively terror and yet would leave no serious permanent effects on most of those affected.

Quite clear in meaning I think. Churchill was in favour of using a combination of gases INCLUDING poisoned gas..........lets not beat around the bush on this
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TheHebrewHammer TheHebrewHammer

5 Mar 2010, 3:47PM

@Gangastaista / Zimmerman
Sharon was the defense minister and was not in direct control over those camps .

He has responsibility over the Christian phalanges and so he was punished , but he is not a murderer.
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Grundibular Grundibular

5 Mar 2010, 3:49PM

@paperplanes

There is a huge lack of evidence

What does that look like exactly? Look up common fallacies eg: absence of evidence ...

The figure or 1.5 million dead is not accepted by many historians, who place the figure in the hundreds of thousands.

Well, I'm sure we're all reassured that the number massacred didn't surpass the ol' six zeroes.

Idiotic.
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 3:49PM

@ stoneman

Thats funny because thats exactly what you did, when I brought up the EOKA B - Ethnic cleansing of the Turkish Cypriots , (which you conveniently didnt mention in your oh so balanced 1st post) you blamed the EOKA B massacres on the Turks,the TMT and their actions in the 50's.

POT, KETTLE, BLACK.
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DPerrone99 DPerrone99

5 Mar 2010, 3:50PM

The main reason the genocide vote is coming up in the U.S. is that Turkey is having a tiff with Israel over Israel's criminal war in Gaza. As a result, Turkey is unable to muster the support of the Israel lobby in the United States, as it has in the past, to stave off a vote. Turkey is now being punished for protesting against Israel's war crimes.

That's politics.
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 3:54PM

I'm sorry TheHebrewHammer, but you cannot be allowed to peddle these falsehoods without being brought to task

The Kahan Commission, established by the ISREALI goverment concluded that Sharon bore personal responsibility for " ignoring the danger of bloodshed and revenge" and "not taking appropriate measures to prevent bloodshed".

They recommended he be dismissed as well as to never have the opportunity to hold public office in the future
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Keo2008 Keo2008

5 Mar 2010, 3:55PM

@Zimmerman: Churchill did indeed write that awful note- but was it ever acted upon? Was poison gas actually used? I think not.
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knolan knolan

5 Mar 2010, 3:56PM

. American foreign policy should have have implemented a similar policy in Iraq,

http://www.commercial-epc.com/ " rel="nofollow">Commercial EPC
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TheHebrewHammer TheHebrewHammer

5 Mar 2010, 3:57PM

@zimmerman11

The Kahan Commission, established by the ISREALI goverment concluded that Sharon bore personal responsibility for " ignoring the danger of bloodshed and revenge" and "not taking appropriate measures to prevent bloodshed".

Which is not Murder .
Maybe indifference , but not murder .
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knolan knolan

5 Mar 2010, 3:57PM

Commercial EPC
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TheHebrewHammer TheHebrewHammer

5 Mar 2010, 3:59PM

@Zimmerman

They recommended he be dismissed as well as to never have the opportunity to hold public office in the future

The inquiry was held by Supreme court judges , and if an indictment was necessary they would have mentioned it in the recommendations .
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JoshRogan JoshRogan

5 Mar 2010, 4:01PM

You all know this!

If you are a US ally then what you do is not genocide.

When Turkey ceases to be of use to America or even ends up on the naughty list then you will suddenly find America has a rather strong point of view.

Saddam was hung for things he did while backed by the US.
Suharto killed tens even hundreds of thousands.
The Shah did away with thousands as did the generals the US installed in South America for decades.

Even Obama won't keep it real when in the middle east and Egypt.

America will turn a blind eye to your death squads if you are faithful and obey.
If you try and cut the strings you will be treated like dirt.
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stoneman stoneman

5 Mar 2010, 4:05PM

@Los Magandos,

You are still at it. You implied the ethnic cleansing of Greek Cypriots from northern Cyprus was because of Greek violence. Blaming the victim for his own fate. This is the same mendacious argument that Turkey uses to counter the Armenian genocide.

In both the Armenian genocide and the ethnic cleansing of Greek Cypriots from northern Cyprus, Turkey uses the same arguments.

Firstly, Turkey denies that genocide has taken place. Then it claims that if there were massacres, the Greeks/Armenians started it. Then it disputes the numbers involved. Then Turkey claims it is the victim of a Western anti-Turk conspiracy.

There is a pattern to Turkish lies in both cases. It is not just a coincidence.
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Rocket76 Rocket76

5 Mar 2010, 4:07PM

Having read the article, I have one comment to make on it; a short historical anecdote.

When Hitler was planning the Final Solution during World war Two he held a conference at Wannsee and invited all of the top officials whose co-operation would be necessary to carry out it. This included not just Nazi party members but top bureaucrats and generals who were broadly German Nationalists but who did not necessarily share the Fuhrer's ideological anti-semitism.

AfterHitler had unveiled his plans one of these participants objected that even if the Final Solution were undertaken and the Jews were exterminated, everyone involved would go down in history as a monster for the rest of eternity.

Hitler's response? "Rubbish! Who today remembers the Armenians?"

That is why genocide should be condemned, no matter if those who do it are not pure themselves, or if it may alienate a strategically useful ally in the present. It should be condemned and those responsible brought to trial (although this is obviously not possible in the case of the Armenian Genocide), because if it is not it will happen again.
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Ortelius Ortelius

5 Mar 2010, 4:13PM

How would Congress react if the Turkish Parliament passed a resolution declaring massacres of native Americans in the Nineteenth Century to have been genocide?
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 4:14PM

Keo2008

Phosphorous bombs as well as many other " experimental" incendiary devices were first used in Kurdistan and is attested to in many departmental memos and exchanges

A quotation from Wing Commander Sir Arthur (Bomber) Harris : The Arab and Kurd now know what real bombing means in casualties and damage. Within forty-five minutes a full-size village can be practically wiped out and a third of its inhabitants killed or injured
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Haveatye Haveatye

5 Mar 2010, 4:17PM

in 1915, the word "genocide" did not exist.

