4/24/2021 marked the 106th anniversary of the beginning of the Armenian Genocide, the biggest genocide in human history at that point with an estimated death count of between 1.2 and 1.5 million. It was the first ethnocide of the 20th century, and has been denied by many nations across the globe. As of 2021, every government of Turkey since it gained independence in 1923 has made denial of this atrocity the official policy.
The Armenian Genocide is also one of the most denied genocides in human history. While nobody denies mass murder took place, many argue the murder took place for political reasons and not ethnic ones, therefore it could not be genocide. Ignoring the rather important fact that that’s not how genocide works, that argument is also based on pseudo-history. While it is true that many Armenians were having political disputes with the Ottoman Empire, it’s nonsensical to then say that every single Armenian killed was a political opponent, especially considering a good number of children were killed in the process. The fact is, Armenians underwent mass deportation, theft of property, and forced conversion to Islam.
Do you know who thought The Armenian Genocide was, well, a genocide? One man who was inspired by the massacre, Adolf Hitler. On 3/4/1931, Hitler described his plan for Germany in the following terms:
We must already be thinking of resettlement of millions of men from Germany and Europe. Migrations of people have always taken place. Are we really going to remain a nation of have-nots forever? We have the capacity to rouse and lead the masses against this situation. We intend to introduce a great resettlement policy; In 1923 little Greece could resettle a million men. Think of the biblical deportations and the massacres of the Middle Ages and remember the extermination of the Armenians.
In another speech given to the German military on 8/22/1939, Hitler discussed his plan for Poland — specifically, his plan to exterminate the Polish people. He promises the military they will not see any consequences for these actions because, as he puts it:
Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?
4/24/2021 was also an important day by itself, as it marked President Joe Biden making a statement on the topic in which he called it a genocide, something no President has done since Reagan briefly referred to it as such in 1981. Here is what that statement said:
Each year on this day, we remember the lives of all those who died in the Ottoman-era Armenian genocide and recommit ourselves to preventing such an atrocity from ever again occurring.
In the United States, the Israel and Turkey lobbies have worked hard on making sure that Americans do not recognize the evil done by the Ottoman Empire. When Congress passed a resolution recognizing it in 2019, then-State Department Spokesman (and Fox News commentator) Morgan Ortagus said that “the opinion of the administration has not changed.” In April 2019, Donald Trump called the event “one of the worst mass atrocities of the 20th century,” but he — as all the deniers do — refused to use the word “genocide” in reference to these actions.
Before then, Congress considered recognizing the genocide in 2007, however, the Turkish lobby — with the support of President George W. Bush, who warned “passage would do great harm to our relations with a key ally in NATO and in the global war on terror,” — stopped the resolution in its tracks. This has been the common wisdom, with Turkey being a member of NATO as well as an ally of Israel (and a rare Muslim Ally at that), the United States has to bend over backward in order to keep them happy.
Turkey’s President, the far-right Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, has already asked Biden to “immediately” backtrack on his calling a genocide a genocide. As of writing, Joe Biden has refused to back down because one of Joe Biden’s goals as President is standing up to evil worldwide.
Last week, Russia announced they were no longer going to send troops to the Ukraine border. The fact that this happened less than 100 days after a President who did not suck up to Russia took office was no coincidence, as both Biden and Secretary of State Tony Blinken had warned Putin that the United States will stand up to him earlier this month.
Joe Biden did not get a congratulation from North Korea’s Kim Jong Un — a man who Donald Trump said had “a beautiful vision” for North Korea — upon his victory in 2020. Once again, dictators from around the world hate this man, just as how it should be.
Joe Biden is the first President of the United States in a long time who stands up to evil. Donald Trump celebrated it, Barack Obama ignored it, and George W. Bush tried to profit off of it, but Joe Biden is going to be different. We will be seeing a different foreign policy going forward, and the world will be better off for it.