April 24, 2015 6 Comments
This comes from that dead period before America thought as a world power, and besides we were paying attention, if at all, to the Great War, especially the western front, so we never heard much at all about it.
But it happened exactly a hundred years ago starting today. It can be considered a precursor to the Nazi Holocaust, or ISIS or other things in the twentieth century, progressing right up to yesterday.
We should probably note that Turkey (and a few other nations) deny the term Genocide, although not the fact. They claim that the term is inapplicable because they didn’t plan on killing all those people. I have a low opinion of nation-states using incompetence as a defense, but that’s what it is.
From The Federalist:
April 24 marks the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, a massive tragedy that brutally snuffed out the lives of up to 1.5 million Armenian Christians in the Ottoman Empire.
It was a systematic attempt to exterminate an entire race of people. And now, on the one hundredth commemoration, President Obama joins those who deny it byrefusing to call it was it was: genocide. This is the seventh time he’s retracted his 2008 election-year promise that if elected he would recognize the Armenian genocide.
As the granddaughter of genocide survivors, it’s personal for me, and I grew up knowing all about it. But too few people today are even aware of what took place in that part of the world exactly 100 years ago.
Unfortunately, as philosopher George Santayana noted, those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. We can see today how the calamity that befell the Armenians 100 years ago seems to be repeating itself in the wholesale slaughter of Christians in the Middle East by ISIS and other terrorist groups. So I’d like to offer a bit of a primer on the Armenian Genocide.
About 1.5 million Armenian Christians were systematically slaughtered by the government of the Ottoman Empire. It was jumpstarted on April 24, 1915, when hundreds of Armenian community leaders and intellectuals were rounded up in Constantinople, arrested, and killed.Young Armenian women who were not raped and killed could end up Islamified and taken in as wives or concubines.
The goal was to exterminate every Armenian Christian, whether child, woman, or man. The killings themselves often included all manner of butchery, torture, and humiliation. My grandmother lamented the crucifixion of her father, who was known in the village as a holy man.
Another part of this extermination program involved deportations that forced Armenians out of their homes and basically put them on death marches into the Syrian Desert. Many died of starvation and exhaustion on these caravans. Others succumbed to diseases like typhus in lice-infested camp conditions. Young Armenian women who were not raped and killed could end up Islamified and taken in as wives or concubines. My grandmother’s younger sister was taken into a harem.
Continue reading What You Should Know About The Armenian Genocide.