Born in Glassboro, N. J., 17 April
1868, Mark Lambert Bristol graduated from the Academy in 1887. During the
Spanish-American War he served aboard Texas and participated in the battle of
Santiago, Cuba. From 1901 to 1903 he served as aide to the Commander-in-Chief
North Atlantic Fleet. He commanded Oklahoma (BB-37) during World War I and
then served as United States High Commissioner in Turkey (1919-27). In 1927
Rear Admiral Bristol assumed command of the Asiatic Fleet. He died 13 May
The preceding bio is from this site regarding U.S. naval vessels -- the USS Bristol,
named after the admiral, lost 52 men when the ship was sunk by a German
Please see link at page bottom for a more
comprehensive bio, in the Register of Bristol's Papers at the Library of
at Istanbul's U.S. embassy,
It is amazing how Admiral/Ambassador Bristol's
writings have been so overwhelmingly ignored by supporters of the Armenian
"Genocide." I'm referring to researchers who presumably don't have
an axe to grind, and at least have a germ of neutrality within them... even
though most such researchers have to battle their deep-seated negative
impressions against Turkey... so it becomes easy to choose not to seriously
consider Bristol's reports. Naturally, Armenians and Greeks make the baseless
claim that Bristol was pro-Turkish, because in their book anyone who isn't
vehemently anti-Turkish (as Bristol's predecessor, Ambassador Morgenthau)
suddenly emerges as a lover of Turks. As if Admiral Bristol, growing up in the
United States... a nation that almost always treats Turkey negatively, in its
press.... would have had been exposed to reasons to love Turkey.
At any rate, one can easily see Bristol
was not a lover of Turks. He had negative things to say about all the
residents of the Near East, including the Turks. We might look back from our
more politically correct times and single out a statement or two that made
individuals in the past sound racist, but we must look at incidental comments
in the context of the times. There was a definite superiority Americans felt
back in the early 20th Century (and before; and after), and it was the norm to
openly "call a spade a spade." For example, President Abraham
Lincoln, credited for abolishing slavery in America, has been recorded as
saying the word, "nigger." However... even though I don't believe
it's fair to harp on one or two things incidentally uttered from people of
yesteryear, if there is a record of virulently making racist statements all
the time, such as in the cases of Ambassador Henry
"Holier-Than-Thou" Morgenthau and U.S. Consul George Horton, then we
can judge them for what kinds of men they really were.
The main letter I'm familiar with, of
Ambassador Bristol's, is this
long one he wrote to Dr. Barton in 1921. I am totally impressed with the
man. His fairness, his honesty, his integrity are all plain to see. He wasn't
trying to impress anybody with this letter... it was a from-the-heart, private
Observers in Anatolia ca. 1920: The Bristol Papers," by Professor Heath
2) Letter by Professor Marashlian dismissing Bristol and
praising Morgenthau, followed by Holdwater's reaction
3) The planned book on Bristol, in Sam Weems' "Great
4) Admiral Bristol "Admits" that He is PRO-TURK,
from George Horton's "The Blight of Asia"
5) "Famed Bristol," TIME Magazine's account
on Bristol's return to his country
|The Bristol Papers
One of the singular advantages of being a
Turcologist resident in Washington, D.C. is the proximity thus afforded to the papers of
Admiral Mark Lambert Bristol which are housed in the manuscript division of the Library of
Congress. Bristol, in the years 1919-1927, served as the Commander of the U.S. Naval
Detachment in Turkish waters and as the U.S. High Commissioner to Turkey. In this capacity
he witnessed first hand the Turkish War of Independence, the formation of the First Turkish
Republic, and the early years of its existence. His papers, consisting of some 33,000 items,
include reports, diaries, correspondence, copies of official dispatches, telegrams and
appointment sheets. While covering his entire career, they are of particular importance for
his tenure in Turkey (1919-1927). In particular, they reveal in great detail the character
of political, military, social, and economic conditions in Anatolia during the turbulent
period of post World War I history.
In the course of the past few months I have had the
opportunity to systematically study that section of the Bristol Papers dealing with
conditions in Anatolia, from the date of his arrival in February of 1919 through February of
1921, i.e., material relating to the first two years of his tenure in Turkey. In this paper
I shall limit my analysis of their contents of the following points: First, to sketch a
rough portrait of Bristol the man as he emerges in his preserved private correspondence and
official papers; and, second, to examine the manner in which his "Papers" have
been utilized as a source by scholars working on the question of Turco-Armenian relations in
The common interpretation of Bristol as "anti-Greek," "anti-Armenian,"
and "pro-Turkish," which finds all too frequent expression in the works of
Armenian scholars, can hardly be sustained by anyone who studies his "Papers."
Bristol held no brief for any of the peoples of the Middle East. His attitude vis-a-vis the
indigenous inhabitants of the region may best be summed up via a series of comments
"typical" of those scattered throughout his voluminous private
Thus, on the Turks, he wrote in a letter to Frank L. Polk dated December 4, 1920:
"If things go as they are now going I see France and England reestablishing the Turkish
rule, at least over some part of this country. I have no use for the Turk, and above all I
never want to see the Turkish rule established again. I cannot conceive any worse
While his feelings towards the Greeks and Armenians
were conveyed in typical fashion in a letter of May 3, 1920, which he addressed to Dr.
Edward C. Moore:
The so-called Christians in this part of the world
are the same as the Moslems. The whole of the old Ottoman Empire is in dire need of modern
civilization and Christian development. This applies to all races and religions."
Again and again Bristol reiterates his view that
there is little to choose between the various "races" of the region. Typical of
the manner in which he stated this belief is the following passage from a letter he wrote to
Rear Admiral H. S. Knapp on August 26, 1919:
"Those who know these people out here best know full well that the Armenians, Greeks
and Turks are all tarred with the same brush. It was simply that the Turks had the advantage
of the position and full swing to their beastly desires. The massacre of Kurds and Turks by
the Armenians during this war when they got their chance, and the things that have been
happening in Smyrna and the surrounding districts simply go to show what I have stated
Bristol summarized his attitude towards the peoples
of Anatolia in a letter of December 27, 1920 to Mr. Walter George Smith, in the following
"I have often said to you, these races in the
Near East are all very much the same, and if you put them all in a bag and shake them up you
would not know which one would come out first."
It is this "shake them in a bag"
philosophy which typifies Bristol's attitude towards the indigenous peoples of Anatolia. As
the selection of quotations given above indicate, only the most committed
"anti-Turk" could in any way view his position as "pro-Turkish." Bristol
was first and foremost a product of his times. He was an American protestant who knew that
his "brand" of civilization alone held some promise for the future of mankind. A
final quotation from his correspondence illustrates this point. In his May 3, 1920 letter to
Edward C. Moore (quoted above) he wrote:
I hold no brief for any race in this part of the country. They all need universal education
and modern civilization. The future peace of the world depends upon these races getting the
benefits of modern development."
Given this view of Bristol, one which emerges from
the correspondence he carried out while serving as U.S. High Commissioner in Turkey, how can
we account for the all-pervasive view in works of Armenian scholars, of him as
"pro-Turkish" and "anti-minority"? One only has to read the works of his
predecessor in Istanbul, Ambassador Henry Morgenthau to answer this query. Contrast the
"tone" of the following Morgenthau statement with that of the Bristol passages
"Will the Turks be permitted, aye, even
encouraged by our cowardice in not striking back, to continue to treat all Christians in
their power as "unbelieving dogs?" Or will definite steps be promptly taken to
rescue permanently the remnants of these fine, old, civilized Christian peoples from the
fangs of the Turk?"
