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Astarjian: Hypocrisy or Ineptitude?

Like a drunken sailor, the Armenian nation—with its motherland and diaspora—continues to drag itself through mud into oblivion, pretending that things are all right. It’s time for jubilation.

The motherland, basking in corruption and crime, is plagued with depopulation and confusion about its political identity. It pretends to switch its orientation towards civilized Europe, while historically, traditionally, culturally, and de-facto, it lives under the Russian tent. Russian armed forces remain camped on Armenian soil, while Russia pursues its interests by cow-towing to Azerbaijan. The psychological orientation of the Armenian man-in-the-street continues to be loyal to Russia, despite a huge American diplomatic presence in the country. This orientation is fortified by the fact that Russia is the biggest employer of Armenian workers, be they scientists or peasants.

At present, the Armenian Diaspora in Russia is twice the size of that in America, and has the same psychological attachment to the motherland—casual and nominal—as other communities in the diaspora. However, the sum total of their involvement in the problems and aspirations of the nation is close to nil.

The same applies to Armenian cantons that span the globe. In each country, Armenians, considering themselves natives of their new home, build churches (sometimes two, a few yards apart), schools and halls, to establish modified Armenian community life. Their actions affirm diasporan permanency: sports events, banquets to honor one another and decorate the chests of people—such as those who have devoted themselves to this or that church, have run schools and other municipal institutions, or have passed through Ellis Island—with meaningless medals worth as much as Coca Cola caps. These are indications of permanency.

Individual and communal security, comfort, and prosperity enjoyed by much of the diaspora have created a gigantic gorge between us and the motherland. Diasporans are not willing to trade their status quo with that of their motherland’s, which has nothing to offer its inhabitants and the nation but corruption, extortion, poverty, or, at best, benign neglect.

Armenia is no longer the spiritual or nationalistic fortress of Armenians–a sad, but true fact.

To fill the vacuum created by this situation, the post-genocide Armenians are laboring to find identity in their immediate ancestors’ churches, tombstones, graves, and destroyed homes in Western Armenia. At best, this activity brings some solace to those who pursue it, but never addresses the fact that Western Armenia is now fully inhabited by Kurds, and our business will have to be with them. Instead, we have fallen prey to a multifaceted dilemma, which has forced us to pursue our rights in the international arena through the  recognition of the Armenian Genocide by the international community and Turkey. This is well and good, but not enough to reach our goals. For over three decades, we have expended tremendous amount of psychological and financial capital through the Armenian National Committee (ANC) and other organizations in Washington to have the U.S. government officially call the genocide by its just name. This has not happened. Several U.S. presidents have deceived us by reneging on their written promises. Some 30 countries have recognized the genocide, so what? What will happen if the UN and/or the U.S. accept the genocide? Nothing!

We have lost our political compass: we concentrated our efforts on popularizing hatred towards the Turks, convicting them of genocide, and insist on having them 1) admit their crime of genocide, then 2) pay reparations.

This decades-old approach is still our modus operandi. Turkey has rejected both. For them, the status quo is quite suitable and has succeeded in expending our psychological, material, and political capital, while diverting our target from the demands of land and Western Armenia to the useless issue of human rights. We have naively bitten that bait!

Historic and current political realities have proven to us that this road is closed, and leads us to nowhere. Whatever happens, whether Turkey recognizes the genocide or not, our just demand is retrieving our land, our Fatherland, Western Armenia, then realizing our nation’s right to unite East and West in one sovereign Armenia.

Of late, demands have been begged from heaven, to have some 2,000 confiscated churches returned by Turkey to their legal owners, the Armenian religious authorities. Already, it has happened in one place, Diyarbakir, where the dominant Kurdish municipality has returned the Sourp Giragos Church. Yes, we are grateful to Mayor Osman Baydemir for his generosity, but as the assistant editor of the Armenian Weekly said while visiting the church, “What good is a church without its faithful?”

While magnanimous, this gesture realizes neither Armenian, nor Kurdish, demands.

The return of churches is desirable but insufficient in solving the Armenian claims. Similarly, some individual’s demand of $3 billion for their confiscated property does not address the demands of the nation.

As a nation, we are plaintiffs with concrete demands, it is imperative that we regain ownership of our lands with our own efforts, not by begging charity from others. We are not beggars!

We know that nobody will offer what is rightfully ours just for the sake of doing what is right. Freedom is taken, not given. Countries have their interests, and no country can sacrifice its interests for the sake of restoring our rights in our Fatherland, Western Armenia.

The history of Armenians does not begin and end with the genocide. For millennia, we have lived on our land, sometimes peacefully, sometimes miserably, and some other times in sovereignty. During all that, we have been able to maintain and renew our physical and cultural existence. Such has been our reality.

Today, the unstable but obvious situation in the region has placed us at a decision-making crossroads, which requires us to correct our present political direction, clearly define our demands, sharpen our target, and move forward. It is imperative that we make the genocide our launching point, not the psychological and political destination.

Today, more than ever, Western Armenia is in danger. Kurds, having occupied our land, are striving to create their own united and free Kurdistan. That includes our Van, our Mush, our Bitlis, our Erzerum, our Trabizond, and our Araratian plain.

For us, the alarm bell has rung, but for the Kurds, it is their bugle that is blowing the tunes of freedom. To implement their plans, they have pursued and succeeded in altering the individual Kurd’s mind from tribal to revolutionary mode.

