Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Vahakn Dadrian Objects to Edward Erickson  
First Page


Major Players
Links & Misc.



Mahmut Ozan
Edward Tashji
Sam Weems

 "Prof. Dadrian and those few like him are our precious intellectual soldiers of truth."

Roxanne Makasdjian, Armenian National Committee (ANC) spokesperson, San Francisco Bay Chapter, January 26, 1999



On Sept. 21, 2004, Prosecutor Vahakn Dadrian put up an essay (accessible at Groong) entitled "The Armenian Genocide: A New Brand of Denial by the Turkish General Staff — by Proxy,” in which he attempted to discredit Edward Erickson, author of the book, “Ordered to Die. A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War.” The book was meant to be an apolitical exploration of the much ignored subject of Ottoman military tactics, but because the theater of war included the Armenian rebellion, the author certainly had to address this very essential factor of the Ottomans’ WWI experience. Fully aware of the explosive controversy of the “Armenian Genocide,” Erickson gingerly stepped around the matter, making sure to be as fair as possible. In other words, Erickson hoped this one facet would not supersede the rest of the work. While he acknowledged that “The genocide itself has, over the past eighty years, become a highly political issue in most western countries, as Armenian descendants seek legislative condemnation of the modern Turkish Republic,” he hoped to end the matter by writing, “It is beyond the scope of this book to assess or to comment on whether or not there was a deliberate or systematic genocide of the Armenian people during the First World War.”

Vahakn Dadrian

Since it is the goal of a propagandist professor like Vahakn Dadrian to attempt to cast doubt upon anything in the slightest unaligned with his genocide claims, he made sure to demonstrate this book about the military in general become a book about Dadrian’s genocide. In so doing, he has done his best to try and diminish this work and its author, by cherry-picking only the weasel facts that suit his agenda, as Dadrian is prone to do.

Lt. Col. Edward J. Erickson has done a marvelous job within this relevant chapter of his book, in attempting to strike a fair balance between the polarized sides of this debate. But those in the thick of genocide madness are well aware that it doesn’t matter how much a scholar attempts to look at the picture evenly and truthfully. Since the genocide has “become a highly political issue,” as Erickson pointed out, the last thing those such as Dadrian care for is truth. As a result, “Pro-Truth” authors must be branded as “Pro-Turk.”

As the reader will learn with the discussion that follows, Dadrian will make constant references to how poor, naive Ed Erickson has been misled by his Turkish masters, since Erickson was beholden to them to get this history. This scholarly defamation is apparent even with Dadrian’s choice for a title: “... A New Brand of Denial by the Turkish General Staff," as if it were the Turkish General Staff writing this book!

Let’s get Dadrian’s distortion clear right off the bat. Because Erickson is correctly aware of what a minefield the Armenian “Genocide” is, as we covered in the opening paragraph above, the author went out of his way NOT to use Turkish sources, when it came to the Armenians, unless corroborated by Western sources. (The footnotes listing the sources are on pages 116-118; see also discussion on page 95. The policy is stated clearly on page xviii of the preface, and the author has made a point of sticking to this policy.) Erickson quite understandably wanted his wonderful work to be accepted for the genuine history that it is, and naturally wanted to avoid the kinds of attacks Dadrian would have made in any event.

Armenian propaganda is so powerful in the West, it is unfortunate for historians to even make such “apologies.” The state of affairs is so ridiculous, anything that comes from a Turkish source, unless affirming the Turks’ wrongdoings, must be immediately suspect, because Turks have been branded as amoral liars,a natural part of the character of the barbarian... which this hateful, omnipresent propaganda constantly reinforces.


A genuine Ottoman historian, naturally also vilified by those such as Dadrian, explains the real state of affairs:

Why rely on Ottoman archival accounts to write history? Because they are the sort of solid data that is the basis of all good history. The Ottomans did not write propaganda for today's media. The reports of Ottoman soldiers and officials were not political documents or public relations exercises. They were secret internal reports in which responsible men relayed what they believed to be true to their government. They might sometimes have been mistaken, but they were never liars. There is no record of deliberate deception in Ottoman documents. Compare this to the dismal history of Armenian Nationalist deceptions: fake statistics on population, fake statements attributed to Mustafa Kemal, fake telegrams of Talat Pasa, fake reports in a Blue Book, misuse of court records and, worst of all, no mention of Turks who were killed by Armenians..(Dr. Justin McCarthy at the Turkish Grand National Assembly, March 24, 2005)

Prof. McCarthy elaborates further, in his brilliant essay, “The First Shot”:

There are ways to tell if a historian has been true to his craft. All important sources of information must be studied: A book on American history that does not draw upon American sources and only uses sources written in French cannot be accurate history. All important facts must be considered: a book on the history of the Germans and the Jews that does not mention the death of the Jews in the Holocaust cannot be true.

Uncomfortable facts, facts that disagree with one's preconceptions and prejudices must be considered, not avoided or ignored: Any book on the history of the Turks and the Armenians that does not include the history of the Turks who were killed by Armenians cannot be the truth. This is obvious. It should be so obvious that it need not be said. But we know it must be said, because so many have forgotten the rules of honest history.

And isn’t Dadrian the primary example. He may be somewhat off the hook, of course, because Dadrian’s degree is in sociology, not history. Unfortunately, many have come to perceive this “renowned scholar” as the kind of historian who is true to his craft. Quite the contrary, Dadrian disregards the history of the Turks in the pursuit of his propaganda, unless they are the choice bits damning the Turks that his one-sided research has made sure to uncover. Dadrian, unfortunately, too often comes across as a poster boy for those who do not practice the rules of honest history.


As Dadrian begins his dissertation, he pays note to the “enormous handicaps” faced by the Turkish Army, “such as the scarcity of a host of indispensable resources, an antiquated system of roads, a wholly inadequate transportation set-up, and widespread epidemics among the recruits.”

Now here is the “Sick Man” fighting for its life “against the overwhelming armed forces of the Entente powers counter posed to them, i.e. Great Britain, Russia and France,” as Dadrian specifies. These European imperialist superpowers had been conspiring for years to eat away at the Ottoman Empire’s existence. It was obvious the Ottoman Empire was fighting for nothing less than its very existence. (This was borne out by post war developments, when the Allies signed the death sentence to the Turkish nation, via the Sèvres Treaty.)

Under these circumstances, whatever resources the nation possessed needed to be directed to the war effort. Because the war effort was the only thing standing between the nation’s life or death.

So Dadrian inadvertently presents an argument against genocide. If the nation’s resources were so inadequate as to result in poor transportation (along with widespread epidemics hunger; for example, bread was almost unobtainable since the start of the war, according to biased U.S. consul Leslie Davis. (Pg. 38, "The Slaughterhouse Province.") His fellow biased diplomat, Ambassador Morgenthau, explained few were left to till the fields because of massive mobilization, and Henry estimated an entire quarter of the Turkish population died from starvation. Diseases were rampant; fellow pro-Armenian General Harbord believed 600,000 Turkish soldiers died from typhus alone), even among those, the soldiers, who were the only hope for the nation’s continued existence, why should anyone conclude the deaths of Armenians who also suffered from the same lack of resources should be candidates for systematic murder?

(Erickson elaborated on how Dadrian shot himself in the foot: “Even had the Turks been inclined to treat the Armenians kindly, they simply did not have the transportation and logistical means necessary with which to conduct population transfers on such a grand scale. Military transportation, which received top priority, illustrates this point, when first-class infantry units typically would lose a quarter of their strength to disease, inadequate rations, and poor hygiene while traveling through the empire. This routinely happened to regiments and divisions that were well equipped and composed of healthy young men, commanded by officers concerned with their well being.“)


Dadrian gets off to a bad start by quoting from the highly propagandistic materials, Arnold Toynbee’s “Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire” (“gigantic crime”), and Henry Morgenthau’s “Ambassador Morgenthau’s Story” (“murder of a nation,” a most curious conclusion since there were enough unmurdered Armenians to give birth to their own nation, thanks in no small part to the Ottoman Empire itself. See “Treaty of Baku”). Toynbee was a member of Wellington House, Britain’s war propaganda division; Morgenthau hoped to get the USA involved to more quickly kill off the ailing empire, mainly in order to carve a quicker path toward a Jewish homeland. Dadrian ought to be ashamed by pointing to these two as legitimate and truthful parties; Morgenthau and Toynbee's boss, Bryce, shared propagandistic information between themselves to further their common goal.

