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Monday, July 29, 2013

Kasab Taburu (Butcher Brigade), Part Eight

        "While Armenian reaction to the war was mixed, the overwhelming fact was that Armenians, empire-wide, were loyal to the Ottoman government.  Armenians had fought hard for Turkey in the recent Balkan war and now made pledges of loyalty throughout the empire--to such an extent that prayer vigils and victory services were held in Armenian churches.
       There was, of course, a small minority that openly opposed the Ottoman government.  Outside the empire, at their annual meeting in Romania, some members of the Hunchak Party in 1913 had voiced opposition to the Turkish war effort, resulting in the hanging of twenty Hunchak leaders in Constantinople in June 1915.  When Turkey entered the war, some Armenians living in the borderland region left Turkey to join an Armenian volunteer unit in Russia.  And one Armenian--the same Armen Garo of the 1896 Ottoman Bank incident--who was at the time an Armenian deputy from Erzurum in the Ottoman parliament, also joined a volunteer unit in Russia;  to top it off he even sent a photo of himself and a few of his friends as 'Armenian revolutionaries' to the Daily Graphic in London.
        This kind of naive romanticism enraged the Turks and was despised by many Armenian leaders as well.  The priest Krikoris Balakian, who would be arrested with about 250 Armenian leaders on April 24, denounced Garo and his friends as fools who didn't know what they were doing.  'This kind of foolish act further provoked the Turkish officials and the general public,' Balakian wrote, 'who already despised the Armenians--unarmed and confused as they were.'  In his memoir Armenian Golgotha, Balakian underscored that 'in these fateful days,' as he put it, 'there was no nationalistic Armenian policy or plan.'  While a few Armenians like Garo behaved irresponsibly, most didn't, and in the end 'the innocent Armenian population living inside the Turkish borders would pay with the price of their own blood.'
        As the first chapter of the war opened for the Ottoman Empire, Minister of War Enver Pasha decided to invade Russia.  Driven by his pan-Turkist zeal, he took control of the Ottoman Third Army in the winter of 1914 with a plan to take the Russian military outpost of Sarikamish, near Kars, and then push through the Caucusus to Baku, where he hoped to incite the Muslim population to rise against the czar.  To Marshal Liman von Sanders, the head of the German Military Mission to Turkey, he confided that he hoped to march, like Genghis Khan in reverse direction, on to Afghanistan and then to India.
       On Christmas Day 1914, Enver Pasha did what Napoleon had done in 1812 and what Hitler would do in 1941--he invaded Russia in winter.  As it had been for Napoleon and would be for Hitler, so too it proved disasterous for Enver.  In two weeks Enver lost 75.000 of his 95,000 men.  They were killed in battle or froze to death in the blizzards of the Turnagel Woods.  Within weeks of having left the capital, he returned to Constantinople humiliated and was never to take personal command of an army offensive again.  In the wake of Enver's loss on the Caucasian front, the Turks became more insecure about their land on the Russian border, and the Armenians were pointed to as the 'cause of trouble' in the region.  Thus the Armenians of Van became even more vulnerable. 
        Enver's disaster in the Caucusus was followed by more failure for the Turks.  The Ottoman army's attempt to take northwestern Persia failed.  This time it was Enver's brother-in-law Jevdet Bey, whose forces were driven out of Tabriz.  In the aftermath of the Russian and Persian setbacks, Talaat appointed Jevdet Bey governor of Van Province in February 1915.  It was a calculated move, because Talaat wished to replace the more tolerant and politic governor Hassan Tahsin.
        Jevdet Bey was openly racist about Armenians, and he had a history of persecuting them.  As a kaymakam of Saray and later mutassarif (district governor) of Bashkale in Van Province, he was known for making constant searches and seizures of so-called militant Armenians in the region.  He was reviled and feared for his practices of torture, which included using cats to claw and bite incarcerated victims.  He also seems to have perfected the practice of nailing horseshoes to the feet of Armenians, thus earning him the name 'the horse-shoe master of Bashkale.'  In short, he made a name for himself and advanced his career through his anti-Armenian zeal.  Duplicitous, aggressive, and prone to violent behavior, the new governor began his job in Van in the winter of 1915, in the wake of his lost Persian campaign, eager to make a scapegoat of the Armenian population of Van."  The Burning Tigris by Peter Balakian, pgs.  199-201.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Retaliation (1774)

