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Nations recognizing the Armenian "genocide"

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    Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 00:15
Per request of Suren I have opened a topic dealing with the recognition of the Armenian "genocide."

The usual Minefield ground rules apply, so please be professional, and know that the moderating staff will be watching all Minefield topics very closely.


Originally posted by Suren Suren wrote:

Well, I wanted to open a new thread about Armenian genocide which has been recognized by Swedish government (as well as US). I wanted to know what is our forum members opinion about it. Is it right to bring on the smelly old issue to the surface by recognizing the massacre? (It makes Turkish government and many Turks mad), or It is better to forget about it and try to heal the wounds by helping the Armenian and Turkish governments reestablishing their relationship. What is your opinion as a person? and how do you like your government react toward this issue?

So, there you have my request and the main points.



Edited by es_bih - 14 Mar 2010 at 00:18
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Parnell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 00:54
The US congressional decision to 'recognise' the massacre was a political act, not a moral one. Controversies like these should be debated by historians, not used by politicians for cheap political points. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 00:58
I bet if there would be no blockade of Armenia by Turkey and Azerbajan, there would be no such fuss about Armenian genocide.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 02:41
I bet if Armenia wasn't still occupying 20% of Azeri lands (excluding Qarabagh) there wouldn't have been a blockade in the first place.
 
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Edited by Al Jassas - 14 Mar 2010 at 02:42
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Harburs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 02:46
The Qarabaq (A land with majority Armenians inside Azerbaijan which is not connected to Armenia) is another issue and need a whole different thread to discuss about it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 03:08
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

The US congressional decision to 'recognise' the massacre was a political act, not a moral one. Controversies like these should be debated by historians, not used by politicians for cheap political points. 


Agreed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote xristar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 04:28
The "recognition" by various parliaments of the genocides the Turks commited, doesn't really change much. As a matter of fact, it isn't even worth discussing it, not more than any generic forum topic concerning this subject.
Turkey will suck it up, as after all it doesn't change anything. Lest the Turks thought that the Armenian genocide was still doubted among the world's populations...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 10:46
In other cases, since I'm both Greek and Swedish I would be a notorious man in such a discussion. However, in this forum there has never been a problem between Turkish and Greek members.

In my opinion it doesn't change anything. I understand both sides basically, because Armenians are terribly pissed off and Turks don't like the term genocide. Of course there were a huge number of people killed but was it a genocide?

I thought genocide means the complete extermination of a group of people. If that is a case (correct me if I am wrong) then we're not talking about a genocide. However, the review is still terrible no matter what word you choose. It is the numbers that matter (even if you add or subtract +-500 000).

Now, as I have heard by Turks today, no matter what happened in the past, it is not each ones personal fault. Shall we e.g condemn the Germans forever for what happened twice in Europe? No. We shall condemn though deniers or those who say it was the right thing to do.


Edited by Flipper - 14 Mar 2010 at 10:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Ziegenbartami Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 13:21
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

I thought genocide means the complete extermination of a group of people. If that is a case (correct me if I am wrong) then we're not talking about a genocide. However, the review is still terrible no matter what word you choose. It is the numbers that matter (even if you add or subtract +-500 000).

A genocide can be an attempted extermination of a people, in which case the term certainly fits the targeted killing/deportation of Armenians by the Ottomans.

Quote Shall we e.g condemn the Germans forever for what happened twice in Europe?

The Germans only committed one genocide, as far as I know. If WWI is what you're referring to, the other partaking nations were just as guilty.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Anton Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 13:55
Originally posted by Suren Suren wrote:

The Qarabaq (A land with majority Armenians inside Azerbaijan which is not connected to Armenia) is another issue and need a whole different thread to discuss about it.
 
No, these issues are very related. Armenian Geocide is a way to put pressure on Turkey to take off the blockade. It is a matter of forming public opinion in countries Turkey depend on. And as such it is a clever PR action. Simple as that.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 14:32
Originally posted by Ziegenbartami Ziegenbartami wrote:

Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

I thought genocide means the complete extermination of a group of people. If that is a case (correct me if I am wrong) then we're not talking about a genocide. However, the review is still terrible no matter what word you choose. It is the numbers that matter (even if you add or subtract +-500 000).

