Tall Armenian Tale


The Other Side of the Falsified Genocide


  Professor McCarthy on the Connotation of the Word, "Propaganda"   
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In the following letter to the Turkish newspaper, Professor Justin McCarthy explains the inappropriateness of the "P" word, when the idea is to present the truth. Note how Armenian "attack dogs" did not lose the opportunity to harass the professor, at his university. 

Next, Professor McCarthy further expounds on the issue of truth, relating to the Armenian "Genocide."


Truthful history is enough


Letter To The Editor
Turkish Daily News
23 June 2001

Dear Editor,

I thank you for your coverage of my recent speech in Istanbul. Unfortunately, one word in your article, "propaganda," has caused some misunderstanding. The article stated that I recommended that the Turkish government improve its propaganda. As it is understood in America, the word propaganda has the connotation of lies — the opposite of what I advocated. What I said in the speech was:

“My suggestion is very simple — defeat the lies with the truth. Start to produce the materials that are needed to counter the lies. Flood the libraries of America and Europe with truthful history — so much good history that it cannot be ignored. What are needed are books, articles, magazines. It would be better if these were funded by private organizations — by foundations in Turkey, America, Germany. And it is necessary that many of them be in European languages and published in Europe and America. Do not only concentrate on the type of learned books usually written by professors. Concentrate on books for the public. Especially concentrate on materials for school children and teachers.”

I did mention government publications in the question period, stating that they might be improved, but I never suggested or intended that the Turkish government lie. Indeed, there is no need for the Turkish government or anyone else to lie in opposing the so-called “Armenian Genocide.” Truthful history is enough.

I know the Turkish Daily News and its reporter understood that I was not advocating government lies, but Armenian nationalists in America have now written to me, and to every official in my university, saying that I am advising Turks to lie, and that I should be punished. My university knows that I would never do such a thing. I also want the readers of the Turkish Daily News, including Armenian nationalists to know that I would never lie or advise others to lie about history.


Justin McCarthy
Professor of History
Univ. of Louisville, KY


Goebbels at Nuremberg — 1934

The cleverest trick used in propaganda against Germany during the war was to accuse Germany of what our enemies themselves were doing.
Political propaganda in principle is active and revolutionary. It is aimed at the broad masses. It speaks the language of the people because it wants to be understood by the people. Its task is the highest creative art of putting sometimes complicated events and facts in a way simple enough to be understood by the man on the street. Its foundation is that there is nothing the people cannot understand, rather things must be put in a way that they can understand. It is a question of making it clear to him by using the proper approach, evidence and language.

Propaganda is a means to an end. Its purpose is to lead the people to an understanding that will allow them to willingly and without internal resistance devote themselves to the tasks and goals of a superior leadership.

 Joseph Goebbels
Der Kongress zur Nürnberg 1934 (Munich: Zentralverlag der NSDAP., Frz. Eher Nachf., 1934), pp. 130-141.


 Historical Truth 

Justin McCarthy: Excerpts from "Armenian Terrorism History as Poison and Antidote."


The historical truth is that Russian Imperial expansion upset the traditional balance of the peoples of the Caucasus and Eastern Anatolia. All the peoples suffered. In terms of number, dead and deportations, those who suffered most were the Crimean and Caucasian Moslems. If any people were the victims of genocide, it was the Crimean Tatars, victims in their own homeland of a planned extermination begun by Catherine the Great and ended by Joseph Stalin. Yet those who are an too willing to consider Moslems as the agents of genocide seem strangely unwilling to consider Moslems as its victims. 

What I have related is, I submit, the truth, albeit in an abbreviated form. It is story of human suffering that, like most such stories, has no hero and no villain, only victims-human victims, whether Turkish or Armenian. But that is not the way the story has been told. Instead of the truth of a human disaster, a great myth has arisen, the myth of the Evil Turk and the Good Armenian. The myth has been perpetuated by stories of the sufferings of the Armenians. The stories are often true, but they never mention the equal or greater sufferings of the Turks. The myth has been generally believed by non-Armenians because it fits wed into a larger, centuries-old myth-the Terrible Turk. To Europeans, who had feared Turks for more than five centuries, the myth of the Armenian genocide seemed just one more example of what they had been taught was the savagery of the Turk. It spoke to a prejudice that had been nurtured by textbooks, sermons, folk tales, and ancestral fears of the horsemen riding out of the East The false image of the Turks was too strong to be affected by facts. 

When Turks protested that their side should be heard and that their should be mourned just as Armenian dead were mourned, they found no sympathy and no understanding. No matter the evidence they presented, nothing they said was believed, and soon the Turks ceased their protests against the injustice. Under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, they busied themselves with the creation of a new Republic, assuming that their success as a modern nation would be the best weapon against the image of the Terrible Turk. 

