Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  James R. Russell, Pro-Armenian Harvard Professor  
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Major Players
Links & Misc.


Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems

 Many pro-Armenian zealots who bend over backwards to affirm their precious genocide are anything but historians. For example, Vahakn Dadrian is a sociologist and mathematician; his lap dog protege, Taner Akcam, also is a sociologist. So is his fellow Turncoat Turk, Fatma Muge Gocek. Peter Balakian is a poet and English professor.

Yet there is no shortage of these “genocide nuts” who come to the forefront and profess to be historians. A real historian (of which there is arguably a shortage of even among those who have studied history) examines both sides of the story in as detached a way as possible.

James R. Russell

Prof. James R. Russell

I was struck by two pieces written by a Harvard professor named James R. Russell, both of which will be analyzed on this page. His articles were so far out in la-la land, I had to take a look at who Dr. Russells is. He is a “Mashtots Professor of Armenian Studies.” (You won’t find that first word in even the more comprehensive dictionaries; at first, I thought it was a film/TV show about the Korean War for kids, but it has to do with a very specific branch of Ar-Mania.) His area of expertise is languages. Dr. Russells is so wrapped up in all matters Armenian, I have to wonder whether he is one of those ethnic Armenians who has (or his family had in prior times) changed his name to a more generic variety (as Dr. Robert John’s family changed their name from “Hovhanes.”) Not that it matters; there are a good number of non-Armenians who outdo Armenians in their Armenophilia... such as Christopher Walker.

So we have yet another example in Dr. Russells of a non-historian pretending to be a historian. Let’s examine the first of two articles where his passions allowed him to put his foot squarely in his mouth.


New York Review of Books

Dr. Russell appeared outraged over an article in the New York Review of Books, written by Christopher de Bellaigue ["Turkey's Hidden Past," NYR, March 8], and he fired off a heated response in their Volume 48, Number 13, August 9, 2001 issue (http://www.nybooks.com/articles/14417). Mind you, Christopher de Bellaigue prepared an over-review on three separate books dealing with Turkish history in general, and Dr. Russell made it into a wholly Armenian matter. As if the Armenians did not comprise just a small part of Turkish history.

One wonders why the New York Review of Books would feel so cowed as to publish Dr. Russell’s letter that really hadn’t much to do with Christopher de Bellaigue’s review? Do you suppose it’s because the “Armenian Genocide” topic has become such a powerful arena that the publication felt the Armenians had to get more than equal time? Since the well-financed big guns of the genocide industry are so pro-Armenian, perhaps the New York Review of Books wanted to cover itself, so as not to be accused of defending the views of a “denialist”? (In other words, anyone who deviates from the Armenian point-of-view [even as slightly as Christopher de Bellaigue might have], now so closely aligned with the cause of the Holocaust, becomes a potential neo-Nazi.)

Dr. Russell himself provides a reason as to why the New York Review of Books felt intimidated, in his "Burning Tigris" review, which we'll be getting to below.

Dr. Russell begins his attack by accusing Christopher de Bellaigue of doing “his part to keep Turkey's past hidden, with these two references to the Armenians”: “‘Under ['Abd al-Hamid's] rule thousands of Anatolian Armenians died while rioting against Ottoman Muslims during the 1890s.’ Actually 200,000 Armenians (none rioters) were systematically massacred in 1895–1896.”

NO, Dr. Russell. The 200,000 to 300,000 figures are strictly provided by Armenian propaganda, and only Ar-maniacs listen to them. Scholars in particular should be careful to research all sides of a story. Even the Turk-hating Johannes Lepsius estimated less than 89,000, an already exaggerated figure. The truer casualties lie in the vicinity of from less to 20,000 to no more than 30,000, and the reason why these Armenians died (contrary to Dr. Russell’s naive or deceptive assertion that they were all non-rioters) was because the Dashnaks and Hunchaks were picking up steam during these years. (Along with other terror organizations such as the Black Cross, operating no differently than the Ku Klux Klan.) Their M.O. was to massacre Turks/Muslims, in order to incite counter-massacres, enabling the western powers... now looking for any excuse to intervene in the affairs of the “Sick Man,” whose lands they eyed greedily. What is never said about the Abdul Hamid years is the fate of the 5,000 Turks the Armenians had polished off.

