Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Peter Balakian's "The Burning Tigris"  
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Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems


Peter Balakian, poet and English instructor, now professes to be a historian; a legitimate historian is one who searches for the whole truth, and does not make use of selective and questionable facts to serve an agenda. 

Who is Peter Balakian? Unlike many Armenian parents who force their form of brutality upon their children (by conditioning them with hateful poems with lines such as “Better I be a dog or cat than a Turkish barbarian”), Balakian’s parents did not stress such medieval methods. According to his “Black Dog of Fate,” he learned the details of the “genocide” later in life, and became even more obsessed than the typical “Armeni-Lemming.” "My life has been deeply shaped by the facts of this history and the trauma…” he has been quoted as saying.

Mr. Balakian's book, which came out in Sept. 2003, provided a shot-in-the-arm for genocide proponents. Armeni-Lemmings who accept at face value what their deceitful historians (such as Vahakn Dadrian) tell them, as well as their hypocritical allies, the so-called "genocide scholars," rushed off to purchase this work, heeding instructions from leaders such as Harut Sassounian; “The Burning Tigris” briefly shot up the best seller lists as a result. With such attention, mindless supporters such as Henry Morgenthau III, shamelessly following in his grandfather’s slanderous footsteps, consequently wrote articles for Armenian mouthpiece publications as The Boston Globe. (The book spells out that the great state of Massachusetts has a proud tradition to uphold: Believe everything from the Armenians, and believe nothing from the Turks.)

Although elsewhere quoted as saying, “We have a special mission to work for human rights for all people being subjected to this kind of barbarism," the insincere author's true intention is to preserve exclusive victimhood for the Armenians. Surprisingly, there is no mention whatsoever of the likes of Armenian mass-murderers such as Hamparsum Boyaciyan, Antranig Ozanian, Karekin Pasdermadjian and Drastamat Kanayan, who systematically wiped out Turks/Muslims. Out of over 2.5 million Turks who died around WWI, over half a million died at the hands of the Armenians… more than the Armenians massacred by Turks. So when Mr. Balakian speaks of “human rights,” he is only referring to select humans... even though he attempts to make us believe he cares for "all people.")

Peter Balakian has done a thorough job of throwing everything in the book, as far as what the Armenian perspective has to offer... with important "updates," including quotes from Armenian allies (such as the "genocide scholars," and "Turkish historian," Taner Akcam), legitimizing the one-sided version of events all the more successfully. He has put into one round volume the worst of what the Armenians have been able to come up with, including Vahakn Dadrian's scraping the bottom of the "Nazi-comparison" barrel, such as his attempt to bring forth Ottoman Dr. Mengeles.

I wanted to address every issue Mr. Balakian brought up. However, this would have worked out to be an endless page, as the book is quite long. Much of what the author reports is rehashed, familiar information that has already been countered elsewhere within this site. What I have done is go through the book chapter-by-chapter, addressing the issues that stood out. (After completing this page, I realized there was no need to cram so much in a hurry to get done, and I treated the second half of "The Burning Tigris" ... Parts III and IV... in more detail.)

Let us begin with a passage from another book that establishes the framework as to how these mainly ridiculous charges were heard everywhere in the West a century ago and beyond... and, incredibly, are still being unquestioned in large part, today in the 21st Century.



From Andrew Wheatcroft's "THE OTTOMANS," 1993:

Haul Halit, an educated and liberal man, made the direct connection between the restiveness of non-Muslim minorities and European commercial domination of the empire:

Foreign Powers ... take up, some of them, the cause of those eastern Christians who are under Ottoman rule, alleging they are acting in the name of ‘humanity’. Their real motive, however, is that they may use them as a point d’appui for their political schemes and designs. . . each native Christian community entertains, nowadays more or less without disguise, sentiments of animosity towards the Osmanlis, and even sympathizes with the enemies of the Turkish empire in times of international trouble or war.

He continued to suggest that the attacks on Christian minorities, ‘which would be represented in Europe as an outburst of Musselman fanaticism’, were an understandable response to provocation: ‘The Turk’s patience is almost inexhaustible, but when you attack his women and children, his anger is roused, and nothing on earth can control it.’ The Turks were portrayed as savages and barbarians in the West; they saw themselves as slow to anger but implacable once roused. Europeans looked down on the Turks with disdain, and the Turks returned the compliment.


Peternocchio Balakian

Peternocchio Balakian

In the preface, Balakian begins by proclaiming, "In recent decades, the Armenian Genocide has often been referred to as 'the forgotten genocide"... or the 'secret genocide'." Exactly who has been referring to the falsified genocide in this fashion? (Aside from Peter Balakian and friends, of course.)

What is so secret about a professed genocide that produces countless links in an Internet search, and offers rows of books on library shelves? A few pages later, Balakian refers to Cuban independence from Spain, as a result of the Spanish-American war... but he makes no mention of the 1.5 million Cubans who were relocated (perhaps twice the number of the Armenians), with deaths in the hundreds of thousands... a parallel at least as heartbreaking as the Armenians' experience... with similar conditions that would classify a genocide, at least by those who define the Armenians' experience as such. Here would be an example of a "forgotten genocide," then.... which Balakian works to have kept forgotten, in his quest to showcase exclusive victimhood. There are countless examples of Man's Inhumanity to Man throughout history, and hardly any are known as well as the Armenians' cause for existence.

Two hundred thousand Armenians were massacred by Sultan Abdul Hamid II during the 1890s, Balakian asserts... when even the wildly pro-Armenian Johannes Lepsius estimated less than 89,000, an already exaggerated figure. We will get more into this assertion, below.

Alice Stone Blackwell

Alice Stone Blackwell
(Painted by K. Skerjian)

"American intellectual and cultural leaders (Julia Ward Howe, Isabel Barrows, Alice Stone Blackwell, William Lloyd Garrison Jr., Charlote Perkins Gilman, Stephen Crane) articulated their opinion on the Armenian atrocities and often worked for Armenian relief." Later, Balakian presents an excellent framework as to how these lazy-thinking people (I would not call those who only investigate one side of a story "intellectual") came about with their partisan views. An Armenian who emigrated to the U.S. in 1893, Ohannes Chatschumian, stayed at a cultural retreat where like-minded progressives gathered... "arrived dressed in a white shirt and a black suit... carrying one worn suitcase with his life's possession" whose "penetrating eyes and gentle smile were immediately appealing" to Alice Stone Blackwell. Soon, she would be "captivated" by the "gifted linguist," who learned English in no time. "Conversations about the Armenian Question seemed to be inextricable from the passion between them." Alice "fell in love with this brilliant, handsome theology student. Soon, those in the inner circle, such as Isabel Barrows and Julia Ward Howe were similarly "inspired."

Whose cause would these people single-mindedly support, do you think? (Especially after being brainwashed by near-exclusively biased media coverage about "The Terrible Turk" for years?) The same cause that latter lazy-thinking "intellectuals" such as Norman Mailer, Kurt Vonnegut, Susan Sonntag, Arthur Miller and Joyce Carol Oates would when Peter Balakian would help them sign petitions affirming the Armenian "Genocide" in the 1990s. When people get emotionally involved with a cause they believe to be just, and don't lift a finger to objectively examine the big picture... it becomes easy to lend one's whole-hearted support. Particularly when the media is in league with a singular view. So when the biased New York Times "published 145 articles on the Armenian massacres" in "1915 alone," basing their reports from the war time propaganda emanating from Britain's Wellington House — a branch of which operated on U.S. soil during the war years, operated by a Canadian — is this supposed to constitute proof? The New York Times is less of an Armenian mouthpiece these days.... but only slightly.

(Two "press" factoids from the propaganda book, "America and the Armenian Genocide of 1915": Only one American newspaper correspondent traveled to the Ottoman interior in 1915 to personally witness conditions, as the other reporters were scrambling for the more glamorous war theater in Gallipoli. The journalist was George Schreiner, and he concluded there was no "genocide." Factoid Number Two: New York Times Publisher Adolph Ochs was a close friend of Ambassador Morgenthau's, both members of  New York City's elite high society.)

"The Armenian Genocide of 1915 spawned extraordinary heroism on the part of American foreign officers" who "often risked their lives" to save Armenians. Exactly WHO risked his life? The U.S. consuls barely left their stations getting reports from pro-Armenian missionaries and the Armenians themselves.... often employed by the consuls. The few who wandered off to have a personal look, such as Leslie Davis, noticed corpses... which littered the whole of the Ottoman empire, where "thousands" of Turks were dying "daily," as Ambassador Morgenthau wrote in his ghosted "Story" book.... a man Balakian has the gall to term "a man of high moral conscience." One who deliberately falsifies the facts, as Morgenthau did when one reads his private letters and diary, and one who engages in racism as Morgenthau did, would be better characterized as being unconscionable.

"Today Turkey would like the media and the public to believe there are 'two sides' to the Armenian Genocide," Balakian writes. That is because, as we all know, there are always two sides to every story. And it's not just Turkey who realizes the near-unilaterally presented Armenian propaganda is the false version of these events. "When scholars and writers of Armenian descent write about the Armenian Genocide, the Turkish government calls this a biased 'Armenian point of view.'" Not just the Turkish government, but all objective truth-seekers who study up on the real facts recognize this to be a biased Armenian point of view. Armenians like Balakian are obsessed with their genocide, their unfortunate raison d'etre, and their version of history is marked by falsifications and forgeries, in a desperate attempt to prove their case. The genocide scholars, whom Balakian proudly lists some names of (Samantha Power, Elie Wiesel, Yehuda Bauer, Israel Charny, Stephen Feinstein, Richard Falk, Robert Melson) have varying motivations... some are Holocaust obsessed, and can't help but cuddle with whom they perceive to be brothers-in-arms. Some have the irrational fear that negation of the Armenians' experience can serve to invalidate the Holocaust... and some jump on the genocide bandwagon to achieve instant credibility (after all, who is going to argue with genocide?); their hypocrisy is unbelievable, paying lip service to Rwanda and Bosnia, but mainly dwelling on the Holocaust, and the very "sexy" Armenian "Genocide".... where easy impressions in the West have been pummeled for a century and longer, the Turks making easy villains.

