Again Came April

By Vahe Avetian, Washington, D.C., 16 April 2009

In line with Keghart.com’s principle of affording fair opportunity to its readers to express their views, Mr. Avetian’s short essay is posted despite substantial disagreements. Some readers may find it provocative and inappropriate to be published, specially in the month of April.

We measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.
Abbie Hoffman

Again came April; and from everywhere and by all possible and impossible forms of communication my dear fellow Armenians have begun their annual lamentations that the Turks killed them.

By Vahe Avetian, Washington, D.C., 16 April 2009

In line with Keghart.com’s principle of affording fair opportunity to its readers to express their views, Mr. Avetian’s short essay is posted despite substantial disagreements. Some readers may find it provocative and inappropriate to be published, specially in the month of April.

We measure democracy by the freedom it gives its dissidents, not the freedom it gives its assimilated conformists.
Abbie Hoffman

Again came April; and from everywhere and by all possible and impossible forms of communication my dear fellow Armenians have begun their annual lamentations that the Turks killed them.

I do not know what Genocide hysteria will bring in the future, but I know what it has brought today.

Everywhere we are seen as a pitiful, broken, morally and psychologically oppressed and massacred and impotent community, which for just those reasons is not capable of self-governing itself or have democracy.

The reconstruction of events that occurred close to one-hundred years ago is a complex process if, of course, you are skilled in the intellectual processes of critique and analysis. If you are not, then it is very easy. You simply allow your teachers and the authorities to drill their ideas into you, and then you have full knowledge.

It is natural for the majority to adopt this brainwashing – it is the easier way out. After all, who would feel like wasting precious time thinking for themselves when those whom the Politburo has  already designated as wise, intelligent and knowledgeable have already spent and are spending much time addressing those issues?

It is an illness not limited to us – Armenians. Instead of elevating the spirit of victory like the Americans, British, Russians, and many others do, our (and Jewish) government inculcates us with the images of massacre and genocide. That is done with the purpose of not noticing the genocide  taking place at this very moment – the emigration that reaches alarming proportions, the erosion and universal demoralization in the Diaspora and the Homeland.

Armenians worldwide do not mourn the memories of those being killed now by the self-designated mob, or the fate of our fellow Armenians who are murdered or degraded daily in Russia, or the emigrants who try in every way to stay in Europe or the US. The latter have opted to endure a multitude of humiliations, but under no circumstances wish to return to the Homeland, where the population is steadily declining.

We have consigned to naught and oblivion the thousands of our imprisoned fellow Armenians the world over. A significant number of them are slandered and helpless, while our so-called government has not taken a single step nor is prepared to take any measures to protect them.
 
It is allowed to degrade, imprison, violently assault, spiritually and physically oppress, and kill our own fellow Armenians. Directly or indirectly, all of our failures are explained through Turks and Ottomanism, through the damages incurred by their actions – but never as a result of Bolshevism, Communism, KGB-ism, the culture of under-handedness and Oligarchism, tribal egocentrism, fanaticism, and worst of all, through provincial obscurantism and ignorance.

The worldwide pursuit of the century old phantoms to escape the gravest issues and responsibilities of the present time has become our only business.

 

9 comments
  1. Ճակատագիր

    I agree with you Vahe.  Not all Armenians are courageous enough to admit to this reality, specially if they are linked to any political party.  It’s unfortunate, but we have to admit – it’s true.

    We are not that great nation that our teachers imprinted in our brain.  We are just trying to survive surrounded with powerfully-evil nations, yet proving once again that democracy is circumstancial, justice is in $$ and power in oil and location.

    Other governments, including Turkey’s, strongly support their heritage, culture, economy, people (even emigrated ones), etc.  but they do it because they have the power and finances.  Unfortunately the Armenian government doesn’t have that ‘luxury’, but again they are not showing any bit of support to anything other than their own pockets!!  Is this a residue of the Soviet Regime or Mafia connections?…we might never know.