They have also succeeded in influencing European public opinion in their favor through their parliament in exile, which is incorporated in The Hague, located in Brussels, and present in electronic and print media. They have presented their cause as the legitimate human rights struggle of 30 million landlocked people who have no independence, and who are persecuted by Turkey. The Kurds owe the development of this situation to the unwise and irritating political, social, and economic policies of Turkey.

Aside from Ottoman persecutions of Kurds, the newly formed and supposedly modern regime of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk persecuted the Kurdish aghas to put an end to their authority and aspirations of independence.

This policy energized Kurdish determination for independence. Furthermore, Ataturk denied the existence of a Kurdish race, and considered them to be “mountain Turks.” Speaking Kurdish was also forbidden.

In 1937, tens of thousands of Kurds were annihilated in Dersim. The persecution continues.

However, the situation has fortified the Kurdish revolution.

Chauvinist and fascist Turkish governments did to the Kurds what the Kurds had done to the Armenians–this time, by recruiting Kurdish mercenaries called korucus (village guards), who killed, raised havoc, and destroyed hundreds of villages.

In 1984, the Kurdish Workers Party (PKK) resorted to armed struggle against the Turkish government, which continues to date.

***

We recognize the Kurdish cause as a de jure right: It is not just for the 30 million people—who have lived on their land for millennia—to remain the victims of Turkish hegemony and persecution.

We share their national aspirations, but not at the expense of our rights and demands.

Throughout time, we have known the Kurds to be ignorant and uneducated tribes, robbers, extortionists, and murderers who have kidnapped and raped our women and participated in executing the Ottoman-waged genocide against us. As such, we have formed negative opinions about them. Now, almost a century later, it is time to revisit that conviction.

Today, the Kurdish leadership is highly educated, has modern-thinking intellectuals, free and healthy print and electronic media, theater and music, political and democratic maturity, and a representative parliament in exile in Brussels—consisting of men, women, and minorities—where free speech is supreme. It is a parliament whose first manifesto has been the recognition of the Armenian Genocide, the admission of their role in executing it, and asking for forgiveness from the Armenian nation.

It is a parliament that hosted an Armenian and allowed him to present his nation’s land demands freely, according to the Treaty of Sevres.

It is a parliament that stood in attention while the Armenian national anthem played.

It is a parliament whose foremost revolutionary battle-songs were composed by an Armenian, Aram Tigran Manoogian.

Yes, our interests dictate that we value all these.

Nonetheless, it is prudent to ask these questions:

Where are we in this? Where are we in this complex situation?

Why are our people unaware of these developments, especially that there is the danger of losing Western Armenia forever?

Saving Western Armenia and saving our compatriots who have forcefully converted to Islam is our duty. We are accountable to the future generations, if we do not protect their heritage.

In all these, one thing is clear: willingly or otherwise, our future is with the Kurds, and it is the Kurds who are our partners. Dialogue with them is inevitable and necessary.

This venue is not alien to us. Historically, we have cooperated with them in their struggle for freedom:

In 1843, Prince Bedirkhan of Bohtan formed a 40,000-strong Armenian-Kurdish army and waged war against Ottoman Turkey.

In 1927, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF) signed the Khoyboon Treaty with the Kurds, and participated in the battles of Ararat.

Malkhas and Garo Sassouni attempted to establish cooperative relations with the Kurdish tribes to fight the common enemy, Ottoman Turkey.

Now, time and atmospherics having changed, developing and advancing our relationship is the mandate of both sides.

Kurds—with their parliament’s first manifesto, the return of Sourp Giragos Church of Diyarbakir (which they restored partly at their own financial expense), and with the organization of an Armenian song and dance festival in Dersim (Tunceli)—have demonstrated good will towards us. We, in turn, have participated in their all-important Spring Rights Newruz.

All these are friendly gestures, but never the solution to the return of our Western Armenia.

Our demands are ours for as long as we make them ours. Therefore, it is imperative that we create and establish a national political entity, in addition and parallel to ANC, to study and pursue Armeno-Kurdish relations and formulate ideas and suggestions.

Second, it is imperative to assemble an entity consisting of world famous, Armenian and non-Armenian lawyers and experts in international law, to revive the Sevres Treaty and realize the map of President Woodrow Wilson, which delineates the borders between Turkey and Western Armenia.

But what is this treaty?

In 1920, during the League of Nations meeting in Sevres, France was considering dividing the defeated Ottoman Empire, and returning to the different nationalities the lands the Ottomans had taken by force.

Articles 88-93 of this treaty dealt with the Armenian issue, delineating borders with Turkey according to the Wilsonian map.

Today, the Sevres Treaty and the Wilsonian map are the foundations of our demands. They form the basis of our international jurisprudence, and our political conviction.

Today, we believe that this treaty is alive, but lethargic. Its impact is interpreted differently by various countries.

For Turkey, it is an eternal threat because, in its entirety, it convicts Turkey with misdeeds and crimes in every field.

For us, it is a solid, internationally viable, and politically firm document, protecting our rights.

And for the Kurds, it is like a sweet and sour soup.

Our national cause and claim are crystal clear, but complex. However, Sevres satisfies them fully.

We have no right to ignore precious Sevres.

We have no right to overlook or postpone the claim of a “united sovereign Armenia.”

We have no right to excite our people with the slogan of a “united sovereign Armenia,” and then do nothing about it.

We have no right to get excited with the return of some “church buildings empty of its faithful” (the Armenian Weekly’s assistant editor on her visit to Diyarbakir). No one has the right to convert our places of worship to museums.

No one has the right to push us around. The question arises: Are we hypocrites for not acting yet sloganeering “free and united Armenia,” or are we inept?