"The aims of the revolutionary committees are to stir up general discontent and to get the Turkish government and people to react with violence, thus attracting the attention of the foreign powers to the imagined sufferings of the Armenian people, and getting them to act to correct the situation."

Graves, the British Consul in Erzurum, reporting to the British Ambassador in Istanbul, on  January 28, 1895. British Blue Book, Nr. 6 (1894), pp. 222-223

The Armenophile then mentions the second reference by Christopher de Bellaigue: "A Turkish identity had emerged out of the ethnic conflict, particularly the conflict between Turks and Armenians, some half a million of whom died during the deportations and massacres of 1915." His response:

Three times that many were murdered, in a premeditated genocide.

NO, Dr. Russell. How dare you make such a slanderous accusation when even the British could not find the proof for a “premeditated genocide” during the Malta Tribunal, when nearly all of the evidence pro-Armenians rely on today was ready and available? A moral and ethical person does not make defamatory accusations, unless the proof is ironclad. No doubt Dr. Russell would not appreciate it if he patted a female colleague on the back and he was then accused of sexual harassment or even rape. Hearsay does not constitute real evidence; but it certainly succeeds in damaging reputations.

Estimates of the Ottoman-Armenian population: M. Zarchesi, French Consul at Van: 1,300,000; Francis de Pressence (1895): 1,200,000; Torumnekize (1900): 1,300,000; Lynch (1901): 1,158,484; Ottoman census (1905): 1,294,851; British Blue Book (1912): 1,056,000; L.D.Conterson (1913): 1,400,000; French Yellow Book: 1,475,000; Armenian Patriarch Ormanian: (*)1,579,000; Lepsius: 1,600,000

Estimates of the Ottoman-Armenian population

And NO, Dr. Russell. Three times as many were not “murdered.” A million Armenians survived, according to the Armenians. (Which means the figure was more likely closer to 1.2 million.) The pre-war population estimates ranged from 1-1.6 million according to “neutral” (that is, western and pro-Armenian) sources. It would be impossible for 1.5 million to have died, if that was around the total number of Armenians to begin with.

And NO, Dr. Russell. These Armenians were not all “murdered.” The majority died of famine and disease, causes that claimed the lives of most Turks/Muslims, in the graveyard of the desperate Ottoman Empire... where even the racist Ambassador Henry Morgenthau had his ghostwriter report thousands of Turks were dying daily. (Because every man was needed at the multiple fronts, and few were left behind to farm. Just as few were left behind to defend innocent villagers from the bloodthirsty attacks of the Armenians in vilayets like Van.) Even Turkish soldiers were dying of starvation in the thousands.

 "Armenian-origin intellectuals and journalists have become viciously intolerant of non-Armenian-origin colleagues who do not accept their biases and who venture to question Armenian statistics or try to examine ... historical records according to recognized standards of objectivity and respect for methodology."

Paul Henze, The Roots of Armenian Violence: How Far Back Do They Extend?,"1984

 Dr. Russell goes on to embarrass himself further by telling us:

De Bellaigue's curious usage, "Anatolian Armenians," makes it seem as though they were from elsewhere. The Turks were. Armenians are the natives.

See, this is what happens when an obsessed partisan leaves himself open to serious charges of scholarly inadequacy. The Armenian author of Promartyrs de la Civilization (1964, p. 27), Ruppen Courian wrote: "The Armenians are the former inhabitants of today's Switzerland" There are theories that the Armenians are cousins of the Albanians... The thing is, we don’t know the genuine history of Armenians, because pretty much only Armenians write their own history, and we know what a tendency they have to “exaggerate.”

Were the Armenians the natives of Anatolia, the cradle of civilization? The Armenians have been around for roughly 2,500 years... let’s say (adding another half-century), conservatively, since 1,000 B.C.

First, there were the Hatti (3000-2000B.C.), who co-existed with the people of Troy (3000-2500) and Troy II (2500-2200) (and Troy III-V [2200-1800B.C.]) these folks mainly concentrated on northwestern Anatolia. Then there were Indo-European migrations, covering the part of “Armenian territory,” over the Caucasus into Anatolia. The Nesi people settled in Central Anatolia, the Pala in Paphlygonia, and the Luwians in Southern Anatolia. The new arrivals gradually formed first the Old Hittite Kingdom (1660-1460 B.C.), and then the Great Hittite Kingdom(1460-1190 B.C.).