A rose by any other name.

However, before we start dressing down Muslims yet again, I was under the impression that it was a secular Turkey that did this, not a Muslim one. Could be wrong, of course.
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 4:19PM

Hitler's response? "Rubbish! Who today remembers the Armenians?"

Thats the 3rd different version we have had of this story, and it is just a fictional story, Can we have some conctrete evidnce to support this please ?
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 4:21PM

@HebrewHammer

Which is not Murder .
Maybe indifference , but not murder .
ok lets agree on "indifference leading to a completely predictable and avoidable slaughter"........how about that?

and yes you are right ..no indictment was forthcoming, which is part of the injustice of the whole disgusting episode
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 4:23PM

You are still at it. You implied the ethnic cleansing of Greek Cypriots from northern Cyprus was because of Greek violence. Blaming the victim for his own fate. This is the same mendacious argument that Turkey uses to counter the Armenian genocide.

@ Stoneman

Do you have diffiuculty Reading ?? I didnt imply that at all, GO READ MY POSTS. I just said your completely 1 sided view of events in Cyprus was just RIDICULOUS !! Why did you not mention the Greek EOKA B atrocities in Cyprus, COME ON WHY ??? COME ON !!??? Shall I list them for you TURCOPHOBE ??
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TheHebrewHammer TheHebrewHammer

5 Mar 2010, 4:24PM

@zimmerman11

ok lets agree on "indifference leading to a completely predictable and avoidable slaughter"........how about that?

and yes you are right ..no indictment was forthcoming, which is part of the injustice of the whole disgusting episode

You can be disgusted and appalled but its still not murder .
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 4:31PM

@LosMagandos

Thats the 3rd different version we have had of this story, and it is just a fictional story, Can we have some conctrete evidnce to support this please ?

Hitler first commented on the Armenian genocide in 1924 when he said the Armenians were " victims of cowardice". Then in August 1939 he asked the rhetorical question to his generals ( in regard to the Poles) " Who after all is today speaking of the destruction of the Armenians?"

Turkey has repeatedly tried to pretend these remarks were never made, but FIVE seperate accounts of this have been filed and are on record, four of them identical. Two of these are filed in German High command archives

Hitler along with all leaders at the time was well aware of the holocaust of the Armenians as it was all over the papers on a daily basis....there really is no disputing he said it
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 4:32PM

@Zimmerman

thats not evidence.
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 4:36PM

so pray tell what do you consider evidence?

There are documented reports from 5 separate sources stating Hitler made these comments on more than one occasion........you can say many things about the Germans but they were certainly extremely conscientious about adminstrative efficiency and minute taking

Your continued assertions in this regard smack of desperation quite honestly
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 4:40PM

Thats what im asking where are these reports and sources ?? Have you seen or read them? do you have access to the German Archives ?

Im not desperate, im just calmly asking you how you can "State" historic facts with no back up or links to 1st or even secondary sources.
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TheHebrewHammer TheHebrewHammer

5 Mar 2010, 4:44PM

@LosMagandos

Thats what im asking where are these reports and sources ?? Have you seen or read them? do you have access to the German Archives ?

Im not desperate, im just calmly asking you how you can "State" historic facts with no back up or links to 1st or even secondary sources.

Heard of Google?
http://www.teachgenocide.org/background/hitler.htm

This quote is the English version of the German document handed to Louis P. Lochner in Berlin. It first appeared in Lochner's What About Germany? (New York: Dodd, Mead & Co., 1942), pp. 1-4. The Nuremberg Tribunal later identified the document as L-3 or Exhibit USA-28. Two other versions of the same document appear in Appendices II and III. For the German original cf. Akten zur Deutschen Auswartigen Politik 1918-1945, Serie D, Band VII, (Baden-Baden, 1956), pp. 171-172.
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 4:52PM

@HebrewHammer

There is no reference to the Armenians in the original texts of the two Hitler speeches delivered on August 22, 1939, published as the official texts in the reliable Nuremberg documents.

The Nuremberg documents are the only authoritative and authentic sources. However, a few English translations that appeared in New York Times and London Times in 1945 carried an additional sentence in Hitler's speech that does not occur in the authorized German texts.

Go look them up. This phantom sentence was added in later.

Another question to all you "Armenian Genocide" advocates, do you spend this much time and effort on the other Genocides perpetrated througout history, or is thsi the only one that matters ?
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 4:52PM

no you are completely right...I don't have access to German High Command archives................so I will now state that I cannot categorically prove the veracity of these documents.........I'm sure that will please you

However what really is in no doubt at all is that in 1915 the Turks along with their Kurdish thugs launched a muderous campaign of genocide against the Armenian race

For Turkey to continue to reject this is really an awful indictment on the Turkish goverment. The Germans have faced up to their crimes and it is time for other nations including Turkey, The US and Isreal to name just a few to follow suit
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samirjk samirjk

5 Mar 2010, 4:57PM

having a Turkish father may make me slightly biased in this argument however it also allows me to see a side of the argument against Congress ruling that the events 1915 were genocide that others have failed to mention.

