Let's get to the meat of the matter. Aggressive
and unchallenged Armenian propaganda has taken such hold in Western societies,
those who know better... many "neutral" historians... have swallowed
it all, hook, line and sinker.
Review what is expected of a historian, as Prof. Justin McCarthy beautifully
worded it (for the rest, please tune in here):
Historians should love the truth. A historian has a duty to try to
write only the truth. Before historians write they must look at all
relevant sources. They must examine their own prejudices, then do all
they can to insure that those prejudices do not overwhelm the truth.
Only then should they write history. The historians creed must be,
"Consider all the sides of an issue; reject your own prejudices.
Only then can you hope to find the truth."
Who are our guardians against mindless and hateful propaganda? It's
historians. Real historians.
The real historians have mostly been scared away after Armenians and their supporters (like
Israel Charny) went after
their precious reputations with below-the-belt smear tactics.
Who is left? Mainly, those who pretend to be historians. Ones who rely mainly
on propaganda, and ones who can't keep a lid on their prejudices.
This page will briefly cover one frightening example and, to a lesser extent,
her historian husband. (And the man is not just any historian, mind you, as
you'll soon be reading. His case is, in a sense, way more frightening.)
ADDENDUM: Having encountered a detailed account
of Dr. Anderson's take on Armenian massacres, there is now an expanded section
below, offering "A Closer Look at Anderson's
Margaret Lavinia Anderson
Margaret Lavinia Anderson is a professor at
Berkeley, the University of California. One of her specialties is, as the history
faculty's web page tells us, the "Armenian Genocide." Her recent research, in
her words: "...a project on Germany and the Ottoman Empire from the time of the
massacres of the Armenians in the mid-1890s until ca. 1932."
Let's take a look at how she is approaching this matter, as a "historian," from
her web page
study guide for students, dated Spring 2006.
Among her required books are those from "genocide scholars" Donald Bloxham (The Great Game of Genocide:
Imperialism, Nationalism, and the Destruction of the Armenians) and Jay Winter. Note Bloxham's book came out roughly
around the time as Prof. Guenter Lewy's "The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey:
A Disputed Genocide." Why does our "historian," whose duty is to
consider all relevant sources as you have read above, ignore this work? Could it be that
Bloxham has settled on the "Destruction" of the Armenians, which may be
much closer to her prejudices, whereas Lewy finds such a conclusion as "Disputed"?
Do you get the feeling that Dr. Anderson has made up her mind about this matter, and is
only going to rely on the sources that affirm her thesis? Is that what a real historian
Bloxham does get points; he vouches for massacres of Azeris that were committed by
Armenians (what the Jewish Times found analogous to the Holocaust in 1990), and he
does take some of the more vicious hard-liners to count on their scholarship, particularly
Vahakn Dadrian. But that's pretty much it.
Bloxham, like Anderson, relies almost purely on propaganda; for example, he vouches for a
dead count of Armenians numbering 1.2 million. (An impossibility, given that there were
around 1.5 million to begin with, and
hard-liners concede one million died. The Armenian Patriarch, from his bloated pre-war
figure of 2.1 million which propagandists prefer to accept — even though the Patriarch
"revised" his figure to 1.85 million elsewhere
— didn't go as high as Bloxham. The Patriarch Zaven said, in 1918's tail end, that
1,260,000 Armenians survived, and 840,000 died.)
As genuine historian Justin McCarthy reminds us:
"We must affirm a basic principle: Those who take propaganda as their source
themselves write propaganda, not history."
Some of the other works Anderson recommends for students as "Possible
Stephan H. Astourian, "Modern Turkish Identity and the Armenian Genocide. From
Prejudice to Racist Nationalism," in R. G. Hovannisian, ed., Remembrance and
Denial. The Case of the
Armenian Genocide (1998), 23-50.
Indeed, a work of true scholarship, mainly relying on one-sided and biased sources. If
there is any "prejudice
and racist nationalism" involved, no doubt the cited pro-Armenian sources will
live up to them.
With the recommendation of the above book, it's apparent Prof. Anderson holds to the
"pan-Turanism" theory as genocidal motive. After centuries, for no good reason,
the Turks suddenly decided to slaughter Armenians, because of "prejudice and racist
Prof. Anderson also will go on to cite Justin McCarthy's "Death and Exile."
Has she read this work? If so, why has she dismissed the real historical reason as to why
Armenians stopped being the "Loyal Nation"? McCarthy outlined them
beautifully, relying on sources that had no reason to lie, as a real scholar would. Here
is a taste: Why did
Ottoman Armenians & Muslims Become Enemies?
Another recommended work is Mark Levene's "Creating a Modern 'Zone of
Genocide': The Impact of Nation-and State-Formation on Eastern Anatolia, 1878-1923,"
in a 1998 issue of Holocaust and Genocide Studies. "Includes the postwar
Turkish massacres of Kurds in the story."
Again, the insistence that Turks behaved in monstrous fashion. Since nationalism is what
gruesomely tore the Ottoman nation apart, there was little tolerance for further
uprisings. Yes, the Kurds were dealt a heavy-hand during this re-birth of a devastated
nation, at times unfairly. But it is not like the Turks said, oh! Let's go kill some Kurds
for sport. Once again, it was reaction to action.
Anderson must not have paid attention to the [mis]behavior of the "unmanageable"
Kurdish tribes, throughout the years. "Death and Exile" brushed with the
topic; here is a taste, with Rebellious as Armenians: Ottoman KURDS.
As bad as these examples are, Anderson actually offers the Wellington House propaganda of
the Blue Book as real history. Yes, on her
reading list is actually:
James Bryce and Arnold Toynbee, The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire,
1915-1916. Documents Presented to Viscount Grey of Falloden by Viscount Bryce,
Toynbee himself decried his work from
these years as "war propaganda." And no real historian can regard James Bryce as an objective party.
That is simply inexcusable for a real historian.
Now she attempts to be "fair" by presenting "the other side":
Turkish government's version of these events: The URL for the website devoted to its
response to charges of genocide is constantly changing, but if you search google for
"Turkey," you will get the Turkish government's website, which allows you to
search via "Armenians." At last check it was at ...turkey.org/p_armn00.htm
That link no longer worked, but I searched for what this Turkish embassy's page had to
say. I suppose their best shot was a page called "Armenian Allegations." There are some claims made here that I
don't care for, but overall the truth-seeker looks at the sources. For example, Bryce and
Toynbee's sources for their propaganda book were Armenians and missionaries. Trustworthy?
Not by a long shot. In contrast... just a quick glance at the sources here:
"Fact 1": Boghos Nubar. The Encyclopedia Britannica. French missionary
Monseigneur Touchet. Would any of these sources have lied for the Turks? Why is Prof.
Anderson dismissing these with the strong implication that it's what the "Turkish
I don't desire to get into the Turkish page, but "Fact 3" appropriately adds,
"Armenian Americans purport that the wartime propaganda of the enemies of the Ottoman
Empire constitutes objective evidence," and gives Ambassador Morgenthau as an
example, explaining why Morgenthau was so
unreliable. There is nothing said here that does not conform to genuine historical fact.
What kind of a historian would vouch for Bryce and Toynbee, and dismiss sources that
had no reason to lie? It's not like "Turkish propaganda" is offering opinions of
Turkish government flunkies. It is not like the "personal opinions" in the U.S.
archives, as the British embassy worded it, while desperately seeking judicial evidence to
convict the Turks holed up in Malta.
