Report: Armenia More Militarized than RussiaSource : http://www.eurasianet.org/node/71326
December 12, 2014 - 11:03am, by Giorgi Lomsadze
Armenia ranks third after Israel and Singapore as the world’s most militarized country relative to population and economy-size, according to a report released this week by a German-government-financed think-tank, the Bonn International Center for Conversion.
The Center’s Global Militarisation Index 2014 claims that the small Caucasus country of just under three million is the European continent’s most militarized nation. It measures militarization as the “weight of [a] military apparatus” “in relation to its society as a whole” — a standard that puts Armenia, given its small population, relatively weak economy and strong security concerns, at a potential statistical disadvantage.
Locked in a bitter land dispute with neighbor Azerbaijan over breakaway Nagorno Karabakh, Armenia spent $247 million on arms purchases in 2013. Its next-door arch-nemesis, oil-and-gas power Azerbaijan, has far outspent Armenia, forking out $3.4 billion on defense last year. But because of its larger economy (nearly eight times the size of Armenia’s) and more than threefold larger population, Azerbaijan landed in tenth place.
In terms of the volume and sophistication of its military gear, Azerbaijan may also be far in the lead, but Armenia has 17.9 soldiers and paramilitaries per 1,000 inhabitants, while Azerbaijan has 8.9, the report found.
Russia, with an economy and population that dwarf both Armenia and Azerbaijan, finished in fifth place, after Syria.
The study did not apparently take into account the effect of military alliances with other countries. Russia, which sells arms to both Armenia and Azerbaijan, has its only base in the South Caucasus in the northern Armenian town of Gyumri.
mardi 23 décembre 2014
List of political prisoners in ArmeniaSource : http://en.azvision.az/List_of_political_prisoners_-3954-xeber.html#.VJlfCP8Bx
Date 10.12.14, 14:14
The list of political prisoners who are currently persecuted, oppressed and detained for their political activity in Armenia:
1. Shant Arutunian – currently in jail, political prisoner. Head of “Tsekhakron” party; was sentenced to 6 years of imprisonment. On November 5, 2013 organized a “March of Anonyms”. The police prevented the demonstration with an incident. Around 40 activists of the demonstration were arrested. 12 criminal cases were opened against some of them.
2. Shagen Arutunian – the son of Shant Arutunian, got 4 years of suspended sentence.
3. Vahe Mkrtchian – political prisoner, the supporter of Shant Arutunyan, was sentenced to 7 years of imprisonment.
4. Ayk Kurakian - was arrested during the protest rally condemning the imprisonment of Shant Arutunian and beaten at the police department. Currently in jail, political prisoner.
5. Sevak Mnatsakian – political prisoner, was arrested on the same day with Shant Arutunyan, was sentenced to 5,5 years of imprisonment.
6. Vardan Vardanian - lieutenant-colonel in reserve, was arrested on the same day with Shant Arutunian, was sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment, the investigators threatened to send his son to Karabakh and kill him.
7. Liparit Petrosian- was arrested on the same day with Shant Arutunian, sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment.
8. Avetis Avetisian - was arrested on the same day with Shant Arutunian, sentenced to 5 years of imprisonment.
9. Ayk Arutunian - was arrested on the same day with Shant Arutunian, sentenced to 4,5 years of imprisonment.
10. Aleks Pogosian- was arrested on the same day with Shant Arutunian, sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment.
11.Mkrtıch Ovanesian- was arrested on the same day with Shant Arutunian, sentenced to 4 years of imprisonment.
12.Armen Avanesian – was arrested on the same day with Shant Arutunian, was serving at the Armenian army for 20 years, sentenced to 2 years of imprisonment.
13.Tigran Petrosian – was arrested on the same day with Shant Arutunian, sentenced to 1 year of imprisonment.
14.Edgar Arakelian- member of “Justice Union”, was arrested due to his participation at the rally; his name was added to the list of political prisoners presented to the Council of Europe.
15.Lavrenti Kirakosian- member of “Justice Union”, was arrested due to his participation at the rally; his name was added to the list of political prisoners presented to the Council of Europe.
16.Martin Kazarian- member of “Justice Union”, was arrested due to his participation at the rally; his name was added to the list of political prisoners presented to the Council of Europe.
17.Tigran Ter-Markarian- member of “Justice Union”, was arrested due to his participation at the rally; his name was added to the list of political prisoners presented to the Council of Europe.
18.Karen Markarian- member of “Justice Union”, was arrested due to his participation at the rally; his name was added to the list of political prisoners presented to the Council of Europe.
19.Anushavan Grugorian- was arrested on the same day with Shant Arutunyan, was sent to hospital as a person suffering from mental illness.
20.Amayak Ovanesian- chairman of the Union of Armenian Political Analysts, complained about the political persecutions to the European Court.
21.Zarui Postanjanian - the member of Armenian Parliament, representing IRS group, was persecuted and numerously insulted for his speech in Strasbourg condemning the government of the country.
22.Suren Zoloyan- former rector of the University of Brusov, member of IRS party, was persecuted and charged at the illegitimate trial.
23.Vartan Oskanian- former Minister of Foreign Affairs, was accused of economic crime, criminal case was opened against him, was silenced after the investigation.
24.Ave Vahetiyan- political refugee, now living in Sweden. After returning to Yerevan was arrested in 2014 for the illegal gun carrying. Was released after the interference of the Swedish government. Blogger with a strict anti-Armenian position.
25.Tigran Arakelian- former political prisoner (released after the amnesty), political activist, member of Armenian National Congress.
26.Sarkis Gevorkian- political prisoner, political activist, member of Armenian National Congress.
27.David Kiramijian- political prisoner, political activist, member of Armenian National Congress.
28.Artak Karapetian- political prisoner, political activist, member of Armenian National Congress.
29.Gevorg Safarian- political activist, his car was burned by the representatives of the government, member of the “Predparliament” opposition movement.
30.Shagen Petrosian- member of the “Predparliament” opposition movement, his car was burned.
31.Vardan Akopian- member of the “Predparliament” opposition movement, his car was burned.
32.Varuzhana Avetisian - member of the “Predparliament” opposition movement, her car was burned.
33.Susanna Melkonyan - member of the “Predparliament” opposition movement, her car was burned.
34.Karo Egnukian- member of the “Predparliament” opposition movement, prevented the attempt of burning his car.
35.Miqran Margarian- political activist, was beaten to death by an unknown group of people, no measures were taken.
36.Babken Ter-Griqorian- political activist, was beaten to death by an unknown group of people, no measures were taken.
37.Arman Aleksanian - political activist, was beaten to death by an unknown group of people, no measures were taken.
38.Karen Arutunian- political activist, was beaten to death by an unknown group of people, no measures were taken.
39.Aykak Arshamian- political activist, was beaten to death by an unknown group of people, no measures were taken.
40.Suren Sagatelian- political activist, was beaten to death by an unknown group of people, no measures were taken.
41.Karen Arutunian- political activist, was one of 7 people, whose car was burned by the representatives of the government, member of the “Predparliament” opposition movement.
42.Vilen Gabrielian- political activist, facebook blogger, is being persecuted by the poilce, officially refused to testify to the police.
43.Nelson Voskanian- former mayor of Gorus of anti-government opinion, had a criminal case opened against him.
44.Artishti Kivirian- the coordinator of “Armenia Today”, has a criminal case opened against him.
45.Marina Khachatrian- the correspondent of “A1+” TV channel, was beaten by the head of security service of the Parliament, her camera was broken, but no criminal case was opened, the journalist’s complaint was counted as groundless.
46.Avet Barsegian- TV journalist, was fired for using the expression “political prisoners were released” during his programme.
47.Nikol Pashinian – political prisoner, the founder of “Haykakan Zhamanak” newspaper, was consecutively persecuted, oppressed and detained by the government.
48.Samson Kazarian- one of the former leaders of “Karabakh Committee”, criminal case based on an economic sabotage was opened against him, political prisoner.
49.Paruir Ayrikian- Sargsyan’s rival at the last presidential election; there was an attempt on his life, he was constantly persecuted by the government. He is the supporter of solving the Nagorno-Karabakh problem in accordance with the demands of Azerbaijan.
50.Vardan Sedrakian – former candidate for presidency in Armenia, according to the decision of the court was sentenced to two months of imprisonment.
51.Ani Gevorkian – correspondent at “Chorrord ishkhanutyun” newspaper, the policemen impeded in his activity, and he was brought to the police department by force.
52.Sarkis Gevorkian- cameraman at «iLur.am» news website, the policemen impeded in his activity, and he was brought to the police department by force.
53.Sarigs Atspanian- was accused of spreading secret information, stayed in prison until the last day as a political prison, refused from the amnesty.