It is important that everybody realises that the Turkish government, a government which I personally feel very strongly against (but that's for another time) and therefore don't support, have offered the Armenian government the option of the establishment of a commission to gain a fuller picture of what happened in 1915 and to prevent the continuation of what is at the moment a lot of 'he said, she said'. However, as someone else has previously mentioned, this has been rejected by the Armenian government. Despite this there has been a very visisble thawing in the countries' relationship over the last 18 months and in my mind this can only be a good thing. However, if the US congress feels that it needs to take Turkey to task over this it must act in a fair manner and also condemn the current state of Armenia (and not a precursor to the current state in Turkey's case) for its actions in Nagorno-Karabakh, whihc makes up 20% of the landmass of Azerbaijan and is currently occupied by the Armenians. Video evidence of Armenian atrocities in Khojaly along with many other events exists. Attempts by congress to censure Turkey will lead to an increase in resistance among Turks, which is currently quite low, to the ongoing opening up of Turkish-Armenian relations.

It is also important for many people to understand that while Turks are, and no doubt will remain, a nationalistic people they are also very accepting of others. Turkish law states that:

Everyone bound to the Turkish state through the bond of citizenship is a Turk.

While numbers of Armenian turks have indeed fallen since Armenia gained its independence there are still significant numbers of Armenians living in Istanbul and this community is recognised within the Turkish system and is allowed to have its own religious, cultural, social and educational institutions. On the other hand, from a much more personal perspective, when living in Azerbaijan I knew a young man with an Azeri mother and an Armenian father. He had grown up in Armenia until the age of 12 when he was stripped of his Armenian passport and citizenship due to his Azeri mother. He was forced to move to Azerbaijan despite only speaking Armenian and only basic Azeri. Therefore, any criticisms of Turkey that claim it to be a country that is not accepting are unfounded when compared to the actions the Armenian government took in regards to a 12 year old boy! Of course there are the requisite nutjobs in Turkey but these are the same people that would claim that I am not Turkish due to being born in Britain and compare to the BNP who would claim I am not British due to having a Turkish father!

I would like to point out that I do believe genocide happened, however evidence suggests that it occurred on both sides. This is a reason why a commission, made up of scholars and historians from both Turkey and Armenia, should be allowed to view all of the relevant evidence, whether it is held in Ankara, Yerevan, London or Berlin, and reach a full conclusion as to what happened in 1915. This can only be achieved by the governments of Turkey and Armenia and nobody else, despite what the USA may think.
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 5:03PM

For Turkey to continue to reject this is really an awful indictment on the Turkish goverment. The Germans have faced up to their crimes and it is time for other nations including Turkey, The US and Isreal to name just a few to follow suit

Turkey will face up to its past once EVERY OTHER nation does, HOW dare you single them out ?? What makes the Armenians Suffering any more important to those of the Native Americans, the peoples of the Congo, Algeria, South Africa, etc etc ??

WHERE ARE THE BILLS in the HOUSE of REPS for these other Victims ?? HYPOCRITES.

When did America become the PUPPET of diasporas within their country ??
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 5:05PM

samirjk

Couldn't agree with you more...absolutely spot on
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 5:07PM

samirjk

Couldn't agree with you more...absolutely spot on

So you agree that Armenians committed Genocide on the Turkish population ?
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 5:12PM

@LosMagandos

Turkey will face up to its past once EVERY OTHER nation does, HOW dare you single them out ?? What makes the Armenians Suffering any more important to those of the Native Americans, the peoples of the Congo, Algeria, South Africa, etc etc ??

WHERE ARE THE BILLS in the HOUSE of REPS for these other Victims ?? HYPOCRITES.

I will continue to single them out on behalf of the over 1 million innocent civilians that were murdered and whose voices and cries for over 90 years have remained unheard and unrecognised

Now I'm sure you'd like to join with me and condemn the barbarity and muderous savagery of the United States of America in its dealing with Central America, South America, Indonesia, South East Asia among many other regions

Your single argument is that we should not condemn Turkey because of the sins of others

Not good enough I'm afraid...genocide is genocide and murder is murder

Stop hating, and stop basing everything on a distorted sense of Nationalism
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samirjk samirjk

5 Mar 2010, 5:13PM

So you agree that Armenians committed Genocide on the Turkish population ?

This is not the point I was trying to make. I was making the point that atrocities occurred on both sides of the conflict and that there does need to be full disclosure of the evidence to ensure that the truth of what happened is known. However I am not stating that this is an excuse for what was undertaken by the Turkish population.
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 5:18PM

So you agree that Armenians committed Genocide on the Turkish population ?

No what I believe is that there is evidence that Armenians also murdered Turks during the same period

The main point is that samirjk seems to have managed to go beyond a blinkered nationalism and is advocating a commission to look at the facts......rather than continuing to deny like you
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 5:19PM

@zimmerman,

No, all im saying is this is a matter for the victims and perpetrators.

Im not joining you to condemn anyone, its none of my business, every nation should recognise their own doings, so i just find it funny that nations like the USA / France arent prepared to confront their past while passing judgement on others.

1 Rule for 1 another rule for another it seems.
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SKG1 SKG1

5 Mar 2010, 5:23PM

@ turkism

your people suffered under the greeks??? that's very rich, sorry. would you care explaining when exactly? if i remember correctly the turks have never been 'under' the greeks-it's always been the other way round. and as a turkish cypriot; who suffers and who's 'under' who in northern cyprus now?

anyway, funny how how standards change depending on who's involved. it's for the scholars to decide i hear-i can only say that the world would be a much better place if their view mattered.
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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 5:24PM

zimmerman11

Quite clear in meaning I think. Churchill was in favour of using a combination of gases INCLUDING poisoned gas..........lets not beat around the bush on this

You might be right, this is Churchill we're talking about.

