Will Trump tell the truth about the Armenian Genocide?: The Wall Street Journal
The U.S. government has failed to give the annihilation of the Armenians in the Genocide of 1915-1923 its due, The Wall Street Journal says in a fresh article by Robert M. Morgenthau, adding that Turkey’s insistent denials made it the “forgotten genocide.”
Morgenthau’s paternal grandfather, Henry Morgenthau, was President Wilson’s ambassador to the Ottoman Empire as the horror began to unfold. He quickly understood that this was slaughter on a scale the modern world had never seen. He protested to Turkish leaders, who replied that the Armenians were not American citizens and thus none of the ambassador’s concern. Besides, they said, Ambassador Morgenthau was Jewish, and the Armenians were Christian.
“American administrations have bowed to Turkish pressure and failed to affirm consistently a simple fact: The slaughter of the Armenians was not a mere misfortune of history but a systematic genocide,” the article says.
“Such reticence wasn’t necessarily surprising, given diplomats’ cautious and equivocating nature. But President Trump, in recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, seems to be signaling a new age.”
For millennia, Armenians lived in the shadow of Mount Ararat, in what is now eastern Turkey. For much of its history, this Christian minority lived in peace with its Muslim neighbors. But as the Ottoman Empire began to disintegrate in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Armenians became targets of oppression. As World War I loomed, the Turks saw the opportunity to settle their “Armenian question.”
First they arrested and executed community leaders and intellectuals. Then they drove the remaining civilians out of their homes in long “death marches” to the Syrian desert. As many as 1.5 million Armenians were murdered.
“Every April, the president issues a proclamation recognizing the atrocity that was inflicted on the Armenian people. But bowing to Turkish pressure, that proclamation has never contained the word “genocide.” That must change,” the article says.