54.Murad Bodzholian – specialist of Turkic studies, was accused for the cooperation with Turkish XXO, arrested in 2002.
55.Volodya Avetisian- Karabakh war veteran, political prisoner.
56.Vano Siragedian- former Minister of Internal Affairs (1992-1996); criminal case was opened against him, currently wanted by the police.
57.Sarqis Atspanian- political prisoner, several times was detained for a short period.
58.Sasun Mikaelian- was arrested after the events of 2008, political prisoner, currently at large, allegedly persecuted by the government.
59.Felix Gevorkian - was arrested after the events of 2008, political prisoner, currently at large, allegedly persecuted by the government.
60.Nairi Unanian- the participant of the terrorist incident in the Armenian Parliament in 1999.
61.Karen Unanian- Nairi’s brother, the participant of the terrorist incident.
62.Eduard Gruirorian – the participant of the terrorist incident in the Armenian Parliament in 1999.
63.Vram Galsttian- the participant of the terrorist incident in the Armenian Parliament in 1999.
64.Derenik Bejanian - the participant of the terrorist incident in the Armenian Parliament in 1999.
65.Vardges Gaspari- was detained 12 times for administrative, 1 crime and 2 civil cases; the cut of his disability pension, bringing of his young son to the police department did not stop his political and online activity against the government. He is the administrator of “Shnt” and “Liberty” facebook pages and does not think about looking for political asylum abroad.
“A 1 plus” TV channel, “Chorrard ishkhanutyun” (Fourth estate) newspaper were closed, the broadcast of “Radio Liberty” was stopped
Voir également : Shant Haroutiounian et ses amis sont à considérer comme des prisonniers politiques
Un activiste condamné à 6 ans de prison en Arménie (pour avoir organisé une manifestation) : pas de commentaire du ministre de la Justice
Arménie : des activistes risquent d'être condamnés à plusieurs années de prison
Etienne Mahcupyan: Armenians’ Pressure on Ankara Not to Work
2014 December 13 ( Saturday ) 14:19:21
Etienne Mahcupyan, Advisor to the Prime Minister of Turkey Ahmet Davutoglu called the conditions for opening the country's borders with Armenia.Source : http://contact.az/docs/2014/Politics/121300099812en.htm#.VJleOf8Bw
"The borders between Turkey and Armenia can be opened only in the case of batch settlement of Armenian-Turkish and Armenian-Azerbaijani relations," RIA-Novosti quoted Mahcupyan.
"April 24, 2015 is a very symbolic date, and its approach exacerbates radicalism on this issue in the Armenian environment. They approach it with the uncompromising position," said the adviser, who himself is an ethnic Armenian.
Mahcupyan does not believe that Turkey will take some kind of action, which would satisfy the requirements of the Armenian side. "With such an approach by the Armenian side, any concessions on the part of Turkey on the genocide matter and opening the borders is impossible," said Mahcupyan. According to him, any steps on the part of Turkey, if taken, will be only a year later, "because then the passions will subside."
He recalled that this year for the first time in the history of the country Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan addressed this issue and expressed his condolences and called the events a century ago common pain between the two nations. "It's a certain level, below which the Turkish side will not fall in any case."
Between Turkey and Armenia there are currently no diplomatic relations and the 330-km border between the two countries was closed in 1993. It was after the occupation of significant parts of Azerbaijan by the Armenian forces during the Karabakh war. -02D-
Voir également : Turquie : le journaliste arménien Etyen Mahçupyan est nommé conseiller du Premier ministre Ahmet Davutoğlu
ANTI-SEMITISM AND ETHNIC CLEANSING
(Extensions of Remarks - December 12, 2014)
[Extensions of Remarks]
ANTI-SEMITISM AND ETHNIC CLEANSING
HON. STEVE STOCKMAN
in the house of representatives
Friday, December 12, 2014
Mr. STOCKMAN. Mr. Speaker, I would like to discuss today an issueSource : https://www.congress.gov/congressional-record/2014/12/12/extensions-of-remarks-section/article/e1843-2/
that continues to haunt ethnic and religious minorities throughout our
world and in particular, a rise in anti-Semitism and ethnic cleansing
in Armenia. Mr. Speaker, in other words, Armenia, throughout its
history continues to practice anti-Semitism and ethnic cleansing of the
Azerbaijani minority. Mr. Speaker, I would like to submit an article
written by Arye Gut, a board member of the Israeli-Azerbaijani
International Organization entitled ``Anti-Semitism in Armenia: A Clear
and Present Danger''. Mr. Gut clearly articulates the issues of anti-
Semitism and ethnic cleansing in Armenia.
Anti-Semitism in Armenia: A Clear and Present Danger
(By Arye Gut/JNS.org)
The conflict in Syria has forced millions to leave their
homes, among them many of the country's Armenian minority.
Many have fled and returned to Armenia, a safe haven for
ethnic Armenians--much as Israel is for Jews around the
world. So it is ironic, given this shared need for a homeland
free of religious intolerance, that Armenia's own Jewish
community has been pressured and intimidated since the
country attained independence.
Anti-Semitism in Armenia is an unfortunate and little-
acknowledged fact. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the
country's Jewish minority and Jewish heritage--the products
of a more tolerant time--have shrunk dramatically. The end of
Soviet rule removed constraint, and anti-Semitic attacks rose
dramatically. That, and Armenia's ongoing economic collapse,
drive the Jews of Armenia to flee the country. In just 20
years, Armenian Jewish population has shrunk from more than
5,000 to just a few hundred.
And the cultural violence has continued. Anti-Semitic books
are published and TV programs aired, and the Holocaust
memorial in the capital of Yerevan has been repeatedly
defaced. Of course, many countries have suffered such
unfortunate incidents, the product of an ignorant populace.
But in Armenia such views have been espoused even by
mainstream politicians and media personalities. In 2004, a
pro-government radio presenter expressed anti-Semitic views
for months on end. A nationalist politician was also allowed
to freely make lurid slurs against Jews before public
pressure forced the government to arrest him.
The dwindling Jewish community in Armenia has complained
about these attacks--the head of the Jewish community
expressed her concern that ``this [anti-Semitism] has the
backing of people in power.'' But appeals have fallen on deaf
ears, which is hardly a surprise when such attitudes are
shared by much of Armenian society. The Anti-Defamation
League's latest survey in June 2014 showed that the rate of
anti-Semitism in Armenia (at 58 percent) was the third-
highest in all of Europe, and the highest in all of the
former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Thus, around 1.3
million out of 2.2 million adults in Armenia expressed anti-
Semitic attitudes. Armenia's closest comparisons were with
virulently hostile countries in the Middle East.
Sixty-three percent of Armenians surveyed believe that Jews
are hated ``because of the way Jews behave;'' 60 percent
claimed that ``Jews don't care what happens to anyone but
their own kind;'' 45 percent think that ``Jews still talk too
much about what happened to them in the Holocaust;'' and 38
percent consider that ``Jews are responsible for most of the
Also disturbing, and of concern to Jews around the world,
is that in 1988 some 49,928 families (250,000 Azerbaijanis)
were forced to flee their places of origin in 172 Azerbaijani
inhabited villages, 89 villages with mixed ethnic population,
and six cities from Armenia. During the deportation, 226
Azerbaijanis were killed by Armenians and scores horrifically
injured. Their houses and properties were burned as well.
The Khojaly massacre, committed by current Armenian
leadership with incredible brutality, was one of the worst
tragedies of the 20th century. It is a historical fact that
the Armenian armed forces and gunmen spared none of the
Khojaly residents, who had not managed to leave the city and
its surroundings. As a result of the atrocities of the
Armenian armed forces, 613 people were killed, 487 people
were crippled, and 1,275 people--the elderly, children, and
women who were captured--were subjected to unprecedented
torture, abuse, and humiliation.
In addition, Armenia, the aggressor, illegally occupied 20
percent of Azerbaijan, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven
adjacent districts. This caused a refugee crisis numbering
nearly 1 million innocent Azerbaijanis, as they attempted to
ethnically cleanse the region. Today, this remains a threat
to peace and security in the South Caucasus region.
Encouraged by intense Armenian lobbying efforts in the U.S.
and other key nations, as well as by strong and ongoing
Russian military, economic, and political aid, Armenia has
ignored four United Nations Security Council resolutions
associated with the occupation of Azerbaijani lands and
treatment of civilians.