Why is Prof. Anderson allowing herself to be so prejudiced?
Here is where she cites McCarthy and his book of genuine scholarship, Death and Exile.
The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922. Anderson comments:
"McCarthy is the most serious of the denialists."
With such childish labels, Anderson is proving herself to be a propagandist with an
agenda, and not a genuine historian. And here is where she really goes to town:
Roger W. Smith, Eric Markisen (sic), and Robert Jay Lifton, "Professional
Ethics and the Denial of the Armenian Genocide," Holocaust and Genocide Studies 9/1
(Spring 1995): 1-22. Exposes scandal that Heath Lowry, working for a Turkish lobby,
coached Turkish ambassador in campaign to deny the genocide and was rewarded with the
newly endowed Ataturk Chair of Turkish History at Princeton.
Heath Lowry was working for the Institute for Turkish Studies (ITS),
which says on its web page, with good reason: "In keeping with its charter and
tax-exempt status, the Institute does not seek to influence legislation." That
would not make the ITS a "lobby." A lobbying group would be ANCA or the AAA,
sophisticated Armenian organizations that instruct the faithful to perform letter-writing
campaigns and the like, supported by large amounts of money behind them. The purpose of
the ITS is to further Turkish Studies, mainly dealing with history. It is shameful that
Anderson is doling out information strictly along propagandistic lines.
And the only ones suffering from "Professional
Ethics," in this terrible paper Anderson has vouched for, were the authors Smith,
Markusen and Lifton. Lowry did not "coach" Ambassador Nuzhet Kandemir, but sized
up Lifton's amateurish work at Kandemir's request (Kandemir, not pretending to be a
historian, needed an authority. Where was he going to go?), where Lifton relied 100% on
the work of hardcore propagandist Vahakn Dadrian. A good part of the reason why these
ethically challenged "genocide scholars" decided to create a "scandal"
was because they wanted to send the message that those who go against their genocide
agenda will suffer from below-the-belt tactics. It worked; Lowry was knocked out of the debate, and the episode (largely directed by Peter
Balakian) intimidated genuine historians from the study of this topic.
If Lowry was awarded the chair at Princeton, that is because he happened to be one of the
few qualified Turkish and Ottomanist historians around, backed up by very scholarly works,
several that have been featured on this site. It's not as though the Turkish government
could have pushed Princeton University around and demanded the condition that they hire
Lowry. As a Princeton Alumni Weekly article from this episode made
clear (see last link):
...[Princeton U]niversity spokesperson Jacquelyn Savani said that the $700,000 given by
Turkey for the chair "is not the amount of money, given the $4 billion endowment of
Princeton University, that should even raise suspicion. The fact of the matter is that not
for $100 million could the Turkish government put its man in that chair. Not with this
faculty." (Princeton's hiring procedure for faculty is rigorous: tenured faculty
members of the department recommend candidates to the Committee on Appointments and
Advancements, formed from the faculty at large, which makes the final decision.) Harvard,
Georgetown, and the University of Chicago received similar grants, but only Princeton has
established a fully endowed chair in Turkish studies.
It's maddening that Anderson would align herself so fully with these despicable
propagandistic forces. Why is she doing it?
She is hardly alone, of course. She is the rule, not the exception. But her duty as
responsible historian would be to fight these awful forces, not to join them. Even if
Lowry was guilty of everything she is telling us (at the expense of her totally ignoring
the partisanship of Armenian professors, of course), it is the research that ultimately
To cap off her recommended list is the following work of amazing scholarship:
Constantinople (Ecumenical patriarchate), Persecution of the Greeks in Turkey,
1914-1918 (Constantinople [London, Printed by the Hesperia Press] 1919).
Anderson's bigoted message: Turks.... bad.
Can you imagine the harm she is causing, poisoning the minds of her impressionable
students with her prejudices? Can you further believe that she is serving at such a
respectable institution as Berkeley? (The second is most believable, but tragic. Her kind
is the rule, not the exception.)
(She has signed the July 29, 2005 "Open Letter by 257 Scholars
to President Robert Kocharian of Armenia in Support of Yektan Turkyilmaz." Not
that this was a bad cause, as Armenia displayed once again her Dashnak terroristic ways,
victimizing the Kurdish Turk... obviously an
asset for the genocide club, and club members did not like it when one of their own
stupidly got threatened by Armenia herself. What's disconcerting is that the others who
signed this letter reads like a Who's
Who of the Armenian Genocide Industry. If there is any doubt as to where Dr.
Anderson is coming from, this letter helps clear things up.)
As misguided and propagandistic as Margaret Lavinia
Anderson unfortunately is, let's take a look at her historian husband, Dr. James
James J. Sheehan
He seems a little more level-headed than his
wife, of whom he comments (regarding a paper of his, "The Problem of
Sovereignty in European History," where James Bryce sadly gets a nod), "Margaret
Lavinia Anderson is my most astute—although not always most gentle—critic."
Naturally, a husband is in a most precarious position, but objectively, Dr. Anderson
comes across as anything but "astute." if she were, she would force
herself to be more open-minded, as real historians are duty-bound to do.
In a paper, "Contested Histories," Sheehan spills the beans on where he
thinks the "Armenian" truth lies. But at least he does so fairly, without
embarrassingly inflammatory language such as "denialist."
"The fate of the Ottoman Empire's Armenian minority is one of the most
active contemporary examples of a politically charged contest over the past,"
Dr. Sheehan correctly tells us. "Everyone agrees that in 1915, when
the empire was engaged in a desperate struggle for its survival during the First
World War, a large number of Armenians perished and many others were removed from
the towns and villages in which they lived for centuries." True.
At issue is why and how the Armenian population of eastern Anatolia disappeared.
One side claims that the Armenians died or were displaced in what amounted to a
civil war, in which they were active participants rather than passive victims.
Allied with the Russian invaders, they betrayed their country and its army, and
killed tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of their Turkish neighbors. The other
side regards what happened in 1915 as the result of orders given by the government
in Constantinople to cleanse Anatolia of its Christian population—Nestorians,
Assyrians, and Greeks, as well as Armenians—by killing the men and driving the
women and children into the desert. This was not civil war but genocide, the
intentional destruction of a particular culture and community, a foreshadowing of
what would happen to Europe's Jews a quarter of a century later."
This is good. He is telling us accurately where both sides of this polarized
discussion stand. (Although the fact that the Nestorians and Assyrians — aren't
they pretty much the same thing? — and the Greeks were not subjected to a
resettlement policy should have triggered his scholarly alarm bells as to how false
these claims also happen to be. In addition, wasn't the "genocidal motive"
to kill off not just the Christians, but anyone who didn't fit into the Turkish
mold? Why then, were the Jews spared? And the Arabs, who also treacherously
rebelled, as did segments of all these other populations? Why doesn't our
"historian" pay attention to these facts and pure, simple logic?)
Now for the tricky part. Which side does Historian Sheehan go with? Here we go:
Although there are scholars on both sides, I think it is fair to say that the
overwhelming majority of researchers outside of Turkey support some version of the
Armenian narrative—even if some are uncertain about the term genocide.
We are getting into so much trouble.
Who are these "overwhelming majority of researchers"? Do they fit into the
description of real historian that we observed at the top of this page? No. The real
scholars, that is, those who dispassionately examine the real facts and not the
propaganda, have been frightened away. What we're left with are unscrupulous
Armenians such as Peter Balakian who
write abominations as "The
Burning Tigris," and his "genocide scholar" allies.
