Thoughts on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide

Going back to early antiquity, the western half of Asia Minor (also known as Anatolia in Greek) had been populated by Greek-speaking peoples and the eastern half of Asia Minor (also known to historians as the Armenian Highlands) had been populated primarily by Armenians. This very ancient Greek-Armenian era of the region began gradually changing in the 10th century AD when various nomadic Turkic tribes began infiltrating into Asia Minor in ever increasing numbers. By the middle of the 11th century, Armenia, a nation that had already recorded over three thousand years of political history at the time, had ceased to exist as a state. The fall of the great Bagratid capitol city of Ani first to Byzantines and later to Seljuk Turks between 1045-64 AD essentially caused a mass exodus of Armenians to Christian lands in Europe and elsewhere. Some of these Armenians eventually formed a Cilician Armenian kingdom on the shores of north-eastern Mediterranean Sea which lasted as an independent state until late 14th century. Nevertheless, with the absence a large Armenian kingdom within the Armenian Highlands protecting Byzantium's now increasingly vulnerable eastern frontier, all of Asia Minor eventually fell under Turkish rule by the middle of the 15th century when the great Byzantine or Eastern Roman city of Constantinople fell in 1453 to Turkish Sultan Mehmed II. As such, a historically and culturally rich region of the world that had from time immemorial been Greek and Armenian had transformed into an oppressive Turkic cesspool. The fall of Armenia and Byzantium would forever change the course of history for the demise of Christendom within Asia Minor ushered in an era of barbaric darkness for the entire region, a terrible darkness that persists to this day.

Thoughts on the centennial of the Armenian Genocide
Even after centuries of segregation, oppression, periodic massacres and the policy of settling Turkic and Kurdish tribes into Armenian populated areas of the Armenian Highlands, there remained large numbers of culturally identifiable Armenians living under Ottoman rule in the 19th century. These Armenians were slowly awakening. After a national hibernation of nearly one thousand years, the cultural and national awakening of Armenians finally began to take root in the mid-19th century within the three main centers of Armenian culture and identity at the time: Constantinople, Tbilisi and the Mkhitarist religious order located in Italy and Austria. By the late 19th century, the Ottoman Empire, described by the Russian Tsar as the Sick Man of Europe, was in steady decline. For the Christian populations of the Turkish empire, Ottoman decline essentially translated into periodic reprisals against Christians. Experiencing the oppressive empire's bloody decline firsthand and watching peoples like Bulgarians and Greeks free themselves of oppressive Ottoman rule emboldened sentiments of autonomy among Armenians worldwide. Consequently, Armenian intelligentsia, clergy and political activists in both Constantinople and Tbilisi began taking steps towards actively seeking protection for Ottoman-Armenians from foreign powers. This effort gradually evolved into also seeking some from of Armenian autonomy in the Armenian populated regions of the Ottoman Empire known as the Six Vilayets. The national awakening among Armenians at the time was encouraged by foreign powers that were opposed to the Ottoman Empire: Namely, the Russian Empire and Western powers. Although reprisals by Ottoman Turks against their Armenian subjects were thus inevitable, no one however could imagine the scale of brutality Turks would resort to first in 1894 and later on a much greater scale during the First World War.

When the First World War broke out during the summer of 1914 Ottoman Turks found themselves on the side of the Central Powers (Germany, Austria-Hungary) opposing the powers of the Entente (Russian Empire, British Empire, France and the United States). As part of the Central Powers' war effort, Ottoman Turks attempted to strike at Russia in late 1914. It effort proved disastrous for the Ottoman army. Preempting an impending Ottoman strike, imperial Russian forces mounted a major winter offensive. This military offensive known as the Caucasus Campaign decimated the entire Ottoman army in the region. By February, 1915 the Ottoman army that had been sent to fight Russia had all but disappeared. Some Turkish leaders blamed Russian-Armenians for their historic defeat, even though Armenians (primarily from the Caucasus) made up a small fraction of imperial Russian forces involved in the Caucasus Campaign. Turkish leaders also began calling into question the loyalty of all Christian Armenians living under Ottoman rule, although a vast majority of Ottoman-Armenians, like my ancestors, were semi-assimilated, faithful subjects of the Ottoman Empire.

It should also be noted that Armenians that actually sought political independence from Turkish rule were a very tiny fraction within a largely assimilated Ottoman-Armenian community. What a majority of Ottoman-Armenians wanted instead was protection and equality within a political system that had grown very aggressive. Moreover, Ottoman-Armenians were not in anyway preparing to assist the Russian invasion of the Ottoman Empire. 

Nevertheless, throwing the allegiance of the entire Ottoman-Armenian community into question and using the Russian victory in the east as a pretext, Ottoman leaders decided to be done with their already decades-long Armenian problem also known as the "Armenian question". The agenda to exterminate the Armenian presence from within the Ottoman Empire may have been planned as early as 1911 during a secret conference held in Salonika by the Young Turk government, and one of the main motivations behind the sinister agenda was the racist ideology of Pan-Turkism.

With the powers of the Entente engulfed in a major war in mainland Europe, Ottoman authorities exploited the opportunity. Many hundred of Armenian community representatives and intelligentsia within Constantinople (mostly doctors, lawyers, writers, officials, clergy and businessmen) were arrested on April 24, 1915 and imprisoned. Most of those arrested were to be murdered in cold blood soon thereafter. About the same time, Armenian conscripts within the Ottoman military were disarmed and relegated to labor duties. Most of these were also to be slaughtered in cold blood soon thereafter. In this manner, in a relatively short period of time, Turks managed to incapacitate the entire Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire. With Ottoman-Armenians now effectively leaderless and thus powerless, Turks began to turn their bloodthirsty, murderous attention upon the defenseless Armenian citizenry throughout Asia Minor. Some reprieve came from the east as Russian forces continued advancing westward, eventually liberating territories as far west as Van and Bitlis. But by 1917 the Bolshevik revolution forced Russian troops to abruptly pull out of Asia Minor. With Armenians unable to fill the unexpected military vacuum created by the sudden Russian withdrawal, Turks redoubled their effort against their Armenian subjects.
 
While the traditional date known for the commencement of the Armenian Genocide is April 24, 1915, we need to always remember that the systematic extermination of Armenians by Ottoman authorities was first started in 1894. During 1894-96 approximately a quarter million Armenian peasants were slaughtered in the interior provinces.
The wholesale slaughter of Armenians by Ottoman Turks and their Kurdish henchmen continued periodically thereafter for the next twenty years, coming to a climax during the First World War.
Only after the vast majority of Armenians had disappeared from within Turkish occupied Asia Minor by 1923 did the slaughter of Armenians subside. While the figure of the number of Armenians killed by Ottoman authorities is traditionally noted to be around 1.5 million souls, the real number is most probably over 2 million souls, with hundreds-of-thousands driven into exile.

Unlike what victorious powers did to Germany after its defeat in 1945, the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide were never adequately punished and the Turkish state that succeeded the Ottoman Empire was not held responsible by the victorious allies at the end of the First World War. The powers of the Entente also failed to live up to their promise of establishing an Armenian state within the historic Armenian Highlands. Western powers instead began pandering to Ataturk's Turkey. Some within Western power circles were even conspiring against "impossible Armenians". With the Russian Empire relegated to the pages of history by the end of the First World War, Bolshevik officials in the Kremlin also began making overtures to Turks, again at the cost of Armenian interests. In the end, it seemed as if the entire Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire was essentially sacrificed for the geopolitical interests of Western powers and Bolshevik occupied Russia.

Armenians have been for many decades commemorating this historic tragedy every April 24. Every April 24 Armenians worldwide renew efforts to encourage the global community to recognize what happened to Armenians during the First World War as a premeditated genocide. Every April 24 Armenians worldwide remind themselves of the lives that were lost. Every April 24 Armenians worldwide remind themselves of their historic homeland that was lost. Every April 24 Armenians worldwide renew efforts to make Turkish authorities understand that their official recognition of the horrendous crime they perpetrated against the Armenian people is long overdue. Every April 24 Armenians worldwide renew efforts to make Turkish authorities understand that appropriate land and money reparations are long over due. 

Knowing they have Western and Jewish support, the Turk remains unrepentant, defiant, belligerent and hostile. Periodically, Turks threaten Armenians to do "it" again. And as the events of 1992-93 showed, had it not been for the Russian Bear, the Turks would have indeed attempted to finish what they started during the First World War.

According to the Turkish narrative, it was a nasty war and many died on all sides. If so, then what happened to the entire Armenian population of the six Armenian Vilayets? How is it that only Kurds and Turks now live in those region? How did Armenians get scattered around the world? What battle did my many of my ancestors die in? According to another Turkish narrative, Armenians "betrayed" Turks by seeking autonomy and help from foreign powers. That Ottoman Armenians sought protection from Christian powers and autonomy for Armenians living in the six Vilayets was a very natural reaction to living as second class citizens within their homeland. After centuries of living as  Gavurs and suffering periodic massacres and displacement, Armenians rightfully sought self-determination on Armenian soil. Nevertheless, as the Russian prime minister stated in response to Ankara's anger with Moscow, a crime against humanity cannot be justified regardless of reason. Regardless of what Armenians wanted at the time and how they went about seeking it, Turks had no right to resort to genocidal policies. Turks had no right to massacre millions and erase the presence of an entire nation from within their homeland nonetheless.

The idea that we Armenians were at least partially responsible for what happened to us or that is was a bad war where all sides suffered is a conversation that Turks, Jews and Western powers would like Armenians to get into because it serves to muddle the Armenian narrative and buffers the shock of genocide. It is therefore a stunt and a red-herring. And it is why Turks and their allies want to leave the matter to "historians" to study. Nevertheless, the notion that Armenians were partially responsible is akin to saying: The victim resisted being abused, so we killed him and his entire family, as well as all his relatives.

The whole idea about educating, debating or explaining anything to the Turkish government about the events of the time is counterproductive to the Armenian cause, not to mention a total waste of time and precious resources. Armenians must therefore resist any attempt, be it by Westerners or be it by Jews, to get us Armenians into such kinds of debates with Turks. The issue at hand is not whether or not Armenians brought the tragedy upon themselves. The real issue is this: The millions strong Armenian population of pre-war Western Armenia no longer existed after the First World War. There was a vibrant Armenian population in Ottoman controlled regions of Western Armenia before the war. After the war, Armenians, along with Greeks and Assyrians, had simply disappeared. This, no matter how one looks at it, is the classic case of genocide.

No talk on the topic of the Armenian Genocide would be complete without also addressing the role organized Jewry at the time played in what happened. Similar to how the bloodthirsty Bolshevik leadership in Russia were mostly Jews, similar to how the warmongering Neoconservative leadership in the US today are mostly Jews, the reformist movement in the Ottoman Empire known as the Young Turks that was in power from 1908 to 1918 and was directly responsible for masterminding and carrying-out the Armenian Genocide during the First World War were also derived mostly from Jews. Ataturk the so-called "father of Turks" was also of Jewish ancestry. Therefore, it was perhaps only natural that Zionist-Jewish leaders in Europe at the time would be inclined to support the Ottoman Empire's genocidal agenda against Armenians. The following are perspectives on the subject matter from two righteous Jews -

"But I also thought about Theodor Herzl on the Armenian issue. Herzl’s diary demonstrates that indifference to an indigenous Asian minority is in the DNA of Zionism. In 1896, Herzl made a trip to Constantinople to try and meet Sultan Abdul Hamid so as to negotiate the purchase of Palestine, which was then part of the Ottoman Empire. Herzl was prepared to offer millions of pounds to resolve the Turkish debt crisis, and get a Jewish state in exchange. The Sultan declined to meet with him (they met a couple years later) but his aides gave Herzl some terms. Could he work on the Armenian issue in the European press? Turkey was getting bashed for its treatment of the Armenians. And Herzl, who always bragged that his pen was not for sale, agreed to do so"
"The Armenian question has occupied the Zionist movement since a mass killing of Armenians was carried out by the Turks in the mid 1890s - prior even to the First Zionist Congress. Herzl's strategy was based on the idea of an exchange: The Jews would pay off the Ottoman Empire's huge debt, in return for the acquisition of Palestine and the establishment of a Jewish state there, with the major powers' consent"
Israeli author Yaʾir Oron did an excellent job in exposing Zionist indifference and indirect culpability in his well known book The Banality of Indifference: Zionism and the Armenian Genocide. Jewish-Marxist activist Ralph Shoenman also exposed Zionist indifference and indirect culpability in his seminal work known as The hidden history of Zionism. For Zionist, the political motivation for supporting Turkey's genocidal policy against Armenians was clear: They were seeking land rights within Ottoman controlled Palestine. That Zionists diverted their lobbying efforts to London when the Ottoman Empire collapsed at the end of the war is altogether another story. In short: the Zionist founding fathers of Israel actively supported the Armenian Genocide while it was taking place. Knowing the Jewish mindset pretty well, I am pretty sure there were other, more domestic or shall I say financial factors at play in their willingness to help Turks exterminate their Armenian subjects. Organized Jewry, as well as the Ottoman Empire's well established Jewish community, must have known at the time that with wealthy Armenians (and Greeks) out of the way they would have less economic and financial competition and thus more sway in Turkey.

Nevertheless, for decades, Turks have regularly employed powerful Jewish lobbyists within the US and elsewhere to undermine Armenian efforts to gain recognition to what happened to the Armenian nation one hundred years ago. This Jewish-Turkish-Western collaboration is essentially the collaboration of genocidal powers responsible for the murder of tens-of-millions of people around the world. They keenly understand each other. This collaboration, particularly between their national and economic elite, continues to this day and despite some outward appearances it will not end for the foreseeable future. There is a historic bond between Jews, Turks and Anglo-Americans that goes back centuries. This love affair turned into an unholy marriage during the Cold War for it was during that time when "The incredible Turk" became an indispensable ally of the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance against the Russian-speaking world, against Arabs, against Iranians. The historic bond between Turks, Jews and Anglo-Americans is therefore rooted in shared, geopolitical interests. Geostrategically, Turkey is too important to give up. This is why Uncle Sam stations nuclear weapons on Turkish-occupied Armenian soil. Therefore, Armenians would do well to understand that whatever problems the Western world has with Turkey today is not about Turkey per se but about who's in power in Ankara. In other words: It's an internal matter between friends. The West is not about to turn against Turkey - not now, not for the foreseeable future.