Morgenthau "knew", just as generations of
former Christian subjects of the Ottomans "knew", that these "fine, old,
civilized Christian peoples were inherently superior to the Turks with their
"fangs" who ruled them. In short, Morgenthau was a confirmed "Turcophobe"
whose hatred for the Turks was matched only by his unabashed support for the Christian
minorities under Ottoman rule. To anyone sharing Morgenthau's prejudices (including the
minorities themselves), Bristol's evenhanded objectivity could only be interpreted as
"pro-Turkish." His "shake them in a bag" philosophy challenged the
minorities self-views of their own superiority. Bristol's insistence on the equality of
Christian and Moslem alike, marked a drastic change from Morgenthau's championing of the
Christian element. It is this fact which accounts for his being incorrectly labeled as
"pro-Turkish" and "anti-minority."
Turning from our examination of
Bristol the man to that of the "Bristol Papers" as a source for our study of
events in Anatolia during his tenure as High Commissioner, we must ask the question: To what
extent have the contents of the Bristol Papers been utilized by scholars dealing with Turco-Armenian
affairs between 1919 and 1921? To answer this query I will focus on one event in this
time-frame: the Turkish occupation of the city of Kars on October 30, 1920 and the
subsequent fate of the Armenian residents of this north-eastern Anatolian city.
The approach I have taken is to examine the standard Armenian accounts of this event as
recorded in secondary works. The ensuing account is then examined in light of the relevant
materials preserved in the "Bristol Papers" with the objective being to determine
the extent to which the "Bristol Papers" have been utilized in the writing of the
history of this event.
Typical of the works published in the last decade which include an account of the fall of
Kars to the Turkish-Nationalist forces under the command of Kazim Karabekir Pasha, are
Christopher J. Walker's Armenia: The Survival of a Nation and Dickran Boyajian's Armenia:
The Case for a Forgotten Genocide. Of the two, Walker provides by far the greater detail,
quoting at length from Armenian accounts including those of Simon Vratsian (former
Prime-Minister of the Armenian Republic), Minister A. Bablian (an eye-witness), and a
contemporary report taken from the Baku Armenian-language newspaper, Komunist. These three
sources are unanimous in their descriptions of the massacres perpetrated by the Turkish
soldiery in the wake of their occupation of Kars. Thus, Vratsian reports: "For three
days uninterruptedly the Turks looted, raped and killed, and perpetrated every kind of
savagery in the city." In a similar vein, Bablian, in the words of Walker,
"describes with terrifying colours the cruelties done by the Turks. The Armenians were
subject to slaughter, beautiful women were taken into concubinage, able-bodied men were
driven away into the interior of Turkey." Finally, the account in the Komunist
newspaper provides the following details:
"...But the troops which entered the city spared neither women, children nor the aged.
For five days these bloodthirsty soldiers and the Kurds perpetrated upon the head of the
peaceful population atrocities which were beyond the imagination of man. Armenians alone
they killed. Everyone was looted indiscriminately.
They did not even spare the Communists who presented certificates proving identification. In
Kars alone 6,000 Armenians fell victim to Turkish brutality.
Mass arrests of Armenians followed the terrible massacre. They stripped them from head to
foot, and in hundreds they dispatched them to work in Erzurum and Sarikamish. Those sent
were struck down by cold and died from hunger and suffering."
Boyajian's comments are limited and consist of two laconic statements: "Soon the
fortress of Kars fell" and "Atrocities continued in localities which remained in
Turkish hands. It has been reliably reported that in Kars alone more than 10,000 Armenians
From these two modern secondary accounts the reader
is left with the clear impression that the Turkish occupation of Kars was accompanied by
widespread looting on the part of the Turkish soldiery, and the massacre of between 6000 -
10,000 Armenian residents of the city.
Walker and Boyajian's accounts, while supporting one another in terms of content, also share
another similarity. This is their failure to utilize any non-Armenian accounts of the fall
of Kars and its aftermath. Indeed, the reader whose knowledge of this event derived from
these two works would be unaware that there were some twenty American Near East Relief
workers resident in Kars on October 30, 1920, or that the commanding General of the Turkish
Nationalist forces who conquered the city, Kazim Karabekir, has left a detailed account of
the city's occupation in his autobiography.
As one might expect, Karabekir's account of the fall of Kars centers on the military orders
he issued as commander of the Turkish forces prior to its conquest. However, he does provide
the following passage relating to the aftermath of its occupation:
"By late evening [October 30, 1920] the following prisoners had been brought to my
headquarters in the Station: 3 generals, 6 colonels, 12 majors, 16 captains, 59 lieutenants,
16 civilian officials, 12 officers and 4 cadets. There were also 1,150 soldiers taken
prisoner. The number of confirmed Armenian dead was 1,110. Among the captured supplies were:
337 usable cannons, 339 cannons which needed repair, a large number of machine guns, all
kinds of bullets, ammunitions, etc. Among the prisoners wee: Aratof, the Minister of War;
Velilov, the Chief of the General Staff; Primof, the Commander of the Kars Fortress, and a
This victory which I gained by a counter-offensive was a great success; and despite the fact
that we destroyed a large part of the enemy army and conquered a modern fortress, we
suffered few casualties: 9 dead and 47 wounded.
In my order to attack Kars, I had stated the following: "The goal of this offensive is
to destroy the principal Armenian forces within Kars or to drive them out of Kars." As
a matter of fact my soldiers proved that they were a disciplined, powerful, modern army, and
that they possessed remarkable humane feelings. Despite the fact that they had successfully
attacked a modern fortress such as Kars, they did not commit the slightest harm against the
city's civilian Armenian population."
This fact was witnessed by the American delegation resident there, and in a telegram they
dispatched to Admiral Bristol on October the 31st, they wrote:
"All the Americans in Kars are well, and the
Turkish Army is full of concern for us and accords us all considerations. We have been given
permission to continue our activities as before. The Turkish soldiers are well disciplined
and there have been no massacres."
Edward Fox, District Commander N.E.R. Kars
This American delegation in Kars, which announced to the world the courage and restraint
possessed by the Turkish army, and the compassion it expressed towards the Armenian
children, had the responsibility of caring for 6,000 poor and orphaned children.
Karabekir's description of the aftermath of the city's occupation continues with a
"Declaration" which he published in Russian, Armenian and Turkish on November 1,
1920. This document entitled "To the Armenian People" guarantees the security of
the civilian population who cooperate with the Turkish forces. At the same time it assures
the population that anyone apprehended providing protection and shelter to spies and
traitors will "immediately be executed in the name of public order."
The obvious discrepancies between the Walker/Boyajian account and that provided by Kazim
Karabekir are illustrative of the type of problem facing the student of Turco-Armenian
relations. Graphically conflicting versions of the same events as seen from the perspective
of two protagonists. All too often the student of history whose aim is objectivity is forced
into choosing one side or the other's uncorroborated version as "fact."
As regards the fall of Kars we are fortunate in having the testimony of some twenty American
"neutrals" who were stationed in the city on October 30, 1920. In the employ of
the Near East Relief, these Americans were charged with providing care for several thousand
Armenian war orphans in the city. They kept in close contact with Admiral Bristol and his
intelligence officers. The reports they provided the Admiral relevant to the fall of Kars
and its aftermath, together with copies of his own communications sent to Washington are all
preserved in the Library of Congress "Bristol Papers" collection. An examination
of this material serves two purposes: a) it provides us with an additional scale against
which to weight the conflicting Walker/Boyajian and Karabekir accounts of the city's
conquest; and b) it allows us to analyze Richard Hovannisian's oft-repeated charge that
Bristol was "a master of manipulation, [who] selected excerpts from reports which would
sustain his contentions even in the face of strong counter-evidence."
The earliest reference by Bristol to the fall of Kars is contained in his "Report of
Operations" for the week ending November 7, 1920. He wrote:
"A telegram was received from Kars, through the Italian military authorities in
Anatolia, stating that our Americans were safe and going ahead with their work and not being
molested by the Turks; also that there were no massacres, and our relief workers were
permitted to take care of the orphans as usual."
outside the U.S.
embassy in Istanbul in 1919,
with Commander Tisdell
The original copy of this
telegram sent to Bristol by Edward Fox from Kars is also preserved, and its wording is
identical to that provided by Kazim Karabekir in his autobiography.
