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The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Denial of the Armenian Genocide

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  • The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Denial of the Armenian Genocide

    I decided to copy/paste an article for a change. It is prepared by the Zoryan Institue and it deals with the infamous Q/A, spread all over the Web on Turkish hate sites. I was thinking of dealing with the Q/A, but this article, which is more authoritative came to my help.
    I suggest that the moderator promote it to a sticky if possible, otherwise please add a link to this article under the forum rules for the denialists to read before bringing their regurgitated garbage to this website.
    Four things denialist Turks do when they are confronted with facts:

    I. They change the subject [SIZE="1"](e.g. they copy/paste tons of garbage to divert attention).[/SIZE]
    II. They project [SIZE="1"](e.g. they replace "Turk" with "Armenian" and vice versa and they regurgitate Armenian history).[/SIZE]
    III. They offend [SIZE="1"](e.g. they cuss, threaten and/or mock).[/SIZE]
    IV. They shut up and say nothing.

    [URL=""][COLOR="Red"]A country named Azerbaijan north of the Arax River [B]NEVER[/B] existed before 1918[/COLOR][/URL]

  • #2
    The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Denial of the Armenian Genocide 1

    The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Denial of the Armenian Genocide.
    (A Response to the Memorandum of the Turkish Ambassador)

    Prepared by the Zoryan Institute
    Revised August 1999

    © 1999 by The Zoryan Institute for Contemporary Armenian Research and Documentation
    19 Day Street
    Cambridge, MA 02140
    All rights reserved

    In April 1999 there was an initiative of some sixty Congressmen in the United States House of Representatives to pass a resolution "to provide in a collection all United States records related to the Armenian Genocide and the consequences of the failure to enforce the judgments of the Turkish courts against the responsible officials, and deliver the collection to the House International Relations Committee, to the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for incorporation into its holdings of official documentation on genocide and for purposes of public awareness and education, and to the Armenian Genocide Museum in Yerevan, Armenia." After enumerating eighteen findings affirming the historicity and importance of remembering the Armenian genocide, the Resolution went on to require that the above be done "Within six months of the enactment of this an act documenting and affirming the United States record of protest and recognition of this crime against humanity."
    It is the collection of the National Archives, which contain the World War I and post-World War I documentary records of the U.S. State Department that are at issue here. That department was entrusted with the task of collecting, through its officials stationed in Turkey at the time, evidence on the decision-making, organization, and implementation of the mass murder of the Ottoman Armenian population.
    The Turkish government, through its ambassador in Washington, D.C., wrote a letter to all Congressmen, dated May 27, 1999, which included an eleven-page report titled "An Objective Look At H.Res.155," with a view to blocking the passage of a resolution that proposes to utilize for purposes of research and scholarship the holdings of a strictly American institution.
    What follows is a revised version of the refutation the Zoryan Institute made to the Turkish ambassador's report. This rebuttal was endorsed by Congressman Steven Rothman and sent to all members of Congress. As of the date of this writing, the outcome of this Congressional resolution is not yet known.

    ...the troubles in Van and elsewhere merely served as a convenient excuse for getting a program of mass deportations and large-scale extermination started.
    [These measures led to] the Armenian holocaust....
    [The annihilation of the Armenians] was not the unfortunate by-product of an otherwise legitimate security program but the result of a deliberate effort by the Ittihad ve Terakki [Young Turk] regime to rid the Anatolian heartland of a politically troublesome ethnic group.
    - Ulrich Trumpener, Germany and the Ottoman Empire 1914-1918. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1968, pp. 203, 219, 268.

    Slowly, yet with increasing authoritativeness, the reality of the Turkish genocide perpetrated against the Armenian people has come to be accepted as established, incontrovertible fact. Such a process...has overcome formidable obstacles, especially the well-orchestrated, shameful, as yet ongoing campaign by the Turkish government to impose silence by promoting a variety of coopting devices, by disseminating various falsifications of the historical record, and through cajolery and intimidation.
    - Richard Falk, (Milbank Professor of International Law, Princeton University). From his foreword to the Special Issue of the Journal of Political and Military Sociology v. 22, no. 1 (Summer 1994): 1, titled, "The Armenian Genocide in Official Turkish Records," Roger Smith, guest editor.

    Because the perpetrators of the Armenian genocide were not prosecuted, the Nazi-organized Holocaust against the Jews became possible. There is a direct linkage between the failure to prosecute the crimes against humanity before World War II and their commission during World War II.
    This failure did not occur because there was no offense or because there was no jurisdiction. Both existed, and still the prosecutions did not occur. This reluctance to act, in spite of the offense and in spite of the jurisdiction, made the Nazis more brazen and the Holocaust more likely.
    - David Matas, "Prosecuting Crimes Against Humanity: The Lessons of World War I," Fordham International Law Journal (1989-90): 104.

    "The future of Holocaust denial may be foreshadowed by the persistent denial of the Armenian genocide."
    --Katherine Bischoping, "Method and Meaning in Holocaust-knowledge Surveys." Holocaust and Genocide Studies 12, no. 3 (Winter 1998): 463.

    The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Denial of the Armenian Genocide.
    (A Response to the Memorandum of the Turkish Ambassador)
    Prepared by the Zoryan Institute


    The Turkish government through its ambassador in Washington, D.C. once more has ventured to intervene in the American legislative process with a view to blocking the passage of a Resolution that proposes to utilize for purposes of research and scholarship the holdings of a strictly American institution, the National Archives, which contain the World War I and post-World War I documentary records of the U.S. State Department that are at issue here. That department was entrusted with the task of collecting, through its officials and functionaries stationed in wartime Turkey, evidence on the decision-making, organization, and implementation of the mass murder of the Ottoman Armenian population.
    One would think and hope that a government claiming to be infused with democratic principles would only welcome such a move. For decades now the world, especially the academic world, has been told by successive Turkish governments that only solid and reliable research based on primary sources and official documents can resolve the ongoing dispute they themselves have generated about the Armenian genocide. Obviously, and regrettably, the quest for truth in this connection is, and remains, a hollow pretense. Indeed, a state system that for more than eighty years withheld authentic material on this matter by selectively denying access to its archives to a host of researchers through resort to a variety of excuses, can hardly be expected to favor a Congressional Resolution that proposes to recharge the quest for truth by introducing new mechanisms of access to similar sets of primary sources and official documents.
    The overriding question, however, is not the attempt of the Turkish state to mobilize its vast resources in order to defeat this Resolution, but the quality of the impending response of the majority of the U.S. Congressmen and Congresswomen confronting this curious situation. What follows is an effort to examine with as little bias as possible the objections and sets of allegations put forward in a lengthy Memorandum by the ambassador, and to demonstrate the spurious character of some of them, and the untenable nature of most of them. In fact, practically all of these objections and allegations are part and parcel of the standard repertoire of Turkish denials that are repeated time after time blandly and almost ritually. It is as if none of them had been effectively rebutted and discredited by eighty years of research and publication by scholars not identified with Armenian interests. Given the critical importance of the problem at issue here, however, the need arises to confront this ill-founded and ill-advised challenge once more and deal with it appropriately.
    This is a response that transcends the particularity of the present case of denial and may well have application for other, future manifestations of denial by Turkish authorities.
    Four things denialist Turks do when they are confronted with facts:

    I. They change the subject [SIZE="1"](e.g. they copy/paste tons of garbage to divert attention).[/SIZE]
    II. They project [SIZE="1"](e.g. they replace "Turk" with "Armenian" and vice versa and they regurgitate Armenian history).[/SIZE]
    III. They offend [SIZE="1"](e.g. they cuss, threaten and/or mock).[/SIZE]
    IV. They shut up and say nothing.

