57

Armenian genocide resolution reaffirms the ‘g-word’ is a tool for US interests

Max Parry

Last month, the US House of Representatives voted in an overwhelming bipartisan majority to officially recognize the Armenian genocide more than a century after the atrocities were committed. The motion was a departure from decades of US government refusal because of its ‘realpolitik’ considerations of regional ally and fellow NATO member, the Republic of Turkey.

The Ottoman Empire’s successor state and the Turkic state of Azerbaijan remain the sole nations in the world that explicitly deny the mass extermination and expulsion of 1.5 million Ottoman Armenians constitutes “genocide.”

While the US had previously acknowledged that war crimes were committed beginning in 1915, Washington refrained from using the ‘g-word’ to avoid fallout with Ankara despite the international community consensus.

President Donald Trump would be the first commander-in-chief to utter the term if he follows suit, but that scenario is unlikely as the proposal came in reaction to his green-lighting a Turkish invasion of Kurdish-held Northeastern Syria with a US troop withdrawal that was unpopular with lawmakers.

In 2015, WikiLeaks revealed Trump’s opponent Hillary Clinton’s email exchanges on the issue with her foreign policy adviser, Jake Sullivan, during the 100th anniversary.

The disclosure gave a rare look inside the suspected cynical reasoning behind Washington’s longstanding lack of formal acknowledgement. Sullivan wrote:

Friday is the 100th Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day. I presume the Armenian groups will be looking for a statement or a signal from the campaign on whether she will call it a “genocide” if she is elected president.

As a Senator and candidate, she was unequivocal in recognizing the genocide. As Secretary of State, she did not use the term genocide but rather focused on future reconciliation between Turkey and Armenia.

The White House has studiously avoided using “genocide” so far. There is an internal debate now about whether to change that posture given that it is the 100th anniversary. But in all likelihood they won’t change.

Two questions:

Do you all agree that she should embrace the position she took as Senator and candidate, even though she did not take it as SecState?

Do you all agree that we should just wait until we are asked as opposed to doing something proactive?

Sorry to bother with this, but as you all know this matters enormously to Armenian-Americans.

Campaign manager John Podesta replied, “quote the Pope.” Just two years into his papacy, Francis had described the mass killing of Armenians as the “first genocide of the twentieth century” which drew Turkey’s ire, but Clinton would never recite the Argentine holy father’s words despite her team’s encouragement.

Her decision speaks to the power of the Turkish and Azeri lobbies which have spent millions bribing and extorting US politicians for decades to prevent recognition of the Ottoman crimes against humanity by the legislature and any such proclamation by an American head of state. What an insult to the Armenian-American community which waited generations only to see the step finally taken under such dishonest circumstances.

The measure has since been blocked in the Senate by neocon warmonger Lindsey Graham of South Carolina shortly after his meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, but the changes that brought about the ill-fated resolution should not go unexamined.

Turkey is often said to be the ‘bridge between East and West’, as its transcontinental territory extends across both southeastern Europe and western Asia. An ally during the Cold War with NATO’s second largest army, it was the US placement of Jupiter ballistic missiles in Izmir which sparked the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 after Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev retaliated by deploying intermediate-range nuclear missiles to Havana in an effort to thwart Washington from gaining the upper hand.

Turkey has remained vital to geo-strategic interests as the point connecting Europe and the Middle East, but the rise of Moscow under Putin on the world stage has threatened to throw the Atlanticist alliance into disarray along with Washington’s reckless disregard for Ankara with its incorporation of the Kurds into the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) coalition in the Syrian war.

The US’s arrogance that it could maintain an alliance while supporting Kurdish militants regarded as terrorists by Ankara marked a turning point in their relations with the prospect of Turkey exiting NATO suddenly no longer an impossibility.

When the neo-Ottoman sultan Erdoğan signed on with the US-Saudi-Israeli attempt to oust the secular Syrian government of Bashar al-Assad, he did not anticipate it facilitating a potential Kurdish state on Turkey’s doorstep.

The likelihood of US involvement in the failed 2016 coup d’etat attempt against him and Washington’s harboring of rival Islamic cleric Fethullah Gülen did not help matters, nor did Turkey’s retaliation by purchasing Moscow’s S-400 missile defense system in noncompliance with its NATO commitments.

It is ironic that it took Trump’s throwing the Kurds under the bus queueing the Turkish offensive to result in the house finally acknowledging the ‘other holocaust’, as many Kurds themselves were participants in the slaughter of the Armenians a century ago. Nevertheless, the resolution is further sign of the geopolitical alignment shifting and the inevitable decline of US hegemony with its plans to redraw the Middle East derailed by Moscow.

No one should be fooled into believing that Congress is motivated by anything other than a desire to punish Turkey for making the US look bad while rebuking Trump for deviating from the bipartisan consensus of endless war.

Coincidentally, just as the row between the traditional allies of Washington and Ankara resulted in US legislators affirming the Armenian genocide, the Nobel Prize in Literature has been mired in controversy for having awarded an accused “denier” of such atrocities in the Balkans.

