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Regarding the ‘Armenian Genocide Resolution,’ and Ilhan Omar’s response

Opinion
on 24 Comments

Everyone concerned is very proud that the House of Representatives finally, after over 100 years, passed a resolution (H.Res.296) recognizing the Genocide of the Armenians, Greeks, and Assyrians by Ottoman Turkey. It is definitely long overdue. However, although the resolution does include the Greeks and Assyrians, most news reports fail to mention that the Greeks and Assyrians suffered the same fate as the Armenians, and continue to call it “The Armenian Genocide Resolution,” and/or “The Armenian Genocide,” which misses a few major points.

To put Martin Niemöller’s poem in a new context, it should be pointed out that:

First they came for the Greeks of Eastern Thrace in 1913,
And no one stopped the slaughters.

Then they came for the Greeks in Western Asia Minor (Anatolia) in 1914,
And no one stopped the slaughters.

Then they came for the Assyrians in Eastern Anatolia in 1914,
And no one stopped the slaughters.

Then they came for the Armenians in 1915,
And no one stopped the slaughters.

Then they came for the Pontic Greeks in 1916,
And no one stopped the slaughters.

Then they exiled the remaining Assyrians
—who had arrived in Anatolia around 2,400 BC—
and the Greeks—who had arrived in Anatolia in 1200 BC
and the Armenians, who had arrived in Anatolia in 600 BC,
thus ending over four thousand years
of Assyrian, Greek, and Armenian presence in Anatolia.

Then they gave Anatolia to the Turks,
the perpetrators of the Genocides,
and descendants of the Turks
who had invaded Anatolia and
conquered Constantinople in 1453 AD,
almost 4,000 years after the arrival
of the Assyrians, Greeks, and Armenians.
Then they named Anatolia Turkey.

Total Assyrians slaughtered: 275,000, more than half their population.
Total Greeks slaughtered: 1.2 million
Total Armenians slaughtered: up to 1.5 million.
Totaling 3 Million Assyrian, Greek and Armenian victims of the Ottoman Genocide.

Yet few news reports bother to mention the Greek and Assyrian victims of this Genocide.

My mother, a Pontic Greek lived through that genocide. By age 12, she was the only known survivor of her family. It was an Armenian family who took my orphaned mother in and brought her to safety in Aleppo, Syria when the Armenian family fled Turkey. And it was the Armenian family who arranged my mother’s marriage to my father—an Assyrian who fled Turkey on pain of death in 1905, and came to America. My mother was only 15 when she married my father. My father was 45. My father brought my mother to America in 1925.

Memorialized in “Not Even My Name,” my mother’s story represents the story of millions of other Greeks, Assyrians, and Armenians who lived through that terrible genocide. They should not be dealt with as an afterthought by the press or by Congress. As Rep. Anna Eshoo’s reminds us, her Assyrian family lived through that genocide.

Lest we become complacent, we must remember all the victims of a genocide equally. This was a Genocide of the Christian minorities of the Ottoman Empire: Greeks, Assyrians, and Armenians.

If Ilhan Omar needs confirmation by genocide scholars, that the Greeks, Assyrians, and Armenians suffered Genocides at the hands of the Ottoman Turks, she should be directed to the 2007 Resolution of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS), which was affirmed by hundreds of the world’s leading genocide scholars. (View IAGS Resolution here)

Elie Wiesel describes denial as a “double killing,” as it also murders the memory of the crime. But he also reminds us that “To remain silent or indifferent is the greatest sin.”

Updated: November 1, 2019, 12 p.m.

Thea Halo

Thea Halo is a writer, painter, and former WBAI news correspondent. She is the author of “Not Even My Name,” and “A Lid for Every Pot.”

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24 Responses

  1. echinococcus on October 31, 2019, 5:37 pm

    Beautifully written and correct as to facts, except that the genocide, in its wider sense of an attempt to uproot peoples and erase even the trace of their existence, did not stop with the Ottomans — it did continue, and was completed in depth, under the Turkish Republic, founded and led by the continuators of the Ottoman Union and Progress genocidaire government.

    Concluding with a quote by arch-genocidaire Elie Wiesel, posing as a whining victim, was not in the best taste, though.

    • jon s on November 1, 2019, 4:15 pm

      echi chooses to defame the late Elie Wiesel (Holocaust survivor, author, Human Rights activist, Nobe Peace Prize ) …why am I not surprised?