Balakian further explains: "This accusation is as slanderous as it would be for the German government to claim that the work of Jewish scholars ...represented merely a 'Jewish side' of the Holocaust." The difference, however, is that the Holocaust is irrefutably a fact. The notion that the Ottoman government systematically embarked on a plan of extermination has not been proven. The British desperately tried to prove this genocide after the war, in the form of the Malta Tribunal, but failed.

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;
for more figures, go to the Census page.

"Genocide scholars are comfortable putting the number of dead at more than a million (some estimates put it at 1.5 million)." Yet another bit of evidence that proves just how unscholarly these so-called "scholars" are, comfortable in accepting one view of a version of events. If a dozen pre-war neutral (i.e., non-Turkish; which translates to pro-Armenian) counts estimated the Armenian population at no more than 1.6 million (the 1912 British Blue Book had the count at a million; so did, ironically, Arnold Toynbee. After joining his Majesty's propaganda house, suddenly the Armenian Patriarch's figure of 2,100,000 became credible), and if one million Armenians survived as Armenians themselves claim (Balakian signed his name to a 1998 commemoration stating as such, and openly stated this conclusion in a letter printed in The New York Times), how could over a million to 1.5 million have died?

 Further Factoids:

JOHANNES LEPSIUS, as a defense witness in the trial of Soghoman Tehlirian, stated "Just before the war, the Armenians in Turkey numbered 1,850,000," further adding that the figure came from the Patriarchate in "Constantinople." The Patriarch then would have fabricated his 2.1 million figure by having adding 250,000... assuming the zealous Lepsius was not himself exaggerating, as Armenian historian Kevork Aslan put the figure at 1.8 million (in 1920)... statistics he must have also received from the Patriarch.

Keep in mind Armenians like Balakian concede 1 million died, and you can see the deception with their "over a million" claims. Once the Patriarch offered the ballooned 2.1 million figure, he split it up as 840,000 dead, and 1,260,000 Armenians alive in the Ottoman Empire of Dec. 1918. Since the "alive" could be verified with better accuracy than the "dead," the 1,260,000 figure becomes better acceptable. Subtract the inflated 250,000 difference (2.1 million minus 1,850,000) from the 840,000 alleged dead, and you arrive at a mortality of less than 600,000.

Even the unreliable Patriarch has been outdone by today's dishonest genocide scholars. 

 Armenians hate it when the word "holocaust" is linked strictly with the genocide of the Jews. Balakian stakes his claim on the word by pointing out an 1895 New York Times article used the headline, ANOTHER ARMENIAN HOLOCAUST.

Balakian writes that the missionaries "had millenial views, and hopes that the conversion of the world to Christianity would bring about the Second Coming of Christ and thus the fulfillment of history. But it became clear... the Muslims of Turkey were not going to become Christian..." and so they concentrated on the Christians, and "the Armenians seemed among the most welcoming to the Protestant mission." All true. Not so true is the assertion that the missionaries concentrated on the Christians when they "realized that the Ottoman authorities and Turkish families punished and sometimes even killed Muslims who showed an interest in Christianity." Not the part that some Muslims had enough fanaticism to wish to harm those who wanted to convert... that part is believable, although once again Balakian doesn't lose an opportunity to lend further potential evidence of the barbarism of the Turks. (I wonder how a strictly Christian community from those times in America would have treated one of their own who expressed an interest to turn Muslim.) No, the part that he would want us to believe is one where the missionaries turned their attention to the Christians for humanitarian reasons, out of concern their preaching would bring harm to the Turks from other Turks. The missionaries' already-existing prejudices against the Turks intensified when the Turks refused to be converted. This is how these people of God engaged in an awful eight year program of vilification against the Turks (from 1915 on; they weren't friendly before, either), fueling their drive to raise money with the ensuing demonization. Arnold Toynbee stated ALL of the testimony from the now-discredited Bryce reports came from the missionaries, who forgot one of the basic commandments: THOU SHALT NOT BEAR FALSE WITNESS AGAINST THY NEIGHBOR.

As Balakian proudly writes that "Armenia became the first nation to adopt Christianity," one would think such good Christians as the Armenians would be the first to honor this particular commandment. By weaving selective facts to serve his agenda, Peter Balakian is certainly not one of these good Christians.

Once the Ottomans took over, Balakian writes the Armenians were subjected to a set of oppressive social and political rules. Is he implying Muslim citizens were not subjected to similar rules that would be frowned upon in a democracy? At a point in history, for example, one of these silly rules required ethnic groups to wear different colored shoes. Balakian outlines the beastliness of the Turks in a sub-chapter entitled, "Infidel Status in the Ottoman Empire." No doubt there were injustices, but here lies the danger when one neglects perspective. As an example, Robert Curzon suggested (in his 1854 book partly entitled "Armenia") that injustices stemmed from inferior officers getting out of line without the knowledge or acquiescence of their superiors... pointing out arbitrary power was not exclusive to the Ottomans, reminding us that the USA was "a land of liberty, where every free and independent citizen had the right to beat his own nigger."

The big picture, however, was that the Ottoman Empire was an extremely tolerant nation, especially when compared to the European nations, where a Muslim was not even considered a human being. The Armenians greatly prospered under the Ottomans... how else could they have become as wealthy as they did? Quite a few Armenians even rose to the highest governmental rank of Pasha, during the days when a Catholic in America had little hope of getting elected dog catcher.

When Balakian begins quoting the hopelessly racist Prime Minister of England, William Gladstone, as the author does at the beginning of Chapter 4, we know we're in trouble. (Gladstone referred to Sultan Abdul Hamid II as "the bloody Sultan" and "the great assassin"; not to be outdone, French President Clemenceau joined in the chorus with "the Red Sultan." A more reasonable Armenophile, however, had painted a different picture of the Sultan, in 1895.) Gladstone used his hopelessly exaggerated Bulgarian massacres for political gain, keeping quiet... as to be expected.... regarding Bulgarian atrocities against Turks.

Let us be reminded by where Gladstone was coming from ("The Bulgarian Horrors and the Question of the East," 1876): he asserted the Turkish race was... from the first black day they entered Europe, the one great anti-human specimen of humanity... as far as their dominion reached, civilisation vanished from view. Just one propagandistic example of The Terrible Turk corrupting western minds, from early on.

Balakian throws selectively incriminating passages from two Britons, P.H. Massy, who wrote (among other things) that the Armenians couldn’t earn a living. If the Armenians couldn’t earn a living, how would they be able to… in large part… control the economy? (See The 1915 Armenian Revolt in Van: Eyewitness Testimony, for a different perspective on how Armenians lived; many seem to have been better off than most Turks. One of them, for example, served as the mayor of Van… before getting shot by his own. Better yet, an Armenian explained in an 1857 book all the way from America that the Armenians were so prosperous, they "constitute the very life of Turkey.") William Ramsay is said to have been “fond” of the Turks, but one wouldn’t know it if he actually used the word “slavery” to describe the lot of the Armenians, whom he elaborates were “mats on which (the Turk wiped the mud from his feet).”

Turkish Pasha Receiving a Petition, William Craig

From Wheatcroft's "The Ottomans"


No doubt some were subjected to injustices; once again, so was the average Turk. If corrupt local tax officials demanded second payments, would they have exempted Turks? Similarly, if the Kurdish bands Balakian describes were of the mind to steal, they would not have limited themselves to the Armenians. (Lawless people are not known for their honor.) These were the harsh and unfair conditions all Ottomans were subjected to… exemplified by the fact Ottoman control was weak. Such is the reason why Armenians living in the West didn’t have to deal with paying extortion money to prevent their women from getting attacked… such outrages no doubt took place, but lawless bands were the bane of the government’s existence.

Arthur Moss and Florence Gilliam wrote of the Kurds in 1923’s “The Turkish Myth”: “…roving bands about as lawless as the mobs in parts of the American South, and about as out-of-hand politically as the banditti who infest parts of Italy and Spain.” Sounds like there would have been equal-opportunity attacks, and not exclusive Armenian victimization.

For some perspective, Rear Admiral Colby M. Chester … whom pro-Armenians naturally have tried to discredit (the same applies for the above authors, as well) … wrote in 1922’s “Turkey Reinterpreted”: “There is more honesty to the square inch in Turkey than there is to the square yard in most other countries of the world,” and that “There are no prejudices against Christians in Turkey.”

Few Westerners saw through the smokescreen of propaganda during those days; another was Chester’s son, Arthur Tremaine Chester. In 1923’s “Angora and the Turks,” he reminded us:

“It is unfair to judge and condemn a nation on account of the acts of one or a few unscrupulous individuals of that nation, just as it would be unfair to claim that all Americans are lawless because a few unprincipled people lynch Negroes in the South.” Chester also related an example of how, when Greeks and Bulgarians of the Empire were at each other’s throats, “these so-called Christian-hating people (the Turks) appropriated, from their depleted Government funds, money with which to build Christian churches in order to keep the Christians in their country from fighting among themselves.”

Almost all Western accounts were the opposite of those who were “unbiased by politics, religion or pecuniary benefits derived from condemning the Turks.” Prejudiced and/or ignorant thoughts from Western sources as the two Britons Balakian has quoted must be questioned for their motives, and must be taken as part of the big picture.

I got a kick out of Balakian’s line in pg. 43 (“Armenians Respond”): “Abdul Hamid felt emboldened to send masses of Muslim Refugees… whom the Russo-Turkish wars had driven from the Balkans and the Caucasus, into eastern Anatolia.” Since mighty Russia was instigating these wars (it was Russian Tsar Nicholas I who is credited for what became known as “The Sick Man of Europe,” in 1853… as he spoke of “arrangements” between the European powers to dismember the Ottoman empire), is the author telling us these refugees were being… DEPORTED? Since the cover of his book describes the work as “A History of International Human Rights…”, how interesting the compassionate Mr. Balakian makes no mention of the human rights of these victims.