Of old, when Scarron his companions invited,
Each guest brought his dish, and the feast was united;
If our landlord supplies us with beef and with fish,
Let guest bring himself, and he brings the best dish:
Our Dean {Barnard} shall be venison, just fresh from the plains;
Our {Edmund} Burke shall be tongue with the garnish of brains;
Our Will {iam Burke} shall be wild fowl, of excellent flavour,
And Dick {Richard Burke} with his pepper shall heighten the savour;
Our {Richard} Cumberland's sweet-bread its place shall obtain,
And Douglas is pudding, substantial and plain;
Our {David} Garrick's a salad, for in him we see
Oil, vinegar, sugar, and saltness agree;
To make out the dinner, full certain I am,
That {John} Ridge is anchovy, and {Sir Joshua} Reynolds is lamb,
That Hickey's a capon, and, by the same rule,
Magnanimous Goldsmith a gooseberry fool.
At a dinner so various, at such a repast,
Who'd not be a glutton, and stick to the last?
Here, waiter, more wine!  let me sit while I'm able,
Till all my companions sink under the table;
Then, with chaos and blunders encircling my head,
Let me ponder, and tell what I think of the dead.
Here lies the good Dean {Barnard}, re-united to earth,
Who mixed reason with pleasure, and wisdom with mirth:
If he had any faults, he has left us in doubt;
At least, in six weeks I could not find 'em out;
Yet some have declared, and it can't be denied 'em,
That sly-boots was cursedly cunning to hide 'em.
Here lies our good Edmund {Burke}, whose genius was such,
We scarcely can praise it or blame it too much;
Who, born for the universe, narrowed his mind,
And to party gave up what was meant for mankind;
Though fraught with all learning, yet straining his throat
To persuade Tommy Townshend to lend him a vote;
Who, too deep for his hearers, still went on refining,
And thought of convincing, while they thought of dining;
Though equal to all things, for all things unfit;
Too nice for a statesman, too proud for a wit,
For a patriot too cool, for a drudge disobedient,
And too fond of the right to pursue the expedient.
In short, 'twas his fate, unemployed, or in place, sir,
To eat mutton cold, and cut blocks with a razor.
Here lies honest William {Burke}, whose heart was a mint,
While the owner ne'er knew half the good that was in't;
The pupil of impulse, it forced him along,
His conduct still right, with his argument wrong;
Still aiming at honour, yet fearing to roam,
The coachman was tipsy, the chariot drove home;
Would you ask for his merits?--alas! he had none:
What was good was spontaneous, his faults were his own.
Here lies honest Richard {Burke}, whose fate I must sigh at;
Alas, that such frolic should now be so quiet!
What spirits were his!  what wit and what whim!
Now breaking a jest, and now breaking a limb;
Now wrangling and grumbling to keep up the ball,
Now teasing and vexing, yet laughing at all!
In short, so provoking a devil was Dick,
That we wished him full ten times a day at Old Nick;
But missing his mirth and agreeable vein,
As often we wished to have Dick back again.
Here Cumberland lies, having acted his parts,
The Terence of England, the mender of hearts;
A flattering painter, who made it his care
To draw men as they ought to be, not as they are.
His gallants are all faultless, his women divine,
And comedy wonders at being so fine;
Like a tragedy-queen he has dizened her out,
Or rather like tragedy giving a rout.
His fools have their follies so lost in a crowd
Of virtues and feelings, that folly grows proud;
And coxcombs, alike in their failings alone,
Adopting his portraits, are pleased with their own.
Say, where has our poet this malady caught?
Or wherefore his characters thus without fault?
Say, was it that vainly directing his view
To find out men's virtues, and finding them few,
Quite sick of pursuing each troublesome elf,
He grew lazy at last, and drew from himself?
Here Douglas retires from his toils to relax,
The scouge of imposters, the terror of quacks:
Come, all ye quack bards, and ye quacking divines,
Come and dance on the spot where your tyrant reclines:
When satire and censure encircled his throne,
I feared for your safety, I feared for my own;
But now he is gone, and we want a detector,
Our {Dr.} Dodds shall be pious, our Kenricks shall lecture,
{James} Macpherson write bombast, and call it a style,
Our Townshend make speeches, and I shall compile;
New Lauders and Bowers the Tweed shall cross over,
No countryman living their tricks to discover;
Detection her taper shall quench to a spark,
And Scotchman meet Scotchman, and cheat in the dark
Here lies David Garrick, describe me who can;
An abridgment of all that was pleasant in man.
As an actor, confessed without rival to shine:
As a wit, if not first, in the very first line:
Yet, with talents like these, and an excellent heart,
The man had his failings, a dupe to his art.
Like an ill-judging beauty, his colours he spread,
And beplastered with rouge his own natural red.
On the stage he was natural, simple, affecting;
'Twas only that, when he was off, he was acting.
With no reason on earth to go out of his way,
He turned and he varied full ten times a day:
Though secure of our hearts, yet confoundedly sick
If they were not his own by finessing and trick:
He cast off his friends, as a huntsman his pack,
For he knew when he pleased he could whistle them back.
Of praise a mere glutton, he swallowed what came;
And the puff of a dunce, he mistook it for fame;
Till his relish grown callous, almost to disease,
Who peppered the highest, was surest to please.
But let us be candid, and speak out our mind:
If dunces applauded, he paid them in kind.
Ye Kenricks, ye Kellys, and Woodfalls so grave,
What a commerce was yours, while you got and you gave!
How did Grub-street re-echo the shouts that you raised,
While he was be-Roscuised, and you were bepraised.
But peace to his spirit, wherever it flies,
To act as an angel and mix with the skies:
Those poets who owe their best fame to his skill
Shall still be his flatterers, go where he will;
Old Shakespeare receive him with praise and with love,
And Beaumonts and Bens be his {Hugh} Kellys above.
Here Hickey reclines, a most blunt, pleasant creature,
And slander itself must allow him good nature;
He cherished his friend, and he relished a bumper;
Yet one fault he had, and that one was a thumper.
Perhaps you may ask if the man was a miser:
I answer, No, no;  for he always was wiser.
Too courteous, perhaps, or obligingly flat?
His very worst foe can't accuse him of that.
Perhaps he confided in men as they go,
And so was too foolishly honest?  Ah no!
Then what was his failing?  come tell it, and burn ye.
He was--could he help it?--a special attorney.
Here Reynolds is laid, and, to tell you my mind,
He has not left a wiser or better behind.
His pencil was striking, resistless, and grand;
His manners were gentle, complying, and bland:
Still born to improve us in every part,
His pencil our faces, his manners our heart.
To coxcombs averse, yet most civilly steering:
When they judged without skill, he was still hard of hearing;
When they talk'd of their Raphaels, Corregios, and stuff,
He shifted his trumpet, and only took snuff.
Here {Caleb} Whitefoord reclines, and, deny it who can,
Through he merrily lived, he is now a grave man.
Rare compound of oddity, frolic, and fun!
Who relished a joke, and rejoiced in a pun;
Whose temper was generous, open, sincere;
A stranger to flattery, a stranger to fear;
Who scattered around wit and humour at will;
Whose daily bon mots half a column might fill;
A Scotchman, from pride and from prejudice free;
A scholar, yet surely no pedant was he.
What pity, alas!  that so liberal a mind
Should so long be to newspaper essays confined!
Who perhaps to the summit of science could soar,
Yet content "if the table he set on a roar;"
Whose talents to fill any station were fit,
Yet happy if {H.S.} Woodfall confess'd him a wit.
Ye newspaper witlings!  ye pert scribbling folks!
Who copied his squibs, and re-echoed his jokes;
Ye tame imitators, ye servile herd, come,
Still follow your master, and visit his tomb:
To deck it, bring with you festoons of the vine,
And copious libations bestow on his shrine;
Then strew all around it (you can do no less)
Cross-roadings, ship-news, and mistakes of the press.
Merry Whitefoord, farewell!  for thy sake I admit
That a Scot may have humour,--I had almost said wit:
This debt to thy memory I cannot refuse,
"Thou best humoured man with the worst humoured Muse."
Oliver Goldsmith

Lay Off the Royals!

        It seems like everyone in the conservative world has been trying to prove their bona fides as a democrat by competing as to who reviles the royal family most.  The latest entrant is Debbie Schussel, who I usually love, but who, like Jonathan Swift, seems to be at her most creative when raging against someone else.  Schussel likens the royal family to a dictatorship, a common mistake made by Americans.  The public school system in the United States apparently leaves many of its victims with the impression that monarchy is like a dictatorship.  The public schools don't really create graduates that understand the U.S. Constitution, so it should come as no big surprise when public school graduates have no understanding of the British Constitution.  I would strongly recommend Walter Bagehot's The English Constitution as a fast way to get up to speed on the British system, which could be profitably conjoined to a crash course on Edmund Burke.  Failing this investment in time, here is Estase's crash course on the British Constitution.

