No More Teflon ARF

 Keghart.com editorial, 18 August 2018

During the seventy years of Soviet rule in Armenia, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) pursued an anti-Soviet policy with remarkable single-mindedness. Sometimes the party honchos seemed to have forgotten that the enemy was west of Armenia. The ARF was so zealous in its hostility to the Soviets that some members joined the Nazi army to fight “godless Bolsheviks”. After the Second World War, “socialist” ARF went to bed with the U.S—the helmsman of the global capitalist camp. The latter’s State Department and CIA assistance, through King Hussein of Jordan and Camille Chamoun of Lebanon, the ARF-ruled Cilicia Catholicosate retrieved the “hand” (“ACH”) of St. Gregory the Illuminator which had been stolen from the Cilicia See in Antelias, Lebanon. The CIA bought printing presses for Beirut’s “Aztag” newspaper, the leading organ of the ARF. The Americans also helped with Antelias’ expansion into traditionally-Echmiadzin leaning communities such as Iran, Iraq, and Greece.

The ARF’s unwavering hostility towards Moscow didn’t go unnoticed in Soviet Armenia. Many in our homeland considered the ARF heroic and the genuine voice of the oft-dreamt “free and independent” Armenia. Thus when the Soviet Union collapsed, the ARF rushed to Armenia to claim its place in the sun. The party was welcomed with open arms. People had great expectations from the Armenian David who had “fought” the Soviet Goliath. However, the honeymoon was short-lived: people became disenchanted by ARF blunders, hunger for power, cynicism and elastic ideology. As a result, votes cast in support of the party shrank. The best results (2007) the ARF managed was the election of sixteen MPs in the 131-member National Assembly with a popular vote of 13.16%. A decade later (2017) the popularity was halved to 6.58% and seven MPs were elected in a downsized National Assembly of 105 members.

 Keghart.com editorial, 18 August 2018

During the seventy years of Soviet rule in Armenia, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) pursued an anti-Soviet policy with remarkable single-mindedness. Sometimes the party honchos seemed to have forgotten that the enemy was west of Armenia. The ARF was so zealous in its hostility to the Soviets that some members joined the Nazi army to fight “godless Bolsheviks”. After the Second World War, “socialist” ARF went to bed with the U.S—the helmsman of the global capitalist camp. The latter’s State Department and CIA assistance, through King Hussein of Jordan and Camille Chamoun of Lebanon, the ARF-ruled Cilicia Catholicosate retrieved the “hand” (“ACH”) of St. Gregory the Illuminator which had been stolen from the Cilicia See in Antelias, Lebanon. The CIA bought printing presses for Beirut’s “Aztag” newspaper, the leading organ of the ARF. The Americans also helped with Antelias’ expansion into traditionally-Echmiadzin leaning communities such as Iran, Iraq, and Greece.

The ARF’s unwavering hostility towards Moscow didn’t go unnoticed in Soviet Armenia. Many in our homeland considered the ARF heroic and the genuine voice of the oft-dreamt “free and independent” Armenia. Thus when the Soviet Union collapsed, the ARF rushed to Armenia to claim its place in the sun. The party was welcomed with open arms. People had great expectations from the Armenian David who had “fought” the Soviet Goliath. However, the honeymoon was short-lived: people became disenchanted by ARF blunders, hunger for power, cynicism and elastic ideology. As a result, votes cast in support of the party shrank. The best results (2007) the ARF managed was the election of sixteen MPs in the 131-member National Assembly with a popular vote of 13.16%. A decade later (2017) the popularity was halved to 6.58% and seven MPs were elected in a downsized National Assembly of 105 members.

During the Kocharian and Sargsyan regimes, the ARF came to be known as the opportunist Diasporan political party. To taste power, the ARF was willing to be “flexible” and ally with the kleptocracy.  So it was no surprise when the party announced a power-sharing deal with Serge Sargsyan’s Republican Party. In a demonstration of in-your-face cynicism, ARF leader Armen Rustamyan stated the party had developed close relations with the Republican Party because the ARF was “looking to change the quality, approach and policies of the government and to change the situation in this country.” Predictably, the statement became the laughing stock from Gyumri to Ghapan.  

