Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide

  The Peter Balakian Page  
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Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
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"We can't have debate without truth."

Peter Balakian
"Aztag Daily" interview, Nov. 13, 2003 


Peter Balakian apparently grew up without much hatred in his household, but then grew obsessed about the Armenian "Genocide"... to the point of spearheading a smear campaign against Princeton Professor Heath Lowry, and penning a one-sided book ("The Burning Tigris") designed to show Turks as monsters at every opportunity; the Colgate University English professor and author-poet utilized "evidence" such as the Andonian forgeries, discredited war propaganda and testimony from the lazy-thinking bigots of the period. (And this period.) Surely a man who would have done Henry Morgenthau proud, and one who may be called the latter day Vahan Cardashian. (An Armenian-American lawyer from the WWI days who had no compunction about spreading false information at will.) Indeed, Peter Balakian has done a great job of following in the footsteps of Bishop Krikoris "Action Priest" Balakian, the cousin of Peter Balakian's grandfather... a man who also had little respect for the truth.

As Peter Balakian is one of the "Joint Chiefs of Staff" of Armenian Propaganda today, he has been referred to throughout the TAT site. This page will showcase various odds and ends regarding this fascinating man.



) How Some Armenians Think of Peter Balakian

2) Samantha Power joins forces with the Balakian Dog of Flake

3) A Confrontation with Peternocchio

4) Peternocchio Caught in Another Lie

5) To Correct His Lie, Another Lie


  How Some Armenians Think of Peter Balakian

 From the thread entitled "Peter Balakian - much noise about nothing?"... at the Armenians.com forum.

An "Arrogant Son of a Gun"


About a month ago I met Peter Balakian in a semi-formal setting. I was much disappointed. I had even an unpleasent discussion with him. I found him to be one of the "old guard" and an "arrogant son of a gun." While he certainly has literary and other style and class, his message was much of nothing - "me, me upper-midle class upbringing, my memories, my assimilation, my discomfort,my rediscovery of my identity and my confusion about it" etc. The man has absolutely no vision for this nation and still lacks identity - his Armenian identity is just a result of reverse association with the Turks.

What a mixed bag!

MJ, May 26 2002


Balakian is a product of Bergen County, New Jersey USA. The Armenian communty there are the most pompous, arrogant and self-serving bunch I have ever encountered, and this includes many of my own flesh and blood. They are ignorant to boot, dealing only with generalities and knowing nothing of nuance. As for Balakian, just read his book and you will see the forces which formed him.



After having a conversation with him I have no desire to waist my time reading him - he has nothing to tell that would be of interest to me. Besides, he was very transparent in demonstrating the "forces that have shaped him."

MJ, May 26 2002


Reading the works of someone who has upset you is NEVER wasted. I am an unabashed liberal but watch Fox News for many hours every day. I want to see how those I oppose are mind-manipulating the American public. Balakian's book is a revelation for every Armenian-American. Do not blame him for the milieu in which he was raised.

Khodja, May 26 2002



Contrary to the approach to life of some of those we know here… I don't make decisions on "what to read and what not to read" based on "if the author has upset me or not." I don't have to let things go through my personal "filters" to have attitude towards them.

As to Balakian – I find reading him not being worth my time, though fighting him and his alike would be a well-spent time, perhaps.



I read Balakian's "Black Dog of Fate" when i was 18, about a year ago. I actually liked his memoir.
I found the book to be interesting, especially the middle part and the ending.

What are these "forces" that you guys are talking about?
I think that he knows a lot about our nation, since he wrote about our history in his memoir, he has been invited to speak in many ARmenian related events and he's also active in Armenian community.
Anyways, i don't really get why you guys are dissing him so much Give him a break.



Peter Balakian

Peter Balakian

I read Balakian's book about 18 months ago, and found it really boring. I especially couldn't see any point about all the American stuff. There must have been some good points to the book - but I can't remember them now: all I remember is at the end being glad that I had been lent a copy rather than buying it.

Bellthecat, May 27, 2002


I also read Balakian a while ago and the only things I remember is that he was a professor, a poet and that he met many in the intelligentsia of NYC West side in the 60s (?).

Light reading. Upper middle class ethnic autobiography.

But he did help to bring Armenia and a few issues to the forefront. That´s enough for me. We should take what we can. Criticizing always, of course.



Alright, this MJ dumb ass is just an idiot. All he does is criticize people think he's some smart guy or something. Balakian a couple weeks ago was on national TV talking about the Armenian Genocide. What have you done to help people recognize of the Armenian Genocide??? I've made a web-site about it, I've been featured in the nespaper a couple times talking about it, in class my assignments are about it. You are the reverse Armenian or whatever you called Balakian.

Sako_Aper, Sep 4 2003


grow up and watch your language.

just because you have a website on the genocide that gets 5 visitors a year does not make you better Armenian than anyone else.

Also, go back and reread the Code of Conduct of this forum one more time before posting here again.

Azat (moderator), Sep 4 2003


Sako: Anyone who puts the people before himself, and uses every opportunity to further the Cause, is a great man. I respect you for what you've accomplished, and what you are doing to help us all.