Two weeks later, on November 15, 1920, the same
Edward Fox, Commander of the Near East Relief group in Kars, submitted a 28 point
typewritten "Memorandum" on the fall of Kars to Bristol. This, the most detailed
of the eye-witness accounts, gives us an hour by hour account of the events of October 30th
and thereafter. Fox's first hand observations on the city's conquest include the following
in regard to Armenian casualties:
"By this time the bullets were flying thick and fast. The soldiers [Armenians] from the
forts were pouring down into the valley road, and Armenian cavalrymen led their horses at a
run down the steep flights of stone steps leaving from the forts. The Turkish soldiers
standing on the heights fired at the retreating Armenian troops who took refuge among the
women and children on the road, and this resulted in the death of many non-combatants.
Considering the jam on the road it is remarkable that many more were not killed. I roughly
estimate the dead in the valley to number fifty."
There were no
On December 15, 1920, Bristol
had a visit from Edward Fox who provided him with additional details on the situation in
Kars. In Bristol's "War Diary" for this date the following summary of his
conversation with Fox is given:
"The Turks marched into Kars and the Armenians
ran away without firing a shot except from two or three places on the hill in the beginning,
and this firing soon ceased. Many of the Armenians threw away their guns, stripped off their
uniforms and hid in the houses, especially in the Near East Relief orphanages and hospitals
with the children. The Turks were very badly clothed and therefore every Armenian soldier
they captured they stripped and took the clothes for themselves. There were no massacres
except certain Armenians were killed and this was reported to be for crimes committed."
Bristol's "Report on Operations" for the
week of December 15, 1920, contains the first detailed description of the fall of Kars which
he forwarded to Washington. A comparison of its text with the Fox reports cited above
clearly establishes Bristol's heavy reliance upon the eye-witness descriptions proved to him
by the N.E.R. personnel in Kars:
"...The Turkish forces were far inferior to the
Armenians, but the latter put up no fight and ran away in the most cowardly manner. The
soldiers threw away their guns, stripped off their equipment, and hid in the hospitals and
orphanages belonging to the Near East Relief Committee when the Turks entered Kars. There
was hardly a shot fired from the Kars fortifications and there were no troops to withstand
the advance of the Turks, who marched in as if on parade. The Armenian soldiers in many
cases hid in the beds with sick children. The Turks in their advance into Armenia did not do
any massacring, but did, after the occupation of Kars, execute a few Armenians."
All the Armenians,
both civil and military, ran... They robbed and plundered first what they could...
Armenian soldiers hid under the children's beds...
Nor were Bristol's sources of information limited to
reports submitted to his office by missionaries and near East Rellief personnel. He also had
his own Intelligence Officers, one of whom, Robert Steed Dunn, visited Kars early in
December of 1920. His observations were written up in a fourteen page typed document
entitled "Historical Summary of Military and Other Events" and submitted to the
Admiral on December 25, 1920. The section of Dunn's report dealing with the fall of Kars was
based on extensive interviews he held with Near East Relief personnel in the city. Among the
additional details provided by Dunn, the following are of particular interest, in regard to
the aftermath of the conquest.
"All the Armenians, both civil and military, ran, crowding into the narrow river gorge
which runs between the forts, and where the NER headquarters is situated. They robbed and
plundered first what they could, NER Armenian workers were as bad at this as anyone,
stealing blankets and what else they could from the orphanages. For an hour or so the gorge
was a scene of chaos. Armenian soldiers hid under the children's beds in the institutions;
the Turks appearing on the heights fired indiscriminately into the crowds in the valley
Just what Armenian generals committed suicide is
hard to find out. Mizimanoff certainly did. Piramoff was cut off, surrounded and taken
prisoner. There is doubt whether my Saarikamish friend, Merimanoff, committed suicide or was
killed. Some of the few officers who did not run shot their men for doing so, when the
valley was crowded with military and the entire civil population of the town....
The three days looting that followed was not organized, and was done as much by Armenian
refugees as by Turkish soldiers. A good deal of NER stuff was taken, but the Turks subjected
the Americans to few inconveniences and demands...
Apparently all the Americans kept their heads and did the right thing; kept their nerve too;
and it was owing to their example to the Turks that worse looting and perhaps massacre did
It was during Atauf's expedition to Djarjur that Armenian civilians fired on Turkish
regulars, and the population of two villages near Hamamlu were massacred. The Turks are
quite frank about this, and the Armenians had no convincting comeback..."
The Bristol Papers also contain a copy of a letter from Veronica Harris, a member of the NER
staff in Kars, which she sent to the Admiral on February 17, 1921. This communication
provides a detailed analysis of the relations between the NER personnel and the Nationalist
Turkish forces commanded by Kazim Karabekir Pasha. In regard to the treatment of NER
Armenian employees Harris informs Admiral Bristol that:
"They [the Turks] have arrested about sixty,
all told, of our men here, which is about 1/10 of our employees. They have released some
thirteen of fourteen of our most necessary employees... We have had much trouble through the
Armenians, either from spite or to curry favor with the Turks, informing on their own people
and manufacturing the evidence themselves. The Turks have apparently not flagrantly
ill-treated the men they take, and so far we have not heard of any executions."
The war with us was inevitable... We had
not done all that was necessary for us to have done to evade war. We ought to have
used peaceful language with the Turks...We had no information about the real
strength of the Turks and relied on ours. This was the fundamental error. We were
not afraid of war because we thought we could win... When the skirmishes had started
the Turks proposed that we meet and confer. We did not do so and defied them. Our
army was well fed and well armed and [clothed] but it did not fight. The troops were
constantly retreating and deserting their positions; they threw away their arms and
dispersed in the villages.
First Prime Minister of the Independent Armenian Republic
The Manifesto of Hovhannes
From the same source: "Edward Fox, the American District
Commander at Kars, in a telegram, dated October 31, 1920, (7) to Admiral Bristol, the
U.S. High Commissioner in Istanbul, wrote that the Americans were continuing their
work of looking after the Armenian children as before, that the Turkish soldiers were
well-disciplined and that there had not been any massacres."
Finally, in Bristol's "War Diary" entry of
May 3, 1921, he provides a lengthy report of a conversation he held that day with Mr. G. T.
White of the near East Relief Committee, who had recently arrived in Istanbul from Kars. In
the words of Bristol, George White, who had been in Kars at the time of the Turkish
occupation, had the following to say in regard to claims that the Turkish forces had
massacred Armenians in the city:
"When questioned carefully in regard to the
treatment of the Armenians by the Turks after they had occupied Kars, Mr. White stated that
he did not know of any massacres and did not believe there had been any, except in the case
of two villages where some Turkish officers had been killed by the Armenians and in
retaliation the Turks had wiped out these villages and, though he was not certain, he had no
doubt that people in the villages had been wiped out.
In one other case he believes that about thirty
Armenians were shot in Kars just after the occupation by the Turks. I asked Mr. White what
he thought of the statement made by Mr. McCallum of the Near East Relief in a telegram to
the United States stating that 80,000 Armenians had been massacred by the Turks. Mr. White
did not reply to this question, but at first exclaimed "Yes, I have talked with Mr.