Despite the party’s unpopularity, Sargsyan awarded several leaders of the ARF diplomatic posts and ministries. Sargsyan’s doors were open to the ARF because the Armenian leadership knew the ARF is the strongest of the Diaspora political parties. When Turkey attacks Diaspora Armenians, its number one bête noire is the “fascist” and “terrorist” ARF. Sargsyan must have also remembered that years earlier the ARF organized demonstrations against him when he visited overseas Armenian communities during the Protocol controversy.

Although the Ramgavars and Hnchags are close to Echmiadzin rather than to Antelias, Armenia’s governments didn’t take the two Diaspora parties seriously. The Ramgavars are a much-weaker party in the Diaspora after they split into two because of disagreements about elections and succession. The commander of one faction is in his eighties and has been party leader for eons. The Hnchags, once serious rivals of the ARF, are ghosts with a flag, a negligible membership and activity. The Ramgavars and the Hnchags pout or snicker at the shenanigans of Teflon ARF. They watch with envy the fancy footwork of the chameleon ARF but don’t do more than snipe: the slippery ARF always has a justification for its unseemly acts. One of the games the Diaspora ARF is expert at is the disassociation game: when the Armenia ARF makes an unpopular decision or says the wrong thing, its Diaspora twin blandly claims the Armenia ARF is a separate entity and its decisions aren’t always seconded by the Diaspora ARF. Meanwhile, the two work together.

The Armenians in our homeland quickly got the measure of the ARF and rejected its lack of principles and its failed efforts to seem relevant. But the members of the “politically sophisticated” Diaspora ARF have chosen to remain blind to the shortcomings of the party.  

Rather than snipe and gossip about the ARF follies, the Ramgavars and the Hnchags should invest their time to revive their organizations so as to become credible once again. Otherwise, the Diaspora will have a single voice—that of the ARF. The Ramgavars should end their personality clash and regroup. The Hnchags should either get their act together or end the farce that they’re a functioning party.

The situation is critical for the Ramgavar and Hnchag parties. As a result of Armenia ARF’s cynical games (with a nudge, nudge from its Diaspora counterpart), the ARF is vulnerable. No one—except the hardcore Tashnags–are buying the fairy tale that the Armenia and Diaspora ARFs are separate entities. If the Ramgavars and the Hnchags are serious about their mission, now is the time to become credible alternatives to the ARF. There’s a whole new generation in the Diaspora which has lost interest in Armenian politics mainly because of ARF’s authoritarian ways and the disappointing performance of the Ramgavars and the Hnchags. The two parties should demonstrate to the Diaspora that they are capable and willing to be the voice of the silent majority which has chaffed for too long subject to ARF’s conceit that it is the only voice of the Diaspora.

31 comments
  1. Decapitated ARF

    It appears that the editorial board has fundamentally misunderstood the ARF. There are no different ARFs. Whether in Armenia or in Diaspora, ARFers very much serve and strive towards the same goal, that of a free, united and independent Armenia, but the party’s by-laws allows each region to chart its modus operandi. However, it’s no secret that there is uneasiness in the rank and file, be it in the Diaspora or in Armenia, regarding ARF’s political course in the third and fourth republics of Armenia.

    This editorial does not strive to analyze how and why the ARF’s political course in Armenia has faltered and what course should it have charted for the benefit of our motherland. This editorial board has an axe and it appears that it has been grinding it since 1950s and appears to think that the time has come to wield the axe to dismember or at best decapitate the party that brought about the first republic; restored honor to the nation by single-handedly organizing and carrying the assassinations of the perpetrators of our own genocide; upheld the tricolor and the current Republic’s emblem when the rest of the Diaspora appeared not touch them even with a ten foot pole; gave comfort to the Etchmiadzin segment of the Diaspora not to come across as communist agents while maintaining very close ties with Ethcmiadzin taken captive by the communist superpower of the day; and so forth and so.

    And yes, it's time for the Ramgavars and Hnchangs each to bury their own hatchets and seriously start organizing themselves because the 128 years old party that outlived the communist party is not folding away. ARF, thankfully, is very present and alive in its athletic organization, HMEM; in its cultural and education organization, HAMAZKAINE; in its relief organization, ARS and in its youth organization AYF.