The Austrian-born playwright and novelist Peter Handke, perhaps best known for penning the screenplay to Wim Wenders’s art-house classic film Wings of Desire, was the recipient of the 2019 prize for his body of work. Despite such career achievements, Handke has been plagued by scandal for his political activism, namely opposition to the NATO intervention in Yugoslavia during the 1990s.

An Orthodox Christian convert, Handke was a member of the International Committee to Defend Slobodan Milošević when the former Serbian president was held for war crimes in the Hague Tribunal and even spoke at his funeral after he mysteriously died while in custody in 2006.

Long before the US opportunistically declared what was done by the Young Turks to the Ottoman Armenians to be genocide, they were using the label to mischaracterize the Yugoslav wars as the basis for NATO’s Orwellian-styled ‘humanitarian intervention’ against Serbia.

Even though ethnic cleansing was committed on all sides in what was fundamentally a civil war, the heroes and villains were preselected based on the Serbian alliance with Moscow and the time-honored anti-Russian strategy of aligning with Islamists designed by Zbigniew Brzezinski that began with the arming of the Afghan mujahideen against the Soviets.

After instigating the ‘USSR’s Vietnam’ in Afghanistan, the Atlanticists applied this same strategy to the Balkans and the North Caucasus to undermine post-Soviet Russia.

Winston Churchill famously referred to the Balkans as the “soft underbelly” of Europe during WWII when it was under Axis occupation. During the Yugoslav Wars, it once again become Europe’s ‘weak spot’ as the West supported the al-Qaeda elements in Bosnia and Kosovo against the Serbs.

Mass media would never report the war crimes by the Bosnian mujahideen and Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) nor the ethnic cleansing of thousands of Serbs from Krajina in Croatia. When the Srebrenica massacre of military-age Bosniaks made international headlines in 1995, it became a PR-managed event designed to fixate world attention exclusively on one of many such killings that took place in the enclave by both sides in order to give grounds for NATO intervention without approval from the UN Security Council.

The late, great media critic Edward S. Herman, who proved to be more principled on the matter than his Manufacturing Consent co-author Noam Chomsky, summed it up in his final column before his death in 2017:

Milošević had nothing to do with the July 1995 Srebrenica massacre, in which Bosnian Serbs took revenge on Bosnian Muslim soldiers who had been ravaging nearby Bosnian Serb villages from their base in Srebrenica under NATO protection. The several thousand Serb civilian deaths were essentially unreported in the mainstream media, while the numbers of Srebrenica’s executed victims were correspondingly inflated.”

In the years since, the inter-ethnic war has been widely referred to in the West as the “Bosnian genocide”, with Srebrenica a microcosm to misleadingly summarize the entire conflict. Thankfully, Moscow has vetoed efforts by the UN Security Council to condemn it as such.

The truth is that the dice were loaded from the very beginning, as NATO’s kangaroo court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), was initiated as a US policy option to disproportionately prosecute Serbs for war crimes with a clear bias against them, as revealed in a declassified CIA document from 1993 which states:

11. Establish a War Crimes Tribunal. Serb paramilitary leaders charged with war crimes might attempt terrorist operations in the West. The Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian Governments might harbor some high-ranking war criminals while turning over those considered expendable. They may even rid themselves of war criminals to cover up war crimes. Most West Europeans — with the exception of Greece — probably woigld support this option. Muslim states would approve a War Crimes Tribunal and publicizing Serbian atrocitiesEven treatment of Bosnian transgressions, however, would be regarded as tilting in Belgrade’s favor.

This would explain why a Bosnian war criminal like Naser Orić, who commanded the assaults on Serb villages that resulted in the retaliatory killings of Bosniaks in Srebrenica, was acquitted while Bosnian Serb General Ratko Mladić received a life sentence.

Meanwhile, the Bush administration made it clear that the US would respond with military force if the Hague ever attempted to charge US personnel with war crimes in the American Servicemembers Protection Act of 2002, also known as the ‘Hague Invasion Act’, an astonishing display of bullying of the international community even for US imperialism.

The ICTY would be one of two rigged judicial organs created by the UN Security Council before the establishment of the International Criminal Court (ICC), the other being the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in 1994.

Although NATO did not directly intervene in the small African country’s civil war, it spun a similar one-sided account where the Tutsi heroes and Hutu villains were predetermined even as mass slaughter was committed by both factions.

Rwanda had been a Belgian colonial territory following WWII where the favored Tutsi minority ruled the landlocked country under a monarchy that subjugated the ethnic Hutu majority until they revolted in 1959 and expelled more than 300,000 Tutsis to neighboring countries.

Decades later, Tutsi refugees based in Uganda seeking to repatriate formed the Rwandan Patriotic Front army led by Paul Kagame and in 1990, the RPF invaded the small nation in a guerrilla campaign. The assault came following the assassination of Rwanda’s Hutu President, Juvénal Habyarimana, after his plane was shot down in a probable ‘false flag’ operation that was pinned on Hutu extremists.

