Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  PBS: The Armenian Genocide (Part I)  
First Page


Major Players
Links & Misc.


Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems

 A detailed (Two Page), "no-stone-left-unturned" analysis of Producer-Writer-Director Andrew Goldberg's "The Armenian Genocide," presented in association with Oregon's PBS affiliate and overseen by PBS's national office, first broadcast on April 17, 2006.



PBS, America's Public Broadcasting Service television network, has broadcast Armenian propaganda films exclusively throughout the years. One would think the fair and educated Americans who run PBS would become a little more savvy to the facts behind the pro-Armenians' allegations. If anything, with their decision to air as potent a propagandistic piece as ever in April 2006 points to how hopelessly prejudiced the directors of PBS and affiliates are... as liberal and as unprejudiced as they no doubt think of themselves. They are so hand-in-hand with the likes of Peter Balakian and his ilk, whom the naive PBS people mostly look up to as "human rights" champions (a cause dear to hearts of most liberals... and I say that as a progressive individual in my own right), that perhaps the network's name should be changed to ABS. "A" is, of course, for "Armenian," and "BS" speaks for itself.

Producer/Director Andrew Goldberg

The Producer/Director/Writer 

Let's give a little background on this latest PBS escapade. Producer-Director Andrew Goldberg once again made use of his "Jewish consciousness" (as he put it during a pledge break for his previous Armenian genocide extravaganza that has been analyzed on TAT; see link at page bottom of Part II), to affirm this mythical genocide. By now, Andrew has become a trusted proponent of the Armenians, and the easy money he gets from the diaspora's deep pockets has enabled him to focus almost entirely on Armenian-related excursions. (He managed to scrounge up a reported $650,000 from them in this go-round; a list of underwriters may be found below. That's a lot of dough for a short documentary requiring cheap interview camera set-ups and filled mostly with photographs and old footage, supplemented by a gaggle of Armenians in the end credits, many donating services for the "Cause." Reason for a film producer to be so Armenian-centric — Thar's gold in them thar Armenian Genocide hills.)

(PBS Ombudsman Michael Getler's April 21 column reported, "Both PBS and the New York-based filmmaker, Andrew Goldberg... emphasize that all funders were scrutinized and approved by PBS before accepting the film." That implies PBS executives informed Getler that they took pains to make sure there was no partisanship involved, even though in the same column we see they also tried to cover themselves: "PBS executives say about 60 percent of the funds came from foundations 'of broad interests' and the rest from individuals, and that the network does not get into the business of assessing the interests of individual donors." Goldberg spoke for himself and PBS by adding, “funders had no involvement in any editorial decisions." Getler added, "I have no reason to doubt that," and he is right... but the reason has nothing to do with this travesty's being on the up and up. The reason why the funders left Goldberg alone is because they entirely trusted Andrew Goldberg to represent their propaganda.)

Andrew actually had gotten in touch with me to correct the title of his previous program, when he saw it reviewed on TAT. Then I heard from my "Two Cats" friend again in 2005, and he wondered if I could give a hand in drumming up a voice from the camp of the deniers, for his next Armenian project. You mean another one financed by the Manoogian Foundation? I sneered, that is, yet another purely propagandistic effort? Andrew replied the Manoogian folks would not be the major force, and my wishful thinking, or my natural instinct to give the benefit of a doubt, made me desire to be fair... who knows, perhaps Andrew, a very intelligent man who has fiddled around at the TAT site, might have had an awakening of his real "Jewish consciousness." (What humanity owes a debt to; not that the Jews have a monopoly on morality, but you know the beautifully humanitarian Jewish people — and I'm obviously not referring to the Ariel Sharon variety — can generally be relied on to distinguish right from wrong. In the dark days of the Civil Rights movement in the United States, when few white people cared to play a part, we had a disproportionate number of Jewish people having the courage to get involved, and at least one paid for his courage with his life. Those like Albert Einstein and Hannah Arendt had the courage to protest the inhumanity of Menachem Begin and his Freedom Party, in a December 4, 1948 letter to The New York Times. "Jewish consciousness" has a deep meaning for me. What I believe Andrew meant when he referred to the concept was "fellow genocide victim," but I'm taking it to a more profound level.)

Since there was a possibility Andrew had mended his ways at least somewhat and was going to produce a relatively objective documentary (what also allowed my glasses to be rose-colored was that I figured surely PBS would be a little more aware and sensitive by this point, after having presented twenty-five years worth of pure Armenian propaganda), I did my best to look around. It was then that I learned there really weren't any qualified contra-genocide spokespeople for the finding. (The shortage of spokespeople is why the contra-genocide representative in a rare 1982 debate was a medical doctor who took it upon himself to study the issues.)

Andrew in fact wrote me another note listing names of those he had approached, all having turned him down. I think I sneered back, what do you expect? You're clearly regarded as a propagandist, and nobody wants to take the chance to be made to look like a fool.

I couldn't find anyone who was Turkish (the candidate was also required to be a professor), but I learned, through those who knew him, that Edward Tashji, neither ethnically Turkish nor a professor (but by this point, it was difficult to be choosy), might be willing. So I proposed the idea to Andrew, still thinking that he might have been approaching this film as a real filmmaker, and said Mr. Tashji was not in good health, and here was a "last chance" opportunity to get him preserved on celluloid. (That is, videotape. I dunno, that kind of thing always excites me. I loved the idea that Mae West appeared in 1978's SEXTETTE, as embarrassing as that film was, because what a gift to future generations to record such a "last chance" appearance of a personality.)

Andrew shot that idea down immediately. I was beginning to get the picture... surely the appearance of a fellow Armenian testifying that there was no genocide would not have met with the approval of Andrew's Armenian benefactors. (Mr. Tashji died soon afterwards.) But I still didn't give up; I learned one of the few Turkish-Americans who squawks over this issue had appeared on some other interview medium to vouch for "The Other Side," contacted him, and he said he would be willing. The Goldberg team got in touch with him, but then the Turkish-American's wife discovered Andrew's "Armenian Genocide" proposal on his web site, and all hopes for an objective production were dashed! A taste:

"The Armenian Genocide of 1915 was an event in which as many as 1.5 million Armenians were murdered at the hands of the Ottoman Turks and Kurds. This event took place under cover of war in the area that today is considered Eastern Turkey. It is one of the most understudied events in modern history and in many ways it has been the template for all Genocide since then.

What makes this event all the more troubling than the fact that it was the first Genocide of the 20th century and one of the largest ever mass-murders, is that the perpetrators and their successors
the Ottoman Turks and the succeeding Turkish governments — flatly deny that this well-documented episode in history ever occurred."

Yes indeed, pure propaganda to the max. 1.5 million, when the Armenian Patriarch himself had offered a still inflated 840,000 by 1918's end? (And all of these victims, according to Andrew and his brand of Jewish consciousness, were "murdered," naturally.) "One of the most understudied events"...? Only if we're talking about researchers who are objective and without agendas. Run an Internet search and compare the hits for the Armenians vs., say, the Tasmanians, the victims of the rare, successful extermination campaign. And even if what happened to the Armenians could be construed as a genocide, what's that about its being the "first"? What about the pre-1915 20th century Albanians, Hereros, Filipinos... even if we pay no mind (as usual) to the tragic fate of the Balkan Turks? These prevarications formed only the tip of the iceberg.

Hilmar Kaiser, the Armenian Genocide industry's bad boy, Sen. Robert Dole, and the tail-wagging Dr. Robert Melson were those who didn't make it to the final cut. "Easily accessible" Enver Pasha grandsons, Osman Mayatepek and Prof. Ethem Eldem, were planned to be snagged, but they were no-shows. Further high hopes:

"But beyond those already mentioned, there are hundreds-of-thousands of children and grandchildren of Genocide perpetrators — Kurdish and Turkish — who are still living today. We will find these people, including the Pasha offspring and people will hear for the first time, the true stories of what was done to the Armenians by the Turks and Kurds themselves."

At this point, the Turkish-American candidate felt disgusted, and bowed out of the negotiation process. Months passed.

Andrew worked with Oregon Public Broadcasting's David Davis, OPB’s v.p. of national production, who must be a pretty big genocide believer in his own right. The PBS bigwigs felt it may be fair to also produce a twenty-five minute panel discussion, a half-hearted attempt at equal time. It was a very poor attempt, mind you, since the Goldberg show offered nearly an hour's worth of pure propaganda, and real equal time would have excluded the participation of two of the meaner genocide propagandists around, Peter Balakian and Taner Akcam. On the other side of the podium were good old Prof. Justin McCarthy, and a spectacularly English-challenged Turkish professor (Omer Turan) who turned out to be a complete wash-out (I found out firsthand how hard it is to get contra-genocide specialists, but one must question the motives of whomever made this doomed-from-the-start choice).

As lopsided as this panel discussion was, at least it was something to offset the awful propaganda of PBS and Goldberg. But PBS did its best to sabotage this feeble effort by letting its affiliates know that PBS "acknowledges and accepts the genocide," giving the affiliates the choice to air the discussion or not. Naturally, few did. The PBS publication, Current, told us in a March 6, 2006 article by Geneva Collins (entitled "Panel show riles rather than soothes genocide furor") that the Goldberg show would "air on stations in nine of the top 10 markets, but only two — in Chicago and Houston — plan to show the follow-up program, Armenian Genocide: Exploring the Issues." (The lone hold-out would be Los Angeles' KCET, "the station in the city with the largest population of Armenians outside... Armenia," which opted instead to go for an even more ferocious French-made effort, acquired at relative great expense, to mollify the Armenians in their audience. They also scheduled a second propaganda film (from a Canadian-Armenian) for April, in what they designated "Armenian Remembrance Month," with an option to air the free Goldberg film in the future. Not to be outdone, Goldberg rented out L.A.'s Egyptian Theater (according to a March 23 Los Angeles Times article) to show his film to genocide-batty Californian-Armenians on April 17, at a cost of $10,000 the article told us came out of Goldberg's own pocket. Uh-huh.)

But even though PBS successfully did its best to discourage the follow up discussion, it wasn't good enough for the Armenians. They got up-in-arms, seeing what they could do to sabotage the showing of this discussion in the few markets that tried to maintain an open mind.

Activist Publisher Harut Sassounian, in a March 3, 2006 piece entitled "VP of PBS Should Be Dismissed For Insulting Armenians" shed significant light upon the familiar pressure tactics:

"Congressmen Adam Schiff (D-CA), George Radanovich (R-CA), Armenian Caucus Co-Chairmen Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Joe Knollenberg (R-MI) asked all members of the House of Representatives to sign a joint letter expressing their opposition to the PBS panel discussion. It is expected that many of the 150 members of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues would sign this letter. The Caucus makes up more than one-third of the entire House, a significant number when the time comes to allocate funding to PBS."

In yet another indication of how enthusiastically PBS takes the side of the Armenians, a good number of Armenians received pre-screenings, (While the ignored contra-genocide folk, the usual personas non grata, had to wait until the April 17 broadcast.) Prof. Dennis Papazian was one of the many privileged, and in an article from Appo Jabarian from USA Armenian Life Magazine, Papazian was furious, as he revealed in an e-mail to Harut Sassounian:

“I have just previewed the post documentary discussion and it made me sick to my stomach to see Justin McCarthy and the Turks come out with blatant lies and deceptive assertions. I thought Taner and Peter ‘won the debate,’ but the denialists undoubtedly would plant doubt in the minds of innocent American viewers... You did right to lead the attack against the showing of the ‘discussion.’"

