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Boston, US
Posts: 350

Read: Chapters 1 and 2, from Samantha Power, “A Problem from Hell”: America and the Age of Genocide (New York: Basic Books, 2001), pp. 1-29.

We will have been looking at the Armenian genocide this week, so I would like you to break open your “virtual copy” of former UN Ambassador from the United States (and current USAID chief, playing a significant role in help for Ukranian refugees) Samantha Power’s 2001 book, “A Problem from Hell”: America in the Age of Genocide.Here’s the link to the reading.

Power begins her volume by talking about the Armenian situation before there was a word “genocide” in the English language. She the introduces Based on what you read in her account, I would ask you to consider the following, based on what you read in this chapter AS WELL AS what you see in the materials we look at in class. Make sure you support your observations with specifics. (In other words, vague generalities not accepted.)

Did we --the United States--and our allies act as bystanders during the Armenian genocide?

Admittedly, between 1914 and 1918, most of Europe was caught up in World War I; the United States joined the war in 1917, after remaining steadfastly isolationist in the preceding years. The Armenian genocide occurred between 1915 and 1923, with the bulk of events occurring between 1915-1917. Needless to say, folks were busy during that period. So maybe it’s unfair to ask this question.

But I’m asking it anyway.

What could we/should we have done? Should the U.S and/or other nations take a stand when an entire population is being destroyed? On principle? Wherever and whenever it happens? No matter what? Always? Sometimes? Rarely? (Whoa, quite a few question marks here…)

In short, what sort of role would you advocate for the United States and other nations witnessing this (and by extension, any other) genocide?

Do you think world nations behaved differently during the Armenian genocide than they did during the carnage in Africa—specifically what we saw in German South West Africa (Namibia)--in the late 19th and early 20th centuries? Why or why not?

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 14

The Armenian Genocide and Bystanderism

The United States' non-commitment and sustained "neutrality" throughout the Armenian genocide were unacceptable. While individual Americans and citizens of the other Allied countries were public in their outrage, President Woodrow Wilson remained ineffective in dealing with this anti-Christian massacre, deciding to prioritize American lives to a fault. Even when the United States joined the war in 1917, they refused to declare war on the Turks, claiming the genocide had nothing to do with America. However, the American people made small contributions: churches and wealthy individuals donated funds to the Armenian people. Ambassador Morgenthau spent 26 months in Turkey fighting for American interference but received little help from the US government. He set up a program for Armenian asylum-seekers, but the Turkish government blocked their emigration. While citizens of the Allied countries did speak out against the violence, their impact could not compare to the potential Allied governments had to make real change. Donations from the Rockefeller family are simply not enough to stop a genocide, and this situation required the assistance of established governmental organizations. The governments' inaction allowed this genocide to continue for years and allowed the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent Armenians.

When an entire population is being destroyed, we, not as Americans but as members of the human race, must always act wherever and whenever. The United States has historically preached the protection of human rights. President Wilson stated that the United States would not get involved in matters that did not concern the American people. This, however, did not prevent the United States from interfering in Hawaiian, Puerto Rican or Filipino affairs. France and Britain had no qualms about entering Asian and African countries and "saving" their native people. However, when real human rights violations occur, these countries fail to act, frozen in their indecision. Because the Allied Powers did not stand to immediately gain anything from helping the Armenian people, they were unable to prioritize their duty to protect human rights.

I believe that the United States and other nations must work to stop any act of genocide. Whether or not it relates to their people, countries are responsible for stopping the targeted killing of any nation or ethnic group. If military action is required to stop unjust murder, then I believe any nation should prioritize the protection of human rights over the fear of war. It is notable that the Allied countries were involved in the first World War, but genocide should never go unnoticed, no matter the circumstances.

