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Old 10-09-2005, 09:44 PM   #1
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Default US recognition of Armenian Genocide within striking distance

Ok, so this may seem drastically off topic, even for the lounge section, but it'* an issue I'm very passionate about, and I felt compelled to post about it. If this isn't ok with the mods, please let me know.

The House International Relations Committee very recently voted in favor of legislation officially recognizing the Turkish murders of 1.5 million Armenians from 1915 - 1923. So Serj and John from System of a Down, along with fans and several Armenian organizations held a rally in front of the Speaker of House’* office in Batavia, IL. The rally was to urge Speaker Dennis Hastert to put the legislation up for a full vote before the House of Representatives, as only he has the power to do so. Hastert has had this opportunity twice in the past, but under pressure from Turkey, the Bush administration, and Clinton before him, he blocked the vote. It is imperative that we urge him not to fold yet again under the pressure of those promoting injustice, and the allies of such people.

So.....this is where you guys come in. At the bottom of this post is a link that will take you to an automatic WebFax. All that needs to be done is to fill out the required information, and hit send. It literally takes less then a minute. There is a pre-made message that will be sent directly to Speaker Hastert regarding the need for him to put this legislation up for vote, or as Serj said, to "do the right thing". Every single message counts, as the accumulation will show that this issue does bare importance in America, and that we want to see justice served. It is ridiculous that Turkey has had the power over the almighty U.*. to prevent this from happening for so long. It'* time for the denial to stop. The healing process cannot begin while salt is still being poured in the wounds.

*I have to emphasize one thing, though:

This is an issue that'* very important to me, as it is an unclosed chapter in the history of my ethnicity. Much of the Armenian Diaspora is a direct repercussion of this event, and to hear what our people have gone through being denied is extremely hurtful, if not enraging. HOWEVER........IF you choose to do this, don't do it because I said so, or because you're a fan of SOAD. I'm not one for blindly following anyone, or anything. So if you choose to do this, let it be because you have familiarized yourself with the issue, feel it'* the truth, and want to "do the right thing". I want those that participate to be comfortable with their decision. If you have any questions at all about the Armenian genocide, or want to be more familiar with the event, please do not hesitate to ask me either through here, or through PM. Thank you all for your help, and your time.


Click on THIS link, fill out your name, address, e-mail, etc, and hit "Send Message". The information is only used to prevent multiple e-mails from the same person. There is also a brief outline of what I just discussed on that page. Thanks again!
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Old 10-10-2005, 08:13 PM   #2
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Snopes it
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Old 10-11-2005, 12:49 AM   #3
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.....ummmm.......snopes what? A genocide???
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Old 10-11-2005, 03:08 AM   #4
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snopes.com is just a site that deals with rumors and urban legends. I think he'* suggesting that it be looked up on such a site. I'm not sure why. I really know nothing about the issue. Sounds like a bad deal for Armenians though.
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Old 10-11-2005, 05:10 AM   #5
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Yeah, I know what snopes is. That'* why I was asking what exactly did he want to "snopes". The subject of the genocide?

Quote:
Originally Posted by theJMFC
I really know nothing about the issue. Sounds like a bad deal for Armenians though.
If you're interested, and have 5 minutes, click on the link below. Select English (obviously), and on the next page, hit "skip intro" in the far right bottom corner. On the following page, click on the circle (second one from the left) that says ABC News in the upper left hand corner. Good little quick synopses of the event by Peter Jennings a few years back.

www.theforgotten.org


And this link is footage of the rally Serj and John from SOAD held 15 minutes from where I live, but didn't know about till a few days after.

www.theforgotten.org/soad/
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Old 10-11-2005, 01:55 PM   #6
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It sounded alot like other net things that are posted that are shady or just not true.
SO before I just jump on a band wagon of a massacre that I never heard about other than this post, I tend to want it comfirmed. Sorry I'm jaded after the "no plane hit the Pentagon" BS.
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Old 10-11-2005, 10:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rosco the Iroc
SO before I just jump on a band wagon of a massacre that I never heard about other than this post, I tend to want it comfirmed. Sorry I'm jaded after the "no plane hit the Pentagon" BS.
Not to be a *****, but if you want something like this confirmed, then get off your duff and do it. I'm sure if you used Google Scholar (so that your sources are accurate) or got out and investigated at a University library, you would find MUCH information about this. This is not a "made up event" or something that was invented on the 'net, it is a historical fact that has been the topic of debate for numerous years.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:37 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan
This is not a "made up event" or something that was invented on the 'net, it is a historical fact that has been the topic of debate for numerous years.
Hey you brought it up you post a link.
Wait- if it'* fact, why is there a debate?
really, I'm not asking to be a jerk.
Sorry, you posted that a band cares about it now and you so you bring up your feeling on it. What do you want? Why should it be inportant to us? Please don't misunderstand that, I just want you give us/me some better idea of what'* it to us/me.