Now, since there are Armenians that blame the religion of Islam for the Armenian Genocide, I'd like to state the following: I was very happy that Katholikos Aram I of the Cilician See publicly stated "Armenians were not massacred because they were Christians". Politics and pan-Turkic nationalism - not religion - was the reason why Turks sought to exterminate Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians. Yes, the Ottoman foot soldier or the brigand that did the actual killings of Armenians were mostly Turkish and Kurdish Muslims, but those that actually planned and ordered the murder of an entire race were more Jewish than Muslim. Those that actually planned and ordered the murder of the Armenian race were more atheistic than religious. And those who gave refuge to Armenians at the time were mostly Muslim Arabs and Iranians. In fact, even before the mass exterminations of Armenians during the First World War, Grand Sheikh Salim al-Bishri of Egypt issued a Fatwa condemning Turks for the killings of Armenians in Adana. During the First World War, Al-Husayn Ibn 'Ali, Sharif of Mecca decreed the following -
Decree issued in 1917 by the Sharif of Mecca for the Protection of Armenians: http://middleorient.com/?p=4238
While we are on the topic of Islam, the following lecture by a well known Islamic Sheikh Imran Hosein should be watched by all Armenians. The very charismatic sheikh makes references to "Anglo-American-Jewish" alliance; talks against the Chechen Jihad against Russia claiming it was funded and organized by Washington and Saudi Arabia; calls Russia the true progeny of the Byzantine Empire; claims the Ottoman Empire was un-Islamic and that its existence served as a wedge between Islam and Orthodox Christianity; mentions the Jewish role in the Bolshevik revolution; states communism was created to destroy the Russian Empire; says those behind communism gave Crimea to Ukraine to weaken the Russian nation once the Soviet Union dissolved; warns against the problem of not distinguishing between Russia and the Soviet Union; emphasizes the need for true believers of Islam to unite with Orthodox Russia; he also makes references to Armenia several times -
Islam, Russia, Ukraine and Alliance with Rum By Sheikh Imran Hosein: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfoYn-TT1Bc
It is wrong to blame the religion of Islam for the Armenian Genocide. The sheeple in any given country can be manipulated to do whatever their manipulators want. Religion, as with another other ism, can be easily tweaked by a political/financial elite and turned into a murderous weapon. Islam was not the reason nor was it the motivational factor behind the Turk's genocidal agenda against Armenians. Armenians have historically had good relations with Muslims. Unfortunately, however, it has become very fashionable in recent years to blame Muslims for everything bad that occurs in the region. The problem in the Middle East has never been Islam per se but Turks, Jews and Westerners.

All Armenians have family stories

A majority of Armenians living today are the off-springs of genocide survivors. Most Armenians therefore have stories of death and survival. The following is my family story.

On my maternal side: At the turn of the 20th century, my maternal ancestors were a large family of bakers and farmers in Kilikia (Cilicia). My mother's father was young man when Turkish soldiers entered his hometown and began rounding up Armenians to place them on death marches to the Syrian desert. My grandfather's immediate family, however, met another fate. For reasons that my family does not know, Turkish jandarms murdered my grandfather's parents and some of his siblings. My grandfather somehow escaped and managed flee to the mountains surrounding his town. He was said to have lost his mind after witnessing the murder of his family (Khent Hagop or crazy Hagop was the nickname that he would eventually earn). Some time after living off the land he joined a band of Armenian fighters who, among other things, were also involved in helping Armenian girls and orphans escape Turkish and Kurdish captivity. Thereafter, my grandfather engaged in various raids into Turkish and Kurdish towns and villages in what essentially mounted to search-and-rescue operations seeking Armenian captives. According to stories recounted by my grandmother, my grandfather had turned into a ruthless killer. He was said to be an excellent marksman with his Russian-made Mosin rifle, with which he is said to have killed dozens of Turks and Kurds. According to one account of his exploits, he shot dead a Turkish Mufti on a Mosque minaret as the Muslim cleric was preparing to recite morning prayers. According to another story, he infiltrated into a Turkish village where he knew a young Armenian girl was being held captive. In the middle of the night he killed her captor and took her, on horseback, back to Armenian territory in French administered Syria. Once back in secure territory, he gave the rescued girl to a young Armenian man who was an orphan and told him to marry her. My grandmother would recount that my grandfather would at times come home with the blood of his victims on his clothing. When she would ask what the stains were, he would only tell her that they were blood stains from slaughtering sheep. I did not have the honor of meeting my grandfather for he died before I was born. My mother and grandmother would say that even in his deathbed my grandfather would say the only thing he regretted in life was not killing enough Turks.
 

On my paternal side: As tradesmen, medical practitioners and lawyers, my father's family were affluent townsfolk in Sebastia at the turn of the 20th century. One particular relative held the title of village chief. Through their professions my father's family thus had direct contact with Turkish authorities within the area they lived. According to stories recanted by my father, his family would even once-in-a-while host Turkish officials at their home. Thus, when rumors of impending expulsion orders were heard, my father's family sought the protection of the Turkish authorities, with whom they thought they had good relations with. The Turkish governor, having received the request by my father's family to speak to him, invited the representatives my father's family over for dinner to see what they had to say. According to my father, his family pleaded with the Turkish official for protection. Claiming to be good Ottoman citizens and having no political affiliations, my father's family asked the Turk not to drive them from their hometown. My father's family and the Turkish official had a very friendly discussion over dinner. However, as they were about to leave the Turk's residence, my father's family asked if they could have the Turkish official's word that no harm would come to their families. In response, the Turkish governor ensured them that my father's family were well liked and respected by Turks... but that orders were orders. Soon after April 24th 1915, the order came to expel or eliminate all Armenians living in the region. My father's extended family was decimated. Some were killed outright by Turkish and Kurdish brigands. Some died from disease and starvation on forced marches. Some simply disappeared, never to be found again. And the rest, including my paternal grandfather, were driven to the Syrian desert starving, barefoot and penniless.

An interesting footnote to my father's family story was that of my father's paternal uncle. As Turks and Kurds were raiding his town, the young man escaped certain death by jumping into a fast flowing river and disappearing downstream. He was thought to have drowned. Many decades passed. One day, by a very strange coincidence, perhaps providence, my father met someone in the United States who turned up to be his lost uncle's son. It turned out, after jumping into the river and swimming downstream for a long distance my father's uncle was rescued by a Kurdish family. This Kurdish family fed him and kept him hidden from Turks and other Kurds for a long time. He eventually made his way to Constantinople and got married to an Armenian there and gave birth to several children. One of his children migrated to the US and by providence met his paternal uncle, my father. 

Turkish apology or recognition is worthless without reparations

There are some fundamental things we Armenians need to recognize about Turkish-Armenian relations. Foremost, we Armenians need to understand that Ankara's "recognition" of the Armenian Genocide is utterly worthless if it is not accompanied by significant reparations. Armenians want at least portions of Western Armenia and financial reparations to compensate the lose of two million lives as well as their material possessions. With that said, it is downright delusional to think that Ankara will voluntarily return historic Armenia to its rightful owners or pay the tens-of-billions of dollars that it owes. What's more, Turks also know that once they give in to Armenian demands there will be Greeks, Assyrians, Syrians and Kurds demanding restitution as well. Therefore, Armenians want things from Turks that Turks will never give up on their own. Therefore, it is not in Turkey's interest to recognize the Armenian Genocide. In fact, it is not in Turkey's interest to even have a prosperous Armenia, which is why they have blockaded the country for twenty-five years. Finally, we Armenians need to recognize that the nation known as Turkey today is founded upon the graves of Armenians, Greeks and Assyrians. Turkey is therefore an artificial construct that lives only through the support of the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance. Moreover, the Turkish military is a paper tiger. One good strike at Turkey and the whole country will fragment into several pieces, not much unlike Iraq. Ultimately, we Armenians must look at Turks as temporary squatters in Asia Minor.

Putting aside a handful of Turks (essentially the country's Marxists and ultra-liberals) that have in recent years seemingly begun siding with Armenians, a vast majority of Turks remain unrepentant, defiant and even openly hostile towards Armenians. 

Armenians need to understand that when it comes to matters pertain to the Armenian Genocide there are essentially two kinds of mainstream Turks: The good Turk and the bad Turk. The good Turk wants to whitewash Turkey's role in the Armenian Genocide, saying it was a terrible war where many died on all sides. The good Turks does apologize for the wholesale massacres of Armenians and does say that what happened may have constituted something resembling a genocide, but goes on to say that Armenians need to simply move on and forget about reparations because Turkey is in no position to give anything and, besides which, too much time has passed. The good Turk basically wants Armenians to forget the past and simply look to the future with Turks as good neighbors. The bad Turk says it's Armenians that actually attempted a genocide against Turks. The bad Turks says Armenians backstabbed their Turkish neighbors by siding with Russians. The bad Turks says whatever happened to Armenians was warranted. The bad Turk therefore say Armenians deserved what happened to them. The bad Turk also says they will do "it" again if need be.

Nevertheless, both the good Turk and the bad Turk essentially want one thing from us Armenians: They want us to forget about our lands and money reparations. Accepting an official apology and forgetting everything else is exactly what Uncle Sam wants from Armenians. In fact, this is what the US sponsored Turkish-Armenian reconciliation agenda is all about. The following video from Voice of America is a good example of what I am talking about -
Ömer Taşpınar talks about Armenian-Turkish reconsiliation: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0AN88AtsqMs
The bottom line is this: Turks are willing to recognize and apologize as long as Armenians do not ask for land and money. They would have recognized and apologized a long time ago had they been sure that such a gesture by them would not lead to other things. For Armenians, Turkish recognition and apology is worthless without reparations in land and money. Turks know this. Therefore, no self-respecting Turkish government will give into Armenian demands, which to them would also mean essentially giving into Kurdish, Greek and Assyrian demands as well. This is why discussing the Armenian Genocide with Turks is a total waste of time. This is why US sponsored events such as Turkish-Armenian reconciliation is also a total waste of time. What's more, let's understand that a prosperous Armenia, especially one that is allied to Russia, is not within the strategic interest of Turkey or Western powers. Nevertheless, crimes such as genocide cannot be forgiven or forgotten or left unpunished. Thus, sooner or later, one way or another, the Turk will be made to pay.

The centennial is only the beginning

While western civilization was waking up, Armenian civilization was going into a hibernation that it would not come out of until hundreds of years later. Unfortunately, it took the near annihilation of the Armenian race to truly awaken the Armenian spirit. One hundred years ago Armenians faced near total annihilation. Perhaps it was providence that we survived. Today, we may be a broken people but the Armenian spirit is alive and well and we have a nation once again. It has come a long way since our little homeland gained its independence from the Soviet Union twenty five years ago. Long gone are the days when Armenia suffered severe energy shortages. Long gone are the days when Armenia suffered from food shortages. Long gone are the days when Armenia under constant danger of invasion. Long gone are the days when Armenia's factories were being torn down and sold to Iranians at scrap metal prices. Long gone are the days when Armenian politicians flirted with suicidal political policies such as the Goble Plan. Long gone are the days when world powers neglected Armenia. Although the devastation brought upon by the Western style, capitalistic chaos of the 1990s and its "oligarchic" legacy endures somewhat today, the Armenian state is nonetheless progressing. Although poverty and unemployment are still at unacceptable levels, Armenia continues to develop.  

Despite immense odds and difficulties both foreign and domestic, Armenia has managed to not only survive in the tumultuous Caucasus but has also become a major political player. In fact, for the first time in over a thousand years, Armenia has actually increased in size and major powers around the world are being forced to consider the Armenian factor in their political calculations.

Rome was not built in a single day, nor were any of the best in the West. All fledgling nations go through periods of growing pains. Small nations, poor nations, nations landlocked in hostile geographic locations will naturally have longer and more problematic growing pains. Despite our best efforts to make politics/society in Armenia ideal, we have to also realize that Armenia will have to travel the same painful and difficult path every other developed nation has traveled throughout history. There is no other way. There is no magic cure. It would be best for us to simply assume that the road will be bumpy and therefore prepare as best as we can for the pain. Our fledgling homeland in the Caucasus still has a long-long way to go. What Armenia desperately needs today is political evolution, not a Western-funded revolution. We have a beautiful republic today that is secure; we have a republic today that is stable; we have a republic today that is moving forward with the help of its sons and daughters and sometimes - despite its sons and daughters. Armenia is a nation with great potential. Armenians are a people endowed with great potential. Under the right leadership Armenia will be able to reach its potential. It will happen. It's only a matter of time. Nevertheless, with the new century upon us, today is a day when all Armenians should put aside their petty differences and rejoice in knowing that we have a free and independent homeland, an Armenian republic that continues to grow stronger year-after-year. In the meanwhile, we Armenians need to stop becoming unwitting tools for those seeking to undermine our fledgling republic. We Armenians need to stop unwittingly participating in the Western/Turkish agenda of dissemination poisonous propaganda about Armenia. Armenia's Western funded NGOs, news outlets and political activists exists for a sole purpose: undermining the social fabric of the Armenian nation, alienating the Armenian Diaspora from the Armenian homeland, demoralizing Armenians and sowing sociopolitical discord in Armenia. We need to stop unwittingly helping those who are conspiring against Armenia. We waited nearly one thousand years for this opportunity. Now that it's upon us we need to learn to appreciate our statehood and act responsibly. What we do with our resurrected state is very important and each and every one of us has a constructive and positive role to play.

The centennial of the Armenian Genocide has served to galvanized the Armenian nation. I don't recall Armenians this united in purpose. During the past one month we saw our dispersed nation unite into a single organ and become one fist and one voice. A positive energy has been created. This energy has to be preserved. This energy has to be harnessed for the benefit of the Armenian homeland.

We Armenians will never forget the more than 2 million martyrs that gave their lives from 1894 to 1923. We Armenians will never forgive the perpetrators and their modern day successors of this most terrible of crimes against humanity. We Armenians will never forget those who stood with us nor will we ever forget those who did not stand with us during this centennial. We Armenians will always demand recognition, justice and reparations. We Armenians will always demand the return of Western Armenia. We Armenians are willing to work another century if need be to make sure that justice is served, Turks are punished and Western Armenian is returned.