These views are upheld by a cowardly media, because everyone knows the genocide
scholar is noble, since genocide is the worst crime against humanity. No one stops
to think about their faith-based agenda, the hatred and racism they perpetuate or
cause, and their harmful "end justifies the means" tactics.
When powerful and influential forces succeed in making their views the common
wisdom, that has nothing to do with the "truth." And so far, that is what
Sheehan is dangerously vouching for: the sanctity of majority opinion, the kiss of
death for any real scholar to give credence to.
There are no shortcuts; the way to get at truth boils down to individual research,
where one must scratch deep below the easy surface. A real scholar wouldn't give
beans about what anyone else has to say. A real scholar would sit down and begin the
long, hard work that is required.
Now Sheehan begins to cement his partisanship, and thus endanger his credibility, by
blaming the "Turkish government":
The scholarly discourse, however, is deeply affected by the involvement of the
Turkish government, which has vigorously and consistently denied that a genocide—or
indeed any government-directed massacres—took place.
Yes, Prof. Sheehan. Instead of sounding so aghast, why not display your historical
talents by coming up with the factual evidence that these massacres were government
directed? I don't think he's going to do that. Because the "majority
opinion," just like his wife, is telling him that "Turks are bad."
That seems to be good enough for him.
As a result of government pressures, discussion of the issue within Turkey
is difficult and perhaps dangerous; access to relevant archival sources has been
limited to those with "reliable" views.
Now he is beginning to sound like a card-carrying member of the Armenian propaganda
Is he telling us the material in the portion of the archives that have been made available is irrelevant? What is
making him say that? By the same token, why is he not voicing his outrage that the
archives in Armenia, and the Dashnak archives in Boston, are totally inaccessible?
What is difficult (that is, hard to stomach) is for one-sided "genocide
club" discussions to take place. Balanced discussion has been in existence for
a long while. (Here is a 1990 example,
where Levon Marashlian participated. Other "club" participants were
invited, but shied away.) These days (actually, for years now, but it's getting
worse), even purely propagandistic books by Vahakn Dadrian have found a home in
Turkey, as the powerful tentacles of the well-financed industry have begun to close
In response, Armenians and their supporters have lobbied parliamentary
bodies throughout the world to pass resolutions affirming or commemorating the
genocide. Up until now, 17 assemblies have voted to recognize the genocide, and in
three countries (Uruguay, Argentina, and France) recognition has the force of law.
What a pity that a "historian" is choosing to give credence to the reasons why these resolutions have been
finding acceptance, which has nothing to do with historical truth. As if the
politicians voting for these resolutions are not swayed by Armenian wealth or
intimidation tactics, along with ignorance and anti-Turkish prejudice, and as if it
is the job of a politician to put aside real governmental work and endeavor to
become a real historian.
(Regarding the word "response," implying that the poor, innocent Armenians
were forced to do something against Terrible Turkish injustice: The Turks were
silent over this episode for many years, as that is the cultural mentality of
Turkish people, and it does not advertise its sufferings; in addition, there is a
pride against legitimizing people practicing underhanded tactics... choosing instead
to ignore them. The dirtiness of Armenian and Greek propaganda became widely evident
by the 1920s, and Armenians were forced to crawl away. In 1965, with the 50th
anniversary of their cause for existence and now-dim memories, they vigorously
renewed their efforts. By 1973, when their cause spilled over to murderous
terrorism, the Turks were finally forced to speak up. Therefore, any
"response" was on the part of the Turks; once again, Armenian and Greeks act,
and the Turks react. If Armenians began to bribe, sweet-talk or coerce
biased, ignorant politicians in foreign nations, that was the natural next step,
once their terrorists brought the genocide business into the forefront.)
Those who hoped that in Turkey the Armenian question would become the subject of
scholarly discourse rather than of political proclamations were encouraged by the
announcement that a conference on "Ottoman Armenians in the Period of the
Empire's Collapse," sponsored by three Turkish universities, was to be held in
Istanbul on May 25–27, 2005. An interdisciplinary meeting of Turkish scholars,
this was to be the first open and critical discussion of the Armenian question to be
held in Turkey.
Perhaps his fact-disrespecting wife has begun
to compromise the man's scholarly head. We've just seen, with the penultimate link
above, that this was far from the "first" discussion held in Turkey. The
ones involved were not "scholars" either... not if we define a scholar as
one who considers all the facts before arriving at a dispassionate conclusion,
instead of arriving at the conclusion first, backing it up with tainted
"evidence." (Like Anderson's Blue Book, for example.) He goes on to tell
us that the event was criticized — rightly — as a "dagger in the back of
the Turkish nation." That is exactly what it was. The affair was a closed door
meeting of the genocide club, where even the attendees were screened to be of like
mind. This was no "critical discussion," but a "preaching to the
I thought it was the organizers (from what I had read in a genocide publication at
the time these events were taking place), and not the "rector of Bosphorus
University" (as Sheehan tells us. Where did he get that from?) who cancelled
this show. If the organizers were fearful for their safety, they could have easily
hired extra security. What most likely happened was that the club members cancelled
the event, so that the outside world may perceive the Turkish government in its
familiar role of monster. In any event, the show went on without a hitch (at
Bilgi University) just a few short months later, and as key organizer Fatma Muge
Gocek told it in an interview, the toadying Turkish government almost begged for the
darned thing to be rescheduled. Here is a closer
look at the episode.
Sheehan winds up with his having been asked to pen a letter to Turkish Prime
Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
He begins (the letter may be accessed here):
As I am sure you are aware, this conference was to bring together Turkish scholars from
several disciplines in order to discuss the fate of the Armenian minority in the last
years of the Ottoman Empire.
The fact is, the "scholars" who were Turks or with Turkish-sounding names were
only of one discipline. For example, Professor Turkkaya
Ataov, an "elder statesman" among historians known years for his
"Armenian" work, wanted to attend, but the door was slammed shut in his face.
Can Prof. Sheehan cite one example of a "Turkish scholar" scheduled to attend
(or attended at the successor conference at Bilgi) who disagreed with genocide industry
views? He is welcome to try, but I know he cannot. Why is he engaging in the above
falsehood? Doesn't he believe in individual research, and to ask questions, like a real
scholar? Or is he simply content to be spoon-fed with all of this propagandistic
The American Historical Association is the leading
organization of historians in the United States, with over 13,000 members, including a
number of prominent scholars interested in Turkish and Ottoman history. Needless to say,
the Association does not have a position on the fate of the Armenians, but it is deeply
committed to free and open inquiry about historical issues, and especially about those
issues that have been charged with political and ideological animosities. The May
Conference was to have been a forum in which a variety of voices could have been heard. It
is a grave misfortune, both for Turkey and for the world of historical scholarship, that
political pressures silenced these voices.