Dadrian gears up toward his discrediting campaign by writing:

“(Erickson) candidly... admits that he has confronted the problem by proceeding from ‘the Turkish side of the hill,’ thereby relying, almost entirely, ‘on Turkish sources.’ In fact, the book is suffused, indeed saturated, with references drawn from "Turkish source material."

As we have already seen, that largely does not pertain to when Armenians were involved. Regardless, let us examine the inanity behind those words.

Consider: Westerners by and large were religious and racist bigots, regarding the Turkish heathens as half human savages. It was the rare Westerner who had an objective knowledge of events, in wars where the Ottoman Empire was involved. OF COURSE in order to gain knowledge on the ins and outs of what happened, ‘the Turkish side of the hill’ needs to be considered. As McCarthy alluded, imagine, for example writing a book on American history by not consulting American sources.

But this is the established prejudice against the Turks that the weasely Dadrian is banking on. Thanks to his efforts, and to the efforts of many others like him, Turks are designated as criminals, and whatever Turks say (unless they affirm the “genocide”) cannot be trusted.


This is a highly racist view, and one that Vahakn Dadrian too happily subscribes to. “Therein lies the Achilles' heel” of this book is Dadrian’s exclamation.

Here’s the idea: Erickson had to lie in bed with these criminal, deceptive Turks in order to get hold of this information. [...“(Erickson’s) reliance, by choice, which is inextricably entwined with seemingly pronounced affinities and a companion partisanship for Turkey and Turkish interests.”] The implication is that Erickson either naively accepted everything that he was fed (meaning that he is a very poor scholar, lacking the necessary critical and cognitive skills), or that he permitted himself to knowingly present falsified facts, so as not to bite the hand that fed him.

Absolutely shameless.

Dadrian tsk-tsks the fact that “as an American officer on duty in NATO Headquarters in Turkey in the early 1990's, Erickson ended up cultivating many personal friendships, foremost among which was his friendship with then Chief of the Turkish General Staff, General Hüseyin Kivrikoglu, from whom he ‘received VIP treatment...’"

Eric J. Erickson

Lt. Col. Edward  J. Erickson previously
served in the Gunner Battalion
 during Operations Desert and Storm

Erickson made friends with those half-human Turks? Totally unacceptable. And the fact that these friends were from the military is really unforgivable, because everyone knows Turkish military men are completely devoid of honor. Dadrian helpfully attempts to mold our minds: “the main animus in the entrenched Turkish culture of denial relative to the historical fact of the Armenian genocide comes from the Turkish military establishment, especially the Turkish General Staff.”

I had no idea part of the military’s duties was to engage in historical propaganda; I thought the fall guy would have been the Turkish historical society, and all Turkish historians, who are all too willing to lie through their teeth at the behest of their criminal government.

Who would have thought Erickson’s NATO colleague was thinking, “Why don’t we fool this unassuming American patsy into writing a propaganda book for us?” And what was in it for Erickson, exactly? Did his highly specialized (and out of the price range for most, at $68) book, concentrating on a topic most Americans wouldn’t care much about, climb the best-selling charts? (Which is the only scenario where book authors have a chance of cashing in. That is, Erickson’s take was far from going to set him up for retirement, in all likelihood.) Even in cases where books make money, except when authors have established clout, book publishers have it so set up that the ones who become rich are the publishers.

No. Erickson wrote his book not in an attempt to get rich. This book, and others that he has written, were produced as a labor of love: Erickson’s love for historical truth. (With his military background, and the knowledge he gained by finding himself in Turkish society, he probably became fascinated with Ottoman military tactics, and must have recognized there is a huge niche to be filled. Since pro-Armenians love to say all that Turks are good for is making war, how odd that there have been practically no Western works analyzing this neglected area.)

Erickson's motivation must not be that different than Dadrian's, when Dadrian writes his books; his, too, is a labor of "love" (although unfortunately, he has an altogether different set of rules regarding the pursuit of truth). Dadrian’s genocide books have a far greater built in audience, with all the obsessed Armenians that propelled Peter Balakian’s “The Burning Tigris” briefly to the top of the best seller list. So Dadrian is probably making money, with the collective royalties of the many works he has had published, through the years. But even in Dadrian’s case, I’d doubt that he is raking it in.

We all know the expression, “Every Man Has His Price.” Most “men” are not going to compromise their honest values for a little pocket change; the take would need to be sky-high. It’s tiresome for pro-Armenian propagandists to level this charge at every academician they seek to discredit. This is how the ethically-challenged Israel Charny successfully helped enable neutral academicians out of the debate. (Charny charged that because a few of them received grants from two Turkish organizations, implying that because anything “Turkish” must be controlled from Turkey’s Stalinist system, the professors were paid agents of the sinister Turkish government. Do these people have any scruples, whatsoever?)


Dadrian has a lot of nerve to lecture Erickson on “Max Weber's instructive guideline for research in history and social sciences.” Basically, this boils down to: When a scholar begins research, he has certain values in mind, and that’s okay. But once in the thick of that research, a scholar must have the fortitude not to be married to these values.

It’s nasty and foolish for Dadrian to have travelled down this route. First, Dadrian is making an unfounded assumption that Erickson had the intention of whitewashing the Turks, and was unable to rid himself of this bias. That is wrong, because Dadrian can’t claim to know what was going through Erickson’s mind. If one reads Erickson’s chapter on the Armenian Rebellion (see link, page bottom), it is clear to see the only motivation Erickson possessed is what motivates all real historians: Love for Truth.

For example, in the writing of his chapter, Erickson comes across in a number of areas as a man after Dadrian’s heart: “Horrible massacres of Armenian males were committed in the Van region which were widely reported by numerous neutral observers.” (As a footnote, while I agree there were horrible massacres of Armenians, I wouldn’t be quick to label most of these observers as “neutral,” since even many among the German allies were Christian sympathizing anti-Turkish bigots.)

That was the “nasty” part. More importantly, how foolishly hypocritical can Dadrian be to sanctimoniously lecture on scholarly values, when he is the epitome of a “scholar” who has made no secret of hitching his wagon onto a propagandistic agenda? Can anyone imagine Dadrian changing course from his beloved genocide, regardless of the genuine facts and evidence turning his life’s work upon its ear?

Dadrian does not mince words: “The book in several respects is methodologically contaminated. The source of that contamination is the bulk of his source material that bears the stamp of the Turkish military archives and the author's relationship to them.” Dadrian is telling us there are two criminals at work: the Turks, whom everyone knows are evil, and Erickson, who lacked the moral fiber to listen exclusively to sources such as Toynbee and Morgenthau.

Later in his essay, Dadrian will bear further hypocrisy by listing statements from Turkish military men he likes. Only the source of his information won’t be the archives, the contents of which were for internal purposes and thus can’t be construed as propaganda. No, Dadrian prefers the Turkish military man’s word in venues that have less potential for truth, such as personal opinions in books, and much worse, the 1919-20 Ottoman kangaroo courts.

“How badly an author must be eager to write a book on a subject matter the quintessential material of which is in a language one does not dominate?” I can’t bear dwelling on the offensive insinuation Dadrian is making there, that Erickson might have had reasons for writing his book other than the one he actually had: love of history, regarding an area seldom explored in the western world.

Since Erickson lived in Turkey, it’s fair to assume he must have at least a rudimentary knowledge of the language. I’ve poked around, and I’m pretty sure this is the case. His Turkish may not be perfect, but probably enough to know, when or if an evil Turk tried to put one over on him. Erickson probably doesn’t know Ottoman Turkish, but neither does Israel Charny or any of the other "genocide scholars" who dare to write about Ottoman history. Even Dadrian’s one-time disciple, Taner Akcam, whom I believe passes himself off as knowing Ottoman Turkish, doesn’t really know the complicated nuances, where the slightest mark in the Arabic-style lettering can signify a different meaning. Once again, Dadrian has nerve to hypocritically pick on one party, and not the other. Besides, are we now going to throw out all the books on ancient Egypt, because the authors did not bother to master the art of hieroglyphics?


Dadrian attempts to build his case by reminding us of the “necessity to use non-Turkish sources.” As if Erickson has avoided doing so; earlier, we read about his reference to “numerous neutral observers,” and he even brings up a favorite Dadrian source later in the chapter, the Venezuelan, Rafael De Nogales; only one of the many such sources used in the book. After Dadrian shoots himself in the foot again with the statement, “none of the data provided by the archives of any of the Entente powers, the wartime enemies of the Ottoman Empire, can be viewed as entirely impeccable,” a quote of his I’ll be sure to remember, what Dadrian is hoping to do is to sell us on how valid the Ottoman Turks’ allies, the Germans, were.