Sassounian (along with other activist forces such as ANCA, some members of whom were listed in the film's end credits) got the faithful to overrun PBS and its affiliates to not show the panel discussion. He also unleashed both barrels on a PBS senior v.p. and co-chief programming head, Jacoba Atlas, even though she was on record for stating that PBS stands behind Goldberg’s film (as Current reported), has been quoted in the Washington Post as stating the genocide is "settled history," and from the N.Y. Times article, it was a spokeswoman (Lea Sloan) from Coby's very own office who let us all officially know that PBS "acknowledges and accepts that there was a genocide."

What was Sassounian's gripe? In a response that Atlas wrote to ANCA (West branch) Chairman Steve Dadaian (that Dadaian evidently made sure to provide for Sassounian; they sure know how to combine their resources and work together), Atlas wrote: "You and others have likened our decision to following a documentary on the genocide of Jews during WW II with a panel of Holocaust deniers. With all due respect, the comparison is not entirely analogous."

So even though Atlas comes so close to giving her heart and soul to PBS's beloved Armenians, by accepting and acknowledging their mythical genocide, it simply is not good enough for the Armenians! Just as the way Armenians have attacked their greatest friends from Woodrow Wilson to the Rev. James Barton, for not going far enough, the itsiest, bitsiest sign of not being 100% in alignment with genocide fantasies becomes grounds for vicious attack.

"PBS is a publicly funded entity," said Steve Dadaian, the Western region chairman of the Armenian National Committee. "They exist because tax dollars fund them. If they are going to use the network to give a national stage to this kind of hate, to denialists of the genocide, then we don't want our tax dollars going there."

"Armenian Furor Over PBS Plan for Debate," Randal Archibold, New York Times, Feb. 25, 2006

Sassounian employed his dastardly Dashnak terror tactics by writing: "I must now single out Jacoba Atlas, the Senior Vice President of PBS programming, not only for being responsible for this misguided decision, but also for insulting Armenians worldwide by stating that the Armenian Genocide 'is not entirely analogous' to the Jewish Holocaust." (He was not entirely correct in singling out Ms. Atlas, but at least he consistently strives to uphold the fine standards of Yellow Journalism: according to a Q&A from the PBS Ombudsman's March 17th column, PBS Programmer John Wilson was equally in on the deal. At least Sassounian was aware there was another programming head besides Atlas, but he had his facts wrong, as usual: Oregon's David Davis was confused as PBS's "national" director of programming, in Sassounian's "Boycott PBS Stations that Air 'Balancing' Panel on Genocide" from Feb. 9) Sassounian declared from his grimy throne that poor Ms. Atlas, who must have had no idea of the benevolent terrorism she was in for (her office was bombarded by 3,500 protest e-mails, Sassounian beamed), had an "anti-Armenian Genocide stance" (!) and his headline said it all: "VP of PBS Should Be Dismissed For Insulting Armenians."

Jacoba Atlas

Coby Atlas

In response, one of the mad dogs of the flock, the Armenian operator of an awful Turk-hating site (this sad fellow, an apparent doctor from Chicago with multiple offices no less, was once [maybe not intentionally] sicced on the TAT site — as deduced through a process of elimination [there was a four-way correspondence going on at the time] — by Prof. Dennis Papazian. One of the doctor's charming notes: "Do you own a gun?") featured the shell-shocked Ms. Atlas on his hate site, complete with her sweet-looking photograph, accompanied by the usual snarling words.

(Ironically, Atlas proved that PBS truly stood by Goldberg's film, as she promised, since the film establishes a clear analogy between the Armenian experience and the Holocaust, as Samantha Power's statement makes clear toward the end of the show, along with other indications. We'll get to that later.)

ADDENDUM (06-06):

Months later, the June 14 issue of the New York Times reported that PBS would close its Los Angeles branch and Atlas, who was stationed there (living in California's "Armenian country," no wonder she was so sucked in by Armenian propaganda), chose not to take the option to move to PBS headquarters in Washington. In another of his vicious and deceitful columns ("VP Leaves PBS after Providing Airtime to Genocide Deniers," June 22, 2006), Harut Sassounian libeled Atlas by charging she had been dismissed for Armenian insensitivity ("According to reliable PBS sources, Ms. Atlas was let go after top management at PBS concluded that she mishandled the panel discussion and the resulting controversy"). The moment nearly rivaled Vahan Cardashian's audacity for attacking the greatest friend of the Armenians, President Woodrow Wilson, in the booklet, WILSON, WRECKER OF ARMENIA.

As I wrote in the typically unanswered letter to a PBS honcho (it comes as no surprise that the Armenians usually get responses to their letters), "If the truth is on the Armenians' side, why should they (and PBS) have had reason to be afraid?" But, of course, "truth" plays little part in these decisions. Lopsided and ineffective though the panel discussion might have been, the pro-Armenian furor did its best to silence it.
Anthony Weiner

Rep. Anthony Weiner

For example, the New York City affiliate planned to air the panel discussion, at first. However, as Sassounian reported, there was a gaggle of "Armenian demonstrators outside the studios of WNET/13." To tighten the noose, the Armenians recruited an ethnic pandering politician, in this instance Congressman "Anthony Weiner, who joined others at a protest outside WNET's office in Manhattan," as reported by a Feb. 28 A.P. account ("NY PBS Affiliate Decides Not to Air Panel on Armenian Genocide"). Weiner "applauded the move" WNET was sure to make, to cancel its initial plans to air the panel discussion. Forgetting that he is supposed to be representing all of the people, Rep. Weiner was quoted as stating that the panel "is an insult to the history of that time." (How fortunate the U.S. Congress got so much for its money in Weiner; a congressman, and an expert on world history, to boot.)

WNET did not want to appear "wussy," so we were offered a song-and-dance (as reported in Current):

"Spokeswoman Stella Giammasi said execs changed course not because they had received a letter of protest from U.S. Reps. Anthony Weiner and Carolyn Maloney (both D-N.Y.) but because it had initially decided to air both programs before viewing them. 'When the program panel saw it, we really felt the follow-up didn’t add anything to the documentary,' she said. Most of the other programming execs contacted who had rejected airing the panel program issued similar opinions."

In fact, affiliates went out of their way to offer the same rubber-stamp explanation. For example, Audience Services Coordinator Daniel McCoy from PBS's Washington affiliate (which had once broken ground by producing a real debate back in 1983, also featuring good old Prof. Justin McCarthy), wrote in what was mostly a form letter:

WETA feels "the program stands on its own as an honest and thorough examination of that chapter in world history, especially as it includes a balanced presentation of the opinions of both those who believe that an act of genocide occurred and those who do not."

[T]he fact that so many stations caved is a measure of something else: PBS's growing vulnerability to pressure and, perhaps accordingly, the erosion of viewers' trust in public television.

A PBS Documentary Makes Its Case for the Armenian Genocide, With or Without a Debate, Alessandra Stanley, The New York Times, April 17, 2006

Naturally, the idea that the panel discussion did not add anything was ludicrous. If that were the case, the Armenians and their Congressional supporters would not have given the furious re-enactment of the Boston Tea Party that they did. (They might say the reason why they have done so was because of their outrage over giving voice to "Holocuast deniers": but Prof. McCarthy, by accepting the Turks as equal human beings, surely is the antithesis of the "white supremacist," which is what Peter Balakian actually compared him to, in Current. What the pro-Armenians were really afraid of was lessening the impact of their propaganda, as Dennis Papazian admitted in his e-mail to Sassounian.)

That, of course, is the most outrageous statement. PBS and some of its affiliates turned down an American-produced documentary entitled THE ARMENIAN REVOLT, which did not minimize the suffering of the Armenians (whereas the Goldberg film disgracefully danced around the issue of the Armenians' extermination campaign against fellow Ottomans), because it was "biased." For example, WNET'S Executive Director of Broadcasting, Kent Steele, was challenged by the person who had submitted THE ARMENIAN REVOLT, after Steele listed as the rejection reasons that the film was "biased" and had "loaded" language, on whether Steele thought the Goldberg film was unbiased. Steele was reminded of the long list of Armenian underwriters. After a reported pause, Steele responded "yes." Who could blame him? Of course he had to protect his station's irresponsible decision to air a work of pure propaganda. (Partisan Steele received "Special Thanks" in the end credits of the Goldberg production.)

The indication of the bias goes well beyond the endless list of Armenian underwriters. "Genocide" is accepted as an established fact in the show's title, which an honest documentary examining a hot-button topic would not have dared to do. (This factor alone violated the mandate of PBS's "overseer," the Corporation for Public Broadcasting [CPB], ensuring “strict adherence to objectivity and balance in all programs or series of programs of a controversial nature.”)

The program was timed to support the regular April 24 commemorations. The partisan track record of the filmmaker served as a dead giveaway. There were twelve genocide advocates afforded nearly all of the screen time, versus the scant seconds granted one interviewed contra-genocide spokesman, who was already suspect, as an "agent of the Turkish government." (Another "agent," an ex-ambassador, was shown in pre-exisiting footage, but only as a point to be assassinated by the final say of the film's counter-point.) Appo Jabarian, critical of the Goldberg film (it didn't go far enough, you see), couldn't stand that "an alarming portion of the airtime — approximately 30% — is devoted to deceptive deniers." Did he watch the same program, or does he define "denier" content as the kind that is only 98% pro-genocide, and not 128%?

PBS Editorial Standards and Policies, June 14, 2005, IV-C. Objectivity: To begin with, journalists must enter into any inquiry with an open mind, not with the intent to present a predetermined point of view... the audience generally should be able to know not only who the sources of information are, but also why they were chosen and what their potential biases might be.

The reason why PBS people are so mindlessly accepting of this propaganda is the same reason why other lazy-thinking educated and fair-minded folk, from journalists to professors, rarely bother to scratch beneath the surface. It's all that conditioned brainwashing, about a people whom we've always been told are somewhat less than human. The cumulative effect of anti-Turkish propaganda serves its intended goal. Those as Kent Steele who normally would be among the last candidates that we would qualify as bigoted, appears to have been influenced by his deep, ingrained prejudices.

For example, Peter Balakian lied outright in the Current article, by stating that he was, in effect, blackmailed into appearing on the panel discussion. His "morals" were deeply compromised (Balakian loves to remind us of his morals every chance he gets, perhaps to make sure we don't look too hard to see where these morals possibly could be), but he had to make the supreme sacrifice, carrying the proud tradition of innocent, martyred Armenians, in order to "save the documentary. The documentary was way too important. They put me in a morally difficult position.”

Naturally that was pure hokum, because an entire show was not going to be sacrificed if the self-important Balakian had chosen to give the edge to his "morals." PBS's own ombudsman, Michael Getler, checked out this story, and exposed Balakian's lie.

Yet how did OPB's Davis respond to Balakian's wild claim? “I don’t want to address that directly,” Davis said, in the Current piece. Why didn't Davis just come right out and say Balakian was a liar? Could it be that he didn't want to open the Pandora's Box that practically everything else in his co-produced propagandistic program had little bearing to truth?

(After this writing, it was discovered Getler added a disclaimer by Balakian, the second of Balakian's communications that Getler has generously allowed to infiltrate the three columns he has written to date about this program. Was Balakian's damage control the truth, or was he trying to cover up his lie with another lie? [Readers can judge by looking at this analysis.] Shouldn't this example of at least the possibility of dishonesty have set off alarm bells in the dense heads of PBS personnel? Shouldn't they have stopped and asked themselves — particularly since they have a duty to their own editorial standards of integrity — what else could the Armenians have been telling them that is equally deceptive? But they can't seem to help themselves. The genocide facts are just too comfortable. Everyone knows the Armenians were poor, innocent Christians and the bloody Turks loved to eat them for lunch. Why upset such a fun formula? [Not that prejudice is the only reason. Pro-Armenian intimidation tactics and Armenian wealth also enter into the equation.])

Princeton Professor Norman Itzkowitz stated in a talk that the reason why an Armenian student did not come back after being given a long list of books that countered the history of his grandmother was because, "[A]ll of this ethnic conflict business I think we have to understand at the bottom is irrational; it has nothing to do with rationality. They don't want to know anything, and they will not take the time to inform themselves about what is going on."

