Why Massacres Through Inaction?, March 21, 1924

(P.O. Box 230, Portland, Ore.)

Rev. W. B. Hinson, D.D., Chairman

Bulletin No. 1.

March 21, 1924.

By H. P. Lee,
Executive Secretary,
↑P.O. Box 230
Portland, Oregon.↓


A plan for hundreds of thousands of martyrs condemned to torture and death through the inaction of Christendom.

The situation in Greece is as follows:

(1). On Feb. 18, 1924, Messrs. Barton, Finley, and Vickrey of the Near East Relief telegraphed that Prof. Paul Monroe and Dr. R. R. Reeder pronounced conditions among the refugees in Greece the greatest need seen in any country since the World War.

(2). Hundreds of thousands are beyond the resources of the Greek government and the private organizations, including the Near East Relief.

(3). Barclay Acheson wrote, Jan. 20, 1924, as follows: "Mr. Thurber volunteered to live in Selimich Barracks where one percent of the refugees were dying daily" ... "Two hundred thousand men, women and children passed by his door in such condition that only ten or fifteen percent survived."

(4). Refugees are still coming in from Asia Minor, in such condition that even their own families do not recognize them.

(5). There are hundreds of thousands of Christians in Constantinople who are marked for slaughter unless the Turk changes his character and his plans.

These people suffer because, aspiring to establish in Asia Minor the principles of democracy learned from American teachers, they trusted the honor of the Allies and America during and since the WORLD WAR. [page 2]

A Near East Questionnaire.

(1) Why has our Government remained adamant to appeals in behalf of these martyrs, although importuned for over nine months by prominent American citizens, although it owes the Greek Government $33,000,000 on a pledged loan, although it helped the Russians, although a loan to the German sufferers was contemplated, although these refugees are the victims of our own failure to redeem past promises?

(2) Why has the Secretary of State made our Near East diplomacy, secret diplomacy, refusing vital information to the American public and even to the respectful appeals of leading American citizens, and suppressing official reports unfavorable to the Turks? (See Bulletins of the "Near East Justice Committee" of New York City, Geo. R. Montgomery, Secretary, and Bulletins of the "Popular Government League" of Washington, D.C., Judson King, Director.)

(3) Why did the American representatives at the Lausanne Conference join hands with the Turks against the English and the French to defeat the establishment of a National Armenian Home? (This refusal was the death warrant for hundreds of thousands who loved the very name of America.) (See "The Lausanne Treaty and Kemalist Turkey" by Jas. W. Gerard, pp. 24 and 25.)

(4) Why did an American representative at Lausanne apologize to the Turks for making a "perfunctory" appeal in behalf of the Armenians, "under pressure of religious organizations"? (See Case of Armenia vs. the U.S. Govt" by Jas. W. Gerard in the New Armenia, March-April, 1923.)

(5) Why did the American representatives at Lausanne approve a treaty that (a) surrenders the long-established rights of missionaries [page 3] and other American citizens in Turkey; (b) sanctions the retention of hundreds of thousands of Christian women and girls in Turkish harems; and, (c) leaves the Christian population of Constantinople defenseless against contemplated massacre? (See "The Lausanne Treaty and Kemalist Turkey," by Jas. W. Gerard.)

(6) Why did the American warships at Smyrna, along with those of the other nations, permit the massacre of over 100,000 Greeks and Armenians (former allies) without a protest?

(7) Why, at Smyrna, did our warships permit outrage to our flag and to our consulate, and allow an American college president together with an American officer in uniform, to be beaten while Turkish soldiers fired on American marines who attempted their rescue? (See "The Great Betrayal" Chapter 2 by [Richard] Hale [Bierstadt] in the Christian Herald.)

(8) Why was no protest made by our Government against these outrages?

(9) Why was the report of the United States Consul at Smyrna suppressed by our Government?

(10) Why did our Government scathingly rebuke Russia because its Government had executed a Russian prelate after a formal trial, and request of the Turks a treaty of amity and commerce soon after they had lynched the Greek archbishop at Smyrna?

(11) Why did America, England, and France promise money to the Greek Government for its Salonica campaign and after the Smyrna campaign had begun why did they repudiate the loan, thus betraying the Greeks into the hands of the Turks and Destroying a large proportion of the Greek race?

(12) Why does our Government still withhold its promised [page 4] loan to Greece, although to do so has been the death warrant of thousands of refugees?

(13) In February, 1919, England and France were preparing to set up an independent Armenian republic. Why did the American Government, uninvited, ask them to step aside and allow us to do so, and then fail to act through seven long months?

