Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Payqar: The Diaspora Must Decide. Part 3.

The author brings out the Howitzer in this part of the essay, making it much more interesting (and entertaining, from a rhetorical standpoint) than the last part. He gives the ARF a good whooping that it no doubt richly deserves, but I'm not sure whether he is being fair about his judgment that the ARF had never engaged in genocide recognition issues up until 1988.

Note: If the people of Armenia are being supported by money sent from outside; and if that money is being spent on buying goods sold by monopolies inside Armenia being protected by the corrupt government; then it follows that the monopolies will strive to keep the Armenian people cut-off from the rest of the market for their material gain. I.e. For Kocharian and Sargsyan and company, it is good that the people can only buy from them with the money that is not being produced by their leadership. In a word: Parasites.

Payqar: "It is time for the diaspora to decide which path it will take."
Published July 25th, 2008.
Part 3

As it turned out, the meeting [between Sargsyan and Turkish representatives] did not vindicate [Sargsyan]. Turkey made the opening of the Armenian-Turkish border contingent upon Armenia's relinquishment of all territorial claims to Gharabagh and Western Armenia, in spite of the fact that Western Armenia in this regard means the Kars-Ardahan region.

Armenia's domestic and foreign policy has been made to fail in the last ten years.

The power of the diaspora has either been used for the wrong purpose or, to put it in different terms, been opportunistically used for the strengthening of the government--not for the advancement of the country. Gharabagh was not re-settled; aside from the center of Yerevan, the outlying districts and surrounding towns have remained neglected, and we won't even get into the state of the villages.

Migration out of the country has not stopped. The people of Armenia have been surviving on money sent from outside of the country. Every year, 1.5 to 2 billion US dollars enter the country from Armenian citizens working abroad who have already established permanent residence there. The ones receiving the money are all consumers. The small number of people who are allowed to import goods from abroad sell those goods to these consumers and pocket the 2 billion dollars. The profits [from these sails] are not invested in Armenia for its advancement, but sent abroad again to be used for the improvement of their [the few's] businesses. Poverty, the emigration of the majority of village youth seeking work, fed-up by injustice and lawlessness, the flight out of the people--these all mirror the country's economic and political state.

The falsification of the last elections (the May 2007 parliamentary and February 2008 presidential) brought the people's frustration to a head. The political and economic crisis, the step-by-step retreat from the type of solution of the Gharabagh issue that would be suitable for us, the failure of R. Kocharian's foreign policy (with which he sought to use genocide recognition to place Turkey under "pressure," open the borders, and solve the Gharabagh conflict), all of these were the suggestions of the ARF as well, in exchange for which the ARF promised to help Kocharian in every way to use and abuse the diaspora for the benefit of the strengthening of his government.

The ARF tries to present itself in Armenia as the lord and master of the diaspora and its representative, a claim that, to put it mildly, does not correspond with reality. In an interview given to Aravot, Vahan Hovhannisian said, "To whom should we abandon the diaspora?" (http://new.aravot.am/am/articles /politics /41717/view). It is due to this fantasy that the ARF jumps from branch to branch in its political life; opportunism has become the principle of its political life. Perhaps in 1914-15 in Western Armenia, the ARF likewise imagined itself the representative of the people; consequently, an entire people were wiped out along with their country. And to this day, the ARF has failed to give the story its woven the recognition that it deserves and has neglected to approach its history critically, and those who have tried to take a critical approach have been subjected to the most fierce blackmail and commensurate punishment by the ARF. What can be done? If it is the lord and master of the people, then it will do whatever it wants, and it won't have to take responsibility for anything.

And if the government thinks that the ARF is the master of the diaspora, it is badly mistaken, [and badly mistaken] while trying to develop its relations with its diaspora. And that is exactly the reason it has been to this day unable to enter into a meaningful, foundational relationship with the diaspora. The five hundred year history of reality is clear evidence to the effect that it has not been the ARF that has taken care of the diaspora or kept its Armenian identity; in reality, the opposite has been true. From the moment that the ARF entered the diaspora, it did nothing but cause splits and betray the best Armenian sons to the intelligence ministries of other countries. It was one of the ARF's "brilliant works" to split the diocese of the Iranian Armenians off from Edjmiatzin and connect it to the one in Antelias, Lebanon, sparing no effort in the process.

The ARF began demonstrating its political ignorance from the moment of its inception: as an ally of the terrorist SRs [Socialist Revolutionary Party], it opposed [first] the Tsar, then the Bolsheviks; as an ally of the Young Turks, it opposed the Sultan, then the Young Turks, and, when in need of the Young Turks' help again, the Bolsheviks.

After being denied leadership of the first Republic of Armenia, the ARF, up until 1988, instead of dedicating its energies to the question of genocide recognition, devoted itself solely to the fight against Soviet Armenia. During WWII, the Armenians of France fought against fascism, against Hitler; the ARF, on the other hand, joined the fascists to liberate Soviet Armenia. In 1988, when the Armenians of the same Soviet Armenia began calling for independence, the ARF labeled them traitors and called the idea of separating from the Soviet Union idiocy. It called Levon Ter-Petrossian a traitor because he has not made genocide recognition a fundamental part of his foreign policy or has abandoned it to forgetfulness. At that time they were in agreement with Turkey's becoming a member of the European Union. After they came to power (during R. Kocharian's presidency), they made genocide recognition and Turkey's not entering the EU the core of their foreign policy. They were against the creation of "The Commission of Historians for the Study of Genocide Evidence," but now they are trying to justify Serzh Sargsyan's announcement about [the Armenian government's] agreement with the establishment of a genocide commission with logic-free commentary and the refusal to offer a specific policy position.

What must the diaspora do?

(to be continued)


Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure ASALA did demand the return of western Armenia as part of their ideology- (Wikipedia has a not so bad entry on ASALA, as does armeniapedia.org). The Justice Commandos (also has a Wikipedia entry, but with less info) demanded reparations in addition to recognition of the Genocide, the former of which, I think, included lands.

Armen Filadelfiatsi said...

You're right. They did demand territory. Serves me right for not checking wiki first. I removed the footnote.