Perhaps this is not so surprising considering that one of
Armenia's closest allies is theocratic Iran, which has always
opposed Israel's right to existence. This strange
relationship has been very beneficial for Iran, which has
used Armenia as a conduit for smuggling and other illicit
activities, often with serious consequences for U.S. national
The last point also has unnerving overtones for Armenia's
Jewish community, which has never forgotten the participation
of the brutal 20,000-strong Armenian Legion as part of
Wehrmacht in the Second World War. The Legion, led by the
nationalist warlord known as General Dro, was tasked with
rounding up Jews and other ``undesirables'' behind the German
army as it swept across Russia, and organized their death
marches to the concentration camps.
In such an environment, it is hardly surprising that most
of Armenia's Jewish population has either fled or
avoid attracting attention. Regrettably, the government of
Armenia does almost nothing to curb the growing anti-Semitism
in the country. Until Armenia realizes that narrow-minded
nationalism and blaming the country's economic and political
problems on outsiders will never solve anything, the Jews of
Armenia will continue to suffer.
Voir également : L'antisémitisme en Arménie : un phénomène bien réel et persistant
L'antisémitisme arménien : quelques pistes à explorer
L'Arménie, un pays accusé (non sans raison) d'antisémitisme
Le lobby arménien est puissant aux Etats-Unis, en dépit de son soutien à l'Iran, et de son opposition à Israël et à l'Azerbaïdjan
Arménie : énième acte de vandalisme contre un mémorial de la Shoah
Wikileaks révèle la prégnance du complotisme antisémite et antimaçonnique sur la scène politique arménienne en 2008 et plus particulièrement dans les médias pro-gouvernementaux
Guaréguine Njdeh : criminel de guerre, raciste, fasciste, collaborationniste, donc "logiquement" un "héros" et une "référence" pour la société arménienne
L'épuration générale des minorités ethniques en Arménie
L'expulsion méthodique des derniers Azéris d'Arménie
Histoire des Arméniens dans le Caucase : le déchaînement de la violence nationaliste arménienne à l'occasion de la décomposition soviétique
Arménie : libération sur parole du fils d'un diplomate, impliqué dans un trafic de drogue à la frontière iranienne
Yuri Vardanyan's son releasedSource : http://news.am/eng/news/244700.html
12:49, 18.12.2014 Region: Armenia Theme: Society, Incidents
YEREVAN. – The son of Armenia’s Ambassador to Georgia Yuri Vardanyan has been set free, a source told Armenian News-NEWS.am.
According to a source, the young man was discharged on parole.
Former Minister Yuri Vardanyan’s eldest son, Davit Vardanyan, 29, was arrested on the Iran-Armenia border. Davit Vardanyan was detained while attempting to smuggle drugs on the border.
The son of Armenia's Ambassador to Georgia has been sentenced to four years and six months in jail on the charges of drug smuggling.
Armenia News - NEWS.am
Voir également : La police arménienne a "perdu" 78 kg d'héroïne
Le beau-fils d'un député arménien serait suspecté d'être l'auteur d'une fusillade ayant fait cinq blessés
in EnglishSource : http://www.azatutyun.am/content/article/26739192.html
Another Oppositionist Attacked In Yerevan
Հրապարակված է՝ 12.12.2014
An Armenian opposition lawmaker was beaten up late on Thursday, the latest in a series of violent attacks on prominent participants of recent anti-government demonstrations staged by three major opposition parties.
Aram Manukian, a veteran politician affiliated with the Armenian National Congress (HAK), was assaulted outside his apartment block in Yerevan. Manukian, who had a black eye and other visible facial injuries, described the attacker as a middle-aged who said nothing while throwing punches.
Manukian required medical examination and aid. He was also questioned by police later in the evening. Nobody was arrested in the following hours.
Other senior members of the HAK were quick to arrive at the scene of the incident. They accused the Armenian authorities of ordering the violence.
Levon Zurabian, the HAK’s deputy chairman, linked it with similar beatings that were endured by three other opposition activists earlier this week. They are well-known veterans of the Nagorno-Karabakh war actively participating in a campaign of anti-government rallies organized by the HAK, the Prosperous Armenia Party (BHK) and the Zharangutyun party.
“The regime’s jackals are attacking opposition representatives,” Zurabian told reporters. “In their primitive view, they can thereby break up our popular movement.”
According to Zurabian, Manukian’s beating was filmed by a surveillance camera placed at the entrance to the apartment building. He said police investigators can therefore easily identify and prosecute the attacker. “If they don’t do that, it will be further proof that Serzh Sarkisian and his regime were behind this crime,” added Zurabian.
Manukian was one of the speakers at nationwide rallies held by the opposition trio this fall. In one of his speeches, he made derogatory comments about Sarkisian which angered senior members of the ruling Republican Party of Armenia.
Meanwhile, Armenia’s human rights ombudsman, Karen Andreasian, on Friday expressed serious concern at and strongly condemned the beatings of the four oppositionists as well as earlier arson attacks on cars belonging to several members of another opposition group. Andreasian urged law-enforcement authorities to punish the perpetrators “as soon as possible.”
Nobody has been arrested or charged in connection with those incidents so far.
Voir également : Erevan : agressions de journalistes par la police arménienne
jeudi 11 décembre 2014
"Génocide" arménien : le discours du chercheur israélien Tal Buenos au Parlement de la Nouvelle-Galles du Sud (Australie)
The address delivered by Mr Tal Buenos at NSW ParliamentSource : http://www.ata-a.org.au/tal_buenos_speech/
Written by ATA-A on December 4, 2014. Posted in Blog Posts
You can download a PDF copy of this address here.
The Address Delivered by Mr Tal Buenos*
at the luncheon hosted by NSW Parliamentary Friends of Turkey
New South Wales Parliament, 24 November 2014
I would like to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, who are the traditional custodians of this land on which we are gathered. I would also like to pay my respect to the elders past and present of the Eora nation and extend that respect to other Aboriginal people present.
I would also like to acknowledge, the presence of the Members of Parliament here with us, and other distinguished guests.
I would also like to thank the New South Wales Parliament and the Parliamentary Friends of Turkey for inviting me to speak in this parliament.
This is my first time here in Australia. Upon arrival yesterday, I heard some stories about sharks. Considering the media here, I imagined how interesting it would be for a headline to read “Genocide denier attacks shark,” and in the story the “genocide denier” would be quoted as saying “what shark?”
Was It a Genocide?
Well, was it a genocide? Why is this even asked? Why do people want to characterize an event without having to study what happened… a century ago? And – how about this for a preliminary question – what is genocide?
Genocide is a characterization of an event. Genocide is not the event itself. It is an epithet, not a name of an event. It is a legal characterization given to an event if the event falls within the meaning of the term as defined in the Convention adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on December 9, 1948.
According to Article 2, genocide means an act committed with “intent to destroy,” and the group that is being destroyed is either national, ethnical, racial or religious, and is destroyed as such. That’s what it says. Notice the “as such.” Notice that “political” is not mentioned as a group identifier. The victims of a response to a rebellion are not victims of genocide, no matter what. If you do not want your wife, your husband, your child or your next door neighbour to be burdened by your own act of rebelliousness, then the time to think of it is before committing an act of rebelliousness against the state. The intent on the part of the state in cases of a reaction to rebellion is to maintain sovereignty, not to destroy a group of people. Remove the political condition of rebellion, and you shall also remove whatever state aggression happens as a result. No rebellion, no deportations, no massacres. The rebelling group, though it may have a national, ethnical, racial, or religious identity, is a political group once its purpose is to replace the sovereign, once its intent is to destroy the state in its current existence. In the Armenian case in World War One, the Armenian leadership was leading a rebellion under the intention – shared by its sponsors, the Entente – to destroy the Ottoman state. The Ottoman state, was not trying to destroy the Armenian people – and it is a fact that many Armenians in Anatolia were left unharmed – rather, the Ottoman state was trying to save itself, and to survive as a sovereign.
Considering the weight of the legal characterization that is genocide, a responsible person would not use genocide as a name, unless it was legally determined to be genocide, and Article 6 of the Convention states that persons charged with genocide “shall be tried by a competent tribunal of the State in the territory of which the act was committed, or by such international penal tribunal as may have jurisdiction with respect to those Contracting Parties which shall have accepted its jurisdiction.” These are exact words, and they mean that only suitable courts may charge a person with genocide. Neither of the types of tribunals stated in the article have ever declared that what happened to the Armenians in 1915-16 was genocide, that’s one point. Another point is that persons are to be charged with genocide, not a nation. The third point is that if you look at the wording you see that there was a clear forward-view to the term genocide. Meaning, it was designed to prevent future – future – genocides, and that’s the “shall” part. “Shall” has a clear tense-distinction. Future. That was the idea that was put to paper. Genocide was something to be prevented from happening in the future. It was not designed to become a source for a disingenuous discourse that consists of false accusations about the past.