It is important to keep in mind that the Germans, by and large, did not harbor the same feelings of camaraderie that they felt, in comparison, to another ally among the Central Powers, the Austrians. Only around three years prior to WWI, the Austrians annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina from the Ottomans... to give an idea of how “friendly” the Germans and Austrians felt, as opposed to the comparatively warmer feelings “big brother” Russia generally felt toward Russia's allies, the Armenians. (Even though Russia would keep on using and abusing them.) Many a Western observer felt that if the Germans won, the Turks would be no more than a German colony. One of the theories bandied about was that the “extermination” of Armenians was a German plan, so that Germans wouldn’t need to deal with the disruptive Armenians when they moved in to colonize Ottoman lands. (Not to say these theories are credible; the point is, Germany was no real friend of the Turks.)

A British POW may have stated it best when he wrote, in “Turkey in Travail,” that:

“The Germans treated the Turks with high contempt, and more than one told me how glad he was to meet another white man in this ‘native’ country.”

ADDENDUM, Jan. 2007:

“The Turkish officers understood plainly by August 1916 that they would never get rid of the Germans,” wrote General Townshend. “They hated the Germans for their swagger and insolence.” And when cruelties were committed upon British prisoners from Kut-al-Imara, he wrote: “I ascribe the blame and guilt of these cruelties to the German staff officers with the Turks.”

Wilfred T. F. Castle, "Grand Turk," 1943?, p. 101.

Can the reader imagine how the laid-back ways of the “a la Turcas” must have come across to the Prussian-disciplined, no-nonsense, often arrogant Germans? OF COURSE there were going to be opinions from some of these Germans, combined with their inherent “Christian” bigotry, looking down their noses at the primitive Turks.

Dadrian, in his famous, weasely “cherry-picking” style has surely done a good job in compiling these critical observations: “Several high ranking German officers, members of the German Military Mission to Turkey, almost uniformly complained during and after the war, about the indolence and laxness with which the former went about preparing maps, compiling statistics, and, above all, preparing reports.” Dadrian is setting the stage for his wishing to make you believe that whatever came from the hand of these half-humans must have been totally unreliable.

Dadrian presents as witness: “Colonel Felix Guse, for example, bitterly complained that ‘The Turks knew only poorly their country, on top of that the possibility of getting reliable statistical figures (zuverlässige statistische Zahlen) was out of the question.’"

It’s possible Col. Guse came across a few Turkish knuckleheads; knuckleheads exist in every army. But one can smell this German officer’s sense of superiority, with these words. Regardless, this only serves as an example of one man’s opinion, and to dismiss all Turkish record-keeping as being figments of the writers’ imaginations is another indication of Dadrian’s delving into the dangerous area of racial inadequacy. If the Turks were so lost in the woods, maintaining an empire for six centuries would have proved to be an impossibility.

Dadrian then points to a faulty map leading to two Turkish battalions mistakenly fighting each other for four hours as an example of Turkish incompetence. Death by “friendly fire” is a common occurrence in all military histories, even modern ones. It’s tragic and unfortunate, but it happens. There was a highly dramatic episode, for example, from 1926's “Men Are Like That,” when Ohanus Appressian described how the Russian division he was in erroneously went at another, with heavy casualties.


His next example is Admiral Büchsel, a navy commander, who drove the point Dadrian wishes to make; after giving the edge to inept careerists over the “smart and capable Turkish officers” (which tells us, as with any army, there were both good and bad. You can bet there is no shortage of U.S. militarists privately complaining about the good number of hacks that are running the show), the admiral complained that these lower grade men were often "given to fantasies, ever ready to exaggerate and at the same time overestimate their own capacities. They are prone to fabricating upbeat fairy tales with a resoluteness that ultimately causes them to think these tales are actually real facts. When opportune to do so, they will lie and indulge in spreading the meanest calumnies."

It sounds like the admiral may have been confusing the Turkish officers with these Americans, who systematically imagined that they saw Turkish atrocities when none existed.

No doubt there were people like this, but does that mean there is a “Turkish gene” that enables Turks to live in a fantasy world? Just because Armenian professors as a whole “lie and indulge in spreading the meanest calumnies,” should we conclude there is an “Armenian gene” that makes liars of all Armenians? Certainly there has been no shortage of Western observers who, even in their role as resolute defenders of Armenians and critics of Turks, have described Armenians commonly with the words “lying” and “trickery.” (Such as Leslie Davis, in p. 183 of his memoirs.) But wouldn’t it be terrible to conclude Armenians can always be expected to behave in this fashion, as Dadrian is expecting us to regard all Turks as giving in to perpetual dishonesty? Particularly in light of the fact that the very same Western observers, Western observers who were raised to look at Turks as racial unequals, once they got to know the Turks, commented on their honesty and decency? For example, Karl Marx, speaking for himself and Engels (from "Karl Marx: His Life and Thought") wrote:

"We have studied the Turkish peasant — i.e. the mass of the Turkish people — and got to know him as unconditionally one of the bravest and most moral representatives of the European peasantry"

Even the enemies of the Turks have, throughout history, grudgingly granted that the Turks were known for their morality and their honesty. So as much as the German commander wrote words to the effect that Ottoman-Turkish culture permitted an ethos to put a “spin” (That’s the way Dadrian helpfully puts it; what he doesn’t explain is the motivation why militarists should purposely make their intelligence so unintelligent) on official reports, we can only reach such a conclusion if there was an abundance of such opinions. This is one man’s opinion, and nobody is the wiser as to whether his brand of truth was the correct one. He could have easily believed, in his German superiority, that his version of truth could not be challenged. Thus, when German officers (that Dadrian has compiled in other works, such as Stange and Endres ) testifying to the accuracy of the testimony of missionaries and Armenians, are prone to repeat the assertions of Johannes Lepsius, and when a Turkish officer would beg to disagree, backed up by government reports, could not these arrogant Germans have concluded it was Turkish culture permitting these Turks to lie?

Not to say Turks are incapable of lying, like any other human being. But rare would be the Turk who would permit habitual liars in their midst (particularly in a military capacity, when such reports could spell the difference between life and death), because if there is anything accentuated in Turkish culture, it’s the “importance of being earnest.” (As much of a shock as that may be for those led to believe the Turks are the lowest of the low.)

Once again, Dadrian is digging up damning testimony, and trying to apply it across the board, in a particularly vile way.

Next, Dadrian describes Colonel Felix Guse as “a pronounced Turkophile German military officer,” while paraphrasing Guse as having written that the Turks “unabashedly admit that they lie a lot,” and “fail to appreciate the theoretical value Europe places upon truth.” Even though it is the Europeans themselves who came to learn of and appreciate the honesty of Turks, since the days of the Crusades:

“The Turk is honest; the Christian is a liar and a cheat,” wrote Lord Curzon, in 1854."Their loyalty, their unblemished honesty...” opined Pierre Loti. Admiral Chester Colby wrote:

The Turks have some strange notions—strange to us, I mean. Before the war they would not accept interest from European banks in which they kept accounts. “No,” they declared; “you take our money on deposit and preserve it safely for us, returning it to us upon our order. It is a great service to us. We ought to pay you for this service. We cannot accept the interest you offer!” This is but one sample of the Turk’s entirely non-commercial attitude of mind. Although I have been much in Turkey I never have met a crooked Turk. But I have met many Turkish subjects of various alien bloods who would take anything not looked upon or nailed down, irrespective of its rightful ownership.

Of course, Chester has come under vicious attack for being a “Pro-Turk,” when all he was guilty of was being Pro-Truth. (Not too far off from how Dadrian is preferring to deal with Erickson. Woe to those who dare to treat Turks fairly; they must always have some ulterior motive in mind, like being paid off.) The famed French writer Pierre Loti loved the Turks, and could accurately be called a Turcophile. But note the license Dadrian uses to classify Guse as a Turcophile. Aside from the fact that it would be hard to love a people if one thought those people were all liars, if there were times when Guse thought of Turks fairly, does that make a Turcophile?