    No, the Armenian nation has more to lose than gain from a  dismembered let alone a decapitated ARF.

    1. The editor’s wish  maybe is

      The editor's wish  maybe is not to see a decapitated ARF but rather a NOT self-serving, self-centred and an end to historically opportunistic society in ARF.  

    2. Vahe’s comment misleading

      It appears in his zeal Vahe has missed the point. I re-read the editorial. It does not preach decapitation of the ARF as Vahe claims. Yes, it criticizes some of its unacceptable manners, policies and then warns the Ramgavars and the Hunchags that if they don't get their act together, they will be toast and ARF will be the sole Diaspora voice. Monopoly is bad for any nation. It's the brother of dictatorship.
    3. Totting the party line…

      Dear Vahe,

      Although it's true that the ARF played a big role in the first republic and dominated the government, here are a few historical facts that we must not overlook:

      1. The ARF dominated the government of the first republic because their members were the ones who survived the Armenian Genocide. Their survival was thanks to their being armed and able to defend themselves from the attacks. They also knew good and well back in the summer of 1914 what was to come, since they had been approached by the Ottoman Government to join forces with the Turks and Germans against the Russians. The ARF declined the offer and had already agreed with the Russians, French and British to fight against the Turks. The Turks knew this. By declining the Ottoman’s offer, ALL Armenians became a target and especially the intellects who were NOT involved in the revolutionary movements, and even opposed such movements. We know what happened to those intellects and leaders on April 24th. I should also add that the list of the 250 gathered up on April 24th was provided to Talaat by an Armenian. I will further add that Soghomon killed that Armenian who provided the list and wrote about it in his memoirs. In the second printing of Soghomon’s memoirs, the ARF omitted that chapter. And they didn’t omit it by removing the text, they removed pages 193 to 212. If you have a 2nd edition of Soghomon’s book, you can check to see if you have those pages or not.  

      2. The ARF did not carry out the assassinations of Talaat and the others. The fact is that in 1919, my grandfather, Shahan Natalie, handed in his resignation from the ARF in October of 1919 following the 9th General Assembly following his plan for Operation Nemesis being denied by the party. Their reasoning was that now that we are an independent country, we can no longer resort to those kinds of methods. When Talaat was assassinated, the man who pulled the trigger, Soghomon Tehlirian was not an ARF member, but was sent by General Antranik’s niece. The three ARF “members” who were behind the operation were disenchanted with the top leadership and acting on their own.

      3. When Talaat came to power in 1909, he did so with the help of the ARF. When Talaat was assassinated in 1921, he was being defended by the ARF. In fact, just months before Talaat was assassinated, my grandfather was spying on a secret meeting in Rome that Talaat had attended. While there and arriving just after Talaat had left the meeting early due to the organizers of the meeting not wanting him there since he was still considered a war criminal and it might not reflect well on them (this according to a secret British report), my grandfather spied on the Armenian Ambassador to Italy, who had attended the secret meeting. My grandfather confronted the Ambassador while in a lobby full of Turks and asked him what he was doing in a room full of Turks. The Ambassador responded: “Turks? What Turks?” At that point it became clear that like the world powers, the Armenians too were making deals with Talaat and the Turks. And I will add that the British secret reports clearly document that everyone was protecting Talaat in hopes for a deal that he was promising to everyone for mineral concessions. And remember, it was the ARF who in February of 1921 tried to come back to power and had carried out an offensive against the Bolsheviks. By the middle of March, things were not looking too good, so the ARF wrote to the Turks for help to fight the Bolsheviks. Little did they know at the time of writing their letter that Talaat had been assassinated just days earlier. Their plea to the Turks was never answered.

      I could write a whole book about the deeds and misdeeds of the ARF and the other revolutionary movements and in fact I have. It will be out before the end of the year, maybe even within a month.

      As I said in my other comment under this editorial: “Armenia today is not the Armenia of the 19th century when there was belief among the minority of the Armenian population that there was a need for revolutionary organizations. Today that need no longer exists since Armenia is an independent country (which was the end game of the revolutionary organizations), thus the sooner we rid ourselves of the revolutionary organizations, the better off we will be.”