      • eljay on November 1, 2019, 11:07 pm

        || jon s: echi chooses to defame the late Elie Wiesel (Holocaust survivor, author, Human Rights activist, Nobe Peace Prize ) …why am I not surprised? ||

        Elie Wiesel was a Zionist – in other words, he was a hateful and immoral supremacist and hypocrite. You choose to defend him …why am I not surprised?

      • RoHa on November 2, 2019, 12:47 am

        “Holocaust survivor” – does that make him an angel?

        ” author” – that certainly doesn’t!

        “Human Rights activist” – active in denying the human rights of Palestinians.

        “Nobel Peace Prize ” – some dodgy characters were given that prize.

      • Keith on November 2, 2019, 11:14 am

        ROHA- “Nobel Peace Prize ” – some dodgy characters were given that prize.”

        All of these well-known “prizes” were established by elites, administered by elites and attempt to fulfill elite objectives.

      • Mooser on November 2, 2019, 12:52 pm

        “echi chooses to defame the late Elie Wiesel”

        And so soon after Yom Kipper, too. Of course, you, “Jon s” have never defamed anybody while pushing Zionism. Not the Palestinians, Arabs, or even Hamas.

        I can not understand why you think your absurdly hypocritical sanctimony is effective.
        Feh, maybe it’s just compulsive.

      • Keith on November 2, 2019, 4:50 pm

        JON S- “echi chooses to defame the late Elie Wiesel (Holocaust survivor, author, Human Rights activist, Nobe Peace Prize ) …why am I not surprised?”

        Human rights activist? The same Elie Wiesel who shared a stage with Shmuley Boteach HONORING mass-murderer (and Israel supporter) Paul Kagame? This professional Holocaust exploiter who for a standard fee of $25,000 (1999 dollars) lectured on the uniqueness of the Holocaust and Jewish suffering? (p45, “The Holocaust Industry,” Norman Finkelstein) It brought me at least some pleasure to learn that Wiesel had invested heavily in Bernie Madoff and lost a bundle.

    • theahalo on November 4, 2019, 9:56 am

      It’s interesting that most comments picked up on this one aspect of my paper. However, if one reads the “Armenian Genocide Resolution’, you will find reference to Elie Wiesel at the bottom of the resolution. I felt it was important to include a quote from him. I used this quote in another paper I gave at the Boston State House in May. Regardless of—or perhaps because of his shortcomings in regards to other genocides, his quote is important for the truth it reveals as well as for his shortcomings that were pointed out here. It certainly made for a very informed discussion.

      At the IAGS Conference of 2005, I presented a paper called ‘The Exclusivity of Suffering: When tribal concerns take precedence over historical accuracy.” That paper led Adam Jones to ask me to join him in writing the IAGS Genocide Resolution referred to in my paper. In my Exclusivity paper, I discount the claim that the Armenian Genocide was the first of the 20th Century. In fact, I reference the slaughter of Nama and Herero Tribes of Namibia between 1904-1908, and King Leopold’s slaughter, mutilation, and enslavement of the people of Congo.

      And I used a few quotes at the start of my Exclusivity paper:

      “When they said ‘Never Again’ after the Holocaust, was this just a statement
      or was it meant for some people and not for others?”
      —Apollon Kabahizi, Rwandan Genocide survivor

      “One is either for human life or not.
      There is no such thing as indifference on this issue.”
      —Dr. Israel Charny is the Editor-in-Chief of the Encyclopedia of Genocide
      and the 2006 president of the IAGS

      And from historian Henry Huttenbach, “To believe there is a hierarchy of genocide is grotesque.”

      I also added reference to the infamous Mustafa Kemal in my revised paper on the ‘Armenian Genocide.’

  2. Misterioso on November 1, 2019, 9:50 am

    @echinococcus

    “Concluding with a quote by arch-genocidaire Elie Wiesel, posing as a whining victim, was not in the best taste, though.”

    Well said!!

    For the record regarding the late Elie Wiesel:
    While he rightfully protested the desecration of Jewish graves anywhere in the world, he had nothing to say when the Arab cemetery at Deir Yassin was bulldozed along with hundreds of others throughout Palestine by Zionists. Nor did he publicly mention that from November 1947 to January 1949, he worked as a journalist for the Irgun newspaper, Zion in Kamf (Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, October/ November 1997) and was surely informed about the massive slaughter of defenseless Palestinians that occurred at Deir Yassin on 9 April 1948.

