The Barbarians Are Now at the Gate of Rome

Vicken Attarian

By Viken L. Attarian, P. Eng. MSc. MBA, Montréal, 12 October 2009

Vicken AttarianA few days ago the article Bones to pick (The Economist) was posted by one of the members of 24april forum for discussion. Below is Viken L. Attarian’s comment on that occasion. With minimal changes, it is presented to the readers of Keghart.com with the intent of sharing the author’s timely warning. Certainly there are many such forums where Armenians engage in discussions devoted to concerns that transcend the boundaries of individual groups. Probably it is time that they share their respective experiences with each other and construct practical bridges to confront collectively the many challenges that Armenians face.

By Viken L. Attarian, P. Eng. MSc. MBA, Montréal, 12 October 2009

Vicken AttarianA few days ago the article Bones to pick (The Economist) was posted by one of the members of 24april forum for discussion. Below is Viken L. Attarian’s comment on that occasion. With minimal changes, it is presented to the readers of Keghart.com with the intent of sharing the author’s timely warning. Certainly there are many such forums where Armenians engage in discussions devoted to concerns that transcend the boundaries of individual groups. Probably it is time that they share their respective experiences with each other and construct practical bridges to confront collectively the many challenges that Armenians face.

The Barbarians Are Now at the Gate of Rome

Mega dollars are being spent to co-opt opinion making publications to write more and more grey (i.e. casting doubt on Genocide) articles – Bones to Pick. The Armenian response back is at best run by individuals, not in any organized fashion, and is actually rather naïve. What is happening is that material is being created in the new electronically enabled world that will eventually become archived and records a version of "history" that goes against the historical truth.

Twenty years from now, there will be ten times more articles written with the words "so-called" "alleged" "massacres", "mutual killings" etc. in their texts than anything we can shake a stick at. And these will include serious journals such as The Economist and many many others.

There are many on this forum (1) who along with yours truly worked hard to fight this electronic onslaught in a semi organized fashion (2). That work was a valuable experience and this forum is the result of some of that initial team-building. We need to revive that and enlist every single mind for that cause.

By burying its head in the sand, by occupying itself with irrelevant petty disputes, and by letting its organizations be co-opted since the Cold War the Diaspora has essentially rendered itself completely impotent.

For the moment, we have only been engaging (as a collective and present company excluded) in Byzantine debates about the gender of angels and how many of them can fit on the tip of a pin.

The Barbarians are now at the gate of Rome. A better metaphor would be that the Ottomans are now bombing Constantinople. Tomorrow it might be Stepanakert or Yerevan. Let us not kid ourselves; our history is full of similar incidents to the Protocol signing.

Any one who is serious enough to study it with some depth will find dozens of them. We haven’t even seriously engaged in studying that history critically. In my view, what happened says something more about the Diaspora than about Armenia.

Radical new thinking is necessary to go on the offensive on all fronts, the main ones being the legal and media fronts and institutional rethinking. At a basic level our organizations must realize that if significant parts of their budgets are not dedicated to these fields, we might as well say goodbye to our existence.

If this means that funds must be redirected then so be it. Sometimes it is necessary to amputate a limb so that the patient may survive. The time for wastefulness of our resources, whether they be financial, institutional and mostly of our bright young human capital has come and gone. The alarm clock has stopped ringing and we are still languishing in our beds, refusing to awake to the nightmare of our reality.

In my view, things will not get better before they get worse.

I have taken the red pill a long time ago (Reference to "The Matrix"). My hope is that others will join me.

(1) 24April200X

24April is the brief name of the Yahoo group.

I created this group in December 2006 to consist of Canadian residents of Armenian descent and/or their spouses with legal residence in Canada. Since July 2008, selected individuals from outside Canada with Armenian ancestry and strong interest in Armenian affairs have also been invited to join.

As minimal requirements to join this group, I need the candidate’s email address, full name, city of residence, and either I know the candidate’s background or I know someone who knows the candidate’s background.

The main intent of this group is the creation of channels of communication aiming to build bridges between Armenian individuals and organizations to ensure a united participation of our entire community in subjects of interest to all of us. It is designed to serve as a two-way traffic for use exclusively by its members. All postings will be moderated to insure that they conform to the goals stated above and accepted norms of polite discourse.

The emphasis will be on the exchange of ideas about issues of collective interest involving or affecting Armenia, the Armenian Diaspora, and Armenians in general. The dissemination of information through selected articles and news items will also be given some attention, especially if they are current and/or cannot be easily accessed elsewhere.

As a general rule, every effort will be made to avoid personal communications and problems, side issues, advertisements, self-promotions, emotionally charged or confrontational postings, disrespectful and/or racist statements, and unsubstantiated claims.

This is a private group. It is not visible to outsiders, one cannot join at will, and access is limited to its members only. If a member decides to post an item, then the full name and email address of that member must be displayed for all group members to see.

Artin Boghossian, Owner & Moderator of 24april, Toronto

(3) Bahag

Initiated in December 2005, Bahag is a forum of people across the globe that are dedicated to the task of neutralizing the negative effects of the Armenian Genocide deniers.

Mission Statement of Bahag

1. To develop search skills and capabilities to locate Armenian Genocide deniers and protagonists, together with their accompanying news and literature.

2. To form a global chain by having bahags across the world to leave no expression by any Armenian Genocide denier left unanswered.

3. To forward personal thank you notes to individuals and organizations that have acknowledged the veracity of the Armenian Genocide and posted items in the Media and in public forums: legislature, meetings, expositions, press releases, book publications, etc.

4. To compile an e-mail list for circulation of items of general concern deemed appropriate by Bahag.

 

2 comments
  1. The Barbarians Are Now at the Gate of Rome

    Bravo Viken, We do need this organization in Canada,

    I do feel however, that our American Armenian Brothers are doing a good Job with the many points you bring up in this article in the US .

    I do feel that we need to establish new organizations on a global scale and to go on the offensive on all fronts against these deniers.

    Are our current Canadian oraganizartions doing a good Job?

    I don’t think so! 

    They seem to be preoccupied with what’s going on in Armenia and preserving there current potical positions as representatives of the Armenian Diaspora!

    I for one, don’t recogise the borders of present day Armenia ! My family history is not located in Present day Armenia and the current Armenian constitution does not recogise any final borders

    So what is the problem with uniting for a common front against Deniers?

    Are we not all on the same page here regardless of who we think is right or wrong politically!

    Roupen

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