These are all pre-Armenian, PRE-1,000 B.C. Then there were The Urartu Kingdom (860-580 B.C.) and The Phrygians (750-300 B.C.), focusing in southeastern and eastern Anatolia. Were there any Armenians in sight? I don’t know. All I know is the Armenians were NOT “the natives” of Anatolia, as Dr. Russell wrongly informs us.

There were other Anatolian peoples around this time, such ones from Lydia, Caria and Lycia... all preceding the arrival of the Romans (30 B.C. - 595 A.D.). So since both Turks and Armenians came from “elsewhere,” one thing is for certain: The Turks were the first people to dwell in all of Anatolia. (The Hittites, Phrygians and Greeks lived in only part of the peninsula.)

The first Armenian leaders called for “our just and indisputable rights to the (Turkish) occupied lands.” This is deception because history clearly reveals twenty-nine other civilizations have an even greater claim to the land. The Armenian logic was and is nothing more than coveting thy neighbor’s land. History is very clear on this point: Armenia didn’t have Turkish land to be deprived of as Hovannisian wants the world to believe. Ottoman Turks possessed those lands for some eight hundred years. Before that these lands were possessed by the Byzantine Empire and before that the Romans controlled the land. There had been no such “Armenian lands” for perhaps as long back as three thousand years. The Armenians were not a majority population in the places they claimed as their “ancient” homeland. In fact, the Armenians in their tiny state area had only been there for perhaps seventy-five years when Hovannisian makes his claims.

Samuel Weems, Christian scholar and judge, in his analysis of Richard Hovannisian’s “The Republic of Armenia”; “Armenia -- Secrets of a ‘Christian’ Terrorist State,” 2002, pg. 89. Hovannisian is a perfect example of a “historian” who does not follow the professional non-partisan rules of telling history.

 “Armed opposition to Ottoman rule was slight. Armenians were mostly unarmed: they could not defend themselves against Turkish depredations.” Oh, really? Is that why Boghos Nubar bragged about the 50,000 Ottoman-Armenian soldiers who betrayed their country, added to the 150,000 from Russia, many of whom came from the Ottoman neck-of-the-woods to begin with? Practically every Armenian household was armed, especially with sophisticated “Mauser” pistols that operated like machine guns. Caches of weaponry were stored throughout the empire, awaiting that glorious day of treacherous rebellion... paid for by the immensely wealthy Armenians, grown prosperous through the graciousness of their Turkish homeland (when Muslims were regarded as practically inhuman in Europe and the United States), along with 242,900 rubles granted by Czar Nicholas? (Kind of like the one billion dollars the Russians granted the Armenians before the takeover of Karabakh some seventy years later.)

“In April 1915, the leaders of the Armenian community at Constantinople were arrested and murdered, leaving the nation headless.” And this comes from a man who purportedly read Peter Balakian’s book, which we’ll be getting to in a moment. Even “Peternocchio” gives witness to the survival of some of these, and we don’t know how many were “murdered.” Such inflammatory language by one who possibly couldn’t know, unless he owns a time machine.

And why were they arrested? When a sizeable minority revolts and betrays your country during desperate wartime, who is going to be arrested but the leaders?

Now get this:

“Telegrams to provincial governors then coordinated the extermination of the Armenians.”

That must have involved a LOT of telegrams in the far corners of the empire. So how come even one telegram couldn’t be found that says the Armenians needed to be exterminated? Unless we’re talking about the forgeries of Aram Andonian, or wording that Vahakn Dadrian has tweaked to mean what the obsessed Dadrian wants them to mean?


 “Young men were drafted into slave labor battalions and worked to death or killed. The rest were assembled at collection points for deportation. In Van there was some warning: Armenians resisted till the Russians came.”

NO, Dr. Russell. Young Armenian men were drafted into the army the way young men are drafted into any army. It was only when the Turks realized the Armenians were deserting in droves to the enemy with their weapons, or were behaving treacherously as in the case of firing blanks, the Turks had to play it safe by disarming them. Since they were stuck in the army, what would you have had them do... play cards and go for a dip in the pool? Naturally, they had to serve some function, and thus the “labor battalions.” No picnic, but better than going to the front and risk getting shot or maimed.

