“Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring… Today, as we mourn what was lost, let us also turn our eyes to the future – toward the world that we wish to build for our children. A world unstained by the daily evils of bigotry and intolerance, where human rights are respected, and where all people are able to pursue their lives in dignity and security… Let us renew our shared resolve to prevent future atrocities from occurring anywhere in the world. And let us pursue healing and reconciliation for all the people of the world.” President Joe Biden, 24th April 2021.
Biden did not mention any of the Turks and Kurds who died as a result of the general assault made by the Imperialist Powers on the Ottoman state in conjunction with the insurrection behind the lines by Armenian revolutionary groups, even though the death toll among these people was much higher than among those he chose to remember. Moslem Lives Don’t Matter, it seems.
President Biden, recently accused Vladimir Putin of being “a killer”. The Russian President delivered a fitting riposte in the form of his reply: “It takes one to know one.” Putin did not need to elaborate. The world knew that President Biden is the Head of State of the country that has killed by far the most people across the world in modern times. It is the only state in the world that has used nuclear weapons against civilian populations. Indeed it is the only country which has used nuclear weapons in war at all.
It is a fact that the United States is the most successful genocidal state on earth. No other country has exterminated people to such good effect as the USA, reaching global predominance in the process. Having disembarked from the Mayflower, it wiped out the original inhabitants of America from Atlantic to Pacific over the course of 3 centuries, in a great moralistic expansion known as Manifest Destiny. Subsequently, it has gone around the world killing people in millions, after completing its destiny on the continent it conquered. Beginning at the start of the 20th Century it annihilated a few hundred thousand Filipinos in its first expansionary war outside the American continent and never stopped from there.
Much of the wealth of the US was accumulated through an industrial slaving system which it inherited from its Anglo-Saxon cousin and which brought millions of unwilling Africans across the oceans to do its work. Millions more Africans perished in the brutal process – perhaps the most inhuman act perpetrated in history.
The United States was White Supremacist in its origin, development and consolidation. An effective system of black subjugation without legal slavery lasted for a century after emancipation. Lynch law was used to uphold the white supremacy by the Democratic Party. Apartheid was institutionalised by many States to segregate the races, in which race-mixing was illegal. And the US seems to still have a big problem with the descendants of the people it put in slave plantations and periodically lynched to keep in order, and who have had to recently protest that “Black Lives Matter”. And it was Joe Biden’s colleague Hilary Clinton who called black men “super-predators”.
Joe Biden’s Democrats – the original racist party of the racist South – encouraged Black Lives Matter mayhem to unseat President Trump. That is US politics. After all, Abraham Lincoln abolished slavery as a tactic to expand the continental super-state, intending the slaves to be sent back to Africa afterwards. When they weren’t, Democrat President Woodrow Wilson celebrated the great service the Ku Klux Klan performed for the US in the White House as he unrolled maps and plotted an Armenian state in devastated Ottoman territory. The Armenians, as God’s Chosen People in a sea of barbarism, were a cause celebre in White Supremacist America. If only they had a Ku Klux Klan to ride to the rescue.
Being a Chosen People is a double edged sword for the Armenians. Being Chosen does not mean being under God’s special protection because the Biblical God has a special way of neglecting or reproaching his People. God periodically withdraws the protection of Providence for reasons unknown but to himself, perhaps from displeasure at his People. There can be chastisement for wrong doing and extra punishment is reserved for the Chosen People if they transgress. Perhaps that is what happened to the Armenians for living so long under the Turkish/Muslim yoke. God punished them in 1915 for their sins of collaboration, leading them out of service to the Ottomans to a promised land (California?). It can all be rationalised in Biblical Christianity and since the Armenians have decided to conform to this role they must play their part fully, in disaster after disaster.
It is a pity the USA has a universalistic Manifest Destiny to right the world of wrong, because that spells trouble for the rest of humanity.
