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Wednesday, August 28, 2013


     There is an old saying, sometimes attributed to Albert Einstein, that says :"Insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting different results."  President Obama made it clear in 2008 that he was opposed to "stupid wars," a phrase he never elucidated beyond stating that Iraq was a stupid war and Afghanistan wasn't a stupid war.  Estase always suspected that what "stupid" really meant was "unpopular," given the fact that when Obama was running for office there had been two horrific battles of Falujah, which figured prominantly on the TV news, and appeared often in the complaints of G.W. Bush's critics. 
       Estase always thought that one virtue Iraq held that Afghanistan didn't was that Iraq was at least being fought to institute a popular government, which even the most sanguine neo-con knew would be impossible for Afghanistan.  The American Left was fond of comparing Iraq to Vietnam, when the real turkey of a war was being fought to prop up a drug criminal named Hamid Karzai, who was not even fond enough of us to exclude the possibility of himself fighting the United States.  So, twelve years after starting a war in a country whose sin was protecting a now-dead terrorist, we still are fighting in Afghanistan.  And my readers in Russia know well that this is an endless source of irritation for their government. 
       So now, Oh Blah Blah, who in 2007 declared he was against "stupid wars," is set to fight on the side of Al Qaeda against the equally unloveable Bashar Al-Assad.  And who are Bashar Al-Assad's allies?  Iran and Russia!  Oh lovely, we are about to irritate the Russians in yet another part of the world!  And the intrepid Obama, who was so incensed about the cost of the Iraq War, will spend how much money we borrowed from China for this useless misadventure? 
      Obama also made war in violation of the 1973 War Powers Act in Libya.  And the locals anally raped and killed a U.S. Ambassador to show their appreciation.  Obama will not seek Congressional approval for action in Syria, because as deified Emperor, he has no need to follow anything so mundane as the U.S. Constitution.
       Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, and now Syria.  Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Kasab Taburu (Butcher Brigade), Part Ten

        "Balakian described 'the terror of death' that hung in the air of the bus, especially as they passed the rocky coast where in previous decades the sultan's military police had thrown to their deaths hundreds of Armenian and Turkish intellectuals and political activists.  The group was then put on a steamship that normally held about 65 people, but was now loaded down with about 250 Armenians and dozens of military police--young soldiers, commisars, army spies, and police officials of various ranks.
        They sailed out on the rough waters of the Sea of Marmara and finally landed at Haydar Pasha's wharf, where they were marched out of the steamship in pairs to a huge embarkation station.  As the ornate process continued, the Armenian leaders were then taken to a special train, which was, as Balakian put it,'waiting and ready to take us all to the depths of Asia Minor, where,except for a few rare cases, we would all meet out deaths.  With the lights out,' Balakian wrote, ' the doors of the cars shut, and with police and police soldiers posted everywhere, the train started.  And so we began to move further and further away form the places of our lives, each of us leaving behind grieving and unprotected mothers, sisters, wives, children, possessions, wealth, and everything else.  We headed out to a region unnamed and unfamiliar.  To be buried forever.'
        Sometime past midnight an official on the train, who happened to be Armenian, whispered in Balakian's ear: 'Reverend Father, please write down the names of your arrested friends on this piece of paper and give it back to me.'  The man then 'slid a piece of paper and a pencil into my hand, and leaving the lamp by me, he went off to the busy policemen who were in charge of us. . . my heart was pounding and in haste I wrote, in the flickering dim light, the names I could remember, and slid the list back to the Armenian official.'  It was at this point that Balakian began to bear witness in a more formal way, and perhaps the writing down of the names was part of the process that led him to write his memoir.
        The train proceeded south along the coastline of the Sea of Marmara and by dawn they were passing through Nicomedia (Izmit) and Bardizag.  At dusk they came to the town of Eskishehir, where the Ankara and Konia railway lines separate, and then, after some delay and much apprehension among the prisoners, the train veered off toward Ankara.  Around midday on Tuesday they arrived at the Sinjan Koy railway station, near Ankara.  At the station Ibrahim, the chief of the central prison, who had been with them since Constantinople, stood up and began to read off the list of names:  'Silvio Ricci, Agnuni, Zartarian, Khazhag, Sharigian, Jihangiulian, Dr. Daghavarian, Sarkis Minasian,' the names were shouted out.  They were all progressive intellectuals, nonpolitical party people, conservatives, Balakian recalled, 'some seventy-five in all.  We were riveted on each name as it was called,' he wrote,' and then we kissed those who were leaving us.  In that instant, we began to weep, and as one person wept, others began to weep too, and we had this feeling that we were being separated from each other forever.'