McCallum in regard to that." Mr. White had already answered this question by stating
that there had been no wholesale massacres by the Turks. There was no doubt in my mind that
Mr. White was embarrassed to find such a statement had been telegraphed to the United
To return to the queries with which we began this examination of the contents of the Bristol
Papers relating to the fall of Kars and the subsequent fate of its civilian Armenian
population: specifically, the apparent discrepancies between the "Armenian
History" as typified by the Walker/Boyajian accounts, and the "Turkish
History" provided by Kazim Karabekir in his autobiography, the testimony preserved in
the "Bristol Papers" is noticeably at odds with the Armenian version of the fall
of Kars. The testimony of the American eye-witnesses, whom it should be recalled were all
members of the Near East Relief, i.e., individuals whose exclusive concern was to alleviate
the suffering of Armenians, provides a clear refutation of the charges levelled in the
Walker/Boyajian works. To wit, that the Turkish occupation of the city was accompanied by
widespread looting on the part of the Turkish soldiery, and the massacre of between 6,000
and 10,000 Armenian residents of the city. The testimony of Fox, Harris, White, et. al.
contains no support for the Walker/Boyajian version of events in Kars.
As regards our second query, namely the Hovannisian
portrayal of Bristol as "a master of manipulation", who "selected excerpts
from reports which would sustain his contentions even in the face of strong
counter-evidence", it too is not supported by a case study of the conquest of Kars.
Here we have clearly seen that the reports on these events submitted by Bristol to
Washington are fully in keeping with the evidence at his disposal.
One fact is certain, no serious student can attempt to write the history of the Nationalist
Turkish occupation of Kars on October 30, 1920, without fully utilizing the relevant
materials preserved in the "Bristol Papers." The "neutral" eyewitness
accounts covering both the conquest and the following months simply do not support the
contention that between 6,000 and 10,000 Armenians were massacred by the Turks in Kars.
How then can we account for the fact that those deaths which occurred in the actual
fighting, together with some 30 Armenians executed for unspecified crimes after the Turkish
occupation of Kars, have been blown up to the proportion of 6,000 massacre victims in
Walker's account, 10,000 massacre victims in Boyajian's work, and 80,000 massacre victims in
the contemporary telegram sent to the U.S. by Mr. McCallum of the Near East Relief Office in
a captain, in April 23, 1915;
in the Office of The Secretary Of War, during
the first meeting of the National Advisory
Committee for Aeronautics (NACA.
NASA would absorb NACA in 1958.)
Captain Bristol (center, back) was Director of
Naval Aeronautics, at the time.
In the case of
Walker and Boyajian the answer is simply poor scholarship. Their failure to utilize the
materials preserved in the "Bristol Papers" relevant to the fall of Kars (or for
any other event they write about in this period), is inexcusable and suggests that their
works should be used with extreme caution.
As for the significance of, and motivation behind, the "McCallum Telegram" we must
turn once again to the Bristol Papers. Specifically, to an exchange of letters between
Bristol and James Barton, the Secretary of the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign
Missions, which took place in the early months of 1921. Bristol writes:
"I see that reports are being freely circulated in the United States that the Turks
massacred thousands of Armenians in the Caucasus. Such reports are repeated so many times it
makes my blood boil. The Near East Relief have the reports from Yarrow and our own American
people which show absolutely that such Armenian reports are absolutely false. The
circulation of such false reports in the United States, without refutation is an outrage and
is certainly doing the Armenians more harm than good. I feel that we should discourage the
Armenians in this kind of work, not only because it is wrong, but because they are injuring
themselves. In addition to the reports from our own American Relief workers that were in
Kars and Alexandrople, and reports from men such as Yarrow, I have reports from my own
Intelligence Officer and know that the Armenian reports are not true. Is there not something
that you and the Near East Relief Committee can do to stop the circulation of such false
reports? I was surprised to see that Dr. McCallum sent through a report along this line from
Constantinople. When I called attention to the report, it was stated that it came from the
Armenians but the telegram did not state this, nor did it state that the Armenian reports
were not confirmed by our own reports."
It would appear that McCallum of the Near East
Relief Office in Constantinople was either not privy to the reports of his colleagues on the
spot in Kars, or alternatively, for reasons of his own, preferred to pass on to the United
States unconfirmed Armenian rumors, which, as Bristol indicates, were patent falsehoods.
While we may only speculate on his motivation, it seems logical to assume that reports of
80,000 Armenians massacred by the Turks in Kars would be of more use to Near East Relief
fund-raising efforts in the United States, than stories of Armenian soldiers fleeing their
posts without firing a shot and hiding in the beds of children in the city's hospitals and
Indeed, James Barton's response to Bristol's letter
suggests that this may well have been the motivation behind McCallum's "Massacre of
80,000 Armenians Telegram." Barton replies:
"With reference to the false reports that come through reporting massacres of the
Armenians by the Turks. There is no one who can deprecate this more than I do. But there is
a situation over here [in the U. S.] which is hard to describe. There is a brilliant young
Armenian, a graduate of Yale University, by the name of Cardashian. He is a lawyer, with
offices down in Wall Street, I believe. He has organized a committee so-called which has
never met and is never consulted, with Mr. Gerard as Chairman. Cardashian is the whole
thing. He has set up what he calls an Armenian publicity bureau or something of that kind,
and has a letterhead printed. Gerard signs everything that Cardashian writes. He told me
this himself one time.... We have had many a conference with Armenian leaders as to what can
be done to stop this vicious propaganda carried on by Cardashian. He is constantly reporting
atrocities which never occurred and giving endless misinformation with regard to the
situation in Armenia and in Turkey. We do not like to come out and attack him in public.
This would injure the whole cause we are all trying to serve."
This then was the dilemma faced by those Americans
involved in fund-raising efforts on behalf of the Armenian relief work. Even when by their
silence they knew they were helping to distort truth, they couldn't say so, because:
"This would injure the whole cause we are all trying to serve." Better to let
reports of atrocities which never occurred circulate, than to injure the cause!
In summation, I have tried to convey the "tone" of the contents of the
"Bristol Papers," and of Bristol the man, via a focused examination of one
particular event they cover: the Ottoman occupation of Kars and its aftermath. To the degree
that I have succeeded this analysis will have furnished the reader with two clear
First, an appreciation for Admiral Mark L. Bristol as a man well in tune with events in
Anatolia, who made full utilization of the wide variety of information sources at his
Second, an awareness of the potential dangers involved in subscribing to any purported
description of events in Anatolia between 1919-1921 which is not based in part on the wealth
of material contained in the "Bristol Papers."
Dr. Heath W. Lowry,
"American Observers in Anatolia ca. 1920: The Bristol Papers," Armenians in
the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey [1912-1926], Bosphorus University, Istanbul, 1984, pp.
Letter by Professor Marashlian
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Letters to the Editor
February 13, 2001
Controversy continues over Armenian 'genocide'
Aylin Direskeneli's Feb. 8 letter, "Armenian 'genocide' legislation is
politically motivated," in response to your excellent Feb. 5 editorial,
"Genocidal politics," exposed the disdain for learning through dialogue that
guides those who deny the Armenian genocide. To counter your editorial position in
favor of US recognition of this genocide, she re-submitted a piece of
"exculpatory evidence" that was already debunked on the same Letters page
only four months earlier.
Ms. Direskeneli pointed out that in an "Oct. 13 Commentary column, 'Genocide
gyrations,' Bruce Fein pointed out the exculpatory evidence of Rear Adm. Mark L.
Bristol," the U.S. high commissioner in Turkey after World War I: "'I see
that reports are being freely circulated in the United States that the Turks massacred
thousands of Armenians in the Caucasus. Such reports are repeated so many times that
it makes my blood boil. The Near East Relief have the reports from Yarrow and our own
American people which show absolutely that such Armenian reports are absolutely
Ms. Direskeneli should know that in an Oct. 18 letter, I had already documented the
futility of using Adm. Bristol to counter the unimpeachable testimony of
America's wartime ambassador in Istanbul, Henry Morgenthau. So for Ms. Direskeneli's
benefit, I will say it again: Adm. Bristol's letter--written in 1921--does not
disprove that Armenians suffered a genocide, because it refers to the Caucasus in
1920, not to the time and place the great extermination occurred. The central scene of
the crime was in the Ottoman Empire; the crucial years were between 1915 and 1918.