The United States is the benchmark state in Genocide. Its very character is Genocide, since it would not exist without having exterminated so thoroughly and for such a long period through its demonic energy. The Nazis were a mere interlude in Germany’s history compared to what Genocide is to the history of the United States. No people on earth are really safe from the “only indispensable nation” as Obama called it, unless they have the capability of destroying the world, to deter American attack. Many have been attacked and destroyed in a casual way just to prove a point – that you don’t mess with the USA, unless you have nukes, of course. Perhaps only another World War will finally free the many and rich varieties of humanity from the death-grip of the US.
The current President of the Genocidal state par excellence has now charged another state with Genocide in a rather casual way. The charge is casual because Genocide is actually a legal matter and no international court has ever found that state guilty of Genocide. Neither is there any historical evidence of Genocide in the case, despite the availability of all documentation on the matter. Historians have looked for a century for such evidence and found nothing.
Isn’t it a rather tricky problem for the US to explain why it did not wage war on this Genocidal empire in 1917 when it joined the World War. Isn’t it problematic that the US never saved the Armenians by taking a Mandate for them when the British requested Washington to do so? What were they thinking to have shirked such moral responsibility? Did they not know what Joe Biden knows? Apparently not.
President Biden has now casually made the accusation that Turkey committed Genocide against the Armenians in 1915 on the Armenian diaspora’s Genocide Day.
The President of the United State’s opinion has not altered the facts of the matter one iota: Turkey is as innocent (or guilty!) of the charge of Genocide on 24th April 2021 as it was on the 23rd April 2021. Not a single legal or historical fact has changed.
President Biden has decided to reject the statesmanship of his predecessors – Reagan, Clinton, Bush and Obama, who had made promises in the course of elections to the influential and wealthy Armenian lobby, and thought better of uttering the word when in the White House. Biden, for whatever reason has decided to honour his campaign pledge to “recognise the Armenian Genocide and make universal human rights a top priority.”
Perhaps it is chagrin at Turkey’s decision to purchase a Russian air defence system to defend itself when the US refused it; perhaps it is “Joe the Greek’s” anti-Turk mentality; perhaps it was frustration at his predecessor’s squeamish reluctance to destroy states who are not in the USA’s image and leave the world at peace for 4 years; perhaps Biden wants to destroy another “authoritarian state” to enhance his democratic credentials after agitating for the annihilation of Iraq a full 5 years before George W. Bush even thought about it: perhaps it is anger at Turkey’s vital assistance to Azerbaijan during the war to restore its national territory, that the US even recognized; perhaps Turkey will just do when Russia and China are just too powerful for the bully; perhaps Biden is just an old man in a hurry. Who knows?
Joe Biden usually describes himself as Irish but he has a strong affinity to the Greeks. In 1974 the Turkish army intervened to prevent an impending massacre of Turks on Cyprus, after the government was overthrown by a military junta in an attempt to form a union with Greece by right-wing nationalists. Biden, who had served decades on the powerful Committee for Foreign Relations, met with Greek Cypriots asking for US help. Biden told the Greeks: “You guys were completely right, and if someday the Greeks beat the Hell out of the Turks they’ll be right.” Over subsequent years Biden maintained close contacts with the Greek Cypriots and blocked many aid packages to Turkey on the basis of his antipathy to the Turks, which seems to have been ignited over the Cyprus issue. Cyprus was an important spy base for the CIA where it kept a watchful eye on the Muslims of the Middle East and North Africa.
While Senator Biden blocked aid to Turkey he revealed himself as truly anti-Turk by supporting aid to the Armenian occupation of Azerbaijani territory in Karabakh and surrounding areas, which had been ethnically cleansed by the Armenians of 800,000 Muslims, and whose Azerbaijani population had suffered fearsome massacres at the hands of terrorist gangs. Perhaps he was annoyed when this occupation was ended in 2020 by the Azerbaijani liberation forces, with assistance from President Erdogan of Turkey.