The Herero and Nama genocide was not well known worldwide, while the Armenian genocide was well published--the New York Times published 145 stories in 1915 alone. The enormous international outcry during the Armenian genocide from individuals and select foundations juxtaposes the overall acceptance of the Herero and Nama genocide. To this day, there are few resources about the Germans' acts in German South West Africa, while the Armenian genocide remains relatively well-known. The Herero and Nama did not receive international humanitarian aid, and their situation went largely unnoticed by other colonizing nations. Both were generally unsupported by foreign governments, but the Armenians at least still received support from foreign individuals.

Curious George
Boston, MA
Posts: 17

Armenian Genocide and Bystanderism

Did the US act as a bystander during the Armenian genocide? Yes, definitely. With numerous reports from Ambassador Morganthau, Wilson’s administration knowingly chose not to intervene to keep America’s neutral state. Even former GB Ambassador, Viscount Bryce, argued that if anything, US opinion as a neutral state would be even more effective, which I do agree with. On the other hand, the British Foreign Offce did try to bring attention to the Turkish atrocities and British press did attempt to cover it, even through the war effort. Just because of how evil the Turks acted and Talaat’s censorship, I do understand why some couldn’t believe it. The Triple Entente believed the best way to end the massacre was to defeat the Triple Alliance, but even if the US did not want to engage in the war, they could have listened to Bryce and used the meaningfulness of being a neutral state to denounce the killings.

I do believe American citizens did what they could (donations / press coverage), but as a government, America failed humanity. Woodrow’s excuse of the genocide not affecting Americans and ultimately arguing “state sovereignty” was selfish and incredibly hypocritical considering America’s involvement in other non-concerning nations.

I think without using it as excuse to wage war or incite more terrible aggressions, nations should always take a stand when entire populations are being destroyed. Though they can’t technically do that before genocides without increasing military tensions, the very least they could do is denounce the act as they are being committed.

Even after the war was over, the US were the only dissenters who didn’t support an international tribunal, and to argue that sovereign leaders should be immune from prosecution??????

In both cases of the Armenian genocide and German forces in Namibia, the US did nothing. But in Armenia, the British, French, and Russians at least attempted to hold leaders responsible, even though they were unsuccessful.

Dorchester, Massachusetts, US
Posts: 14

At the time of this genocide taking place, things were complicated in the world, they were on the brink of war and no country wanted to upset the opposing side, in hopes of maybe delaying the war. In the U.S specifically, they were still reeling back from WWI and the great depression, and the federal government and policies were highly influenced by the people and their needs. So not only did the U.S want to maintain their isolationism because of their fear of upsetting Germany and also because a majority of the people, were against engaging in another war. In chapter 1 of the reading it did state that the people did want to address the issue of the Armenian genocide and others were calling for intervention, but these two things; intervening in the Armenian genocide and avoiding getting involved in the war; opposed each other and you could not have done one without triggering the other. Personally, I think that the U.S should have at first attempted to talk to the Turkish rulers, considering they had ambassadors there, and tried to figure out the facts or gather as much information as they could get, and then try to asses from there. I get that they didn't want to go to war but just talking and communicating with them, surely wouldn't have caused one. And to address this on a general level, I think that the U.S should take a stand when an entire population is being destroyed not just because it might advantage them in that moment or because that country is their ally but because of moral and because we are all human. Thinking to today, we intervened and are helping Ukraine even though it means getting on the bad side of Russia but we don't see any intervention with the problem of China trying to invade Taiwan.

I think the world nations did behave differently during the Armenian genocide than they did during the carnage in Africa, because with the Armenian genocide they took actions one step forward than just reporting about it in newspapers and calling for change. There were military missions sent out to asses the problems in Armenia, so that the US policy makers could make a plan to create an Armenian state with access to the Black sea so they could have security. In the case of Namibia and German South West Africa, even after the atrocities that were happening was talked about in newspapers because individual people saw what went down there, the only thing the German government did(not the American government) was tell them to stop. But, the killings still continued and further led to the establishment of concentration camps, so not much changed. So with the carnage in Africa there was minimal American/US policy maker intervention, whereas in Armenia there was. One thing that might have been the reason for this could be that the reasoning behind the wiping out of Armenians, was a way to get rid of Christians which is a value and religion that is embedded in US history and values, but in Namibia it was colonization and wiping out of black people which is something that the US is familiar with because they have done it themselves.

