Yet Another Case of Genocide Denial

Yet Another Case of Genocide Denial –

David Eagleman

By Garo Armenian

I was terribly disappointed last night listening to David Eagleman’s coverage of the topic of genocide in his widely acclaimed series on the human brain on WETA.

Let me first say without any reservations that I am fascinated by the quality of analysis and the superb presentation on the human brain by Dr. Eagleman. He is a young and immensely erudite neuroscientist providing a vital insight into the complex mechanisms of the human brain, a window we all need to be able to deal with the complexities of our everyday life in this chaotic society.

His segment last night dealt with the phenomenon of rejection and the activity of the brain producing such destructive mental states leading to fatal exclusion and genocide…A terrain which is yet to be fully scrutinized by scientific research, and an imperative which definitely must prevail in the line-up of priorities of our present era.

To prove his point, David Eagleman was quick to highlight the case of the Jewish Holocaust characterizing it as “unprecedented”. He then covered the Srebrenica tragedy (of July 1995) in minute detail to provide a recent model of genocide perpetration. Yet not a single word about the Armenian Genocide (1915-1923). And not a single word about Turkey, the first perpetrator state of this crime against humanity. Eagleman spoke eloquently about the process in which fascism spreads (through effective propaganda) and gets internalized by a whole society making genocide a crime committed by not just a few in government, but by an entire nation. The logical conclusion of his analysis being that genocide is not just a historical fact and should not be treated as such. It has a definite propensity to repeat itself. A very disturbing prospect indeed! And in this context, Eagleman pointed out that genocide still takes place in many places in the world today making allusion to ISIS, but also specifically naming Armenia…! That’s right. Not Turkey, not Azerbaijan, not Sudan, but Armenia!

This is totally unacceptable.

Should this gross oversight by Eagleman be treated as a case of utter ignorance? Could a top intellectual with encyclopedic knowledge about the realities of the world claim ignorance about the Armenian Genocide? How is it that Eagleman keeps using the term “genocide” without realizing that the word was coined to characterize the Armenian Genocide, in the first place? And what about the ongoing criminal denial of genocide by Turkey, which is the most flagrant form of exclusion and fascism shamefully tolerated by Turkey’s NATO allies and Israel to this date?

Dr. Eagleman, by considering the Jewish Holocaust “unprecedented”, you automatically place yourself on the side of the denial of the Armenian Genocide by Turkey and, by so doing, you help perpetuate exclusion, separation, rupture and polarization (my terms), the very phenomena you have so aptly identified in your presentation. In fact, shouldn’t today’s neuroscience be looking into the brains of genocide deniers and their powerful accomplices everywhere? And, of course, the brains of those who have been living with this sense of injustice, it seems, forever.


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