What a pity that a
prosecutor such as Prof. Vahakn Dadrian is allowed to speak at such an
institution of higher learning as Harvard University. He, along with the
Tweedledee to his Tweedledum, Richard Hovannisian, have gained reputations as
"renowned scholars," on this one-note aspect of their careers, the
so-called Armenian Genocide.
The definition of a scholar is that all sides of a story must be considered,
free of bias and emotion. Prosecutor Dadrian’s mission is to present
evidence only to prove his obsession. Or, as Professor Malcolm E. Yapp wrote,
regarding Dadrian’s The History of the Armenian Genocide:
Despite the numerous documents cited and the careful assembly of
information about individuals and organizations, there is no decisive evidence
to support Dadrian's case.... Of course one may argue that even without clear
unambiguous documentary evidence the weight of so many pieces of indirect and
circumstantial evidence brought together could be persuasive, even conclusive,
but one must enter a caveat. The author's approach is not that of an historian
trying to find out what happened and why but of a lawyer assembling the case
for the prosecution in an adversarial system. What he wants are admissions of
guilt from the defendants, first Germany as the easier target and then Turkey.
What is missing is any adequate recognition of the circumstances in which
these events took place; the surge of Armenian nationalism, the ambitions of
Russia, the fears of the Ottomans and the panic and indiscipline of war.
Dadrian is so obsessed by his theory of the long plan that he too often
overlooks the elements of the contingent.
(Three cheers for Professor Yapp for having the courage to analyze Dr. Dadrian’s
pretentious history. Why don’t more objective academicians come to the fore
and present their opinions, applying professional scholarly standards? Keeping
a healthy distance from the “Armenian Curtain of Fear” is the likeliest
reason; nobody wants a Peter Balakian on their tails, trying to find reasons
for character assassination.)
Let’s examine what the ethocidal Armenian "scholar" has come up
with to prove his case. This Harvard lecture was presented on the Armenians’
beloved "Date of Doom," April 24, in the year 2001.
It’s infuriating that even a legitimate Ivy League body would
allow this exceptionally partisan goofball... whose mind likely snapped after reading the
fiction of "The Forty Days of Musa Dagh"... to freely make outrageous and
devilishly incriminating statements without offering an avenue for rebuttal.
Taking a cue from “Hitler’s Willing Executioners,”
Dadrian starts off with a terribly offensive bang by stating: “(T)here
was massive, popular participation in the atrocities. It was also significant by the fact
that, to quote Ambassador Morganthau, 'to save shell and powder,' the perpetrators
deliberately used blunt instruments, thereby protracting the agony of dying of the
victims. This should never be lost of sight, in terms of the very significant nature of
the Armenian Genocide: protracted agonies in dying, because of the decision of the
perpetrators to avoid bullets and use instead blunt instruments.”
However, unlike the controversial book that presented the case that many ordinary Germans
supported the Holocaust "behind the scenes," Dadrian goes one better by claiming
ordinary Turks relished the opportunity EN MASSE ("massive,
popular participation") to bloody their hands in the most sadistic manner
possible. Thus, Dadrian attempts to accomplish one of his goals: Fortify the definition
found in English dictionaries of "Turk" as "savage," readily
acceptable after Terrible Turk indoctrination since the Crusades, thereby making notions
of genocide all the more believable.
His offered proof: Morgenthau. Ambassador Morgenthau, who never left Istanbul's environs
(save for a trip to Palestine) and relied on his Armenian assistants, and who never
witnessed any of these massacres he blabbered about, to fulfill his propagandistic agenda:
induce the United States into war. There is other "evidence," of course, that I’ve
come across independently... such as a New York Times report about how ordinary Turks were
recruited to kill Armenians with axes, as told by a missionary. Leaving aside the fact
that such tales are provided secondhand and that hearsay does not constitute real evidence
(as the British demonstrated, anxious for convictions during the Malta Tribunal, but
careful to conduct the trial process in a judicial manner).... how dare Vahakn Dadrian go
so pitifully overboard as to indict the entire Turkish people?
This is the typical Armenian strategy. As they engaged themselves in the most
blood-curdling killing manners imaginable in their goal to ethnically cleanse Turks and
Muslims (while in charge of lands hoped to become part of a "Greater Armenia"),
they then relayed similar actions to sympathetic missionaries who were ready to accept
accounts with the most fanciful brutality. In other words, once the Armenians do the
crime, they’re quick to pin the blame of their misdeeds on the Turks. For example, they
engage in forgeries, and the moment they encounter evidence not to their liking, they can
be quick to cry forgery. The extremists among them are racist, and the moment they hear
evidence critical of Armenians, they are quick to cry racism. They commit brutal acts, and
they say it’s the Turks who behaved so criminally. Brutal acts as related by A. Lalayan
(ADDENDUM, 12-07: Lalayan
was a Soviet-Armenian historian; the killer Dashnak's name was Aslen Varaam,
bragging in 1920):
"I killed Muslims by every means possible. Yet it is sometimes a pity to waste
bullets for this. The best way is to gather all of these dogs and throw them into wells
and then fill the wells with big and heavy stones. as I did. I gathered all of the women,
men and children, threw big stones down on top of them. They must never live on this
earth." (Revolutsionniy Vostok (Revolutionary East) No: 2-3, Moscow, 1936.)
Dadrian writes: "Deniers are wont to withhold evidence; deniers are wont to destroy
evidence. Therefore, a scholar of the Armenian Genocide has to be by necessity not
only a scholar but also a detective."
A very successful tactic of the Armenians is to use the label "denier" to
deny the validity of those who speak the truth, capitalizing on Holocaust-speak,
attempting to portray those who say otherwise as neo-Nazi zealots. This is an
effective way to stifle academic debate, the last thing those such as Vahakn Dadrian
are interested in. The fact of the matter is, if there are deniers afoot, Vahakn
Dadrian is one such denier... he denies the Armenian “Genocide” did not happen.
Certainly he qualifies for what constitutes a denier; as he instructs us; he is wont
to withhold evidence; and he is wont to destroy evidence. And if a "scholar of
the Armenian Genocide has to be by necessity not only a scholar but also a
detective," at least Prosecutor Dadrian has fulfilled the abilities of a
detective... since he has searched under every rock for many years, supported by
salary and generous grants, attempting to detect ONLY the hoped-for evidence to
prove his case, and closing his eyes to the facts that turn his case on its ear. He
should think twice before he labels himself a "scholar"... but only a man
of honor would feel such shame.
"Therefore, let me briefly outline the specific elements
of denial, because, before a crime of such magnitude as the Armenian Genocide can be
documented, you have to confront and overcome the specific elements of the denial.
The Turks — past and present — deny that the Armenians were subjected to
massacres, but rather they were subjected to deportation. Number two, the point is
made that not all Armenians of the Ottoman Empire but only a segment of the Armenian
population, specifically in the war zones in the eastern provinces, were subjected
to deportation. Number three, the Armenians provoked the authorities to take
drastic, draconian measures that ended in tragedy, but that the provocation came
from the Armenian side."
Let us correct the putative professor by reminding him of the meaning of the word
"deportation": it means banishment outside a country’s borders. Since
the Armenians were moved to areas that were part of the country, the correct word to
use would be "resettlement" or "relocation."
"Deportation" sounds less benign... that is why it’s the favorite word
of the genocide fanciers. If those like Dadrian held the truth as priority, he would
pay attention to such details.
