Doomed to Repeat History?

After reading the excerpt from Hilaire Belloc’s book, “The Great Heresies”, recently posted by Didymus, I recalled a quote from Adolph Hitler, “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians? ”. Next month, April 24, marks the 100th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian genocide of 1915, the first genocide of the 20th Century. This was the last and most brutal implementation of a decades old systematic slaughter of Christian and indigenous groups inflicted by the Ottoman government & military. After enduring 20 years of butchery, at the outbreak of WW1 (1914), there were still approximately 2.0 million Armenians in the declining Ottoman Empire (modern day Turkey). By 1922 there were fewer than 400,000. Seventy-Five percent (75%) of the initial population were executed, massacred, or died of starvation. This event, and lack of response from any European government, was what Hitler claimed bolstered his decision to invade Poland and “send to death mercilessly and without compassion, men, women, and children of Polish derivation and language” without expecting any repercussions. Today, I wonder, how many Americans have heard of the Armenian genocide, let alone the fact that the majority of the victims were Christians? The “Three Pashas,” who were the leaders of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) and directed the members of the Special Organization, were determined to “Turkefy” the Ottoman Empire and implement Islamic law. They were the ones responsible for the atrocities.
In the decades since the decimation of the Armenian people, the Turkish leadership has refused to acknowledge this as an act of “genocide”. US lawmakers have also struggled repeatedly to pass any sort of resolution labeling it as such. The reasons of course are political. During the Cold War Turkey was viewed as a strategic ally and the first line of defense against the neighboring Soviet Union. In the past few decades, as well as today, it holds a similar position as we continue to fight terror in the Middle East.
So, as we approach the centenary of the horrors against the Christians of Asia Minor will the United States have the courage to stand in witness to the victims or will we continue to sit silently with the Turks in a denial of history?

3 comments

  1. Spaniard says:

    Thanks Smokey – I will admit to not knowing about this, but will look it up.

    • Smokey says:

      Spaniard-Just another note on how important this event is in history. The word “genocide” was developed by Raphael Lemkin in response to his investigation of the Armenian annihilation. He went on to draft The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.

  2. Spaniard says:

    Smokey – I didn’t realize how much influence you had in Rome. The HF must be listening to you…

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-32272604

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