Cradle of Civilization

A Blog about the Birth of Our Civilisation and Development

İsmail Enver: “We have destroyed the former by the sword, we shall destroy the latter through starvation.”

Posted by Fredsvenn on February 23, 2015

İsmail Enver (November 22, 1881 – August 4, 1922) – one of the triumvirate rulers

İsmail Enver – Wikiquote

“We have destroyed the former by the sword, we shall destroy the latter through starvation”, publicly declared on 19 May 1916.

Quoted in “The Evil 100” – Page 35 – by Martin Gilman Wolcott – Social Science – 2004.

The outbreak of World War I in August 1914 brought Lebanon further problems, as Turkey allied itself with Germany and AustriaHungary . The Turkish government abolished Lebanon’s semiautonomous status and appointed Jamal Pasha, then minister of the navy, as the commander in chief of the Turkish forces in Syria, with discretionary powers. Known for his harshness, he militarily occupied Lebanon and replaced the Armenian mutasarrif, Ohannes Pasha, with a Turk, Munif Pasha.

In February 1915, frustrated by his unsuccessful attack on the British forces protecting the Suez Canal, Jamal Pasha initiated a blockade of the entire eastern Mediterranean coast to prevent supplies from reaching his enemies and indirectly caused thousands of deaths from widespread famine and plagues. Lebanon suffered as much as, or more than, any other Ottoman province.

The blockade deprived the country of its tourists and summer visitors, and remittances from relatives and friends were lost or delayed for months. The Turkish Army cut down trees for wood to fuel trains or for military purposes.

In 1916 Turkish authorities publicly executed twenty-one Syrians and Lebanese in Damascus and Beirut, respectively, for alleged anti-Turkish activities. The date, May 6, is commemorated annually in both countries as Martyrs’ Day, and the site in Beirut has come to be known as Martyrs’ Square.

World War I saw the rapid spread of diseases in the Ottoman Empire.Soldiers who were frequently on the move between battlefronts became ideal carriers for many types of microbes, while mass deportations like those of the Armenian genocide also contributed to outbreaks.

The war drove up the price of soap and made it prohibitively expensive for many across the region, further hastening the spread of diseases. And, as famine and starvation began to spread across Syria, especially Lebanon, emaciated bodies became particularly vulnerable to diseases, especially Typhus, known by some as ‘hunger typhus’ for its tenacity to attack the malnourished. Fever, TB and Cholera also spread rapidly during the war.

The Ottomans caused the deaths of one-third of the entire population of Lebanon. “We have destroyed Armenians by the sword, we shall destroy the Lebanese through starvation”, Enver Pasha said on intended genocide of innocents.

Lebanon, before its current borders, had a booming silk industry (run mainly by women). Lebanon depended upon this industry to stimulate its economy and keep its population fed and healthy. Djamal Pasha ran Lebanon at the time for the Ottoman Empire. He put a blockade on the Mediterranean coast, not allowing anything in or out.

The industry died in Lebanon as jobs dried up. People became poor and destitute. Famine spread and, with it, disease spread too. To make things worse, a swarm of locusts came down and devastated what little crops were being tended to by ailing Lebanese. Some resorted to cannibalism to keep from dying. Jesuit priests’ records show that many came to confess having eaten their own children.

Extreme hunger and desolation caused madness among people.The roads were lined with the skeletal bodies of Lebanese.By the end of the whole ordeal, 200,000 Lebanese died of starvation and sickness caused by the Ottomans. That’s one-third of the population. It was no coincidence that, at the time, Lebanon’s population was about 87% Christian.

Relief came, however, in September 1918 when the British general Edmund Allenby and Faysal I, son of Sharif Husayn of Mecca, moved into Palestine with British and Arab forces, thus opening the way for the occupation of Syria and Lebanon. At the San Remo Conference held in Italy in April 1920, the Allies gave France a mandate over Greater Syria. France then appointed General Henri Gouraud to implement the mandate provisions.

Syria and the revival of the Genocidal Ottoman Empire

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