We know that is the way the Armeni-Lemmings operate, because they look at their nationalistically-binding genocide from the perspective of fanatic religious faith, and not reason. What a pity so many non-Armenians also fall into the same dishonest trap. Even those who have a duty to provide impartial information, as America's Public Broadcasting Service.

In an enlightening article, a fair-minded Armenophile by the name of Richard Davey called Armenian propagandists "professional patriots." He apologized for the beloved Armenians at every turn, even though he could not take off his "hat to their integrity." But he had to admire their "uncommon shrewdness and plausibility."

"Their industry is incessant. They form associations, and, by their singular persuasiveness, manage to obtain permission — sometimes enthusiastically granted — to place certain conspicuous names upon their committee lists. Their well-organised meetings are not unfrequently presided over by cabinet ministers and other distinguished persons, who should really know better than to have anything whatever to do with such proceedings." Just as the pro-Armenians have done with this Goldberg show. They got the PBS people in their pockets. They fooled celebrities into lending their voices for what must have come across as a noble cause. All of these educated, honorable people really should have known better. But they don't know, and they don't care to know. It just feels so cozy to cuddle with the adorable Armenians.

Not incidentally, Davey wrote his article all the way back in 1895. Yes, the Armenians are still using the same hoodwinking techniques that have worked so well for them, for so long. And even though Davey served as apologist for Armenians when he chose to "applaud their pluck in keeping their wrongs before the public," he also warned, "surely it is not for us to endorse falsehoods and exaggerations without taking the trouble to verify them." And that's what it boils down to, ladies and gentlemen. Responsible people still choose to accept pro-Armenian claims at face value, not at all "taking the trouble to verify them."

The Current article also stated Goldberg as saying he could accept the panel discussion that he doubted the necessity of because: “I knew that for our film we had done our homework six ways from Sunday. Every fact was quadruple-checked and had been vetted by so many people-historians, journalists — that I knew there was no way that the after-show was an interpretation of our reporting.”

Unfortunately, the rationale is the same that genocide scholars and other historian-pretenders utilize. They hobnob with each other, and confirm their facts by using their shared, corrupt information, giving the impression of a consensus... because there are now so many of them.

When you only check what one side has to say, of course everything is going to be cleanly confirmed. One does not arrive at truth by resorting to propagandistic sources exclusively.

OPB logo

Let us now examine how on-the-ball was Goldberg's painstaking homework, as well as how PBS measured up to its own standards.

(PBS Editorial Standards and Policies, June 14, 2005, IV. Editorial Standards: By placing its logo at the end of a program... PBS makes itself accountable for the quality and integrity of the content.)

ADDENDUM (06-06):

In a May 14, 2006 interview granted to KurdishMedia.com, Producer Andrew Goldberg expresses his frustration over being a victim of Armenian Attack. (We are told that his production travelled to "Kurdistan." That means the Kurds that he interviewed could likely have been the sworn enemies of Turkey, the PKK crowd. But does "Kurdistan" mean northern Iraq, or eastern Anatolia? Given the anti-Turkish Goldberg's reply at one point that "it is Kurdistan and must be called that!," likely it is the latter.) Goldberg calls himself a "journalist" who wanted to help by "simply telling the truth." After painting a dark picture of Turkey in the interview, Goldberg mentioned "being attacked, often with fabrications, by nationalists in the Armenian press in California was very upsetting and uncalled for," and implied that he was calling it quits with future Armenian genocide programs. He also added, evidently not in the best sense of "simply telling the truth" if his budget was a whopping $650,000 (and given the unending list of benefactors), that "raising money was nearly impossible." Goldberg concluded by saying he was "very, very proud of what we achieved for journalism and for human rights." Brother!

The Key Distortions and Falsehoods of PBS's "The Armenian Genocide"


With much of THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE bathed in that typical sob-producing string music, we get right down to the action. (Actually, the main instrument might be of the woodwind variety; regardless, we'll term this "Violin music.")  Ronald Suny starts off the show by giving us a variation of Peter Balakian's Elie Wiesel-borrowed "double-killing" phrase (that viewers were offfered during WNET's "pledge break" from Goldberg's previous genocide show, when Balakian and Goldberg formed a genocide propagandists' tag team); this time we're told that Armenians are in "incomplete mourning," so, in effect, phooey on the Turkish government for not alleviating their suffering, by saying "sorry." To this, perhaps the Armenians should keep in mind rare is the folk who have not suffered tragedies in their histories, and one has a choice: to unhealthily dwell on real or perceived wounds, or to get a life and move on. That is what the Turks have done, after suffering a loss of five million exiled, and five and a half million killed in the century ending 1922 (as documented in the book, "Death and Exile").

In order for Turks to say "sorry," first, the crime needs to be established. Were there crimes against Armenians? You bet. Over a thousand accused of committing these crimes were taken to court during the war, most punished, over sixty by execution. (Naturally, many more victimizers got away, just as with the soldiers of the regiment of the My Lai Massacre. The fact that the Ottoman government attempted some punishment, however, speaks volumes. The My Lai punishment only targeted the officer in charge, and his penalty was three days' imprisonment, before house arrest.) Was there a government sponsored extermination plan? That is the very crime that needs to be established, before apologies can be forthcoming. Does the program prove this crime has been committed? Let's see how much the quadruple-checking Goldberg and company have fared.

Taner Akcam

TANER AKCAM: "People want to know what really happened. We are fed up with all these stories, denial stories, and propaganda and so on; really, the new generation want to know what happened 1915." Begorrah! How in the name of the Gods did Taner Akcam ever get a job in an American university as a "visiting professor" with that level of English? And why is his spoken English so much worse than the impeccable English he offers in his genocide reports? It's not like he would have a support system or anything like that, would it?

When he says "We," alluding to the "new generation," he must have appointed himself to speak for his "fellow Turks." He does not. He only speaks for a very, very small club of Turkish opportunists or fellow extreme lefties who think the Turkish nation is on a same par as that frightened, enslaved country ("Latveria"?) Dr. Doom was in charge of, from the "Fantastic Four" comic books.

NARRATOR: "How is it possible for a massacre of such epic proportions to take place. Why did it happen... and why has it remained one of the greatest untold stories of the 20th century?" We can see Andrew Goldberg made good on the promise of his proposal, by making it seem every one of those 1.5 million were "murdered." Yes, as if every single Armenian who died during that catastrophic period was a victim of "a massacre of such epic proportions." And just as he promised in his proposal's "It is one of the most understudied events in modern history," one of the greatest told stories of the 20th century, at the exclusion of so many truly untold examples of inhumanity, became "untold."

At show's start, I appreciated the showing of what seemed to be a whole minute of underwriters. The list went on and on, but we were also told "a complete list is available from PBS." (The Manoogian Foundation made it to fourth position this time.) The fact that this long list of supporters presented at the beginning of the film (and it was repeated also at the end) must have been a bone thrown by PBS, in a gesture of fairness. The viewer who is paying attention gets the idea off the bat that this may not be the most objective film after all.

"The Armenians. There are between six and seven million alive today..."

Wow! Armenian propaganda sites go out of their way to make it seem like there are ten million. A point for Andrew Goldberg!

"They are an ancient people... who originally came from Anatolia some 2,500 years ago."

Another point by not going overboard with the number of years. Good show, Andrew! Why, at this rate, I might just believe PBS's claims that this is really an "unbiased" show...

But hold up. What's that? The Armenians originated from Anatolia? Now we're running into trouble.

The fact is, since Armenian history is mostly written by Armenians, we can't be sure exactly what went on. But since the Armenians are an "Indo-European" people, the odds are, they did not originate from Asian Anatolia. (Although of course some Indo-Europeans came from the Caucasus, but in this case, the contention is slanderous. What is Goldberg telling us, that the superior Aryan Armenians are cousins to the inferior, Asiatic, Mongol Turks?) No, they probably came from the Balkans, as some respectable scholars (such as Bedrich Hrozny, the famous Hittitologist/archaeologist, in 1947) have concluded .

This is too big a topic to get into, the origins of the Armenians, but there is reason to believe that ancient land called "Armenia" was called as such for reasons that had nothing to do with today's Armenians. Today's Armenians originated from a tribe called the Haiks. They were one of many, many, many tribes who came and went over the centuries. If the Haiks were the original inhabitants of what we know of Armenia, the odds are foreigners would have dubbed the nation by a variation of what Armenians called themselves. That would be a derivative of the Armenian name for Armenia, Hayastan. (Or as W. G. Palgrave put it for different reasons in 1878, "Who ever heard of Armenistan?") The real evidence points to the Haiks plopping themselves down and claiming other peoples' leftovers, like the fortresses of the Uraritans, as their own. There were times when the Haiks had their little kingdoms, but they were well dispersed by 1828, when Russia had conquered the Erivan, Nakhichevan and Karabakh Khanates from Iran and encouraged what became a massive Armenian immigration into those regions... mostly from the Ottoman Empire, beginning with a wave of some 100,000, around 1828... since Armenians would be more faithful as Christians, and they could be played off against the Muslim inhabitants, the clear majority at the time. (As late as 1918, according to the Great Soviet Encyclopedia, the Soviets' Encyclopedia Britannica, Muslims comprised 38% of Erivan and environs. In just a few years, that figure would drop down to a comparatively inconsequential number... what The Jewish Times called "an appropriate analogy to the Holocaust.") There are a lot of theories as to the origins of the Armenians, but it's almost certain they did not spring from the earth of Anatolia. Before the Urartians, whose history the Haiks have "borrowed," were the Hurrians; their settlements in eastern Anatolia date back to 6,000-5,000 B.C.; The Hittites also showed their faces 2,000 years before the birth of Christ. The Assyrians made trouble for Urartu, and then the Scythians started making trouble for the Assyrians, causing the collapse of the Assyrian Empire in 609 B.C. The Scythians did not settle in these regions, moving to Egypt, allowing for the Medes to take over whatever was left of Urartu. Then the Medes got into a conflict with the Lydians. It was around this time the Armenians first started trickling into their "ancient homeland," probably from the Balkans or Thrace; they were first mentioned by Darius in 515 B.C. The Armenians were already under the Persians' sphere of influence, right from the get-go. (Most, but not all, of the above comes courtesy of Prof. Erich Feigl's "A Myth of Terror.")

As C. F. Dixon-Johnson aptly put it, "The earliest history of Armenia, as Kurdistan was called previous to its conquest by the Osrnanli Turks, is lost in the mists of mythology." He mentions yet another theory that "one of the lost tribes of Israel wandered to the shores of Lake Van and settled there, intermarrying with the Haikian(s)." Wouldn't that be a kick in the head to the more extremist Armenians, who hate Jews almost as much as they hate Turks. (One wonders whether Andrew Goldberg and his Jewish consciousness has ever visited Armenian forums.)

To get an idea of the confusion over the origins of Armenians:

"The Armenians are the former inhabitants of today's Switzerland"

Ruppen Courian, Armenian author of Promartyrs de la Civilization (1964, p. 27)

Prof. Ronald Suny described the Millet system as "discriminatory, unequal, hierarchical"; but being the comparatively more reasonable genocide advocate that he is, fairly added, "the Armenians did rather well for centuries, actually." (Although we get the strong hint that the well-doing occurred in spite of the Turks.) But then Peter Balakian gets his turn, and we all know what that means. The Armenians were "legally designated infidels." Now, infidels didn't mean you were banished, but it meant you were "subjected to a different social, political, legal, structure." In case the viewer didn't get the idea that the poor, helpless Armenians were constantly persecuted, the narrator pipes in with Goldberg's words (although they are possibly Balakian's, since he was part of the "tag team" again, billed as "Editorial Consultant Additional Writer" in the end credits): "The Armenians also had fewer rights in Islamic courts. They paid higher taxes than their Muslim neighbors. And they were generally not allowed in the military, or civil service." (That statement is far from as true for the civil service as it is for the military. Regarding the latter, surely the Armenians were the apple of their unlucky Turkish neighbors' eyes, who bore the brunt of fighting and dying in the nation's many wars.)