But the proceeding paragraph makes no mention of lethal gas:

I do not understand this squeamishness about the use of gas. We have definitely adopted the position at the Peace Conference of arguing in favour of the retention of gas as a permanent method of warfare. It is sheer affectation to lacerate a man with the poisonous fragment of a bursting shell and to boggle at making his eyes water by means of lachrymatory gas.

Clearly he considered "lachrymatory gas" (tear gas) a poison gas.

TheHebrewHammer

Sharon was the defense minister and was not in direct control over those camps.

Rubbish. He held absolute authority over those camps through direct command and control. He personally authorised the militias in. The militias directly reported to him, and to his inner circle.

Hitler wasn't in direct control of Auschwitz, or in the same country. But was responsible for them, surely? Not responsible in a "non-murderous" way. Responsible, personally, for every single death in those camps, without exception.

He has responsibility over the Christian phalanges and so he was punished , but he is not a murderer.

He was not "punished". The (feeble) recommendations of the Kahan Commissions were completely ignored. I agree "murderer" is not the term to use for him. Genocidal mass-murderer fulfils the facts far more accurately.

But before we go too off-topic about this, what is interesting is those support Israel right-or-wrong never see the genocides Sabra and Shaltia as being the crimes of Israel. Those critical of Israel, including Israeli and diaspora Jews, have little hesitation in doing so. It is the same with Turks. Those who consider themselves dissident from Turkey have little hesitation in recognising the genocide of the Armenians, but those who are Turkish nationalists detest the very notion, and attempt to rationalise it in whatever way they feel available to them.
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midasears midasears

5 Mar 2010, 5:30PM

The only reason the United States politicians harp on the allegations of an "Armenian genocide" is Armenian influence in American politics.

Armenian-Americans make up less that 0.3% of the population of the USA, and they are heavily concentrated in California, where they make up less than 2.0% of the population.

OTOH, plenty of other ethnic-American groups in the USA don't much care for Turkey-Greeks, Serbo-Croations, Romanians, various flavors of Arabs. Add them all up, throw in the rather sizeable numbers of human rights focused progressives, and combine that with Turkey's friends in the USA getting burned by the Turkish government in the run-up to the Iraq war.....well....then a resolution that's failed to pass a dozen times suddenly becomes viable.
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LosMagandos LosMagandos

5 Mar 2010, 5:30PM

@SKG

your people suffered under the greeks??? that's very rich, sorry. would you care explaining when exactly? if i remember correctly the turks have never been 'under' the greeks-it's always been the other way round. and as a turkish cypriot; who suffers and who's 'under' who in northern cyprus now?

Hundreds of Turkish Villages were systematically wiped out in Thrace and the Peloponnese after Greeces liberation in 1821. These people disappeared into thin air did they ??

Not to mention the EOKA B Atrocities aganist Turks in Cyprus
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SKG1 SKG1

5 Mar 2010, 5:40PM

@ LosMagandos

you must have missed some centuries of ottoman occupation and oppression methinks.
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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 5:42PM

LosMagandos

I'm not joining you to condemn anyone, its none of my business

Well, if you're a human, every crime against humanity is your business - if you wish it to be.

so i just find it funny that nations like the USA / France arent prepared to confront their past while passing judgement on others. 1 Rule for 1 another rule for another it seems.

You're not wrong. But by refusing to take part in the condemnation (of Turkey, France, America, Britain, Israel, China, the rest) you help those countries get away with murder, at least on the moral level.

If your view was correct, no woman would have the right to criticise a man who raped a boy. I'd disagree. Even though they are not male, and it's an inter-male crime, I think women have the right to condemn such an act.
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SeanThorp SeanThorp

5 Mar 2010, 5:50PM

@Gangastaista

So is Ataturk a hero to many. So is Adolf a hero to many.

None of them are my heroes.

Nor mine either, I can't abide Nationalists they think they're special. It's a supreme irony though that a Nation such as the US which was built on the genocide of many peoples sees fit to censure the Ottoman Empire for the genocide of one people.
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ngavc ngavc

5 Mar 2010, 6:01PM

This vote was a victory for ethnic lobbying, and was totally unneeded. I'd like condemnation of various communist genocides, but would prefer that we stay out of this business.
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 6:04PM

Nor mine either, I can't abide Nationalists they think they're special. It's a supreme irony though that a Nation such as the US which was built on the genocide of many peoples sees fit to censure the Ottoman Empire for the genocide of one people.

@SeanThorp

Yes I completely accept the irony but you must consider that 20 countries have accepted that the events of 1915 were a form of genocide and it is important and necessary that the US does so too.

No one would argue ( other than a few rabid revisionists) that 6 million jews perished in the holocaust and the Jews have been afforded a degree of recognition of the horrors that were inflicted on them......the difference is they didnt have to wait 90 years for this..........

The Armenian victims of the genocide have received no justice and no recognition and actually have in many cases been portayed as the instigators and the criminals...............the real disgrace is that a journalist in a broadsheet newspaper can still peddle the same argument that the genocide is a matter of debate and inconclusive..............Just like the Holocaust ,it simply is not...and just like the Holocaust we have an obligation to remember their suffering
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Figaro77 Figaro77

5 Mar 2010, 6:08PM

Has no one noticed that the two most active backers of this move in Congress,
Howard Berman and Glen Ackerman, chairman and vice chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, are also two of Congress' most devoted and most active supporters of Israel? Turkey has been a thorn in Israel's side for some time for it's condemnation of the Gaza invasion and its support of Iran. And now this slap in the face? The timing couldn't be more suspicious, in my opinion.
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TheHebrewHammer TheHebrewHammer

5 Mar 2010, 6:13PM

@LosMagandos

No, all im saying is this is a matter for the victims and perpetrators.

Im not joining you to condemn anyone, its none of my business, every nation should recognise their own doings, so i just find it funny that nations like the USA / France arent prepared to confront their past while passing judgement on others.