  2. Is democracy an Armenian word?

    All 3 parties don't know the word. On the other hand, socialism won't fly in this day and age. Not in Armenia anymore. Thankfully!

  3. Keghart.com is no more independent

    Hi keghart editor,

    All these past years I was reading Keghart and I had the impression that Keghart was independent, non factional online site. Now after this editorial topic I can guarantee that the new editorial team or the individual who is running now this "independent' website turnd to  have political goals and not different than any other Armenian political party voice anchor. 

    Such articles are supposed to be posted in Keghart as independent individual opinion and not as editorial. With this article you are taking a political position and expecting to create a public opinion about your individual or your group opinion.

    I wish keghart returned to its original roots in being neutral and independent  Armenian online voice which hosted all kind of political opinions rather than serving one political line.

    1. Boghos,The fact that Keghart

      Boghos,

      The fact that Keghart has published the editorial is evidence that it IS independent, contrary to what you allege. What other diaspora Armenian media dare criticize all three Diaspora political parties?  None. Our political parties have monopolized our media. The diaspora media act as PR to beat party drums issue after issue to ad infinitum. Keghart and a few other outlets are the sole channels which have no axe to grind. Publisher Dr. Dikran Abrahamian should be congratulated for his commitment to the truth and to the Armenian Cause.

  4. What a shame

    The name calling (shenanigans of Teflon ARF. They watch with envy the fancy footwork of the chameleon ARF but don’t do more than snipe: the slippery ARF) the bashing of a 128 year old Party whose main mandate was to fight for the freedom of Armenian People is very low Editorial from Keghart. I for one am not used to it. I was under the impression that Keghart was bigger than a gossip news media ( through King Hussein of Jordan and Camille Chamoun of Lebanon, the ARF-ruled Cilicia Catholicosate retrieved the “hand” (“ACH”) of St. Gregory the Illuminator which had been stolen from the Cilicia See in Antelias, Lebanon. The CIA bought printing presses for Beirut’s “Aztag” newspaper).

    I guess there was no other editorial worthy article than just bash ARF to gain more readers or create hatred to a strong Diaspora Party?

  5. They ain’t seen enough

    Vahe, I applaud you whoever you are. This time, I applaud Keghart, for being balanced and have Vahe's in my reach to read. We have to bear in mind, that the ARF stands for Federation, Tashnadtzootyune; and of all the known Armenian organizations I've followed, the ARF is the MOST tolerant to dissent. Read their newspapers all through decades: You'll see them all there, all different points of views, from Party Members as well as from those who oppose it somehow. And all these points of views, all the differeing points of views amongst (which for decades and decades dooms-sayers claim to be splitting of the Party), they all arrive at the Supreme Body of the ARF: It's Enthanoor Joghov. There, they may agree, disagree, fight, discuss…and then they come out with their resolutions, which are compulsory to all, until the next General Meeting.

    Further, as Armenians (and the ARF) have always been in differing ecosystems (Sultan , Czar, Balkan, Persian, Nationalist Turkish, Bolshevik Russia, the Middle East, Europe, the capitalist U.S….), survival and optimal operational efficiency, has led the Party to adopt Decentralized Authorities (Getronagan Gomideyutyunner), something that no other has done. This gives sooo much functional flexibility to the Party, under a Single General Assembly compulsory to all, that naysayers who don't understand will keep foretelling that the Party is splitting…Even lately, and not from this site, with the Velvet Revolution, the first thing that people rush to be the first to announce: The ARF is splitting !!! They just don't know enough. The ARF could survive the Sultan, the Czar, the Bolsheviks, the Shahs, the Kings, the the the…and some still wait for its demise…

  6. Teflon ARF?

    This editorial is completely unfair and full of inferiority complex by the author.

    As an ARF hamagir (not a member), I have seen the current ARF leadership make many mistakes, in the US and Armenia. But this editorial preaches downright hatered to anything associated to and with the ARF. Those who have always criticized the ARF, rightly or wrongly since we lost independence in 1920 due to the advansing Bolsheviks, have found another venue to spread their hatred towards a party that played a most critical role in reviving our hertiage in the diaspora since the Genocide. 

