Friday, November 24, 2006

A Mountain of Discrediting Facts

Letters to the Editor
The Boston GlobeBoston,
Re: Jackie Abramian April 23, 2002 Op-Ed, "Why is Armenian Genocide unrecognized?"

To the Editor:
Jackie Abramian's Armenian genocide polemic against Turkey neglects a mountain of discrediting facts. Even before World War I commenced, Ottoman Armenians became de facto belligerents against the Empire every bit as much as Al Qaeda is a belligerent against the United States. In a classic case of treason, hundreds of thousands of Armenians defected to fight, spy, and plunder for the enemies of the Ottomans, slaughtering civilians and soldiers indiscriminately in places such as Van and Bitlis. They boasted of their gruesome Muslim bucheries and wartime perfidy at the Paris Peace Conference in hopes of winning an independent state. For every Armenian tragedy during the Great War, Ottoman Muslims have two or three to match.Princeton Professor, Bernard Lewis, the gold standard for impartial Middle East studies, staunchly denies the genocide claim. He is joined by other acclaimed academics such as Stanford Shaw of U.C.L.A. and Justin McCarthy of the University of Louisville. And a human rights organ of the United Nations has twice refused to endorse the genocide story, most recently on October 5, 2000.Tens of thousands of Armenians were left undisturbed outside militarily sensitive zones, such as Istanbul and Izmir.Ambassador Henry Morgenthau's views were disputed by Secretary of State Robert Lansing and his successor as Ambassador to Turkey, Rear Admiral Mark Bristol.Ottoman officials prosecuted and punished more than 1,400 soldiers for maltreatment of Armenians (and 62 were executed).The highest legal authorities in Great Britain convincingly advised against any prosecution of Ottoman officials (more than 100 detained on Malta) for want of reliable evidence of complicity in Armenian massacres. The British meticulously investigated for more than two years, including a request for U.S. State Department records and reports and a reveiw of Ottoman archives, and turned up nothing incriminating that could withstand court scrutiny.

Bruce Fein
General Counsel
Assembly of Turkish American Associations
Washington, D.C.

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