    We have to wait for a miracle to:
    – survive till the next century
    – keep Artsakh
    – get the Genocide accepted worldwide
    – have a decent and politically-correct government
    – keep our current borders

    Surely almost every Armenian who is reading your post is getting angry at you (and perhaps myself) for being so honest and logical.  Yet they will not have the courage to post a reply to your article and thought.  I would like to see some constructive criticism from anyone.

    Let’s see…

     

     

  2. Excellent piece

    Dear Vahe,

    I whole-heartedly agree.  This is an excellent piece.

    Our leaders (and our "allies") would like us to focus on our past and on our enemies.  They constantly try to remind us of the enemies surrounding Armenia, so that we are too preoccupied to see the more IMMEDIATE and REAL enemy — the Armenian oligarchy (supported by our dear ally Russia) who is suffocating its own people for its selfish and short-sighted greed.  By not allowing the development of small and medium-sized businesses (especially in the sphere of manufacturing) it is not allowing the Armenian economy to bloom and bring in much needed currency into the country.  By selling off state assets to Russia and giving management of key infrastructure to Russia it is ensuring that Armenia remains a vassal to Russia for generations to come.

    Our Armenian leaders would like us to focus on Genocide and Turks / Azeris so that we forget about the two big elephants in the room: the Armenian oligarchs and Russia, both of whom need each other in order to control Armenia.

    The Armenian Diaspora lacks the imagination to see this.  Those who leave Armenia, as you say, will not return back to Armenia.  This is a reality.

    The greatest Armenian Genocide is happening today.  It is the depopulation of Armenia from a country of 3.5 million to a country of only 1.5 million today.  Do not believe the official statistics!  They are as inflated as the value of the Armenian dram used to be!… And this is all being done with our collective responsibility and with mother Russia quietly encouraging it.

    Unless Armenia becomes independent of Russia and gets rid of the Armenian oligarchy and establishes an equitable and just government, Armenia will continue to spiral.  "We"  –  with the close help and watch of Russia –  liberated Artsakh (Karabakh);  but the people in Karabakh are starving.  This is the reality.  What good is liberating the land when you do not irrigate it and cultivate it to feed your people?  This is another proof that Russia didn’t care about the Armenians of NKR – it was just to have NKR be under Russian control to increase its leverage in the area…

  3. We Should not be Blinded

    I agree that we should not be blinded by the Genocide issue and not notice what is going on in our homeland. But, I think that negative qualities of not respecting the law, being dishonest etc – we have developed over centuries. It’s because of not having an economic base that would encourage us to be honest and hard working to achieve success.

    Any European or North American country that enjoys democracy and the rule of law has come to that through a broad economic base. Armenia is too small a country with its current borders to think about such a base that would lead to democracy and the rule of law, especially if the diaspora is not very rich and supportive, unlike the Jews.

    So, I would concentrate my efforts to recognize the Genocide but NEVER at the expense of any territorial concessions. Just the opposite, we need the recognition to achieve a larger homeland that MAY provide the economic base for democracy and
    the rule of law.
     

    1. Not true. The Republic of Armenia is HUGE

      "Armenia is too small a country with its current borders to think about such a base that would lead to democracy and the rule of law, especially if the diaspora is not very rich and supportive, unlike the Jews."

      "So, I would concentrate my efforts to recognize the Genocide but NEVER at the expense of any territorial concessions. Just the opposite, we need the recognition to achieve a larger homeland that MAY provide the economic base for democracy and the rule of law."

      Not true at all.  You must have your facts all mixed up. Israel is only 22,000 square kilometers.  Armenia is 30,000 square kilometers and with Artsakh it is 45,000 sq km.  Evidently you haven’t traveled much of Armenia’s countryside which is VAST with plenty of agricultural land and plenty of values for several cities the size of Yerevan.  (I suggest you download a copy of Google Earth for free and explore for yourself, or while in Armenia hop on a marshutka to Taline, Gyumri, Tashir, Gavar, and Vardenis.)

      Armenia’s problems are all INTERNAL.  It’s not Russia, it’s not Turkey, it’s not Azerbaijan, it’s not the U.S.  The only complicity of the U.S., Russia, the World Bank, and IMF is that they have AIDED the already much corrupt Serge Sarsgyan and Emperor Kocharian (yes, Kocharian is the emperor of Armenia).  Using the sneaky accounting practices taught by the U.S., World Bank, and the IMF Sargsyan and Kocharian have usurped Armenian state assets for themselves and their fellow family members and friends for peanuts on the dollar and they are hiding behind "foreign" companies registered in Russia, Virgin Islands, UK, and elsewhere.