Despite the fact that the RPF started the armed conflict, the West transposed reality and painted the Hutus as pure villains in the violence that would follow.

No one disputes that anywhere from 800,000 to 1 million Rwandans were killed in the ensuing bloodshed.

However, the figures of a “genocide” of Tutsis debunks itself, given that there were significantly less than a million of them in the country at the time with the highest estimate at 600,000.

The simple fact is that the majority of the victims could only have Hutu, considering there were at least 400,000 surviving Tutsis in the country after the war was over, thus the remaining number of victims in all probability were Hutu.

Since the war began with an offensive by the RPF, that the lion’s share of victims would be their opponents is only to be expected except perhaps to Western propagandists and their newspeak that Kagame was conquering the country to “stop a genocide” while committing one himself.

Even though the Kagame regime would go on to commit further atrocities in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire), this would not prevent the media from maintaining its portrayal of him as a hero.

However, the BBC of all news organizations would produce a must-see documentaryRwanda: The Untold Story, that challenged the official story in 2014 but not without stirring controversy.

Historically, the politicization of “genocide” began from its earliest implementations.

Coined by Polish-Jewish lawyer Raphael Lemkin, he devised the term from the Greek word “génos” (group or race)and the Latin append “-cide” (killing), supposedly with the Armenians in mind.

It was said that if the Genocide Convention of 1948 been ratified during the inter-war period following the annihilation of the Armenians, it could have prevented future atrocities against European Jews in WWII, citing a reputed quote by Adolf Hitler, “who after all, remembers the Armenians?” from a speech just prior to the invasion of Poland in 1939.

Of course, for the Zionists this was at the exclusion of other, inferior groups victimized by the Germans whose sins the Palestinians are still paying for many decades later.

From the get-go, the g-word was a political football during the Cold War in order to legislate history with a pro-Western bias.

In spite of having survived Nazi persecution himself, Lemkin argued in his writings that the Soviet Ukrainian famine of the 1930s qualified despite the myth of deliberate starvation having been concocted by their Ukrainian nationalist collaborators who fled to Western Europe and North America in order to escape penalty for their war crimes.

Stories of the “man-made” hunger were then publicized in the pages of American sensationalist newspapers owned by media tycoon William Randolph Hearst, a Nazi sympathizer who ran columns by Hermann Göring and Adolf Hitler himself, as well as the yellow press of his UK equivalent, Lord Viscount Rothermere, an open supporter of Nazi Germany and British fascist Oswald Mosley.

Nevermind that Moscow had liberated both the European Jews and Armenians in both world wars, respectively. The post-war attempt to classify the Holodomor hoax as “genocide” instead of the mass destruction of indigenous peoples across the world by European settler colonialism was the beginning of the West’s conflation of Nazi Germany with the USSR in order to separate the former from its own legacy.

Ultimately, the Genocide Convention is as politicized with a pro-Western partiality as institutions like the Nobel Foundation. While its literature award is accustomed to controversy, so too is its peace laureate which has repeatedly bestowed its honor to questionable choices, if not outright war criminals.

In 1973, it infamously awarded then-Secretary of State Henry Kissinger for negotiating a cease-fire between the US and North Vietnam, even though he was by all accounts responsible for prolonging the Vietnam War, along with a laundry list of other destructive policies in his tenure that many feel warrant prosecution for crimes against humanity.

This includes the secret US bombing of Cambodia during the Vietnam War which facilitated the CIA-backed Khmer Rouge’s rise to power. The tens of thousands of deaths from Operation Freedom Deal would not be included with those attributed to the “genocide” by Pol Pot whose regime would be used to demonize communism, despite his Western support and that Phnom Penh was liberated by Vietnam.

Later in 2009, just a year into his first presidential term Barack Obama became the Peace Prize recipient not for anything he had actually done but in a vacuous gesture as “a call to action.” The first African-American to hold the office would go on to drop hundreds of thousands of bombs on seven different nations.

Then again, the accolade itself is inherently paradoxical considering that among Alfred Nobel’s list of accomplishments was success in arms manufacturing.

When Slobodan Milošević was being slowly murdered in custody in the Netherlands, Peter Handke was one of the few public figures brave enough to come to the former Serbian president’s defense, but he was not alone even amongst his fellow Nobel Laureates. The late British playwright Harold Pinter, one of the most influential dramatists of the 20th century, also lent his name as a signatory to the Slobodan Milošević International Committee.

During a five decade career, Pinter was a dedicated anti-war activist in his private life and used the occasion of his accepting the literary honor in 2005 while still in poor health to deliver a powerful, scathing indictment of US foreign policy in his Nobel Lecture.

Since his name was announced, Mr. Handke has been the subject of relentless, unjustified attacks as a “genocide denier” and should be granted the same relative level of respect Pinter was paid when he was its honoree.