Manipulating Adm. Bristol to deny the destruction of the Armenians twists the truth,
because Bristol himself believed Ottoman officials ordered large-scale
Writing to the State Department in 1924, Adm. Bristol referred to "the most
barbarous acts of the regime in power at the time of the Armenian massacres," to
"the cruelties practiced upon the Armenians by Turks acting under official
orders, and in pursuance of a deliberate official policy," for which "there
can be no adequate excuse."
Adm. Bristol also wrote a lot of false and misleading letters because he--motivated by
economic interests--was trying to "wipe the spot," as he put it, that
stained Turkey. And now, Ms. Direskeneli is repeating Mr. Fein's failed effort to use
one of those letters as a rag to polish Turkey’s image. Their tactic is a shameful
disservice to courageous Turks of decency who are struggling to elevate Turkey by
acknowledging the facts of history.
It will be more difficult for Armenians and Turks to reach a mutually beneficial end
to this conflict if we refuse to respect the written word and weigh the probative
value of the arguments advanced by both sides.
So if Ms. Direskeneli did not get it the first time, I suggest that she sit back with
a cup of good Turkish coffee, relax, and read carefully, in order to learn the
difference between falsification and fact: "In fact," Adm. Bristol
admonished a Turkish reporter in 1919, "the massacres of the Armenians have made
a spot which is difficult to eradicate. You ought not to have done such things, yes,
you ought not to have done it."
Professor of History
Glendale Community College, California
In other words, what Professor Marashlian is claiming is that Admiral Bristol had few ethics
or morals, as he went about the business of “wiping the spot”... lying through his teeth
so that Turkey can look good, to further economic interests.
If this is the case, why does the professor jump on the validity of Bristol’s anti-Turkish
statements? If Bristol is such a liar, then nothing Bristol says should be acceptable.
I guess Admiral Bristol is only legitimate when he says something that is harmful to the
Turks. Just like the “courageous Turks of decency” are only good human beings when they
acknowledge the so-called genocide. Practically the only time you will find Armenians/Greeks
saying anything good about Turks or Turkey is if they support anti-Turkish notions.
Otherwise, if they should get a pimple on their butts, they’ll know whom to blame: Turkey.
Did Admiral Bristol say these things? I don’t know... the professor didn’t include a
source. Assuming, however, that the professor is not... ehhh... “exaggerating,” let us
pay heed to the kind of man Admiral Bristol probably was. (I'm going to accept Professor
Marashlian's word, because among all the Armenian professors who blindly march to the tune
of the "Armenian AND? Anthem," I like Professor
Marashlian. He had the guts to journey to an honest
forum [in Ankara] debating the Armenian "Genocide," when all the other
pro-Armenian professors apparently wimped out.)
his better half, 1919. The 1919
photos on this page are by Francis Kelsey,
from his Near East Expedition,
Admiral Bristol grew
up in America. All Admiral Bristol knew about Turkey was negative... because then, as is
almost equally true now, the only things reported in the American media regarding Turkey
were negative. Admiral Bristol had no reason to like Turks. The only time Americans or
Westerners grow fond of Turkey — if they are people of integrity and their biases are not
too impossibly deep-rooted — is if they go to Turkey, and find out all the horror stories
they have been told simply are not true. When this kind of thing happens, when one’s
deep-rooted belief system gets shaken, then one can easily do a hundred-and-eighty degree
turn. This is why you find Bristol making statements such as the Greeks being the worst
race. When you finally learn a people you were trained to look upon as angels actually can
behave in ways that are terribly inappropriate, how would you react?
American businessmen have historically gone to bed with all kinds of despotic governments,
in order to make a buck. The only reason why Bristol felt the need to put Turkey in a good
light was because he was motivated by truth. Professor Marashlian should be careful before
suggesting branding people as liars, without offering evidence. This is the traditional
Armenian method... to assassinate the character of those who dare not agree with the
Armenian viewpoint. However, all the professor has to go on is his opinion. Are there
examples from Bristol’s background that support Bristol was a bad man? As far as I know,
Admiral Bristol was an exceptional American, and he served his country nobly and valuably.
By contrast, there are clues about Ambassador Morgenthau’s character that makes one a fool
to trust what he had to say.
Does Professor Marashlian honestly believe American businessmen wouldn’t want to
investigate business opportunities in Turkey if no efforts were made to allegedly “wipe
the spot”? Then the professor has much to learn about how, in general, American business
operates. (I know the professor doesn't believe that, because he makes a statement
supporting otherwise in the Ankara forum he attended. If memory serves... I didn't
Besides... even if Ambassador Bristol truly engaged in wanting to “wipe the spot,” he
would have been aware he wouldn’t have been dealing with a mere spot; what lay before him
was the La Brea Tar Pit. No matter how many times Bristol would have lied through his teeth
and said, “No, no, Turkey wasn’t so bad”... how many people could he have persuaded?
After people had been totally brainwashed by being exposed constantly to a one-sided barrage
of anti-Turkish propaganda? The impossibility of such a mission is demonstrated by how
solidly established the Armenian viewpoint is today... there is nothing Admiral Bristol
could have done, with his little lone voice in the wilderness, to wipe the spot, in the
minds of the masses.
Like Doctor Cyrus Hamlin (the first president
of Istanbul’s Robert College) wrote about the foreign spreading of anti-Turkish news: this
"one-sided and unreliable information" about any people would, after a long
period of unchallenged time, “would create hostility and hatred that would not be easily
overcome." And as C.W.
Dixon-Johnson cited the old Eastern proverb, "Give a lie twenty-four hours
start, and it will take a hundred years to overtake it"... They are pretty much
saying what Nazi Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels swore by years later... repeat a lie
(the bigger, the better) often enough, and people will swallow it. I’d think Admiral
Bristol had a lot more on his hands than to spend time concocting falsehoods... taking on
the impossible task of making a dent in this firmly established and gigantic “spot.”
Let me remind you of the professor’s line: “Adm. Bristol also wrote a lot of false and
misleading letters because he--motivated by economic interests--was trying to ‘wipe the
spot,’ as he put it, that stained Turkey.” Isn’t that a funny way of trying to “wipe
the spot,” by writing a PRIVATE letter? (Marashlian must largely be referring to Bristol’s 1921 letter, the only one I know
of that has been easily available, publicly... unless the professor conducted deep research
in the Library of Congress, like his academic colleague, Heath Lowry.) Who was Bristol
trying to persuade, Dr. James Barton? Bristol didn’t even have to persuade Barton... In
Barton’s reply, Barton already had an excellent idea of the dishonesty of the Armenians.
(Reverend Barton wasn't always that way... but by 1921, he had begun to see the nature of
the Armenians, and was burned by their ingratitude all too often. [Read Barton's reply, in
the above link].)
It’s very upsetting that Dr. Marashlian tries to paint the picture of Admiral Bristol’s
being such a con man. Thank you for your biased opinion, Professor, but exactly where in
Bristol’s 1921 letter did he make a false or misleading statement? On, the contrary, this
is a from-the-heart, forthright, extremely fair, extremely objective letter written by a man
with obvious integrity. (Click on the link above, reader, and judge for yourself.)
And if Bristol has written "a lot of false and misleading
letters" beyond this 1921 letter, I haven't seen any. And I have read a lot of Armenian
propaganda attempting to blacken the eye of Admiral Bristol.
