Talk:Armenia

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Armenian Genocide denial[edit]

In response to this revert, see the Armenian Genocide denial article, If this only reported what the deniers said, without give credence to the deniers, that'd be fine. But it doesn't, it says that it's possible that the genocide didn't happen. This is long settled history, questioning this is akin to questioning the Holocaust (I presume that you're just not familiar with the Armenian Genocide). Heck, the Armenian Genocide denial article is even linked to from the homepage under "Portals and Articles".96.255.60.23 (talk) 20:38, 21 August 2014 (UTC)

The article does not say "it's possible that the genocide didn't happen." Notice that the section is titled Armenian Genocide without scare quotes. I presume the genocide happened in your great-grandparents' generation. Feel free to tell me if I am wrong about that.
I know a guy named Karen (but most people call him Kevin, for self-evident reasons.) If you are at all familiar with Armenian culture, you may easily guess his nationality. His fluent idiomatic English sounds like it isn't his first language. He may also speak some Russian, but I haven't heard him using it. There are plenty of other Armenians living and prospering in my corner of the US, but that obviously doesn't mean I know anything special about the intensely regrettable things that happened in the near east nearly a hundred years ago.
To my eyes, this RationalWiki article strikes a reasonable balance, not whitewashing the Turks' brutal actions, but also not tooting the horn of Armenian victimhood. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 00:27, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
I don't know Karen's nationality, and I'm not familiar with Armenian culture. The genocide took place in WW1. The article says "it is alleged that the Ottoman Empire committed systematic killings" (or it did till the IP removed the "alleged" bit) and says "What actually happened is anyone's guess", that is saying that it's possible that the genocide didn't happen. It also talks about "most scholars from non-Christian backgrounds" taking the viewpoint that the genocide didn't happen, which is something I've never herd, and I'm not willing to take the editors word for considering that he also thought that the genocide was merely "alleged". Who's tooting the horn of Armenian victimhood here? I just want the article to acknowledge that the genocide happened and not pretended that there's any legitimate dispute as to if it happened. Does this look good to you? 96.255.60.23 (talk) 02:53, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
The sanction is titled Armenian Genocide without scare quotes, because that's a holdout of the state the article was in before the denial was introduced. It was only the stuff introduced with that denial edit that I have a problem with. 96.255.60.23 (talk) 03:06, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
You have read an awful lot into how the word "alleged" was inserted and removed from the article, using it as an ad hominem to paint Vox Humana as a genocide denialist. He has impressed me as a reasonable guy, without an axe to grind, who took the time to inform himself on the subject.
You, on the other hand, missed some very broad hints about Kevin's nationality. A little googling would show you that Karen (KAH-ren) is a common Armenian given name for men. Other examples include Grigor, Dikran, and Haig. What else have you missed in your reading of the history?
The choice of whose word to trust here, who to consider knowledgeable, seems easy. I will go with Vox, and I favor keeping the article's wording as it now stands. It acknowledges that a massive part of a population perished under oppressive circumstances, without minimizing the carnage, but it also doesn't color it as black and white, and avoids framing it in terms of Armenian exceptionalism as a special victim nation. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 12:48, 22 August 2014 (UTC)
By "alleged" I read that there was still (legitimate) dispute as to whether the genocide happened. I can't see how else it can be interpreted, especially when combined with the "What actually happened is anyone's guess". Would it make sense to say "it is alleged that Nazi Germany committed systematic killings of Jews" and "what actually happened is anyone's guess"? If not, what's the difference here.
I don't know anything about Vox Humana's work except this one edit; what you say about him being reasonable and all may well be true, but is pretty beside my point. I didn't feel like goggling Karen's name or guessing his nationality. You said you want to keep article's wording as it now stands, does that mean you're fine with leaving out the "alleged"? 96.255.60.23 (talk) 20:56, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
I suppose your point about Vox being reasonable was mostly related to the non-Christian scholars thing. I'm not saying that the the non-Christian scholars thing is necessarily incorrect, I'm just saying that I've never herd of it and wouldn't take the author's word for it. I'd be surprised if it were true (unless these "scholars from non-Christian backgrounds" are Turks, and it saddens me to say that), but then again it's my understanding that Holocaust denial is pretty common in the middle-east. I'm hardly an expert and I don't claim to be one; if that scholar thing is correct I could easily have missed it.96.255.60.23 (talk) 23:52, 23 August 2014 (UTC)
Of course I'm fine with leaving out the "alleged." It seems to serve no useful purpose other than stirring up ill feeling. I also favor keeping "no-one comes out of it looking good" and leaving it at that. I don't see how RationalWiki's mission can be stretched to include untangling the strands of this complex bloody chapter of history. The grandchildren of Armenian genocide survivors are now in their seventies, and the stories are fading fast. That is part of where the "anyone's guess" bit comes from, since the details weren't all written down. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 13:37, 24 August 2014 (UTC)

Let's talk about that change[edit]

Trick reverted a BoN's edit, but I kinda want to discuss it. It certainly would've helped if they'd provided an edit summary.