KnightOfArmenia, Sep 6 2003


Today I purchased "Black Dog of Fate" in Armenian from Abril bookstore. It is translated and published in Armenia. Even though my Armenian reading/writing so bad that I probably can't read it, I still felt obligated to buy a copy.

Azat, Oct 13 2003


I just finished his latest book and I have to say that it is a very good read and most Armenians should pick up a copy and read it.

The Burning Tigris

Azat, Oct 24 2003


Peter Balakian

Peter Balakian 

I am in the middle of reading it. Right after midterm exams I will complete it. A very good book, my only criticism being that he ignores my relatives and so many other prominent Armenians to plug his family and the ancestors of the friends of his late physician father's family, as well as, the families of his parents close friends in Tenafly.

America-Hye, Oct 24 2003


An old friend of mine (non Armenian) just gave me a call today and mentioned that he heard Peter on the radio (in Seatle) today..and whatever he said (concerning the Genocide) made a positve impression. Aparently the book is now #5 on the NY Times bestseller list! (according to my bud) great news IMO....stil need to pick it up and read it...

THOTH, Nov 8 2003


Hey guys i'm from lebanon and i don't really know how armenians in the US think about the armenian cause and question.I think that peter Balakian did a good job in his book "Black Dog Of Fate" and i was touched and his transformation from a typical american into an ARMENIAN american really impressed me.I think we all have this problem for instance in my case i don't feel like a lebanese and the Arabs i guess hate us for that somehow.lebanon is only a temporary place in my life and i hope that someday i'll go and live in armenia 4ever.I hope u do 2.I can't to read his new book.

Sar, Dec 1 2003


Holdwater: Sar surely exemplifies the Armenian who historically has felt loyalty for the country nice enough to have them. Richard Hovannisian surely picked an appropriate word when he referred to the Armenian community in America as a "colony." Really, Do Greeks and Armenians Make True Americans?


Silly Samantha Power joins forces with the Balakian Dog of Flake

The New York Times Letters

To the Editor:

Samantha Power

HarperCollins bud, Samantha Power 

"Movie on Armenians Rekindles Flame Over Turkish Past" (Arts pages, Jan. 20) says "Turkish and Armenian historians have given widely differing accounts of what happened in 1915." But that is not a matter of ethnic perspective. The extermination of the Armenians is recognized as genocide by the consensus of scholars of genocide and Holocaust worldwide. The failure to acknowledge this trivializes a human rights crime of enormous magnitude.

The Ottoman Turkish government's meticulously planned extermination of its Christian Armenian citizens took the lives of more than a million Armenians in 1915 and 1916. Another million Armenians survived the death marches but were permanently exiled from their homeland of 2,500 years. It is denigrating to refer to these facts as Armenians being "chased from their ancestral homelands."

It is ironic as well, because in 1915 The New York Times published 145 articles about the Armenian genocide and regularly used the words "systematic," "government planned" and "race extermination."

Hamilton, N.Y., Jan. 20, 2004
The writers are, respectively, a professor of humanities at Colgate University and a lecturer at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Holdwater: At least Silly Samantha Power is making no bones about subjectively having allied herself with the Armenian "Cause," as KnightOfArmenia (from the forum, above) fittingly termed the Genocide Juggernaut... by blatantly joining forces with Mr. Balakian.

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

Estimates of the Ottoman-Armenian population

You've heard it here, folks; one million Armenians have survived, from the mouths of these ace pro-Armenians. Let us do the subtraction, from "impartial" (Western, and therefore pro-Armenian) estimates of the pre-war Ottoman-Armenian population. The results can't possibly exceed 600,000, and that's from all wartime causes combined. (Richard Hovannisian, for example, wrote in 1967 that some 150,000 died of famine while accompanying the Russian retreats.)  So what makes these two "scholars" conclude "more than a million" died? Does the caliber of their scholarly worth approximate the value of "the consensus of scholars of genocide"? You bet it does.

The Difference between "Turkish and Armenian historians" is that Armenian historians create their own history. Turkish historians, when it comes to the "genocide" topic, largely rely on Western (i.e., pro-Armenian) sources to back up their claims.

"Permanently exiled"? Did not Article 3 of the Treaty of Gumru (signed between Armenia and Turkey) allow the Armenians to return? Edward Tashji, in his sworn statement of 1989, wrote: "Many Armenians after leaving their homes were allowed to RETURN and take possession of their homes and properties. My uncle was one who returned to his home, and my wife’s aunt, who is still living, was another. Her family had returned to their home in Adlyaman."

What about the failure of these two, along with the rest of their hypocritical "genocide scholar" cronies, to acknowledge the over one half million Turks/Muslims systematically exterminated by the Armenians? (See the "Census" section.) Does this failure not trivialize "a human rights crime of enormous magnitude"?

In their books, Power and Balakian could not come up with any evidence of the "meticulously planned extermination" they've written about... unless they are referring to the Andonian forgeries that at least Balakian pointed to as factual. The New York Times' appalling reliance on Lord Bryce's spoon-fed wartime propaganda reports does not count as evidence.

Every sentence... practically every word... pro-Armenian genocide advocates utter is steeped in deception. It's mind-boggling.

