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THE ISSUE:
Whether within the events leading to the collapse of the Ottoman Empire genocide was perpetrated against Armenian Ottoman citizens in Eastern Anatolia. The Ottoman Empire ruled over all of Anatolia and significant parts of Europe, North Africa, the Caucasus and Middle East for over seven hundred years. Lands once Ottoman dominions today comprise more than 30 independent nations.

A century of ever-increasing conflict, beginning roughly in 1820 and culminating with the founding of the Republic of Turkey in 1923, characterized the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman Empire participated in no fewer than a dozen named wars, nearly all to the detriment of the empire and its citizens. The empire contracted against an onslaught of external invaders and internal nationalist independence movements. In this context -- an imperiled empire waging and losing battles on remote and disparate fronts, grasping to continue a reign of over seven years -- must the tragic experience of the Ottoman Armenians of Eastern Anatolia be understood. For during these waning days of the Ottoman Empire did millions die, Muslim, Jew, and Christian alike.

Yet Armenian  have attempted to extricate and isolate their history from the complex circumstances in which their ancestors were embroiled. In so doing, they describe a world populated only by white-hatted heroes and black-hatted villains. The heroes are always Christian and the villains are always Muslim. Infusing history with myth, Armenian Americans vilify the Republic of Turkey, Turkish Americans, and ethnic Turks worldwide. Armenian  bent on this prosecution choose their evidence carefully, omitting all evidence that tends to exonerate those whom they presume guilty, ignoring important events and verifiable accounts, and sometimes relying on dubious or prejudiced sources and even falsified documents. Though this portrayal is necessarily one-sided and steeped in bias, the Armenian  community presents it as a complete history and unassailable fact.

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RELEVANCE: The truth demands that every side of a story be told. Fundamental freedoms enshrined in the U.S. Constitution protect those who choose to challenge the Armenian view.

To oppose Armenian orthodoxy on this issue has become risky. Any attempt to challenge the credibility of witnesses, or the authenticity of documents, or to present evidence that some of the claimed victims were responsible for their own fate is either wholly squelched or met with accusations of genocide denial. Moreover, any attempt to demonstrate the suffering and needless death of millions of innocent non-Christians enmeshed in the same events as the Anatolian Armenians is greeted with sneers, as if to say that some lives are inherently more valuable than others and that one faith is more deserving than another. The lack of real debate, enforced with a heavy hand by Armenian, ensures that any consideration of what genuinely occurred nearly a century ago in Eastern Anatolia will utterly fail as a search for the truth.

Ultimately, whether to blindly accept the Armenian portrayal is an issue of fundamental fairness and the most cherished of American rights -- free speech. Simply put, in America every person has the opportunity to tell his or her story. Armenian  possess the right to promote and celebrate their heritage and even to discuss ancient grievances. However, Armenian seek to deny these very rights to others. This is proven by the punitive nature and sheer volume of legislation proposed in the state and federal legislatures, the one-sided curricula proposed to state boards of education, and by the vast sums of money and energy devoted to this cause. Together, these efforts only increase acrimony and antagonism.

The complete story of the vast suffering of this period has not yet been written. When that story is told, the following facts must not be forgotten.

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FACT 1: Demographic studies prove that prior to World War I, fewer than 1.5 million Armenians lived in the entire Ottoman Empire. Thus, allegations that more than 1.5 million Armenians from eastern Anatolia died must be false.

Figures reporting the total pre-World War I Armenian population vary widely, with Armenian sources claiming far more than others. British, French and Ottoman sources give figures of 1.05-1.50 million. Only certain Armenian sources claim a pre-war population larger than 1.5 million. Comparing these to post-war figures yields a rough estimate of losses. Historian and demographer, Dr. Justin McCarthy of the University of Louisville, calculates the actual losses as slightly less than 600,000. This figure agrees with those provided by British historian Arnold Toynbee, by most early editions of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and approximates the number given by Monseigneur Touchet, a French missionary, who informed the Oeuvre d'Orient in February 1916 that the number of dead is thought to be 500,000. Boghos Nubar, head of the Armenian delegation at the Paris Peace Conference in 1920, noted the large numbers who survived the war. He declared that after the war 280,000 Armenians remained in the Anatolian portion of the occupied Ottoman Empire while 700,000 Armenians had emigrated to other countries.