It is likely geopolitical factors at play making Handke the subject of a smear campaign, with the restart of the Cold War and the need to demonize all things Russia-related with whom with the Serbs share a brotherhood. Be it the case of Mr. Handke or the congressional exploitation of the Armenians, it is clear “genocide” is nothing more than a political construct earmarked for the usage of empire.

can you spare $1.00 a month to support independent media

OffGuardian does not accept advertising or sponsored content. We have no large financial backers. We are not funded by any government or NGO. Donations from our readers is our only means of income. Even the smallest amount of support is hugely appreciated.

avatar
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
bevin
bevin

More news from Alberta where the right of a young professor to post views that the “Holodomor” (TM disputed between CIA and Goebbels Estate) is a hoax:

“EDMONTON—Leo Korownyk stood small among the crowd that had gathered at the University of Alberta on Monday afternoon to protest the university’s decision not to fire an assistant lecturer who called the genocidal famine the Holodomor a myth.

“Korownyk knew the lecturer was wrong, because he was there.

“I was born there, I lived there, where was the professor? He was not even born,” the 89-year-old Holodomor survivor said with a hint of a Ukrainian accent.

“The Holodomor was a yearlong genocidal famine in Soviet Ukraine in 1932. It is estimated that between three million to 12 million Ukrainians lost their lives. Late last week, Ukrainian students and communities across Canada reacted to a Facebook post made earlier in November by assistant lecturer Dougal MacDonald, calling the Holodomor “lies,” “a myth” and “phony.”

The post states that every year Justin Trudeau repeats “the same lies; that it was systemic genocide committed by the Soviet government.” In his post, MacDonald also called Petro Savaryn, the university’s former chancellor who died in 2017, a Nazi collaborator.

In a statement emailed to Star Edmonton, MacDonald called it a freedom-of-speech issue and said the post is his contribution to the debate and it is his right to make that post….”
https://www.thestar.com/edmonton/2019/12/02/dont-tell-this-holodomor-survivor-that-the-genocide-isnt-real-i-was-born-there.html

(This story is in the Toronto Star, now heavily subsidised by the afore mentionend Trudeau government.)
Among the many features of interest in this nonsense I am particularly attracted by this one
“It is estimated that between three million to 12 million Ukrainians lost their lives.”
That is one of the telling features of these genocide in a rear view mirror tales, by 1948 when the Holodomor was invented, the actual truth about the Ukrainian branch of a famine that hit many areas of the Soviet Union had been so obscured by lies that it was considered reasonable-depending on the credulity of the audience- to estimate wildly around the required median of Six Million.

My own guess is that it is only a matter of time before Mr MacDonald is sacrificed to Ukrainian fascist opinion in Canada which is being led by the Liberal government and the deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland.

paul
paul

The trouble with this sort of thing is that nobody has particularly clean hands, and people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. Few countries have much in the way of moral authority to deliver lofty sermons and pious lectures about human rights to others, when their own historical record is assessed objectively.

When France made it a criminal offence to deny the Armenian genocide, Turkey responded by making it an offence to deny the French genocide in fellow moslem country Algeria.

They could do the same with the US, making it illegal to deny US genocides in Vietnam, Korea, Japan, The Philippines, Iraq, on their own territory at home, or any one of assorted other locations.

This is a pointless and meaningless exercise, and represents a particularly tawdry and opportunistic example of gesture politics.

The lesson to be learnt on these occasions, is don’t get mad, get even.
A few years ago, there was a deliberate provocation when blasphemous cartoons of the prophet Mohammed were published in Denmark and elsewhere. These showed, inter alia, Mohammed having sex with a pig, and much else in a similar vein.
Moslem protests that these were grossly offensive were brushed aside.
– They’re only cartoons/ just a bit of fun/ where’s your sense of humour/ besides this is freedom of speech/ nothing is off limits/ anyone can say whatever they like about anything/ nobody has the right not to be offended.
A lot of moslems rioted, but there was quite a shrewd response in Iran.
A newspaper there ran a competition for who could produce the most offensive cartoons about the holocaust. I think you could win a car or gold coins. One of the winners sent in a cartoon showing Anne Frank in bed with Adolf Hitler. The others were broadly similar.
This produced howls of outrage in Europe from people like Merkel.
To which the Iranians replied, they’re only cartoons/ just a bit of fun/ where’s your sense of humour/ besides this is the freedom of speech you value so much/ nothing is off limits/ anyone can say whatever they like about anything/ nobody has the right not to be offended.

The point was got across quite well – everybody has their sacred cows and if you respect ours, maybe we’ll respect yours. Or if you prefer it, we can all exercise our God given democratic right to be complete arseholes.

Vexarb
Vexarb

Paul, I’m glad another Westerner appreciates Iranian humour. Another example was when they captured some U$ Marines trying to penetrate Iranian waters. Instead of humiliating them in humourless U$ style (by putting them in U$ orange prison garb and penning them in U$ style Guantanamo cages) the Iranians simply dressed their captured U$ Marines in civvy suits and sent them back home with a bag of sweets each.