And let’s clarify his first point: truth-seekers (and not just "Turks")
do NOT deny Armenians were massacred. What is at issue is whether the Armenians were
subjected to systematic extermination. The aforementioned Professor Yapp, in his
critique of Dadrian’s lack of ethics, put it succinctly:
"It's probably unnecessary to remind readers that the contrary view
maintained by Turkish historians and by many other historians of the modern Middle
East is that although massacres of the Ottoman Armenians undoubtedly took place, the
available evidence suggests that those chiefly responsible were local Kurdish tribes
and brigands and that there was some connivance even participation by local Ottoman
officials, but that the central Ottoman government did not order or plan the 1915
As for Dadrian’s second and third points he tries to present as untrue, that only
Armenians of the eastern provinces were subjected to the relocation policy and that
the Armenians provoked such measures... by this stage, both contentions are
supported by voluminous evidence that has nothing to do with "Turkish
propaganda." Of course, regarding the second, Armenians in the central region
of the nation were also uprooted for displacement. However, the rebellious Armenian
network stretched far and wide; it wasn’t only the Armenians of the east.
Armenians in the west also gave support to the invading Allies in Gallipoli, by poisoning food supplies of
the Turkish army and revealing strategic information to the British. It’s a wonder
why all of the Armenians were not subjected to be resettled, and it is a fact that
some 200,000 Armenians of the west were exempt. What kind of a genocide policy is
that? Did Hitler exempt the Jews of Berlin?
What Dadrian argues next stretches
credulity to the breaking point.
He tackles the issue of "civil war," saying civil war could
not have taken place because "by any definition... 'civil war'
means the collapse of central authority, and the subsequent onset of a vacuum. As a
result, factions begin to fight one another in the absence of central authority."
Is that what happened in the American Civil War? Did central authority collapse in the
North and the South? No, what happened was that there were two central authorities,
neither of which operated in anarchy, or a vacuum.
Nalbandian, history professor
in CSU Fresno. She paved the way for
Armenian studies in U.S. universities.
What Dadrian doesn’t want to mention is that Armenian
revolutionary committees began to operate as early as 1878, and these are what constituted
the Armenians’ central authority: the Hunchaks, and particularly the Dashnaks. The
Hunchaks determined to strike at the Ottomans when at their weakest... while at war. Even
Armenian historians (such as Louise Nalbandian in "Armenian Revolutionary
Movement," 1963) have documented this simple fact.
Dadrian then attempts to explain how "civil war" would have been unlikely (a
term I hear more often is "intercommunal warfare," a better way of defining the
conflict... for those who have an aversion to the word "civil") because the
Ottomans dissolved their parliament and declared martial law. He explains:
I think that the most significant feature of the futility of the
argument of "civil war" is this fact: On August 2, 1914, three days before World
War I broke out, the Ottoman authorities declared general mobilization, as a result of
which all Armenians, citizens of Turkey, in the age category of 20 to 45, were conscripted
into the Ottoman army.
(ADDENDUM, 01-08: A peek
at the appropriateness of the term, "civil war.")
Let’s remind the prosecutor that citizens of any country (and at this point in Ottoman
history... in earlier days, non-Muslims could get out of military service by paying a tax.
ADDENDUM, 01-08:This tax amounted to only a little over one dollar!) are expected to
defend their country when the country is at war. So he needn’t (in "fairness")
turn this development into another "sympathy vote" by exclaiming, as he does in
his next paragraph: "You can imagine the agony, the petrified
feelings of the remaining Armenian population, which consisted of old men, children, and
women - very much aware of the fresh massacres of 1909 in Adana and still remembering the
harrowing massacres of 1894-96. There was terror in the population, and to think that this
collection of old men, women, and children would even dare to think to confront the
Ottoman army, to confront fully armed Muslims throughout the empire."
"Where is going to come the logistics? Where is going to come
the weaponry? Where is going to come the command and control system of this
terror-stricken population whose main concern was how to survive the war?"
Quick, get out the handkerchiefs!
"In August 1914...the
leaders of the Turkish-Armenian section of the Dashnagtzoutune did not carry out their
promise of loyalty to the Turkish cause... and a call was sent for Armenian volunteers
to fight the Turks on the Caucasus front."
Papazian, Patriotism Perverted (pg. 37)
tells us three days before war broke out mobilization of the nation’s men took
place, let’s remind the prosecutor that five days after Russia declared war on the
Ottoman Empire (November 7, 1914), the slavishly pro-Armenian New
York Times featured the article: “ARMENIANS FIGHTING TURKS
Besieging Van—Others operating in Turkish Army's Rear”... reporting on the first
of several Armenian revolts in Van.
The Armenians followed the Hunchak/Dashnak program to a tee, attacking the moment
their country was engaged in war, and in a struggle with their country’s mortal
enemy, among other world superpowers. The Armenians capitalized on mainly
Russian-financed arms (to the tune of 242,900 rubles as the intial payment... “Where is going to come the weaponry?” indeed! And
what of the wealthy Armenians themselves, armed to the teeth with their Mausers, and
other sophisticated weaponry?) stored in every corner of the empire. Why, even
Dadrian’s adored Ambassador Morgenthau wrote (in his execrable "Ambassador
"...In the early part of 1915, therefore, every Turkish city contained
thousands of Armenians who had been trained as soldiers and who were supplied with
rifles, pistols, and other weapons of defense. The operations at Van once more
disclosed that these men could use their weapons to good advantage..."
Armenia’s first Prime Minister, Hovhannes
Katchaznouni, was in a better position to know the truth as he recorded in his
"...When Turkey had not yet entered the war...Armenian volunteer groups
began to be organized with great zeal and pomp in Trans Caucasia. In spite of the
decision taken a few weeks before at the General Committee in Erzurum, the
Dashnagtzoutune actively helped the organization of the aforementioned groups, and
especially arming them, against Turkey. In the Fall of 1914, Armenian volunteer
groups were formed and fought against the Turks..."
ADDENDUM, 12-07: Armenian possession of arms
went well before the pre-WWI phase; Dadrian's fellow "Tweedledum," Richard
Hovannisian, asserted "that the Armenians possessed weapons was not
astounding: they nad carried arms for decades to defend their homes and fields from
depredation." (Armenia on the Road to Independence, 1967, p.53)
Yet, Dadrian capitalizes on the poor old men, women and children bunk left at the
mercy of the massacring Turkish barbarian story. Little does he mention many of the
conscripted Armenians traitorously deserted or otherwise sabotaged the efforts of
their desperate nation’s army. Nowhere do we hear word of the 200,000 Armenian
fighters (who all originated from the Ottoman Empire, at one point or another)
Boghos Nubar bragged about in his 1919 Times of
London letter. These were some of the Armenians who ruthlessly had their way
with the Turkish/Muslim old men, women and children who were left behind, when all
Turkish men were mobilized into the army, in a desperate life and death struggle
against world superpowers, on multiple fronts.
What kind of a man is Vahakn Dadrian? How could he not know any of these facts, all
from pro-Armenian sources with no "Turkish propaganda" in sight? Why would
he still bald-facedly lie in front of a Harvard audience, and why was this Harvard
audience so ignorant they didn’t pelt this conscience-stricken "scholar"
1892 Dashnak Charter, Method #5:
"To use every means to arm the people."
The master deceiver moves
on to prove his beloved genocide with "compelling evidence":
What are the specific elements of compelling evidence? There
are four of them. Number one: The evidence has to be reliable. By this I mean that
the source has to be more or less unimpeachable. For instance, to illustrate the
point: American Consul Leslie Davis from Kharpert is graphically describing the
atrocities in Kharpert province; he had taken a Turk to be a guide to him, and it
was this Moslem Turk who showed all the spots, all the sites of atrocities while
providing graphic details. To me, this is reliable. I would be skeptical if his
guide and informant were an Armenian. But here is authentic Turkish evidence
supplied to an American consul. That I consider adequately reliable.
I don’t pretend to be a scholar, nor can I claim the advantage Mr. Dadrian has had
for years, immersing himself in this topic, digging up every detail to throw a
smokescreen of doubt upon the unwary, supported by huge grants of money. What do I
know about Leslie Davis? Only what I’ve read in Armenian sources. On the TAT site’s
Leslie Davis page, I learned ... assuming what is said in the Armenian site was
true... that Davis had an Armenian assistant, just like Morgenthau. I don’t think
any of the U.S. consuls were objective men. They were religious and racist bigots,
possibly under the influence of Big Boss Henry Morgenthau to make the Turk look as
hideous as possible.
