THE BLIGHT OF ASIA
An Account of the Systematic Extermination of Christian Populations by Mohammedans and of the Culpability of Certain Great Powers; with the True Story of the Burning of Smyrna
George Horton
The Bobbs-Merrill Company, First edition, 1926.

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George Horton was the US consul-general in Smyrna during WW1 and its immediate aftermath. His account of the burning of Smyrna (Izmir) and the forced exodus of its Greek and Armenian inhabitants chronicles the last stages in the ethnic cleansing of Asia Minor of its native Christian population. According to Horton, the sacking of Smyrna was due to the military prowess of Turkish nationalists, imperial rivalries among western powers, and commercial interest groups seeking advantages in the emerging Turkish republic.


 FOREWORD

     Here at last is the truth about the destruction of Smyrna and the massacre of a large part of its inhabitants by one who was present. 
     The writer of the following pages is a man, happily, who is not restrained from telling what he knows by political reasons or by any consideration of fear or self-interest. He gives the whole story of the savage extermination of Christian civilization throughout the length and breadth of the old Byzantine Empire in a clear and convincing manner.
     That it should have been possible twenty centuries after the birth of Christ for a small and backward nation, like the Turks, to have committed such crimes against civilization and the progress of the world is a matter which should cause all conscientious people to pause and think; yet the writer shows conclusively that these crimes have been committed without opposition on the part of any Christian nation and that the last frightful scene at Smyrna was enacted within a few yards of a powerful Allied and American battle fleet.
     We turned a deaf ear to the dying Christians when they called to us for aid, fully aware that America was their only hope, and now it would appear that there is a growing tendency in this country to whitewash the Turks and condone their crimes in order to obtain material advantages from them.
     The author takes the position that this can not be done, as the Turks have put so great an affront upon humanity that it can not easily be overlooked, and the truth is sure to come out. He claims that high ideals are more than oil or railroads, and that the Turks should not be accepted into the society of decent nations until they show sincere repentance for their crimes.
     Fraternizing with them on any other terms creates a suspicion of sordidness or even complicity. From the outspoken nature of this book it will be evident to the reader that the writing of it has required considerable courage and that it has been inspired by no other possible motive than a desire to make the truth known about matters which it is important for the world to know.

     (Signed) James W. Gerard.

 

 

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