One of the many factors that led to the downfall of the Ottoman empire was the taking care of the Muslim victims who were ethnically being cleansed by Russians and other Orthodox conquerors… as the empire was shrinking and diminishing in resources. Those who escaped with their lives had no place to go. (Justin McCarthy’s “Death and Exile”: “Between 1821 and 1922, more than five million Muslims were driven from their lands. Five and one-half million Muslims died.”)

Is Peter Balakian actually suggesting Abdul Hamid sent these unfortunates into eastern Anatolia as part of a wicked policy to make life Hell for the Armenians? (I guess that’s what he wants his reader to believe… since “murdering, looting, and pillaging were sanctioned.” Brother!) I’m sure the last thing on anyone’s mind was committing this mild form of “genocide” on the Armenians… the more pressing problems were, where are these people going to go? How are we going to take care of them?

Balakian then asserts the sultan created the Hamidiye, a force of Kurds, who were left to have their way with the Armenians. As a result, the “Armenians began to take matters into their own hands.” Thus, the formation of the Armenian terrorist organizations, one of which (the Armenakan Party) “espoused self-defense in the face of violence.” This “secret society” operated like the Ku Klux Klan, and I don't believe an objective historian would consider their usage of violence as being limited only to cases of self-defense. Balakian then goes on to describe the Hunchaks and Dashnaks, which were even more extreme. Perhaps the author neglected to consult the typical "constitution" of these groups, where "self defense" is way down on the list of concerns.

However, the sequence of events as presented is misleading. Since these terrorist groups were formed in between 1885-1890 (Armenian revolutionary societies actually began springing up earlier, like 1878's "Black Cross"), and the Hamidiye was formed in 1890… could part of the reason why the Hamidiye came into being was in response to the terror committed by the Armenian groups?

Undoubtedly, forming a Kurdish force caused great anxiety among the Armenians (not without good reason), but was the Muslim populace anxiety-free? We can read as much very between the lines, as the author reports, “As (Hamid) sent his special army into the trouble spots of the empire, the Armenian provinces became the top priority.” Once again… the idea of exclusive victimhood.

(British Captain Norman) points out that the assertion concerning the Hamidieh Cavalry being employed in Sassoun "is equally false and the number of troops employed was greatly exaggerated." He adds: "Three weak battalions and one mountain battery are all that were sent into the valley... and the total Armenian losses did not exceed 200 men in the fighting with the regular troops." "The Armenians Unmasked," 1895

"Abdul Hamlet"; a critical Turkish cartoon of the period
(Wheatcroft's "The Ottomans")

 Balakian lays the groundwork to establish what a “mentally unstable” tyrant the sultan was. At times, he certainly was no angel. However, let us listen to what an even-handed historian says of the matter, as Andrew Wheatcroft, in “The Ottomans”:

“It is not uncommon for political adversaries to describe an opponent as ‘evil’ or ‘mad’. The enemies of Abdul Hamid, both inside and outside the empire, considered him both mad and bad. His ‘madness’ lay in not following the approved path of Westernization… if his rhetoric was of the past, the sultan was also the most effective modernizer of Ottoman society. Many of the promises embodied in the constitution were fulfilled. He provided the empire with a basic structure of secondary education, with a network of railways and… roads… telegraph…”

“Although there was considerable brutality – particularly in the capital, with the sultan’s secret police – fear rather than brutality was the controlling ethic of the system… Abdul Hamid failed not because he was brutal or cruel but because he lacked the will to control his own creation.”

“As the secret Hamidian state became more powerful and more secretive, its need for enemies – real or imaginary – grew ever greater. The most notable focus for these obsessive fears was the Armenians… As a group they were not popular, given their traditional role as moneylenders and bankers. Many of the Western reports by journalists and missionaries supported the Armenians’ cause; others condemned them. The bloody events under both Abdul Hamid and his successors are read differently by each side, but for the Ottomans the Armenians represented a threat to their control of the state. Abdul Hamid was himself a target for assassination, and the occupation of the Ottoman Bank in Constantinople by Armenian nationalists in 1895 was a mortal affront. “

“The degree of the sultan’s responsibility for the killings that followed is uncertain: he assuredly could not have been unaware of what was going on… (As with past inter-communal conflicts in Bulgaria and Bosnia), the Ottoman authorities simply encouraged long-standing hatreds to spill over into massacre. The role of the state was one of ‘restoring order’.”

“No Ottoman sultan has ever been more universally execrated than Abdul Hamid. On the one side he was condemned as ‘Abdul the Damned’, or ‘the Red Sultan’.”… in Western eyes, by 1907 he had come to embody all the worst features attributed to the Ottomans – cruelty, cowardice and, less plausibly, lust.”

Balakian details the awful crimes perpetrated against the Armenians, among whom no doubt many innocents suffered. However, as with the “genocide” years, the picture being presented is that of a poor, helpless people being set upon because they complained of the injustices with double taxation and the Kurds… and whatever violence that took place from their end was nothing more than self-defense.

Captain Charles Boswell Norman wrote in "The Armenians Unmasked" (1895)  that these stories should not be accepted at face value: "The Osmanli (Ottoman) has yet to be heard." (The English have) "heard stories ad nauseam of massacres, of pillages, of the ravishing of women, but none of these stories have been corroborated by a single European eyewitness."

The author ignores Western reports that do not suit his agenda. As early as 1877, for example, the British Ambassador (Sir Henry Layard) was told by the Armenian Patriarch that he would be behind rebellions to gain the attention of Europe.

The Armenians were aware, especially since England became rabidly anti-Turkish during these years (under the leadership of Gladstone; the Russian, Mayewski, wrote an excellent paper describing exactly what was going on), that the European powers were looking forward to taking the “Sick Man” apart. (Establishing secret treaties to do so... particularly in the later WWI years.) Aside from conditioned anti-Turkish prejudice, another reason not to accept at face value many of these Western reports (decrying what happened to the Armenians) is because they easily could have had ulterior motives. The Armenian plan was to provoke; they purposely instigated massacres to get the Europeans to step in, knowing the Europeans were hovering like vultures to do so.

I did not concentrate on the 1890s end of the genocide tale too much at this site, although you can find many 19th Century Western accounts with a different view than Peter Balakian’s sprinkled throughout. When I rebutted Dr. Dennis Papazian’s “Misplaced Credulity,” I inadvertently got into this area in more detail. See, for example, how there were 22 Armenian provocations throughout different provinces of the empire in the last three months of 1895, alone... where the Armenians did not just heroically fight back (as Balakian details with 600-700 holding off four Turkish battalions in 1896), but went about their own violent sprees targeting innocent Muslims. It’s the same M.O. as with “1915”… they fired the first shot and rebelled; and when the response came (the same response any other nation would claim the right for), the Turks would become perceived as the bloody barbarians.

The collective energy of the Armenian diaspora is what made Peter Balakian's book The Burning Tigris: The Armenian Genocide and America's Response, an unlikely bestseller for a few weeks last fall. The Burning Tigris describes how Americans in the first half of the twentieth century were deeply engaged in efforts to help "the starving Armenians" in the wake of their catastrophe. But the distinctive merits of Balakian's book had little to do with its commercial success. The reason was that Armenian-Americans spent much of last year running an intensive e-mail campaign to garner pre-orders for the book on Amazon.com. A sufficiently high number of pre-orders would push the book into multiple printings early on and guarantee a high ranking. The campaign worked, as Armenians worldwide placed orders for one, two, three or twenty copies. Favorable reviews abounded. (A similar publicity crusade boosted Atom Egoyan's 2002 film, Ararat, the first-ever feature film about the Armenian genocide.)

Meline Toumani, "The Burden of Memory," Sept. 3 2004, The Nation. (More excerpts.)

  Kamuran Gurun wrote during a two year period of this rebellion, perhaps 5,000 Turks died at the hands of the Armenians, without provocation (and less than 20,000 Armenians died, including Armenians killed by Armenians… one-tenth of Balakian’s ballooned figure, from 1890-1896; 20,000 sounds a lot closer to the Turk-hating Lepsius’ figure of less than 89,000… no doubt  exaggerated in itself; Bliss concluded 41,000-42,000)… what about the “human rights” of those victims Peter Balakian contemptuously doesn’t waste a breath on? As Gurun logically wrote: “It would be fair... to remember how many people lost their lives in rebellions or disorders in their own or other countries, and think how much right they have to use the term massacre."

Consequently, the American press and people became outraged, as Chapter 6, “Humanity on Trial,” outlines. Little surprise, with only one side of this story blasting away.

The massacres played a part in the Republican party platform in 1896, Balakian writes… the two other international issues being Cuban independence from Spain (where Cubans suffered probably worse than the 1915-1916 Armenians, with twice the number “deported,” and probably no less deaths), and the annexation of Hawaii. I wonder why the injustices from the latter two episodes are practically never spoken of today? Why… would you... $uppo$e?

Balakian outlines all the many Western books and accounts to validate his version of events. One in particular caught my attention: Frederick Davis Greene’s “The Armenian Crisis in Turkey: The Massacre of 1894, Its Antecedents and Significance.” The “evidence”? “Missionary and relief worker reports,” published “anonymously.” That’s right… as if these people who gave up their lives at home to live in an alien land, fueled by a single-minded purpose…  would be objective and bias-free, and would not take the word of Armenians' “survivor testimony” at face value, or wouldn’t even be motivated enough to “embellish” such stories. Greene, a missionary himself, was BORN of missionary parents, in Turkey… a potential zealot’s zealot.

Greene even had the audacity to write, “it seems to be the systematic policy of the government to crush the Armenians, and it looks as though they will be exterminated.” Ahhhh… just the kind of man after Peter Balakian’s heart.