How does Dadrian know a Turk guided Leslie Davis? I’d assume that information
would have only come from Leslie Davis himself, but Leslie Davis was not an
impartial man. (My information as to whom accompanied Mr. Davis comes from Armenian
sources; one stated he was alone, and another stated he was with a doctor and a
photographer.) And what if a Turk guided Leslie Davis? I believe Leslie Davis came
upon corpses, and it’s likely they could have been Armenian corpses. All of the
Ottoman Empire was a graveyard. There were Armenian corpses, and there were
Turkish/Muslim corpses, from the over one-half million the Armenians slaughtered,
with a little help from the Russians. (In districts the Turks were in control,
thousands of Turks were dying daily of starvation... according to Henry Morgenthau.)
How do we make the connection that these Armenian corpses were products of a
government sponsored, systematically conducted genocide?
Especially from Leslie B. Davis, who also wrote
of finding what he counted to be 10,000 bodies of Armenians lying in a lake, the
same magical 10,000 number given by others, a missionary woman in particular.... and
who dumbly or propagandistically thought “only around 8,000 Armenians survived
the massacre of 1915. " Yes, according to Mr. Davis, only 8,000 Armenians
survived, if he used the word "massacre" as not one particular incident
but somewhat synonymous to the not-yet-invented word "genocide."
ADDENDUM, 12-07: A more detailed look on Davis
and the corpses may be read here.
Continuing with Dadrian’s "compelling evidence":
The second element in my definition of compelling evidence is
what I call "explicitness." Was it deportation? Or was it the destruction
of the deportee population? My research suggests categorically that the deportation
was a cover to enact the intended goal of deportation, which was the destruction of
the deportee population.
To answer Prosecutor Dadrian’s first question, no, it wasn’t
"deportation"; we just covered that. More importantly, if the relocation
was a front to destroy the "deportee population," why did so many survive?
Arnold Toynbee figured 500,000 were up and running in 1916’s "Treatment of
Armenians in the Ottoman Empire," and Morgenthau revealed in his private diary (not his book, of
course) the same number "at Zor were fairly well satisfied; that they have
already settled down to business and are earning their livings."
(Morgenthau would later be quoted by Vahan Cardashian, in a March 3, 1916 letter to
Lord Bryce, as stating that the "genocide" process was over by then, that
the government's attitude was "passive" toward the Armenians, and that
good numbers of them could be found in nearly all the internal cities of the empire.
[The Armenian Review, Winter 1957, p. 107]). Even Peter Balakian today admits one million Armenians survived
(up from Leslie Davis’ 8,000), from a pre-war population provided by neutral
sources ranging from 1 million to 1.6 million. Those Turks must have been really
incompetent to have let so many survive, if their aim was “the
destruction of the deportee population.”
Preceding his fourth element of "verifiability," Dadrian informs us:
The third element in my definition of compelling evidence is
"incontestability." I think incontestability applies largely to official
documents, and I will briefly explain to you German, Austrian, official Turkish
documents which attach extraordinary significance to the evidence in terms of
The reader can turn to my thoughts on the validity of German and Austrian sources in
Germans. Let’s keep in mind Dadrian’s favorite Germans were mainly
men who were in the position of Ambassador Morgenthau: diplomats and consuls, all
relying on hearsay and their own private Christian prejudices. (Although one doesn’t
have to be Christian to be prejudiced against Turks, as Henry Morgenthau provides
To strengthen his case, Dadrian excludes from his body of evidence Armenian survivor
accounts and documents emanating from the archives of the enemies of the Ottoman
Empire, the British, French, and Russian. (Let’s not forget the Americans; the
Americans were not officially at war with the Ottomans, but for all intents and
purposes, were the "enemy" as well. For example, Henry Morgenthau, as a
supposed "neutral," freely provided strategic information to the British.)
I guess that means Dadrian can feel free to use
the "evidence" of the German, Johannes
Lepsius. Since Lepsius was German, I suppose his testimony must have been incontestable.
Really, what is the difference between a Lepsius, and propagandists like Morgenthau
or Toynbee? It might be argued Lepsius breathed even more hateful fire than the
latter two gentlemen.
To lend credence to
German reports, Dadrian writes, "It is inconceivable that a
military and political ally, during the war, would try, would venture to discredit another
ally. It is inconceivable."
Normally, that should be correct. However, we are not dealing with a normal situation. The
Germans and Turks did not fall into each others’ arms because of any love for one
another. The age-old prejudices still loomed large.
Dadrian once again employs the sneaky but effective Armenian tactic
of offering the surface, hoping nobody will dig underneath.
American war correspondent George Abel Schreiner shed extremely revealing light in his
"The Craft Sinister," 1920. Unlike those such as Morgenthau, he was a REAL
eyewitness throughout the Ottoman Empire in the year 1915.
"On a trip I made through Asia Minor in May, 1915, I accidentally encountered a
large column of deported Armenians in the Cicilian Gates in the Taurus Mountains.... I saw
none of the cruelties the Turks have later been charged with... The inquiries I made at
the time and later have caused me to believe that Turkish ineptness, more than intentional
brutality, was responsible for the hardships the Armenians were subjected to."
Schreiner knew the "deportees" were not subjected to the Turkish barbarism
commonly accepted in the West, and attributed the sufferings of these people to the Turks’
unpreparedness during terribly difficult wartime conditions. He had no luck in getting his
news published, discovering his material would be damaging to Allied war efforts,
concerned with showing the Turks as monsters.
"On my return to Constantinople I wrote of the matter and submitted it to the
censors. These good men were horror-struck at my audacity, to think that they would permit
anything of the sort to go through, but were rather apologetic when they handed the
articles back to me."
The journalist was a man of honor, and wished the truth to be reported. What did he do? He
actually tried to send the news through the "enemy," German government
"When every other means to get the story to the United States had failed, I
appealed to Baron von Wangenheim, making it clear to him that as a correspondent of a
neutral press it was my duty to get this piece of news out."
The German ambassador agreed, but predicted the news wouldn’t go through... and
Schreiner's personal observations that the Turks were not committing cruelties against the
Ottoman Armenians were never heard during the war. Germany actually considered its own
Christian unity against the evils of the Muslim nation as more important than its
alliance with the Ottoman Empire:
"The religious societies of Germany had finally managed to present the case of the
Armenians to the emperor and had prevailed upon him to interest himself in these fellow
"The second class of categories I use are authentic Turkish
documents. Here is a paradox: On the one hand I am saying that Turks are denying that they
are withholding documents, they have destroyed documents, which are true. How can you then
explain the existence of valid Turkish-Ottoman documents?"
The explanation for that is that it serves the purpose of an immoral agent of deceit to
try and claim documents were destroyed when there were no documents to begin with. The
British occupied Istanbul at war’s end and appointed an Armenian (Haig Khazarian) in
charge of the Ottoman archives, in pursuit of what would later become the Malta Tribunal,
the Nuremberg of WWI; don’t tell me the old fellow who used to be in charge even knew
where to look to get rid of any incriminating papers... assuming he even had the idea to
put anything to the shredder.
So whatever tidbits of incriminating evidence Mr. Dadrian has found through his years of
meticulous research he must try and explain as "A-ha! The inept Turks overlooked
destroying this little ditty."
And here lies the brunt of Dadrian’s evidence.... the transcripts of the 1919 kangaroo
justice is to justice what military music is to music.