    He consistently turned a blind eye to Zionist crimes committed against the indigenous Palestinians. Although their identities are common knowledge, he never pointed his finger at those responsible for the massacre at Deir Yassin, which used to exist only 1400 meters north of the Yad Vashem Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.
    ___________________________________________________________

    Also:
    http://www.nybooks.com/articles/2010/05/27/open-letter-elie-wiesel/

    New York Review of Books, May 27, 2010

    “An Open Letter to Elie Wiesel”

    By Avner Inbar and Assaf Sharon

    Excerpts:
    “In a recent public letter to President Obama, Elie Wiesel urged the President not to ‘pressure’ Israel to cease settlement activity in Jerusalem.”

    “According to Wiesel:
    ”‘For me, the Jew that I am, Jerusalem is above politics. It is mentioned more than six hundred times in Scripture—and not a single time in the Koran. Its presence in Jewish history is overwhelming…. To many theologians, it IS Jewish history…. It belongs to the Jewish people and is much more than a city, it is what binds one Jew to another in a way that remains hard to explain. When a Jew visits Jerusalem for the first time, it is not the first time; it is a homecoming…. Contrary to certain media reports, Jews, Christians and Muslims ARE allowed to build their homes anywhere in the city. The anguish over Jerusalem is not about real estate but about memory.’”

    “The views expressed by Wiesel are not shared by a growing movement of Israelis who oppose the continued expansion of settlements and who have been protesting the eviction by the Israeli government of Palestinian residents of the East Jerusalem neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah. These Israelis have responded to Mr. Wiesel in the following letter. Among the one hundred signers are Israel Prize Laureates Avishai Margalit and Zeev Sternhell, former Knesset Speaker and Jewish Agency Chairman Avrum Burg, Professors David Shulman and Moshe Halbertal, former Knesset member Zehava Galan, and other Jerusalemites, many of whom are prominent intellectuals and academics.”

    Signed: Avner Inbar and Assaf Sharon

    “Dear Mr. Wiesel: ‘We write to you from Jerusalem to convey our frustration, even outrage, at your recently published letter on Jerusalem. We are Jewish Jerusalemites—residents by choice of a battered city, a city used and abused, ransacked time and again first by foreign conquerors and now by its own politicians. We cannot recognize our city in the sentimental abstraction you call by its name.’

    “’We invite you to our city to view with your own eyes the catastrophic effects of the frenzy of construction. You will witness that, contrary to some media reports, Arabs are not allowed to build their homes anywhere in Jerusalem. You will see the gross inequality in allocation of municipal resources and services between east and west. We will take you to Sheikh Jarrah, where Palestinian families are being evicted from their homes to make room for a new Jewish neighborhood, and to Silwan, where dozens of houses face demolition because of the Jerusalem Municipality’s refusal to issue building permits to Palestinians.’”

  3. k_read on November 1, 2019, 11:02 am

    Isaac Asimov had an interesting run in with Wiesel:

    I publicly expressed my view on this only once, and in delicate circumstances. It was in May 1977. I was invited to a round-table discussion whose participants included Elie Wiesel, who survived the Holocaust and hasn’t spoken about anything else since. That day, he irritated me by claiming that you couldn’t trust academics, or technicians, because they had helped make possible the Holocaust. What a sweeping generalization that is! And precisely the kind of remark that antisemites might make: “I don’t trust Jews, because once, Jews crucified my Savior”.

    I let the others argue for a moment while I brooded over my resentment; then, unable to contain myself any longer, I spoke up: “Mr. Wiesel, you’re wrong; the fact that a group of people has suffered appalling persecution does not mean it is inherently good and innocent. All that the persecution proves is that this group was in a position of weakness. If the Jews were in a position of strength, who knows if they wouldn’t become persecutors?”

    To which Wiesel replied, very angrily: “Give me one example of the Jews persecuting anyone!”

    Naturally, I was expecting this. “At the time of the Maccabees, in the second century BCE, John Hyrcanus of Judea conquered Edom and gave the Edomites the choice of conversion to Judaism, or death. Not being idiots, the Edomites converted, but afterwards they were still treated as inferiors because even though they had become Jews, they were still originally Edomites”.

    Wiesel, even more upset, said: “There is no other example.”

    “There is no other period in history where Jews have exercised power”, I replied. “The only time they had it, they behaved just like the others.”