The professor writes,"Adm. Bristol's letter--written in 1921--does
not disprove that Armenians suffered a genocide, because it refers to the Caucasus in 1920,
not to the time and place the great extermination occurred. The central scene of the crime
was in the Ottoman Empire; the crucial years were between 1915 and 1918." Yes, that is
true. Ambassador Bristol wasn’t directly there, so his views cannot be used to
conclusively disprove the so-called genocide that occurred mainly in 1915... exactly in the
fashion that Ambassador Morgenthau’s views cannot be used to prove the so-called genocide,
since Morgenthau — never having left Istanbul's environs during the "genocide"
period, and relying solely on the reports from prejudiced Armenians, missionaries and U.S.
consuls — wasn’t directly there, either. (Besides the former attorney’s tendency to
bend the facts, as a comparison between his letters/diaries and his ghostwritten book
What is valuable about the admiral’s reports, gathered by truly NEUTRAL Americans (and not the
religious bigots and general Turk-haters like missionaries and the brunt of U.S. consuls
like George Horton, all with their personal
agendas... mainly the men who worked with Bristol, but there were also the
missionary-inclined within the Near East Relief — who were not really neutral, but as
neutral as can be expected) is the exposing of Armenian tactics. If the Turks were so
inclined to exterminate the Armenians, why would they suddenly have stopped in 1920? (The
Bristol Papers that you read about above gives an excellent idea regarding how
professionally the Turkish soldiers behaved... confirmed as well by the first Prime Minister
of the Independent Armenian Republic, in 1923's Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni.) Why is it that Bristol found time
and again, if anyone was committing crimes, it was the Armenians? If this is the way it was
in 1920, it reveals volumes about the nature of the Armenians a few years earlier. People
simply do not change their "nature" in the blink of an eye.
Now let’s take the alleged statement of Admiral Bristol, made in 1924. He seems to have
summed up the villainy of the Turks in one pat statement, just like Aram Andonian
demonstrated Talat Pasha’s culpability in one of several all-explaining forged sentences,
that Andonian put into Talat Pasha's' mouth. I’m
not saying the professor is making this up, although I wish he would have provided the
source... I’d like to find out more, and if Bristol actually said this, I’d like to
learn what the context of his statement was.
I can more easily understand why Bristol would have made the other statement, back in 1919,
to a Turkish reporter: "The massacres of the Armenians have made a spot which is
difficult to eradicate. You ought not to have done such things, yes, you ought not to have
done it." (Looks like this is at least one place where the “wiping the spot”
business is from.) I don’t know how the professor has concluded the statement proves
Bristol himself was personally interested in "wiping the spot." If Bristol made
this statement, for which — unfortunately — there is no source, then Bristol could have
only been chastising the Turks, offering his opinion that it would take a lot for the Turks
to get themselves out of the hole they had dug themselves in.)
Back in 1919, Bristol knew only what he was told... it would be safe to presume Bristol was
very much influenced by the anti-Turkish propaganda his fellow Americans were also massively
exposed to. Despite what the Armenians and Greeks enjoy claiming, Bristol was not
"pro-Turkish"... why would he be, when positive things about the Turks were almost
never to be found? As a man of integrity, truth was important to him, and he was interested
in sorting out the facts from the lies. In time, he would learn more. In the meantime,
however, he was still constantly exposed to reports from his fellow Americans that the Turks
were in league with the devil. Take a look at this New York Times report about one of the typically
deranged missionaries at the time, making up the kinds of stories that would have made
Torquemada orgasmic; the article states in the last paragraph that Bristol received this
missionary, at the embassy. The U.S. embassy was a focal point for Americans in the faraway
land of Turkey, and no doubt Bristol received lots of fellow countrymen like the missionary,
many of whom were anything BUT "pro-Turkish," and no doubt filling the
ambassador's head with stories of atrocities they had heard from their beloved Armenians. If
you kept hearing such horror stories all the time, how could you not be influenced? When I
read these disgusting stories, my own eyes glaze over and even I get influenced.)
Admiral Bristol deserves credit for rising above the dishonesty... something that could not
be said about his ambassador predecessors, who didn’t care about the facts.
And this is the only justification I could think of as
to why Bristol made such a pat statement in 1924. Regardless of all the evidence he came up
with that exposed the lies of the Armenians and Greeks that "made (his) blood
boil," perhaps repeated exposure to horror story after horror story combined with his
likely initial negative feelings toward Turks almost all Americans have... since
first impressions can run deeply... just couldn't allow him to let go of the Turks'
perceived culpability. Or perhaps Professor Marashlian's implication is correct.... perhaps
Ambassador Bristol was not the man of integrity I give him credit for. However, I would find
it hard to believe a man who wrote the honest and sincere letter Bristol wrote to Dr. Barton
would be nothing less than a man of integrity. Even one of the most VICIOUS Turcophobes of
the period vouched for Bristol's honesty. (Bottom of page.)
Admiral Mark L. Bristol (far left), in a meeting at the Navy Department, Washington,
Regardless, the one
thing that seriously turned me off about Professor Marashlian’s letter, and one that
significantly reveals his shortcomings as an objective scholar, was his choice of word to
describe Ambassador Morgenthau’s testimony: “UNIMPEACHABLE.”
Professor Marashlian claimed in his journey to the Ankara forum that he did not hate Turks. We can see now
that Professor Marashlian, unfortunately, may not have been honest with this statement. The
only clearly "unimpeachable" thing about Henry "Holier-than-Thou"
Morgenthau was his unbridled racist hatred of Turks (one particular example among many is
Chapter XXII of Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, "The Turk Reverts to Ancestral
Type"). If Dr. Marashlian uses such an absolute word as
"unimpeachable" to sum up Morgenthau's integrity, then Dr. Marashlian obviously
must agree 100% with Morgenthau. It is like saying one doesn't hate Jews, but one agrees
100% with the racist ideologies behind Mein Kampf.
The 1924 letter is the only doubt I now have regarding Bristol's good
character; however, if any impartial scholar examines Ambassador Morgenthau's writings,
particularly the next-to-last few chapters of his book, he or she will immediately become
aware of the racist bias of the author. Let me demonstrate, from "Ambassador
A common practice was to place the prisoner in a
room, with two Turks stationed at each end and each side. The examination would then begin
with the bastinado. This is a form of torture not uncommon in the Orient; it consists of
beating the soles of the feet with a thin rod. At first the pain is not marked; but as the
process goes slowly on, it develops into the most terrible agony, the feet swell and burst,
and not infrequently, after being submitted to this treatment, they have to be amputated.
The gendarmes would bastinado their Armenian victim until he fainted; they would then revive
him by sprinkling water on his face and begin again. If this did not succeed in bringing
their victim to terms, they had numerous other methods of persuasion. They would pull out
his eyebrows and beard almost hair by hair; they would extract his finger nails and toe
nails; they would apply red-hot irons to his breast, tear off his flesh with red-hot
pincers, and then pour boiled butter into the wounds. In some cases the gendarmes would nail
hands and feet to pieces of wood---evidently in imitation of the Crucifixion, and then,
while the sufferer writhed in his agony, they would cry: " Now let your Christ come and
My only reason for relating such dreadful things as this is that, without the details, the
English-speaking public cannot understand precisely what this nation is which we call
Turkey. I have by no means told the most terrible details, for a complete narration of the
sadistic orgies of which these Armenian men and women were the victims can never be printed
in an American publication . Whatever crimes the most perverted instincts of the human mind
can devise, and whatever refinements of persecution and injustice the most debased
imagination can conceive, became the daily misfortunes of this devoted people.
If this nation which we call Turkey was so evil, no
Western traveller of the period could have said any of the loving and sometimes awed words
that one can read about in some of these quotes.
Now I am well aware Morgenthau's are exactly the kinds
of musical words extremist Greeks and Armenians can engorge themselves on, thanks to their
near-pathological hatred of Turks... and this is why they worship men like Morgenthau and
fellow maniacal Turcophobe, U.S. Consul George Horton. However, anyone who reads these words
(and Morgenthau made a practice of preparing similarly vicious essays, as the one I
reproduced on his page) must conclude this man
did not maintain a cool, rational head regarding Turks and Turkey. What is his proof for all
this reported hearsay? The described torture scene which he actually calls
"common"? Is his proof that an Armenian or missionary told him so? We know he
didn't venture out of Istanbul, so he had to hear such stories from someone. Why would he
accept such unimaginable scenes as the unadulterated, COMMON truth? Was he that naive? He
was anything but naive, it seems to me.
have been proud of the
torture methods the
missionaries came up with.