Now we don’t know what happened to all of these “slaves” (aren’t all soldiers “slaves”?), but it is irresponsible for Dr, Russell to blindly follow the propaganda line and tell us they were “worked to death or killed.” Was he there? No. Neither were you or I. That is why we need that annoying little matter known as “proof.” Granted, some of these Armenian soldiers were mistreated and murdered. Curiously, though, there were times the perpetrators were tried and punished, some to the point of execution DURING the war. What kind of a genocide allows your own men to be punished for carrying on with intentional extermination work? Is there even one example of Hitler’s punishing an SS man for hurting a Jew?

Armenians in Van did NOT resist “till the Russians came.” The treacherous Van Armenians rebelled (the major uprising took place in April 13, an event which must have played a major part in the April 24 Ottoman decision to move this treacherous community elsewhere; there were uprisings in Van before, the first only days after war broke out) and held the province and/or city until the enemy arrived. In doing so with their sophisticated weaponry (while the few Turkish men not sent to the front mostly had rusty old rifles that broke down after firing a few shots), they had a field day in committing atrocities against the innocent Turkish/Muslim women and children. It is unbelievable that anyone who looks into this chapter even a little bit can still be so willing to perpetuate an outright lie as this one... now, in the 21st century.

“Everywhere else, from Izmit to Erzurum, the genocide was total. In towns far from any border, death marches ("deportations") were the means of murder; on the Black Sea coast, it was drowning. Nearer Russia and escape, people were burned in barns. In 1918 Turkey invaded Russian Armenia and Iran to finish the holocaust. In the east, Azeris began to massacre Armenians in Artsakh (Karabagh).”

Dr. Russell is going berserk. He has even implicated the Azeris in his mythical genocide, when it was the Armenians who declared war on Azerbaijan in 1919 (after getting their butts kicked with their 1918 declaration of war on Georgia.) Those Karabakh Azeris were defending themselves from the bloodthirsty Armenians, and a reading of true history will tell us who was perpetrating genocide upon whom. Even Richard Hovannisian in his “The Republic of Armenia” admitted the Armenian “atrocities” against Azeris in p. 181 of his book.

When Armenia attacked Azerbaijan in 1918, Vladimir Lenin referred to the three-day period of  March 30 to April 1, 1918 (recorded in history as the 'March Events'); the Soviet leader said that commissar S. Shaumyan,  the chief architect of the massacres throughout Azerbaijan, “turned Baku into an Armenian operated henhouse [slaughterhouse].” According to Justin McCarthy's “Death and Exile," "Between 8,000 and 12,000 Muslims were killed in Baku alone.…”)

 It is a stretch to conclude the “deportations" (which Dr. Russell offers as a euphemism for “death marches”; actually, “deportation" is the slanderous code word for “resettlement.” Banishing outside a country’s borders is what “deportation” means, something one would hope a scholar on language would know) were an intentional method to knock off the Armenians. Both Toynbee (in 1916) and Morgenthau (1915) are on record telling us 500,000 relocated Armenians were alive before the policy came to an end in 1916. The ones who died did so from the same reasons the Turks died en masse: starvation, and disease. In 1977, the French newspaper Le Figaro came up with a figure of “15,000 Armenians dead from shootings, sickness and deprivation on the march." As far as the “drowning” method, even some Armenians dispute that claim. (although some Armenians were drowned by fanatical Turks who took matters into their own hands.)

“But war crimes trials at Constantinople stopped when Mustafa Kemal ejected the Allies.”

How could a “scholar” ... especially one who is part of the faculty of HARVARD UNIVERSITY... be so, so wrong with just about every claim? Did Dr. Russell investigate the British archives of WWI’s “Nuremberg,” the Malta Tribunal? This war crime trial took over two years, with every Ottoman document on hand in occupied Istanbul. Once even the far corners of the United States archives proved a wash, the British decided to end the affair... after retaining the accused Turks as “hostages” (their word) for British POWs Ataturk captured, in retaliation. Every Turk was freed (before the Allies were “ejected”) because even the British, with their mountains of hysterical wartime propaganda evidence, could find NO REAL EVIDENCE.

“(Ataturk) declared the Ottoman leaders heroes: there had been no Armenian genocide; there had never been any Armenians.”