    That put an end to the discussion. I would add however that the audience was entirely on the side of Elie Wiesel.

    https://lawrenceofcyberia.blogs.com/news/2010/03/asimov-on-antisemitism-and-wider-prejudice.html

    I kind of liked concluding with Elie Wiesel. Does Mondoweiss do anything different than follow the dictates of “To remain silent or indifferent is the greatest sin.’

    • Keith on November 1, 2019, 2:26 pm

      K-READ- (Azimov quote)- “There is no other period in history where Jews have exercised power….”

      Nonsense. Perhaps not as a “Jewish” state, but individually and as a group Jews have exercised considerable power throughout Western history, financing the Suez Canal, the Panama Canal, and the Thirty Years War to name a few. If that ain’t power, what is?

      K-READ- (Wiesel quote)- “Give me one example of the Jews persecuting anyone!”

      At the top of the list: Genrikh Yagoda. https://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3342999,00.html

  4. dianeshammas on November 2, 2019, 6:14 pm

    Thank you Thea for your commentary that includes not only the Armenians, but also Assyrians and Greeks that perished at the hands of the Young Turks. I am a scholar of Arab American studies, which includes historical antecedents as all the occupied of the Ottoman Empire. However, you omitted the people of Greater Syria, especially modern day Lebanon who starved to death during the Great Famine of Mount Lebanon (1915-1918) when there was a locust infestation in the fields of Lebanese peasants, which the Young Turks took advantage of and blocked the access to both the Allied Forces and the peasants themselves to consume any crops that had not all been decimated (reference Greg Orfalea’s “Before the Flames: A Quest for the History of Arab Americans”, and Albert Hourani’s and Nadim Shehadi’s, “The Lebanese and the World: 100 years of Emigration). Depending on what sources are cited, it is estimated that 150,000 to 300,000 Lebanese starved to death due to the Young Turks’ blockade to their crops. The Ottoman Empire was not exactly an efficient empire until the Young Turks took over to remedy what they perceived was the incomplete process of total Turkization of the ethnic groups living under the Ottoman Empire. Christian and Jewish minorities were not conscripted into the Turkish Empire as they were deemed “dhimmis” under the Ottoman Law. Christians were comprised mostly of the Maronite and Orthodox sects, of which my grandparents, who were “Antiochan (Orthodox) Christians, and were born in the far North villages of Lebanon, Amioun and Bishmezzine, respectively, and left Lebanon circa 1911 a few years before WWI began.

    In my PhD program I took a class on Arab and Muslim women in Racialized America from an Egyptian-born anthropology professor, who refuted the Ottoman Turks’ persecution of their Christian subjects, and instead praised the Turkish millet system of religious plurality, dividing up all the sects of Christianity and Islam, and Judaism to practice freely their respective religions and to manage their own religious communities’ payment of taxes to the Ottoman Empire.

    Muslims of Greater Syria also were oppressed by the Ottoman Empire, a few books chronicled the Ottomans’ harsh treatment of the Egyptian fellaheen. Notably, in 1916 Arab nationalists, Orthodox Christians and Muslim Syrians and Lebanese were executed by hanging by the Young Turks in Damascus and Beirut, the latter at Burj Square, which in later years became La Place des Martyrs. In the case of our family, who were Antiochan Orthodox, my father’s first cousin traced our genealogy to the Greeks, and later when I received the results from a DNA test, I discovered that my origins were not only from the Levant but also, Greek, Roman, and Persian. This all made sense as Lebanon was part of the southeastern corner of the Roman Empire, and earlier Persian and Macedonian Empires (parts of Ancient Greece).

    Although my paternal grandfather died prematurely so I never would have had the opportunity to ask him about the Great Famine of Mount Lebanon, I never heard my paternal grandmother speak of the Great Famine. As Orfalea notes in his, Ameen Haddad, who was a friend of our family, recounted his experiences of the great famine, but lamentably many Lebanese declined as they put the ugly genocide and executions behind them, and forged ahead in their new country of emigration from Lebanon. Yet, the chilling quote of Enver Pasha on May 19, 2015 memorializes the planned genocide of the Armenians and Lebanese:
    “The Ottoman Empire should be cleaned up of the Armenians and the Lebanese. We have destroyed the former by the sword, we shall destroy the latter through starvation”.