Mr. Balakian had the audacity to characterize those who don't affirm his precious "genocide" as "a tiny group of corrupt people." (In his "Aztag Daily" interview of November 13, 2003.) "Corrupt" is a word that defines one who has a problem with honesty. Alas, audacity comes easily to ones who are glaringly guilty of committing "ethocide."


TAT has since examined Power's book, and she, too, has pointed to the Andonian forgeries as her "evidence," not once but three times. (The bulk of her claims was backed up by New York Times articles.) Putting aside these two agenda-ridden scholarly frauds, an actual court in Switzerland referred to the Andonian forgeries as "evidence," in March 2007.


A Confrontation with Peternocchio

When Peter Balakian went off on a late 2004 book tour to promote the paperback version of The Burning Tigris, one stop was at California's The Museum of Tolerance. Inside scoop has it the museum was under great pressure by the AFATH ("Armenian-Falsifiers-And-Turk-Haters") community. So much so, some obsessed AFATH members reportedly went on a hunger strike for days in front of
The Museum of Tolerance in the spring of 2004, giving the Museum a bad rap, finally causing the museum to give in and offer AFATH a little time in the sun.

The brave man of the confrontation was Ergun Kirlikovali. The following is his report.


November 14, 2004, was historic, because a prominent member of the AFATH community, Peter Balakian, was squarely confronted by myself at the Museum of Tolerance, Los Angeles.

The presentation started at 3:15 PM with a large map of Armenia, historic and current overlapped, and PB presented some of the highlights of his book, "The Burning Tigris, The Armenian Genocide And The American Response," with the help of some slides. It took him about an hour to basically distort the whole history of Turks and Armenians. Cocky, arrogant, and speaking as-a-matter-of-fact, as if everything he says was cast in stone. I listened to this tirade patiently. Then the Museum of Tolerance (MOT) curator came on stage with a wireless microphone to hand over to those who wished to ask questions. I was in the second row and immediately rose to my feet with my hand held up high. There may have been other hands up and I heard some voices, but I got the microphone.

I acknowledged PB with a "Dr. Balakian" and then turned my back on the stage facing the crowd of about 150, which was considered by the MOT curator to be a very good turn out. There were some teachers, some criminal justice professionals, some older Jewish couples — this being MOT — but mostly Armenians, young and old. I introduced myself and said:

"You can go to any city, any town, any village in Turkey right this minute, and ask the first person you meet on the street about his or her experience of the First World War and you'll hear the unspeakable horrors that touched his family. All these slides and photos that you saw here are available on the Turkish side too. No family was left intact, let alone being untouched. So widespread and total was the devastation for Turks... And yet, we have heard nothing about the Turkish suffering from Dr. Balakian..."

By this time, I saw with the tip of my eye that PB was complaining to the MOT curator saying something like "This guy is making a speech, not asking questions." The MOT curator asked me to please state my question. I quickly switched to question mode:

"My simple question to Dr. Balakian, therefore, is this: How scholarly is it to ignore Turkish pain, suffering, and losses? How scholarly is it to leave half the story out?"

You can imagine, the hall erupted into shouts. A couple of older Armenians told me to shut up with some choice words. A younger Armenian got up to his feet and shouted something like: "Look, I am Turkish, too. I know what you are saying; you don't know what's going on. So, shut up and sit down."

These hostile comments and the generally aggressive attitude of the presumably Armenian guests made me more determined than ever to make my point. I said:

"We are Americans. We are fair people. We don't convict someone without hearing the other side of the story. I am the other side. Dr. Balakian and I are at the same age. I am his flip side. I trust you will let me finish."

Then I found myself on the stage hearing the MOT curator saying something like "We have a very interesting case here", while PB was still protesting heavily. The MOT curator said let's have PB respond. I said I was not finished yet. I had one more question and asked:

"Two-and-a-half million Turks were killed during WWI... Half a million of them at the hands of the Armenian nationalists... Your predecessors (pointing to PB at point blank range)... You claim to be a human rights advocate. How human is it to ignore the suffering of those half a million Turks at the hands of your kind?"

By this time, the number of choice words were loud and audible even while I was on the microphone. MOT curator asked me to sit down. I did. Then PB took the podium one more time. He was visibly shaken. He said something like

"Look. You don't know. You can't know. You were raised in Turkey. They don't tell you everything there. There is no democracy there. And besides, I don't want to share this stage with a genocide denier. I ask you to please leave."

I jumped to my feet and shouted "Museum of In-tolerance!" and left. People were applauding PB for making me leave.

(Kirlikovali also confronted Levon Marashlian in 2006.)

The above well illustrates how Armenians like Peter Balakian are excellent in monologue, but fall apart in dialogue. Once again Mr. Balakian falls back on his contention that Turkey is undemocratic, the same story he weaved in the days when he spearheaded a smear campaign against Heath Lowry. He could get away with such tactics, thanks to the tarnished image of Turkey helped by those who are near-exclusively granted the stage to speak their Turk-hating views. However, he is really shooting himself in the foot with this particular claim these days, since the Turks have cleaned up their act more than ever, in their hopes for entry into the European Union. For example, the Turkish Parliament adopted an entirely new, more humane penal code. It reduced hundreds of draconian sentences, outlawed torture (long a staple of Turkish police interrogations), banned the death penalty, wiped out censorship laws and restrictions on free speech, and eliminated barriers to expressions of ethnic identity... well before the time of this event, November 2004.

