Since Armenian-genocide publishing issues are always popular for vigorous debate, and since there were at least two big related bits of news this week -- Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) reintroducing the non-binding genocide-recognition resolution, plus the ongoing and haunting fallout from the Hrant Dink assassination -- we thought it might be interesting to see how the L.A. Times editorialized about the Armenian genocide as it was happening.
The first of five snippets from separate editorials comes from Dec. 18, 1917:
THE END OF TURKEYContinuing with our contemporaneous Armenian-genocide editorials, here's one from Feb. 26, 1918:
There is as much cause for including Turkey and Bulgaria in our declaration of war as there is for including Austria Hungary. There are as good reasons for the extinction of the Ottoman empire as thee are for the overthrow of the government of the Kaiser. For 500 years the Turks have been a curse to Christendom, engaged in war after war and massacre after massacre. [...]At least half of the Armenian people have been slaughtered in cold blood and the remnant is only preserved now because a large part of Armenia has falled under Russian control and the other Armenians have taken refuge there.
When a peace of victory is finally achieved Germany must answer for her inhumanities in Belgium; Austria for the depopulation of Serbia, and Turkey for the almost total annihilation of the Armenians. [...]If the war continues for another year with Serbia in possession of its arch enemies, it will be impossible to repatriate the Serbian people, for it will have ceased to exist. The same is true to an equal extent with Armenia; but the slaughter has been greater there because the population was greater. In six years the native population of Armenia has sunk from 16,000,000 persons to less than 800,000. Those who have approved this policy of extermination must be made to settle. The German, Austrian and Turkish peoples have approved and taken part in this wholesale murder; they should be forced to pay a huge indemnity.March 3, 1918:
When the President said the peoples should not be bartered about from sovereignty to sovereignty, he had in mind the combined force and intrigue by which Germany holds Alsace-Lorraine today, by which Austria continues to dominate and enslave Hungary, and by which Turkey is depopulating Armenia and Arabia.May 28, 1919:
Armenians for centuries have been ceaselessly disinherited and destroyed. So today even in Armenia proper they are hopelessly outnumbered by the Turks and Kurds. Either these Turks and Kurds would have to be violently deported or some stronger nation would have to keep a permanent army of occupation in this inhospitable country to insure the Armenians against daily revolutions.June 6, 1919:
Unquestionably the United States is best qualified to handle the affairs of Turkey and Armenia. First, we have no national "ax to grind." No European nation has the slightest reason for jealousy of us or for suspicion as to our intentions and motives. Second, the Turks and Armenians themselves would both prefer us as rulers to any other nation. While unsparingly condemning his atrocious crimes, to the Turk we have been friendly as it is possible to be. American missionaries and Robert College, established by them at Constantinople, have given the Turk a large share of the limited culture and civilization which he has been capable of assimilating. To the Armenian we have been the best of friends. We have fed him in the hour of need; we have often protected him from atrocities at the hands of the Turks. To the Armenian, fleeing from the Turk, the United States is the Land of Promise, his hope and refuge.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times