A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

A universe of beauty, mystery and wonder

Sunday, April 19, 2015

THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE - How the White House refuses to call it a "genocide," and its efforts to downplay its significance and magnitude because it was perpetrated by Islam - The many instances when the US refused to acknowledge other genocides, including the Holocaust, and help the victims, out of political convenience

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Daily Mail: Genocide of the Christians: The blood-soaked depravity exceeded even today's atrocities by Islamic State
Now, 100 years on Turkey faces global disgust at its refusal to admit butchering over a MILLION Armenians  
Armenian widow with 3 children seeking help from missionaries in 1899. Her husband was killed in the aftermath of the Armenian Massacres of 1894-1896
It was an American Jew who first made the world aware of what happened.
Back in 1915, Henry Morgenthau was the U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and on his desk in Constantinople landed reports from American consuls in far-flung Turkish cities, documenting massacres and death marches.
Christian Armenians in the Ottoman Empire had long been second-class citizens, a persecuted minority. Now, as power in the land was seized by a junta of nationalist officers known as the Young Turks, persecution turned to unbridled savagery.
Unleashed on the Armenians, Turkish policemen and soldiers ransacked Christian churches and handed bishops and priests over to the mob.
Community leaders such as doctors and teachers were hanged in batches on gallows in town squares. An American missionary reported seeing men tied together with their heads sticking through the rungs of a ladder to be lopped off with swords.
Torture was commonplace, Morgenthau maintained as he studied the evidence. ‘They would pull out eyebrows and beards almost hair by hair, extract fingernails and toenails, apply red-hot irons and tear off flesh with pincers, then pour boiled butter into the wounds.’
Crucifixion was treated as a sport. ‘As the sufferer writhes in his agony, they would cry: “Now let your Christ come and help you”.’
When orders were given to assemble all the Armenians and march them out into the desert, Morgenthau had no doubt that this was ‘the death warrant to a whole race’. Moreover, he said: ‘In their conversations with me, the authorities made no particular attempt to conceal the fact’.

Update April 22:  It's official: President Obama will not recognize the Armenian Genocide, thus breaching another one of his pre-2008 election promises.  Partially explaining his silence is the close relationship between Obama and the Islamist Erdogan, who Obama reportedly called the Middle Eastern leader who he feels closest to.
Continue reading this account, a column denouncing the White House for refusing to call it a "genocide", and other instances when the White House and other world leaders have supported genocidal regimes and refused to help the victims out of political convenience, related articles, and link to article with disturbing images of the Armenian genocide.