      Armenia is facing its greatest threat ever since the 1915 genocide.  But this time it is all our OWN irresponsibility.

      I suggest you start to read about the reality in Armenia (not the disinformation published by the Armenian state-controlled media or the ARF newspapers in the Diaspora which are just as bad).  Start with the blogs and information released by Bruce Tasker, the World Bank whistleblower:

      http://www.khosq.com/en-us/article/2008/06/20/a_world_bank_crisis_for_armenia

      http://www.khosq.com/en-us/article/2008/06/22/stealing_armenia_%E2%80%93_how_he_did_it

      The fundamental problem we have today is our irresponsibility and lack of organization worldwide.  There is a lack of ultranationalism, and nationalism in general.  That is what keeps Turkey going.  The same for Azerbaijan.  The same for Israel.  If we don’t shed sweat and blood for the nation, then we soon won’t have one, especially once it become easy for Armenians to travel to Europe without a visa, then Armenia will be completely depopulated (Already since the collapse of the Soviet Union Armenia has last 67% of its population).

      All for what?  Our own responsibility because we are not placing our GREEDY and SNEAKY leaders (Kocharian & Sargsyan) in check.  We must be not active in politics in Washington D.C., like beggars in front of American Congress nor the even more ridiculous beggars in front of Turkish Consulates.  We must be in YEREVAN placing a check on our OWN government!

      The world does not owe Armenians ANYTHING!  The Turks don’t owe Armenians anything, and neither do the Americans!

      You get what you WORK for.  Let’s work on our Armenia!  Let’s work on our government!  We have more than enough land for 10 million people to live COMFORTABLY!  Let’s work on SELF-GOVERNMENT!  Not on begging!  No one cares.  Why should they?  To each his own.

      After all, to paraphrase Hrant Dink, what does it matter if the Americans or the Turks recognize the Genocide?  It is the TURKS who will become civilized if they recognize the genocide.  We already KNOW that it took place!

      1. Very well said!

        Aram, you bring forth very smart and good logic.  What I understand is:

        1. We (Diaspora and Internal) need to focus their powers to ‘fix’ the corruption in Armenia, not only the government but also the economic corruption, Mafia-links, etc.
        2. After the ‘fix’ is in place and going forward, then we can start to continue what we are doing now in pursuing the case for Genocide.

        But will we be successful in both cases?  already 94 years have passed for the Genocide, how much longer can we wait without loosing the case.  Fixing internal problems are a priority indeed.

        Even though ‘size doesn’t matter’ for a country, but we shouldn’t compare Armenia with Israel or Azerbaijan,  those countries have huge backings from major nations, have huge economies and armies, have strategic locations and sea access.  What does Armenia have? – only enemies and manipulators.

        1. Freedom = Responsibility

          Hi Yeghish, thank you for your comments.  A few responses…

          "not only the government but also the economic corruption, Mafia-links, etc."

          Today, the government, economic corruption, and the mafia are one and the same in Armenia.  This is reality.

          "Even though ‘size doesn’t matter’ for a country, but we shouldn’t compare Armenia with Israel or Azerbaijan,  those countries have huge backings from major nations, have huge economies and armies, have strategic locations and sea access.  What does Armenia have? – only enemies and manipulators."

          Israel has the backing of the U.S.A.  That is true.  However, Armenia has the backing of Russia, do not forget.  Azerbaijan is worth something to the U.S. because it has oil.  Once oil becomes worthless in a couple of decades (with alternative energy — particularly new solar energy technologies) Azerbaijan’s natural resources wrt oil will be worthless.