I made a decision to not include these vicious
stories on this TAT web site, of which there are boundless examples of in Armenian sites. I
mainly prepared the one page I have already directed your attention to (six or seven
paragraphs) above as an example... a New York Times report accepting
wholesale the words of a missionary. Look at the similarities... red hot irons; finger and
toenails pulled out; beards ripped off. Was there a special torture school in the Ottoman
Empire where all graduates learned the exact same techniques? No, what's happening here is
Armenians/missionaries made up these ridiculously unbelievable horror stories. "Whatever crimes the most perverted instincts of the human mind can devise,
and whatever refinements of persecution and injustice the most debased imagination can
conceive" were not the doing of the Turks... although whoever cooked up these
shocking terror techniques no doubt possessed pretty perverted and debased imaginations,
which especially repressed religious minds have a way of concocting... if anyone remembers
the Spanish Inquisition, and the unimaginable tortures the priests had inflicted on the
There are other examples Dr. Lowry exposed (in
"The Story Behind Ambassador Morgenthau's Story"), by a thorough comparison
between the ambassador's letters/diary and his ghostwritten book, that this man was far from
the ultimate when it came to preserving good ethical or moral character. Accounts deviate;
he plugs a financial institution he was on the directorial board of ; he goes out of his way
to paint Enver and Talat and Djemal and almost every other Turk as monsters or
less-than-human, despite mainly reporting how kindly they had all treated him. (In his
book; in his letters/diary, he hardly gave any indication of monstrousness.) For example,
Enver is so very sweet with the ambassador throughout... and the ambassador gives Enver
credit here and there, saying how Enver always kept his promises, and the like... and then,
BOOM. "The European polish which Enver had
sedulously acquired dropped like a mask; I now saw him for what he really was---a savage,
I read Morgenthau's book at the beginnings of
my preparation for this site months ago.... and I reread it again, just last night. (This is
why I'm harping on Henry, when this page is devoted to Bristol... sorry.) However, my
respect for Henry Morgenthau has dropped to zero. Not only because he is unfairly and
falsely saying awful things about Turkey... but because I'm getting a clearer picture as to
what kind of man he really was. To write such a book, a book he knew his ignorant fellow
Americans would accept as the gospel truth, when he was clearly motivated not by the truth
but mainly by his own unbridled racism (along with other factors)... is an indicator of a
fiend. A man in his high position should have been a lot more responsible. He was free to
criticize the Turks... but he had no right to go into fairy tale land.
To give Morgenthau the benefit of a doubt, he
may not have been the racist he so blatantly comes across as; as his letters and diaries
demonstrate, he was an altogether different man than the egomaniacal bigot he comes across
as in his ghostwritten book. He enjoyed the friendliest of relations with Talat and Enver
Pasha, despite painting them as the evil monsters he does. His objective was to get America
into the war, and therefore his talented ghostwriter (Pulitzer Prize winning Burton J.
Hendrick) wrote an entertaining but fictionalized book. The immoral outcome: people are
still regarding the book as fact, and the book is still feeding into the hatreds of the
Armenians with its outright lies.
So if Professor Marashlian has so much respect for this
unethical lawyer-turned-ambassador, and to accept 100% whatever Henry
"Holier-than-Thou" Morgenthau said as "unimpeachable"... is he, like his
mentor Professor Hovannisian, so clouded by his emotions that he either cannot sort fact
from fiction, or is he cognizant of the fiction and chooses to overlook it? In either case,
what does that say about these men's professorial qualifications?
Subsequently, I discovered a key motivation
of Morgenthau came with his marriage to the cause of Zionism. The goal of a Zionist at the
time was to strive for a Jewish homeland. Knock out the Ottoman Empire (in control of
Palestine) sooner by cajoling the USA into war, and we can understand how Morgenthau lent
himself more easily to the Turk-demonization campaign.
GREAT DECEPTION SERIES
Weems, the Scottish-American judge from Arkansas was outraged enough by historic
Armenian misbehavior; offended in equal dosages as a proud American, a devout
Christian, and a truth-seeking man of integrity, Weems sank his personal fortune into
researching throughout different countries and coming up with a sense-shatteringly
revelatory book, "Armenia: Secrets of a 'Christian' Terrorist State."
How unfortunate for the world, and how lucky for the Armenians that his death brought
to a halt other books he had planned in his Armenia-exposing series. From his
publisher's web site
comes this description of what would have been the last volume, concentrating on
Admiral Mark Bristol:
Samuel A. Weems will complete his Armenian Great Deception Series by focusing more on
Admiral Mark Bristol whom the Armenians love to hate. Admiral Bristol served in
Turkey from 1918 until 1927. Admiral Bristol witnessed first hand the selfishness of
the Armenians and he objected to the United States becoming involved with such a
people. Admiral Bristol believed that it was in the best interest of the United States
to establish a partnership with first the Ottoman Empire and then the Republic of
Turkey when it was formed in 1923. The people of the United States owe a debt of
gratitude to this Great American hero. It is because of his vision for the future
that helped the United States win the Cold War. Turkey became a true friend of the
United States and helped resist the Russian Communists. Turkey continues to be a great
friend of the United States. Their commandos just took over the power of peace keeping
in Afghanistan. What did the Armenians do? They made a deal and freely joined the
Soviet Union and communism. The Armenians fought the United States and the forces of
freedom and democracy for 70 years. The Armenians continue their deceit
today that they began in 1918. The Armenians are no where to be seen in helping the
United States win the war on terrorism. That is except the fact that Armenians are
selling equipment and knowledge of making weapons of mass destruction to Iran in
violation of US law.
ANY ARMENIAN-AMERICAN WHO CRITICIZES MARK BRISTOL DOES NOT
RECOGNIZE THE GREAT SERVICE MARK BRISTOL PERFORMED FOR HIS COUNTRY... WHICH IS
SUPPOSEDLY THE ARMENIAN-AMERICAN'S COUNTRY. But we know which country many
Armenian-Americans' allegiance truly belongs to. Harsh words? Show me one Armenian who
publicly did NOT support any of their selfish genocide
resolutions they have tried to push through America's Congress, over the years...
causing a rift between the USA and Turkey.
Japanese-Americans fought and died for America in the battlefields of Europe and the
Pacific, even though their innocent families were ruinously "deported" and
imprisoned during WWII... unlike Ottoman-Armenians who were "deported" (in
both cases, they were relocated; "deportation" means banishment outside
one's country) and were NOT imprisoned, for their revolting acts... which Ottoman-Armenian troops helped roll the
ball with, by firing blanks at the front, deserting in droves and later fighting
against their countrymen. Singer-Actor Charles Aznavour (Chahnour Varinag Aznavourian)
was quoted in an ARARAT report (during
Cannes) as having said "I have been asked what is the difference between the
Armenian and the French [in me]. I always said I was 100% French and 100%
Armenian." Should France ever go to war with Armenia, which one do you think
Aznavour would truly be loyal to? None of us knows the real answer... but it's an
interesting question to speculate.
|Admiral Bristol "Admits" that He is PRO-TURK
Here is what U.S. Consul in Izmir, George
Horton, wrote about Admiral Mark Bristol in "The Blight of Asia":
Our representative at Constantinople, Admiral Mark L.
Bristol, is an extremely attractive personality: honest, brave, generous, with frank
and winning manners. By the sheer magnetism of his genial and engaging character he
gathers about himself, wherever he is, a school of admirers and disciples who ardently
defend the admiral and everything that he thinks and does.