***

As a nation, we are neither cry-babies nor beggars.

Let our enemies know that when the knife hits the bone, ten million Armenians, with their Pakos, Serges, Raffis, and the rest, will stand shoulder-to-shoulder, like a shield to defend their fatherland.

This nation is determined, heroic, and brave; to wit Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabagh).

19 Comments on Astarjian: Hypocrisy or Ineptitude?

  1. avatar Roxann Muradian Petzold // September 28, 2013 at 12:25 pm // Reply

    I still remember my grandfather’s tears due to the pain and suffering of so many because of the Genocide. I feel the loss my father always felt in his heart because of the massacre of his parents and siblings. I give thanks to all the politicians in the US who have stood by the Armenians and have openly supported recognition of the Genocide. These are all important things but they are things that do not give us the power and influence needed to convey our message today. Your article makes it clear that it’s time to think outside the box. We need money to go toward projects in Armenia that will put people back to work with the ability to earn a good living. Work and education builds a strong base. Imagine what we could have done if we focused on building a strong economy in Armenia. If we don’t change how things are being done now then we have lost the Motherland without even fighting for it. Thank you for opening a door that needed opening.

    • avatar gaytzag palandjian // September 29, 2013 at 4:02 pm //

      Sometimes,after I post something here,I go back and review my and others´ posts…just to scrutinize,see what other viewpoints are worth to contemplate on , to refer back to etc.
      I just did on Roxann Muradian P.´s I SEE SHE IS THE ONE THAT BEST UNDERSTANDS WHAT THE PRESENT NEEDS TO BE DONE.¨WE NEED MONEY to go towards projects in Armenia…¨
      Exacatly!!! what I have been advocating ..to establish the NATIONAL INVESTMENT TRUST FUND..apply it to Repatriation .In this resepct I did write that the Fund ,once establised in the Billions(nucleus of which by pour Billionaires).From which we would Loan to those who wished to repat.
      This lady understands the power of money!!!! which is the essence of the whole thing.However, at present it is sitting pretty ,no not only in the accts of our Billionaires, but ,,millionairés Hundred thousand dollar owners down to thos himble ones who can and would heartily INVEST…btw..our `people are tired in handouts….
      Motherland or fatherland is not lost.Land is there,will not pull the disappearing act.But Kurds reside on it MAINLY…..
      Once we have the MONEY, THEN WE CAN TALK!!!! first with Kurds indeed.No not give them hand outs.Nothing of the sort.But with monies we can tell them move over to West side a bit and let our people-as the Diarbaki mayor invited ¨come and live here…¨¨ no not his dreamt within them but side by side. PULL OVER WE LIVE NEXT TO YOU…
      Other important now is the REpat. projecto to Artsakh and RA.
      Closer to 2104…2105 begin REAL CAMPAGINGS AS TO INVITING THE WORLD PUBLIC OPINION TOWARDS US BY PUBLISHING ON FIRST PGES OF IMPORTANT NEWSPAPERS OUR PLIGHT ETC.
      Never the way the lobbying is conducted in the regular way here or in other euro countries…..by ¨BROKERS¨¨ WHO WOULD GLADLY GUÑP DOWN OUR CASH.WE DO NOT NEED these brokers called Lobbyists.Let the turks give money to them on our acct.Which is a different approach altogether.Our monies will go to the > PEOPLES attn. To arpouse concern about our Plight ,CASE/CAUSE to support us!!! OF THE COUNTRIES WHERE WE FIND FIT TO ADVERTISE!!!thus.
      To give monies to power brokers(so called) is for the culprit to do so…not for a PROUD, MONEY EARNING WITH SWEAT PEOPLE SUCH AS US
      Barev Hasgcoghin