    Perhaps the editorial is not wishing or suggesting the decapitation of the ARF, but its zealous dislike and hatred towards the ARF and its many organizations serving the communities of the diaspora stands out as clearly as the day, in every word and each paragraph!

    Keghart.com does not appear to be 'non-partisan.' This was a distinction of this online publication. However, this editorial reveals othertwise. Sadly, there is not one constructive or objective point of view expressed by its editorial board, including concrete steps for all mentioned parties to return to their roots, unite around a single purpose and rally the youth to bring about a strong, free and united Armenia.
     

    1. For clarification

      There's a saying in French, "Il n'y a que la vérité qui blesse".

      Just to clarify certain points:

      Freedom education by ARF: Do you guys believe that only ARF taught about freedom to Diaspora Armenians? Is it the prerogative of the ARF? Didn't Ramgavars and Henchags preach the same?

      The difference between ARF and the other two parties is that ARF flip-flopped over the years. Once it was against the bolsheviks but following WWII when the Soviets were triumphant, for a while they hailed "baba Stalin", something that the latter two parties never did. Also at the onset of Karabagh movement they fell head over heels to cooperate with the then existing but fading Soviet regime in Armenia. 

      Ramgavars and Hunchags remained steadfast supporting the motherland, but always mentioned "angakhapar" of it's regime. Ironically, for that so many Armenians in Diaspora were jailed (because they loved Armenia). 

      Contrary to some comments, it was the ARF leadership that injected hatred in his members and "hamagirs". Do you recall, "Ov Tashnagtsagan che Hay che"?

  7. To Aged and New Corrupt Parties

    Zoroastrian's Tradition — Cleaning House, the Attic, stems from the Zoroastrian's tradition of purifying with cleanliness in spring , with everything  as a measure for keeping Evil away from the kingdom of Good.  Symbolically, it  "signals to the spirits of the ancestors that their kin are ready and willing to entertain the new ideas the main source of their sustenance which has been depleted during the long and cold days of winter".

    In my opinion, Cleaning Houses in our  Parties  is  a necessity.  All our Old and New Parties lost ground among the Armenian Masses. In general their path is towards irrelevancy  and eventual  extinction.

    They must Evolve or Dissolve.

  8. Basically, a non-issue

    My (summarized and simplified) interpretation of this article is the following:

    From the three traditional diasporan political parties the ARF has been and still is the most duplicitous/sly/deceitful/wicked/scheming/ruthless, 'qualities' which have allowed it to maintain a historical monopoly on power in the diaspora. The ARF has also shrewdly and sycophantically carved its niche in Armenia's political scene over the last 25 years, but Armenia's population – initially well disposed towards the ARF – is now well aware of its machiavelian nature and massively rejects it as attested by electoral results. In order to avoid assimilating diaspora's voice into that of the ARF and thus reinforce its dominance, Ramgavar and Hnchak parties should wake up from their lethargy and inject much needed healthy competition into the game.

    In essence, one party's political machinations and partial success are irritating some (undoubtedly patriotic and keen) observers of Armenian political life. Fair enough!

    I, for myself, in addition to disagreeing with most of the criticism expressed towards the ARF in this article, don't think that this is (or ought to be) a priority issue in the diaspora. I serenely expect the ARF (and any political party) to aspire for more power and influence. Isn't this the essence of politics and the reason Canada's liberals will probably aim for another majority in parliament in 2019? Moreover, I treat criticism of the ARF the way a mature democrat/republican treats republican/democrat criticism i.e. as a simple, necessary, and healthy fact of life.

