To the attention of: U.S. Representatives James Baird (IN), Kevin Brady (TX), Susan Brooks (IN), Larry Bucshon (IN), Tom Cole (OK), Virginia Foxx (NC), Andy Harris (MD), Mark Meadows (NC), Greg Pence (IN), Mike Rogers (AL), and Mac Thornberry (TX), through their Chiefs of Staff.
Copy: Adam Schiff (CA), Eliot Engel (NY), Speaker Nancy Pelosi (CA), for information, through their Chiefs of Staff.
I, as an individual from near Houston, Texas, would like to take this oppurtunity to thank you for your courage and principled stand by voting “NO” on the highly biassed anti-Turkish H.Res.296 bill (“Affirming the United States record on the Armenian Genocide”) when it came for a vote on the House floor on October 29. The bill passed overwhelmingly with 11 to 405 votes, in an atmosphere that was highly adversarial against Turkey due to the Syrian situation.
The vast majority of the Representatives voted with their emotions rather than prudence and objectivity, and in so doing capitulated to the well-endowed, newly energized Armenian lobby that had tried very hard to have such a resolution passed by the Congress over the past 35 years.
In adopting H.Res.296, there was not even the pretense of a debate or deliberation on a subject that is highly controversial, dealing with century-old events in a far-away land called Ottoman Anatolia. What mattered, for the vast majority of Representatives, was that Turkey had to be punished – and history, law, objectivity, and due process did not matter! Representative Eliot L. Engel, the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, did not even have the decency to have a few counter arguments aired against the bill before he pushed it hurriedly for passage. My understanding was that, even the traditional House Rules were dispensed with.
I will not delve here into the Syrian situation, which is a totally different subject, but by passing H.Res.296 and “punishing” Turkey, the House did great injustice to people of Turkish heritage like myself by ascribing to them the most hideous crime in human history: the act of genocide. Even if we leave aside the current political reality of Turkey being a critical NATO member, and a partner in the fight against Islamic error in Afghanistan, how many Representatives know that Turks, at the urging of the U.S., fought alongside American soldiers in Korea from 1950 to 1971, with 751 of them dying on the battlefield and more than 21,000 wounded?
Turks do not expect expressions of gratitude for their sacrifices in Korea, but they do expect a measure of justice and fairness.
And going further back into history, how many Representatives know that Turks welcomed Jews that were persecuted during the Spanish inquisition in the 15th century, helped mass-starving Irish people by sending shiploads of food during the 1845-1849 Great Famine, and rescued thousands of Jews from the Nazi terror during WW-II?
Could Turks, who embraced many minorities of different ethnic origin and religious faith for centuries, commit genocide against one particular minority that was considered a “loyal nation”?
Are the U.S. Congresspersons, including the California Representative Adam Schiff, who is Jewish, aware that Dashnak Armenians corroborated with the Nazis during World War II, as revealed in the article, “Der Deutsch-Armenischen Gesellschaft,” published in the German magazine “Mitteilungsblatt” in 1939? The 22,000-men-strong Armenian 812th Battalion (“Armenian Legion”) was created by the Wehrmacht in 1941 and was commanded by General Dro Drastamat Kanayan, a war criminal on his own from the time he was a guerrilla leader in eastern Anatolia and later the army chief in the short-lived First Republic of Armenia in 1918-1920.
“Armenian genocide” is a mere allegation that has no historical basis, and likewise no legal basis. Hundreds of historians do not consider the 1915 events in Ottoman Anatolia as genocide. The 1948 UN Convention on Genocide as well various court rulings from Europe starting in 2013 convincingly argue against genocide characterization. In particular, there is no similarity with the Holocaust. The UN itself has not recognized “Armenian genocide.”
H.Res.296 does not contain a single word as to the legal justification or foundation for “Armenian genocide,” because there exists none.
Every accusatory remark contained in the resolution, e.g., the ridiculous claim of 1.5 million Armenians deaths due to Relocation, the alleged Hitler document containing the fake “Armenian commentary” that was not even accepted as evidence at the Nuremberg Trials, the ramblings of the utterly racist, Turk- and Muslim-hater Ambassador Henry Morgenthau, who called Turks “primitive,” possessing “poisonous blood,” can be rebuked one by one.
The resolution does not say a word about Amb. Morgenthau’s successor Admiral Marc L. Bristol, who visited the war-torn region and refuted the Near East Relief reports reaching the United States. He remarked that “reports that Turks had massacred thousands of Armenians are repeated so many times, it makes my blood boil.”
Nor does the resolution say anything about, and express any regret for, the Armenian terror acts between 1973 and 1987 that resulted in the massacre of at least 70 people including 31 Turkish diplomats, some of the attacks taking place on American soil.
But perhaps most importantly, as per the 1948 UN Convention on Genocide (Article VI), the only entity that has the authority to pass judgment on, and determine an act to be a genocide, is a competent tribunal that has such jurisdiction. All genocides officially recognized by the United Nations, e.g., the Srebrenica and Cambodian genocides, have had the determination by such tribunal. Individuals, governments and parliaments do not have the authority to judge genocide. This is what the Convention, to which the U.S. is a signatory, says.
By recognizing “Armenian genocide,” the House, being a legislative body, regretfully usurped the power of a court or tribunal. The legislators yielded to and paid their dues to the Armenian lobby.
I will not burden you with details in this letter. Should you wish to have more information, please let me know, and I will be glad to assist.
And my apologies to some of you for engaging you at a time when you are dealing with an impeachment process.
Thank you, and sincerely,
Ferruh Demirmen, Ph.D, Chairman, Advisory Board Special Issues & Advisor To President.
Turkish Forum/World Turkish Alliance