Battle Over History

The famed CBS investigative reporting program "60 Minutes" aired a brief segment on the 1915 Armenian Genocide on Sunday, Feb. 28. Reporter Bob Simon and American-Armenian historian Peter Balakian traveled to Deir El-Zor, a town in central Syria, to view the Armenian death march sites, tour the mass graves of deportees and the caves where Armenians were incinerated in the largely untold story of the first Genocide of the 20th century.

Click to view the video clip.


Please leave your suggestions and remarks in the Comments section,
and take action as suggested below by ANCA:

The famed CBS investigative reporting program "60 Minutes" aired a brief segment on the 1915 Armenian Genocide on Sunday, Feb. 28. Reporter Bob Simon and American-Armenian historian Peter Balakian traveled to Deir El-Zor, a town in central Syria, to view the Armenian death march sites, tour the mass graves of deportees and the caves where Armenians were incinerated in the largely untold story of the first Genocide of the 20th century.

Click to view the video clip.


Please leave your suggestions and remarks in the Comments section,
and take action as suggested below by ANCA:

Please take a moment right now to send two letters about the CBS 60 Minutes segment that was just broadcast taking Turkey to task for its denial of the Armenian Genocide.

1) Click here to send a letter telling Bob Simon that the 60 Minutes program drawing the attention of millions of viewers to Turkey’s morally bankrupt genocide denial campaign will help to reinforce the American people’s commitment to ending the cycle of genocide.

The letter will be as follows:

I am writing to express my view that CBS and 60 Minutes have performed a meaningful public service by helping to further educate the American people about the Turkish government’s ongoing denial of the Armenian Genocide (“Battle Over History” – Sunday, February 28th).

While I do have serious reservations, both factually and morally, about any program or article that reports on the Armenian Genocide in the inevitably flawed “Armenians Say/Turks Say” framework, I do believe that the professional journalistic scrutiny you brought to bear on Turkey’s shameless cover-up of this crime has helped to raise badly needed awareness about the modern-day dangers of genocide denial. This awareness is vital to reinforcing the resolve of both the American people and the U.S. government in the necessary and noble aim of preventing future genocides.

As you know, the legislation that you cited, H.Res.252, will, when adopted, empower our nation’s diplomats with the lessons of the Armenian experience. Please consider a follow up on this matter after the measure comes for a vote before the House Foreign Affairs Committee on Thursday, March 4th.

If you disagree with above content then please compose your own.

2) Click here to send a letter asking your U.S. legislators to watch this program on-line before the Thursday, March 4th vote of the House Foreign Affairs Committee on the Armenian Genocide Resolution, H.Res.252.

  1. Subversive language and strategic mis-representation

    The segment on the Armenian genocide is full of *subversive language* and *strategic misrepresentation* such as, the Armenians call it their Holocaust. As if only Armenians call it genocide; no one else does.

    The proper characterization would be to say, Jursit Raphael Lemkin (a lawyer of Jewish descent and Holocaust survivor) coined the word Genocide to specifically describe the destruction of the Armenians and the barbarity that befell them at the hands of the Turkish state; and he later used the term to describe the destruction of the European Jewry.  It is the International Association of Genocide Scholars that calls it the Armenian genocide.

    It is not a *battle over History* as the program states using subversive language; it is a battle over *Acknowledgment of the Crime of genocide* by the Turkish State with Accountability.

  2. Sad but glorious

    How sad but glorious at the same time.  Sad that history has, by necessity, to repeat itself. Glorious, that with knowledge,  every Armenian can take heart that with determination you can make the future better.

  3. Who really did it?

    It’s time to tell who were the organizers and perpetrators of the Armenian genocide/massacres/plunder/etc.

    A simple search via Google and Wikipedia shows that Talyat, Jemal, Enver, Refik, Javid Bey along with Emannuel Carasso, the founder of Young Turks party, and Ataturk himself were NOT ethnic Turks, but Dohnme (Muslim-converted) Jews who essentially took over Turkey. 

    Their descendants, the infamous army generals, keep their grip over the country and the Turks. The sole purpose of the Genocide was robbery, then murder — it was a means to rob Armenians. They did not care which ethnic group was massacred.  It  happened to be the Armenians — if these were Aleutians, they would just do the same.