    Our big diasporan problem (or the 800 lbs gorilla in the room, as they say) is the weakening and accelerated assimilation of Armenian identity. The ARF, by the number of its members/sympathizers, by the devotion and intellectual level of its elite, and its overall influence in world affairs, is a shadow of its former self. Its rivals are clinically dead. Why? Essentially, because for 95% of our youth watching an episode of Narcos or Breaking Bad, picking winning stocks, going to the gym, cramming in the library for better grades, or taking tango lessons, are way more interesting (and rewarding) activities than to deal with the mundane administrative 'stuff' of the community/nation. We're in the 4th post-genocide generation and the reality that western armenian civilization is on its way out of history is bitterly sinking in year-after-year. We simply no longer seem to have the critical mass necessary to sustain an active and competitive political scene, let alone trigger a cultural revival … as paradoxical as it may sound, the intense and partisan (albeit sometimes violent) political armenian life of the middle-east of the 50s-80s is a gone-by diasporan 'golden-age', when multiple schools, theater groups, newspapers, literary currents, etc, were supported and shaped by a large, georaphically concentrated, and active Armenian population. This is no longer the case in western societies where the majority of our youth doesn't read/write and barely speaks/understands Armenian and where 'Armenian life' is too often limited to beureg nights. 

    I'm surprised that Keghart, usually insightful and introspective, is gauging the health of the diasporan branch of our nation through previous century, mostly irrelevant, and small-time tit-for-tat like lenses/criteria.

    Gentlemen, a non-issue as mundane as the relative dominance of one party (ARF) over the others pales in provincial insignificance when compared to the fundamental existential problems we are facing, and it does nothing to guide us towards the required creative solutions.

  9. An unfair, filled with hatred article

    I am disgusted by this article divisive and hateful tone. You ought to write to unite our people rather than divide them further. Every party has made mistakes including ARF however, ARF through its diffirent "organs" has kept the Armenian diaspora a proud and flourishing Armenian diaspora.

    Please unsubscribe me from your mailing list.
     

    1. Dear disgusted by this

      Dear disgusted by this article,

      I have yet to see one staunch dashnagtsagan like you (I suppose) who would be willing to attend functions held by non-dashnagtsagan Armenian centres. You are cocooned in your nest and promote only what is yours and ignore everyone else, which is why others, including the independents, may have unfavourable feelings about you.

      1. David: I would go a step further

        David: I would go a step further by saying that many but not all D party members would not hesitate to harm non-D organizations in a way you would think they are the enemy of Armenians. But that's typical of Armenians anyway, not just D partisans. We have a long way to go not to lose the Diaspora. I hope the new Armenia leaders will make a difference because the diaspora cannot survive without the support of Armenia. After all we are a far cry from the jewish diaspora which created Israel after being a diaspora for 20 centuries. Wow!

      2. “cocooned” in their nests!

        David

        With a stroke of the pen, you likened many prominent figures in our recent history including much read Armenian poets Taniel Varoujan, Siamento,  Roupen Sevag,  and others as "cocooned" in their nests!

        1. Cheap Shot

          I am baffled with Vahe's cheap shot. Obviously David is referring to contemporary times. Context is relevant. He has addressed TM, thus present days.

    2. Why unscribe?

      TM, you made your point and it is well taken but your request to unsubscribe is uncalled for.

       

      1. I only read opinions that are

        I only read opinions that are fair, that point out the positives and negatives of an issue. You did not mention 1 good thing ARF has done to preserve the Armeninanness of the Armenian Diaspora. If you just want to rant go ahead and do that with other people I don't have the time for this. By the way I am not a member of ARF.
         

        1. Facts, trends, opinions

          Dear TM,

          An accumulation of facts show a trend and opinions are based on trends. Facts matter, and surprizingly most comments do not address the facts, let alone refute them. There are many in the editorial and yet majority of commentators have ignored them. Also are ignored the statements about RAG and Hunchaks. All what's seen is simply talking points and not discussion or refutation of the facts. Here is a partial list harvested from the editorial regarding ARF.

          • anti-Soviet policy with remarkable single-mindedness
          • some members joined the Nazi army
          • After the Second World War, “socialist” ARF went to bed with the U.S—the helmsman of the global capitalist camp. The latter’s State Department and CIA assistance, through King Hussein of Jordan and Camille Chamoun of Lebanon, the ARF-ruled Cilicia Catholicosate retrieved the “hand” (“ACH”) of St. Gregory the Illuminator which had been stolen from the Cilicia See in Antelias, Lebanon.
          • The CIA bought printing presses for Beirut’s “Aztag” newspaper
          • The Americans also helped with Antelias’ expansion into traditionally-Echmiadzin leaning communities such as Iran, Iraq, and Greece.
          • when the Soviet Union collapsed, the ARF rushed to Armenia to claim its place in the sun.
          • people became disenchanted by ARF blunders, hunger for power, cynicism and elastic ideology
          • During the Kocharian and Sargsyan regimes, the ARF came to be known as the opportunist Diasporan political party.
          • ARF leader Armen Rustamyan stated the party had developed close relations with the Republican Party because the ARF was “looking to change the quality, approach and policies of the government and to change the situation in this country.”