    [URL=""][COLOR="Red"]A country named Azerbaijan north of the Arax River [B]NEVER[/B] existed before 1918[/COLOR][/URL]


    • #3
      The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Denial of the Armenian Genocide 2

      Alternate Use of the Words "Ottoman" and "Turkish"

      In the period in question here, all diplomatic correspondence as well as publications by many historians and political scientists continued the tradition of previous centuries to use the words "Ottoman" and "Turkish," and "Ottoman Empire" and "Turkey" interchangeably; nor were officials and learned men of the Ottoman Empire itself always exempt from this practice. The objection to this practice is in this sense, therefore, unwarranted. Moreover, the ostensible effort to dissociate the Turkish Republic of today as a new and separate entity from the imagery one has about the Ottoman Empire is contradicted by the recent statements of a Turkish Minister of Culture, Istemihan Talay. In an interview with two Turkish journalists he publicly declared that "the Republic of Turkey is the continuation of the Ottoman Empire whose legacy is part of our history." He was speaking on the occasion of the festivities celebrating the 700th anniversary of the founding of the Ottoman Empire. He further stated that "to be embarrassed on account of that empire's legacy is tantamount to denying one's very own being."1

      The Allegation of "Inter-Communal Clashes"

      This description denotes the idea of a kind of civil war supposedly resulting from the relative collapse of the authority of the central government. It implies that the Armenians, an impotent defenseless minority, were able to engage in armed conflict with the omnipotent and dominant Turks and the other Muslims ruling over them. The patent fallacy of such an allegation can be recognized by considering the following facts. On August 3, 1914, i.e. three months before Turkey precipitated the war with Russia, all able-bodied Armenian men in the 20-45 age categories, and later in sequences those in the 18-20 and 45-60 categories, were conscripted in the Ottoman army. What was left behind in the Armenian community was a mass of frightened, if not terrorized, old men, women and children still haunted by the memories of the cycle of the massacres that were committed in the decades preceding World War I. The question poses itself: how could these wretched people be in a position to contemplate, let alone mount, armed clashes against a population identified with and supported by a mighty empire, the Ottoman Empire? The might of that Empire was manifested in its ability to wage for four years a relentless multi-front war in alliance with two other mighty empires, the German (Hohenzollern), and the Austro- Hungarian (Hapsburg). According to Vice Marshall Pomiankowski, Austro-Hungary's military plenipotentiary, who throughout the war was attached to Ottoman General Headquarters, the Young Turk regime first liquidated the able-bodied Armenian men "in order to render defenseless the rest of the population" which, according to him, paved the ground for "their annihilation."2

      The Redundancy of the Argument of Armenian Rebelliousness

      The four instances of uprising were not only isolated, local, and disconnected incidents but, above all, they were improvised, last-ditch acts of desperation to resist imminent deportation and thereby avert annihilation. Being strictly defensive undertakings, practically all of the insurgents involved perished in the course of the operations regular Turkish army units launched against them to suppress the insurgency. By sheer chance and fortuitous circumstance only the insurgents of the Van uprising managed to survive when at last they were liberated by the advance units of the Russian Caucasus Army, which overwhelmed the surrounding Turkish defense positions and captured the city of Van. The term "chance" calls for emphasis, for but for the timely arrival of the Russian military units, the insurgents of Van were likewise doomed, given the inevitable depletion of their meager resources of defense, including ammunition and weapons, and the mounting casualties they were sustaining. A delay of two or three days in the arrival of the Russians would surely have sealed the fate of the desperate defenders. The following testimony of Vice Marshal Pomiankowski, mentioned above, succinctly encapsulates this plight of the Armenians. He characterized the Van uprising as "an act of despair" because the Armenians "recognized that the general butchery had begun in the environs of Van and that they would be the next victims."3 A similar judgment was expressed by Metternich, German ambassador to Turkey, and a Venezuelan military officer of Spanish extraction who was in charge of the artillery battery relentlessly bombarding and reducing the Armenian defense positions in Van. His eyewitness testimony has extraordinary value because, as he put it, he was "the only Christian who witnessed the Armenian massacres and the deportations in an official capacity...."4

      The Charge of Armenian Treachery

      Reference is made to "the Ottoman Armenians' violent political alliance with the Russian forces." One is prompted to ask, "what alliance" and "by which Ottoman Armenians?" In the annals of violent behavior inflicted upon defenseless human groups by tyrants, apologists have often taken refuge behind such utterly senseless generalizations. It is a matter of historical record that the leaders of the major Armenian political party, the Dashnaktzoutiun, as early as August 1914, publicly declared their allegiance to the Ottoman state and vowed as citizens of the state to fight for the defense of the country should the government, against all advice, decide to intervene in the war. It is likewise a historical fact that the religious head of Turkey's Armenian community, the Patriarch, through an encyclical, enjoined all the Armenian faithful in the provinces as well as the Ottoman capital to obey the governmental officials everywhere and loyally discharge their duties as Ottoman subjects. Nor can one dismiss the ancillary fact that the leaders of the above-cited Armenian political party did all they could to stop the Armenian volunteer movement that was gaining momentum in the adjoining Russian Trans-Caucasus, but failed. Still, the fact remains that the bulk of these volunteers eager to fight against the Turks in the ranks of the Russian army were either Russian subjects or citizens of various countries in Europe and North America. In any event, how could the presence of some Ottoman subjects, past and present, among these volunteers in any way justify the resort to the sweeping indictment of "Ottoman Armenians?" By the same token, why is the fact being ignored that thousands and thousands more Azeris and Kurds were likewise fighting against the Turks in the ranks of the Russian army? The same may be said about thousands of Jews from Russia and Europe who in 1915 served in the columns of the British Expeditionary Force at the Dardanelles and again in 1918 in the army of British General Allenby at the Palestine front. Does it not follow that there were other abiding and strategic considerations, than the participation of contingents of Armenian soldiers on the side of the Russians in the war against Turkey, in the genocidal selection and targeting of the Armenians?
      Against this backdrop, the assertion that the anti-Armenian measures were but limited to the eastern theaters of war, and as such were strictly regional in thrust and scope, is simply astounding. It is belied by the grim realities of the Armenian genocide, whose sweeping compass engulfed Armenian population clusters in all corners of the vast Ottoman Empire. As one high-ranking wartime Turkish counter-intelligence officer in his post-war memoirs movingly lamented, "among those Armenians who were atrociously wasted, despite the fact that they were most innocent, guiltless, and who had committed no crime whatsoever, were the Armenians of Bursa, Ankara, Eskiehir, and Konya."5 These involved regions and provinces that were far removed from the war zones!

      The Utter Fiction of the Claim of "Relocation"

      The U.S. Congress is invited to lend credence to the transparently incredible assertion that the deported Armenian population was being merely exiled to the deserts of Mesopotamia where they were being "relocated." The brutal and utter cynicism of this assertion is exceeded only by the insolence with which the intelligence of the Congressmen, for that matter the intelligence of any thinking person, is thereby being insulted. Responding to this official claim at the time, Lewis Einstein, the Special Agent of the U.S. State Department at the American Embassy in Istanbul, mocked this brand of "official euphemism...the grim humor of paternal solicitude which usually covers the most barbarous massacres in armed policy of deportation, and the implied sequel of extermination."6 Another U.S. official, Leslie Davis, wartime American consul at Harput, in his report to the State Department described how huge clusters of Armenian deportee convoys on their way to Mesopotamia were rerouted to Harput "only to be butchered in this province...the Slaughterhouse Province."7 The candid testimony of a Turkish general with military jurisdiction over the Mesopotamia regions in question is even more telling in this respect. In his post-war memoirs he emphatically declared that "there was neither preparation, nor organization to shelter the hundreds of thousands of the deportees."8
      Four things denialist Turks do when they are confronted with facts:

      I. They change the subject [SIZE="1"](e.g. they copy/paste tons of garbage to divert attention).[/SIZE]
      II. They project [SIZE="1"](e.g. they replace "Turk" with "Armenian" and vice versa and they regurgitate Armenian history).[/SIZE]
      III. They offend [SIZE="1"](e.g. they cuss, threaten and/or mock).[/SIZE]
      IV. They shut up and say nothing.

      [URL=""][COLOR="Red"]A country named Azerbaijan north of the Arax River [B]NEVER[/B] existed before 1918[/COLOR][/URL]


      • #4
        The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Denial of the Armenian Genocide 3

        "Disloyal Ottoman Armenians killed 1.1 million Muslims and 100,000 Jews"

        The recklessness of this statement is matched by the sordidness attending it. More important, it reveals and punctuates the ineptness with which the picture of 100,000 entirely invented Jews is injected into the controversy. The attempt to play on Jewish sensitivities already exacerbated by the impact of memories of the Holocaust and thereby to coopt the Jews in the ongoing game of denialism is as transparent as it is lurid. Even by official Ottoman statistics, this falsehood emerges as absurd as one may be able to imagine. Moreover, the figure represents a magnitude that would have provoked reaction and intense inquiry a long time ago. Nor is there any reference to any record or credible source on this matter in the entire literature respecting the whole episode at issue here. Indeed, as far as official Ottoman statistics are concerned, in the areas in which, according to Turkish claims, the Armenians committed atrocities in the course of "inter-communal clashes," the number of Jewish residents did not exceed 4,000. The question begs itself: where did this charge and the associated figure come from and how?
        The figure of "1.1 million Muslims" killed roughly corresponds to the total number of the Ottoman Armenian population as presented by several Turkish sources. Like so many other, similar assertions, this too borders on the fantastic, as expounded earlier in the section "The Allegation of 'Inter-Communal Clashes.'" As the French essayist Montaigne once observed:

        no one is exempt from talking nonsense;
        the misfortune is to do it solemnly.
        - Essays v. III, i.

