(…or what does today’s Republican congress have in common with those who deny the Armenian Genocide)
Author: Gonca Sönmez-Poole
January 6, 2022
It is by now apparent that besides those seven Republicans whose commitment to truth and justice made them a minority in their party, the mainstream GOP congress in the United States chose to overlook the “pattern” of lies culminating in the forceful takeover of the US Capitol on January 6. For many days now, the defenders of the ex-president claim that there was nothing in his speech on that infamous day that would make him the main source (as in the obvious instigator) of that day’s mob violence. Part of their defense rests on the following words used by their absent witness, the former president, who used the words “peacefully” and “patriotically” while encouraging his supporters to walk to the Capitol and ask for justice. Never mind the fact that he used the word “peacefully” only once in those days and hours leading up to January 6 whenever he took up the podium to encourage his supporters to fight for their rights and ask for the election results (confirmed and validated by every legitimate measure) to be overturned in his favor. According to the defense, Mr. Trump never said anything like “go, break the doors and windows,” “crush the head of the police officer between the doors,” or “walk around with chants of ‘hang Mike Pence’!” The defense may have worked in this rushed effort to impeachment, but I’m not buying it and neither should anyone with a modicum of critical thinking.
For those who have studied and observed the reasons for those who deny the truth of the Armenian Genocide, the significance of the word “intent” as articulated in the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide is apparent. While it is true that the Convention clearly requires the existence of “intent” in order to ascertain and confirm certain acts as genocide (“…annihilate in whole or in part” a group of people because of their national, racial, ethnic or religious membership.) it is a well-established fact that the act of genocide is not simply one singular act committed against a group of people in one single event, in one single day or month or year. Most of today’s historians who study and write about the Armenian Genocide have clearly established that it is the “pattern” of behavior towards Ottoman Armenians throughout the waning years of the Ottoman Empire that points to the incontrovertible truth that the nationalist Young Turk government committed genocide against the Armenian people. And so, even though there may be no historical archive with the words “go kill any Armenian you see on the street,” or “make sure no Armenian is left in this town,” or “send Armenians to their death by sending them away from their homes,” the intent behind the horrifying actions and decisions taken before, during and after the year 1915 is clear…just as the words spoken and the acts committed by Donald Trump (beginning well before the election of November 3, 2020 and leading up to January 6, 2021) show clear intent to sow doubt and inspire the violent disruption of a legitimate transfer of power.
And for those of you who celebrate Christmas today instead of December 25…Pari Dariner.
May the New Year be a blessed one bringing you health and peace of mind.
- Quotes from Raphael Lemkin (inventor of the word genocide): “Generally speaking, genocide does not necessarily mean the immediate destruction of a nation, except when accomplished by mass killings of all members of a nation. It is intended rather to signify a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.” (Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation. Analyses of Government Proposals for Redress (Washington D.C. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, 1944, p.79-95)
- “A slow genocide” is a term which is used to describe a genocide that is being committed on a slower scale in a longer time frame. While a genocide may provoke outrage from the media, a slow genocide may not be noticeable enough to be covered as a news story.”