       The monarchy in England was joined by the evolution of the Parliament.  Algernon Sidney claimed the Parliament evolved from the Anglo/Saxon Witenagemat, while everyone admits that Parliament goes back at least as far as the Norman Invasion (1091).  The Parliament gained a new importance with the Magna Charta (1291), where the barons insisted that spending could only be approved by Parliament.  In fact, the Civil War (1642) was instigated by Charles I levying taxes without the approval of Parliament.  When Cromwell's protectorate ended, Parliament reinstated the monarchy with Charles II in 1660.  At this point, it becomes clear that Parliament was at least of equal power with the monarchy.  After James II was, depending on your perspective, deposed by William III (William of Orange), or abandoned the monarchy (abdication, the "official" version of events), Parliament established the monarchy on a new basis.  The new basis, constitutional monarchy, meant that Parliament (Commons and Lords) would make laws, which would then be approved by the King/Queen.  The monarch was now not only restrained by the common law, but obliged to follow all acts of Parliament.  His greatest power was now to name peers (members of the House of Lords), which meant that if the peerage stood in the way of the commons, the monarch could institute new, more sympathetic peers.  Policy was now made by whoever could cobble together the most votes in the commons, leading to the evolution of the Prime Minister in the reign of Queen Anne.  From 1688 on, the monarch was a figurehead, and the royal family was the only continuous institution of the British system.  Parliaments would come and go, but the monarch would be the living embodiment of the British polity.  So for the American conservative to act as though the King or Queen is like a dictator is a total misunderstanding of the British system, and a gross insult to the British Constitution.  Estase believes that American school textbooks contribute to this misapprehension by publishing 18th century cartoons which depict colonists as fighting a tug of war with George III.  These cartoons were not a fair representation of the situation at the time, since the policies that alienated the colonists were created by Charles Townshend, the Duke of Newcastle, and Lord North.  But the cartoons depicted George III as being the problem, not because he created policy, but because it was easier to draw one man than three.   The royal baby is a sign of Britain's continuity, the linkage between past and future.  When he ascends the throne, he becomes the sign of the polity, not the absolute monarch that a Louis XIV acted as.  So lay off the royals, guys!  Britain isn't any less democratic than we are, especially in the age of Obama.  The mother country deserves a bit of good news for once.

Monday, July 22, 2013

More Pius XII

     Last Friday, Estase recieved the new book Disinformation by Ion Pacepa and Ronald Rychlak, available from (World Net Daily).  Estase's first impulse is to put the whole damn book on this blog, but will not do so because to do so would be gross plagiarism and reduce the income to the authors.  This is not to say that the book is one of the most important non-fiction books ever published on the Soviet Union, with the last landmark being The Mitrokhin Archives from the 90s.  Pacepa brings his experience as a former member of the Romanian intelligence service until his 1978 defection.  His co-author, Professor Rychlak, is the author of Hitler, the War, and the Pope, which Estase used in a graduate school project on the Pius XII controversy.  The two explain the defamation of Pius XII as a larger campaign by the Soviet empire to attack the Catholic Church, Israel, and the United States.  Disinformation means to provide false information, but to provide it in such a way as that the information seems to come from non-Soviet sources.  Thus it differs from misinformation, or propaganda, which clearly comes from Soviet or sympathetic sources.  Did you know that Rolf Hochhuth, author of The Deputy, the play that started the idea that Pius XII was a Nazi sympathizer who did nothing about the Holocaust, was a Communist?  Or that a Communist theatre first performed the play?  Or that a Communist produced it on Broadway?  Or that a Communist had the play made into a movie?  Did you know that Rolf Hochhuth's best friend is David Irving, the British holocaust denier who made his name by writing a flattering biography of Hitler?

       "Much of the reliable new information that documents the Kremlin's disinformation operation blaming the CIA for killing Kennedy has come from defectors.  In 1992, the British smuggled Colonel Vasily Mitrokhin, a KGB archivist, out of the Soviet Union, along with some 25,000 highly classified documents he had stolen from KGB foreign intelligence archives over the course of many years.  Those documents represent a miniscule part of the whole KGB archive.  Nevertheless, the FBI described the Mitrokhin Archive as 'the most complete and extensive intelligence ever received from any source.'  In the view of the CIA, this archive is 'the biggest counterintelligence bonanza of the postwar period.'
        Mitrokhin reported on the Kennedy assassination conspiracy stories promoted by the KGB, and his material identifies a number of the agents in the West who were engaged in promoting those conspiracy theories.  Among the most important revelations provided by the Mitrokhin Archive are the highly classified KGB documents proving that the so-called Kennedy assassination conspiracy, which to this day has generated thousands of books all around the world, was born in the KGB, and that some of it was financed by the KGB.
       Equally significant are the documents in the Mitrokhin Archive showing that the KGB had constructed this conspiracy using some of the same paid KGB agents who were called upon to promote the disinformation operation designed to frame Pius XII as having been pro-Nazi:  Carlo Marzani, codenamed Nord, who received a significant amount of money from the KGB to produce pro-Soviet books;  I.F. Stone, codenamed Blin (Russian for 'pancake'), who began receiving the Kremlin's money in 1944;  and Victor Perlo, codenamed Raid or Raider, identified as a Soviet agent in the Venona electronic intercepts, as well as by defectors.
       That should come as no surprise.  After all, both operations took off in 1963 (The Deputy hit the Berlin stage in February, and Oswald shot the president in November), both would have been dreamt up by Khrushchev with the help of his spy chief, General Sakharovsky--the former chief Soviet intelligence advisor for Romania--and both would have been carried out by the same disinformation experts on the desk at KGB headquarters at that time.
       According to documents in the Mitrokhin Archive, the first book on the assassination published in the United States, Oswald:  Assassin or Fall Guy?;  was authored by a former member of the German Communist Party, Joachim Joesten, and published in New York by KGB agent Carlo Aldo Marzani.  The publisher Marzani was regularly and generously paid by the KGB (and by the Communist Party's Central Committee) to promote books of a progressive nature by both American and foreign authors.  Until the Mitrokhin Archive documents began appearing in 1999, it was not known that Joesten's publisher, Marzani & Munsell, received subsidies totaling $672,000 from the Central Committee of the Communist Party in the early 1960s.
         Shortly before publishing Joesten's book on Oswald, Marzani supported the KGB's attack on Pius XII.  As noted in an earlier chapter discussing Hochhuth's The Deputy, when that anti-Pius XII play debuted in Berlin in 1963, Marzani was able on short notice to republish Shylock:  The History of a Character, an early book describing the mistreatment of Jews by popes, which helped to advertise Hochhuth's play.
       It is noteworthy that Joesten's book saw the light of day just a couple of days before the Warren Commission Report was published, conforming to the KGB's instructions that we in the DIE received in the Dragon Operation.  In his book, Joesten also follows what we knew as Dragon Operation guidelines by describing Oswald as an FBI agent provocateur with a CIA background, who was used to shield the real assassins, and unnamed group of American right-wing conspirators.
       No one knows how Joesten became such an instant authority on the assassination.  He has said that he spent five days in Dallas 'investigating' the tragedy and that he then, on December 11, 1963, returned home to his wife.  But she said he failed to show up for dinner that evening, instead leaving her a note saying he had gone to Europe.  And gone he was for several months.  Later that year, Joesten began publishing articles and books on the Kennedy assassination.
       As discussed earlier, when people asked Rolf Hochhuth where he got his outrageous stories about Pius XII, he would say he had spent three months in Rome chatting up a talkative German bishop, but that the source material had to remain sealed for fifty years.  The public has not been satisfied with either five days in Dallas or three months in Rome.
        The first review of Joesten's book, which praised it to the skies, was signed by KGB agent Victor Perlo and was published on September 23, 1964, in New Times, which I knew was a KGB front at one time printed in Romania.  In the 1930s, Perlo was the head of a group of important agents run by the communist underground in the United States.  In 1944, Perlo and his group were turned over to the KGB predecessor organization and handled by Elizabeth Bentley, who defected a year later.  That transfer, incidentally, took place at the New York apartment of the lawyer John Abt, a lifelong member of the American Communist Party, who--according to the Vassiliev Archive--regularly helped the party underground, the KGB and the GRU with funding and legal matters.  After his arrest, Oswald stated he wanted to be represented by John Abt and tried to reach him by telephone, but Abt was away for the weekend.  The Vassiliev Archive also documents that Perlo frequently wrote articles for various communist fronts, signing them with assorted pseudonyms.  In the 1940s, he helped the writer I.F. Stone compile material for various exposes.
       On December 9, 1963, I.F. Stone (KGB codename 'Blin') published a long article in which he tried to justify why America had killed its own president.  He called Oswald and Ruby 'rightist crackpots,' but put the real blame on the 'warlike Administration' of the United States, that was trying to sell Europe a 'nuclear monstrosity.'  Stone was another paid KGB agent who a few months later joined in the attack on Pius XII.  As noted in an earlier chapter, on March 9, 1964, Stone signed an article in his own weekly publication that praised Hochhuth's play The Deputy and attacked Pius XII as having been 'friendly to Hitler' and to Mussolini.  That same month, Stone's sister, Judy Stone, published a friendly interview with Hochhuth in Ramparts which, as will be seen below, would play a significant role in promoting the KGB disinformation connected with the Kennedy assassination as well.
       So again we see the KGB rounding up the 'usual suspects,' both in order to smear Pius XII as pro-Hitler and to blame the CIA and other American targets for the death of President Kennedy.
        Joachim Joesten dedicated his book Oswald:Assassin or Fall Guy? to Mark Lane, an American leftist who in 1966 produced the bestseller Rush to Judgment, alleging Kennedy was assassinated by a right-wing American group.  Documents in the Mitrokhin Archive show that the KGB indirectly sent Mark Lane money ($2,000), and that KGB operative, Genrikh Borovik, was in regular contact with him.  Another KGB defector, Colonel Oleg Gordievsky (former KGB station chief in London), has identified Borovik as the brother-in-law of Col. General Vladimir Kryuchkov, who in 1974 became the head of KGB foreign intelligence, in 1988 chairman of the KGB, and in August 1991 led the anti-glasnost coup in Moscow.
        The year 1967 saw the publication of two more books attributed to Joesten:  The Case Against Lyndon Johnson in the Assassination of President Kennedy and Oswald:  The Truth.  Both books insinuated that President Johnson and his CIA had killed Kennedy.  They were soon followed by Mark Lane's A Citizen's Dissent (1968).  According to assassination researcher Vincent Bugliosi, Mark Lane has been 'by far the most persistent and audible single voice' in making Americans believe that reactionary elements in the United States killed Kennedy.  Lane has also intensively traveled abroad to preach that America is an 'FBI police state' that killed its own president.
       Mark Lane helped New Orleans District Attorney Jim Garrison arrest a local man (Clay Shaw), whom Garrison accused of conspiring with elements of U.S. intelligence to murder Kennedy in order to stop the latter's efforts to end the Cold War.  Garrison's book On the Trail of the Assassin, inspired Oliver Stone's movie JFK, which, as I mentioned prior, claims the assassination of President Kennedy was the result of a conspiracy at the highest level of the U.S. government.