A “Phile” of a people is one who loves the people so much, one could barely find fault with the people, and even when the people are in the wrong, apologize for the people. In a sense, by this definition, Loti was not a Turcophile either, because he tackled the Armenian massacre topic, and was man enough to apologize to Armenians when he found better information. But then again, being a “Phile” does not go hand-in-hand with being dishonest. Of course, there are “Philes” who can’t bring themselves at all to criticize the people they love, when the people are clearly at fault. You won’t find detailed analyses from Armenophiles, looking into the crimes of extermination their beloved Armenians committed, for example.

This is Dadrian’s tactic; I have seen other examples where he has off-handedly labeled sources as “Turcophiles.” The idea is that when Dadrian zaps you with the anti-Turkish statement to follow, it has an even more powerful effect, since it supposedly comes from a lover of the Turks. Let us bear in mind the West has produced very few lovers of Turks. It is those Westerners who spend time in Turkey, and who learn all the hateful things they have been taught about Turks aren’t true, and who attempt to treat the Turks with fairness, who are frequently judged as pro-Turks, or Turcophiles. The fact that Erickson got to know the Turks firsthand surely played a part in his writing his book in an honest and fair manner. Vahakn Dadrian can’t stand this honesty and fairness, so he makes it his business to cast doubt on Erickson’s credibility.

Dadrian’s own credibility is slowly being cracked open by scholars entering the “genocide” fold, and as more scholars dare to brave these waters, the day will come when Dadrian’s miniscule worth as a scholar will be completely exposed.

Prof. Guenter Lewy, in "The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide," (2005, pp. 91-92) points out that Dadrian complains that Guse backed up the idea of an Armenian rebellion. Dadrian explains Guse was clueless because Guse, Dadrian asserts, “was largely, if not exclusively, dependent upon the information fed to him by his Turkish subordinates as well as his Turkish superior, the Commander-in-Chief of the Caucasus, or the Third Army. He had absolutely no alternative or supplementary source to check, modify, verify, or dismiss a flow of information with seemingly actual military implications but in reality with enormous political ramifications.”

In other words, Dadrian tried to discredit Guse in the same manner as Erickson! But then the “Turcophile” Guse apparently changed his mind years later, becoming a “revisionist,” since Dadrian quotes Guse as saying that “there was no proof that the Armenians had any plan or intention to mount a general uprising.”

Prof. Lewy writes:

  Dadrian’s use of Guse’s views raises several problems. First, if Guse’s testimony is not to be trusted when he says that there was a “prepared uprising” because he had no independent sources of information, he should also not be considered a reliable source when he allegedly says that there was no planned uprising. Second, and more seriously, Guse nowhere states that there was no planned insurrection. Dadrian cites as his source Guse’s 1925 article (quoted earlier), but Guse there maintains the opposite of what Dadrian makes him say—he affirms that there was indeed a large rebellion. Dadrian does not put Guse’s words into quotation marks, but by falsely attributing an opinion to a source, even when not citing it verbatim, he once again commits a serious violation of scholarly ethics.

Vahakn Dadrian is busted. The unscrupulous propagandist’s purpose is to serve his genocide agenda, and not truth. It remains to be seen how many other Dadrian assertions have been “made up,” with Dadrian secure that no one in academia, in a genocide-friendly world (particularly since the real academicians have been frightened away by the below-the-belt smear tactics of the pro-Armenians), has been looking over Dadrian’s shoulder.

After establishing the villainy of the sinister Turkish government and their penchant for telling lies, and the stooge status of the American author, Dadrian goes to town:

The chapter on the Armenians is dotted with numerous citations from the documents taken from the repositories of the Turkish General Staff Archives. With hardly any exercise of a modicum of caution, Erickson rather mechanically picks up and relays to the reader a whole array of allegations and accusations against the Armenians that are very general and that lack any slightest specificity. He writes, for example, that the Armenians were "actively hostile, were heavily armed, were belligerent and were actively engaged in open rebellion" and which word rebellion he capitalized by referring to in as the "Armenian Rebellion" (pp. 80, 90, 101, 103). If one disregards the four insurrections that were highly local, last minute defensive improvisations by desperate people facing imminent destruction, there was no general rebellion at all. Four German ambassadors on duty in wartime Turkey in their numerous reports to Berlin denied any such rebellion.[x] Nor were the insurgents "belligerent" in the sense used by Erickson, or were they "heavily armed". In all four cases, the insurgents, totally surrounded and equipped only with the barest stocks of ammunition, weapons, and provisions, had chosen to wage a hopeless defense against a heavily armed professional army and die fighting rather than be deported to the slaughterhouse.

(Footnote “x” offers Ambassador Wolff-Metternich as one of two examples, the other being Wangenheim. Wolff-Metternich wrote “in a comprehensive seventy-two-page report” — as if volume is indicative of quality — that “the few local uprisings in the summer and fall of 1915 were defensive acts to resist deportation.” There was a whole series of uprisings and disturbances beginning immediately after war was declared [see here], and continuing up to the decision to relocate, the first sign of which was this May 2, 1915 telegram. If Wolff-Metternich actually believed episodes like Musa Dagh were exercises in “self-defense” rather than traitorous service in the war effort, we can ascertain what a Christian-sympathizing partisan he must have been. It was about such people sitting in their ivory towers, making poor judgments based on biased reports of hearsay, that George Schreiner had written (mainly regarding Ambassador Morgenthau, and referring to books): "It is to be hoped that the future historian will not give too much heed to the drivel one finds in the books of diplomatist-authors.”)


Dadrian’s argument worked well at the time of Arnold Toynbee’s 1916 report for Wellington House, but the propagandist-professor truly has gall to try and get away with the assertion that there has been no Armenian rebellion... in the face of voluminous evidence having nothing to do with Turkish sources. (And Erickson, as we’ve already covered, does not exclusively use Turkish sources; in reference to Armenians especially, the Turkish sources needed to be backed up by Western ones.)

There is a range of Western sources attesting to the “belligerence” of the Armenians. (“Belligerent,” by the way, was the very word used by Armenian leader Boghos Nubar, in describing Armenian behavior in WWII: “the Armenians have been belligerents de facto, since they indignantly refused to side with Turkey.”) There is no question Ottoman-Armenians were heavily armed, financed partly by their allies in war, the Russians. Armenian fighting had nothing to do with “self-defense,” as Prosecutor Dadrian is unforgivably insisting upon. Ottoman-Armenians went on the attack the moment the Russians declared war.

One of the three books that microwaved Dadrian’s brain, allowing him to embark on his genocide-affirming life’s work, was Leon Surmelian’s “I Ask You Ladies and Gentlemen.” From beginning to end, the reader learned the Armenian community was in league with their nation’s enemies. Since Dadrian read this book and especially since this book made such a huge imprint on his mind, how could he now tell us, with a straight face, that the Armenians’ being "actively hostile” would be nothing more than “allegations”?

Re-reading Edward Erickson’s chapter, I’m once again wholly impressed by the historian’s fine research and style. The kinds of facts Dadrian would like you to dismiss are as such: “In the spring of 1914 the Turks intercepted letters from Armenian committees expressing concern over these developments. Other letters sent by the Tasnak Committee requested weapons from the Russians. In July 1914, the Ottoman Consulate in Kars intercepted a telegram outlining the smuggling of four hundred rifles into the Eliskirt valley.” If this information came from internal Turkish reports, it only makes sense; nobody else in the war theater would have been in the position to compile such facts. (Although there has been foreign back-up even with many of these cases. For example, see bottom of this page.) How silly of Dadrian to expect historians to disregard these reports, because a couple of contemptuous German officers looked down their high noses at the backward Turks.... as if every one of these reports were to be flights of fancy. (Pertinent question: Assuming they were not deranged, what would have been in it for the Turks to have made these stories up? Other than humiliation, once the stories were verified to be untrue, as with the case of those who made up “Iraq has weapons of mass destruction”?)

