07 March 2010
hjb2 at lehigh dot edu 7 March 2010
Mr Henri J Barkey,
Your article “The Armenian Genocide Resolution is a Farce all Around” ( www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/03/02/AR2010030202375.html?waporef=obinsite ) is an interesting and iconoclast analysis; unfortunately, among the pertinent remarks, there is this big error:
“To be clear, the overwhelming historical evidence demonstrates that what took place in 1915 was genocide.”
1. Many respectable historians criticize the “genocide” label, including Roderic H. Davison, Gwynne Dyer, Edward J. Erickson, Michael M. Gunter, Paul B. Henze, J. C. Hurewitz, Yitzchak Kerem, Bernard Lewis, Guenter Lewy, Heath Lowry, Justin McCarthy, Andrew Mango, Robert Mantran, Jeremy Salt, Stanford J. Shaw, Norman Stone, Gilles Veinstein and Robert F. Zeidner.
2. There is simply no evidence of a genocide intent.
— Gwynne Dyer demonstrated as early as 1973 that Mevlanzade Rifat’s book is a crude falsification, and even Yves Ternon, strongly favorable to Armenian nationalists, considers this work as more than dubious. . .
— The “Andonian documents” were proved to be forgeries, more than twenty-five years ago:
Christopher Walker, who believed in 1980 to the authenticity of “Andonian documents” suppressed almost all references to this material in the second edition of his book (Armenia. The Survival of a Nation, London, Routledge, 1990), then wrote in an article that “doubt must remain until and unless the documents or similar ones themselves resurface and are published in a critical edition” (“World War I and the Armenian Genocide”, in Richard G. Hovannisian, [ed.], The Armenian People from Ancient to Modern Time, New York, St Martin’s Press, 1997, p. 247). Absolutely no effort in this sense was made since 1997: it is perhaps the best evidence that Andonian material is nothing but a forgery.
— The “Ten Commandments” are a another forgery. As early as 1973 Gwynne Dyer demonstrated that the authenticity is highly questionable. More recently, even the strongly pro-Armenian historian Donald Bloxham noticed (“Donald Bloxham replies”, History Today, July 2005, Vol. 55, Issue 7) : “Most serious historians accept that this document is dubious at best, and probably a fake. It was the subject of controversy some twenty years before Dadrian rediscovered it for publication in 1993. The document’s donor originally offered it for sale to the British authorities in February 1919, a time when numerous fraudulent documents were in circulation.”
The late Stanford J. Shaw, former professor of Turkish history at Harvard, University of California-Los Angeles and Bilkent noticed: “The British and French authorities to who they had been handed pointed out that they were at complete variance with Ottoman style and vocabulary and were obvious forgeries, as a result never using them in courts of law” (From Empire to Republic. The Turkish War of National Liberation. 1918-1923, Ankara, 2000, tome I, p. 316). Similarly, British historian Jeremy Salt, considers that the text is “certainly a fake”
— Ambassador Morgenthau’s story, which was not considered as a reliable source by actual American specialists like George Abel Schreiner and Horace C. Peterson, is refuted even by the personal archives of Morgenthau himself. See Ralph Elliot Cook, The United States and the Armenian Question, 1894-1924, Ph.D. dissertation, Flertcher School of Law and Diplomacy, 1957, p. 129; Heath Lowry, The Story Behind “Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story”, Istanbul, The Isis Press, 1990 (available online:
and Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, Salt Lake City, University of Utah Press, 2005, pp. 140-142.
— The Special Organization was accused by Arthur Beylerian, V. Dadrian and Taner Akçam to be a key of “racial extermination”, but only in using falsified quotations and in neglecting the archival material of this organization, as demonstrated by Guenter Lewy and Edward J. Erickson:
— The Turkish martial-courts of 1919-1920 violated all the basic rights of defense, and all their original material is lost, as explained by Guenter Lewy in his article and his mentioned before. See also Ferudun Ata, Isgal Istanbul’unda Tehcir Yargilamalari (“The Istanbul Trials of Relocation”), Ankara, TTK, 2005.
3. It is not true that Western sources support mostly the “genocide” allegations.
US journalist George Abel Schreiner, who traveled extensively in Anatolia, wrote that “Turkish ineptness, more than intentional brutality, was responsible for the hardships the Armenian subjected to” (The Craft Sinister: A Diplomatic History of the Great War and Its Causes, New York, G. Albert, 1920, pp. 124-125).
Swedish journalist G. H. Pravitz published an account of his trip in Eastern Anatolia then in Arab provinces, in his newspaper Nya Dagligt Allehanda, April 23, 1917. He concluded that there was no campaign of extermination and that all the allegations of massacres which he checked were false
Heinrich Bergfeld, German consul in Trebizond, who served eight years in Turkey and spoke Turkish, checked rumors of “massacre” in his region, together with the US consul Oscar Heizer, on July 17, 1915: they concluded that the rumors were baseless; in other occasions, Bergfeld denounced crimes against other convoys of displaced Armenian, who indeed occurred this time (Guenter Lewy, op. cit., pp. 145-146).
William Peet, the American head of international Armenian relief effort in Istanbul, recalled that Talat Pasha “gave prompt attention to my requests, frequently greeting me as I called upon him in his office with the introductory remark: ‘We are partners, what can I do for you today?’” (Louise Jenison Peet, No Less Honor: The Biography of William Wheelock Peet, Chattanooga, E. A. Andrews, 1939, p. 170).
H. Philips, diplomat serving in US embassy of Istanbul, sent on September 1st, 1916, a report concluding that atrocities were committed by local officials, without orders from central government (Guenter Lewy, op. cit., p. 231).
Otto Liman von Sanders, chief of German military mission in Ottoman Empire, and not exactly a Turkophile, explained that “In the execution of expulsions many of the terrible and damnable cases of ruthlessness may unquestionably be ascribed to the minor official whose personal hatred and rapacity gave the measures ordered from above enhancement of harshness that was not intended [by Ottoman government]” (Five Years in Turkey, Annapolis, U.S. Naval Institute, 1927, p. 157; translated from German by Carl Reichmann).
The report of General Harbord, approved by US Senate in 1920, does not mention any “extermination campaign” but war crimes from both sides (see the full text online:
The report of Emory Niles and Arthur Sutherland supports the same conclusion, with more details
Moreover, the compilation of German documents published by Johannes Lepsius in 1919 was proved to be not only selective, but also full of dishonest ellipses and even containing pure and simple manipulations of texts, as a systematic comparison between the originals of German archives and the published version demonstrates (Cem Özgönül, Der Mythos Eines Völkermordes, Cologne, Önel Verlag, 2005).
4. The “genocide recognitions” forget the crimes committed by Armenian nationalists.
— The crimes committed against the Armenian population herself.
Armenian Revolutionary Federation and Hunchakian Party killed many decent Armenians, who were loyal to Ottoman Empire, or at least, denounced the methods of gangsters used by revolutionary committees, including the Armenian chief of Ottoman police in Bitlis, assassinated in 1898, and the mayor of Van Bedros Kapamajian, assassinated in 1912 (see, among others: Kapriel S. Papazian, Patriotism Perverted, Boston, Baikar Press, 1934, pp. 13-18 and pp. 68-73; Justin McCarthy, “The Armenian Uprising and the Ottomans”, Review of Armenian Studies, 7-8, 2005).
The Armenian revolutionary committees claimed their responsibility in the massacres of Armenians of WWI, explaining that they organized insurrections and recruitment of volunteers for Russian an French army in guessing perfectly the tragic consequence (Gareguine Pasdermadjian, Why Armenia Should Be Free, Boston, Hairenik Press, 1918, p. 43; Aram Turabian, Les Volontaires arméniens sous les drapeaux français, Marseille, Imprimerie nouvelle, 1917, pp. 41-42).
— Then, the great massacres of Muslim and Jewish civilians.
Haig Shiroyan, an Ottoman Armenian who became an US citizens, wrote in his Memories: “The Russian victorious armies, reinforced by Armenian volunteers, had slaughtered every Turk they could find, destroyed every house they penetrated” (Smiling Through the Tears, New York, 1954, p. 186). Niles and Sutherland, in their report mentioned before, noticed: “Armenians massacred Musulmans on a large scale with many refinements of cruelties” and that “Armenians are responsible for most of the destruction done to towns and villages”.
Ottoman archives are full of first-hand accounts about atrocities committed by Armenian volunteers, including burning of babies, cutting of women’s breast, etc.; many documents were translated into Western languages:
Archeological excavations, carried out in Eastern Anatolia thanks to documents and very old survivors, discovered several thousands of skeletons, from 1986 to 2003, identified thanks to specific clothes, small Korans, bullets, and, for the last mass graves, thanks to DNA tests.
— Finally, the Armenian terrorism which supported the “recognition movement” — and was supported by ARF, Hunchak and some personalities of Ramkavar/AGBU. Armenian terrorists killed at least 70 persons, wounded more than 500, and perpetrating 160 attacks by explosives.
One of the Armenian terrorist groups was simply a branch of ARF (Francis P. Hyland, Armenian Terrorism: the Past, the Present, the Prospects, Boulder-San Francisco-Oxford, Westview Press, 1991, pp. 61-62; Gaïdz Minassian, Guerre et terrorisme arméniens, Paris, Presses universitaires de France, 2002, pp. 28-37 and 106-109; Yves Ternon, La Cause arménienne, Paris, Le Seuil, 1983, pp. 218-224). ARF of Californian and elsewhere celebrates the racist murderer Hampig Sassounian, sentenced to life by Californian justice, currently in a Californian jail (among many other examples:
Mourad Topalian , one of the most active Armenian American lobbyists, former president of Armenian National Committee of America, was sentenced in 2001 to 37 months of jail for illegal storing of war weapons and explosives, linked to a terrorist organization. Vicken Hovsepian, principal leader of ARF in USA, was sentenced in 1984 to six years of jail for participation to an attempt of bombing.
Who recalled the terrorist past activities of these peoples during the debate about “genocide” resolution?
In hoping to read more balanced accounts of WWI and Armenian terrorism in your articles,
Name & Contact Details Withheld
YES! Finally an article that makes sense regarding this resolution. Go please have a talk with Mary Beth about presenting the Turkish-American side of this story. "It'd be better if they used their power to end ongoing fights than to pick old ones." Maybe if they keep stirring the pot enough, they’ll get a big powerball payout in the end -- isn’t that what makes the world round. Ugh! This is taking up way too much of the medias time.