Convicts were let out of prison to help with the killings. Locals joined in, too. In Ankara, all Armenian men aged 15 to 70 were bound in fours and led out to a secluded valley, where Turkish peasants hacked them to death with scythes, spades and saws.
‘In this way, they exterminated the whole male population.’
For six months, as the enforced exodus went on, roads and tracks were crowded with lines of Armenians.
‘They could be seen winding through every valley and mountain-side, moving on they scarcely knew where, except that every road led to death.
‘They left behind the unburied dead, as well as men and women dying of typhus, dysentery and cholera and children setting up their last piteous wails for food and water.’
 Over one million of the two million Armenians living within the borders of the Ottoman Empire were murdered
How many died? Morgenthau reported that, on one particular death march, of the 18,000 who set out, just 150 were alive a week later.
A survivor recalled that ‘death was our constant companion. We fought the threat of panic, hunger, fear and sleepless nights but, in the end, they won.
It seemed there was no pity or humanity in the hearts of our captors’. As they crossed the Euphrates river, one witness reported how ‘bloated bodies lay on the bank, black from the sun, tongues hanging out. Bones showed through decaying skin’.
‘The stomachs of pregnant women had been slit open and their unborn children placed in their hands like black grapes. Children were crying next to dead parents. Women were delirious.’
So many dead bodies clogged the river that its course was diverted for several hundred yards. But at least the water gave relief to some. Mothers sank into it gratefully, their babies in their arms, to drown and end their misery.
Women suffered special horrors. Aghavni — that girl whose story of stumbling on her father’s crucified and decapitated body we saw earlier — recalled how, in her home town, a group of 20 Armenian women were forced to dance under a blue, cloudless sky.
‘Turkish soldiers stood behind them shouting “Dance, sluts” and cracking their whips across their breasts, so their clothes would fall off. Some were half-naked, others tried to hold their clothes together.
‘The women were praying as they moved in a slow circle, holding hands. Occasionally, they would drop the hand next to them and quickly make the sign of the cross.
‘When they fell down, they were whipped until they got up and continued their dance. Each crack of the whip and more of their clothing came off.
‘Around them stood their children, who were forced to clap, faster and faster. If they stopped, they were whipped.
‘Some were two years old and barely able to stand up. They cried uncontrollably, in a terrible, pitiful, hopeless way.’ All of this was watched by a crowd of delighted Turkish townspeople in smart dresses and business suits, ‘clapping, too, like cockroaches’.
What came next was beyond belief. ‘Two soldiers pushed through the crowd, swinging buckets, and doused the women with kerosene. As the women screamed, another soldier came forward with a torch and lit each woman by her hair.
‘At first, all I could see was smoke. Then I saw the fire coming off their bodies, and their screaming became unbearable.
‘The children were being whipped furiously now, as if the burning mothers had excited the soldiers, and they admonished the children to clap faster and faster, telling them that if they stopped they, too, would be set on fire.
‘As the women collapsed in burning heaps, oozing and black, the smell of burnt flesh made me sick and I fainted.’
On the death march out into the desert, Aghavni remembered how women were openly tortured and abused. ‘If a woman would not readily submit to sex, she was whipped and, if she tried to run away, she was shot.’
She could only watch in horror as a girl resisted and a policeman took out his sword, ripped open her dress and then slashed off her breasts. ‘They fell to the ground and she bled to death next to them.’
Aghavni survived her ordeal — one of the few to do so. She lived, eventually making her way to America to give her first-hand account of a genocide that the Turkish authorities are still adamant did not take place.
Armenia survived, too, as a country — becoming independent for a while after the break-up of the Ottoman empire, before being sucked into the maw of the Soviet Union for 70 years, from which it emerged as a state in its own right in 1991.
This week, Turkey’s president declared that Armenians pressing Turkey to recognise massacres as genocide are simply trying to score points against his country.
‘Their aim is not to search for the truth, but to attack Turkey and cause it harm,’ he contends.
But such defiance flies in the face of history. Arnold J. Toynbee, a British intelligence agent at the time (and later a distinguished historian), wrote that ‘all this horror was inflicted on the Armenians without a shadow of provocation’.
He heard, back then, the Turkish argument that there was a war on and the Armenians were traitors, ‘but such excuses are entirely contradicted by the facts’.
‘None of the towns and villages from which they were systematically deported to their death were anywhere near the hostilities. The Ottoman Government cannot disguise its crime as a preventive measure.’ Toynbee wrote this in 1916.
That in 2015 Turkey is still insisting on rewriting history should concern us all — not least because in a world where Islamic forces are, once again, brutally targeting Christians in the Middle East and Africa, the lessons of the past need to be faced and finally learned.
Read more

Why was the Armenian Genocide perpetrated? 
When WWI erupted, the government of the Young Turks adopted the policy of Pan-Turkism, hoping to save the remains of the weakened Ottoman Empire. The plan was to create an enormous Ottoman Empire that would spread to China, include all the Turkish speaking nations of the Caucasus and Middle Asia, intending also to turkify all the ethnic minorities of the empire.     
The Armenian population became the main obstacle standing in the way of the realization of this policy.  The Young Turks used WWI as a suitable opportunity for the implementation of the Armenian genocide, although it was planned in 1911-1912.  
There were an estimated two million Armenians living in the Ottoman Empire before the First World War. Approximately one and a half million Armenians were killed from 1915-1923. The remaining part was either islamized or exiled.    (Genocide Museum.)