To a great degree, the Turks have succeeded. Politicians and statesmen in Europe and America have welcomed the Turks as friends and allies. However, Turkish silence has done nothing to kill the myth of the Armenian genocide. A vocal, well educated, and media-conscious group of Armenians, believing in their cause and anxious that their children learn to believe as they do, have kept alive the false picture of the genocide. They have succeeded in perpetuating the myth and strengthening its grip. The false picture of Armenian genocide has become the only picture seen.

While I was writing this paper a book appeared in my mailbox. As they do to an professors, publishers send me copies of textbooks in the hope that I will adopt them for my classes. The book, The Modern Middle East and North Africa, by Lois Aroian and Richard Mitchell, is published by Macmillan, one of the largest publishers in the United States. It is obviously being marketed extensively with, I expect, a free copy being sent to every professor who teaches Middle Eastern history. Thousands of American college students win probably read the book.

How the "Genocide" is Covered in a Typical Textbook


The Modern Middle East and North Africa contains a section titled "The Armenian Demise." I will quote only a few sentences from it :

Armenians throughout Anatolia began marching southward or eastward into the Syrian desert wastes. Turkish and Kurdish forces denied them rest, food, and water. Thousands died on the way. Those who did not were often killed when they reached Dayr al-Zor on the Euphrates. Most Armenians caught in the east were killed outright. 

The book goes on to state "Historians have not determined how many Armenians died" (a statement that particularly bothered me, since I thought I had done so). The lack of information on the Armenian dead is explained by the assertion that The Ottoman government imprisoned and later killed most of the Armenian educated elite-writers, teachers, businessmen, and prominent clergy who might have written about the event" In the end, despite the avowed lack of evidence, the authors found a number after all-"including perhaps 200,000 executed by the government, historians generally accept that as many as 1.5 million Armenians may have died." Some of what is written on the Armenians in the book is half true. Some is completely false. None of it is completely true. 

Of course, one of the great benefits in writing a textbook is that you do not have to prove your assertions. An occasional reference such as Historians generally accept" is considered to be proof enough. Reading the text, one could be pardoned for thinking that only Armenians suffered, since only one part of one sentence is devoted to an of the Moslem dead of the time- "Greek, Kurdish, and Turkish noncombatants in Anatolia died during the war of hunger and disease, but they were not singled out for death in an organized campaign. No mention is made of Armenian or Greek attacks on Moslems, both of which were organized campaigns. Only two paragraphs are given to the entire Turkish War of Independence. 

Unlike many books written by Armenian and other scholars, this book is not intended to be an Armenian polemic against Turks. It is a textbook, well-written and attractive. It win appeal to many professors and their students. Thus the myth lives on. 

The examples of this type of historical distortion of the history of the Armenians and the Turks are many. The Armenian Question is seldom mentioned in print without half-truths and falsifications. In fact, in the United States and Western Europe we have seen a new wave of false history. Armenian apologists have succeeded in tying themselves to those who wish never to forget the suffering of the Jewish Holocaust, and the Armenian experience has been portrayed as a "proto-Holocaust". Television shows and newspaper articles have repeated and reinforced the old myth, accepted because Europeans and Americans have never been told the truth. A new generation of Armenians is learning the stories that will produce future terrorists. 

The lesson is obvious - silence does not work. Historical lies, unless they are countered, will perpetuate themselves. As long as Armenian children believe that their great -grandfathers were murdered by Turks, some Armenian children will kill in what they believe is revenge. And as long as the world believes in Turkish guilt, little will be done to stop the killers. 

The solution is a difficult one-the truth must be fearlessly proclaimed. I say fearlessly, because one American professor, Stanford Shaw, and his family have already been physically attacked for his statements on the fate of the Armenians. Given the intensity of belief in the myth of the Terrible Turk, it may be that the truth will not be heard. Nevertheless, the truth must be spoken. Scholars, especially European and American scholars, must call for the independent and unbiased study of history. As they have begun to do, Turks must continue to open all archives and records so that this study can be made, demanding that Russians and Armenians do the same. There will be no quick solution and many years will pass before young Armenians realize that their cause is not just But I believe that, had the true history of the Ottoman Armenians been widely known thirty years ago, there would be no Armenian terrorism today. As historians, it is our duty to insure that thirty years from now the same statement cannot be made. 

I began by saying that the best weapon against Armenian terrorism is the study of history. It might he better said that the best weapon is truth. 

Here is the complete essay.




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