    • avatar gaytzag palandjian // September 30, 2013 at 2:49 pm //

      Again,I came back to study further and further expand on my videwpoints ,this time over as to Dear Dr.Henry Astarjian´s,otherwise very interesting essay-commentary on Armenian Hypocracy-ineptitude (negative) qualities…
      To begin with these two adjectives ,I believe are meant to be applied to us Armenians IN GENERAL.In which case,not quite so is my viewpoint.Definitely our efforts so far have not gone altogether invain.We are there to be accounted with, when the occasion arises.
      Now then ,he mentions the ¨permanency¨of our stance in Diaspora.
      1.Indeed I believe and most will agree that we have an old Diaspora, relatively old(those who came in later some 50 yrs agomfrom turmoil in Mid Esst,etc.) also the last wave,chich might be classified as the NEW one.latter is mainly in Russia(near abroad9 can easily be trasnported back on Buses(as an example9 when the National investment Trust Fund becomes a reality.
      2.I like when indirectly mentions the presence of(himself) at the kurdish parliament,when they stood at attn when Ar,menian anthe,m was played etc. Hopefully ,he has kept in tocuh with them and would repeat his visit8s) if requitred by an armenian Entity(that still does not exist).All else that he mentiones is very inspiring-disappointing(sweet and sour)term he apllies to the Armeno Kurdish relations.I do that to our stance.Pretty much so.
      Here I would end my comments on Dr. Astarjian and point out some isssues that Mr. ARARAT has dwelt upon.
      Namely his opting for the Russian CSTO agreements vs. the EU rapprochement. I don´t believe he is aware of a few facts as to Russian modern diplomacy -come to them from Czars´times…
      Firstly, in 1918 when armenia(precisely at KARS) needed their help they abandoned us,troops et al..a huge cage of the war materiel ,incl.of weaponry was handed over to a Russian officer(instead of directly to the Armenian forces there).latter according to prof. Richard G. Hovanissian´s ,espouse Mrs. Vartiter( I ahve it) the Truks bribed the man and took over all of it.Next, when the Treaty of kars and subsequently the one in Moscow were signed between newly sovit Russia and the kemalist Turkey,Armeni´s interests were totally overlooked…
      last blow to Armenia, a soft one, just lately. never a Russian Czar or communist chieftain had gone to Ankara to meet with Turkish pres. President Putin did!!! and since they are conducting close to SSEVEN billion dollars business(probably more no,this is old)per annum. Now the so called Defense forces on the Turkish frontiers,between 5/10,000 soldiers, nothing to match the 700,000 strong Toikish Army.These are there as a sheer gesture to blow dust into the eyes pof the easy to believe Armenians…
      While anyone who keeps abreast of present arms build ups on all sides,knows that if and when a Third WW is ignited it will not be on the ground…
      Armenia in its infancy now should be all attn to carefully conducts and continue its course of negotiations(at a stage, Truks would die to be,after 40 yrs of trying)with the EU,while making it clear that she has the right to join a MERE CUSTOMS UNION.Which as an old buinessman I know is indeed interesting and beneficial for Armenia to be in.However NOT AT THE COST OF LOOSING the other!!!!
      USA!!!! good old USA.How come armenians so easily forget this ¨Other¨world super power that though so far has kep great Turkey well fed ,well bred and well armed,may ,just may by and by shift its attn from her and direct same towards little OLD ALLY tiny Armenia.There is the fact that after plunge of the soviet Union,latter isntead of reviving the ex soviet HUGE plants in RA, demanded the paltry 120 million dollars Armenia owed her and took over a plant.Instead of appreciating the heartily given lives of 200,000 martyrs at the WWII hairenagan Baderazm Fatherland WAR????
      Few ARmenians know the Russian diplomacy is as sharp as any Euro´s.Most Armenians think of Russians as Muzhik like people…not so!!! they are very smart and know how play on the Trapeze!!!Thence my viewpoint is ato carry on with EU,while the Customs treaty(if it does have a few clauses, such as chepaer gas and oil for RA, plus some other advantages, keep in it too.
      But try to AIDS Armenia via USA.Especailly with latter´s aid get the national Invest,ment Trust Fund established in Geneva, where US and Russian Armenian billionaires alike can invest.A neutral land with facilities of money trasnfers to anywhere freely…
      The Western Armenian National Council or any such adequate nomination might (whe it comes to life)solve a much needed problem,as to why the Western Armenian Lands issue must be kept alive and ongoing and why we at present demand BLOOD MONEY from culprit.To surmise,I ¨suggest¨peopel such as Dr. Astarjian, Harut Sassounian,Mark Geragos and a few others such as int´l attornyes form a sub committee to draw up some sort of a road map,at the very least.For if we wait for our BBB´s(Bishops, Benefactors and Bosses,as ARA Baliozian dubs them) to act. it will be like in the past.EAch on his own and witha totally seperate agenda.
      In as much as RA ,as has been shown acts only superficially in respect to Western Armenian issues,we should reagrsd them with respect,however knowing full well they would not wish to confront the neighbour great Turkey in any important W.Armenia issue.FAct is their appraoch in such cases is most conservative.Like the Hungarian one…comes to mind.

  2. avatar varouj bedikian // September 28, 2013 at 1:00 pm // Reply

    50, 100, 500 years from now, Armenian historians will look at this letter as best expressing the situation of our people at least for our generation. It captures the frustrations, the challenges, the helplessness, and the sheer massiveness of all these obstacles that face us. I think that there is a feeling permeating the consciousness of our people that this is the time to act, otherwise we may be in for another long period of irrelevance and subservience not to unlike the last 800 years.

  3. avatar Janet Shemligan // September 28, 2013 at 1:01 pm // Reply

    Why are you airing dirty laundry on Facebook?

  4. An extremely well written article, which points out problems which I as an Armenian do not want to face, but which I know I must. Two ideas come to mind.

    1. The formation of a Western Armenia Parliament in exile along the lines of the Kurdish Parliament mentioned in this article. This Parliament’s mandate would be to represent Western Armenian interests which would, depending on the situation, at least nominally line up with the Republic of Armenia’s interests, but not necessarily so. The point being, that Western Armenia would have an official representative body, which although currently in exile, would be a legitimate expression of Western Armenian interests with the intent of one day returning to the occupation and governance of Western Armenia by Armenians.

    2. The education of, and incorporation of Hidden Armenians throughout Western Armenia, i.e. getting those people currently living on the land to realize and reclaim their Armenian identity. The result would be actual ‘Boots on the Ground’, that together with the above mentioned Western Armenian Parliament could make a stronger case for Western Armenia to be governed by Armenians. Importantly it establishes an official (in the demographic sense) Armenian presence in Western Armenia.

    Thoughts?

    • avatar Melanie Anahid // October 7, 2013 at 5:40 am //

      excellent. I think this is essential. The first step is to name and mark the invisible and what they seek to hide with no shame. I wanted to start an organiyation which collects, gathers, centralizes sigitally WESTERN armenian songs and also language dialects under an umbrella group of WESTERN ARMENIAN.. It is absolutely imperative to bring this culture to light, and especially this political entity. We are not armenian, we are western armeanian specifically.

  5. Very well said. And about time someone write down these words. I can sign under each and everyone of them. Wake up, Hayer, wake up!

