Friday, October 19, 2007

Gen Harbord's recommendations to Congress from his Mission to Armenia

Harbord laid out the Commission's recommenations on the US Gov accepting a mandate to govern the fledgling state of Armenia in two columns: one Pro and one Con. The final 14th Pro recommendation lacked a matching Con. Here it is from page 28,
14. Here is a man’s job that the world says can be better done by America than by any other. America can afford the money; she has the men; no duty to her own people would suffer; her traditional policy of isolation did not keep her from successful participation in the Great War. Shall it be said that our country lacks the courage to take up new and difficult duties?
Our decision to not accept the mandate for Armenia would have been an interesting topic for Congress to reflect on.

House Resolution 106 just noted this response by Congress to Harbord's report,
(13) Senate Resolution 359, dated May 11, 1920, stated in part, `the testimony adduced at the hearings conducted by the sub-committee of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations have clearly established the truth of the reported massacres and other atrocities from which the Armenian people have suffered'.

(14) The resolution followed the April 13, 1920, report to the Senate of the American Military Mission to Armenia led by General James Harbord, that stated `[m]utilation, violation, torture, and death have left their haunting memories in a hundred beautiful Armenian valleys, and the traveler in that region is seldom free from the evidence of this most colossal crime of all the ages'.
Congress noted Armenia's suffering but strangley silent on how it responded to Harbor's recommendations on what should or should not have been done.

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