I call on all self-respecting Armenians to always remember the road we as a nation traveled on to get to where we are today. I call on all self-respecting Armenians to love and appreciate their statehood. I call on all self-respecting Armenians to recognize that the only way to prevent another genocide is to make sure Armenia maintains a powerful military. I call on all Armenians to live their lives in a manner that would make our martyrs' deaths meaningful. They could not have died in vain: A death that serves no purpose is a tragedy, a death that serves a purpose is immortality. Therefore, see to it that their spilled blood fertilizes the spirit and awakens the consciousness and help gives birth to a new Armenia. Let their deaths be the beginning of a new and better life. The centennial therefore is not the end, it is merely the beginning, and the coming century will be a period of Armenian revival.

I must admit that centennial events exceeded all my expectations. The quality and the efficiency of organized events were a very pleasant surprise for me. The atmosphere in Armenia was vibrant, exciting and alive. There was, quite literally, electricity in the air. I'm greatly impressed with the work carried-out by the centennial committee. From LA to the Vatican to Yerevan to Etchmiadzin, they did a monumental job in commemorating a monumental occasion. Therefore, my deepest gratitude to Armenian officials, clergy and Diasporan activists for the wonderful spectacle we all were treated to. The following links are to notable events -
LIVE: Armenian mass killing victims to be canonized at Mother See of Holy Etchmiadzin: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3LKXv9c-LY
Live: Armenian Genocide memorial complex procession: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBxhJsBrMOI#t=10059

Live: Officials attending centennial events at the genocide memorial complex: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n75AmRJp-V4
Vladimir Putins speech at Genocide Memorial in Armenia:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOyRaPD-fs8
Putin visits 'Armenian Genocide Museum' on 100th anniversary of 1915 events: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ZWYBPOJmec
Holy Mass for the faithful of Armenian Rite - 2015.04.12: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OYCQZVIDAx8
Classical music concert and memorial procession in Yerevan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCZozh_swH8
Torches light up Yerevan for the mass killings of Armenians:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkufxODqlaU

LA marks 100th anniversary of Armenian mass killings with 'March for Justice': https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3J5rXHfkjc
Germany: Thousands march for recognition of Armenian Genocide:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hjFkisDmsso
System Of a Down - Live in Yerevan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D-LZBh7x9a8
I would like to point out that I was particularly happy that our martyrs were finally sanctified by our church. The canonization of our slaughtered ancestors were discussed by our church leaders for many years. I guess the centennial was indeed the best time to get it done. I am very glad the Vatican stood with us (a stark lesson to Greek Orthodox Churches who to the detriment of all Christian Orthodoxy still refuse to accept our church). It was wonderful seeing the great Russian Czar in Armenia once more. I would have been happier with the French president's visit to Armenia had he not traveled to Azerbaijan on the same day. I was surprised by the recognition given to us by the governments of Germany and Austria, especially because they have millions of Turks living within their lands, although we shouldn't make too much out of their recognition. I was very happy to see the presidents of Serbia and Cyprus in Armenia: Two truly brotherly peoples with a shared history and common enemy.

But where was the Iranian president? According to many of our Iranian-Armenian colleagues, Iran was supposed to be a better, more reliable friend to Armenia than Russia. So, what happened? Did Tehran, as Americans like to say chicken-out, like last time when Ahmadinejad was in Armenia and quietly flew back to Iran the night before he was scheduled to make an appearance at the memorial complex? The rumor at the time was that Ankara had threatened Iran in some way. Recognition of the Armenian Genocide is a good litmus test for friendship. Therefore, I ask: If Tehran can't bring itself to stand with us Armenians on this matter, should it be trusted by us on other matters? I am criticizing Tehran as a friend of Iran. I harbor no ill feeling towards Iranians whatsoever. In fact, I see Iran as a valuable neighbor and a potential ally. But to suggest that Iranians are more reliable or more friendly towards Armenians than Russians is ludicrous. 

Where were the Greek and Georgian presidents? Busy kissing Turkish asses as usual? I actually respect Iranians much more than Greeks and Georgians. Politically speaking, what a worthless bunch of people Greeks and Georgians are.
 
Nevertheless, some thoughts regarding the EU and genocide recognition: Historically, traditional European powers - France and Germany in particular - have sought to keep Turkey at an arms length. Europe wants Turkey close but not too close. Europe wants good relations with Ankara but at the same time they don't want Ankara to be part of the European club. Europe will therefore trade with Ankara, they will allow Ankara to be part of their military apparatus but they will use the Armenian Genocide as one of their tools to keep Ankara out of the EU. With that said, the further Ankara drifts towards political independence and conservative Islam the more strained its relations will become with the EU. But, ultimately, Turkey as a nation is simply too valuable for Europe to give up. To think therefore that European powers will sacrifice all their ties with Turkey for a tiny, impoverished, landlocked and Russian-backed nation in the south Caucasus is a silly fantasy. Moreover, let's not forget the powerful backing Ankara has traditionally had from Anglo-American-Jews. Washington, London and organized Jewry have always lobbied in Europe on behalf of Turks. Why? As I keep saying: Turkey is a buffer against Russians, Arabs and Iranians. Therefore, Armenians would do good to recognize that whatever problems the Western world has with Turkey today is not about Turkey per se but about who's in power in Ankara. In other words: It's an internal matter. The West is not about to turn against Turkey - not now, not for the foreseeable future.


Needless to say, and as always, I was very disgusted by the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance. I was very glad that the royal pig and his piglet actually stayed away from Armenia. But did Armenians really think Obama might have said the "G" word this time? Are we really this naive? With that said, it's unfair to blame Obama for any of this for the fault lies not with any particular American president but on the political establishment in Washington DC. Ultimately, the Armenian Genocide is not recognized by Western powers today not because of Armenia's "obscurity" or the lack of "awareness" among western peoples but because of geopolitics and also because Jews don't want any competition to their lucrative Holocaust business. Nevertheless, I am glad more-and-more Armenians are beginning to view the Anglo-American-Jewish world as an enemy. If Uncle Sam could not get himself to say the "G" word on the occasion of the centennial, it no longer matters what he says or does in the future. What matters is that Armenians worldwide are beginning to see the political West as an evil presence and a cause of death and destruction around the world.

The centennial has shown us Armenians who are our friends and who are our enemies. As I said: Recognition of the Armenian Genocide is a very good litmus test for friendship. And with that in mind, let's all recognize that the Armenian nation has one true friend and ally and that is the Russian Bear.

Finally, I am very glad to report that the Turkish-Western agenda to derail centennial commemorations failed miserably. None of their tactics, be it the Gyumri massacre, Azerbaijani attacks on the border, "Founding Parliament's" promise to incite an uprising on April 24th or Victoria "fuck the EU" Nuland's appeal to Western-led activists in Armenia, worked in the end. Speaking of Founding Parliament's promised centennial revolution, after a few of their ringleaders were arrested a couple of weeks ago, Washington's shameless freak show in Armenia simply fell apart without as much as a whimper. All in all, I was very impressed with the way President Sargsyan's government has handled matters.

As I said earlier, there is positive energy throughout Armenia now. At least for now, the Western-sponsored doom-and-gloom campaign is abated. At least for now, Uncle Sam's smut-peddlers are silenced. We now have the momentum. We must do what we can to maintain this momentum. The centennial is not the end, it is the beginning. We cannot allow our martyred ancestor's death to have been in vain. Let us use their memory to build a better Armenia. Let us use their memory to remind ourselves that Armenian statehood and political stability is something that needs to be preserved at all cost. With the past one hundred years in clear hindsight for us all to assess and ponder, and the chaotic post-Soviet years well behind us as well, we as a nation need to look forward to the next one hundred years and build on what we have. In looking forward, we must also recognize that our building efforts should not only apply to Armenia but also to the Armenian. As much as Armenia was destroyed during the past one thousand years, so was the Armenian. We as a people have suffered one thousand years of material, spiritual, cultural and genetic damage. Let this century be a period of Armenian revival. It can be done because within us all dwells the genetic imprint of our glorious ancestors.

What happened to Asia Minor a thousand years ago is an important geopolitical lesson to be learned by regional Christians. One of the lessons that is still quite significant today is that the fall of the great Byzantine Empire in the 15th century begun with the fall of Armenia in the 11th century. Ultimately, it was religious zeal, cultural arrogance and political shortsightedness of Greeks and Armenians at the time that essentially led to the demise of Christendom in Asia Minor. Greeks and Armenians - as well as Russians - would do well to learn the lessons of the past one thousand years. A thousand years ago Armenia guarded the vulnerable eastern approaches of the great Byzantine Empire. Today, a resurrected Armenia guards the vulnerable underbelly of the great Russian nation, a nation that is the successor of the Byzantine Empire. What Greeks and Armenians could not accomplish one thousand years ago, I hope to see Russians and Armenians accomplishing in the next one thousand years. I hope to see the rise of a new Byzantium. I hope to see a union of Christian Orthodox nations.

As a grandchild of genocide survivors I promise that I will do all that I can to somehow, someday avenge my murdered countrymen. I pledge to keep the memory of our martyrs alive within my children. I pledge never to forget that we have unfinished business. I pray for the souls of all my countrymen who opted to die as Armenians instead of betraying their God and nation. I pray to see Asia Minor - the cradle of human civilization, the cradle of Aryan nations, the cradle of Christianity - become the stronghold of Armenians, Greeks and Russians. I pray to see Western Armenia, a Turkic cesspool today, returned to its former glory. And with that in mind, let's collectively pray that Sarikamish II - of course without the first one's Bolshevik ending - is not too far down the Anatolian road.

The need for self-reflection and cultural unity

Ever since the near-death experience we had a century ago we Armenians have been patting ourselves on the shoulder because of how wonderful we perceive we are. I understand that this is a natural form of self-reassurance that develops after coming face-to-face with death and managing to live. To feel good about our selves, we kept reminding ourselves (and anyone else that would listen to us) that we were the first Christians... we were the first this, the first that... this famous person was Armenian, that famous person was Armenian... We need to stop this silliness before it kills us.

If we truly love our homeland we seriously need to begin talking about our national flaws. After all, to a significant degree, it is our national (i.e. collective) flaws that has gotten us to where we are today. If we are genuinely concerned about Armenia's future and if we genuinely love our nation we need to come down from our self-induced euphoria and start taking a close, hard look at who we are today. Armenians need self-reflection.

I do not want to come across as if I'm trying to belittle our very rich history. Armenia was one of the greatest nations of the ancient world. Armenia was a major power during much of the preceding two thousand years before Armenia lost its independence in the 11th century. Moreover, much of modern human civilization has its origins within our historic homeland. Proto-Armenians brought civilization to lands stretching from India to the British Islands. Again, I am not attempting to belittle our magnificent history and immensely rich cultural heritage. Armenians do have bragging rights. I am simply longing to see the revival of Armenia. I am hoping to see the resurrection of those Armenians that put Armenia at forefront of human civilization. It can be done because deep within our people lies dormant the potential to be a great nation once again. We simply need a cultural reawakening. Therefore, we have some work to do because the modern Armenian is too materialistic, too proud, too arrogant, too negative, too impatient, too cynical, too self-righteous, too ostentatious, too gossip-prone, too politically ignorant and worst of all - too clannish.

Along side Armenia, Armenians themselves have also suffered nearly one thousand years of damage. In my opinion, the repair of this cultural/genetic damage should take precedence over constructing buildings in Armenia. In other words, before we attempt to reconstruct Armenia we first need to reconstruct the Armenian. Case in point: Our wealthy Chobans-in-Armani-suits are a reflection of modern Armenian society. A nation full of materialistic, overly-ambitious, very intelligent, fiercely independent, deeply pessimistic, painfully cynical, extremely jealous, impossibly stubborn and politically naive people with Asiatic mindsets cannot in all honesty expect to have an "enlightened" government. To fix Armenia we therefore somehow need to figure out a way to fix the Armenian. Armenia's problems today are thus an accurate reflection of modern Armenian society and culture, and no single politician - especially one that is serving a Western agenda - will be able to cure Armenia's fundamental ailments. What Armenia desperately needs today is a sociopolitical evolution; what Armenians desperately need today is farsighted nationalism, patience and cultural unity.

One of the most important lessons we Armenians were thought one hundred years ago was the crucial need for cultural and thus national unity. Ironically, however, one of the things that continues to get into the way of Armenian unity is Armenian pride.

Allow me to explain.

We don't need "proud" Armenians. We already have too many "proud" Armenians walking this earth without any connection to their Armenian homeland. We have too many proud Lebanese-Armenians; we have too many proud American-Armenians; we have too many proud French-Armenians; we have too many proud Russian-Armenians; we have too many proud Persian-Armenians; we even have proud Turkish-Armenians.

Armenian "pride" comes from Armenian arrogance. Armenian pride comes from Armenian tribalism. In other words, Armenian pride is about the Armenian ego. Therefore, Armenian pride is destructive and one of the causes for the divisions in our people. What we desperately need instead of "proud" Armenians are nationalist Armenians. I say this because a proud Armenian can be proud of his or herself anywhere on earth, an Armenian nationalist on the other hand can only feel proud in Armenia. A "proud" Lebanese-Armenian can easily discriminate against an Armenian from Armenia. And, vice-versa, a "proud" Yerevantsi can easily discriminate against an Armenian from Lebanon. A nationalist Armenian, however, would never discriminate against another Armenian because of where they were born.

Speaking of destructive Armenian pride, there is another form of pride that is very detrimental to the Armenian homeland and to Armenian nationalism and that is "Western Armenian" pride.