As we have seen, he is dead wrong in stating that this was "to
have been a forum in which a variety of voices could have been heard." If only he
were more inquisitive, he would have discovered this was an exclusive party for
propagandists. As a genuine historian, Sheehan's duty would have been to ridicule such a
get-together. (But I think he was genuinely unaware. And that doesn't speak highly of his
Now the reader can begin to see that James J. Sheehan is no ordinary historian. Here is
the way he signed the letter, following his name:
American Historical Association
That's right, ladies and gentlemen! Sheehan represents the creme de la creme of
Is that true, "the Association does not have a position on the fate of the
Armenians"? I'm not so sure. Not when the President of the Association is a
willing accomplice for Armenian propagandists, accepting many of their claims at face
This is highly depressing, that pro-Armenian propagandists
have succeeded so wildly that they now have the American Historical Association as
their willing accomplices. The real historians in this bunch are the last resort...
the last hope... to fight against the propagandists. Yet. it's clear that many of
the would-be historians within this organization have become propagandists themselves.
A Closer Look at Anderson's Scholarship
"Turks were (not) civilized people, for good reason."
Prof. Anderson must have been making good effort in her newfound "Armenian
genocide" specialty in order to have been interviewed by Khatchig Mouradian on
Nov. 16, 2006, featured in one of the many Armenian-friendly sites, zmag. Entitled "Germany and the Armenian Genocide,"
Prof. Anderson makes insightful comments at times, impressively having studied
details of the story. Unfortunately, she stresses one side of the story, and relies
heavily upon propaganda. As one example, for her, Lepsius is on the up and up, but
Ernst Jäckh becomes the "worst person in Germany, as far as the Armenians
were concerned." One doesn't need to read between the lines to figure Prof.
Anderson nears the Armenians regarding that opinion, since Jäckh regarded the Turks
as valid human beings, and Jäckh had the audacity to tell the truth.
While the accent of the interview is on "German responsibility in the Armenian
Genocide," what serves as interest here are the giveaways of Prof. Anderson's
extreme partisanship. She reveals off the bat that "Stephan Astourian, a
specialist in Armenian history, without whom I could never have begun this. He was
immediately helpful in steering me to the proper Armenian sources and letting me
understand the historiography." The fact that Prof. Anderson gave such
credence to "proper Armenian sources" is most revealing as far as her
scholarly credibility, since Armenians, by and large, practice the Dashnak "end
justifies the means" credo in their blind service to Hai Tahd, the
Armenian Cause. In short, "proper Armenian sources" are a most rare
commodity. (As most becoming familiar with this penchant for dishonesty, regarding
"genocide" matters, come to realize. For example, a Reuters correspondent
who got to know the ways of the Armenians had to warn, all the way back in 1895: "(Atrocity claims) must be established independently of Armenian testimony, or their
value may be seriously questioned.")
She begins by minimizing Lepsius' efforts of distorting the evidence as "They
do not bear significantly on the question of the Genocide’s character,"
and even questions whether it was Lepsius himself who performed the omissions.
(Anything is possible, but chances are, who else but Lepsius would have been in
charge of his own work? In the preface to his book, he accepted total responsibility
for the book's contents. A protective Anderson, by the way, refers to
"omissions," but not the forgeries of Lepsius' book. Some
pro-Armenians have blamed tinkerings on the German Foreign Office, but that would
mean Dr. Lepsius — who claimed
complete independence of the German Foreign Office
and complete freedom in his selection of the documents — was a complete dodo.) She then
speculates, to her credit, that Lepsius was trying to protect Armenians, covering up
cases of Armenian revolutionary violence. Yet she does so with a heavy heart,
quickly adding, "the national school of Turkish historians will be quick to
jump on this."
Any true historian who dutifully analyzes all of the facts would not need to
"jump" on her speculation. An objective person is already well aware that
the missionary Lepsius, as a bigoted Christian "churchman" (in Anderson's
word), is not a source to be trusted. Anderson's explanation as to why Lepsius
ignored episodes of when Armenians "struck back" (that is the way she
would phrase it, of course; the reality of most Armenian-perpetrated violence had
nothing to do with striking back, since Armenians engaged in first strikes): Lepsius
was a "churchman," and thus "so disapproved of violence." What
kind of nonsense is that? If Lepsius had an aversion to violence to the point where
he could not write about it, why did he go out of his way to repeat — at times with perverse delight — the violent horror stories with Turks
brandishing the swords? (In 1900, Sir Charles Eliot wrote, as "Odysseus"
in "Turkey and Europe," that these stories were "largely the
invention of morbid and somewhat prurient brains"; not uncommonly, sexually
repressed "churchmen" were at the forefront of spreading such horrible
What Lepsius lacked was the moral fiber to treat people as equals, regardless of
religious affiliation, the way Jesus Christ would have wanted him to. If Lepsius
purposely covered up Armenian crimes in order to present "a picture of
almost complete Armenian victimhood," as Anderson herself is aware (while
curiously presenting a similar picture herself), then what greater proof do we need
that Lepsius was a phony baloney, and any "scholar" who gives credence to
his claims is a rank amateur at best?
"And he was also trying to protect Armenians against
what he had long known was the false charge of the German Turkophiles: that the
Armenians were terrorists, that the “deportations” were a security measure
against traitors, and that the CUP [Committee of Union and Progress] was only
protecting the Ottoman state."
Look at the sheer, Lepsius-like bigotry of this woman. Why in heaven's name would
there have been a good number of German "Turkophiles," when Germans
were raised with the image of the Terrible Turkish bogeyman, the same as all
Christian European nations? What Anderson is engaging in is a Dadrian-style
character attack, classifying those who knew the truth as people who were so in love
with Turks, they would turn a blind eye to Turkish crimes, in the same vein as the
biased Lepsius. What these "Turkophiles" were guilty of was daring to give
Turks a fair shake. That does not make one a "lover" of Turks. The reasons
why genocide advocates are quick to label such honorable people as
"Turkophiles" are twofold: one is an attempt to discredit such people and
to dismiss their views in an underhanded attempt to stifle debate, and secondly — one must believe — because genocide advocates can't accept
there were people who actually believed Turkish people also had the right to be
considered as human beings, not worth less than cherished Christian Armenians.
And Prof. Anderson displays her lack of scholarly credibility in enormous fashion,
by siding with Lepsius. Is the charge that Armenians were terrorists a
"false" one? Is Anderson out of her mind? There is a wealth of
Armenian-friendly sources from missionaries (such as the Reverends Dwight and Barton) to even a few Armenian
historians (such as Louise Nalbandian)
corroborating the thirty-odd year terror spree of the Dashnaks and Hunchaks, either
coercing their fellow Armenians or in poisoning their minds, allowing nearly the
entire community to turn traitor against their Ottoman nation. (As Leon Surmelian, for example, correctly
depicted.) The "deportations" were certainly a security measure against
those "Armenians (who) fought by the side of the Allies on all fronts"
and were "belligerents de facto," as Boghos Nubar admitted; in short, "traitors." When one
deals with traitors who are fighting on the side of the invading enemy (Anderson the
propagandist tells us "the Armenians struck back when they could,"
when it was the Armenians who fired the first shot and it was the Ottomans
who struck back), it becomes the duty of any government to keep the peace and
subdue the rebels, as even the Armenian historian Borian tells us. Of course the CUP was
"protecting the Ottoman state."
(Not that we need Borian to tell us that, because the necessity of such self-defense
on the part of a nation is obvious. The difference is, the Ottoman Turks
endured a half-year of Armenian treachery after war was declared, as at war's outset and at Sarikamish, before reluctantly
deciding upon the relocation policy, the first real sign of which was May 2, 1915. This was in opposition
with how other nations usually conduct themselves, targeting suspicious minorities
before they have had a chance to become treacherous, as with the USA and Canada vs.
their innocent Japanese during WWII, and
as with Britain vs. their innocent
German men in 1914 WWI, where many of the latter were truly
"deported," i.e. banished outside the country's borders.)