A genocide can be an attempted extermination of a people, in which case the term certainly fits the targeted killing/deportation of Armenians by the Ottomans.


 
But here is the thing, the Ottomans never intended to "exterminate" the Armenian population nor did their armed forces were active in a systematic slaughter of them in the way the Holocaust of the Kmer Rouge did it. Plus most of the massacres were actually committed by Kurdish militia as a part of an underground ethnic war that has been actually going on well before WWI started
 
Al-Jassas
 
 


Edited by Al Jassas - 14 Mar 2010 at 14:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 16:20
Such is what happens when contemporary politically charged terminology is applied willy-nilly to the past. Considering that the term did not exist until 1944 and that it was later strictly defined by Convention, it now becomes necessary to consider its connotations under International Law:
 

[G]enocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.
 
 
As one may see, any attempt to construct its applicability prior to 1944 (1948/1991) is a form of ex post facto criminality and in terms of American jurisprudence bluntly unconstitutional--were any sort of judicial proceeding instituted within the United States itself.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 16:54
Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Plus most of the massacres were actually committed by Kurdish militia as a part of an underground ethnic war that has been actually going on well before WWI started
 
Al-Jassas
 


I cannot put a label on the ethnicity or background of those who committed whatever, but what I know for sure is that in many many cases, atrocities were committed by non-governmental groups. For example my grandmothers village was often attacked by non-military armed groups. 

On the other side what you said Al Jassas is something I hear very often, but add to this scenario that those were promised autonomy in exchange of giving a hand to the difficult situation. Would you ever believe that Kurds would volunteer to do something like that out of the blue?


Edited by Flipper - 14 Mar 2010 at 16:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 16:58
Thanks for the clarification drGonzaga.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Mar 2010 at 20:46
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

Originally posted by Al Jassas Al Jassas wrote:

Plus most of the massacres were actually committed by Kurdish militia as a part of an underground ethnic war that has been actually going on well before WWI started
 
Al-Jassas
 


I cannot put a label on the ethnicity or background of those who committed whatever, but what I know for sure is that in many many cases, atrocities were committed by non-governmental groups. For example my grandmothers village was often attacked by non-military armed groups. 

On the other side what you said Al Jassas is something I hear very often, but add to this scenario that those were promised autonomy in exchange of giving a hand to the difficult situation. Would you ever believe that Kurds would volunteer to do something like that out of the blue?
 
Hello Flipper
 
A very important problem when it comes to the Massacres of 1915 and even further (from about 1890 forward) is that we always (me included) take the Armenian side of the story and ignore the whole picture. The picture is quite complex and the rootes of what happened in 1915 takes us all the way to the 1877-78 war.
 
Back then thousands of Armenians volunteered to serve with the Russian forces in the east and were instrumental in the Russian victory there. The picture was not not good. Many thousands of muslims were killed or forced to migrate from ocupied territories and Kurds particularly suffered greatly since they were settlers in many parts that were affected by the Armenian revolt. Naturally they seeked revenge and they did. Sporadic fighting continued but the Ottoman authorities ignored it untill the Dashnak and Hunchak came in 1890.
 
Those revolutionary groups followed a similar line of bandatry (Hajduks) that prevailed in the balkans and raided many Kurdish villages (some times in defense some times in offense). The Kurdish response is all too familiar in what came to be known as the "Hamedian massacres" when Kurds took their revenge on them and with terror tactics and war crimes succeeded in ending the Armenian revolutionary activities. The "Fedayeens" fled to the west or to Russia and began to turn to terrorism to push for their rights. 
 
Anyway sporadic fighting and sectarian violence continued untill WWI when of course the Turks needed every help they could get and employed the Kurds. The kurds knew they could do whatever they want and the Ottomans won't object and unfortunately this passiveness (and in some cases active participation) on the part of many Ottoman commanders greatly helped make things worse.
 