More importantly, while it's predictable Peter Balakian tried to get away with his easy labeling of "denialist" (while he himself denies Turkish suffering and the fact that there was no genocide), his opponent's message had nothing to do with denying the poet's genocide obsession. No, the question had to do with why this great self-proclaimed champion of human rights ignores the suffering of the massive numbers of Turks/Muslims victimized by savage Armenians. The way Balakian decided to handle this episode, by asking his opponent to leave, speaks volumes.

What does this absence of shame say about Balakian's moral upbringing, if we may borrow his own spoken words?


 Balakian's Indirect Response to the Above
(addendum, 10-06)

In a message to the faithful forum members of armeniangenocide.com, moderator Hovik (whose signature partly consists of Ataturk's alleged Armenian statement from the fake 1926 "interview"... or is it "article"?) put up (on Oct. 17, 2005) an offering by Peter Balakian beginning with "Dear Group."

"I was harassed all last year by such Turkish groups  — at Princeton, University of Connecticut, Museum of Tolerance in LA, and other places. Turkish Americans were leafleting, verbally aggressive, full of denial and anger."

One must give Peter Balakian credit for being the prototypically sly Dashnak. He commits the crime by going around spreading his vicious and hateful propaganda, and then cries that he is the victim when challenged with rightful "denial and anger." (Even though it was obvious the "denial and anger" emanated from the Armenians in this audience and podium, not from the lone Turkish-American. There was no "verbal aggression," simply facts that Balakian would not or could not respond to.) Such a poor, defenseless, innocent, unarmed, Christian martyr.

(Note that Ergun Kirlikovali, the lone challenger at the Museum of Tolerance, is being referred to as a "Turkish group." In his previous paragraph, Balakian described his detractors as such: "Turkish Americans or Turkish students come out in groups to harass and leaflet academic lectures on the Armenian Genocide." If the Museum of Tolerance episode serves as an example, there were no leaflets, and no organization. Not to say sometimes there can't be, but generally Turkish-Americans are much too indifferent and lazy to do such things.)

In the forum message Balakian responds to the "clichés and stereotypes" his flock is sometimes charged with:

"The Armenian Diaspora is not predominantly made up of extreme nationalists who hate all Turkish people. As soon as Turkish citizens come forward with an ability to accept the realities of 1915, Armenians are for the most part open, responsive, and grateful."

In other words, there must be a condition set before friendship could be considered. If this condition isn't met, it's okay for Armenians to go on doing what they have been conditioned to do... hate Turks. Hating Turkish people is almost a requirement for Armenians to prove their "patriotism," as Rafael Ishkhanian honestly outlined. (On this very forum page, a friendly letter by Kufi Seyfali, hoping to break the "Armenian Diaspora" from its "Turkophobia" by sharing reason, has been reproduced, and member Tongue's response was: "Mr. Kufi your barbaric nature shows in your email. But you didn't have to write that to prove it to us, we already knew.") Can Peter Balakian be any more disingenuous?

Peter Balakian goes on to criticize "Hrank Dink¹s reflection on the Armenian Diaspora" as "completely misinformed":

"Mr. Dink claimed in a talk he gave that the Armenian Diaspora was characterized by ghettoized insularity, as if Armenians in Diaspora clung to their ethnic way of life and were cut off from the wider world; and in their ghettos they can only obsess over the Armenian Genocide."

To prove his thesis, Balakian goes to length to demonstrate that not all Armenians are so single-minded:

"...[T]hey are not all part of ONE THING. They are religious, they are atheists, they are Democrats, they are Republicans; in addition to being successful in business, they produce rock 'n roll, jazz, films, write books, teach in schools and universities; they root for the local team in baseball and football, they may eat more Chinese food and pizza than Armenian food, etc. They do not all speak Armenian, or read and write it. They don't march in ethnic pride parades, etc."

It's difficult to ascertain which of Balakian's many statements should earn first prize for utter inanity. OF COURSE Armenians are people, a greatly diverse and wonderfully talented people, and OF COURSE they are going to have a wide array of interests and abilities. How does that fact detract from the reality that (keeping in mind that there are Armenians who don't fall for this con job, but are too intimidated to speak up publicly.... thanks to the age-old Dashnak "Curtain of Fear") the Armenian Diaspora is one big monolith regarding their life-sustaining, mythological genocide?

If there is disagreement with what I'm saying, the reader is welcome to point to, of the seven million Armenians in the world
—  and aside from the late Edward Tashji and a handful of Armenians from Turkey —  those Armenians who publicly vouch for the fraudulent nature of this "genocide." You won't easily find any. This is why even though there are, naturally, nice and reasonable individuals in the Armenian diaspora, if the ones we exclusively hear from are Peter Balakian and his ilk, for all intents and purposes, the fact is exactly the way Hrant Dink described it, and the way Balakian mostly worded it: "The Armenian Diaspora is predominantly made up of extreme nationalists who hate all Turkish people."