Frankly I don't care what band thinks it'* a big deal- shut up and stick to singing.
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Old 10-11-2005, 11:55 PM   #9
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http://hgs.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/co...abstract/9/1/1
http://hgs.oxfordjournals.org/cgi/co...stract/3/3/305

Get started on those two. They were published in the Oxford University journal, so they are credible, I can assure you. Also check out the link that RareGMfan posted, although I am usually hesitant to rely on the media, the information seems to be ok in this case (the one featuring Peter Jennings, not SOAD).

Now, as to why there is a debate to begin with, goes back to US (as well as other developed nations) corporate interests with Turkey, the perpetrators of the genocide. Desire for natural resources, as well as other financial motives have kept the US (again, not trying to single out one nation, but we will keep it simple here) from officially recognising the event as a genocide. Now, thank God, it appears that this is about to change, and the maybe nations will begin to place human decency over corporate interest.

And my "interest" in this is in no way tied to "some band" (particularly one I'm not a fan of), it comes from an interest to hold nations accountable for their actions. Which is something that is disturbingly infrequent these days.
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Old 10-12-2005, 05:31 AM   #10
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Thanks, Ryan. I don't run into very many people (of non-Armenian descent) that know who Armenians are, let alone are well versed on the issue of the genocide.

Rosco, you're right. Question everything. As I said, DON'T do this because I, or SOAD said so. Familiarize yourself with the issue (*if you care to). But......that meant actual research.....not....snopes. What the hell could snopes possibly tell you about an issue of this caliber and complexity? Anyways, as Ryan and I said, that link to the Jennings bit will get you up to speed on what happened. Ryan touched on why most nations who haven't officially recognized it, don't do so. But Turkey goes beyond that, and flat out denies it even happened. I'll give you some background on what lead up to this, and why they "debate" this issue.

Armenians are ancient peoples, dating back to at least 5,000 years. They were the first officially Christian State in the world (301 AD). And if the Bible is the truth, the repopulation of the world began in Armenia, as the Bible says Noah'* Ark landed in "the mountains of Ararat". Due to this, there were many attacks and attempts to conquer and convert Armenian lands by their many Muslim neighbors. After holding off the Persians right around the turn of the 19th century, the Ottoman Empire conquered much of greater Anatolia. Armenians, being white, Christian Europeans, suffered greatly under their rule, and had no recourse for these atrocities. They were not allowed to carry weapons, even though they were often randomly murdered by Turks, and were taxed much more heavily then the average Muslim Turkish citizens.

Jump to the end of the 19th Century. As tension was rising between nations pre-WWI, a handful of Armenian militias were also in open rebellion against the random mass killings that had been taking place for centuries. Meanwhile, the 2 million Armenians living within Ottoman boarders (formerly Western Armenia) were demanding better treatment. By this time, the Ottoman Empire was falling apart from within, and a new group of men, the Young Turks, took over in 1908. They promised better treatment and freedom of religion for all minorities. But as it turned out, this was all a farce to gain the support, and trust of the Armenians. Slaughtering continued on an even larger scale, and the rebellion grew even more noticeable in response. Between the advance of Russia, and the paranoia that the Armenian rebellion would grow greater with this advance, the Young Turks decided something had to be done about "the Armenian question". The "solution" turned out to be the elimination of the Armenian people. Plans began in 1914 on how to go about this. First, Turks visited Armenian villages, and said any and all weapons had to be turned in, as they would be needed to defend their lands against the Russians. Armenians, being the ever-naive people they are, gladly "helped the cause" (aside from the small pockets of the afore mentioned rebels). Now disarmed, and while the world was preoccupied with WWI, they would work under the guise of "deportations” to march the Armenian population into the Middle East with no food, water, and only the clothes on their backs.

And so, on April 24th, 1915, the orders were carried out to round up all the Armenian elites (teachers, lawyers, doctors, etc), take them away from their respective villages, and kill them. All Armenian soldiers in the Ottoman army were disarmed, rounded up, and killed. This is the date Armenians look at as the initiation of the genocide. From there, the women, children, and elderly were rounded up, and the marches began. There were many non-Armenian eyewitness accounts of rapes, drowning, mass burnings, beheadings, and carnage that rivals the greatest atrocities ever committed in the history of mankind. When all was said and done, approximately 1.5 million Armenians were killed between 1915, and 1923.

Now on to the debate. I will list a few of Turkey'* main reasons for denying this crime first, then will list the Armenian rebuttal in respective order to each Turkish reason.

Turkey:

First, they deny the numbers, saying there were no where near 1 million Armenians in Eastern Anatolia to begin with, much less 1.5 million killed. They also estimate that only 300,000 perished in what was a civil war, not genocide.

Then there are those that say Turkey had no choice but to "relocate" the Armenians, as the rebellion was growing, and many Armenians turned "traitor", and joined the Russian army to fight the Turks. Again, they proclaim peaceful deportations, no actual killings on their behalf.