The naval officers who came to Smyrna at the Consulate’s
request were typical of the American naval officer in general, high-type intelligent
gentlemen, of an efficiency that may be described as well-nigh perfect. They were
under certain orders at Smyrna, which it was incumbent upon them to carry out. They
accomplished all their duties there thoroughly and correctly and performed prodigies
after the fire in saving refugees.
I was somewhat puzzled, however, when an American lady at
Smyrna informed me that one of the officers had told her that he was “pro-Turk.”
Another, a commander, made the same remark at Athens, at luncheon, during one of the
trips, which the destroyers were making back and forth between that city and Smyrna.
While stopping at the Army and Navy Club in Washington in
1922, I asked a naval officer of high rank if it was true that he was pro-Turk, and he
“Yes, I am, because I was brought up as a boy to the belief
that the Turks were always chasing Greeks and Armenians around with a knife. Well, I
have been over there to Constantinople several times and I have never seen anything of
the kind, so I have come to the conclusion that it is all buncombe.”
At first, I thought Admiral Bristol was the one
behind those quoted words... and maybe the rabidly bigoted George Horton's mind was a
bit too cobwebbed when he wrote this segment, foaming at the mouth from all his
religious and racist anti-Turkish hatred. The
passage is somewhat ambiguous, and I'm now assuming the fuzzy-brained Horton (who went
so far as to support the view that the Turks were "the great anti-Christ among
the races of men") was not quoting Bristol, but one of the naval officers... who
sort of embodies Bristol, since Bristol is so greatly admired; this must be the
case, since the quoted party mentions he was at "Constantinople" a few
times, whereas Bristol would have been stationed in Istanbul full-time, as the
So why confuse the reader by first bringing up
Mark Bristol? I suppose Horton is trying to say, in effect, it is really Bristol who
is the "Pro-Turk" one, and his faithful followers are only following their
respected admiral's lead. (Note the method of putting quotation marks around a phrase
that at best is only being paraphrased; also unethically utilized in Ambassador
Morgenthau's "Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.")
Regardless, the gist of what Bristol (or the
officer who was representing Bristol) is supposed to have said is entirely in keeping
with my suspicions... all his life, Bristol was led to believe a version of events (in
this case, how barbaric the Turks were), and when he personally discovered the truth,
he (unlike Morgenthau, Horton and other American officials) decided to regard the
Turks as human beings. By the same token, when he got a taste of how the
"angelic" Greeks and Armenians really were like, that taste in his mouth
quickly became very bitter.
Pro-Turk.... or Pro-Truth? Mark Bristol
was clearly a man of integrity.
Throughout his ugly book, George Horton
unleashes his venom as if in need of a straitjacket; in only one of the few points in
his book where he sounded like a gracious human being, notice once again what he had
to say about Mark Bristol's character:
Our representative at Constantinople, Admiral Mark L.
Bristol, is an extremely attractive personality: honest, brave, generous, with frank
and winning manners. By the sheer magnetism of his genial and engaging character he
gathers about himself, wherever he is, a school of admirers and disciples who ardently
defend the admiral and everything that he thinks and does.
This passage speaks VOLUMES. George Horton
maintains such an unbelievably despicable tone throughout "The Blight of
Asia," he makes Heinrich Himmler sound like Mahatma Gandhi. But even though
he cannot contain himself, and exposes his vicious, blood-soaked prejudice for all the
world to see, he doesn't jump down the throat of a fellow American for having a
diametrically opposed view. Even to a man like George Horton, Mark Bristol came across
like an amazing human being.
TIME Magazine, Sep. 14, 1925
What is it to be famous? If not one American in a hundred could pick out Rear Admiral Mark
Lambert Bristol from among all the U. S. Rear Admirals, active and retired, standing in a
row—surely then Rear Admiral Mark Lambert Bristol is not famous.
Last week he returned from seven years in the service of his country overseas. There was no
mention of the fact in Detroit, in Kansas City, in Omaha, in New Orleans—no mention even
in Philadelphia, a bare 100 miles from Manhattan's midriff, where he disembarked. He is not,
like Andrew Mellon or Rodolfo Valentino, a newspaper character.
Yet he is not unknown. The Washington hostess will fill her house when she asks her friends
to meet Admiral and Mrs. Bristol. The financier will forego the last golf of summer to talk
out a cigar with the Admiral, privately. The heads of great churches will solicit
conferences. And each of Admiral Bristol's public utterances in this country will be cabled
to every chancellor of Europe.
Admiral Bristol—High Commissioner of the U. S. at Constantinople since August, 1919—has
probably exerted more influence upon the scenes of ancient civilization than has any other
American. No U. S. official is more highly respected by the statesmen of Europe and the Near
East, and certainly none is better known.
When Constantinople was under Allied control, the English were perpetually in a row with the
French, the French with the Italians, the Italians with the defeated Turks. When the rows
became serious Admiral Bristol settled them.
When the New Turks became lusty, Admiral Bristol (without instruction from the U. S. State
Department) told them to quit massacring Armenians. They quit. With similar effect he told
the Greeks to control themselves at the sight of a Turk.
Thousands of women and children deluded into peril by the White hope of General Wrangel, he
succored. His was the first balm to heal the wounds of fire at Smyrna. Grimly he protected
U. S. interests at Lausanne conferences. And last year he was the first diplomat to call on
Mustafa Kemal, President of New Turkey.
For seven years he has sat serenely on the international powder box. A snapping-jawed,
tight-lipped man, he has scared away the rascals. A jovial good fellow with pockets full of
laughs, he has out-joked the wily villain. A great seaman, he has understood the fighting
Home again, he began at once on his first objective—to obtain U.S. recognition for Turkey.
At the dock, he greeted reporters with a compactly-worded statement, as it were, announcing
his text to Secretary of State Kellogg, Foreign Relations Chairman Borah and the rest of the
U. S. Senate:
"The new regime in Turkey is a most remarkable evidence of a revolution in form and
administration of a government. Briefly, an absolute monarchy has been replaced by a
republic. Church has been separated from state and religion eliminated from all law codes.
Religion of any kind may be taught in the churches and the mosques, but not in the schools.
All persons born in Turkey, without regard to race, religion or nationality, have all rights
of Turkish citizenship. The Turkish leaders without previous experience must evolve the new
administration. There are bound to be mistakes and the evolution will be slow, but there are
many evidences of progress.
"The Americans in Turkey who are engaged in business, in operating schools, in
rendering relief to suffering humanity, and in philanthropic and missionary work, are
desirous of having the treaty between America and Turkey ratified, and regular diplomatic
I don't know what the evidence was for the "Stop
massacring Armenians" claim... but if it's true, Armenians owe Mark Bristol a great
debt of gratitude for saving so many Armenian lives. Strange that a "pro-Turk"
would care about Armenians, isn't it?
(Another curiosity is that since Armenian propaganda
tells us it is the genetic predisposition of the Terrible Turk to massacre... a notion that
this TIME reporter is likely basing his claim upon... isn't it odd that massacres would have
magically stopped because an American simply said, "don't do it"?
But the part that grabbed my attention was yet another
confirmation of what a "great guy" Admiral Mark Bristol must have been... along
with being so very capable, quite a feat in these very treacherous waters:
For seven years he has sat serenely on the
international powder box. A snapping-jawed, tight-lipped man, he has scared away the
rascals. A jovial good fellow with pockets full of laughs, he has out-joked the wily
The article tells us he earned the respect of
everyone, and he did what he did without seeking recognition (unlike the publicity hound,
Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, whose good friend was Adolph Ochs, publisher of the New York
Times). The mark of a true hero, a man reeking of integrity.
Pro-Armenians who keep smearing Mark Bristol's name,
especially if they are Americans, should be terribly ashamed of themselves.
A Register of Mark
Bristol's Papers in the Library of Congress