Theodore Roosevelt on
Mt. Rushmore, on a par
with Abraham Lincoln
The name "Theodore Roosevelt"
works like magic when the case for Armenian "genocide" is attempted
to be made. He is an American of somewhat mythic proportions, a big stick
carrying Rough Rider, a man of action, and a dual-administration serving
President of the United States (1901-1909). He failed when he tried to get
elected again, but apparently some felt he was a great enough president to
have been mounted on Rushmore.
President Roosevelt accomplished good,
certainly; he was an environmentalist, for example. He also helped his nation
better join the ranks of the world powers, usually at the expense of others.
It has been speculated that he had a hand in drumming up false charges against
the Spanish ("Remember the Maine!"), just so he could sock it to the
ailing empire, in order to advance American imperialist aims.
"Protestant Diplomacy and the Near East: Missionary
influence on American policy, 1810-1927" quotes Roosevelt as having said,
"Spain and Turkey are the two powers I would rather smash than any in
the world." Roosevelt had a chance to smash Spain, yet never had the
opportunity to do so with the Turks. Not with his big stick, anyway; he has
done his best to run the Turks into the ground by speaking loudly, the
poisonous effects of which still reverberate today.
"...The Armenian massacre was the
greatest crime of the war..." is a favorite Roosevelt quote of
genocide advocates. (One
example.) Tie this statement in with the grand figure of Theodore Roosevelt,
and you get instant genocide credibility within the minds of the unwary.
What kind of a man was Theodore Roosevelt? He was
certainly a product of his times, where frank talk on racial matters were
openly advocated. That is why we must not rush to judgment, applying 21st
century "politically correct" standards. Isolated quotes of an
incriminating nature could be found from just about anyone. This is one of the
ways in which pro-Armenians attempt to discredit U.S. High Commissioner
Bristol, while ignoring the far deeper racism of Ambassador Morgenthau. Even
Abraham Lincoln had been known to use the word, "nigger."
However, when judging the 19th or early 20th
century individual, there is a difference between usage of an occasionally
impolitic description and the advocacy of outright racism. Let's take a look
at the inner forces that drove Theodore Roosevelt.
We open with an article examining Roosevelt's
commitment to the Armenian people and cause.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1) Theodore Roosevelt and Armenia
Letter Highlighted by ANI
3) Roosevelt's 1900 Book: "The Strenuoous
4) The Kinds of Reports that Swayed Roosevelt
5) "The Expansion of the White Races"
Roosevelt and Armenia
From the March 1919 issue of The New Armenia
By ARSHAG MAHDESIAN
THE death of Colonel Theodore Roosevelt has deprived the Armenian nation of one of its
most illustrious and sincere friends. As his book, The Strenuous Life, proves, Colonel
Roosevelt long ago had interested himself in the Armenians. On September 28, 1904, he
received most cordially, at the White House, an Armenian delegation, which, representing
the Armenian Catholicos, had come to this country to enlist the sympathy and assistance of
the United States in relieving the Armenians from Turkish persecution. During this
reception, Mr. James Bronson Reynolds, in his introductory speech for the Armenian
delegation, said: “Since 1895 more men, women and children have been massacred in
Armenia by the Turkish soldiers and their auxiliaries than were killed on both sides in
the Franco-Prussian War of 1870." *
Then, President Roosevelt, amiably interrupting him, rejoined: “You
are quoting from my own book, The Strenuous Life. It was I who first made that
In his message to Congress in 1904, President Roosevelt declared
that it was inevitable that the United States "should desire eagerly to give
expression to its horror on an occasion like that of the massacre of the Jews in Kishinef,
or when it witnesses such systematic and long extended cruelty and oppression as the
cruelty and oppression of which the Armenians have been victims, and which has won for
them the indignant pity of the civilized world."
On another occasion he declared: "Over and above all considerations of trade and
polities we will continue to urge the claims of outraged humanity in the stricken land of
1905, President Roosevelt received from His Holiness Mekrtich I. Khrimian, the late Catholicos of All the Armenians, a letter of
congratulation upon his election. The communication, written in the ceremonial form used
by Armenian rulers of the fifth century, read:
Mekrtich, Servant of Jesus Christ, and, by the inscrutable will of God, Chief Bishop and
Catholicos of All the Armenians, Supreme Patriarch of the Mother See of the Holy Catholic
and Apostolic Church of Armenia, to His Excellency, Theodore Roosevelt, President of the
United States of America, greeting and patriarchal benediction.
Your Excellency: God, Who in His providence, bestows
grace and all good gifts abundantly upon the worthy, has verily given Your Excellency a
large measure of His blessing, and has raised you to the high office for which you have
proved yourself so worthy in the past.