Peternocchio Caught in Another Lie

In 2006, the Public Broadcasting Service of the United States, PBS, once again serviced the Armenians by featuring another Armenian Genocide show (by Andrew Goldberg, who has a record of working for Armenian-sponsored propaganda programs.) As Washington PBS affiliate, WETA, featured a rare debate back in 1983, PBS got the idea to produce a half-hour panel discussion in a half-hearted attempt for a more balanced presentation. Since PBS "acknowledges and accepts that there was a genocide," as PBS spokeswoman Lea Sloan was quoted in The New York Times, PBS did not make it a requirement for the affiliates to air the program, leaving the decision to each local station. Naturally, a good many, particularly those bowing to massive Armenian pressure, decided to forego the panel, exposing the masses to the pure propaganda of the program. WETA, ironically, was one.

WNET, the New York station — which reversed its original decision to air the discussion; only two of the top ten markets were open to the idea — had protests of frenzied Armenians in front of its doors, physically joined by a congressman, Anthony Weiner; the ethnic-pandering politician co-wrote a letter of protest with another U.S. Rep, Carolyn Maloney. Four other congressmen "asked all members of the House of Representatives to sign a joint letter expressing their opposition to the PBS panel discussion," as Harut Sassounian described in "VP of PBS Should Be Dismissed For Insulting Armenians " (Mar. 3, 2006.) The activist journalist added, "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." Incidentally, the VP whom Sassounian attacked, Jacoba Atlas, was very much in the Armenians' corner, having described these events as "settled history." Sassounian didn't like it when Atlas stated the Armenian matter was not "entirely analogous" to the Holocaust. The unethical journalist also accused Atlas of "being responsible for this misguided decision," but it was OPB — Oregon Public Broadcasting, with whom Producer Goldberg was working — that decided on producing the panel discussion, as evident from a Mar. 6, 2006 article in CURRENT, "Panel Show Riles Rather Than Soothes Genocide Furor." (ADDENDUM, 4-06: My mistake. Atlas bore co-responsibility, along with another PBS programming executive. According to Ombudsman Getler's March 17 column, PBS stated: "PBS's chief programmers, John Wilson and Jacoba Atlas, are responsible for the ultimate decision in this case." Davis appears to have squarely been in the Armenians' corner, as a co-producer of the Goldberg film, and the last thing he would have wanted was an offsetting panel discussion. Yet Davis wound up producing the panel discussion, which predictably sided with the Armenians, in choice of moderator.)

(But we are here to focus on the unethical Mr. Balakian, not the unethical Mr. Sassounian. So let's move on to Peternocchio.)


Peternocchio once again telling a lie

Peter Balakian was so upset over OPB's decision, he wrote a long letter of protest to OPB's V.P. of Programming, David Davis. (Whom Sassounian misidentified as in charge of programming at PBS. Are we back to Sassounian again? It's hard to keep track of untruthful extremist Armenians. This is from his nasty Feb. 9, 2006 piece, "Boycott PBS Stations that Air 'Balancing' Panel on Genocide.") In this November 2005 letter, Balakian contended that the "Armenian Genocide documentary is well-balanced" (brother!) and that there are "more than a half-dozen Turkish voices in the film" (only two of which were offered scant screen time from the "denier" category (ADDENDUM, 4-06: actually, one of the two was presented in film footage, and only as a "set up" to be taken down by the genocide crowd. Effectively, there was only one voice from the opposing camp); the rest were Taner Akcam, Fatma Muge Gocek, Halil Berktay and other genocide "sell-outs." Note how the deceptive Mr. Balakian tries to portray these folks as representatives of the Turkish perspective, concluding that "we have an extraordinary number of Turkish voices already incorporated").

Balakian next moves on to a "scholarly perspective" (a scholar, of course, dispassionately studies all sides of an issue; if there is one person who does not qualify as a "scholar," it is this emotional instructor of English), actually claiming "it’s important for PBS to understand that the Armenian Genocide is not a controversial issue." Is he out of his mind? He justifies this conclusion with "this is the mainstream consensus worldwide," not bothering to add that he actively supported efforts to intimidate genuine scholars away from this debate. As if majority opinion is always an indice for truth, and certainly not in cases where everyone has been frightened away by fanatical pro-Armenians. (He gave the same stupid reason as "evidence" for his genocide, in the New York Times letter, above.)

"Third, I believe it is ethically wrong to privilege deniers..." he goes on to state. Do you also shudder when Mr. Balakian uses derivations of the word, "ethics"? He then mentions that PBS should not fear the pressures of the "Turkish government." What is the genocide-impotent "Turkish government" going to do, I wonder, start rumors that drugs are being sold on Sesame Street? As the reader ascertained from Sassounian's previous account above, all the pressure was being exerted by fanatical Armenians.

But these are typical examples of being unmindful to truth, that we have come to expect from Peter Balakian. Let's move on to his outright lie.

