The Corner

National Security & Defense

Who Remembers the Armenians?

“Who, after all, today remembers the annihilation of the Armenians?” is the question Adolf Hitler put to the world to cover his own intentions to annihilate chosen victims. A century ago, in the course of the First World War, the Ottoman Turks massacred about a million and a half Armenians, driving into exile and dispossessing what was left of the community. Whether Christian or oppressed, a minority of Armenians had taken up arms against their Muslim overlords, which is why successive Turkish regimes have invariably pretended that they had been facing a fifth column whose suppression couldn’t be considered the genocide it so obviously was.

The German parliament has just passed a motion recognizing that genocide is what the Armenians suffered. Turkish President Recip Tayyip Erdogan had recently agreed with German Chancellor Angela Merkel a deal whereby he delivers selected refugees in return for billions of euros — a sort of bribe, really, that gives him a hold over Merkel whose policy of welcoming refugees has lost her popular support and threatens her office. Not very brave, she pleaded that she was so busy that she had to stay away from parliament.

A furious Erdogan has recalled the Turkish ambassador and says the vote “will seriously affect Germany-Turkey relations.” According to the newly appointed Turkish prime minister, Binali Yildirim, “There is no shameful incident in our past.” And there you have the core of this issue. The national culture obliges Germans to examine their past and if necessary to admit guilt in respect of crime. National culture obliges Turks to close their eyes to the past and claim honour in respect of crime.

David Pryce-Jones is a British author and commentator and a senior editor of National Review.

Most Popular


Cold Brew’s Insidious Hegemony

Soon, many parts of the United States will be unbearably hot. Texans and Arizonans will be able to bake cookies on their car dashboards; the garbage on the streets of New York will be especially pungent; Washington will not only figuratively be a swamp. And all across America, coffee consumers will turn their ... Read More
National Security & Defense

The Warmonger Canard

Whatever the opposite of a rush to war is — a crawl to peace, maybe — America is in the middle of one. Since May 5, when John Bolton announced the accelerated deployment of the Abraham Lincoln carrier group to the Persian Gulf in response to intelligence of a possible Iranian attack, the press has been aflame ... Read More

The Merit of Merit-Based Immigration

Having chain-migrated his way into the White House and a little bit of political power, Donald Trump’s son-in-law is shopping around an immigration plan. And if you can get past the hilarious juxtaposition of the words “merit-based” and “Jared Kushner,” it’s a pretty good one. As things stand, the ... Read More
NR Webathon

We’ve Had Bill Barr’s Back

One of the more dismaying features of the national political debate lately is how casually and cynically Attorney General Bill Barr has been smeared. He is routinely compared to Roy Cohn on a cable-TV program that prides itself on assembling the most thoughtful and plugged-in political analysts and ... Read More
Film & TV

Game of Thrones: A Father’s Legacy Endures

Warning! If you don't want to read any spoilers from last night's series finale of Game of Thrones, stop reading. Right now. There is a lot to unpack about the Thrones finale, and I fully understand many of the criticisms I read on Twitter and elsewhere. Yes, the show was compressed. Yes, there were moments ... Read More