Dadrian steps in once more to “insulting” territory:

However, it is incumbent upon a researcher, intent on engaging in a historical interpretation or analysis of a complex topic not to be swayed by such elements of plausibility but apply instead a measure of critical scrutiny — unless such a researcher is hostage to certain restrictive prejudices or has some extraneous agendas of his own. The evident absence of such a mode of scrutiny apparently prompted the author to readily embrace from the Turkish archive holdings all these assertions with respect to which even some independent Turkish historians use the derisive epithet "official history" (resmi tarih). Inevitably, such a posture led to a whole string of errors undermining the value of the book.[xii]

(Footnote xii provides a series of examples where Dadrian points out Erickson’s “glaring errors,” and there could have been a few. It is the tactic of the genocide vultures to point out occasional slip-ups to demonstrate how unqualified the side targeted for smearing really is. Dadrian begins with: “When citing those historians who have disputed the Armenian genocide ‘as a matter of historical fact,’ the name of Jay Winter... has been juxtaposed along with the two most notable deniers of that genocide, namely, Stanford Shaw... and Bernard Lewis... The fact is, however, that Jay Winter is in the forefront of those historians who... recognize that historical fact...” Is that why Jay Winter wrote these “denialist” words, even while he was a full-fledged member of the genocide club?)


What this pseudo-scholar (definition: one who only looks at one side of a story; Dadrian is a fine one to lecture on “critical scrutiny,” when the practice is starkly absent from his own work) is strongly hinting at is that Erickson must be such a pro-Turk, that he must have an agenda. It is incredible, what this slick smear tactician thinks he can get away with. What could Erickson’s “agenda” have been? A blind love of Turks? Being a paid propagandist? We’ve covered earlier that neither could apply, from all that we know about Erickson, and his work. If Dadrian wants to accuse Erickson of some ulterior motive, it’s not moral to do so on a purely speculative basis.

Furthermore Dadrian has nerve to refer to his Turkish “genocide club” members (these are the only ones who command Dadrian’s respect, since all other Turks are known to put a “spin” on things and unabashedly lie), as what he terms “independent Turkish historians,” throwing smoke at the fact that those such as Akcam, Berktay, Gocek aren’t similarly one-sided and don’t have their own Dadrian-style agendas. Naturally they would “use the derisive epithet ‘official history.’"

Dadrian illustratesthe liabilities intrinsic to such a methodology” by referring to “a particular case,” the 30,000 Armenians from Sivas, 15,000 that launched a rebellion by staying in the province, and the other 15,000 departing to join the Russians.

Dadrian attempts to take this claim apart by charging it combined “the input of the military commander of the Special Organization contingent of Sivas province and the imprimatur of that province's civilian governor-general,” and “is a classic example of the ease and frivolity with which military and civilian Turkish officials throughout the war framed and compiled reports of this nature.” In other words, they are Turks, and they have a tendency to make things up. (This time it’s not just Turkish military personnel but civilians, as well.) Dadrian doesn’t stop there, but steps up on his soapbox with further blabber about “a persistence with which distortions and falsehoods are routinely purveyed for internal as well as external purposes.”

Before we tackle Dadrian’s logic, let’s throw a little more light on this document, from Kamuran Gurun’s “The Armenian File”:

On 22 April 1915 the Governor of Sivas sent the following telegram to the Ministry of the Interior: ‘Within the province the areas having a dense population of Armenians are Shebinkarahisar, Sushehri, Hafik, Divrik, Gurun, Gemerek, Amasya, Tokat, and Merzifon. Until now, during the searches carried out in the Armenian villages of Sushehri and its vicinity, in the villages of Tuzhisar and Horasan of Hafik, and in the nahiye of Olarash of the provincial capital, a great number of illegal weapons and dynamite have been found. According to the statement of the suspects who were caught, the Armenians have armed 30,000 people in this region,15,000 of them have joined the Russian Army, and the other 15,000 will threaten our Army from the rear, if the Turkish Army is unsuccessful. Armed confrontations took place between the Armenians and the security forces who were sent to the village of Tuzhisar where Murat, of the Armenian Tashnak Committee, was hiding; those who escaped are being pursued.’

Erickson wrote: “A message from Muammer Bey, the Governor of Sivas, exposed a serious problem this plan [Enver proposed permanently based Jandarma battalions be used to help capture the rebels.] The governor noted that in his vilayet, although about fifteen thousand Armenian men of military age had departed to join the Russians, another fifteen thousand Armenian men remained in the vilayet . Unfortunately, conscription of all Turkish men up to the age of 50 years old had left the local villages practically unprotected and vulnerable to Armenian depredations. This condition made hunting down the rebels problematic. The greater need by far, at least in Sivas, was simply to provide for the protection of the Muslim villagers themselves, and the local Jandarma were hard pressed to accomplish this.”


So what we can determine thus far, aside from the interesting fact that all of this was taking place before the “genocide” began on April 24, is that:

[1] The message came from the governor. Dadrian appears to have taken the liberty to speculate that “the military commander of the Special Organization contingent of Sivas province” had “input,” but we don’t know the military source of this information. The Special Organization [S.O.] was the country’s combination of secret service and special forces, kind of like the CIA and the Delta Force in one package. The S. O. is Dadrian’s convenient “Gestapo fall guy” that he has put in the role of the SS, in charge of his “genocide.” Even though there is no proof of this. So it serves Dadrian’s purpose to implicate the S. O. while he has a chance, even though the fact that the S. O. was behind this particular information cannot be verified.

[2] Whomever provided this intelligence to the governor, and the governor who provided this information to the central government, had nothing to gain by throwing a “spin” on the truth. They were dealing with very harsh realities, regarding violent insurgents who were fighting against their endangered Ottoman nation. This was not the time to make up fairy tale stories.

[3] The information was provided by Armenian suspects themselves.

(It is possible these figures might have been exaggerated, since this has been the Armenians’ stock-in-trade. For example, the rebel behind the 1895 Zeitun rebellion, Aghasi, wrote in his diary of the loss of 125 Armenians, and 20,000 Turks.)

ADDENDUM, 8-07: The original document may now be examined on this page. Another point to bear in mind is that organization for rebellion had been in the works for many months, dating back to before the war began. In other words, the 30,000 number spoken of did not take place overnight, and it is entirely possible for such a number to have been reached, over a span of one half year or longer.

After informing us that all the Armenian men were conscripted, Dadrian asks, “How is it conceivable that the remaining Armenians, consisting almost entirely of destitute women, children, and old men, full of anxieties and fears about the likelihood of new wartime massacres, would dare to contemplate, let alone mount in fact a general guerrilla campaign..?”

If he can cut out the melodrama, Dadrian would be the first to realize that just because the government issued an order, it does not mean the orders were complied with. If that were the case, no further orders stopping the “deportations” would have been necessary, and all the orders safeguarding the Armenians and their property would have been obeyed.

(Talat’s first command to halt the resettlement process was August, 1915. His orders were not always followed, prompting more orders, lending credence to missionary Mary Graffam’s observation, "I am not in any way criticizing the government. Most of the higher officials are at their wits end to stop these abuses and carry out the orders which they have received, but this is a flood and it carries all before it." She would go on to “revise” her views in later years, in the protection of her agenda, apparently not too unlike Jay Winter.)

It is a fact that Armenian men disobeyed the conscription orders en masse. It obviously was not the “destitute women, children, and old men” who were behind these rebellion plans, but the masses of Armenian men who went off to the mountains to hide, or who trekked to Russian territory (as did, for example, Soghoman Tehlirian, the assassin of Talat Pasha. While 17-years-old, he went to Russia from Erzurum. So did his brother Missak. Neither had knowledge of the other embarking on the same treacherous path, which speaks volumes about how widespread the betrayal by young Armenian men must have been.) The children were not off the hook entirely; in major Ottoman cities, including Sivas, the committees forced Armenian males 13 and over to join either as soldiers or party functionaries. (This information is similarly based on confessions by Armenians. If you can’t trust the word of an Armenian, whom can you trust?)


Dadrian charges that “No explanation is provided as to how this phantom army of 15,000 Armenian insurgents under exigent wartime conditions managed to escape from Sivas, cross hundreds of miles of rugged terrain that was watched and defended by the Third Army, and reach Russian front lines.” It’s obvious the 15,000 did not travel as a group, all at once. The Dashnaks were experts at stealth. (As Ohannus Appressian explained in “Men Are Like That”: “The Dashnacks were in continual open rebellion against the Turkish Government. The Turks took severe measures to stamp out this society but without achieving any great success because they had nothing tangible against which to direct their rage. It was as though they were battling with the air.”) As A. P. Hacobian wrote in 1918’s “Armenia and the War,” “Boys of fourteen and fifteen years ran away from home and tramped long distances to join the volunteer battalions.” If young boys could get away with crossing many miles of rugged terrain, you can bet that from the end of 1914 until April 1915, many thousands of Armenians could have successfully completed their journey, especially since they could expect support from the Armenian villages on the way. (Sir Mark Sykes, The Caliph’s Last Heritage: "The Armenians will willingly harbor revolutionaries.”)