       Soon after launching Operation 'SIG,' Andropov unleashed Operation 'Tayfun' (Russian for typhoon), aimed at expanding international terrorism into Western Europe.  As was usual for such international terrorism into Western Europe.  As was usual for such international operations, the KGB established another 'socialist division of labor' to mobilize the entire bloc intelligence community in support of its extended terrorist war.  The Soviet Union would assume the most difficult tasks, those of creating new terrorist organizations, indoctrinating their members, and providing intelligence, money, and political support for terrorist operations--which Andropov called 'armed struggle.'
       The Czechoslavakian foreign intelligence service was charged with supplying terrorists with an odorless plastic explosive (Semtex-H) that could not be detected by sniffer dogs at airports.  In 1990, Czechoslovakian president Vaclav Havel acknowledged that the communist regime of his country had secretly shipped a thousand tons of this odorless plastic explosive to Palestinian and Libyan terrorists.  According to Havel, a mere two hundred grams was enough to blow up a commercial plane in flight.  'World terrorism has supplies of Semtex to last 150 years,' Havel estimated.
        The East Germans had to provide the terrorists with arms and ammunition.  According to secret documents found after the fall of the Berlin Wall in the archives of the East German Minstry for State Security, colloquially known as the Stasi, in 1983 alone its foreign intelligence service provided the PLO with $1,877,600 worth of AK-47 ammunition.
        The Cubans mass-produced concealment devices for transporting the plastic explosive and weapons into the target countries.  In 1972, I spent a 'working vacation' in Havana as the guest of Raul Castro, at that time head of Cuba's military and security forces, and visited what proved to be the Soviet bloc's largest factory for manufacturing double-walled suitcases and other concealment devices for use in secretly transporting weapons.  General Sergio del Valle Jimenez, Cuba's minister of interior, told me that smuggling arms to 'anti-Zionist terrorist organizations' was one of his main jobs.
       Romania's task in that joint venture was to produce false Western passports needed by Andropov's 'freedom fighters.'  During my last six years in Romania, the DIE became the Soviet bloc's main manufacturer of forged West German, Austrian, French, British, Italian, and Spanish passports, which were regularly provided to international terrorist organizations and groups.  The DIE also handcrafted a large collection of entrance visa stamps from all around the world, needed by terrorists to travel to their target countries.
        In the mid-1970s, a wave of terrorism inundated Western Europe.  Tayfun's first major accomplishment was the assassination of Richard Welch, the CIA station chief in Athens, on December 23, 1975.  That was followed by:  a bomb attack on Gen. Alexander Haig, commander of NATO in Brussels, who was not injured although his armored Mercedes limosine was damaged beyond repair;  a rocket attack against Gen. Frederick J. Kroesen, commander of U.S. forces in Europe, who also escaped alive;  a grenade attack against Alfred Herrhausen, the pro-American chairman of the Deutsche Bank, who was killed;  and an assassination attempt on Hans Neusel, a pro-American state secretary at the West German Ministry of Interior responsible for internal security affairs, who was wounded.
       When the Soviet bloc collapsed in December 1989, those terrorist operations went poof!  and scores of KGB-sponsored terrorists were arrested in the former East Germany.  Peter Michael Diestel, who became East Germany's interior minister after the fall of its communist government, acknowledged in 1990 that Schoenfeld Airport in East Berlin had for years been 'a turntable for terrorists of all kinds.'  Christian Lochte,  a senior official in the West German counterintelligence service, stated that the KGB and the Stasi had done 'everything possible to destabilize this country and the rest of Western Europe as well.'  Moreover, the West German government uncovered evidence that the Stasi had also trained Palestinian terrorist groups in East Germany and in southern Yemen and that it had been involved in the 1986 Libyan bombing of the La Belle discotheque in West Berlin, which killed two American soldiers and wounded 229 other people." Disinformation by Ion Pacepa and Ronald J. Rychlak p.242-5 and 263-5.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Kasab Taburu (Butcher Brigade), Part Seven