    • theahalo on November 4, 2019, 9:25 am

      Thank you for bringing this to the attention of readers. Yes I do know about the fate of the Arabs you mention durin the Young Turk regime. I gave a paper in May at the Boston Statehouse about the Genocides and include the fate of those starved to death and those sent to the Armenian highlands to fight in freezing temperatures without support. The Young Turks were apparently very jealous of Arab and Christian Culture. You can find my presentation online at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nzBfcE4PjTM

    • gamal on November 5, 2019, 1:50 pm

      “you omitted the people of Greater Syria”

      but there is still a further disturbing resonance, we are talking about a US senate resolution, very many Armenians fled to Lebanon, they established a town unless I am mistaken and Syria and Iraq, along with all the others who fell foul of Turkification, in fact as Idlib used to be part of the Armenian empire many went to Idlib so these people have been subject to US sanctions, bombing, war and occupation, and now wishes to recognise a genocide that excludes the larger number comprised Greek speaking Muslims and Christians, Turkish speaking Christians and Arabs also victims of the chaos that the Western powers, (the US just concluding the military phase of its genocide of the Native tribes, Great Britain, France, Holland were astride the globe rampaging remorselessly that was the context the collapsing Turkish Empire found itself in and they responded stupidly, violently and savagely, while the west conquered the Arab world in the east the west having done earlier and where aerial bombardment against civilian was first used .

      so now while America has been and is committing gross violations against the many descendants of the victims the Turkification nightmare, including the Armenians of Lebanon, Iraq, Syria and in particular those of Idlib and many many others now they wish to pass a resolution, in the senate?

  5. Stephen Shenfield on November 3, 2019, 1:28 pm

    The title of the article includes the phrase ‘Omar’s response’ but that response has not been cited in full. Here is the statement issued by her office to CNN:

    “I believe accountability for human rights violations — especially ethnic cleansing and genocide — is paramount. But accountability and recognition of genocide should not be used as cudgel in a political fight. It should be done based on academic consensus outside the push and pull of geopolitics. A true acknowledgment of historical crimes against humanity must include both the heinous genocides of the 20th century, along with earlier mass slaughters like the transatlantic slave trade and Native American genocide, which took the lives of hundreds of millions of indigenous people in this country. For this reason, I voted ‘present’ on final passage of H.Res. 296, the resolution Affirming the Unites States record on the Armenian Genocide.”

    It is very hard to make sense of this statement. First, as Thea Halo notes, the views of historians on this issue come as close to consensus as it is reasonable to expect (hardly ever do scholars reach 100% consensus).

    Second, geopolitical considerations are even more important to those who deny this genocide, who are usually concerned to maintain good relations with a military ally, than to those who recognize it, some of whom may be motivated by Islamophobia. This is true of the controversy over the issue not only in the US but also in Israel, which has refused to recognize the genocide solely for the sake of maintaining good relations with Turkey.

    Third, the statement as it stands delegitimizes any statement about any particular genocide that does not simultaneously deal with all other genocides, as though recognition of one genocide implies denial of others. It would be surprising if Omar were consistently to maintain such an absurd stance. Therefore this argument has an ad hoc quality to it.

    Omar’s stance exposes her to the suspicion that she is selectively unwilling to recognize genocide when the perpetrators are Moslem and the victims non-Moslem. In fact, such a suspicion would be unfounded, as she has publicly recognised the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. So it is probably a matter only of her limited knowledge of Ottoman history.

    • MHughes976 on November 3, 2019, 4:25 pm

      The rhetoric of ‘you can’t say thus unless you also say…’ is what we often reject when we hear it from Israel apologists.
      On the massacres of Christians – I think echino has mentioned that they continued after Ottoman times. It was then that the once great Assyrians were reduced to a remnant. They seem to have been strongly persecuted by the Kurds.
      Some say that the process started earlier than 1915. Alyson Chouinard (Enquiries Journal 2010) ‘A Respons to Tanzimat::Sultan Abdul Hamid and Pan-Islamism’ does make clear how the attacks on Ottoman Christians was an attempt by the Turkish monarchy to put itself at the head of what we might call ‘human rights imperialism’ by the Western Empires which had pressured the Ottomans for the Tanzimat ‘liberal’ reforms.

      • MHughes976 on November 4, 2019, 6:43 am

        I meant ‘put itself at the head of the opposition to what we might call ‘human rights imperialism’!