I consider it a great privilege and pleasure to
extend to Your Excellency the most sincere congratulations of myself and of the Church and
the people I represent, on the happy occasion of your receiving, as the most worthy person
to be their Chief Magistrate, the absolute confidence and approval of your great and
It is a source of great satisfaction to me when I
consider the comparatively happy lot of those of my people who, having escaped the
unbearable yoke of Turkish tyranny and oppression, have taken refuge in your glorious
country, where while earning an honest livelihood, they are being, at the same time,
elevated mentally and morally, sharing with all other citizens the full benefits of the
freedom and civilization of the United States. Would to God that the remnant of my people
could enjoy in their own country the same peace and quiet and the benefits of righteous
laws, with due protection of life, honor and property.
I pray Your Excellency to accept my profound respects
and heartfelt thanks for the very kind reception accorded to my delegates, the two
Archbishops, who were commissioned to plead the cause of the suffering Armenian people in
Turkey. I cherish the hope that the powerful voice of Your Excellency’s Government will
eventually aid in bringing peace and justice to the people of unfortunate Armenia....
Because of the strong sense of justice and
righteousness President Roosevelt was known to possess, many appeals were made to him in
behalf of Armenia. On January 18, 1906, Mr. James Bronson Reynolds presented to him a
petition in which prominent European statesmen, educators, publicists and citizens, as
Björnstjerne Björnson and Fridtjof Nansen, of Norway; General Booth, of the Salvation
Army; Professor Wündt, of Leipzig; M. Berthelot, Professor Ernest Lavissc, Jules
Claretic, Leon Bourgeois, Ludovic Halévy, Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu, and Louis Blanc, of
France; and thirty-one senators and twenty-five deputies of France, two senators and
eleven deputies of Italy, two senators and forty-seven deputies of Belgium, one deputy of
Sweden, and eight deputies of Denmark, fourteen English bishops, fifty-one professors of
the universities of Great Britain and the Continent, besides many eminent citizens of
Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Holland, Germany, Austria, Italy, Scotland, and Ireland, had
joined to save from total annihilation “the Armenian people whose origin is the same as
ours, and who have played an important part in the development of civilization since
At the same time, through the joint efforts of Armenia
and The Friends of Armenia, many distinguished clergymen, educators, philanthropists,
governors and mayors in all parts of the United States, adopted or endorsed resolutions
supporting the cause of Armenia. In response to all these appeals, the Honorable Elihu
Root, then Secretary of State, wrote:
The sympathy of the American people with
the oppressed of every country has been repeatedly expressed by various branches of this
Government * *, and in the case of the unfortunate Armenians,
has been eloquently voiced by the American nation itself. There is no room for doubt in
any quarter as to the desire of the President that these Armenians should possess the
security of life and property which it has been the concerted aim of the European powers
to assure to them. The sufferings of the Armenian subjects of Turkey cry aloud for remedy
and redress. They shock the humanitarian sense of all mankind. . . . No right-minded man
can witness such occurrences without craving the power to prevent them. I most sincerely
wish that the United States had the power.
The non possumus attitude of the Roosevelt
administration toward Armenia was diplomatically justified as the United States was not
one of the signatory Powers which had guaranteed, in Artide LXI of the Treaty of Berlin,
“amelioration and reforms” for the Armenian provinces then under the yoke of Turkey.
Colonel Roosevelt was perhaps explaining his former official position as well as that of
the United States when he said, in a letter dated July 10, 1918:
We had neither the power nor the right
ourselves to begin a world war by our going to war with Turkey in the past, but .now the
world war has come, and we are in it, now we can fight effectively beside our Allies. We
have the only chance that has ever been offered to us to interfere by force of arms in
entirely disinterested fashion for the oppressed nationalities that are ground under the
Turkish rule. It is a dreadful thing that we should fail to take advantage of this
opportunity, and it will be a lasting disgrace to our nation if we persist in the failure.
Owing to innumerable stories of the Armenian
persecutions, Colonel Roosevelt was led to fear that the new generation of the Armenians
had lost its martial prowess. During an interview granted by him to Armenian students in
1912, he said: "I want Armenians to be able to bear arms just as they did in the days
of King Tigranes, so that in the next generation no one can say that the Christian
population of Turkey cannot fight."
The devotion, gallantry and valor displayed by the
Armenians during the war, their heroic sacrifices for the triumph of the Allies, were a
cause of great satisfaction to Colonel Roosevelt; and, whenever an opportunity presented
itself, he did not fail to plead for the independence of Armenia.