       "In order to extort as much money as possible from the Armenians, the Turkish authorities often forced them to pay first-class fare before they put them into the cattle cars that would most likely take them to their deaths.  On September 8, 1915, Dr. William S. Dodd wrote:'The exiles were compelled to pay the full fare and then packed forty or fifty together in box-trucks, cattle trucks, or even open flat trucks.  The Railway seems to be as conscienceless in wringing the money out of them as the Government or the Turks.'
       Similarly, Dr. Wilfred M. Post, writing on September 3, 1915, testified to the coordination between the railway deportations and the killing squads:
                    Much that I might add is as nothing, however to what the railway employ
                    -ees report as going on at the end of the line, where the people leave
                     the railway and set out on foot, only to be set upon by brigands, who
                      rob, outrage and kill all the way from Bonzanti to Adana and beyond. . .
                       .Whether these unfortunate people are sent on towards the east or
                      whether they remain where they are along the road, their future is very
                       dark, and it means annihilation for the whole race.
       In the end between a half and two-thirds of the more than two million Armenians living on their historic homeland in the Ottoman Empire were annihilated.  While the number of dead continues to be debated, as is the case with most episodes of mass killing (the U.S. Holocaust Museum, for example, places the number of Jewish dead in the Holocaust at 5.1 to 5.4 million, while other estimates go to 6 million), scholars of genocide, including the largest body of genocide scholars--the Association of Genocide Scholars of North America--conservatively assess that more than a million Armenians were killed, and probably somewhere between 1.2 and 1.3 million.  Some historians put the figure at about 1.5 million, which spans the period from 1915 to 1922, when the last waves of killing took place.

       The sultan had noted that Russian Armenians in the czar's army fought valiantly against the Turks in 1877, and he was forever enraged that the European powers used the Armenian Question to force concessions after the war.  In 1895-96, the Armenians of Van had resisted massacre for a short time before the Turks slaughtered more than twenty thousand of them.  So it is not surprising that in the spring of 1915 Van became a trouble spot again.  Before May was over, the Ottoman government would once again label as sedition what was essentially resistance to massacre.  The Armenian resistance at Van was seen as a provocation--in short, an excuse to proceed with the plan of extermination that had already begun.
       Back in July 1914, as the Ottoman Empire was about to enter World War I, a Turkish delegation approached the Dashnak leaders, who were convened at their eighth party congress in Erzurum, the capital of historic Armenia.  Lead by Dr. Shakir, who was fast assuming a major role in the plan to exterminate the Armenians, the delegation asked the Dashnaks if they would coax the Armenians over the Russian border to rise against the czar so that when war began the Ottoman army would be able to invade the Caucusus more easily.  In return the Turkish delegates promised that the Young Turk government would reward the Armenians with a semiautonomous Armenia, which might include parts of both Turkish and Russian Armenia.  Having experienced nothing but massacre and betrayed promises from the Turks over the past decades (the memory and the effects of the massacres in Van in 1895 and again in 1903 were still deeply felt by the Armenians of the region), the Dashnaks found the plan both unrealistic and dangerous;  they declined.  And they urged the Young Turk leaders to remain neutral instead of joining the war.
       Not surprisingly the Ottoman entrance into the war in November was accompanied by a broadcasting of its hatred of its traditional enemy, Russia.  'The ideal of our nation and people leads us towards the destruction of our Muscovite enemy, in order to obtain thereby a natural frontier to our empire, which should include and unite all branches of our race.'  The party sloganeer, Ziya Goekalp, expressed the sentiment in a poem:  'The land of the enemy shall be devastated./Turkey shall be enlarged and become Turan,' and in order for this to happen, parts of Russia would have to be conquered and that included Russian Armenia. The Burning Tigris by Peter Balakian, pgs. 195-96 and 198-99.

Two Hyde Parks

  In 1866, a group of working class protestors of the Reform League broke down the fences to protest in Hyde Park.  The event was an inspiration to Matthew Arnold's writing of Culture and Anarchy.  Another blow to established authority began with the campaign of someone from another Hyde Park, the lefty enclave in Shiitown.  This Hyde Park socialist, Barack Obama, has been dismantling everything from the free exercise of religion to the constitutional protections against unreasonable searches and wiretapping.  Yes We Can!  If only we couldn't!  Americans have sold their liberty for a SafeLink cell phone. 

       Rachel Maddow, the male impersonator on MSNBC, has derided Republicans as the "party of aggrieved white people."  Perhaps we're aggrieved because it is easier for a schoolgirl to get Plan B emergency contraceptive than a Tylenol.  Perhaps we're aggrieved because the U.S. Army has called Catholics "religious extremists."  Being aggrieved is a symptom, not a natural characteristic.

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

The Augustan Age (from The Bee No. 8)