In the CURRENT article, Balakian is quoted once again as stating, "This is morally wrong. It is ethically wrong" (one wonders why he uses every opportunity to state how moral he is. Perhaps he feels if a contention is repeated often enough, suckers will come to believe it... as so many have with "genocide"), comparing the esteemed Prof. Justin McCarthy (one of the speakers on the panel; the ones from the other side were Taner Akcam and Balakian himself) with a "Holocaust denier" or "white supremacist." ("[Featuring those like McCarthy] is no different from having Holocaust deniers on, or white supremacists on following a documentary on slavery,”) The magazine for public broadcasting goes on to tell us:

"However, he said he participated as a panelist unwillingly after he was told by David Davis, OPB’s v.p. of national production, that the documentary wouldn’t air without the accompanying panel discussion. 'The post-show had to be done to save the documentary. The documentary was way too important. They put me in a morally difficult position,' said Balakian."

(If Balakian was going to compromise his "morals" by appearing on the panel in order to "save the documentary," we have then learned the "documentary" was anything but "well-balanced." If this were a true documentary fairly exploring the historical issues, Peter Balakian would not want anyone to see it, let alone desire to save it.)

When I read this passage, I immediately realized Balakian's contention was ridiculous. He must have a super-sized ego, to think there aren't dozens more genocide advocates to take his place, from that "mainstream consensus worldwide" he referred to. If he refused to appear, did he really believe the show would have been called off? Is he that delusional? The article provides Davis' reply:

“I don’t want to address that directly.”

Either Davis was being a gentleman, not wishing to embarrass the emotional and truth-challenged Balakian, or maybe he did not want to give the impression Balakian was an untrustworthy character, putting in jeopardy the credibility of PBS's "balanced documentary." I hope it was the former. Once David Davis learned what a liar Balakian was afterwards, I hope he had second thoughts about the validity of this propagandistic program PBS worrisomely was all too willing a party to air.

Balakian’s lie was confirmed in Sassounian's Feb. 9 piece, where we were informed Fatma Muge Gocek "refused to be on the panel." (Because it wasn't going to add anything, the excuse the refusing PBS affiliates parroted, as well as PBS's "giving in to Turkish State pressure... bound to be hailed as a victory by the Turkish State and their nationalist Diaspora." The lady is so out of touch with reality, it is pathetic. The panel discussion can't even qualify as an attempt at equal time; the best that can be said is that at least it is something, but there is no reason for anyone to "hail" it.)

Gocek's words demonstrate she was in the running to appear, clearly confirming the sky was not going to fall, had Peter Balakian similarly declined the offer. There are plenty more genocide-mad Balakians and Goceks waiting in the wings. Balakian's shameful lie was also confirmed by the PBS ombudsman, Michael Getler ("Coming Soon to Viewers Like You: 'The Armenian Genocide'," March 17, 2006), among questions "submitted to top PBS officials":

Q — Several news articles have reported, according to Colgate professor Peter Balakian, who was also an adviser on the documentary, that PBS threatened to pull the documentary if he and another genocide scholar declined to participate in the panel discussion. True?

A — This is absolutely not true. If Balakian declined, we would have sought out other historians to speak as experts in Armenian history.

ADDENDUM April 2006

Getler later added a March 22 addendum to his March 17 piece, which in good conscience must be included here.

Balakian explained, "That is a false description." What he told journalists was that the Oregon PBS producer David Davis mentioned (three times) that "PBS would not run the documentary if a post-show panel with deniers were not made," as directed by Jacoba Atlas, to whom Balakian had written a "letter in November appealing to her to drop the idea of a post-show on ethical and historical grounds." Balakian was adamant that he "never said nor implied that the documentary would not air if I personally were not on the panel. That would be, of course, absurd. Naturally, PBS would find someone else to take my place. After all my efforts to convince PBS to not produce a post-show failed I decided to go forward with the 'debate' because I have experience in discussing this subject on TV and radio and felt I could help shape the conversation in an ethical way and perhaps a way that would expose Turkish denial more fully for what it is."

[Important: Balakian never "said" the documentary would not air without his presence, but he certainly "implied" it, and strongly. How else could his statement have been interpreted: "The post-show had to be done to save the documentary. The documentary was way too important. They put me in a morally difficult position." That clearly implies that if Balakian did not personally participate, all of his dirty work on the documentary would have have gone up in smoke.] 

But let's apply some logic here. We can see from the above Balakian entry, "A Confrontation with Peternocchio," that our poet gets very emotional when confronted by "deniers." We can imagine his cocky and arrogant self sitting prettily, in full knowledge that friend Andrew Goldberg will produce a "documentary" that is fully supportive of propagandistic views. Suddenly, he gets the news that a panel discussion is a possibility, potentially throwing doubt upon the Balakian dirt. Is it difficult to imagine him going bonkers?

Particularly with his Dashnak-style "the end justifies the means" penchant to say anything and everything to further Hai Tahd, the Armenian Cause?

I believe he flipped out and said exactly what the CURRENT article reported his having said. he was doing the kind of thing his propagandistic role model Vahan Cardashian would do: lash out and throw mud even at Armenian friends like Woodrow Wilson and James Barton, trying to show the world what skunks these people really were, when they had the audacity not to go "all the way" with Hai Tahd. Balakian likely wanted to present the impression that he was the poor, innocent Armenian who had to sacrifice his moral principles because Armenian-friend and now sudden Armenian-enemy David Davis was putting him through the wringer. All Balakian could think of was to show to the world what a dirty rotten scoundrel Davis was by claiming Davis would have "blackmailed" him. He thought he would get away with it, but then this point was focused on in Getler's March 17 column. (I might have had a hand in that; I had sent Getler a message before this column appeared, pointing out the dubious Balakian claim from the March 6
CURRENT article.) Balakian noticed he was caught in the corner like a rat, and he then had to perform damage control with the following: "That would be, of course, absurd. Naturally, PBS would find someone else to take my place."