There is an older example of Iranian humour in the BBC archives from WW2, “No Heaven for Gunga Din”, but nobody is sure whether it was written by a genuine Iranian or by an Anglo who picked up their style of humour while serving in Persia.

The oldest example of Persian humour that I know comes from their great poet Hafiz of Shiraz. The lazy man’s guide to dieting: Remember, up to a certain weight it carries you, after that you are carrying the weight.

Vexarb
Vexarb

The most persecuted religion:

comment image

Derek
Derek

Hmmmm Putin never said that and you know it.
Angela Merkel declared that “Christianity is the most persecuted religion in the world.”
But here is something more interesting?
https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/03/05/russia-will-be-one-third-muslim-in-15-years-chief-mufti-predicts-a64706
So Orthodox Christian Russia eh? Yes Mr Putin God is “indeed” great.

Derek
Derek

I forgot to add.

Putin Akbar!
Russia Abar!

Shame there is no edit function.

Vexarb
Vexarb

Allah Akbar!

There is no God but God and He (as the Buddhists say) is It.

Zoran Aleksic
Zoran Aleksic

Are you actually suggesting that A. Merkel is a protector of christianity?

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig

Her decision speaks to the power of the Turkish and Azeri lobbies which have spent millions bribing and extorting US politicians for decades to prevent recognition of the Ottoman crimes against humanity by the legislature and any such proclamation by an American head of state.

Parry nicely avoids discussing another, even more powerful Washington lobby that for decades helped modern Turkey escape blame for the Armenian genocide: the Zionists. From The Forward, a Jewish publication:

“Deteriorating relations between Turkey and Israel led Jewish groups to step back from active lobbying this year against a congressional resolution declaring the 1915 Turkish slaughter of Armenians a case of genocide.”

Even as they play the holocaust card to the hilt, Tel Aviv has always cynically regarded other people’s genocides as bargaining tools to used to maximize their own self-interest. As long as Turkey, for example, agreed to play ball with Israel, they were shielded from any blame for the Armenian genocide; but the moment that Erdogan began making noises about the Palestinians, the Zionists suddenly withdrew their erstwhile opposition to condemning the Turks.

John
John

The word genocide has been bandied about a bit too muh it won’t be long until it loses its punch like the word racism has. Just a pity that many people who advocate for what they want are often terrible at describing correctly what it is they say they’re wanting

George Cornell
George Cornell

It is well on its way to rivalling “anti-semitism“, as a shameful political club , now nearly devoid of any meaning but for identifying those with differing views by individuals with surplus aggression. This cheapens this historical tragedy and the memory of its many unfortunate victims, coming as it often does from those who know better.

Vexarb
Vexarb

Many thanks for this clear cold light on a century of fake humanistic crusades from the EU$A to further the imperial ambitions of global Anglo Zio Capitalism. That cover on Time magazine, “Bringing the Serbs to heel” was particularly shocking to me; I had never seen it, but it was the way the EU and the U$A ganged up to rape Serbia – rape followed by dismemberment of the victim – which opened my eyes to the moral rottenness of the Capitalist conspirators that now rule the “Western” world.

Antonym
Antonym

Anglo-Arab empire yes. Israel has zero oil so cannot support the US dollar.
Former Yugoslavia had zero Zio manipulation and plenty of Arab/ Islamic.

John
John

Israel found oil recently

John
John

Here’s a small sample of proof that you’re full of shit https://www.timesofisrael.com/exxon-said-considering-gas-oil-exploration-in-israel/

paul
paul

The genocidal Zionist Regime, however, had an unlimited supply of bought and paid for and blackmailed Stooge Goy Paedo Whores to do its bidding, which more than made up for any lack of oil. The Fake Moslems in Shady Wahabia can supply the oil lacking in Kosherstan.

paul
paul

What happened at Srebrenica was that NATO protected Bosnian moslem paramilitaries murdered 2,000 unarmed Serbian villagers. Serbian paramilitaries then murdered 500 Bosnian moslem civilians by way of reprisal. This was then inflated by the western MSM into a massacre of 8,000 moslems to justify the dismemberment of Yugoslavia and the creation of Camp Bondsteel.

Non Aligned Socialist Yugoslavia, where private enterprise, foreign travel, and working abroad were permitted, was no more, replaced by a patchwork quilt of petty US satrapies. The first (but by no means the last) former socialist victim or predatory neoliberal crapitalism. A template for what was to occur later in Iraq, Libya, and so many other places, and what was intended for Syria.

Antonym
Antonym

Thanks for proving my points.

Antonym
Antonym

When did the US got off the “straight and narrow”? Was it in the 1950’s as Eisenhower proclaimed in his speech of 1961? Was it in 1945 when the OSS/ CIA grew? Was it in 1919 after president Wilson’s stroke? Was is even earlier?

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig

The Spanish-American War, maybe? The founding of the Fed in 1913?

vexarb
vexarb

Pilgrim Fathers ca.1600:

“Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live”.

“The only good Indian is a dead Indian”.

