That Armenian Genocide Thing

For over 100 years the Armenians have been trying to get the world to hold the Turks responsible for the deaths of thousands of Armenians during and after World War One….

And for that century the Armenians have been trying to get the world to recognize the genocide…….The US in the past has ignored the genocide because Turkey was a valued customer and ally…..

On the eve of World War I, there were two million Armenians in the declining Ottoman Empire. By 1922, there were fewer than 400,000. The others — some 1.5 million — were killed in what historians consider a genocide.

As David Fromkin put it in his widely praised history of World War I and its aftermath, “A Peace to End All Peace”: “Rape and beating were commonplace. Those who were not killed at once were driven through mountains and deserts without food, drink or shelter. Hundreds of thousands of Armenians eventually succumbed or were killed .”

The man who invented the word “genocide”— Raphael Lemkin, a lawyer of Polish-Jewish origin — was moved to investigate the attempt to eliminate an entire people by accounts of the massacres of Armenians. He did not, however, coin the word until 1943, applying it to Nazi Germany and the Jews in a book published a year later, “Axis Rule in Occupied Europe.”

Now that the Turks are on the new “shit list” it is time for the US to step up….

The U.S. House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly on Tuesday to recognize the mass killings of Armenians a century ago as a genocide, a symbolic but historic vote instantly denounced by Turkey.

The Democratic-controlled House voted 405-11 in favor of a resolution asserting that it is U.S. policy to commemorate as genocide the killing of 1.5 million Armenians by the Ottoman Empire from 1915 to 1923. The Ottoman Empire was centered in present-day Turkey.

The vote marked the first time in 35 years that such legislation was considered in the full House, underscoring widespread frustration in Congress with the Turkish government, from both Democrats and President Donald Trump’s fellow Republicans.

This vote does little but to make the Congress appear to actually give a crap about what Turkey is doing in Syria.

A little history in the region and it involves the Kurds (remember them?  They are those people that the media is so concerned about)….those same people also participated in the genocide of the Armenians…..

Not widely known in the United States, but very well known in the region, is that among the most enthusiastic participants in the Armenian massacres of 1915 were Kurdish Muslim tribesmen, who largely inhabited the same regions of Anatolia as Armenian Christian peasants. This fact also goes unmentioned in the New York Times piece, but can be found by a casual perusal of Wikipedia, and the associated footnotes.

The Ottoman government of World War I (whose most important leaders, such as Kemal Pasha and Enver Pasha, were actually Albanians by ethnicity) considered Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians as a potential fifth column for the Russians, and made every effort to encourage Muslim attacks on them. The best parallel is with anti-Jewish pogroms in Czarist Russia of that same era, which were encouraged by government officials but mostly carried out by local Polish and Ukrainian peasants.

Kurdish Participation in the Armenian Genocide

It is all a game.

Sadly this is NOT the way to carry our foreign policy……it is childish and wimpy.

Turkey is pissed!

Turkey’s President Erdogan declared that he “strongly condemns” the House resolutions, calling them a “slander against our country,” and “the biggest insult toward our nation.” Turkey also summoned the US Ambassador to warn of a breakdown in US-Turkey relations.

This could indeed have long-term ramifications, because with all these US Representatives now having publicly voted to recognize the genocide, it’s going to be really hard for a future US government to unrecognize it to make Turkey happy.

Will greed replace outrage?

I Read, I Wrote, You Know

“Lego Ergo Scribo”

11 thoughts on “That Armenian Genocide Thing

      1. Certainly religious genocide of Armenians and not an attempt to blame as mere suggestion of religious persecution. . Ah, Muslims killing Muslims. Keeps their attention off Israel. The Kurds are desirous of a homeland , a Kurdistan statehood. Having a majority in pockets of Turkey(and Syria and Iraq) they have engaged in separatist activity including terrorism against the Turks (for many years) and Syrians in the effort to get a homeland. So the Turks see it as protecting their country and want to eliminate the terrorism and separatist threat in their country. They also want to export all the 2 million Syrian refugees. It seems nationalism has superseded the alleged unity in the Arab world based on Islam. Egyptians, Saudis, Iranians and all the other players are putting national interests and power against each other in the region and the partnership as fellow believers has drifted into irrelevance except for killing non believers. .

      2. The Turks wanted the land they occupied and the wealth they had accumulated…..religion had some part but not the only. chuq

  1. Successive western governments have been doing their best to sweep this under the carpet for decades now. Another historical atrocity that gets scant coverage, like the killing of hundreds of thousands of Chinese people by Japanese troops, in the 1930s.
    Best wishes, Pete.

  2. [Re Religion influence Islam world history]. First, agree Turkey wants land, wealth and oil fields but religion a powerful dynamic. First killing non believers is not murder or genocide nor a crime or sin in their minds. Non believers of Allah are the enemies of Allah. Unfortunately American policy makers don’t seem to know much world history and are certainly dismissive of the cultural ethos of much of the world. People of other countries have a connection with their past that westerners cannot even imagine. American policymakers see only the immediacy of the moment while these countries are linked to the past like Jews with Moses, Egypt with ancient greatness, Middle East’s cradle of civilization and carry resentments from history hundreds of years in the past in their present day world view and national identities. There is no past but a composite of the past which makes a cumulative present. Muslims remember being stopped by Charlemagne, the Crusades pre and post WW I European colonialism. Their present day self image is based on hundreds of years of religious history which gives them their present day corporate identity and justifications for villainizing the Christian West. Another example is dealing with the Russians who we criticize for their militarism and nukes. If my country lost millions of people and was burnt down and reduced to rubbish like in WW I and WW II, I’d want to be the most powerful nation so it never happens again which drives Putin’s patriotism to assert Russian influence on a competitive level with us. We don’t understand Russian or Islamic or Chinese motivations and consequently we don’t know with whom we are speaking.

  3. Remember the starving Armenians was my mother’s mantra to get my brother and I to eat what was offered. Turks love for genocide is not religious- just power and politics 🤬

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