History gives the answer to how valid Greene’s prediction turned out to be. Regardless, his is the perfect example as to why this propaganda has unilaterally poisoned the minds of Americans, and other Westerners. “Greene’s book… was reviewed widely around the nation and had a large impact on the national consciousness.” Who would have doubted Greene’s word? After all, he was a man of honor and conscience… since he was a man of God. The precedent to his counterpart today, the “genocide scholar.” They, too, must be people of honor and conscience, because they appear humanitarian… by speaking out against the worst crime toward humanity. Everything that they are saying must be the truth.

During the Civil War, Clara Barton was a famous nurse. She was remembered by many soliders as the "Angel of the Battlefield." Clara Barton also established the first American Red Cross.

Clara Barton

Balakian outlines all the many lazy-thinking “intellectuals” in America who jump at accepting one side of a story without bothering to do any objective homework… giving credibility to the “Turks are monsters” version of these massacres all the more. (“What the Friends of Armenia had started… had become a national movement by the summer of 1895.”) Soon, Clara Barton would head the relief organization, staying at the famous Pera Palace hotel in Istanbul, “with the stench of death hanging in the air.”(Must be quite a time machine in the possession of the poet-turned-historian.)

Now, what government (unless very poor and desperate; the Ottomans were poor, but not desperate) would give permission for a foreign entity to set up shop on their soil, for the purpose of providing relief, particularly from a nation not that friendly? Imagine if, say, Iran wanted to bring a whole kit and caboodle of their people into the United States, with the purpose of looking after the many innocent Muslim-Americans who were imprisoned in the wake of the hysteria produced after 9-11?

How funny that the nation interested in having the Armenians “exterminated” would be kind enough to allow an army of potentially unfriendly visitors, who could do the Turks’ reputation even greater harm than they already had. However, with the promise that her goal would purely be “humanitarian” (avoiding the word “Armenian,” which could also imply helping the Turks victimized by the Armenians… which, of course, was the farthest thing from her mind; not to diminish Clara Barton, she appeared to be otherwise a great woman), and also by promising “we… shall not go home to write a book about Turkey,” and doing anything “sly or underhanded.” Permission was granted, thus showing the great heart of the Turks.

The next chapter provides all the grisly details… enough to “write a book about.”


 Beginning in Chapter 8, Balakian cites statistics: 10,000 Armenians in the United States by the mid-1890s, 66,000 before the WWI “genocide” period, and 145,000 right after. (Growing to a million, to date.) Nearly 80,000 out of the million (that Armenians tell us have survived) came to America, then… a number which surely must have grown, in the years immediately after. We also learn since Boston was the center of the Armenian human rights movement, its newspapers like the Boston Globe covered the massacres more extensively. (So THAT'S why the Boston Globe is such a shameless Armenian mouthpiece today.)

A postlude to the spectacular raid on the Ottoman Bank: The "Leipziger Illustrierte" reported not only on the exposition of weapons and explosives confiscated from Armenian terrorists, but also on the prompt closing of the exposition following the intervention of the foreign embassies. This also set a terrorist example that is still valid today.

Armenian weapons and explosives confiscated

Detailing “The Ottoman Bank Incident” in Chapter 9, the 25 Dashnaks who instigated the violence and threatened to blow the bank up had “a rather belated realization that the destruction of the bank would provoke the sultan to another round of gigantic vengeance against innocent Armenians.” Whether that conjecture would have come to pass or not, couldn’t these knuckleheads have figured out violent actions always carry consequences? I suppose that wouldn’t be the Armenian way… to accept responsibility for one’s destructive actions. When things go awry… blame others.

Apparently, these boys' acts were historic in more ways than one; they were the first to set an example of such, for future terrorists to follow. Professor Erich Feigl wrote in "A Myth of Terror":

On August 26, 1896, Armenian terrorists raided the Ottoman Bank, taking hostages in the process. This was the sad culmination of a year which had already seen more than its share of violence. This time, the operation was masterminded by the Armenian Dashnak Party. They saw this spectacular raid as a chance to catch up with their competition, the Armenian Hunchak Party, which was responsible for almost all the other acts of terrorism in 1896... the terrorists forced their way into the bank, threw bombs, barricaded themselves In with sacks full of silver coins, and fired wildly in all directions. They took hostages and insisted that their list of demands be published and met. This operation served as a model for all terrorists to come, and the style of this type of terrorist raid has remained largely unchanged.

The seventeen insurgents probably expected the entire British and French fleets to turn up at Istanbul and give them a festive welcome. While this did not happen, it was nonetheless aboard the sumptuous private yacht of Sir Edgar Vincent himself that the gang made its get-away. They later boarded the French warship La Gironde, which brought them safely to Marseilles. From there, they were free to continue planning and carrying out terrorist attacks.

The raid had only partially fulfilled its purpose. The expected riots had not materialized. These riots were needed by the terrorists, because along with the dead and wounded they would bring a flood of contributions for the "Armenian Cause". Other terrorist units therefore helped out by arranging a number of bomb explosions in Galata on August 30.

This time things worked out better, since it was now possible to dream up tales of "4000-6000 Armenians killed in the rioting". Not the least bit of evidence could be found to support these figures in the secret report of the British Embassy (F. 0. 424/188, Nos. 149 and 169). But what difference did that make? '

A model had been created for all future terrorist raids, complete with hostage-taking, forced publication of a list of demands, and permission for the terrorists to leave the country — plus all the P. R. that accompanies an action of this type.

Karekin Pastermadjian, a.k.a. Armen Garo

When the leader of the terrorists was killed, Armen Garo (Mr. Balakian avoids referring to this fellow by his real name, Karekin Pastermadjian, for some reason) took over. The sultan agreed to allow the fifteen remaining safe passage out of the country (Abdul Hamid also pardoned the Armenians who would try to assassinate him years later), especially after a Russian official threatened to have the European powers destroy the palace with cannon fire from their battleships. As the terrorists were escorted away, sounds of the angry mob and “screams of people who had been taken from their homes to be killed; Garo had little doubt that the screams were those of innocent Armenians.” Can you believe that? Garo, one of the terrorists responsible for all that violence… now, presented as a credible witness describing sounds he did not see (perhaps did not hear)… by author Peter Balakian. Mr. Balakian then goes on to write “a number of European newspapers… praised the Armenian activists for their honesty… and their courage.” That part would be readily believable.

By the way, this criminal actually was allowed to return and serve in the Ottoman parliament! What forgiving people the Turks are… I’d say that’s anything but oppression. Balakian goes on to recount that Garo repaid his tolerant nation by joining the Russians in WWI! (Pg. 199), his hands soon to be awash in Muslim blood.

(Rafael de Nogales, whom Balakian quotes in his “Van” chapter, wrote in 1926’s "Four Years Beneath the Crescent": “…After hostilities had actually commenced, the Deputy to the Assembly for Erzerum, Garo Pasdermadjian, passed over with almost all the Armenian troops and officers of the Third Army to the Russians; to return with them soon after, burning hamlets and mercilessly putting to the knife all of the peaceful Mussulman villagers that fell into their hands.")

Sir Mark Sykes, in his The Caliph’s Last Heritage (London, Macmillan, 1915):

"...They will undertake the most desperate political crimes without the least forethought or preparation; they will bring ruin and disaster on themselves and others without any hesitation; they will sacrifice their own brothers and most valuable citizens to a wayward caprice; they will enter largely into conspiracies with men in whom they repose not the slightest confidence; they will overthrow their own national cause to vent some petty spite on a private individual; they will at the very moment of danger grossly insult and provoke one who might be their protector... they will betray the very person who might serve their cause... The Armenian revolutionaries prefer to plunder their co-religionists to their enemies; the anarchists of Constantinople threw bombs with the intention of provoking a massacre of their fellow-countrymen.”

Doesn’t that sound like it would serve the interests of Garo and other pro-Armenians to make it sound like “innocent Armenians” were being killed by the beastly Turks?

Ever the diligent “historian,” Balakian makes sure to blacken the eye of Turkish reputation more deeply in his following pages, reporting on the aftermath. The British charge, for example, reported “the Turkish mob” bludgeoning “thousands of Armenians to death.” Balakian even brings up Greek-Armenian director Elia Kazan’s AMERICA, AMERICA to help us picture such crimes. The European powers (you know the ones; looking for any opportunity to split the remains of the empire between themselves) complained in a "collective note" that it was a "positively established fact" the Ottoman government allowed “savage gangs” to massacre the Armenians, led by "…soldiers, and even police officers.”"


 British author C. F. Dixon-Johnson presented a different view in his 1916 work, “The Armenians.” He maintained the suggestions of the pro-Armenians that these were "unprovoked massacres inspired by the Turkish Government" were false. Here is how he described the events of the Ottoman Bank takeover:

The Ottoman Bank under attack by Armenians

The Ottoman Bank under attack by Armenians

Having failed to stir up a general rise in Asia, the Armenians were "determined to adopt desperate measures in Constantinople in the hope of forcing the hands of the Ambassadors. They attacked the Ottoman Bank with bombs and revolvers, killing twelve guards. They seized the European staff as hostages and threatened to blow up the building with all who were in it. The ambassadors appealed to the Porte, which allowed them to guarantee a safe conduct to the conspirators. Bombs were also thrown in the Grand Rue de Pera, and "some of the conspirators who had taken a position upon the roofs of the houses in that, the principal thoroughfare of Constantinople, fired upon the populace in the street below". Dixon-Johnson continues as follows:

"There seems little doubt that the revolutionists had contemplated a series of attacks at different important points, to be followed by a more or less general rising of the Armenian population....

"A cry went through the city that the Armenians had risen in revolt and were massacring the other citizens. Many persons armed themselves with cudgels and, joined by a cosmopolitan mob from Pera and Galata, many of whom were Greek anxious to pay off old scores on their hated commercial rivals, wreaked vengeance on the Armenian population. The soldiers and police took no part in the killing. It is estimated that about 1,000 persons perished, including those killed by the bombs and revolvers of the conspirators. What happened in London and Liverpool after the sinking of the Lusitania affords an idea of how the East End people of London, who claim to be far more highly educated... would have behaved if German desperadoes, after murdering twelve of the sentinels on guard at the Bank of England, had been allowed to escape free in deference to the representations of the American and Spanish Ambassadors, especially after the fears and passions of the mob had been aroused by German aliens shooting and bombing from the roofs of the houses..."