Actually, Ataturk was not a fan of the Ottoman leaders who drove their country to near-suicide; his near-contempt for Enver Pasha is well known, for example. And has Dr. Russell read any of Ataturk’s speeches? Ataturk acknowledged the massacres (although of course he wouldn’t have used the word “genocide,” as the word wasn’t invented yet; even if it had been invented, since there is no proof of a systematic extermination plan, of course he would have said there was no Armenian genocide; just like any rational person would arrive at the same conclusion, once the objective and genuine facts are observed)... and where did Ataturk say exactly that there were no Armenians?

Since the Armenians brought their disaster upon themselves by firing the first shot and following their fanatical leaders, plenty left. Some out of fear of repercussions (even though Ataturk generously allowed their return with the signing of the Treaty of Gumru... a generosity the “friends” of the Armenians, the Russians, did not offer), and many enticed with the possibility of greener pastures, as a sympathetic United States of America (among other nations) welcomed them with open arms. Many of the relocated Armenians decided to stay in their new Arab homes, in Syria, Lebanon, Iraq. Therefore, if the Armenians were no longer where they once were in large numbers within Turkey, why shouldn’t the towns be given Turkish names (another complaint of Dr. Russell’s; probably there were Turkish names to begin with, and the professor is appalled the informal Armenian names used by the Armenians are now nowhere in sight.) Is not New Amsterdam called New York today?

What about the more than 400 geographical names in modern Armenia that were renamed from Turkic to Armenian?

And the Turks have done a phenomenal job in preserving old Armenian churches for the most part... another beef of the professor’s. Imagine, some of these buildings stood for centuries! How many mosques have survived in Armenia? (He complains of a Cross-stone of the tenth century near the monastery of Narek, which he had photographed that was later “destroyed by the police” after his visit.)

 “Turkey uses the struggle for self-determination in Karabagh as a pretext for blockading the Armenian Republic. Tens of thousands have died as a result, and hundreds of thousands more are emigrating. This is a continuation of the genocide.”

What can one say? The man is completely shameless, and exists on another plane of reality. “The struggle for self-determination in Karabagh”? Is that what he calls Armenia’s sneak, cowardly surprise attack in 1992, massacring over 800 civilians in their sleep, and chasing away nearly a million Azeris from their homes, stealing land that does not belong to them? If “tens of thousands have died as a result, and hundreds of thousands more are emigrating,” WHOSE FAULT IS THAT? Once again, the Armenians have to deal with the strategies of their greedy, fanatical leaders. They fire the first shot, as always, and when things go awry... they always look for someone else to blame.

[One of the main aspects of Armenian] "national psychology... [is] to seek external causes for [Armenian ] misfortune."

Hovhannes Katchaznouni, First Prime Minister of the Independent Armenian Republic, The Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni,1923, Page 8.

 Will there ever come a time when Armenians will be MAN enough to accept the consequences of their own actions?

“If a reviewer wrote that only a third of the actual number of Jewish victims of the Holocaust had died, or that their deaths came about because they had rioted, or elected to make war against the German government, would you print it? No. But if the Nazis had not been defeated, and had successfully promoted their falsified version of the Holocaust, one might write of the crime against the Jews this way, with a clear conscience. The big lie is easily swallowed. But France has not swallowed it.”

Now I’m beginning to think the professor is in need of psychological help. He is so immersed in his “Ar-Mania,” he appears incapable of separating fact from fiction. It sounds like he really believes 1.5 million Armenians were “murdered.” Since one million survived according to the Armenians themselves, that would mean 2.5 million had to be inhabiting the Ottoman Empire before the war. Even Armenian patriarchs (Varjabedyan: 1,150,000 in the 19th century; Ormanian: 1,579.000, shortly before the "1915" period; propagandistic wartime patriarch: 2,100,000 or less) didn’t go that high. (The Ottoman census lay exactly at the middle of what most tell us: 1,300,000.)

And there is the all-important parallel to the Holocaust. A moral person cannot attempt to prove an allegation by pointing to a proven crime. That would be like the woman who, let’s say, accused Dr. Russell of rape just because Dr. Russell brushed against her... and her attempting to prove it by pointing to the Mike Tyson rape case. These are apples and oranges, and must be taken on their own merits. Dr. Russell has no idea how much he is doing an injustice to WWII’s Jewish victims, degrading their fate by comparing the Holocaust with a mythical scenario. (Of course, we shall forget about the monumental injustice he is doing to the Turks, falsely accusing them of a terrible crime.)