Whose Fan Are YOU?
Now that we have a decent grasp of what genocide is by definition, let us consider the difficulty of characterizing an event in general. It could be any event. There is a difference between facts that make an event and the characterization of the event. We might be looking at the same thing and characterize it differently. It happens in sports regularly. In soccer. I am from Israel, and in Israel to this day, the thought of Australia brings to mind one name: Charlie Yankos. People know him here? Charlie Yankos? Well that name still keeps many Israelis up at night. You’d think there’d be other names to keep Israelis up at night, but no. It’s Charlie Yankos. Israel and Australia used to tangle in the 1980s in the World Cup qualifiers. So, in soccer – it’s a game, it’s a sport, right – say there is a semblance of contact in the penalty box, a possibility of a foul, i.e., an event: do you think both sets of fans are going to characterize the event in the same way? No! They’ll see the same thing, but characterize it differently.
But that is what historiography does, it characterizes events according to the needs of collective memory, to strengthen group solidarity. The characterization of the event informs us on whose fan you are, than it does on what happened. So whose fan are YOU? Are you a fan in this political game in which only Armenians and Turks are on the field? Who runs this game? Do you want to be the referee? As the referee you’d have the players of both teams begging that you characterize events in a certain way. You don’t see players asking the referee “hey, why are we even playing this game?” They are so caught up in the game. Being the referee in that particular situation is a position of power, as the players of the two teams hold their breaths, waiting for the referee to decide how to characterize what happened. Referees would like to freeze this moment of getting attention, before actually making a decision that will disappoint one of the two sides. Such is the issue between the Armenians and the Turks. For some reason – which is not that big of a mystery if you come to think of it – the referee, or referees are suspending the decision. It might be clear that there was contact but no foul, but the important aspect of this event and its characterization has become this frozen moment in which Turks are shown as having to plead with the referee that there was no foul. It is a humiliating position to be in, if you are the Turks. It is frustrating for the Armenians, who for a long time think that they are about to get a penalty-kick. They’re not going to get it. And let me tell you something important: there are no real referees in the international political system. But a great power, or an aspiring power, would like to be thought of as a referee. Referees are the most powerful when there is a situation in the penalty box. Imagine a referee that was able to delay the decision, and just bask in the moment. Isn’t that a referee’s fantasy, the best of both worlds: to have both teams beg for a favorable decision, and yet not have to make a decision on the characterization of the event. In the game between Armenia and Turkey there are no real referees, there are people who pretend to be referees, but they are actually extensions of whoever is running the game – and they want to freeze this moment, to keep this question of foul contact in the penalty box as long as possible – the most dramatic state of the game on pause – so that the Turkish team will constantly appear as running to the referee in “denial” of having committed a foul. This image of denying that something happened is the whole point, and it has a life of its own, regardless of whether there was a foul in the penalty box. The Turks are constantly shown as saying “no” to something, like the players who run at the referee to say, “no, no penalty.” A century after the contact in the box. The Turks are constantly shown as if they are denying that something happened.
Denying a Fact or Refuting a Characterization?
Let’s talk about real denial. Holocaust denial – denial – is something completely different. To say, for instance, that there were no gas chambers in Auschwitz is to deny a fact. To say that Jews were not executed by gas chambers, is to say that an event did not happen. In our soccer analogy, to say that the players weren’t even in the box would be a denial of fact, while to say that the contact in the box does not qualify as a foul is to refute a characterization of an event. One denies facts. If something is not a fact, then it is not denied, it’s refuted or rejected. People might call you a denier to make it seem as if they have ownership of facts. It is a tactic. It is my understanding that the Turkish government recognizes the contact in the penalty box; it recognizes every aspect of the Armenian suffering in 1915-16, but it rejects the biased characterization of the event. The fact that those who accuse Turkey of genocide and denial are ignoring Turkey’s clear position, and ignore the distinction made between fact and its characterization, should serve as a strong indication that there is a political commitment at play to press this issue against the Turks regardless of facts. A genuine study is that of facts. To study the actual contact first, before deciding how to characterize the events.
Those who study the facts full-time, are the very opposite of deniers of facts. Justin McCarthy was here in Australia and he was accused of terrible things. This Dr. McCarthy, whom I have had the pleasure to meet once at a conference in Sarajevo, is not a denier of facts. He is dedicated, as a scholar, to knowing more about what happened. This impressive man, a walking encyclopedia of a man, has spent a lifetime of studying the facts of the events and surrounding the events. I sit and study facts all day. This is what I do. I am not a big-time barrister in London, I am not even a recording artist. This is not a gig for me. I am committed to studying facts. I am finding them. Give me time, and these facts will become known. Give me a platform, and these facts will become known. Would you publish my work here? Do you want to know what happened, or have you already decided to take part in running this political game?
The Letter by FM Julie Bishop
Even a well-articulated letter such as that drafted by the Honourable Julie Bishop in June – stating that the tragic events are not characterized by the Australian government as genocide – even such a letter only extends the game if it is accompanied by efforts of other branches of the Australian government to utilize the media and education to indirectly promote the belief that the event should be characterized as genocide. It is clear to me that by making the public believe that it was genocide, great pressure is placed on the Turkish government, and then the Western governments reap the benefits of this pressure, and letters such as the one by the Australian Minister of Foreign Affairs are considered a favor to Turkey, to which a price is attached. It is like a coupon that Turkey is expected to accept. However, the jig is up on this type of double play.
Why is it so easy for scholars who are not Ottomanists to publish work that is readily accessible to a wide audience in the US, in the UK, and here in Australia? Why is it so easy to publish a book in which truly skilled scholars such as Dr. McCarthy are disrespected? Why is it so easy to call Turks genocidal? To accuse an entire nation of something so abominable without the expertise, without the knowledge of Ottoman history and language?
Samantha Power, now representing the United States as its ambassador to New York, she did this. There was power behind this book of hers. Infrastructure. Typically, books that are filled with inaccuracies – the work of shoddy research – are not expected to win prizes. This book won the Pulitzer Prize. No joke. It presented “Turks” as perpetrators of a terrible crime in a matter-of-fact way, used imprecise descriptions, citing fiction as fact, advocating a distinctly anti-Turkish view of history.
Samantha Power is a political actor. Look at what she said about Russia in the book and what she has to say about Russia now. Her opinion changes according to the political needs of the United States government. Period. So yeah, she did it, she freely tarnished the image of an entire nation without being able to cite Ottoman sources, by simply and unabashedly relying on English writings of Anglo-American political actors. Also, Michael Ignatieff, a famous friend of hers, almost the Canadian prime-minister, did it. Michael Oren, another famous friend of hers, the former American-turned-Israeli ambassador to the United States, he did it. These people are not Ottomanists, and, judging by who they cite, they did not spend any time studying first hand facts on Ottoman history and language. They are famous Harvard scholars and political actors, who have access to readers, and influence public opinion. They do not seem to want to access facts. They have access to readers, to the public. Power. And they use this power to make terrible accusations against Turks in general, that they are genocidal and deniers. Have these scholars no shame? Do we know why people who do not know what happened – and do not want to know what happened – are pretending to know what happened and are clearly popularizing a phrase that combines “Armenian” with “genocide” as if a name? It makes you want to ask “What’s going on?”
Here’s what’s going on. The accusation of genocide serves political purpose. Three main purposes, one that is great-power specific, one that is Turkish-specific, and one that is Armenian-specific.
The first one, it allows great powers, usually the United States, to replace disfavored regimes in an indirect manner. Instead of just using sheer force to dominate a region, which also happens, it is more advantageous for a great power to do so by setting up a revolt that would lead to a reaction by the sovereign, that would lead to international acceptance of an intervention led by the very same great power that concocted this mess. This way, the sovereign gets the blame for killing its own people, and the great power, typically America, typically if you have oil or other important resources, gets to show up and save the day, as Samantha Power would have it do. Interestingly, the definition of genocide as it was drawn up does not consider political groups to be victims of genocide. Meaning, if a great power wants to stage a genocide in order to topple a regime, then it will have to make it seem as if the group of people is persecuted for religious or ethnic reasons. Other times, the great power just doesn’t care. This happens when the popular perception is all that the great power cares to affect, without having to admit that it is misusing the term in the legal sense. For instance, in oil-filled Libya, those were clearly political rebels who were facing annihilation by [Muammar] Gaddafi, and yet that did not stop President Barack Obama from using the phrase genocide in justifying the planned intervention. By the way, at the time, Power was a member of Obama’s National Security Council. Another point of interest regarding how great powers use the genocide concept is that the Genocide Convention gives no heed to the fact that many massacres are the result of the intent to instigate by a third party to the conflict. It has been common to point a finger at third parties who did not stop massacres, suggesting that they were complicit. However, there is not much discussion in academia on how the Genocide Convention sets free third-party instigators for whom it serves a political interest to encourage a rebellion, even when the terrible consequences are anticipated. In this instance, the great power mobilizes a group within a state to rebel and attempt to replace the sovereign; then, either the rebellion succeeds and the great power achieves a moment of success in its foreign policy, or the rebellion fails and then the sovereign state that quelled the rebellion is blamed for the atrocities of war. This is not genocide, this is sophisticated imperialism.