There are significant numbers of offspring of genocide survivors living in the Diaspora today who consider Turkish-occupied Western Armenia to be their one and only homeland. Although this emotional attachment to Western Armenia is in itself quite commendable, Diasporan Armenians who feel this way more often than not tend to look at the current Armenian state in the south Caucasus as a foreign, "Russified" entity. These champions of Western Armenia feel they have little in common with the current Armenian state. Dr. Henry Astarjian, a well respected Anglophile who also happens to be a well-respect ARF activist, is one of those Diasporans today advocating Western Armenianism in lieu of pan-Armenianism. His thoughts on the subject matter -
"The motherland, basking in corruption and crime, is plagued with depopulation and confusion about its political identity. It pretends to switch its orientation towards civilized Europe, while historically, traditionally, culturally, and de-facto, it lives under the Russian tent. Russian armed forces remain camped on Armenian soil, while Russia pursues its interests by cow-towing to Azerbaijan. The psychological orientation of the Armenian man-in-the-street continues to be loyal to Russia, despite a huge American diplomatic presence in the country. This orientation is fortified by the fact that Russia is the biggest employer of Armenian workers, be they scientists or peasants... Armenia is no longer the spiritual or nationalistic fortress of Armenians; a sad, but true fact. To fill the vacuum created by this situation, the post-genocide Armenians are laboring to find identity in their immediate ancestors’ churches, tombstones, graves, and destroyed homes in Western Armenia ...
"In two generations the Nation, including Armenia, has not produced a single poet, a single philosopher, a single literary giant, a single serious musical composition, a single drama or comedy, a single opera, a single military commander, a single political figure, a single strategist, a single futurist, or a single visionary worthy of excellence or praise. Our linguistics and the lexicon have deteriorated, especially in Armenia, where the Soviet era spelling and grammar have been basterdized, and the government hasn’t raised a finger to fix it. The structure has crumbled under the weight of alienation. Armenia has ceased becoming our guiding light!"
Living quite comfortably in their adopted homelands, worthless Diasporans like this clown above tend to subconsciously seek all sorts of excuses to refrain from the difficult building-process that is urgently required in Armenia. Diasporans like this Astarjian character, who are more Turkish and Kurdish at heart than Armenian, are the fundamental reason for Armenian disunity and political impotency. Diasporans like Astarjian go out of their way to immerse their children in the cultures of their adopted Diasporan homelands but when they happen to be in Armenia they do their best to preserve their "Western Armenian" culture. This is a destructive dichotomy within the Armenian psyche that I can't yet adequately explain. We saw this process play out recently among Syrian-Armenian refugees in Armenia. When Syrian-Armenians fled to Armenia, instead of immersing themselves into their homeland's culture, they opted instead to preserve their Syrian-Armenian identity -
«Կիլիկյան վարժարանում ջնջվում է հայությունը»: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=7ELZpiGnT_Q
No wonder there is a disconnect between native Armenians and Disporans. Instead of taking the opportunity given to them by fully embracing their homeland, Syrian-Armenians (known to be one of the most "patriotic" Armenians in the Diaspora) have been doing their best to essentially preserve their assimilation. And these people have the nerve to look down at Armenians in Armenia for being "Russified"? I don't mean to digress from the topic but it's this kind of attitude displayed by Diasporans that fosters resentment among native Armenians. Why would Armenians try to preserve their Syrian-Armenian identity in Armenia? Why?!?!?! I just don't get it.

That significant numbers of Diasporan Armenians today feel they have little in common with today's Armenia is beyond doubt. That the constant doom-and-gloom about Armenia by our Western-led propagandists is aggravating the situation is also beyond doubt. That assimilation plays a big role in this condition is also beyond doubt. But in my opinion this condition is also a by-product of our conscious efforts to preserve "Western Armenian culture" within Diasporan societies. When a child is raised begin told that his or her ancestral homeland is Western Armenia and that his or her native tongue is Western Armenian, that child will inevitably have a difficult time feeling a cultural and/or emotional connection to the Armenia we have today.

Are we trying to attach Diasporan children to a nation that only exists in concept, at the expense of the nation that exists in reality?!?!?!

Ethnic identity, religious faith and language are interconnected and are the most important unifying and defining factors in any given society. They are in fact the three pillars of identity and nationality. In my opinion (an opinion of a Diasporan let me remind you), I believe there needs to be ONE Armenian homeland, ONE Armenian language and ONE Armenian church. For thousands of years rulers around the world have recognized the crucial need for cultural unity through the adoption of ONE language and faith under ONE state. This millennial old wisdom however seems to somehow escape a significant portion of Armenians today.

Just thinking: Is our attempt to preserve the Western Armenian language in the Diaspora actually becoming a stumbling block to genuine national unity?

Without a homeland within which to evolve in a language will inevitably die. It is therefore no surprise that The Western Armenian branch of the Armenian language is on the path of extinction. Even increasing numbers of Diasporan Armenians are beginning to see the language as being on the verge of death. It's death blow came on April 24, 1915. It's been slowly dying ever since as fewer and fewer numbers of Armenians are speaking it. How many Armenians do we know that can speak Western Armenian without mixing into it a large amount of Arabic, Turkish, French or English words? How many Diasporan Armenians speak Western Armenian at all? How many will speak it in one or two more generations? The reality of the matter is that Western Armenian is on the path of extinction and its course with destiny cannot be reversed because Western Armenian does not have a homeland within which to live and develop.

Just thinking: Should the entire Diaspora simply adopt the official language of the Armenian republic?

Armenia has a desperate need for cultural unity. As much as I hate to admit it, our clinging to "Western Armenian" identity and language is  aggravating the situation and actually creation the very basis for division. Although we have one homeland and one official language, we have significant numbers of Armenians conceptualizing another homeland and teaching their children another language. We need to bury our Diasporan mentalities. We need to bury our provincial mentalities. The divisions we have had have been the by-products of our tragic history. There is no Western Armenia. There is no Eastern Armenia. There is but ONE Armenia. There is no Diasporan Armenian. There is no native Armenian. There is but ONE Armenian. If we are to grow and prosper as a nation, there has to be one culture, one language, one church, one state. We waited one thousand years for this opportunity. We can't squander it now. At the end of the day, we need to realize that the Diaspora is a dead end. The Diaspora is in fact a graveyard for Armenians. Any penny spent on the Armenian Diaspora is a precious penny wasted. While it exists, the Diaspora has to be a source of support to the Armenian state. The Diaspora has to therefore, speak the language of the Armenian state, both figuratively and literally.

I'm a Diasporan Armenian. I grew up hearing both dialects of our language because we had relatives in Armenia who would visit us periodically. Today, I have a home in the Diaspora and a home in Armenia. I know both sides intimately well. I am therefore being very objective and rational when I say I think our language divide (i.e. cultural divide) is a very serious matter. Although many of us do not want to talk about it, we have a serious language/cultural divide within our nation. Western Armenian speakers are incapable of understanding Eastern Armenians speakers - linguistically and culturally. Sadly, however, a vast majority of Diasporan Armenians are totally blind to the matter's seriousness essentially because of the powerful instinct to preserve what was uprooted during the genocide. I also suspect Armenian traits such as arrogance and pride playing a role as well. However, we Armenians need to be mindful that language is a very powerful tool. Language - be it English, Russian, French, Turkish, Eastern Armenian or Western Armenian - imparts cultural values and a specific mindset/outlook to the speaker. 

A common language is one of the core elements and a most crucial prerequisite in national unity. As emotionally difficult as it may be, we need to stop trying to revive the dead. Western Armenian cannot be saved. We need to recognize our loss and look forward. Accepting the official language of the Armenian Republic will go a long way in helping the Diaspora better understand the homeland and its people and vice-versa. If we want future generations in the Armenian Diaspora (as long as the Diaspora survives) to feel a deep connection to and a genuine affinity towards their ancestral homeland in the south Caucasus, they need to be taught the official language of the Armenian state. If we are to feel as one nation and one culture and if we want our Diaspora to feel intimately connected to the Armenian state, we Western Armenians need to put aside our pride, arrogance and tribalism and learn to embrace the official language of our one and only Armenian homeland. In short: If we want our Diasporan children to truly feel connected to the Armenian state they need to be thought the official language of the Armenian state. I would like to once more remind the reader that the liberation of Western Armenia can only start from Yerevan.

Russians and Turks will clash again, will Armenians be ready this time?

Director of the Yerevan based Caucasus Institute Alexander Iskandaryan recently stated: “Armenia is a key South Caucasus country for Russia and cannot be replaced by anything else. Importance of Russia to us is, of course, even greater. But Russia cannot substitute Armenia with Georgia, or Azerbaijan, or South Ossetia, Iran or Turkey. Russia uses its influence in the region due to the current format of its relationship with Armenia, and Putin has confirmed it”. From a Russian perspective, Armenia is an indispensable geostrategic asset in a very strategic yet volatile region of the world. From a Russian perspective, despite its trade ties with Ankara, Turkey is a serious geostrategic threat due to its size, strategic location, large Muslim population and NATO membership. What's more, Russia has long coveted territories under Turkish control due to Ankara's possession of ideal warm water ports on the Mediterranean Sea and its control over the strategic Dardanelles. Top level Kremlin officials know very well that the only thing stopping the Turkification and the Islamification of the entire Caucasus, both north and south, is a powerful Armenian presence in the region. That Russia sees Armenia as part of its civilization is therefore quite a natural thing and that Russia will militarily protect Armenia is beyond question.

In an article appearing in Russia Today, Mikhail Aleksandrov, a political analyst working for the Institute of CIS made the following comment about Moscow's military presence inside Armenia -
Armenian-Russian ties support a balance of forces. With its presence in the South Caucasus, Russia is creating a counterbalance to Turkey, Iran and preventing the West from getting access to the region, including military. If it wasn’t for Russia, the South Caucasus would be in a similar situation as we are observing in Syria or Libya today.”
In another article produced by Russia's Pravda, Vice President of the Academy of Geopolitical Issues Konstantin Sivkov is quoted as saying - 
If Turkey attacks Armenia, it will be treated as an attack on Russia. Russia would fight on Armenia's side with all its might. If necessary, Russia could use nuclear weapons against Turkey, both tactical, and if need be, strategic. This is defined in the military doctrine of the Russian Federation. Armenia is fully protected with the Russian umbrella of both conventional forces as well as strategic nuclear forces.
Alexsei Arbatov, the former deputy chairman of the Russia State Duma's Defense Committee defined Russian-Armenian relations with the following words - 
Armenia is our only classic military-political ally...Armenia will not survive without Russia, while, without Armenia, Russia will lose all its important positions in the Caucasus...Even though Armenia is a small country, it is our forepost in the South Caucasus.  I would say that Armenia is more important to us than Israel is to the Americans.
In describing what Russia's reaction would be to a possible invasion of Armenia by Turkey or Azerbaijan, Alexander Khramchikhin, Director of the Institute for Political and Military Analysis said - 
This comment by the former Russian ambassador to Armenia,  Vladimir Stupishin - 
In my view, the true settling of the Karabakh conflict suggests complete rejection by Azerbaijan of the primal Armenian lands. It is possible to resolve the problem of the refugees by providing them with opportunities in places where they live now. How come in almost every discussion on Karabakh the only refugees that are being consistently mentioned are the Azeri refugees? Why can’t the Armenians return to Baku, Gyandja, Sumgait, Artsvashen, Getashen, etc.?
This comment by Alexander Dugin, the political philosopher many Armenians accuse of being pro-Turkish and anti-Armenian -
"Armenia is the single most serious ally of Russia. It is part of the Eurasian Economic Union and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, that is, we should have a unitary system of missile and air defenses and integration on all levels, including nuclear defense and the nuclear umbrella which we guarantee Armenia. Accordingly, these actions take place in the framework of deploying a system of strategic security around Russia in relying on its allies. Armenia belongs to this first and foremost. But this is not because we are planning some kind of aggravation of Turkey or, moreover, a war."
This comment by a Russian-Muslim political analyst, Ilqar Mammadov -
"When Azerbaijani officials, including the president, predict that Armenia will collapse as a state, they are mistaken. Nobody will let Armenia collapse. Even if only 100,000 people lived in Armenia, Russia would protect it as it regards Armenia as its outpost."
This comment by head of Russia's Institute of Oriental Studies, Vitaly Naumkin -
"Russia will never allow Armenia to be harmed or attacked. If anyone attacks Armenia, Russia will take part in defending Armenia, this is absolutely obvious.”
This comment by a senior researcher of the Institute of World Economy and International Relations of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Viktor Nadein-Rayevsky - 
Russia will never cede Armenia for improving its relations with Turkey. This is a matter of principle. There are things one can sacrifice, but there are things one cannot. The point is not so much that two million Armenians live in Russia and many of them are Russian citizens. For Armenia Russia’s steps must never be bad. The point is that even the Yeltsin Russia perfectly realized that it must not waive Armenia’s interests, not mentioning Putin, who clearly sees the national interests, at least, the clear ones. He is trying to extrapolate them for the future. I simply can’t imagine that Russia may yield Armenia – if Russia does this it will lose all of its positions in the Caucasus. Russia should understand one most important thing – there are partners and allied countries with whom one should keep up the sense of alliance and duty.
And the following is an excerpt from a 1996 analysis by the well respected director of the Carnegie Moscow Center, Dmitri Trenin -
The purely military interest which Russia has had in the Caucasus appears to have receded in importance in comparison with the Imperial or Soviet periods. It is now essentially defensive in nature and precludes any large-scale strategic penetration, including the supply of military assistance, arms supplies, etc., to any third party. To prevent any potential Turkish opportunism at the time of the Soviet Union's disintegration, Marshal Shaposhnikov, then Commander-in-Chief of the Joint Armed Forces of the CIS, warned of a "Third World War" if Turkey were to interfere militarily in the Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. In March 1993, General Grachev, Russia's Defence Minister, made Russia's own military co-operation with Turkey conditional on Ankara's discontinuing its military assistance to Baku.
As long as Russian nationalists are in power in Moscow, Russians will continue seeing Armenia as an asset and Turkic peoples as a threat. That Russia will militarily protect Armenia from all regional predators is therefore beyond question. Armenia's membership in the CSTO and the EEU and the Russian troop presence in Armenia is a guarantee that Turks and Azeris will remain on their sides of the border.

Once more I'd like to remind the reader that despite Moscow's very lucrative trade deals with Ankara during recent decades, Moscow has not stopped recognizing the Armenian Genocide; Russian officials have not stopped from appearing at the Armenian Genocide memorial in Yerevan; Moscow has not allowed Artsakh to be invaded by Azerbaijan; nor has Moscow's profitable dealings with Ankara stopped the Russian military from paying less attention to the security of the Armenian-Turkish border. Unlike in the Western world, where virtually everything has its price, Moscow's approach to regional politics is firmly based on its national security needs, and Armenia is an integral part of Russia's national security and it will remain so for the foreseeable future.

As long as Russian officials continue protecting Russian interests and as long as Russian power and influence continues to grow throughout the Caucasus and the Black Sea region, Russians will sooner-or-later run into problems with Turks. Regardless of any trade deals they have between them, the resurgence of Russia - and Turkey's growing Islamization - thus sets the stage for a future clash between Russia and Turkey. In my opinion, such a clash is not merely a probability but an inevitability and such a clash will no doubt cause tectonic shifts in the political and cultural character of the region.