         The first group was taken to Ayash, northwest of Ankara, while Balakian's group would be taken to Chankiri, to the northwest of Ankara.  In both places the men were imprisoned, tortured, and most of them killed in the subsequent few months in the desolate countryside of the region.  Balakian describes many of their deaths, among them the murders of the famous poet Daniel Varoujian and the novelist and Ottoman parliament membor Krikor Zohrab.  Varoujan and four colleagues had been with Balakian in prison in Chankiri, and on Thursday August 12, Jemal Oguz, the CUP responsible secretary, telegraphed the police guard office on the Chankiri-Kaylajek road, they were ambushed by four Kurdish chetes.  'The whole thing,' Balakian wrote, 'had been arranged in advance, and in secret.'
        The chetes then took the five Armenians to a nearby creek, undressed them, and folded up their clothing for themselves.  Then 'they began to stab them to death, slashing their arms and legs and genitals, and ripping apart their bodies.'  Only the thirty-three-year old Daniel Varoujian tried to defend himself, and this provoked the killers further;  they not only 'tore out his entrails, but dug out the eyes of this great Armenian poet.'  The killers then divided the pillage among themselves, taking more than 450 Ottoman gold pieces that were sewn into the clothing of Dr. Chillingerian and Onnig Maghazadijian.  They paid off the police, and after dividing up the belongings, left in the carriages.
         Balakian learned the details of the killings from one of the Turkish carriage drivers--the twenty-one-year-old son of the local bathhouse keeper--who returned to Chankiri depressed and shaken.  Sobbing as he spoke, he said to the Armenian priest, 'I don't want to be in this trade anymore.  I'm going to sell my horse and carriage and get out of this town.  I don't want this kind of profit.'  When the carriages returned to Chankiri without Varoujian and the others on Friday, the news of their murders spread terror among the deportees and the Armenian families of the town.  The interim governor, who had guaranteed that the men would reach Ankara safely, went immediately to Tuney (the town were they were killed) with the chief of police from Kastamouni and an investigative team.  There, they 'found the five dead men in unrecognizable condition in the creek.'"
The Burning Tigris by Peter Balakian pgs.213-215.

The Deserted Village (1770)

Sweet Auburn! loveliest village of the plain;
Where health and plenty cheered the labouring swain,
Where smiling spring its earliest visit paid,
And parting summer's lingering blooms delayed:
Dear lovely bowers of innocence and ease,
Seats of my youth, when every sport could please,
How often have I loitered o'er thy green,
Where humble happiness endeared each scene!
How often have I paused on every charm,
The sheltered cot, the cultivated farm,
The never-failing brook, the busy mill,
The decent church that topt the neighbouring hill,
The hawthorn bush, with seats beneath the shade,
For talking age and whispering lovers made!
How often have I blest the coming day,
When toil remitting lent its turn to play,
And all the village train, from labour free,
Led up their sports beneath the spreading tree,
While many a pastime circled in the shade,
The young contending as the old surveyed;
And many a gambol frolicked o'er the ground,
And sleights of art and feats of strength went round.
Succeeding sports the mirthful band inspired;
The dancing pair that simply sought renown,
By holding out, to tire each other down;
The swain mistrustless of his smutted face,
While secret laughter tittered round the place;
The bashful virgin's side-long looks of love,
The matron's glance that would those looks reprove.
These were thy charms, sweet village!  sports like these,
With sweet succession, taught even toil to please:
These round thy bowers their cheerful influence shed:
These were thy charms--but all these charms are fled.
Sweet smiling village, loveliest of the lawn,
Thy sports are fled, and all thy charms withdrawn;
Amidst thy bowers the tyrant's hand is seen,
And desolation saddens all thy green:
One only master grasps the whole domain,
And half a tillage stints thy smiling plain.
No more thy glassy brook reflects the day,
But, choked with sedges, works its weedy way;
Along thy glades, a solitary guest,
The hollow-sounding bittern guards its nest;
Amidst thy desert walks the lapwing flies,
And tires their echoes with unvaried cries;
Sunk are thy bowers in shapeless ruin all,
And the long grass o'ertops the mouldering wall;
And, trembling, shrinking from the spoiler's hand,
Far, far away thy children leave the land.