Frank Pallone, bought politician

The Pallone politician

The reason why France — and I don’t know if the paltry number of politicians who remained (reportedly a whole nine-tenths of the French Assembly stayed away during that session) to vote on their meaningless Armenian genocide resolution would represent all of France — swallowed the genocide bunk is because of their pre-ingrained bigotry and the deep pockets of France’s half a million Armenians. We’ve got ethnic-politic playing representatives like Frank Pallone (rhymes with “baloney”) in the United States who do exactly the same. In order to determine whether a real genocide occurred, objective historians have to sort through all the facts. Who cares what a politician has to say?

Armenians and their allies now turn our energies from combatting Holocaust denial to pursuing justice. Turkey howls as though its world —an edifice erected on a lie—were coming to an end. Maybe it is.

I think there’s a much better chance of those like Dr. Russell being exposed for their shameless perpetuation of manifold falsehoods. The truth has always had a tendency to prevail. Careful, Doc; what's left of your reputation is on the line.


  Book Review of The Burning Tigris


 I was going to get into Dr. Russell’s “review.” The reason why I put that in quotation marks is that he doesn’t really give a review; he uses the opportunity mainly to get on his own Armenian soapbox. This is funny, because when Peter Balakian protested the review of his book by Dr. Andrew Mango, he mentioned that a review should really be about the book. (“It would seem that a reviewer's first obligation is to explain to the reader what a book is about.”) I have a feeling “The Forward” never received a similar protest by the poet-turned-pseudo historian.

Now I’m a little Russell’ed out, so I’ll just give an overview.

He starts out his review by giving the same Holocaust analogy that he ended his letter of complaint with. Imagine if the Nazis sort of won, and the Jews tried to press their case and blah blah blah.

Of course, he’s riding on the coattails of the sympathy for the very established Holocaust. A common tactic for Armenian “genocide” advocates.

He offers the same “facts” as he did with his above letter. First, the 1895-96 massacres, caused by “government tax-collectors and Kurdish marauders.” (No mention of the real reason, the Armenian terrorist organizations that first started forming in the 1870s... roughly coinciding with the defeat of the Turks in the Russo-Turkish War. In earlier times, there was never any serious trouble between the Armenians and the Turks. Afterwards, the Armenians subjected their countrymen — Turks AND Armenians — to a nearly forty year spree of terror, until their monumentally traitorous straw that broke the camel’s back in “1915.”)

“I replied to these lies and defamations in letters to the editors of both periodicals. Neither was published without phone calls, more letters and reminders stretching out over months, in the case of the Review, which cut my original letter down to 700 words — half its original length..” My goodness! Does the word “Obsessed” come to mind?

(He’s referring to his above letter to the New York Review of Books, which we now learn was originally twice as long. Now we have a better idea why the New York Review of Books felt compelled to print Dr. Russell’s effort. After such a concentrated campaign of pestering, they wanted to do anything to shut him up!)

(This is why the Armenians and those who blindly support them are so good at getting their views known. They are a “squeaky wheel gets the grease” kind of people, like the Greeks. The opposite of the Turks, strong and silent.)

Pierre Loti put it beautifully in “Fantome d’Orient” (1928):

 “One should be blind to history not to understand the Turks. The dignified silence of the Turks against the mounting unjustified attacks and mean slanders can only be explained by their pity for the blind. …How beautifully this attitude of theirs answers the undignified calumnies.”

 With this assigned review of The Burning Tigris, he lets his frustrations loose, knowing the chances were good that whatever he came up with would see print. He gives us the same nonsense of his letter, but with more detail. He even pays lip service to the Turks’ view: “The official Turkish line is that the Armenians are not there now because they never were; and if there were any, well, then it was they who did the massacring — of their Turkish neighbors. But the Armenians were also dangerous foreign elements, a fifth column, so the genocide was justified. Though it didn't happen.”

“The Armenians are not there now because they never were”?? Isn’t that bending the truth just a bit too far, even for Dr. Russell? The Ottoman census of 1914, for example, estimated 1,300,000. That is anything but an invisible population. I don't recall coming across ANY report written by a Turk claiming the Armenians were "never (there)." Astounding. Perhaps the professor is trapped in some kind of Twilight Zone.

“Some Armenologists have come to believe that the domination of this single issue has frozen out other aspects of Armenian life and culture.” FINALLY! The professor tells us something we can believe. The “genocide” has sadly become a religion among many Armenians. They even select their April 24 “date of doom” in ethnic parades, as if there was nothing else to celebrate in their 2,500-3,000 year-old history.