  6. Just as the efforts to achieve recognition of Genocide, reminding the Turks, Kurds and the world about the historical facts concerning Western Armenia is something that should never be neglected. I have however some reservations about Dr. Astarjian’s conclusions on the ways to go ahead with the issue of Western Armenia or Treaty of Sevre.
    Just suppose the Kurds, or in a much more improbable situation, the Turks, would tell us: “Ok, Armenians, come and have these lands”. How are you going to administer territories in which tens of millions of Kurds and Turks live? What are you going to do with them? Would you expect the Turkish and Kurdish leaders to take their population with themselves and leave an empty land to us? How realistic is this? Even if this happened, is it realistic to imagine that large numbers of Diaspora Armenians would leave their hard-won status and living in their respective countries and risk their lives in Turkish and Kurdish populated Western Armenia? Or may be Armenians from Armenia who, desperate for a decent and peaceful living, leave their country in search of safe havens? Even if large numbers of Armenians did risk it wouldn’t they form just a very small minority in an otherwise foreign land? These are hard questions which need to be addressed before engaging in discussions which at times can sound just slogans devoid of reality.
    Thus without a considerable Armenian physical presence in Turkey, and Kurdistan, there can hardly be a serious case of claiming lands and territories. Dr. Astarjian himself acknowledges this and fortunately also does not advocate using force or going to war to achieve such claims. Given this context, it is not understandable why he minimalizes the importance of returning Armenian churches and other properties to their original owners. This is in fact a policy which holds a good possibility of tangible results. If continued, it is bound to strengthen the presence which I mentioned above. If continued, we may be sure, in time there will also be Armenian prayers in those churches and the right people to use those properties. Now that the Kurds in Diarbekir/Tigranakert welcome and actually put that policy into action, I believe this is where Armenians should concentrate their efforts and energy. They should encourage and help them realize their presumed policy of having Armenians back in their region, rather than giving priority to demands that can jeopardize the “modus operandi” which has been developing among Armenians and Kurds for some time.

  7. avatar gaytzag palandjian // September 28, 2013 at 3:25 pm // Reply

    Ruben,
    Armenians are awake and as always fast at work repeating parrot-like,phrases that are outdated.Need I continue?
    What Dr.H Astarjian writes about is known to many-especially our so called BBB´s REf. is by ARA Baliozian,meaning Bishops Benefactors and Bosses.These leaders? certainly are aware of all that has transpired,but not willing to see NEW BLOOD NEW METHODS EMPLOYED!!!they hang on to their posts-positions and let the people keep singing..
    Whereas, I shall point out that there are signs that ¨others¨, such ARA papian,-ex RA Ambassador to Canada basically advocates same as Dr. Astarjian does and has many followers(not hundreds but a dozen or so).Might as well add that other historians also have dwelt upon the necessity to save the turkified ,islamized Armenians the Hemshentsi etc.,who are there as yet on those lands.
    Land,as dear Dr. Henry points out is not given, it is taken ,or was it freedom that he referred to as sjuch. Indeed Same applies to Freedom..
    Working Capital and Working Plans:- MY VERSION IN BRIEF now.
    1. We begin to form (before joining with Western armenian Council or Parliament8I prefer Supreme Council,not Parliament).latter our attorneys would oppose to,very simply because we ,as an indivisible people DO HAVE ONE IN YEREVAN.We don´t want further fragmentations, and or jeopardise work Yerevan does. WE must stick together as a ruld,but first and foremost FORM RANK AND FILE. No not around this that political party(all respect to all of them9.But through a 100,000 strong PCA´s Professional Colleageues association s members in all Armenian-dense townships over the Globe. Then from these receive their 3-person delegates.That is i near forgot from 15 Fields of Professions.% on the scen already. need ten more to form.
    2.Once these are formed and in progrress, organzied further to have Central Bodies in all ssaid townships,from which to delegaate from each proff. Grouping ONE delegagte to central Council of a iven Diaspora community country capital city. Say ,Paris, D.C. B-Aies etc.,Latter in constant contact w/ea other. and From thrse we then elect our ELITE to our Supreme Council of Diaspora limited delegates,representing such from all walks of life plus one ea from our traditional political parteis and one from our three Spiritual denominations.Supreme Council ought to be in 5 Departments.For if we believe in delegating an issue-problem whatever to right SEction it should be thus:-
    3.A- The legal political in Strasbourg, next to RA dlegation -not sitting with them but in same town..B.-Executive in NY,as above. C.Economic Supreme in Geneva CH with 15 fidls of professions representatives there.This will be the Future cede of our national Investment Trust Fund.
    4. D-Social Services and ..future Repatriation organizing Supreme in Moscow(near abroad)
    5.E.- The Spiritual.Only one we have in St. Etchmiadzin , but in constant contact and in conjunction with Great house of Cilicia.
    To add that the Nation invdst. Fund Nucelus to be formed-initiated by our 7/8 magnates with big(a billion dolalrs 9 input to follow down to one hundred dolalrs investors…for..
    LADIES AND GENTLEMEN!!!!WITHOUT FUDNS WE CANNOT ACHIEVE ANYTHING!
    The Fund will be reinvested in ONLY CONSERVATIVE AREA-SUCH AS SCANDINAVIAN GVOT. BONDS rendering hopefully 4% or so per sannum,half to investors , the other hald to be dispensed of for organizing ,giving LOANS TO THOSE WHO WISH TO REPATRIATE AND ALSO buy full page ads next April 24 in all important newspapers of the world.This is how this sevant of the armenian people ñpictures envisages WORK TOWARDS NATIONAL INTERESTS AND SUCCESSFULL ATTAINMENT OF OBJECTIVES.i WISH TO ASK FORGIVENESS IF I HAVE SAID THIS BEFORE BUT IT WAS PROBABLY TIME AGAIN TO REMIND THE other alternative to bbs, OLD STYLE…
    BEST hASGCOGHIN