Why are these documents mostly
invalid? Even Dadrian provides a clue:
"When Turkey at the end of October 1918 laid prostrate
and asked for a suspension of hostilities, the victorious allies — France,
Britain, and Italy — stipulated, among others, a condition to postwar Turkish
authorities... They said, ‘Unless you prosecute and punish the authors of
Armenian deportations and massacres, the conditions of the impending peace will be
very severe and harsh.’ In part, to accommodate the victorious allies,
successive postwar Turkish governments established court martials in Istanbul,
IMAGINE! Here is a defeated country being threatened with the most severe conditions
unless they point the finger at some nogoodniks. There was almost no due process
with these courts, the main purpose for which was political retribution. As "An
Unjust Trial" states, "With almost no presentation of evidence, the
courts found nearly every defendant guilty as charged."
Or, as Professor Yapp wrote: "The 1919 courts martial, however cannot be
taken entirely at face value because they were conducted by a government which was
anxious to pin any blame on the CUP leaders..."
Who in their right minds would conclude the findings of these courts to be mostly
valid? Those who do so must also argue courts in Vichy France under Nazi occupation
were no less legal.
And the irony is, despite the convictions (of which a good few were executed), and
despite the efforts of the puppet Ottoman Turks to toady to the British,
representatives of this figurehead government went on to sign the Sèvres Treaty...
conditions so “severe and harsh” (making the Versailles Treaty, with unfair
stipulations laying the stage for Hitler’s rise, look like a picnic), they spelled
the death sentence for the centuries-old empire.
As an example of the validity of these documents, constituting the life blood of
Dadrian’s body of genocidal evidence, Dadrian provides an example of dispatches
between two military officers:
The military commander of Bogazliyan, a district in Ankara
province, sends a cipher telegram to his superior in Ankara, Colonel Recayi. He
says, "Today we dispatched so many Armenians to their destination."
Colonel Recayi, pretending not to understand, wires back saying, "What do you
mean, 'dispatched to their destination?'" The answer comes within an hour:
"They were killed off" (Katledildiler).
This is the first I’m hearing of this episode, and all we have is the surface
explanation of Mr. Dadrian, a man who rejoices in surface explanations and hates to
dig deep...as a real scholar would. However, the one thing that caught my eye was
Dadrian’s "editorial comment" regarding the superior commander’s
reply: "pretending not to understand."
Why would Colonel Recayi pretend not to understand? If both officers were
following extermination orders, as is Dadrian’s thesis, what were these soldiers
doing? Playing games?
Why would the colonel “pretend”?
Do we know how these Armenians were killed off? Were they killed by attacks on their
caravan by bandits or Kurds, or were they killed “My Lai” style, by renegade
Turkish troops? Dadrian attempts to fit the evidence to the crime by daring to
inform us what was going on in Colonel Recayi’s mind... “pretending not to
Dadrian writes: “Now, people like
Justin McCarthy and some other people are trying to diminish and disparage the
court-martials, calling them ‘kangaroo courts.’ Why are they not kangaroo courts? For
the simple reason, mainly, that the Ottoman prosecutors went out of their way to disregard
Armenian survivor testimony so as to render their verdicts as solid as possible.”
Here, then, is the Prosecutor's logic: The simple fact that “Armenian survivor testimony”
was not referred to made these courts legitimate. I suppose the Soghoman Tehlirian trial, a historic case of murder justification,
could then be labeled legitimate because it employed survivor testimony, such as the
remarkable claims made by Tehlirian’s sister... and examples as the following:
DISTRICT ATTORNEY — The defendant testified that
the massacres took place just outside the city limits of Erzinga. I am informed that,
after the caravan had gone quite a distance from Erzinga, armed Kurdish bandits attacked
the caravan in a pass and even many Turkish gendarmes were killed trying to protect the
caravan. Would the defendant please answer whether or not they were attacked by Kurdish
DEFENDANT (Tehlirian) — I was told that it was the Turkish gendarmes who opened
fire on us.
Is it good enough for eyewitnesses to merely be “TOLD,” which pretty much represents
the bulk of Armenian survivor testimony? After all, isn’t it the position of Dadrian
that the Turks wanted to exterminate the Armenians? (One of Dadrian’s favorite words, in
fact, is “annihilate.”) How could so many Armenians have survived, then? If
they really eyewitnessed on the spot, why would they have been spared? After all, a
full-fledged extermination policy was in effect, isn’t that the case?
This is not to say Armenians did not suffer, and some truly suffered terribly. It’s a
reminder that second-hand evidence is often not reliable. It’s one thing to witness
something personally, quite another to hear someone tell a story.
Now the fact that such hearsay was decided inadmissible is not proof that these courts
were on the up and up. Dadrian is, as usual, conveniently ignoring all other facts that
render the validity of these courts extremely questionable., Despite the cheap shot
Dadrian takes at Justin McCarthy — a real historian who considers all sides of history
— given the circumstances, the 1919
Ottoman courts were nothing but kangaroo courts.
Similarly, there were representatives of the Ottoman government who said anything and
everything to distance themselves from the previous government, members of whom were
sentenced to death in absentia. The British are in charge, and they are demanding
punishment for the Armenian massacres? Well, what could be easier than blurting out all
kinds of charges incriminating members of the previous administration of these massacres?
And such constitutes the body of Dadrian’s next set of proof... parliamentary senators
in 1918’s end trying to outdo one another in laying criminal blame. One, Ahmed Riza, is
quoted as having said: "We Turks savagely killed off the Armenians."
Is Ahmed Riza making this declaration as one in the position to know... that is, was he
there, seeing the “fiendish, savage” way in which the Armenians were killed...
or was he comfortably in Istanbul, like Henry Morgenthau who also said things like “Turks
savagely killed off the Armenians"? Or was he saying such things thinking that was
the kind of confession his British overlords would like to hear? It could be that he
genuinely believed the “Turks savagely killed off the Armenians," like another Turk
of more recent times, Taner Akcam. (Although whether Akcam genuinely believes what he says
and is not saying such things for other reasons I have yet to figure.) At any rate, what
does that prove? It’s just another man’s opinion.
Ahmed ... said, "Yes, we knew the Armenians out of vendetta
killed some Turks. They were people who noticed their parents had vanished and they were
vindictive and they killed. But the Armenians were not killed en masse by individual
Turks; they were killed wholesale by the official policy of the central government of the
Now here we can see how Ahmed “Taner” Riza was way off base. We know the bulk of Turks
— over one-half million — were not killed by Armenians out of “vendetta.” No, it
was the Dashnak/Hunchak and general revolutionary policy for over 35 years to massacre
Turks for the purpose of inciting counter-massacres, thus inviting the Western powers to
come in and hopefully give Armenians free land. As we observed from the 1914 New York Times report above,
many Armenians did not start killing Turks out of vendetta, but as a long-standing plan to
rebel... waiting for the right moment to strike, while their nation was at its weakest.
When Niles and Sutherland reported on
how devastated the eastern provinces were at the hands of the Armenians, we know the
Armenians did not kill from “vendetta” (although, naturally, blood feuds had a hand in
the never-ending cycle of death), but to ethnically cleanse held Ottoman lands in the hope
of making a “Greater Armenia.” This is what happened in Armenia proper... the reason
why Sahak Melkonian wrote in Preserving the Armenian Purity (1920): "In
Soviet Armenia today there no longer exists a single Turkish soul."
The second way in which Riza blunders is by stating “the Armenians were not killed en
masse by individual Turks” (in contradiction to Dadrian’s earlier assessment of
“there was massive, popular participation in the atrocities”) but “killed
wholesale by official policy.” If that was the official policy, how could so many
Armenians have survived? Moreover, why were the 200,000 Armenians of the western region
mostly exempt from this “official policy”?