3/5/2010 11:36:12 AM
Reconciliation begins with admission of wrong doing. Turkey as a nation can not move forward without accepting it's past realities and brutalities.
3/5/2010 9:17:22 AM
I have difficulty to understand you. On one hand you make it clear that "the overwhelming historical evidence demonstrates that what took place in 1915 was genocide", on the other hand you accuse Armenians of cynicism because they demand international and Turkish recognition of that fact? I advise you and everyone else who writes on this issue to use a modern computer and for a brief moment replace the word Armenian with Jew and Turkey with Germany. And read what you you had just written. If you find nothing strange in your text you can switch back the words and proceed.
And another big flaw in your logic: you argue in the article that if Yerevan University bestowed Ahmadinejad with doctor's degree (regardless the circumstances) it is enough ground for the US to abandon acceptance of the fact of genocide against Armenian nation in 1915? Is that what you mean?
3/5/2010 2:34:57 AM
Of course, even these few examples give great harm to the present Armenian thesis and lead people to question the Armenian’s innocence, their predominance in Ottoman population, and most importantly their genocide thesis. Of course, the fact that Turks offered the Dashnaks an autonomous Armenia (made up of Russian Armenia and the three Turkish vilayets of Erzurum, Van and Bitlis) under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire’, if they joined the Turkish side and stopped supporting the Russians, the other fact that the executive committee of the Dashnagzoutiun rejected the proposal in August 1914 before the war broke and that they rejected all other Turkish calls of negotiations repeated during WWI too, are the major points that are not wanted by the Armenians to be known
(Garo Past?rmac?an, Why Armenia Should be Free?, Boston, Dec.1918, Hairenik Publishing Company p. 16-17 and Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States The Paris Peace Conference 1919 , United States Government Printing Office, 1948, Vol IV, p 139-157).
Of course they fear a question of why the Turks did offer autonomy to Armenians if they decided to eradicate them.
And they fear the question of why and how the Armenian prime minister Simon Vratzian applied the Turkish government on March 18, 1921 and asked military help of the Turks against the Bolsheviks, in spite of the fact that the Turks committed a (so-called) genocide and murdered 1.5 million Armenians!
And they also are very frightened of the question how the Ottoman Government eradicated 1,5 million of Armenians but in spite of this it was the Ottomans who first conceived the idea of founding an independent Armenia, and recognized it first. Moreover, it was the Ottoman Sultan who first wished not only the development of Armenian Republic, but that she be strong in order to retain her independence! Astonishingly, it was the Ottoman Sultan, who stated that friendly relations would always exist between the two countries
That is, the Armenian ancestors who created their history (the top representatitives of the Ottoman Armenians, Dashnags and prime ministers of Armenia), the Armenian historians and poets who wittnessed this period and even the Armenian murderers of Turkish diplomats are the main deniers!
So, it is not surprising that both the book of Hovannes Katchaznouni, the first prime-minister of the Armenian state, ‘Dashnagzoutiun Has Nothing to do Anymore’ and the book of K.S.Papazian ‘Patrionism Perverted’ are banned in Armenia. It is also a fact that all the copies of the book of Hovannes Katchaznouni, in all languages were collected from the libraries in Europe by Dashnags. The book is included in the catalogues but no copies can be found in the racks.
It is not surprising either that, the Armenians even claim that nobody called A.A. Lalayan, the Soviet-Armenian historian, ever lived!
Yes, they can ban the books of the makers of their history, they can buy politicians by their votes and urge them to accept historical resolutions and memorial laws in their parliaments, they can threaten the historians who do not support their thesis, they can sue them, they can even bomb their houses (http://188.8.131.52/gtd1/ViewIncident.aspx?id=56624), they can make the world opinion blind by their propaganda and may deceive some of them, but they can never ban scholar thought and silence all the historians of the world!
Note that Pierre Nora, president of the association ‘Liberty for history’ founded in 2005, has recently stated that the history should not be a slave to currency or written under the dictation of competing memoirs; in a free state, it does not belong to any political authority to define the historical truth and restrict freedom of the historian under threat of criminal sanctions. In a democracy, freedom for history is the freedom of all (http://www.lph-asso.fr//articles/46.html, . http://www.lph-asso.fr//tribunes/49.html)
Now do you understand why the Armenians are fiercefully against the esatablishment of historical commissions composed of historians from both countries and other countries?
Also do you understand why Prof Richard Hovannisian from California University, a banner of Armenian diaspora, said that establishment of such commissions was very dangerous
3/5/2010 1:45:06 AM
The Armenian Soviet historian A.A.Lalayan who stated that the Dashnaks displayed extreme courage to massacre Turkish women, children and ill and old people (Contrarevolyutsionn?y ‘Das,naktsutyun’ I. I.mperialisti-çeskaya Voyna 1914-1918 gg.’, Revolyutsionn?y Vostok, No.2-3, p.92, 1936) and who also quoted the following report of a Dashnag officer, Aslem Varaam written in 1920, in Beyazit-Varan was an Armenian denier and he was also hired by the Turkish government .
The report of Aslem Varaam was
"I exterminated the Turkish population in Bashar-Gechar without making any exceptions. One some times feels the bullets shouldn't be wasted. So, the most effective way against these dogs is to collect the people who have survived the clashes and dump them in deep holes and crush them under heavy rocks pressed from above, not to let them inhabit this world any longer. So I did accordingly. I collected all the women, men and children and extinguished their lives in the deep holes I dumped them into, crushing them with rocks."
A.Lalayan, Revolutsionniy Vostok (Revolutionary East) No: 2-3, p.92 vd, Moscow, 1936; Istoricheskie Zapisky No 2, p.101, 1928
Armenian T. Haçikog(lyan who told that the Dashnaks eradicated thousands of Turks with their bloody hands (T. Haçikoglyan, 10 Let Armyanskoy Sttrelkovoy Divizii ,p4-6. I.zdatelstvo Polit. Uprav. KKA, Tiflis, 1930) was also a denier and agent of Turkish government.
The Armenian poet Mikael Nalbandyan who wrote these lines in his poem ‘The March of People of Zeytun, was another denier and Turkish nationalist:
‘..S,ad ?sdrugner yeg(an azad/Miyayin menk mnank h?lu h?badag/Zeytuntsiner mer zposank/E baderazm yev ars,avank/ Sur, tur, k?ntag yev h?ratsan/ Mer khag(alik?n en havidyan….’
(A lot of slaves were set free/ Only we were left who were obedient/Amusements of us, people of Zeytun are/ War and raid/ Our inexhaustible toys are/ Sword, saber, bullet and gun…….) (Nor Knar, p99). Zeytun was one of the places where the Armenians rebelled and massacred the Turks and Muslims.
The Armenian journalists of Armenian newspapers published in I.stanbul, like Hayrenik, were also deniers, since they praised the Ottoman government for letting the relocated Armenians return their previous locations in 1918 and allocated 2 million liras for their return. They were deniers since they also critized the Russians and other states for using the Armenians as their tools.
KS Papazian the writer of ‘Patriotism Perverted’ published in 1934, in Boston was also a denier. Because:
Papazian critized A. Khatisian and the then prime minister S.Vratzian for not publishing the text of Treaty of Gümrü which they signed on December 2, 1920 to put an end to the war between Turkey and the Armenian Republic on December 2, 1920, which coincided with the entrance of Bolsheviks in Armenia.
Papazian also stated that the Armenian prime minister Simon Vratzian applied to the Turkish government on March 18, 1921 and asked military help of the Turks against the Bolsheviks!
Even Gourgen Migirdiç Yanikyan (age 78), the Armenian murderer of Los Angeles prime consul of Turkey Mehmet Baydar (age 49) and the co consul Bahadir Demir (age 30) in Santa Barbara, in 1973, was a real denier, Turkish nationalist and agent of Turkish government. Because he admitted in his trial on June 13, 1973, via his attorney Lindsay that he (Yanikyan) had been a member of an army made up of 10 000 volunteers to fight against the Turks in Armenia, in the beginning of March 1915 and in chief of this army had been an Armenian general called Andranik.
This had been prepared as four parties and had started to battle with the Turks in Ig(d?r, under the leadership of Russian general Dron and had proceeded to Van, they had occupied Van and meanwhile had destroyed and had fired Turkish villages (D?s,is,leri Bakanl?g(? -Santa Barbara Suikasti. Telephone from Washington Embassy to the Turkish Foreign Ministry, 15.6.1973, No:220 and June 21, 1973. No:225)
3/5/2010 1:41:54 AM
*British occupation aroused hopes of the Dashnaks,
*They were provoked by imperial Sea to Sea land demand,
*They had not taken into consideration Turkey’s power,
* They should have used a peaceful language towards the Turks but they (Armenian Dashnaks) rejected the Turks who suggested to negotiate with them and they went on making war
(KS Papazian the writer of ‘Patriotism Perverted’ published in 1934, in Boston, also confirms this Turkish suggestion. Note that ‘Patrionism Perverted’ is banned in Armenia).
*The decision of the deportation of Armenians was a rightful measure taken by Turks.
*Turkey had acted with an instinct of self-defence.
*Their government was a Dashnak dictatorship.
*The fault was within the Dashnak Party. They should commit suicide. They had nothing to do.
Vratsyan, the last prime minister of Dashnaks who wrote in an article published in December 3 1920 issue of Araç, that they transformed Armenia to an arenna of endless wars with its neighbours for the Entente Powers (RGASPI. fond 80, list 4, file 83, sheet 136) was another chief denier and agent of Turkish government.