Let's recognize that Russians and Turks are from two, vastly different cultures and civilizations. Ethnic Russians are mostly decedents of central European Vikings settlers and ancient Iranic peoples that were Christianized about one thousand years ago and the Russian nation is the progeny of the Byzantine Empire. Muslim Turks, on the other hand, are the decedents of various central Asian nomadic tribes that invaded eastern Europe, the Caucasus and the Armenian Highlands during the past one thousand years. Christian Slavs and Muslim Turkic peoples have clashed throughout history. It is essentially a natural rivalry within the human ecology that is similar to that of bears and wolves (pun intended) competing over the same feeding territory. Russians and Turks have come to blows over a dozen times only during the past two hundred years - each time with Russia winning. In the 1990s we again saw this rivalry between Russians and Turks play out in the Caucasus and in the Balkans, and more recently we saw it take place within Syria and Crimea. In each case the Russian Bear was victorious. The relationship between Moscow and Ankara cannot get too warm because Turks today have an instinctual fear of the Russian Bear and Russian have an instinctual disdain towards Turks. Another reason why Moscow will never lower it guard when it comes to dealing with Turks is Russia's large Turkic/Islamic population. Moscow has an inherent problem in this regard. Therefore, demographic concerns as well as fears of uprisings by its Turkic/Islamic population will force Russian officials to always keep relations with nations like Turkey at an arms length. Simply put: Russian officials know all too well the potential risks of pan-Turkism and blindly embracing Turks. There may be periods of peace and cooperation between the region's two natural competitors but the rivalry between Russia and Turkey will never totally disappear. Recognition of the inevitability of a Russian-Turkish conflict is what has made the political West embrace the Turkish nation for the past two centuries. 

It's not only me predicting an eventual Russo-Turkish clash. In the following article we see George Friedman's Stratfor also acknowledging this natural geopolitical inevitability -
"Ultimately, both Russia and Turkey know that this relationship is likely temporary at best. The two Eurasian powers still distrust each other and have divergent long-term goals, even if in the short term there is a small window of opportunity for Turkish and Russian interests to overlap. The law of geopolitics dictates that the two ascendant powers are doomed to clash — just not today"
The following quote taken from the Georgian press is a Russian take on the matter -
"Viktor Yakubin, analyst on the Caucasus region is confident that a confrontation in the region between Russia and Turkey is an historic inevitability"
And the following is the Turkish perspective appearing in the Voice of America -
"Soli Ozel, an International relations expert at Istanbul’s Kadir Has University, said Ankara's latest spat with Moscow has exposed the unbalanced nature of the relationship. "The Russians have not been at all forthcoming in terms of respecting where Turkey has interests," said Ozel. "So I don't see the Russians being particularly careful about not upsetting, offending or whatever the Turks, whereas the Turks have been usually pretty careful. This is, in my judgment, a relation of unequals. Ozel pointed out that Ankara did not even recall its ambassador from Moscow, as it did with Austria, the Vatican and most recently Luxembourg when they backed Armenian genocide claims"
After all is said and done, one thing remains crystal clear for me:  If Western Armenia is to be liberated someday (and I think it's a very real possibility), it wont come by the way of an "Armenian-Kurdish" alliance as some delusional idiots in the Armenian community think, it won't come as a result of "international law" as some Western-financed activists foolishly think,  and it wont happen as a result of Armenians collaborating with Islamized Armenians inside Turkey. If Western Armenia is to be liberated someday it will only happen by Russian-Armenian troops marching westward from the south Caucasus. Kurds and Islamized Armenians will no doubt be utilized as factors on the ground only when such a Russian-Armenian force from the Caucasus enters Western Armenia. 

We Armenians must understand that the only realistic chance we will have for liberating at least portions of Western Armenia is a future Russian-Turkish conflict. A Russian-Turkish war is the only calculus we can place any kind of hope on. This calculation must be an integral part of our nation's long-term strategic formulations and an integral part of Armenian lobbying efforts in Moscow. I'd like to remind the reader that such a thing has a historic precedence. Something similar to what I'm suggesting nearly became a reality in 1915 when Russian troops successfully liberated large portions of Western Armenia. That Bolshevism reversed Russian gains is altogether another matter for discussion. Barring any future calamity within Russia (and there is nothing on the radar screen to suggest such a thing), as they have always, Russian forces will crush Turks in any future conflict.

Nevertheless, the road to Western Armenia starts in eastern Armenia, and the keys to Western Armenia's liberation are found in the Kremlin. Diasporan Armenians need to begin thinking of the current Armenia state as their ONLY hope for resurrecting Western Armenia. All Armenians need to begin seeing Moscow as the ONLY place where to lobby Armenian interests. This is the long-term, pan-national agenda we Armenians must embark on - if - we want to see Western Armenia liberated one day. I have no doubt that Russians and Turks will come to blows once more. I have no doubt Turks will be defeated once more. Will we Armenians be ready?

Thoughts on the liberation of Western Armenia


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Turks will never willing give back Western Armenia to Armenians. Turks will never pay the many billions-of-dollars necessary to compensate Armenians for the lives lost and property looted. Moreover, placing any hope on "international law" for the return of Western Armenia or the payment of reparations is as good as placing hope on the tooth-fairy. International law always takes a backseat to the old adage of "might makes right". International law always takes a backseat to realpolitik and geopolitical interests. International law is created by the strong to control the weak. Once you have the big guns and the big funds, you simply take what is yours and then you manipulate "international law" to excuse your actions. Once you have the big guns and the big funds, you simply reconfigure international law to meet your needs.

I have long maintained that Armenia's main problem today is not its "oligarchy" or "corruption" but its landlocked geography and the economic blockade its two neighbors have placed against it. Armenia will sooner-or-later need to expand and breakout of its mountain prison if it is to prosper and be taken seriously by the international community. I have always maintained that collaboration with Russia (and to a lesser extent with Iran) is the only way forward for Armenia in this regard. I have always maintained that the best route for Armenia to expand is through Georgia to the Black Sea and/or through Azerbaijan to the southern Russian border. My sentiments regarding this geostrategically important matter are reflected in the following blog entry -
With that said, the liberation of Western Armenia is also a hypothetical possibility and it should definitely be addressed. However, we should be mindful that if Western Armenia is to ever be liberated, chances are that it will have to be a joint Russian-Armenian venture. The keys therefore to Western Armenia is not found in some international law, it is not found in Brussels, it is not found in Washington and it is not found in the Armenian Diaspora. The keys to Western Armenia is found in Moscow and in Yerevan, and to a lesser extent in Tehran. Armenians need to wise-up, stop wasting their time and limited resources in an anti-Armenian vipers next like Washington and take the "Հայ Դատ" to the highest and most secretive offices of the Kremlin instead.
 
I fully acknowledge the fact that this is a very complex geopolitical matter. There are many variables involved, not the least of which is the unpredictability of tomorrow. No one but God knows when the day will come when Armenian tanks will drive into Van and reclaim Armenia's most ancient capitol city. That glorious day may or may not happen within our life times. Having said that, we as a nation need to be vigilant and ready for when an opportunity to do so does finally arrive. If we are not ready to exploit such an opportunity, then obviously there is no chance whatsoever. However, if we are ready and work towards that particular goal, then there is a chance, a very good chance. Therefore, it's ultimately up to us as a people to decide what we want for our future. Sadly, however, when it comes to the discussion of liberating Western Armenia many Armenians either are indifferent to it, approach it irrationally or are categorically against it. And this apathy and irrationality is the main obstacle we face in this matter, not Turks. Therefore, the "enemy" is us.

While the problem may be the Armenian, Armenia the nation-state is on route to actually becoming ready to embark on such an endeavor one day. Yes, despite what you hear about Armenia from Western-funded activists and propaganda outlets, Armenia is gradually becoming a major regional player thanks to its membership in the CSTO and the EEU. Unlike in 1914, Armenia is an independent nation with a major military victory already to its credit. Unlike in 1914, Armenia has a relatively powerful military that is getting stronger by the year. Unlike in 1914, Armenia is an established nation-state with an important strategic alliance with the Russian Federation and very warm relations with Iran. Unlike in 1914, Armenia also has a worldwide Diaspora than will come to its aid in time of need. Armenia today is a developing nation-state and one that already yields the most political clout in the south Caucasus.

Therefore, the last thing I want is for us Armenians to be asleep at the wheel once again when opportunity comes knocking on the door. Apathy, the lack of political awareness and patriotic ambition within Armenian society is my biggest concern. One hundred years ago the same situation allowed Turks to ravage historic Armenia and exterminate the region's native Armenian population. Despite all the patriotic songs and stories we have heard from the period of the First World War, the reality of the matter is that most Armenians at the time were either complacent with their overall condition as semi-Turkified Ottoman subjects or simply scared into inaction.

Let's remember that the Ottoman military had been utterly decimated and Turkey was not a serious fighting force soon after the start of the First World War. Moreover, when Russians retreated from Western Armenia in 1917 they left behind large stockpiles of weaponry that Armenians could have used for the liberation effort. Had we as a people collectively and enthusiastically rallied around the goal of liberation we would have been able to preserve significant portions of our historic lands - despite the Russian retreat in 1917 - and there would most probably not have been an Armenian Genocide to lament over. In my opinion, Armenian apathy, political ignorance, complacency and lack of preparedness allowed the genocide to take place.

In this regard, I think we all can learn a lot from our warlike compatriots in Artsakh. Being that Armenians of Artsakh are the only major group within our nation that were not totally subjugated by any power at any time in history, they are the direct genetic decedents of the warrior-aristocracy of the ancient Armenian Highlands. Armenians of Artsakh carry within their genetic code the traits of our ancient ancestors. Therefore, it is fully understandable why a majority of the greatest Armenian men in modern times were derived from the general vicinity of Artsakh. This, in my opinion, speaks volumes about the importance of pedigree. While the rest of the Armenian nation was deprived of its aristocracy and reduced to being subservient peasants, artisans and merchants during the course of the past one thousand years, much to the chagrin of Persians, Turks and Bolsheviks, Armenians of Artsakh were able to preserve our people's ancient characteristics: Resourceful, disciplined, resilient, stubborn, intelligent, patriotic and warlike.

Needless to say, Azeris found all this out the hard way during the 1990s. Artsakh reminded all Armenians that the external enemy has always been and continues to be the Turk. Artsakh showed us all that the only way forward is through armed struggle. Artsakh also gave us all a real lesson in genuine patriotism and realpolitik. In a certain sense, Artsakh saved Armenia and the Diaspora, not the other way around. 

Getting back to the First World War: Only a minuscule percentage of Armenians actually fought for Armenia's independence in Western Armenia. Insignificant numbers, lack of discipline and the lack of cooperation and coordination among various Armenian groups often characterized the Armenian liberation effort at the time. Not only that, as noted above, many Armenians at the time were even rebelling against the Russian Czar and many within the Ottoman-Armenian community were actually conspiring against Armenian freedom fighters. As much as we are inclined to blame Turks, Kurds, Germans, Brits, French and Russians for our devastating losses during the First World War, we Armenians also share equal blame. In fact, I would go as far as saying what happened to Armenians back then was primarily the fault of Armenians because, unlike us Armenians, all the other players at the time were merely doing what was in their best interests. We need to learn from our mistakes and look forward.


There are many important lessons to be learned from the First World War: The need for national unity; unconditional service to the national flag; a powerful military; being a part of genuine alliances with regional powers; a heightened awareness to the political world we all live in; and the importance of geostrategic foresight.
 

Moreover, the need to approach Armenia's current sociopolitical issues rationally and objectively is also fundamentally important - so is the need to stop chasing our tails with dangerous Western fairy-tales: toxic concoctions known popularly as Democracy, Capitalism, Civil Society, Westernization and Globalization. More importantly, we need to collectively work towards deepening our strategic alliance with the Russian Bear. We need to use our God given talents to figure out a way of turning Russia's national interests into an extension of Armenian interests. The foundation to do just that exists today for Moscow's and Yerevan's political interests converge to a great degree. This needs to be further cultivated in an organized effort.

The convergence of interests between our two nations needs to become institutionalized. Armenian officials, business tycoon and activists therefore need to be a constant presence within the walls of the Kremlin. While Armenia's increasingly powerful military is without any doubt Armenia's TACTICAL advantage on the global chessboard, Yerevan's alliance with Moscow must be cultivated to become Armenia's STRATEGIC advantage on the global chessboard.
 
Armenia's expansion is therefore mainly based upon the nature of Russo-Armenian relations, as well as various other geopolitical and socioeconomic factors. Armenian officials need to work on these factors and the rest of us need to be patient and pray for the best. I firmly believe we will liberate our historic lands. It's merely a matter of when. I will now briefly address some reoccurring questions and objections some Armenians have every time the topic of liberating Western Armenia is brought up in conversation.

Will Russia help? 

When the circumstances are right, in other words when the West is in no position to intervene perhaps due to a major war or economic collapse or when the Turkish state is on the verge of falling apart, Moscow may be very willing to participate in a military campaign inside Turkey in order to gain direct assess to the very strategic Strait of Dardanelles or to gain a foothold in the warm water sea ports in Cilicia. Geostrategically, it would fully serve Moscow's interests if their regional rival Turkey is broken into pieces and some of the pieces given to its strategic ally Armenia.
 

Will Iran participate?

Iran's position in such a scenario is more difficult to predict for Iran is an Islamic state and it also has a natural fear of Russians. But, with proper negotiations with Moscow and Yerevan and perhaps some incentives, Tehran may very well be convinced to seek the destruction of its historic rival, the Turk, as well.

How will Armenians defend the land when it's liberated? 

The lands in question can easily be defended by a well armed and well trained modern military force. The land is rugged and alpine, once you acquire it and dig in, you are in total control. Artsakh is a good example of how effectively a relatively small but capable force can protect a large mountainous region. Also, if you do have a nuclear device behind you, you are virtually untouchable. North Korea is a good example this. Besides, I only envision Armenia making a move into Western Armenia when the Turkish nation is weak and if Yerevan has Russian and Iranian support. In other words, when the Turk is vulnerable and the geopolitical situation is appropriate, you stomp on its head as fast as you can and as hard as you can and you don't stop stomping until you accomplish your mission. 

What about Kurds?

Western and Israeli interests in the region, which have been pushing for greater Kurdish autonomy, may cause serious problems for Armenian interests. Kurds may as a result pose problems for any westward expansion by Armenia. But Kurds can, at least theoretically, be negotiated with. There is therefore a possibility that Kurds may be willing to accept the liberation of at least some portions of Western Armenia, if of course they receive sovereignty in other Kurdish populated territories in exchange. In the event, however, Kurds oppose the liberation of any portions of Western Armenia, they can be made to comply. Because they are very fragmented and backward, Kurds are a much easier problem to solve than Turks. In any case, Kurds who decide to remain within the liberated territories Western Armenia will do so as Armenian citizens. Having said that, however, the emphasis should be placed on negotiating with Kurds and convincing them to accept sovereignty in territories south and west of Van.