Such annoying, nagging questions the scholarly Vahakn Dadrian rarely fails to dirty his
MORE ON THE
An ideologue takes
evidence wherever he can find it, and may invent the evidence he cannot find. He does
not look too closely at the evidence, perhaps because he is afraid of what he will
find. As an example, the ideologues contend that the trials of Ottoman leaders after
World War I prove that the Turks were guilty of genocide. They do not mention that the
so-called trials reached their verdicts when the British controlled Istanbul. They do
not mention that the courts were in the hands of the Quisling Damad Ferid Pasha
government, which had a long record of lying about its enemies, the Committee of Union
and Progress. They do not mention that Damad Ferid would do anything to please the
British and keep his job. They do not mention that the British, more honest than their
lackeys, admitted that they could not find evidence of any "genocide."
They do not mention that the defendants were not represented by their own lawyers.
They do not mention that crimes against Armenians were only a small part of a long
list of so-called crimes, everything the judges could invent. The ideologues do not
mention that the courts should best be compared to those convened by Josef Stalin. The
ideologues do not mention this evidence.
Justin McCarthy, March 24, 2005, in a speech before the Turkish
Grand National Assembly.
Another senator, Resid
Akif, claims to have seen a “secret” CUP order to kill the Armenians, along with
Talat Pasha’s official order to relocate. He also says he came across these
documents “one day in (his) office” as a
member “of the first postwar Ottoman government.”
Akif is giving this testimony on November 21, 1918.
So... how many hours ago did the war end, anyway? When could he have possibly come
across this secret order — yesterday, or the day before? What prevented him from
taking such GENUINE PROOF from his nearby office and presenting it as evidence?
Was Resid Akif, despite Dadrian’s attempts to make him sound like such a statesman
of integrity, one of the many government members willing to say anything and
everything to save his own neck?
This is the kind of nagging question that’s called “looking beneath the surface”...
which is what any real scholar would do. Why didn’t Dadrian ask himself, now wait
a minute. How come this man (with the “most remarkable revelation”) who has been
a member of the postwar government for the shortest time manage to provide the hard
goods he came across so very recently?
ADDENDUM, 12-07: Guenter Lewy on Akif (The
Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide, p. 89):
Unfortunately, the existence of this circular order depends
upon Resit Akif Pasha's word, which must be considered suspect. His speech was part
of the elaborate propaganda campaign waged by the postwar Turkish governments that
sought to heap all blame for the Armenian massacres upon the CUP leadership and thus
forestall the dismemberment of the Ottoman Empire. This political purpose becomes
clear in the remarks immediately following his mention of the secret circular order.
Resit Akif here castigates the central committee of the CUP as a "vile and
tyrannical body" that was more influential than the official government. This
committee "alone is the cause of the immense catastrophes befalling this
innocent state and nation, [and] emerges as the singular cause of the
slaughter" (my emphasis),129 Resit Akif never produced the circular order
implicating the CUP leaders in the massacre of the Armenian convoys. The mere
allegation that such an order was issued can hardly be considered "legal
evidence," as Dadrian has claimed. (Holdwater:
Footnote 129 details the "official transcript of the Ottoman Senate." Note
how Dadrian left out the parts that would have allowed readers to cast doubt on
Akif's integrity, using only the parts, as usual, that served Dadrian's agenda.)
Then there was testimony by Trabzon deputy and lawyer Hafiz Mehmed on December 11,
1918, attesting to the drowning of Armenians.
Well, there was drowning of Armenians. Nobody’s saying crimes were not committed
against the Armenians. What Mehmed testified was probably true.
However, if he saw these “personally ... with my own eyes in
the port city of Ordu,” and assuming Ordu is in the province of Trabzon...
and if he was the deputy of Trabzon (that is, the official government
representative).... is he saying people involved with the government committed these
drownings, which would give better credence to claims of government-sponsored
genocide? Since he sounds like he was surprised to see these drownings, and we are
to assume Mr. Mehmed had no knowledge of government-issued orders, why didn’t he
put a stop to it?
That doesn’t add up, does it? If Mr. Mehmed, as province deputy, had knowledge of
possible orders, then he would be guilty of the sort of massacres the postwar
government was looking to hang folks of the past administration with. The last thing
he’d want to do, then, would be to “confess.” Or was he yet another of these
postwar puppet Turks eager to participate in the massacre witchhunt?
These questions must be asked, because THIS WAS NOT A LEGITIMATE GOVERNMENT.
Only a Vahakn Dadrian can give credence to the babblings of men in charge of an
enemy-occupied government, soon willing to sell out their entire nation to the
The (Sèvres) terms, if widely accepted,
would have been the death sentence, not only of the Ottoman Empire but
of what was now correctly described as “Turkey”... By entertaining the
very idea of signing a treaty based on such terms, the Ottoman Government
at Istanbul was branded by the patriots as a puppet government of traitors and
dotards, and almost the entire Turkish nation accepted the Turkish Government
Wilfred T.F. Castle,
Minister Said Halim
Pasha. Assassinated by
two Nemesis Armenians
in Rome, a month or so
after his Oct. 31 return
from Malta, on Dec. 6.
Said Halim Pasha is quoted as having said: "The
Turkish government, my cabinet, we gave orders for deportation only, but the order
for deportation was transformed into operations of killing which we never agreed
upon." Dadrian adds: “...the order of
deportation was transformed into an order of killing by dubious organizations, and
(Said Halim) mentioned the Special Organization, Teskilati Mahsusa.”
(I wonder if that’s the best evidence implicating the “bad boy” of the
Armenian “Genocide,” what was then the counterpart for the Turkish secret
Said Halim was the grand vizier (the counterpart for "prime minister") of
the CUP government. I don't know where this quotation is from... another source
tells us he was tried by the postwar puppet administration from April 27 or 28-June
26 1919 (this was the main trial where the other CUP leaders were tried in
absentia), and some sort of judgment was rendered on July 5 (Enver, Talat and Cemal
got death; presumably, Said Halim Pasha got a lengthy prison sentence, like the
rest.) So perhaps this quote was from this trial. Said Halim Pasha was scooped away
by the British for their own trial, the Malta Tribunal... the one where the British
could find no evidence, and thus the British very likely saved the Grand Vizier's
life. (For a brief time after his release; he was assassinated by two Armenians in
Rome soon after.)
But if Said Halim Pasha said the government
gave orders for deportation only (and you can bet the Turkish word he used was
probably "tehcir," which doesn't mean "deportation." Dadrian is
unscrupulously behind many of these translations), but then forces acted on their
own to commit crimes, how in the world does that prove genocide?
Dadrian quotes Halim as saying that these
official orders were "transformed" into killing. Dadrian then
editorializes by telling us Halim "mentioned" the Special Organization. So
the implication is that Halim placed blame on the Special Organization. But perhaps
Halim mentioned the Special Organization in another context, and Dadrian tried to
tie it in with his genocide... as Dadrian is known for making assertions having
nothing to do with the original sources. Only the original quote will tell the tale.
Unfortunately, the context of the quoted remarks has been lost. Dadrian is probably
basing his conclusions on what was printed in the official gazette, where quotations
could have been incomplete, out-of-context, or even distorted, given that the puppet
Ottoman administration was not always on the level.
But even if Said Halim Pasha said these things
exactly as Dadrian would have us believe (and the only incriminating thing the pasha
had to offer was his "mention" of the Special Organization; otherwise, he
claimed flat out that the government never "agreed" upon any killing
operations), was the pasha reporting the truth, or was he making a
concession... desperately trying to appease the British so that they would
treat the Turks kindly at the upcoming peace conference?
Ibrahim, wartime minister of justice, is quoted as having been pressured by Enver
Pasha “to release from the prisons of the Ottoman Empire”
to serve as guardians of the Armenian caravans, which Vahakn “Mr. Scholar”
Dadrian helpfully shorthands for us as “massacre duty
against the Armenians.”
| The Special Organization "...was
certainly not primarily involved in the Armenian events of 1915-16."
Dr. Gwynne Dyer, letter, Middle
Eastern Studies 9 (1973): 379
Definitely the Ottomans
need to be held accountable for assigning criminals to guard the defenseless
Armenians in the caravans... some of whom took terrible advantage of the Armenians.
