Tag: Ottoman Empire

What Genocide? The First State-Directed Mass Murder in a Bloody Century

 

France24 has topics for both Sri Lanka and the Armenian Genocide. No stories on the Armenian Genocide 104th anniversary appear on CNN’s website. Then again, CNN is in good company with Fox News, also silent on the anniversary. As a brief refresher, the Ottoman Empire, almost on its death bed—before a group of younger officers dragged the Turkish nation into secular modernity—launched a campaign against Armenian communities. This ethnic cleansing and mass murder campaign was not only ethnic but also religious.

The Ottoman sultan would no longer tolerate the existence of some of the most ancient Christian communities in the world. There was much unrest in the larger region over borders and nations. The rationale offered by the Turks’ German allies, at the time, was that there was only room for one people on the land. Americans launched large humanitarian relief efforts, but no nation stepped in to stop the atrocities. Indeed, who could, as war raged in Europe, then gave way to the task of rebuilding and redrawing maps.

What Happened to 1.5 Million Armenian Christians?

 

Between 1915 and the early 1920’s, the word genocide entered the English language. It was orchestrated by the Turkish government to expel Christians from their country by any means necessary. When it ended, 1.5 million Armenian Christians were dead and many more deported. Has the government of Turkey ever acknowledged this period of history or apologized? Far from it. It is still illegal to talk about or even acknowledge the extent of this atrocity in Turkey today.

In the 1940s, MGM wanted to make a movie about it starring Clark Gable. They were threatened by the Turkish government and the movie was never made. Yet history and truth have a way of resurfacing.

The rumor is that a wealthy Armenian left over a million dollars in his will, asking that it be used to make the movie that the Turkish government wanted suppressed. He got his wish.

Books as Christmas Gifts: Agents of Empire

 

AgentsOfEmpireThe high point of my academic career, as a career, was a letter. It came out of the blue, and it invited me to apply for a senior research fellowship at All Souls College. That post is the acme of the academic world — at least in the humanities. One has a good salary, a place of high honor, high table meals, elegant surroundings, access to one of the greatest libraries in the world, and no responsibilities at all, other than to do one’s own research — and someone (or, more likely, a committee of someones) thought that I just might be worthy.

That was something — especially since, after the publication of my 1200-page magnum opus Republics Ancient and Modern: Classical Republicanism and the American Revolution, which had received stellar reviews, had sold out in hardback in short order, had soon thereafter been republished as a three-volume paperback, and is now slated to appear in Chinese, I had applied for job after job in history departments and never even gotten an interview. It confirmed, among other things, my suspicion that, in the 1990s, in the American academic world there was an unwritten law: “Known conservatives need not apply.”

But here was validation. In a less politicized academic environment, the work had not only been noticed; its author had been thought a plausible candidate for high honor.

Member Post

 

“When other nations were afraid of ideas, this civilization thrived on them, and kept them alive. When censors threatened to wipe out knowledge from past civilizations, this civilization kept the knowledge alive, and passed it on to others.While modern Western civilization shares many of these traits, the civilization I’m talking about was the Islamic world […]

Join Ricochet!

This is a members-only post on Ricochet's Member Feed. Want to read it? Join Ricochet’s community of conservatives and be part of the conversation. Join Ricochet for Free.