Posts: 14

Armenian genocide and bystanderism

During the Armenian Genocide, the United States and our allies did act as Bystanders. Although we were not the perpetrators we did not take any action to help alleviate the suffering of these people, even if there wasn’t much we would be able to do. In many cases not doing anything is almost like being the perpetrator. In my opinion, I don't believe that much could have been done during the Armenian genocide, but the United States and European nations shouldn’t have just been bystanders in all this. Although I do not have any ideas as to what should have been done, I know that the United States and European nations are more than capable of coming up with some type of solution or at least making an effort.

The world nations acted differently during the Armenian genocide, in the reading Power states how Turkey made a clear stance on how they felt towards the Christians but no one took it seriously or did anything about it. The quote on the second page clearly shows this by saying “When Turkey entered World War I on the side of Germany against Britain, France, and Russia Talaat made it clear that the empire would target its Christian subjects.” And it goes on further to state that “...Talaat said there was no room for Christians in Turkey and that their supporters should advise them to clear out.” No one took these clear and direct threats seriously and that was a major mistake. As spoken about in class World War I was pointless in many senses, but particularly in the fact that the soldiers didn’t know what they were fighting for. So maybe this gave them a reason to fight. As for the carnage in Africa, it did not get much media attention like the Armenian genocide, and this is possibly rooted in racism.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 15

Bystanders on the scale of the world is a very difficult status to assign. It comes down to a moral problem that we've been discussing since the first assignment of the year with Jeremy Strohmeyer and David Cash. Do you have a responsibility to help if you have the ability to?

Obviously, we are not asking if a country like Honduras or Mexico should help because there is no way they could. It may seem redundant to point out but I think it's important to consider when talking about guilt and bystanderism.

Does this mean that the US and other powers are completely free of guilt? Not necessarily. As Henry Morgenthau discussed; he had warned Washington that in all likelihood Turkey was planning to 'crush the Armenian race'. And, as an Ambassador he believes he has a duty to help people regardless of race or religion, but as humans. Of course, it is easy to say now that "We should have just done something", but where making this statements fails is when you ask what we should have done. Every major world power was locked in WWI, and none of them had any resources to spare for anything besides fighting each other. The US was isolationist at the time, and the sentiment of Americans was very much 'leave Europeans to their affairs'. No one wanted to send soldiers to Europe, and doing a maneuver such as declaring war on Turkey, winning, then liberating Armenia would not be popular.

In relation to the Herero/Nama genocide and how it was treated vs. the Armenian genocide, I think they both share the aspect of being relatively unknown. The Herero genocide to an obvious greater degree, but few Americans would be able to tell you much more about the Armenian genocide other than that it occurred. But as Power describes, the treatment of the Armenian people was similar to that of the Herero and the Jews. Beaten, starved, and shot, almost 1 million Armenians suffered at the hands of the Turks.

It sucks that the clearly right thing to do of saving Armenia is prevented by political turmoil, but I think the best we can do is make saving human lives above politics.

Boston, US
Posts: 15

I don't feel like there is much of an argument about whether or not the US was a bystander during the Armenian genocide. It was, no questions asked. We had more than enough proof of what was happening, and yet we never decided to act. The real question is more what we could have actually done. I don't think that it is always possible for the US to step in in every genocide ever and attempt to stop it. While that would be the case in an ideal world, it just doesn't seem feasible for every single one. However, I do think that the United States could and should have done much more, especially in the Armenian genocide. We offered no support in any way to those who were being massacred. We also didn't really push back on the Ottomans at all. We should have at least attempted to push back more than we did. The Ottomans never truly suffered any consequences at al from any source. This is where some of the responsibility definitely falls on us. We knew what was occurring the entire time, and even after the fact we never did anything about the atrocities that happened.