Armenian Messrs. Ahonian and Hadissian who were the spokesmen of the Armenian delegation of the New Armenian Republic and visited Sultan Mehmet VI, Vahdeddin in Istanbul on September 6, 1918 were also Turkish nationalists. See the telegram sent by Mr Ahorian to the Armenian Prime Minister Kachaznuni:
‘On September 6th, we presented our congratulations on his accession to the throne. We submitted our best wishes for the development of the Empire and its well-being and stated that the Armenian nation would never forget that it was the Ottoman Government which first conceived the idea of founding an independent Armenia, and recognized it, that the Armenian Government would do everything possible to protect friendly relations between the two countries and to strengthen them. His Majesty thanked and stated that he was very happy at seeing the envoys of independenbt and free Armenia, that he wished not only her development , but that she be strong in order to retain her independence. His Majesty is entirely convinced that friendly relations will always exist between the two neighboring countries, Turkey and Armenia, in order that both of them may develop. He concluded his remarks by stating that he was very hapy to see that Armenia had the strength to found an independent state which was able to send envoys to Istanbul, and repeated his best wishes for our country’. (Erich Feigl, A Myth of Terror, Edition Zeitgeschichte Freilassing, Salzburg, Austria p.97)
3/5/2010 1:37:57 AM
Whoever tells about topics which obviously abolish their imaginary past, are labelled as ‘deniers’, as ‘agents of Turkish government’, or ‘people hired by the Turkish government’ or ‘disingenous scholars/authorities’ Turkish nationalists’, ‘Turkish racists’. And, here are the names of Armenians who comply with these terms:
“Garo Pasdermichan (Pastirmaciyan), the Ottoman deputy of Erzurum and commander of all the Armenian officials and soldiers of the Ottoman Third Army which joined the Russian Army in 1914, was the main denier and Turkish racist. Because, he wrote in his book ‘Why Armenia Should Be Free’ (Boston, Dec.1918, Hairenik Publishing Company p. 16-17) that annual Congress of Armenian Party Dashnagzoutiun was held in Erzurum in August 1914, before the war broke, and Turkish emissaries offered Dashnaks an autonomous Armenia (made up of Russian Armenia and the three Turkish vilayets of Erzurum, Van and Bitlis) under the suzerainty of the Ottoman Empire’, if they joined the Turkish side and stopped supporting the Russians. He also stated that the executive committee of the Dashnagzoutiun rejected the proposal! The Armenian members of this parley were the well-known publicist E.Aknouni, the representative from Van, A.Vramian, and the director of the Armenian schools in the district of Erzurum, Mr Rostom.
Another main denier was Boghos Noubar Pasha, the Armenian National Delegation President in The Paris Peace Conference 1919 who also stated that the Turks offered them autonomy in August 1914, much before the deportation, but they rejected this proposal and placed themselves without hesitation on the side of the Entente Powers from whom they expected liberation [Papers relating to the foreign relations of the United States The Paris Peace Conference 1919 (United States Government Printing Office, 1948, Vol IV, p 139-157)].
Armenian Boghos Noubar Pasha, who told that ‘150 000 Armenian volunteers in Russian Army were the only forces against Turks’ (Times of London , 1919 Jan 30 Link: http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com/2007/10/2013-150-000-armenian-volunteers-in.html) was obviously a denier and agent of Turkish government.
Hovannes Katchaznouni, the first prime-minister of the Armenian state founded in 1918 and the prime authority of the Dashnagzoutiun Party who wrote a book ‘Dashnagzoutiun Has Nothing to do Anymore’ was also another chief denier. Because, in his book which is banned in Armenia at present, he stated that
*it was a mistake to establish the volunteer units.
*They were unconditionally allied with Russia,
*They massacred the Moslem population,
*The Armenian terrorist acts were directed, at winning the Western public opinion.
3/5/2010 1:37:22 AM
What some Armenians and those Congress members who brought up House Resolution 252 do not understand is that Turks want this subject decided on its own merits, not because Turkey is an ally of the United States, though Turkey does wish to remain a friend and ally to the U.S.. "On its own merits" means exactly that, and not based on century old anti-Turkish propaganda coupled with atrocious one-sided accusations cooked up by the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and its arms and cronies in the U.S.. Ask yourself why Armenian lead propagandists always run away from debate with Americans of Turkish heritage and with professors who do not agree with them, why Armenia never accepts a joint historical committee to research all facts. "This subject is not open to discussion" was, for a while, a too-clever-by-half way of trying to evade exposition of the truth, but it will no longer work. People will ask why, and we will discuss it regardless.
3/5/2010 12:51:33 AM
It's hard to fathom what Henri J. Barkey means in making such a big deal about the "cynicism of this effort", i. e., the genocide resolution. Although he acknowledges the Armenian Genocide as a historical fact, the cynicism he sees is evidently the projection of his own cynicism about the Armenian Genocide onto others. He would have us believe he knows best what is truly good for the economically isolated Armenians and what is moral in the circumstances: prompt implementation of the "deal" (presumably the "Protocols") so strongly advocated by the Obama Administration. Never mind the generous dose of cynicism involved in their being pushed forward virtually moments before President Obama was to keep his promise to call the Armenian Genocide by its proper name, thus giving him a convenient escape hatch and allowing Turkey to escape one more year from taking responsibility for its sordid history, which it has done continuously for nearly a century. It is precisely this perverse method that has bought Turkey time for almost a century now and makes it possible for Barkey to scoff today at those who would make "a problem from the past into a problem of the present". And he gives President Obama far more credit than he is due for choosing to utter an Armenian term as a substitute for keeping his promise. "Medz Yeghern" does not mean "Great Catastrophe" in Armenian. It means very simply and directly "Great Crime". But that, of course, wouldn't have done. It is definitely a problem of the present for Armenians and for anyone else who takes human rights and crimes against humanity seriously. Barkey's "moral" suggestion is that it should all be forgotten, even though it happened. This is cynicism of the worst kind. Mr. Barkey recognizes the Armenian Genocide. If he really wanted to save himself and Washington the yearly "farce" that causes him so much chagrin, his energies would be better spent in convincing the Turkish government to accept his position on the Armenian Genocide on its own initiative, making this yearly effort unnecessary. That would be the uncynical thing to do if he is truly concerned with the greater good. But of course he is not. His interest is in smoothing any bumps in the road for Turkey, despite his mild criticisms about how irresponsible it is in throwing the word genocide around. What else could he expect when Turkey has got away with the murder of the Armenian nation for almost a century now and people like him make a mockery of it? He makes the point that the US alone has the power to broker an agreement favorable to the Armenians. Never mind that this "powerful broker" couldn't keep Turkey's feet warm until the ink dried in Zurich! Mr. Barkey's fourth paragraph shows just how concerned he is with the good fortune of the Armenians. It begins with a painfully self-evident proposition: "For Armenians, the genocide issue is of paramount importance". But this vacuous statement is only a foot in the door to remind his readers that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the President of Iran, was given an honorary degree by an Armenian university. This is then used to cancel any legitimacy in the Armenian focus on the genocide and to smear all Armenians with the heinous brush of Holocaust denial, when in fact this event was a suspicious aberration widely and bitterly condemned in the Armenian press and in no way represents the political will of the Armenian people as a whole.
3/4/2010 5:34:12 PM
This is payback for Turkey's criticism of Israel. It is much more important to the US Congress to stand up for Israel than it is to stand up for US interest. What unpatriotic jerks!!!
3/4/2010 5:18:04 PM
To Duyum and other Armenocide deniers:
The slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Mohammedans in 1896 and 1915 was reported at the time in the press. Consular and diplomatic representatives from the US and European countries wrote extensive reports about it. The comical counter-charge that Armenians killed 2.5 million Mohammedans, thus provoking Turkish revenge and their own downfall, lacks any historical confirmation. So all this talk about international commissions of historians, exchange of documentation, etc. is completely irrelevant.
The Turks should have foreseen this problem. In 1915 they should have set up a special propaganda unit to churn out misleading statements and spurious eyewitness reports. That way, nowadays Turkish nationalists would be able to deny the historical truth with a straight face by pointing to their own contemporaneous propaganda.
Unfortunately the Young Turks – who issued the command to kill -- failed to understand the importance of public relations. Consequently Turks are now forced to undertake heroic efforts of mendacity in order to salvage their reputation. But in vain, alas! The only people who believe their lies are other Turks.
3/4/2010 4:01:40 PM
The Turkish Prime Minister’s announcement that Mohammedans do not commit genocide has rendered a complex situation even more intricate. A dilemma like this can be solved only by the most radical possible measures, namely by resorting to doubletalk, or terminological finessing, as some call it.
Accordingly I propose that henceforth all references to the deplorably high mortality rate of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire in 1896 and 1915 and thereabouts be designated the "Armenocide”. I’m sure the resourceful Turkish language will devise a suitable translation of this neologism.
3/4/2010 3:34:13 PM
"If Turks committed a genocide which is the greatest crime of humanity, and if Turkey really avoids of facing its history, and if the Armenians and their supporters sincerely want Turkey to do it, then why do the Armenians persistently refuse Turkey’s suggestions to discuss these events together with historians from both sides and other countries?"
Because Turks haven't yet decided what their position is. I mean, you are still debating whether anything happened. I know, those 1.5million Armenians are hiding in Syria somplace, right?
3/4/2010 2:03:18 PM
Now let us go a few years ago, to see the Turks’ extreme efforts to face their history, and the Armenian’s consistent fright to do it:
*In 2004, the Viennese Armenian-Turkish Platform (VAT) was founded to exchange documents about the 1915 events by Austrian, Turkish and Armenian historians. After receiving 100 Turkish documents, the Armenians abondened the project refusing to continue to fulfil their commitments and afterwards the Armenian foreign minister announced that they did not want to discuss the 1915 events with historians.
*Armenia refused the Turkish prime minister's and the Turkish Assembly's invitation announced on April 13, 2005 which suggested to establish a Joint Commission composed of historians from both sides and discuss the events which took place during the 1st World War.
*Turkey sent full page ads to five popular newspapers of the United States (US) calling on Armenia to ‘bring light the events of 1915 together with Turkey and to establish a joint commission composed of historians from both sides in addition to historians from other nations’, in April 2007.
*And the Turkish prime minister repeated the same invitation on February 2008 , in Munich at the 44th Security Conference where the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Oskanian also attended?
In neither of these invitations was there any precondition, unlike it is claimed by the Armenians.
*Why did the Armenian historian Sarafyan, who accepted the invitation of the then chief of Turkish History Foundation, Halacoglu, for cooperation to investigate Harput events, abandon the project, after talking the Armenian diaspora?
*The Ottoman and Turkish archives are open, unlike it is claimed by the diaspora.
http://louisville.edu/a-s/history/turks/Documents2.pdf; http://louisville.edu/a-s/history/turks/Documents3.pdf; http://www.devletarsivleri.gov.tr/kitap/kitap.asp?kitap=991.