       "The history of the rise of language and learning is calculated to gratify curiosity rather than to satisfy the understanding.  An account of that period only when language and learning arrived at its highest perfection is the most conducive to real improvement, since it at once raises emulation and directs it to the proper objects.  The age of Leo X. in Italy is confessed to be the Augustan age with them:  the French writers seem agreed to give the same appellation to that of Louis XIV.:  but the English are yet undetermined with respect to themselves.
     Some have looked upon the writers in the times of Queen Elizabeth as the true standard for future imitation;  others have descended to the reign of James I.;  and others still lower, to that of Charles II.  Were I to be permitted to offer an opinion upon this subject, I should readily give my vote for the reign of Queen Anne, or some years before that period.  It was then that taste was united to genius;  and as before our writers charmed with their strength of thinking, so then they pleased with strength and grace united.  In that period of British glory, though no writer attracts our attention singly, yet, like stars lost in each other's brightness, they have cast such a lustre upon the age in which they lived that their minutest transactions will be attended to by posterity with a greater eagerness than the most important occurences of even empires which have been transacted in greater obscurity.
       At that period there seemed to be a just balance between patronage and the press.  Before it, men were little esteemed whose only merit was genius;  and since, men who can prudently be content to catch the public, are certain of living without dependence.  But the writers of the period of which I am speaking, were sufficiently esteemed by the great, and not rewarded enough by booksellers to set them above dependence.  Fame, consequently, then was the truest road to happiness;  a sedulous attention to the mechanical business of the day makes the present never-failing resource.
       The age of Charles II., which our countrymen term the age of wit and immorality, produced some writers that at once served to improve our language and corrupt our hearts.  The king himself had a large share of knowledge and some wit;  and his courtiers were generally men who had been brought up in the school of affliction and experience.  For this reason, when the sunshine of their fortune returned, they gave too great a loose to pleasure, and language was by them cultivated only as a mode of elegance.  Hence it became more enervated, and was dashed with quaintness, which gave the public writings of those times a very illiberal air.
       L'Estrange, who was by no means as bad a writer as some have represented him, was sunk in party faction;  and having generally the worst side of the argument, often had recourse to scolding, pertness, and, consequently, a vulgarity that discovers itself even in his more liberal compositions.  He was the first writer who regularly enlisted himself under the banner of a party for pay, and fought for it, through right and wrong, for upwards of forty literary campaigns.  The intrepidity gained him the esteem of Cromwell himself;  and the papers he wrote even just before the Revolution, almost with the rope about his neck, have his usual characters of impudence and perseverence.  That he was a standard writer cannot be disowned, because a great many very eminent authors formed their style by his.  But his standard was far from being a just one;  though, when party considerations are set aside, he certainly was possessed of elegance, ease, and perspicuity.
       Dryden, though a great and undisputed genius, had the same cast as L'Estrange.  Even his plays discover him to be a party man, and the same principle infects his style in subjects of the lightest nature;  but the English tongue, as it stands at present, is greatly his debtor.  He first gave it regular harmony, and discovered its latent powers.  It was his pen that formed the Congreves, the Priors, and the Addisons, who succeeded him;  and had it not been for Dryden, we never should have known a Pope, at least in the meridian lustre he now displays.  But Dryden's excellences as a writer were not confined to poetry alone.  There is in his prose writings an ease and elegance that have never yet been so well united in works of taste or criticism. 
       The English language owes very little to Otway, though, next to Shakespeare, the greatest genius England ever produced in tragedy.  His excellences lay in painting directly from nature, in catching every emotion just as it rises from the soul, and in all the powers of the moving and pathetic.  He appears to have had no learning, no critical knowledge, and to have lived in great distress.  When he died (which he did in an obscure house near the Minories) he had about him the copy of a tragedy, which, it seems, he had sold for a trifle to Bentley the bookseller.  I have seen an advertisement at the end of one of L'Estrange's political papers, offering a reward to any one who should bring it to his shop.  What an invaluable treasure was there irretrievably lost by the ignorance and neglect of the age he lived in. 
       Lee had a great command of language and vast force of expression, both which the best of our succeeding dramatic poets thought proper to take for their models.  Rowe, in particular, seems to have caught that manner, though in all other respects inferior.  The other poets of that reign contributed but little towards improving the English tongue, and it is not certain whether they did not injure rather than improve it.  Immorality has its cant as well as party, and many shocking expressions now crept into the language, and became the transient fashion of the day.  The upper galleries, by the prevalence of party spirit, were courted with great assiduity, and a horse-laugh following ribaldry was the highest instance of applause, the chastity as well as energy of diction being overlooked or neglected.
       Virtuous sentiment was recovered, but energy of style never was.  This, though disregarded in plays and party writings, still prevailed amongst men of character and business.  The despatches of Sir Richard Fanshaw, Sir William Godolphin, Lord Arlington, and many other ministers of state, are all of them, with respect to diction, manly, bold, and nervous.  Sir William Temple, though a man of no learning, had great knowledge and experience.  He wrote always like a man of sense and a gentleman;  and his style is the model by which the best prose writers in the reign of Queen Anne formed theirs.  The beauties of Mr. Locke's style, though not so much celebrated, are as striking as that of his understanding.  He never says more nor less than he ought, and never makes use of a word that he could have changed for a better.  The same observation holds good of Dr. Samuel Clarke. 
       Mr. Locke was a philosopher;  his antagonist, Stillingfleet, Bishop of Worchester, was a man of learning;  and therefore the contest between them was unequal.  The clearness of Mr. Locke's head renders his language perspicuous, the learning of Stillingfleet's clouds his.  This is an instance of the superiority of good sense over learning, towards the improvement of every language.
       There is nothing peculiar to the language of Archbishop Tillotson, but his manner of writing is inimitable;  for one who reads him wonders why he himself did not think and speak it in that very manner.  The turn of his periods is agreeable though artless, and everything he says seems to flow spontaneously from inward conviction.  Barrow, though greatly his superior in learning, falls short of him in other respects.
       The time seems to be at hand when justice will be done to Mr. Cowley's prose as well as poetical writings;  and though his friend Dr. Sprat, Bishop of Rochester, in his diction falls far short of the abilities for which he has been celebrated, yet there is sometimes a happy flow in his periods, something that looks like eloquence.  The style of his successor, Atterbury, has been much commended by his friends, which always happens when a man distinguishes himself in party;  but there is in it nothing extraordinary.  Even the speech which he made for himself at the bar of the House of Lords, before he was sent into exile, is void of eloquence, though it has been cried up by his friends to such a degree that his enemies have suffered it to pass uncensured.
       The philosophic manner of Lord Shaftesbury's writing is nearer to that of Cicero than any English author has yet arrived at;  but perhaps had Cicero written in English, his composition would have greatly exceeded that of our countryman.  The diction of the latter is beautiful, but such beauty as upon nearer inspection carries with it evident symptoms of affectation.  This has been attended with very disagreeable consequences.  Nothing is so easy to copy as affectation,, and his Lordship's rank and fame have procured him more imitators in Britain than any other writer I know;  all faithfully preserving his blemishes, but unhappily not one of his beauties.
       Mr. Trenchard and Dr. Davenant were political writers of great abilities in diction, and their pamphlets are now standards in that way of writing.  They were followed by Dean Swift, who, though in other respects far their superior, never could arise to that manliness and clearness of diction in political writing for which they were so justly famous.
        They were all of them exceeded by the late Lord Bolingbroke {Henry St. John}, whose strength lay in that province;  for as a philosopher and a critic he was ill qualified, being destitute of virtue for the one, and of learning for the other.  His writings against Sir Robert Walpole are incomparably the best part of his works.  The personal and perpetual antipathy he had for that family, to whose places he thought his own abilities had a right, gave a glow to his style, and an edge to his manner, that never yet have been equalled in political writing.  His misfortunes and disappointments gave his mind a turn which his friends mistook for philosophy, and at one time of his life he had the art to impose the same belief upon some of his enemies.  His idea of a patriot king, which I reckon (as indeed it was) amongst his writings against Sir Robert Walpole, is a masterpiece of diction.  Even in his other works his style is excellent;  but where a man either does not or will not understand the subject he writes on, there must always be a deficiency.  In politics, he was generally master of what he undertook;  in morals, never.
       Mr. Addison, for a happy and natural style, will be always an honour to British literature.  His diction, indeed, wants strength;  but it is equal to all the subjects he undertakes to handle, as he never (at least in his finished works) attempts anything either in the argumentative or demonstrative way.
        Though Sir Richard Steele's reputation as a public writer was owing to his connexions with Mr. Addison, yet after their intimacy was formed, Steele sank in his merit as an author.  This was not owing so much to the evident superiority on the part of Addison, as to the unnatural efforts which Steele made to equal or eclipse him.  This emulation destroyed that genuine flow of diction which is discoverable in all his former compositions. 
       Whilst their writings engaged attention and the favour of the public, reiterated but unsuccessful endeavours were made towards forming a grammar of the English language.  The authors of those efforts went upon wrong principles.  Instead of endeavouring to retrench the absurdities of our language, and bringing it to a certain criterion, their grammars were no other than a collection of rules attempting to naturalize those absurdities, and bring them under a regular system.
        Somewhat effectual, however, might have been done towards fixing the standard of the English language, had it not been for the spirit of party.  For both Whigs and Tories being ambitious to stand at the head of so great a design, the Queen's death happened before any plan of an academy could be resolved on.
        Meanwhile, the necessity of such an institution became every day more apparent.  The periodical and political writers, who then swarmed, adopted the very worst manner of L'Estrange, till not only all decency, but all propriety, of language was lost in the nation.  Leslie, a pert writer, with some wit and learning, insulted the government every week with the grossest abuse.  His style and manner, both of which were illiberal, were imitated by Ridpath, Defoe, Dunton, and others of the opposite party:  and Toland pleaded the cause of atheism and immorality in much the same strain:  his subject seemed to debase his diction, and he ever failed most in one, when he grew most licentious in the other.
       Towards the end of Queen Anne's reign some of the greatest men in England devoted their time to party, and then a much better manner obtained in political writing.  Mr. Walpole, Mr. Addison, Mr. Mainwaring, Mr. Steele, and many members of both houses of Parliament, drew their pens for the Whigs;  but they seem to have been overmatched, though not in argument, yet in writing, by Bolingbroke, Prior, Swift, Arbuthnot, and the other friends of the opposite party.  They who oppose a ministry have always a better field for ridicule and reproof than they who defend it.
       Since that period our writers have either been encouraged above their merits or below them.  Some who were possessed of the meanest abilities acquired the highest preferments, while others who seemed born to reflect a lustre upon their age perished by want or neglect.  More, Savage, and Amherst were possessed of great abilities, yet they were suffered to feel all the miseries that usually attend the ingenious and imprudent--that attend men of strong passions, and no phlegmatic reserve in their command.
       At present, were a man to attempt to improve his fortune or increase his friendship by poetry, he would soon feel the anxiety of disappointment.  The press lies open, and is a benefactor to every sort of literature but that alone.
       I am at a loss whether to ascribe this falling off of the public to a vicious taste in the poet or in them.  Perhaps both are to be reprehended.  The poet, either drily didactive, gives us rules which might appear abstruse even in a system of ethics, or, triflingly volatile, writes upon the most unworthy subjects;  content, if he can give music instead of sense;  content, if he can paint to the imagination without any desires or endeavours to affect:  the public, therefore, with justice, discard such empty sound, which has nothing but a jingle, or, what is worse, the unmusical flow of blank verse, to recommend it.  The late method, also, into which our newspapers have fallen, of giving an epitome of every new publication, must greatly damp the writer's genius.  He finds himself, in this case, at the mercy of men who have neither abilities nor learning to distinguish his merit.  He finds his own composition mixed with the sordid trash of every daily scribbler.  There is a sufficient specimen given of his work to abate curiosity, and yet so mutilated as to render him contemptible.  His first, and perhaps his second, work by these means sink, among the crudities of the age, into oblivion.  Fame, he finds, begins to turn her back:  he therefore flies to profit, which invites him, and he enrols himself in the lists of dulness and of avarice for life. 
       Yet there are still among us men of the greatest abilities, and who, in some parts of learning, have surpassed their predecessors.  Justice and friendship might here impel me to speak of names which will shine out to all posterity, but prudence restrains me from what I should otherwise eagerly embrace.  Envy might rise against every honoured name I should mention, since scarcely one of them has not those who are his ememies, or those who despise him &c."
                                           Oliver Goldsmith