It's getting awfully tiresome to hear this "persecution" song all the time. Armenians generally made more money, so of course they paid higher taxes. Did Armenians expect to live in a utopia? How were French peasants faring? (Remember, there was a reason for the French Revolution.) Weren't Russian peasants little more than slaves? And forget about the native inhabitants of the different Western, more "civilized" countries, how did the minorities in the other multi-ethnic empires fare? How were Moslems treated, for example, in the British Empire? Could they have gone as far as the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire?

Let's listen to Pierre Loti:

“From Turkey we French have taken Algeria, Tunis, Morocco. The English have robbed her of Egypt. Poor, beautiful, meretricious Italy, thinking she was marching to glory, turned Tripolitania into a charnel house. We lay our heavy and disdainful hands upon these conquered countries; the least of our little bureaucrats treats every Moslem as a slave. From these believers we have taken, little by little, their trust in prayer; and upon these dreamers we have imposed our futile excitements, our anger, our speed, our alcohol, our intrigues, our iron civilisation; unrest follows us everywhere, together with ambition and despair. The Turks are misunderstood by Westerners who have never set foot in this country. I do not believe there is a race of men more thoroughly good, loyal, kind."

Let's get one thing straight, pro-Armenian propagandists: there was no utopia, anywhere in the world. But compared to what we like to think of most "enlightened" Christian nations, you had better believe the reputation for the Turks' tolerance was not ill-received. This is why the Ottoman Empire was known as a haven, and those from many different ethnicities and religions made sure to head there, knowing they would be living in, as Arnold Toynbee himself described, the closest thing to Plato's Republic.

NARRATOR: "Toward the end of the 1800s, the Armenians became increasingly dissatisfied with their second-class status, and began to demand change."

Does the following sound like the Armenians were dissatisfied?

"This community constitutes the very life of Turkey, for the Turks, long accustomed to rule rather than serve, have relinquished to them all branches of industry. Hence the Armenians are the bankers, merchants, mechanics, and traders of all sorts in Turkey." Hatchik Oscanyan, "The Sultan and his People" (New York, 1857)

The deception is truly hard to bear. No, the reason for the changes had nothing to do with discontentment or persecution. Are you kidding? The Armenians were the masters of Ottoman society, in a sense. (Sure, eastern Armenians suffered from the lack of law, at the hands of Kurds and others. But these were in regions where Ottoman control was weak. It must be kept in mind that lawless bands did not discriminate, and preyed on Muslims as well.)

Here is how Armenian "colonists" in Britain made their complaints, echoing the above, hoping to extract British sympathy (this was in 1878, when Armenians were not as spoiled; their propaganda campaign was only beginning. See how this plea was indirectly responded to by an amazing Briton, W. G. Palgrave:

"The evils from which the Armenian Christians suffer are partly those endured in common by all the subjects of the Porte, partly others peculiar to the region they inhabit... But the greatest evil by far is the presence in their country of Kurds and other predatory tribes, who carry on a perpetual war against them... The Government is utterly powerless to control the Kurds, who follow their own chieftains and do not care for the officials of the Sultan. These officials seldom venture to interfere; but if they do, the Kurds take vengeance probably on them, and certainly on the village of the Armenian who has dared to complain."

A primary reason why the Ottoman government was failing to protect its people was because the "Sick Man" was targeted by the European imperialists. And one way the imperialists were making the Ottoman Empire weaker was by using Ottoman Christians. The more zealous among the Armenians formed terror groups, to increase the attention of the European imperialists.

BALAKIAN: "The Armenian people pushed the political envelope in the Ottoman Empire by asking again and again, can a Christian be the equal of a Muslim in the Ottoman Empire... and the answer to that question was decidedly, again and again, no."
Peter Balakian

Peter Balakian and his fist of fury

The situation, of course, was much more complicated than that. The fact is, the Armenians kept getting increased freedoms during the 19th century. But the more freedoms received meant greater opportunities for causing mischief. If anything, now that the imperialists had decided to gang up on the Ottomans, Armenians got again and again bolder, knowing they would enjoy the protection of the biased European consuls. Note there is no mention here, or anywhere in the program, of the terror groups like the Hunchaks and Dashnaks. In the Goldberg show's propagandistic zeal to present the impression of "poor, persecuted Christians," what is avoided is one basic truth. It was not the "Armenian people" who expressed their wish to become more equal. (The British-Armenian plea from above also stated: "The Armenians ... have nearly all the trade in their hands, being, as is generally admitted, superior to the Moslems both in natural intelligence and in education." They were not only, for all intents and purposes, equal, but "superior" in terms of being the masters of society.) The ones who forced their demands both on the Ottoman government and the mostly unwilling (at first) fellow Armenians were the fanatical Armenian terrorist leaders.

"Never were a people so fully prepared for the hand of a tyrant; never were a people so easy to be preyed upon by revolutionary societies; never was there a people so difficult to lead or to reform. That these characteristics are the result of Muslim oppression I do not for one moment believe."

Sir Mark Sykes, The Caliph’s Last Heritage (London, 1915)

Prof. Elizabeth Frierson tells us the Sultan was only interested in reforms for Ottomans, "first and foremost. You can be an Ottoman-Armenian, that was wonderful. But if you tried to simply be an Armenian, that was an act of treason against the state."
Liz Frierson

Elizabeth Frierson

Let us allow those incredibly stupid words to sink in. This may come as news for Professor Frierson, but there is not a nation on earth that would allow a citizen's individual nationality to supersede that of the state's. The Armenians simply don't get it. They think they are special (Sykes: "The pride of race brings about many singularities"), and no matter which nation they live in, most believe they should be considered as Armenians first. Davey explained this phenomenon back in 1895: "[A]lthough one or two generations (of Armenians) may be born among us, like their first cousins the Jews, they never thoroughly assimilate themselves with us. They remain, a people apart." This is why the Armenian diaspora, no matter where they are in the world, have a tendency to think of their Armenian nationalism first. We are not talking about all Armenians, of course; but we have plenty of examples. (Such as Armenians in post WWI Georgia.) It is a universally accepted rule that when a person resides in a nation as a citizen, one's loyalty is expected "first and foremost" to that nation, otherwise that nation would regard the disloyalty as "treason." Many Armenians may not get this idea, but what is apologist Prof. Frierson's excuse?

The program next tells us that more Armenians "agitated" for their rights, met with increasing resistance by the Sultan, who ultimately called his sometimes uncontrollable Kurdish regiment, the Hamidiyeh. What we are not told is the form in which that agitation took place: the Armenians rebelled. They massacred. The idea was to draw Europe's attention, like what was happening or had happened in Ottoman Europe. When they committed such treasonous and criminal acts against the state, any state would reserve the right to put down such a rebellion. Only, when the Ottoman Empire did it, it became a "massacre."

In 1895, there were 22 provocations throughout different provinces of the empire in the last three months alone. In Diyarbakir, the second of November, shots were fired on Muslims praying in the mosque, and a fire was later started, destroying mosques and shops, 90% of which belonged to Muslims. (Carton 313, File 70, 10/28/1311 telegram). The last incident of the uprisings, on August 26, 1896, was the famous raid on the Ottoman Bank, which was mercilessly bombed. Secretary F.A. Baker wrote, "Their hatred of the Turks was beyond all description...it had been their (the Dashnaks') intention to kill all the Turks." (F.O. 424/188, No. 174, enclosure 4.) The Dashnaks would attempt the assassination of their sultan on July 21, 1905; the "Bloody Sultan" pardoned them.

(Later in the program, a quick reference would be made to 1890s, or actually all pre-1915 disturbances, of which there were only "three"; we'll get to that later.)

We get a letter from a Hamidiye soldier from 1895 testifying that 1,200 Armenians were killed as "food for the dogs," having made war on the "Armenian unbelievers." How shocking that there was a Kurd who knew how to write (among Muslim peasants, who made up the bulk of the military, literacy was not always widespread. ADDENDUM, 1-08: "The Kurds are a wild, illiterate mountain people, only one in thousands being able to read." Charles Ezra Beury, Russia After the Revolution, 1918, p. 47), and even more shocking that such a letter would have been preserved. We don't know the source, but even if it is true, what was the context? (Armenian propagandists always love to leave out the context.)

Could that Hamidiyeh soldier have been fighting against the Armenian rebels of Zeitun, for example? Here is what the Hunchak leader of that 1895 rebellion, Aghasi, wrote in his diary:

This brave population, who for a while had been forced to show restraint voluntarily came to our call. A great number of Zeitunites came to join us in the mountains where we had been hiding. . . . They had all come with arms; there were even children who carried a knife or a gun. (p. 189) ... Then we saw Vartabed Sahag, a 90-year-old lame man; he seemed happy and was crying out to thank God: `Praise the Lord! I was afraid of dying before smelling for the last time gunpowder; the perfume of incense was beginning to disgust me, and sometimes I would put gunpowder in the incenser.' [p. 214] ... The women, armed with axes, guns, daggers, and sticks, chased the Turkish prisoners who were escaping, and killed most of them, only 56 of them were able to escape. [p. 289] ... From the beginning until the end of the insurrection, the Turks lost 20,000 men, 13,000 of whom were soldiers, and the rest were bashi-bozuks [irregulars]. We had lost only 125 men, 60 of whom had died in battle, and 65 of whom were dastardly killed during the cease-fire. (p. 306]

Fikret Adanir

Fikret Adanir, another pro-genocide
Turk, made a cameo appearance

Balakian tells us the Hamidiyeh would go on to massacre "tens of thousands of innocent people in the next couple of years." We can see not all of those people were that innocent. The film provides newspaper clippings from Western publications as "proof," ending with a headline sure to water the mouth of any genocide advocate: "Another Armenian Holocaust." (Sept. 10, 1895, a London newspaper; "The Daily News"?) As to the validity of these accounts, Davey wrote:

If anyone wishes to form an idea of how Armenian atrocities are manufactured and exaggerated, let him read the Blue-books on "affairs at Aleppo," 1879. The London papers, inspired by the "patriots," announced, with a great flourish of trumpets, that 500 Armenians had been tortured and massacred in the neighbourhood of that city; and there was, so to speak, a great Armenian horrors' boom all over the western world and America too. Well, after all this sensationalism, the number of slain was eventually reduced by our own and the American consuls to eight.



NARRATOR: "These events gave the sultan worldwide infamy, and the nickname, 'The Bloody Sultan.'"

More a reflection on the attitude of the bigoted western world than the actual events. Here's what Davey wrote (I refer to Davey because he was an Armenian apologist. But he was also a fair man. There are many other Western writers who could also be referred to, those who kept a lid on their anti-Turkish prejudices... such as Russian General Mayewski and British Captain Norman):

"It is impossible to withhold sympathy and respect for a Sultan of such blameless private life as Abdul Ahmed, who works incessantly at what he believes to be the welfare of his people. To accuse him, as I have seen lately, even in respectable English papers, of being a sort of Tackleton who delights in tormenting his Armenian subjects as that worthy did in scrunching crickets, is not only unjust but in preposterously bad taste. In the first place, the Sultan is so free from the spirit oi cruelty which disgraced some of his ancestors, that it is difficult to get him to sign even the death-warrant of a murderer. He invariably commutes the sentence to imprisonment. He has much to contend with."