          Armenia has a strategic location — it is mountainous!  Which means it is easier to defend than flat land.  Also, mountains equal (1) Energy, and (2) Water!!  How do mountains equal energy?  Wherever you’ve got mountains, you’ve got rain and water basins, which mean hydroelectric power!  Mountains also mean wind power!  And it turns out that the Sevan Basin and Armenia’s high elevation mean great solar energy, too!  (however, solar energy technology isn’t quite there yet in terms of economically harnessing the energy.  Now it is hydropower that is the cheapest way to generate electricity and Armenia’s got plenty of it…)  Also, mountains mean water, and Armenia (given the correct irrigation systems and piping) shouldn’t have a problem of supplying irrigation water and drinking water to its citizens — a major problem in other parts of the world such as the southwestern Middle East where there are less mountains, excluding Lebanon, but including Syria, Israel, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the emirates…

          What else does Armenia have?  Volcanoes!  All of Armenia’s mountains are dormant volcanoes!  What does that mean?  Geothermal power!  Armenia can become like Iceland which generates all of its energy using renewable sources!  This can be done using TODAY’s technology!

          Armenia isn’t that far away from the Black Sea, either, and given good Soviet planning, all of Armenia’s industrial areas are efficiently connected by rail to the Georgian ports at Poti and Batumi.  (THIS IS AN IMPORTANT POINT: even if the borders with Turkey were opened, the shortest route to the Sea is STILL through Georgia!)

          So Armenia has everything it needs to succeed except for an organized Armenian populace dedicated to the Armenian nation.  (The national ideology of  ուր հաց հոն կաց [Oor hats hon gatz] is one of the most anti-national, anti-Armenian, and detrimental mentality that many Armenians have adopted…  Nevertheless, you won’t have to search too far in Armenia to find those who don’t adhere to this way of thinking; such thinkers are, to no surprise, more likely to be found in the Diaspora…)

          Freedom == Responsibility

          Freedom does not equal excuses

          1. Let’s not compare

            Aram,  unfortunately we are unable to totally agree on this issue although both of us have good intentions towards our nation.

            Here are my points:

            Israel gets more than $50Billion/year in military aid alone plus $100B/year in financial aid plus they have a vast economy worldwide that help them plus they own most of Europe and all of USA.  99% of the US Congress is Jewish, lots of senators are as well.  Almost all lawyers and accountants in US are Jewish.  Now that is power, that is real and unconditional backing.  (numbers are approximate)

            Yes, Russia is helping Armenia now, but until when and for how much?  Without their help we couldn’t liberate Artsakh and without their help we couldn’t even keep our current borders.  But please never compare the help that Israel is getting with what we are getting….we need unconditional-help that are achieved with our own power and people, we need to strategize and ‘invade’ other countries with our people in high positions.  Currently Turks are doing this in Europe (learnt from their ancestral teachers – the Jews) and they are very successful indeed.  They have people in higher up government and corporate positions, they are organized and helpful to their nation.  Slowly but surely they are ‘invading’ Europe…
            We need to learn from our enemies sometimes.

            As for strategic position, I didn’t mean resources, I meant important location that other nations will be interested in.  We don’t have sea (no naval bases no ports), we don’t have vast land, we don’t have oil.  Yet I admit that strategically we are advantageous because we are separating the Turkish nations from uniting and making their united goals come true…that’s why Russia is helping us sometimes, even that’s why US secretly has a ‘crush’ on us…and they will never let Armenia fade away and be invaded by Turks, but Russia might take us over one day.

            I agree that  ուր հաց հոն կաց is an evil saying but in human terms it’s true, all nations have been built that way throughout history.  It’s "Survival of the Fittest" my friend.

            I will let you think about my above points and would be interested to read your comments again.

            -Y-

  4. Breaking the Silence

    Dear Vahe,

    I am glad to see that someone has the courage to bring out these issues – breaks the silence.  We have to build character, that is what we lack.  And of course, our government lacks character too.  For example, a resident of Turkey cannot take his/her/family/business savings, profits, funds out of the country – cannot transfer capital out of the country – very difficult, while in Armenia, everyone, including companies, flush their earnings, profits out of the country.  There must be a law that forbids this.  The result is a very small amount of investing into the country’s local economy.  And yes, the economy is the basis of development, and without investing into the economy, we cannot have growth.

    Anne Anahid Shirinian-

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