The 106 Years of Musa Dagh

Sometime in the mid-1960s, I read a novel by Franz Werfel called Forty Days of Musa Dagh. It told how a number of Armenian villages refused to be exterminated by the Ottoman Empire without a fight in 1915. I have no Armenian or Turkish background, but it was such a stirring story of heroic resistance against a racist holocaust that the memory of their struggle stayed as a bright light in my consciousness.

Over the years, on occasion, a politician or two has bruited the idea of declaring the Turkish actions as genocide and I have cheered them on. Now, finally, with Joe Biden we have a US President who is willing to stand up and say it.

There is no doubt that the current Turkish regime will shout and complain about this “insult” to a fellow NATO member. But frankly, the Erdogan regime, a semi-fascist state already, doesn’t deserve to be in NATO and is quite happy to commit another genocide against its own Kurdish people in a continuation of its bigoted behaviour. Perhaps if we properly remember the slaughter of the Armenians we might have some chance of stopping such atrocities in the future.

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