The White House refuses to call the Armenian genocide "a genocide".
And the many instances when confronting genocide is politically inconvenient

Key points:
  • One million Christian Armenians were murdered in 1915 by the Muslim Ottoman Empire ran by Turks.
  • Finally the Vatican - after years of cozying up to Islam - has decided to denounce the Armenian genocide.
  • The Vatican's tacit alliance with Islam is based on their common interest in the destruction of Israel and the Jews.  
  • After the Nazis, Islam is the Vatican's last hope for the destruction of the Jews.
  • The Vatican has had a close and warm relationship with terrorists such as Yassir Arafat and Mahmoud Abbas, and for years refused to recognize the State of Israel.
  • Following the Pope's words, the European Union also made a statement condemnatory of that genocide.
  • The White House still refuses to call it a "genocide" preferring the term "great calamity" - because it was perpetrated by the Religion of Peace.
  • The White House refused to lend the Smithsonian Museum a rug commemorative of the Armenian genocide, in an effort to continue the denial and cover up.
  • After much prodding, the White House allowed the rug to be displayed but only for six days, and as long as the word "genocide" was not used.  The rug was displayed in a section with "gifts to the White House".
  • In 1994 Susan Rice, Director of Africa Affairs for the National Security Council, advised the Clinton administration against calling the Rwanda genocide a "genocide" because that would force the US administration "to do something" about it during election time.  Inconvenient.
  • Susan Rice today is National Security Advisor to president Obama.
  • Back in 1943, in the middle of the Holocaust, the Roosevelt administration also refused to condemn the Nazi mass killings of Jews because then they would be expected "to do something" about it.  Inconvenient.
  • The Obama administration has also treaded softly in dealing with the mass genocide of Christians by Muslims in Darfur.
  • The Russians and Chinese have also supported genocidal regimes out of political convenience.
  • Political convenience has trumped moral duty in confronting 20th century genocides - to this day. 
  • The real mark of courage is when there is a high price to pay for our actions. No risk, no courage.  

The Inconvenience of Genocide
By Dr. Rafael Medoff 
Dr. Rafael Medoff is director of
The David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, in Washington, D.C.
and author of 15 books about the Holocaust and Jewish history.

The refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide, the abandonment of the Jews during the Holocaust, the lack of response to the Rwanda genocide, and the decision not to apprehend Darfur war criminals or act against their latest atrocities, all ultimately stem from the same fundamental failure to recognize that moral responsibilities should trump political inconvenience.

Genocide is only condemned or acted upon by the current US administration when politically convenient. A must read, especially for those who believe Obama's promises to protect Israel.
It's just a coincidence that the day commemorating the most widely-recognized genocide, the Holocaust, came out (April 16, this year) in close proximity to the day for remembering the least-recognized genocide, the slaughter by the Turks of the Armenians (April 24).
But the lessons from the two experiences are inextricably linked, especially in light of the current debate over how the United States should respond to genocide and other atrocities around the world.
the ruling Turks had turned their hatred on the 2 million men, women and children of Armenian extraction who lived within their borders
The Vatican finally decides to denounce Islam's genocide of the Armenians

The Armenian genocide has been unexpectedly in the news, thanks to the April 12 statement by Pope Francis characterizing the Turks' slaughter of more than one million Armenians between 1914 and 1918 as "the first genocide of the 20th century."
In Turkey, the pontiff's words were greeted with outrage. The Turkish government called home its ambassador to the Vatican, and its minister for European affairs, one Volkan Bozir, offered the clownish theory that Argentina-born pope, a native Argentinian, has been unduly influenced by nameless members of "the Armenian diaspora" who supposedly "control the media and business" in Argentina.
The pontiff was stating an obvious fact that is widely recognized among mainstream historians and in the Jewish world.
The European Parliament this week seconded the Pope's statement and urged Turkey to face up to its past.
To the White House it still isn't a genocide - because it was perpetrated by Islam.
No such pronouncements were forthcoming, however, from the White House, where the pontiff is more popular when he talks about poverty and less appreciated when he raises an issue at odds with the Obama administration's foreign policy agenda. 