The second purpose, the Turkish-specific aspect of the accusation is that it provides the United States and the West with a political tool, a “stick” to raise against Turkey, to press it to make policy decisions according to their wishes, to deny Turkey its place in the European Union, to weaken its image and influence. The lack of a perfect cultural affinity between the US and Turkey has meant that there is no such brotherhood as that which exists among the English speaking countries. Applying for a visa to come here, it was interesting to learn that the information collected as part of my application is to be shared with government agencies in the US, the UK and Canada, the English-speaking gang. Turkey was not one of them. There is no complete trust in Turkey. Turkey’s different. However, if you are the United States, you are thinking that there has to be a way to make sure Turkey always picks up the phone when America calls. Sure, there have been carrots in this relationship. Turkey has done very well since the 1950s thanks to cooperation with the United States. But it’s doing much better now, some might say that things have been going too well for Turkey. Its government has reached a level of stability to the point where measures have finally been taken to reduce the influence of outside entities in Turkey. This is a problem for those who thrive on having outside influence around the world. It means that the Turkish government is vilified on Western TV whenever it has to take bold steps to maintain its democracy through fighting outside interference. It is not necessarily that there are better and lesser democracies, but rather sometimes some democracies face more challenges than others. As Turkey is strong enough to face new challenges it has not faced before, this also means that from the West’s perspective there is a need for means to influence Turkey’s decisions. Hence, the Armenian issue.
Three, the Armenian-specific purpose of the genocide accusation is that it distracts from a real ongoing grievance, and that is the Armenian occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh. As long as the headlines on the Armenians in the West show them as victims, there is not enough oxygen in the public’s brain to think of them as aggressive occupiers. The Armenian-Azeri conflict is an explosive conflict that has ignited the popularization of the genocide accusation as a proxy-polemic, almost like a replacement-conflict. As long as Nagorno-Karabakh is occupied, Armenian memory will be politicized, and the Armenian people will continue to suffer from this ill-advised politicization of Armenian memory. Instead of better understanding their own past, instead of enjoying greater international relations in their present, the Armenians are locked out of acting toward a more prosperous future for Armenia. It is a simple formula: settle the issue of Nagorno-Karabakh, and the proxy-polemic would fade away, the misuse of genocide will stop. Granted, the genocide accusation began before the occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh, but the two other purposes have already began to lose their momentum.
Studying “The Study of Genocide”
There is so much material to be studied – on the British political actors in the late nineteenth century, on the Anglo-American imperialist cooperation leading up to the twentieth century, and on the emergence of genocide as a field of study in the last two-three decades – that over time this information will be revealed and undoubtedly expose the political designs of this genocide accusation against Turkey. There is so much interesting material that there ought to be an association of scholars that are studying the study of genocide, studying the people behind the organization of genocide study: how did this field of genocide study, this genocide study, come into being and why. Study all of these people who made ungrounded accusations against Turkey, name by name, one by one. It is an utter disgrace to accuse an entire people of genocide without caring to study the facts. Why has it been so easy to issue such accusations against the Turkish people? What aspects of prejudice are related to this? Racism? Islamophobia? Racism and Islamophobia not necessarily as the reasons why this accusation is made – the reasons for that are political, as I stated – but racism and Islamophobia may explain why it is so easy in the West to make the accusation and have it be so effective in convincing the public of Turkish wrong-doing.
“Credible Independent Experts”
To me, it is an academic priority to understand what such people have done in the name of academia. How political interest has disguised itself as academia. It is already a fact that Cass Sunstein, who happens to be Samantha Power’s husband, and a friend of the US president, pushed for the US government to use scholars for its own interests. On the same year of being appointed the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs – a lofty US government position of information control – he co-authored an article in support of government involvement in academic affairs if it helps the government: “The government can partially circumvent these problems [referring to accusations of conspiracy against the US government] if it enlists credible independent experts… There is a tradeoff between credibility and control, however. The price of credibility is that the government cannot be seen to control the independent experts.” This is in the Journal of Political Philosophy, volume 17, issue number 2, 2009, page 223.
This begs an immediate question that should be asked more and more: How much of this genocide accusation is done by the US government? How much of this academic discussion is really a manifestation of political power? It is important to remember that the term genocide became international law because of power, not morality. Morality is owned by power. The US itself was the driving force behind the convention but it did not sign the ratification of the Genocide Convention until the 1980s. Why? Because it feared that there would be accusations made against what happened to the Native Americans and the African slaves. The American enterprise that is known as the International Association of Genocide Scholars took care of that problem. Out of 20 issues of Genocide Studies International by the IAGS, upon its thousands of pages, only 9 pages of one pathetic article discuss the Native Americans. The verdict, surprise surprise, is that it was not a genocide per se. And that was that. When you have power, you control the conversation, and then you control the content, you control the language, you control what people think, and then you can talk about freedom. Freedom is not a problem for the government that has enough power to control thought. Do you know who thought the Native Americans suffered a genocide plain and simple? Raphael Lemkin.
Let’s talk a bit about Raphael Lemkin. When the term genocide first became published in a 1944 book, Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, under Lemkin’s name, he was employed by the United States government.
The book has the marking of having more than one author, and it is questionable, in my view, that Lemkin even wrote it, considering the quality of the English and the fact that he had only made it to the US in 1941 for the first time. There was no American TV to influence foreigners’ English at the time. There was no Bonanza or MacGyver on Eastern European TV in the 1930s. He could not have written that book on his own, and yet he does not credit anyone for either translating it or editing it, not even proofreading it. It’s odd. It is even odder considering that in the late 1950s when he was no longer employed by the US government, his autobiography was dismissed by publishers in the US partly because of his poor grammar. This was a problem 15 plus years after he immigrated, but it was not a problem just two-three years after he immigrated to the US? That is really odd. The only way for this to make sense is if he didn’t really write the 1944 book, and, guess what, he was working for the US government at the time, when a whole bunch of ivy-league graduates could do it for him.
Regardless of who actually wrote the book, it coins genocide without regard to the Armenians. It does not mention Armenians, not even once. And yet, Yair Auron, an Israeli scholar who is affiliated with the Zoryan Institute – that’s an institute that promotes Armenian affairs in academia – is quoted all over the internet as saying “When Raphael Lemkin coined the word genocide in 1944 he cited the annihilation of Armenians as a seminal example of genocide.” That is not even a half-truth, but an entirely false statement. Why is this scholar saying such a thing if it is not true? Auron only began to write profusely about the Armenian issue in the 1990s, 15 years after completing a doctoral dissertation on a completely different topic, on Jewish youths in France… he might as well be a barrister. And he still goes on TV shows in Israel, writes for Haaretz from time to time, unopposed, without anybody questioning the veracity of his statements. Notice that I am not calling him names, like is done by such people who call Dr. McCarthy a denier; notice that I am not degrading Auron just because he doesn’t agree with my opinion. I am pointing out an actual statement made by him that is completely false.
This Dr. Auron has been active in facilitating the teaching of the Armenian case as genocide in Israel, holding a position of influence in the main college in Israel that educates the teachers of tomorrow. There are organizations that frame people’s understanding of history in anti-Turkish ways. An “international educational” organization such as Facing History and Ourselves is said to reach over 1.5 million school kids, through close to 20,000 educators in the US and Switzerland. No wonder, then, that in Switzerland they believe these stories about World War One and Lemkin. A false narrative has made it seem as if Lemkin was inspired by the Armenian suffering to coin genocide. Is it any wonder, then, that when the honourable judges of the European Court of Human Rights corrected the wrong done by the Swiss government and courts that convicted a Turk, Doğu Perinçek, for sticking to his understanding of what happened, even these honourable judges who made this correction, still said, and this is a quote “We know that when Raphael Lemkin (Axis Rule in Occupied Europe, 1944) coined the term genocide, he had in mind the 1915 massacres and deportations” (that’s on page 53 of the English version of their decision)? No, we do not know that. In fact, Lemkin did not express any thought on the Armenians at that time. This falsehood is easily acceptable for reasons that must be examined.