1 Rule for 1 another rule for another it seems.

So isn't it strange that Erdogan is calling Israel murderers while he is unwilling to recognize the Turkish own doings ?
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

5 Mar 2010, 6:15PM

Israel has for a long time been a key backer and supplier of arms to Turkey and economically and trade wise they have been in eachothers pocket for a long time

Yes its true that since the Gaza war things have become frostier but I wouldnt call Turkey a thorn in Isreals side by any means

I dont really see a Zionist plot in the timing sorry.
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SmuglyOpinionated SmuglyOpinionated

5 Mar 2010, 6:26PM

Congress did the right thing here, Turkey need to own up to its past.
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factsveritas factsveritas

5 Mar 2010, 6:42PM

As soon as someone intelligently refutes what renowned Christian missionary George M. Lamsa (foremost expert of his time on the life of Jesus Christ and on the Aramaic language) has said in his book _The Secret of the Near East_ (1923), from the chapter entitled "The Armenian Revolution" (note that the chapter is not entitled Armenian Genocide nor is it entitled Armenian massacres), I will be the first to apologize:

"In some towns containing ten Armenian houses and thirty Turkish houses it was reported that 40,000 people were killed, about 10,000 women were taken to the harem and thousands of children left destitute; and the city university destroyed and the bishop killed. It is a well-known fact that even in the last war the native Christians, despite the Turkish cautions, armed themselves and fought on the side of the Allies. In these conflicts, they were not idle, but they were well supplied with artillery, machine guns and inflicted heavy losses on their enemies."

Note that a more modern book (published in the UK, by British authors Stephen Pope & Elizabeth-Anne Wheal) _Dictionary of the First World War_ (1995), on pg. 34 write that Armenian extreme nationalists, in December of 1914, "slaughtered an estimated 120,000 non-Armenians while the Turkish Army was preoccupied with mobilization", i.e. before the Ottoman government took any action against Armenians. This, unfortunately was just a prelude to what they did after the Russians withdrew due to the Bolshevik revolution. You will have to read Iranian general and diplomat Hassan Arfa's book _The Kurds_ published by Oxford University Press, to see that he claims 600,000 Kurds [sic] were murdered by Armenian "volunteers". The number is said to match a similar claim by Russian historian Lalayan (which document unfortunately I have not seen). However, Ottoman officer Kazim Karabekir's memoirs, as well as Sir Alfred Rawlinson's memoirs (_Adventures in the Near East_) contain many references to Armenian atrocities in areas they occupied due to Russian successes and withdrawal.

One final atrocity story, and I know this also to be true, though it appears in print second hand, since Kazim Karabekir, in his memoirs, mentions asking the Armenians about the two-thousand Ottoman prisoners of war transferred to the Armenians by Russians, that seemed to have disappeared:

Hartill, Leonard Ramsden Hartill, _Men Are Like That_, The Bobbs-Merrill Co., Indianapolis (1928), pg. 133. (memoirs of Armenian junior officer Ohanus
Appressian, as related by author, who was in post-war Armenia helping with agricultural development):

"In this movement we took with us three thousand Turkish soldiers who had been captured by the Russians and left on our hands when the Russians abandoned the struggle. During our retreat to Karaklis two thousand of these poor devils were cruelly put to death. I was sickened by the burtality displayed, but could not make an effective protest. Some, mercifully were shot. Many of them were burned to death. The method employed was to put a quantity of straw into a hut, and then after crowding the hut with Turks, set fire to the straw."
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VforVintage VforVintage

5 Mar 2010, 6:53PM

Amusing to see so many posters saying its non of Americas business, but think America can always be tapped up for the mighty dollar when their countries end up in a mess.. Those damned Yankees!
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Figaro77 Figaro77

5 Mar 2010, 6:55PM

Zimmerman 11 might be interested in the following news item from The Huffington Post:

Israel Lobby Gets Congress to Stick It to Turkey
http://tinyurl.com/ydvm52j
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selimgonen selimgonen

5 Mar 2010, 7:29PM

First of all there is no conclusive evidence about the "genocide". The ones claiming that it is ?genocide" are just supposing. I am not stating we didn't commit such a horrendous act neither, since stalemate between historians yet remains.
As a member of Turkish community I will accept any indisputable evidence and comply with any responsibilities we will be subject to.
Problem about this voting is entirely different. The members of the committee voting is not an expert on the issue and they are just voting solely based on inconclusive evidences consist up of efforts admitting and refusing crime. My guess, they neither care for Turkey nor Armenia, they are just after their shares of political leverage depending on their votes and they hadn't spent time reading about the issue but bunch of executive summaries written with subjective thoughts (but it's just my thought, not blame)
Also it is not their business to judge what we did or did not since they have their own skeletons in their closets to clean. I could accept US' efforts if, currently, Armenians has no legal representatives which we take into account or if we try to suppress their endeavors. Under adverse circumstances I mentioned any other country may assume it is their duty to step in this unfair process and speak up on behalf of Armenians. Not only Turkey has no efforts, currently, to interfere with any study favoring ?genocide" or suppress Armenians but also we are trying to sort things out with Armenia in diplomatic ways.
Unless both parties call for unbiased committees to act as liaison for negotiations, it is our duty to resolve the deadlock.
I am sure, US ? Turkey relationship will suffer a mild headache. The delegates will have overtime and some jetlag while moving back and forth to cease the diplomatic drama. Neither Turkey has an option to refuse US as an ally at the short term, nor US to leave the comfort of a fortress at Middle East.
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Alam Alam

5 Mar 2010, 7:38PM

, have offered the Armenian government the option of the establishment of a commission to gain a fuller picture

To suggest that there was not a genocide and that the formation of a committee is necessary to investigate the facts in insulting and unacceptable. The genocide is substantiated by extensive research on the topic and the testimonies of countless participants and victims. There is no more research necessary to conclude whether the events constituted genocide. Turkish propagandists are playing such games in an effort to bully and pressurize the Armenians into accepting their lies in exchange for normalized relations.

