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'Why Armenians Can't Forget'

May 07, 1985

Miller's article deserves serious consideration if for no other reason than for the two points he raises: (1) ". . . time does not heal all wounds" and (2) ". . . the genocide ruptured Armenians' sense of a morally ordered universe."

How refreshing it is to read about the Armenian massacres without the usual pejorative alleged . So many writers on the doleful subject, especially journalists, have been too lazy to research the newspapers of 1915-1923 or, faced with a paucity of information, have relied too heavily on the unresearched writings of others. Miller's article should serve as a paradigm for those who would write about the Great Massacres of the Armenians beginning in 1915. During World War I the civilized world well knew what was occurring in eastern Turkey, and many solemn promises were made by Allied leaders to help the Armenians. All the commitments came to naught, chiefly for political reasons.

The indifference of the world is one thing, but another much more galling thing is the denial of guilt by the Turks, which, on the one hand, exasperates Armenians and, on the other hand, exacerbates Armenian-Turkish relations. If one would seek the genesis of recent Armenian terrorism, he or she must look at what Miller calls the rupture of a morally ordered universe. For the Armenians the rupture is almost complete; to make it irremediably complete, the Turks have embarked on a policy of denial of genocide.

No one in his right mind can condone terrorism for whatever reason, but frustration compounds the indifference of a civilized world and--justice unfulfilled, even denied--engenders outrage that leads to terrorism.

The Armenians, deprived of home and hearth in their ancestral land, can only ask the Turks: What happened? Where are the 2 1/2 million Armenians who once lived in your country?

ARAM TOLEGIAN

Monterey Park

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