  8. avatar Vigen Aharonian // September 28, 2013 at 4:15 pm // Reply

    I think it is time to get real. Appreciate what we have, improve on that rather then hope for things we don’t. Even if some one by miracle says “Western Armenia is yours” what are we going to do? They returned a church and looks like nobody can use it. Obviously I don’t deny the horrific and unfair history. But the reality of today is that Armenians leave all over the world, which has more positives then negatives. And those who leave in Armenia use any opportunity to move out away from corruption and luck of dignified living situation. I think it will benefit everyone if we start looking forward rather then continue poring salt on an old wound. Just an opinion. Most of you will probably disagree. Respectfully

  9. A well-articulated article from which a serious socio-political dialogue of the Armenian cause should advance and perhaps dictate a paradigm shift in contemporary international and national Armenian affairs.

  10. avatar gaytzag palandjian // September 28, 2013 at 4:57 pm // Reply

    ADDENDUM,
    Firstly please forgive my badly,hastilly typed above post.Am down with a very bad cold and ..advanced age sometiems shows its ugly face.Nonetheless, I can still think clearly.Thus:- For quite a few yrs in my ¨papers¨sent to many my title for same has been Armenia Diaspora enhancement or the necessity for a Diaspora Supreme Council. I HAVE NOW THOUGHT A BETTER DENOMINATION TO SUIT THE PRESENT situation would be ´WESTERN ARMENIA´S SUPREME COUNCIL.
    No need to repeat but at cost of same I do ..in 5 Departments as described above.Meanwhile, since i respect all other posters views here and when need be answer their queries.Right above, is Aharonian Vigen,whose hopelessness showing post reflects the heretofore our unsuccessfull attempts/efforts(Diaspora wise) in getting Genocide World recognition and/or demand for Justice!!!!falling on deaf ears.Indeed it needs to be addressed. In my viewpoint if a certain Aghjtamara Church or St.Giraglosa is ¨kindly¨ made available to us (amongst 1 thousand or so destroyed) it is not so much to appease us Armenians but to also attract toruism and World attention that great Turkey and in estension (future) so called Autonomous Kurdistan is benevolent towards us!! and that like the protocol things Armenians should swallow the pill and get it over with as he suggests and many such think.
    No ,dear fellow,we have gone a long horny way to be where we are now.We cannot stop.Our camino-road-is to achieve final victory.
    Indeed ,not so easy at all, but can be attained in a shorter time if the powers to be by and by realize that great Turkey´s time has come too.or will come soon.The Treaty of Sevres, is not just a Document,it is like an old DEED..we can referto and depend on to remind the aforementioned and all nations on Earth that Western Armenia does not end with Diarbakira or Ah Tamara(as turks would pronounce them).Our ancestors would cst a curse upon us ,if we forgot their innocent(SHED BY THOSE BLOOD THRISTY…).
    Time,like someone above said is running out.Wake, we are,but sitting pretty, is the right word rather.Not doing much.RA????
    WE saw what they did when Axe murderer was let loose by Hiungary..instead of boycotting latter in all aspects,sort of swallowed the bitter pill.Why? one ought to ask ,our Govt. did not seriously lodgea claim on Hungary for doing so….
    and Expect that RA , give us a hand iwth Western Armenia initiatives? No,I don´t think it logical that such an important issue be trusted in their hand or through their intervention.They can join forces with us when they see we are progressing.Pazhalsta!!! but untill then let them first resolve the Axeris being let loos by Hungary…
    I have other issues up my sleeve.shall expose them right away,lest I suddeenly bid farewell to this world because of illness .
    1..We must prepare File to reclaim all oilfields that belonged to families Lazarian, Nercessian, Mantashian and Gulbenkian , before sovietization and later, after de sovietization so called not known nation state Axerbaiajn took over.Plus the homes houses belonging to families in Sumgait and Baku that were confiscated without compensation. Heris to the Oiolfield people do exist …
    2.Our stance as to Western Armenian territoreis ,plus NAKHIJEVAN, must be made clear in the manifesto that the Western Armenia´s Su`preme Council will draw.FAct is even from now on these should be exposed when preparing for the next April 24,2014..on to 2015 ´s Tsunami(as Harut Sassounian dubs it)For if we do not dare to these things the opponets, the turco-Azeris and kurds will think we do not have c o j o n e s!!!!!(excuse my French please)

  11. Dr. Astarjian : A well written article. I do believe we need a much closer understanding and cooperation with the Kurds. After all they inhabit a large portion of Western Armenia.

  12. I think lots of legitimate issues and concerns have been raised in this article that requires careful study and analysis. I don’t believe any Armenian in his right mind would disagree that whatever corruption there is in Armenia must be eradicated and economic growth and prosperity be restored to curb migration in any form that could be detrimental to the country. As far switching orientation or choosing between the so-called “civilized” Europe and Russia is concerned, I think Armenia has very little choice given Europe’s track record on Armenia. When the Allied Powers, the Europeans as well as the Americans, had the authority and the opportunity to restore the Armenian homeland to their legitimate Armenian owners from defeated Turkey at the end of WWI, they failed and that was no less because of their own imperialistic designs in the region.

