The Oppressed Nations and National Strength

By MassisPost
Updated: December 31, 2014

Vartan Derad

Mr. Derad, born in historic Armenia in September 7, 1900, at the age
of thirteen immigrated to the United States where he furthered his
education and attended the Emerson college of Oratory in Boston and
the Boston University Law School, where he earned his Juris Doctorate.

Mr. Derad became an active leader and public speaker, also editor of
Armenian newspapers, first in the New England area and then in
Southern California. He authored many books and contributed numerous
articles to various English papers. In the political field, he had
managed many local elections, having spoken from the same platform
with many prominent candidates for office, such as Thomas E. Dewey
former New York State Governor and Jasper McLevy, former famed Mayor
of Bridgeport, Connecticut, among others. Mr. Derad held responsible
positions in the Armenian Church structure and for four years served
as secretary to the Armenian Church of America. He was an ardent
member of the Social Democrat Hunchak Party, maintaining various high
level positions of Party in the East as well as the West coast of the
United States. He had also been a devoted student of economics and
political science and a close follower of world affairs. Mr. Derad
passed away in 1971.

Tomorrow's Horizon, written in the midst of World War II, was Mr.
Derad's analyses of the depths of the national and international,
economic, political and social problems which caused the war, and was
an aim to demonstrate the logical beginning for a world-wide union of
nations (a United Nations) and to peacefully avoid future conflicts. A
beginning where the belief that real democracy, personal liberty,
individual rights and political independence can survive and make the
machinery of a government function as the servant of the people,
instead of being the master over the people that constitutes the

With 2015 marking the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide as
well as the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, Mr. Derad's
analysis of world affairs, primarily questions in dealing with small
nations and remembering and learning from historical political
blunders made by "BIG" powers, resonates in today's world. MassisPost,
therefore presents a chapter entitled The Oppressed Nations and
National Strength from Mr. Derad's book Tomorrow's Horizon.


The Oppressed Nations and National Strength

We are not going to let history of the oppressed nations repeat
itself. The liberation of oppressed peoples is constantly proclaimed
during the more chivalrous phases of the war. The United Nations who
will hold the future destinies of the small, conquered and enslaved
nations on the peace table must refrain from further political

The democracies will and should have the right to demand an accounting
of the statesmen into whose hands the labor and agonies of millions of
men placed free disposition over the fortunes of conquered nations.
The economic aspirations of the international financiers must cease to
exist in order that the fire of independent nationalism will not burn
out in international intrigues and again be forgotten forever as it
happened in Versailles after the first World War.

It is very important to have foresight and not hindsight when the
question comes to deal with small nations and remember one of the past
political blunders as the poor Armenians were treated after one
million Armenian men, women and children were brutally massacred, and
tens of thousands of women and girls were carried off into the most
abominable slavery. Two hundred thousand Armenians of military age,
who might have helped to defend the frontier of a real Armenian state,
were unhappily slain and the history tells us how the main cause of
Armenia's woes were the torturous and immoral diplomacy of Europe.

The pioneers of democracy and Christianity failed to understand the
cynical treatment which Armenia did have at the hands of the foreign
offices of the European Powers. The chief obstacle which Armenia had
to encounter in winning for itself "a place in the sun" had lain in
the fact that its legitimate boundaries had conflicted with the
boundaries of the zones with which the Allied Powers had
checker-boarded Asia Minor.

The Allies hesitated to talk too much about Armenian independence
while Romanoff Russia was in the war and when imperial Russia vanished
from the horizon, there was no good reason why the Allies should not
then have recognized the independence of those Armenians who hitherto
had lived under Russia and forgetting Turkey who still was the "sick
man of Europe."

Yes, the reason was very obvious. Downing Street and Quai O'Orsai were
flirting with Deniken at the time, and Denikin, who desired a "great,
inseparable Russia," would have none of an independent Armenia. And

Because the British wanted Armenia's Black Sea and Caspian gate which
might link her up with the rest of the world; the French wanted her
promised outlet to the Mediterranean on the south. More than that, the
Arxes valley and the mineral wealth of the Karabakh mountains the
British foreign office preferred to vest in the hands of the nomad
Moslems, who in all probability, would shortly come under British
influence and custodianship.

The historical truth remains that the Powers of Europe were only
interested in Armenia and the poor Armenians to the extent of how much
and in what ways and means they would have benefitted if they had made
an approach to this land and the lands of other small nations who
suffered and sacrificed, who bled and died in order that the BIG
powers and wealthy lords live and be happy.

