There can be absolutely no argument that a million or more Armenians died during World War I.  But, on issue of whether genocide—a deliberate plan to eradicate a people—occurred or not, there is a big gap between the narrative of Diaspora communities and that of prominent historians.  The historical debate is more complex. ~Michael Rubin

Via Yglesias

Well, there is certainly a big gap between historians who take the Turkish government’s view and those who actually properly handle the evidence.  I don’t know whether the Turkish historian Taner Akcam ranks as “prominent” in Mr. Rubin’s world, but the argument he lays out for the deliberate, central planning of the genocide is thorough and persuasive.  Even though it required quite a lot of political pressure to make it happen, the ADL’s belated, grudging and qualified acknowledgement of the genocide is to their credit. 

It goes without saying that similar agnosticism and references to the complexity of historical debate in connection with certain other genocides would be considered despicable, dehumanising to the victims and basically unwelcome in polite society.  The histories and historiographies of Cambodia and Rwanda were and are no less complex, but there were still deliberate genocides carried out in those countries.  Of course, neither the Khmer Rouge nor the Hutu Power maniacs have well-heeled lobbyists, a U.S.-allied government and willing apologists to help cast doubt and cover up for them. 

Update: Due credit to Jeff Jacoby for a good column on this.

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