As a presidential candidate in 2008, then-Senator Barack Obama said, "America deserves a leader who speaks truthfully about the Armenian genocide."
Yet the statements that President Obama has issued each April 24 on Armenian Remembrance Day have never included the G-word. Instead, he has used an Armenian expression-- "Meds Yeghern," meaning "the great calamity."
In all likelihood, he will do so again this year. Fear of displeasing the Turks is more important to the Obama administration than acknowledging this painful historical truth.
Armenian children caught up in the 1915 genocide which modern Turkey still refuses to acknowledge 
A Dangerous Rug
The administration took this strategy to such an extreme that for more than a year, it refused even to permit the display of a rug symbolizing the Armenian genocide. 

That peculiar episode began in the autumn of 2013, when the Smithsonian Institution announced it would hold an event featuring a new book, "President Calvin Coolidge and the Armenian Orphan Rug," by Dr. Hagop Martin Deranian, the son of a survivor.
Orphaned Armenian children
The eighteen foot-long rug was woven in 1925 by four hundred Armenian orphan girls living in exile in Lebanon and sent to President Calvin Coolidge as a gesture of appreciation for America's assistance to survivors of the genocide. Coolidge proudly displayed the rug in the White House for the rest of his term. 

After he left office, Coolidge took the rug to his Massachusetts residence. It was still there in 1939, when former First Lady Grace Coolidge became a leading figure in the struggle to rescue a different group of children from a genocidal dictator.
Mrs. Coolidge lobbied in support of the Wagner-Rogers bill, which would have admitted 20,000 German Jewish children to the United States. But President Franklin D. Roosevelt refused to support the legislation, and it was buried in committee.

Ironically, FDR's relative and predecessor, Theodore Roosevelt, advocated declaring war on Turkey over the Armenian genocide.
"The failure to deal radically with the Turkish horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense," the then-ex-president asserted in 1918. Teddy Roosevelt was correct to fear that tolerating genocide would pave the way for it to happen again.
Indeed, Adolf Hitler reportedly once assured his subordinates that their atrocities would not be remembered, since "Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?"

The genocide rug eventually made it back to the White House and was in use during at least part of the Clinton administration. Then it was mothballed. 

President Coolidge had pledged that the rug would have "a place of honor in the White House, where it will be a daily symbol of goodwill on earth," but instead, in the autumn of 2013, it became a daily symbol of politics taking precedence over recognizing and combating genocide.

The Obama White House refused to loan the rug to the Smithsonian. Reporters who asked the State Department about it were referred to the White House. When they asked the White House spokesman, they were curtly told that he had nothing to say except "It is not possible to loan it out at this time." 

After more than a year of protests, including several embarrassing articles about the controversy in the Washington Post, the Obama finally allowed the rug to be displayed--but for just six days, and not in a display concerning the Armenian genocide.
Instead, it was mushed together with other foreign gifts to the White House, in a display called "Thank You to the United States: Three Gifts to Presidents in Gratitude for American Generosity Abroad."
The genocide rug was sandwiched in between a Sevres vase presented by France to the United States after World War One, and a cluster of lucite-encased branches sent by Japan after the 2010 tsunami.

Grouping victims of genocide together with those who drowned in a tsunami or were left homeless by World War One in effect disguised what happened to the Armenians.
It blurred the distinction between something that was inevitable and something that was not. Weather-related disasters and damage caused by wars are inevitable. But the Armenian genocide was different: it was an act of mass murder, systematically planned and implemented by evil men driven by religious and ethnic hatred.

