The Instigator
Pro (for)
4 Points
The Contender
Con (against)
1 Points

Resolved: That the United States should recognize the Armenian Genocide

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Post Voting Period
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after 2 votes the winner is...
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 8/17/2016 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 month ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 525 times Debate No: 94737
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (19)
Votes (2)





The Armenian Genocide is sadly one of the least recognized genocides in recent history. The genocide began on 24 April 1915 when Armenian intellectuals and public figures were detained and executed in Constantinople, the capitol city of the Ottoman empire. By 1917, more than 1 million Armenians were murdered by the Ottomans. [1]

20 other nations, including several states, recognize the genocide. However, the U.S. Federal Government still does not recognize it [2].

I will be arguing that there should be an official recognition of the Armenian Genocide.

Full Topic

Resolved: That the United States should recognize the Armenian Genocide.


The burden of proof is shared. It is incumbent on me to prove that the Armenian Genocide ought to be recognized and it is incumbent on my opponent to show that it should not be recognized.

This debate is not over the historicity of the Armenian Genocide.

Full arguments and rebuttals are expected from both sides.


1. No forfeits
2. Any citations or foot/endnotes must be individually provided in the text of the debate
3. No new arguments in the final round
4. Maintain a civil and decorous atmosphere
5. No trolling
6. No "kritiks" of the topic
7. My opponent accepts all definitions and waives his/her right to add resolutional definitions
8. For all undefined terms, individuals should use commonplace understandings that fit within the logical context of the resolution and this debate
9. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss


R1. Acceptance
R2. Pro’s Case, Con’s Case
R3. Pro rebuts Con's case, Con rebut's Pro's case.
R4. Pro defends his case, Con defends his case.
R5. Closing/Summary



I would like to thank my opponent in advance for accepting this debate.


I accept.
Debate Round No. 1


I would like to thank my opponent for accepting this debate.

1. Genocide denial enables future genocides

The ongoing Turkish denial of the Armenian Genocide will make future genocides more likely. Dr. Gregory Stanton noted that there are 7 stages of genocide [1]:

"The first is Classification, when we classify the world into us versus them.
The second is Symbolization, when we give names to those classifications like Jew and Aryan, Hutu and Tutsi, Turk and Armenian. Sometimes the symbols are physical, like the Nazi yellow star.
The third is Dehumanization, when perpetrators call their victims rats, or cockroaches, cancer, or disease; so eliminating them is actually seen as “cleansing” the society, rather than murder.
The fourth is Organization, when hate groups, armies, and militias organize.
The fifth is Polarization, when moderates are targeted who could stop the process, especially moderates from the perpetrators’ group.
The sixth stage is Preparation, when the perpetrators are trained and armed, victims are identified, transported and concentrated.
The seventh stage is Extermination, what we legally define as genocide, the intentional destruction, in whole or in part, of a national, ethnic, racial, or religious group."

The evidence that genocide denial enables future genocides is shown in Darfur and with ISIS. The same genocidal tactics used by the Ottomans are the same that are being used in Darfur, ISIS, et al. [2].

2. Harms of Denial

Genocide denial is harmful to the victims, survivors, and the perpetrators of the crime. By continuing to deny genocides and refusing to recognizing the genocide, we are essentially endorsing the Armenian Genocide and allowing Turkey to bully us into denying history. When speaking before the Israeli Kenesset on a similar resolution, Elderstein declared:

"We must not ignore, belittle or deny this terrible genocide. We must disconnect the current interests, bound to this time and place, and the difficult past, of which this dark chapter is a part. Let us not remain indifferent, even belatedly, to the suffering of the Armenians,” Preserving the memory of the Armenian genocide is important for everyone as human beings, as those who have moral responsibility and who strive constantly to improve and fix the world and society.” [3]

Indeed, denial of genocide harms the victims, survivors, and the perpetrators. Dr. Stanton note that genocide denial destroys the victims group
both psychologically and culturally, denies them of memory of murders of loved ones, does not give them a chance to heal on all levels. Furthermore, with no Transitional Justice, there is no recognition of the crimes the perpetrators committed. This may create hatred or spark old tensions. [1]

Finally, those involved with the prepetration gets away with their crime. Genocide scholars have noted that denial of past genocide is one of the key indicators of future ones and
deniers within the country are three times more likely to help commit the crimes [4].


We cannot trivialize past genocides and past attrocities. Doing so will make future genocides more likely.

I turn it over to my opponent. The resolution is affirmed.

Note: I wish to ask my opponent to wait as long as possible before posting his round 2 arguments.