I think that this genocide was treated differently than the ones in Africa. Neither of them ever really received the proper reaction from the bystanders of these genocides, however. In both the Armenian and various African genocides, people never really pushed back on those perpetrating it, especially not as hard as they probably should have. In neither situation did people really do anything other than denounce what was happening. The difference arises in the amount of public attention and outrage the two were met with. The Armenian genocide, while still pretty much ignored by those controlling the countries who knew about it, received plenty of public coverage. Millions of people knew about it and were actively campaigning for it's end, while it was still happening. In Africa, these actions were pretty much ignored by the public. There is probably a plethora of different reasons for this, whether it be the distance from the events or just straight racism. Ultimately, both genocides were absolutely horrrific crimes that nobody did enough to stop.

Posts: 16

The United States and our allies definitely acted as bystanders. While it is true that there were many other events going on at the time due to the war, the United States still had been getting reports from Ambassador Morgenthau detailing the atrocities committed, and actively chose not only to not intervene but not to cut ties with the Ottoman Empire. The US’s attempts to remain ‘neutral’ only led to devastation. Neutrality implies not attempting to harm any party, but by doing nothing and even refusing to declare war on the Turkish government when they entered the war, the US was directly causing harm to the Armenian people. Attempts of individual Americans to intervene in the genocide — for example, trying to help refugees escape — ultimately were blocked or prevented. No attempt was made to even denounce these killings in a public manner, as the government repeatedly claimed that it had ‘nothing to do with them’ to excuse their inaction. This also applies to the US’s allies during the war, as there was little effort during wartime to try to aid the Armenians.

To have done anything would have been better than standing by and doing nothing. You cannot preach that this war was being fought for the principles of liberty — as Woodrow Wilson put it in his 14 points — while at the same time claiming that the US could not get involved in the Armenian genocide because it didn’t ‘concern’ the American people. When there was a real reason to act, to do something, whatever however we could, the US opted to prioritize their own war goals rather than trying to protect human rights. You cannot fight a war, claiming it is about liberty, only to turn away when that principle needs to be acted upon.

If there is any act of genocide, the United States and as many other nations as possible should take a stand. When so many people are in peril, it is a person’s duty as a fellow human being to act, to try and help. It should be part of our human duty to prioritize the protection of human rights — even if we as a nation are not personally being affected by it. You shouldn’t have to be personally affected by that sort of thing to know that it’s bad and that you should work to fix it, to help.

The world nations definitely behaved differently during the Armenian genocide than they did during the carnage in Africa. The Herero and Nama genocide was hardly covered in the press, with only a minor outcry in Germany when they discovered the atrocities, as opposed to the Armenian genocide which was covered worldwide in journalism, causing an international outcry if not international intervention. The lack of information available certainly played a direct role in the stark difference as well as racism. Although in both cases there was a lack of action, in Armenia there were some attempted, though unsuccessful, interventions.

Posts: 15

The Armenian Genocide was a tragic episode in world history, which has been known as the extermination of the Armenian people by the Ottoman Empire. The Genocide caused the death of over 1.5 million Armenians and the forced move of thousands more. The United States, unfortunately, wasn't as involved in fighting against these wrongdoings as it should have.

The United States had a unique opportunity to intervene and prevent the massacres, yet it failed to take action. The US Government was aware of the atrocities that were being committed against the Armenians, yet it chose to remain silent. President Woodrow Wilson recognized the suffering of the Armenians, but rather than taking action, he instead focused his efforts on maintaining neutrality and avoiding involvement in the war for "our own good". The US Government had a very limited political connection with the Ottoman Empire, so it was unable to economically pressure the Ottoman government to stop the violence. The US also failed to provide assistance to the Armenian people during their destruction. While the US provided relief for other torn countries, it chose not to provide aid to the Armenians.