Even, Armenian historian Ara Sarafian from Gomitas Institute and Hilmar Kaiser searched the Ottoman archives (www.sarigelinbelgeseli.com)
*In spite of this, why are the Armenian archives including the one in Zoryan Armenian Institute in Boston closed? Both Turkish government and Turkish History Foundation offered the Armenians to open these archives; but the directors of the Zoryan Institute replied that they did not have enough money to open the archives. Turkish government and Turkish History Foundation promised financial support.Why did the Armenians refuse this suggestion too? (Nüzhet Kandemir, http://www.ntvmsnbc.com/news/418517.asp). Note that Zoryan Institute has quite enough money to provide financial support for Taner Akçam who advocated the Armenian claims while working in Minnesota University until recently.
Why have the Armenians always been terribly afraid of establishment of historical joint commissions?
Is it not striking that Sarafian, the head of the London-based Gomidas Institute, said Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdog(an’s offer to Armenia to establish a commission of historians to
resolve the Armenian issue was positive, but Armenia was the wrong address. He also said that freedom of expression for historians in Armenia is limited and the genocide issue has become a political tool. http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/domestic/10426989.asp?scr=1
If a genocide had really occured, why did Brian Ardouny of the Armenian Assembly of America announce ‘We don’t need to prove the genocide historically, because it has already been accepted politically’? Why did the chief of the Armenian Archives in Armenia tell that they were not interested in the achives, but all they are interested is the world’s public opinion.
Or why have the Armenians not admitted to an international court yet?
In your life, have you ever seen a criminal who persistently calls the victim to bring his evidences? And, have you ever seen a victim who passionately accuses somebody of committing crime and giving him great harm but strictly avoids of bringing his proofs before the referees or going to court, and tells that he need not prove that person’s guilt, because the community has already accepted him as guilty?
In this situation would you not question the era you are living in? 5000 BC or 2000BC?
What else should the Turks do to face their history? Is it Turkey/Turks or Armenia and those who support them who are terribly afraid of facing their history?
3/4/2010 11:21:11 AM
If Turks committed a genocide which is the greatest crime of humanity, and if Turkey really avoids of facing its history, and if the Armenians and their supporters sincerely want Turkey to do it, then why do the Armenians persistently refuse Turkey’s suggestions to discuss these events together with historians from both sides and other countries? For example:
“Our objective is to have the matter investigated by historians and experts. We are ready to accept the decision of the joint historical commission. We agree for different professionals from various countries to be involved” Abdullah Gul recently said. If historians committee project could be realized, issue of so called Armenian genocide will not be discussed by politicians but by historians. Furthermore, other than Turkish and Armenian historians, historians from third countries will also be included.
The Turks who were eager for establishment of such an historical commission, were supported by the United Nations, European Parliament and Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE). http://www.tegenwicht.org/weblog_2006/67_armeens.htm, http://www.volkskrantblog.nl/bericht/77330, http://www.hurriyet.com.tr/english/domestic/9337483.asp?scr=1 and was very happy.
While Turkey was eager and very happy, the Armenians were exceedingly unwilling and very angry.
In an interview with Armenian Reporter, Prof Richard Hovannisian from California University and the father of Raffi Hovannisian, the first Foreign Minister of Armenia, said:
‘It is very dangerous to establish such an historical commission…because according to 1948 United Nations’s Genocide Convention, a deliberate and planned massacre is mandatory.
The Turks will accept that nearly 200-300 thousand Armenian died; but nobody can call them deliberate acts.
In Turkish Archives the Turks have the telegrams sent from vilayets about the then Armenian upraisals and documents about the Armenians who fled from the Ottoman Army. So, the Turkish historians will accuse the Armenians and say that all these events were a reaction to what the Armenians did and were not deliberate’
One of the supporters of so called Armenian genocide resolutions in U.S. Congress, Adam Schiff said “A committee about history is a struggle for distracting the truth. Turkey cannot rewrite history in exchange for good relations with Armenia.”
ANCA and other Armenian lobbying organizations stated that Armenia is forced to make dangerous concessions by Turkey and that Turkey’s moves towards establishing joint historians commission aims to call so called Armenian genocide into question and suspend its international recognition. ANCA’s aim is to provide recognition of so called Armenian genocide by U.S. Congress before establishment of a historians committee to discuss the events by keeping U. S. Congress under pressure. (See the previous news entitled ‘RA foreign minister didn’t say Armenia agrees to form commission of historians’ on November 26, 2008 in Panarmenian and ‘Dashnaks warn Sarkisian over Armenian genocide study’ on July 9, 2008 in Armenia Liberty; http://www.hairenik.com/armenianweekly/august_2004/history001.html)
Have you ever seen a victim who considers the act of displaying all the proofs against the person whom he fiercefully accuses in a court as ‘a struggle of distracting the truth’ and ‘a dangerous act’?
Have you ever heard a victim who avoids to admit to a court or a referee not to call his rightness into question?
Dear readers, in the modern world, what is the function of justice if admitting to it means distorting the truth, and calling a victim’s rightness into question?
What would you think about a victim (or so-called victim) who accuses people who advise to go to court (or referees) of betrayal?
In this situation, do you not suspect of that the victim himself is distracting the truth and even he himself does not believe himself and he is struggling with the truth itself.
3/4/2010 11:17:05 AM
Welcome to the modern Turkish Bazaar. Two Turkish delegations are already in the town.
I do believe people like Henri Barkely are a shame even for American Jewish community. No need to talk about Washington Post! Washington Post and the like always used to sale the dead bodies of victims of Armenians Genocide for the highest price!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The United State of America is regarded as the only country in the world with a "universal constitution." As a result, the US is often looked to in questions regarding moral responsibilities related to human rights and justice therefore I believe in JUSTICE!
At the end Mr H. B. is in the opinion “world should forget about this genocide...”. Nobody should be surprised about this shameless article written by Henri Barkey and published by W.P. Nothing has changed by this article, we are in TURKISH BAZZAR ! Washington Post has just chanced the saddle of the donkey in order to justify a mass crime against humanity!
Genocide is Genocide! Better demand from Turkey to accept her bloody past!
Soon or later the rightwing Jewish lobby as well certain short minded and backward forces within the US Administration will stop selling the dead bodies of the victims of Armenian Genocide again and again to criminal Turkish government!
NO moral at all! Shame on Washington Post!
3/4/2010 10:56:01 AM
Acceptance of genocide claims does NOTHING to prevent future acts of genocide.
Proof of this is the current genocide of the people of Palestine, by the state of Israel (WHO SHOULD KNOW BETTER!), with the UNCONDITIONAL support of the U.S.A., as well as the genocide of the people of Azerbaijan, by the Armenian state, the genocide that occurred in Bosnia, while the world at large, turns a blind eye...
This urges me to ask: Is genocide O.K. by the world, when its victims are Muslims???
3/4/2010 5:06:45 AM
Reading the comments section, I noticed many references to what has been purported to be 'the Hitler quote'. This 'quote' has been PROVEN to be a figment of immagination, by respected scholars, one being Prof. Heath W. Lowry, in his work titled 'The U.S. Congress and Adolf Hitler on the Armenians' (Institute of Turkish Studies, Inc. Washington, D.C.
Political Communication and Persuasion, Volume 3, Number 2,1985).
How anyone could reference Hitler, of all people, suprises me.
Given the FACT that Hitler was poster boy for the Armenian community, and that the Armenians have been proven to have taken AN ACTIVE ROLE in the extermination of the Jews, I know I should not be suprised that Armenians constantly choose to quote or rather MISQUOTE, Hitler.
3/4/2010 4:58:45 AM
The author of this article fails to mention the overwhelming evidence that is present, which proves that whilst many Armenians were massacred and died in 1915, THEY also massacred and KILLED many Muslims around that time and that the number of muslim dead, far outnumber the Armenian dead. If the dead of only one side are counted, all wars will appear to be 'genocide'.
The Muslim dead, said to be around 2.5 million, are surely worth consideration.
3/4/2010 4:29:28 AM
Correction: in my previous comment it should say "the Washington Post" and not the "Washington mutual." The latter is already long dead.
3/4/2010 2:54:18 AM
This is one of the most essentialistic, weak-minded, myopic and outright cynical "opinion" that I have ever read. It presents in oversimplifying detail the realities in Armenia and the USA (and even in Turkey - although Turkey's government is described quite accurately). The paragrah where it tries to show how the Armenia's government is cynical about genocides is a complete failure of scholarship and political-social analysis. On top of this essentialistic thesis about cynicism, comes a weak-minded call to the US public and government to not offically recognize the events of 1915 as Genocide because some military companies have some stakes in the middle east or because our ex-president decided to invade Iraq, or what is even worse, our "ally" Turkey is ready to stab at our back at any moment.
This article, however, cynically, acknowledges the Genocide, but asks the entire nation and the world to refuse to uphold the truth in the face of genocide-denier's resistence. I ask this question to the US public: How is our country going to take a moral lead in the world, if it does not have the courage to at least assess modern human rights violations anywhere in the world? I would argue that in the long run recognizing the Armenian Genocide will benefit everyone. The Obama administration and the current Congress will show that they are determined to withstand pressure for the sake of justice. Already 42 states in this country have officially recognized the Genocide. Those afraid that Turkey will not cooperate from then on, should look how with other countries the Turkish government froze for a little while and then it was business as usual. Last but not least, there are a growing number of people in the Turkish civil society who want the world and their government to gecognize the Armenian Genocide. They are tired of their government's repressive measures and they want a new beginning with Armenia.
As for the fact that the Washington mutual agreed to publish this classical all be it really shallow propaganda "opinion" days before the House Foreign Affair Committee's mark up on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, I can only express my high regards for the editors and decision makers who try to provide quality news and informed opinions to the public. They outdid themselves!! ha
3/4/2010 2:50:03 AM
I am sick and tired of people who have not done any research on the subject claiming that there was a genocide. What reference can Mr. Barkey show us regarding his "overwhelming evidence"? The British Blue Book , labeled propaganda by its own editor Toynbee? Morgenthau's book, written by ghost writers at the State Department, including his one time Armenian secretary? Propaganda books by Armenian authors? Tell me Mr. Barkey: what was the population of Ottoman-Armenians before the war, and how many Ottoman-Armenians were known to be alive afterwards?
3/4/2010 1:41:57 AM
I do believe people like Henri Barkely are a shame even for Jewish community. No need to talk about Washington Post! Washington Post always used to seal the dead bodies of victims of Armenians Genocide for the highest price!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The United State of America is regarded as the only country in the world with a "universal constitution." As a result, the US is often looked to in questions regarding moral responsibilities related to human rights and justice therefore I believe in JUSTICE!