What is so important about Western Armenia? 


Western Armenia, also known as Armenian Highlands, is the cradle of Armenian civilization as well as the cradle of human civilization. Western Armenia is where millions of our martyred ancestors lie in unmarked graves. Moreover, the region is rich in natural resources and agricultural potential. Every Armenian wants to see a prosperous Armenia, right? Well, a prosperous Armenia will need to expand eventually. I envision the Armenian homeland growing in population in the next one hundred years. Armenians will eventually need more land, if only for living space. Therefore, what better land than our lands to expand into? More importantly, the Armenian Highlands - with access to the Black Sea - hold great geostrategic value. The strategic value of the territory that Ankara controls today is one of the fundamental reasons why Turkey is a major political and economic player in the region. The territory in question is an important international intersection and a potential major hub for trade. Those who control the Armenian Highlands automatically become major political players throughout the region and beyond.
 

The only way we Armenians will be able to get some respect from the international community is by creating a large and powerful nation: A nation that would be able to sit on the table as an equal with major powers. Let's not forget that politics is always dirty business. If we Armenians want our homeland to truly prosper we need to be aggressive yet prudent. Isn't this how the wealthiest and the most powerful nations on earth got their start? Isn't this how the wealthiest and the most powerful nations on earth live today? To this effect, we need to get rid of our victim mentality. We need to get rid our our Diasporan mentality. Unfortunately, we Armenians tend to think small. When one thinks small one accomplishes small. As long as we remain small, dependent on foreign aid and politically indecisive and thus vulnerable, the international community will give us lip service at best or plot our destruction at worst. Nevertheless, whether or not we will be able to liberate our historic lands in Western Armenia is more-or-less based upon the following factors:
A settlement of the Artsakh dispute in Armenia's favor
The strength of the Armenian economy
The strength of the Armenian military
The strength of Russian-Armenian alliance
The nature/quality of Armenian-Iranians relations
The nature/quality of Armenian-Kurdish relations
The nature/quality of Armenian-Arab relations
The nature/quality of Armenian-West relations 
The nature/quality of Armenian-Greek relations
The degree of Turkey's internal problems
The degree of Turkey's problems with Western powers
The psychological readiness of Armenians
The above are more-or-less the main geopolitical factors that would determine whether or not we will be able to see the liberation of Western Armenia one day. It's a tall order. Moreover, these are all hypothetical and to some extent wishful thinking. The condition today is not yet ripe. The factors are not yet there. But, as I said: If we keep this agenda alive in our minds, desire it with all our hearts and be patient, there is a possibility. But if we don't do the aforementioned, then there is no chance whatsoever. Thus, the pivotal factor is played by nobody but us.

Western Armenia can only come under Armenian control when Armenia becomes powerful enough to take it back from Turkey. The only way Turkey will recognize the Armenian Genocide and pay its long overdue reparations in money and land is when it is on its knees. Anyone that thinks any of this can be done otherwise is delusional. From the beginning of time it's been "might makes right" and it's no different today. International law is made and broken by the rich and the powerful of this world. International law is made by the powerful to control the weak. We must realize that only the strong can impose their version of history upon others. Only the strong can right the wrongs of history. Only the strong can enjoy a prominent position on the negotiation table. Only the strong are invited to lavish banquets as honored guests. It does not matter if Yerevan (or Moscow) officially recognizes the Turkish border. Legal documents and treaties are made to buy time and are thus meant to be broken. Examples of this are far too many to recite. We need to allow our politicians to play their games on the international stage. But it is our responsibility to keep the light of Western Armenia lit within our hearts and minds - until the day comes when Ankara is on its knees. Until then, however, the prosperity and security of the current Armenian state takes precedence over all other concerns.

We have one homeland and that is the Armenian state, with Artsakh. The road to Western Armenia starts in Artsakh and may yet pass through Javakhq. Therefore, our people's number one priority today should be to secure Artsakh's independence or its unification with Armenia and to strengthen the Armenian state militarily, economically and demographically. Everything else is secondary at this juncture. I am not advocating a war with any nation. I simply want to see Armenia build a powerful military and economy for self-defense. I am confident that Turkey will sooner-or-later fall apart. We Armenians simply have to be ready to reclaim what is ours when it happens.

Arevordi
April, 2015

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Events Commemorating the Centennial of the Armenian Genocide

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 Priests carry an icon to attend a religious service in Echmiadzin, the religious center of the Armenian Church outside the capital Yerevan, Armenia, Thursday, April 23, 2015. On Friday, April 24, Armenians will mark the centenary of what historians estimate to be the slaughter of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman Turks, an event widely viewed by scholars as genocide. Turkey, however, denies the deaths constituted genocide and says the death toll has been inflated. The Armenian Apostolic Church, the country's dominant religion, held services Thursday to canonize all victims.  (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

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 Pope Francis, left, is greeted by the head of Armenia's Orthodox Church Karekin II, during an Armenian-Rite Mass on the occasion of the commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, in St. Peter's Basilica, at the Vatican, Sunday, April 12, 2015. Historians estimate that up to 1.5 million Armenians were killed by Ottoman Turks around the time of World War I, an event widely viewed by genocide scholars as the first genocide of the 20th century. Turkey however denies that the deaths constituted genocide, saying the toll has been inflated, and that those killed were victims of civil war and unrest. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

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Համաշխարհային մամուլի անդրադարձը Վատիկանում մատուցված Պատարագին

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Before the Holocaust, Ottoman Jews supported the Armenian genocide’s ‘architect’


Author Hans-Lukas Kieser says a desperate Zionist press praised the empire even during the slaughter of its minority population, a murder which Israel continues to gloss over today
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This past June, a scheduled Knesset vote to recognize the World War I killings of Armenians as genocide was canceled due to a lack of government support. Because of Israel’s complicated on-again, off-again diplomatic relations with regional powerhouse Turkey, “it hasn’t been able to do what many Israelis have ethically wanted to do — publicly recognize the Armenian genocide in the Knesset,” Prof. Hans-Lukas Kieser tells The Times of Israel from his office at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Last year Kieser was awarded the President of the Republic of Armenia Prize for his significant contribution to the history of the Armenian genocide. He has also recently published the book, “Talaat Pasha: Father of Modern Turkey, Architect of Genocide.”

The political biography explores how Mehmed Talaat, more commonly known as Talaat Pasha, almost single-handedly masterminded the Armenian genocide. Armenian intellectuals in Constantinople (today’s Istanbul) were rounded up on April 24, 1915, followed by the systematic extermination of 1.5 million people, primarily because of their Armenian ethnicity. The ideologically motivated genocide took place under the supervision of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), led by three de facto leaders of the Ottoman Empire at the time: Ismail Enver, Ahmed Djemal, and Talaat. Collectively all three were known by their military titles as the “Three Pashas.” Even though Turkey continues to officially deny the Armenian genocide, historians unanimously agree that it is a historical reality.

Laying foundations for a Turkish state

Kieser’s book claims Talaat operated a new messianic form of nationalism that sought to “dilute” non-Muslim identities in his attempt at new nation building in Turkey in 1915. Talaat was the “mastermind of his genocidal universe,” Kieser claims. The historian also says it was Talaat — rather than Kemal Ataturk — who laid the foundations for the modern Turkish nation state, which began in 1923.

“Of course the Turkish Republic [itself] came about under Kemal Ataturk,” Kieser says. “Talaat did not plan a republic — he was a son of the empire, after all. But he made a number of important steps so that Ataturk could then establish the Turkish nation state.”

Talaat led the Ottoman Empire into World War I “in jihad,” says the historian, transforming Asia Minor into a Turkish national home and creating a “Turkey for the Turks,” as per the slogan at the time. Kieser’s book, over 400 pages long, makes for tough reading at points — especially as the historian recollects the systematic murder of Armenian Christians. He notes, for example, that the “removal of Armenians from Eastern Asia Minor mainly took place from May to September 1915, where women and children endured starvation, mass rape, and enslavement on their marches [towards death].”

Kieser says a great number of villages in northern Syria became an “arena of mass crimes” in 1915, where Armenian civilians — who were considered “fair prey” — “were raped, abducted, and murdered en masse without any protection, or punishment for the offenders.” In the eyes of his admirers, however, Talaat is still seen as a great statesman, skillful revolutionary, and far-sighted founding father of the modern Turkish state, Kieser points out. This narrative is especially pertinent in Turkey today, as it increasingly takes a more authoritarian and Islamist approach to its political identity. This is particularly notable, Kieser stresses, when it comes to the fundamentalist ideology of Turkey’s Justice and Development Party (AKP) and its authoritarian leader, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

“Talaat really is the elephant in the room [in Turkish politics] today,” Kieser says. “Erdoğan is the master of a party, so in that sense his [ideas] fall in line with Talaat — even if it’s not acknowledged very much in AKP circles in an explicit way.”

“But implicitly, Erdoğan and Talaat share a number of similarities where a democratic start eventually moves to a very authoritarian end,” he says. Kieser says that like Talaat, Erdoğan is “far from a real democrat,” and shows a very “vague notion of what constitutionalism really means.” Moreover, like the CUP leader, Erdoğan places all his efforts “on how to achieve and keep power.”

Ripples of shame

Israel’s recent decision to continue to remain silent on the 103-year-old genocide has garnered its share of criticism from historians, academics, writers and human rights activists — many from within Israel itself.  Prof. Yehuda Bauer, a leading Israeli historian and an academic adviser to the Yad Vashem Holocaust museum in Jerusalem, said in a June radio interview that the Israeli parliament’s failure to recognize the Armenian genocide was a “betrayal.”

Benjamin Abtan, the president of the European Grassroots Antiracist Movement (EGAM) and the coordinator of the Elie Wiesel Network of Parliamentarians of Europe, in an article published in Haaretz in June claimed that Israel had “a particular responsibility in recognizing the Armenian genocide [to] ensure mass atrocities [were prevented] in the future.” According to Kieser, recognizing the Armenian genocide holds a relevance for Israelis today beyond the usual discussion of Israel-Turkey relations. Jews, he says, historically played a key role in promoting propaganda from the Ottoman side as Armenians continued to be slaughtered.

The historian says that Talaat enjoyed “particularly good Jewish press” in Istanbul and abroad” during the period surrounding the genocide — notably in Germany, where newspapers like Deutsche Levante-Zeitung praised Talaat as “an outstanding leader” and the “savior of imperial Turkey.” Although this glorification smacked of propaganda and lies, Kieser claims many Germans bought into the words of the Jewish press at the time and were affected by its corrosive logic.

Currying favor?

The historian recalls how many Jews loyal to the Ottomans largely looked the other way where the suffering of Armenians was concerned. This included figures such as Alfred Nossig, who helped found both the General Jewish Colonization Organization (AJK) and the Zionist Organization (ZO). Both were set up for the purpose of Jewish lobbying across the Middle East and elsewhere, and subsequently encouraged intimate relations between Jews and Ottomans.

However, Kieser is keen to emphasize that some historical context is needed. This was a crucial turning point in Jewish history — before the Balfour Declaration was announced in 1917. Jews were looking for diplomatic favors — from a myriad of countries — wherever they could find them, in the hopes of securing Zionism’s ultimate end goal: a Jewish state in Palestine.

Consequently, a number of Jewish newspapers purposely tried to promote relations between Talaat and Jewish politicos and diplomats within the dying Ottoman Empire. They even grossly exaggerated these relations for propaganda purposes, Kieser says. The German Jewish newspaper Die Welt — the mouthpiece of the Zionist Organization — for instance, wrote in 1913 of Talaat’s “friendly relations with many Jewish personalities.”

Still, even for all of the positive Jewish press Talaat received during this period, his attitudes to Zionism were complex. On the one hand, Talaat did not want to be associated much with Jews and Zionism. But on the other, there were potential benefits in publicly courting Jewish political interests. In 1913, an article published in the Istanbul-based L’Aurore, a Jewish newspaper financed by Zionists, praised the benefits of Jewish-Turkish relations, even hinting that an alliance between Pan-Judaism and Pan Islamism in Turkey could be a viable political option — something Kieser says Talaat was seduced by. But the historian is keen to stress that Talaat in no way sympathized with Zionism, despite claims from both observers of the time and a number of historians since.

“We know from what he said and what he wrote that he was in no way sympathetic with Zionism. It’s also clear from the negotiations that he only needed the Jews to a certain extent in order to survive internationally. And he was successful in this regard,” he says. “The Jewish Question” involved Jews jostling for political favors from the Ottomans, who still held considerable sway in the Middle East. But the power dynamics also worked the other way too, the historian explains. “Talaat’s relationship with Jews during this time gave him considerable international leverage that he successfully used to deflect attention from Armenia,” Kieser says.

“In spring 1915 — which was a honeymoon for the Zionists in Istanbul — Talaat made sure there were no conflicting issues internationally because he wanted to strike the Armenians,” says Kieser. “Jews feared they would suffer the same fate as the Armenians, so they in no way welcomed any pro-Armenian or pro-victim activity [reporting] because they feared for themselves.”

Upstart Zionist youth take a stance

There were, however, some exceptions — notably, a group of young Zionists called Netzah Yisrael Lo Yeshaker (NILI), or, The Eternal One of Israel Will Not Lie, a pro-British espionage group in Palestine at the time. NILI felt a strong sense of solidarity with the Armenian victims, even writing reports which they sent out to the international community in the hope of waking them up to the atrocities. “The NILI group — which contained people like Aaaron Aronson and others — saw the Armenian genocide, and even wrote long reports about it,” Kieser says. “They saw that this total stigmatization and finally extermination was a process that could also happen with the Jews.”

“So they were deeply sympathetic not just emotionally, but also in a Biblical and prophetic approach,” he adds. “But they were a small minority.” “Unfortunately, the silence carried on many decades after the war. So you had Jews in Israel and the Jews in Turkey who continued to help Turkey deny the Armenian genocide,” Kieser says. Kieser makes a point in the book of comparing the Armenian genocide with the Holocaust, and finds some similarities. “Imperial cataclysm and a particular combination of circumstances in the first months of WWI made the Armenians an obvious target,” he writes.