Monday, July 08, 2013

Kasab Taburu (Butcher Brigade) , Part Six

       "Some of the most striking evidence of the use of the railway for deporting the Armenians comes from the German eyewitness accounts of the Baghdad Railway Company.  Germany's most important foreign project, the company was at the center of the kaiser's imperial designs in the Near East.  It is ironic that the Turks used the railway in ways that the Nazis would later, and that Germans in Turkey in 1915 were on site to testify.  Franz Guenther, a delegate of the Deutsche Bank who headed the project's office in Constantinople and worked closely with the German embassy, reported that the Ottoman government was acting with 'bestial cruelty' and noted that it was hard to justify the company's passivity in the face of what they were witnessing.  When Guenther sent a photograph of a deportation train to Deutsche Bank director Gwinner, Guenther also noted the irony that the railway was billed as 'an upholder of civilization in Turkey.' 
       The railway deportations were directed by the Ottoman government, and Talaat received reports on the numbers of deportees and their locations.  On October 9 and 10, 1915, some 11,000 Armenians who had been transported from other places to Konia were sent south.  Between October 13 and 16, 9,600 more followed.  During the following five days 9,850 more Armenians were sent from Konia.  When Ottoman military needs interrupted the rail deportations, the people were marched along the railway tracks.  Still, in the month of October 1915 alone, more than 30,000 Armenians were packed into livestock cars to be sent to their deaths in the Der Zor Desert.
       As deportation by rail developed, detention camps sprang up alongside the tracks and stations.  From Konia south to the desert, the whole stretch appeared as one long, concatenated detention camp.  There was a long concentration camp by the railway station at Konia;  by the end of October there were about 40,000 at Katma, a town on the deportation route north of Aleppo;  the camp near Osmaniye, less than a hundred miles east of Adana, may have held as many as 70,000.  In the camps the Armenians were attacked by the killing squads;  women were abducted and raped;  and thousands died of disease and starvation.
         Because of the proximity of the railway to the death camps and ultimately to the desert, the German railway engineers and employees were able to report the atrocities.  At Ras-ul-Ain, a horrific refugee camp southeast of Urfa on the railway line to Mosul, two engineers reported seeing in one day three to four hundred women arriving completely naked.  Hasenfratz--an employee who worked for the railway at Aleppo--reported that massacres took place beside the railway track between Tell Abiad and Ras-ul-Ain.  'The bodies,' he wrote, 'without exception, were entirely naked and the wounds that had been inflicted showed that the victims had been killed, after having been subjected to unspeakable brutalities.'
        As the railway and its immediate environs became a zone in which mass murder and rape were perpetually happening, the railway officials were constant witnesses to the atrocities.  An engineer named Speiker reported from Ras-ul-Ain that he continually saw the arrival of remnants of the death marches;  only women and children were left because all the men and boys over twelve had been killed.  In his detailed reports on the systematic mass slaughter of women and children, he noted that a Turkish inspector informed him that nine out of ten Armenians had been killed on the marches.  The engineer also described how Muslim railway officials and Ottoman officers raped women and sold children and women into the slave trade.  One Sergeant Nuri, the overseer of the camp at Ras-ul-Ain, actually bragged about raping children.  Some of the Muslim employees of the railway left their jobs in order to take part in the killing.
          With nearly nine hundred skilled Armenian workers and many more Armenian laborers on the construction sites in the Taurus and Amanus Mountains and in northern Syria, the Armenian presence in the railway company was significant.  Because the war made the railway even more crucial for the transportation of supplies, the Armenian employees were kept on their jobs.  What ensued was a poignant drama in which various Germans in respectable positions tried to intervene with their own government and the Ottoman government to save the Armenians working for the railway.  Guenther, the railway project director from the Deutsche Bank, who worked hard to protect the Armenian staff, 'estimated that already 25 percent of the 2 million Armenians in the empire had been killed,' and he was certain that the government's policy would mean the extermination of the entire Armenian population.  Winkler, the head railway construction engineer in Adana, who likewise tried to protect his workers, was stymied by the vali, who told him that nothing could be done, as the deportation orders had come directly from Talaat and Enver.  In the end the Armenian laborers were deported, and finally so were the Armenian staff employees of the railway.  In order to cover up the massacres, the Ottoman government demanded that the railway cease its bookkeeping in German and use only Turkish.  The Armenian staff was to be replaced by Muslims only."  The Burning Tigris by Peter Balakian pgs. 191-193