This explaines why the Assyrians suffered so much (much worse than the Armenians in fact) despite not being near any battlefield. They lived in the richest part of those regions, Jazirat Ibn Omar (Cizre and Mardin today), lands craved by some Kurdish tribes since the Ottomans came to the region.
 
Finally, one must not forget that not all kurdish tribes were involved in the massacres. Many tribes actually defended Armenians from the bandits and massacres and entire districts lost few of the Armenian population through war. The nature of the massacres is quite complex, the tribal and the ethno-religious interwine making any clear judgement without a detailed analysis impossible.
 
Al-Jassas


Edited by Al Jassas - 14 Mar 2010 at 20:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Emil_Diniyev Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2010 at 14:45
Originally posted by Suren Suren wrote:

The Qarabaq (A land with majority Armenians inside Azerbaijan which is not connected to Armenia) is another issue and need a whole different thread to discuss about it.


Armenian majority only after ethnic cleansing wich completed during the war but started with Armenian settlements in Karabakh during 1800s and massacres during early 1900s.


Edited by Emil_Diniyev - 29 Mar 2010 at 14:46
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Dolphin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2010 at 15:03
Originally posted by Parnell Parnell wrote:

The US congressional decision to 'recognise' the massacre was a political act, not a moral one. Controversies like these should be debated by historians, not used by politicians for cheap political points. 


Yeah, but surely the act of recognition is better than the lack of it? I would wager that a continued avoidance of 'recognition' would have been much less helpful.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Mar 2010 at 17:13
Although I find nothing admirable in the official Turkish stance this is idiotic on all levels. It's hilarious how certain politicians first blame the Turks for interfering with historical writing and then do exactly the same. It's not the task of the parliament to decide what happened or not (the current joke is that the Armenians should blame the Swedish parliament since if that had voted differently there obviously never would have been a genocide). Further, applying a legal term on something that was or was not commited 30 years before the term was defined isn't an act of brilliance either. It isn't the first time the the social democrats* have decided to scrap the normal rules and rule retrospectivelly though. Lastly, I would be highly surprised if more than a few percent of the voters had any deeper knowledge in what happened.


*although they are currently in opposition, they managed to get this through with four right wingers going against their party. The yes-side won with 131-130.


Edited by Styrbiorn - 29 Mar 2010 at 17:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Jun 2010 at 03:57

I see certain people have doubts about the veracity of the Armenian genocide. Im not surprised, as first-hand accounts and scholarly works on the topic are not widely read by most of those who form opinions on the issue. I will create a new thread where I provide first-hand sources as soon as time permits (work+school). What I will not do is lower the standards of the discussion by answering every false claim in this thread, because they are too abundant and they are contrary to all scholarly conclusions to be worthy of individual rebuttal.

 

Some relevant information to this thread would be a list of national entities which recognize the Armenian genocide: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Recognition_of_the_Armenian_Genocide

 

One of the recognizing groups is the International Association of Genocide Scholars, the foremost group in the world when it comes to the study of genocide. I mention this because there are those of you claiming that these are complex issues which should be left to historians. I dont mean to point out the obvious, but there has long been a strong historical consensus on this issue which has been reached by people much more qualified than anyone here, and one would have known this had one followed the issue for years and/or read first-hand accounts and scholarly works on the topic. This consensus among scholars includes the man who coined the term genocide, Dr. Raphael Lemkin. He said himself that he created the word genocide to describe what happened to the Armenians in WWI and the Jews in WWII. Dr. Lemkin said on many occasions that the Armenian genocide helped shape his view of the concept of genocide, which was the basis of the UN convention on genocide. I have mentioned that fact about a dozen times on these forums but apparently key facts are not worthy of being read or remembered for future discussions.