Biden’s animosity to Turkish President Erdogan is no secret: “I’ve spent a lot of time with him. He is an autocrat,” Biden told the New York Times editorial board in 2020. “He’s the President of Turkey and a lot more. What I think we should be doing is taking a very different approach to him now, making it clear that we support opposition leadership.” Even prior to Biden’s election the Turks knew there was trouble in store for them. Daily Sabah, one of Turkey’s major newspapers reported on August 19th 2020:
“With regard to Turkey, the Obama administration, which included Biden, wrote a new chapter in the book of American interventionism by attempting to overthrow the democratically elected government of an allied nation. Whatever happened between Erdoğan and Obama during the former’s May 2013 trip to Washington remains a mystery. Turkey, however, had to endure a period of turbulence, which began with the Gezi Park revolts and reached its climax around the July 15 coup attempt, following that meeting. The perpetrators intended to remove Erdoğan from power. Back in 2013, the Western media hardly ever charged Turkey with “authoritarianism.” Washington’s attempt to topple the government of a democratic nation, as well as a NATO ally, ended up revealing America’s true face… Erdoğan, whose ouster, Washington thought, would have allowed the U.S. to rein in Turkey, overcame various challenges and stayed on his feet. The push to contain Turkey, however, remained in place, manifesting itself in the anti-Erdoğan narrative of authoritarianism. In retrospect, Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 presidential election undermined that policy – which Biden, if elected, intends to adopt anew.”
It should be recalled that Biden and the Democrat Party accused Russia of stealing the 2016 election from Hilary Clinton, without any demonstrable evidence. It became an article of faith that this was so, even though it was entirely unsubstantiated. Biden, in his comments about President Erdogan, is signalling his intention of interfering in the electoral politics of a foreign state – as of course the US does as a matter of routine. Fascist dictators all over the world owe their position to the interference of the US. Some of them, like the former dictator of Indonesia, General Suharto, massacred millions of their own citizens. US diplomats even handed over lists of people for Suharto to kill .
Now that the Cold War is over the US apparently stands for “A world unstained by the daily evils of bigotry and intolerance, where human rights are respected, and where all people are able to pursue their lives in dignity and security…” But that hasn’t stopped the US still supporting authoritarian regimes and coup plotters, for instance by backing General Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi in Egypt and the crown princes of the Gulf states during the Arab Spring. All of this under the Obama/Clinton/Biden axis of good.
In the opinion of the present writer, the most likely reason for Biden’s recklessness with regard to Turkey is the new President’s desire to “return the US to a leadership role” in the world – in other words to resume America’s bullying of the rest of humanity. He is conscious that the Trump Presidency gave the world outside America some space to develop without the US forcing its attentions upon it and Biden wants to end that state of affairs. It is really unacceptable that a US President should fail to launch any new wars and destroy any states.
In a recent Foreign Affairs article, Biden complained that America’s “credibility and influence … in the world” had diminished under the Trump administration.
It is very fortunate for Azerbaijan that President Aliyev moved when he did to smash the Armenian occupation of Karabakh. President Trump saw it as quite natural that states settle outstanding business between each other through accommodation or limited conflict, if that failed. He was not unduly concerned when the Azerbaijan army launched its liberation war. Tough on the Armenians, such is life, he probably thought, none of our business. But for President Biden the world is America’s business.
The rogue Trump Presidency which led to a restoration of a world of independent states, which relate to each other by the traditional means of accommodation and limited conflict, affronted those who like to throw America’s weight around in the world. It has had the Liberal interventionists in the US, who comprise a large and powerful elite within the military-academic power complex, champing at the bit for 4 years. They have been used to power and prestige and making money out of being the cheer leaders of imposing US democracy on the world and have felt the loss of role keenly during the Trump interregnum. Foreign Affairs has been full of salivating liberal interventionists (Samantha Power etc.) straining at the leash to be White Knights confronting the forces of darkness in the world. All they needed was the go ahead from the new President: “Hey Joe, where are we going we these guns in our hand?”