Those who enlist propagandistic sources, such as Lepsius, to tell history become propagandists in turn.
Anderson goes on to tell us Germany wooed the Armenians (in 1913-14), so that when
the inevitable dissolution of the Ottoman Empire took place, Germany would have a
friend. This is interesting, because it partly explains why so many Germans were
pro-Armenian during the war years (Germans already had a built-in bias toward the
Armenians as fellow Christians to begin with.) Germany had usually gone against the
other powers in support of the Ottomans, serving as a check, but in 1914, Anderson
tells us, Germany played a strong hand in forcing the Ottomans to sign the deadly
"inspectorate" deal, which
would not have simply granted "the Armenians in Eastern Anatolia a certain
parity in public offices with the Muslim population there, and thus a kind of
regional autonomy," as Anderson innocently explains, but would serve (since
Russia would come in, and Ottoman governmental control would totally disappear) as
the fatal step in ultimately removing these lands from Ottoman ownership; not far
from what had happened in the Balkans, Crete and Lebanon.
Anderson next tells us the "elites" of German society were aware of the
"extermination of the Armenians," such as
professors, journalists, clergymen, the Deutsche Bank head and "important
members of the Reichstag, such as the later winner of the Nobel Peace Price, the
liberal Gustav Stresemann" (as if winning the Nobel Peace Prize would have
made Stresemann a historical authority). How did these people know... since none of
them were at the scene? Why, they knew because Armenians and missionaries like
Lepsius told them.
"Lepsius gave an interview on the 5th of October, 1915, to a group of
newspapermen in Berlin, to tell them what he had learned on his recent trip to
Constantinople/Istanbul from late July to early August," Anderson tells us,
but neglects the fact that Lepsius was not allowed to travel outside of Istanbul.
(Not that it would have made a difference in reportage, since Lepsius had an agenda;
but the point is, he did not witness anything firsthand.) So how did Lepsius know
what he knew? Because Armenians and missionaries told him. (In addition to
anything else Lepsius felt free to "expand upon.")
"There was so much self-censorship (in the German press) that the government
didn’t have to intervene," Anderson tells us, relying in large part upon
an Armenian-German's study of one Berlin newspaper (the Berliner Tageblatt),
which published only five Armenian-related stories during 1915, all
"pro-Turkish." (Does the reader get the feeling Prof. Anderson's heart was
sinking, since the newspaper fell short of the New York Times' 145
hearsay-ridden articles for that year? )
Of course if the Ottoman Empire was allied with Germany it would have served
Germany's purpose to keep a lid on further demonization of the Turks. But here is
the trouble when a propagandist-scholar relies only on selective biased sources for
an agenda-serving version of events. As the war continued, Christian bigotry grew
strong in Germany, needled as the German people were by those such as Lepsius, whose
accounts did get through from time to time. (Particularly once word filtered through
from the foreign journals, as in Basel and Zurich, which had no problem with
publishing Lepsius' propaganda.) As war correspondent George Schreiner related
(Schreiner was the only American newspaperman who travelled into the Ottoman
interior in 1915, according to co-editor Jay Winter's propagandistic book, America
and the Armenian Genocide of 1915, and a reliable eyewitness who viewed these
events firsthand. He knew there was no "genocide"), his own
nation's censors didn't allow Schreiner's truth to get out to the press of the
Allied nations and their supporters. (Remember, Britain had cut the cable from
Germany; nations like the USA only got the propagandistic Allied view, mainly
controlled by Wellington House.)
Frustrated, Schreiner tried to get his accounts published in the German press. They refused him, as "The
religious societies of Germany had finally... prevailed."
In other words, Anderson was correct when she told us "There was so much
(press) self-censorship," but not always in the way she intended.
Anderson next tells us that she sees Lepsius "as a hero," which speaks
volumes. (Dr. Lepsius was, after all, a scholar after Anderson's own heart, as Frank
G. Weber summed up in his Eagles on the Crescent: "Not Objective.")
Why a hero? Because "He didn’t pay attention only to what was best for
Germany." That's true. Lepsius's first master was his "duty to
God," which gave him license to vilify people who did not make the grade as
fellow Christians. One wonders whether Anderson would also view C. F. Dixon-Johnson "as a
hero," since the Boer War veteran also "didn’t pay attention only to
what was best for" England. Dixon-Johnson's first master was his "duty to
the truth." But we already know what a partisan propagandist would say of
Dixon-Johnson don't we? Dixon-Johnson would go straight into the ranks of the
Later in the interview, Anderson will go on to characterize Bronsart von
Schellendorf as the "worst" German soldier, without explaining why. Could
Bronsart von Schellendorf have also been a "Turkophile"? Or did Anderson
simply not care for Bronsart von Schellendorf's powerful 1921 article, prepared solely for the purpose of, as he
put it, helping "truth find its rightful place." (What other reason
could have possibly motivated the German officer to have written such an article,
well after the war drums had fallen silent? Incidentally, in the same paragraph,
Anderson contends "German soldiers in the Ottoman Empire were not part of
the German Army but were all under Ottoman command." That might have been
true on paper, but does anyone believe the typically arrogant Germans would have
permitted themselves to get pushed around by such second-class "human
race" citizens they were largely in contempt of?)
(For example, Anderson will later tell us that "Field
Marshall Liman von Sanders saved the Armenians in Edirne and Izmir." There
is more to this story than the singular source genocide proponents point to — which would generally be von Sanders
himself, along with his interviewer, Lepsius — and is deserving of deeper study. But if Liman truly deserved the
credit, then what kind of "being under Ottoman command" is that?
Furthermore, since Liman was the Ottoman military's German top dog, if he was so
outraged over the idea of "deportations," why would he have not gone out
of his way to put his foot down in other instances?)
(We'll take a small detour, here. In his 1921 Berlin trial testimony as witness for the defense of Talat's assassin,
Liman accepts the Ottomans' relocation order as "a strategic military
move." He says, however, that German officers intervened whenever they could,
and often ignored orders... certainly going against the essence of "being under
Ottoman command." He takes the credit for putting a stop to
"deportations" from Adrianople [Edirne], by paying a visit to Istanbul
with other officials. [It appears the Turks could be reasonable and civilized after
all, despite what Anderson will go on to later assert.] He also claims that he
stopped the "deportation" of 600 Armenians in Izmir, threatening to kill
the Turkish gendarmes, which Lepsius had cited in his book. Now let's pause for a
second. I don't have the statistics for the number of Armenians in 1915 Izmir [a
Turkish source for 1918 put the number
at 10,000], but if everything else is true, claiming that Liman stopped the
"Smyrna deportation" would be misleading... as we don't know how extensive
that "deportation" would have been. [There were plenty of cities/villages
where only a smattering of Armenians were affected.] If anything, the general made a
difference with only 6% of Izmir's Armenian population (ADDENDUM:
A British writer cites
20,000 in the year 1914, which would bring the percentage down to 3%),
and it serves to reason that as soon as Liman looked the other way, busying himself
with affairs of war, the governor could have sneaked out the Armenians, if he were
of the mind to do so. One must always dig deep to get at the heart of a matter,
particularly if one calls oneself a "scholar.")
