Friday marked the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and President Obama, despite his prior promises to recognize the Armenian Genocide, failed to do so for the seventh straight year.
The same week, the Turkish government announced that Obama would join the Turkish government, led by Islamist President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in opening the Turkish-American Culture and Civilization Center in Maryland. Mevlut Cavusoglu, visiting Washington in advance of the commemoration of the Genocide, said, “During a phone call, President Erdogan asked President Obama to accompany him in opening the center together and President Obama accepted his offer in principle.” Cavusoglu then talked about the dangers of Islamophobia.
This is a remarkable slap in the face to Armenians, marking the centennial of the Genocide by radical Muslims against Christians. That is the untold story of the Genocide, a story conveniently ignored by the media and forgotten by world governments similarly ignoring atrocities by Muslims against Christians the world over.
To understand the Armenian Genocide, one must first understand the history of Turkey, which for centuries was a Christian country; its capital, now named Istanbul by Muslims, was originally named Constantinople after Emperor Constantine and was the most powerful Christian city in on the planet for several centuries. In 1453, the city was conquered by Muslims and became Istanbul and the capital of the Ottoman Empire. Armenia remained Christian, however. As the Ottoman Empire crumbled, despite the fact that other territories gained their independence, Armenia did not.
In 1876, Sultan Abdul Hamid II took over dictatorship of the Empire. By 1878, he had signed away Romania, Serbia, and Montenegro; the Balkans were essentially freed of the Ottomans; he lost Egypt and Sudan to the British. By the 1890s, Armenians began demanding reforms. In response, the Sultan gave free reign to Kurdish groups to begin targeting Armenians, and when Armenians responded, the Sultan unleashed the Muslim military against the Armenians. Some 300,000 Armenians were killed.
In 1908, under pressure from reformers known as the Young Turks, the Sultan gave up power. But the movement for liberalism lasted only a few years before three Islamist leaders of the Young Turks seized power for themselves, then joined World War I on the side of the Germans. The Three Pashas, as they became known, decided to reconstitute the Empire, freeing it of Christian influence. In precursors to the Genocide, as the Young Turks took power, Islamists began massacring Christian Armenians. At the time, The New York Times reported that the Turks had endorsed a “policy of extermination directed against the Christians of Asia Minor.”
Once World War I broke out, the government began openly targeting Armenian Christians under the pretense that they would side with the Russian Christians to the north. As the Times states:
The Young Turks, who called themselves the Committee of Unity and Progress, launched a set of measures against the Armenians, including a law authorizing the military and government to deport anyone they “sensed” was a security threat. A later law allowed the confiscation of abandoned Armenian property. Armenians were ordered to turn in any weapons that they owned to the authorities. Those in the army were disarmed and transferred into labor battalions where they were either killed or worked to death.
Those policies of disarmament then led to wholescale slaughter, as Turkish troops drove Armenians into the desert to starve – over one million of them, by reports. Children were thrown into rivers to drown; in Trabzond, the US consul, Ascar Heizer, reported:
Nearly 3,000 children were installed in empty houses, of which there were many…This plan did not suit Nail Bey, and in about ten days he advertised that any Mahommedan, who wanted to take girls or boys, could apply to these homes and a great many children were taken. He himself chose ten of the best-looking girls and kept them in a house for his own pleasure, and the amusement of his friends. Many of the children were loaded into boats and taken out to sea and thrown overboard. I myself saw where 16 were washed ashore.
Villages were burned with residents still inside.
Just before the advent of the invasion of Poland, Hitler told his troops, “Go, kill without mercy… who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?”
And who, today, speaks of the genocidal attempts of radical Muslims in the Middle East? A world that has deliberately ignored the genocide by radical Muslims against Armenian Christians for a full century continues to ignore attempted mass murder by radical Muslims against Christians in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Iran, Lebanon, and Nigeria, among other countries. The Armenian Genocide has been forgotten because genocide against Christians must be ignored; to ignore history is to repeat it. And thus we repeat, and Christians in the Middle East die.
Ben Shapiro is Senior Editor-At-Large of Breitbart News and author of the new book, The People vs. Barack Obama: The Criminal Case Against The Obama Administration (Threshold Editions, June 10, 2014). He is also Editor-in-Chief of TruthRevolt.org. Follow Ben Shapiro on Twitter @benshapiro.