Nobody should be surprised about this shameless article written by Henri Barkey and published by W.P. Nothing has changed by this article , were are in TURKISH BAZZAR ! Washington Post has just chanced the saddle of the donkey in order to justify a mass crime against humanity!
Genocide is Genocide!
Soon or later the rightwing Jewish lobby as well certain short minded and backward forces within the US government will stop selling the dead bodies of the victims of Armenian Genocide again and again to criminal Turkish government!
Sahme on Washington Post!
3/4/2010 12:18:23 AM
So the world is to collectively sigh, hit the accelerator and say softly "never happened?"
The fact that the world did that after the Armenian Genocide was one of the things that Hitler cited when he made his open plans to exterminate Jews.
The Label follows the reality. Defending a holocaust is another label; "despicable."
Is Turkey paying you to defend them, or is hiding skeletons in the closet and covering up crimes just second nature for you?
We here in the US have our own crimes to be ashamed of; Andrew Jacksons expulsion of Indians; the campaign waged against the Plains indians by General Sherman. The crimes committed against Negros, other native Americans. Our behavior in the Philipines.
All have something in common with people claiming that no "moral good" will come from acknowledging the past.
On the contrary, nothing morally good can come unless we acknowledge the past.
3/3/2010 10:15:50 PM
It is important for criminal behavior to be exposed and the criminals confronted, whether it is the Bush Administration or Turkey. Unfortunately, despite his campaign rhetoric, Obama is not the man for such a job. He is a cave-man, always caving in on issues of principle and importance.
3/3/2010 9:53:37 PM
Armenians and Turks should stop falling for the traps of the extremists and the conniving powers.
What is untold and admitted by the ruling powers now and then is that it is a good policy to have ethnic/religious/sectarian divisions to be fanned.
West and the imperial Russia used this to dismantle the Ottoman empire with this strategy. Otherwise Armenians and Turks got along fine. And when wisdom prevails they will get along fine.
The divide-and-rule strategy was used everywhere and is still being used. Just read the history of the Czarist Russia, British Empire, etc. as it relates to India, Caucasus, Siberia, Central Asia, Balkans and Africa.
3/3/2010 6:41:09 PM
usnr02: The Young Turks were NOT Jews. They were Turks! Unless you want to argue that Mustaffa Kamal (aka Kamal Ataturk) was Jewish. Be serious and get over your biases!
InformedAmerican2010: You are obviously Turkish. Let me see, out of the usual choices presented by Turks:
1. It did not happen;
2. It was self-defense;
3. It was treason.
You went for choice #3. Like it or not:
1. It happened;
2. It lasted from 1895-1915 against the Armenians; and 1916-1923 against the Greeks; with flare ups in 1955 and 1964 against the remaining Christians. (for ref. see 'The Ottoman Centuries' and 'Paradise Lost')
That is, Turkey actually went through 2 waves of genocide against the non-Muslim population: once against the Armenians and then against the rest.
It is nonsense like what you post that makes it imperative to force Turks to face up to the crimes committed by Turks. Don't worry: noone wants you pay anything. All you are asked to do is admit the crime.
3/3/2010 4:50:23 PM
The genocide of the 1.6 million Armenians came at the urging of the "young Turks". WHO were these young Turks who pushed the Ottoman Calipjate to this slaughter??? Ask Foxman. He knows the answer. That is why the ADL so opposed any resolutions on the matter. The "young Turks" were Jews.
3/3/2010 3:05:18 PM
Barkey is upset with Turkey because of PM Erdogan's criticism of Israeli action in Lebanon and Gaza and Barkey is using this column to vent his anger. That is understandable but not excusale or acceptable.
Barkey, a Turkish-Jew raised in Turkey, should know that while the court-Proven Jewish Holocaust is a unique tragedy and a fact, the much discredited Armenian genocide is a neve-proven or historically subtantiated political claim.
Mentioning bothin the same breath, while gives undeserved and unfair credibility "by association" to Armenian claims, it is an affront to the silent memory of six million Jews.
Jews didn't etablish Jewsih armies behind German lines to establis a Jewsih state on German soil; Armenian did all that. How can the two be mentioned the same breath?
barkey acts like a merchant, serving the highest bidder, rather than a scholar serving the truth and honesty.
3/3/2010 2:28:26 PM
Let us be honest:
Armenian president and politicians never denied the existence of the Jewish Holocaust. While Endogen´s , Foxman´s (from ADL) as well a Shimon Peres didn’t/do not miss a opportunity to deny the fact of Armenian Genocide , to call for an “historian commission” or just to insult the memory of the victim of a Armenian Genocide by making agley statements as the Holocaust denier M. Ahmadi. use to do ! Endogen got even a price/award from ADL! Progressive Jewish are well aware of the fact of Armenian Genocide!
- Despite acceptance of Nazi crimes committed by Hitler against European Jews by the German Federal government
- Despite millions of evidence regarding Jewish Holocaust
- Despite the existence of many national and international laws for the punishment of denial of holocaust, still many people even in US and Europe - including “historians“ as well politicians and - are denying the fact of Jewish Holocaust. In this case nobody should be surprise, when some “historians” (corrupt historians, mostly on Denial and Payroll of Turkish government) are not willing to accept the fact of Armenian Genocide …
There are no laws for punishment of the denial of the Armenian Genocide. Beside this Turkey is spending millions of $$$$$$ to re-write the history of the Armenian Genocide. Despite all this Armenian Genocide is just an accepted fact by independent historians!!
3/3/2010 2:13:13 PM
What is, is, What we label it is junk food for our brains. Like whether to call Pluto a planet. Pluto is.
What was, was. To use the label "genocide" or not is at best junk food and at worst a laxative that will cause a lot of crap.
3/3/2010 12:42:50 PM
Nothing is going to be changed by this fruitless effort. We need Turkey..end of issue. What Turkey did is genocide, now move on.
3/3/2010 12:21:25 PM
Henri Barkey's weak argument can basically be summed up as this: The Armenian Genocide is a fact documented in US archives but America shouldn't re-acknowledge it now because the neo-cons want to bomb the hell out of Iran and the Turks know how much America needs their blessing for this.
Like last year and the year before that and year before that and so on we keep hearing the same diabolical attributions despite the fact many of you know very well that if the hawks want to bomb the hell out of Iran or anyone else they will find a way with or without Turkey and its infantile tantrums.
It's our country. It's our archives. It's our Ambassadors and diplomatic evidence. Turkey needs to grow up, face its dark past and begin taking baby steps into the modern era of diplomacy void of deploying hollow diplomatic reprisals for talking about historical facts they keep under lock and key in Ankara.
Farcical attempts at reconciliation will solve nothing unless negotiations with Turkey begin with the truth of the Armenian Genocide.
3/3/2010 11:46:09 AM
I don't understand Professor Barkey. He is clear enough about how the word genocide has been abused in the mouths of various groups, and he does not want to let them chew it opportunistically again and again, but taking it out of circulation, even where it applies, only benefits the Turks and punishes the Armenians, and what good does that do?
3/3/2010 11:19:00 AM
hmmmmm, didn't know there was an "AAPAC", but I suppose it makes sense.
Meanwhile, I expect the Turks to apologize for Armenia the day after the Israelites apologize for Jericho and others (the original genocide).
3/3/2010 10:40:37 AM
It just ugly politics of course, but I just do not see that we are in any morally unimpeachable position, to call genocide upon others.
How about the millions of Vietnamese we killed? No big deal?
How about the perhaps half million Iraqis dead from our invasion on entirely false reasons? And all its resultant chaos and death? No big deal?
How about the treatment of American natives, no big deal? Or dropping atomic bombs on defenseless cities? No big deal?
It all stinks.
3/3/2010 10:25:15 AM
This article surprised me since Henri J. Barkey is not a person from whom I would have expected would encourage 'real politik'. After all, in his book Turkey's Kurdish Question he dared to state that the PKK are not terrorists and that the Turkish government, if it wants to solve its Kurdish problem, must find a political solution.
However, in this article, I believe he does err in advising the US not to adopt the Armenian Genocide resolution. He has a point, the Armenians have been much less sensitive to others' Genocides than to their own. However, the United States should not compare itself morally to Armenia, the Kurds, the Turks or anyone else for that matter. The morality of smaller nations is restricted and inward, animated largely by their own grievances and oblivious to the grievances of others. America is different. It should set the standard so that America's founding principles continue to be "self-evident" to the world, so that rather than cynicism, its principles continue to prevail.
For years America has treated Turkey with kid gloves for good reason -- Turkey is an important ally. However, is it not apparent that America's blind encouragement of Turkish nationalism has in the end not benefited either country? Extreme nationalism have made most Turks impervious to the reality of certain problems within their country and has bred paranoia regarding those who try to lift the distortion surrounding these sensitive issues. America must be kind to its ally and yet firm, for the sake of the Turks and for the sake of the future of its relationship.
3/3/2010 10:22:34 AM
Yes, drop this and do something constructive for a change, OK CONgress!?!
3/3/2010 9:03:43 AM
The historian Patrick Geary wrote:
"As a tool of nationalist ideology, the history of Europe's nations ... has turned our understanding of the past into a toxic waste dump, filled with the poison of ethnic nationalism, and the poison has seeped deep into popular consciousness. Cleaning up this waste is the most daunting challenge facing historians today."
as a step towards cleaning up this waste dump, congress should abandon an ill-conceived appeal to nationalist grievances.
3/3/2010 8:41:08 AM
Since it was genocide, call it genocide. If the Turks don't like that, too bad. Unless they admit what they did, they will do it again. As for damage to US-Turkish relations, there will be none! When France considered such a measure, the Turks objected to kingdom come, but now trade more with France than before. Besides, all of Turkey's weapons are given by us.
As for the comments about events elsewhere, they are interesting, but have nothing to do with the genocide of the Armenians.
3/3/2010 7:50:25 AM
Let it go, for Xsakes. Leave it to the UN to figure out. What? We have the time and energy to spend on this historical issue? We're just making busy-work for a Congress that should address itself to other issues.
So I'm a secong-generation of Polish-American ancestors. I'm sure I could find an issue to bring up for consideration, whether good or bad for Poland. Am I interested, hell no.
Let Turkey and the Armenians argue about their own history. I'm fed up with this revisionist approach to history, as though it had impact on present-day reality.
