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Turkey's Treatment Of The Armenians -om19160705
TURKEY'S TREATMENT OF THE ARMENIANS
July 5, 1916
In Mr. Davenport's article in The Outlook on "President Wilson's Foreign Policy" our Government is represented as saying, in regard to its treatment of the Armenians: "We did all we could. We made protests. We got Germany to protest. . . . Of course, there is a measure of excuse, not for the massacre, but for the policy of the Turkish Government, which was to remove the Armenians from the immediate seat of war. Other countries would have done the same thing, but in an entirely different way."
Did Germany protest? In a certain way and form, indeed; but why did her military officers have an important part in directing the soldiers who did the business? Did our Government know whom it was dealing with when it secured the "protest"?
Would "other countries" have taken away from their homes, where at best they could obtain only a scanty subsistence, a hundred thousand families, non-combatants, with the fewest exceptions, as innocent of offenses against the Government under which they were living as a newly born child, consisting in large part of mothers with their little children, and those who were soon to be mothers - would "other countries," the United States, for example, have done this, even of done in the best way possible? It would have been impossible to do such a thing without involving those "removed" in a great deal of suffering, together with the certainty that they would be left without support, left to die, after reaching any new home. Is any one innocent enough to suppose that a million of people were removed from the "immediate seat of war" for their own safety? Would any other nation, if it happened to be at war with Turkey, have adopted such a measure? Although some Armenians, if opportunity offered, would have joined Turkey's foes (justly indeed, though unwisely), was a whole nation of people to be taken out of their homes, and thus left inevitably, for the most part, to perish, although this were done "in an entirely different way"? The world has rarely before, if ever, looked upon a crime so fiendish in its conception, so gigantic in its extent, so awful in its frightfulness and its cruelty, so sure ultimately of fatal results, as this attempted blotting out of an entire people whose ancestors had lived in the same quiet homes long before the Turks thought of sizing them for themselves.
We, one of the largest and richest Christian nations in the world, having every comfort, living largely at ease and in luxury, have for the space of a year looked with commendable calmness upon this before unheard-of procedure, and "have done before what we could." But has the world heard of so much as our officially spoken opinion of it?
John Otis Barrows
A hard copy of this article or hundreds of others from the time of the Armenian Genocide can be found in The Armenian Genocide: News Accounts From The American Press: 1915-1922