Yes, Taking Stock Mr. Oskanian And Mr. Ayvazyan

By Dikran Abrahamian, Ontario, 10 May 2009

It is always a pleasure to talk to friends with whom you share many dreams and goals. The emotional undulations during the conversation, raising the tone, challenging and being challenged are part of it.

By Dikran Abrahamian, Ontario, 10 May 2009

It is always a pleasure to talk to friends with whom you share many dreams and goals. The emotional undulations during the conversation, raising the tone, challenging and being challenged are part of it.

However, it is a different matter when that conversation takes place in public. It entails certain decorum. It is not governed by the rules of a dialogue, a public debate, or a panel discussion, although it may involve some elements of all of them. Yet it has its own pathos and expectations. Not an easy task, but I’ll try to make the best of it.

Ironically, the personalities on the other side of the virtual discussion table are Vartan Oskanian and Armen Ayvazyan. Both have recently spoken about the "The Road-Map" and related matters. Oskanian’s article is published elsewhere in and similarly, Ayvazyan’s interview.

It is said that it’s always easy to talk after the fact, and hindsight is right.

Aram Adamyan, Avedis Kevorkian, Bruce Tasker,  myself in and possibly many other independents in other venues cautioned way back, right after the Football Match, and even before in which direction Armenia was heading to, and pointed out the
pitfalls of Armenia’s orientation – may be I should call disorientation.

It was written on the wall what potentially could the outcome be. An illegitimate government of a small country, whether Armenian or not, have in the past, do now, and will in future, always depend on outside forces for legitimacy. That is almost a truism. The Armenian government was in that predicament and willing to make concessions as long as the international community threw Armenia’s political and Human Rights dirty linen under the rug, and money kept on flowing through IMF, WB and other apparent and non-apparent sources, such as the Russian Loan.
At the time, some of the independents were ridiculed; rarely anybody opened his/her mouth in their defence. They were told, "you don’t understand" and so on. Some of the critics of the critics were more concerned about the trees rather than the forest.

Here is what I mean. The matter of fraudulent elections was talked about and voices were raised separately; a similar approach was lent to the ongoing intimidation and beatings of the press representatives, and the matter of political prisoners, etc.

Nevertheless, no concerted effort was made to look at the overall picture and mount a strong opposition from the Diaspora, openly and forcefully, telling the authorities that the diaspora is not only unhappy with the direction, but is willing to take action. No such thing happened. Some questioned the wisdom of outside interference from the Diaspora. I wonder whether such oversensitive people thought of the same in the mid nineties when they challenged the President of the Republic of Armenia.

The chasm that Oskanian is referring to was already present, long before the “Roadmap”. The latter simply added another layer. Vestiges of the Cold War, LTP pitted against others, the infamous February Presidential election, the March Tragedy – the authorities in Armenia defying the expectations and the will of the majority of the people – were all elements that contributed to the manifold divisions.
Unfortunately, some, who are assumed to be aware of what goes on, either did not want to see, or in order not to hurt sensitivities, or not to fall from grace, or wanting to remain in power sharing positions refrained from telling the whole truth. They barely opened their mouth and only offered small fragments. In fact, the major “chasm” – Diaspora vs authorities in Armenia – that was developing, was refuted by telling people it does not exist, and it’s a Turkish fabrication. I wonder why Oskanian kept silent all along and only after the fact started talking. Couldn’t he see the dots that connected an extremely unpopular, oppressive, illegitimate government and concessions that could follow? I am sure he did.
In principle, I may agree with the analysis of Oskanian, but he could have spoken much earlier. He did not. A wise diplomat is the one who is willing to take action to prevent a "misstep", using his own word. What a euphemism?
My indignation is most of all addressed to Ayvazyan of Ararat Center, who thinks he has all the wisdom of the world bestowed on him. He claimed that he saw "everything" that happened from A to Z from his “balcony” during the night of March 1-2.  I wondered at the time what kind of  kaleidoscopic vision he had that he could see in 360 degrees, and at right angles, and far and wide.

He is as guilty as others who lay the blame squarely on the opposition. He provided a lifeline, no matter how slim, to the authorities to realign and carry on their mission, whatever that mission was. He has no right to find fault with ARF when he is in the same boat. His stance with all his theorizing, in kind, is no different than what Ignatieff – probable next PM of Canada – did by providing legitimacy to the Bush administration for invasion of Iraq and torture methods when ironically he was a Human Rights proponent heading the Carr Center.

I fully agree with Dr. D. Abrahamian’s remarks on the latest expressions of the former Armenian Foreign Minister Mr. V. Oskanian and Ararat Center’s Mr. A. Ayvazyan. I would be glad to sign under such an article. Dr. Abrahamian is telling the truth. Yes, where were THEY, the "untouchables" and "we know better than you do" gentlemen when we were criticizing the bloody handed newly "elected president" of the republic?

What these two scholars are doing now is pouring crocodile’s tears.

Minas Kojayan PhD, Van Nuys CA



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