Unsurprisingly, most scholars from non-Christian backgrounds take this viewpoint. What actually happened is anyone's guess, but no-one comes out of it looking good. —removed text

This text is pretty handwavey. I'm actually not sure what point it's trying to make. It reads a bit like "Non Christians are genocide denialists" Ikanreed (talk) 17:10, 4 February 2015 (UTC)

It's a bullshit, vague claim that has no reason to be in the article. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:11, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
Okay, sure, I agree, but does it relate to a meaningful concrete claim that could be made? Ikanreed (talk) 17:13, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
I'm sure the Turkish state's denialism is buttressed by pseudohistorical scholarship, and it would not be unreasonable to think a fair portion of that scholarship may well be produced by Muslims. But I'm not interested enough in the question to wade into that pool. Peace. AgingHippie (talk) 17:16, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
My revert was not based on anything factual or non-factual, just a reflex revert for an unexplained drive-by edit. No harm no foul, etc.Trick (talk) 17:17, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
We all do that sometimes. It's bad for wikis, but it's natural. If you know, every editor is willing to revert an arbitrary or random 1% of new user edits, then with 20ish editors online for any given edit, 19% of those edits will get reverted unnecessarily. Ikanreed (talk) 17:22, 4 February 2015 (UTC)
To get back to the original point: The BoN's statement is not really saying anything. Instead, it's either implying that:
  1. the Armenian Genocide is just an issue pushed by Christians (which is BS), or
  2. that "non-Christians" (really vague, but methinks it a code word for Muslims) are all Armenian genocide denialists (again, I doubt this is necessarily the case - especially if we're actually talking about all "non-Christians", e.g. incl. non-Christian & non-Muslim East Asia).
  3. The most condemning part of it, though, is (as AgingHippie pointed out in his revert) the claim that "What actually happened is anyone's guess" - because that's just factually wrong. It essentially exploits the UD parts of FUD and shouldn't be included for the same reasons that RW doesn't endorse teach the controversy (i.e. because it's really a manufactroversy).
  4. The only vaguely relevant bit is a sort of meta-point, namely that the BoN's statement suggests how such issues as Armenian Genocide denial (AGd) can be entangled with other anti-Western sentiment in a sort of my enemy's enemy-logic ("If the West insists that the Armenian Genocide is a fact, then being pissed at the West for other reasons means I must subscribe to AGd too").
Basically, the only reason why AGd is something you can "get away with" without the kind of stigmatisation inherent in Holocaust denial, is that the modern Turkish state in a retrospectively rather foolish and odd decision ended up committing itself to denialism. This is odd, because one way the new KemalistWikipedia's W.svg Turkish regime could've dealt with the AG would've been to frame it in terms of the bad deeds of the "discredited old regime" (i.e. the Ottoman Empire). Instead, (modern Kemalist) Turkey decided to "own" the Ottoman AGd. It's this decision, combined with the toleration of AGd by the West during the Cold War to keep its strategic ally and NATO member Turkey happy, which has created the tradition that AGd is somehow not something that needs the kind of scathing (and justified) condemnation faced by Holocaust denialists. This is made more bizarre by Israel's weird "neither confirm nor deny" policy vis-a-vis the AG (again: It makes sense in terms of geopolitics, but looks particularly bad when pursued by Israel).
Robert Fisk (in The Great War for CivilisationWikipedia's W.svg) pointed out an interesting factor in AGd, namely that to get access to the Ottoman and Turkish archives necessary for the research in Ottoman/modern Turkish studies, academics need to get permission from the Turkish government which is also a factor reinforcing and reproducing AGd (or at least limiting public AG acknowledgement) in this section of academia. (Fisk wrote similar stuff in this 1997 article in the Independent and again in 2000). ScepticWombat (talk) 07:42, 5 February 2015 (UTC)