The truth is that while he was employed by the US government, the Armenian issue did not seem to be on Lemkin’s mind. Why would it be? It was not a US political agenda at the time. After Lemkin was dropped by the government, he wanted to promote the term in every way he could, and promote himself in the process, and he became involved with the activities of American Christian organizations, who already had a long history of involvement in the tensions between Armenians and Muslims. Under their influence he said in an interview to CBS in 1949 – one of these organizations may have arranged for that interview, by the way – that he became interested in genocide because of what happened to the Armenians. However, at a different time, while campaigning for genocide ratification in Italy, and being asked “When did you first become interested in Genocide?” his answer was Armenian-free, made to fit to his audience in Italy. Time and place, audience and purpose, determined his answers. His written autobiography was just as flexible. And yet it is his autobiography, the one that could not get published while he was alive, that Samantha Power cites in her book like it was a mathematical truth.
At the twilight of his life, while his push for greater discussion on genocide and for Noble Peace Prize nominations was ongoing, Lemkin referred to a total of 62 cases in history – in Antiquity, the Middle-Ages, and Modernity – as genocide. Among them the genocide of Native Americans, he called it the “Genocide against the American Indians,” the genocide by the Greeks against the Turks, the genocide in Belgian Congo. Of the 41 cases in modern times, number 39 states “Armenians.” Number 41 was added in handwriting and says “Natives of Australia.” This does not mean that they were all genocides. These were all researched hurriedly and superficially to gather as many cases for the promotion of the term’s popularity. Not only was the historical research insufficient, over time Lemkin distanced his definition from that of the Genocide Convention and began to follow a home-made definition of genocide. But, what’s interesting is that out of all of these, for some reason – and what is that reason? – the Armenian case, or should I say the anti-Turkish case, is the one that is kept alive, and made into an ongoing and going and going – without being gone – issue. Certainly not forgotten, but falsely advertised as such.
James Bryce at the Center of the Falsehoods
This accusation of genocide may still be turned around from falsehoods to greater truths that have yet to be brought out. But first we must expose the falsehoods for what they are. What are the genocide claims based on? Wartime articles in the New York Times? Missionary accounts? Armenian memories written down in Massachusetts? The report by Ambassador Henry Morgenthau whose embassy functioned as a hub for Entente agenda during the war’s first couple of years? The British government-based, government-issued, Blue Book?
Go to the University of Oxford’s Bodleian Library, Special Collections, seek the help of a nice gentleman by the name of Colin Harris, and you will find there the catalogue of papers of one James Bryce.
Going by my own growing familiarity with the facts, what happened may be characterized as a tragedy because the Armenians were set up for a big painful fall by the British, and by presumptive Armenian leaders, the so-called Armenian representatives who met with British officials – headed by Bryce – in London hotels, and acted irresponsibly toward the many innocent Armenians who were – as a result – fated to suffer the consequences of the actions of these so-called Armenian representatives. These representatives were fed by British hubris as they strove to advance the political quest for an Armenian independent state on Ottoman land, their personal ambition to be leaders of this state, but mainly on behalf of British imperialist agenda. There is no question that these actions, namely colluding with the British and agreeing to lead an intensified rebellion, meant selling out the safety of the Armenian people in eastern Anatolia who were not the majority in any of the provinces there, and would be subject to an escalation in violence similar to what followed Bryce’s previous campaigns to excite Armenian rebellion in the 1890s.
James Bryce is not just the man behind the Blue Book during World War One. In 1967, Arnold J. Toynbee, who during World War One was a young historian fully employed by the British government to work under Bryce in editing the Blue Book and manufacture other propaganda, admitted that the Blue Book was designed to affect the American public during the war. By World War One, Bryce had already established strong connections with people who were in the loftiest political positions in the US. To quote the Washington Post from January 28, 1917, “No man in Europe commands a more sympathetic audience in America than Bryce.” What Toynbee did not share with his readers, even in his old age when he wrote Acquaintances, was that decades prior to World War One, Bryce had made a name for himself as a Liberal politician and an expert in foreign affairs thanks to raising the Armenian Question in 1876 as part of the larger Eastern Question raised by Gladstone and other anti-Muslim politicians, historians and journalists during the Bulgarian Agitation. It was imperialism, disguised as morality. Already in 1878, Bryce announced Turkey’s death, and presented the plan to cultivate “the growth of a native Christian race” – the Armenians – to the point of establishing “the nucleus of an independent state” – Armenia – whose territories would comprise of Ottoman land in the size of “about three hundred and fifty miles in length by two hundred and fifty in breadth.” Between then and World War One, Bryce engaged in many activities to organize the Armenians as a political entity within the Ottoman state that would replace the Ottoman sovereign. This was accompanied by the promotion of a conviction according to which the Turks as a race and as followers of Islam were inferior, uncivilized and an obstruction of progress. While giving the Romans Lecture in 1902 at Oxford, Bryce said that there are “cases in which the exclusion of the Backward race seems justified, in the interests of humanity at large,” and he invited his audience to “ Conceive what a difference it might make if Islam were within two centuries to disappear from the earth!” That’s a quote from 1902. Before World War One, before 9-11, before post-9/11ism supplanted postcolonialism. Before this idea of radical Islam became popularized. Bryce wanted Islam gone. It got in the way of his imperialist vision of the world.
If you were to study Bryce’s papers, you would find that all of the sources of falsehoods, cited by biased scholars or “credible independent experts,” whatever you want to call them, they are associated with Bryce, all of these sources are associated with Bryce. Go read his correspondence with the editors of the New York Times – see how much influence he had with them, with US government officials, with American church-organizers, with overseers of missionary activities in eastern Anatolia, with Armenian leaders in the US, Britain and eastern Anatolia. Go read his published articles in liberal periodicals, feel the hatred for the Turkish race and its Muslim religion, understand how the pretense of morality and values served an imperialist agenda, and become aware of the plotting that was going on. Then you will begin to wonder what facts are being denied here? How much is currently known on what led the British Liberals to promote Christian nationalism within the Ottoman Empire while they were in the opposition and Benjamin Disraeli was the premier? How does it relate to the rise of Darwinism at the time? How does it relate to anti-Semitism? How does it relate – on conceptual and interpersonal levels – to the rise of German anti-Semitism?
The Rise of Racism, Islamophobia and Anti-Semitism in Britain
Bryce’s mentor in academia, the Oxford historian Edward A. Freeman was considered a spokesperson of sorts for Liberal Party ideology during Disraeli’s premiership, when the Liberal Party was in need of political pretext to win back the British public. He was described by historian Richard Shannon as “the natural leader of the Gladstonian historians.” Freeman wrote in 1877 that “the people of Aryan and Christian Europe” – the Christian minorities in the European territories of Ottoman Empire – were suffering from “ The union of the Jew and the Turk against the Christian.” To him, the Turk, much like the Jew, “did not belong to the Aryan branch of mankind” and did not belong in Europe. He elaborated on how the Jew and the Turk are the enemies of Europe. Upon visiting the US in the 1880s, in promotion of Anglo-Americanism, this was one of his impressions: “Very many approved when I suggested that the best remedy for whatever was amiss would be if every Irishman should kill a negro and be hanged for it.” Another observation: “The eternal laws of nature, the eternal distinction of colour, forbid the assimilation of the negroe.” And another one: “ The negro… is not a man and a brother in the same full sense in which every Western Aryan is a man and a brother. He cannot be assimilated; the laws of nature forbid it.” Or how about this: “…I must say that every nation has a right to get rid of strangers who prove a nuisance, whether they are Chinese in America, or Jews in Russia, Servia, Hungary, and Roumania.” This man was a racist, and he coached Bryce to develop the political potential of the Armenian people in Ottoman land, by highlighting their supposed superior race and religion. I am not bringing forth these quotes to judge a man according to our postmodern-postcolonialist standards. I am bringing these quotes before you to show that this is the frame of mind that propelled the British imperialist idea to pin the Armenian people against the Turks. There was a racial intensity that had proven effective then, and has been overlooked in academia to this day.