History never recorded such a betrayal as that of Armenia, whose body
was crucified by the Turks and whose faith was destroyed by the BIG
POWERS after the first World War.

The great need of the world today and after this war is leadership and
there can be no higher tribute to international unselfishness and
kindness than the fact that every nation in the world is willing to
accept the proposals and just dealings of such a leadership. Let us
not cause the downfall of democracy by a provincial, distrustful and
disunited play and overthrow the civilization in the hands of greedy,
selfish money mongers and demagogues.

Anthony Eden, British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, in his
July (1942) speech said a number of things that also should serve as
inspiration during and after trying periods ahead for the United
Nations. Note the following: "Let there be no doubt in the minds of
our enemies. Whether the struggle be long or short,' we, together with
our allies, are in this war to the victorious end. No temporary
setback or disappointment or even lost battles can alter our
resolution to continue the fight against the dictator powers until
they are all finally disarmed and rendered powerless to do further
injury to mankind...

"We must either build an orderly, law-abiding international society in
which each nation lives and works freely without fear or favor or we
shall be destroyed in a welter of barbaric strife..."

Now we have come to the point where the free thinkers in every nation
must express himself in terms of internationalism, because the spirit
of nationalism now in effect forces each nation to watch every other
with suspicion, jealousy or menace. And what has been the result?

"Honor and vital interests of our nation," exclaims the blood-thirsty
politician or the industrialist of each and opposing nation, "are in
danger. We must fight ... carryon the war ... war is human." Then the poor
dupes begin to butcher one another at the word of command from higher
up. The schools that hold the future generation of mankind, become not
only the training ground, but actually a recruiting ground for the
army with the spirit of severe nationalism.

The motto of the school of "my country, right or wrong," is no longer
a practical menu that can be served on the desks of our school
children. "My country, right or wrong," is but the highest degree of
egotism, in common with the name HITLERISM. Had this been the motto of
General Washington and his compatriots the United States would still
be a part of the British Empire.

History proves and the events testify, that in the name of NATIONALISM
and without the spirit of internationalism we always have had wars,
butchering of brothers by brothers. A torrent of blood has flown from
the deep, damned war-wound in the breast of the working class. When
war is declared, the command is given immediately "Kill! Slay!
Slaughter! Plunder! Destroy! Rape! and crucify in the name of

Robert G. Ingersoll once wrote about the agonies of war, created by
the fire of stupid nationalism, combined with the greed of
international industrialists or war-mongers:

"Nations sustain the relations of savage to each other man has
imagination enough to paint the agonies, the horrors, the cruelties,
of war. Think of sending shot and shell crashing through the bodies of
men. Think of the widows and orphans! Think of the maimed, the
mutilated, the mangled ..."

Narrow and shortsighted nationalism made the Turks massacre the
Armenians during the World War I, but in 1942, this time the turn was
shifted to the helpless Greeks. In "Life" magazine, August 3, 1942,
issue, there appeared some heartbreaking photographs of dying Greeks,
showing how the famine and death rode into Greece at the heels of the
Nazi conquest. These pictures were collected and privately printed in
April with the legend SECRET-NOT FOR PUBLICATION, by exiled Greek
Minister of Information, A. Michalopoulos.

The Germans came to Greece as conquerors. They picked it clean as a
bone and then announced that the Third German Reich has no
responsibility for the feeding of such conquered nations as Greece.

The last state of Greece was described as follows by Associated Press
Correspondent, Richard G. Massock:

"Stinking, ragged columns of men, women and children, who no longer
wash now that there is no soap, pick over the garbage of the Germans
and Italians. The poor lie in squalid homes, too weak to move, their
swollen bodies covered with sores. In processions, the Athenians go to
the city dumps. When one finds a sardine or other food can, he cleans
the inside with his tongue as a cat would do. The hospitals are
over-crowded, sometimes with three or four starving patients in a bed.
The courtyards of the morgues are filled with naked bodies. Three
hundred bodies at a time are buried in large pits, without lime.

"When people die, relatives place the corpses in the gutters without
reporting the deaths so that they won't have to surrender the bread
cards of the deceased. The tragedy of Greece is not so much the dead
picked up in the streets each morning, as the famine and condemnation
to death reflected in the faces of those dragging their starved bodies
through the streets."

