Back in 2005, the now-emeritus scholar Guenter Lewy published The Armenian Massacres in Ottoman Turkey: A Disputed Genocide , a book that argued that there wasn’t much evidence that the massacre of Armenians during World War I was caused by a deliberate Turkish plan to destroy the Armenian people—and, thus, that the Armenian deaths didn’t qualify as a genocide.

Whereupon the Southern Poverty Law Center declared that “Lewy is one of the most active members of a network of American scholars, influence peddlers and website operators, financed by hundreds of thousands of dollars each year from the government of Turkey, who promote the denial of the Armenian genocide.”

Lewy sued, and it has now been announced that the Southern Poverty Law Center will, in settlement, entirely retract their claims, publishing the retraction is several prominent places.

This is an important event to note. The bullying of scholars by political engines—the insistence that immediate and vicious attacks follow any deviation from a political useful account of science or history—has reached brutal proportions. Look at environmentalism, World War II, the Middle Ages, and much more.

Guenter Lewy is no friend to this magazine’s projects, but he deserves real praise for standing up to the pack and forcing this retraction.

Articles by Joseph Bottum

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