It is disgraceful. Every time Bob Dole would introduce legislation that would have America simply acknowledge the atrocity that was the 20th Century’s first genocide (of the Christian Armenians by the Muslim Turks) it would get shot down. Bob kept trying and other voices cried out but America – across generations and political parties – just continues to put its fingers in its ears and go ‘la la la la la… I can’t HEAR you… la la la la la…’
US should recognize Armenian genocide –Boston Globe
The sheer scale of the murders in Turkey was so overwhelming that Polish lawyer Raphael Lemkin later devised the word “genocide” to grapple with the carnage.
The genocide was used by Hitler as a blueprint for the Holocaust. How many mass exterminations followed in the 20th century? Each time a coordinated mass murder of thousands, even millions of human beings is perpetrated the world looks on in horror. It is in that horror, with an almost hard to believe possible quality to it, that the hope lies. Because if the world were to take the position of Turkey (not only denying the events, but reprogramming its whole society by teaching school children revised versions of history) or disgustingly enough, the US, then the quote widely attributed to Hitler still applies today (in official circles, at least): “Who speaks today of the extermination of the Armenians?”
Among the many public events, memorial services, and awareness campaigns that mark the genocide of 1915, Pope Francis gave a spirited speech during a Mass earlier this month to commemorate the scars on Armenia’s national memory. “It seems that the human family has refused to learn from its mistakes,” Francis said, decrying “the complicit silence of others who simply stand by.” Most notably, and not for the first time during his papacy, Francis called the events of 1915 what they are: genocide. The address sparked outrage from the Turkish government, whose foreign minister fired off tweets lambasting the Pope’s message as “unacceptable” and “out of touch with both historical facts and legal basis.” But on April 15, the European Parliament joined Vatican City and 22 other nations in recognizing the Armenian genocide and called upon Turkey to do the same.
I am ashamed of the US Federal Government for standing on the side of wrong for political reasons. Turkey is considered an ally in a troubled region. Meanwhile the Pope and 22 other countries (and the EU) have acknowledged the genocide because if you don’t have some grounding in truth you are lost. That applies to whole societies.
I thoughtlessly put up a guest post the other day with the word ‘Genocide’ in its title, as applied to currencies. That was me, who grew up with a coffee table book right there in the open showing the graphic photos of slaughtered women and children taken and verified by a German military officer. If that could happen to me, a person of Armenian decent, desensitized by being a 3rd generation American, what will history end up saying; dustbin or front burner?
I felt ashamed after the fact in realizing that I allowed that post’s title to be published (it’s still there, as I’ll not revise history) just before the commemoration of 100 years of genocidal action and subsequent denial by a rotten to the core Turkish government. Rotten to the core? That may apply to America’s federal government as well because you sleep with evil you pay a price in some manner, over time.
In 1915, the Turkish government began mass extermination of around 1.5 million men (targeting the intellectuals and business people), women and children. It happened, period. Turkey’s government is thus evil, because denial and sanitizing of truth (false narratives) are elements in human evil.
Today the supposed greatest country on earth (how many times over can America destroy the planet with its out of control weapons programs?) officially (the people though, are smarter) lays with this evil. Not to veer this post too far astray, but I once read a book about collective human evil and its premise was that like Hitler’s Germany, whole societies can become catastrophically destructive under the influence of lies and denial.
So beyond the question of the Armenians, think about this little cocktail… Mix 2 parts optically guided weapons (clean and sanitary) with 1 part revisionist history and 1 part new narrative born of revisionist history. Add essence of nuclear threat, stir, don’t shake, and enjoy. What other kinds of stories does America tell itself that it is too subjective to see from the inside out?