I would like to support my contention with two pieces of logic. Let's first reproduce the relevant excerpt from the
CURRENT article, in its entirety:

"This is morally wrong. It is ethically wrong. It is no different from having Holocaust deniers on, or white supremacists on following a documentary on slavery,” said Peter Balakian, a Colgate University professor who wrote The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America’s Response. Balakian appeared in both Goldberg’s documentary and the panel discussion afterward. However, he said he participated as a panelist unwillingly after he was told by David Davis, OPB’s v.p. of national production, that the documentary wouldn’t air without the accompanying panel discussion. “The post-show had to be done to save the documentary. The documentary was way too important. They put me in a morally difficult position,” said Balakian. “I don’t want to address that directly,” Davis said of Balakian’s assertion. “My position would be that PBS and OPB both felt it [the panel program] was a good thing. We made that clear to Peter.”

Note how hysterical Balakian is sounding. (We know from the quotation marks he must have been directly quoted. That is the rule, correct? Just like with Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, the recent edition of which Peter Balakian mysteriously edited... prompting the question as to why a book reprint would need an editor... we just know the awful things put into Talat and Enver's mouths must have been quoted verbatim, since the statements were within quotation marks.)

Here is the twofold logic:

1) Why in the world would the
CURRENT article's author, Geneva Collins. have made up the part about Balakian's having been forced to participate unwillingly? Unlike Ambassador Morgenthau's Story, which I was obviously joking about, Collins appears to be responsible, and put quotation marks around the other parts of Balakian's statements, meaning she very likely tape-recorded Balakian's words. Let's put this together: especially with the friendliness and partisanship biased PBS people display in general toward Balakian, there is no reason on earth why Collins would have deliberately made that up. And particularly if she tape-recorded Balakian, it is very unlikely that she would have misinterpreted what Balakian had told her.

It's not only Collins; New York Times reporter Randal Archibold ["Armenian Furor Over PBS Plan for Debate," Feb. 26] interviewed Balakian and Davis separately [Archibold's quote from Davis was worded differently: "PBS did make it clear they felt the follow show was important, and we felt it was important as well'] and here is how Archibold summed up what Balakian had told him: "Mr. Balakian said he participated only because producers told him that PBS would not show the documentary without it." The "blackmail" element is not as strong here, but Balakian is obviously making it seem as though he were "forced." If his "morals" were as strong as he indicated in CURRENT, then he would have gladly stepped aside and allowed another "genocide scholar" in on the gig. The documentary would have been saved in any event. We did not need Peter Balakian to "save" this documentary, as Peter Balakian clearly implied.

2) David Davis was given the opportunity to respond. Being such a huge Armenophile, unquestioningly allowing the Goldberg propaganda complete freedom to make its claims (it was stated in an article that nearly no changes were made), it's evident Davis was being not as protective of Balakian as he was of the production. Balakian, after all, was a key component of not only the propaganda film, but the panel discussion as well. Davis did not want Balakian to come across as untrustworthy. Otherwise, now think about it: Balakian made Davis out to be a monster, twisting Balakian's arm as well as forcing Balakian to compromise his "morality" (why, this was almost as bad as when those nasty Turks forced the poor Armenians to convert to Islam, as Balakian stressed in his horrid book), and the best Davis came up with in his own defense was, "I don’t want to address that directly,” saying basically, Oh, that rascal Balakian. That's what the rest of Davis' response boils down to. (“My position would be that PBS and OPB both felt it [the panel program] was a good thing. We made that clear to Peter.”)

In other words, it sounds like Davis knows how emotional the poet Balakian can be, and accepts that Balakian would have made up the implied story about being blackmailed. Otherwise, when CURRENT's Collins had posed the question to Davis, and if Davis had suspected Collins as being at fault (that is, of having made a "false description," as Balakian charged), wouldn't PBS representative Davis have challenged PBS representative Collins, and asked (at least off the record, just so Davis would know) for Collins to verify the claim? Davis probably didn't even need to ask, because he had a good idea of what that rascal Balakian was capable of. But if Davis thought Balakian was on the level, Davis would have defended Balakian. Davis would have responded to the similar tune of Balakian's claim, that there must have been a misunderstanding between Collins and Balakian. Davis did not; he tellingly accepted Balakian's accusation, and answered in a manner that everything was made clear to Peter, and Peter should have known better.