But here’s where Dadrian once again deviates from good scholarship.
"...The domestic situation was deplorable: all over Turkey thousands of the
populace were daily dying of starvation; practically all able-bodied men had been
taken into the army, so that only a few were left to till the fields..." is
what Henry Morganthau offered in his ghostwritten book, Ambassador Morgenthau's
Enver Pasha had committed an incredible military blunder (at Sarikamish) by
launching a counter-attack against the Russians in bitter winter ... at the
beginning of the war... that caused the loss of 65,000-90,000 Turkish soldiers, with
barely a shot having been fired. They had been converted to “snow statues.”
The east was therefore wide open to the Russians at the gate. The manpower shortage
was more than critical. The enemy needed to be fought in multiple fronts at the west
and south, as well.
Add to this chaos the Armenians’ well-timed treachery, posing as a significant
military threat from behind-the-lines. The Armenians needed to be moved out of the
way. The bankrupt Ottomans were not prepared for this colossal task in the midst of
their life-and-death struggle... but if the Armenians hadn’t revolted (and fired
the first shot), there would
have been no “deportation.”
The Ottomans needed manpower to implement this relocation program. All men were
desperately needed at the fronts.
Therefore, was the call to unleash these prison lowlifes a diabolical act, or an act
(Let's also bear in mind the following, as
Prof. Guenter Lewy wrote: "Use of convicts for military duty in wartime had
precedent including use by U.S. and British armies. During World War I, U.S. courts
released almost 8,000 men convicted of serious offenses on condition of their
induction into military service." See link below.)
There are accounts that many gendarmes died, trying to protect the Armenians from
bandit attacks (the district attorney of the Tehlirian trial provided one such
example, above). How could even one gendarme have died in such a
manner, if his government’s policy was to exterminate the Armenians? How many SS
men died, trying to protect Jews from other SS men?
And why would the bankrupt nation have gone through the vast expense of the
relocations.... the equivalent of today’s millions of dollars... if the idea was
to kill the Armenians? Does that make any sense, especially regarding a government
that had so little money in its treasury? There were much cheaper ways to
exterminate... as the Armenians proved, by killing Turks in or near the spot of
The holes in Armenian “Genocide” theory are plentiful. Yet, Mr. Dadrian is
actually invited to Harvard University and treated seriously.
young Armenian males of the "zone of desertion" had served in the Army, they
would have provided more than 50,000 troops. If they had served, there might never
have been a Sarikamis defeat.
The Armenians from Hopa to Erzurum to Hinis to Van were not the only Armenians who did
not serve. The 10s of thousands of Armenians of Sivas who formed chette bands did not
serve. The rebels in Zeytun and elsewhere in Cilicia did not serve. The Armenians who
fled to the Greek islands or to Egypt or Cyprus did not serve. More precisely, many of
these Armenian young men did serve, but they served in the armies of the Ottomans'
enemies. They did not protect their homeland, they attacked it.
Justin McCarthy, March 24, 2005, in a speech before the
Turkish Grand National Assembly.
Dadrian flatulates further with a bold statement: “There is ample evidence that the Armenian Genocide was a premeditated
As evidence, he gives the opinion of Austrian Vice Marshal Pomiankowski who concluded: “The annihilative treatment of the Armenians during the war was in fact
a function of this recognition of the mistakes of past sultans, and that the Armenians and
Greeks either should be forced to embrace Islam or be destroyed.”
Well, first we have to prove whether there WAS an “annihilative treatment,” which Mr.
Dadrian has not succeeded in demonstrating. Opinions, like the opinion of a Westerner who
was raised to think the worst of the Muslim Turks, do not go very far when one is hoping
to find proof of the very serious crime of genocide.
(The Austrian source already demonstrates his lack of true
historical knowledge, because Armenians and Greeks were never forced to embrace Islam.
Quite the contrary, some Armenians attempted to get out of being resettled by converting
to Islam; such was not enough to save most of these using the tactic as a ploy.)
We’re similarly treated to the opinion of the German colonel Stange who believed “the decision to eradicate the Armenians during the war was made a long
time before the outbreak of the war.”
Since Stange only became familiar with the Turks at the onset of the war, how could he
possibly have known that the “decision to eradicate the Armenians” during the war was
made long ago? Did he actually speak with Ottoman officials who informed the German of
Ottoman government policy? If so, were these men reliable? Or did he possibly have an
encounter with Ahmed “Taner Akcam” Riza?
Vahakn Dadrian pulls at so many strings, and is involved in so many yarns, he needs to be
He tells us:
"There is evidence that one of the architects of the Armenian
Genocide, Doctor Nazim, had warned the governor of Aleppo, Jelal, to the effect that the
anti-Armenian measures were not the result of impulsive decision-making but the product of
‘profound and long deliberations’ (ariz ve amik düsünülerek)”
Since when? 1909? We’ve learned that the Armenians revolted mere days after war was
declared upon the empire, after some thirty-five years of already-established treachery.
Talat Pasha did not sign the relocation order until late May (April 24 marks the date when
235 ringleaders were arrested in Istanbul; the ones pro-Armenian propaganda tells us were
shot the very same day), after receiving a May 2 telegram from Enver Pasha advocating the
relocation for the first time (actually, Enver advocated what the Russians had been doing
with their innocent Muslims, expulsion, or what is otherwise known as real
"deportation"; the Ottoman Turks decided on the more expensive and humane course
[Read the telegram]
In other words, the relocation program was implemented over half a year after the first
sign of serious Armenian rebellion in early November of 1914. Could these ‘profound and
long deliberations’ have taken place within this time period, not out of a plan to kill
the Armenians, but to forestall such a monumental move that would affect the lives of the
innocent, as well as the guilty? Talat Pasha felt very contrite about this order, as he
demonstrated in his memoirs. (Or what The New York Times
of Oct. 1921 described as the "Posthumous Memoirs of Talaat Pasha.") Whenever there is a “fact,”
you can count on Prosecutor Dadrian twisting it so that the Turks can wind up looking like
the incarnation of the devil.
In response, Governor Jelal told the Ottoman authorities, "I
can deport the Armenians but I cannot have them massacred! I cannot soil my hands in the
blood of innocent people."
Well, I must admit, that’s a pretty serious statement. I reserve judgment, given the
devious source, who loves to use words as “annihilation” in his translations.
However, that sounds like genocidal proof, doesn’t it? It comes from the unreliable “Turkish
court martial proceedings” that Dadrian refers to as his Bible. The real incriminating
message needs to be what this message was “in response” to... if we really want to
seek genocidal proof. That would be Dr. Nazim’s message, related above in its entirety
(as provided by Dadrian). Does this message say anything like, “Governor Jelal, we
order you to massacre Armenians?” No, all we’re told about are “anti-Armenian measures.” That could mean the relocation policy
itself, not an extermination plan.
Wasn’t Governor Jelal still alive in 1918? Why wasn’t he called to testify? What made
him think Dr. Nazim gave the order to massacre the Armenians?
This is another thought-provoking issue. The Turks are a moral people, despite the
incredible efforts to make them out to be bloodthirsty sub-humans, through the centuries.
Their religion particularly gives reverence to women and children, as many western
travelers have testified in the 19th century, especially when contrasted with their own
Christians in the region, and elsewhere. Weren’t all the governors more like Governor
Jelal than not? Say the Ottoman leadership really wanted to push a plan for extermination.
Local officials would have had to know about it. Would Governor Jelal have been an
exception in his response? If you were in Governor Jelal’s place, would you have reacted
any differently? And if you feel, like Vahakn Dadrian, that we shouldn’t compare you
with the savage Turk, since Turks are less-than-human and their natural tendency is to
kill, then shame on you — and please force yourself to think otherwise.