Dadrian gives the impression that the Third Army was so tight with security, border crossings would have been near-impossible. Edward Erickson sheds light on this area, in his marvelous “Bayonets on Musa Dagh: Ottoman Counterinsurgency Operations — 1915” (The Journal of Strategic Studies, Vol. 28, No. 3, June 2005, p. 533): “In early October 1914... the Ottoman Third Army was receiving reports of Armenians who were ex-Russian soldiers returning to Turkey with maps and money. [22] There were reports from infantry battalions concerning Armenian meetings at which large numbers of aggressively nationalist people were gathering. [23] In late October 1914, the Third Army staff informed the Ottoman General Staff that large numbers of Armenians with weapons were moving into Mus[h], Bitlis, Van and Erivan. [24] Additionally disturbing to the military staffs at all levels was an increasing recognition that thousands of Armenian citizens were deliberately leaving their homes in Ottoman territory and travelling into Russian-held territory with most of their earthly possessions.” Are we getting the picture crossing the border to and fro was not quite like going through Checkpoint Charlie in Cold War Berlin? In addition, we are again reminded in this work that Rafael De Nogales noted, “...Garo Pasdermichian... passed over with almost all the Armenian troops and officers of the Third Army to the Russians...” Here we have an example of at least hundreds of men crossing the border at once — with no resistance. (And they returned with no resistance, as well. The second part of that statement is: “...to return soon after, burning villages and mercilessly putting to the knife all of the peaceful Mussulman villagers that fell into their hands.”)

Dadrian attempts to discredit the high numbers by referring to Justin McCarthy’s population figure of 180,000 for Sivas (how interesting that Dadrian uses “pro-Turk” McCarthy, when suitable. Normally, Dadrian would prefer to jack up the numbers, and prefer a biased source like U.S. Consul J. B. Jackson, who asserted “over 300,000” was the Sivas population; Dadrian makes sure not to do so, of course, because then a 10% figure would become more difficult to defend). “About 90,000 fell in the category of "males," and of those about half — 45,000 — were children and old men, and as such, may be excluded from consideration. The remaining 45,000, then, would fall in the 18-60 year old age group,” Dadrian wrote. But as we see, children 13 and up were going gaga to hook up with the Russians (Leon Surmelian from “I Ask You Ladies and Gentlemen” wrote about how, when he was 8-years-old, wished more than anything to run away and fight the Turks), so maybe we can add another ten or fifteen thousand, for a total of 55,000-60,000.

Dadrian wonders, “Where could they (i.e., the 15,000 who stayed behind) have been hiding”? Sivas is a very large province, surrounded by the Yildiz mountains. Of these fighters, referring to them as victims (and this was later in the war, so we may not be referring to this original batch; but it still gives an idea) Mary Louise Graffam wrote, "Some of the soldiers hid in the mountains, in caves, and it was part of our relief work to try and get food to them." The pro-Armenian community was taking care of these thousands of Armenian fighters who were making treacherous mischief. In Sivas, noted rebels like Murad led them.

"They [the Dashnaks] quarter themselves on Christian villages, live on the best to be had, exact contributions to their funds, and make the younger women and girls submit to their will. Those who incur their displeasure are murdered in cold blood."

FO 424/196, British Consul Elliot to Currie, Tabreez, May 5, 1898 By 1914-15, the Dashnaks held near-absolute sway over most Armenian villages.

It was precisely because of this supportive network that the Armenian community had to be moved out, where they couldn’t do their mischief, away from the war zone. (Sivas wasn’t in the war zone, since Russia never got as far as Sivas. But there was war in Sivas, nevertheless; the guerilla warfare of the Armenian rebels.)

The Armenians do the agitating, and when the unpleasant consequences follow, they make up stories of “genocide.” Unscrupulous soldiers for their cause, like the “renowned scholar” Vahakn Dadrian, is only too happy to pick up his deceitful pen, proving mightier than the A.R.F. dagger.

Dadrian next reminds us once again that Germans like Guse and Admiral Büchsel thought of the Turks as being in la-la land, unable to distinguish between fact and fancy, concluding: “Amending, or tampering with the text of documents is depicted here as part of Oriental culture.” Someone please remind Dadrian that Armenians are also a product of that Oriental culture. (So THAT explains it!)

Vahakn Dadrian

Vahakn Dadrian

In his seemingly strong penchant for glorifying the Turkish Army,” Dadrian complains of Erickson, because Erickson simply is not as critical of the Turkish army as Dadrian (for example, Erickson did not travel down the path of “all Turks are liars.” That spells glorification, I’d say); our “renowned scholar” then moves on to prove army segments planned and executed “the wartime annihilation of the bulk of the [Ottoman] Armenians.

The Armenian Patriarch disagreed; by December 1918, after the smoke cleared, the Armenian Delegation presented official figures stating 1,260,000 of the Patriarch’s 2.1 million pre-war count were alive and well, still within the borders of what was left of the Ottoman-Armenians. That was the real “bulk,” as inflated as these figures were. (And certainly a good number of Armenians were living elsewhere, by this time.) Of the Patriarch’s remainder who lost their lives, 840,000, most died of reasons having nothing to do with “annihilation” (i.e. outright murder), but of the same reasons resulting in the bulk of deaths of 2.5 million fellow Ottomans. (i.e., famine, disease, exposure, combat.)

Dadrian informs us wartime Turkish army commander Ahmet Izzet Pasha pointed to General Mahmud Kamil as the “one who ‘proposed and demanded’ (teklif ve talep) the wholesale deportation of the Armenians of the region of Erzurum.

Note while Dadrian provides the Turkish translation for “proposed and demanded," he foregoes the same for the word, “deportation.” Most likely, the Arab word “tehjir” was used, which means 'changing one's location'; the Armenians were moved about the country, and not out of the country. "Deportation" has the nastier connotation of exile, and that's Dadrian's subjective translation at work.

More importantly, it’s quite a stretch to go from relocation to “annihilation.” Yes, it is a fact the Armenians were subjected to relocation for being “belligerents de facto,” as Boghos Nubar tidily summed up. Yes, it is also a fact that when resettlement became policy, some people had to be in charge. What is not a fact is that because people were relocated, we should mindlessly assume that meant a genocide.

According to another wartime Turkish general, Kâmil was appointed to that post through the direct intervention of the three principal authors of the Armenian genocide, i.e., MD's Sakir and Nazim, and CUP's chief ideological guru, Ziya Gölkap.[xvi] Kâmil had thus abruptly displaced and replaced the newly appointed Vehip Pasa who regained that post only in 1916 when the genocide had all but run its course.(ADDENDUM: Dadrian gets more specific a few paragraphs below, as to his genocide's main "completion": February 1916.)

So Kamil was overseeing the policy of relocation, which was not a crime. Sakir and Nazim are the designated bad boys of Dadrian’s genocide, although for those of us who would like to give the concept of “evidence” a little priority, the genocide itself is not proven. If there is no genocide, we can’t justly point fingers at people, if there is nothing beyond hearsay to convict them. Sakir, for example, raised two Armenian boys. Try getting Der Fuehrer to do that with a couple of Jewish youngsters.

But Dadrian is really hitting below the belt by grouping Ziya Golkap as the kingpin of Dadrian’s alleged crime. Who was Ziya Gokalp? He was a sociologist, like Vahakn Dadrian. Unlike Dadrian, who seeks to encourage pride in Armenian culture by instilling hatred upon a common enemy, Ziya Gokalp sought to encourage pride in Turkish culture by accentuating the positive, what with all the non-Turkish nationalist movements that were sinking his nation into oblivion. He was not doing so at the expense of others, regardless of how furiously those like Dadrian enjoy pushing “pan-Turanism” theories. As Guenter Lewy informs us in his book, Gokalp’s pan-Turanism was a cultural idea, and not an expansionist one. Historian James Reid wrote "What Wagner was to Hitler, Gokalp was to Enver Pasha." Gotthard Jaschke interpreted Turanism in an unpolitical manner, writing that fantasies of a large empire "ran counter to his entire inner cause."

Gokalp was among those arrested and interned at Malta. The British sought desperately to find the evidence to convict him and his fellow inmates, but having more stringent requirements than Vahakn Dadrian, came up woefully short. (Dadrian, of course, has vastly different ideas on Malta.) No evidence, no trial, no conviction. Hard to decipher by those of us whose morality is in short supply, but the rest of us can agree that a man is innocent until proven guilty.