The Armenian Orphan Rug happens to be a work of great beauty. But the point of displaying it is not for the sake of its aesthetic value. Its power is its message. Its significance is as a symbol and reminder of the genocide that the Turks perpetrated against the Armenians. Six days in an exhibit about gifts to the White House was no victory; on the contrary, it was a defeat for everyone who cares about remembering the past and learning from it.
Politics and Genocide  -  Susan Rice's disgraceful record
For human rights advocates, the Obama administration began with great promise. Dr. Samantha Power, an outspoken critic of past American responses to genocide, was named as the president's senior adviser on human rights issues on the National Security Council.
Her Pulitzer Prize-winning book called "A Problem from Hell," had taken past presidents to task for failing to act against genocide and ethnic cleansing. Now, for the first time, someone who was both well informed regarding the history of the problem and personally committed to a new approach evidently would be in a position to chart a new course.
But there was another face to this administration--a face which, ironically, Power herself had in her book: the troubling role of Susan Rice in shaping the Clinton administration's decision not to intervene in the genocide in Rwanda. 

Rice was director of Africa Affairs for the National Security Council in the spring of 1994, when reports began pouring in about machete-wielding militias of the Hutu tribe in Rwanda carrying out nationwide massacres of the country's ethnic minority, the Tutsis. 

Then-journalist Samantha Power found a Defense Department memo revealing that the State Department was "worried" that acknowledging that genocide was underway in Rwanda "could commit [the U.S.] to actually 'do something'."  
Susan Rice, US Ambassador to the United Nations, attends the UN Security Council in New York on Nov 21, 2012.
Susan Rice
Susan Rice was quoted as saying to her colleagues: "If we use the word 'genocide' and are seen as doing nothing, what will be the effect on the November [midterm] elections?" 

When Dr. Rice was nominated in 2012 to become President Obama's National Security Adviser, she was asked during her confirmation hearings about that Rwanda-midterms remark.
She replied that she did not recall having made that statement. (She added: "If I said it, it was completely inappropriate, as well as irrelevant.")

Samantha Power found another fascinating internal Defense Department memo, which sheds further light on why the Clinton administration was resisting calling it "genocide." The memo reported: "Legal [division] at State [Department] was worried about this yesterday--Genocide finding could commit [the U.S.] to actually 'do something'."

Those familiar with America's response to the Holocaust will recall an eerily similar behind-the-scenes discussion between the Roosevelt and Churchill administrations in the autumn of 1942, after receiving overwhelming evidence that the Germans were annihilating millions of Jews in Europe.
The British government suggested to the United States that they issue a joint statement acknowledging and condemning the mass murder.
One Roosevelt administration official objected on the grounds that if they issued such a statement, the Allies "would expose themselves to increased pressure from all sides to do something more specific in order to aid these people.” 
The Obama administration soft approach to the Darfur genocide of Christians perpetrated by Muslims
Dr. Rice, for her part, has suffered more than one memory lapse when asked about genocide.
A wikileak cable in 2010 quoted a disturbing exchange between Rice and the chief prosecutor of the International Criminal Court concerning Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir, architect of the Darfur genocide.
The ICC prosecutor told Rice that Bashir had amassed a secret $9-billion stash. The prosecutor wanted to publicize that information in the hope of turning the Sudanese public against Bashir. But the U.S. never publicized it. After the cable was leaked to the press, a reporter asked Rice about it. She replied that she "didn't recall" being told about the $9-billion. 

Susan Rice's evasiveness regarding Bashir was symptomatic of a broader problem in the Obama administration concerning the Darfur genocide.

During the 2008 presidential campaign, candidate Obama appropriately chastised the Bush administration for its inadequate response to Darfur. "There must be real pressure placed on the Sudanese government," he said. And the candidate surrounded himself with advocates of action against the Bashir regime.
Major-General Merrill A. McPeak, who co-chaired the Obama presidential campaign, had called for establishing a no-fly zone over Sudan. So did Joe Biden, when he was a senator, and Susan Rice, before she became the Obama administration's first ambassador to the United Nations.  
In early 2009, Sudanese president Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court for sponsoring the Arab militias that were "murdering, exterminating, raping, torturing, and forcibly transferring large numbers of civilians, and pillaging their property" in Darfur.