    3. Not a Good Idea

      TM,

      Your decision to unsubscribe doesn't make sense to me. Keghart, over the years, has expressed countless ideas and published hundreds of editorials. Did you agree with all of them? You surely didn't. However, you didn't unsubscribe otherwise you would not have received the "offending" editorial. It's unrealististic to agree with all editorials. Otherwise, we would be talking to the mirror and Keghart would be an echo. I thought the editorial is a belated wake-up call to the Diaspora political parties.

  10. Free & Independant Armenia must outlaw “Foreign” interference

    Armenia will become truly free and independent when all diaspora political activity and interference is outlawed.
    Mature democracies strictly forbid and severely punish political parties for receiving funding and support from non residents.

    For historic reasons, the existence of Armenian political parties in “Exile” could be justified. Today, there is no justification whatsoever for the existence of such anachronistic entities.

    The sooner diaspora branches of the traditional political parties are abolished, the better for the same to develop home grown following in Armenia proper where political parties and activity belong.

  11. I totally agree with you,

    I totally agree with you, when you say: "There’s a whole new generation in the Diaspora which has lost interest in Armenian politics mainly because of ARF’s authoritarian ways and the disappointing performance of the Ramgavars and the Hnchags."  My humble self is one of those disappointed Armenians.

  12. ARF

    I always enjoyed reading Keghart. The vast majority of the articles were non partisan, objective, informative and founded on verifiable facts.
    I read this article twice and I decided that I shall not dignify it with a comment other than say that the the true colors of the editor became apparent.
    Verry sad and disappointing.
    Vart Adjemian
     

    1. True Colors

      Vart,

      Your mention that the editorial showed the true colors of the editor. I believe that by exposing the shortcomings (a small sample) of the three political parties, Keghart showed "its true colors" by demonstrating its independence of thought and action. Far more important than the Church (in my opinion) to the Diaspora are the political parties. However, our political parties are wasting their patrimony and deteriorating into social clubs where everyone agrees with everyone. I thought the editorial was a wake-up call to all the parties. We can't continue with the "business as usual" model.

  13. Remaining silent is being an accomplice

    Thank you for a well thought and realistic article on ARF, Ramgavar and Henchagyan parties.

    We have to start accepting the fact that all these three organizations have operated and are still functioning in a draconian and primitive method. As a result of their organizational deficit, the new generation of Armenians is finding it irrelevant to be part of these outdated parties. Sadly, the few remaining young and potential future leaders think and act exactly like the old guard. The old guard, in most cases, is the parents of our future leaders.

    In one of my recent conversations with a prominent youth organizer, who has a Masters degree in Political Science, I was mentioning about the importance of making some structural changes within the ARF. I also went a few steps further and said it was the responsibility of the new generation like him to make these structural changes and modernize the party. He became very defensive and angry. At that point, I realized that the ARF and the other two parties in the diaspora have actively focused on brainwashing the youth. When you have such control on the minds of the new generation, we are creating fundamentalists like ISIS or the Taliban. Under such circumstances, it is hard to see constructive change. It is a very sad scenario, unfortunately.

    Coming to ARF in Armenia, the majority of the population has formed its own opinion on ARF’s political activities. They often question the cozy relationship ARF had with the last two governments. They wonder, why has ARF fully supported the corrupt and brutal dictators like Kocharyan and Sargsyan.

    When these two brutal dictators were ordering the slapping, beating, arresting and the killing of peaceful citizens, Tashnagtsutiun kept a blind eye and a deaf ear. In fact, they collaborated with both Kocharyan and Sargsyan. Unfortunately, the ARF leadership in Armenia or in the Diaspora never challenged these two presidents. NEVER!
    (In fact, all the three diaspora organizations laid the red carpet when these two THUGS came for a visit to the United States or other countries.) 