The USA also failed to recognize the Armenian Genocide as an official act of genocide. In 1915, the US Congress created a commission to investigate the situation in the Ottoman Empire and to determine whether or not an "atrocity had been committed". The Commission concluded that an atrocity had indeed been committed, but it did not recognize the killings as genocide. This decision was based largely on the fact that the US did not have a legal definition for genocide at the time.

While the US did recognize the suffering of the Armenians and provided limited humanitarian assistance, it ultimately chose to remain a bystander. This decision had devastating consequences for the Armenian people, who were left to suffer.

The question of whether a country should involve itself in fighting against genocide may not be as obvious as commonly thought due to the hardship it could bring one's own country. Yes, taking a stand against genocide is a moral imperative. It is important to recognize and respond to the immense suffering of victims of genocide and to prevent further harm because it sends a strong message to the perpetrators that the USA does not condone such behavior and will not continue to sit around and do nothing.

Yet at the same time, taking a stand against genocide can be costly and dangerous for any country that chooses to involve itself. They may bear financial costs in the form of financial/military intervention to protect victims. There is also the risk of retaliation from the perpetrators, which could lead to further violence or even the start of a war. Additionally, the USA could be looked down upon for its decision and suffer financially from the loss of trade partners.

In summary, the moral imperative must be balanced against the potential risks and costs when asking whether a country should fight against genocide. Yet if one thing is for sure, America could have done much more in the case of fighting for the Armenian people in a time of violence and supression.

Posts: 12

The United States and our allies most definitely acted as bystanders during the Armenian genocide. The US and other allied nations knew what was going on and actively chose to do absolutely nothing about it. The U.S. ambassador for the Ottoman Empire, Henry Morgenthau Sr., had been actively urging the federal government to intervene in the genocide and giving them updated information frequently but they still even then chose to do nothing because they felt that it was not worth breaking neutrality in World War I.

I think that the U.S. and other nations should have intervened in this genocide and should intervene in genocides taking place in the future. I believe that nations that have the power to stop this violence should not do nothing and just sit back and watch it happen because “it doesn’t concern them.” I think that is an awful excuse for the U.S. not intervening in the Armenian genocide especially when they literally decided to break neutrality not too long afterwards anyway.

The U.S and other countries should at the very least provide aid for the peoples who are victims of genocide and take an active stand against whatever government or group is committing the genocide.

The world behaved similarly with the genocide of the Herero and Nama in the sense that no one sent aid or did anything to help. They definitely differed in the scale of media coverage though. The New York Times was publishing hundreds of articles on the Armenian genocide pushing for U.S. intervention. With the genocide of the Herero and Nama, there was some media coverage in some European countries I believe but news of it did not get the global media attention that the Armenian genocide did.

Boston , MA, US
Posts: 14

Armenian Genocide

It is easy to point fingers and say America should have done this and done that. I can see where President Wilson was coming from trying to preserve the fragile "peace" America had before joining World War I. However, there is a tipping point where a nation can no longer morally be a bystander anymore. The Armenian genocide is such a case. The U.S. and other nations have a responsibility to defend the basic human rights of an entire population whose rights are being violated and millions of lives are eradicated. Murder doesn’t become acceptable if it happens in a different place. A murderer is still a murderer regardless of where they are and who they are. Likewise, the evil of genocide does not change regardless of governments or borders so why does the administration of justice change?

America chose neutrality and avoided involvement in the war at the cost of hundreds of thousands of Armenian lives. The killings in Turkey were not directly affecting the United States ambassadors or its people so legally there were no reasons to interfere. However, morally if America did announce its support for the Armenians, providing aid and refuge, without a doubt more Armenians would be alive today. Now would the number of American deaths cancel out this number since troops would be mobilized earlier and for longer? It is hard to say but it feels like there lacked a justice system that held nations accountable for their actions or lack thereof. As well as a safety net that protected all people from their own government.