We then get the typical propaganda figure of 200,000 killed between 1894-1896. The reality was probably more like a tenth of that figure (the Ottoman number was 13,432), and no one talks about the 5,000 Muslims who were killed. (Barring the word of Aghasi, where the Turk-casualty was 20,000 for one rebellion alone.) Among Western sources, we get plenty of estimates that don't come close to the figure Andrew Goldberg chose to go with for his Armenian-backed show. (We should thank him for not going as skyward as 300,000, the preferred figure for one of his more zealous spokespeople, Tessa Savvidis Hofmann.) Examples: Vahan M. Kurkjian, A History of Armenia, 1958, p. 296: 100,000; also mentions British Blue Book "conservative estimate" of 63,000. From The Armenian File: Lepsius: 88,243; Bliss: 35,032, or approximately 42,000 when the 6,000-7,000 dead from the 1896 incidents are added. "The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide," p. 24: Hepworth, "Through Armenia on Horseback": 50,000. Dec. 1895 account from the German ambassador: 60,000-80,000.

With the Young Turk takeover in 1908, Peter Balakian, assuming his typically arrogant pose, tells us there is talk of reforms. "For example, very soon Armenians will be allowed in the army. There is a sense of a new era here that the Armenians are excited about." Yes, all Ottomans were excited, not just the "exclusive victims," the Armenians. But let's get something straight: most Armenians were anything but bowled over regarding the prospect of getting dragged into the beleaguered nation's many wars, to be shot at and get killed or maimed.

Fatma Muge Gocek

Fatma Muge Gocek

We are then told of the Balkan nations breaking away in 1912-13 (The historical reality, however, is that Greece, Serbia and Bulgaria had already broken away; they formed an alliance, and the armies of each nation attacked.) Taner Akcam explains almost 75% of the European territories were lost, and ties that in with "fear of collapse." Fatma Muge Gocek elaborates Anatolia is the last hold-out for the Turkish nation, and that "they feel" it must be preserved "at all costs, and therefore they think that everything they can do for it is justifiable." The narrator fills in the rest: "As thousands of refugees and Muslim Turks returned from lost battles and territories in the Balkans, Turkish nationalism and religious tensions grew. This intensified the animosity toward Christians in the empire." Vahakn Dadrian, of all people, emphasized the Turks' "misery, destitution, bitterness, lost all their belongings, dying from hunger, their Ottoman state not able to take care of them..." He put the number who "fled" in "excess of 100,000."

We all know where this is going; the big murder motive. Before we get there, though, can we dwell on what happened to the Balkan Turks? Greece, Bulgaria and Serbia acted in the most repulsive, murderous fashion. The idea was to kill every single Turk or Muslim they could get their hands on, in order to frighten the rest into leaving. Here was definite "intent" to exterminate. This is the real "untold" story, a true genocidal campaign that was one of the first of the 20th century, the extent of which was a catastrophe the biased world has yet to acknowledge in its true dimension. The reader is advised to turn to the only major work on the topic, Justin McCarthy's "Death and Exile: The Ethnic Cleansing of Ottoman Muslims, 1821-1922." These Orthodox peoples behaved in the utmost ferocity, mannerisms the Armenians would make sure to emulate in coming years on a massive scale of their own. (But with the difference the Armenians killed more for killing's sake in many occasions, rather than killing to chase the others away.) The intense anti-Muslim hatred, the pillaging and destruction of villages, the forced conversion to Christianity; what took place was what we could truly call a genuine holocaust in its own right. Because of the rapid collapse of the Ottoman armies, refugees were attacked on the roads before they could reach places of relative safety. Many were stricken by disease. Many tried to return, despite the dangers; they had their homes for centuries, after all. The victims included not only Muslims, but Jews as well.

Note the program only alluded to refugees, not to deaths, and Dadrian's number was a willful undercount. (Musn't share any of that precious sympathy!) The Muslim refugees from the Balkans, for the years 1912-20, had a total of 413,922. The Muslims had been an absolute majority before the wars had begun. Greece before: 746,485, vs. 124,460 after. Bulgaria before, 327,732 vs. 179,176 after. Serbia before, 1,241,076, Yugoslavia after: 566.478. The difference in these totals: 1,445,179. That amounted to a loss of 62%. Of these, 632,408, or 27% of the Muslim population of the conquered European territories, had died. The number of Ottoman victims for both "Death" and "Exile" parallels the entire pre-war Armenian population (some 1.5 million) and the post war Armenian mortality (up to 600,000.) Note how much the world focuses on the latter, but doesn't care one iota about the former.

What do we call a program that stresses the suffering of one people and doesn't even mention one Muslim who died, regarding the Balkan Wars? I think we can go safely beyond the realm of "propaganda" and think along the lines of "racist."

Prof. Frierson neatly explains how the animosity of these refugees against the Christians who, plain and simple, tried to exterminate them, led to "genocide." So simple, isn't it? She is surely proving herself to be a deep thinker, taking everything into account. Certainly there was antipathy from the refugees who had lost everything and witnessed the cruelty of the Orthodox Christians firsthand; but the utter dishonesty with this statement comes from the fact that if the Armenians had not rebelled, if they had been "first and foremost" Ottoman citizens (a concept Frierson apparently found outrageous) as the Jews were, nothing would have happened to them. (This was the "terrible fact," as stated by no less an authority than Armenia's first prime minister.) There was no network of hatred in Ottoman society, as, say, the Nazis had established in their society against the Jews.

That is an area Goldberg's propaganda refuses to go near, and with good reason. The Armenians' "Myth of Innocence" must be preserved. The last thing the pro-Armenian propagandists can afford to do is to admit that "ever since the beginning of the war the Armenians fought by the side of the Allies on all fronts," and that "they indignantly refused to side with Turkey," as leader Boghos Nubar flatly admitted.

Enver Pasha

Enver Pasha: We are Turks, and we will kill!

An ominous held musical note accompanies the portrait of an unfriendly-looking Enver Pasha, as he speaks of the anger produced by what had happened to the Balkan Turks. With such catastrophic losses, what other emotion would anyone have felt? Enver is quoted as wishing for "revenge, revenge, revenge." Those are magic words to the ear of more extremist Armenians. (For example, author Sarkis Atamian, The Armenian Review, Nov. 1960: "[W]ithout retribution, justice is merely a word.") The creepy notion is that Enver and company would take out their frustrations on an entirely innocent people, the Armenians, simply because they were Christian. That is an ugly, propagandistic notion, without basis in fact. (Leon Surmelian's Uncle Leon was quoted as thus in "I Ask You, Ladies and Gentlemen," a work that gave Enver, not Talat, the credit for "genocide": "Enver had nothing but praise for our soldiers during the Balkan War. It wasn’t easy for our boys to fight against the Christian Bulgarians — with Antranik serving in their army." If Enver was talking about "revenge," he was not thinking about the Armenians.)

We then move on to the notion that a mad nationalism had taken over the Ottoman Empire. Indeed, as the tolerant ways of the empire formed the reason why intense minority nationalism took hold, the Ottomans realized the idealistic old ways would lead to their own extinction, since everyone else was playing by different rules. But there is a world of difference between realizing they had to start looking out for Number One, and using nationalism as a justification for exterminating others.

The magic phrase to convey this notion? "Turkey for the Turks." What worked in "Ambassador Morgenthau's Story" back in 1918 is still being presented some ninety years later to deceive and distort. The idea of runaway Turkish nationalism prompting the Ottomans' attempt to "exterminate" the Armenians had no basis in Morgenthau's private letters and diaries (as Prof. Lowry pointed out), and it has no basis here. As written in "Grand Turk," "Every ill against which the patriots had been struggling had arisen from foreign minorities within or from foreign interference from without, frequently from both simultaneously." The natural outcome was to stress a national identity, a practice that any nation partakes in. Who could argue with one-time pro-Armenian George A. Plimpton, when he wrote in 1926’s “The New Turkey”: "We believe in America for the Americans, why not Turkey for the Turks?" In both cases, the idea has nothing to do with race, but with nationality. Neither heterogeneous nation can point to a "racially pure" identity; in Turkey's case, after centuries of co-mingling, encompassing all forms of different peoples (from the Laz to the Circassians to the Bosnians to many, many others), an ethically pure race as “Turk” is a thing of the past. Yet, unscrupulous propagandists like Vahakn Dadrian will sink to the ugly level of statements such as, "The slogans 'Deutschland Judenrein' (Germany free of Jews) and 'Turkey for the Turks' are emblematic of these goal-directed genocides.” Anyone who simple-mindedly believes "Turkey for the Turks" equals a motivation for genocide should ask why other non-Turkish minorities, like the Jews (or better yet, like the Arabs, who rebelled as the Armenians did), were not targeted for extermination.

The program gives an account of Sarikamish without paying note to the crucial part traitorous Ottoman-Armenians had played in that defeat. A few months later, the program goes on to tell us that 120,000 invading Russians were accompanied by a contingent of 5-6,000 Armenian soldiers consisting of "both Russian-Armenian conscripts and a smaller number of Ottoman-Armenians who had defected." It's the first time we get a hint of the betrayal of Ottoman-Armenians of their nation. But the situation was far more serious:

As World War I threatened and the Ottoman Army mobilized, Armenians who should have served their country instead took the side of the Russians. The Ottoman Army reported: "From Armenians with conscription obligations those in towns and villages East of the Hopa-Erzurum-Hinis-Van line did not comply with the call to enlist but have proceeded East to the border to join the organization in Russia." The effect of this is obvious: If the young Armenian males of the "zone of desertion" had served in the Army, they would have provided more than 50,000 troops. If they had served, there might never have been a Sarikamis defeat." Prof. Justin McCarthy, Turkish Grand National Assembly speech, March 24, 2005.

Justin and Carolyn McCarthy

Prof. McCarthy and his wife. It takes great strength
to deal with the dirty tactics of the Dashnaks.

(This was the speech McCarthy was invited by Turkey to present that Balakian detestably pointed to in the panel discussion, in order to accuse McCarthy of essentially being an "agent of the Turkish government." Balakian's slimy Dashnak smear tactic was to detract from the messenger's message.)

Boghos Nubar offered a figure of 150,000 Armenians in the Russian Army, and up to 50,000 Armenian volunteers, while an Armenian historian, Aykouni, estimated "more than 250,000" who fought with the Russians. Propagandists try to minimize the number of Ottoman-Armenians who served in the Russian Army as a "small number," but the fact is a good chunk of these Russian-Armenians, as well as the Armenians who travelled from other countries (see "The Black Company," relating the voyage of Armenians from America; they are correctly referred to as "Turkish Armenians"), derived from the Ottoman Empire a short time before. And when Armenians get together, their intense nationalism allows them to be just plain Armenians, regardless of the country they happen to be occupying.

Prof. McCarthy also pointed out in his above speech:

"In Eastern Anatolia, Armenians formed bands to fight a guerilla war against their government. Others fled only to return with the Russian Army, serving as scouts and advance units for the Russian invaders. It was those who stayed behind who were the greatest danger to the Ottoman war effort and the greatest danger to the lives of the Muslims of Eastern Anatolia."

The program goes into overdrive with Peter Balakian explaining Sarikamish had led to the distrust and disarmament of Ottoman-Armenian soldiers. They were put into labor battalions, "grunt work forces by which they were building roads, cleaning latrines and so forth, and were easily segregated, rounded up and just massacred en masse."

So here we have a desperate Ottoman army so short of manpower that Ambassador Morgenthau had written few were left to till the fields, causing the death of thousands of Turks daily, by starvation. The empire was hit on all sides; men were desperately needed. Now, labor battalions serve as an essential function in any army; it's not just about getting sent to the front to get shot at. Would it be logical that these needed bodies would have been massacred? Even if there was an extermination policy, it would have made better sense to use them up first, and then kill them.