        On the Number of Armenian Victims

        Without providing specifics, the Memorandum states that "the number of Armenians claimed to have perished has tripled over the last 80 years." Far from such being the case, however, that number more or less remains constant as far as credible sources are concerned. In March 1919 the then Ottoman Interior Minister relying on statistical data which the staff of the ministry had been compiling during the previous two months, publicly declared that "during the wartime deportations some 800,000 Armenians were killed."9 Excluded from this figure are the Armenian conscripts who, in the wake of their conscription, were liquidated in stages by fellow Turkish soldiers, and countless children, young girls, and brides who were forcibly Islamised and absorbed into the mainstream of the Turkish national entity. If one discounts French and British sources, identified as they were with the enemy camp, the available German and Austro-Hungarian sources involving civilian and military officials of all ranks, and serving as wartime allies of Turkey, supply much more inclusive figures. According to these sources, the number of victims of the Armenian genocide ranges between 1.2 and 1.5 million.10

        The Legal and Political Import of the May 24, 1915 Declaration of the Allies (The Entente Powers)

        In that declaration France, Great Britain and Russia accused the Young Turk regime of "connivance and often assistance" in the perpetration of the mass murder of the Armenians, at the same time warning that "in view of these new crimes of Turkey against humanity..."11 the Allies propose to prosecute and punish after the war all the perpetrators involved. This declaration is dismissed out of hand as wartime propaganda. Quoting author David Fromkin, the ambassador likewise dismisses "the British official accounts" as untruthful propaganda reflecting the exigencies of the war. Yet historian Arnold Toynbee, who in 1916 produced the official and most comprehensive British documentation of the Armenian genocide, some half a century later in his memoirs reconfirmed his findings and reaffirmed the historical reality of that genocide. He wrote, "the massacre of Armenian Ottoman subjects [during the Sultan Abdul Hamit era, 1894-1896] was amateur and ineffective compared with the largely successful attempt to 1915...[That undertaking] was carried out...under the cloak of legality, by cold-blooded governmental action."12
        The depositories of the state archives of the German Federal Republic and of Austria are replete with official documents attesting to the complicity of the Young Turk regime in the enactment of the genocide.13

        The Non-Existence of "Malta Tribunals"

        In the Memorandum in question, on three different occasions reference is made to so-called "Malta Tribunals" which in fact never existed and accordingly are nowhere in the respective literature cited. The British camp and affiliated domiciles were strictly a detention center where the Turkish suspects were being held for future prosecution on charges of crimes perpetrated against the Armenians, Ottoman citizens. The envisaged international trials on the new penal norm "crimes against humanity" never materialized, however - largely because of political expediency. The victorious Allies, lapsing into dissension and growing mutual rivalries, chose to strike separate deals with the ascendant Kemalist insurgents in Anatolia. One such deal concerned the recovery of some British subjects who were being held hostage by the Kemalists and who were to be released in exchange for the liberation of all Malta detainees. Commenting on this deal for the exchange which he later deplored as "a great mistake," British Foreign Affairs Minister Lord Curzon wrote the following, "The less we say about these people [the Turks detained at Malta] the better...I had to explain why we released the Turkish deportees from Malta skating over thin ice as quickly as I could. There would have been a row I think...The staunch belief among members [of Parliament is] that one British prisoner is worth a shipload of Turks, and so the exchange was excused."14
        It is, therefore, inaccurate to state that they were released because "the charges were exhaustively probed, investigated, and studied." Nothing of the sort happened. The Allies, especially the British, studiously avoided getting judicially involved at that juncture of developments. Everything was deferred for an eventual, anticipated international trial. To an incidental, single inquiry from London, Aukland Geddes, the British ambassador in Washington, D.C., on June 1, 1921 responded saying that the U.S. archives at that time already contained "a large number of documents on Armenian deportations and massacres"15 but that under existing conditions it was not possible to assign and charge specific culpabilities to the Turkish detainees at Malta as the Allies were not involved in the specific task of prosecution that would require pre-trial investigations, the administration of interrogatories, and the application of other methods of evidence gathering. Nor did the British "exhaustively search the archives of many nations," not in 1919, not in 1920, or ever! Like so many other statements noted above, these are purely fabricated declarations to confuse the issue and confound third parties.

        The Juxtaposition and Equating of Armenian Losses with Turkish Warfare Losses

        Turkish historians and others identified with Turkish interests continue to resort to this artful device in order to minimize the scope and import of the Armenian catastrophe. Two distinct and separate categories of losses are cleverly collapsed into a single and undifferentiated category where one may readily play the numbers game through simple additions and subtractions and come up with wholly deceptive figures. What is involved here is, on the one hand, the category of victims of organized mass murder and, on the other hand, essentially the dead resulting from warfare with foreign armies and from other war-related causes. This is clearly stated in the report of American Major General Harbord, to which reference is made in the ambassador's Memorandum. Harbord stated that "Not over 20 percent of the Turkish peasants who went to war have returned...Six hundred thousand Turkish soldiers died of typhus alone...and insufficient hospital service and absolute poverty of supply swelled the death lists." Counterposed to this account is Harbord's other account dealing with the conditions of the Armenian victims. He referred to "the wholesale attempt on the [Armenian] race...," at the same time underscoring "the evidence of this most colossal crime of all ages [involving] mutilation, violation, torture and death...Testimony is universal that the massacres have always been ordered from Constantinople." After announcing that "the official reports of the Turkish Government show 1,100,000 as having been deported," Harbord estimated the number of the Armenian victims of the genocide to be "about 800,000."16
        Four things denialist Turks do when they are confronted with facts:

        I. They change the subject [SIZE="1"](e.g. they copy/paste tons of garbage to divert attention).[/SIZE]
        II. They project [SIZE="1"](e.g. they replace "Turk" with "Armenian" and vice versa and they regurgitate Armenian history).[/SIZE]
        III. They offend [SIZE="1"](e.g. they cuss, threaten and/or mock).[/SIZE]
        IV. They shut up and say nothing.

        [URL=""][COLOR="Red"]A country named Azerbaijan north of the Arax River [B]NEVER[/B] existed before 1918[/COLOR][/URL]


        • #5
          The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Denial of the Armenian Genocide 4

          The Legitimacy of the Turkish Military Tribunal Prosecuting the Authors of the Armenian Genocide

          This tribunal was created through a series of Imperial Rescripts in late December 1918 and early January 1919. The issuing of them was an exercise of the type of sweeping powers with which reigning sultans were invested by the Ottoman Constitution. It was only natural that the occupants of the many Cabinet posts of successive post-war Turkish governments were enemies of the defunct Young Turk regime. So were those sitting in judgment of the Nazis at Nuremberg. One cannot just dismiss the resulting findings and judgments simply because of the presence of an animus of hostility against the accused. Given the enormity of the crimes involved, such hostility often simply becomes inescapable, but there are other yardsticks with which to assess findings and judgments in judicial proceedings.
          The statement "why a government allegedly intent on eliminating a portion of its citizenry would try and convict those who committed crimes against those very citizens" is an exercise in sophistry. One needs only consider the fact that not one unitary government but disparate governments identified with disparate regimes are at issue here. Indeed those trying to administer retributive justice in the post-war era were in design and function the very antithesis of those who enacted the genocide during the preceding war.
          Moreover, several aspects of the court-martial proceedings merit attention for their quality of judiciousness, despite the consideration of the fact that these trials were urged on by the victorious Allies under whose shadow they took place.
          a. Using judicial discretion, the panel of judges decided to hold public trials in order to "help the defendants and facilitate their defense" and, "in a spirit of impartiality and lofty justice"17 as avowed by this panel.
          b. Led by Istanbul University law professor and president of the Turkish bar association, C. Arif, a battery of sixteen lawyers was engaged as defense counsel. These attorneys frequently and vigorously challenged the prosecutors, their witnesses, and often the panel of judges, at the same time raising many constitutional questions.18 It is, therefore, astonishing that the ambassador, through the Memorandum, dares to declare that the defendants were tried "with almost no presentation of evidence." One wonders indeed whether he and/or his staff had ever heard of Takvimi Vekâyi and if so, had ever perused its many issues. The official gazette of the Ottoman government, its supplements regularly carried many portions of the proceedings of the court-martial, including the presentations of the defense counsel.
          c. Before being introduced as accusatory exhibits, each and every official document was authenticated by the competent staff personnel of the Interior Ministry who thereafter affixed on the top part of the document the notation: "it conforms to the original."19
          d. The series of verdicts pronounced by the Tribunal were based almost entirely on these authenticated official documents which had a wartime provenance and had, therefore, nothing to do with post-war "politics." As at Nuremberg, so at Istanbul, courtroom testimony was given minimal significance. This deliberately designed procedure was announced by the Deputy Attorney General on March 29, 1919, at the 16th sitting of the Yozgad trial series.20