There are more details on TAT's Ottoman Bank page.

President Wilson

Woodrow Wilson

Chapter 10 begins with a look at British propagandist Viscount Bryce, and the depth of his commitment to the Armenians. Bryce began defending the sympathy-seeking people as early as 1881. “Like Gladstone, he was a liberal with a passion for human beings,” Balakian writes... not the only common trait shared with Gladstone… the willingness to present false information as fact was another. He served under Gladstone, and Woodrow Wilson, while a professor, praised an 1889 Bryce book examining the United States. Two decades later, President Wilson would regard Bryce’s now infamous “Blue Book” as a bible.

Balakian bemoans that an American minister (who turns out to be a rare exception to the Turk-hating rule! ADDENDUM 3-07: Minister Alexander W. Terrell was not a religious minister or missionary, but a minister of government; he served as what passed for the U.S. ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, at the time.), A. W. Terrell ("criticized by the Protestant missionaries") produced what Balakian considered a puff piece in Century Magazine’s November 1897 issue, in response to an article that appeared in Harper’s Weekly written by James Bryce (Bryce found the sultan to be a “fiercely anti-Christian autocrat”).

Here’s what Balakian transcribes about the way in which Terrell explained the massacres, in Balakian’s words: "…because the Armenians had established 'revolutionary committees,' they had to be massacred." "They had to be massacred"? I have a funny feeling that must not have been the way Terrell put it.

(Chapter 12: "Adana, 1909: Counterrevolution and Massacre"... a preliminary examination of this chapter may be found here.)

Chapter 13 covers the Balkan Wars. CUP leader Abdullah Jevdet is quoted as warning the Armenians that the Armenians should not feel emboldened because of the losses in European Turkey. "Anatolia is the well spring of every fire of our life." In other words…. there is no way the Turks can afford to lose their heartland, as that would spell the end of the Turkish nation. Makes sense to me! However, Balakian editorializes: "Jevdet’s nationalist fervor was indicative of the new tone of pan-Turkism that was defining the Young Turk regime."

The proof is, however — and this is essential — that the struggle begun decades ago against the Turkish government brought about the deportation or extermination of the Armenian people in Turkey and the desolation of Turkish Armenia. This was the terrible fact!

Hovhannes Katchaznouni, First Prime Minister of the Independent Armenian Republic


The Armenians have concocted several reasons as possible genocide causes, in a desperate search for motives. One of them concerns the country needing to be cleansed of all non-Turks, to justify why a non-Turkish people like the Armenians were targeted for extermination… instead of looking at the only reason why they were subjected to the resettlement program: the Armenians betrayed their country. This other reason of "pan-Turkism" makes no sense, even though there were extremists who had such mad dreams: cleansing the nation of non-Turks would be unworkable, since the heterogeneous nation represented too broad a range of ethnic groups. In addition, it doesn’t explain why other "alien" groups among the non-Muslims were left alone, such as the Jews. It’s Balakian’s duty to perpetuate and validate this particular concoction.

He justifies this "Turkification" motive by explaining:

"Not unlike Hitler’s later nazification programs for German youth, exemplified in the Hitlerjugend, the Young Turks now launched a program of nationalist indoctrination and paramilitary training for Turkish youth."

I’m not sure if this author can get much lower, but don’t count on it; we’re not even halfway into the book, yet.

Oops… a little later in this very page (pg. 163), Balakian has a ball with the "chief propagandist" of the CUP,  Ziya Gokalp… who possessed the “pan-Turkist voice that rose the highest in the political arena.” Only… Gokalp is identified as a Kurd.

“Eerily foreshadowing the leading Nazi propagandists Alfred Rosenberg and Joseph Goebbels, who propounded the central notion that Germany needed to be Judenrein if it was to revitalize itself, Gokalp advocated that Turkey could only be revitalized if it rid itself of its non-Muslim elements.” OHHHHH. So it’s not really Turkification, it’s Muslimification. In other words, these racist Turks regarded all Muslims as Turks, such as the Arabs. I get it, now.

ADDENDUM: The real low-down on Ziya Gokalp.

Hopefully Balakian had enough Vaseline by his bedside as he went out of control while quoting a Turkish physician (Mehmed Reshid) as having supposedly said, "Isn’t it the duty of a doctor to destroy microbes?"... after likening the Armenians to microbes. Balakian claims Reshid nailed horseshoes to Armenians’ feet and marched them through city streets. Is that possible? I don’t mean being able to walk with nailed horseshoes… I know I wouldn’t be able to do it. I mean, how does one nail horseshoes to human feet? (The source is Vahakn Dadrian. Figures.)

ADDENDUM: Once again, Balakian displays his perfected art of weasely deception, by leaving out the context; what prefaced the "microbes" quote referred to the Armenian bandits, and not the people as a whole. The Hunchaks and Dashnaks were poisoning relations, and the word "microbe" was a most appropriate analogy.

Another evil doctor is Behaeddin Shakir, who believed Armenians were "tubercular microbes." Dr. Shakir helped raise two Armenian orphans (one who went on to perform in the Istanbul Philharmonic)… before he was assassinated by Armenians in 1922.

Is it possible there were such horrid racists among the Turks, historically among the most tolerant and compassionate of peoples? Obviously, many Armenians and Western Christians, regarding their outlook toward the Turks of this period, did not have a monopoly on racism; there are bad eggs everywhere. Some Turks certainly had excellent reason to not regard the Armenians in such loving terms… after all, they did betray their country, where they had prospered for centuries, during their country’s darkest hour. If a minority were to rise up and stab your nation in the back while your nation was on its last legs and fighting mighty world powers on multiple fronts, how do you think members of this minority would be regarded, by your countrymen?

However, Balakian’s irresponsibility is unconscionable; if he is so desperate to paint such monstrous images, he cannot base his claims on Armenian sources known to say anything and everything as long as their identity-providing genocide can be affirmed, regardless of the facts.

Then Balakian’s inevitable piece de resistance: Hitler’s omnipresent and alleged quote.


 Chapter 14: "Government Planned Genocide." Balakian’s chance to run through the familiar Armenian monologue. The same old distortions easily found everywhere.

Another motive for killing the Armenians is the humiliation of defeat. The Turks got into a hissy fit over the loss of so much territory, and had to take out their frustrations on someone. Forget the fact that the Armenians had been the favored ones throughout the centuries… they had to be the scapegoats for no good reason.

Balakian naturally travels down this road as well, and on pg. 178 declares: "…After Enver Pasha’s humiliating defeat by the Russians at Sarikamish in December 1914-Jamuary 1915, the minister of war and his ruling elite, needing a scapegoat, blaming the Armenians, claiming that they were in sympathy with the Russians."

"Claiming..." Balakian would have his reader believe there was no truth to Armenians’ not just having "sympathy," but engaging in outright rebellion, on the side of the enemy. He certainly has started on the right foot in his new career as "historian," by respecting the facts.

ADDENDUM: One source attesting to the Armenians' treacherous role at Sarikamish is one of Balakian's favorites, Armen Garo. (Bank Ottoman: Memoirs of Armen Garo, p. 21.)

Balakian has reproduced examples of the anti-Turkish New York Times' many false genocide accounts, but has failed to resort to one that can be confirmed in countless other references: The Nov. 7, 1914 report, entitled “Armenians Fighting Turks,” which outlines how the Armenians rose up in rebellion, as planned… as soon as the Ottoman Empire was at her weakest, that is, at war. Russia had declared war only five days previously.

In reality, Enver Pasha got a promise of loyalty from the Armenians, represented by the Dashnak Congress, in 1914. Enver counted on 50,000 Armenian troops who could have made the difference at Sarikamish. These Armenians never showed up, breaking their loyalty oath... one of the reasons why the untrustworthy soldiers who hadn't yet deserted from the army were disarmed. Armenian historians will further elaborate here.

Prof. Nursen Mazici found documents in the U.S. archives linking the role of Armenians at Sarikamish; one sent by Armenian commanders stated that "the communications of the Turkish army with the rear-front was cut off as earlier planned, therefore it could be possible to annihilate at least sixty thousand Turkish soldiers," and they were extremely happy and proud of the advantages taken by that effort.

Balakian then writes, familiarly, that the Armenian men in "the army were disarmed, thrown into labor battalions and then the army began an organized plan of massacring most of the Armenian (troops)." Let’s check out the logic, here.

For centuries, only the Turks safeguarded the lives of the residents of the Ottoman empire… one of the benefits of a tax certain minorities had to pay. As the footnote here states (Erik Jan Zucher, “Ottoman Labor Battalions in World War I,” 2002), Christians had first been conscripted into the Ottoman army in 1909. They’re not historically used to the idea of risking their lives for the preservation of their welfare, putting in doubt whether some had their hearts in this new military role; and they know there is an Armenian movement afoot to hook up with the enemy and betray their nation.

A Dashnak committee order spelled out the Armenians’ duty: "As soon as the Russians have crossed the borders and the Ottoman armies have started to retreat, you should revolt everywhere. The Ottoman armies thus will be placed between two fires. On the other hand, the Armenians in the Ottoman army should desert their units with their weapons and unite with the Russians." I’d think any nation would think very carefully when signs of a rebellion appear, before allowing weapons to remain in the hands of potential traitors.

Arthur Tremaine Chester explains: “The facts are that the Turks sent an army to the Russian border to defend their country against the threatened Russian invasion. The army consisted of Turkish subjects of all nationalities, being drafted just as ours are drafted. At the front the Armenians used blank cartridges and deserted in droves. This was bad enough, but the Armenians were not satisfied with this form of treachery. The provinces in the rear of the army had a large Armenian population, and these people, feeling that there was an excellent chance of the Russians defeating the Turks, decided to make it a certainty by rising up in the rear of the army and cutting it off from its base of supplies.”