Biden himself is conscious of being an old and weak man, stung by the taunts of being “sleepy Joe” who cannot rise to the occasion and perform America’s duty in the world. He has so far been blacker than Barack Obama with bigger balls than Hilary Clinton. America has a pill for everything it seems and it is a land where a man can be a woman if he/she so desires! Dogma has indeed replaced reality.
Many countries in the world have been at a loss to know what to do with themselves over the past 4 years. They have become used to taking their orders from Washington and during the Trump interlude they have begun to wonder what the point of their existence was at all. Europe seems to have been thoroughly disorientated by Trump’s intention to stop wanting to order the world and tend to the US’s own affairs instead. The election of a normal US President and the demise of the rogue President has been an immense relief to them. Life has got meaning again as they await direction from Washington. Not so Turkey. It is an independent state and has got on with its life as usual. It does not need orders from the White House to do what it wants in the world. And it has done so in Syria, Libya and the Southern Caucasus, to some effect with its wonder weapons. It puts its men on the ground where the cowardly Americans fear to tread.
And so it seems that the new US President has picked on Turkey, presumably in an attempt to intimidate it into conformity with the rest to demonstrate America is back, by a show of what the US can do to it, if the Turkish government does not see and do things the American way. (There was, after all, in the economic sanctions/warfare and attempted coup against Erdogan, in which many see an American hand, attempts to curtail the Turkish leader, who is seen as just too independent minded for Washington’s liking).
It is not as if the US does not recognized the importance of Turkey to the West. As recent as 2008 Graham Fuller, the former vice chairman of the National Intelligence Council at the CIA wrote ‘The New Turkish Republic: Turkey as a Pivotal State in the Muslim World’. This book’s back cover noted that “Turkey’s dynamic political scene and new search for independence in its foreign policy, however complicating or irritating for the United States today, will nonetheless ultimately serve the best interests of Turkey, the Middle East, and even the West.”
The US, it seems, has had enough with statesmanship. While making a great show of its rainbow diversity of individual identities America does not tolerate such things among the nations.
While Russia and China will brush off President Biden’s blustering and wait for the old man to tire, and Iran will attempt to avail of a relief from pressure by humouring him, the slap in the face he has given to Turkey will have much more lasting effects. Russia, China and Iran are the enemy for America and they never will be anything else. All the US requires of them is weakness and chaos if it can be achieved through Navalny or any other instrument that can be used. However, Turkey is different. Biden is permanently damaging relations with a Western ally of nearly a century, with the second biggest army in NATO, and considerable real and recent combat experience. Perhaps he sees Erdogan as Saddam. If he does he is badly mistaken. Whatever the case there will be celebrations in Moscow, Beijing and Tehran after President Biden’s reckless action.
As has been noted, the United States has a strong sense of destiny, or Manifest Destiny. A biblical view of history is inescapably a belief in Providence. It got this when fundamentalist Protestants freed themselves from the shackles of Catholic Europe and established a pure democracy on a blank slate across the empty spaces cleared of human dross. Catholic Europe had retained many quaint pre-Christian beliefs such as the observation that human life was a series of cycles with history being a comic or tragic opera, as events took it. But the belief that history was a directional and redemptive process was an article of faith among the Christian fundamentalists, and as much for the Godless East Coast and Californian post-Christians, as it was for the Bible thumpers. The idea that Progress is inevitable is universalistic in America and America tends to define the Universe as itself.
Progress demands redemption and redemption demands penance. But guilt must be admitted for penance to have meaning. Is it any wonder Genocide became a word at the moment in the 1940s when the American fundamentalist Christians took hold of the world, outside the part the Soviets saved from it?
