It now appears clear that The Genocide committed against the Armenians by the Turks during World War I and immediately afterwards has the dubious distinction of being the template that other genocidal nations or groups who came after followed….Using cattlecars to transport human beings, using small paramilitary groups to commit mass killings at first, the government and media collaborating to vilify a whole group of people, the forcible moving of peoples away from big cities to remote areas where liquidation would be easier….There was even reports of poison gas used.
Adolph Hitler once said when discussing his own plans “Who after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
For a very good historical overview of the events of the Armenian Genocide, I would recommend THE BURNING TIGRIS by Peter Balakian http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060558709/ref=s9_sdps_c1_s2_p14_i4?pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=center-1&pf_rd_r=0X5XBT0JENC9VQ1Q5XF1&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=470938131&pf_rd_i=507846
What makes President Obama’s recent refusal to label the Armenian Genocide as such while he was busy kissing Turkey’s ass especially disappointing is he had during his time in the senate and as a candidate for president berated the past administration for the same type of behavior.
Personally, I’m sick of the amount of bending over backwards that America and other countries do to Turkey….Despite their being basically a parliamentary democracy, there is still a thuggish element in Turkey and they don’t really have freedom of the press….Scratch the surface of Turkey and you’ll find fascists….The story of Hrant Dink is a good example http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hrant_Dink
In my opinion, Turkey DOES NOT belong in the European Union.
One thing that Turkey does know is the power of money to influence historical record….Academics who deny the Armenian Genocide are often richly rewarded by Turkey both financially in the forms of grants and the like but also in terms of access to historical documents.
First and foremost of these is Bernard Lewis.
Now, I’ve always had a lot of problems with Bernard Lewis and his view of the history of the Middle East which is that the fact that the Arab world has not developed at the same pace as the rest of the world and the resulting anger of the Arabs towards the West is not the result of colonialization, Israel ,and their own US backed dictatorships but rather a failure of their own society(“Cultural Arrogance” is one term he has thrown out over the years)….It’s sort of like blaming slaves for slavery.
But what do you expect from a guy who in addition to discounting the Armenian Genocide (for which he was fined the symbolic amount of one franc by a French court) also supported the Iraq War and the ludicrous fairy tale that if one Middle Eastern dictatorship was turned into a democracy, magically others would follow like dominos.
Many of the misguided, prejudicial ideas we still have about the Arab world today, that they are nothing but death obsessed primitives who only respect the use of force, have indirectly come from the early work of Bernard Lewis….While he has taken some pains to separate Islam from this, what he seems to been saying all these years instead is that Arabs are naturally bad.
To me, the problem with Lewis is very clear, you can put all the alphabets of accomplishment after his name (PhD) but he is still a Zionist, not just Jewish per say but a Zionist, an avid believer in stealing someone else’s land and a supremism of one group over another….I believe this clouds any impartial reading of history….It’s bit like having Adolph Hitler chronicling the history of the Jewish people.
My last two thoughts about Bernard Lewis and his spurious academic contributions….1.)The late great Palestinian intellectual Edward Said really cleaned his clock in ORIENTALISM….Those who basically see nothing historically wrong with colonialism should not be historians! 2.) Bernard Lewis once noted, as an example of anti-Semitism, the anger people felt towards the Sabra and Shatila massacre committed by the Lebanese phalange but orchestrated and allowed by Israel as disproportionate to the anger felt about a similar massacre in Hama by Syrian forces against Palestinians.
Well my answer to that has always been my tax dollars don’t go towards giving Syria the most up to date armaments so they can brutally murder innocent civilians…. It’s a silly argument really but one of many from an old colonialist with a racist ideology seeking to further dehumanize a people….That’s Bernard Lewis in a nutshell!