Friday, May 7, 2010

More on the Armenian Genocide

A thoughtful article by R.J. Stove. To quote:
Forgotten amid the unctuous blather about the Turks' "secular democracy", save for a January statement to the EU by Nicholas Tavitian of the Armenian General Benevolent Union, is one simple statistic. The first genocide of the 20th century took place at Turkish hands: the elimination campaign that began in 1915. During this campaign, two out of every three Armenians - 1.5 million altogether - died horribly.

On Armenian Memorial Day (April 24) in 2003, George W. Bush made just one brief reference to the massacres as a "tragedy", thus suggesting some impersonal tsunami-like Act of God. UK Foreign Secretary Jack Straw has dismissed all invocations of Armenia's fate with his supercilious query, "Why rake up the past?". Successive Turkish régimes' attitude has been similarly vulgar, though less stupid and more obviously dishonest.

Few even today know much of the Armenian genocide. It is of no interest to Hollywood. (The sole notable movie on the subject has been Ararat, a small-budget independent production starring French singer-actor Charles Aznavour - the child of Armenian refugees from the Turkish genocide. Big-budget studio scenarios have always been scrapped to appease Turkish lobby pressure.)

As long ago as 1984, this writer completed a degree in history (!) without the smallest awareness that the genocide happened. (We never found out about Ukrainian famines either, thanks to the resident Stalin expert's solicitude.) Undoubtedly the prevailing ignorance at what Australia still charitably chooses to call "universities" is much worse now. Some harsh facts about Armenia - "martyr-nation of Christendom", to quote the title of a 1919 book on the topic - therefore seem apposite.

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