The gravity of that indictment did not deter Russia and China from rallying to the defense of Bashir, whom they supply with advanced weapons, and with whom they do a thriving oil business. The Arab League rushed to support Bashir as a fellow-Arab; the African Union embraced him as a supposed victim of Western colonialism.
The AU urged that Bashir be tried before a local Sudanese court that would include some "international personnel." It was a thinly-disguised way for Bashir to escape with minimal punishment, yet, remarkably, the Obama administration was soon hinting that it might accept it.

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee in May 2010, the president's Special Envoy to Sudan, J. Scott Gration, said the U.S. would support what he called "locally-owned accountability and reconciliation mechanisms in light of the recommendations made by the African Union High Level Panel on Darfur" last year. 

It's clear from the statements made by Gration and his successor, Lyman, that Obama was putting in place a kinder, gentler, U.S. policy toward Sudan's perpetrators of genocide.
In a September 2009 interview with the Washington Post, Gration explained: "We've got to think about giving out cookies. Kids, countries--they react to gold stars, smiley faces, handshakes, agreements, talk, engagement." 

Princeton Lyman, his successor, was even blunter. Lyman told the London-based Arabic daily Asharq Al-Awsat: "Frankly we do not want to see the ouster of the [Bashir] regime, nor regime change."
On another occasion, Lyman said frankly the reason the U.S. has not taken a tougher line on Bashir is that "when you're looking for allies, your African allies and others, they do recognize [Bashir's] government...Sudan and Bashir is a member of the African Union, so we have to accommodate those realities."
Darfur, in other words, was politically inconvenient for an administration concerned about its relations with the African Union.

Samantha Power was left with the unenviable task of convincing the public that the lethargic administration had responded actively to the Darfur war criminal problem.
Speaking at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in November 2010, Power  said "President Obama has been very outspoken on the occasions that President Bashir has traveled."
But a search of the White House web site turns up exactly one sentence by President Obama, in August 2010, expressing "disappointment" that Kenya hosted the mass murderer. Not one word by the "very outspoken" president in response to Bashir's visits to other countries that are supposed allies of the U.S. and recipients of American aid, including Egypt, Iraq, Libya, and Saudi Arabia.
Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's wishy-washy attitude to the Darfur genocide

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton was blunter; in a January 2013 interview with Fox News, she actually spelled out the administration's rationalization for not acting.
Asked why the U.S. had not reacted to the decision by Egypt's new Muslim Brotherhood president, Mohamed Morsi, to invite Bashir, Secretary Clinton at first agreed that "[Bashir] does need to be held accountable for what happened on his watch as president," although her wording made Bashir sound like a bystander rather than a perpetrator.
"On the other hand, though" --and here comes the rationalization-- "this is a long border [that Sudan has with] Egypt," and there is a problem of weapons "coming out of Sudan…So we have a lot of very, uh, intense discussions, uh, with our Egyptian counterparts, including [Morsi], as to, you know, let's prioritize."
Translation:  Not ruffling Morsi's feathers with complaints about Bashir is more of a "priority" than isolating and capturing the Butcher of Darfur.

Contrast President Obama's policy with that of Joyce Banda, the president of Malawi, in southeastern Africa. Banda's country is severely underdeveloped and overcrowded, with a frighteningly high rate of AIDS and other deadly diseases and a life expectancy of 50 years.
Those problems did not deter Ms. Banda, in her very first month in office in 2012, from announcing that she would not allow Sudanese president Omar Bashir to attend an upcoming African Union summit in Malawi.

The problem has never been America's inability to bring Darfur's Bashir to justice.
His visits to numerous African and Arab countries created many opportunities for U.S. forces to do to him what they did to other tyrants and terrorists, such as Panama's Manuel Noriega, the hijackers of the Achille Lauro, Saddam Hussein, and Osama Bin Laden. Yet no attempt was ever made to capture the fugitive Bashir.
Why? It's the politics of genocide. The Obama administration doesn't want to strain its relations with Moscow, Beijing, the African Union, or the Arab League. 