There were examples of massacres of Armenian soldiers. In perhaps the best example, an Ottoman commander, Vehip (or Vehib) Pasha, actually executed a few of the perpetrators ... providing evidence against a government-run plan for extermination. (Whoever heard of SS men being punished for abusing or killing Jews?) But these crimes were committed by renegade forces. There is no evidence that there was a systematic plan to massacre Armenian soldiers, and it is despicable for this program to throw out such an unfounded assertion. (Must have been one of those facts that Andrew Goldberg "quadruple checked." Did he ask himself what the proof was? If he actually had the integrity to do so, he couldn't have produced this program. The whole program, up until this point as you have seen, consists of one unsubstantiated claim after another.)

As the violin music plays in the background, the narrator fills in by stating, "The massacres of the Armenian soldiers were the first stage of the Armenian genocide. But it was still just the beginning." Luckily, we have Peter Balakian to continue his arrogant patter by telling us about some 250 Armenian intellectuals who were arrested on April 24 in "Constantinople," to be "deport[ed]" to a prison (is that the correct word for a professor of English to be using? When Al Capone was sent to Alcatraz, was he "deported"?), where most were killed and tortured. "So just as you have able-bodied men who were wiped out by Ottoman soldiers in the winter of 1915, in the spring of 1915, the intellectual head of the culture is cut off."

ADDENDUM, 12-06:

Hilmar Kaiser, in his book review of Michael Gust's 2005 work, Der Völkermord an den Armeniern 1915/15. Dokumente aus dem Politischen Archiv des deutschen Auswärtigen Amts:

"It is doubtful that the majority of Armenian soldiers in the work battalions were murdered at the beginning of the war (p. 27) (see e.g. AA-PA Türkei 152/87, 152/88; see also Kévorkian, 1995, pp. 289-303)."

Hope you all caught that: Peter Balakian asserted the Armenians in the Ottoman army were "wiped out" in early 1915. Looks like Peternocchio is suffering from an erection, once again. Two wildly pro-Armenian sources that attested to witnessing plenty of Armenian soldiers in later years were the missionary Mary Graffam, and even U.S. Consul Leslie Davis. ("During the last two months quite a number of Armenian soldiers have been brought back in groups of two or three hundred from Erzurum." The Slaughterhouse Province, p. 181.) So this is very important; please pay attention. Peter Balakian is telling us the "extermination plan" began with a two-step process:

1) Knock off the Armenian soldiers

2) Knock off the Armenian intelligentsia.

We just demonstrated his lying with his first contention, at least regarding the timetable. Now, if one should confront him with his lie, he will say, no, I didn't mean all the Armenian soldiers were killed by early 1915. He will say something like what Tessa Hofmann claimed in her March 27, 2004 Tokyo lecture, "(Armenian soldiers) surviving were finished off with bayonets, once they had completed their task." But Tessa Hofmann has no proof. Neither does Peter Balakian. If they point to Armenian soldiers actually having been massacred, as with the Vehip Pasha example, those are isolated; they no more prove that the massacre of Armenian soldiers was a state policy than the My Lai Massacre proves the United States government intended to exterminate every Vietnamese civilian. It's horrible that these unethical people will make any and every false statement in the support of their agenda, without offering factual evidence.

PBS Editorial Standards and Policies, June 14, 2005, IV-B. Accuracy: The honesty and integrity of informational content depends heavily upon its factual accuracy. Every effort must be made to assure that content is presented accurately and in context... A commitment to accuracy includes a willingness to correct the record if persuasive new information that warrants a correction comes to light....

What the program does not mention, of course, is that there was a full-fledged Armenian rebellion going on. Prof. McCarthy, from the above speech, provided a powerful source attesting to how ready the Armenians were, waiting for their moment to strike: As early as 1908, British consul Dickson had reported:

The Armenian revolutionaries in Van and Salmas [in Iran] have been informed by their Committee in Tiflis that in the event of war they will side with the Russians against Turkey. Unaided by the Russians, they could mobilize about 3,500 armed sharpshooters to harass the Turks about the frontier, and their lines of communication.[4]

The moment war was declared by Russia in early November 1914, according to Peter Balakian's favored New York Times, the Armenians made good on their treacherous plans: "ARMENIANS FIGHTING TURKS Besieging Van — Others operating in Turkish Army's Rear."

PBS Editorial Standards and Policies, June 14, 2005, IV-A. Fairness: Fairness to the audience implies several responsibilities. Producers must neither oversimplify complex situations nor camouflage straightforward facts.

For those who equate "gendarmes" with "soldiers"

According to yet another genocide-advocating "Turkish scholar," we are told in ‘A Reign of Terror’ - CUP Rule in Diyarbekir Province, 1913-1923” that during the middle of 1915, armed Armenian gendarmes were allowed to operate. Yet Peter Balakian told us Armenian "security agents" were not only disarmed, but "wiped out" by early 1915.

(P. 45: "While the war was raging in all intensity on the eastern front, the CUP began questioning the loyalty of the Ottoman Armenians even more. On 5 May 1915 Talat authorized the Third Army to disarm all Armenian gendarmes in Diyarbekir.")

The paper also tells us two Armenians were still allowed to work as deputies for the government.

(P. 59: "Vartkes Serengulian [1871-1915], deputy for Erzurum and Krikor Zohrab [1861-1915], author and deputy for Istanbul. On 12 May 1915 Vartkes dashed to Talat’s house to protest against the mass arrests of the Armenian intelligentsia.")

Even if these two turned out to be "genocide victims" later, how very odd that members of the "Armenian intelligentsia" were still allowed to operate, to the extent of visiting their executioner's house!)

(ADDENDUM, 8-06: Hrant Sarian's diary informs us armed Armenian soldiers were still in the Ottoman army, and even serving in sensitive positions.)

Someone had to be planning this rebellion. That someone had to be mostly from ranks of the Armenian intellectuals and cultural leaders, those with the brains and the networking abilities. No doubt some of the arrested were innocent. Most of the ringleaders were not, and nearly all countries treated — especially in those days — treason as a crime punishable by death. Only Turkey or the Ottoman Empire are accused of "massacres" when they follow the same rules everyone else does.

If the idea was to exterminate these Armenians, not one would have been released. Yet, there were a number of examples, like Komitas, the famous musician, let go after two weeks of confinement. Peter Balakian's own relative, the "Action Priest," also managed to live to tell his tale. In his case, he "escaped," but that's the word of the Balakians, to be accepted at one's own risk. (The real scoop behind April 24.)

Tessa Hofmann offers her opinion that it's easier to commit genocide once the leaders have been eliminated. Now, are we actually asked to believe everyone who was left had the intelligence of a flea and were totally useless? If that was the case, eastern Anatolia could not have been occupied and run by Ottoman-Armenians, during and especially after the Russian presence.

There's Peter Balakian again; Andrew Goldberg has certainly made good use of his friend, offering him the most generous screen time. Now he's offering the Holocaust parallel of the railways, in the same underhanded method employed by Jay Winter and that other PBS genocide show, THE GREAT WAR. Cattle cars for the Jews? Same with the Ottomans. The difference: the Ottomans were even more evil than the Nazis, because they charged the Armenians for the trip.

Utterly deplorable. Let's refresh our memories. The year: 1915. The place: the bankrupt "Sick Man." Why were there "cattle cars"? Because there was no other kind. The fact that there was any train at all was good fortune enough. Prof. Guenter Lewy elaborates on the conditions:

"Moreover, the food that was available in Turkey often could not be distributed. The country’s few existing one-track railroads were overburdened, and shortages of coal and wood frequently rendered locomotives unusable. A crucial tunnel on the line toward Syria — the famous Baghdad railway — remained unfinished until late in the war. The resulting scarcities afflicted even the Turkish army, whose troops, as one German officer reported, received a maximum of one third of their allotted rations. In circumstances where soldiers in the Turkish army were dying of undernourishment, it is not so surprising that little if any food was made available to the deported Armenians. Indeed, the mistreatment of common Turkish soldiers, the subject of many comments by contemporaries, makes an instructive comparison with the wretched lot of the Armenians. Although 'provisions and clothing had been confiscated to supply the army,' wrote an American missionary in Van, 'the soldiers profited very little by this. They were poorly fed and poorly clothed when fed or clothed at all.' The Danish missionary Maria Jacobsen noted in her diary on February 7, 1915: 'The officers are filling their pockets, while the soldiers die of starvation, lack of hygiene, and illness.'”

What killed most of the Armenians was not massacres. The causes were mostly famine and disease. Did the Ottoman government bear responsibility for not taking better care of the Armenians? Yes, they did. Did the Ottoman government similarly bear responsibility for not taking care of their 2.5 million other Ottomans who also mostly died of famine and disease? Yes, they did. Could it be said the Armenians were deliberately killed because they were not supplied with sufficient food and medicine? No, it cannot; not when the rest of Ottoman society was dying of the same factors. Would as many Armenians have died if they were not subjected to a relocation policy? Probably not. But when a bankrupt nation is attacked on all sides by superpower enemies and threatened with extinction, and if a disloyal minority decided to join these enemies and become "belligerents de facto since they indignantly refused to side with Turkey," as leader Boghos Nubar flatly admitted, then who bears the responsibility? (It's not that a government would be without responsibility to make sure the poor innocents among the relocated would not be better taken care of. But the fact is, if the Armenian leaders had not taken their people down this road, there simply would not have been a relocation policy, as there was none for the other Ottoman minorities, like the Greeks and the Jews.)

Getting back to the matter of the rails, it's not that the Ottomans were being evil by charging the Armenians who were able to travel by rail the cost of their tickets. The fact that they allowed the Armenians to travel by rail at all is a point in the Ottomans' favor, given that other competing war necessities were compromised by the usage of the precious one-track railroad. These Armenians could have easily been subjected to travel on foot, as their cousins in the east, where there was no railroad... and no choice. As a pro-Armenian relief worker noted: "the distance between Cilicia and the Syrian wasteland was considerably shorter, and although many thousands died in blistering exile, at least half of the deportees from Cilicia still clung to life when the world war ended." (Kerr, "The Lions of Marash," p. xxi. Referring to at least some of these transported folks, an en route foreign resident by the name of Miss Frearson observed that they "looked so much better off in every way than any refugees we had seen that they hardly seemed like refugees at all." From "The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire," 1916, p. 543.) Regarding use of the rails, the most critical issue for those of us who are attempting to see whether there was a premeditated plan of murder is, as Gwynne Dyer put it: "Armenians living in areas served by the railway could buy tickets and travel safely, (and) there were no further attacks on Armenians who reached Syria."

With his annoying, barely hidden half-cocked smile, secure in the knowledge that his propaganda will be going out unchallenged, and with the sad violin music in the background, Peter Balakian further tells us: "We're familiar with the images of Jews being crammed into box cars in Germany and Poland; box cars were now filled with eighty to a hundred people who were dying just of asphyxiation and starvation on their journey alone." Meanwhile, we are provided with a picture of a railroad car with slatted openings.

railroad car transporting Armenians, 1915

This is the photo accompanying Balakian's "asphyxiation" charge

Can the thoroughly deceptive Peter Balakian provide any reliable evidence that Armenians had died of asphyxiation? NO, he cannot. Why is he saying it? Because Peter Balakian employs an unscrupulously Dashnak "end justifies the means" level of morality, and he is out of control, having a field day with presenting this "Holocaust parallel" to unwary and ignorant American viewers.