Ill fares the land, to hastening ills a prey,
Where wealth accumulates, and men decay:
Princes and lords may flourish, or may fade;
A breath can make them, as a breath has made:
But a bold peasantry, their country's pride,
When once destroyed, can never be supplied.
A time there was, ere England's griefs began,
When every rood of ground maintained its man;
For him light labour spread her wholesome store,
Just gave what life required, but gave no more:
His best companions, innocence and health;
And his best riches, ignorance of wealth.
But times are altered;  trade's unfeeling train
Usurp the land and dispossess the swain;
Along the lawn, where scattered hamlets rose,
Unwieldy wealth and cumbrous pomp repose,
And every want to opulence allied,
And every pang that folly pays to pride.
Those gentle hours that plenty bade to bloom,
Those calm desires that asked but little room,
Those healthful sports that graced the peaceful scene,
Lived in each look, and brightened all the green;
These, far departing, seek a kinder shore,
And rural mirth and manners are no more.
Sweet Auburn!  parent of the blissful hour,
Thy glades forlorn confess the tyrant's power.
Here, as I take my solitary rounds
Amidst thy tangling walks and ruined grounds,
And, many a year elapsed, return to view
Where once the cottage stood, the hawthorn grew,
Remembrance wakes with all her busy train,
Swells at my breast, and turns the past to pain.
In all my wanderings round this world of care,
In all my griefs--and GOD has given my share--
I still had hopes, my latest hours to crown,
Amidst these humble bowers to lay me down;
To husband out life's taper at the close,
And keep the flame from wasting by repose:
I still had hopes, for pride attends us still,
Amidst the swains to show my book-learned skill,
Around my fire an evening group to draw,
And tell of all I felt, and all I saw;
And, as a hare whom hounds and horns pursue
Pants to the place from whence at first he flew,
I still had hopes, my long vexations past,
Here to return--and die at home at last.
O blest retirement, friend to life's decline,
Retreats from care, that never must be mine,
How happy he who crowns in shades like these
A youth of labour with an age of ease;
Who quits a world where strong temptations try,
And, since 'tis hard to combat, learns to fly!
For him no wretches, born to work and weep,
Explore the mine, or tempt the dangerous deep;
Nor surly porter stands in guilty state,
To spurn imploring famine from the gate;
But on he moves to meet his latter end,
Angels around befriending Virtue's friend;
Bends to the grave with unperceived decay,
While resignation gently slopes the way;
And, all his prospects brightening to the last,
His heaven commences ere the world be past!
Sweet was the sound, when oft at evening's close
Up yonder hill the village murmur rose.
There, as I past with careless steps and slow,
The mingling notes came softened from below;
The swain responsive as the milk-maid sung,
The sober herd that lowed to meet their young,
The noisy geese that gabbled o'er the pool,
The playful children just let loose from school,
The watch-dog's voice that bayed the whispering wind,
And the loud laugh that spoke the vacant mind;--
These all in sweet confusion sought the shade,
And filled each pause the nightingale had made.
But now the sounds of population fail,
No cheerful murmurs fluctuate in the gale,
No busy steps the grass-grown foot-way tread,
For all the bloomy flush of life is fled.
All but yon widowed, solitary thing,
That feebly bends beside the plashy spring:
She, wretched matron, forced in age, for bread,
To strip the brook with mantling cresses spread,
To pick her wintry faggot from the thorn,
To seek her nightly shed, and weep till morn;
She only left of all the harmless train,
The sad historian of the pensive plain.
Near yonder copse, where once the garden smiled,
And still where many a garden-flower grows wild;
There, where a few torn shrubs the place disclose,
The village preacher's modest mansion rose.
A man he was to all the country dear,
And passing rich with forty pounds a year;
Remote from towns he ran his godly race,
Nor e'er had changed, nor wished to change, his place;
Unpractised he to fawn, or seek for power,
By doctrines fashioned to the varying hour;
Far other aims his heart had learned to prize,
More skilled to raise the wretched than to rise.
His house was known to all the vagrant train;
He chid their wanderings, but relieved their pain:
The long-remember'd beggar was his guest,
Whose beard descending swept his aged breast;
The ruined spendthrift, now no longer proud,
Claimed kindred there, and had his claims allowed;
The broken soldier, kindly bade to stay,
Sat by his fire, and talked the night away,
Wept o'er his wounds or tales of sorrow done,
Shouldered his crutch, and showed how fields were won.