 

 

About the aspect of recognition:

 

Obviously, the Armenian genocide is used as political leverage against Turkey, the same way ANY issue from the Holocaust, to the behavior of Gays, to drawing cartoons, have all become politicized. In fact, it is practically impossible to divorce seeking justice for the genocide from the game of politics. The genocide itself was based on politics (Turks didnt want Armenians to restore their state). All this talk of siding with the Russians and using that as justification for mass murder is pure drivel of the most insidious kind. The bottom line is Turkey did not want to see Armenia restore its independence the way Greece, Bulgaria, and other nations did.     

Therefore, Armenian genocide recognition is intimately tied with Armenian statehood and the question of illegal seizures of private land, assets, and countless lives, all of which clearly gives a political aspect to this issue. Unfortunately, the only parliament that SHOULD be discussing these events is barred by its own laws from doing so. Since thats the case, the civilized world will discuss it for them, with no need to explain or justify the discussion.

 

Having said that, I do not actively support genocide recognition in the US on the federal level. Washington wont recognize it due to geopolitical realities, and any efforts in this direction are a waste of resources in my opinion. These efforts could be used to strengthen Armenias statehood in the face of its hostile neighbors.

 

As for genocide recognition in other countries, I see this as fair game. We Armenians have the facts on our side so we do not need to hide behind anti-speech laws like they do in Turkey. Thats why with our limited resources we are able to trump the multi-million dollar Turkish-Azeri denial campaigns which are condemned by all serious scholars. There are virtually no Armenians in Sweden, yet the Swedes recognized it due to their own political machinations. Yes its purely political, but for us it serves another purpose, so we will take it. Germany recognized it despite the fact there are over 2,000,000 Turks and only 30,000 Armenians there. We will take recognition over indifference.

Just because the genocide is a political issue doesnt mean the events did not take place or that we are adding details to the story. All first-hand accounts from all nations (including Turkey) fit the Armenian version of the events. By all accounts, the crime occurred, the perpetrator was not punished but rewarded, and they have organized state-sponsored propaganda campaigns to deny the crime and its effect on the survivors.

           International political pressure is simply the only method Armenians have of reacting to the crime itself and the state-organized denial campaign by the perpetrators. Since Armenians never received justice like the Jews and others did, we will seek justice ourselves. Since Turkey has refused to discuss the issue for 95 years and punishes those who do, the rest of us will discuss it for them, with no shame and no justification for our discussions.



Edited by ArmenianSurvival - 05 Jun 2010 at 04:01
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Carcharodon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 2010 at 05:42
As a side note: it seems that the Swedish authorities are more occupied with other countries history than with its own. Big campaigns are starteed to learn the kids in school everything about the holocaust during WWII, and also they recognize the Armenian genocide. But when it concerns Swedens own history the authorities are taken away a lot of resouces for history in school, historical and archeological research, museums and the support of local historical societies. It seems that Swedish authoriteis in their quest to be as politicaly correct and internationalistic as possible disregard Swedish history in favor of the pc parts of international history.
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Its always easier to talk about bad things others did while ignoring your own.
 
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I think everyone recognizes a lot of Armenians were killed. Isn't that enough? Trying to equal it to the Jewish holocaust by calling it genocide is just political opportunism in the hopes that such recognition will bring advantages. What they are saying isn't "please respect our loss" but "we want power".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 07 Sep 2010 at 13:12
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

I think everyone recognizes a lot of Armenians were killed. Isn't that enough?


I agree with you Reginmund. A term will not change the facts (a lot of people killed). Now, if anyone has a disagreement on the numbers, the way to find out the best approximate is absolute. Hail the IT and the era of digitization! Just search in the newspapers from that time and compare the numbers given.




Edited by Flipper - 07 Sep 2010 at 13:12
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Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

I think everyone recognizes a lot of Armenians were killed. Isn't that enough?
 
You're right, most people do recognize it outside Turkey. However, what we want recognized is why and how Armenians were killed. They were killed by state-organized mass murder (genocide) with the aim of removing Armenians from their ancestral lands. There is even legislative proof in the Tehcir law, which made it a government policy to remove all Armenians from the Armenian Highlands.
 