Clearly then, a great portion of the Ottoman Armenians were not killed as claimed and the 1.5 million figure should be viewed as grossly erroneous. Each needless death is a tragedy. Equally tragic are lies meant to inflame hatred.

FACT 2: Armenian losses were few in comparison to the over 2.5 million Muslim dead from the same period.

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Reliable statistics demonstrate that slightly less than 600,000 Anatolian Armenians died during the war period of 1912-22. Armenians indeed suffered a terrible mortality. But one must likewise consider the number of dead Muslims and Jews. The statistics tell us that more than 2.5 million Anatolian Muslims also perished. Thus, the years 1912-1922 constitute a horrible period for humanity, not just for Armenians.

The numbers do not tell us the exact manner of death of the citizens of Anatolia, regardless of ethnicity, who were caught up in both an international war and an intercommunal struggle. Documents of the time list intercommunal violence, forced migration of all ethnic groups, disease, and, starvation as causes of death. Others died as a result of the same war-induced causes that ravaged all peoples during the period.

FACT 3: Certain oft-cited Armenian evidence is of diminished value, having been derived from dubious and prejudicial sources.

Armenian purport that the wartime propaganda of the enemies of the Ottoman Empire constitutes objective evidence. Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, who is frequently quoted by Armenian, visited the Ottoman Empire with political, not humanitarian aims. His correspondence with President Wilson reveals his intent was to uncover or manufacture news that would goad the U.S. into joining the war. Given that motive, Morgenthau sought to malign the Ottoman Empire, an enemy of the Triple Entente. Morgenthau’s research and reporting relied in large part on politically motivated

Armenians; his primary aid, translator and confidant was Arshag Schmavonian, his secretary was Hagop Andonian. Morgenthau openly professed that the Turks were an inferior race and possessed "inferior blood." Thus, his accounts can hardly be considered objective.

One ought to compare the wartime writings of Morgenthau and the oft-cited Gen. J.G. Harbord to the post-war writings of Rear Admiral Mark L. Bristol, U.S. Ambassador to the Republic of Turkey 1920 - 1926. In a March 28, 1921 letter he writes,

"[R]eports are being freely circulated in the United States that the Turks massacred thousands of Armenians in the Caucasus. Such reports are repeated so many times it makes my blood boil. The Near East Relief have the reports from Yarrow and our own American people which show absolutely that such Armenian reports are absolutely false. The circulation of such false reports in the United States, without refutation, is an outrage and is certainly doing the Armenians more harm than good. … Why not tell the truth about the Armenians in every way?"

FACT 4: The Armenian deaths do not constitute genocide.

The totality of evidence thus far uncovered by historians tells a grim story of serious inter-communal conflict, perpetrated by both Christian and Muslim irregular forces, complicated by disease, famine, and many other of war’s privations. The evidence does not, however, describe genocide.

A. The Armenians took arms against their own government. Their violent political aims, not their race, ethnicity or religion, rendered them subject to relocation.

Armenian ignore the dire circumstances that precipitated the enactment of a measure as drastic as mass relocation. Armenians cooperated with Russian invaders of Eastern Anatolia in wars in 1828, 1854, and 1877. Between 1893 and 1915 Ottoman Armenians in eastern Anatolia rebelled against their government -- the Ottoman government -- and joined Armenian revolutionary groups, such as the notorious Dashnaks and Hunchaks. They armed themselves and spearheaded a massive Russian invasion of eastern Anatolia. On November 5, 1914, the President of the Armenian National Bureau in Tblisi declared to Czar