  4. 60 Minutes

    It’s said that one of the main perpetrators of the genocide and the deportations boasted Turkey’s horrific crime would not only condemn the Armenian victims but that the survivors and Armenian generations to come would feel the pain and the loss. He was right, of course. But the genocidier didn’t realize that the survivors and their children would never forget… and that they would fight permanently until justice was done to the Armenian nation.

    After oppressing Armenians for some 500 years, the Turkish authorities still didn’t appreciate the resilience, the indomitability, and patriotism of Armenians. Gul and Associates might believe that Turkey’s prevarications and delaying tactics would force us to give up our sacred mission. They have much to learn about us.

  5. The Truth

    The denial of the Armenian Genocide by the present Turkish government represents one-upmanship of Holocaust deniers.

    The Muslim population of Turkey treated Christians as rayabs, or cattle, which were not and never, could be entitled to the privileges of Believers. The example followed by today’s Taliban.

    Under Abdul Hamid, known as "Abdul the Damned," the 1894-6 massacres of 350,000 Armenians took place throughout all the Armenian provinces. Christians were easy prey since they could possess no arms. This is an excellent reason for Americans to defend their Second Amendment rights "to keep and bear arms."

    Rafael de Nogales, Inspector General of the Turkish forces in Armenia during World War I, attest to "the martyrdom and slaughter of the million and one-half of Christians who perished during those massacres." He quotes the Grand Vizier Talaat Pasha (one of the perpetrators of the Armenian Genocide): "The massacres! What of them! They merely amuse me." No wonder Tsar Nicholas I described Turkey as "the sick bear of Europe."

    By 1917, fewer than 200,000 Armenians remained in Turkey out of a prewar population of about 3 million Armenians from the heartland of historical Armenia.
  6. Disappointed

    I was hoping that "60 Minutes" would have devoted more time for this presentation. Alas, it was only about fifteen minutes long.

    Again, Ambassador Sensoy of Turkey was there to "refute" what the overwhelming majority of historians acknowledge the massacres of the Armenians to be: a Genocide. Furthermore, CBS was engaged in reminding its audience, including  the American legislatures and the White house, the strategic importance of Turkey. Did it have to?

    It was comforting, though, for once not to hear the expressions "Armenians allege" or "so called Genocide". Nevertheless, I am not sure what really will it take for a mainstream TV network to finally take the right and moral step to not dilute a straightforward message: Turkey is guilty of Genocide.

  7.  I wonder if Peter Balakian

    I wonder if Peter Balakian is as angry as we in the Armenian community are that he was used by 60 Mins as a dupe to represent "the Armenian side of the story," a side who apparently is the only one, aside from scholars, that "claim(s)" that there was a genocide? 

    If anyone takes up on the suggestion that we write in to 60 Mins, it should NOT be to thank them for the appalling coverage, but to CHASTISE them for taking so long to cover the Armenian Genocide, and then when they finally did, to time the airing of the program in such a way that it would spin the facts to cast doubt on this heinous and unresolved, universal injustice AND help defeat the genocide resolution by presenting Turkey as an indispensable U.S. ally, and for omitting so much — incl homeland loss, reparations, restitution, US complicity ! Shame on 60 Minutes!

  8. CBS Exposed

    This report raises some good points and important facts on the Armenian Genocide, but is rife with big negatives, deliberate misrepresentations and outright lies:

    1.  Its frequent use of the terms "battle…the massacres…the events" to describe an incontestable fact is unacceptable and constitutes an unconscionable act of genocide denial — the ultimate form of hate speech!

    Allowing Amb. Sensoy the opportunity to deny the Armenian Genocide on national television is as criminal and cruel an act as airing any statements by a neo-Nazi leader denying the Jewish Holocaust!

    2.  It deliberately fails to identify the Armenian homeland of more than four millennia.

    There is no reference to "Anatolia…eastern (Ottoman) Turkey…Western Armenia and Cilicia…"

    CBS: "But our story begins where the lives of so many Armenians ended, far from Istanbul, in the desert…The survivors ended up in concentration camps hundreds of miles from Istanbul, out of sight."

    Istanbul (then Constantinople) was never the Armenian homeland or part of the Armenian homeland. During the Armenian Genocide, Armenians (95%+) were cleansed and driven primarily from Western Armenia and Cilicia!

    CBS deliberately does not want the nation to identify and respect the specific location and boundaries of the occupied Armenian homeland, the return of which is the crux of the Armenian Question and the main factor that would end the Armenian Genocide!

