“As an Armenian, I never condone terrorism, but there must be a reason behind this. Maybe the terrorism will work. It worked for the Jews. They have Israel.“
Kevork Donabedian, the editor of The Armenian Weekly, as quoted in the November 18, 1980 issue of The Christian Science Monitor.
Randy Baloian, “Assassinated Turkish Officials Are Innocent?” Asbarez Newspaper, December 1, 1984, p. 14.
ASSASSINATED TURKISH OFFICIALS ARE INNOCENT?
It is common practice these days to ascribe the term of innocence to a Turkish government official who has been assassinated by Armenian militants, whereupon I never fail to hear that apologetic line, ‘he wasn’t even born during the time of the massacres.” But let’s take a closer look at this application of innocence.
In this country we have a law which states—in so many words—that any person who conceals a crime is guilty of being an accomplice.
Now assume for the moment we forget the Genocide Convention of the United Nations, which states that the guilty party in the crime of genocide is the perpetuating state. (State being defined as a politically organized body of people occupying a definite territory. That is, the state continues even though its government may change.) By the way, the Genocide Convention had been signed by Turkey.
For the moment, let us also forget that the Turkish government is presently carrying out a policy of cultural genocide on the Armenian and Kurdish peoples within Turkey. A policy that has imprisoned Reverend Manuel Yergatian for 14 years because of “evidence” proving he undermined the Turkish government. The so-called evidence amounted to a map of Armenia and an April 24th lecture given in Jerusalem.
Let us instead devote our thoughts to the idea of the Turkish government as an accomplice to the crime of 1915.
Currently, the Turkish government is financing a movement to reinterpret Turkish history, more specifically to distort the events of the 1915 genocide. Take for instance Stanford Shaw’s book, History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey, 1808-1975 (1977). In it, Shaw contends that the events of 1915—1918 were nothing more than misfortunes of war. He also accounts for the death of only 200,000 Armenians, while holding the Armenians responsible for the massacre of thousands of Muslim lives. In the future such distortions of history will no doubt increase, due to the backing of the Turkish government.
Armenians are no longer faced with a Turkish government content to sit idly by. Now, it is making an effort to sell its warped version of history—or at least instill doubts about the events of 1915—1918 to the historians of the world.
As individuals there is no question that the assassinated Turkish officials are innocent of the crime of 1915. It seems obvious they had nothing to do with the murders of Armenians in 1915—1918. However, as representatives of a government which blatantly denies and conceals the massacre of 1.5 million humans, I believe they can be considered nothing less than guilty.
We are sometimes led to believe that individuals are only responsible for their personal action. But as a member of an organization, an individual’s responsibility does not cease to exist. In most cases, an individual—who is part of an organization—accepts some of the responsibilities of that organization by overtly representing it.
I am not condoning the assassination of Turkish officials, but merely pointing out some considerations people tend to forget. I’ve always felt that ascriptions of guilt and innocence are dependent upon individual values and beliefs. However, a clearer understanding of the issues can only serve to improve the evaluation of this ascription.
"No sir, you will not find Armenians who will express disapproval or
distress for the assassination of Turkish governmental officials. It
is unfortunate that the attitude of the Turkish government vis-a-vis
Armenian demands dictates that more people have to die in pursuit of justice."
David Davidian, "professional Armenian patriot," and part of "The Genocide Archive Project" in recent years, from a Google usenet group on Turkish culture, circa 1989. In response to another Armenian who thought similarly (while stating that terrorism cannot be condoned, of course), Deniz Akkuz replied (May 2 1989): "Mr. Bedrossian, I am quite frankly appalled at your refusal to feel anything for people killed on duty. Unless there is a basic respect for human life, which I see that you lack, your cause is nothing more than howling for revenge and more blood."
As a California State University undergrad in Fresno, Randy Baloian was part of the "Armenian Studies Program," and served as an assistant editor and, later, editor, for their newspaper, Hye Sharzhoom, between 1984-1986, the latter year when he graduated; he may not be as active these days with the beloved genocide, working in anthropology as he appears to be doing. So let's try not to hold examples of his hot-blooded youth against him, even though we have to wonder whether his views have significantly changed in the years that followed... as deeply involved in Hai Tahd as he was. ("Armenian Studies," based on victimhood and the need to blame villains, can too often represent a license for teaching hatred.)
