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.
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
(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
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
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
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
"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."
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.)
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.
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
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
[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
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
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
"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
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
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.)
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
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: "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
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
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
To get an idea of the
confusion over the origins of Armenians:
"The Armenians are the former inhabitants of today's
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
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."
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."
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
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
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]
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,
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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."
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
"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.
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
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.
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.
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."
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
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
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.
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
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.)
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
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
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.
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
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
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
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.)
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
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
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,
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
MR. JOHN C. & MRS. JUDITH D. BEDROSIAN;
AVANESSIANS FAMILY FOUNDATION;
THE LINCY FOUNDATION;
THE MANOOGIAN SIMONE FOUNDATION;
THE KULHANJIAN STRAUCH FAMILY FDN;
THE HAMPARIAN FAMILY FOUNDATION;
BALIAN FAMILY FOUNDATION, INC.;
BOB AND LORA KHEDERIAN IN MEMORY OF
MYRON AND ROSE KHEDERIAN
CALIFORNIA COMMERCE CLUB;
FRANCK MULLER USA;
HAGOPIAN FAMILY FOUNDATION;
JEANETTE SARKISIAN WAGNER AND
PAUL A. WAGNER IN MEMORY OF
THE SARKISIAN AND NORSIGIAN FAMILIES
SIRAN & ANOUSH MATHEVOSIAN
UNITED ARMENIAN CHARITIES;
ST. GREGORY THE ILLUMINATOR ARMENIAN CHURCH;
ARMEN AND NORA HAMPAR;
FALCON MANAGEMENT CORPORATION;
GEORGE AND ALICE KEVORKIAN FOUNDATION;
HAGOP AND ERANICAKOUYOUMDJIAN;
THE JONATHAN SOBEL & MARCIA DUNN FOUNDATION;
SUZANNE M. AND RAZMIK ABNOUS;
DR. HAROUTUNE MEKHJIAN AND
SHAKE MEKHJIAN FOUNDATION;
JEFFREY C. BABIKIAN;
(PBS SITE ADDS:) VARIOUS INDIVIDUALS; VARIOUS PRIVATE FOUNDATIONS
The end credits also featured endless other
Armenian names and organizations, including [under "Special Thanks"] the
Gomidas Institute, the AGBU, and individuals from ANCA.
Please turn to:
The Armenian Genocide (Part II)