Max Parry
Max Parry

When was it ever on the straight and arrow?

bevin
bevin

An excellent summary. Thanks.
It would be interesting one day, when the neo-nazis had gone down to the Beer Hall perhaps, to discuss the problems with the description of the “Holocaust” as genocide.
If there are any problems that is.
The major question I have would be that the laundry list of victims of the Nazis ranging from cultural and religious communities like the Jews to political groups such as the Communists and socialists, and including such diverse categories as autistic kids, the mentally ill, the physically challenged, paupers, homosexuals and other non-conformists, not to mention ethnic groups such as slavs , black Africans and many more..such a long and diverse list differs from the simple prairie massacres of Aboriginals, for example, or Armenians.
In other words the key to understanding the Holocaust involves the recognition that though it certainly targeted Jews they were part of a much wider population of victims. Which raises the question of what it was that prompted the killings, given that it cannot have been simply racial hatred. Was it hatred of the vulnerable? Or of those who might have constituted a threat- potentially powerful groups that had to be rendered vulnerable. Was it the ‘other” or the familiar image in the mirror, the witness?

Vexarb
Vexarb

@Bevin: “Which raises the question of what it was that prompted the killings, given that it cannot have been simply racial hatred. ”

Original sin. Don’t blame our chimp cousins either (for wiping out a neighbouring chimp village or playing a game of catch with one of its babies as ball; see videos) the chimps, like us, have inherited this genocidal disposition from our common pre-chimp ancestors.

“Dieu Pere, a qui le bon et le mal sont egaux” — Christian Ficat

“Did He who made the Lamb make thee?” — Wm.Blake, The Tiger

Jen
Jen

Some of the worst killers of Polish and Jewish people during the Nazi occupation of eastern Europe were not Nazis but the people who collaborated with them, in particular those people who had experienced Polish authoritarian rule during the inter-war period (early 1920s to 1940) and resented being forced to speak Polish: these included Ukrainians and Lithuanians living in Vilnius. In parts of eastern Europe, Jewish people were regarded with suspicion or disliked for various reasons: they had been early supporters of socialism and Communism (anything had to be better than the Russian tsar), they were educated and had a cosmopolitan attitude that peasants thought was suspicious, and they historically had been go-betweens between the elites and the peasantry (in occupations such as collecting taxes) and were seen to be allied with the elites.

Before the 20th century, the worst pogroms against Jewish people had been carried out by Ukrainian Cossacks and peasants under the leadership of Bogdan Khmelnitski in the mid-17th century. Khmelnitski founded the first Ukrainian state as well. For these reasons he is a hero to Ukrainians and a villain to Jews.

Guy
Guy

46 1/2 minutes of listening to Harold Pinter goes by like a flash . Such eloquence of thought and speech.
Harold ,were he still alive ,would certainly tell us about the evolution of the American fiendish and selfishness .What a great person Harold Pinter was.
It was an unexpected moment for me when he mentioned Pablo Neruda as I visited his house and went through the history of Pablo Neruda’s life when in Chili last .Another great individual that left his mark in the political sphere in Chili and the world .
Great men to be sure .We need many more of such caliber .

Jack_Garbo
Jack_Garbo

Such a coincidence that the Armenian Genocide re-emerges as Turkey prefers the Russian S400 to US missile defense system and balks at the white elephant F35 fighter, threatening to buy the Russian Su57 jet. Not mentioned is the historic role the US “ally du jour” Kurds had in the Armenian genocide in the Syrian provinces. US foreign policy continues on its crude, cumbersome track bargaining lives for weapons. “When will the US regime disappear from the pages of history…” Civilized people are waiting.

https://www.pri.org/stories/kurds-turkey-atone-their-role-armenian-genocide

Max Parry
Max Parry

I did mention it:

“It is ironic that it took Trump’s throwing the Kurds under the bus queueing the Turkish offensive to result in the house finally acknowledging the ‘other holocaust’, as many Kurds themselves were participants in the slaughter of the Armenians a century ago.”

Jack_Garbo
Jack_Garbo

Apologies for my oversight. We need to examine all aspects of any event before any conclusions can be drawn (and I need more wake-up coffee in the morning).

George Cornell
George Cornell

You would have to be mad to buy any arms from the Americans. You can be sure they can disable them from a distance at will. Unless you are a NATO member, forced to buy them under the ridiculous premise that the main threat to world peace are the Russkies.

Jack_Garbo
Jack_Garbo

You’re assuming they’d work per label. My little experience with US equipment (in SE Asia) is its strictly “Florida gear” – warm and sunny, but fails in rain, dust, mud, heat and cold. Who needs a kill switch?

Vexarb
Vexarb

That reminds me of something I read re Vietnam. Yankee soldiers would throw away their U$ Army issue submachine guns when they were lucky enough to find a Kalashnikov; you could pick it out of the mud with its muzzle clogged with dirt, and it would still work. The F35 Flying Lemon has a long history of overpriced, overdesigned, underperforming weaponry behind it.