          The Conviction of Top Young Turk Leaders by the Turkish Military Tribunal

          The categorical declaration that "according to the trial transcripts" none of these leaders "were convicted of organizing and executing massacres against the Armenian people," is again belied by the text of the verdict. As principal ground for conviction and sentencing, which was death on the gallows, the Tribunal cited "the massacres against the Armenians" in various parts of the Ottoman Empire. Continuing, the Tribunal further asserted that these bloodbaths were "organized and executed" by "the Ittihadist [the Young Turk] leaders," a fact which was "investigated and ascertained" by the Tribunal. Among those convicted and sentenced to death were Interior Minister, later Grand Vizier, Talât, and the two top military leaders, War Minister Enver, and Minister of Navy and Commander-in-Chief of the Ottoman IVth army, Cemal.21 It is likewise untrue that the "Tribunal did not convict Dr. Behaeddin akir and Cemal Azmi." The former was convicted and sentenced to death at the end of the Harput trial series;22 the latter, who was governor-general of Trabzon province, was convicted and sentenced to death at the end of the Trabzon trial series.23

          On the Value of the Turkish State Archives Relative to the Task of Documenting the Armenian Genocide

          It is maintained by Turkish authorities that the evidence contained in these archives, civilian as well as military, does not in any way support the charge of genocide. Before accepting such a conclusion, however, one has to ask the cardinal question: how reliable, intact, and complete are these depositories that purportedly cover the entire evidence on the wartime treatment of Ottoman Armenians. The facts listed below cast in stark relief the dubious aspects of these archives, especially those of Yldz, the Prime Ministry, and the General Staff.
          a. For more than six decades the Turkish authorities had made these depositories containing material on the Armenian question inaccessible to most researchers. In fact a regime of preferential treatment was instituted. Those well-known for their pro-Turkish proclivities or open partisanship were allowed access; others were denied it.24
          b. After the archives, i.e., some parts of them, were finally opened up to the public with great fanfare in January 1989, access to them remained, and still remains, restricted through the imposition of a host of conditions. Indeed, the government, i.e., the authorities administering the archives, reserve the right to control and, when necessary, to deny access on three grounds: (1) risk to national defense, (2) risk to public order, and (3) danger to Turkey's relations with other states, or to the need for maintaining normal relations between two foreign countries.25
          c. Beyond these restrictions, deliberately framed general and vague terms to allow the indulgence in arbitrary interpretations, there is the practice of selectively withholding documents under a variety of excuses. This practice is applied to those researchers who are suspected of not being in line with Turkish national interests.26
          d. Despite great impediments, the post-war Turkish Military Tribunal had been able to seek, locate, and secure an array of documents, including formal and informal orders for the elimination of the bulk of the empire's Armenian population. These documents implicated the Ottoman High Command, the Ministers of Interior and Justice, and the top Young Turk leadership.27 Yet, nowhere can one find a trace of these archives of the Military Tribunal, which seem to have simply vanished. Nor is there any credible account as to who made the vast documentary corpus attesting to the facts of the Armenian genocide disappear, and how.
          The conclusion becomes inescapable that what one may be able to glean from the Turkish archives is circumscribed and limited by what the authorities involved are arbitrarily and selectively willing to offer.
          Four things denialist Turks do when they are confronted with facts:

          I. They change the subject [SIZE="1"](e.g. they copy/paste tons of garbage to divert attention).[/SIZE]
          II. They project [SIZE="1"](e.g. they replace "Turk" with "Armenian" and vice versa and they regurgitate Armenian history).[/SIZE]
          III. They offend [SIZE="1"](e.g. they cuss, threaten and/or mock).[/SIZE]
          IV. They shut up and say nothing.

          [URL=""][COLOR="Red"]A country named Azerbaijan north of the Arax River [B]NEVER[/B] existed before 1918[/COLOR][/URL]


          • #6
            The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Denial of the Armenian Genocide 5

            Did the Ottoman Authorities Really Punish the Perpetrators of the Massacres of the Armenians During the War?

            The Turkish Memorandum sent to the U.S. Congressmen maintains that "1,376 individuals were sentenced to varying degrees of punishment...62 officials were sentenced to death and were executed...." As far as it is known former Turkish diplomat Kamuran Gürün who, citing documents from the archives of the Ottoman Interior Ministry, released these figures for the first time in his book denying the Armenian genocide. He was persuasive enough to induce noted Ottomanist and Arabist Bernard Lewis to embrace this claim in his latest work, presumably in an effort to fortify the rationale for the revising, if not retracting, of his earlier recognition of the Armenian genocide which he had seen fit to characterize as a "holocaust."28
            In advancing this argument an obvious effort is made to once more deny the reality of the Armenian genocide by denying the rationale of it. Indeed, why would a government organize a mass murder and then turn around and punish some of the actual perpetrators? To the extent that there is some truth to it, the argument is neither baffling, nor devoid of an explanation. But, as explained below, the greater truth is that the limited trials that were set in motion were nothing short of being farcical. Here are the reasons.
            a. Following the completion of their criminal deeds against their Armenian victims, many of the perpetrators began to be viewed as distinct liabilities for the regime. For one thing, they knew too much regarding the lethal secret operations conducted against the victim population, and some of them started to drop hints that unless they were accommodated in certain respects, they may "spill the beans." Referring to the decision of the Central Committee of the Young Turk Ittihad party to hang two such prominent mass murderers, actually a major and a lieutenant who were part of the Special Organization's killer squads, a Turkish general in his post-war memoirs confirms this occurrence. Describing them as "bloodthirsty brigands," he offers this explanation for their demise through hanging. "When deciding to get rid of them, the party's Central Committee most probably reasoned as follows: 'Indebtedness to [recruited] executioners and murderers is bound to be heavy...Those who are used for dirty jobs are needed in times of necessity [in order to shift] responsibility. It is likewise necessary, however, not to glorify them but to dispose of them just like toilet paper, once they have done their job.'"29 On the same occasion, party boss and then Interior Minister, Talât, in a cipher telegram is quoted as having declared with respect to the execution of one of them, Major Ahmed - "His liquidation in any case is necessary. Otherwise he will prove very harmful at a later date. Talât."30
            There were several such cases where top Young Turk leaders are seen ordering the liquidation of all kinds of massacrers on account of the same, or similar considerations.31
            b. Far more significant were the circumstances under which the authorities did indeed conduct investigations and trials with a view to punishing the offenders only, however, in the end to reduce these trials to sheer travesty. A Muslim witness i.e., a Turkish peasant, for example, who insistently wanted to describe the scenes of the massacres he personally had witnessed, was put down and summarily dismissed by the presiding judge with the swear word "dog." Furthermore, those gendarmes who were less cruel towards the Armenians but still robbed them, were found guilty and were punished. "Their cases served as the basis of embellished reports about the punishment of the perpetrators who had victimized the Armenians."32 This fact was confirmed and became public at the 11th sitting of the Yozgad trial series (March 3, 1919). Aziz Nedim, an Ottoman civil inspector, and a personal friend of Talât from the earlier days of Saloniki, had been sent to Boazlyan, a county in Yozgad district in Ankara province, to investigate the abuses against Armenian deportees. But, in his testimony he admitted that he had received specific orders not to investigate the incidence of massacres but to limit himself to economic crimes. Attorney General Sami in that sitting concluded that "when inspectors came to the area, they confined their investigations to...plunder and fraud."33
            In other words, the authorities were not in the slightest interested to prosecute and punish massacrers, but to stop the massive embezzlements. By virtue of these abuses the vast riches of the Armenian victim population were being personally appropriated by the organizers and executioners of the massacres instead of being transferred, as was their duty to do, to the Treasury of the state.
            The whole picture is summed up by a noted Turkish publicist with a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University. He had close ties with the Young Turk leaders during the war, and for two years after the war in Malta where he, along with the former, had been detained by the British. He wrote, "a commission of investigation composed of inspectors of the Ministries of the Interior and Justice, was punish those guilty of excesses. Some minor offenders were really punished; but those favoring the deportations being very influential in the Government, the whole thing amounted more to a demonstration rather than a sincere attempt to fix complete responsibility."34

