Adonis Diaries

Posts Tagged ‘Cherkessk

 

 

Genocide has deep causes: The catalyst is a major war to ignite the massacre

And why Germany committed this mass ethnic cleansing genocide on Jews, Ukrainians, Polish people, Tsigans…?

Because the colonial victors in WWI  refused to set up an international tribunal for crimes against humanity:

1. On the genocide of the Armenians planned by Germany in 1915 and executed by the Turks and Kurds

2. On the famine hecatomb in Mount Lebanon (1915-18), willed by Germany after a visit of its monarch  in 1909

This post focuses on the genocide of the Armenians and Lebanese.

But prior to that, let us refresh our memories of the colonial genocide before the cases of the Armenians and Lebanese people:

1. The massive killing of the people in the Congo (5 million) by colonial Belgium

2. the genocide on Indonesians by colonial Netherland

3. The genocide on people in Australia, India and New Zealand by the British Empire

 

And Hitler to wonder in 1939: “Who remembers the massacre of the Armenians?”

Actually, the Nuremberg Tribunal focused on the latest of genocide. The colonial powers executed a dozen of those they had no interest in using for their talent and professionalism, particularly in the development of weapons of mass destruction, torture techniques, sciences and spying.

The Nuremberg Tribunal didn’t brought to trial

1. the genocide in Libya and Ethiopia by Italy under Mussolini

The Nuremberg Tribunal didn’t convince anyone with strong links to former colonial powers that there can be serious consequences of committing genocide. Let’s start with:

1. genocide in Korea by Japan, China, Soviet Union and USA

2. genocide in China by Japan, Soviet Union and Mao Tse Tong

3. genocide in Viet Nam by the French and USA

4. genocide in Algeria by the French

5. genocide in Rwanda

6. genocide in Cambodia

7. genocide in Afghanistan

8. genocide in Iraq and then Syria

Shall we go on?

This post will focus on the two genocide of Armenians and Lebanese of Mount Lebanon.

When WWI started, Germany was the main western nation dealing with Turkey, in trade, military cooperation and training, building infrastructure (The Istanbul-Hejaz railway for example)

By 1906, the British Empire realized that it was unable to prevent Germany becoming the second economical power behind the USA or overtaking German external trade around the world in quality or price.

England decided that its best strategy was a preemptive war on Germany by blocking the maritime ports with which Germany imported and exported goods.

All the diplomacy of England was to ally France ( the largest land army) and neutralize Russia (the main trade outlet for Germany for many centuries) in the event Germany wage an all out war.

Germany had no qualm with France and Russia because it benefitted from these 2 countries.

Ironically, it is France and Russia that first declared war on Germany.

As Russia declared war on Germany, and since the Armenians in Turkey steadfastly and consistently supported and aided Imperial Russia frequent incursions into the Ottoman Empire since the 19th century, Germany planned the Armenian genocide and the new  colonial national zeal of the Young Turk junta systematically executed the plan, and in a very German professionalism.

It is to be noted that the Ottoman Empire was the most lenient and tolerant among all empires relative to its varieties of ethnic and religious diversities.

Germany finally decided to agree that it shared in the genocide of the Armenians by the planning of this mass murder. 

The roots for this hatred of the Turks against the Armenians was there, and it needed a new Nationalist feeling of the 20th century to go all the way according to the German decision.

The turks executed the plan in the large cities while the Kurds were assigned this job in the far fetched country side.

Germany was also behind punishing Lebanon and committed this genocide famine hecatomb between 1915-18

For example, the city of Kars in Turkey, on the eastern side of the Anatolia Plateau (Anadol), is built by the river Kars and is a must cross location on the routes from Georgia, Tabriz (Iran), the Caucasus and Tiflis. I urge my readers to recollect other cursed cities through history.

Eastern Anatolia and the Caucasus form one homogeneous geographic area in economy, culture, and social communication and trades.

The Armenians on both sides preferred to pay allegiance to Christian Russia and wished that Russia would grant them administrative autonomy in the Caucasus.

The Moslems on both sides paid allegiance to the Moslem Ottoman Empire.

The triangle of the current States of Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan were the scenes of major battle fields and invasions through history and is still a hot area till now.

The Nobel Literature Prize winner Orhan Pamuk published “Snow” that described the calamities suffered by the inhabitants of the Kars region.  The Armenian people lived in that region for a thousand years and then many waves of immigrants and refugees from persecutions flocked to it.

The Karss region hosted people from the Empires of Persia, Byzantium and then Moguls, Georgians, Kurds, and Cherkessk.

In the 17th century, the Karss region was predominantly of Moslems and then Armenians were second in numbers.

The absolute monarchic Russian Empire vied for this region since the 18th century.

In 1827, Russia entered Karss and chased out over 27,000 Moslems and transferred 45,000 Armenians to this city from Iran and the Anatolian Plateau.

