Saturday, April 19, 2008

Genocides..Will They Ever Cease?

The Armenian Genocide, the Holocaust, the Cambodian Genocide, the Rwandan Genocide, and now Darfur. These are just a few of the genocides that have occured throughout mankind's savage history. Millions and millions slaughtered in horrendous conditions that were simply unheard of. Society says, it is the past and we must move on. However, when society does not acknowledge and punish those reponsible for causing these genocides, than they are allowing the pathway of genocide to be opened once again. Society ignored Rwanda's Genocide. Now, they are ignoring the Darfur Genocide. Ignoring, and turning heads during such painful times isn't a new phenomenon.

April 24, 2008 will mark the 93rd year of the Armenian Genocide. It not only marks the 93rd year of the occurence, but 93 years of denial as well. April 24, 1915, Armenian intellects, scholars, musicians, public officials were gathered and slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks. It was an orchestrated event sponsored by the government leaders. They were knowns as the Pasha brothers; Talaat, Enver and Djemal. It was their ultimate goal to wipe out the Christian minority in the predominant Muslim territory. Thus the attmpt of the annihilation of a race began.

Families were forced to leave everything behind. From the start, most body abled men were separated from their families. Sadly, many of them were slaughtered from the beginning. They were beheaded. Their heads placed on pole sticks and placed into pyramid formations. The women raped, captured and forced to live as slave brides within Turkish homes, and forced to abandon their helpless children. Pregnant women were immediately targetted having swords gushed into their stomaches. Rivers full of blood and dead bodies were travelling alongside the marchers. No one dared to look sideways. Many, finding cliffs nearby, would simply commit suicide rather than endure death by the swords of the Ottomans Turks. "Many took their own and their children’s lives by flinging themselves from cliffs and into rivers rather than prolonging their humiliation and suffering." Genocide Some were forced to swim through the bloody rivers, only being able to choose one of their children to carry. Mothers were forced to choose which child was to live leaving the other behind for the vultures.

Stories have been passed down from generation to generation. A father chose to take the lives of his three daughers, instead of seeing either of them get raped by the Ottoman Turks. Husbands were forced to see their wives raped. Husbands were forced to see their pregnant wives being stepped on. These stories will never end, even when the last genocide survivor passes away.

In the end, as many as 1.5 million Armenians perished. The government agenda was to wipe out the Armenian population from the Ottoman Empire. They failed. While they may have taken away 1.5 of my people in an attempt to eliminate my race, I am still here today.

What angers me the most is that neither Turkey, nor the United States has recognized the Genocide. The Genocide that was the first of the 20th Century has been overlooked. Raphael Lemkin, a Polish-Jew coined the term genocide in 1943. "In fact, when Mr. Lemkin coined the term genocide the Armenian events were one of the two archetypes he used in his work." Lemkin The other was the Holocaust. Turkey and the United States for several decades have said that it is not genocide, but simply war casualties or random murders. What is peculiar is that most of these individuals that were killed, were killed in areas where there was no sign of war.

In the midst of all the denial, of all the ignorance, of all the heads turning away, one mand stood up pleading for help. The US ambassador to the Ottoman Empire was present during this horrendous time in history. He demanded, pleaded for action but recieved nothing. He stated, "When the Turkish authorities gave the orders for these deportations, they were merely giving the death warrant to a whole race; they understood this well, and, in their conversations with me, they made no particular attempt to conceal the fact." Morgenthau It happened while the entire world watched. Rwanda happened while the entire world watched. Darfur is happening while the entire world is watching.

If society does not pay attention to history then they are bound to repeat it. And we all can see that now. Every year passes and every year the Armenian community sees the United States denying the existance of the genocide. US has military bases in Turkey and thus would not dare jeapordize their relatioship over a humanitarian issue. So once again, I will hear America saying that they are sorry for the loss of the Armenian community by the tragic events that occured during the war not even mentioning the word Genocide, or systematic killings once. France, Germany and many other countries have recognized the Armenian Genocide. It's time for the country who is advocating democracy around the world to do so as well. A colleague's blog Gov4Sale says it best, "The fact that the U.S government refuses to accept and label what had happened as “Genocide” just to protect its interest with the Turkish government is hypocritical, being the super power that it has labeled itself and the protector of Democracy and humanity." Essentially it needs to be recognized in order for us to advance as a democratic world.

3 comments:

privilegeindifference said...

It still perplexes me that you can be having a conversation with so many individuals in our country and they may have absolutely no idea what the Armenian genocide was...it just makes no sense to me. This was just an absolutely enormous-scale event, and so many lives were lost, so I am always baffled that it remains "in the dark" when compared with other historical events.

People do need to read about it, though, in order to learn, since it is not their fault that they have never been educated about the topic...so thank you for the post. :)

Tall Asian Guy said...

Yeah I hate that shit. Deniers of genocide should all burn in hell be it the Turks hiding Armenian genocide, Japanese hiding Korean & Chinese genocide and sexual slavery or Holocaust deniers. Fuck all that shit. They should all acknowledge their wrongdoings and try to pay back for the endless pains and sorrows their irresponsible acts have caused innocent people and their families.

Major Minor said...

There is a psychological principle that is called "Belief in a just world." And as a means to regulate levels of cognitive dissonance, it is easier for people to believe that these horrible things in the world simply don't happen.