At the cost of saying I said so, I reiterate my belief that we Armenians, individually and as a nation, are on the wrong track politically, strategically, and tactically to reaching our national goals. We have been so for several decades now!
The idea of exposing Turks and Turkey to the world for the crime of the Armenian Genocide was, and is, the wrong path to regain our occupied Western Armenia and reaffirm the provisions of the Sevres Treaty. Add to that the current situation in Nagorno-Karabagh.
The two-step strategy against Turkey was wrong, is wrong, and shall continue to be wrong if not modified into one.
There is no doubt that through the admirable efforts of the ANC and its tributaries in Europe and around the globe, we have hit Turkey very hard and caused some damage. We have delayed or probably blocked Turkey’s entry into the European Union, but we have not made a dent in regaining our legitimate rights in Western Armenia.
For a few post-genocide decades, having sustained brain injury, we were nursed into regaining our identity, power, and stature like no other nation in the world that has gone through the same mill like us. Despite all of that, our collective behavior has suffered. It has been damaged! Instead of devising strategies to achieve our goals, we are using the same old outdated policies and tactics we used during the fading years of the Ottoman Empire—while we appealed to Christian Europe to secure our rights, the whole of Europe was busy cow-towing to the Sublime Porte and then to the newly formed Ataturk government. The superpowers were then, as they are now, oblivious to human suffering. They have always behaved the same way, sucking the blood of the weak nations, while letting their victim’s blood soak the ground.
What did they do in Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur? Nothing! What did they do for Khrimian Hairig in Berlin? Nothing! What did they do to Aharonian and Boghos Nubar Pasha in Paris in 1919? Everything! Everything bad! The “civilized Christian Europe” did not seat the Armenian delegation in the League of Nations! This time it was largely our fault because of the division that existed between Boghos Nubar and Aharonian. Be that as it may, the League could have seated one of them and recognized the Armenian State. They didn’t!
That was then. What is now is the same—appeal to Europe and the United States to accept the genocide and incriminate Turkey, then ask for reparations. This plan has been a recipe for failure.
The current situation is proof positive that after decades of toil and capital expenditure, and not through the fault of the men and women who were in the trenches, the policies set forth by the top brass of the political parties have failed. We are reduced to asking the U.S. Congress to increase its foreign aid to Armenia and Karabagh, then celebrating our achievement as a significant accomplishment.
From the outset this plan was simplistic, lacking shrewd political strategy to implement the original aims of Hai Tahd, which was to expose Turkey for what it was and what it is, and work for a united, free, sovereign Armenia.
This being a century-old outdated strategy, it is imperative that we abandon it. Now there is a second chance to review and revise our policies, tactics, and strategies.
The situation in Eastern and Western Armenia, being so intimately interrelated, should be addressed as such. Begging other nations to come to our rescue or help us achieve our goals is not the roadmap to success. Each of these nations has their own goals and interests in the region, and none are willing or ready to give up their gains. The British and the French governments did not come to rescue the “civilized Christian” Armenians from genocide because they did not want to jeopardize their 14 million sterling pound investment in the Ottoman railways. Similarly today’s Europe and the United States are not willing to sacrifice their oil interests in Azerbaijan for our sake.
Assessing the situation in Western Armenia, it becomes crystal clear that internally Turkey is not what it appears from the outside. Their economy might be booming, but their social and political fabric is in shambles. There are 20 million or so Kurds who are up in psychological and military arms fighting the central government for their freedom. Some 3 million Dersimis are mobilizing their resources against the government for their rights. So are the Zaza. The secular Ataturk group, having lost their philosophy and power to the caliphate philosophy of Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s AK Party, are in rebellion, especially after some 130 of the military’s top brass were arrested only a few days ago. The press, the Turkish academicians and intellectuals are angry trying to break the shackles of censorship.
And I haven’t scratched the surface yet.
Internationally, they have lost their biggest ally in the region—Israel—and consequently the support of AIPAC in America.
So this is Turkey, not different from Mubarak’s Egypt. Our leadership must take this situation seriously and create a roadmap to implement our goals.
In Eastern Armenia, the geopolitical realities are different. The country must have a metamorphosis of thought and repair the psychological damage caused by its history with Turkey.
The protocols are a joke. Armenia should get out of it unilaterally; delay is counterproductive, even hazardous. In foreign policy, Armenia must take bold measures to free itself of the cobweb of Europe. Waiting for OSCE to deliver a sick baby in Karabagh is sick. We must be on the offensive playing our game, not someone else’s. Armenia should be brave and decisive, and seize the moment to be one with Karabagh. Armenia has a loyal, patriotic, powerful diasporan empire, and she must use this resource to the fullest. Major changes happen in major earthquakes; there is one going on in Armenia’s neighborhood right now. We should seize the moment and know what to do!