(ADDENDUM, 2-07: As related in The Ottoman Massacres
in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide, Lewy, pp. 204-05, the Armenian
population was 13,000. The vali, Rahmi Bey, was moderate and opposed to
relocations. [Inside Constantinople, Einstein, p. 286.] In Aug. 1915, the
execution of seven Armenians, for a 1909 offense, was reduced to fifteen years'
imprisonment, when Morgenthau persuaded Enver. 2,500 Armenians were arrested in
November following the appearance of pro-Allied leaflets, but most were freed later.
A whole year passed with nothing happening to Izmir Armenians, when on Nov. 1916,
upon finding outdated bombs/weapons, 300 Armenians were arrested and subjected to
"deportation." This is when von Sanders intervened, stating such measures
jeopardized military security. Rahmi Bey told the German that he was opposed to the
relocations, Armenians found innocent would be allowed to return, and Rahmi promised there would be no further
recurrences, a promise kept until the end of the
war. It is important to keep in mind that by November 1916, the
"genocide" had, in Dadrian's words, already "all but run its
course," and there were likely not to be further episodes anyway. Those who
simplistically state von Sanders saved the Izmir Armenians are not being honest.)
Anderson does raise an interesting question. Lepsius was allowed to travel to
Istanbul, and imposed himself upon the busy schedules of Talat and Enver, extracting
interviews from the CUP leaders. No doubt Talat and Enver looked down upon the
biased missionary, so why did they agree to give him the time of day? Anderson
speculates "because the German Foreign Office put pressure on the Turks to
receive him. " Why? Because, Anderson further speculates, Lepsius
felt the Armenians could be wooed onto the side of the Central Powers. (If so, was
he out of his mind? The brainwashed and Turk-hateful Armenian community would have
agreed to go up against the Russians, their "saviors"?)
"...And that if they weren’t rallied behind the German cause—and here
was the dangerous corollary—that they could actually hurt the Germans and the
Turks in the war. That is, of course, the very excuse the Turkish government uses to
justify what happened."
Poor Professor Anderson. Shooting herself in the foot, again and again. She just
validated "Turkish propaganda," using the testimony of her very own
In other words, Lepsius may have been aware of this "excuse" that the
Armenians had the potential to be dangerous. The only reason why he didn't want to
talk about it openly, as Anderson speculated earlier, was because he hated violence.
"But I think that in fact Lepsius was trying to exaggerate the military
danger of the Armenian revolutionary movement in order to get Germany to pressure
the Turks to stop the deportations and massacres."
Very logical. (That is, probably logical in the mind of Lepsius, hoping to save
Christians, but let's examine the effect on those he was hoping to convince.) If the
military danger of the Armenians was a threat, as German officers in the front lines
(such as the "worst," von Schellendorf) were already aware, the Germans
would then have to put a halt to the relocation policy (the Ottoman leaders were
already attending to curtail the massacres that had occurred, by changing the
marching routes, for example), which was a response to the Armenian military
danger in the first place.
"But by the time he got to Constantinople, by late July or early August
1915, most Armenians had already been deported, and it was clear to the German
government that they had nothing to offer the Germans and posed no military threat
to the Turks."
Remember, she was attempting to explain why Lepsius was granted access to the
Ottoman leaders. She went in circles, only to shoot herself in the foot once again.
If the Armenians were neutralized by the time of Lepsius' visit, what was the reason
why doors were opened to him... particularly since Ambassador "Wangenheim
said that the Turks don’t want to see Lepsius," as Anderson put it? (What
she's not telling us, of course, is that the segment of the Armenian population who
would have served as a military threat mostly escaped being "deported."
Young Armenian men — such as the assassin Lepsius and Liman von Sanders defended
in 1921— had hightailed it either to Russia or the mountains to fight against
their nation, along with many of the deserters conscripted into the Ottoman army.)
A more valid theory could be that "the German Foreign Office put pressure on
the Turks to receive him," not because Lepsius was crying that the sky
might fall, but because "The religious societies
of Germany had finally... prevailed," as Schreiner accurately informed us.
(But actually, these forces gained greater power as the war progressed. "The
Armenian File" much more sensibly tells us "Lepsius convinced the
Wilhelmstrasse that his intention was not to put pressure on the Turks but instead
to argue the patriarchal entourage into greater loyalty toward the Ottoman
regime," and to Amb. Wangenheim, "the liquidation of the Armenians would
seriously and perhaps irreparably diminish the prospects of Germany’s ascendancy
in Turkey after the war.")
Lepsius is quoted as having justified the Armenians'
importance by stating “One cannot treat a nation of four million as a quantité
négligeable,” half in Russia and the other half in "Turkey." Goes
to show what a reliable disseminator of information Lepsius was. The worldwide
Armenian population of the period was around three million, not four. Four million
is what Armenian propagandists such as Pastermadjian claimed, and still claim. The
Ottoman Empire had the largest Armenian population, at the median
"neutral" consensus of 1.5 million, 1.7 million tops. (Toynbee, before
hooking up with Wellington House, thought around a million, in 1915.)
Lepsius, at the Berlin trial of Talat's
assassin in 1921, provided testimony that the Armenian Patriarch had told him the
Ottoman-Armenian population was 1.85 million. (1,845,400 was the precise figure
Lepsius provided in his book's intro.) This was a far cry from the Patriarch's
official figure of 2.1 million, the figure propagandists prefer. So we have
corroborated two things. Lepsius attained his information from highly unreliable and
propagandistic sources, such as the Armenian Patriarch. But because Lepsius was a
shameless propagandist himself, he took the propaganda information (1.85 million in
this case) and put a further spin on it (2 million). The second thing we have
corroborated is that Lepsius was a liar, and academics who still think of
this liar as a "hero" had better try to salvage what may be left of their
To further confirm Lepsius' aversion to truth, Anderson next quotes the churchman as
having said, "...One half, the Russian half, is constantly courted and
flattered, while the other, the Turkish half, faces only oppression." In
point of fact, the Ottoman Armenians had it much better than the Russian-Armenians. In their campaign to
spread the seeds of hatred, the Dashnaks/Hunchaks craftily told ignorant
Ottoman-Armenians life would be much better for them on the border's other side, and
many who were thus suckered later tried to return to where the going was good. Even
the Turk-hating fellow churchman, Cyrus Hamlin wrote (regarding his 1890s conversation with a Hunchak terrorist):
'But your people do not want Russian protection. They prefer Turkey, bad as she
is. There are hundreds of miles of conterminous territory into which emigration is
easy at all times. It has been so for all the centuries of the Moslem rule. If your
people preferred the Russian Government there would not be now an Armenian family in
Anderson's "hero" also accused Abdul Hamid of having conducted an
"extermination policy" against the Armenian people. How moral is that, to
make such ruinous charges without factual evidence? Particularly from a
"churchman," who should have taken pains to observe the Ninth Commandment.
(The one prohibiting false witness against one's neighbor. Perhaps Lepsius would
have preferred to go against Christ's teachings and to have used the loophole,
arguing a sub-human like a Turk would not constitute a "neighbor.") When
Armenians rebelled, it was the sultan's duty to put down these rebellions. Sometimes
innocents got caught in the fray. But the bigoted Christian West was mindlessly
engaged in what the Armenian apologist, Richard Davey, called the "great Armenian
horrors' boom all over the western world and America too," and this right
of self-defense that any nation would claim would constantly be presented in the
western press as "massacres"... since different rules apply to
"lesser" peoples. (Writing in 1894, Davey also served as character witness
for the alleged "exterminator": "the Sultan is so free from the
spirit of cruelty which disgraced some of his ancestors, that it is difficult to get
him to sign even the death-warrant of a murderer. He invariably commutes the
sentence to imprisonment. He has much to contend with.")