"I am doing everything I can, and shall continue
to do everything I can for the Armenians," he wrote to a correspondent a few days
before his lamented death; and it is reported that one of his last acts was the Signing of
the petition which was circulated by The New Armenia to urge prompt action on
Senator Lodge’s Resolution in favor of a United and Independent Armenia.
W hen the grateful citizens of the new Armenian
republic come to honor the memory of their great friends, Theodore Roosevelt will be
remembered among the first of those who nobly and effectively championed Armenia in her
heroic struggle for independence!
* It would take research to
pin down how many died in the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 (this site
claims a few thousand shy of 200,000), but here is an example of what happens when one
listens to mindless propaganda instead of genuine history. Passionate pro-Armenians would
have it upwards of 300,000 were "massacred" in the late 19th century, circa
1895-96. The fact is, the figure
was closer to 20,000. (Around a tenth of the casualties of the Franco-Prussian War, if
the above figure is correct.) While these fatalities occurred as a result of Armenian
rebellion seeking European intervention, some 5,000 Muslims were killed at the hands of
murderous Armenians, in order to get the Muslims incited... victims who are never referred
* * The sympathy of the
American people certainly does not rest "with the oppressed of every country,"
but only with the victims deemed worthy enough; especially if they are Christian and
white. See above paragraph for one example.
letter highlighted by ANI
The Armenian National Institute (ANI) proudly features the
following in its "Genocide Research > Statements on Record Relating to
the Armenian" section. It appears the following was a letter written by
Roosevelt, featuring the "Roosevelt Quote" that so many Armenian advocates
have taken to heart, and one that ANI has highlighted at the top of the page.
"...the Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of the war..."
Oyster Bay, May 11, 1918
To Cleveland Hoadley Dodge:
...So far from "being of assistance to the Allied cause by keeping on nominal
terms of friendliness with Bulgaria and Turkey," I am convinced we are of the
very greatest damage to the Allied cause by so doing. Moreover, I feel that we are
guilty of a peculiarly odious form of hypocrisy when we profess friendship for
Armenia and the downtrodden races of Turkey, but don't go to war with Turkey. To
allow the Turks to massacre the Armenians and then solicit permission to help the
survivors, and then to allege the fact that we are helping the survivors as a reason
why we should not follow the only policy that will permanently put a stop to such
massacres is both foolish and odious.
Theodore Roosevelt in 1917, one year before
the writing of this letter. He was on his way to
his home in Long Island, New York, making a stop at
the Richmond Hill train station.
I have a most interesting letter on the subject from Einstein, formerly
with ou[r] Embassy in Turkey. I will send it to you by George Perkins. Some
suffering would be caused if we went to war with Turkey, just as some suffering was
caused when we went to war with Germany. But the Americans now would suffer only as
the English and French suffered three years ago, when their nations were doing their
duty, and ours was shirking its duty. We have no business to expect the allies to do
the fighting which alone will accomplish anything permanent while we play the
utterly ignoble part of being neutral and hoping that somehow or other we can
thereby both save our own skins and also accomplish something. The arguments
advanced against our going to war with Turkey are on a par with those formerly
advanced against our going to war with Germany and then with Austria; only they are
not quite as good. The Armenian horror is an accomplished fact. Its occurrence was
largely due to the policy of pacifism this nation has followed for the last four
years. The presence of our missionaries, and our failure to go to war, did not
prevent the Turks from massacring between half a million and a million Armenians,
Syrians, Greeks and Jews — the overwhelmingly majority being Armenians. Our
declaration of war now will certainly not do one one-hundredth part of the damage
already done by our failure to go to war in the past; and it will enable us to
render service of permanent value for the future, and incidentally to take another
step in regaining our self-respect.
We should go to war because not to do so is really to show bad faith towards our
allies, and to help Germany, because the Armenian massacre was the greatest crime of
the war, and failure to act against Turkey is to condone it; because the failure to
deal radically with the Turkish horror means that all talk of guaranteeing the
future peace of the world is mischievous nonsense; and because when we now refuse to
war with Turkey we show that our announcement that we meant "to make the world
safe for democracy" was insincere claptrap.
I hope this unrelenting fury
against the Turks was not one of the reasons that caused Roosevelt to die the
following year, at a relatively early age. (61.)
Not very sporting of
Roosevelt to propose war with a nation that had little left to hold onto by
mid-1918. But note his only reason for wanting to expend the lives of young American
soldiers was his passion toward the Armenians. He even wrote, "But the Americans now would suffer only as the English and French
suffered three years ago, when their nations were doing their duty, and ours was
shirking its duty." The reason why the English and the French went to war
had nothing to do with their "duty" of protecting Armenians. History has
shown how highly the English and French regarded the Armenians, with post war Allied
treatment of the Armenians.