Vahakn Dadrian has an
And therefore they persuaded their colleagues to release from
the prisons of the Ottoman empire the most bloodthirsty criminals. For this class of
criminals some authors used the word kanli katil. What did they do? They sent to
every prison teams consisting of three members: a member of the department of war, a
member of the interior department, and, most significant, the third member was a
physician, whose job it was to select the most savage-looking criminals for
merciless behavior in massacre. So they went from prison to prison, these teams, and
selected convicts from the various prisons of the Ottoman Empire.
Dadrian got his idea from 1968's "Tepepa
... Viva la revolución" (BLOOD AND GUNS), with
Orson Welles as a corrupt Mexican official
Do you know why a physician would be necessary
to select the most savage-looking criminals? Is that part of a doctor’s training,
to be able to tune in how savage a person is, just from his or her appearance? Would
these doctors have been able to single out handsome serial killer Ted Bundy as among
the most potentially violent?
Where does Dadrian come up with his little flights of fancy?
What Dadrian has suggested here is so embarrassingly ridiculous, let’s examine in
Lombroso's "Criminal Man" theories, the doctor
professes to identify crooks from "cheekbones... earlobes...
teeth." The prisoner asks, "What about the rear end"?
CLICK HERE or on the picture to
We know he doesn’t have the evidence for what
he claims... if there was any such document outlining genocide policy, that would be
exactly the kind of smoking gun the pro-Armenians have been dizzily looking for
these many years. For lack of evidence, Dadrian offers his opinion. What does he
base this opinion on? Is he just imagining things? Or did he find an account from
one of the puppet postwar Ottoman officials? If he found one such kangaroo court
opinion from a desperate Turk who was far away from the action, how could Dadrian
dare to present this as a full-blown, factual policy? A real scientist would need to
come up with a good several, reliable accounts before coming with such a conclusion.
Moreover, let’s examine the absurdity of the idea of recruiting these sociopathic
psychopaths to conduct this supposed policy of exterminating all the Armenians
subjected to the march.
Are all thieves dishonorable? Isn’t it possible you or I could wind up in prison
for reasons beyond our control, even though we know ourselves to be good people?
That is, would everyone from the prison be an automatic candidate to savagely and
Do you remember the movie, THE DIRTY
DOZEN? Yes, it was fiction... although I believe there were true episodes of WWII
missions where prisoners were recruited, which inspired the idea for the movie. The
idea behind the film was that the most ornery, savage, uncontrollable criminals were
rounded up by Lee Marvin, and shaped up into a fighting force. Yes, there was a
crazy or two in their midst (Telly Savalas, in one of his greatest roles, in
particular)... but, ultimately, these anti-social misfits were transformed into a
more-or-less functional band, some becoming proud and patriotic.
Yes, it was fiction. But are you telling me the human beings in a prison would be
incapable of acting in such a manner? Are you going to tell me every one is going to
be a Hannibal Lecter, eager to rape and kill the poor Armenians they have been
assigned to guard?
The manpower shortage was so critical, I recall an example where an Armenian caravan
was guarded by only two gendarmes. If these men came from the prisons and were so
wild and amoral, and there was no "Lee Marvin" to hold them in check...
what would have prevented them from saying, To hell with this! I'm going home...
(Sounds like that's what might have happened in the real-life
counterpart to the film, where American convicts were dropped into occupied France.
They sat out the war in Spain!)
Of course, there must have been evil men among these gendarmes, if they happened to
be criminals. But to make the conclusion that they would have all been natural
killers (the pickpockets? The embezzlers? The grifters?) demonstrates how warped the
mind of a Vahakn Dadrian can be. What a giant leap to presume all the Armenians who
were part of the caravans were subjected for extermination, when we’ve seen
propagandists like Toynbee and Morgenthau on record, saying the majority have
survived. When we have accounts from even those such as Peter Balakian’s BLACK DOG
OF FATE, reporting how two Armenians from the same march would run into each other
halfway across the world years later, in Saks Department Store in New York City.
If we are to believe Vahakn Dadrian’s theory of how the criminals among the
gendarmes... the gendarmes, a good number of whom lost their lives trying to protect
the Armenians from bandit attacks.... were all part of a gigantic killing machine,
even Leslie Davis’ silly conclusion of only 8,000 Armenians having survived would
sound like an exaggeration.
|"It is worth noting that
the use of convicts for military duty in wartime is not at all unprecedented, and that
includes British and American practice. English literature of the eighteenth century
is replete with stories about the use of men released from the nearest jail in order
to fill up the ranks of sailors on British warships. It is estimated that during World
War I 7,900 men convicted of serious offenses were released by U.S. courts on
condition of being inducted into military service (U.S. Provost Marshal General, Second
Report of the Provost Marshal to the Secretary of war on the Operations of the
Selective Service System to December 20, 1918, p. 149). In World War II persons
convicted of murder, rape, and other serious crimes were exempted from a similar
release program, though there is anecdotal evidence that federal and military prisons
did not always adhere to these rules."
Guenter Lewy, The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide,
2005, p. 289, footnote 98
Hear how Prof. Lewy has summed up
Dadrian's scholarly worth.
To continue: We are told the governors of Trabzon and Erzurum, through
bribery and benevolence, exempted the sick and pregnant people from the relocation, until
forced to do otherwise. However, the official
orders exempted the sick, along with other categories of Armenians, such as Catholics
and Protestants, soldiers and their families, and certain workers. Sometimes these rules
were broken. But if the official orders provided for these exemptions, why would the
governors take it upon themselves to do differently? Dadrian writes, in the example of
Erzurum, that a delegate of the province desired otherwise. Since when does a delegate “out-rank”
What we are being asked to believe here is that while the governors probably had copies of
the official “humanistic” directives originating from the Ottoman government, someone
came along and told the governors, no, no, those orders were fake. They were really a
cover-up for our diabolical plan to kill off all the Armenians.
If you worked for the government and had in hand an official order from your President...
and some other government flunky showed up at your doorstep telling you to ignore the
President’s order and replace them with criminal ones... would you automatically accept
the flunky’s word?
Especially if you could be held accountable for disobeying the official order from the
General Mahmud Kamil gets the credit as the supervisor of “the destruction of all the
Armenian male population and the subsequent deportation of the remaining Armenians in the
If the Armenian male population was so destroyed, who populated the Ottoman regions the
Armenians occupied, along with and without the Russians, where they committed the most
horrendous atrocities? Was it the women and children?
General Vehib, commander of the Third Army, prepared an affidavit for the kangaroo courts
on December 1918, testifying that 2,500 labor battalion Armenian soldiers were killed
horribly on the orders of the governor of Sivas. He established a court martial and hanged
the two major perpetrators of the massacre of these 2,500 Armenians. (When Dadrian tells
this story elsewhere, by the way, the
number goes down a whopping 20%, to "some 2,000.") This is how he heard
Dr. Sakir travelled by automobile throughout the region, giving verbal orders to kill. In
the small Armenian village of Tchurig, north of Mus: "In all the wooden houses of
that village, Armenian women and children were crowded and burned alive."
If that’s true, it certainly is disgusting. Again, nobody is saying Armenians weren’t
killed by people who acted on their own. But here are the questions in my mind.
If Dr. Sakir travelled around ordering people to kill, why did the people follow his
orders? Dadrian draws up his cherished comparison to the Holocaust, explaining fanatics
functioned like the SS and the Gestapo. So let’s say Gestapo Man Dr. Sakir orders a
governor to kill off the Armenians living in his district. Unless the governor is a
similarly inclined fanatic — and there was no hate network present in the land of
toleration, the Ottoman Empire, a la the school system of the Nazis that taught hatred of
the Jews.... so I do not believe the hateful fanatics formed the majority — why would
the governor go along? Is Dr. Sakir going to say that he represents the Ottoman
government? If someone shows up at your doorstep claiming he is such a representative and
orders you to participate in mass murder, would you go along with it? Myself, I would ask
for substantiation from the highest levels of the government. If corroborated, I would
Now, if General Vehib learned of these crimes and had the authority to punish a few of
those responsible... which gives striking evidence AGAINST genocide (were any SS men
punished in Nazi Germany?), and if he learned Dr. Sakir was the villain responsible... as
a high ranking officer (Vehib was in command of the Third Army, embracing the six major
"Armenian provinces:" Van, Bitlis, Erzurum, Diyarbekir, Sivas, and Kharpert...
along with Trabzon), why didn’t he go after Dr. Sakir with both barrels? Yes, there was
a war to be fought, along with politics... but this is a major crime. If he brought
himself to go after the local criminals, why didn’t he seek the ear of, say, Enver
Pasha, whom Dadrian mentions nominated Vehib for the post? Wouldn’t this moral man,
interested in seeking justice, have done something?