    Armenia, at the point of extinction at the hands of genocidal Turkey and lack of action on the part of the Allied Powers, was swallowed yet by another Empire called the Soviet Union. As terrible as this was for the Armenians, they at least had the opportunity to revive and resurrect from total extinction. It is hard to say who the bigger evil was here, the “civilized” Europe that abandoned our aspirations or the Soviets who subjugated our people but our nation at least had the opportunity to breathe again and rise from its ashes under their dictatorship.

    Contemporary Armenia is landlocked and only 1/10-th of its actual size because of the occupational and genocidal policies of the Ottomans over the centuries and because of their ultra-nationalist Kemalist successors, who despite their defeat at the hands of Allied Powers and due to lack of US senate action to ratify Wilsonian Armenia mandate and due to secret deals between the Kemalists and the Soviets, they waged war on us taking more Armenian territories in hopes of eliminating Armenia altogether. Such anti-Armenian racist policies have continued in modern Turkey since its creation in 1923 but in different forms. Today, landlocked Armenia is independent but it is blockaded and surrounded by both successors to the same genocidal Turkey of 1915 and their pseudo-Turkish Azerbaijani outpost in the Caucasus.

    What choice does Armenia have now other than sticking with Russia, its only reliable military ally, to secure and defend the country from these two Turkish and pseudo-Turkish Azerbaijani wolves with large appetites? What has “civilized” Europe done or offered to Armenia to address these issues that Armenia has refused? When was the last time this “civilized” Europe with its NATO military might pressure its only Muslim NATO member Turkey to come clean with the Armenians and restore justice? When was the last time this “civilized’ Europe use its military power to defend Armenia from Turkish and Azerbaijani incursions into Armenia and the liberated territories? Instead, and on the contrary, it has always caved in to their demands and blackmail. We have to be realistic and think about these things with sober mind and not to jump into immature conclusions. Armenia’s relations with Russia and Europe do not have to be mutually exclusive. We must use both to our advantage.

    As far as Western Armenia and the Armenian-Kurdish relations are concerned, I personally trust them as far as I can throw them. They had designs on our homeland only a little over a hundred years ago, even though one might argue they were used by the genocidal Turks in their collaboration with them to exterminate our people. As they say, the Lord works in mysterious ways! Look at them now, yesterday’s collaborators of the Armenian Genocide, they themselves have become today’s victims of their former master Turkish collaborators. There are many questions to be answered. How sincere is the Kurdish apology for its past atrocities against the Armenians? How do we know their peaceful declarations and renovations of some desolate churches, with no Armenian congregation, in mostly Kurdish-populated Western Armenian provinces is genuine and not a ploy to use the Armenians against the very same Turkish authorities with whom they joined hands to destroy us now that they have become their victims? What official documents and treaties have we signed with them in regards to Western Armenian provinces now populated by them and what solid and permanent guarantees do we have from them when, God willing, the politics of the region changes and the Armenians want to repatriate to their confiscated homeland? After all, wasn’t the PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan who recently praised and declared brotherhood with the Turks?

    We must be smarter than our enemies and adversaries turned neighbors to never take their words by face value. We must have a solid and tangible plan of action in place and verify every word spoken and every action taken by them. It is our homeland and we must act as intelligent and dedicated servants to it.

  13. avatar Johnny Aram // October 1, 2013 at 5:45 am // Reply

    Well,it is a very nice and pointy article, and so are the comments,of my fellow Armenians.
    But i would like to point to a sentence mentioned in the article, which is:”Diasporas are not willing to trade their status quo with that of their Motherland’s, which has nothing to offer its inhabitants and the nation but corruption, extortion, poverty, and, at best, benign neglect.”
    For i believe this should be our starting point, before we lay claim to the turks, let’s lay claim to our corrupt government and politicians and mobs, let’s make what we have left of our motherland a civilized nation, free of corruption and full of opportunities, let the diaspora then consider moving to the present day Armenia, where they will have no fear integration in the community once they are certain that corruption and theft won’t be in their way.
    I visited Armenia many times,and i hold it dear in my heart, but how can i move there when “regardless of the economic situation”, the corruption and the monopoly of the oligarchs won’t give you the hope of starting all over there.
    My point is, that we should encourage the Diaspora to move back to Armenia, but before that,the Diaspora with it’s influential lobby and money, should do the out most to fight corruption in Armenia,and bring it closer to the EU and definitely not into the customs union,for the population in Armenia is declining, and if we can repopulate it,with the ones who immigrated and the Diaspora, and build ourselves a modern country and adopt certain values,then i believe from there we can cross to the other side, to Western Armenia.

  14. avatar ara baliozian // October 1, 2013 at 8:00 am // Reply

    a tough but fair assessment. Let’s have more of them!