While Roosevelt was
not successful in getting the United States to war against the object of his hate,
he indirectly helped many Turks get killed. Along with the missionary James Barton,
the retired president was instrumental in spearheading the American financial
campaign helping to organize and train the French Armenian Legion (John D.
Rockefeller led the donors with a gift of $25,000). Along with similar subscription
campaigns in Great Britain meant nominally to feed "starving Armenians,"
these funds were largely used to mount terrorist attacks against Turks once the
Allies occupied the defeated nation. (Source: "The Armenian Legion and Its Destruction of the Armenian Community in
Cilicia," Prof. Stanford Shaw, from the book, "The Armenians in the
Late Ottoman Period.")
Theodore Roosevelt was really
in fantasyland when he included "Jews" as among the massacred. With the
wily propagandist Vahan Cardashian whispering in his ear, the ex-president surely
has no conception that the Greeks and Syrians who lost their lives did so as a
consequence of rebelling against their nation, as did the Armenians; if there were
an internal rebellion by a minority within the United States, attempting to form
their own plot of land while Roosevelt was president, you can be sure he would have
applied his big stick, whether speaking softly or not. Only when the Ottoman Empire
or modern Turkey exercises this right does it become a "massacre" or
(It is interesting that
even Teddy Roosevelt settled on a sum total of "half
a million and a million Armenians, Syrians, Greeks and Jews.")
Theodore Roosevelt was
obviously deeply hooked on the Armenian propaganda that influenced him. How could
such an intelligent man — an ex-president better equipped than the ordinary person
to have known better— not have risen above such a
one-sided presentation of a story?
The answer has nothing to do
with intelligence, or reason. Roosevelt was driven by emotional forces that claimed
the lot of "white, Christian" Americans of the period.
How ironic for Roosevelt to
have written: I feel that we are guilty of a peculiarly
odious form of hypocrisy when we profess friendship for Armenia ... but don't go to
war with Turkey. A better display of Roosevelt's personal
hypocrisy was his handling of the Philippine War (which he prematurely declared to be
"over" in 1902, as President George W. Bush would pronounce years later
with America's war in Iraq; a good chunk of the deaths occurred after these
wars were "over.") Hundreds of thousands (some have estimated as half a
million to a million; sounds familiar?) of Filipino civilians were the victims of
American atrocities, in a genocidal chapter of American history. The Rough Rider
evidently shed no tears for these victims, not while he was president, and certainly
not in 1918 while crying for the Armenians. The reason: some humans, in his mind,
were less equal than others. "Barbarians" deserve no tears, is the way
Roosevelt's mind apparently worked. Barbarians only deserved to be taken over by
civilized white Christians. (And once taken over, then and only then did they...
maybe... deserve some sympathy. For example, Roosevelt did show kindness to the
American Indians while he was the President.)
book: "The Strenuous Life"
"The Strenuous Life" is the book Roosevelt had
written in 1900; it is available online, at bartleby.com.
The following analysis is taken from "EXPANSION AND PEACE
PUBLISHED IN THE "INDEPENDENT," DECEMBER 21, 1899."
Captain Mahan, than whom there is not in the country a man
whom we can more appropriately designate by the fine and high phrase, "a Christian
We begin to get a clue as to what sort of people are
to be designated "fine and high."
The great blot upon European international morality in the
closing decade of this century has been not a war, but the infamous peace kept by the
joint action of the great powers, while Turkey inflicted the last horrors of butchery,
torture, and outrage upon the men, women, and children of despairing Armenia. War was
avoided; peace was kept; but what a peace! Infinitely greater human misery was inflicted
during this peace than in the late wars of Germany with France, of Russia with Turkey; and
this misery fell, not on armed men, but upon defenseless women and children, upon the
gray-beard and the stripling no less than upon the head of the family; and it came, not in
the mere form of death or imprisonment, but of tortures upon men, and, above all, upon
women, too horrible to relate—tortures of which it is too terrible even to think.
Moreover, no good resulted from the bloodshed and misery. Often this is the case in a war,
but often it is not the case. The result of the last Turko-Russian war was an immense and
permanent increase of happiness for Bulgaria, Servia, Bosnia, and Herzegovina. These
provinces became independent or passed under the dominion of Austria, and the advantage
that accrued to them because of this expansion of the domain of civilization at the
expense of barbarism has been simply incalculable. This expansion produced peace, and put
a stop to the ceaseless, grinding, bloody tyranny that had desolated the Balkans for so
Note only the "happiness" of
"Christian" lands matter. Who cares about how they obtained such
"happiness," by inflicting wide-scale death and exile on the Muslims who were
living side-by-side with them. (Some 260,000 were killed in Bulgaria alone, with twice
that number having been exiled.) Even by 1900, Roosevelt had succumbed whole-heartedly to
Armenian propaganda. Had he not the wisdom to scratch underneath the surface of the
ubiquitous one-sided stories? Even if he had the wisdom, he did not have the desire...
which ultimately indicates how wise a person really is.