Pleased with his guests, the good man learned to glow,
And quite forgot their vices in their woe;
Careless their merits or their faults to scan,
His pity gave ere charity began.
Thus to relieve the wretched was his pride,
And e'en his failings leaned to virtue's side;
But in his duty prompt at every call,
He watched and wept, he prayed and felt for all;
And, as a bird each fond endearment tries
To tempt its new-fledged offspring to the skies,
He tried each art, reproved each dull delay,
Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way.
Beside the bed where parting life was laid,
And sorrow, guilt, and pain, by turns dismayed,
Despair and anguish fled the struggling soul;
Comfort came down the trembling wretch to raise,
And his last faltering accents whispered praise.
At church, with meek and unaffected grace,
His looks adorned the venerable place;
Truth from his lips prevailed with double sway,
And fools, who came to scoff, remained to pray.
The service past, around the pious man,
With steady zeal, each honest rustic ran;
E'en children followed with endearing wile,
And plucked his gown, to share the good man's smile.
His ready smile a parent's warmth expressed;
Their welfare pleased him, and their cares distressed:
To them his heart, his love, his griefs were given,
But all his serious thoughts had rest in heaven.
As some tall cliff that lifts its awful form,
Swells from the vale, and midway leaves the storm,
Though round its breast the rolling clouds are spread,
Eternal sunshine settles on its head.
Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way,
With blossom'd furze unprofitably gay,
There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule,
The village master taught his little school.
A man severe he was, and stern to view;
I knew him well, and every truant knew:
Well had the boding tremblers learned to trace
The day's disaster's in his morning face;
Full well the busy whisper circling round
Conveyed the dismal tidings when he frowned.
Yet he was kind, or, if severe in aught,
The love he bore to learning was in fault;
The village all declared how much he knew:
'Twas certain he could write, and cypher too;
Lands he could measure, terms and tides presage,
And e'en the story ran that he could gauge:
In arguing, too, the parson owned his skill;
For e'en though vanquished, he could argue still;
While words of learned length and thundering sound
Amazed the gazing rustics ranged around;
And still they gazed, and still the wonder grew,
But past is all his fame.  The very spot
Where many a time he triumphed is forgot.
Near yonder thorn, that lifts its head on high,
Where once the sign-post caught the passing eye,
Low lies that house where nut-brown draughts inspired,
Where grey-beard mirth and smiling toil retired,
Where village statesmen talked with looks profound,
And news much older than their ale went round.
Imagination fondly stoops to trace
The parlour splendours of that festive place:
The white-washed wall, that nicely sanded floor,
The varnished clock that clicked behind the door;
The chest contrived a double debt to pay,
A bed by night, a chest of drawers by day;
The pictures placed for ornament and use,
The twelve good rules, the royal game of goose;
The hearth, except when winter chilled the day,
With aspen boughs and flowers and fennel gay;
While broken tea-cups, wisely kept for show,
Ranged o'er the chimney, glistened in a row.
Vain transitory splendours!  could not all
Reprieve the tottering mansion from its fall?
Obscure it sinks, nor shall it more impart
An hour's importance to the poor man's heart.
Thither no more the peasant shall repair
To sweet oblivion of his daily care;
No more the farmer's news, the barber's tale,
No more the woodman's ballad shall prevail;
No more the smith his dusky brow shall clear,
Relax his ponderous strength, and lean to hear;
The host himself no longer shall be found
Careful to see the mantling bliss go round;
Nor the coy maid, half willing to be prest,
Shall kiss the cup to pass it to the rest.
Yes! let the rich deride, the proud disdain,
These simple blessings of the lowly train;
To me more dear, congenial to my heart,
One native charm, than all the gloss of art;
Spontaneous joys, where Nature has its play,
The soul adopts, and owns their first-born sway;
Lightly they frolic o'er the vacant mind,
Unenvied, unmolested, unconfined.
But the long pomp, the midnight masquerade,
With all the freaks of wanton wealth arrayed,--
In these, ere triflers half their wish obtain,
The toiling pleasure sickens into pain;
And, e'en while fashion's brightest arts decoy,
The heart distrusting asks if this be joy.
Ye friends to truth, ye statesmen who survey
The rich man's joys increase, the poor's decay,
'Tis yours to judge, how wide the limits stand
Between a splendid and a happy land.
Proud swells the tide with loads of freighted ore,
And shouting Folly hails them from her shore;
Hoards e'en beyond the miser's wish abound,
And rich men flock from all the world around.
