Promising To Hang Some Turks -nyt19160222

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Promising to Hang Some Turks


Included in the dispatches about the fall of Erzerum is the statement that t he victorious Russians intend to hold the Turkish officials, civil and military, personally responsible for their atrocious treatment of the Armenian population, and that there are to be many trials for murder, the inevitable end of which will be the hanging in large numbers of those who ordered or permitted the massacres.

It is hard--for most, probably impossible--not to receive this news with satisfaction and to hope that it may turn out to be true. Of course, on general principles, the amount of killing in progress over a considerable portion of the earth's surface is already somewhat more than sufficiently great, and its increase in not desirable, but there really seems to be no way to convince the Turks that some of their policies are intolerable, even in such a world as this has come to be, except by arguing with the men who devise and execute those policies in he one way they understand.

How far, if at all, below the Sultan himself and his chosen or self-selected Ministers, the line of direct, personal responsibility and direct, personal punishment should be direct, personal punishment should be drawn is a question to which the Russians can probably be trusted to find an answer in the number and importance of the prisoners' they are able to take. They are not a squeamish lot, the Russians, and they would do the job well if they set about it. Their own record in the treatment of helpless peoples whose existence they found obnoxious or inconvenient can be held, according to the point of view, either for or against their right to reprehend the Turks for slaughtering Armenians. On the one hand, one might say that it little became the Russians to find fault with any peculiarities of Turkish politics, but on the other, their competence is indubitable for the exercise of deserved as well as of unearned severity.

Again, we are often told that the Russia of today is a new Russia, with new habits and ambitions. That, if true, makes it unnecessary and injudicious too industriously to take up old grievances against her. At any rate, she is keeping excellent company, nowadays, and it is only fair to credit nations as well as individuals with sharing the virtues of their associates.

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