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I am going to argue that the Armenian were foes in war. People die in wars, but I wouldn't call this genocide. In fact, in the conflict the Armenians were the aggressors. [0]

"That was the environment in which Armenians revolted against the Ottoman Empire--hundreds of years of peace, economic superiority, constantly improving political conditions." [0]

"By far the most successful of the revolutionaries were the Dashnaks. Dashnaks from Russia were the leaders of rebellion. They were the organizers and the "enforcers" who turned the Armenians of Anatolia into rebel soldiers." [0]

"In Eastern Anatolia, Armenians formed bands to fight a guerilla war against their government. Others fled only to return with the Russian Army, serving as scouts and advance units for the Russian invaders. It was those who stayed behind who were the greatest danger to the Ottoman war effort and the greatest danger to the lives of the Muslims of Eastern Anatolia. " [0]

As you can see guerilla warfare was used, blurring the distinction between soldier and civilian.

"My purpose here is not to retell that history. I wish to demonstrate that the Ottomans were right in considering the Armenians to be their enemies, if further proof is needed. The map shows proof that the Armenian rebels in fact were agents of Russia. " [0]

"We know this is not true. Every year many books and articles are published in Turkey that not only deny the "Armenian Genocide" but document Armenian persecution of Turks. Conferences are held. Mass graves of innocent Turks killed by Armenian Nationalists are found. Museums and monuments are opened to commemorate the Turkish dead. Historians who have seen the Ottoman archival records or read the Turkish books on the Armenian Question do not accept the idea of a genocide. They know that in wartime many Armenians were killed by Turks, and that many Turks were killed by Armenians. They know that this was war, not genocide. " [0]

To cross check the information I found another source [1]

"The Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaks) began to distribute pamphlets and posters calling for revolution in Van. One post by the Dashnaks in March ended in this way:
Dashnaks wrote:

There can be no reconciliation; we will not put down our arms. We have a holy war, and it will be continued with greater savageness. Therefore let the Commission of the tyrant go to hell. Let there be no yielding to it. We are revolutionists, and this is our last word.
Death or Liberty!
Long live the Armenian people!
Long live the revolution!" [1]

"Russian issue weapons were pouring in from smuggling routes in Iran and Russia. Although in Russia, the Armenian rebels had to bribe Russian border guards. Some Kurdish tribes attacked the Armenian Dashnaks to steal their weapons along the smuggling routes.

Van governor, Nazim Pasha reported to the government that
Nazim Pasha wrote:

all the Armenians [in the city] are armed, and they are hiding weapons." [1]

Seems clear to me that this was not genocide but war. That the Ottoman empire was incredibly tolerant and that Russia was to blame for this terrible war. This is a political ploy and the USA should not proliferate such falsehoods by recognizing a non-existent event.

Furthermore, even if my opponent somehow wins this front, the USA needs to look after its own interest. We need as many allies as we can. Relations can only worsen from this.

Finally, there is enough information from my side to sufficiently muddy the waters. Armed rebellion, guerilla warfare, persecution of Muslims, and Russian agents. I don't think the USA is going to convince the Ottomans, now Turkey, that genocide took place. This acknowledging this event would be an exercise in futility.

Thanks for the debate.

Debate Round No. 2


I would like to thank my opponent for his reply.

My opponent argues that the Armenians were foes in war and that their deaths were justified. This is a clear violation of the terms of the debate. "This debate is not over the historicity of the Armenian Genocide" and so I should per-minimum win the conduct point. My opponent also attempts to kritkit the topic of the debate, challenging the assumption of the resolution that the Armenian genocide was, in fact, a genocide.

My opponent's arguments are nothing more than the very tactics that the Ottomans used to perpetrate the genocide! As Dr. Gregory Stanton notes [1]:

Blame the victims. Claim that the killings were in self-defense against people who were disloyal to the Ottoman Empire during a World War. In fact, very few Armenians joined the Ottoman Empire’s enemies, and certainly none of the women and children could have. But they were murdered nevertheless.

Claim that Muslim Turks also suffered many deaths. The problem with this argument is that the deaths were in battles with European troops, not at the hands of the Armenians, who were deported like sheep into the desert.

Finally, claim that the deaths were inadvertent, due to lack of food and water, not due to intentional destruction. The falsehood of this claim is amply proven by the thousands of pages of eye-witness reports from Armenian survivors, American consular officers, missionaries, and most tellingly, in the archives of the Ottoman Empire’s allies, Germany and Austria-Hungary, as well as by the records of the Ottoman Corts-Martial of 1918-1920. This was intentional mass murder by starvation. It wasn’t an unfortunate by-product of a deportation.

