[Marxism] Fwd: Armenia’s Trail of Tears

Louis Proyect lnp3 at panix.com
Fri Apr 7 07:57:13 MDT 2017

On April 21st, “The Promise” will be opening in New York and then 
scheduled for nationwide release in 1,500 theaters. It has much in 
common both politically and artistically with “Bitter Harvest” that I 
reviewed for CounterPunch on February 24th. That film dealt with 
Stalin’s brutal imposition of forced collectivization that had the 
unintended consequence of leaving millions of Ukrainians starving to 
death. “The Promise” is about how the Young Turks expelled the Armenian 
population from the desiccated husk of the Ottoman Empire as it began to 
take shape as modern Turkey during WWI.

As I said in my review of “Bitter Harvest”, neither of these historical 
events could be compared to the Judeocide since Hitler’s death camps 
were meant to exterminate a race on an industrialized, assembly-line 
basis. Although there were mass killings in both Ukraine and eastern 
Anatolia, most of the deaths were the result of putting a population 
under such duress that sickness and death were inevitable. I have always 
thought of the Armenian expulsion as Turkey’s version of Andrew 
Jackson’s “Trail of Tears”. Did Jackson intend for one-out-of-three 
Cherokees to perish on their long trek to Oklahoma? If the removal of 
Indians and Armenians were critical to the formation of a modern state 
based on “enlightenment values” (the Young Turks strongly identified 
with the French Revolution), wasn’t there a productivist logic to ethnic 
cleansing? I reject this kind of argument but at least want to establish 
that there are both American and Turkish historians who would take great 
umbrage at the idea of a genocide taking place in their nation.

full: http://www.counterpunch.org/2017/04/07/armenias-trail-of-tears/

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