Keghart Opts for Western Armenian National Congress

Team Keghart Editorial, 9 March 2010

Within a span of fewer than three years (Oct. 2007 to March 2007) two United States congressional foreign affairs committees have gone on public record recognizing the Genocide of the Armenians. Of the 50 states, 42 have acknowledged the Genocide. In recognizing the Genocide, President Ronald Reagan spelled out the sentiments of the average American while three recent presidents, during their election campaigns, promised to acknowledge the mass killings as Genocide.

Whether the latest decision of the U.S. foreign relations committee will be debated in the full house and a corresponding resolution passed remains a moot issue. As expected, the Turkish ambassador was called back and “all hell broke loose” in Turkey. The usual threats that the U.S may lose its NATO ally and hence compromise mutual interests abound in the Turkish media. Some have blamed Erdogan’s government for not doing enough to prevent the passage of the resolution. Others are threatening to topple Erdogan’s government in the next election. No wonder the voices against lifting the blockade and opening the border with Armenia have become more forceful. In all likelihood the Protocols will be shelved as their predecessor the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC) was.

There is much media speculation that the latest decision of the committee of the foreign affairs is partly a reflection of Israel’s resentment with Turkey’s criticism of Israel’s indiscriminate bombardment of Gaza and Turkey’s rapprochement with Iran. The assertion might be partially justified since this year the Jewish Lobby did not demonstrate any overt signs of campaigning against the resolution.What’s clear is that the Genocide of the Armenians is being treated as a toy in international politics, and moral imperatives are not part of the deliberations at the highest levels of either the U.S administration or related parties.

Once more realpolitik is front and centre.

It’s been a while since Armenians realized this fact. Yet to counter and neutralize such a bitter reality has been increasingly difficult given the present geopolitical atmosphere which will likely continue to prevail in the foreseeable future.

So what course of action should Armenians pursue? Is there a strategy that might increase the chances of finally getting the congress to acknowledge once and for all the veracity of the Genocide of the Armenians? Should Armenia be more assertive in voicing the claims in the international arena? Are Armenians investing time, money and effort in the wrong strategy? Should Armenians “punish” those who did not keep their promises during electoral campaigns and give their votes to the opposing parties? What guarantees are there that the candidate of the opposing party will not renege on promises once elected? These are some of the questions that are being asked publicly, in chat rooms, in forums and in Armenian living rooms.

The multicentric Armenian Diaspora, despite its well-intentioned and heightened interest in our past, is at a loss in providing a realistic outcome. Except for the usual ritual of lobbying American congressmen, all other efforts are fragmented, and at times contradictory. This reality too is recognized by all interested parties–whether affiliated with organizations or not. Yet they seem to lack the faith or perhaps the confidence to take matters further and make a much-needed leap forward. Understandably, scepticism and unfortunate experiences seem to hold them back, languishing in limbo.

Isn’t it time, as we approach the centennial of the Genocide, Armenians left behind their parochial differences and joined forces to commemorate the horrific anniversary with a significant move forward? Proposals to gather our forces are not lacking. Some cover all-encompassing interests: politics, culture, religion, etc. Others are focused on the political aspect of the issue, primarily involving the recovery of our territorial losses in Western Armenia and in Cilicia, including personal property.

At this important juncture, Keghart has made its choice by backing the proposed Western Armenian National Congress. We do not see such a move detrimental to the fulfilment of other proposals. On the contrary, we believe that if properly executed, the various proposals now on the table can complement one other. Given the Diasporic diversity, Keghart believes that a focused organization has a far better chance of getting up and running sooner, and in the long term walking tall not only to assert but also claim our rights in the international forums.

Related Material:

New Diaspora Organization Deserves Your Support
Coming Out of the Fog
WAN-Congress an Opportunity We Shouldn’t Waste
WAN-C Gets My Vote

  1. De pleno acordo com sua
    De pleno acordo com sua POSIÇÃO. APOIAR É preciso Incentivar e um dos objetivos do Congresso CONCRETIZAÇÃOO Nacional Armêniocidental. Esta é a melhor ideia já surgida para unir um Diáspora no mundo ocidental. Não há tempo a perder. Harut Sassounian já expôs, aqui, como proceder para eleger os Representantes das diversas comunidades da Diáspora,terem um assento no Congresso. Mãos à obra!  

  2. For the sake of the Armenian
    For the sake of the Armenian Diasporan culture, there are certain values and principles which may require a concentrated western approach.

  3. WAN-Congress

    Not only national, political as well as financial SOUND projects must be dicussed in this Assembly to secure and have one and united ALL ARMENIAN policy for Genocide recognition and respect to our huge human losses and territorial/material claims.

    We must start as soon as possible WAN-C.

  4. Well articulated, but

    It’s well articulated, but what’s the point of bringing in the Western Armenian National Congress when it does not yet exist? There is no guarantee that it will form.

    The other issue that I have with this editorial is why to have yet another organization which will pursue Hay Tad. Ostensibly all Armenian parties, on top of that the Assembly, the ANCA, ANCC, the Congress in Canada, ARCA and others in Europe are carrying the job. Aren’t they?

    Isn’t it possible to have the leadership of all these organizations to get together say on a quarterly basis and discuss strategies and plans? They already have their respective boards and followers and thus there won’t be the need of creating another one.

    Am I missing something?

    1. Are we dreaming?

      The parties and the organizations enumerated by Khoren had more than two generations to come together and define what really they want. It will be a miracle if in the eleventh hour they’ll agree to put aside their petty differences and work together consistently, not only on occasions, such as commemorations.

      Despite all the reservations I wish Western Armenian Congress will prove all experiences to be wrong and forge ahead a new path to be followed.

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