He goes on to criticize Tolstoy's "fantastic
advocacy of peace":
If Tolstoi's countrymen had acted according to his moral theories
they would now be extinct, and savages would have taken their place.
If Roosevelt had the wisdom and the ability to
analyze objectively, he would have discovered the Ottoman Empire had followed a policy
similarly advocating peace; the traditions, culture, and religion of peoples who had been
conquered were kept intact for centuries... in a "fantastic" display of
humanism, especially rare for multi-cultural empires of the period. As Roosevelt correctly
deduced, the adherence to such morality and toleration came very close to resulting in the
extinction of the Turks themselves, as Roosevelt's brand of "civilized" high and
fine Christian folk attained the position of dictating post war terms. But to Roosevelt's
mind, the suffering of Turks are to be deemed irrelevant:
If Russia had acted upon Tolstoi's philosophy, all its people
would long ago have disappeared from the face of the earth, and the country would now be
occupied by wandering tribes of Tartar barbarians. The Armenian massacres are simply
illustrations on a small scale of what would take place on the very largest scale if
Tolstoi's principles became universal among civilized people.
The savages are the Turks. They are not equal human
beings. Is this a "fine and high" CHRISTIAN way to think?
Again, peace may come only through war. There are men in our
country who seemingly forget that at the outbreak of the Civil War the great cry raised by
the opponents of the war was the cry for peace. One of the most amusing and most biting
satires written by the friends of union and liberty during the Civil War was called the
"New Gospel of Peace," in derision of this attitude. The men in our own country
who, in the name of peace, have been encouraging Aguinaldo and his people to shoot down
our soldiers in the Philippines might profit not a little if they would look back to the
days of the bloody draft riots, which were deliberately incited in the name of peace and
free speech, when the mob killed men and women in the streets and burned orphan children
in the asylums as a protest against the war. Four years of bloody struggle with an armed
foe, who was helped at every turn by the self-styled advocates of peace, were needed in
order to restore the Union; but the result has been that the peace of this continent has
been effectually assured. Had the short-sighted advocates of peace for the moment had
their way, and secession become an actual fact, nothing could have prevented a repetition
in North America of the devastating anarchic warfare that obtained for three quarters of a
century in South America after the yoke of Spain was thrown off.
Some very interesting observations and beliefs are
revealed by Roosevelt. In a way, he's not without a point when he declares the reality
that peaceniks are no match for hostile, dogmatic aggressors who only have violence in
mind. This is one of the reasons why the Armenian "Genocide" has become the
accepted wisdom throughout the world. The genocide advocates are loud, immoral,
aggressive, and often fanatical. They have been largely met (in the rare cases they have
been met; mostly the counterforce has been indifference) with civility and reason, weapons
that have proven hugely ineffective.
Note how he is defending American actions in the
Philippines. (Why doesn't he mention what America was doing there in the first place,
inflicting such death and destruction in a land where the USA did not belong? But to men
like Roosevelt, it was America's "moral obligation" to tame the savages.)
And here we encounter another example of Roosevelt's
"odious hypocrisy." Without going into reasons for the American Civil War
(primarily economic, as the case with most wars; basically, the North wanted to control
the rich lands of the South. The main reason was certainly not to "free the
slaves"), he upholds a country's right to repress those who demand
"secession." This was exactly what happened with the Armenians in the Ottoman
Empire (only the Armenians, unlike the American Confederacy, carried on a bloodthirsty
policy of systematic extermination).
Note also his distaste for the
"yoke" of Spain. Spanish influence was replaced by the
dominance of another power, this time from the Americas. He elaborates further:
...[W]e had just emerged victorious
from our most righteous war with Spain. Scant attention is paid to the weakling or the
coward who babbles of peace; but due heed is given to the strong man with sword girt on
thigh who preaches peace, not from ignoble motives, not from fear or distrust of his own
powers, but from a deep sense of moral obligation.
Yet one man's "moral obligation"
could be another's disaster. Who determines the better morality? Those who carry the
The growth of peacefulness between nations, however, has been
confined strictly to those that are civilized. It can only come when both parties to a
possible quarrel feel the same spirit. With a barbarous nation peace is the exceptional
condition. On the border between civilization and barbarism war is generally normal
because it must be under the conditions of barbarism. Whether the barbarian be the Red
Indian on the frontier of the United States, the Afghan on the border of British India, or
the Turkoman who confronts the Siberian Cossack, the result is the same. In the long run
civilized man finds he can keep the peace only by subduing his barbarian neighbor; for the
barbarian will yield only to force, save in instances so exceptional that they may be
disregarded. Back of the force must come fair dealing, if the peace is to be permanent.