Based on Major Cyprian Bridges' review of
Lepsius' "Deutschland und Armenien," Foreign Affairs, July
1920; we're told Lepsius was permitted access to all the documents in the
Berlin Foreign Office relating to Armenians, published "in
chronological order and omitting none." (Sort of like when the
British were permitted access to all Armenian-related documents of the U.S.
State Department in 1921, desperately seeking evidence to convict the Turks
imprisoned in Malta. The
difference between the British and Lepsius was that the British knew
propaganda when they saw it, and rejected every single word. Lepsius' agenda,
in contrast, was to promote propaganda.)
1) "The Turkish Government from first to last. covertly encouraged,
even if it did not actually instigate, first, the deportations and
subsequently the massacres of Armenians." DID NOT INSTIGATE! In the
reviewer's words, even Lepsius was telling us the Turks had no
"intent"; no intent, no genocide.
2) Yet suddenly a genocide will be made of this non-genocide: "All the
German and other reports point to Enver Pashe as the chief instigator of these
horrors, and practically place it beyond doubt that the Young Turks had
decided upon a policy of extermination, not only in respect of the Armenians
but of all Christians in Turkey." Is that not a contradiction, to
have decided upon a policy of extermination (which is "practically"
beyond doubt, the translation of which is no real proof), without
actually having instigated it? In addition, if Enver was the Hitler
here, why did Lepsius, under oath, support the notion that it was really
Talat, while serving as witness for the 1921 defense of Talat's assassin?
Lastly, if the idea was to exterminate all the other Christians, why didn't
(for example) the Greeks get marched into the "desert"?
3) "Approximately one million Armenians fell victims to this policy in
Turkey and at least 50,000 in Caucasia." The Turks could barely
defend eastern Anatolia, and they should be blamed for Armenian losses in
Caucasia, territory they did not control? And we already covered the fallacy
of the "one million" Armenians; adding to that, Boghos Nubar himself
vouched for 600,000-700,000 as the number for the "deported" (in a
Dec. 11, 1918 letter), and U.S.
Consul Jesse Jackson vouched for 486,000
as "the number of Armenian immigrants" alive in 1916, when the
genocide had all but run its course, in Vahakn Dadrian's words..
4) To Lepsius's credit, he allowed for Djelal Bey (Aleppo's vali) and Jemal Pasha to be let off the hook as
genocide culprits. Dadrian's favored 1919-20 kangaroo courts sentenced Jemal
to death, which demonstrates why even the British rejected the findings of
these illegal courts.
5) "Consul Rössler... was accused in the British House of Lords and
in the Allied press of having personally directed the massacre at Aintab and
elsewhere." Given how madly pro-Armenian Rössler was, just goes to
how reliable Allied assessments were.
6) Fittingly, Lepsius was forced to defend two of his "zealous
and trusted co-workers in Armenia during twenty years," one of whom
(Eckart) was condemned in "an Armenian newspaper founded upon another
statement made by two ladies, one of them an Englishwoman, who when passing
through Aleppo were told (the dirt) by two Armenians..." In other
words, hearsay deriving from hearsay. This was published in a 1916 British
Blue Book, a source that Anderson recommends to her students as valid
The biased British reviewer (who no doubt thought himself to have what he
called an "unprejudiced mind" of others who would have no choice but
to confirm the Turks' guilt) further wrote that "Considerations of
space preclude a discussion of the Turkish counter-allegations against the
Armenians," as he had already made up his mind that "most...
are shown to be at the best gross exaggerations, while many of them were
contradicted by the German consuls." He sounded troubled to report
that a consul had confirmed "apparently truthfully" that "5,000
Armenians (near Antioch), including 500 men of military age, embarked in
transports covered by gunfire from an enemy warship." Major Bridges
further wrote that "The Turks also assert that when the Russians
withdrew from Erzerum in January, 1918, the Armenians, led by French
officers, attempted to hold the place against the Turks and were guilty of
wholesale massacres of Mahometans."
Wholesale massacres by Armenians are a matter of record, and they started
years before 1918. While the French officers part is interesting (the French
Armenian Legion had already been formed, so there may have been something to
it), testimony of Russian officers are all that is necessary to confirm this
truth (such as that of Lieutenant Abgral, Commander of the Russian Forces at Erzurum). What
we can be assured of is that Lepsius had several agendas; one was to
"God," in showing the Turkish infidels as monsters, and the other
was to his country, to let the Germans off the genocide hook. (Bridges'
concluding sentence included that Lepsius "clears his own
fellow-country-men of any responsibility.") Such a dishonest man as
Lepsius could not have been expected to include every single Armenian-related
German document without "omitting none," but unfortunately,
Armenian-concerned researchers who have rummaged through the German archives
through the years must have almost exclusively been dishonest genocide
advocates. (The few contra-genocide scholars who have taken the trouble to
investigate foreign archives would not normally allow Germany's to be the
first choice, because Germans writing in favor of their Turkish allies would
be accused of bias. However, it was the researchers not from the
contra-genocide camp [probably scholars focusing not on genocide but on the
war] who exposed the abridgements and forgeries in Lepsius's version of the
444 documents included in his book.)
"It is not only now that Turkey tries to deny what happened. Even then the
CUP tried to keep everything absolutely secret in order to maintain 'deniability' at
"On the 16th of July, 1915, the U.S. Ambassador to Constantinople, Henry
Morgenthau, wrote to the American State Department that 'a campaign of race
extermination is in progress,' yet he recommended against any protest."
Yes, Morgenthau, like Lepsius, was
entirely influenced by Armenians (his English-speaking assistants in particular) and
missionaries since Morgenthau, like Lepsius, never travelled into the interior to
see things for himself. Along with his racial prejudice and high and mighty ways,
Morgenthau allowed himself to send inflammatory and inaccurate messages as the above
to the home office. In earlier months, Morgenthau sent reports indicating his
awareness of the weakness of the
central government (allowing for locals to ignore orders to protect Armenians,
and to surely make it difficult to implement a "Final Solution" policy)
and of the Armenian revolts. In the
coming months, Morgenthau would pursue his own agenda, likely influenced by his Zionist feelings. (He was
very close to the politically pro-Armenian Rabbi Stephen Wise, in anticipation of
knocking the Ottomans out, and paving the way for a Jewish homeland.) One reason why
Morgenthau's diplomatic career had ended in Jan. 1916, when he left his post, was
because he was regarded as a loose cannon by the U.S. government. Yet here, Anderson
tries to paint a picture of Morgenthau as a responsible employee of the U.S.
government. One does not share confidential information with those such as Lepsius
and Lord Bryce, as Morgenthau did, if Morgenthau's priority was to represent his
country, which was supposed to be "neutral." (Morgenthau did receive
authorization from his boss, Lansing, but the ambassador stretched this permission — which called for Morgenthau's
"discretion" — to
the limit by giving Lepsius open access to his Embassy's
files and copies of their contents.)
I'd like to learn where Morgenthau "recommended against protest."
