I've just started reading Samantha Power's A Problem From Hell. I was a little surprised to find myself approving of Theodore Roosevelt for a change. I'm normally heavily influenced by Henry Adams' jaundiced view of his old student, especially in the Letters. 'Dinner at the White House last night, Theodore never stopped talking' sort of thing. Makes me laugh like a drain. But he was right in 1915, or at least right from a certain point of view, which is that the world and especially the US ought not to shrug and look away when a genocide is going on. TR wanted the US to do something about the Armenian genocide, and not many other Americans did. He wrote this to a Committee on Armenian Atrocities that was not urging US intervention:
Mass meetings on behalf of the Armenians amount to nothing whatever if they are mere methods of giving a sentimental but ineffective and safe outlet to the emotions of those engaged in them. Indeed they amount to less than nothing.
The Ambassador to Turkey, Henry Morgenthau Senior, also wanted the US to intervene, and felt massively frustrated that as an ambassador he had to respect Turkish sovereignty and as it were mind his own business - he ended up quitting. Reminiscent of Romeo Dallaire and his terrible situation.