    In addition to atrocities committed by these two THUGS on the poor people of Armenia, since independence, over one-half million Armenians have left their motherland.

    As for the economy, it is in dire condition. Unemployment among the youth is very high and 40% of the population lives in poverty.

    As for the rule of law in Armenia, it does not exist, especially for the poor. The law works strictly for the rich.

    Unfortunately, it is not only the ARF, but the Ramgavar and Henchagyan Parties had collaborated with the last two presidents and pretended not to see and hear all the atrocities committed on the poor people of Armenia. Were they blind and deaf?

    Let me close my comments by saying; Remaining silent is being an accomplice to the crimes. Be aware!

  14. Why have you sugar coated the truth???

    Armenia today is not the Armenia of the 19th century when there was belief among the minority of the Armenian population that there was a need for revolutionary organizations. Today that need no longer exists since Armenia is an independent country (which was the end game of the revolutionary organizations), thus the sooner we rid ourselves of the revolutionary organizations, the better off we will be.

    Let us not kid ourselves, the ARF or the other two mentioned organizations do not represent the Diaspora. Representatives are elected by their constituents.  In the case of the 3 organizations, they have members and at best, those organizations can represent their members, which maybe constitute 1% of Diaspora Armenians. The silent majority, which is 99% of the Diaspora, do not recognize the revolutionary organizations as their leaders.

    As for the deeds and misdeeds of the ARF, history has already been recorded and there is no changing it. In the case of the ARF and the other 2 organizations, although they did help to preserve the language, traditions and some of our culture, they also contributed to our demise during the Armenian Genocide. If you want a narrative of how I’ve concluded this, I would be happy to share a list of our shameful acts, though I’m sure most already know them.

  15. Totting the party line

    Dear Editor,

    For two weeks this page was on my screen and I wanted to write how important it is for our community to seriously reconsider the Diaspora structure of the three parties, the split church for Armenians more interested in the preservation of the Armenian culture.  At the end of the day, I am hoping that is the end wish and result of the existence of these organizations.  They have no different political say than the other, or religious say…so , as a result, wide world Armenian disinterest, and disrespect for the senseless competitions, and often disrespect for each other has alienated our children and grandchildren. 

    I really do not wish to go back and evaluate the historical past of each political party, suffice it to say, that when the Ittihad party of Ottoman Turkey wished to untie all nationalities, peoples of Turkey under one , Ottoman Turk name, and disregard peoples ethnic origins, cultures, languages, only Hunchag party fought against it, which resulted in hanging of 20 Hunchag leaders and many more later…

    Clearly Armenians have ignored and to date ignore the class struggles of Armenians, whether in Diaspora or Armenia, since the Ittihads slaughtered the poor and the rich, the religious and the atheists alike, because the purpose was to wipe out the Armenian people in its entirety  from the Ottoman Turkey.   

    Interestingly, Dashnags, Ramgavars, the rich and the Church in Ottoman Turkey were for complying and changing their passports which would classify them as Ottoman Turks, except for Hunchag Party, which fought against the idea , since the introduction of Ittihad party rule in its Constitution.  We have not learned our lessons of history, because the Armenian History was never independently, and professionally researched, or if it was known, for obvious reasons were covered up, because, NO Dashnag, or Ramgavar, or Church would admit , that they agreed to change their identity to Ottoman Turks by knowingly and willfully cooperating with the Ittihad Party….Armenians did not fight the Ittihad party from the get go…That is one of the reasons, the Armenian masses, the people living in the Ottoman Empire were not prepared, were not warned of the risks hanging over their heads…

    Having gone through sooooo much, for me to even respect the two political  parties, and the Church is beyond me…but, we all want to be human, civil and we try to look at each other forgiving the sins of our parents and grandfathers, and the past…My beef with all of this is that we have to face the truth, we have to teach our kids the truth, and we could drop the shameful names of those parties whose leaders were naive, stupid, and self-righteous and were also the principal reasons of the Genocide of Armenians.

    I will stop here…Regards, I love you all…

  16. Preaches division

    An editorial that unfortunately preaches division and hate; I thought Keghart could do better.

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