    3.  CBS: "Which is probably why no U.S. president has uttered the word genocide."

    This is a blatant lie, as we know that Reagan used the "G" word during his presidency!

    4.  It highlights the power imbalance between Armenia and Turkey and stresses Turkey’s "importance" to the United States and so-called "regional superpower" status.

    CBS: "The use of the word genocide is regarded as an insult to the Turkish nation; it is a jailable offense…"

    Why didn’t CBS emphasize that the nonuse "of the word genocide is regarded as an insult to the [Armenian] nation"?!

    5.  With the one-sided Armenia-Turkey protocols practically dead, the timing of this report is driven by a desire to "kill the bill" using the same immoral arguments and tactics that somehow "worked" in 2007.

    Most congressional supporters of the Armenian Genocide resolution are not that foolish and will not buy into these denialist measures.

    When the House passed similar legislation in the late 1970s and early 1980s, Turkey didn’t and couldn’t retaliate! All it did was cry and verbally abuse the United States, and days later, everything was back to normal.

    This righteous bill will again pass in the Foreign Relations Committee and advance to the House floor for a full and successful vote!

  9. Peter Balakian’s trip to Der-Zor was funded by the US State Dept

    Peter Balakian’s trip to Der-Zor was funded by the US State Department ( New York Times Magazine, Dec 8th, 2005 "Bones")

    Naturally, the US State Department likes the soft-Armenians like historian Peter Balakian, and the Knights-of Vartan group, etc..  Out of all the experts and international genocide scholars, it picks Balakian  to try and fool Armenians to free Turkey from accountability for its crime of genocide. 

    The US State Department wanted this segment aired on CBS 5 days before the house resolution, in order to defeat it.  The segment was riddled with strategic mis-representations; subversive language, Turkish propaganda.  Half the segment was dedicated for Turksih denial; the other half was dedicated to CBS’s startegic misrepresentation.  

    There wasn’t a single map displayed; there was no reference to geography (deliberate); and led the viewer to beleive that the bulk of the Armenians hailed from Istanbul, as opposed to Western Armenian Ottoma provinces and territories of the first Armenian Republic. 

    By referring to the Armenian genocide as a “battle over history”, clearly shows that CBS does not understand the meaning of Genocide.  Genocide stops when denial ends.  The Armenian genocide (1915-2010) is on-going.  Genocide is not just the act of killing; it is the eradication of any reference to history, culture, architecture, references to a group, and the names of towns and places, etc. as if the victims never existed. 

    The viewer is supposed to believe the following:
    –  There is no defined Western Armenian territory (land)
    –  It is a battle between historians to decide.
    –  Acknowledgment *without* holding Turkey Accountable for the crime of genocide.
    –  No reparation, No restitution and No land.

  10. Greeks and Armenians suddenly on 60 Minutes. Why?

    First a "60 Minutes" segment in December on Greeks in Turkey that angered the latter.

    Now three months later a 60 Minutes piece (though highly flawed) on Armenians that will also anger Turkey.  

    Is it a coincidence that after all these years mainstream TV finally gets around to these two subjects?  I don’t think so.  I believe that these 60 Minute segments came about because influential Jews at 60 Minutes and elsewhere decided to send a message to Turkey: "If you Turks don’t stop saying nasty things about Israel, American Jews in the media and government will make you pay dearly."

    It can’t be stated publicly like that, of course, so 60 Minutes was chosen as the not-so-subtle vehicle.

    Before we thank 60 Minutes, consider that the piece’s purpose was not truth, human rights or to help Armenians or Greeks.  And God forbid that we should think that the Jewish community has any influence in the US media.

    One more thing: the segment was full of inaccuracies such as that no American president has ever used the G word to describe the Armenian genocide.  Wrong,  President Reagan did in 1981.  See

    60 Minutes should be criticized for the Armenian segment, not praised.  Let us not be bought off.

  11. We have seen numerous similar


    We have seen numerous similar documentaries.  Now we need to see some action!!

    Why isn’t there a united international team to follow-up with this criminal issue?  The Armenian communities should be proactive in creating such a team full of international political, legal and media people so that we can see some tangible results.

    Frankly I am getting bored of watching such documentaries, no matter how good or bad they are.


  12. A bunch of cowards

    All I know is: I play backgammon with turks on msn and they can’t handle the heat.  In my opinion they are just quitters, and they have no endurance.  Keep up the good fight and we shall be victorious and accomplish all of our goals as Americans for Armenians..  Richard Kavonian.

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