Armenian Genocide. Some background

Armenian civilians are marched to a nearby prison in Mezireh by armed Turkish soldiers. Kharpert, Western Armenia, Ottoman Empire in April 1915.

Between one and one-and-a-half million Armenians were killed by the Ottoman Empire in a mass extermination in 1915, now called the Armenian Genocide, that included death marches and prison camps.

It is widely acknowledged to have been one of the first modern genocides, as many Western sources point to the systematic, organized manner in which the killings were carried out to eliminate the Armenians. Indeed, the word genocide was coined in order to describe these events.

As a response to the continuing denial of the Armenian Genocide by the Turkish State, many activists among Armenian Diaspora communities have pushed for formal recognition of the Armenian genocide from various governments around the world. 21 countries and 42 U.S. states have adopted resolutions acknowledging the Armenian Genocide as a bona fide historical event.

Yet the US government still refuses to do so.

US not to recognize “Armenian genocide” in 2010

“The United States do not recognize the fact of “Armenian genocide” as it does not meet their national interests. The strategy of the US external policy does not include worsening ties with Turkey”

It is both despicable and craven for the US to do this.

Former Senator Bob Dole, both while in Congress and afterward, has worked tirelessly for decades for the US to recognize the genocide.

Badly injured in WWII and severely incapacitated, Dole’s arm would have been amputated except for the brilliant work of an Armenian doctor, Dr. Hampar Kelikian, who had survived the genocide. (His three sisters didn’t.) He told Dole about the tragedy of the genocide. Dole never forget it.

PS Dr. Kelikian did seven surgeries on Dole and refused to accept payment.

He did more than operate on his patient; he gave him a fresh perspective: “We start by not thinking so much anymore about what you have lost,” he said. “You must think about what you have left . . . and what you can do with it.”

This from a man who survived a genocide.

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