The anti-Semitism shown against Disraeli, by these same people, was a new Darwinian-inspired anti-Semitism. It was a blood based, race based, anti-Semitism. It did not aim against Disraeli for being a practicing Jew, for “killing Jesus,” for working on Sundays, for not believing, because Disraeli was Anglican, he was baptized as a boy. This was not the anti-Semitism of the Middle-Ages, but the anti-Semitism that was later promoted in Germany by the likes of Houston Stewart Chamberlain, a Briton in Germany, who grew up supporting Gladstone against Disraeli. The spiritual leader of Nazi racism was influenced by the anti-Semitism that developed in Britain during the time of the Bulgarian Agitation and the raising of the Armenian question. In the Holocaust, Jews were persecuted by the Nazis systematically, not because of religious differences but because of racial beliefs; certainly not because of a rebellion. The Jews were loyal Germans who participated in German culture and were proud of their German national home. The argument that feeds on comparisons between the Holocaust and a tragedy that followed Armenian, British sponsored, rebellion, is unacceptable. To suggest that Hitler was right when he equated – if he did – the Jews or the Poles to the rebellious, British-sponsored, Armenians, is unacceptable. It is important to internalize that the same people in Britain who wanted an Armenian independent state on Ottoman land were the ones who claimed that the Jews were never to be accepted in their European national homes. They were the racists who invented modern racism. Bryce wrote about Disraeli that he was not an Englishman. Disraeli was his prime-minister, English born and Anglican, and yet Bryce wrote about him that he was not really an Englishman. Why? Because Disraeli had Jewish blood.
The Historiographical Problem
This is a big problem to this day – can the Jews be considered Englishmen or Englishwomen in Britain? Can the Muslims? Can the Turks? And how about in Australia? Are the Turks here Australians? We might receive an illuminating understanding of it if we were to address British historiography on the Armenian issue, on anti-Turkish, anti-Muslim, anti-Ottoman, anti-Semitic aspects of it, openly and sincerely. Instead of letting part-time scholars keep this fascinating and important period of history as part of a political game, let’s open up the books. Let’s read what was said at that time in Britain, and try to understand how this might be connected to the current national identity crisis in Britain and in Western states. How is an African Muslim to become aligned with British national identity? This is the basic problem. More basic than the tension due to the fighting of Western militaries in Muslim countries. The basic problem is that British historiography has not owned up to its hateful prejudice. Statements such as that made by William Gladstone, the much revered four-time prime-minister of Britain – elected more times than anybody in British history to be the premier – who ran policies against Muslims in Turkey and Egypt. He said: “It is not a question of Mahometanism simply, but of Mahometanism compounded with the peculiar character of a race… They [the Turks] were, upon the whole, from the black day when they first entered Europe, the one great anti-human specimen of humanity.” How can one expect Muslims to feel like they are a part of national identity, when such words are unaccounted for, and the man who said them is enshrined, literally, a figure that is a source of pride in Britain’s modern history? How has this tension between British pride in its anti-Muslim history and the pretense of bogus morality for imperialist gains been reconciled with its current social makeup?
We can ask even further, what about British history of slave ownership? Has that been addressed? How many of you know that William Gladstone’s father, John, was one of the wealthiest slave owners in Liverpool? How many of you know that in his plantations Africans were hanged or shot down when they wanted to set themselves free? How many of you know that he was one of the most passionate voices in Britain against abolition, and that he called William Wilberforce – who was the leader of the anti-slavery campaign – he called him a “mistaken man,” and that he only gave up the fight once the government paid him a huge sum of money as compensation? How many of you knew that? There is no attempt of owning up to this history, of addressing the fact that William Gladstone was not so moral or that his father was not a philanthropist (a philanthropist they still call him!); there is no attempt to recognize that the anti-Turkish use of Armenians as colonialist pawns against the so-called “antihuman” Turks, is mentally related to the use of African slaves, just as the Gladstones – father and son – are related. There are churches in the Liverpool area that were built with slave money, and yet the name Liverpool does not make the common person think first of slavery; instead, people think of the Beatles and Ian Rush.
Is Australia a Fair Place for ALL its Citizens?
David Cameron, in his first speech as Britain’s prime-minister blamed state multiculturalism for the national identity crisis of Muslims in Britain. They have been allowed to live their separate lives for too long, he said. Why wouldn’t he say that? It is politically popular to take action against Muslims in Western societies in our post-9/11 world, and it means that Britain does not have to change its national identity, that it does not have to recognize a deep disrespect to the formerly colonized people who are now among its citizens. And here in Australia, a relatively new settler state, has it not been shown that when there isn’t a historiography that is filled with anti-Muslim moments, multiculturalism actually works? So what if Muslims or Turks prefer to maintain their traditional customs and live in their own neighborhoods? They still might watch Neighbours and Home and Away, if they are comfortable. If their historical background is truly respected by Australia, they will be proud Australians. It is not advisable to create a national identity crisis for Turks or Muslims in Australia by following a political ordinance from the US or the UK to twist history. Historiographical cleanliness is crucial for keeping national identity intact. How would Muslims or Turks feel about having to send their children to Australian schools if lies are taught about their people’s heritage?
This is my message to you. Historiographical cleanliness goes a long way. The study of historical facts must be on full display. The approach taken by you on the characterization of the events in 1915-16 defines your national identity. Is Australia a fair place for all its citizens? May all of Australia’s citizens be proud of their government’s fairness in choosing historical study over prejudice, or is Australia a country that receives political dictations on history?
You can download a PDF copy of this address here.
* Tal Buenos is an Israeli scholar. He has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tel Aviv University, where he studied Jewish thought, history and mysticism. He then earned a Master’s degree in Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School, where he developed his interests in biblical studies, the modern history of religion in North America, and inter-religious discourse. Tal is now a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Utah. His current areas of focus are located in the intersection of international politics and history, and they include: the term genocide and its use, British imperialist historiography and its effects, aspects of the Turkish-Armenian conflict, international relations theory and its purpose, racism, and multiculturalism. Tal is part of the Turkish Studies Project research group at the University of Utah and has written articles for several newspapers, including the Jerusalem Post in Israel, and Daily Sabah in Turkey.
Voir également : Tal Buenos expose les préjugés et motivations colonialistes/racistes de James Bryce (co-auteur du "Livre bleu")
"Génocide arménien" : le chercheur Tal Buenos démolit définitivement la "caution Lemkin"
Tal Buenos : le droit de réfuter les allégations nationalistes arméniennes
Tal Buenos : "Foxman n'est pas un négateur"
Le chercheur israélien Tal Buenos récuse rationnellement l'amalgame qui est fait entre le génocide juif et le prétendu génocide arménien
mardi 9 décembre 2014
JNS.orgSource : http://www.jns.org/latest-articles/2014/12/8/anti-semitism-in-armenia-a-clear-and-present-danger
Anti-Semitism in Armenia: a clear and present danger
Posted on December 8, 2014 by JNS.org and filed under Opinion, World.
By Arye Gut/JNS.org
The conflict in Syria has forced millions to leave their homes, among them many of the country’s Armenian minority. Many have fled and returned to Armenia, a safe haven for ethnic Armenians—much as Israel is for Jews around the world. So it is ironic, given this shared need for a homeland free of religious intolerance, that Armenia’s own Jewish community has been pressured and intimidated since the country attained independence.
Anti-Semitism in Armenia is an unfortunate and little-acknowledged fact. Since the fall of the Soviet Union, the country’s Jewish minority and Jewish heritage—the products of a more tolerant time—have shrunk dramatically. The end of Soviet rule removed constraint, and anti-Semitic attacks rose dramatically. That, and Armenia’s ongoing economic collapse, drive the Jews of Armenia to flee the country. In just 20 years, Armenian Jewish population has shrunk from more than 5,000 to just a few hundred.
And the cultural violence has continued. Anti-Semitic books are published and TV programs aired, and the Holocaust memorial in the capital of Yerevan has been repeatedly defaced. Of course, many countries have suffered such unfortunate incidents, the product of an ignorant populace. But in Armenia such views have been espoused even by mainstream politicians and media personalities. In 2004, a pro-government radio presenter expressed anti-Semitic views for months on end. A nationalist politician was also allowed to freely make lurid slurs against Jews before public pressure forced the government to arrest him.
The dwindling Jewish community in Armenia has complained about these attacks—the head of the Jewish community expressed her concern that “this [anti-Semitism] has the backing of people in power.” But appeals have fallen on deaf ears, which is hardly a surprise when such attitudes are shared by much of Armenian society. The Anti-Defamation League’s latest survey in June 2014 showed that the rate of anti-Semitism in Armenia (at 58 percent) was the third-highest in all of Europe, and the highest in all of the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe. Thus, around 1.3 million out of 2.2 million adults in Armenia expressed anti-Semitic attitudes. Armenia’s closest comparisons were with virulently hostile countries in the Middle East.
Sixty-three percent of Armenians surveyed believe that Jews are hated “because of the way Jews behave;” 60 percent claimed that “Jews don’t care what happens to anyone but their own kind;” 45 percent think that “Jews still talk too much about what happened to them in the Holocaust;” and 38 percent consider that “Jews are responsible for most of the world’s wars.”
Also disturbing, and of concern to Jews around the world, is that in 1988 some 49,928 families (250,000 Azerbaijanis) were forced to flee their places of origin in 172 Azerbaijani inhabited villages, 89 villages with mixed ethnic population, and six cities from Armenia. During the deportation, 226 Azerbaijanis were killed by Armenians and scores horrifically injured. Their houses and properties were burned as well.