But without force fair dealing usually amounts to nothing. In our history we have had more
trouble from the Indian tribes whom we pampered and petted than from those we wronged; and
this has been true in Siberia, Hindustan, and Africa. .
Perhaps those Indian, Afghan and Turkoman barbarians
were not stirring trouble for barbarity's sake, but for self-preservation against much
stronger forces threatening their right to exist. Who is the real barbarian?
History has been "revised" in the United
States to the extent that the "Red Indian" is no longer regarded as the savage
villain. That is because the Red Indian has been subdued, and the victor finally could
afford to offer "fair dealing." In the case of the Turks, the Western world
still prefers to view these savages who are still peskily around as the ogres from The
Lord of the Rings.
If the Ottoman Empire had followed Roosevelt's
doctrine of wronging instead of pampering and petting, the face of Europe might have been
Take the case of France and Algiers. During the early decades of
the present century piracy of the most dreadful description was rife on the Mediterranean,
and thousands of civilized men were yearly dragged into slavery by the Moorish pirates. A
degrading peace was purchased by the civilized powers by the payment of tribute. Our own
country was one among the tributary nations which thus paid blood-money to the Moslem
bandits of the sea. We fought occasional battles with them; and so, on a larger scale, did
the English. But peace did not follow, because the country was not occupied. Our last
payment was made in 1830, and the reason it was the last was because in that year the
French conquest of Algiers began. Foolish sentimentalists, like those who wrote little
poems in favor of the Mahdists against the English, and who now write little essays in
favor of Aguinaldo against the Americans, celebrated the Algerian freebooters as heroes
who were striving for liberty against the invading French. But the French continued to do
their work; France expanded over Algiers, and the result was that piracy on the
Mediterranean came to an end, and Algiers has thriven as never before in its history.
Indeed, France's conquest of Algeria made the seas
safer for American ships. In Roosevelt's criteria, only his own interests count. Certainly
the advanced civilization of France brought certain advantages to a conquered Algeria, but
only to the extent where France benefited. Algerian benefits were strictly a byproduct, so
"Algiers has thriven as never before" is very misleading. The purpose of
conquest was enrichment for the French, a goal that one such as Roosevelt, who only thinks
of self-interest, can appreciate. No mention is made of the hundreds of thousands of
Algerians who died as a result of French occupation, which some have classified as another
unrecognized genocide. Why has it been unrecognized? Because the victims have been
designated as half-human by the "Victors."
It's amusing how Roosevelt is incensed over sympathy
expressed toward rebel Filipino forces. If you don't like it... get out of where you never
belonged in the first place, and stop with the "moral obligation to civilize"
On an even larger scale the same thing is true of England and the
Sudan. The expansion of England throughout the Nile valley has been an incalculable gain
for civilization. Any one who reads the writings of the Austrian priests and laymen who
were prisoners in the Sudan under the Mahdi will realize that when England crushed him and
conquered the Sudan she conferred a priceless boon upon humanity and made the civilized
world her debtor. Again, the same thing is true of the Russian advance in Asia. As in the
Sudan the English conquest is followed by peace, and the endless massacres of the Mahdi
are stopped forever, so the Russian conquest of the khanates of central Asia meant the
cessation of the barbarous warfare under which Asian civilization had steadily withered
away since the days of Jenghiz Khan, and the substitution in its place of the reign of
peace and order. All civilization has been the gainer by the Russian advance, as it was
the gainer by the advance of France in North Africa; as it has been the gainer by the
advance of England in both Asia and Africa, both Canada and Australia.
I think we're getting an excellent idea of where
Theodore Roosevelt is coming from, by now. Yeah, those Russians were civilized, all right.
It was so nice of the Russians to go in maintain peace and order for the benefit of the
half-human savages. Too bad the world did not allow the Russians to keep on conquering in
the years ahead. Maybe America should have benefited from this wonderfully civilized
Russian treatment, during the Cold War days.
While we had a frontier the chief feature of frontier life was
the endless war between the settlers and the red men. Sometimes the immediate occasion for
the war was to be found in the conduct of the whites and sometimes in that of the reds,
but the ultimate cause was simply that we were in contact with a country held by savages
When an invader comes into your land and threatens
your way of life or existence, it is the right of the land-owner to defend himself.
Substitute "Turk" for the "red
men." For the good of humanity, these savages must be subdued.