Balakian adds that the Ottomans had told the Armenians they would be returning. "This is what the Nazis told the Jews as they arrested them and deported them as well." The Ottoman decree in relocating the Armenians (Balakian the English professor should know "deportation" means banishment outside a country's borders; this is not the correct term to use for the Armenians who were moved around and not out of the country, and it is certainly not the correct way to describe Jews sent to certain death by the Nazis), enacted on May 27 and made effective June 1, was put forth as a temporary law. By 1917, the Ottoman government was discussing the possibility of allowing the Armenians to return. Not that they weren't already returning, as witnessed by the missionary Mary Graffam (the relocated Armenians were not kept under lock and key in the same manner as Nazi concentration camps, particularly those who had been integrated into villages and not in the ill-guarded settlements, and more than a few travelled freely); the missionary Ernest Partridge also referred to what appears to have been the period after the Ottoman decree of Dec. 21, 1918, officially permitting the Armenians to return: "I found Sivas a very busy place at the time of our arrival. Deported Armenians were trekking back to their former homes, and we had through our city a constant stream of people returning way up to the Black Sea coast." In 1921, the Armenian Patriarch provided a report to the British stating 644,900 Armenians remained within what was left of the empire. Many hundreds of thousands of Armenians had gone off to other areas on their own accord (travelling freely since the places they went to were not in Ottoman control), 50,000 to Iran and 500,000 to Transcaucasia by Richard Hovannisian's count, among others. So if the Ottomans told the Armenians they would be returning, were they lying? The reader may judge who the real liar is.

Tessa Hofmann

Tessa Savvidis Hofmann

"Purposely the people were driven under escort, long marches, in order to exhaust them. They were driven ... over mountains, and sometimes in circles, in order to make them weary," not allowed to rest or drink when they were thirsty, killing off the weakest, the children, pregnant women. So stated Tessa Hofmann. The reason why the people were forced to march was because there simply was no mode of transportation. Everyone was subjected to the same rules... even those who stood between life and death for the nation, the soldiers. Here is an example of a convoy, forced to march, and massacred.

It is utterly despicable for the agenda-ridden Hofmann to make conclusions such as "purposely" when she cannot provide the evidence. As Prof. Bernard Lewis put it, "There is no evidence of a decision to massacre. On the contrary, there is considerable evidence of attempt to prevent it, which were not very successful... The massacres were carried out by irregulars, by local villagers responding to what had been done to them and in number of other ways." The proof for Hofmann's admirable ability to fill a zeppelin-sized hot air balloon was provided by the Armenian Patriarch himself in his 1921 report. If the idea was to murder all of these Armenians, instead of 644,900 being around, there would have been closer to zero.

We are treated to a sad story of how a gendarme viciously stabbed a grandmother, once she sounded off on the injustice of their trek. "Unable to silence her with repeated dagger thrusts, the gendarme mercifully pumped some bullets into her and ended her life." The source: "Haig Baronian, Genocide Survivor," when he was a child. Is the story true? Possibly. There were certainly lowlifes among the gendarmes, and some definitely committed crimes. Should "Armenian oral history" be accepted at face value? Not if one is after genuine truth. The real question: if the idea was to murder the Armenians, how could Haig Baronian have possibly remained a "genocide survivor"? Especially if the mad gendarme, generous with his bullets, was ticked off solely by the woman's mutterings. If this kid was observing his own beloved grandmother getting so brutally murdered right in front of his eyes, what do you think he would have been doing? The same as any other frightened, horrified child: screaming at the top of his lungs. If the simple sounds from the grandmother are what made the gendarme turn into Michael Myers from the HALLOWEEN horror movie series, what would have possibly prevented him from turning his rifle toward the hysterical grandson?


PROF. SUNY: "We have evidence that so many people died and were thrown into the Euphrates River, that the river ran red with blood. Indeed, many people who could not take the marches could not stand the pain and torture, killed themselves by dropping into the river."
Ronald Suny

Dr. Ronald Suny

I am beginning to lose my already reluctant respect for Prof. Suny. He is dangerously getting close to Peter Balakian-Vahakn Dadrian territory. What are the sources Prof. Suny is referring to? He is consulting missionary sources such as Dr. William Rockwell, prone to issuing statements of scenes he was never close to, as "...hundreds are dying daily; that mothers are throwing babies into the Euphrates in despair..." (from the Oct. 1916 New York Times article, "The Total of Armenian and Syrian Dead"; here's another New York Times example.) A genuine truth-seeker without an agenda would have beans in his brains to rely on missionary accounts. In their prayers, the missionaries were given "license from God" to vilify the Turks. These people of the Book abhorrently broke the Ninth Commandment constantly.

As Dr. Justin McCarthy described in his excellent report on British war propaganda:

In all of the writings of the missionaries Turks were never victims; Armenians were always victims. Armenians never killed; Turks always killed. Turks, and I am not exaggerating in any way, Turks persecuted orphans; Turks were cannibals; Turks held auctions of Armenian women; Armenians were a majority all over the east of Anatolia; all young Armenian males had been killed by Turks; all women, every one, were raped by Turks; the Turks hated education and always persecuted the educated; no Christians had ever been part of the Ottoman government. Turks needed Christians because the Turks were racially incapable of being "doctors, dentists, tailors, carpenters, every profession or trade requiring the least skill." And the missionaries wrote that now that the Turks had killed the Armenians, Westerners who were going to have to come in and take over Turkey, because the Turks had rid themselves of the only people with brains, the Armenians, and the Turks could not run the country themselves.

Here lies the distinction between the propagandist and the genuinely impartial researcher. When one proves ones case by pointing to propaganda, one is either affirming ones already existing status as a propagandist, or is adding oneself to the ranks of the propagandists. In order to become a researcher of integrity, one must seek unconflicted sources. Sources such as H. Pravitz, a Swede who was so disgusted by what Richard Davey had termed the "great Armenian horrors' boom all over the western world and America too" that he was compelled to pen an article, in which he reported:

For fourteen days, I followed the Euphrates; it is completely out of the question that I during this time would not have seen at least some of the Armenian corpses that, according to Mrs. Stjernstedt’s statements, should have drifted along the river en masse at that time. A travel companion of mine, Dr. Schacht, was also travelling along the river. He also had nothing to tell when we later met in Baghdad.

In summary, I think that Mrs. Stjernstedt, somewhat uncritically, has accepted the hair-raising stories from more or less biased sources, which formed the basis for her lecture.

By this, I do not want to deny the bad situation for the Armenians, which probably can motivate the collection initialized by Mrs. Stjernstedt.

But I do want to, as far as it can be considered to be within the powers of an eyewitness, deny that the regular Turkish gendarme forces, who supervised the transports, are guilty of any cruelties.

Maria Jacobsen

Missionary Maria Jacobsen

As if on cue, the program offers the August 1915 testimony of "Christian Missionary from Denmark," Maria Jacobsen, as voiced by actress Laura Linney. "These were the hated Christians now in the hands of their enemies" the hopelessly pro-Christian missionary tells us, neglecting to add that if the Christians were in line to get murdered by these enemies because of hatred, there is no way any Ottoman Christian would have been alive after many centuries of such hatred. "It was impossible to talk to these people about God while they cried, pulled and tore at us; and the soldiers shouted at them and struck them with their sticks."

Indeed, in an impossible situation like this, where "soldiers" are assigned to keep order among those who are half out of their mind with hunger and misery, rare would be the trying-to-psychologically-cope police force anywhere in the world that would give first consideration to sensitivity and niceties. As H. J. Pravitz recorded from the above article, "I have seen dying and dead along the roads — but among hundreds of thousands there must, of course, occur casualties. I have seen childrens' corpses, shredded to pieces by jackals, and pitiful individuals stretch their bony arms with piercing screams of "ekmek" (bread). But I have never seen direct Turkish assaults against the ones hit by destiny. A single time I saw a Turkish gendarme in passing hit a couple of slow moving people with his whip; but similar things have happened to me in Russia, without me complaining, not then, nor later." It's the intention of the program to present these gendarmes as vicious Nazis. But if they were Nazis, why would they have allowed a Christian missionary to come in and comfort the Armenians in the first place?

The picture Jacobsen painted is a terrible one. But what is also terrible is that the bigoted missionary neglected to keep in mind the beautiful teaching of Jesus that every human life is costly to God. "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus." (Gal 3.28) But to ones such as Maria Jacobsen, the only worthy human beings were the Armenians. The Muslim population who was similarly suffering — Morgenthau estimated in his book that an entire quarter of the Turkish population fell to starvation — had little place in her selective heart. (It wasn't like she was totally oblivious; we already provided an example above, where she wrote in February 1915 that the Turkish soldiers were themselves dying of starvation, lack of hygiene, and illness. But this partisan religious fanatic didn't dwell on the miseries of what she very likely considered the infidel subhumans.)

NARRATOR: "Central to the process of massacre and deportation was a certain group within the Committee of Union and Progress known as the Special Organization, led by a physician named Behaeddin Shakir."

Balakian chimes in, "He is a fanatical CUP member committted to the extermination of the Armenians with a plan to create mobile killing units that would do the dirty work of exterminating the Armenians of the Ottoman Empire." (I am getting the feeling friend Balakian was called in during post production, and Goldberg asked him to provide scripted, neat little tie-ins. If so, quite a performance. By the way, Shakir, this "Heinrich Himmler," raised two Armenian boys.)

The Special Organization is a ready little culprit that Vahakn Dadrian tried to fit his selective hearsay and other "evidence" to implicate. It wouldn't do to have a genocide thesis without an SS squad. Such are the unscrupulous tactics of the Armenian genocide industry.

Prof. Guenter Lewy exposed the holes in Dadrian's nonsensical Special Organization claims in his book, a sample of which may be read in this article. Significantly, the one Western scholar, Philip H. Stoddard, who made a full study of the Special Organization, summed up the force as "a significant unionist vehicle for dealing with both Arab separatism and Western imperialism," and maintained they played no role in the Armenian relocation program.

Halil Berktay, the "Turkish scholar" in league with the genocide industry, eagerly supplements the Dadrian contention by adding that the Special Organization was composed of the "scum of the earth, convicts, people... deliberately released from prison for this kind of purpose, and they started... massacring Armenian convoys... either on the move or when they were in camps in certain places, or inside certain towns."

It is alleged that because a secret organization existed it must have been intended to do evil, including the genocide of the Armenians. As further "proof," it is noted that officers of the Teskilat were present in areas where Armenians died. Since Teskilat officers were all over Anatolia, this should surprise no one. By this dubious logic, Teskilat members must also have been responsible for the deaths of Muslims because they were also present in areas where Muslims died. Does this prove that no Teskilat members killed or even massacred Armenians? It does not. It would be odd if during wartime no members of a large organization had not committed such actions, and they undoubtedly did so. What it in no way proves is that the Teskilat was ordered to commit genocide. — Prof. Justin McCarthy, April 11, 2001

Berktay has no evidence to support his wild claims. Let's dwell on Berktay for a moment, as he was part of a scandal, relating this very film production. (Referring to the appearances of Halacoglu and Aktan.)

Ruhat Mengi

Ruhat Mengi

Seems like one of Halil Berktay's e-mails was taken from his university computer and sent to a reporter (Ruhat Mengi) from one of Turkey's newspapers, "Vatan." He wrote to Stephen Feinstein of the University of Minnesota's CHGS (the university is where Taner Akcam is allowed to peddle his wares), and the reporter wrote a series of mid-March 2006 columns, based on what became a mild scandal. Berktay's words:

While “we” may know the truth about the likes of Aktan and Halacoglu, the point is to get the general public to recognize it… Including that is decisive in the long run, i.e. the Turkish public in Turkey and outside Turkey. We should find some Turks that can speak like us, make statements fitting our needs. It is needed to find support for all these tasks.

(The above provides only the gist, as what was sent to me was a rough translation from the original Turkish.)