The Khojaly massacre, committed by current Armenian leadership with incredible brutality, was one of the worst tragedies of 20th century. It is a historical fact that the Armenian armed forces and gunmen spared none of the Khojaly residents, who had not managed to leave the city and its surroundings. As a result of the atrocities of the Armenian armed forces, 613 people were killed, 487 people were crippled, and 1,275 people—the elderly, children, and women who were captured—were subjected to unprecedented torture, abuse, and humiliation.
In addition, Armenia, the aggressor, illegally occupied 20 percent of Azerbaijan, including Nagorno-Karabakh and seven adjacent districts. This caused a refugee crisis numbering nearly 1 million innocent Azerbaijanis, as they attempted to ethnically cleanse the region. Today, this remains a threat to peace and security in the South Caucasus region. Encouraged by intense Armenian lobbying efforts in the U.S. and other key nations, as well as by strong and ongoing Russian military, economic, and political aid, Armenia has ignored four United Nations Security Council resolutions associated with the occupation of Azerbaijani lands and treatment of civilians.
Perhaps this is not so surprising considering that one of Armenia’s closest allies is theocratic Iran, which has always opposed Israel’s right to existence. This strange relationship has been very beneficial for Iran, which has used Armenia as a conduit for smuggling and other illicit activities, often with serious consequences for U.S. national security.
The last point also has unnerving overtones for Armenia’s Jewish community, which has never forgotten the participation of the brutal 20,000-strong Armenian Legion as part of Wehrmacht in the Second World War. The Legion, led by the nationalist warlord known as General Dro, was tasked with rounding up Jews and other “undesirables” behind the German army as it swept across Russia, and organized their death marches to the concentration camps.
In such an environment, it is hardly surprising that most of Armenia’s Jewish population has either fled or intermarried to avoid attracting attention. Regrettably, the government of Armenia does almost nothing to curb the growing anti-Semitism in the country. Until Armenia realizes that narrow-minded nationalism and blaming the country’s economic and political problems on outsiders will never solve anything, the Jews of Armenia will continue to suffer.
Arye Gut is a board member of the Israeli-Azerbaijani International Organization, official coordinator of the “Justice for Khojaly!” international campaign in Israel, and an expert in international relations.
Voir également : L'antisémitisme arménien : quelques pistes à explorer
L'Arménie, un pays accusé (non sans raison) d'antisémitisme
Le lobby arménien est puissant aux Etats-Unis, en dépit de son soutien à l'Iran, et de son opposition à Israël et à l'Azerbaïdjan
Arménie : énième acte de vandalisme contre un mémorial de la Shoah
Wikileaks révèle la prégnance du complotisme antisémite et antimaçonnique sur la scène politique arménienne en 2008 et plus particulièrement dans les médias pro-gouvernementaux
L'Arménie et la carte de l'islamisme iranien
Liban : les islamistes chiites du Amal-Hezbollah et la commémoration du "génocide arménien"
Liban : deux Arméniens dans le nouveau gouvernement mis en place sous la pression du Hezbollah ?
L'Université d'Arménie accorde un doctorat honorifique au chef du Amal, mouvement islamiste libanais
Le discours anti-israélien du dirigeant libanais Nabih Berri (chef du mouvement islamiste chiite Amal) applaudi par les députés du Parlement arménien
Les Arméniens et la République islamique d'Iran
Le régime des Assad déstabilisé en Syrie : un rappel des compromissions de la FRA-Dachnak, de l'ASALA et du régime arménien
L'antiracisme de la FRA-Dachnak
Thursday, December 4th, 2014 | Posted by Ara KhachatourianSource : http://asbarez.com/129525/russia-turkey-axis-should-have-given-pause-to-armenia%E2%80%99s-mad-dash-to-join-eurasian-union/
Russia-Turkey Axis Should Have Given Pause to Armenia’s Mad-Dash to Join Eurasian Union
BY ARA KHACHATOURIAN
The announcement on Monday by Russian President Vladimir Putin that his country was abandoning the South Stream gas project in favor of a massive partnership with Turkey at the very least should have given pause to Armenia’s mad-dash to join the European Economic Union.
Instead, Armenia’s Parliament overwhelmingly voted to ratify the agreement Thursday, without a question about the complications that are fraught by a Russia-Turkey energy axis, when Armenia last year, in preparation for its own ascent to the Eurasian Union all but signed away its energy interests to Russia by giving ownership of its gas supplies to the Russian giant, Gazprom.
Since Putin’s announcement Monday, I have been waiting, to no avail, for an official comment from the Armenian government or, at the very least, a comprehensive debate among lawmakers about the ramifications of the Russia-Turkey agreement.
For example, how does the deal impact Armenia, which for all intents and purposes is a subsidiary of Gazprom and has the Russian military stationed on its border with Turkey?
A lot of questions have popped up since President Serzh Sarkisian last year stunned everyone by fully committing Armenia to the Customs Union/Eurasian Economic Union. None of the questions have been answered convincingly and yet 103 of the 131 members of Armenia’s Parliament, most of them citing national security reasons and an inevitability of sorts, opted to green-light this effort.
[Members of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation parliamentary caucus (with one abstention) also voted to ratify the document, citing national security reasons].
Sure, the inevitability element is there because soon after Armenia declared independence, the government began auctioning off critical components of our nation’s infrastructure to the lowest bidder with the public seeing no apparent benefits from those fire sales. That auction still continues and was sealed by selling the minor interest in Armenia’s gas supply to Russia over mounting pressures of price hikes by the Kremlin.
While US and EU media and government officials eagerly—and jubilantly–framed the Russia-Turkey deal as Kremlin’s defeat in the face of Western sanctions, Russia solidified and tightened its grip on the region ensuring that almost all its neighboring countries became dependent on its most valuable commodity—natural gas. Following the mammoth $400 billion energy deal Russia struck with China earlier this year, Putin has essentially guaranteed the flow of cash into the Kremlin for the foreseeable future and control of vast territory stretching from China to Turkey.
[We will touch on what this should mean for the US as its “trusted ally,” Turkey, once again has turned its back].
Yet the Armenian government, which still has to comprehensively delineate and explain the pros and cons of an association with the EU versus Russia, sprinted toward the endgame of joining the EEU, despite the fact that now Turkey has become a player in that union and Kazakhstan’s close alliance with Azerbaijan is still a thorn that could prick with uncertain consequences as Astana continues to act as a proxy for Baku within the EEU.
In the current scheme of things, what would stop Russia from forcing Armenia to open its borders with Turkey, with heavy preconditions and without distinct benefits to Armenia? Since Armenia’s eagerness to enter the EEU has not halted Russia’s continued arm sales to Azerbaijan, what would stop Russia, a co-chair of the OSCE Minsk Group, to force a resolution to the Karabakh conflict that would greatly damage Armenia’s national security? What guarantees are there of economic prosperity that would impede the flow of migration by Armenians to Russia? If there are distinct answers to those questions, they have not been articulated clearly.
I am in no way suggesting that an alliance with Europe or the West would have been more beneficial for Armenia, given the West’s continuous pro-Turkey and pro-Azerbaijan posturing and no real economic/investment plans outside of USAID-funded projects and some European firms opening subsidiaries in Armenia. However, a more transparent and succinct process would have countered the doubts that still persist with Armenia’s entry in the Eurasian Economic Union.
Since Armenia’s independence the hope has been that its leaders would leverage the country’s geographic position and assets to carve a truly independent economic and social reality that would allow Armenia to prosper while benefitting from alliances with both the West and the East, without having to become either’s satellite.
With Thursday’s ratification of EEU by Armenia’s Parliament our country is one step closer to becoming a member of an elusive and nebulous structure, with the threat of war still looming and the grip of unfriendly neighbors tightening around our country.
For Armenia it should not be a contest between East and West, it should be an aspiration to become a self-sufficient entity that would guarantee its true independence.
Ara Khachatourian is Editor of Asbarez.
Voir également : Livraisons d'armes à l'Azerbaïdjan : l'éditorialiste Harut Sassounian critique de manière très virulente Israël et la Russie
Ressentiment contre la Russie chez les Arméniens, après l'incident du Haut-Karabakh occupé
Mauvaise nouvelle pour Erevan : accords de vente d'armes entre la Russie et l'Azerbaïdjan
Mauvaise nouvelle pour la clique dirigeante d'Erevan : inauguration du gazoduc transanatolien (TANAP)
Un camouflet pour les kleptocrates d'Erevan : un sommet trilatéral Turquie-Géorgie-Azerbaïdjan