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The Armenian Genocide in Modern Politics - Essay Example

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An essay "The Armenian Genocide in Modern Politics" will use evidence from primary sources given in the book about American genocide to link the underlying hatred of the genocide to Kramer's description of war as “total destruction” (Kramer), and its relationship to modern America…
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The Armenian Genocide in Modern Politics
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Download file to see previous pages An inadvertent theme in the sources is the genocide's similarity to the atrocities perpetrated by Nazism in the Second World War – inadvertent, of course, because they record a “direct precedent for Hitler's genocidal policies” rather than a later imitation. However, the justification of the genocide is also reflected in twenty-first-century policy. Document 10.3, an excerpt from the memoirs of the American ambassador, records the Minister of the Interior's reasons for the genocide as follows: that the Armenians had “enriched themselves at the expense of the Turks”, that they “determined to domineer” over the native Turkish people, and that they “openly encouraged [the Turks'] enemies”. The similarities between this and Nazi anti-Semitism are familiar, but its recurrence in modern America is far more subtle and disturbing. Taalet's projection of his own actions on his enemies is reminiscent of, for example, right-wing accusations of leftist violence, or even the widespread and mistaken idea that both Democratic and Republican rhetoric was equally as bad after the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. Unlike people who adhere to Republican principles, Democrats are not suggesting “a fake attack on [their] governor to discredit union protestors”. Although the United States is not participating in genocide, some of the nationalist and racist tendencies currently prevalent are reminiscent of the reasons for the Armenian genocide....
Both the genocide and present US politics can be related to Kramer's idea that war in the twentieth century morphed into a “new style of warfare” (Sebag Montefiore) which he calls total destruction: conflict was no longer limited to the battleground but included the annihilation of civilians and culture as well. Documents 10.4 and 10.5 refer to Armenians being “Islamicized” (Author, 167) in order to survive, forsaking their culture in return for their lives; the report to the German government goes on to say that Armenian “orphanages, hospitals, schools and the like” had either been closed down or were being “threatened daily by the authorities” (Author, 167). The perpetrators of genocide did not merely want to eradicate Armenian people; their sights were set on the entire cultural history and memory of Armenians. More sneakily, pro-choice laws (and therefore women) in the United States are also threatened daily: three hundred and fifty one separate pieces of abortion-related legislation had been proposed in 2011 before the end of March (Steinmetz). Although the circumstances are very different, the effect is not so; such attack on women's rights could be considered a genocide of sorts, or rather a slow and secret mass femicide. Similarly, “cases of rape of women and girls even publicly are very numerous” (Author, 162) in the Armenian genocide as in the twenty-first century US, where one in six women and one in thirty-three men are sexually assaulted (RAINN). It is true, however, that nationalism and racism are not so prevalent in American politics as they were in the Armenian genocide, although both have ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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