A few times, I read Turkish sites that claim it was the Armenians that were the aggressors, and even perpetrators of genocide, blaming them for the death of 3 million Turks.

Today'* Turkish government, while not admitting to guilt, says that Armenia has no reason to go after them anyway, since it was their predecessors that are being accused. Modern day Turkey feels they owe nothing, guilty or not.


Armenian:

Turkey'* own census, conducted just a few years prior to this event, shows there were over a million Armenians present, and that doesn't include the many that eluded reporting themselves to the census on account of the outrageous taxes they had to pay. And Armenians were not at war with Turkey. Yes there were a small handful of rebellions, standing up to the unprovoked massacres that were taking place long before 1915, but the vast majority of the Armenian population were trying to go about their daily lives as best they could, and considered themselves Turkish citizens who were supposed to be protected by them, not slaughtered by them.

Again, there were only a small handful of rebellion outbursts, and they were only defending themselves against the oppression. What were they supposed to do, just sit there and take it? They were being killed, anyway, so this is a pretty weak excuse (if you can call it that) to kill, or even "peacefully deport" 2 million people. It was a loose/loose proposition. Do nothing (don't rebel), and die. Put up resistance, be called a traitor.... and die. As far as those "traitor Armenians" that joined the Russian army, the vast majority actually LIVED in Russia (Eastern Armenia). They had no choice, just as the Armenians in the Turkish army had no choice. Brothers were pinned against each other depending on which side of the line they lived on.

This is a rather interesting one. They claim there were less then 1 million Armenians present in Anatolia, yet Armenians somehow managed to kill 3 million of them, with little to no weapons. For the sake of argument, and to give this claim of there'* as much chance as possible, let'* pretend for a second they agree with the figure of 2 million Armenians inside Turkey. Take away the women, children and elderly. How many people does that leave capable, and willing to bear arms, and fight? So you're trying to tell me a few hundred thousand men took out 3 million members of the almighty Ottoman Empire? Either Armenians were supernatural, fighting gods, or the Turks forgot that however many people they lost were primarily due to the Russians. They simply are trying to pin their entire WWI loses on the Armenians. It is a week attempt to waste the Armenians' time defending themselves on this ridiculous accusation, and diverting effort away from the real genocide.

Perhaps it was the Turkish predecessors that perpetrated this crime, but much like any corporation that buys out a bankrupt company, that corporation picks up all that companies debts. The Turks can't have it both ways. If they can claim and live on stolen, ancient ancestral lands because they are descendents of the former Turkish government that took it, then surely they must also inherit the crime by which their predecessors obtained that land.
__________________________________________________ ____________________________________


I've studied this subject quite a bit. The Turkish "side" offers nothing but contradictory, and in many cases, completely fabricated facts and figures. Much of what they claim is basically taking history, and twisting the time line or reasoning behind it around. Thus why the Armenian slogan is "you can't re-write history". If you do even just a little bit of research on this subject, you will find COUNTLESS evidence supporting the Armenian case. Telegrams, memos, diaries, letters, photos, personal stories, newspaper articles, and so fourth, generated by American, Swedish, British, French, German, and yes, EVEN TURKISH soldiers, ambassadors, doctors, and citizens who bore witness to these atrocities. Denial is flat out ridiculous. Even countries that haven’t officially recognized it yet (like the US) still refer to the event as genocide when they speak of it. Only Turkey, and their close allies, Israel, flat out denies it.

What it basically boils down to is that Turkey fears Armenia will want monetary and territorial restitution. That is the main reason they won't admit to the genocide, even though they know deep down inside that this is the truth. It is also why they spend MILLIONS trying to keep a lid on this issue, till it will hopefully be blown away by the winds of time. They want this dark, barbaric part of their past erased from history and memory, just as they did back then. But we will not let them succeed. This is why we press on.

SOAD only comes into this picture because their popularity is bringing a bright light onto the shadows of this event, a light far greater then any government or organization has been able to shed in the history of this cause. And for that, we are eternally grateful. By the way, SOAD thinks it'* a "big deal" because all 4 members are of Armenian decent. Serj (the singer) promised his 97-year-old grandfather that he would talk to Speaker Hastert, and try to get him to put this Resolution before Congress for a full vote. Thus, the rally in Batavia.

I realized when I went around, posting this that 99% of the people on the sites I posted on couldn't care less about it. It is not in American'* nature to care about what'* going on in the rest of the world. And that'* fine. But I posted regardless, hinging my hope on the slim chance that someone like Ryan might come across this, and take the opportunity to do something about it. Even if I only get a single person to respond with a Web Fax to Speaker Hastert, it'* all worth it to me. Every single one counts. We need to show that, while Hastert has buckled under pressure from the enemy before on this issue, for the first time, there is nearly equal pressure from the opposite end to, as Serj said, do the right thing.

Than enough info for ya?
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