RobG

And remember, folks, there’s a massive general strike taking place in France this coming Thursday (it’s principally about raising the pension age, but there’s lots of other issues involved as well).

The sheep in the USA and UK will never be told about any of this.

Seamus Padraig
Seamus Padraig

Hell, the gilets jaunes are still at it, too, aren’t they? We don’t here about them anymore either.

Antonym
Antonym

Never here: they are only impoverished locals, so not worthy of weird theories, beer or champagne. No US or Israeli involvement (??), no immigrants so they don’t exist.

Loverat
Loverat

I think it does say something about a state which never owns up to its past crimes. Japan and Turkey are the two that spring to mind – the Japanese massacres in China and of course 1915 Armenia. Why Turkey does not simply own up and draw a line under the whole thing says alot about them.

Perhaps Rwanda is a different case – is it really necessary to assign whether Tutsi or Hutu killed more. I think I recall there has been a kind of reconciliation process and likewise in Syria for those non foreign rebel fighters that are now back under government control.

I guess the injustice of Kosovo and misreporting of the civil war upsets the Serbs. But again, I think they want to draw a line, get a political settlement perhaps when the US gets a government interested in sitting down to help settle these disputes.

Above all, we need to recognise the genocide committed by US, France and UK in recent years and set an example sending Bush,Obama, Bolton,Pompeo, Trump,Blair, Cameron,May,Johnson the French elite and probably the whole US/ UK establishments and mainstream media to the Hague. Perhaps a clear out along these lines this will bring about a new era of reconciliation between nations. Plus they should provide reparations from their billions to rebuild what they’ve destroyed.

Fat chance, but we can hope. One things for sure lots of seemingly desperate people – e.g. Bellingcat, Scott Lucas, Chris York, Josie Ensor, Louise Lovelock scrambling to defend a false narrative they created – ie Douma – almost bringing us Wotld War 3 plus a number of dead civilians apparently used as props. I don’t think history will be kind to them.

Vexarb
Vexarb

@Loverat: “to the Hague”

No, send them to a Court of Justice.

Vexarb
Vexarb

Holland’s rogue tribunal:

https://youtu.be/BmXiX3RAdI4

RobG

This does relate to this article, because it’s all about total corruption in high places…

https://www.theguardian.com/society/2017/jul/11/what-is-the-contaminated-blood-scandal

paul
paul

Maybe it’s time to recognise the Belgian Congo Genocide of 1890-1910.
10 million slaughtered in the Congo Basin, 50% of the population.

Or the Italian Libya Genocide of the 1920s/30s, 750,000 slaughtered, 50% of the population.

Or the German Namibia Genocide, 80% of the Herero slaughtered.

Or the British Aborigine Genocides of the 19th century.

Or the European New World Genocide, 1492 onwards, over 100 million slaughtered.

Or the Zionist Palestinian Genocide.

Or the Japanese China Genocide.

Or the Mongol Genocides of the 13th century.

But no, the only genocide that matters is the holohoax of the 1940s, unless of course you are a bit cheeky towards the Empire and buy some S400s, in which case you suddenly qualify for inclusion on the kosher list of genocides.

Max Parry
Max Parry

By “holo-haux” I hope you are referring to the holodomor?

bevin
bevin

A young lecturer at the University of Alberta is being attacked, by students for his, perfectly correct characterisation of the “Holodomor” as a hoax. He might have added, and did, for all I know, that it originated in Nazi propaganda against communism and has always been a particularly nasty and rather idiotic attempt to mobilise both anti communist and anti Russian feeling.

Max Parry
Max Parry

Just because the genocide against European Jews is given special privilege at the exclusion of the others you mentioned and become a “holocaust industry” as Norman Robertson puts it doesn’t mean it was a hoax. The only “Holo-haux” is the holodomor

Max Parry
Max Parry

I meant Norman Finkelstein

vwbeetle
vwbeetle

Hollywood has not made any movies about any of these genocides. I wonder why.

wardropper
wardropper

Oh, it will.
Just give them a few more decades to get the “narrative” right…

Vexarb
Vexarb

@Paul: “Or the European New World Genocide, 1492 onwards, over 100 million slaughtered.”

Don’t hold your breath for U$ Congress to table a motion condemning that.

“The only good Indian is a dead Indian”. — Yankee slogan (until they ran out of Indians)

Antonym
Antonym

Or the Zionist Palestinian Genocide.

Nice try but no cigar: the local Arab population grew massively. A population explosion instead of a wipe out.

paul
paul

They provide the requisite Untermenschen for the Talmudic Master Race.

Zoran Aleksic
Zoran Aleksic

Or the newly created American nation’s genocide of the indigenous people.
Or the Euro South America genocide.
Or the Brit Indian genocide, or starving them to death.

Zoran Aleksic
Zoran Aleksic

Addendum – the nazi Croat Serbian genocide of 1941-1944

vwbeetle
vwbeetle

I have a clear memory of Australia’s former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer stating in the late 90’s, in refusing local Armenian community requests to attend a memorial to the genocide of 1915, words to the effect of “Oh, that is in the past. Best forgotten”. I wonder if he would have said the same thing to a Jewish request to attend a Holocaust memorial.