Yet count our gains.  The wealth is but a name
That leaves our useful products still the same.
Not so the loss.  The man of wealth and pride
Takes up a space that many poor supplied;
Space for his lake, the park's extended bounds,
Space for his horses, equipage, and hounds:
The robe that wraps his limbs in silken sloth
Has robbed the neighbouring fields of half their growth;
His seat, where solitary sports are seen,
Indignant spurns the cottage from the green:
Around the world each needful product flies,
For all the luxuries the world supplies;
While thus the land adorned for pleasure all
In barren splendour feebly waits the fall.
As some fair female unadorned and plain,
Secure to please while youth confirms her reign,
Slights every borrowed charm that dress supplies,
Nor shares with art the triumph of her eyes;
But when those charms are past, for charms are frail,
When time advances, and when lovers fail,
She then shines forth, solicitous to bless,
In all the glaring impotence of dress.
Thus fares the land by luxury betrayed:
In Nature's simplest charms at first arrayed,
But verging to decline, its splendours rise,
Its vistas strike, its palaces surprise;
While, scourged by famine from the smiling land,
The mournful peasant leads his humble band,
And while he sinks, without one arm to save,
The country blooms--a garden and a grave.
Where then, ah!  where, shall poverty reside,
To 'scape the pressure of contiguous pride?
If to some common's fenceless limits strayed
He drives his flock to pick the scanty blade,
Those fenceless fields the sons of wealth divide,
And even the bare-worn common is denied.
If to the city sped--what waits him there?
To see profusion that he must not share;
To see ten thousand baneful arts combined
To pamper luxury, and thin mankind;
To see those joys the sons of pleasure know
Extorted from his fellow creature's woe.
Here while the courtier glitters in brocade,
There the pale artist plies the sickly trade;
Here while the proud their long-drawn pomps display,
There the black gibbet glooms beside the way.
The dome where pleasure holds her midnight reign
Here richly deck'd admits the gorgeous train:
Tumultuous grandeur crowds the blazing square,
The rattling chariots clash, the torches glare.
Sure scenes like these no troubles e'er annoy!
Sure these denote one universal joy!
Are these thy serious thoughts?--Ah, turn thine eyes
Where the poor houseless shivering female lies.
She once, perhaps, in village plenty blest,
Has wept at tales of innocence distrest;
Her modest looks the cottage might adorn,
Sweet as the primrose peeps beneath the thorn;
Now lost to all; her friends, her virtue fled,
Near her betrayer's door she lays her head,
And, pinch'd with cold, and shrinking from the shower,
With heavy heart deplores that luckless hour,
When idly first, ambitious of the town,
She left her wheel and robes of country brown.
Do thine, sweet Auburn,--thine, the loveliest train,--
Do thy fair tribes participate her pain?
Even now, perhaps, by cold and hunger led,
At proud men's doors they ask a little bread!
Ah,no!  To distant climes, a dreary scene,
Where half the convex world intrudes between,
Through torrid tracts with fleeting steps they go,
Where wild Altama murmurs to their woe.
Far different there from all that charmed before,
The various terrors of that horrid shore;
Those blazing suns that dart a downward ray,
And fiercely shed intolerable day;
Those matted woods, where birds forget to sing,
But silent bats in drowsy clusters cling;
Those poisonous fields with rank luxurience crowned,
Where the dark scorpion gathers death around,
Where at each step the stranger fears to wake
The rattling terrors of the vengeful snake,
Where crouching tigers wait their hapless prey.
And savage men more murderous still than they;
While oft in whils the mad tornado flies,
Mingling the ravaged landscape with the skies.
Far different these from every former scene,
The cooling brook, the grassy vested green,
The breezy covert of the warbling grove,
That only sheltered thefts of harmless love.
Good Heaven!  what sorrows gloomed that parting day,
That called them from their native walks away;
When the poor exiles, every pleasure past,
Hung round the bowers, and fondly looked their last,
And took a long farewell, and wished in vain
For seats like these beyond the western main,
And shuddering still to face the distant deep,
Returned and wept, and still returned to weep.
The good old sire the first prepared to go
To new-found worlds, and wept for others' woe;
But for himself, in conscious virtue brave,
He only wished for worlds beyond the grave.
His lovely daughter, lovelier in her tears,
The fond companion of his helpless years,
Silent went next, neglectful of her charms,
And left a lover's for her father's arms.