Hell, we cannot even learn about the history of Afghanistan to know that our intervention there is doomed to failure. Instead we are bound and determined to waste our resources on a lost cause.
If we permit the Turkey/Armenian question to enter our discourse we will be inviting yet another involvement in which we have no business. There is no need for a public statement on our sentiments. Whatever they may be, they have no relevance as far as foreign policy is concerned.
Hands off. Keep out.
3/3/2010 7:25:12 AM
That did you expected? What "parade of genocides" was started far before Armenian case. They just catch the wave. Soon we will hear again about Vandeya destruction, Irish massacre, Haiti several times, about sipâhi, Anglo-Boer Wars, and, you know, The Reds in USA.
3/3/2010 6:08:23 AM
Open Letter to the Chairman Howard L. Berman and the 46 Members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on, “Battle over History’’, to be aired by CBS 60 Minute, Feb. 28, 2010
which should be referred to as:
“ Battle over History with Fabrications, Forged Documents, and Armenian Distortion of Facts”
February 27, 2010, Saturday
CBS will air a segment on the Armenian issue on its 60 Minute program on February 28, just 3 days before the House Foreign Affairs Committee is scheduled to vote on the House Resolution 252, “Affirmation of the United States Record on the Armenian genocide Resolution,” on March 4, 2010. Most Turkish-Americans and their friends will be watching the program, as I am sure most of you also will, since this program is seen by many as propaganda material to influence your votes. Some of you have already declared your intentions, such as Rep. Brad Sherman of California where over a million Armenians live and where the Resolution was originated, who has stated that he will vote “yes”. Others have stated that they have not made up their minds, such as Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota, which is understandable, since he, like yourselves and the millions of Americans have been bombarded with Armenian propaganda for over 45 years which is based on fabrications, forged documents and distortion of facts, as a result of which the truth has been lost.
Ara Kociyan, the Director of Armenian language newspaper Jamanak published in Istanbul, presented a balanced view of the Armenian issue and the events of 1915 in a book published in 1991, in the following manner, showing that the truth has been lost through Falsifications, Fabrications and Distortions and Books that tell half-truths and ignore the Turkish history on the alleged Armenian genocide issue:
“During the First World War, Turkey was in the danger of being swallowed up by foreign nations. To achieve this, they endeavored to break up the country internally by brainwashing some Armenians with the promise of an independent Armenia. They gave them money and weapons, encouraging them to start guerilla and underground activities. The Ottoman state, in order tp preserve Anatolia, forced Armenians living in places where guerilla attacks took place to move elsewhere. At that time, unfortunately, we must confess that the innocent suffered along with the guilty, but even in thopse conditions, the Turks did not withheld help from their neighbors. Unfortunately, people still exist from abroad who seek opportunity to realize this dream, people who have not learned their lesson from history (Turkey, p.92).”
If you look at the events of 1915 objectively, you will see that Turkey was a country that was occupied on four sides, a country where in ten years prior to 1915, seven million people had been forced to move location, a country that the imperial powers had a lot of plan for, as was shown in the Sevr treaty that was rejected by the Turks under the leadership of one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century, Mustaf Kemal Ataturk who admired America and Americans greatly.
While the Ottoman army was fighting at the frontiers of the empire, a civil war started by the Armenians was waging during the catastrophic First World War, hoping to create a state of their own on lands where they were not the majority. The Armenian revolts resulted in the massacre of Turks who retaliated and killed Armenians to protect themselves and their families, and forced the Ottoman government to relocate Armenians in eastern Anatolia which caused more deaths, can not be labeled as genocide. You should be on the side of the fallen Turks as well, not only the Armenians who deceived the Americans through false and fabricated stories.
Ninety five years after the tragic events which started long before 1915 when the Armenians fired the first shot, self-proclaimed genocide scholars and opportunist academicians are going from campus to campus and appearing on TV programs to brainwash the unsuspecting Americans with talks, lectures and books filled with distortions, fabrications and falsified documents. Hrant Dink, the late publisher of the weekly Armenian-Turkish newspaper AGOS, in his only book that was published after he was killed by an ignorant and sick person, “Two Close People, Two Faraway Neighbors”, states that, Resolutions hinder the reconciliation of the two peoples, futher stating that supporters of the Armenian allegations have produced over 26,000 publications to allege their cause against may be less then 100 that explain the other side of the story. Without an evidence of a Government decision, and an International Court verdict, the massacres of Armenians that were committed in retaliation to the massacres of Turks by the Armenians can not be labeled as genocide.
3/3/2010 4:38:33 AM
I find this article quite troubling. The United States is supposed to be world leader. Leader of freedom and democracy around the world. As such, it cannot continue to condone the acts of genocide denial simply because it is an ally that is committing them. Its not only the Armenians that is frustrated with lag behind the over two dozen countries (including Canada, France, and other world leaders)and an overwhelming majority of US states that have passed similar measures recognizing the genocide; but the world human rights community as well. Genocides intervention and prevention starts with properly recognizing genocides of the past. The US cannot afford to remain silent. And as far as the "Genocide Debate" is concerned, the Turkish Lobby doesn't even make the argument of weather or not the acts committed constitute genocide. Raphael Lempkin (who coined the term Genocide had the Armenian Genocide in mind when he did so). Its a well documented genocide recognized unanimously as such by the international association of genocide scholars, the leading authority on the issue.
The United States needs to restore its moral authority and standing in the world. Some argue we cannot afford to alienate an ally. But at what expense? The last step of genocide is genocide denial. If we continue to allow Turkey to deny this genocide we become no better than its perpetrators. Are we going to set the precedent to allow future genocides to occur? Lets not forget it was Hitler, in making his case for the Holocaust, exclaimed "Who now remembers the Armenians". As a society who's supposed to lead the world, passage of this measure is long overdue.
3/3/2010 4:30:44 AM
The Armenian Resolution is not a farce, as Henry Barkey portrays, but a disgrace and a tragedy which is nothing but "truth that has been lost through false allegations, distortions and fabricated stories as told during the 10 minutes of CBS 60 Minute segment on "Battle Over History" aired on 28 Feb 2010. Based on my 45 years of research and study of this issue since 1965 when the alleged Armenian genpcide was groaned for personal gains, including vengeance, I can safely state that the 1915 events that started long before when the Armenians fired the first shot, can not be labeled as genocide.
3/3/2010 4:24:06 AM
Author has conceded in his previous article that if it were not for the resolution, Turkish government would not have agreed to the protocol.
"Its (Turkish) government agreed to the protocols, in part because it wanted to prevent the U.S. administration and Congress from passing a resolution describing the Armenian massacres as genocide." - Henri J. Barkey, Los Angeles Times, February 05, 2010
I would like to remind the author that the Turkish government has not ratified the protocols. Thus, even to achieve author's goal, the resolution is very necessary political force to keep the pressure on Turkey.
Thank you to all the constituents, Armenian & non-Armenian, for communicating to your Congressman the great need to pass this resolution.
This resolution is an excellent case were both political, geo-political and humanitarian causes are in harmony.
3/3/2010 3:37:47 AM
Muslims slaughtering unarmed Armenian women and children is genocide? Of course not. It is only second nature.
If you read a it about it, you might be convinced that it was another bout in the "endless cycle of violence" , a result of past religious wars between Islam and Christianity, and perhaps so. Or perhaps ask any Bulgarian what he thinks of Turkish customs.
3/3/2010 1:06:48 AM
What will surely become a farce is our once-great nation if our leaders subscribe to morally bankrupt policies like the one promoted by this uninformed author. He admits it was Genocide, but argues that the U.S. should bow to Turkish bullying. Turkey! A country that lives off of World Bank $$ and American weapons is threatening the most powerful nation in the world, and this author thinks we should fear them and do whatever they say! F--- that! France stood up to Turkey and passed a similar resolution about 5 years ago, and since then exports from France to Turkey have tripled! Is this author trying tell us that the French are braver than us?
3/3/2010 12:48:34 AM
Native Americans on reservations often go to bed hungry. They earn less than 6,000 per annum on average. Many have seen neither a doctor nor a dentist in years.
Visit a reservation one day. It will be difficult for you to imagine that you are within the United States.
Native Americans are owed more money than we can every give them. And, yes, the slaughter of the Native Americans constitutes genocide.
Meanwhile the American Whiteskins, continue to use them as mascots, etc.
"Congress," such as it is, needs to name the Indian genocide for what it is, for what it continues to be. It also needs to abolish the BIA and start over.
This, however, is a separate issue from the Armenian genocide.
Compensation is overdue by hundreds of years. Interest has been accrued.
3/3/2010 12:19:23 AM
When Blacks and Native American Indians complain about the horrors of slavery and extermination they are told to forget about because it’s in the past. When Armenians complain about their problems Congress considers passing a house resolution to address their “suffering”. Is there a double standard here? Why is it that we Americans find it okay to condemn another country for the SAME crimes that we committed against Blacks and Native Americans? If Congress wants to help the Armenians get land and money from Turkey, then Congress should lead by example and offer American land and American money to Blacks and Native Americans.
3/3/2010 12:08:44 AM
Re: Your post
3/2/2010 11:45:10 PM
The author is correct when he says that this resolution is a farce and largely the result of "lawmakers worried about responding to Armenian-American constituents". As JillK1 stated above: "My only beef with the article is that it's just not true that the majority of HISTORIANS agree that the Armenian tragedy was genocide. All the leading historians of the Ottoman Empire and the middle East point to a much more complicated history." Armenian Propagandists love to point to Genocide "Scholars" but the fact of the matter that these "Genocide Scholars" are entierely self-proclaimed and their claim to be a "World Authority" on genocide is clearly preposterous.