After highlighting Peter Balakian’s awakening of Ar-meanness with “Black Dog of Fate,” Dr. Russell tells us: “So it may have been inevitable that from this newly enraged conscience on fire, ‘The Burning Tigris’ would flow. It is a mighty work, a slow burn of muted eloquence, dense with scholarship.”

Doesn’t that take the cake. It’s only appropriate for a non-scholar to credit another “bird of a feather” with the virtues of scholarship. Scholarship, gentlemen, involves looking at all sides of a story dispassionately. Peter Balakian did anything but that with his execrable book (he even went so far as to write in his book, "Today Turkey would like the media and the public to believe there are 'two sides' to the Armenian Genocide," as if there is a story in existence that does not have another side — especially a hotly contested, politicized and complex myth as the "Armenian Genocide"), and we are discovering how much Dr. Russell suffers from the same malady.

At least Dr. Russell gets off his personal soapbox for a moment by briefly getting into the contents of the book. He tells us “Armenia was a pivotal moral issue in American society,” explaining that sympathy for the Armenians was not “an expression of Christian chauvinism,” but rather the beginning of human rights, and “likened repeatedly to that of the Jews enduring the Tsar's pogroms.”

Is that true? My understanding of Balakian’s book has an Armenian colonist (Ohannes Chatschumian) infiltrating (in 1893) the ranks of Massachusetts (what soon became "Armenian country," where Dr. Russell calls home) intelligentsia. This “innocent victim” told his sob stories to hypocritical Bostonian liberals (liberals are usually compassionate; but in order to avoid hypocrisy, you don’t “choose” victims you deem worthy), playing the Christian card, and having one of them fall in love (Alice Stone Blackwell, whom Dr. Russell cites). From there, the domino effect of influencing all American publications and public opinion fell in line, ultimately resulting in America’s greatest historical charity, the Near East Relief. I’d doubt the Jews’ suffering was on these people’s minds to any great extent (once again, Dr. Russell grasps at “Holocaust” straws), and in fact, the creation of the Turkish monster by the Allies was perpetuated in part because ally Russia was still persecuting the Jews around the time of WWI. So if anyone was thinking of the fate of the Russian Jews (around the time of WWI), that particular episode was quickly forgotten when the Armenians re-entered the national consciousness. (The main reason for creating the Turkish monster among the Allies was to justify the land-grab scheme already in place through secret treaties.)

This is precisely why “eyewitness reports of the arrests, death marches and mass killings (that) poured in from American diplomats and missionaries, journalists and physicians” are mostly irrelevant. (The physicians don’t deserve to belong in a separate category, as they were mainly missionaries.) All of these people had their anti-Turkish prejudices, ingrained since the days of the Crusades, fortified once the mindless pro-Armenian campaign got underway from the late 19th century. None of these sources can be deemed without conflict-of-interest, almost all of what they had to report amounted from the hearsay of Armenians and missionaries (and, furthermore, fed off each other). There were certainly no eyewitness reports of “mass killings.” None. If corpses were discovered afterwards, there was no way of determining who the killers were; roving, lawless bands, Kurds out to get revenge for what the Armenians had done to their families, or... to come closer to proving a genocide... government agents.


 “Turkey invaded the Transcaucasus, continuing to massacre the Armenians even after its own capitulation.”

I’m getting the feeling Dr. Russell is beyond hope in determining any semblance of objectivity. American witnesses, including biased Near East Relief workers, tell us there were no massacres, Kars as an example. (Luckily citizens of the USA were around to corroborate; in many of these massacre tales, the Armenians have had free rein to make up their tales of fancy, with the western world always ready to be suckered in.) If the Turks were hellbent on massacring the Armenians for the love and joy of it, who believes there would have been an Armenia left, once the two nations went to war in 1919-1920?

“American policy in the 1920s was more concerned with achieving a foothold in the Muslim Middle East, and access to oil, than in a nation of which a third were refugees, another third under Soviet rule and the rest extinct.”