            Hitler, the Holocaust, the Nuremberg Trials and the Armenian Genocide

            Hitler's reported reference to "the annihilation of the Armenians," the veracity of which is being questioned in the Memorandum, is but one of the indices that describe the historical and legal interconnections between the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust.35 Nor is that reference the only one that portrays Hitler being inspired and encouraged by the impunity accruing to the authors of the Armenian Genocide. Eight years earlier, in June 1931, Hitler is reported to have included in his list the case of "the extermination of the Armenians," among the mass murders in history that he perceived to have been successful operations.36
            Even though it is true that the 1939 document in question was not ultimately used at Nuremberg, where it was introduced as a prosecution exhibit, because of strong objections by German defense counsel, that does not mean that it is invalid. At the time of the Nuremberg trials there were uncertainties regarding the provenance and venue of the document containing Hitler's statement. However, noted American specialist in this field, Gerald L. Weinberg, explained in his book and subsequently in a communication to the New York Times that the provenance and the source of the document was later identified to be the main note taker of Hitler's secret speech, namely, Admiral Canaris, the chief of the Counter-Intelligence Department of the German Armed Forces High Command (Abwehr). Weinberg gives credence to the authenticity of the document by emphasizing the more solid reliability of Canaris as a source compared to the other two sources in which Hitler's respective words are missing.37
            The organic character of the links between the two foremost genocides of this century is a recurrent theme in the works of some prominent experts of international law. These links are treated as the byproduct of the failure to prosecute the first of the two genocides. But as Bassiouni pointed out, "the fact that a crime is not prosecuted does not negate its legal existence."38 Still, through this type of existence it may help generate and sustain the existence of other crimes emulating it. This is the sense in which Bassiouni links the mass murder of the Armenians "now commonly referred to as genocide [and which] remained unpunished," to the calamity of World War II. "The crimes against the laws of humanity" attending the World War I Armenian genocide, were "prosecutable and punishable international law crimes...The reluctance [to deal with them] came back to haunt" the world.39
            The summary judgment of another international law expert is more trenchant as it links the two genocides even more closely by suggesting that the second genocide was conditioned, if not pre-conditioned, by the first genocide, on account of it having remained unpunished. He wrote, "Nothing emboldens a criminal so much as the knowledge he can get away with the crime. That was the message the failure to prosecute for the Armenian massacre gave to the Nazis. We ignore the lesson of the Holocaust at our peril."40 Middle East historian Howard M. Sachar concurred when in his respective book he wrote, "The [Armenian] genocide was cited approvingly twenty-five years later by the Führer...who found the Armenian 'solution' an instructive precedent."41
            Four things denialist Turks do when they are confronted with facts:

            I. They change the subject [SIZE="1"](e.g. they copy/paste tons of garbage to divert attention).[/SIZE]
            II. They project [SIZE="1"](e.g. they replace "Turk" with "Armenian" and vice versa and they regurgitate Armenian history).[/SIZE]
            III. They offend [SIZE="1"](e.g. they cuss, threaten and/or mock).[/SIZE]
            IV. They shut up and say nothing.

            [URL=""][COLOR="Red"]A country named Azerbaijan north of the Arax River [B]NEVER[/B] existed before 1918[/COLOR][/URL]


            • #7
              The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Denial of the Armenian Genocide 6

              Raphael Lemkin, International Law and the Armenian Genocide

              One of the signal after-effects of the Nuremberg trials was the general realization that, irrespective of the impact upon the rest of the world of their punitive thrust, Nuremberg rendered paramount service to humankind by directing attention to the fact that a crime of that magnitude should never be left untreated but should rather be fully exposed. In a sense the degree to which such a crime is exposed is a condition that often determines the effectiveness of the ensuing punishment.
              Conversely, the impunity renders the crime debatable, infects its legacy with contagiousness and tends to make it for others with comparable propensities a venture worth emulating. These possibilities were underlined by none other than Albert Speer, who was one of the most trusted cohorts of Hitler and who with great competence ran the affairs of the Nazi munitions and armaments industry. After serving some time in Spandau prison as a Nazi war criminal - the charges against him were "war crimes "and "crimes against humanity" - he came up with a volume containing his memoirs. In it he wrote that the war criminals of World War I were allowed to escape punishment. Yet, punishment "would have encouraged a sense of responsibility on the part of leading political figures if after the First World War the Allies had actually held that trials they had threatened."42
              The Turkish ambassador's Memorandum disputes that the U.N. ever recognized the Armenian Genocide. But the fact is that the very crystallization of the new international legal norm "crimes against humanity," long before Raphael Lemkin conceived and developed its equivalent, "genocide," has its origin in the public recognition of the Armenian genocide by the three principal Allies in World War I, Great Britain, France and Russia. These three Entente powers, by their May 24, 1915 declaration threatening the Turkish officials with prosecution and punishment, ushered in the new doctrine that made the notion of crimes against humanity synonymous with that of genocide. The Turkish perpetrators were officially and publicly threatened with punishment on grounds of the charge of the then evolving, organized mass murder of the Armenians, i.e., the empire-wide massacres, which for the first time were defined as "crimes against humanity." The development of this doctrine into a legal norm to be embodied in the 1919 Report of the Commission on the Responsibilities of the Authors of War and on Enforcement of Penalties for Violations of the Laws and Customs of War, then in the Nuremberg Charter, and subsequently into the Preamble and the main body of the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of Genocide, are topics fully covered in the respective literature focusing on the international law aspects of the problem.43
              As to the question of a specific recognition of that genocide, these are the facts. The Subcommission on Human Rights, a vital component of the U.N., in August 1985, after having been deadlocked for more than fourteen years, finally decided to vote on the respective Resolution contained in the special rapporteur's report that had been in preparation for several years. In it, Benjamin Whitaker, the British specialist and its author, after eight years of meticulous research, had concluded that the World War I Armenian experience at the hands of the Turks was a case of "genocide" as defined by the U.N. Convention on Genocide.44 Despite insistent and persistent Turkish efforts of all kinds and in all directions to have the Resolution framed negatively, and having failed in that effort, to having it rejected by a majority vote, the Subcommission, led by U.S. expert Carey, by a vote of 14 to 1, with four abstentions, adopted the Resolution by the use of the words "it takes note." The only negative vote was cast by the representative of the Soviet Union. In other words the Subcommission refused to cast a negative vote and thus refrained from rejecting it, and by an overwhelming vote opted to accept it.
              Of all the members of the U.N., as far as it is known, it is only Turkey that is continuing to interpret this outcome as meaning that the U.N. "never recognized" the Armenian genocide!45
              In line with this stance, it is further maintained that the Nuremberg trials "were not genocide trials" but trials prosecuting only war crimes. This fallacy too requires correction. The Nuremberg Charter, as a new code of international law, clearly states that "crimes against humanity" are "crimes against peace," or are "war crimes." The tribunal consistently tried to link together these three forms of offenses. As Bassiouni pointed out, "the inclusion of 'crimes against humanity' in both the Nuremberg Charter and the indictment represented a significant...advance in international criminal was intended to include offenses committed by a state against civilians, including its own nationals, during the preparation and the waging of war."46 In other words, in Nuremberg military aggression and wartime domestic genocide were inter-linked. This is a condition that aptly fits the Turkish model of genocide. Without provocation, but under German prodding and generous promises of rewards, the Ottoman Turks intervened in the war by attacking Russia unilaterally, thereby provoking the intended Russo-Turkish war. Nor can one easily dissociate the circumstances of that war from the circumstances of the likewise provoked and intended Armenian genocide.
              A related misstatement attaches to the declaration that "the crimes against humanity punished under the Nuremberg Charter were not required to be directed against a particular national, ethnic or racial group." Article 6c of that Charter in plain English refers to the condition: "persecutions on political, racial, or religious grounds...."47 If an individual is persecuted for belonging to a racial or religious group, does it not follow then that the essential target of the persecution is the racial or religious group and that against this central fact the persecution of the individual is merely an incidental fact?
              Four things denialist Turks do when they are confronted with facts:

              I. They change the subject [SIZE="1"](e.g. they copy/paste tons of garbage to divert attention).[/SIZE]
              II. They project [SIZE="1"](e.g. they replace "Turk" with "Armenian" and vice versa and they regurgitate Armenian history).[/SIZE]
              III. They offend [SIZE="1"](e.g. they cuss, threaten and/or mock).[/SIZE]
              IV. They shut up and say nothing.