It’s really shameful for Vahakn Dadrian to try and make someone out to be another Heinrich Himmler, just on Dadrian’s say-so. Where is Jiminy Cricket, when you need him? Somebody’s conscience is in severe disrepair.

At any rate, Dadrian is trying to prove the military was “complicit” in the Armenians’ “annihilation,” even though “annihilation” means to have made disappear without a trace, like what happened to the Tasmanian people; even the Armenian Patriarch’s 1918 records tell us what a miserable choice of word that is to use, on Mr. Dadrian’s part.

Dadrian failed with this second example. Once again, he demonstrated that Kamil was assigned to oversee the relocation operation. Relocation is not genocide.


But let’s pay note to Dadrian’s last sentence, which is really fascinating:

“...Vehip Pasa who regained that post only in 1916 when the genocide had all but run its course.”

What kind of a “genocide” was this?

We know that Hitler’s Final Solution proceeded until the last days of WWII. That’s because we know Hitler was obsessed with the idea of exterminating the Jews.

If Talat Pasha’s idea was to “annihilate” the Armenians, because of any number of theories Dadrian has presented (his favorite seems to be the “jihad” notion; Turks can’t help themselves but to kill, you see), why would Talat have called a halt to the resettlement process in August of 1915, a mere three months after the program got underway?

Why would Vahan Cardashian, in a March 3, 1916 letter to Lord Bryce, have quoted Ambassador Morgenthau as having told Cardashian that large numbers of Armenians remained in almost all Ottoman cities, and that the Ottoman government was being “passive”? [The Armenian Review, Winter 1957, p. 107]

Could it be because there was no “intent” to annihilate? Could it be because there really was a relocation process, and relocation really is not genocide?

Did Vahakn Dadrian himself just inadvertently tell us that his genocide is one big fraud? I believe he did. After all, if the idea was to exterminate the Armenians, why should the “genocide” have “run its course” by 1916? That genocide should have kept going, logically, until either the war ended with Ottomans on the losing side, or until every single Armenian was wiped out.

ADDENDUM, Jan. 2007: Dadrian gets more specific with the timing of his genocide's "end," in an especially vicious paper — even for Dadrian — entitled, "Children as Victims of Genocide — The Armenian Case" (Journal of Genocide Research, 2003): "Perhaps the most trenchant eyewitness testimony on the veritable holocaust of Armenian children in Mush, Bitlis province, comes from a Turkish Army Commander, General Mehmed Vehib. Following the completion of the main part of the Armenian Genocide, he was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Third Army in February 1916." In other words, Dadrian is specifying that the genocide had "run its course" — or here, the main part had seen "completion" — by January-February 1916.

Dadrian continues:

Foremost among these reports is that of Colonel Stange who was in the thick of the military operations of Kâmil's Third Army and, accordingly, could observe firsthand the military underpinnings of that army's anti-Armenian exterminatory campaign. Describing Kâmil as a ruthless destroyer of the Armenians, Stange quotes him as saying that "there will be no more an Armenian question after the war."

It looks like Dadrian is once again committing his familiar “Serious Violation of Scholarly Ethics.” Sorry; Stange did not “observe firsthand” the “army's anti-Armenian exterminatory campaign,” because the army was not involved in any such campaign, with the exception of those who might have acted like loose cannons, such as the American officer at My Lai.

However, Dadrian may be off the hook, because he used the loophole phrase, “the military underpinnings.” (One has to read his tricky phrases carefully, because I could have sworn, when I first read the line, that Stange was a genuine eyewitness to Armenian massacres.) Dadrian’s example of one such “underpinning” is Stange’s quote, "there will be no more an Armenian question after the war." What is Kamil saying? He is saying there will no longer be an “Armenian question” after war’s end. What does “Armenian question” mean? If you ask Dadrian, of course, it’s going to mean “genocide.” But if Stange were to quote Kamil as having said, “I punched an Armenian in the face and made his nose bleed,” Dadrian is going to offer that as evidence of “genocide.”

The definition of Armenian question: Since the late 1800s, Armenians formed terror groups to massacre, so that counter-massacres would be incited, inviting European imperialists to come in and give the Armenians free hand-outs... just as what had happened with Orthodox cousins in the Balkans. For forty-odd years, the Armenians demonstrated such treachery, until finally they became a threat to the nation. The idea of the relocation was to move the Armenians away to other villages, making sure they formed not more than 10% of the population, decreasing their ability to rebel. That is what Kamil meant by the phrase, “Armenian question.” If that phrase meant “genocide,” the bulk of the Armenians would not have been left alive, and certainly the “genocide” could NOT have “run its course” by 1916, as Dadrian helpfully reminded us.

Then Dadrian points to his bread and butter, the 1919-20 Ottoman kangaroo courts, where a Turkish officer is quoted as saying, "I have in my possession telegrams from [Kamil] ordering the massacre of the Armenians." [Source: The always reliable “Armenian Patriarchate Archives.”]

Sorry; we don’t use testimony of a court procedure forced under Allied occupation that even the British, looking to wipe the Turkish nation off the map by this time (via the Sèvres Treaty), rejected for its own planned tribunal.


Even if these telegrams were real (which would mean such orders were written down — sometimes genocide advocates try to deflate the need for hard evidence by claiming Hitler never signed genocide documents either — how is it possible that not a single such document can be proven to have existed?), it does not prove a centrally-directed policy of genocide. As Dadrian himself enjoys pointing out, Vehip Pasha tried and hanged a couple of perpetrators who took it upon themselves to commit mass murder with Armenians under their command. Individual massacres do not equal genocide. (ADDENDUM, Jan. 2007: In his 2003 paper cited above, Dadrian actually described these renegade, Lt. Calley-like massacrers as "genocidists.")

This would similarly describe Consul Scheubner-Richter’s report that Halil Pasha "had ordered the massacre of his Armenian.battalions and had massacred the Armenian population falling under his control.”

Where are those Germans who accused the Turks of making things up, when you need them? Scheubner-Richter was not part of the Oriental culture, but he certainly had a tendency to put a “spin” on things. For example, he wrote, “The Armenians of Turkey for all practical purposes have been exterminated.” As we’ve seen, even the Armenian Patriarch was in disagreement with that foolish conclusion. Scheubner-Richter also wrote: "by July 15 (1915) almost all of the Armenians had been expelled from Erserum." Yet, many Armenians lived in Erzurum during the Russian occupation that was to follow. (And Morgenthau himself stated large numbers of Armenians remained in almost every city, in the March 1916 letter cited above.) Like other Christian-sympathizing Western consuls, Scheubner-Richter is not a reliable source. It’s possible, like Lt. Calley of My Lai, that Halil was a loose cannon, and committed slaughters with no directive from the central government. After all, many Ottomans were angry with their treacherous Armenians. Dadrian backs up the assertion with something far more compelling, a “confession” by Halil himself:

Halil not only admits but almost prides himself on having destroyed 300,000 Armenians: "[I]t can be more or less, I didn't count."

I’m reminded of how Prof. Lewy pointed out Dadrian’s having set up Guse as an unreliable witness, but when it suited Dadrian’s purpose, Guse suddenly became reliable. (Even though Dadrian misinformed on what Guse had actually said.)

Similarly, isn’t it funny how after Dadrian went to such pains to tell us lying is second nature to Turks, in order to have us reject Ottoman reports firsthand, suddenly, a few select Ottoman Turks have become the beacons of truth?

Like 1895’s Armenian rebel Aghasi, who obviously bragged with the killing of 20,000 Turks, there could have been Turks who came to despise the Armenians for having stabbed their nation in the back. Halil (and another officer Dadrian later provides as an example, a General Ali Ihsan Sabis who “proudly” declared that he "killed the Armenians with his own hands"; this latter example does not tell us which Armenians he was talking about. Were they defenseless civilians, or the Armenian rebels, of whom there were many thousands behind the lines, fighting a guerilla war? Making this critical distinction unfortunately wouldn’t make a difference to Dadrian) might have harbored such feelings of disgust, that he could have exaggerated. We’ll get to that, in a moment.

A page taking issue with Washington’s Holocaust Museum offers interesting information on how “On May 14, 1946, Rudolf Hoess, the former commandant of Auschwitz, signed a declaration stating that during his tenure in office, 2 million Jews had been gassed at Auschwitz and another 500,000 killed in other ways.”