Now why would it make sense to go through all the expense of arming, maintaining and training Armenian troops, if the “secret” goal was to exterminate them? Wouldn’t there be more expedient ways? They could have just rounded up the men, and killed them. (That is, whatever Armenian men were left among the non-soldiers of the citizenry, after so many had traitorously joined the Russians.)

If the manpower-deprived Ottoman army truly had the evil intention of using "slave labor" (the way Armenians love to classify these labor battalions, forgetting that all soldiers, in effect, are slaves), why would these healthy men be killed, if they were providing such a necessary function?

Lastly, were Turkish troops treated so beautifully? Regarding the “humiliating defeat” Balakian mentioned, Enver threatened to shoot the Turkish troops if they did not advance. Result: up to 90,000 "snow statues," many of whom never had a chance to fire a shot. (Balakian writes 75,000 casualties out of 95,000, and he could be right on this point.)

Zucher mentions in his footnote “Arabs, Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians and others were subjected to brutal treatment. Arab soldiers, for example, were often sent to the front lines at gunpoint, shackled in chains and escorted by Turks.”

It’s getting very tiresome to run into accounts by such biased "historians" anxious to make out the Turks to be inhuman, every chance they get. What of the Europeans’ treatment of their men? Did the English, French, Germans, Russians treat their soldiers with the utmost dignity and love? Perhaps Mr. Zucher should bone up on WWI history.

Also in fairness… what would any army do to their soldiers who refuse to go to the front? After all…. who wants to go to the front? However, the front is where some soldiers need to be, because… well, that’s where the enemy is advancing, and somebody has got to be there to stop them. If the Arab soldiers refused to go to the front, what should their commanders have done? Say, okay, war’s over for you… you can go home? (I’m not saying getting sent at gunpoint is a civilized thing to do, but… they’re soldiers. And soldiers are supposed to obey orders, in the uncivilized business of warfare.)


 In this chapter Balakian engages in a bloodlust frenzy in providing the typical Armenian assertions, and it would take forever to address them all. I am sorry, Peter, but no real historian is going to take at face value your propagandistic sources such as Arnold Toynbee’s "Armenian Atrocities: The Murder of a Nation," and Vahakn Dadrian’s "The Role of the Special Organization in the Armenian Genocide during the First World War." (Dadrian, as usual, earning his keep at the partisan Zoryan Institute by working for years to prosecute Turks in any and every way, here comes up with a Nazi parallel of Ottoman SS troops. Dadrian decided the "CIA" of the Ottoman Empire, mostly involved in trying to persuade Moslems in enemy armies to give up their allegiance, would fill the role of the Gestapo. In this section, according to Footnote 17, it looks like Prosecutor Dadrian used a "Turkish confession" after war’s end, when hapless ex-officials were trying to save their skins in an atmosphere of recriminations, within kangaroo courts that even the British ignored use of for their own Malta Tribunal. See last link for an analysis of the Dadrian's Special Organization claims.) Jay Winter was the "historical" voice behind PBS’ lamentable “genocide” segment of their “The Great War” series…. whom I have a special beef with.

One bit of business I never heard of is called “The Ten Commandments.” Now, this is the kind of thing that looks like the rare document that truly affirms the genocide. Discovered and translated in early 1919 by British occupiers, no doubt making preparations for the Malta Tribunal, the Nuremberg of WWI. (Which Balakian makes very brief note of and, falsely, as an extension of the 1919 Ottoman kangaroo courts. These were two separate trials.) “It is a blueprint of the Armenian extermination operation and appears to have been the centerpiece of a secret party meeting, which took place sometime in late December 1914 or in January 1915." Balakian asserts this document came from the office of an intelligence minister, Ahmed Essad. Article 5 orders all males under 50 to be exterminated, and all Armenians in the military to be similarly snuffed out.

Genocidal proof? I’ll look forward to learning more about this. Unfortunately, Dadrian is again behind this "evidence," although the British archival number is supplied. What raises my eyebrow is that the time period sounds way too premature to consider the relocation policy… this was a decision made slowly, as Armenian treachery became more and more apparent. (April 24 of 1915 is when the policy was signed — as all Armenians know, since they have decided to “celebrate” the depressing "date of doom" in their parades as the Number One highlight of their people’s long and rich history — and not implemented until the following month. In reality, it is this May 2 telegram when the relocation policy first began to be considered.) Even if we suspend disbelief and allow for the ridiculous idea of desperately-needed Armenian soldiers getting systematically murdered, it does not make sense such a decision would have been made only two months into the war. I don’t know how the British came by this document… was it found casually left behind in Ahmed Essad’s desk drawer, even though Article 10 stipulates these instructions need to be "strictly confidential," and "may not go beyond two or three persons"? Or was it produced through other helping hands, as Aram Andonian came by his forged “Naim Bey” work?

In any event, if this document was available in early 1919, at the very outset of the Malta Tribunal, it would have been exactly the sort of evidence the British were desperately looking for to convict the up to 144 Ottoman officials being held for war crimes. After all, there it is, in black and white… orders for extermination. Yet, the Malta Tribunal dragged on until mid-1921, as the British continued to look for legitimate evidence... of which they found absolutely none. There must have been some reason why "The Ten Commandments" was ultimately determined to be phony.

How come Vahakn Dadrian does not raise these very important issues? Could it be because… he is a prosecutor, and not a professor?


It's been a while since the writing of this page, and I certainly have come across more on "The Ten Commandments." Highlights:

1) Dadrian has written (in "The Secret Young Turk Ittihadist Conference," p. 178) that "Essad's document [i.e., "The Ten Commandments"] on the transmission of an official order by the Ottoman War Minister is verified by the testimony of a military commander..." in Dadrian's bread and butter, the 1919-20 kangaroo courts, allowing Dadrian to conclude a "demonstrated authenticity." But the original text of the testimony is unavailable, and Dadrian relied on a newspaper account. Prof. Guenter Lewy has concluded: "This, I submit, is hardly the kind of evidence that can be used to demonstrate the authenticity of a document." (And I submit, what does one expect of a master of propaganda, to find "evidence" wherever Dadrian sees fit?)

2) At first (in early 1919), the British suggested Essad be arrested "to prove to the hilt the authenticity of the draft 'Ten Commandments' document." [FO 371/4172/31307, p. 386.] It turns out that Essad, described as a "low class intermediary" by the British, was employed as an agent by the British High Commissioner in Istanbul at least until Sept. 1919. Yet, Essad was never arrested, nor questioned, because the British "soon had come to doubt the authenticity of this document," as Lewy has written. [Gwynne Dyer, "Letter to the Editor," Middle Eastern Studies 9 (1973): 378.] Prof. Lewy informs that the document was "never noted or used by the law officers collecting evidence against the Young Turks" interned in Malta.

3) Dr. Gwynne Dyer, in his careful analysis of "The Ten Commandments" all the way back in 1973 (noted above), pointed to its forgery by stating that they "resemble the result of an attempt after the fact to reconstruct what might have been said, had the actual events of April 1915-mid 1916 all been fore-ordained in a single comprehensive official document months before their initiation."

In keeping with the "Armenian AND? Anthem," unscrupulous propaganidists like Vahakn Dadrian and Peter Balakian turn a blind eye to such realities, in the hopes that the old dirt can still prove useful in the minds of the unwary. Thoroughly disgraceful.

(The above references are from Guenter Lewy's The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey, A Disputed Genocide, 2005, p. 48


Armenians being relocated

Armenians being relocated

The section entitled "The Railway" in this chapter is pretty heartbreaking, even if Peter Balakian is the author, putting in every damning bit of hearsay he could come up with. Obviously, many Armenians suffered terribly, and nobody can argue the process was awful. However, let’s keep in mind: it was 1915, and the country we are talking about was the tottering, technologically backward Ottoman Empire. Thank the lord the rails existed in some places, as traveling on foot obviously would have taken a much greater toll… as we know from those who were forced to travel on foot.

Let’s not forget to keep things in perspective; who can argue with the logic Commander Arthur Tremaine Chester presented:

Let me draw a parallel imaginary case. Suppose that Mexico was a powerful and rival country with which we were at war, and suppose that we sent an army to the Mexican border to hold back the invading enemy; suppose further that not only the Negroes in our army deserted to the enemy but those left at home organized and cut off our line of communication. What do you think we as a people, especially the Southerners, would do to the Negroes? Our Negroes have ten times the excuse for hating the whites that the Armenians have for their attitude toward the Turks. They have no representation, although they have an overwhelming majority in large sections of the South, and have nothing to say in the making or administration of the laws under which they are governed. South of the Mason and Dixon line they are practically a subject race, while the Armenians in Turkey have not only full representation but special privileges not accorded by any other country.

The Turkish Government ordered the Armenians deported from the districts they menaced That they did not have railways and other means of transportation was not their fault, and the deportation had to be carried out on foot. That this was not done in the most humane manner possible is undoubtedly a fact, and the Turkish Government has condemned the unnecessary cruelties that occurred; but I feel confident that if America had been put in the hypothetical situation above referred to, it would have stopped that insurrection if it had had to kill every Negro in the South, and would not have gone to the tedious and laborious defensive act of deportation, in spite of our extensive means of transportation.

It cost money to implement such a colossal program… millions of dollars in today's money that the bankrupt Ottomans could have easily spent elsewhere. Peter Balakian attempts to paint the picture all these people were heading toward their doom. How absolutely ridiculous. How could a million Armenians (remember, Balakian himself signed his name to a 1998 proclamation attesting to this fact) have survived out of a pre-war population of 1 million to 1.6 million, based on a dozen “neutral” (i.e., pro-Armenian Western) sources (and keep in mind… the subtracted 300,000-600,0000 died from all causes, including weather, famine, disease and combat, as well as massacres)?