              [URL=""][COLOR="Red"]A country named Azerbaijan north of the Arax River [B]NEVER[/B] existed before 1918[/COLOR][/URL]


              • #8
                The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Denial of the Armenian Genocide 7

                The Relevance and Significance of the U.S. Archives

                Unlike the three Entente Powers who were allies, Great Britain, France and Russia, the United States had the distinct advantage of having in wartime Turkey a network of consuls in such cities in the interior as Harput, Trabzon, Aleppo, Mersin (Adana), and, of course, in the Ottoman capital, Istanbul; at different times it also maintained consular agents in Urfa, Samsun and Erzurum. Therefore, the U.S. government was in a unique position to observe at close hand and record through these American diplomats and functionaries the events in question up to April 1917, when the U.S. joined the above-cited Allies to wage war against the opposing Central Powers and accordingly broke off diplomatic relations with Ottoman Turkey.
                This fact renders the American archives highly relevant for the thorough study of Armenian deportations and massacres. That relevance is matched by the significance that attaches to the neutrality the U.S. government maintained for three years. During this period American representatives stationed in various parts of Turkey ended up becoming an invaluable resource as they were afforded the singular opportunity to document through the prism of neutrality the origin and evolution of a major case of centrally organized mass murder.
                In questioning the reliability of the testimony provided by these American officials, aspersions are cast upon the latter's presumed sources, in the process blaming "missionaries," the incidence of "anti-Muslim bigotry," and above all, Ambassador Henry Morgenthau. Within the confines of this mind-set, it is as if the stories of the Armenian genocide are just an array of falsehoods maliciously fabricated by the representatives of the U.S. government who, in reckless disregard of the mandates of their official duties, deliberately misinformed and misled their superiors in Washington. Space limitations prevent tackling every one of these arguments, but a brief review of the deprecations leveled against Ambassador Morgenthau may suffice to exemplify the questionable premises of this attitude of discrediting the U.S. archives dealing with the fate of the Armenians in World War I.
                What is at issue here is the nature, dimensions, and above all the outcome of the wartime treatment of the Ottoman Armenian population by the Young Turk regime in power during that war. Compared to this central concern, everything else remains incidental. Morgenthau's numerous reports to the State Department and his post-war memoirs unambiguously confront and tackle this central concern. As pointed out by a few detractors, he may have erred in some respects, blundered in other respects, and in the description of some events in his book he may have submitted to the impulses of his ghostwriter to embellish certain points, and yielded to the pressures of a superior at one point or other. But two paramount facts more than offset these shortcomings, which are endemic in all such cases. 1. In terms of authenticity and utmost reliability, his wartime reports take precedence over the import of his book. 2. Nevertheless, both source entities, i.e., the ensemble of his wartime reports, and his book, do converge in the crystallization of a quintessential theme that constitutes Morgenthau's central message: He emphatically confirms the genocidal intentions of the leaders of the Young Turk regime and equally emphatically affirms the reality of the intended genocidal outcome. He summarized his wartime findings by incorporating in his book a chapter that bears the title, The Murder of a Nation.48 These facts clearly signal the extraordinary value of the U.S. archives in terms of resolving the controversy on the Armenian genocide. Anyone who may have any doubts on this may consult the following references in the U.S. National Archives.
                R.G. 59. 867. 4016/74 (July 10, 1915)
                R.G. 59. 867. 4016/70 (August 11, 1915)
                R.G. 59. 867. 4016/117 (September 3, 1915)
                R.G. 59. 867. 4016/162 (October 9, 1915)
                R.G. 59. 867. 4016/797.5 (November 4, 1915)
                R.G. 59. 867. 00/798½ (November 18, 1915)
                R.G. 59. 867. 4016/799.5 (December 1, 1915)
                Moreover, Morgenthau's successor continued to report "the horrors of the anti-Armenian campaign" about which the U.S. Embassy was "in receipt of ample details." On Oct. 1, 1916, U.S. Chargé Hoffman Philip advised the State Department to "threaten to withdraw our diplomatic representative from a country where such barbarous methods are not only tolerated but actually carried out by order of the existing government." (R.G. 59.867.4016/297). Abram Elkus, the next U.S. Ambassador, on Oct. 17, 1916, in a cipher telegram reported to Washington that "...deportations accompanied by studied cruelties continue...forced conversions to Islam perseveringly pushed, children and girls from deported families kidnaped...Turkish officials have now adopted and are executing the unchecked policy of extermination through starvation, exhaustion, and brutality of treatment hardly surpassed even in Turkish history." (R.G. 59.867.4016/299).
                And yet, the assault against Morgenthau continuous unabated. The Turkish ambassador's Memorandum describes him as a man who "sought to vilify the Ottoman Empire." His motives are questioned because in a letter to President Wilson he admitted that he wanted to go public with the evidence he had gathered during his ambassadorship on the fate of the Armenians and thereby "win a victory for the war policy of the government." Through the misuse of this quotation an important ancillary fact is being ignored, however. That letter was written on November 26, 1917, eighteen months after the Ambassador had left his post in Turkey and the material he proposed to use for his book was essentially of wartime provenance.
                Given these facts, a brief review of the work (that is included in the ambassador's brief bibliography) of an author who has been leading the assault against Morgenthau may be called for. He is recognized as a principal source for the attempts to discredit Morgenthau and thereby give impetus to the Turkish endeavor to deny the Armenian genocide. The reference is to Heath Lowry who, by questioning the reliability of Morgenthau as a source, is believed to be trying to indirectly invalidate the Armenian genocide story that is anchored on the accounts of Morgenthau.
                Lowry's preoccupation, if not obsession, with the goal to undermine the testimony of Ambassador Morgenthau apparently has driven him to remain fixated with the image of a few ailing trees - the purported flaws of Morgenthau's book - thereby ignoring the robustness of the forest - the fundamental truth about the extermination of the Ottoman Armenian population punctuating the book as a whole. Lowry observes, for example, that a particular passage in Morgenthau's book cannot be found in his diary, the accounts of which avowedly are reflected in his book. Suspecting contrived fictiveness, he promptly accuses Morgenthau of "slander." In that passage Talât is reported to have declared to Morgenthau, who once more had tried to intercede on behalf of the Armenians, that "We are through with them. That's all over."49 Yet, German ambassador Bernstorff in his memoirs quotes Talât almost in identical terms. As Bernstorff wrote, "When I kept pestering him about the Armenian Question, he once said, 'What on earth do you want? The question is settled, there are no more Armenians?'"50
                Moreover, Lowry in his further effort to disparage Morgenthau reproduces excerpts from a letter by George Schreiner who, for nine months in 1915, had served as Associated Press correspondent in Turkey. In those passages Schreiner attacks Morgenthau for being critical of the Turks and some of their leaders. And yet his book, itself, has many accounts of atrocities committed against the Armenians, who "are going through hell again. I have heard that some have been burned alive...Massacres are said to continue...that shocking phase of barbarity....It is out in the open, in the waste places, that the worst comes to pass...My efforts to do my duty [to get out a story on the Armenian outrages] have prejudiced the Turkish censors against me."51 So much for Lowry's quest for discernment with respect to rectitude and forthrightness.
                Despite all this, however, Lowry felt constrained to make an admission at the end of his respective booklet. He declared that Morgenthau's "wartime dispatches and written reports...submitted to the U.S. Department of State," rather than his book are "the real" material on which to base any pertinent study, including the wartime Armenian experience.52 It may, therefore, be appropriate at this juncture to end this segment of the discussion with the adducing of excerpts from a nine-page "Private and Confidential" letter Morgenthau sent to Secretary of State Robert Lansing on November 18, 1915. The significance of these statements is accented by the fact that for unknown reasons they are excised from the printed version of the document in the respective volume put out by the State Department in 1939. These excerpts succinctly encapsulate Morgenthau's verdict on "the Murder of [the Armenian] Nation."
                I am firmly convinced that this is the greatest crime of the ages...massacres accompanied with rape, pillage and forced conversions...Unfortunately the previous Armenian massacres were allowed to pass without the great Christian Powers punishing the perpetrators thereof; these people believe that an offense that has been condoned before, will probably be again forgiven...It was a great opportunity for them to put into effect their long cherished plan of exterminating the Armenian race and thus finish once for all the question of Armenian reforms which has so often been the cause of European intervention in Turkish affairs.53
                Four things denialist Turks do when they are confronted with facts:

                I. They change the subject [SIZE="1"](e.g. they copy/paste tons of garbage to divert attention).[/SIZE]
                II. They project [SIZE="1"](e.g. they replace "Turk" with "Armenian" and vice versa and they regurgitate Armenian history).[/SIZE]
                III. They offend [SIZE="1"](e.g. they cuss, threaten and/or mock).[/SIZE]
                IV. They shut up and say nothing.