The same will be true of the Philippines. If the men who have
counseled national degradation, national dishonor, by urging us to leave the Philippines
and put the Aguinaldan oligarchy in control of those islands, could have their way, we
should merely turn them over to rapine and bloodshed until some stronger, manlier power
stepped in to do the task we had shown ourselves fearful of performing. But, as it is,
this country will keep the islands and will establish therein a stable and orderly
government, so that one more fair spot of the world's surface shall have been snatched
from the forces of darkness. Fundamentally the cause of expansion is the cause of peace.
The Philippine people can obviously not be entrusted
to rule their own lands which they had maintained for centuries (before the Spaniards
moved in for a two-century stay). They are only capable of "rapine and
bloodshed." I am not an expert on Philippine history, but you can bet the Philippines
had the worst taste of rapine and bloodshed once the manly Western powers came in to try
and rescue these savages from the forces of darkness.
He ends the chapter with:
It is only the warlike power of a civilized people that can give
peace to the world. The Arab wrecked the civilization of the Mediterranean coasts, the
Turk wrecked the civilization of southeastern Europe, and the Tatar desolated from China
to Russia and to Persia, setting back the progress of the world for centuries, solely
because the civilized nations opposed to them had lost the great fighting qualities, and,
in becoming over peaceful, had lost the power of keeping peace with a strong hand. Their
passing away marked the beginning of a period of chaotic barbarian warfare. Those whose
memories are not so short as to have forgotten the defeat of the Greeks by the Turks, of
the Italians by the Abyssinians, and the feeble campaigns waged by Spain against feeble
Morocco, must realize that at the present moment the Mediterranean coasts would be overrun
either by the Turks or by the Sudan Mahdists if these warlike barbarians had only to fear
those southern European powers which have lost the fighting edge. Such a barbarian
conquest would mean endless war; and the fact that nowadays the reverse takes place, and
that the barbarians recede or are conquered, with the attendant fact that peace follows
their retrogression or conquest, is due solely to the power of the mighty civilized races
which have not lost the fighting instinct, and which by their expansion are gradually
bringing peace into the red wastes where the barbarian peoples of the world hold sway.
Here's what Nick
had to say about a later Greek adventure: "When George Horton, Christian missionary
in Smyrna and a Turcophobe of no small distinction (author of “The Blight of Asia”), asked a Greek about
reports of wholesale massacres carried out by Greeks against Turks in Western Anatolia
during 1921-22, the answer that he got was that Greek actions were modeled after the
punitive expeditions carried out by U.S. forces in the Philippines between
It is the Muslims, and in particular the Turks/ and
the Turkic Tatars, who hold Roosevelt's greatest wrath, "fine and high"
Christian man that he was. In each of the conflicts he cites, it is not the
"barbarians" who fired the first shot. When these people attempt to defend
themselves against good, Christian Greek, Italian and Spanish aggression, they become
"barbarians." The troubles (or the "endless war[s]" Roosevelt warned
of) between the Western and the Islamic worlds today have all resulted from Western
interference and aggression. Which of these Islamic nations have declared a war against a
Western power in the past few centuries? Any aggression has stemmed from a sense of
self-defense. That is not a defense of the awful Islamic terrorism going on today. But if
these conflicts are to be remedied, one needs to understand what lies at the root of the
As an American, I'd take Western ways over the
Islamic any day... so Roosevelt may not have had a monopoly on odious hypocrisy.
But it's not the Islamic ways that I am defending; I am defending their right to live
their lives the way they choose. If they become strong enough to impose their will, then
would be the time to deal with them. The last few centuries, the ones who have been doing
all the imposing have been the Christian West — and Israel — at the cost of much death
and suffering upon the Muslim "half humans." "Barbarian Conquest" then
becomes a relative term.
Kinds of Reports that Swayed Roosevelt
From The Indiana Democrat Aug. 17, 1904:
TO STOP OUTRAGES
The U. S. Will Be Asked to Interfere to Save Armenians.
The Armenian patriarch has ordered Archbishop Saragian, of the Armenian Churca in
America, to head a mission to the powers, urging them to interfere in the name of
humanity and put an end to the continual massacres of Armenians In Turkey. The
archbishop will present proofs that in the last four months 8,400 Armenians have
been massacred, including 3,000 children.
The mission will take a special petition to President Roosevelt.
Holdwater: 8,400 Armenians massacred,
including 3,000 children, in just four months of a year not known for massacres?
What kind of "proofs" could the henchman of the Patriarch, this archbishop
in America, have presented? Would Roosevelt have observed the caliber of this
evidence, or would he have been satisfied that a clergyman would not have lied?
Would not successive reports as this have influenced such a "Christian"
man already predisposed to believe the Turks were subuuman savages?