Arnold Toynbee himself wrote in his propaganda piece "The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire" that 500,000 Armenians had survived the "deportations" in a report that came out in April 1916. (Curiously, Consul J. B. Jackson had concluded that around 500,000 was the total number of the "deported," in February, 1916.) If there truly was an extermination policy, how could there have been so many survivors? After all, most of these unfortunates, the Armenians tell us, were mostly women, children and the elderly (probably true, since many of the men joined to fight against their country)… how hard would it have been to kill women, children and the elderly, and why go through the trouble and expense of a "deportation," when they could have been massacred on or near the spot? When the Armenians systematically murdered over half a million Turks/Muslims, they didn’t bother with any "deportation."

At the end of this chapter, Balakian informs us the U.S. Holocaust Museum places the Holocaust Jewish dead at 5.1 to 5.4 million, which I felt was interesting; everywhere, the figure is presented as six million. Even with genuine genocides, as the Holocaust most certainly was, one must be wary of "genocide politics" distorting the facts.



Chapter 15 (Van, Spring 1915) already starts off with an inaccuracy: “By the nineteenth century Van’s Armenian population was greater than its Turkish and Kurdish populations combined.” No source is provided, but Prof. Justin McCarthy, famous for his careful studies of population demographics, wrote: "Was there an Ottoman Armenia, that is, an area in which the majority of the population were Armenians? For the period before the nineteenth century there is no way to know for certain. No one took a census... We do know that in the period of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Armenians were a distinct minority in every province of the Ottoman Empire.”

The author also mentions a Turkish delegation asked the Ottoman-Armenians if they would kindly be on the side of the nation where they prospered for centuries, by coaxing the Russian-Armenians to the Turkish side… just as the Russian-Armenians and Armenians from Europe were busily trying to get the Ottoman-Armenians on the Russian side. The leadership declined, remembering the massacres and "betrayed promises from the Turks over the past decades"… forgetting about the betrayed promises from the Russians, since the time of Peter the Great.

Dennis Papazian wrote in "What every Armenian Should Know," in an effort to play down the fact that the Armenians sided with the Russians: "Russia under the Tsars never offered the Armenians or any other subject peoples their freedom. The last tsar, Nicholas II, would not even share power with his own Russian people, which helped prompt the Russian revolution during World War I. {Russia even forbade Armenian refugees, who had managed to flee the Genocide, from returning to their lands, which the Russian armies had overran during the war.} Prince Lobanov-Rostovsky, foreign minister of Russia in 1895, summed it all up by saying, ‘Yes, Russia wants Armenia, but without the Armenians.’" So let’s see… centuries of prospering under the Ottoman Empire… vs. centuries of getting used by the Russians as pawns. Once again: loyalty and Armenians; like oil and water.

Balakian fails to mention at the end of this meeting, the Ottoman-Armenians pledged their loyalty to their own country (as Kerope Papazian wrote in "Patriotism Perverted", also informing us the Armenians broke a 1907 promise to start an Armenian uprising in the Caucasus, the very promise the Turks were expecting to be upheld)… a promise they had absolutely no intention of keeping, having hoarded stockpiles of Russian-provided arms and uniforms throughout the empire, to be used to backstab their nation the moment war broke out. “In the beginning of fall 1914, when Turkey had not yet entered the war, but was preparing to, Armenian volunteer groups began to be organized with great zeal and pomp in Trans-Caucasia. In spite of the decision taken a few weeks before at the General Committee in Erzurum, the Dashnagtzoutune actively helped the organization of the aforementioned groups, and especially arming them, against Turkey.” The writer was Hovhannes Katchaznouni, Armenia's First Prime Minister.

"...In the early part of 1915, therefore, every Turkish city contained thousands of Armenians who had been trained as soldiers and who were supplied with rifles, pistols, and other weapons of defense. The operations at Van once more disclosed that these men could use their weapons to good advantage…." The writer is Henry Morgenthau, from pg. 301 of his ghostwritten book. (This is the Doubleday version, and not the new one edited by Peter Balakian himself. Why would a reprint require an editor, anyway? I hope Mr. Balakian did not edit out passages like the above not completely in line with Armenian-speak.)

Stating that these (Armenian revolutionary) newspapers are "supported by forced contributions," Captain Norman cites several threatening letters which say: "You are ordered to give... to the person who presents this to you... and if you refuse to pay this or if you give notice to the police, your life will be forfeited." The author says that hundreds of such letters have been issued within a short period of time and that Armenians like Dikran Karagueusian or Simon Efendi have been stabbed by Hintchakists for having refused to bow.-- "The Armenians Unmasked," 1895

Balakian does mention there were Armenians who were loyal… which, of course, is true. However, this does not take into account the vicious Armenian vs. Armenian terror campaign. The Armenians who were not sufficiently stirred up by their fanatical revolutionary leaders quickly learned it would be safer to comply with their leaders’ decision to betray their country. In fact, we keep hearing about how the Armenians’ money was looted by the Turks; however, we never hear about how the Armenians’ money was looted by the Armenians. (And we certainly never hear about how the Armenians looted the Turks, whose houses and other assets they took over.)

Pantikyan, an Armenian who played a great role in the armistice, reportedly told M. Sifir: “I would like to stress especially that, in the raids made by the Kurds and the Turks, as a reaction to the rebellion movements in the several regions of Anatolia at those times, the amount of material losses were extremely small compared to the wealth pillaged by the Hinchaks in the robberies in Istanbul. The percentage would not total even to one percent. The committeemen robbed the Istanbul Armenians... pitilessly. They put several wealthy persons into a penniless situation."

The other side of this coin is, do Armenians have a right to complain about the Turks disarming them when they had proven their betrayal in the past… by giving assistance to invading Russian armies in 1828, 1854, and 1877? [Justin McCarthy, "Armenian Terrorism: History as Poison and Antidote."] Trust is a two-way street.

Balakian dismisses the rebelling Armenians as a "small minority," attempting to paint the picture that the bulk of the Armenians in the empire were loyal. One that Balakian assures us was loyal (although the author presents no proof), a priest named Krikoris Balakian (and a relative of Peter Balakian, who was not on the up and up, as we'll get into below), was arrested along with "250" (really 235) Armenian leaders on the fateful date of April 24. Later, in his memoirs, he wrote…

Say. Hold on, just a second. Isn’t this the group of Armenian leaders and intellectuals who I’ve always read in Armenian sources to have been arrested and brutally murdered? I guess not all of them must have been killed after all… how do you like that.

Peter Balakian gets into the story of one of the worst villains of the "genocide," Enver’s brother-in-law, Jevdet Bey… the governor of Van (and "the horse-shoe master of Bashkale." I still can’t picture how a horseshoe can be nailed onto a human foot, and actually stay there… enough to be forced to walk upon. What inconceivable tortures the Armenians have come up with. And, oh. By the way. This is a different "horse-shoe master" than the Turkish physician, Mehmed Reshid, Balakian filled us in on earlier. How dare the Armenians insist the Turks have offered the world no culture! What other people can claim the expertise, en masse, of knowing how to nail horseshoes onto human feet?) I guess Jevdet Bey got his evil reputation because “he was known for making constant searches and seizures of so-called militant Armenians in the region." Oh, that’s right…. Peter Balakian would like us to believe there were no militant Armenians in the region.

Here is a little counter-perspective on what must have been pressuring Jevdet Bey... as reported by Prof. Justin McCarthy's Congressional testimony: "Conditions are best illustrated in the Van province, where Muslim mortality was greatest. The central government ordered the Van governor to send gendarmes, rural policemen, to guard columns of Armenian deportees. He responded that he had 40 gendarmes at his disposal—all the others were fighting at the Russian Front. The 40 gendarmes were protecting Muslim villages against Armenian attacks. He refused to let the Muslims be killed by Armenians so that Armenians could be protected from Muslims."

On April 19, 1915, Balakian claims thousands of Armenians were massacred (making sure to add the line, with “the utmost brutality.”) Jevdet Bey had sent out instructions reading, “The Armenians must be exterminated. If any Moslem protects a Christian, first, his house shall be burned, then the Christian killed before his eyes, and then his (the Moslem’s) family and himself.” Source: American missionary Dr. Clarence Ussher.

Dr. Ussher wrote his book, "An American Physician in Turkey" in 1917 (reportedly in Armenian-friendly Boston, Massachusetts) and published it before the U.S. entered the war… part of the ongoing campaign of missionary propaganda, with the intent of raising the funds that turned out to be the most successful charity campaign in American history. This is the book Atom Egoyan relied on to depict the events in Van in ARARAT.

It simply boggles my mind that the work of a religious fanatic with such an obvious conflict-of-interest could still be looked upon as credible, in this day and age. To get a picture of what truly happened in Van, tune in to "The 1915 Armenian Revolt in Van: Eyewitness Testimony." Next, determine if Jevdet Bey could have  indulged himself with his favorite horseshoe-nailing hobby when he had his hands full with murderous Armenians. The following were actual, internal communications sent by the governor, never meant to be publicized, and therefore cannot be construed as propaganda:

On 20 March, the Governor of Van stated: "In all parts of the province armed confrontations continued until the evening and have now increased. It is thought that the rebels number more than 2,000. We are trying to crush the rebellion."

The situation became so critical in the weeks ahead that Jevdet Bey, ironically on the Armenians' own cherished "Date of Doom," contemplated a "deportation":

On 24 April, the Van governor sent the following telegram to the Ministry of the Interior: "Until now approximately 4,000 insurgent Armenians have been brought to the region from the vicinity. The rebels are engaged in highway robbery, attack the neighbouring villages and burn them. It is impossible to prevent this. Now many women and children are left homeless. It is not possible nor suitable to relocate them in tribal villages in the vicinity. Would it be convenient to begin sending them to the western provinces?"

(Indeed, the above was written only five days after Jevdet Bey had killed thousands of Armenians with "the utmost brutality" on April 19, as Balakian the historian told us. Killing thousands of people would require a great expenditure of time and resources, especially if the killings were committed in a leisurely fashion, given that attention was paid to "utmost brutality." Does the desperate situation related in this real message above, never intended to be a public relations exercise , indicate a leisurely massacre could have been possible?)