Monday, July 01, 2013

Kasab Taburu (Butcher Brigade), Part Five

        "But the chetes were only part of a killing operation that involved military police and the provincial police, known as gendarmes.  They were the ones who carried out the rigorous process of arrest and deportation city by city, town by town, village by village.  Staff officers were assigned to the Ottoman army corps and became chiefs of staff in the interior, where they were put in command of their respective killing units in order to assist in 'the liquidation of the Christian elements.'  One reserve officer put it bluntly when he said the aim of the whole process 'was to destroy the Armenians and thereby to do away with the Armenian question.'
        Because Germany was the Ottoman Empire's closest wartime ally, there is a large body of extraordinary German testimony about the Armenian Genocide.  For example, Colonel Stange, the highest-ranking German guerrilla commander in the Russian-Turkish border region, referred to the chetes as 'scum' (Gesindel), who 'in the area of Tercan killed without exception all the Armenians of the convoy coming from Erzurum.'  This 'incontestable fact,' he wrote, was carried out 'with the assistance of the military escort.'  Similarly, German consul Scheubner-RIchter, reporting on the massacres from Harput to Erzinjan, also referred to the killing squads as 'the scum.'  The German consul in Aleppo, Dr. Walter Roessler, in a July 27, 1915 report, noted that the killing squads were created by 'the Turkish government which released convicts from the prisons, put them in soldiers' uniforms and sent them to areas through which the deportees are to pass.'
       While the killing squads and provincial gendarmerie were consumed with massacring and deporting the civilian Armenian population, they also aided the Ottoman army in its scheme to dispose of all able-bodied Armenian men.  Christians had first been conscripted into the Ottoman army in 1909, after the implementation of new constitutional reforms, and so, at the outbreak of World War I, Armenian men between the ages of twenty and forty-five were drafted into the Ottoman army.  It was an army with numerous problems, among them severe ethnic discrimination.  Arabs, Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, Assyrians, and others were subjected to brutal treatment.  Arab soldiers, for example, were often sent to the front lines shackled in chains and escorted by Turks at gunpoint.
       After Enver's humiliating defeat by the Russians at Sarikamish in December 1914-January 1915, Enver and his ruling elite, looking for a scapegoat, blamed the Armenians, claiming they were in sympathy with the Russians.  Within a month, by February 25, 1915, all the Armenian men in the Ottoman army were officially disarmed and thrown into labor battalions.  Almost immediately thereafter, the army began an organized plan of massacring the Armenian men in the labor battalions.  These killings preceded the beginning of the deportations and massacres of the later part of the spring.  As the historian Erik Zurcher has noted, 'Once the massacres started, the unarmed recruits in the labor battalions were sitting ducks.'  Under the guard of armed soldiers, the Armenian soldiers were taken out into secluded areas where they were killed by gunshot or with bayonets by Turkish soldiers, often with the aid of the gendarmes and the chetes.'  In this manner tens of thousands of Armenian men were disposed of.
        If the able-bodied Armenian men were not massacred in the labor batallions of the Ottoman army, they were most often taken out and shot in groups in the first stage of the deportation.  As the Armenians were forced from their homes and organized into caravans to be marched out of town, the men were separated from the women and children and taken out into the fields outside their towns and villages and shot en masse.  By killing the men quickly in these ways, the Turks rendered the rest of the Armenian community increasingly helpless without those who could best resist massacre and offer protection.
       Much like the hierarchical relationship between the Sonderkommandos, who carried out the executive orders in the Nazi bureaucracy, and the Einsatzgruppen killing squads, the CUP created a hierarchical administration to carry out the Armenian killing operations.  Three levels of bureaucrats were given a supreme authority that superseded the traditional government structure in the provinces, and through this network the details of the deportations and mass killings were carried out.  The hierarchy consisisted of Katibi Mesul 'Responsible Secretaries';  Murahhas, 'Delegates';  and Umumi Muefettish, 'General Inspectors.'  Most of the men who held these positions were former army officers;  as loyal party members their job was to maintain the chain of command in the provinces so that the orders for arrests, deportations, and massacre were implemented strictly, and to do this they worked closely with the local CUP clubs, known as Ittihad Clubs.
       In his report of July 28, 1915, from Erzurum, Vice-Consul Schuebner-Richter actually referred to this operation as a 'shadow, or a parallel government' (Nebenregierung) assuming power over the provincial government.  He attributed the severity of the deportations to the party administrators, who vetoed the governor-general's decree exempting the sick, families without men, and women living alone.  The Responsible Secretaries, Delegates, and Inspectors admitted, Scheubner-RIchter reported, that their job was to see the total obliteration (die ganzliche Ausrottung) of the Armenians.  Colonel Stange reported that in Trebizond Province, Dr. Shakir and Gen.  Mahmud Kamil 'ruthlessly and constantly pushed for the expediting of the deportations' with the knowledge that the convoys were being massacred on order.  From Adana, German consul Eugen Buge reported to his embassy in Constantinople that the local party chief (der hiesige Komiteefuhrer) promised to massacre all the Armenians of Adana if any of them were spared deportation.
       Perhaps nobody put it more comprehensively than German ambassador Count Paul von Wolff-Metternich.  Reporting back to the chancellor in Berlin, he expressed his exasperation at the power held by the CUP's Central Committee, hence the SO, in the process of the Armenian massacres:
        Nobody has any more power to restrain the multi-headed hydra of the Com
        -ittee, and the attendant chauvinism and fanaticism.  The Committee demands
         the extirpation of the last remnants of the Armenians and the government
          must yield.  The authority of the Committee is not limited to the Ottoman
          capital where Ittihad {CUP} is organized and functions as a party in power.
          That authority of the Committee reaches into all the provinces.  A Committee
          representative is assigned to each of the provincial administrations, from
          vali down to kaymakam, for purposes of assistance or supervision. . . .
           Turkification means license to expel, to kill or destroy everything that is
           not Turkish, and to violently take possession of the goods of others. . . ."
The Burning Tigris, by Peter Balakian pgs. 183-186.