Unlike what Peternocchio Balakian led us to believe in his book, the Turks themselves had no access to oil. Now look at the inflammatory language: “extinct.” In other words, the connotation of willful murder. like the dodos who were forever cleaned out by new arrivals from the United Kingdom. If up to 600,000 Armenians died from a pre-war population of 1-1.6 million, mostly from famine, disease and combat, responsible scholars don’t use emotional words like “extinct.” What of the 2.5-3 million Turks/Muslims who died from the same causes, out of a pre-war population of 10-13 million? Particularly the one-half million who were directly slaughtered by blood-frenzied Armenians, with a little help from their Russian friends?

“Turkey ... ruled millions of Christian subjects, all of whom were second-class citizens at best. At worst, they were the victims of frequent extortion and pogroms.” The perpetuation of the propagandistic notion that Christians were always persecuted is nothing short of disgraceful... in an amazingly tolerant land that even master WWI propagandist Arnold Toynbee (in his later, respectable years) likened to the closest ideal to Plato’s Republic. Armenians rose to the highest ranks of government and society, and became among the wealthiest members of the empire, along with their economic rivals, the Greeks and the Jews. That’s a lot more first-class than second-class... with the average Turk comparatively poor. All during a time when Muslims were barely regarded as human beings in “civilized” Europe, and (as Lord Curzon pointed out in an 1854 book on Armenia) the USA was ‘a land of liberty, where every free and independent citizen had the right to beat his own nigger.’

"It is advisable for comparative
study to notice the parallel participation of the other principal
non-Turkish elements of the population. Summing up the participation
of the communities other than Armenian, it is clear that none of them
had such a large and permanent co-operation with the Ottoman
Government in the public affairs of Eastern Anatolia and Syria as the
Armenian 'millet'."

Mesrob K. Krikorian, Armenians in the Service of the Ottoman
(London 1977) p.107

 Dr. Russell even takes a shot at “the oppressive and retrograde character of its official religion, Islam.” As soon as the Turks defeated the Christian Byzantine Empire back in 1071, Armenian historians were singing the praises of the freedoms granted by the Turks. Where did this lack of oppression come from, but from the ideals of the religion that treated humans as human beings? The Byzantines tightened a noose around their co-religionists’ necks by contrast, and the Armenians didn’t live an idyllic life under the Russians in later years, either.

“It is well-known, of course, that Ottoman Turkey afforded a welcome, by the standards of the age, to the Sephardic Jews fleeing the Inquisition.” That’s not well known at all. But it should be. (And what does that mean, “by the standards of the age”? No Christian country [save for the city of Amsterdam] opened their doors to the desperate Jews, so what the Ottomans offered was the worthiest of welcomes, by the standards of ANY age. For centuries the Jews prospered and lived in safety in the Ottoman Empire, instead of suffering under the persecution of what the west considers more civilized nations.)

“Turkish scholar Taner Akcam has pointed out: Falsification of history leads to other kinds of repression.” We get a plug for Turkish turncoat Taner Akcam’s being a “Turkish scholar,” especially since he follows the same rules of scholarship Dr. Russell approves of: affirm the mythical Armenian genocide at any cost. And is Akcam correct in what he says? Let’s see; the Armenian falsification of history has been mindlessly accepted by the west for a century and longer, resulting in endless sympathy. The “poor, innocent” Armenians go on their Karabakh rampage, repressing and killing many, many people. The west barely blinks an eye. Maybe Akcam has a point.

Dr. Russell ends his review by telling us, in effect, that thank God Armenians got arms and did what they did in Azerbaijan... and it’s only the Russian nuclear arsenal that protects them from getting exterminated by the vicious Muslim hordes that surround them. He forgets who fired the first shot, and which country offered the warmest friendship once Armenia regained independence, after the fall of the Soviet Union. That friendship had to be reconsidered once Armenia did what Armenians do best: Attack.

At this point, I have two questions.

Why would “The Forward” choose such a zealous genocide partisan to offer a review for such a shameless genocide book? Was the publication not compromising its own integrity by doing so? The best reviewers are those who offer objectivity.

Secondly, is Dr. Russell the way he is because he passionately believes in Ar-Mania? Or are we to assume an intelligent man who has earned a doctorate is not capable of even the most surface scrutiny of the real facts in this case? Only he would know in his heart the answer... but whatever the answer is, he is a person who has compromised his credibility immensely. I would hate to be a student in one of his classes. Imagine if you get on his wrong side... will he judge your grade purely on your accomplishments, or will he let his out-of-control emotions be his guide?




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