The Sun is setting in the West for Turkey, and it is rising in the East. The only mistake the Turks ever made was putting their faith in Progress, not understanding that Progress would be defined by the United States and there can be no dissent over the direction it takes. When the Turkish Republic was established the world was dominated by a state, Britain, which believed it and its Empire existed for the rest of the world’s benefit. However inadequate such a viewpoint proved in practice it contrasts to the current master of the world’s understanding that the world exists for America’s benefit and humanity should be made to conform to the interests of the United States in all its aspects.
The events of 1915 and after (actually 1911-23 – from the war in Libya, to the Balkan Wars, to the Great War and the Imperialist war on Turkey) were an enormous tragedy for the various peoples who made up the Ottoman Empire. President Biden has contributed nothing to understanding this tragedy and has only made an accommodation between the Armenians and the Turkic world harder to achieve as a result of his foolish utterance. Biden’s assertion requires that any factual investigation of historical events should be set aside and that dogmatic belief be put in its place.
Well, America is back! Let battle recommence!
Postscript – Graham Fuller on Biden’s playing politics with Genocide:
“The question is, why this declaration now — over 100 years after the terrible events? Clearly, it has everything to do with Washington’s great dissatisfaction with the foreign policies of the Erdogan government in Turkey and is intended as a point of punitive pressure against Ankara. Over the past nearly 20 years under Erdogan, Turkey has increasingly pursued an independent direction in its foreign policy, often in direct contradiction of what Washington perceives as its own interests. And indeed, Ankara has been adroitly playing both sides of the game in working closely with both Russia and China, while offering occasional olive branches to Europe.
The timing of Biden’s genocide declaration highlights what is part of a generic long-term problem of serious hypocrisy in U.S. foreign policy; it claims to be based on “moral values” or “human rights” or “democratic values.” Yet these genuine values are primarily used instrumentally. They serve as weapons against countries Washington does not like but are almost never directed against regimes we do. The countries and leaders chosen for U.S. denunciation are invariably cherry-picked according to time, place and the political needs of the moment, rather than values.
Washington speaks out about the “genocide” of Uighurs in China but has nothing serious to say about Israel’s treatment of nearly four million Palestinians in the Occupied Territories. The Indian government’s harsh policies against Muslim Kashmiris go largely overlooked because we want India on our side against China. Rwanda was never prominent on the U.S. political agenda in a genocide of some 800,000 people in 1994; we had no Cold War interests to protect there. The widespread killing of Hindu Tamils in Sri Lanka over nearly three decades were largely ignored. And the savage massacres of 200,000 Mayan peoples in Guatemala were overlooked because the generals in charge were “anti-communist.” The United States has been similarly virtually silent about the severe repressions against the Shi’ite populations of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain. The list goes on.
Surely this approach cheapens and devalues our professed concerns over “human rights.” The United Nations, or perhaps more modest countries that are not playing in the international strategic game, such as the Scandinavian nations or Canada, wield far greater credibility on these issues.
Most Armenians are justifiably pleased to see further recognition and condemnation of the terrible events that befell them over a century years ago. But what useful purpose does it serve for Washington to issue such a condemnation of genocide precisely today?
The declaration will of course anger Turkey — and that is the point — a message to Erdogan that we no longer consider him a valued ally to be shielded from criticism. But the declaration is quite unlikely to change the broader course of Ankara’s policies. Erdogan today faces serious domestic pressure as a result of failing economic policies and, above all, the abuse of liberal values and free speech in his heavy-handed treatment of political opposition. At the moment, he is making nice with the West in hopes of relieving pressure as he moves towards elections in 2023. But last year Erdogan was deep in his “Eurasian mode” in seeking closer relations with Russia and China. This pendulum is likely to be a predictable phenomenon as Erdogan weaves back and forth in his complex vision of Turkish foreign policy extending from Western Europe and North Africa to China.
Human values should always matter in governance everywhere. But when they are employed opportunistically for transient political ends on a century-old issue, we undermine the very importance and significance of those values.”