THE EXPANSION OF THE WHITE RACES"
Roosevelt had mellowed in his views since he wrote his "imperialist" essay
above, in 1899. Ten years later, as he was winding down his presidential term, he
gave an address at the celebration of the African Diamond
Jubilee of the
Methodist Episcopal Church [Washington, D. C., January 18, 1909.] This "white
power" forum is where I discovered it, and this fine and high church
speech was entitled
THE EXPANSION OF THE WHITE RACES.
On the whole, and speaking generally, one extraordinary fact of this expansion of
the European races is that with it has gone an increase in population and well-being
among the natives of the countries where the expansion has taken place.
What irony, given that
Roosevelt lives in one of those nations. I don't think the population of his
"red men" has improved. (Some are better off, having been integrated into
American society... but their "well-being" is debatable.) The same can be
said for the Hawaiians, of whom there may not be a single "pure" one left.
The Aborigines of Australia is another case in point. The Tasmanians are a dramatic
example against Roosevelt's claim. (Zero exist today.) The Crimean Turks and other
Muslim populations the Russians conquered were not generally allowed to remain in
their own lands, a policy Armenians certainly followed in eastern Anatolian lands
around the time of WWI, and in the 1992 conquest of Karabakh.
Roosevelt does address
the Aborigines and his own nation's natives, referring to the latter: "it
is undoubtedly true that the Indian population of America is larger today than it
was when Columbus discovered the continent, and stands on a far higher plane of
happiness and efficiency." Was the 1909 Indian population
greater than before the "intruders" arrived? Maybe he's including those
with a lower blood degree requirement, a controversial aspect of determining tribal
membership. Or maybe he was not doing his historical homework: this
"encyclopedic" page estimates from 2 million to 18 million in North America
before Columbus, and 350,000 (USA and Canada) less than a decade before Roosevelt's
Of India, he makes these
England does not draw a penny from India for
English purposes; she spends for India the revenues raised in India; and they are
spent for the benefit of the Indians themselves.
I didn't know the English were
so altruistic! Is Roosevelt looking at only one side of the story, as he has
demonstrated his preference in the case of the Armenians?
...[T]he mass of the people have been and
are far better off than ever before, and far better off than they would now be if
English control were overthrown or withdrawn.
Again, it can't be argued that
Western conquest brought certain technological advantages that improved the quality
of lives. After a brief period of upheaval once the English withdrew, there are no
"barbarians" from India who are missing the English.
There is no substitute for
self-rule. What is better, living in less "civilized" conditions among
your own, or enjoying some technological benefits while your more sophisticated
occupier is eating your culture and people alive?
But the great salient fact is that the
presence of the English in India, like the presence of the English in Egypt and the
Soudan, of the French in Algiers, of the Russians in Turkestan, of the Germans in
Southwest Africa and East Africa (and of all these peoples, and of other white
peoples, in many other places), has been for the advantage of mankind.
Only if "mankind" is
defined as white and Christian.
possibly from the period in question
The Germans in Southwest
Africa, under the colonial command of Von Trotha, decimated some three-quarters of
the natives, mainly the Hereros, only a few years (1904-07) before Roosevelt gave
I have always been particularly interested,
for instance, in the extraordinary work done by the American schools and colleges in
the Turkish Empire, both Turkey in Europe and Turkey in Asia; a work which has borne
such wonderful fruit among the Bulgarians, among Syrian and Armenian Christians, and
also among the Mohammedans; and this although among the Mohammedans there has been
no effort to convert them, simply an effort to make them, good citizens...
Actually, the Protestant
missionaries tried their darndest to try and convert the Turks, but they proved
incontrovertible. They then moved on to the Orthodox Christians, spreading the seeds
of discontent against Turkish rule along the way.
As a result of the African slave-trade, the
crime of the ages...
Interesting! So "the crime of the ages" was a
greater crime than "...the Armenian massacre was the
greatest crime of the war...", and it was his own "fine
and high" civilized nation that had committed it.
Interestingly, the "White
Power" site's forum had a reaction stating that Roosevelt was the first
president who had a "Negro in the White House," or some words to that
effect. Whatever was being referred to, I suppose the white supremacist was
criticizing Roosevelt for his show of tolerance.
The education and uplift of the American
negro now going forward should be accompanied by the increase of the missionary and
Christian forces on the continent from which his ancestors came.
That pretty much sums it up in
a nutshell. Theodore Roosevelt was deeply committed to his Christianity, making
non-Christians unworthy of human consideration... in a manner of speaking.
Anyone who points to his
"Armenian" comments are making use of the views of a racially and
religiously bigoted individual. He is as conflicted and one-sided a source as they