Theo
Theo

The genocide of half a Million of gypsies in German concentration camps aren’t mentioned anymore. Not in Germany nor outside Germany. They have no powerful lobby groups and geostrategic importance.

Jen
Jen

Perhaps to complicate the discussion even more is the fact that historically Armenians have looked to Russia, in that nation’s various incarnations over the last 200 years at least, as their protector – which fact led the Ottoman Turkish state to distrust them and other Orthodox Christian communities within their empire and to suspect them all of disloyalty and conspiring with the Russian enemy during World War I. There apparently also had been terrorist acts carried out by Armenian nationalists wanting independence and expecting Russian help (which never came) in the past (1890s), which added to the Ottoman suspicions. This distrust helped set the context in which the authorities persecuted the Armenians and other Christian communities, by deporting them to camps via forced marches or sending their men to the war front with deliberately insufficient ammunition.

Another complicating issue is that over the decades Israel has blown hot and cold over the recognition of the Armenian genocide (and the use of the term “holocaust” to describe that genocide) as its own relationship with Turkey goes through various highs and lows. Istael has been dependent on Turkey as an ally and trading partner (especially as a supplier of fresh water). Given the tremendous influence that the pro-Israeli lobby exercises on US Congress, the pressure of Israel over the issue of recognising the Armenian genocide should be acknowledged.

Max Parry
Max Parry

That is absolutely correct, the origins of the genocide are Russophobic which I have written about previously.

David Macilwain
David Macilwain

It might be a question of whether the origins of the US congress vote are Russophobic as well. Without downplaying your own views and presentation here, I would recommend a serious consideration of the views expressed following the US recognition move by Jeremy Salt in this article:
https://ahtribune.com/us/3610-armenian-genocide.html
The article is only a glimpse into his lengthy study of Ottoman history of that period, which looks at the many other aspects of ethnic and political conflict between Kurdish, Armenian and Turkish populations. Because it appears to perversely put Salt on the same side as Erdogan in this dispute it may not go down too well with his opponents. Like other serious journalists in Turkey, Salt is in constant danger for expressing his views on almost everything else.

Jen
Jen

I have a couple of Great Courses books on the Ottoman empire by Professor Kenneth Harl (Tulane University) and in one book he devotes a chapter to ethnic cleansing in the Ottoman empire during WW1. He refers to the then Ottoman Minister for War Enver Pasha signing a deportation order (at the recommendation of the Minister of the Interior, Talat Pasha) to remove Armenians from six provinces in eastern Anatolia to a new home in northern Syria: a removal order that forces most Armenians to march to virtual desert on foot. On their journey, thousands die from exposure, starvation and thirst, and horrific treatment (including rape, torture and murder) from the guards and Kurdish irregular forces in the areas. The deportations started after the order was signed on 24 April 1915 and ended in March 1916 when Talat Pasha stopped them, by which time about 80% of Armenians were either dead or had fled the empire. When such a large percentage of a community has gone, the remainder is not likely to recover as a distinct community.

The reasons for the two Ministers ordering the deportations have to be seen against a general historical climate in which the Ottomans were aware that their empire was being targeted by their enemies for splitting up and that the Russian empire had been supplying Armenian extremist nationalist groups with weapons. Some of these groups had staged terrorist attacks before the war and had even attempted to assassinate the Sultan. In other words, the Ottomans were attempting to shore up security within their state by moving groups they considered suspicious (because of past history) to areas where they could be controlled. Not so very different from, say, the US incarcerating US citizens of Japanese ancestry in camps on US soil, or the Soviets forcibly moving Chechens, Germans, Koreans and others to Kazakhstan during WWII. The Ottomans also did the same to other Orthodox Christian communities (Greek Orthodox, some of whom spoke Turkish rather than Greek, and Assyrian Christians) and those groups also suffered badly during deportation.

The problem then becomes this: when Talat Pasha and Enver Pasha (no relation – pasha is a military honorific) decided on the deportation, were they aware of the likely consequences of the deportation, and if they were aware, why did they not take care to ensure the deportees had adequate food, water, clothing and shelter during the deportation and why did they not insist on discipline among the guards escorting the deportees? Did the two ministers really intend for people to die during the deportations? If the Ottomans had intended to kill Armenians, why then did they allow Armenians to live in their empire for several hundred years in the first place?

There is also the possibility that the 1915 genocide is being politicised by groups within the Armenian diaspora in ways not very different from the way the Shoah has been politicised by the Israeli government and pro-Israeli lobbies in other countries.

I acknowledge that Jeremy Salt makes some good points about the timing of the US Congress resolution to recognise the 1915 genocide, that the issue is not cut and dried as groups on either side of the issue try to make out.But the scale of the devastation was such that it really does look like a genocide, even if not planned that way, and we may have to revisit how genocides are defined.