A former director of the museum, being criticized on this page, is quoted as explaining: “Today historians believe that the total number of inmates who perished in Auschwitz was a million and a half, or even less. Obviously, Hoess, who wrote the affidavit in a prison cell in Nuremberg, gave an estimate not based on statistical research. However, it was a historic fact that he wrote this admission of guilt of his own free will.”

How is it possible that Hoess went over by a million? The site’s writer accuses the director of not being straight, citing “an orthodox Holocaust historian”; it appears Hoess was beaten by his captors, to extract a confession. (Not far from how the Ottomans who were accused in the 1919-20 courts also made their own unreliable statements! They might not have been tortured, but they were under heavy duress to say anything and everything to save their necks. They knew the new Ottoman administration was out for retribution, under a “fixed” trial system.)

We’re also told: “In fact, Hoess’s numbers derive from the fantastic figure of four million dead for Auschwitz that a Soviet ‘war crimes’ investigation commission issued on May 6, 1945, nearly a year before Hoess was captured (March 11, 1946).” The implication is, Hoess himself might have been influenced by "officially reported" erroneous information. Let us consider Halil's memoirs (Bitmeyen Savas, which I am on the look-out for, to see which parts Dadrian might have taken out of context) was released in 1972, well over half a century after the events; who knows how or why the old man came up with this "300,000" figure, by his “own free will.” Regardless, we can see by the Hoess example (yet another non-Oriental German official putting a "spin" on matters!) that even when the key player of an event is doing the reporting, they can be wildly off.

What we do know is that some 500,000-600,000 Armenians were killed in total. (Pre-war population, according to most neutral estimates: 1.5 million. Armenians like Dadrian concede: one million survivors. Even the Patriarch agrees. His 1,260,000 alive in 1918 was theoretically verifiable (as wrong as it was), while the dead of 840,000 dead was based on guesswork. (One could theoretically count the living; the dead were all over, and could not be counted.) These figures came from a pre-war total of an inflated 2.1 million. (1,260,000 + 840,000.) Yet Lepsius swore, under oath, in Tehlirian’s 1921 trial, that the Patriarch told him the pre-war estimate was 1,850,000. That is a difference of 250,000 with 2.1 million. Subtract this 250,000 from the 840,000 mortality figure, and we wind up with 500,000-600,000 Armenians killed in total.

Richard Hovannisian tells us some 150,000 Armenians died of famine and disease while accompanying the Russian retreats. So that leaves 350,000 to 400,000 dead from causes we can only guess at.

So are we going to credit Halil Pasha with having murdered practically every single Armenian who died in the “genocide”? He must have been like Arnold Schwarzenegger in the movie, “The Terminator.”


Halil Pasha's memoirs have been consulted. Dadrian unethically took statements out of context. The 300,000 figure came from a British captor in 1919 while Halil was imprisoned, and Halil threw the charge back in a "screw you" fashion. Read further in "Vahakn Dadrian, BUSTED."

Vahakn Dadrian is not fond of Kamuran Gurun, who wrote “The Armenian File: The Myth of Innocence Exposed.” This is a work of high integrity that turned Prof. Bernard Lewis around, according to Dadrian. But here is the scholarly difference, between Gurun and Dadrian: Gurun dismissed Aghasi’s claim (that Aghasi had similarly made "of his own free will") of having killed 20,000 Turks in one 1895 event alone, even though legitimizing this claim would have served Gurun’s purpose of showing the murderous Armenians’ innocence as a myth. Instead, Gurun estimated the number of Turks/Muslims killed by the Armenians in all of the 1890s as amounting to only 5,000. What does Dadrian do? He presents this foolish Halil claim here, and in as many other places as he can, as actual “genocidal evidence.”

Look at the way Dadrian attempts to give credence to this obvious boast, in “America and the Armenian genocide of 1915”: “Given the relatively large numbers involved, and given the vicissitudes of war, this process of liquidation inevitably took several months to complete.” Meanwhile, Dadrian goes to lengths trying to demonstrate the 30,000 Armenian rebels originating from Sivas, only a tenth of this 300,000 figure that, to Dadrian, would be such a snap — and we’re talking about the movement of the Sivas men versus the killing of people, the latter of which is far more difficult to achieve — would have been an impossibility. (Think about it: killing 300,000, without technology, in such a short time... that would be a full time job. It seems we’re forgetting there was an incidental war for survival going on, where every able-bodied man was needed.) Does Dadrian have any shame, whatsoever?

“Furthermore, Erickson likewise overlooks, or perhaps was induced to overlook, another aspect of the vital role of that army in the detailed planning of the wartime Armenian genocide.”

“Perhaps was induced to overlook.” Absolutely sickening. Dadrian knows he is grasping at straws, forming his case upon hearsay and speculation. (Why, in exactly the same manner he “proves” his genocide!) He is attempting to come out the winner by constantly reminding the reader what a sorry scholar his opponent must be.

Just to make sure the reader gets the idea that Erickson is beyond hope, Dadrian concludes with (after reminding us that Erickson had made the “somewhat ambiguous statement” that not all in the Turkish archives are available to researchers, and wondering whether an exception was made with Erickson):

“...[I]f he was denied such access, the rationale and validity of his entire undertaking will inevitably evaporate. On the other hand, if he was allowed such access, the judgment, based on the arguments adduced above, becomes inescapable that he allowed himself to be manipulated, wittingly or unwittingly, for the production of a considerably incomplete, biased, and, therefore, tainted volume.”

When Sir Mark Sykes provided his impressions of Armenian men in 1915’s “The Caliph’s Last Heritage,” with the following: “...[T]heir bearing is compounded of a peculiar covert insolence and a strange suggestion of suspicion and craft...”, could Sykes have had Dadrian in mind?

Take a look at the “suspicion” part. To the normal observer, there would be nothing “ambiguous” about Erickson’s having pointed out that not all documents in the archives were available to researchers. Logic tells us, there would have been no reason for Erickson to have brought this point up in the first place, if an exception was made for him. Dadrian says this would mean Erickson allowed himself to be manipulated, but how would more information be grounds for manipulation? It’s the scholar’s job to be exposed to as much information as possible, and then sort though the credibility of the information. Dadrian perhaps has trouble understanding this concept, because he’s not a real scholar. For him, sorting through information credibility boils down to: Does it affirm my genocide? CREDIBLE. Does it question my genocide? NOT CREDIBLE.

Erickson would either come right out and state he was privileged, and a rare exception was made (it would have never occurred to him that some oddball would-be scholar would accuse him of being in cahoots with the Turks; there would have been no reason to hide his privilege. Quite the contrary, that would justly allow for bragging rights; scholars have egos too, as Dadrian would be the first to admit), OR, if he were irrationally feeling “guilty” or perhaps modest, and tried to hide his privilege, it would have been wise to cast off any suspicion by not referring to the policy at all.

It’s pretty obvious that Erickson was including himself as not being privy to the “secret” material. But because Dadrian’s mind works in strange ways, Dadrian is going to try and create suspicion even when it shouldn’t exist. “The rationale and validity of his entire undertaking will inevitably evaporate,” Dadrian had the nerve to write, if Erickson were denied this access. In other words, if a scholar cannot get a hold of certain pieces of the puzzle, like in the unavailable archives of Armenia or the A.R.F. office in Boston, does that mean everything else would be useless? Does Dadrian feel he has 100% of the information, before he settles on his own cockeyed examinations?

This style of defaming is part of Dadrian’s “craft,” to refer to Sykes’ common characteristics. The only part where Dadrian deviates from Sykes’ description is with the “peculiar covert insolence” part. There is nothing covert about Dadrian’s insolence.


Outside Reading:


Defeat in Detail

"Defeat in Detail"


Edward Erickson also wrote the excellent "Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912-1913," detailing every campaign at the level of the Ottoman army corps. For more of this terrific author and historian, here is a page entitled, "Turkey Prepares for War,
which was written for Relevance, the Quarterly Journal of the Great War Society:




Also See:

Ed Erickson Responds to Vahakn Dadrian's Libel

Erickson's "Armenian Rebellion" Chapter

Vahakn Dadrian Objects to Guenter Lewy
"West" Accounts


Armenian Views
Geno. Scholars


Turks in Movies
Turks in TV


This Site

Tall Ar