 
Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

Trying to equal it to the Jewish holocaust by calling it genocide is just political opportunism in the hopes that such recognition will bring advantages. What they are saying isn't "please respect our loss" but "we want power".
 
Please tell me what political motivation Raphael Lemkin had when he said that Armenians suffered genocide. Not only did he coin the term for the international community, he was also a Jew. Im curious to hear what you think his “political opportunism” was.
 
Many Jewish scholars have not only said Armenians suffered genocide on par with the Holocaust, some of them even claim the Armenian genocide was the precursor to the Holocaust. These are Jewish scholars, not Armenians.
 
 
Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

Hail the IT and the era of digitization! Just search in the newspapers from that time and compare the numbers given.
 
Exactly right. Those newspaper reports will give everyone a better idea of what happened and you will see the terms "race extermination" and "extermination of the Armenian nation" frequently used by people who were actually in the Ottoman Empire at the time.


Edited by ArmenianSurvival - 28 Sep 2010 at 19:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Al Jassas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Sep 2010 at 21:07
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

I think everyone recognizes a lot of Armenians were killed. Isn't that enough?
 
You're right, most people do recognize it outside Turkey. However, what we want recognized is why and how Armenians were killed. They were killed by state-organized mass murder (genocide) with the aim of removing Armenians from their ancestral lands. There is even legislative proof in the Tehcir law, which made it a government policy to remove all Armenians from the Armenian Highlands.
 
Genocide is a serious business and one thing is for sure, there was no genocide against the Armenians. There was a lot of killing but no genocide.
 
There was no SS, there were no concentration camps, there were no gas chambers, there were no Eintsatzgruppen and there was no Gestapo searching for people who gave aide to the Armenians. In fact Armenians living far from the front were never touched until there very end of the war when many of them volunteered with the British and especially the French.
 
 
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

Trying to equal it to the Jewish holocaust by calling it genocide is just political opportunism in the hopes that such recognition will bring advantages. What they are saying isn't "please respect our loss" but "we want power".
 
Please tell me what political motivation Raphael Lemkin had when he said that Armenians suffered genocide. Not only did he coin the term for the international community, he was also a Jew. Im curious to hear what you think his “political opportunism” was.
 
Many Jewish scholars have not only said Armenians suffered genocide on par with the Holocaust, some of them even claim the Armenian genocide was the precursor to the Holocaust. These are Jewish scholars, not Armenians.
 
So what, there are a lot of jews who say otherwise but the fact remains, the Armenian massacres can never be compared with the Holocaust at any sense.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Sep 2010 at 08:43
I can call it a genocide if you like. It really doesn't matter to me as according to my value system it makes no difference whether it was systematic genocide or random massacre; any action carried out with impunity to one's own interest is legitimate by virtue of its success. I don't have anything against the Armenians or the Jews for that matter, nor do I think much of Nazi Germany or Turkey at the time, but it's not rational to support someone simply because they drew the short end of the stick at one point in history.
 
Of course there are political agendas involved, if anyone tries to tell me otherwise they obviously think I'm an idiot. Jewish intellectuals unsurprisingly sympathize with those they consider to have undergone similar trials, but the Armenians are the ones with the biggest stake in it. If the Armenian genocide was widely recognized, reparations would have to be discussed, and that's the real reason why it's important to have it branded "genocide".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2010 at 03:32

Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

I can call it a genocide if you like. It really doesn't matter to me as according to my value system it makes no difference whether it was systematic genocide or random massacre; any action carried out with impunity to one's own interest is legitimate by virtue of its success. I don't have anything against the Armenians or the Jews for that matter, nor do I think much of Nazi Germany or Turkey at the time, but it's not rational to support someone simply because they drew the short end of the stick at one point in history.

 

First of all I appreciate your honesty. But what you are doing is judging things by your value system, which seems to criticize people for seeking justice for a crime as opposed to criticizing the perpetrator of the crime itself. I might be wrong about that, but thats the impression you gave.