With louder plaints the mother spoke her woes,
And blessed the cot where every pleasure rose,
And kissed her thoughtless babes  with many a tear,
And clasped them close, in sorrow double dear,
Whilst her fond husband strove to lend relief
In all the silent manliness  of grief.
O luxury!  thou curst by Heaven's decree.
How ill exchanged are things like these for thee!
How do thy potions, with insidious joy,
Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy!
Kingdoms by thee, to sickly greatness grown,
Boast of a florid vigour not their own.
At every draught more large and large they grow,
A bloated mass of rank unwieldly woe;
Till sapped their strength, and every part unsound,
Down, down they sink, and spread a ruin round.
Even now, the devastation is begun,
And half the business of destruction done;
Even now, methinks, as pondering here I stand,
I see the rural virtues leave the land.
Down where you anchoring vessel spreads the sail,
The idly waiting flaps with every gale,
Downward they move, a melancholy band,
Pass from the shore, and darken all the strand.
Contented toil, and hospitable care,
And kind connubial tenderness, are there;
And piety with wishes placed above,
And steady loyalty, and faithful love.
And thou, sweet Poetry, thou loveliest maid,
Still first to fly where sensual joys invade;
Unfit in these degenerate times of shame
To catch the heart, or strike for honest fame;
Dear charming nymph,neglected and decried,
My shame in crowds, my solitary pride;
Thou source of all my bliss, and all my woe.
That found'st me poor at first, and keep'st me so;
Thou guide by which the nobler arts excel,
Thou nurse of every virtue, fare thee well!
Farewell, and O! where'er thy voice be tried,
On Torno's cliffs, or Pambamarca's side,
Whether where equinoctial fervours glow,
Or winter wraps the polar world in snow,
Still let thy voice, prevailing over time,
Redress the rigours of the inclement clime;
Aid slighted truth with thy persuasive strain;
Teach erring man to spurn the rage of gain:
Teach him, that states of native strength possest,
Though very poor, may still be very blest;
That trade's proud empire hastes to swift decay,
As ocean sweeps the laboured mole away;
While self-dependent power can time defy,
As rocks resist the billows and the sky.
                                                    Oliver Goldsmith

Friday, August 02, 2013

Kasab Taburu (Butcher Brigade), Part Nine

       "What happened on the night of April 24, 1915, in Constantinople was a seminal event in the Armenian Genocide, and it was part of a pattern that would be established all over Turkey as the genocide progressed.  In cities, towns, and villages everywhere, Armenian cultural leaders were arrested, tortured, and killed as quickly as possible.  Some who survived, like the distinguished composer and musicologist Gomidas Vartabed, went insane.  In the end thousands of Armenian cultural leaders were killed, and the core of Armenia's intellectual life was destroyed.  In Van, Dr. Ussher recorded the roundup and arrests of Armenian professors and cultural leaders in late April and May 1915, and in Harput, American consul Leslie Davis reported that in June and July, Armenian intellectuals and professors were among the first to be imprisoned and murdered.
       What happened in Constantinople was dramatic.  Since the mid-nineteenth century the capital had been home to the richest and most influential Armenian community in the empire, and the center of Armenian intellectual and cultural life.  This made it the obvious target for the CUP to begin its formal eradication of Armenian cultural leaders.  On the night of April 24 and into the following day, about 250 cultural leaders were seized in a first round of arrests, and in the coming weeks another several hundred from the city and its vicinity would be arrested.
       'On the night of Saturday, April 24, 1915, 'the priest Krikoris Balakian wrote, 'the Armenians in the capital were snoring in a calm sleep--exhausted from their Easter celebrations, there on the heights of Stambul near Hagia Sophia--while in the central police station a secret project was in motion.'  Weeks earlier SO member and Constantinople chief of police Petri had sent letters to all police officers containing the list of Armenians to be arrested--a list that had been compiled with the help of Armenian spies, most notably one Artin Mugerditchian.
        It wasn't until the next evening that the warden checked off their names and they were marched by a troop of military police to the administration office.  There they were searched, and the police confiscated 'everything from us--money, small insignificant pieces of paper, pocket knives, pencils, diaries, even our umbrellas and canes, and always they pretended that they would be returning them to us later.'  The military police then put them on buses in groups of twenty--with about a dozen soldiers in each bus--and a caravan of military buses, led by the general police chief in his own car, proceeded from Hagia Sophia Boulevard toward Sirkedji."  The Burning Tigris by Peter Balakian pgs. 211-212,213.