It's not as much the person behind this article we need to focus on, as much as the incredible justification used for murder... since Mr. Baloian served as the rule, and not the exception, for the vengeance-minded in his community.
Take a look at the appalling reason being employed, here. A Turkish diplomat, whose multi-layered job is far from defined by the "Armenian genocide" serving as the obsession for so many Armenians, may only be identified as an "accomplice" to the "crime" of not recognizing the events of 1915 as a systematic extermination policy.
If someone is a murderer, and another assists in the crime in some tangential way but does not pull the trigger, should the punishment for this "accomplice" be execution? That's what poor Randy Baloian apparently believed in. (Even though he did not condone assassinations... of course.)
(Let's say Mr. Baloian's baloney got through to the weaker-minded Armenian extremists, and the "logic" paved the way for some to kill innocent people. Would that not have made Mr. Baloian an "accomplice" to the crime? Certainly he would serve as a much more legitimate accomplice than what he is accusing these diplomats of, of concealing a crime. In order for them to have been concealing the truth of genocide as Armenians believe it, these diplomats would have needed to be experts in history — at least one-sided history; yet, as Fatma Muge Gocek herself revealed, the Turkish school system did not even cover the genocide topic. So unless the point is these diplomats were guilty simply as representatives of the Turkish government, which the author later alludes to, then most of these historically ignorant diplomats were completely innocent of concealment... in short, they were not even qualified to be "any person who conceals a crime... guilty of being an accomplice." Since Mr. Baloian served as a much deadlier accomplice, let's hope [especially if his words encouraged terrorists to follow through] he would not believe he'd deserve the same fate as the one he handed down to Turkish diplomats.)
Naturally, the "murderer" in this case is the Turkish government; even though this is the government that had overthrown the Ottoman government. (Mr. Baloian knew he was in trouble here, and tried to tell us the UN Genocide Convention holds the "state" responsible, even if a successor state. That is not what the UN Genocide Convention says at all; only individuals may be found guilty of the crime of genocide, not nations.) And let's face it; all the real evidence points to the Ottoman government as not being behind a "Final Solution, " but instead tried to safeguard Armenian lives. (Failing in some cases because of shortages and actions of renegades & other locals.) The Armenians who lost their lives mainly died from famine and disease, as did the bulk of the 2.5 million other Ottomans who died, the ones who don't rate as human beings, since no one cares about them.
(As a side note, while I don't know anything about the case of Reverend Manuel Yergatian... Mr. Baloian's striking example of modern Turkey's policy of "cultural genocide" against Armenian Turks... if Yergatian was a citizen of the Turkish nation and advocated part of his nation should become "Armenia" — as it sounds like he was doing. — then he should have been careful about the laws of his country. These actions would be looked upon as treasonous by any nation.)
After Mr. Baloian engages in the typically blind take on genuine history that any graduate of an Armenian Studies program would be susceptible to (such as ignoring the vast and devilish crimes of mass murder committed by his people against Turks and other non-Armenian Ottomans; this would be a "distortion of history" to a brainwashed party, regardless of the eyewitness testimony of the allies of Armenians, the Russians, French, British and Americans, along with other westerners), he would be perfectly content in signing the death warrant of innocent Turkish diplomats:
"...[A]s representatives of a government which blatantly denies and conceals the massacre of 1.5 million humans, I believe they can be considered nothing less than guilty."
Is that not incredible? And Mr. Baloian completely ignored the fact that the victims of his terrorist heroes were not confined to Turks. Even Mr. Baloian's fellow United States citizens were killed by them, and many hundreds worldwide were injured, along with much property destruction.
Yet, the mind of a fanatic cannot see clearly. And racist fanatics in the Armenian community who all too willingly decided on becoming murderers found articles as this one the perfect elixir, in case their consciences were somewhat troubled by the crimes they were anxious to commit... in support of a cause that is "nothing more than howling for revenge."