    • annie on November 3, 2019, 5:32 pm

      First…the views of historians on this issue come as close to consensus as it is reasonable to expect

      i don’t think she was implying otherwise. (“It should be done based on academic consensus outside the push and pull of geopolitics.“)

      Israel, which has refused to recognize the genocide solely for the sake of maintaining good relations with Turkey.

      and they have also pushed for it when they wanted to punish Turkey.

      the statement as it stands delegitimizes any statement about any particular genocide that does not simultaneously deal with all other genocides, as though recognition of one genocide implies denial of others.

      yet the two genocides she mentions, (“the transatlantic slave trade and Native American genocide, which took the lives of hundreds of millions of indigenous people in this country”) were both perpetrated by Americans on Americans, and simultaneously “outside the push and pull of geopolitics”, could it be she was suggesting if we’re going to acknowledge genocides we should back up (to earlier centuries) and the move forward by first acknowledging the ancestors of our own (american) people?

      it’s more a ‘cast the mote out of your own eye’ first than a “simultaneously deal with all other genocides”. there’s a big difference.

      morally, we should be recognizing the genocide of native americans before pointing a finger at turkey, or any other country for that matter.

      • gamal on November 4, 2019, 5:24 am

        “morally, we should be recognizing the genocide of native americans before pointing a finger at turkey, or any other country for that matter”

        I see Jeremy Salt, someone conversant with Ottoman history is supportive of Ms. Omar

        “An Ignorant US Congress Passes a Foolish Resolution”

        “The resolution stretches the time frame of the ‘genocide’ from 1915 to 1923, conflating distinct periods of history for political purposes. The ‘relocation’ of the Armenians was ordered in May, 1915, and was called off in February 1916. The number of Armenians who died during this period or during the whole course of the war is disputed. Ottoman census figures showed an Ottoman Armenian population of 1.2 million in 1912. Allowing for undercounting, especially of women and children, the Armenian population in 1915 would have been about 1.5-6 million at most. As hundreds of thousands of Armenians fled into the Caucasus during the war, 1.5 million Armenians could not have died, at least not ‘Ottoman’ Armenians (which is clearly why the period of the ‘genocide’ has been stretched to 1923). Immediate postwar estimates on the Allied side put the Armenian death toll at 600-800,000, which is still a vast number. Other estimates, on the Ottoman or Turkish side, are much lower.

        Furthermore, a vast number of Armenians died of exposure, disease and starvation, as did a vaster number of Muslims, given the fact that they constituted 80 percent or more of the population. Famine in Syria alone took the lives of about 400,000 people. The war was an epic tragedy for the entire civilian population, not just the Armenians and other Christians. The population of the empire dropped from over 18 million in 1914 to just over 14 million in 1918. Most of the dead were Muslim civilians, but for the US Congress, they clearly don’t count.

        Many Armenians died in combat. More than 200,000 fought in the Russian army, with thousands of others enlisting in volunteer brigades. Behind the Ottoman lines, Armenian insurgents were massacring Muslims on a large scale even before the ‘relocation’ of the Armenian civilian population was ordered towards the end of May, 1915. The killing of civilians reached a peak during the 1916-18 Russian-Armenian occupation of northeastern Anatolia. As the records show, Armenians, as well as Turks and Kurds, were the perpetrators of extreme violence as well as its innocent victims.

        As for 1918-23, the victorious powers sliced up the Ottoman Empire between themselves. Italy invaded from the Mediterranean coast; French forces, accompanied by an Armenian legion, invaded what is now southeastern Turkey; and in 1919 a Greek expeditionary army protected by allied warships landed at Izmir. In the three years before it was driven back to the coast, it committed the most appalling atrocities, described in detail by inter-allied commissions of inquiry, by British diplomats, by US military officers on the scene and by Arnold Toynbee when he traveled to the Aegean coast. He was forced to step down from his Greek-funded professorial chair at King’s College, London, as a result of the controversy that followed.

        A faction of Ottoman Assyrians joined the allied war effort. Driven out of their homeland into northwestern Iran, fighters and civilians alike later fled south into Iraq, where they were housed in the Baquba refugee camp north of Baghdad. They expected a reward in the form of autonomy from the British for their wartime services but never got it. In 1933 they opened fire on Iraqi army forces along the Iraqi-Syrian border. In the 36-hour battle which followed, scores of Assyrians and more than 30 Iraqi soldiers were killed. The army retaliated by punitive raids against Simel and other villages in which hundreds of Assyrians were massacred.

