“History is written by the victors” is a famous quote attributed to Sir Winston Churchill. Churchill as a politician and a great orator knew exactly what he was talking about. In the peak of World War two, millions of natives in Bengal, India were starving from famine, Churchill refused to make sufficient allowances to ship food to the affected area citing lack of ships due to the Great War and yet 70,000 tons of rice was shipped to Britain in the first 6 months of the year from India, even as famine set in. Yet shipments of wheat from Australia would pass through and stored for future in Europe. In addition, boats and bull carts belonging to natives in Bengal were destroyed; rice stocks were seized fearing the Japanese would land there. For Winston, the starvation of the Bengalis in India which was a British colony was less serious than the liberation of Greeks. It is estimated that between 3.5 million and 5 million people died as a result of man-made famine which the Indians claim it Bengal genocide. However, except for Indian sources, this incident is referred as Bengal famine of 1943 in most western sources, because Britain was victorious in WW2 and it had got to write the history.
So it is no surprise that when the Ottomans lost WW1, the westerners had to write the history from their perspective to justify why they condemn their sons to death at Gallipoli and elsewhere in Europe. They have to portray everyone on the other side as brutal and inhumane so that war that killed millions on both sides was worth it. There is no fitting memorial than one that befits their sons as liberators and while the enemy were genocidal killers. So the Western world and media gather again across the world to mark an event in Armenia that happened 100 years ago, with sources attributed to largely western and Armenian records. To expect a balanced view on the Armenian question is almost inconceivable and to expect one is foolishness because History is written by victors.
The Nazi’s (Not Germans according western media), has always been portrayed as being responsible for millions of Jews and Romans and rightly so. For years and years they were the aggressors. However, recently it has surfaced the news that the Germans (Not Nazis) were also victims. It appears that towards the end of the World War Two, when the Russians marched into Berlin, as much as 135,000 women were subjected to rape, systematically. Of this 135,000, 10,000 women committed suicide because of the humiliation suffered by rape. Other emerging records conclude the red army raped almost 1.5 million women in Germany, East Prussia, Pomerania and Silesia. Rape has been used as a tool of war in many wars and it is unacceptable. And these women need to be given justice and their stories heard if this is indeed the truth. But the real question remains though is the fact that why is this story gaining momentum and this history of the Allied soldiers (let’s not distinguish the Allied soldiers from the Red Army until clear evidence is presented) only surfacing now? Is some of the historical facts being revitalize because of the new anti-Russian sentiment or anti-Putin sentiment in Europe? Is it because with record low energy commodities prices, Russia can’t wheel its power as much before against the West economic sanctions? So now pending how the situation in Ukraine is resolved, history will be written by victors again.
Some Western countries, their medias, parliaments, social networks have already acted hand in hand and decided on a genocide by using freedom of speech, by ignoring law and legal procedures necessary, by ignoring the definition of “what a genocide is”. It is what it is as “Parliaments verses Courts” or “Political resolutions verses legal decisions” is acting now and rewriting a history just by ignoring historical facts and proof such as; Treaty of Lausanne. Armenians joined this with two delegations: one from Armenian Republic and one to represent outside Armenians and called National Armenian Delegation. A famous Ottoman Pasha, an Armenian from Egypt, Bogos Nubar Pasha was leading this delegation. As soon as the meeting started Bogos Nubar Pasha indicated that: “We declared war to Ottomans and we are the opponent side.” and he added they were in that meeting as the enemy side. Wouldn`t this declaration look interesting if this genocide issue was put under the investigation of legal assessment? Furthermore, during Lausanne Treaty, Bogos Nubar Pasha stated that “I am here to represent 3oo thousand Armenians killed”. Now watch the number! 50 years later this number increased up to 1 million, and then now it is 1.5 million.
Plus, a prominent Professor from University of Louisville in the Armenian question Justin McCarthy`s research has indicated nearly 5.5 Muslim Turks were persecuted and driven out of the Balkans between 1821-1922, around the same time as exactly what happened to Armenians. Why doesn`t Western media talk about Turks who got killed and thorn away from their lands by weapons? Isn’t it as interesting as the Armenians’ stories?
The Armenian relocation is a historical event. The classification of this event as a genocide is matter of legal and historical debate that needs to be decided by a neutral court with documents from both sides. Hence, history and law, NOT POLITICS, should be employed to study the controversial subject. However, Western politics and interest makes it difficult for the judicial system impartial to make a fair judgement on this. More often, Western countries pay less attention to the atrocities committed by them and put more effort into the misdeeds of other countries in the past. This gives them the opportunity to rule over and impede the progression of countries they fought with in the past.
An American author R.A. Salvatore makes it crystal clear in his work Road of the Patriarch; “And so it is true that we can manipulate our own reality. We can persuade, even deceive. We can make others view us in dishonest ways. We can hide selfishness with charity, make a craving for acceptance into magnanimity, and amplify our smile to coerce a hesitant lover. The world is illusion, and often delusion, as victors write the histories…”
But all is not lost. Views on the Armenian question or any other historical event can change pending who has economic or territorial power as;
“victors write the history…”
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