He goes on to state, “Actors from the top and below, extremist ideas, entrenched prejudices, and material incentives colluded in the brute destruction [of the Armenians].” A little more than two decades later, Europe’s Jews were to experience “an analogous situation,” he observes. “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” Hitler asked his generals in his infamous Obersalzberg speech on August 22, 1939 — just days before Germany’s invasion of Poland.  Talaat “certainly wasn’t Hitler,” says the historian, admitting that he is reluctant to make direct comparisons between both far-right demagogues. Nevertheless, both leaders share a number of similarities, Kieser says — they represented societies, states and political parties that embraced radical domestic violence to overcome what they believed were crisis and defeat.  “Talaat was the mastermind of a single party regime,” Kieser concludes. “It was a single party rule that very strongly stigmatized one particular group.”


How Herzl Sold Out the Armenians

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He supported the brutal Ottoman sultan against them, believing this would get the sultan to sell Palestine to the Jews

The Armenian question has occupied the Zionist movement since a mass killing of Armenians was carried out by the Turks in the mid 1890s – prior even to the First Zionist Congress. Herzl’s strategy was based on the idea of an exchange: The Jews would pay off the Ottoman Empire’s huge debt, in return for the acquisition of Palestine and the establishment of a Jewish state there, with the major powers’ consent. Herzl had been working hard to persuade Sultan Abdul Hamid II to accept the proposal, but to no avail.

“Instead of offering the Sultan money,” Herzl’s diplomatic agent Philip Michael Nevlinski (who also advised the Sultan) told him, “give him political support on the Armenian issue, and he’ll be grateful and accept your proposal, in part at least.” The Christian European countries had been critical of the murder of Armenian Christians at the hands of Muslims, and committees supporting the Armenians had been founded in various places, and Europe also offered refuge to leaders of the Armenian revolt. This situation made it very difficult for Turkey to obtain loans from European banks.

Herzl eagerly took the advice. He felt that it was appropriate to try any means possible to hasten the establishment of a Jewish state. And so he agreed to serve as a tool of the Sultan, by trying to convince the leaders of the Armenian revolt that if they surrendered to the Sultan, he would comply with some of their demands. Herzl also tried to show the West that Turkey was in fact more humane, that it had no choice but to deal with the Armenian revolt this way, and that it aspired to a ceasefire and a political arrangement. After much effort, he also met with the Sultan on May 17, 1901.

The Sultan hoped that Herzl, a well-known journalist, would be able to alter the Ottoman Empire’s negative image. And so Herzl launched an intensive campaign to fulfill the Sultan’s wish, casting himself as a mediator for peace. He established ties with and held secret meetings with the Armenian rebels, in an attempt to get them to stop the violence, but they were not convinced of his sincerity, and did not trust the Sultan’s promises. Herzl also made energetic attempts to this effect in diplomatic channels in Europe, which he was very familiar with.

As was his way, he did not consult with other Zionist movement leaders, and kept his activities secret. But in need of some assistance, he wrote to Max Nordau to try to recruit him for the mission as well. Nordau responded with a one-word telegram: “No.” In his eagerness to obtain the charter for Palestine from the Turks, Herzl publicly declared – after the start of the yearly Zionist Congresses – that the Zionist movement expresses its admiration and gratitude to the Sultan, despite opposition from some representatives.

Herzl’s chief opponent on this was Bernard Lazare, a French Jewish intellectual, leftist, well-known journalist and literary critic, who had fought prominently against the Dreyfus trial, and was a supporter of the Armenian cause. He was so incensed by Herzl’s activity that he resigned from the Zionist Committee and abandoned the movement altogether in 1899. Lazare published an open letter to Herzl in which he asked: How can those who purport to represent the ancient people whose history is written in blood extend a welcoming hand to murderers, and no delegate to the Zionist Congress rises up in protest?

This drama involving Herzl – a leader who subordinated humanitarian considerations and served the Turkish authorities for the sake of the ideal of the Jewish state – is just one illustration of the frequent clash between political goals and moral principles. Israel has repeatedly been faced with such tragic dilemmas, as evidenced in its long-standing position of not officially recognizing the Armenian genocide, as well as in other more recent decisions that reflect the tension between humanitarian values and realpolitik considerations.

 
 The REAL Holocaust: The 1915 Armenian Genocide and its Russophobic Origins


"As a result of the Jewish lobby's recommendations, the Young Turks government removed Armenians from Anatolia in 1915. Hence, the economy of the country was left in the hands of Jewish capital." - recent article in a pro-Erdogan Turkish newspaper.
Johann von Bernstorff (German ambassador); "The way the Armenian problem was solved was hair-raising. I can still see in front of me Talaat's cynical expression, when he emphasized that the Armenian question was solved."1

Einar af Wirsén (Swedish Diplomat) "When I kept on pestering him about the Armenian question, he once said with a smile: 'What on earth do you want? The question is settled, there are no more Armenians'".2
Henry Morgenthau (American Ambassador (He was Jewish)); "Whatever crimes the most perverted instincts of the human mind can devise, and whatever refinements of persecution and injustice the most debased imagination can conceive, became the daily misfortunes of this devoted people. I am confident that the whole history of the human race contains no such horrible episode as this. The great massacres and persecutions of the past seem almost insignificant when compared with the sufferings of the Armenian race in 1915."3
On May 30th 1915 Talaat Pasha issued the Tehcir Act, which on paper was a security measure the Turks put forth to prevent a Russian-Armenian revolt by forcibly relocating the nationals of Armenia to Mesopotamia and Syria.4 This was the story the Young Turks told the world to avoid and minimize any public disapproval or foreign resistance. The relocations involved disarmed Armenians being forcibly marched to camps in the inner deserts of Anatolia and Syria, and these camps were not stocked with necessary supplies for survival.5 The properties of these people were confiscated and sold to new arrivals, the men were often singled out to be killed first, and the women were often enslaved and raped en masse. The accusation of Russian-aligned rebellion was used as justification and cover. American Ambassador Henry Morgenthau frantically remarked;
"Have you received my 841? Deportation of and excesses against peaceful Armenians is increasing and from harrowing reports of eye witnesses it appears that a campaign of race extermination is in progress under a pretext of reprisal against rebellion. Protests as well as threats are unavailing and probably incite the Ottoman government to more drastic measures as they are determined to disclaim responsibility for their absolute disregard of capitulations and I believe nothing short of actual force which obviously United States are not in a position to exert would adequately meet the situation."6
A confession is considered as valuable only if it contains some true and verifiable details of the crime the investigator did not know of. This rule of criminal investigation was observed in the controversial telegram transcriptions written in The memoirs of Naim Bey.7
On March 25, 1915, Talaat states: "It is the duty of all of us to effect on the broadest lines the realisation of the noble project of wiping out the existence of the Armenians who have for centuries been constituting a barrier to the Empire's progress in civilization."8
What events led to these horrific genocide and near destruction of the Armenian people, and why are the Armenian people important for European history? Did it happen, or didn't it, and who was behind it?

Armenians are an ethno-linguistic-religious group distinct from their surrounding neighbors. They have their own church, the Armenian Apostolic Church, which was founded in the 1st century CE, and became in 301 CE the first branch of Christianity to become a state religion. They have also their own alphabet and language which is classified as an independent branch of the Indo-European language family. The historical homeland of the Armenians sits north of the Fertile Crescent, a region of substantial importance to modern human evolution. Genetic and archaeological data suggest farmers expanding from this region during the Neolithic populated Europe and interacted/admixed with pre-existing hunter-gatherer populations.

Furthermore, Armenia’s location may have been important for the spread of Indo-European languages, since it is believed to encompass or be close to the Proto-Indo-European homeland (Anatolia or Pontic Steppe) from which the Indo-Europeans and their culture spread to Western Europe, Central Asia and India.9
The Holocaust of the Armenian people wasn’t simply stopped at the borders of Turkey; Ottoman troops by the Young Turks insistence had also invaded Persia. During this invasion Christian Armenians and Assyrians alike were slaughtered. In fact, approximately half of Persia’s Christian Assyrians alongside about four-fifths of the Christian Assyrian leadership were killing during this time by Turkish and Kurdish invaders.10

Two months after the (largely Jewish led) Bolshevik revolution the new Russian government began withdrawing Russian troops from the Caucasus. This withdrew the only ally the Armenians had and put their remaining people at risk of extinction. At this time the last refuge for these people was the small remaining unconquered land of historic Armenia centered around Mount Ararat.11

Mount Ararat is traditionally the Christian-accepted location of Noah’s Ark in the Book of Genesis. Armenia was the first Christian country in the world. The Armenian language is the most ancestral, oldest Indo-European Language left since the extinctions of its Indo-European predecessors Anatolian and Tocharian. It’s hard to overstate the ethnocultural significance in this event threatening complete extermination of the most ancestral Indo-European speakers and also the most ancestral Christians. Much of the Armenian highlands were lost; Western Armenia was renamed “Eastern Anatolia” by the invaders. With the survivors and refugees concentrated in Caucausia the impending invasion threatened complete annihilation.

The Christian leader Catholicos Gevorg V ordered Church Bells to peal for six days as all classes of Armenian people were called to take up arms with the women and children readying supplies and the entire survivors of the nation prepared for total war.12 The President of the Armenian assembly stated “If we are to perish, let us perish with honor.”13 In the battles of Sardarabad, alongside Abaran and Karakilisa, the outnumbered Armenians managed to defy the odds and fight off the Turkish invaders. Historian Christopher Walker remarked that with a loss at Sardarabad "it is perfectly possible that the word Armenia would have henceforth denoted only an antique geographical term."14

The Destruction of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire resulted by most estimates with 1.5 million of the 2 million Ottoman Armenians being exterminated. The history of Armenia is intertwined with that of Europe and Russia especially. Russia had generally had an Armenian presence through its history but after the Russo-Persian wars in 1828 Russia annexed parts of the historical Armenian nation. Since that time Russia has generally defended the rights of Christian minorities in the Ottoman lands. Russian foreign minister Sergey Lavrov is perhaps the most visible example of a Russian Armenian given that he was born to an Armenian father.

But the Armenians had, for the most part, been very well integrated in the empire as well. Armenians were formerly dubbed the "loyal millet".15 The Armenians opportunities in the region arguably increased with the transition from Greek Byzantine rule to Ottoman rule. Armenian villages traditionally had a high degree of autonomy as well. Any sort of separatist nationalism would seem unviable, and the main Armenian conflicts with the Ottoman Muslims were based about regional autonomy and protection from bandits. The primary Armenian political organizations with public protests were advocates pushing for autonomy such as the 1890’s Kum Kapu demonstration.16 These requests were quite reasonable as the Armenians had suffered various attacks and murders from Muslim Kurds and other bandits who, by the Ottoman empires laws, held legal superiority in court.

During this time the Sultan Abdul Hamid II attempted to shed the “sick man of Europe” label his failing Ottoman Empire had by encouraging a modernization of the Empire, which required a stronger and more centralized government role in citizens affairs. Abdul Hamid II was attacked in the British press as the “Red Sultan” for various atrocities committed against minorities such as Armenians and for all intents and purposes was the perfect archetype of a Tyrant.17

The Young Turks who sought to overthrow him by contrast were revolutionaries. They shouted their slogans of “Hürriyet, Musavat , Uhuvvet” inspired from the French “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” meaning “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”. Turkish ethnicity is often described as a "melting pot" of all Anatolian people ranging from the gene pools of the Balkans, Anatolia, and parts of Asia."18 The Young Turks were also rationalists following a materialist ideologies like positivism which they prioritized over religion; The Islamic authorities the Ulama even denounced them as "trying to change Islam into another form and create a new religion while calling it Islam".19

The Ottoman Empire was historically a place where Jews could live without fear of persecution according to one of the Erdogan aligned newspaper the Daily Sabah.20 Indeed this tolerance extended into the post-Sultan era of the Young Turks, as the Encyclopedia Judaica noted that various Zionist groups were hopeful in 1908 for opportunities to press their interests; “the absence of antisemitism in Turkey made the idea [Jewish settlement in Palestine] possible”.21 Talaat specifically was very open to these ideas;

"Four years later Talaat even propagated the fantastic idea of a 'Muslim-Jewish Alliance.' The Balkan wars had plunged the Ottoman Empire into financial ruin and Talaat, who became a key member of the CUP's ruling triumvirate following the military coup of January 1913, expected the Zionists to link the empire with the fabulous wealth of 'world Jewry.'"22
Knowing this background of the states historical pluralism, alongside the progressive and secular motto of the new government and its noted tolerance of Jewish minorities, one has to ask how a genocide could have even been possible. How could such a progressive government proceed to horrifically genocide many of the states indigenous Christian populations?

If we take a closer look at the killings we come across many disturbing disparities in the treatment of these minority groups. After all in the Great fire of Smyrna catastrophe of 1922 the Christian Armenian and Christian Greek sections of the city were destroyed while the Jewish and Turkish sections were not.23 In 1918, three years after the passing of the Tehcir law, Talaat Pasha made a Turkish Balfour declaration equivalent expressing support for the establishment of Jewish Palestine.24 Clearly it is a strange sort of nationalism the Western world is unfamiliar with when the Jewish minorities are spared.

The Armenian Holocaust was not only unexpected by the victims but in fact it is still to this day denied by the perpetrator state Turkey. And until recently, the execution of the genocide itself was only known by third party observers, with the state of Turkey claiming the genocide was really just a civil war. The only direct evidence of intentional genocide were in translated telegrams written in the 1921 published The Memoirs of Naim Bey which lost much of the source material telegrams. In October 2016 however Prof. Taner Akçam found archived Ottoman telegrams confirming the legitimacy of various events from The Memoirs of Naim Bey and confirming that they were not mere fabrications for propaganda.25 This legitimacy was confirmed further when the “smoking gun” of April 2017 was discovered, an original telegram directly inquiring over the murder of Armenians. The official Young Turks government telegram asks directly if the deported Armenians are being killed or “merely sent off and deported”.