Compared to Namibia, there was significantly more media coverage like the New York Times which published numerous stories. There was news coverage and relatively current updates on the mass killings in Armenia. Similar to the Namibian genocide, governments and politicians themselves failed to interfere and overall little action was taken to prevent or stop the killings. However, we saw many more independent groups and individuals take action. Individuals like Henry Morgenthau in Great Britain advocated for international intervention to stop the Armenian massacres. Activists and journalists spoke out too resulting in the United States receiving backlash for turning a blind eye.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

The United States and allies did act as bystanders during the Armenian genocide. People were aware of events taking place in Turkey but because of the wartime atmosphere, remain uninvolved. The U.S trying to remain neutral in the beginning of WWI influenced how the country acted during this time.

People should have had more concern and compassion for the Armenian people in Turky and then take action to stop the genocide. I feel that regardless of the world state or relationship status with other nations, people should realize that killing off a whole race is inhumane on all levels. Nations like the US justified their lack of intervention by stating that this is not their fight and the people in power have control over the people of their country. Also due to the fact that Americans were not being directly targeted they diminished the severity of the situation.

People like Henry Morgenthau advocated for US intervention and consistently reached out to his superior. His efforts led to support from smaller groups and organizations but big powers would not budge. I think the US should take a role in encouraging support and also supporting the efforts to help stop the Turkey government. Being a bystander allows a nation to feel entitled to do what they please with no repercussions and also allows history to keep repeating itself. There is also Raphael Lemkin who was devoted to learning and advocated about mistreatments in the world. Speaking about the Armenian slaughter and later about the genocide that was soon to come from Hilter and Nazi Germany.

I do think people behaved both different and similar during the Armenian genocide compared to the genocide of the Hereo and Nama people in Namibia. In this time period of WWI there was new technology and communications, and due to this there could be more coverage about it in US papers. Although there were more people advocating there was people who similarly to what happened in Namibia, did not directly intervene. The governments allowed these genocides to occur and decided to remain distant ultimately resulting in the deaths of thousands of innocent people.

brighton, ma, US
Posts: 9
Yes, The United States and its allies in WWI acted as bystanders to the Armenian genocide. Despite accounts of the brutality, investigation efforts into the Ottoman Empire were halfhearted, as were any efforts of holding Turkish leaders and military responsible. The genocide was somewhat publicized in American newspapers and there was a movement advocating to stop the slaughter of Armenians, as well as Red Cross and religious missionaries in Europe who tried aiding Armenians, however there was no collective, national effort by America or any of its European allies to stop the genocide. The United States and its European allies should interfere when a population is being destroyed, however what that interference looks like is a complicated matter. Military intervention could have escalated the situation, as well as cost even more civilian casualties in WWI. When a genocide occurs, nations with the means and resources to stop it should always take a stand and intervene.

The Armenian genocide was treated similarly to the Herero and Nama genocide in the way nations remained neutral towards them and did very little to concretely investigate and intervene. Although through testimony and some press, there was some awareness that existed, and advocacy from that, it was nowhere near enough to sway nations into interfering in either genocide. In both genocides, nations merely acted as bystanders to the brutality and carnage that was occurring.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 17

The Armenian Genocide and Bystanderism

I believe that the United States definitely acted as a bystander during the Armenian genocide. The US tried to keep its "neutrality", trying not to upset big powers against the Allies, but also staying close to the Allied powers. They didn't join the Allied declaration of preventing crimes against humanity, and the Wilson administration decided to stay out of World War 1. Henry Morgenthau, the US ambassador for the Ottoman Empire, finally understood that there is a "race murder" happening, but he was told to stay out of it and be diplomatic towards his host government. However, there was little he could do with his limited power unfortunately. He tried to urge Washington to do something, but officials kept ignoring him. Genocide is genocide, no matter what country, race, or territory. It is a global problem, in which everyone should come together to stop it immediately.