Video evidence of Armenian atrocities in Khojaly along with many other events exists.

This is an example of yet another obscene tactic of Turkish propagandists, the demonization of the victims. Turkish propagandists are always quick to depict Turks as innocent, peaceful victims in an effort deflect attention from their country's bloody history of genocide, expulsions, pillage, etc. In their deranged fantasy world, Khojaly was one of history's biggest genocides because it's pretty much all they talk about today when demonizing the Armenians.

If you're going to play this game with Khojaly, then you should draw attention to Azerbaijan's war crimes, which included the indiscriminate bombardment of civilian areas. Over 100 civilians were killed in a missile strike against Stepanakert in August 1992.

Draw attention to the fact that Armenians in the Baku area between 1988-90 were thrown out of their homes, tortured, raped, mutilated. In the Baku pogroms during 1990, Armenians were thrown off of balconies.
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factsveritas factsveritas

5 Mar 2010, 7:55PM

Alam, you wrote: "To suggest that there was not a genocide and that the formation of a committee is necessary to investigate the facts in insulting and unacceptable. The genocide is substantiated by extensive research on the topic and the testimonies of countless participants and victims."

Surely if all that the Armenian propagandists claim is true, you should have been encouraging the formation of a joint committee, so that all your claims are once and for all verified. As it is, this is the thing you try to prevent first and foremost, and run away from. I rest my case.
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Alam Alam

5 Mar 2010, 8:04PM

Surely if all that the Armenian propagandists claim is true, you should have been encouraging the formation of a joint committee, so that all your claims are once and for all verified. As it is, this is the thing you try to prevent first and foremost, and run away from. I rest my case.

Imagine if Germany's conditions for Israel would be the formation of a historical commission to decide whether the Nazi regime committed a genocide the Jews, even when the fact of the Holocaust is indisputable.
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Spoutwell Spoutwell

5 Mar 2010, 8:07PM

Stephen Kinzer - genocide denier.
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Axandar Axandar

5 Mar 2010, 8:20PM

The only difference between the genocides of Turkey and Germany are that the Germans have acknowledged and learnt from their genocide. The Turks have not.

This was seen in the expulsion of the Greeks from Anatolia in the 1920s, and the more recent expulsion and ethnic cleansing of Greek Cypriots from occupied Cyprus. Turkey remains in illegal occupation of Cyprus.

What we have seen over the years is realpolitik beating morality and justice. Turkey is powerful and strategically placed between Russia and the Middle East. NATO wants to keep it as an ally, so Turkey's crimes are to be suppressed, and we are to pretend it is a normal democratic state. Hence unreformed Turkey is pushed for EU membership - and appalling articles like this are written.
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samirjk samirjk

5 Mar 2010, 8:51PM

@Alam

To suggest that there was not a genocide and that the formation of a committee is necessary to investigate the facts in insulting and unacceptable.

If you actually took the time to read my post rather than cherry pick the bits that stirred you up you would see that at no point did I deny that there was genocide taking place. I believe that there is a need for a commission, made up of historians from both sides, to ascertain the fullest picture of the truth possible. While I am happy to admit that genocide took place it is hard for you to argue that the Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire at the time were the saintliest of people when there is plenty of evidence to the contrary.

Furthermore, you say:

This is an example of yet another obscene tactic of Turkish propagandists, the demonization of the victims.

I understand that Azeris in this situation committed equally bad atrocities but I do notice that you're very quiet on the matter of a 12 year old boy being thrown out of his own country just because of the nationality of his mother!

And for the record, please don't refer to me as a 'Turkish propagandist'. It's insulting to my ability to form a valid, reasonable argument and it just makes you look like a fool.
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Gangastaista Gangastaista

5 Mar 2010, 9:01PM

SeanThorp

It's a supreme irony though that a Nation such as the US which was built on the genocide of many peoples sees fit to censure the Ottoman Empire for the genocide of one people.

Though one can hardly blame pre-Independence Americans for the genocides committed by Europeans.

But this is America, the country that gave a Presidential Pardon to William Calley, the only man convicted of the My Lai massacre, though "massacre" barely begins to hint at the rapes and systematic sexual mutilation that occured, including to children.

Not that Mi Lai was unique, except that two dissidents in the company decided to publicise the events (one was ignored). Nobody knows how many other villages suffered the same fate, but declared, like Stars and Stripes did of Mi Lai, "U.S. infantrymen had killed 128 Communists in a bloody day-long battle."

Turkey would be better placed to publicise events such as these, rather than deny its own crimes.
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factsveritas factsveritas

5 Mar 2010, 9:11PM

Alam, you now wrote: "Imagine if Germany's conditions for Israel would be the formation of a historical commission to decide whether the Nazi regime committed a genocide the Jews, even when the fact of the Holocaust is indisputable."

The Holocaust is indisputable because no one disputes the existing evidence, except a few rogue politicians. Furthermore the Nurnberg trials put together all the available evidence (rejecting the quote attributed to Hitler by propagandists, by the way; he probably only knew of Armenians by way of the Armenian Nazi units under his command => try Google), and gave the accused a chance to defend themselves. How long can the world tolerate a situation where the Armenian propagandists, and politicians who pander to them, are the accusers, the judge, the jury, and the executioners?