The city of Yerevan (Capital of the current State of Armenia) that was mostly of Iranians was transformed demographically in 1827.

In every Russian invasion to the Karss region, the Russian troops could rely on the Armenian population for auxiliary regiments, logistics, and intelligence services.

As the Russian troops vacated the region in 1829, over 90,000 Armenians fled with the Russians fearing well deserved persecution.

During the Crimea War, which confronted Russia against the combined alliance of Britain, France, and the Ottoman, the Russians put siege on Karss in 1855 for many months and all the Ottoman army within the city was massacred.  The Paris treaty of 1855 forced the Russians to vacate the Karss region. The Ottoman troops retaliated heavily on the Armenians.

In 1859, the Cherkessk, lead by their leader Shamel, revolted against the Russians and Shamel was defeated; many Christian Russian Orthodox were transferred to Karss to replace the Moslem Cherkessk.  The same eviction process befell three quarter of the Moslems of Abkhazia in 1867.

Thus, in less than 30 years, the Russian Empire changed the demographics of the Caucasus from mostly Moslems to mostly Christians.

Over 1, 200,000 Moslems were forced to transfer to other regions; 800,000 of the Moslems settled in the Ottoman Empire. 

In 1877, the Russians amassed troops on the border with Karss; Sultan Abdel Hamid preempted the invasion by massacring the Armenians on ground that they will inevitably aid the Russians.

After 93 days of war, the Russians entered Karss and a pogrom on the Moslems proceeded for many days.

The treaty of San Estephanos relinquished the region to the Russian Empire. The Russians built a new city south of the city of Karess where the Emperor Alexander III met with his concubines and hunted.

In the next 43 years, the Armenians harassed the Moslems of this region and thousand had to flee.

In retaliation, Sultan Abdel Hamid formed in 1891 a special regiment of Kurdish cavalry with the purpose of harassing the Armenians of the Karss region and the pogrom around Lake Van raised an outcry in Europe.

During the First World War, the Armenians again aided the Russians and formed semi-regular armies to fight the Ottoman Empire.

On both sides, Armenian troops were under either the flag of Turkey or of Russia.

As the genocide was decided in April 1915, the Turks disbanded 125,000 armed Armenian troops and transferred them to dig ditches and construction works.

Consequently, in 1915, the Ottoman Empire launched the genocide plan against the Armenians and thousands died of famine during the long march out of Turkey.

The Armenians settled in Constantinople (Istanbul), and the people in the Adana region shared in the mass persecution; only the Armenians in the Caucasus, within Russia, were spared.

The British occupied the Karss region in 1919 and gave some authority to the Armenians who gathered arms from the Moslems and gave them to the Armenians and another round of harassment and massacres took place.

The Turkish General Mustafa Kemal re-occupied the Karss region in 1920 after defeating the Armenian army: the Bolsheviks were then allied to the new Turkish Republic.

The Russians transferred the Armenians from the region of Patum to Yerevan.

In 1927, all the properties of the Armenians in Karss were confiscated.

The Armenians were robbed of a homeland because Turkey ceased Cyprus to Britain in exchange of guaranteeing the Karss region to Turkey.

Mustafa Kemal (Attaturk) also negotiated a political deal with mandated power France over Syria to relinquish the Syrian region of Alexandrite to Turkey, setting the premises for future regional feuds.

Nowadays, there are no Armenians in Karss; the imposing buildings of Tsarist Russia are government Administrative offices; a vast villa of 40 rooms is transformed into hospital, and a Jewish museum.

An entire century of struggles, massacres, harassment,  genocides, and useless hate to their neighbors in order to gain self-autonomy rewarded the Armenians nothing.

They had to wait for the break down of the Soviet Union to enjoy the Armenian State that is totally dependent in its economy on the neighboring States.

Kosovo, Kashmir, Jerusalem, Gaza, and Palestine are current examples of lost opportunities for stability and peace.

As for the case of the famine hecatomb in Mount Lebanon read:

https://adonis49.wordpress.com/2013/11/14/famine-hecatomb-in-lebanon-1915-18/

The priest, the warrior, and the peasant; (August 22, 2009)

Another alternative title could be more realistic and comprehensive such as “Elder, male, and female” but it is not catchy enough.

George Dumezil, a French researcher who can speak over 20 languages, says “The first 10 languages are the hardest to learn; the remaining languages come pretty easy because it is the same routine and same thing”.

George Dumezil wrote the trilogy “Myth and Epic” that describes the mythologies in Ireland, Iceland, Scandinavia, Germany, Roman, Greek, Ossetia (Caucasus region), and then links all these mythologies to their hierarchical transmission from the Indian Mahabharata and Bhagavat mythology.

Dumezil calls this unifying mythology “The Indo-European mythology” and end up with a summary that this mythology is based on 3 fundamentals the Priesthood, Warrior, and Peasant classes with their respective Gods.