I think I would advocate for the US to come to an agreement with the Turkish rulers. If the US agreed on the declaration of the Allies, Turkey and Germany would have a large power up against them. So the US could possibly use this as leverage to get Turkey to cooperate. Overall, I think that being a bystander truly doesn't help at all. In the Holocaust the US seemed to take a little bit of a bigger stand, fortunately. And the same goes for the war in Ukraine now. But how can you compare these horrific events? There should be standardized behavior and actions taken.

Although the US acted as bystander, their actions were different, and more significant, than those during the genocide in Namibia. There was no interference by the US during the carnage in Africa. During the Armenian genocide, there was very little, but the Armenian genocide at least got more publicity, for example from the NY Times. There is very little information about the Herero and Nama genocide nowadays, unfortunately. I hardly knew about this event until we learned about it in Facing.

In terms of the other world nations, I think more countries definitely stood against the Armenian genocide. The Allies were formed and made a declaration to fight against this. Although they were unsuccessful, they made an effort, unlike the US, who chose "diplomacy" over justice.

Boston, MA, US
Posts: 16

Truthfully America was largely a bystander during the World Wars and by extension the Armenian genocide. Other than a few people who did not have much power or influence, the American government was "reluctant to get involved” at best and outright refused to stop brutal cultural genocide, practically watching as the Armenians and other Christians within the Ottoman Empire were almost totally wiped out. The excuse was that America was isolationist at the time, and would only get involved if something directly affected them. For example, knowingly allowing millions of Jews to be slaughtered and having no issue with the Axis powers until Japan attacked Pearl Harbor. Anyone could cite fears of financial instability, or ignorance to the real depth of the horrors occurring overseas, or national security, but with the colonization of the Pacific and Caribbean pre-WWII, it is clear none of these excuses are rooted in fact. America is isolationist when convenient, apathetic towards the struggles of the discriminated against both internally and externally, but when there is a profit to be made by exploiting other nations in the case of the modern Middle East, or pride to regain in the case of the war against Japan, only then does America become interventionist.

So what could we have done? A better question is what couldn't we have done. A majority of our budget funds the military. We could have forced Turkey to stop its actions through intimidation alone. However some would argue against this, so let's say war was not a valid option. Most people wouldn't have wanted to go to war at the time anyway (despite the fact that now America prides itself on its minimal contribution to WWI and WWII). Hardly anyone wants to sacrifice themself for someone else, forget about your government practically trading your lives for the lives of people you've never met and who live across the globe. Real American soldiers would have died. However, why get involved in WWI at all, if that's your excuse? An American soldier subscribes to whatever moral code their country tells them to, not a changing and subjective responsibility to protect minorities everywhere. Maybe this needs to change, and rather than protect our own selfish interests we should all try to work together to make the world safer. Wishful thinking, but maybe possible?

At least, we could have opened our borders to fleeing Armenians. We could have sent humanitarian relief. We could have publicized the genocide globally. We could have smuggled refugees out. America has had power and influence for a century, surely there were more options than doing nothing? Even in the aftermath, we could have done more. We can ALWAYS do more. “America first” is unrealistic - America is made up of people from all over the world and cannot survive alone. We cannot gain from international relations without having some sort of global responsibility too.

I don't think anyone behaved differently between the Armenian genocide and the genocide in Africa. I think both situations were met with carelessness, apathy, laziness, and selfishness. One life needlessly lost should be all it takes for intervention. Why are human lives so easily overlooked by our governments? Yes, there was a bit more attention and a bit more punishment directed towards the Armenian genocide, so did we handle that better? Well, now the genocide in Namibia is being talked about and Germany is slowly working towards amends. Is Turkey doing the same? How can a government not do everything in its power to prevent the deaths of millions? How can we or any other country stand on piles of wealth while innocent children are being brutally murdered all around us? The wealthy and the government do not care about normal people both inside and outside their own countries, clearly. If we let Turkey do what it did, and let Germany do what it did, while condemning it to keep up our own image, what is stopping the American government from genociding a group of people here, now? We didn't stop anyone else - why would they try to stop us?

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