Partial list of Authoritative Western Historians who reject the "genocide" label for the 1915 events:
1. William Batkay, Associate Professor at Montclair State University
2. Arend-Jan Boekestein, Professor International Relations at Utrecht University and also Member of Parliament in The Netherlands
3. Levon Panos Dabagyan, Armenian historian and writer
4. Roderic Davidson (RIP), former Professor at George Washington University
5. Paul Dumont, Professor at Strasbourg-II University, Director of the Institut Français d'études Anatoliennes (French Institute of Anatolian Studies, Istanbul)
6. Gwynne Dyer, Ph.D. in Ottoman Military History
7. Edward J. Erickson, Ph.D. in Ottoman Military History, Researcher at Birmingham University
8. David Fromkin, Professor at Boston University
9. Edwin A. Grosvenor
10. Michael M. Gunter, Professor at Tennessee University
11. E.Y. Hooijmaaijers, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, The Netherlands
12. J.C. Hurwitz, former Professor at Columbia University
13. Eberhard Jäckel, Professor Emeritus at Stuttgart University
14. Steven T. Katz
15. Avigdor Levy, Professor at Brandeis University
16. Bernard Lewis, Professor Emeritus at Princeton University
17. Guenter Lewy, Professor Emeritus at Massachusetts University
18. Heath Lowry, Professor at Princeton University
19. Andrew Mango, Researcher at University of London
20. Peter Mansfield, Professor of Middle East Politics at Willamette University, Oregon
21.Robert Mantran (RIP), former Professor of Turkish and Ottoman History at Aix-Marseille University
22. Justin McCarthy, Professor at Louisville University
23. Pierre Nora, former Professor at School of High Studies in Social Sciences (École des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, Paris), Member of the French Academy
24. Pierre Oberling, Professor at Hunter College
25. Dankwart Rostow
26. Jeremy Salt, Professor of Political Science at Melbourne University
27. Stanford J. Shaw (RIP), former Professor at UCLA and Bilkent University
28. Philip H. Stoddard, Ph.D. in Ottoman Military History
29. Norman Stone, Professor at Bikent University
30. Dr. Hew Strachan (Ph.D), Chichele Professor of the History of War at Oxford University ( labels the issue "still not clear" )
31. Gilles Veinstein, Professor at Collège de France
32. Annette Wieviorka, Researcher at the French National Center for Scientific Research (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris)
33. Dr. Malcolm Yapp Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of The Modern History of Western Asia at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London
34. Robert F. Zeidner, Ph.D. in Ottoman Military History
3/2/2010 11:41:36 PM
Bunch of hypocrites these Muslims. Every body committs genocide but Muslims?
And it is Muslims who every day are targeting and massacring innocent civilans in some part of the world. I will write to my Congressman to pass this bill and to stop Muslim migration.
3/2/2010 11:40:18 PM
Mr Barkley is a bit naive in thinking that Turkey will ever man up unless it is forced to do so. Many other countries have had the basic human decency to admit the truth, it time the US followed their leadership.
As for Israel/Ahmenidijad/Armenia, that situation arose because Israel, for decades, has been strongly pressuring the US to actually fear Turkey.
Ah, no. Israel has not been doing this. Moreover, it is a delusional statement. Precisely, how did you come up with it?
Unfortunately, the Christian/Catholic establishment is extremely hostile to Turkey, which is far from constructive. Moreover, their motives are unclear, since they don't seem to concern the Armenian genocide or Cyprus.
Israel? What are you blathering about?
3/2/2010 11:32:10 PM
The hell with both Israel and Palestine. They can both go keep rotting. If it wasn't them fighting there, it would be someone else fighting there. It is the unholy land, cursed for uncounted generations with endless war over nothing.
None of them want peace, no one in the area would allow peace, and if it wasn't the Jews who were there it would be some other group of fools blowing each other up over nothing, just like it has always been in the past there.
War in that area pre-exists the Old Testament & even many organized writing systems. Only a fool would think it can be stopped today.
The Romans had the right idea, they left. If the Jews & Palestinians had any sense, they would both do the same.
3/2/2010 11:31:14 PM
I'm not often moved to comment on op-eds in the Post, but in this case, I'm making an exception: this is pure tripe. There is no right or wrong time to recognize an injustice; no political or diplomatic endeavor is worth the pain of perpetual overup and denial. There is nothing to be argued or discussed here; virtually every credentialed historian recognizes that what happened in 1915 was in fact genocide. The US is absolutely right to get involved in trying to bring about universal recognition.
To an Armenian-American, Mr. Barkey's suggestions are as offensive as the writings of David Duke are to a Jewish-American. This is the equivalent of stating that "no moral good" came of recognizing the Holocaust. I would suggest that Barkey reexamine his morals.
3/2/2010 11:30:58 PM
.."It'd be better if they used their power to end ongoing fights than to pick old ones", well Mr. Barkey, the reason there is ongoing fights is because we never solved and came to terms with the old ones!! The 6 million plus Armenian Diaspora will not fold or walk away because Turkish paid lobbyists say so.
Bottom line. If Armenian Americans want to see this happen, they will have to wage a battle against Islamist lobbyists and their Oil Power.
No small feat, but it can be done.
3/2/2010 11:29:05 PM
Mr Barkley is a bit naive in thinking that Turkey will ever man up unless it is forced to do so. Many other countries have had the basic human decency to admit the truth, it time the US followed their leadership.
As for Israel/Ahmenidijad/Armenia, that situation arose because Israel, for decades, has been strongly pressuring the US to actually fear Turkey. So giving Ahmenidijad, the holocaust denier, an honorary degree was just a tiny hello to Israel, the Armenian Genocide denier, (for their own local gain).
So, ALL the facts point to genocide.
Turkey, hiding the Ottoman's old sin, will never admit it.
Its as if Hitler was never defeated fully. Would he ever admit the Holocoust if he was not forced to?
No. Criminals do not confess. They are caught, and then forced to confront the truth.
Then, once convicted, they just happen to find religion/remorse/humanity, to get a lesser sentence.
They will never be 'remorseful' until they are caught, by someone with some decency to do the right thing.
Turkey needs the US way more than we need them. So for all their childish/self-embarrassing talk, they will always keep coming back for more.
3/2/2010 11:29:02 PM
.."It'd be better if they used their power to end ongoing fights than to pick old ones", well Mr. Barkey, the reason there is ongoing fights is because we never solved and came to terms with the old ones!! The 6 million plus Armenian Diaspora will not fold or walk away because Turkish paid lobbyists say so.
3/2/2010 11:26:58 PM
WHAT about SUDAN? Exactly how many more genocides will we observe? And exactly how much later will be debate about what whether to call it for what it is?
Would it not have been better to stop the genocide in SUDAN? Which is not over?
Sudanese refugees, as we know, are stll being shot by Egyptians. They are still trying to make it to tiny Israel.
Why are the Eyptian Islamists murdering the Sudanese Muslims? Isn't Egypt big enough to accommodate them? Aren't there other Muslim or Christian nations that can take them?
ETHIOPIAN JEWS, some of whom were tortured by the Sudanese Muslims, do not want to live with their torturers, yet tiny Israel has resumed its acceptance of the Sudanese refugees.
FIRST GENOCIDE IN SUDAN. THEN refusal to call it genocide. THen Egypt killing refugees.
What hypocrites some mortals be.
3/2/2010 11:25:17 PM
Genocide is genocide. What the Turks did to the Armenians was genocide.
YOU DO THE CRIME, you do the time.
Pass the resolution. It's long, long overdue. And while you're at it, let's talk about Cyprus.
3/2/2010 11:20:10 PM
Well you can't really pick and chose amongst your genocides, which is why Ahmadinejad wussied out on showing up.
I'd like to hear Erdogan comment on Saddam's use of chemical weapons on his own citizens in the context of genocide. That would be fun to watch for sure.
Truthfully, this notion of a "Great Catastrophe" is a better description of what happened in Turkey. When I read this line, my first reaction was one of `is this Obama using a term of art?' until I thought about it & re-read that it was originated with the Armenians, and realized it was not. Instead it's a more accurate description of events as a whole.
Genocide is an easy word to throw around, but it is not very descriptive as a term. It also by definition is a word that is exclusive. In this case, and in others, it's use excludes all the other apples in the sack of bad that people end up carrying due to the kinds of conflicts that degenerate to the point where genocidal behavior takes place.
"Great Catastrophe" reflects the larger perspective, and is non-exclusive. Both sides can own this description pretty well.
I think there are probably some similar uses of language in the history of the US after the civil war that are also examples of this type of speaking of the past.
Since this was a conflict between Armenians & Turks, and not a conflict involving the USA, perhaps we can set a better example with a resolution that uses better language than the use of the word "genocide".
I can't see any problem with condemning the entire history of the event as an awful time between these people.
How else to tell them to move on with life and accept the past as immutable? In the end they share that they hate what happened, and do not want it to happen again. The USA can only really observe that truth fairly, because we were not involved.
3/2/2010 11:17:58 PM
This hypocrisy is not the last. I simply has no limits. Recently, it has been perpetrated against poor Sudanese government in Darfur to press for oil gains, as later has come to be another big media farce, paid for by certain lobby guys, including congress members.
The Weapons of Mass Destruction farce is another in our recent memory.
Guantanamo prison and incarceration of innocent Muslims for seven years or more without charge or trial, nor restitution is a stain in American moral stance and the respect of human dignity.
While all this is done, Israeli Zionists are still killing civilians in Gaza and Dubai, with full support and consent of the so-called congress for use of American Weaponry and Finance, more than that the Israeli Assassin Gangs whose job is killing people in Hotels outside Israel with full congress permission to using US Credit Cards.
This is the real congress who actually run a foreign policy that brings havoc on America..
Who is really running America?. It is the Zionist Lobby in Washington. There is nothing called US Congress. No more. It's all FARCE.
3/2/2010 11:12:26 PM
Bravo. Avery informative piece. However, seeing the hesitancy of Turkey to allow US troops to operate against northern Iraq, I applaud Congress for at least floating the resolution. Turkey is no friend of ours. We kid ourselves to think otherwise.
3/2/2010 10:53:02 PM
western hypocracy. The ongoing ethnic cleansing of palestinians by apartheid israel is occuring right now with the help of western countries.
3/2/2010 10:48:17 PM
I guess if you want to be the globe's moral arbitrer and cop, you have to take a position on every bitterly held for seven generations ethnic hatred that's out there.
George Washington had a better idea in his farewell address. I'm not quoting him directly, but he basically said, "Leave it alone". For good reason.
3/2/2010 10:16:01 PM
To put this issue into perspective, look to Turkey today and its history relating to minorities since its founding in 1923. In 1955 there were riots in Turkey where Turks killed Greeks and Armenians and burned their homes. There was also an exorbitant tax upon all non-Muslims, including Jews, Greeks and Armenians whereupon many could not pay the tax, were therefore sent into chain-gangs and died in chain-gangs. Turkey could resolve these issues by changing its current policies to be more receptive to minorities and making amends for its oppressive policies of the past.
3/2/2010 9:45:14 PM
If it was a Genoside it should be called a Genoside.