 
Objectively speaking, a government plan brought to action to exterminate members of a national group is genocide. This conclusion can be reached objectively, without any personal values or sympathies.
 
 

Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

Of course there are political agendas involved, if anyone tries to tell me otherwise they obviously think I'm an idiot. Jewish intellectuals unsurprisingly sympathize with those they consider to have undergone similar trials, but the Armenians are the ones with the biggest stake in it. If the Armenian genocide was widely recognized, reparations would have to be discussed, and that's the real reason why it's important to have it branded "genocide".

 

I pretty much agreed with whatever you just said in my first post. But unlike you I see nothing wrong with punishing a country which planned a crime of immense proportions, executed it, freely denies it, threatens those who speak about it, all while threatening the country which it tried to exterminate (yes Armenia is still under serious threat).



Edited by ArmenianSurvival - 05 Oct 2010 at 03:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Reginmund Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2010 at 09:03
Originally posted by ArmenianSurvival ArmenianSurvival wrote:

First of all I appreciate your honesty. But what you are doing is judging things by your value system, which seems to criticize people for seeking justice for a crime as opposed to criticizing the perpetrator of the crime itself. I might be wrong about that, but thats the impression you gave.

 
I wouldn't criticize them for seeking retribution, I would just like them to be plain about the political aspect of their ambitions rather than taking me for a fool by expecting me to believe all they want is a simple "sorry guys!". The only way to punish Turkey would be for them to suffer political and economic setbacks in favour of the Armenians, though I have trouble seeing how the Armenians are going to make it happen. It seems they would have to rely on outside support, but at the moment there doesn't seem to be any likely candidates who would benefit from taking the Armenian side against Turkey.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05 Oct 2010 at 11:39
@ArmenianSurvival

It would be interesting to hear your point of view as to why it is important to recognize the events of that time as a genocide.

Specifically, is it more important for the world to know it was a genocide OR that at least 1 million out of 4 back them were killed?

In what way the specific word "genocide" would bring salvation to Armenians and in what way the world would understand the events better?

In those cases I think it is important for third parties to know what is the final goal of all these. Will a term make you achieve your goals or are there other ways to do that?

Since usually such discussions end up in very emotional discussions or etymological theories, it would be a chance now for people like you to point out the final goal of this issue without being locked to the term.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ArmenianSurvival Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06 Oct 2010 at 18:59

Originally posted by Reginmund Reginmund wrote:

I wouldn't criticize them for seeking retribution, I would just like them to be plain about the political aspect of their ambitions rather than taking me for a fool by expecting me to believe all they want is a simple "sorry guys!". The only way to punish Turkey would be for them to suffer political and economic setbacks in favour of the Armenians, though I have trouble seeing how the Armenians are going to make it happen. It seems they would have to rely on outside support, but at the moment there doesn't seem to be any likely candidates who would benefit from taking the Armenian side against Turkey.

 

I agree with everything you said.

 

The sad part is many Armenians just want an apology and nothing more. However, Im not one of them and neither do I hide my true intentions.

 

 

 

Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

Specifically, is it more important for the world to know it was a genocide OR that at least 1 million out of 4 back them were killed?b

 

Its important for them to know it was a genocide, because thats the objective reality of what happened. The truth itself outweighs any consequence of acknowledging that which is true.

 

There were 4 million Armenians worldwide at the time, 2 million of which were living in the Ottoman Empire. Out of that 2 million, 1.5 million of them were killed, enslaved, or Islamicized. The half million who escaped did so because of sheer luck, being clever, or help from outsiders (Danish missionaries are a great example, they saved hundreds of Armenian orphans including my grandmother). Turks even massacred Armenians in northern Persia when WWI spilled into that countrys borders. They even massacred Armenians in eastern Armenia (Russian Empire) during their march to conquer Baku after the Russians left for the revolution. Once they reached Baku they massacred thousands more in that region. They massacred Armenians in Smyrna during the carnage there. So it wasnt just an isolated incident, it happened everywhere the Turks marched through, which included the Armenian Highlands and surrounding areas. There are testimonies from Turkish governors and mayors who said they were secretly ordered by the central government to carry out these massacres. There are also testimonies from soldiers who were on the ground in Turkey.