The Ottomans began to view the Armenians as a threat, rounded up, and deported them. The total estimated killing is more than 1 million men, women, and children. [2] This is not war, this is genocide.


My opponent violated the terms and rules of the debate. I am disappointed in my opponent's arguments and wanted to debate someone a bit stronger. For the reasons mentioned above, I urge a vote for pro .


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6. No "kritiks" of the topic

9. Violation of any of these rules or of any of the R1 set-up merits a loss

I accidentally violated the rules, 6. No "kritiks" of the topic by arguing that it was war and not genocide. Kritik means not to challenge the underlining assumptions. Therefore, I lose the debate. Debating is very difficult. I think I'm going to give up on debating. Thanks for debating.
Debate Round No. 3


Thanks and vote prob


If I decided to make a debate and put kritik in, I will explicitly explain what it is. Since the word is of German origin and this website is in English, it is easy to just discard the word as a red herring. Btw, I did remember it was against the rules to dispute the historicity, but I forget that it was a loss to break the rules.

If I had remembered what kritik was and it was against the rules with a loss as well as disputing the historicity, I would have framed my r2 argument differently.

Would have been like this, the Turks version of reality is the following, give links and quotes. Note, I am not kritiking the topic nor disputing the historicity, only giving the Turks point of view, even if disagrees with the assumptions made in r1. Trying to convince the Turks otherwise would be an exercise in futility. Then, I would go on to explain how losing Turkey as an ally would be detrimental. Nevertheless, I messed up broke the rules and thus concede the debate. Thanks for debating.
Debate Round No. 4


Thanks for a humble concession. Vote pro.


Thanks, I am willing to debate the topic again if you want.
Debate Round No. 5
19 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by PowerPikachu21 3 weeks ago
Posted by triangle.128k 1 month ago
Stupidape is an obvious turkroach
Posted by Stupidape 1 month ago
I messed up I looked up the definition of kritik a long time ago. Made my argument posted it, then figured out I was a kritik of the topic. This is why debates are difficult, each debate has different rules and it too easy to accidentally break one. So instead of debating you are constantly trying to interpret and arguing the rules. Which I guess that's what debating is about.

That's why I'm quitting debating its all arguments over bop, structure, rules, semantics, and definitions just too frustrating.

"Kritiks are philosophically-based arguments which question fundamental assumptions underlying the arguments, positions, or presentation of one side in the debate."
Posted by ThinkBig 1 month ago
If you want to do a separate debate about whether or not the Armenian Genocide should be classified as a genocide, that is one thing. That's not what this debate is about.
Posted by Stupidape 1 month ago
I was going to follow the rules of the debate, but the more I learned about the subject, the more I realized that there was a fair probability the Turks were innocent. I'll take the high road and lose the debate anytime over deluding myself and spreading falsehoods. Quite simply, I won't lie to win an internet debate.

There is too much claims of propaganda on both sides to know for sure either way.
Posted by Stupidape 1 month ago
R2 argument all typed in, just have to submit it. Will wait another 3 hours or so.
Posted by ThinkBig 1 month ago
Sounds good. Thank you.
Posted by Stupidape 1 month ago
"Note: I wish to ask my opponent to wait as long as possible before posting his round 2 arguments. "

Understood. I can wait up to 60 hours, any longer and I risk forfeiting the round.
Posted by Stupidape 2 months ago
I'm going to accept this debate on the premise that it was war in lieu of genocide. A lot of soldiers died in ww1, but I wouldn't call that genocide. Therefore, because no genocide took place, the USA shouldn't recognize a non-existent action.

To be quite frank, the Ottoman Empire was Muslim an the Armenians Christian. Muslims are supposed to execute every single last Christian to the best of my knowledge. This is called Jihad, or war.

Yet, I'm not sure if this is admissible under your rules

"This debate is not over the historicity of the Armenian Genocide."

My argument could be seen as falling within the historicity of the Armenian Genocide.
Posted by Stupidape 2 months ago
Wow, sick just sick, one million natives murdered. Who did this the world must know of their atrocity?
2 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Vote Placed by Bored_Debater 1 month ago
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Total points awarded:31 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession. Arguing that a nation shouldn't recognize something when it was actually something else is a valid route to take. Phuk that dumb sht pulled by pro. Pro still rebutted that argument, so argument points goes to pro... Pro's intent for an easy win, and con's humble loss over pro's shtty method for winning earns con conduct point.
Vote Placed by lannan13 1 month ago
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Total points awarded:10 
Reasons for voting decision: Concession.