“Are the Armenians who were deported from there being liquidated? Are the troublesome individuals whom you have reported as having been exiled and expelled been eliminated or merely sent off and deported? Please report honestly.”26
This is a telegram with an Ottoman letterhead and with the Ottoman coding system acquired by an Armenian Catholic priest, Krikor Guerguerian. He held the evidence in a private archive wherein it was secured by his nephew. The issue being re-raised has re-opened conflicts between Turkey and the international community. During the Western progressive-leftist worlds drama over President Donald Trumps Holocaust remembrance statement of “11 million”, an angry and emotional response from the Jewish Telegraph Agency made some very interesting admissions on the Jewish Holocausts history.27
The “5 million” has driven Holocaust historians to distraction ever since Wiesenthal started to peddle it in the 1970s. Wiesenthal told the Washington Post in 1979, “I have sought with Jewish leaders not to talk about 6 million Jewish dead, but rather about 11 million civilians dead, including 6 million Jews…” “I said to him, ‘Simon, you are telling a lie,’” Bauer recalled in an interview Tuesday. “He said, ‘Sometimes you need to do that to get the results for things you think are essential.’”
Bauer and other historians who knew Wiesenthal said the Nazi hunter told them that he chose the 5 million number carefully: He wanted a number large enough to attract the attention of non-Jews who might not otherwise care about Jewish suffering, but not larger than the actual number of Jews who were murdered in the Holocaust, 6 million. With the newly opened international drama of the Armenian Holocaust denying Turkish government, we can find some interesting admissions of the origins of the Young Turks revolution. The Young Turks Revolution broke out in Salonica. Salonica was the largest Jewish city in the world at this time with Jewish people constituting over half the population. According to a prominent Turkish Newspaper in a very recent article on October 13th 2017; 28
“The most prominent financier and mentor of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP), which seized the government in 1908, was a Jewish banker of Italian origin from Salonica, Emmanuel Carasso. When Greeks, who had held a privileged status up until then, fell into disfavor after the Constantinople massacre of 1821 targeting Greeks, Jews were hoping for a second chance. However, with their art facilities scattered around Anatolia, Armenians came in first thanks to their capital surplus. As a result of the Jewish lobby's recommendations, the Young Turks government removed Armenians from Anatolia in 1915. Hence, the economy of the country was left in the hands of Jewish capital. Carasso, who was a part of the committee that informed Abdülhamid II of his dethronement, was the closest confidant of Talat Pasha, the figure responsible for the deportation law. In fact, when Talat Pasha escaped abroad in 1918, he entrusted his entire estate to Carasso. To take an active role in the foundation of the Ankara government, Carasso returned to his homeland before his death.”
The allegations of the Armenian Holocaust denying Erdogan-aligned newspaper are very important and need to be explored in depth, as these allegations may help to uncover background historical interactions between Jewish groups and European/Christian groups in a multicultural environment. In his book Banality of Indifference, Yair Auron alleges that the Jewish citizens of Turkey during this time were apathetic to the murdered Armenians. Regarding the attitude of the Jews towards the Armenians, he wrote:
"A slight grimace on their lips, a short heartfelt sigh, and nothing more. The Armenians are not Jews, and according to folk tradition the Armenians are nothing more than Amaleks! Amaleks? We would give them help? To whom? To Amaleks? Heaven forbid!"29
During the 1922 great fire of Smyrna, in which the Greek and Armenian portions of the city were burned down while the Turkish and Jewish sections were spared, the accounts of Jewish teachers alleged that either the Greeks or Armenians started the fire themselves.30 This apathetic and dismissive attitude has even been shown in the Jewish “Anti-defamation league” which as recently as 2007 campaigned against the American governments recognition of the Armenian Holocaust.
“Foxman finally acknowledged the Armenian Genocide in his remarks. It was an encouraging development given that ADL’s only formal statement on the genocide is worded in such a way as to actually circumvent the intent required for a finding of genocide by the UN Genocide Convention.”31 “That statement, issued in 2007, said that the “consequences” of the Turkish massacres of Armenians were “tantamount” to genocide, implying it was not a planned extermination. This statement was widely censured, but calls for an unambiguous confirmation were rebuffed by ADL.”
It needs to be noted here that the American ambassador to Turkey Henry Morgenthau was himself a Jew, and quickly became of the fiercest advocates for recognition of this genocide, and even demanded American intervention to protect the Armenian victims. But of course exceptions don’t break the rule. The post-WW2 world has served to served to center all discussions of prejudice on nomadic minority ethnic groups. The topic is very well studied with any and all possible ethnic and political roots examined. By contrast, prejudice and oppression of Indo-European nationalities and their culture or religious practices are not widely discussed. While these events are minimized in the social/academic spheres of the Western world, Christophobia and Europhobia have not only happened historically but continue to happen today.

This lack of study for this sort of prejudice is very problematic for the modern “multicultural world” especially as anti-European/Christian prejudices are increasingly apparent and ignored by the mainstream media/academia. This lack of study needs to be adequately addressed. The future and survival of European Christendom is depending on it.


[...]

Source: https://russia-insider.com/en/real-holocaust-1915-armenian-genocide-and-its-russophobic-origins/ri22877

The story of the Armenian Legion is finally being told – and it is a dark tale of anger and revenge


Horizon Weekly Newspaper

Governments at war make dangerous promises. And the First World War was a time of promises and lies. The promises came first: in 1916, the British told the Arabs they could have independence; in 1917, they told the Jews they could have a homeland; and the French told the survivors of the 1915 Armenian genocide that they could return to liberate their homelands in eastern Turkey.

Then came the betrayals

Superpowers like legions, the Roman variety, preferably when they are composed of foreigners. So the British created an Arab Legion to fight against the Ottoman Turks for independence and a Jewish Legion to fight against the Ottoman Turks for Palestine. And the French created an Armenian Legion – an offshoot of the French Foreign Legion, needless to say – to fight against the Ottoman Turks for Cilicia. The Arabs lost Palestine, Syria and Lebanon, the Jews did not get all of Palestine, and the soldiers of the Armenian Legion – having helped to liberate Palestine – were abandoned amid the ashes of their own burnt cities.

Among the indigenous peoples of the Middle East, they were the most traduced of all, since they recovered not a square inch of their land. To be a loser doesn’t get you much purchase in the history books. To be a loser twice over turns you into a curio. Thus the story of the Armenian Legion has until now been largely untold and unremembered.

And Armenian Legionnaires: Sacrifice and Betrayal in World War I, Susan Paul Pattie’s first and original account of the fury, heartbreak and suffering of its soldiers – women as well as men in that most misogynistic of 20th century wars – is not for the faint-hearted. There are Armenian troops, armed and in uniform, desperately searching the Constantinople-bound Turkish refugee trains for Armenian girls who had been raped and kidnapped by the Ottomans who had butchered their families. “Too late,” young women told their would-be rescuers. They preferred to stay with their new Turkish husbands, or at least refused to be separated from their half-Armenian and half-Turkish children.

One Armenian woman, travelling by rail with a Turkish family, was discovered by soldiers of the Armenian Legion, her chest “adorned with gold”, and refused to be separated from her companions. She was taken from the carriage at the next station and “married to the legionnaire who had rescued her”. Sarkis Najarian “saw a rich Turkish family travelling [on the train between Adana and Mersin] with a pretty girl whom he thought must be Armenian”. He managed to separate her from the family and sent her to an orphanage. There had been many forced conversions of Armenian women although we rarely hear the women’s account of these “rescues”.

Najarian’s own sister Yeghsabet, when he discovered her, was already engaged and refused to leave her fiance, fearing for her life and offering Najarian money to go away. When he found her later, “she was married to a rich [Arab] Bedouin, tattooed – and happy”. There is a photograph of a young and beautiful Yeghsabet in a veil. “I have Armenian blood,” she would later tell her brother, “but I was raised a Muslim. When I hear the call to prayer, I have to do my prayers until the end of my life.”

Many of the men in the original legion had been signed up by the French in Egypt where they had settled with their families after a French warship rescued them in 1915 from the famous 40-day siege by the Turks at Musa Dagh. Others came from Europe, even from America, men who spoke French and American English as well as Armenian, anxious to fight for their still nonexistent nation after the horror and humiliation of the Turkish genocide of a million-and-a-half of their own Armenian people. By July 1918, the French had registered 58 Armenian officers, 4,360 soldiers – including 288 French Armenians – and two artillery gun crews with 37mm artillery. But while Susan Pattie, a scholar of Armenian history at University College, clearly sympathises with her heroes, there is an ugly undertow of revenge in their desire to fight for the Allies.

Fighting in Palestine at the 1918 Battle of Megiddo – the original Armageddon, which the Armenians call Arara – they received an official commendation for gallantry from General Edmund Allenby. But Hovannes Garabedian was to recall how he and his Armenian comrades found the Turkish trenches filled with their dead and dying enemies. “The ones who were not totally dead proved to be the most unfortunate,” he said. “The memory of yesterday’s genocide … was so fresh in our minds, the thirst for revenge was so profound in the hearts of the Armenian legionnaires, the wounded Turks found no mercy. They were finished in their trenches.”

Again and again, in Pattie’s story, there are references to this most pitiful, comprehensible and terrible of emotions among a persecuted people: the need for vengeance and reprisals.

As the Armenian soldiers advanced with French and British troops back into the Cilician/Armenian fields and mountains from which they and their families had been driven by the Turkish genociders three years earlier, there was violence and murder. And with the rise of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk’s nationalist uprising against the Allies, the French found their Armenian Legion an embarrassment rather than a trusted auxiliary. Surviving Armenian families who had trekked back in hope to their cremated homes in Marash found themselves dispossessed of their lands again, massacred once more in their thousands, joining retreating Armenian soldiers in the French withdrawal, many dying, frozen and starving, in their second exodus from Turkish Armenia in five years.

Hovannes Garabedian wrote of how, in hospital, he heard with joy the news of the Allied powers’ recognition of an “Independent Republic of Armenia” and then, three days later, learned that the Turks were again slaughtering and deporting the Armenians of Marash. “Suddenly, the days of excitement and happiness were replaced by long days and years of sorrow and mourning.” The victorious western powers wanted no more of their colonising war in Cilicia – not far away, the British were at the same time facing an Arab uprising in Iraq – and, in some cases, French officers virtually abandoned their Armenian legionnaires who were officially still part of the French army. They were to do the same to their faithful “Harkis” in Algeria just over four decades later.

The Armenians, in their pride and revenge, could not, perhaps, be expected to understand how soon their road to Golgotha would have to be retrodden. Did they not recognise their grim future when the Armenians were refused participation at the Versailles peace conference in 1919? Should they not have been included as joint Allied victors over the German-Austro-Hungarian-Ottoman alliance in the First World War? Attacked by bandits, demobilised Turkish soldiers, hunger and thirst, the retreating soldiers of “liberation” found themselves asking another question of all those who suffer refugeedom. How come some Armenian families had remained in their villages during the genocide? What deals had they struck with their Turkish oppressors? Why were Armenian girl refugees found with Bedouin tattoos on their faces, marks which were surgically removed by their “rescuers”.

Shame, like defeat, was a feeling rarely uttered but much felt. There are, remarkably, documentary photographs of the Adana battle, of men digging trenches and Armenian soldiers slogging across the hillsides of Marash. With the subtlety of all great powers, the Allies spoke not of betrayal. They called it “the Marash Affair”.

The rump nation Armenia which emerged to the east – quickly engorged by the Soviets and today a brave but often corrupt state – was of little interest to the men of the disbanded Armenian legion. The survivors returned to refugee families in Lebanon – at least one became a Beirut policeman – or to homes in France or in America where they often flourished and sometimes met for picnics, holding old flags and remembering false promises from powerful nations and creating little Armenias in their countries of exile. Lieutenant John Shishmanian even received a personal post-war letter from General Allenby.

“I am sorry, if the gallant conduct of the Armenians was not sufficiently recognised,” the great man – now high commissioner in Egypt – wrote from Cairo just after Christmas in 1919. “I know they fought nobly, and I am proud to have had them under my command.” The Battle of Arara – Megiddo or Armageddon to us – left its 23 Armenian dead in the desert, their bones later gathered and transshipped to the Armenian St James church in Jerusalem. The ashes of Viscount Allenby of Megiddo and Felixstowe were buried in Westminster Abbey.

Source: https://horizonweekly.ca/en/the-story-of-the-armenian-legion-is-finally-being-told-and-it-is-a-dark-tale-of-anger-and-revenge/

2 comments:

  1. It appears that the Armenian-Russia configuration requires a common border at any cost ? It is risible and fatuous to even think of any probability of either Turkey or Azerbaijan allowing Armenia to exist in the future. Armenia is boxed in. It needs to break out of the box and border link with its patron. Unfortunately the change in territorial configuration can only come about through war.Borders can never be transcended or reconfigured via talks, boardroom discussions or exchange of diplomatic platitudes.Azerbijan is not really a nation with an ethnic compact. It is gregariously riven with ethnic groups. Azerbaijan can be carved up. Azerbaijan is an important cog in the PanTuranian wheel. Without it Pan turanism is a flim flam waffle. To achieve Pan Turanism the turks have to get Armenia out of the way. This task is accomplishable provided Iran and Russia acquiesced to it. At the moment in the geopolitical chessboard this move appears remote and unlikely due to Russia opposition to it , and to a lesser extent Iran's. It would seem logical that Russia henceforth need to start thinking and working toward achieving Armenias exit from her boxed in predicament. All the possible scenarios to spring open her entrapped and landlocked situation are in the realm of military speculation. I am certain that planners and stategists have some ready made models on the shelves. The choices for Armenia are limited. She can stay with her status quo, hoping that her enemies would go on a long slumber and leave her alone, or think tanks require high activation levels to ponder a way out which will ultimately create a common border with Russia. There are no other options. Armenia is a hidden treasure, a veritable garden of Eden,that is why she is coveted by her neighbours , in spite of her lack of natural resources,that is why she is envied viciously by turks and alike, that is why she can never lapse in concentration and let her guard down. The stakes can not get any higher, it is survival or else.

    ReplyDelete
  2. God Bless the people of Armenia!

    ReplyDelete

Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This realization compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult as I had no assistance in this endeavor. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside me urged me to keep going; and I did.

When Armenia finally joined the EEU and integrated its armed forces into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago, I finally felt a deep sense of satisfaction and relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my shoulders. I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back, as I really needed the rest. Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal. Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say something if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however continue moderating the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what my readers have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments.

To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what.Therefore, if you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or simply attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself. Moreover, please appreciate the fact that I have put an enormous amount of information into this blog. In my opinion, most of my blog commentaries and articles, some going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Articles in this blog can therefore be revisited by longtime readers and new comers alike. I therefore ask the reader to treat this blog as a depository of important information relating to Eurasian geopolitics, Russian-Armenian relations and humanity's historic fight against the evils of Globalism and Westernization.

Thank you as always for reading.