All problems between Armenia and Tukey will be solved if the truth is acknowleged and there is no more room for deniers and liers. Otherwise it will continue forever.
3/2/2010 9:35:27 PM
No nation has the right to throw stones at others...
We are talking about a historical accusation, not a current one. If Congress starts writing history and pretend to be the world's conscience, it should start here, at home.
First pass Resolutions on the genocide of the Amerian Indian, an apology for slavery (and add reparations if you will), apologize and offer reparations for the hundreds and thousands of victims Hiroshima and Nagazaki, the hundreds of thousands of civilians that were killed and died otherwise as we waged a war against the spread of communism, an apology for our devastation of the nation of Iraq for God knows what purpose...then start throwng stones.
While you're at it, condemn Belgium for the Congolese massacres, France for the atrocities it committed in Algier, the British for their crimes against the Asian Indians, Russia for the 20 million MUSLIMS AND CHRISTIANS murdered under Stalin...
The fact is that the Armenian Resolution is designed as step 1 for the Armenian lobby to ride on America's back to get reparations and restitution from modern Turkey.
Don't take my word for it, here's what they say:
“ [T]he reason why Armenians want to recognize the Armenian Genocide today – want the Congress and other countries to be on record – is because they wanted restitution and they wanted reparations. And I say to that 'Yes, we do!' It is important not only to recognize the genocide but we have to make it clear that those who committed it pay restitution. There has to be reparations because if there is no pain, if there is no consequence of genocide recognition, then that all would be futile. There must be recognition, there must be restitution, there must be reparations for the Armenian Genocide."
- New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone, Co-Chair of the Congressional Armenian Caucus, as quoted by the Armenian National Committee of America.
“ [I] call upon you to support Armenian Genocide legislation that will come before Congress, to pressure the Turkish government to acknowledge the truth, and to use the full influence of your office to work toward a just resolution - including full reparations and restitution - of this crime against the Armenian people.”
- Armenian National Committee of America Chairman Ken Hachikian in his letter to President George W. Bush, May 3, 2005.
My only beef with the article is that it's just not true that the majority of HISTORIANS agree that the Armenian tragedy was genocide. All the leading historians of the Ottoman Empire and the middle East point to a much more complicated history.
At any rate, if anyone is amoral here, it's the Armenian lobby, which has fougth the establishment of a joing historical commission tooth and nail (and gotten the support of a bunch of pseudo-scholars and activists). This was proposed by Turkey's Prime Minister in 2005 and both the Turkihs Prime Minister and President pledged to accept its findings.
What did the Armenian lobby do? They called for the head of the Armenian President who finally in 2009 signed on to such a commission.
Alas, the answer is simple. If Armenians want healing and acknowledgment of this tragedy - which I would certainly want to happen and believe Armenians deeply deserve - they're looking for it in the wrong place. That place is Turkey and Turks are ready to do that.
If they want land and money, as they say they do, they should not expect Turkey to pussyfoot as they seek to get there through "cash-and-carry" American politics.
3/2/2010 8:25:42 PM
Theere could be no better concluding statement than the judgment that American Congressmen would be better advised to use their power to end ongoing fights than pick on old ones. In Israel two days ago, Moshe Dayan's widow, Ruth, was wise enough to tell Gideon Levy during an iterview, in response to his question whether she is proud, or ashamed, to be an Israeli " It depends. I am proud to be an Israeli on a limited basis.... We go from war to war. And it's mainly Israel's fault.... We're a mob that can't even get along internally. So we're going to get along with them?"
One would transpose that to the US without having to change even one word. In fact, it's worse. Because Turkey is such an important ally of the US.
3/2/2010 8:02:59 PM
Forget this stupidity. There is real genocide going on today. The genocide of the Palestinian people.
This is Israel Apartheid Week. Support Palestine. End the terrorism. End the Genocide.
3/2/2010 7:30:28 PM
House dems area pretty sad group raising this issue just because 2010 is an election year. A pox on their house
3/2/2010 7:24:59 PM
Cynicism As A Fix:
Forget about the millions of Christians
that Trotsky killed- because that is long past. And the
other million of Armenian Christians that were killed - let that too be swept under the rug. There is only one
genocide that is to be remembered and not swept under
rug; it is a protected species not subject to cynicism.
3/2/2010 5:49:36 PM
Genocide - extermination of a race - is a political crime. Genocides
are not committed by private individuals, but by the state itself.
The reference to historians and historical science in regard to the
Armenian Genocide is a tactical and spurious argument to relieve the
world governments from the responsibility to act while simultaneously
giving the perpetrators carte blanche. The proper reaction to political
crimes is therefore only possible through political response - from
the parliamentary houses, the politicians and the governments.
3/2/2010 5:45:48 PM
So by the say logic if the Holocaust had been denied by Germany until say... 2035 does it mean the US wouldn't have to call it Holocaust any more? Hey, it happened almost 100 years ago, right?
3/2/2010 5:28:20 PM
This column is another piece of turcophile propaganda with a twist. Henri Barkey, not to completely ruin his credentials, does not deny a Genocide took place. It merely says it's a thing of the past and Armenians and Turks ought to sort it out, something akin to saying let Germany (assuming it wasn't defeated in World War II) and Jews work out whether the Holocaust really took place, and why bother since it happened a long time ago. He also omits from saying that Turkish Prime Minister among the genocide accusations he has been throwing around also included the claim that Israel committed "genocide" against Palestinians in a heated argument he had with Israeli President Shimon Peres. Why does Barkey omit that? To nauseatingly try to portray Armenia as indifferent towards Ahmadinejad's anti-Jewish remarks and skip --without saying that Iran has proved a far more reliable neighbour for Armenia than the rest of them over the last 20 years if not two centuries-- the fact that Turkey is actually led by an anti-Semitic government like Erdogan's, whose country airs anti-Semitic TV shows. At least Barkey's turcophile propaganda with a new savoir-faire does include a reluctant acknowledgment of the Genocide. Still, I wonder how clean he will come out of doing the Turks' dirty work.
3/2/2010 5:27:12 PM
Is there any moral and shame at all?
IF Ahmadinejad and Shimon Peres are not willing to accept the fact of Armenian Genocide and are not wiling to call a spade a spade; it doesn’t mean that White House and US Congress should fallow the example of Genocide /Holocaust deniers!
Why should the US build a relationship with Turkey based on lies and denial of Armenian Genocide?
Turkey’s chronic inability to face the truth is cutting the Turkish people off from the rest of the world. Once again a coalition of brainwashed ultra-Nationalists and Turkish palace historians, supported by a multi-million dollar public relations campaign on behalf of Turkish holocaust-deniers have launched their annual aggressive campaign against the truth and recognition of the Armenian Genocide. Denial of genocide is nothing but a second killing. The current orchestrated campaign of the Turkish government is just as systematic, coordinated and criminal as the genocide carried out in 1915!
There can not be any excuses and/or justifications for the extermination of a race. Unfortunately, 95 years after the start of the genocide campaign, Turkey’s current rude and shameless denial policy can be characterized just as perverse. Turkey has to understand that the invented glorious history of Turkish bureaucrats - the very ideology of the state itself - is not only biased and based on racism and justification of genocide, but that the corresponding industry of genocide denial, like the genocide itself is a crime against all humanity. It is the mentality of the Turkish politicians as well as the ignorance of genocide deniers which has to be changed, not the facts on Armenian Genocide. What was happened was and remains genocide. It is The Armenian Genocide.
As a result of the genocide, any trace of Armenians is being wiped away by Turkey from their native homeland in today’s Anatolia. No intelligent, seriously-thinking person questions the fact of the systematic annihilation of the Armenians by Turkey. Denial of the Armenian Genocide is similar as to justify slavery, or to label the terrible terror act of 9/11 an “accident”, or to deny the Jewish Holocaust. Furthermore, it is a denial of the history of unprecedented American humanitarian acts and reports of American diplomats during the Armenian Genocide. Finally, it is the denial of American history.
While progressive Turkish intellectuals risk their lives by challenging the Turkish denial policy, a group on Capitol Hill is not only blackmailing US but this group is busy propagating Turkish, fabrications and lies too. Why should we be surprised after all, when the Jewish Holocaust is being denied more aggressively? Turkey is given carte blanche; for denying the Armenian Genocide and re-writing of the history of Armenian Genocide, for psycho-terror against the successors of this genocide. Turkey is blackmailing and finally threatening an “ally”. What are the consequences? Once again: Why should the US build a relationship with Turkey based on lies and denial of Armenian Genocide?
3/2/2010 5:19:31 PM
One of the most incoherent articles I have read in a long time.
"They support the resolution only to score points with the highly organized Armenian-American lobby."
First of all, the Armenian-American "lobby" is a group of true grassroots organizations supported almost completely by individual contributions from tax-paying Armenian-Americans. The fact that they're organized is purely to their credit... these are concerned individuals fighting for a cause. The Republic of Armenia, blockaded by Turkey and its Azeri sidekicks, can barely manage its own bills.
The Turkish lobby is propped up almost entirely by the Turkish government. Its representatives in the US are almost entirely non-Turk hired hands. Numerous exposes have revealed the intricate web of deceit spun by Ankara via endowed chairs in universities, back-door military dealings, and the like.
And the Armenian community, concentrated in a few districts in CA and MA, are hardly an influential voting bloc.
This is a struggle between American citizens and a foreign government.
3/2/2010 4:54:27 PM
I think the author is being overly cynical. Yes - it is understood that when the word "genocide" is bandied about by various Totalitarians in the Middle East, it is done without basis, serving temporary political purposes for domestic consumption. However, the word "genocide" still carries deep meaning in Western countries. Not only are we third-parties in this genocide, our political process and the objectiveness of our education systems still carries great weight to most of the world. Thus, having the slaughter of 1.5 million Christian Armenians (finally!) officially recognized as a genocide goes a long way towards recognizing historical reality, to ensure subsequent generations cannot deny what took place in 1915.
3/2/2010 4:46:14 PM
It's goog that the House is taking up such vital issues. After all, it's not like Wall Street is still tossing around credit default swaps like blackjack dealers.
3/2/2010 4:45:40 PM
It's goog that the House is taking up such vital issues. After all, it's not like Wall Street is still tossing around credit default swaps like blackjack dealers.
3/2/2010 4:45:40 PM
"To be clear, the overwhelming historical evidence demonstrates that what took place in 1915 was genocide." So where is the farce?
3/2/2010 4:19:07 PM