(WARNING - GRAPHIC CONTENT) BUCHA, UKRAINE - APRIL 13, 2022 - An investigator pulls a human remains pouch out of another mass grave where civilians killed by Russian invaders are buried during exhumation, Bucha, Kyiv Region, northern Ukraine. (Photo credit should read Anatolii Siryk / Ukrinform/Future Publishing via Getty Images)

An investigator pulls human remains from a mass grave.

Photo: Anatolii Siryk/Future Publishing via Getty Imag

We can say for certain that the governments of the U.S. and Europe are upset about Russia's brutalization of Ukraine. The National Security Council is working to identify any Russians responsible for the atrocities and war crimes.

This is the emptiest of rhetoric according to history. It is hard to find examples of governments sacrificing their goals for the well-being of other people. Governments see the real suffering of foreigners as useful for propaganda purposes to motivate their own citizens and make their enemies look bad.

This truth is shown in the starkest possible terms by a chilling story from 100 years ago. It is almost completely unknown because it is so unflattering to the powerful.

The French, British, and Russian empires were on one side of the war, while the German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman empires were on the other.

The Ottoman Empire, which once stretched across southeastern Europe and northern Africa, had contracted to present-day Turkey by the beginning of the 20th century. Thanks to the discovery of oil in the Middle East, the French and British were interested in carving off more Ottoman territory.

The Ottoman Empire was taken control of by a triumvirate in 1913, and they launched one of the greatest crimes in history in 1915.

The Ottomans had a minority of about 2 million Christians. The Three Pashas were worried that the Armenians might try to form their own country. The Ottoman Empire was taking advantage of the war in order to destroy its enemies, according to one of the triumvirate. Approximately 1 million people were dead by the time it was over. A U.S. diplomat in Turkey who witnessed the genocide firsthand wrote that he was confident that the entire history of the human race was not comparable to it.

As it was happening, this wasn't a secret. As soon as the genocide began, the British, French, and Russian governments stated that they would hold the Turkish government responsible.

What was going on behind the scenes?

The Allied side of the war received an extraordinary offer from Djemal Pasha in December 1915. He told them that he wanted to stage a coup and take over the power from the other two. He would withdraw from the war if France, the U.K., and Russia supported his plan.

France and the U.K. must give up any claims to the Ottoman Empire's territories in the Middle East.

This was his biggest mistake. David Fromkin writes in his book "A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East" that Jemal appears to have acted on the mistaken.

France said no to Russia when it was initially interested. The British foreign minister turned down the offer.

As the British and French governments beat their breasts in public about the massacre of Armenians, in secret they happily allowed the genocide to continue.

In secret, the British and French governments happily allowed the genocide to continue, even though they were aware of it. They outdid that grotesque cynicism. The offer from Djemal Pasha arrived at the moment of the Allied's abandonment of their campaign in Turkey, as Fromkin points out. After the war, British and French lust for imperial boodle was so great that they ignored an opportunity to take the Ottoman Empire out of the conflict, prolonging the war and condemning an unknowable number of their own soldiers to death.

The U.S. role in these proceedings was ugly. The American press and politicians cried out about the genocide of the people of the Ottoman Empire. He believed that Americans know more about Armenia than any other European area.

The U.S. jumped into post-war maneuvering for a slice of the region and its oil. Kemal Atatürk, the new leader of the Three Pashas, opposed any accountability for the perpetrators of the genocide. Everything looked different. The pogroms against the Armenias resumed.

Allen Dulles was a young State Department official. He wrote that the Secretary of State wanted to avoid giving the impression that the United States was not willing to move on behalf of the Christian minorities.

It was time to look forward, not backwards. What happened to the Armenias after all? A retired U.S. admiral wrote an article claiming that the missing Armenias had been deported to the most fertile part of Syria at great expense of money and effort.

The lesson regarding Ukraine is grim, but should be faced honestly. All of the statements from politicians should be ignored here. It is possible that the U.S. will act in ways that benefit Ukrainians. That will be happenstance if that is the case. No Americans should believe that the goal of our government is to motivate us. Powerful countries have far-reaching strategies that they are determined to carry through, and human suffering is not part of the equation.