As to what a terrible war is doing to an innocent, unarmed and
guiltless civilian people at their own homes, on their own city or
country streets, here the report about Greece carries on its tale in
more details in the same issue of "Life" magazine as how the Greeks
had expected to go hungry, but the Germans killed their cattle and
took their milk for the occupying German armed forces. They took their
boats so that they could not even fish. When an occasional wheat boat
arrived from Sweden, Switzerland, Canada, Turkey, they claimed that it
was German wheat and confiscated more Greek food supplies.

The International Red Cross continued the report, fed about 700,000
people in Athens a daily bowlful of olive oil, rice and dried
vegetables. The price of bread was $4 a pound, butter $18, oil $12,
coffee $50, eggs 75c apiece and shoes $100 a pair.

Here is another heart-breaking report, when we are told how people
steal and kill for food, husbands abandon wives and children. Citizens
lie across the pavements, spitting blood into the gutter. A certain
sort of thud means that somebody else has fallen to the pavement. The
survivors do not look around.

There are many more bad, inhuman, uncivilized conditions caused by the
war under and at the point of the brutal warriors. Thus a war is a
plague that afflicts many nations and humanity. It destroys families,
kills everyone who raises his or her head in the name of patriotism.
In war, even God is forgotten because the churches are bombed and the
priests are brutally killed in the churchyards.

In Secretary of State Cordell Hull's address on July 23, 1942, on the
war situation he said: "Governments can and must help to focus the
energies by encouraging, coordinating and aiding the efforts of
individuals and groups."

Of course this "helping" philosophy will be put into action only and
when the governments, besides being willing to help, also get the
cooperation of so-called leading industrial individuals in their own
respective .lands. These individuals particularly who are in economic
power and have the means of dictating and in many cases, commanding
the legislative bodies to do certain things not for the benefit of all
the citizens, but for the benefit of the leading lords only. The
governments in this case should command these industrial lords to lay
down their selfish and money making weapons and extend their hands to
the rank and file of the people united as one man without any
expectation, ready to help the government direct the national 7efforts
to the creation of a lasting peace and preserving the same.

Secretary Hull continues: "In our own country we have learned from
bitter experience that to be truly free, men must have as well,
economic freedom and economic security, the assurance for all alike of
an opportunity to work as free men in the company of free men; to
obtain through work the material and spiritual means of life; to
advance through the exercise of ability, initiative and enterprise; to
make provision against the hazards and human existence."

History shows us that no nation can enjoy its national peace while its
citizens are in the grip of constant fear of economic depression,
unemployment, bitter class struggle, strikes and what not.
A free nation will be able to contribute its worthy share to the
freedom of the world and to the people of this world when the citizens
of this nation are free first, free economically, politically and
socially. Free from shallow nationalism and baptized with the spirit
of internationalism.

Secretary Hull carries on his speech and says: "One of the greatest
obstacles which in the past have impeded human progress and afforded
breeding grounds for dictators has been extreme nationalism.

"All will agree that nationalism and its spirit are essential to the
healthy and normal political and economic life of a people, but when
policies of nationalism, political, economic, social and moral, are
carried to such extremes as to exclude and prevent necessary policies
of international cooperation, they become dangerous and deadly.

"Nationalism, running riot between the last war and this war, defeated
all attempts to carry our indispensable measures of international
economic and political action, encouraged and facilitated the rise of
dictators and drove the world straight toward the present war.

"During this period, narrow and shortsighted nationalism found its
most virulent expression in the economic field.

"It prevented goods and services from flowing in volume at all
adequate from nation to nation and thus severely hampered the work of
production, distribution and consumption and greatly retarded efforts
for social betterment.

"No nation can make satisfactory progress when it is deprived, by its
own action or by the action of others, of the immeasurable benefits of
international exchange of goods and services."

The biggest and most cruel thing in the world is WAR and the way it is
conducted. The fundamental reason for war is the constant struggle
against want, and all its concomitants. Hence modern wars are
essentially wars for foreign markets for the benefit of the ruling
class or for the selfish greed of the stronger nation, which often
leads to the destruction of a former powerful industrial nation, or
nations, and as a result of that all nations during peace time if
there has ever been a peace time, will live in the shadow of
threatened coercion of war, in the shadow of fear that someday the
other nation will get stronger and strike a deadly blow.

From: A. Papazian