Architects of Denial

Architects of Denial

DVD - 2017
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Though both the historical and modern-day persecution of Armenians and other Christians is relatively uncovered in the mainstream media and not on the radar of many average Americans, it is a subject that has gotten far more attention in recent years. It was during and after World War I that the Ottoman Empire carried out the systematic mass murder of what is estimated by many to be 1.5 million Christian citizens, most of them Armenian, but also Greek and Assyrian Christians.
Publisher: [United States] : Omnibus Entertainment, [2017]
Copyright Date: ©2017
Branch Call Number: 956.620154 ARC
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (95 minutes) : sound, colour ; 12 cm
digital,optical,surround,stereo,Dolby Digital 5.1,Dolby Digital 2.0
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May 09, 2018

Graphic Images Warning for this documentary.
The sufferings of the Armenian people are in full display, but what is lacking is any discussion as to the motivation of either the original genocide or the continued violence. Bad ideas have victims, so if you want to stop the victimization address the ideas instigating violence.
Commenter MichelleinBallard pointed out below a good possible motive to USA and UK’s unwillingness to recognize genocide.
As to the motivation of the Turks, there is barely a mention of the role of Islam.
The production values are good and there are some high profile interviews but the graphics and text are most amateur.
Overall you get a sense, that there are parts of this issue that are not being addressed and that suffering is given a microphone and a megaphone to make its appeal.

Apr 11, 2018

I learned a lot from this film. It was interesting watching multiple members of Congress scurry away from being questioned about the Armenian genocide. My sympathies are nearly all on the side of the Armenians and my inclination is to believe the claims of horrific genocide(s) perpetrated against them by Turkic peoples.

However, the verdict on this ham-fisted documentary is, at best, mixed. The film mostly appeals to emotion and authority augmented by ad hominem attacks against those who don't toe the party line. Appeals to emotion or authority while powerful and persuasive are neither necessary nor sufficient to overthrow the case of the alleged "genocide deniers".

When I see, for example, someone like historian Justin McCarthy, PhD (UCLA) skewered in the film as a "genocide denier" without any serious explanation or critique of his arguments then I wonder about the weakness of his critics' case. I cannot say McCarthy is right or wrong but the perfunctory dismissal of him as a secular heretic speaks volumes.[1]

I am sufficiently knowledgeable of Armenian history to say that there is a serious case to be answered against the claims of multiple genocides by Turks and Azeris. More simply put, there is more than one side to the story (which is not to say all claims are equally valid but to approach the truth mustn't we try to use cogent reasoning to fairly evaluate competing claims?) Sadly, the makers of *Architects of Denial* don't seem interested in a reasoned historical debate on this very important subject.

Sorely (and curiously) missing from this film is any discussion of the fact that the Israeli gov't. and US' Israel Lobby have repeatedly exerted pressure against having the US government officially recognize the mass deportations and deaths of hundreds of thousands of Armenians during 1915-1923 as a genocide perpetrated by Ottoman Turkey and, later, the CUP. The fear is that it would jeopardize Israel's relationship with Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Perhaps related to this omission is the fact that one of the scholars featured prominently in the film is Gregory Stanton. In February 2009, when Stanton was president of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) he summarily suspended the listserv posting rights of another IAGS member, Adam Jones.[2]

Jones ran afoul of Stanton by circulating a statement signed by Jones entitled: "Declaration of Genocide Scholars and Professionals on Israel and Palestine" (see Among other things it said: "With its responsibility for the continued diminishment of Palestinian quality of life, and periodic intensification of violence, the Government of Israel may be moving closer to a policy of genocide ... We, the undersigned members of the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) and the International Network of Genocide Scholars (INoGS), together with other genocide scholars and professionals, call for an end to the silence that has surrounded this subject." The Declaration doesn't appear on Genocide Watch's "Israel and Palestine" web page, either.

1. Unfortunately, the Seattle Public Library does not appear to have any of McCarthy's books in its collection.

2. Jones is the author of *Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction* (Routledge, 2017) now in its third edition. In his book, Jones has a chapter on "The Ottoman Destruction of Christian Minorities" which includes a section on "The Armenian genocide".

Nov 09, 2017

Though still on order, this comes highly recommended!
I have heard first person accounts many years ago, and they were quite chilling as to the alacrity with which their Turkish Muslim neighbors, friends for years, suddenly and robotically followed orders to kill their Christian neighbors - - should give anyone pause for reflection!

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May 09, 2018

rodkk thinks this title is suitable for 16 years and over


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