Perhaps he did in private communications (I didn't get that idea from the ones I've
read, deeper into 1915), but that only goes to show what an unreliable character he
was, since the very essence of "Ambassador Morgenthau's Story" was
"protest." Anderson's interviewer asks why Morgenthau could have
been so level-headed, even to the extent of suggesting that the missionary groups
keep a lid on their emotions as well:
"Well, don't forget that when diplomatic pressure was brought to bear upon
Abdul Hamid in 1896, he responded by massacring the Armenians in
Istanbul/Constantinople. People like Morgenthau did not think the Turks were
civilized people, for good reason. I’m not saying there weren’t any civilized
Turks in the Ottoman Empire, but Turks and Kurds had already behaved so horribly in
the 1890s, that some people didn’t think the Ottoman government would respond to
something like the pressure of European and American public opinion. Morgenthau didn’t.
Noting that even men like Morgenthau believed this, I think, gives a little bit of
respectability to other people—like the pope—who believed, however mistakenly,
that you could get more accomplished for the Armenians by working behind the scenes
to convince Turks to do this or that."
Zowie! What are we going to do with Professor Margaret Lavinia Anderson?
"Successive British governments published the
parliamentary papers (the Blue Books) which have been raked through ever since
for evidence against the sultan. It is not there. There is hearsay and the
whisperings of diplomats in Istanbul who had good reason to cover their own
tracks but there is nothing that links Abdulhamit to a policy of massacre."
Jeremy Salt, "The
Narrative Gap in Ottoman Armenian history," Middle Eastern Studies, Vol.
39, No.1, Jan 2003, pp. 25-26
First, she's dumbly telling us Abdul Hamid was
behind the 1896 "massacre" of Armenians in Istanbul. She must have been
referring to the aftermath of the Dashnak
takeover of the Ottoman Bank, where organixzed Armenian terrorists were throwing
their bombs ("...[T]hey did not kill instantly, but tore their flesh apart,
and made them writhe with pain and agony." Hayik Tiryakian, as quoted in
Vartanian's History of Dashnakstuin, pp. 160-3) on the populace from rooftops
all over town... in hopes of provoking massacres, to get the Europeans in. (The
other major outbreak of Armenian-instigated violence in Istanbul was the Babiali Demonstration, taking place
the previous year.) Here is Kamuran Gurun on the aftermath of the bank matter, from "The
According to Western sources, the number of Armenians killed as a result of this
incident was between 4,000 and 6,000. A document concerning this subject has not yet
been found in the Ottoman archives. However, in our opinion, the figure 6,000 is
exaggerated. In the case of the Babiali demonstration, too, the disorders continued
for a few days, but the number of dead did not exceed 172. To be able to reach the
figure 4,000-6,000, the incident had to last for weeks. Moreover, it is written in
all the sources that the Muslims fought with sticks and knives, and it is hardly
possible to kill so many people with these means. We have nowhere encountered the
number of Muslims killed. But according to the British document, 120 soldiers of the
Grand Vizier were killed, and there were approximately 25 wounded. (111) Again in the same document it is stated that about 300 Muslims were
arrested because of the incidents, and that the preventive measures taken by the
Government were satisfactory. A special court was established for this
incident, and the Muslims and the Armenians who were arrested were tried in this
(Footnote 111: F.O. 424/188, No. 190, enclosure 1. Holdwater note: Prof. Erich Feigl, from "A Myth of
Terror," added: "...it was now possible to dream up tales of
'4000-6000 Armenians killed in the rioting;. Not the least bit of evidence could be
found to support these figures in the secret report of the British Embassy (F. 0.
424/188, Nos. 149 and 169). But what difference did that make?")
More Western insight on the aftermath may be read of here, where we are informed, "The soldiers and police took no part in the killing," further distancing Abdul Hamid from involvement.
This was a period of great danger for the "Sick Man of Europe," and in
reality, Abdul Hamid was worried sick over giving the European imperialists a reason
to come in and take the spoils of his ailing empire. This is mainly why he often
allowed for Dashnak terrorists to freely walk away (or to give them light
sentences), time and again. Exactly in opposition to Anderson's uneducated claim,
that "the Ottoman government would (not) respond to something like the
pressure of European and American public opinion," the Ottoman government
was totally beholden to European diplomatic pressure, backed up by their military
threats and the fact that the "Sick Man" was nearly a European colony by
this point, what with the Capitulations and foreigners' immunity from Ottoman law.
(It is true the Ottomans would not have respected the public opinion of these
nations, since public opinion was based on biased and dishonest reportage... no
different than these days. But they certainly could not ignore the hostility
resulting from Christian bigotry. The Ottomans' trap was, the more they provided
reforms, the freer the Armenians became to practice their mischief.)
Yet Anderson is irresponsibly telling us Abdul Hamid actually ordered the violence
resulting from Armenian provocation. She's not offering proof. What can be done with
such an unprofessional, pseudo-scholar?
Note Anderson does not mention the cause of this riot: the Dashnak Armenian
terrorists. (Remember, in her world, as we have read above, the
fact of Armenian terrorists must be considered a "false charge.") No, the
reason she presents for Abdul Hamid's alleged massacre order was that he had a fit
over diplomatic pressure.
Of course, it's easy for Anderson to believe a Turk like Abdul Hamid would have
flipped out, because "Turks were (not) civilized people, for good
reason." She tries to soften her horrible assertion by adding "I’m
not saying there weren’t any civilized Turks" (possibly in the same disingenuous manner as Armenians
approving of Armenian terrorism of the 1970s-80s by making sure to add that they did
not condone terrorism), yet goes on to validate the Turks' half-human nature by
adding that they "had already behaved so horribly in the 1890s," they
would not be capable of listening to reason.
Ugly. A university would be up in arms if a professor resorted to Ku Klux Klan
literature in presenting a depiction of Jews and blacks. Yet someone such as
Anderson gets away with her blatant racism, because she is against
"genocide" and for "human rights."
She doesn't care that Armenians and Turks co-existed with relative harmony for
centuries, and that Armenians were allowed to prosper to the extent of being, to a
degree, the masters of
Ottoman society. She doesn't want to know that the sudden violence of the 1890s
happened to coincide with the creation of the Armenian terror groups. Moreover, she
doesn't give a darn about the thousands of Turks the Armenians killed during the
1890s (any more than she cares about the some 500,000 the Armenians and some
Russians killed during their times of control of eastern Anatolia, 1915-1920),
because these people don't even rate as human beings. Turks are simply not civilized
people, for good reason!
She finishes her above statement by giving credit to men like the pope and...
Morgenthau??... for harboring hopes to get these Turks to start behaving like human
beings. However, she then slips in that these naive men were mistaken in
their beliefs. In short, Turks are simply beyond hope. They are just not civilized
people, for good reason!
She has more dunderheaded things to say in the rest of the interview (such as: "A
colleague of mine who teaches Turkish history in the United States [let us not give
his name because I don’t think he could visit his family in Turkey if his name is
published] told me that he has no doubt that there was a Genocide"; in
other words — aside from the
fact that this fellow is offering a mere opinion based on propaganda and no hard
evidence; there are now plenty of opportunistic Turks having jumped on the popular
and profitable genocide bandwagon — genocide advocating Turks like Taner Akcam and Fatma Muge Gocek can
never hope to go back to Turkey, fearing for their lives as they must, because Turks
are not civilized people, for good reason), but frankly I have had enough of the
propagandistic professings of one Professor Margaret Lavinia Anderson.