That is not to say that the Obama administration has never responded to atrocities abroad.
Human rights activists point to several actions by the administration that have seemed to reflect the approach they hoped Samantha Power's appointment would augur.
Most notably, President Obama used military force to bring down the Muammar Qadaffi regime in Libya, in 2011--specifically on the grounds that Qadaffi was preparing the mass murder of his opponents. " Some nations may be able to turn a blind eye to atrocities in other countries," he said. "The United States of America is different.” He cited "preventing genocide" as a legitimate basis for American intervention in Libya.
(President Obama's motivations for toppling Qadaffi were less than noble.  They were part of his vision for empowering the Muslim Brotherhood all over the Middle East and North Africa  -  Blogger)

President Obama's rescue of Yazidi Christians besieged by ISIS in 2013 likewise seemed to reflect a willingness by the administration to use American force in support of a global human rights agenda.
(President Obama's rescue of a handful of Yazidis was too little and too late - for show only.  Christians too continue to be murdered by ISIS and he's done nothing about it, in his efforts to portray Islam as the main victim of atrocities - Blogger.)

But Libya and the Yazidis really are the exceptions that prove the rule. Each of those actions was taken in the context of a comfortable international consensus. No feathers were ruffled, no diplomatic relationships were jeopardized in the slightest.
The genuine test of political courage comes when there is a price to pay.
Speaking the truth about the Armenians regardless Turkish temper-tantrums, or bringing Omar al-Bashir to justice despite African Union whining, would represent true acts of principle.

More than Just a Word
The word "genocide" is a relatively recent addition to our lexicon.
Outraged by the failure of the international community to prosecute Turkish officials for the Armenian genocide, Polish Jewish attorney Raphael Lemkin trudged from law conference to law conference across Europe in the 1930s, making the case for legal mechanisms to define and combat mass murder. 
Lemkin, an expert on the development of languages, realized that a new word was needed for the unique crime of attempting to destroy an entire racial, ethnic, or religious group.

Lemkin coined the term "genocide" even as a new mass murder, the Holocaust, was unfolding before his eyes.
He used the word "genocide" for the first time in 1944, in his book 'Axis Rule in Occupied Europe.' The 700-page tome chronicled, in painstaking detail, all the laws and regulations imposed by the Nazis and their collaborators to facilitate the annihilation of the Jews. 
Lemkin's campaign was crowned with success in December 1948, when the United Nations adopted the Genocide Convention.
It defined genocide as "acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical [sic], racial or religious group, as such."
But one suspects Lemkin would have considered his efforts a failure if, in the end, they did not prevent or at least interrupt future genocides.

Of what value, he might well have asked, is U.S. government recognition that there was genocide in Darfur, if the U.S. refuses to apprehend the perpetrators, or act when there are new atrocities?
During the past several years, the Darfur genocide has almost completely disappeared from the news, yet periodically there are reports reminding us that the Sudanese regime has not yet abandoned its murderous ways.
The outgoing prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Luis Moreno-Ocampo, said at his farewell dinner in 2012 that "There's ongoing genocide [in Darfur]...the new weapons of the genocide--starvation and rape--are working very well." 
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof has reported on several occasions during the past few years about Bashir's savage air raids on the black Christian villagers in Sudan's Nuba Mountains region.
Bashir is carrying out "mass atrocities that echo Darfur" against non-Arab tribes in Sudan's Nuba Mountains, yet the Obama administration has responded with "dithering" and "paralysis," Kristof has written. "I am not only embarrassed by my government's passivity but outraged by it."
In one column, Kristof poignantly described the plight of Hamat Dorbet, a Presbyterian pastor who has been tortured by Bashir's police for ringing his church bell. "I'd like to explain to [Rev.Dorbet]," Kristof wrote, "why the world lets this happen without even speaking out strongly, and I just don't know what to say. President Obama?" The White House did not respond.

As recently as February of this year, Human Rights Watch reported that Bashir's soldiers had carried out the mass rape of more than two hundred women and girls in Darfur. Again, no response from the Obama administration.