        In the Caucasus, Ottoman forces advanced on Baku after driving Armenian forces out of northeastern Anatolia. The scramble for territory and resources, particularly the oil of the Caspian Sea, involved Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Georgians, Turks and British-led forces sent into the region as part of the ‘war of intervention’ against the Bolsheviks. In this period Armenian Christians and Muslim Azerbaijanis slaughtered each other, especially in the struggle for Baku. Yet for the US House of Representatives, only the Armenians were massacred.

        As for the Hitler quote, the most reliable evidence indicates that he never said it. A version of his speech written by the American journalist Louis P.Lochner was submitted to the Nuremberg war crimes prosecutors in 1945. They set it aside and decided to look for something more authentic than a newspaper report. The evidence they did eventually submit was taken from the notes and diary accounts of German officers who had heard Hitler speak. In none of them is there any mention of the Armenians.”

        https://ahtribune.com/us/3610-armenian-genocide.html

      • MHughes976 on November 4, 2019, 1:51 pm

        Matthew 7 permits the removal of the mote from the brother’s eye if one can now see clearly through having removed the beam from one’s own. There has been a degree of beam-removal, such as the 2009 ‘apology resolution’. This was indeed something of a light under a bushel, placed all but of sight. But there has been something of a move in the right direction. Perhaps there needs to be more but still it would be good if official Western positions would go even a quarter as far in recognising the cruelty of 48 as this one does in recognising the cruelty of 1915. And the likes of us have for many years resisted the Zionist riposte that the West must be silent because it too has both sinned and for a long time denied its sins.

      • Mooser on November 5, 2019, 6:08 pm

        “Matthew 7 permits the removal of the mote from the brother’s eye if one can now see clearly through having removed the beam from one’s own.”

        Are you sure? Sounds like something from Rand Paul’s do-it-yourself ophthalmology certification scam.

    • theahalo on November 4, 2019, 9:30 am

      Thank you for this comment. I must confess that I wrote the first draft in haste and wanted to get it out while it was still timely. Usually a bad idea. But almost immediately after posting it I continued to work on my paper. In the final draft I included the followoing:

      Omar’s further explanation of why she abstained has some truth to it, i.e. all genocides should be recognized, and passage should not be used as a cudgel in a political fight. However, those truths should not be used as a cudgel to deny a genocide that needed recognition for over 100 years. Nor do those truths make the recognition of this particular genocide illegitimate. If we waited for all genocides to be acknowledged by the US government before any one genocide was recognized, it is clear we would simply continue as before. The resolution being used as a cudgel in a political fight is a reflection on our self-serving government, not on the legitimacy of the Resolution. It’s too bad that congress needed the recent aggressions by Turkey to finally do the right thing, but it’s the thing they should have done years ago. If Omar is sincere in her excuse for abstaining, she should work for the recognition of all other genocides. That would do more good than obtaining from this one.

      • MHughes976 on November 4, 2019, 3:31 pm

        Indeed it really doesn’t make sense, though it is very characteristic of pro-Israel rhetoric, to demand that none be condemned until all are listed. Since everything that goes on the list is condemned by going on it nothing will ever go on it for certain.
        I’d be very interested to see your response to the historical issues raised here.

      • echinococcus on November 4, 2019, 10:25 pm

        Sorry for jumping in your discussion, Hughes, this must be said: if the “issues” are limited to Jeremy Salt’s long list of complicating factors (and so many they are, what with world war, revolutions, interventions etc.), that’s the standard Turkish “historians'” government-issue text, practically unedited, and it is nothing but the twin brother of the Zionist “it’s too complicated” cry — as if the many complicated details of history were enough to make disappear the fact that the Armenians of Anatolia were the object of a genocide.
        All that blah does not explain why it is *not* a genocide.

        [It’s just as if bringing all the twists and turns of history since Herod’s times — which of course are mighty complicated — canceled the stark fact that Palestine was invaded and stolen between 1880 and its owner population gradually murdered, exiled and otherwise disappeared, in a way that perfectly fits the UN definition of genocide.]

        Two main waves of genocide of Asia Minor Armenians to be more precise, one directed by Abdulhamid before the 1908 revolution and a second, major one by the Union and Progress officers, who almost completed it over many years under the Republic. The genocide of the Greeks, completed by expulsion en masse, and Assyrians, are additional of course…

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