                [URL=""][COLOR="Red"]A country named Azerbaijan north of the Arax River [B]NEVER[/B] existed before 1918[/COLOR][/URL]


                • #9
                  The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Denial of the Armenian Genocide 8


                  In the history of human conflicts, including international conflicts with outcomes involving capital crimes, one may rarely see a perpetrator who, for a variety of reasons managed to escape punishment, voluntarily come forward and admit guilt. More often than not, such admissions are exacted either by total defeat and surrender at the end of a military conflict, or by circumstances affording a trial in a court of law where the availability of compelling evidence may preempt the possibility of routine denial. In the case of a capital crime of the type of genocide, power relations are of dual import. One needs superior power to overwhelm and decimate an impotent and vulnerable victim group but, perhaps equally important, one may proceed to deny that crime if in the aftermath of it one's power position continues to hold or even increases. The persistent and often truculent denial of the Armenian genocide for more than eight decades by the Turks and their few partisan advocates is a function of this type of power leverage. One remedy or antidote against this posture is less equivocation or verbal gymnastics, and more firmness of purpose that is anchored on the twin pillars of American democracy and civilization: truth and justice. For too long American men of politics, largely influenced by the guardians of military and commercial interests, have opted to accommodate, at almost any price, the Turks, some of whom these days are wont to brag that they are "the spoiled brats of the Americans!" But are commerce and politics and military procurement everything? Are there not thresholds which, when crossed, one should have the fortitude to say no and call the bluff in face of the type of warnings and threats for which the Turks have special aptitudes?
                  Political alliances as a rule are temporary arrangements and are, therefore, unstable combinations, always liable to transformation and even reversal. But a nation's ascendancy to a high level of self-fulfilment needs to be energized by a commitment to more abiding principles and ideals than the proclivities for dollar diplomacy and the skill to calibrate political interests that are often ephemeral.
                  America's destiny is foreshadowed in the legacy of such pillars of political idealism as Jefferson and Lincoln, who knew how to be mindful of the binding constraints of probity in the regulation of national and international affairs.
                  In the context of this essay it is worth focusing in particular on Jefferson, whose love for organizing a library was emblematic of his passion for accumulating and transmitting knowledge over many generations. He helped found the Library of Congress and, after fire destroyed its collection, he offered his own library to the Congress. Just as libraries are much cherished as fertile grounds for the pursuit of knowledge and truth, so are national archives. The resolution before the Congress will serve as a crucible for those Congressmen and Congresswomen who may prefer to adhere to the legacy of Thomas Jefferson by granting the mandate this resolution is seeking. Let the National Archives serve the lofty purpose for which they were created. Let the truth emerge, shine through and liberate us all from the ongoing scourge of a corrosive denialism.


                  1. Türkiye (Turkish newspaper in Istanbul), March 1, 1999. The interviewers are identified as Nihat Kakc and Hasan Ylmaz.

                  2. Joseph Pomiankowski, Der Zusammenbruch des Ottomanischen Reiches (The collapse of the Ottoman Empire). Graz, Austria, 1969, p. 160.

                  3. Ibid.

                  4. German Foreign Ministry Archives, A.A. Türkei 183/40, A25749, September 18, 1916 report, p. 25. This source contains Ambassador Metternich's reference. For the Venezuelan officer's account, see Rafael de Nogales, Four Years Beneath the Crescent. M. Lee, trans. New York: Scribner's, 1926, pp. 1, 72-97.

                  5. Ahmet Refik (Altnay), Iki Komite, Iki Ktal (Two committees, two massacres). H. Koyukan, ed. Ankara: Kekibeç Publications, 1994, p. 27.

                  6. Lewis Einstein, "The Armenian Massacres." Contemporary Review 616 (April 1917): 490.

                  7. Leslie A. Davis, The Slaughterhouse Province. An American Diplomat's Report on the Armenian Genocide 1915-1917. Susan K. Blair, ed. New Rochelle, NY: Caratzas, 1989, p. 181.

                  8. Orgeneral Ali Fuad Erden, Birinci Dünya Harbinde Suriye Hatralar (Syrian memoirs of World War I), vol. 1. Istanbul, 1954, p. 122.

                  9. Alemdar (Turkish newspaper in Istanbul), March 15, 1919. Takvimi Vekâyi No. 3909, July 21, 1920, pp. 3, 4. The minister in question was Cemal.

                  10. According to German Interim Ambassador to Turkey, Radowitz, 1.5 million Armenians died and 425,000 survived. A.A. Türkei 183/44. A27493, October 4, 1916 report. The German parliamentarian, Foreign Office Intelligence Director, and later Cabinet minister, Erzberger, estimated 1.5 million victims. A.A. Türkei 183/42, A13959, May 27, 1916 report. German major Endres, serving in the Turkish army, estimated that "1.2 million Armenians perished in Turkey during the war." Die Türkei. Munich: C.H. Beck, 1918, p. 161. Austrian Vice Marshal Pomiankowski declared that "approximately one million Armenians perished," [n. 2], p. 160. Austrian consul at Trabzon and Samsun, Dr. Kwatkiowski, reported to Vienna on March 13, 1918 that "in round figure 1 million Armenians were with studied cruelty deported from the six eastern Anatolian provinces as well as from Trabzon province and Samsun district. From these only a fraction could escape death." Austrian Foreign Ministry Archives 12 Türkei/380, ZI.17/pol. Austria-Hungary's Adrianople (Edirne) consul Dr. Nadamlenzki reported that from the entire realm of the Ottoman Empire, including its European part, by October 29, 1915 "already 1.5 million Armenians were deported." 12 Türkei/463, Z.94/P.

                  11. Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Historical and Legal Interconnections Between the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust: From Impunity to Retributive Justice." Yale Journal of International Law 23, no. 2 (Summer 1998): 504.

                  12. Arnold Toynbee, Experiences. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1969, pp. 241, 341.

                  13. Vahakn N. Dadrian, "Documentation of the Armenian Genocide in German and Austrian Sources." In I. Charny, ed., The Widening Circle of Genocide. New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Pub., 1994, pp. 77-125.

                  14. British Foreign Office Archives, FO 371/7882/E4425, folio 182.

                  15. FO 371/6503/E6311, folio 34.

                  16. Harbord Report to the U.S. Secretary of State, "American Military Mission to Armenia." International Conciliation, CLI (151), [New York] (June 1920): 280, 281, 282.

                  17. Vahakn N. Dadrian, "Genocide as a Problem of National and International Law: The World War I Armenian Case and Its Contemporary Legal Ramifications." Yale Journal of International Law 14, no. 2 (Summer 1989): 297.

                  18. Ibid. pp. 304-307.

                  19. Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Documentation of the World War I Armenian Massacres in the Proceedings of the Turkish Military Tribunal." International Journal of Middle East Studies 23, no. 4 (November 1991): 563.

                  20. Ibid.

                  21. Takvimi Vekâyi no. 3604, p. 219, right hand column. The verdict was issued on July 5, 1919 and the text of the conviction and sentence rendition was published on July 22, 1919.

                  22. Takvimi Vekâyi no. 3771, p. 2, left hand column. Conviction was announced on January 13, 1920, the text of the conviction and sentence rendition was published on February 9, 1920.

                  23. Takvimi Vekâyi no. 3616, p. 3, left hand column. Conviction was announced on May 2, 1919, the text of the conviction and sentence rendition was published on August 6, 1919.

                  24. For example, author Ulrich Trumpener was denied such permission. Germany and the Ottoman Empire 1914-1918. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1968, Preface, pp. viii-ix; Stanford Shaw, on the other hand, had all this time free access to the same archives. History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Vol. II, Reform, Revolution and Republic. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1977, Preface, pp. viii, xvii.

                  25. Resmi Gazete (Official Gazette), no. 20163, May 12, 1989, Cabinet Council's no. 89/14028 decision, pp. 1-6; the three conditions are contained in article 10, subsections a and b.

                  26. In an interview with the editor of an Armenian newspaper in the United States, Ara Sarafian, a doctoral candidate of history at the University of Michigan, recounted the vexing problems of this type he had in the Yldz archives in Istanbul. Three prominent authors, Justin McCarthy, Kemal Karpat, and Mim Kemal Öke, known for their works categorically denying the Armenian genocide, had had free access to the documents of this archive. When Sarafian proposed to check some of their published claims, statistical figures and other data, he was invariably prevented from doing so by a variety of pretexts, including the occasional assertion that no such documents exist, or that they can not be found. In one particular instance involving Karpat's treatment of the Yldz Perakende collection, Sarafian tried to check some material cited by Karpat, but was told that the collection was "closed" and had never been "open." Hairenik, (May 13, 1993): 5. A summary of that account also appeared in Zeitschrift für Türkeistudien issue no. 1 (1993).
                  Four things denialist Turks do when they are confronted with facts:

                  I. They change the subject [SIZE="1"](e.g. they copy/paste tons of garbage to divert attention).[/SIZE]
                  II. They project [SIZE="1"](e.g. they replace "Turk" with "Armenian" and vice versa and they regurgitate Armenian history).[/SIZE]
                  III. They offend [SIZE="1"](e.g. they cuss, threaten and/or mock).[/SIZE]
                  IV. They shut up and say nothing.