(14) In Sept., 1919, France and England again made a move to protect the Armenians. Why did America again ask them to step aside and allow us to do so, and again fail to keep its promise?

(15) Was it a mere coincidence that this delay of a year and a half, secured through the uninvited intervention of the United States, permitted the Turks to reorganize their armies and wipe out 500,000 more Armenians, thus destroying the hopes of an independent Armenia?

(16) In short, why has the policy of the American Government ever since the World War [coordinated] so effectively with the Turkish policy of exterminating the Christian population of Asia Minor?

(17) Is this mysterious policy to be explained by the influence of the Chester concessionaires?

The Chester Concessions are a claim to billions of mineral wealth in Asia Minor together with unlimited opportunity for the commercial exploitation of that region. They overlap concessions to the French and the British, thus necessitating a bid for the favor of the Turks, in order to secure a preference over the rival concessions.

Had the Chester concessionaires dictated every move of the United States in the Near East since the War its policy could not possibly have been more subservient to their interests. At the [page 5] Armistice the outlook for the Chester Concession seemed hopeless. The Turks had been crushed. The Armenians claimed the right to develop their own resources. And the war leaders, Wilson, Lloyd George, and Clemenceau were pro-Armenian, as was also the public sentiment in their respective nations. Today the Armenians have been destroyed, each of the three leaders has met his political overthrow, concomitantly with a lack of pro-Turkish subserviency on his part.

And the Chester Concessions have been established:

The triumph of Wilson and the League of Nations might have saved Armenia and invalidated the Chester Concessions. The triumph of Harding meant the annihilation of the Armenians and the validating of the Concessions. And the World Court will swing the United States into position to protect the Concessions.

For our Government to refuse to save the lives of the refugees from Asia Minor is the policy best suited to protect the Chester Concessions in that it wins the friendship of the Turks by promoting their plan to annihilate those people.

Is the betrayal of Armenia and Greece the work of the same spirit, working through the same machinery, as that which has betrayed our own Government at Teapot Dome? How else can our Near East Policy be explained?

If the Chester Concessions have not determined our Near East policy, how shall we explain the following?

(A) "Vakit," a semi-official Nationalist daily of Constantinople, compliments warmly Rear Admiral Bristol, one of our observers at Lausanne, for his "unvarying efforts in behalf of the Turks" and adds that "it is due mainly to the efforts of Rear [page 6] Admiral Chester that a change of feeling has taken place in America in favor of the Turks!" (James W. Gerard in "The New Armenia" March-April, 1923.)

(B) Judson King of Washington, D.C., Director of the National Popular Government League, writes, June 15, 1923: "I am keeping closely in touch with the crack Washington correspondents on Foreign affairs here, and they are in despair over the lack of information (on the Near East)."

(C) Mr. King further writes: "Late in 1922 the holdings of the foreign (Chester) interests were turned over to a voting trust, at the request of the State Department, in order to insure that the Company would remain in American hands."

(D) The religious organizations and the humanitarian sentiment of America would not have been defied and betrayed without some definite and powerful motive.

To abandon these refugees in Greece is massacre through inaction, -- more culpable than the direct massacres by the Turks because lacking in the incentive of religious and political and racial rivalry. It is contrary to the deepest principles of morality, of civilization and of Americanism. It is a repudiation of every principle of Christianity, and a defiance of and blasphemy against the Creator. It is the most insidious and deadly possible attack on democracy, on religion and on civilization.

Then, WHY are we abandoning them?

Nothing is more incumbent on an American citizen than to discover and disown the evil genius that has led our country to become the tool of the Turk in the extermination of his enemies, -- enemies because they stand for democracy and Christianity. [page 7]

Individual Appeal.

Each individual citizen shares the responsibility for any Government policy against which he fails to protest. How far will you protest against the Near East policy of our government and against the abandonment of these refugees?

(1) Will you write to your Senators?

(2) Will you sign a petition in their behalf?

(3) Will you pass such a petition?

(4) Will you present such a petition to your church, lodge, union or club?

(5) Will you contribute toward the expenses of a publicity campaign?

(6) Will you favor setting aside a Sabbath for fasting and prayer?

(7) Will you protest against the ratification of the Lausanne Treaty?

The Near East tragedy is the greatest since Calvary. These people have been suffering and dying for Christianity and for their liberties, under an impulse from American teachers and missionaries. They have been sold for gold. They have been betrayed with a kiss. They have been crucified by a power hiding behind the American flag, from a vantage ground won by American humanitarian and educational work, enhanced by the martyrdom of American Relief workers. They are a holocaust to Mammon.

Does not our personal and individual attitude toward these refugees reveal our inmost character and forecast our destiny?