Finally, let's get an idea of what Peter Balakian's fellow activist, Courier Publisher Harut Sassounian wrote in a Yahoo group for Armenians; these propagandists work together, and Harut is at the hub. If anyone knows the dope regarding the inner workings of these dirty dealings, it would be Harut Sassounian. The relevant section, from Sassounian's April 22, 2006 entry (note Sassounian is confirming that Balakian was "forced," or at least was told by Balakian that he was forced, a month after Balakian put in his "damage control" disclaimer; the highlighting of Sassounian's words below is my doing):

You seemed to have missed the whole point of the Armenian campaign against the PBS panel discussion. I wrote from day one when the panel was first taped, that I am sure the scholars on our side would devastate the denialists. But that was not the issue. Even Peter Balakian, who participated in the panel (was forced to do it by PBS), was against the panel both before the taping and afterwards, not because he was not sure about his performance. He knew and we knew that he had done a great job. The point is that we cannot accept PBS or anyone else to put on the air denialists who work with the Turkish government whose sole objective is to raise doubt in the minds of the unsuspecting American public who are clueless about the facts and can't follow the twists and turns of what happened in 1915 (they can't even follow what is happening in 2006) and they will only remember afterwards that two "experts" said the Turks killed Armenians and two other "experts" said the Armenians killed the Turks. The Turkish side does not have to win the debate. All they have to do to win is to sow the seeds of doubt in the mind of the viewer.

An in-depth analysis of the PBS show, "The Armenian Genocide," is now available at TAT.

To Correct His Lie, Another Lie


When Peter Balakian attempted his damage control above, he wrote:

"After all my efforts to convince PBS to not produce a post-show failed I decided to go forward with the 'debate' because I ... felt I could help shape the conversation in an ethical way...."

I have not seen the panel discussion at this point (My PBS affiliate was among the many who had "caved," as an April 17 New York Times article put it. ADDENDUM, 7-06: Here is an in-depth report.), but here is an interesting exchange from the show that the PBS Ombudsman, Michael Getler, quoted from "Documenting and Debating a ‘Genocide’," April 21, 2006:

So it was McCarthy basically on his own facing questions from the moderator that put him on the defensive, and accused a couple of times by Balakian of having “worked for the Turkish government to help that government deny the Armenian genocide,” which McCarthy said was a lie but which ate further into his time and impact. As his source, Balakian cited a Reuters news agency story of a year ago. It was never read on the panel but I looked it up and the lead said that...

(Let's take a more detailed look at this Reuters article, "Turkey to fight genocide claims," March 25, 2005; here is how it begins, and the "incriminating" word is the third from the top; later the article used the word "inviting" to clarify the meaning):

TURKEY has enlisted the help of a United States historian today as part of its campaign to counter damaging, decades-old claims Armenians suffered genocide at Ottoman Turkish hands during and after World War I.

Turkey is worried the 90th anniversary of the alleged genocide on April 24 will trigger a fresh outpouring of sympathy for the Armenians which could harm Turkey's image and even derail the planned start of European Union entry talks in October. Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan went on the offensive earlier this month, calling for an impartial study of the genocide claims and declaring Turkey's archives open to all scholars.

Invited to address the Ankara parliament today, Justin McCarthy, an expert on the Ottoman period, argued a complex historical tragedy had been manipulated for ideological reasons, becoming a vehicle for anti-Muslim, anti-Turkish prejudice. "The Armenian question has from the start been a political campaign... Yes, many Armenians were killed by Turks at this time and many Turks were killed by Armenians, but this was war, not genocide," Mr. McCarthy said.
[The rest]

What does that tell us? Prof. Justin McCarthy, through his own research, and by applying responsible historical scholarship, has come upon a conclusion different than what the crowd says, a lazy-thinking crowd influenced by Armenian wealth and intimidation, on top of a general anti-Turkish prejudice. McCarthy is one of the few contra-genocide academicians left because other scholars have learned it's too dangerous to get involved, and be at the mercy of the pro-Armenians' destructive ad hominem attacks.

So the Turks invited McCarthy to support the historical view the Turks believe in by inviting McCarthy to give a talk. In this respect they "enlisted (his) help."

Would the Turks have needed to influence McCarthy by giving him a potful of cash to give this talk? Why should they? McCarthy already believes in what he is saying; his scholarship is the proof.

If we entertain the notion that McCarthy is being paid off, does this Reuters article prove any such thing? No, it does not.

When Balakian accused McCarthy of having "worked" for the Turkish government, what does that clearly imply? It implies McCarthy is being paid off.

It's fitting that Balakian would point to such an article in order to support his claim, because it presents the same quality of evidence that Balakian uses to prove his genocide. But that does not take away from the fact that Balakian is making a baseless accusation.

In other words, as McCarthy responded, what came out of Balakian's mouth was "a lie."

We get a wonderful example of how Peter Balakian promised to conduct himself during this panel discussion, "in an ethical way."

(Balakian kept lying throughout the "debate," as you can see by visiting the in-depth TAT page analyzing the program. Toward the end, for example, he countered McCarthy's claim that " the Turkish government proposed that a neutral commission be set up to study this issue" with "(that is) absolutely not true," even though his own Reuters article from above corroborated the claim.)

Fairy Tale Origins Inspiring "The Burning Tigris"

Two days earlier, on November 12, 2004, Peter Balakian was at another reception and book signing at The University of Southern California's Doheny Memorial Library. Here's what the second paragraph of their press release stated:

Balakian grew up in an affluent New Jersey suburb. His grandmother, who
played a major role in his upbringing, often told him stories. Mixed
among the familiar Mother Goose and Grimm yarns, however, were strange and often disturbing tales of her youth in Armenia — all cloaked in metaphor and symbolism.


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