If you are so confident of the outcome, why not take the issue to an international tribune? Why all the fabrications of photographs (Ataturk's photo with dogs converted to one with dead child; Russian soldiers posing with the naked dead presented as "Turkish" soldiers; Vereschagin's painting "The Apotheosis (glorification) of War" (1871) being presented as pyramid of Armenian skulls, and many others like these)? Why all the pressure on historians who disagree with the point of view pushed by Armenian propagandists? Who firebombed UCLA professor Stanford Shaw's home? How come many of the so called "Genocide scholars" are a bunch of sociologists (including one who is a prison escapee and another who was fired from a professorship for misbehaving with a female student) and psychologists who probably found a lucrative market for their talents? How come you cannot bring a reference to the table other than the Blue Book, labelled propaganda by its very editor Arnold Toynbee, and Morgenthau's book, which was written entirely for propaganda purposes, as otherwise why did it go through the State Department (see Princeton University professor Heath Lowry's refutal of Morgenthau's book. Heath Lowry is another professor who the extremist Armenians tried to get fired for his views). There is much more to write, but I will save them for your next nonsensical comment.
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Alam Alam

5 Mar 2010, 9:24PM

very quiet on the matter of a 12 year old boy being thrown out of his own country just because of the nationality of his mother!

It was mutual: Azerbaijan lost its Armenian population and Armenia lost its Azerbaijani population. Karabakh has been a real ethnic war, unlike Turkey's genocide against Armenians in WWI.

And for the record, please don't refer to me as a 'Turkish propagandist'. It's insulting

I was not addressing you and did not call you a Turkish propagandist.

I only addressed the talking points of Turkish propagandists that you happened to cite, which include the assailing of Armenians for their alleged refusal to form a historical commission to "find the facts" and "determine the truth". I was not in any way attacking you personally.
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SeanThorp SeanThorp

5 Mar 2010, 9:37PM

@zimmerman11

Nor mine either, I can't abide Nationalists they think they're special. It's a supreme irony though that a Nation such as the US which was built on the genocide of many peoples sees fit to censure the Ottoman Empire for the genocide of one people.

@SeanThorp

Yes I completely accept the irony but you must consider that 20 countries have accepted that the events of 1915 were a form of genocide and it is important and necessary that the US does so too.

No one would argue ( other than a few rabid revisionists) that 6 million jews perished in the holocaust and the Jews have been afforded a degree of recognition of the horrors that were inflicted on them......the difference is they didnt have to wait 90 years for this..........

Look all this Nationalism is just plain silly fit only for monkeys. Genocide is the inevitable product of groups of apes going around thinking of themselves as the 'real' people and all others inferior. The vote in the US is just due to pressure from a lobby that want to think themselves special and 'prove' the Turks inferior. They believe in some dodgy racist premise that despite the fact Turks and Armenians share virtually identical DNA and biology that they are somehow different because of the histories and traditions of dead people who lived in the past and were ignorant.

People who called themselves Armenian were genocided by people who called themselves Turks because they believed their blood was better. Ape behaviour. Disgusting, venal. It's retarded that these people calling themselves Armenians should be making exactly the same mistake that got so many people killed by perpetuating the error. Humanity is one not many and must be extended to all.

All these Nationalities are the mere invention of elites based on half baked myths. Nationalism only benefits elites. Coming out of The Enlightenment there around the time of Nationalism kicking in people were utter racialist fuck heads to a man. Apes. When Hitler killed upwards of 15 million people he kind of proved the final point about Nationalism so far as I'm concerned. When the most powerful congress in the world buys into the whole Nationalist package as it has done with this vote I despair for the future of our species. Xenophobic racialist ape retardedness will finish us.

What you have to examine is who exactly benefits from pretending to feel the feelings felt long ago by dead people over injustices done long ago by dead people? That outraged little monkey there is such a deluded hypocrite that I've about as much time for it as I would any fascist. They can Volk off.
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factsveritas factsveritas

5 Mar 2010, 9:44PM

Alam, you now claim: "the assailing of Armenians for their alleged refusal to form a historical commission to "find the facts" and "determine the truth""

Forgive me if I am mistaken, but was it not you just a few posts above (5 Mar 2010, 7:38PM) wrote the following:

"To suggest that there was not a genocide and that the formation of a committee is necessary to investigate the facts in insulting and unacceptable."

"alleged refusal" hey? And only two hours in between :) . That must be a record.
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bousteezi bousteezi

5 Mar 2010, 9:50PM

Turkey is turning into a Muslim theocracy and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near Europe.Gert Wilders that is the only EU politician that is worth his salt,will make sure that Turkey never ever joins the EU.
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samirjk samirjk

5 Mar 2010, 9:52PM

I only addressed the talking points of Turkish propagandists that you happened to cite, which include the assailing of Armenians for their alleged refusal to form a historical commission

I was citing an earlier comment I had made.

Karabakh has been a real ethnic war, unlike Turkey's genocide against Armenians in WWI.

I'm assuming that you are forgetting the attacks on Turkish villages in the years previous to 1915? Or the support provided by Armenian Ottomans to Russian soldiers attacking what is now Eastern Turkey pre-1915?

Nothing is as simple as black and white my friend and I, as you can see from previous posts, have been the first to admit that. However, it is the Armenian refusal to accept any form of the truth bar what they want to hear that really grinds my gears and I'm sure I'm not the only person here that feels this way.
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silentmajority777 silentmajority777

6 Mar 2010, 2:51AM

I remember the christ say... let him without sin cast the first stone... it would be wise for the self rightoeus american's to look at their historical track record and present conduct and then moralise to others...