The reporter added, "I wonder if the 'support to convince the Turks to speak like (pro-genocide advocates),' is to give them a plaque or take them to a dinner! This must be asked of H. Berktay." Naturally, what she is alluding to is the vast financial reserves of the genocide industry. One reason why Taner Akcam has been allowed to remain at respectable American universities to teach his one-note poison as a perpetual "visiting professor" is because his academic positions have been subsidized by Armenian foundations, at least some of the time. (There is no end to wealthy Armenian foundations, as the list of underwriters for this program tells us.) The current Akcam benefactor is reportedly the Cafesjian Foundation.

Halil Berktay protested that “some persons” had stolen the letter, which is probably true. The ultra-leftist from Turkey's anarchic "left vs. right" days of the 1970s also reportedly maintained “Feinstein is not defending the Genocide issue,” which would be exactly in keeping with the truth Berktay maintained regarding the Special Organization.

The reporter added from her editorial: Halil Berktay, in two notices he sent to me, says that there is no such mail, that what I say is lie, fabrication and slander. Berktay “guarantees the scholarly honor” of all academicians defending the genocide thesis and adds that this erupts from the fact that I am totally a stranger to the concept and true honor of scholarship.

Halil Berktay

Halil Berktay: He is angry and not going
to take it anymore

(That's a common tactic of these genocide advocates; for example, Dadrian loves to accuse those who are not in line (with his genocidal views) of poor scholarship, as he did with Lewy and Erickson. This is part of what Prof. Lewy labeled beautifully as the "superb arrogance" of genocide advocates. By the way, it was confusing to figure out what was going on here; first Berktay protested his letter was stolen, and there was also another bit about his claiming to have written to the web page of Michigan University instead, with copies sent to Dr. Gerard Libaridian and Harut Sassounian. Yet above Berktay evidently claimed there was no such mail. The reporter is adamant that there was, and adds a copy was sent to a Yahoo group called "armenian" or something. These have been roughly translated from the original Turkish so, as I said, it's confusing.)

Another writer from "Milliyet," Melih Asik (entitled "Caught," or Yakalandi, March 12, 2006), fills in more of this episode's holes; Berktay was responding to a query by Feinstein, as Feinstein was apparently concerned about the destructive effects of Halacoglu and Aktan's appearances on the PBS-Goldberg show. Berktay replied these two men are agents of the Turkish government, half fascist and neo-nationalist, the enemies of truth. Despite these qualities, their participation on the program will not be that harmful. Then he gives his opinion that Turks who think along the same lines as "us" (the genocide crowd) ought to be found, and provided with support.

Quite obviously the support would need to be financial. And there we have an inside glimpse regarding the dirty dealings of the genocide industry, where truth all too often takes a back seat.

PROF. SUNY: "The genocide of the Armenians was ordered and initiated from the top. But in many ways it was a disorganized event. As these deportation marches occurred, ordinary people became involved. Kurds, Circassians, Turks along the road, anyone who could find any advantage in killing Armenians, stealing their jewels, or whatever they might have."

I sure wish Suny did not approach Dadrian territory, where Dadrian loves to point out that it was "jihad" sensibilities that persuaded ordinary Turks to kill, because God told them to. Suny isn't tying in Turkish misbehavior with religious fanaticism with his statement, but he is still maintaining ordinary citizens joined in the melee. Were there ordinary citizens who opportunistically took advantage of the poor Armenians? Most definitely. Did some of them kill Armenians? Nothing is beyond the realm of possibility. But this is a dangerous assertion, as it perpetuates the Terrible Turk stereotype, one where the world has been programmed to believe the Turks have a genetic predisposition to kill. Killings were committed by lawless bands and those out for revenge, for what Armenians had done to their families, for the most part. It was wrong of Suny to have given the impression that ordinary Turks participated in killings as a rule. Suny should leave that sort of ugliness to Dadrian and Balakian.

Turks are a very honorable, moralistic people. Even the rare missionary thought so: ("[The Turks] are the most honest and moral of the Orientals.") The common reaction of the ordinary Turk to the movement of the Armenians was as Leon Surmelian pointed out, in "I Ask You Ladies and Gentlemen": "We were curious to know how the rank and file of the Turks, families like this one, took the deportation order. The women were veiled and we could not see their expressions, but the men seemed to tell us with their sad eyes: 'Why should such things happen? Isn’t there room enough for all of us to live in peace? You have done us no harm, and we wish you no harm. Allah be with you'."

But where Prof. Suny entered truly "disgraceful" territory was with his assertion that his genocide was ordered from the top. Who says so? Aram Andonian? Other than Andonian's forgeries, there is simply no evidence that points to such a conclusion, and Suny has truly compromised his scholarly credentials with that one.

Andrew Goldberg made good on the promise from his proposal to get some Turks in Turkey to lend genocidal support. We have four brief interviews of unnamed individuals.

Let me take a quick break here and admit the easy way for genociders (as Harut Sassounian, among many others) to try and discredit this site is that the author has chosen to go by a pseudonym. My answer (knowing full well that the time-honored Dashnak tactic is to go after the messenger) is that the message is important, not the messenger. I form my opinions around the sources I have staked my beliefs upon. Thinking critics would know to put my opinions aside, and concentrate mainly on the validity of the sources.

One who presents the picture of filming a valid documentary as Goldberg cannot afford the same luxury by choosing not to identify the spotlighted individuals. The only thing these on-camera people are offering are their own opinions. The credibility of the production cannot be compromised by refusing to name them. Otherwise, they could be hired actors.

Goldberg could defend his choice by telling us he needed to safeguard these folks from the "evil" Turkish government. That explanation might have worked in 1916, when Lord Bryce pointed to his anonymous Blue Book witnesses as "Mr. X" or "a very reliable gentleman." (Bryce provided the excuse that the well-being of his witnesses needed to be safeguarded from the similarly evil Ottoman government.) In today's Turkey, these people don't need to worry about the Turkish Gestapo mowing them down with machine guns. Otherwise, a propagandist like Halil Berktay could not have possibly operated this long on Turkish soil, and, besides, if the "agents of the Turkish government" really wanted to track down these "traitors," their filmed faces would provide an excellent start.

Persons number one and number three (the fourth one comes later, but is part of this group) are apparently Kurds, as they were not speaking Turkish. Their interviews appear to have been pre-arranged, in interior settings. It's not hard to find Kurds with a beef against Turkey, and who go along with Armenian claims (the old "the enemy of my enemy is my friend"), so their testimony can be tainted. The single Turk (not that speaking Turkish would necessarily make someone a Turk, but that's what we have to go by), person number two, was a man on the street. What Goldberg and his camera crew was apparently forced to do was to stop passers-by and hope to luck out with one who presented "pro-genocide" views. (Later in the production we will be offered other men on the street, to demonstrate how brainwashed Turkish people are, refusing to acknowledge this genocide.)

Person number two says his grandfather told a story about how he and others put Armenians in a barn and burned them; "their voices didn't leave his ears for years." Is this the truth? Very likely. Let's try to get something straight: what happened during those catastrophic years was along the lines of a "blood feud," where the situation had deteriorated to the extent that "tribespeople" had to choose sides. Similar in recent memory to how the Croats, Serbs and Bosnians tried to do each other in during the hell that was the break-up of Yugoslavia. But what individuals did to each other cannot be used as evidence that there was a state-sponsored genocide; particularly when the state is on record for punishing some who committed crimes against Armenians..

Presumed Kurd number one states words that is music to an Armenian propagandist's ears. The state ordered the mass killings, and the mullahs permitted the locals to kill because the Armenians were Christians (Vahakn Dadrian is in heaven!). "This is according to my father," he adds. Presumed Kurd number two testifies "some faithless people" said that the killings were permitted, and if enough were killed, entry into Heaven would be assured. Minutes later, another unnamed and pre-arranged interviewee speaking the same foreign dialect states his grandfather said the state ordered the mass killings, some religious people saying the killing was permitted.

It is heartwarming the Kurds have let bygones be bygones with the Armenians.

A British colonel reported that the Armenians “massacred between 300,000 and 400,000 Kurdish Muslims in the Van and Bitlis districts.” 

(British Colonel Wooley, U.S. Archives, 12.9.1919, 184.021/265)

It can't be ruled out that there were times the ignorance of religious fanaticism played a part with some killers. But I am uneasy that all three presumed Kurds appeared to be reading from the same script, saying very similar things. Something is fishy. (A clue: in the end credits, there are two Kurdish references among a total of six under the "Translations" department, one being the "American Kurdish Association." We can't leave out the possibility, given the scruples of this propagandistic production, that these were anti-Turkish Kurds from outside Turkey, possibly aided by a little coaching.)

(Some of these anti-Turkish Kurds hate Turks so much, they get the anti-Turkish European countries they live in to choose sides.)

Pure Armenian woman

Pure Christian woman

Presumed Kurd number three wrapped up with more music to the ears of the Armenian propagandist, that Armenian women were taken. At this point, as the voice-over dramatically goes dead (but as the never-ending sad violin music keeps playing), we are treated to a shot of a pretty woman... footage that could have easily been taken from a silent French film. (She is truly in marked contrast to the miserable Armenian women we have been offered thus far; here is a page of photos featuring unstressed Ottoman-Armenians.) What is the message? These bloody, barbaric, heathen, lustful Turks violated "our" pure white women, fellow anti-Muslim American viewer! At least no secret is being made of the propagandists' manipulation tactics, and if Joseph Goebbels were alive today, he just might have forced himself to shake Andrew Goldberg's hand.

Showing no let up with the propagandistic hogwash, Goldberg delivers with the dishonest notion that the takeover of Van was really "self-defense": "Occasionally, the Armenians did fight back. In the city of Van, in 1915, they killed Turkish soldiers and held off Turkish forces for more than a month." It wasn't just Turkish soldiers they killed, but every Muslim they could get their hands on.

It is unconscionable of Andrew Goldberg, who has surely seen the non-conflicted sources backing up the claims of the contra-genocide camp, to not utter a word about the death, torture, misery and simply hideous crimes perpetrated by the Armenians. And, yes, Muslim women were violated in droves. But instead of being taken to "harems," as we'll learn in moments regarding Armenian women, the Muslim women were usually killed after being raped. Where is Andrew Goldberg's "Jewish consciousness" when he needs it?

The Armenians began their rebellion the moment after war was declared upon the empire. There are many places for the reader to visit to get the lowdown, as this page, where one thing we can see is an August 13th, 1915 reportage from enemy France (Le Temps): "At the beginning of this war, Aram (Manoukian) took up arms and became the head of the insurgents of Van. Russia which possesses at present this province named Aram governor for it, wishing to satisfy the Armenian element which so brilliantly participated in the war against Turkey." Another French newspaper credited Aram with 10,000 fighters; if this were "self-defense," it must be asked why the Van rebellion began before "April 24." By February 1915, the Russians had already given a quarter-million rubles "for the initial cost of arming and preparing the Turkish Armenians."

Everything Islamic in Van was destroyed. When the Ottomans were finally forced to evacuate Van (it was in April when the Armenians had actually taken control of Van, around the time of the April 24 Armenian "Date of Doom," and then came under siege from Ottoman troops, arriving after the city had fallen), many forced to flee were set upon by Armenian bands on the roads, what Vahakn Dadrian might refer to as the "Armenian Special Organization." Among the victims, Andrew Goldberg and his consciousness might pay note, were (and this is not the only example) three hundred Jews who tried to escape toward Hakkari. Most were literally chopped to pieces; they simply did not fit the Aryan-Armenian mold. As Prof. McCarthy footnoted in his "Death and Exile," "By the end of World War I, the Jewish presence in southeastern Anatolia, which had existed since antiquity, was over."



Underwriters of THE ARMENIAN GENOCIDE, in order and appearance of the program's credits (Getler, April 21: "PBS executives say about 60 percent of the funds came from foundations 'of broad interests' and the rest from individuals"):










The end credits also featured endless other Armenian names and organizations, including [under "Special Thanks"] the Gomidas Institute, the AGBU, and individuals from ANCA.



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