  15. avatar gaytzag palandjian // October 7, 2013 at 11:20 am // Reply

    Welcom dear ARA BAliozian to the Armenian scenarios!!!I have always read w/pleasure your books .,comments etc.,I especially like your quote./BBB’s*Bishops, Benefactors and Bosses( that best describes the Armenian present scene in Diaspora.Enough is being written about RA.
    )))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
    To arshag now…My dear fellow, please take a few minutes to read my posts above.in one i have expanded on how a \NATIONAL INVESTMENT TRUST FUND would take care of repatriation.etc., etc.,
    As to Armenians going back to live amongst Turco Azeri Tatars.YOU ERR completely.Even if the Mayor*kurd, amicably invies us to do so in Dikranagert. he must think we are BOBOS…locos, hjalf wits!!!!
    When the Kurdistan issue is brought up and solved, then only we should enter into the [picture!!!! and that with the objective of asking them to shift over A BIT TO WEST…
    We can live and let live side by side, but NOT UNDER A TPOIKISH OR KOIDISH FLAG..Hope you grasp that,if you are Armenian.for lately on another site, or thread there are many many who prpofess to be Armenian even with armenian names*Ask Avery…and tryiong to stirr up discord and utter words/ideas such as you do.for the time being I believe Serge Sargsyan is acting quite reasonably politics wise. Only a few days ago in strasbourg,presiding the Session *Armenia heads that Commission of the EU for next 6 months btw…Anssering question by Azeri, rather Axeri delegate as to “”Do you have tewrritorial claims from Turkey…replied No.
    Indeed,it would ahve been better if he had shot back w/amother question saying.Does Axerbaijan have territorial Calim from IRAN..or “I thought the sign before your seat said Axerbaijan…how come you talk about Great Turkey…some such…but perhaps is Schola is completely different than what we can imagine.Based…I would say on yrs of soviet training, that in diplomacy YOU CAN SAY ONE THING AND THEN DENY OR TWIST OR EVEN SAY I MEANT THAT TO BE THE POPPOSITE…because I believe he DOES KNOW full well the Western armenians overseas*like it happned with the infamous protocols…would never say such a thing.For we are the HEIRS OF THOSE 1.5MILLION PUT TO DEAT BY their prevoious gov.ts and will demand our HERITAGE FOR EVER..untill restitutions,compensation are given to us.Land isssue can wait,as above explained the KURDS FIrST.mUST LEARN TO BE MORE PATIENT.A VIRTUE WE HJAVE anyhow….
    So do not picture or paint scenarios that Armenians will go and live under those BLOODY FLAGS EVER!!!!!!

  16. avatar gaytzag palandjian // October 7, 2013 at 4:46 pm // Reply

    Addendum and …quote!!!
    So as Paremid(kind-minded),not to say Parzamid(simple-minded) compatriots will not forget what the Bestial Turks did to us…
    Ref:-¨Genocide as a problem of national and Int´l law,the WWI,Armenian case and its contemporary legal ramifications¨¨ ,Prfo.Vahakn N.Dadrian,Page 243 ,Quotin Lord Kinross.¨The Ottoman Centuries 560(1977).The passage,more fully ,is as follows:-
    The Massacres objective,based on the convenient consideration that Armenians were now tentatively starting to question their inferior status,was the ruthless reduction,with a view to elimination of the Armenian Christians,and the expropriation of their lands for the Moslem Turks.Each operation,between the bugle calls,followed a similar pattern.First the Turkish troops came into a town for the purpose of massacre,then came the Kurdish irregulars and tribesmen for the purpose of plunder. Finally came the holocaust,by fire and destruction,which spread,with the pursuit of the fugitives and mopping up operations,throughout the ladns and villages of the surrounding province.This murderous winter of 1895 thus saw the decimation of much of the Armenianpopulation and the devastation of their propeerty in some twenty districts of eastern Turkey.Often the massacresw were timedfor a Friday,when the moslems were in thjeior mossques.Cruellest and ruinous of all were the massacres at Urfa,where the Armenian Christians numbered a third of the local population…When the bugle blast ended the day´s operations,some three thousand refugees poured into the cathedral,hoping for sanctuary.But the next morning-s Sunday-a fanatic mob swarmed into the church in an orgy of salughter,rifling its shrines with cries of ¨Call upon Christ to prove Himselfa greater prophet than Mohhamed¨.Then they amassed a large pile of straw matting,which they spread over the litter of corpses and set alight with thirty cans of petroleum..The woodwork of the gallery where a crowd of wemen and children crouched,wailing wioth terror,caught fire,and all perished in the flames.Punciliously at three-thirty in the afternoon the bugle blew once more,and the moslem officials proceeded around the Armenian quarter to proclaim that the massacres were over…the total casualties in the town,including those slaughtered in the cathedral,amounted to eight thousand dead.The full account of of the Urfa Holocaust as personally investigated and reported on Mar 16,1896 by Geraldn h.Fitzmaurice,British Consul and Dragoman, is in FO 195/1930 at 30-72(folios 185-206).
    Just one passage of our Terrible Tragedy,described as holocaust even then by Brits….
    Now who would wish to live amongst the descendents of these people, without their total REPENTANCE , FORGIVENESS BEGGING FROM US ARMENIANS AND THAT OFFICIALLY AND THEN COMPENSATING PROPERLY ALL. fIRST AND FOREMOST-THIS WILL ALWAYS BE MY INITIATIVE-COPYING IS PERMITTED, F O R B L O O D M O N E Y.lIKE THE jEWISH ONE AS PRECEDENT.LAND IS ISSUE CAN LATER BE SETTLED WITH THE KURDS WHO ARE THE MAJORITY ONM THOSE LANDS ANYHOW.tHIS MUCH FOR THOSE WHO DO NOT BELIEVE WHAT ARMENIAN HISTORIANS WRITE…´ THEN READ THE NON-ARMENIAN Authors….
    Forgive???? we may if asked for forgiveness and compensated properly.No other way out…cannot trust the Turkish shrewdness,also they have to forget their pobstinacy and become meek!! in light of the Enormity of Crime their ancestors committed against the Ermenis… 99% loayl to them!!!
    Only one perc could rise up and fight for freedom from their tyrany.

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