Gurun, "The Armenian File": "On 8 May, the Armenians began their offensive and started burning down the Muslim quarters. Upon this, the Governor, Jevdet Bey, ordered the evacuation of Van. On 17 May, the Turkish soldiers left Van, then the Armenians began to set fire to the Turkish quarters which had been evacuated. The Russians then entered Van. (The booklet entitled Zeve about the Van rebellion is worth reading.)"

The devastation caused by the Armenians in the nation's eastern region was so intense, two totally pro-Armenian Americans, Niles and Sutherland, reported years later (1919):

"In the entire region from Bitlis through Van to Bayezit we were informed that the damage and destruction had been done by the Armenians, who, after the Russians retired, remained in occupation of the country and who, when the Turkish army advanced, destroyed everything belonging to the Musulmans. Moreover, the Armenians are accused of having committed murder, rape arson and horrible atrocities of every description upon the Musulman population. At first we were most incredulous of these stories, but we finally came to believe them, since the testimony was absolutely unanimous and was corroborated by material evidence. For instance, the only quarters left at all intact in the cities of Bitlis and Van are the Armenian quarters, as was evidenced by churches and inscriptions on the houses, while the Musulman quarters were completely destroyed. Villages said to have been Armenian were still standing whereas Musulman villages were completely destroyed" [U.S. 867.00/1005].



I have made a note to try and track down Rafael de Nogales’ Four Years Beneath the Crescent. The Venezuelan mercenary and American cattle thief fought on the side of the Turks, and there are passages from his book I have used on the TAT site. (“When you see a good war, go to it,” the adventurer wrote.) Balakian has presented other excerpts from this book where De Nogales mentions the extermination order of Armenian males, as told him by the mayor of Van. However, he has also written, “the Armenians of the vilayet of Van rose en masse against our expeditionary army in Persia.” That makes it sound like the Armenians were the aggressors, but Balakian quotes him as saying “the aggressors had not been the Armenians, after all, but the authorities themselves!” Other than what the mayor told him, I don’t see how he could have reached such a conclusion, and I suppose the reading of his book will clarify where the señor stood.

Robert Melson

"Genocide scholar" (Integrity Alert!) Robert Melson explains: "the Armenians were neither attempting to destroy the Turks… nor attempting to secede or join Russia." The President of the Armenian National Bureau in Tiflis, in response to Czar Nicholas II's visit to the Caucasus, led one to believe otherwise: “Let the Armenian people of Turkey who have suffered for the faith of Christ receive resurrection for a new free life under the protection of Russia."

Here is Balakian’s closing paragraph to demonstrate the Armenians were the poor, innocent victims of the Van episode:

“In assessing Turkish claims that Armenians provoked their fate because they were a threat to national security, Robert Melson has put it well: “If the Armenians had behaved differently, if they had acted less threateningly, the CUP would not have decided on genocide in 1915. If there had been fewer Jewish communists, or bankers or department store owners, or journalist, or beggars, there would have been no Holocaust.”

That’s Peter Balakian’s opinion of “putting it well?” To me, these stupid words perfectly illustrate what one gets when one listens to the convoluted logic of a “genocide scholar” so hopelessly linked with the Armenians that he serves on the board of the seven-member Academic Council of the Armenian National Institute (ANI), which outright declares: “Its overarching goal is affirmation of the worldwide recognition of the Armenian Genocide." (Some of the other partisans include Richard Hovannisian, Christopher Simpson, Roger Smith …. and Peter Balakian himself.)

Action Priest

Chapter 16, “April 24” details the horrible fate that awaited the "250" (this number was 235; even Lepsius confirmed it at the Tehlirian trial, referred to below) Armenian intellectuals and cultural leaders who were arrested. The list was compiled with the help of "Armenian spies, most notably one Artin Mugerditchian." (Is the implication that the "spies" pulled these names out of a hat? They knew for a fact that the ringleaders arrested were conspiring against their country, where full-scale rebellions were taking place. By the way, Tehlirian, the assassin of Talat Pasha, first used Mugerditchian as target practice.) The priest, Krikoris Balakian, claims to have escaped from a prison. (Must have been like "action priest" Robert Blake, from his short-lived "Hell Town" TV role. Of all the men who managed to escape, who would have thought it would be a priest...) So these prisoners weren’t immediately shot, as I was led to believe from the many pro-Armenian accounts I've read... they were imprisoned. I wonder if anyone has tracked down what the fate of these men really were. If we listen to the Armenians, of course they all died, and died in the most atrocious manner as described with a group of five who met a grisly death at the hands of four Kurdish chetes, whom Krikoris Balakian wrote had been pre-arranged.

"Action Priest" Robert Blake, from the short-lived TV show, "Hell Town"

Another action priest

I wonder how there could have been survivors if the execution of these men had already been decided upon… another survivor, Balakian reports, was a physician. The usual version of this story would make more sense… the Armenians being immediately murdered. After all, why bother with prison? I can’t say what happened to these people, and neither can you… we weren’t there, and all we have are the word of Armenians. (Mad missionary Lepsius claimed at the Tehlirian trial that the initial 235 number nearly tripled in days to follow, and the total number of survivors was 15.) I just don’t care for the unnecessary mile these stories go through, just to prove what wicked monsters the Turks were, like nailing horseshoes on feet, and allowing prisoners to be killed in the worst ways imaginable (the killers "tore out his entrails…dug out the eyes…." Brother!).


Peter Balakian revealed in his Black Dog of Fate that the cousin of the author's grandfather was Bishop Krikoris Balakian ... the holy relative being a hero of Peter Balakian's. The action priest (1873-1934) served as a witness in the trial of Soghoman Tehlirian, and when Tehlirian's Armenian-financed attorneys asked the priest whether he had seen Talat Pasha's signature on Aram Andonian's forged telegrams, the priest broke one of God's commandments by lying. (His reply: “Yes, I saw it with my own eyes." Although, curiously, he added that he couldn't verify whether it was "authentic," even though he had no reason to doubt the Ottoman official who showed it to him.) Of course, such a telegram ordering the annihilation of the Armenians never existed. However, the deed was done; the stamp of religious authority was enforced on what was seen by the German jury as a Muslim-Christian conflict... one of the influences that surely must have helped sway the Christians on the jury. Like grandfather's cousin, like cousin's grandson... where honesty and the truth is concerned.

ADDENDUM, 9-2006: Balakian was the author of "The Armenian Golgotha," one of the three books that fried Vahakn Dadrian's brain, inciting the Prosecutor to embark on his hateful, genocide-affirming quest.
Bishop Krikoris Balakian unconscientiously cited lie after lie in this horrible work.  For example, he implicated over 10,000 Turkish peasants and villagers who went on a mad Muslim bloodlust, crying God's name ("Allah, Allah"), as they murdered 6,400 "Armenian children, young girls, and women from Yozgad" with “hatchets, meat cleavers, saddler’s knives, cudgels, axes, pickaxes, shovels." How did the priestly Balakian know this? The "gendarmerie commander confided to the priest-author, whom he did not expect to survive the mass murder," as Dadrian was reported to have said at a 2005 conference. Little did the commander know he was confiding in the Action Priest, who like a superhero, managed to "witness" the most grisly events, only to escape and tell about them!

In addition, to better understand the "holiness" of a priest who condones the acts of a murderer, let's refer to an article on the terrorist and former ANCA chairman Mourad Topalian: "Sixty people, including some priests, provided 'good-character' letter for Topalian. How could anybody consider a man having 'good-character' who acted as a terrorist? This was no different than the Tehlirian case where Balakian, an Armenian priest, blessed him for his terrorist acts." (Assassination of Talat Pasha and Harootiun Mugerditchian,  Review of Armenian Studies, Volume 1 Number 3 2003, Etruks Türker.)

Here's How We Would Expect a REAL Priest to Behave in a Tough Spot... (from one of the many examples of Armenian vs. Armenian violence):

The French Ambassador Monsieur Cambon gave the following information to the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs on March 27, 1894 about Armenian assassinations (When the Hunchaks arranged for the murders of Armenians presumed to be loyal Ottoman citizens, such as Advocate Hachik [killed by a 15-year-old Armenian named Armenak], Dacad Varabet [a preacher of Gedikpasa Church, chopped up], Mampre Karabet [elected to the Spiritual Assembly, wounded], and Simon Maksut [cut down by two committeemen on March 10, 1894, in front of the Havyar Han in Galata]; this one regards a failed attempt against the Patriarch's life by "Agop From Diyarbakir"):

“From Cambon to Casimir Perier, Beyoglu: March 27, 1894

Last Sunday, while Patriarch Ashikyan was leaving the Kumkapi Church after the ritual service in order to go back to the patriarchate, an eighteen-year-old Armenian youngster aimed on him by his pistol and fired a few shots. Since the weapon was defective, no bullet hit the patriarch. The patriarch fainted and was treated in his home. The young Armenian was taken to the police station, and when he was interrogated on the reason of the murdering, he said that Ashikyan is the enemy of Armenians, and that he frequently informed the government; therefore, the Armenians had sworn to get rid of this man, to save the nation. He also emphasized that he and his colleagues from the same sect were faithful to the Sultan. — Cambon."

The priest fainted. That makes sense. Now, Krikoris Balakian... by contrast... was one tough, action priest.

But Balakian the Holy explains his rescue  from death — in his own words, from the trial testimony — not in terms of phony-baloney prison escapes, but in terms of "baksheesh." Yes, he and others had a large supply of money with them, serving as their salvation. And this only begs the question: when he was a prisoner for a good long time, how could he and his cohorts have held on to the money without their persecutors conducting a search and making off with the loot?



Parts III and IV follow. We are only about halfway into THE BURNING TIGRIS, at this point. My intention was not to get into too much detail, and this is why the first half of the book was condensed into this one page. However, I took the rest of my analysis at a more leisurely pace. The next installment:


Part III's Chapter 17 on Henry Morgenthau



"West" Accounts


Armenian Views
Geno. Scholars


Turks in Movies
Turks in TV


This Site

Tall Armenian Tale is a site that has much to do