Sunday, August 3, 2008

Payqar: The Diaspora Must Decide. Part 2.

Here, the author discusses Kocharian's relationship to the ARF and the considerations that went into his decision to make genocide recognition a part of his foreign policy. A few points that are made are a bit ambiguous, but I'm hoping they'll clear-up during the course of the rest of the article.

Payqar: "It is time for the diaspora to decide which path it will take."
Published July 25th, 2008.
Part 2

In any case, Serzh Sargsyan, himself, is honest in the position that he has taken; the liars are those who have changed the cards and are now pushing him to take a path that runs contrary to R. Kocharian's foreign policy [1]. But that was useful only to those who pushed R. Kocharian in exactly the opposite direction: they made the issue of genocide recognition a fundamental part of Armenia's foreign policy, which has already started running low and become ineffective.

Neither his agreement with Turkey's joining the European Union, nor the announcements that he made at Moscow could have been positions arrived at independently and without the approval of the [Armenian Revolutionary] Federation. The ARF's [reaction] to S. Sargsyan's announcements has been through the same maneuver, familiar to us, that it has always used: to take the mistake in its totality and hang it around the neck of another, in this case Serzh Sargsyan, and, by doing so, hide its own participation in the matter and present itself in front of the Armenian people as innocent.

The ARF practiced the same politics during the presidency of Levon Ter-Petrossian; what happened with the help of Kocharian's government, however, deserves its own critique in another article; let us just note here that when R. Kocharian, as a representative of the ARF (a fact that the ARF and Kocharian, both, hide), took over the government of Armenia, he gave the ARF powerful abilities in the domestic and foreign spheres of government, so that, on the ARF's request, he made the recognition of the Genocide and the issue of Turkey's exclusion from the European Union a fundamental part of the country's foreign policy--fully expecting, of course, the ARF's thorough assistance in directing the Diaspora's economic power, in particular, toward Armenia, thereby strengthening his own position.

It must be said that R. Kocharian has clearly and without equivocation explained this situation as answer to Levon Ter-Petrossian.

Levon Ter-Petrossian: "In 1997, when I asked Prime Minister Kocharian to lead the National Armenia-Diaspora Relationship Development Council, he refused and cited the absence of the issue of Genocide recognition in the Council's agenda as the reason for his refusal. When in the presence of the head of the Armenia pan-Armenian fund, Manushak Petrossian, I asked for a justification of his point of view, Kocharian verbatim said the following: "I don't know what a genocide is, but I am certain that it is a necessary thing for the Diaspora. If we include this issue, it will excite the Diaspora, and it will financially help Armenia even more. Moreover, if Armenia officially demands Genocide recognition, Turkey will give-in and open the Armenian-Turkish border within a year. Aside from that, it will take a more neutral stance with regard to the effort to normalize the Gharabagh conflict and will no longer avidly support Azerbaijan's position."

In other words, the genocide question as, not a principle, but a means for profit--directing the Diaspora's internal power toward Armenia, in order to strengthen the position of the government.

And following that principle (of swindler's), R. Kocharian (who doesn't know what a genocide is), after being elected President, raised the genocide issue from the dais of the UN and turned it into a fundamental part of his foreign policy. But to this day Turkey has neither opened its border, nor quit the Gharabagh issue, and Armenia remains locked within its borders, while the Gharabagh question has become even more complicated, to detriment of Armenia.

1. The contrast is between Sargsyan's openness to the idea of establishing a commission to study the genocide (ostensibly for the sake of the opening of the border, as was discussed in Part 1 of this article) and Kocharian's making genocide recognition an integral part of his foreign policy. Ambiguous referents and the lack of context render the rest of this paragraph a bit confusing, though, to my mind.

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