                  [URL=""][COLOR="Red"]A country named Azerbaijan north of the Arax River [B]NEVER[/B] existed before 1918[/COLOR][/URL]


                  • #10
                    The Key Distortions and Falsehoods in the Denial of the Armenian Genocide 9

                    27. Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Turkish Military Tribunal's Prosecution of the Authors of the Armenian Genocide: Four Major Court-Martial Series." Holocaust and Genocide Studies 11, no. 1 (Spring 1997): 32.

                    28. Kamuran Gürün, Ermeni Dosyas. Ankara: Türk Tarih Kurumu, 1983, pp. 221-222.The English translation is in The Armenian File. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1985, pp. 212-213.

                    29. Erden, Birinci Dünya Harbinde [n. 8], p. 217. The brigands involved were Major Ahmed and Lieutenant Halil in whose belongings were found, among other things, "blood-stained ornamental gold coins." (p. 218).

                    30. Ziya akir, Yakn Tarihin Üç Büyük Adam (The three great men from the recent past). Istanbul: A. Sait Pub., pp. 57-59. Falih Rfk (Atay), Zeytinda (Mount Olive). Istanbul: Ayyldz, 1981, p. 67. It should be recognized in this respect that not only IVth Army Commander Cemal in Syria and Palestine, but also IIId Army Commander Vehib Paa in eastern Turkey, despite their strong ties to the Ittihad Party, refused to embrace the secret genocidal agenda of the party's top leadership and whenever they could they tried to resist and discourage the attendant massacres. In 1916, for example, Vehib court-martialed and hanged a gendarmery commander and his accomplice for organizing the massacre of some 2,000 disarmed Armenian labor battalion soldiers. He subsequently issued a proclamation threatening similar swift retribution against any and all who might be tempted to attack and harm the Armenians in the process of being deported. Ariamard (Istanbul), December 10, 1918. Cemal Paa acted similarly. In 1916, for example, he executed a gendarmery officer on charges of rape and assault. Austrian Foreign Ministry Archives, Consul Ranzi's February 15, 1916 report to Vienna. 12/463. No. 4/P.

                    31. See a brief account of these operations of post-crime liquidation, including those undertaken by the Kemalists in Vahakn N. Dadrian, "A Twist in the Punishment of Some of the Arch Perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide." The Armenian Cause 10, no. 2 (May 1993): 2E-5E.

                    32. Jerusalem Armenian Patriarchate Archives, Series 17, file Ho, pp. 37, 38, and p. 163 of report no. 67 relayed to the Interior Minister by one of the four commissions which Minister Talât had sent to Anatolia to investigate the abuses committed against the Armenians in the course of the deportations. For more details on this subject see Vahakn N. Dadrian, "The Armenian Genocide and the Pitfalls of a 'Balanced' Analysis. A Response to Ronald Grigor Suny." Armenian Forum no. 2 (Summer 1998): 123-124.

                    33. Dadrian, "The Turkish Military Tribunal's" [n. 27], p. 39.

                    34. Ahmed Emin (Yalman), Turkey in the World War. New Haven, 1930, p. 221. The author had close ties with the Young Turk leaders during the war and spent eighteen months with most of them in detention in Malta after the war before being released in October 1921 under the exchange program negotiated between the British and the insurgent Kemalists.

                    35. For a review of these indices see Vahakn N. Dadrian, "Common Features of the Armenian and Jewish Cases of Genocide: A Comparative Victimological Perspective." In I. Drapkin, ed., Victimology: A New Focus, v. 4, Violence and Its Victims. Lexington, MA: Heath and Co., 1975, pp. 99-120; idem., "The Convergent Aspects of the Armenian and Jewish Cases of Genocide. A Reinterpretation of the Concept of Holocaust." Holocaust and Genocide Studies 3, no. 2 (1988): 151-169; idem., The Comparative Aspects of the Armenian and Jewish Cases of Genocide: A Socio-Historical Perspective." In A. Rosenbaum, ed., Is the Holocaust Unique? Boulder, CO: Westview Press, 1996, pp. 101-135.

                    36. Edouard Calic, Unmasked: Two Confidential Interviews with Hitler. R. Barry, trans. London: Chatto and Windus, 1971, p. 81.

                    37. Gerald L. Weinberg, The Foreign Policy of Hitler's Germany: Starting World War II, 1937-39. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1980, pp. 610-12. The author is William Rand Kenan Jr., Professor of History, University of North Carolina. His conclusion is based upon his own research in the archives of Britain's Foreign Office, especially the papers of former British ambassador to Berlin, Neville Henderson, and the "detailed and careful articles that appeared in the scholarly quarterly issued by the Institute for Contemporary History in Münich in 1968 and 1971." See his piece "Hitler's Remark on Armenians Reported in '39." New York Times (June 18, 1985).

                    38. M. Cherif Bassiouni, Crimes Against Humanity in International Criminal Law. Boston: Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, 1992, p. 176.

                    39. M. Cherif Bassiouni, "The Time Has Come for an International Criminal Court." Indiana International and Comparative Law Review 1, no. 1 (Spring 1991): 3-4. Bassiouni expresses a similar view in his most recent article, "From Versailles to Rwanda in Seventy-Five Years: The Need to Establish a Permanent International Criminal Court." Harvard Human Rights Journal 10 (Spring 1997): 58.

                    40. David Matas, "Prosecuting Crimes Against Humanity: The Lessons of World War I." Fordham International Law Journal 86 (1989-90): 86, 104.

                    41. Howard M. Sachar, The Emergence of the Middle East 1914-1924, New York: A. Knopf, 1969, p. 115. For details see his entire chapter IV, "The Armenian Genocide," pp. 87-115.

                    42. Albert Speer, Spandau: The Secret Diaries. Richard and Clara Winston, trans. New York: Macmillan, 1976, p. 43.

                    43. Bassiouni, Crimes Against Humanity [n.38], pp.168-185; Vahakn, N. Dadrian, "The Historical and Legal Interconnections between the Armenian Genocide and the Jewish Holocaust: From Impunity to Retributive Justice." Yale Journal of International Law 23, no.2 (Summer 1998): 504-505, and the section on " The Nuremberg Crucible," subsection B. "Nuremberg and the Legacy of Humanitarian Intervention Applied to Armenia," pp. 552-554; The United Nations War Crimes Commission, History of the United Nations War Crimes Commission and the Development of the Laws of War. London: His Majesty's Stationary Office, 1948, pp. 32-36, 45, 188-189, 192-197.

                    44. Dadrian, "Genocide as a Problem of National and International Law" [n.17], p. 224.

                    45. Varoujan Attarian, Le Génocide des Arméniens devant l'ONU, with a Preface by Nobel Laureate Adolfo Perez Esquivel. Bruxelles: Éditions Complexe, 1997, pp. 88-93, 100-104, 109-110.

                    46. M. Cherif Bassiouni, "International Law and the Holocaust." California Western International Law Journal 9, no. 2 (Spring 1979): 229.

                    47. William W. Bishop, Jr., International Law. Cases and Materials. 3d ed. Boston: Little, Brown & Co., 1971, pp. 999-1000, "Charter of the International Military Tribunal."

                    48. Henry Morgenthau, Ambassador Morgenthau's Story. New York: Doubleday, 1918, p. 301.

                    49. Heath W. Lowry, The Story Behind Ambassador Morgenthau's Story. Istanbul: Isis Press, 1990, p. 58. In Morgenthau's book [n. 48] it is on p. 392, but on pp. 337-8 and 342 Morgenthau quotes Talât in a similar vein.

                    50. Memoirs of Count Bernstorff. New York: Random House, 1936, p. 176. For similar comments see pp. 180 and 374.

                    51. George A. Schreiner, From Berlin to Bagdad. Behind the Scenes in the Near East. New York: Harper and Brothers, 1918, pp. 332, 333. See also pp. 32, 39, 208, 244, 327, 338.

                    52. Lowry, The Story [n. 49], p. 79.

                    53. U.S. National Archives, R.G. 59.867.00/798½, pp. 7, 8. In the volume put out by the State Department is: Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States. The Lansing Papers, 1914-1920, vol. 1. Washington, D.C., 1939, pp. 766-769.
                    Four things denialist Turks do when they are confronted with facts:

                    I. They change the subject [SIZE="1"](e.g. they copy/paste tons of garbage to divert attention).[/SIZE]
                    II. They project [SIZE="1"](e.g. they replace "Turk" with "Armenian" and vice versa and they regurgitate Armenian history).[/SIZE]
                    III. They offend [SIZE="1"](e.g. they cuss, threaten and/or mock).[/SIZE]
                    IV. They shut up and say nothing.

                    [URL=""][COLOR="Red"]A country named Azerbaijan north of the Arax River [B]NEVER[/B] existed before 1918[/COLOR][/URL]