Especially since General Vehib was acting according to the “humanistic” official
orders — he went on to dole out at least some punishment to the criminals. If General
Vehib came upon this renegade government official acting against the “humanistic”
official orders, there must have been some major inconsistency in following policy his
conscience should have forced him to follow up on. Of course, we can’t presume to
predict what makes one human being act in a certain way, as we don’t know the conditions
of General Vehib’s position. But there’s something seriously fishy, here. If Dr. Sakir
was following the REAL official policy, after all, and the official orders were just a
front, someone would have immediately wised up the top-ranking General Vehib. Once General
Vehib came to believe the secret, murderous intentions of his government, he could not
have pursued the trial of those responsible for the deaths of these 2,500 Armenians.
(The problem with the analysis above is that conclusions are being based strictly on what
Vahakn Dadrian has reported. There are always two sides to every story, and if we know one
thing about Vahakn Dadrian, it’s that he is an expert in telling us only one side, and
in fudging the facts. In other words, we don’t really know what went on with these
generals, governors, and the 2,500 or 2,000 Armenians.)
Here is what Talat Pasha
stated, in his memoirs:
"I confess, also, that the duty of the Government was
to prevent these abuses and atrocities, or at least to hunt down and punish their
perpetrators severely. In many places, where the property and goods of the deported
people were looted, and the Armenians molested, we did arrest those who were
responsible and punished them according to the law. I confess, however, that we
ought to have acted more sternly, opened up a general investigation for the purpose
of finding out all the promoters and looters and punished them severely."
Talaat offers the following justification for not coming down harder on the
criminals: "Their open and immediate punishment would have aroused great
discontent among the people, who favored their acts. An endeavor to arrest and to
punish all these promoters would have created anarchy in Anatolia at a time when we
greatly needed unity. It would have been dangerous to divide the nation into two
camps, when we needed strength to fight outside enemies."
Sounds to me like the
USA experienced a similar cul-de-sac with its invasion of Iraq. We learned of awful
crimes perpetrated against Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison. We don't know how
"top" the orders came from, but we know it's possible for military people
to take matters into their own hands. (For example: the "My Lai" massacre
did not prove America wanted to commit a genocide upon the Vietnamese.) So what
happened? A couple of the participants who tortured prisoners were made examples of.
You can bet there were plenty more perpetrators. Why didn't the USA go after all of
them with gusto? Could it be because American leaders did not want public opinion to
shift, while the struggle was still ensuing?
The most pressing question is, the British desperately wished to convict the Turks held
prisoner at the Malta Tribunal, a process that took nearly two-and-a-half years, where the
archives of at least three countries were consulted for genocidal evidence. Malta ended in
1921, with every one of the (initially 144) Turks released. Wouldn’t the 1919 Ottoman
military courts have been the first place to look for evidence? Why did the British ignore
this damning testimony of General Vehib’s?
Of course, the British knew the 1919 Ottoman courts were illegitimate, despite Vahakn
Dadrian’s continual insistence they were not kangaroo courts. (If Dadrian can’t rely
on the 1919 reports, he has nothing.) However, the British could have at least studied the
proceedings, and followed up on damning testimony that showed signs of some truth.
...[T]he victorious Allies considered (the military tribunals of
1919-20) a travesty of justice. The trials, British high commissioner S.A.G. Calthorpe
wrote to London, are "proving to be a farce and injurious to our own prestige and
to that of the Turkish government." In the view of Commissioner John de Robeck,
the tribunal was such a failure "that its findings cannot be held of any account
at all." When the British government considered holding trials of alleged Ottoman
war criminals in Malta, it declined to use any evidence developed by the 1919-20
Prof. Guenther Lewy,
"Revisiting the Armenian Genocide,"
Middle East Quarterly, Fall 2005
This is what Dadrian does, in typically sneaky
Armenian style. He presents a surface “fact” and expects us to accept it on its
own merit. Not so fast. A real scholar has to examine the facts backward, forward,
and inside out.
This is why arguments for the Armenian “Genocide” have holes for Gibraltar to
slip through. Pro-Armenians only want you to look at incriminating conclusions and
want you to swallow it on face value. See, these people were killed... it must have
been a genocide. Forget about what happened yesterday, we only need to look at what
happened at the end, and in ways that have yet to be determined. (As one example,
the 150,000-odd Armenians Prof. Hovannisian reported [in his 1967 book] died of
famine, while accompanying the Russian retreats, are part of the Armenians who were
“massacred.” So were the thousands who died similarly while accompanying the
French retreats at Marash). As Prof. Yapp stated above, in his criticism of Dadrian’s
faulty methodology, “What is missing is any adequate recognition of the
circumstances in which these events took place; the surge of Armenian nationalism,
the ambitions of Russia, the fears of the Ottomans and the panic and indiscipline of
war. Dadrian is so obsessed by his theory of the long plan that he too often
overlooks the elements of the contingent....”
Prosecutor Dadrian wrapped up his Harvard lecture by concluding genocide is the
means to convert a heterogeneous society into a more or less homogenous society. “The slogans 'Deutschland Judenrein' (Germany free of Jews) and
'Turkey for the Turks' are emblematic of these goal-directed genocides.”
That is so offensive, I wonder how even Dadrian’s hateful, blackened heart can’t
realize how wrong it is to make such an incriminating statement.. The Nazi slogan
makes no bones about its racist intentions. Once the Ottoman Empire was picked apart
by nationalist movements made possible by the Turks’ humanistic Millet System
policies, the Turks finally awakened to nationalistic feelings themselves. The word
“Turk” signifies nationhood. For what is a Turk? After centuries of co-mingling,
encompassing all forms of different peoples (from the Laz to the Circassians to the
Bosnians to many, many others), an ethically pure race as “Turk” is a thing of
the past. Furthermore, if the Turks wished to clear out all truly non-Turkish
elements, I guess the only way non-Turkish can be defined would be by religion. Then
why were the Ottoman Jews not genocidally rubbed out?
The answer is, no matter what race or religion the inhabitants of Turkey belong to,
if they are citizens who are allowed to thrive and prosper, they need to think of
themselves as Turks foremost. Just like we in America think of ourselves as
Americans first. (Certain colonists’ behavior excepted.) This is true of any
In other words, America is not for Malaysians or Hondurans or New Zealanders.
America is for the Americans. Would Armenian-American Vahakn Dadrian say that is
akin to "Deutschland Judenrein" (Germany free of Jews)? Anyone who comes
up with such a knuckleheaded conclusion would be misguided at best... and evil, at
If it’s true citizens of a country need to owe allegiance to that country, and if
it’s true Ottoman-Armenian citizens were allowed to grow rich, prosper and allowed
to achieve the highest ranks of government and society... we can see the whole
reason why there was a resettlement policy, a program that the Armenians eventually
hoodwinked the world into believing was a genocide. If the centuries-long “Loyal
Millet” of the Armenians continued to be loyal during the desperate, dark days of
WWI, we wouldn’t be having this discussion today. (ADDENDUM,
12-07: None other than famed Dashnak terrorist Armen Garo Pasdermadjian agreed to a tee.)