Following are excerpts from a TV debate on U.S. and Arab approaches to genocide, with Dr. Mahmoud Al-Mubarak, a Saudi international law expert, and Egyptian-American writer Magdi Khalil. The debate aired on Al-Jazeera TV on October 23, 2007.
To view clip visit: http://www.memri.org/legacy/clip/1609
"Congress Should Look Into Its Own Crimes Before It Looks Into The Crimes Of Others"
Interviewer: "What's wrong with this new American resolution, commemorating the Turkish massacre of the Armenians some 100 years ago? Why all this fuss? Why are all these accusations of hypocrisy leveled against the U.S.?"
Mahmoud Al-Mubarak: "Congress should look into its own crimes before it looks into the crimes of others. Who annihilated the Indians in the U.S.? Who if not Congress passed laws in 1848 permitting the annihilation of the Indians, permitting the white man to kill the Red Indian and take his land and property? This law was passed by Congress in 1848. Even earlier, Andrew Jackson, whose portrait appears on the $20 bill, considered the killing of Indians a duty, and he even mutilated corpses of Indians. Even Roosevelt, in the mid-20th century, praised Andrew Johnson [sic], and said that Johnson had conducted a necessary and honorable battle, even when he mutilated corpses." [...]
The U.S. "Paid the Price and Acknowledged [Its Mistakes]" While Turkey "Criminalizes Whoever Says Massacre and Genocide were Committed Against the Armenians"
Magdi Khalil: "The U.S. has made mistakes in the past with regard to the blacks and the Indians, but it has paid the price and acknowledged [its mistakes]. Hundreds of books in America acknowledge what happened to the blacks and the Indians. Do not forget that the U.S. sacrificed 970,000 Americans in its Civil War in order to liberate the blacks. Afterwards, it acknowledged all [its mistakes]."
"In Turkey, there was not a single apology. Moreover, there is a Turkish law criminalizing whoever says a massacre and genocide were committed against the Armenians. By law, whoever acknowledges this is sentenced to three years in jail."
You Are Not Distinguishing "Between War Crimes and Crimes Against Humanity, or Annihilation"
Mahmoud Al-Mubarak: "The annihilation of the Jews in the alleged Nazi Holocaust, about which there is still much debate and to this day, we do not know the truth about it... When Iran held the international [Holocaust] conference, there was a great uproar in America and Europe about it: 'Why do you even consider and raise this question?' What kind of 'media freedom' do they want for our peoples, when they do not allow them to even think, and consider everything to be facts that came down from heaven?"
"Your guest said that [the Americans] apologized and built museums for [the Indians]. This is not enough. What have they done for the Jews with regard to the alleged Holocaust in Germany? They gave them billions in compensation. Even in Switzerland... Up until 10 years ago, Switzerland paid hundreds of billions to Jews who claimed that their money had been lost or stolen in Switzerland, because the [Swiss] had stood alongside the Germans."
Interviewer: "The Americans have killed one and a half million Iraqis to date. There are eight million deformed Vietnamese because of Agent Orange and other horrifying programs. Did you know that America, in cooperation with the Indonesian dictator Suharto, killed 1.2 million Communists in 1956? This was an annihilation of Communists. Who even mentions them? And you tell me it has atoned for its crimes? Who are you kidding?"
Magdi Khalil: "First, I would like to point out that the brother is not drawing a distinction between war crimes and crimes against humanity, or annihilation. Obviously, he is confusing all the terms. None of the things he mentioned can be called 'genocide.'
"You mentioned one and a half million Iraqis... I don't have the exact figures, but 90% of the Iraqis who died were killed by Muslims, I'm very sad to say. Who killed them? Saudi Arabia, Syria, and Iran. Saudi Arabia is the greatest exporter of terrorists in the Arab region."
"In 2006, America alone contributed 42.5% of the World Food Program, and 24% of the aid to refugees, who are mainly Muslim, as well as 10% of the funding of UNICEF. What have Saudi Arabia and the Islamic countries ever contributed, except destruction and sending terrorists to the whole world?" [...]
The "Holocaust Took Place 50-60 Years Ago – Yet You Deny [It]... What Do You Do [About] Ancient History, Most of Which has been Distorted in Arab And Islamic Countries?
"Documents obtained by historians say that the final solution was to annihilate the Armenians, just like the Final Solution of annihilating the Jews. This expression was engraved upon the conscience of humanity. The two greatest genocides of the 20th century are the crimes of annihilating the Armenians and the Holocaust. Despite this, not a single Arab or Islamic country acknowledges this or denounces the Turks. Unfortunately, they cast doubt about it, and refer to it as 'accusations.' The events of the Holocaust took place 50-60 years ago, yet you deny them. So what do you do with regard to ancient history, most of which has been distorted in Arab and Islamic countries? History has been distorted, fabricated, falsified, and written in a manner that does not correspond with truth, reality, or anything. If you deny the history of 50, 60, or 90 years ago, for which there are still living witnesses, what will you do with ancient history?"
"The discourse coming out of the Arab and Islamic region is a disgrace. In Darfur and south Sudan, severe [human rights] violations occur – ethnic cleansing, the murder of millions, and rape – yet no one but the West exposes what is happening in south Sudan and Darfur. The New York Times was the first to raise this issue, and it is the West that is now defending the rights of the Muslims in Darfur. It is the West that attacked Serbia. It is the West that established the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia. It is the West that protects the independence of Kosovo. There is no partial justice..."
"There is No Justice At All in The Arab Region.... They Are Used To Condemning Everything, and Doing Nothing but Supporting Terrorism and Extremism"
"There is no justice at all in the Arab region. There is only criticism of any spark of hope for international justice, and criticism of any glimmer of hope for international justice, and criticism of any glimmer of hope for the promotion of human rights, and the value of human beings. They are used to condemning everything, and doing nothing but supporting terrorism and extremism. You tell me – the U.N. report on the Somali Islamic Courts Union, the international reports on the Taliban...
"Who created the Taliban? Who created the Somali Islamic Courts Union, according to the U.N. reports? It was Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Who produced extremism and terrorism? Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan."
"Give Us One Example When You Supported Human Rights In Any Country"
Interviewer: "With regard to Darfur, are you trying to convince the Arab world that the American wolf, as Dr. Al-Mubarak called him, is shedding a tear over what is happening in Darfur? It is the fragmentation of Sudan, the partitioning of Sudan – the partitioning of something that is already partitioned. There is oil in Darfur, and they don't care about all the Arabs and Muslims put together."
Magdi Khalil: "That's all nonsense. That deceiving propaganda is all around you – oil and all that... Do you know how much was spent on Iraq? Even if America were to take Iraq's oil for the next 200 years, it would not compensate for what it has spent on Iraq. You are used to spreading delusions, lies, and deceiving propaganda. Give us one example when you supported human rights in any country, one example when you did something good – just once in your lives, when an Arab or Islamic country could say that it supported something good."
"I call upon the Arab and Islamic countries to acknowledge the two worst genocides perpetrated in the 20th century – the Holocaust and the Armenian massacre. I call upon them to rise to the level of humanity."