This book is a study of the Armenian tragedy, and offers analysis by presenting it as a case study of genocide and by seeing it as a historical process in which a domestic conflict escalated and was consumed by a global war. It also establishes a link between genocide and nationality conflicts in the Balkan Peninsula and the Turko-American areas. The author examines the genocide through official WWI documents from Turkey, Imperial Germany, and Imperial Austria. The main premise of his study is that the "Armenian genocide was but an attempt by Ottoman-Turkish authorities to terminally resolve the corrosive and lingering Turko-Armenian conflict."
In the introduction, he outlines the history of the Armenian genocide starting with WWI, and followed by decades of persecution. Over the past 80 years, the Armenian nation has struggled to have the history of the Armenian genocide brought to light and examined. In 1985 the international community officially recognized it as genocide. Turkish leaders claim they have never attempted to erase the record of this disaster and they call the incident a "civil war." Dadrian says there are three main lessons that emerge from the events that surround the Armenian genocide:
"First, nations generally will not be able, and thus cannot be expected, to effectively police of punish themselves. Second is that groups of international actors cannot prevent or punish genocidal acts by another state when they do not remain cohesive and unequivocally committed to such ends. Lastly, when international actors intervene in response to persecutions in another state without firm coordinating and commitment, any actions they take may actually aggravate rather than alleviate the plight of the victim population."
The problem was added to by economic factors. Some of the Powers (England, France, Germany, etc.) had investments in Turkey. This meant they couldn't take the risk of intervening too effectively or forcefully.
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