Monday, March 26, 2007

America Should Be Aware of Genocide [Columbia Univ]

By Jordan Hirsch, The Columbia Spectator, March 26, 2007

War provides an excellent cover for despots and murderers. The Ottoman Empire stretched this cover to new lengths amid the chaos of World War I. The Armenians, Christians who had lived in Anatolia and the Caucasus Mountains for three millennia, were a minority under Ottoman rule. When the war ignited, the Ottomans quickly came to view the Armenians as a dangerous fifth column. Some Armenians had staged a revolt in previous years, and there were many Armenians fighting for the Russian army. What happened over the next two years, no one disputes: some 1.2 million Armenians were expelled from their homes. They were forced to march through the scorching desert, harassed, robbed, raped, and murdered by Turkish peasants and their Kurdish escorts. The most accurate historical estimates place the death toll at approximately 800,000. At this point, however, the politics of genocide take over.