 
 

 

Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

In what way the specific word "genocide" would bring salvation to Armenians and in what way the world would understand the events better?

 

Calling it genocide would make people understand the true nature of the killings: A state-planned and state-executed plan to exterminate members of a national group for no crime other than being part of that group… As opposed to random sporadic killings which were just unfortunate accidents of conventional war. The thousands of scholars who have studied this episode plainly call it genocide. Even the first-hand accounts of the time were calling it race extermination. There is clear contemporary and historical consensus about it. The only people who deny it are those who have not read 1 iota of first-hand sources. You can prove the genocide based solely on first-hand accounts from the Central Powers: Turkish sources, German sources and Austro-Hungarian sources. Of course the deniers have not read any of those sources, or they have and simply downplay their importance.

 

The best way to understand the events better is to study all sources and ask yourself why every single side in the war painted the exact same picture.

 

 

Originally posted by Flipper Flipper wrote:

In those cases I think it is important for third parties to know what is the final goal of all these. Will a term make you achieve your goals or are there other ways to do that?

 

I can only speak for myself and some others Ive met with the same mindset, and this may seem odd to 3rd party listeners. We want what is rightfully ours: Our homeland which we built up for thousands of years, which was destroyed in a matter of months and has now become the most desolate and backward region of the near east. Many of the people who live there now are squatters and newcomers who either massacred Armenians themselves, or took the empty homes of massacred Armenians. They later changed all the Armenian names of the region and gave them Turkish names. They destroyed most of our monuments and denied Armenians ever lived there.

 

There is precedent to our claims for land in the form of the Wilson Arbitration. After WWI the Allies and Ottomans both agreed to have Woodrow Wilson delineate the border between Turkey and Armenia. Under international law, 3rd-party arbitrations are irreversible once the process of legal arbitration begins. So any treaty which came after it (Sevres, Lausanne, etc) are invalid and illegal. In fact, the Treaty of Lausanne doesnt even mention the word Armenia or Soviet at all! It says nothing about the Turkish-Armenian border! The only legally-binding agreement which defines the Turkish-Armenian border in detail is the Wilson Arbitration.

 

Let me be clear about something else: I do not see the return of lands as reparations. If someone comes to your home, kills your family and burns your house to ashes, it is not considered reparations to have the charred remains of your house accessible to you. It is simply a retaining of rightful ownership. Reparations would be to repair the physical/monetary damage that was done as well as for psychological and personal trauma. All we want is rightful ownership.

 

Now obviously, Armenians want something from Turks that Turks will never give up on their own and not without a fight. We are in no position to compete with Turkey head-to-head, especially when it comes to military might. In my opinion, our only hope is to strengthen our military alliance with Russia, which is the only reason modern Armenia is surviving in the first place. Hopefully sometime this century, or whenever it may be, it might be in Russias geopolitical interests to occupy western Armenia militarily, in which case we will use the Wilson Arbitration as the legal mandate. At this moment in time I see this hypothetical scenario as our only chance to regain western Armenia. Anything else is just hot air.

 

One thing I have to add is that most Armenians are oblivious to the legal and geopolitical aspects of this issue. Its for this reason among others that many of them genuinely want an apology and acknowledgement of the crime and nothing more. I think that also comes from the psychological trauma of not having their pain acknowledged. Even those Armenians who want lands dont know which documents give us mandate for that. Thats one of the reasons why my opinion of fellow diasporan Armenians is low: They are too emotional, not knowledgeable enough and not nearly as bold as they should be towards these issues.

 

I hope I was able to answer your questions!



Edited by ArmenianSurvival - 06 Oct 2010 at 19:04
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