A Amoral country moralising....
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JillKurt JillKurt

6 Mar 2010, 4:00AM

If you repeat a lie often enough...that's exactly what the Armenian narrative is. A web of lies and half-truths that ride on the racism and bigotry that existed agaisnt Turks at the turn of the 19th century, and as I can see on this blog, is alive and kicking today.

Kinzer has it just right. There's absolutely no agreement whatsoever among historians on this issue. Those historians who read Ottoman Turkish, studied in the archives and have had the guts to stand against the Armenian terrorist lobby machine, have stated that the Armenian tragic deaths were not the result of a genocidal plan by the Ottoman government.

Professor Bernard Lewis' summary rebuttal below of the Armenian genocide narrative is perhaps the shortest summary by a historian of why the President was RIGHT in not calling this a genocide, but wrong to imply that he still personally held that view.

Statement of Professor Bernard Lewis, Professor Emeritus Princeton University http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qG70UWESfu4

"What happened to the Armenians was the result of a massive Armenian armed rebellion against the Turks, which began even before war broke out, and continued on a larger scale. Great numbers of Armenians, including members of the armed forces, deserted, crossed the frontier and joined the Russian forces invading Turkey. Armenian rebels actually seized the city of Van and held it for a while intending to hand it over to the invaders. There was guerilla warfare all over Anatolia. And it is what we nowadays call the National Movement of Armenians Against Turkey. The Turks certainly resorted to very ferocious methods in repelling it. There is clear evidence of a decision by the Turkish Government, to deport the Armenian population from the sensitive areas. Which meant naturally the whole of Anatolia. Not including the Arab provinces which were then still part of the Ottoman Empire. There is no evidence of a decision to massacre. On the contrary, there is considerable evidence of attempt to prevent it, which were not very successful. Yes there were tremendous massacres, the numbers are very uncertain but a million nay may well be likely. The massacres were carried out by irregulars, by local villagers responding to what had been done to them and in number of other ways. But to make this, a parallel with the holocaust in Germany, you would have to assume the Jews of Germany had been engaged in an armed rebellion against the German state, collaborating with the allies against Germany. That in the deportation order the cities of Hamburg and Berlin were exempted, persons in the employment of state were exempted, and the deportation only applied to the Jews of Germany proper, so that when they got to Poland they were welcomed and sheltered by the Polish Jews. This seems to me a rather absurd parallel."

If the Armenians and their pseudo scholars are so confident in their history why are they fighting tooth and nail against an independent international historical commission that the Turks have agreed to establish in 2005 with the promise to accept its findings? Alas, maybe they don't have enough historians on their side after all.

To back up my Armenian terrorist lobby machine argument, please google Mourad Topalian, terrorism, Armenian National Committee of America. And then you'll understand.

THANK YOU STEPHEN KINZER FOR NOT ONLY CUTTING THROUGH THE POLITICAL BULL, BUT ALSO HAVING THE COURAGE TO STAND UP FOR THE FAIRNESS AND TRUTH.
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JillKurt JillKurt

6 Mar 2010, 4:35AM

It is another big lie that Turkey bans debate on this issue. Just like there are zealos prosecutors in Britain, there are zealous prosecutors in Turkey and no one has ever been jailed for arguing the "genocide' label fits the events. It would also be appropriate to mention that in France, Belgium, and Switzerland "Armenian genocide-denial" has been lumped together with laws against holocaust denial. A Swiss court just senteneced 3 Turkish Swiss ngo leaders for hosting a Turkish scholar at a conference that "denied" the genocide narrative. Take that for freedom of speech in Europe.

The books of the most ferocious pro-genocide advocates are freely published in Turkey and are sold in bookstores. The fact is that the Armenian lobby is the one that silences contra-genocide views via terrorism. Scores of Turks have been killed by Armenian terrorist groups in the 70's and 80's all over the world. Personal attacks, threats and slander are their norm. I have no doubt that Kinzer is getting his share of that as we speak. I am willing to bet that he got at least 3 "what did the Turks pay you to write this article" messages.

Just like manslaughter is not murder, not every atrocity is genocide. The fact remains that Armenians do not want a full vetting of all the facts. They do not want the world public to know that for a decade leading up to 1915 they called this period the time of glorious Armenian rebellion against the Ottoman "infidel" and then, when they lost the rebellion and the land they were fighting for, openly blamed their leaders for dragging them into a losing battle at a horrible cost. It is the same breed of Armenian diaspora leadership that today is keeping their community in an existence drenched with hate and perpetual victimhood. They are also the same people who paid for that nasty war in Karabakh that cost 30,000 lives and created over 800,000 Azerbaijani refugees. It would be funny if it wouldn't be so tragic - the Armenian lobby is now hastily rewriting the history of that conflict too. Mark my words for it, in less than 10 years, we'll be talking of the Armenian genocide in Karabakh.
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zimmerman11 zimmerman11

6 Mar 2010, 6:22AM

@bousteezi

Turkey is turning into a Muslim theocracy and shouldn't be allowed anywhere near Europe.Gert Wilders that is the only EU politician that is worth his salt,will make sure that Turkey never ever joins the EU.

Geert Wilders is a racist sociopath and you my friend are a F@uc$ing fool
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UPinARMS UPinARMS

6 Mar 2010, 6:46AM

but why is NO one answering my question ?? Why is the Armenian Genocide in the House of Reps and Not the Native American Genocide ?

You will find no one in the US that denies what happened to the Native Americans. IT is historical fact taught in every classroom. It is also true that the Native Americans were responsible for as many white deaths in the different wars. The Native Americans are given special rights and privileges not accorded to any other citizens and many tribes are extremely wealthy due to tribal rights to mineral resources, free health care and tax benefits. The population of Native Americans today are far greater that their numbers during the Indian wars so the idea of a "genocide" of Native Americans is by definition false..
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