After over 40 years of detailed research to reach this common sense conclusion is a monstrous let down.

Da! This classification of society is common to all cultures and civilizations and going pretty strong nowadays. (The main Gods in all civilizations were of Justice, War, and Fecundity. The all-encompassing unifying God was barely worshiped by the people because not symbolizing their trade or class).

The Romans had the (Jupiter, Mars, and Quirinus). The Scandinavian counties had Odinn reigning over the Val-Holl of (Porr, Mimir, and Odrerir) and  Ases was their unifying God. The Germans had Wotan reigning over their Walhalla.  In the Near East mythology we had (Shamsh, Baal, and Ashtarout); El or Allah in the Arab Peninsula was their unifying God.  In the Nile civilization we had Amon (Sun), Osiris, and Isis.

The major let down is this conventional direction of researchers of thinking top down or hierarchically.  Well, after the Scandinavian got their mythology from Ossetia that got their mythology from Northern India, then from whom did the Indian receive their mythology?  If there are any written records that go many thousands of years in antiquity (not probable) we might discover that mythology transmission is no longer hierarchical but cyclical.

Adopting the easy hierarchical line of reasoning is basically wrong. It is the wrong logic to consider: simply because it stick to the conventional that the King/Priesthood classes are the transmitters of culture and civilization. The Priesthood class is mainly the conservative maintainer of the status quo and barely the transmitter of much anything.

A more realistic and promising line of reasoning is to consider that it is the warrior classes that transmitted rituals, myths, and customs.

It is the soldiers and sub officers who were in direct and daily contact with the conquered people: they are the ones who interrogated prisoners, facilitated trade and communication, and learned by osmosis the new culture and civilization of the subjugated people.  The soldiers and sub officers returned to their hometowns and villages and disseminated their story telling testimonies and accounts of their war period.

The dissemination was quick because most soldiers were mercenaries from the neighboring countries to the powerful Kingdom. Once the war was over, the soldiers were disbanded to return mainly to their families and spread the news of alternative rituals, myths, customs, and techniques of the conquered culture.

Since frequent communication of central government of Empires with their neighboring vassal countries was not sustained, it stands to reason that the peasant classes managed to occasionally change their traditions before the government realized the changes.

When central government is strong then either of two possibilities was activated:

1.  If the mercenary warriors sided with the peasants then the King/Priesthood was defeated and the newer traditions and mythologies took roots.

2.  If the King/Priesthood vanquished then many varieties of sects and cults mushroomed in the neighboring kingdom.

Empires come and go, but the tank sources for mercenaries were constant.

These warriors came from mountain chain regions and high plateaus or desert regions.  In “Indo-European civilization” the mercenaries flocked from the Turkish Anatole Plateau and its extension in the Caucasus of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Ossetia, Chechnya, Albania, and Romania.  The people were known as Cherkessk, Kurd, Tatar, Parthian, Scythe, and so on.  The other sources of mercenaries came from Central Asia such as Turkmenistan, Kirghizia, Tajikistan, and Mongolia.

The main central EMPIRE was Persia that extended many times from coastal Turkey to all of Afghanistan and part of Pakistan.

Babylon and later Assyria empires were counties of current Iran that moved the Capitals to their provinces as central power weakened in Persia. The same is true for the Hittite Empire in Anatolia that expanded to Egypt and signed the first recorded peace treaty with Egypt after the battle of Caddish. The Hittite aided the Greek by all means to defeat the Empire of Troy: Troy was a major handicap to extending to the coast and building a navy.

The urban centers in plains, rich with major water resources and large river,s hires mercenaries to defend or expand empires. The Near East region was constituted of City-States) that hired mercenaries for the war effort to defend the cities. A City-State was the center for Priesthood/learning class and peasant/skilled artisans class (the bread basket).  Empires that could not maintain autochthonous soldiers as majority of their armies vanished in no times.

When studying civilizations and their continuity we should never dismiss the main factor: climate.

There are the cold, mild, and hot weather civilizations. Within these 3 categories there are the plain and mountain region people. Talking about “indo-European” languages or civilizations is stretching the imagination a tad too far and forcing issues.

It is not with the antiques written records of the elite class that civilizations and dissemination of culture can be described and comprehended, but with archeological finds of daily living, rituals, and customs within homogeneous climatic regions.

Note 1: I had the topic from “Smell of the Time” (Odeur du temps) by Jean d’Ormesson who published three articles on George Dumezil. I didn’t read “Myth and Epic” and hope that d’Ormesson did.

Notes 2:  The nomadic desert Jewish tribes could not invent but one God “Yahwa”; Jehovah ended up to be their warrior God. When the Jews of Moses got in contact with the Canaanites in Palestine, Yahwa was set aside during peaceful period to be resurrected during war period and his statues and temples moved closer to God Baal in order for the Jews to be hired as mercenaries.


adonis49

adonis49

adonis49

April 2020
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