The refusal to recognize the Armenian genocide, the abandonment of the Jews during the Holocaust, the lack of response to the Rwanda genocide, and the decision not to apprehend Darfur war criminals or act against their latest atrocities, all ultimately stem from the same fundamental failure to recognize that moral responsibilities should trump political inconvenience.

The recent  statements by Pope Francis and the European Parliament are small steps in the right direction. Who will be next to muster the courage to speak out?


Summary and subtitles by blogger

Update April 22:  It's official:  President Obama will NOT recognize the Armenian genocide.

Further breaching his 2008 pre-election promises to "recognize the Armenian genocide" at the hands of the Ottoman Turks between 1915-1917, US President Barack Obama will not recognize the genocide ahead of the 100th anniversary this Friday according to officials.

Armenian American leaders were invited to the White House on Tuesday to discuss the anniversary, but according to the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News, they were told by administration officials that Obama will not recognize the genocide.

"His failure to use the term genocide represents a major blow for human rights advocates and sets the clock back on genocide prevention," Bryan Ardouny, director of the Armenian Assembly of America, was quoted as saying.

Obama's failure to recognize the genocide comes after Pope Francis last Sunday publicly recognized the genocide, angering Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Last Thursday the EU Parliament also voted to recognize the genocide, making Obama's silence all the more noticeable.

Partially explaining his silence is the close relationship between Obama and the Islamist Erdogan, who Obama reportedly called the Middle Eastern leader who he feels closest to.

Meeting the Armenian American leaders on Tuesday was White House chief of staff Denis McDonough, a leading foreign policy adviser of Obama.

According to a National Security Council statement, McDonough and Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes "discussed the significance of this occasion for honoring the 1.5 million lives extinguished during that horrific period," all while carefully avoiding the term "genocide."

"Open dialogue" in Turkey?

Aside from the meeting with Armenian leaders, a meeting was also held between National Security Adviser Susan Rice and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Rice reportedly urged him to "improve relations with Armenia," and have an open dialogue in Turkey about the "atrocities of 1915."

For the 100th anniversary on Friday, the White House announced it will send Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to Armenia for a commemorative ceremony. He will be joined by US Ambassador to Armenia Richard Mills and four lawmakers.

Ahead of the anniversary, Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) urged Obama to "recognize the genocide of the Armenians."

"I also appeal to the Turkish government to recognize the genocide and issue a genuine apology," Smith added.

Over one-third of the Armenian population was massacred by the Turks, in a campaign launched when Turkish authorities ordered the executions of much of the Armenian elite in Istanbul on April 24, 1915. Men, women, and children were later murdered by various means, including through forced marches, starvation, and poison.

The Ottoman government set up some 25 concentration camps as well throughout the period, and mass graves of up to 60,000 people were found in some locations.



Politically incorrect articles on the Armenian genocide
Turkish hackers take down Vatican website over Pope Francis’ remarks about Armenian Genocide of 1.5 million Christians by Ottoman Muslim Turks
TURKEY recalls ambassador to the Vatican after heads explode over Pope’s remarks about the Armenian Genocide of Christians by Ottoman Muslims
KUDOS to Kim and Khloe Kardashian for bringing attention to something actually important for a change
Extremely disturbing images of the Armenian Genocide

Genocide Museum -  The Armenian Genocide

Genocide 1915
Armenian Genocide Information

Also on this blog:

The greatest genocide - Islam has slaughtered at least 250 MILLION non-Muslims
This genocide is ongoing, and dates back to the very inception of Islam, when Muhammad ordered the decapitation of a thousand Jews in one single day.
Add to that all the massacres committed in factional Muslim wars, and other disputes.
One of the biggest genocides was the one perpetrated by Islam on the people of India.
And millions died during the Arab slave trade in Africa.

CHRISTIAN CHURCHES HAVE OPENLY SUPPORTED MUSLIM TERROR AGAINST ISRAEL, while silent about Muslim persecution of Christians - Now they are reaping the results of their wicked tacit alliance with Islam as Christians are increasingly abused and murdered.
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