Sassounian: Neither Obama Nor Romney Deserve Armenian-American Votes

During my recent trip to Armenia, journalists repeatedly asked me which U.S. presidential candidate I would support in the Nov. 6 elections. My answer was clear and unequivocal: I supported neither President Obama nor Governor Romney. Upon my return to the U.S., I was pleased to learn that the Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) had made the same decision by not endorsing either candidate.

Neither Obama Nor Romney Deserve Armenian-American Votes

This was not a difficult decision. Both candidates have been disappointing. The president has not kept his word on many Armenian and non-Armenian issues, while his rival has not shown the slightest interest in the Armenian-American community and its issues.

Here is Obama’s long list of unkept promises on Armenian issues:

1. During the 2008 presidential campaign, he repeatedly pledged to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, and broke his promise after the election.

2. Furthermore, the Obama Administration opposed the adoption of a congressional resolution on the Armenian Genocide.

3. Obama significantly reduced the amount of foreign aid to Armenia and Artsakh (Karabagh). Moreover, his administration did not spend the full amount of aid Congress had allocated to Artsakh.

4. He pressured Armenia to sign the infamous “protocols” with Turkey in 2009.

5. He did not press Turkey to lift its blockade of Armenia.

6. He remained silent in the face of repeated saber-rattling by Azerbaijan’s president against Armenia and Artsakh, and ignored his campaign pledge to support Artsakh’s self-determination.

7. In late December 2010, circumventing the “hold” placed by U.S. Senators, Obama unilaterally appointed Matt Bryza as ambassador to Azerbaijan. Bryza’s candidacy had been overwhelmingly opposed by the Armenian-American community.

8. Breaking another promise, Obama failed to promote trade with Armenia.

9. He and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not respond to repeated requests to meet with Armenian-American community leaders to address their concerns.

Armenian-Americans do not need to beg Obama to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide, since President Reagan issued such a statement in his Presidential Proclamation of April 22, 1981. By not acknowledging the Armenian Genocide, Obama simply undermined his own credibility. Most Armenian-Americans trusted him in 2008. They no longer trust him in 2012! As the popular saying goes, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me!”

Those who think that such an assessment is too harsh and too narrowly focused on Armenian issues should be advised that Obama has not kept 86 other promises on national and international issues, according to politifact.com.

Romney has not fared any better with Armenian-Americans. He has avoided any contact with the community, making no attempt to seek their support and votes. The concern is that if he shows such callous disregard when he desperately needs every single vote to get elected, he will most definitely not pay any attention to Armenians and their issues after the election.

Clearly, it is unwise for both presidential candidates not to court the support of Armenian-American voters in crucial swing states, at a time when the race is so tight and a handful of votes could mean the difference between victory and defeat. However, it is still not too late for the two candidates to sit down with the leadership of the Armenian-American community and address their concerns. This will not be an easy conversation. As it would be practically impossible to trust Obama’s new promises, his only credible response would be to take a positive step on an important Armenian issue before Nov. 6! Romney, on the other hand, has more of an uphill battle. Being a candidate, he can only make promises that would not be taken too seriously at this late hour.

To avoid being fooled again by false promises, the Armenian-American community needs to adopt a new election strategy. Only those candidates who have fulfilled their campaign promises during their first term in office should be supported for re-election. Promises made by new candidates or those with no solid record of accomplishments on Armenian issues should be simply ignored.

Finally, not voting for either presidential candidate does not mean sitting out the elections. One third of the U.S. Senators are up for re-election, as well as all 435 House Members. Armenian-American voters should reward candidates supportive of their issues by voting them back into office, and should punish their opponents by voting them out of office! Please consult ANCA’s ratings of all congressional candidates at www.anca.org.

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Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, a non-profit organization that has donated to Armenia and Artsakh $917 million of humanitarian aid, mostly medicines, since 1989 (including its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund). He has been decorated by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

73 Comments

  1. While neither candidate deserves the Armenian vote, as so ably pointed out and well-documented by Mr. Sassounian, the Armenian people will fare far better with Mr. Romney who understands the Muslim threat to our people and the historic and treacherous role of Turkey, now witnessed over generations. The current occupant of the Oval Office is Muslim, make no mistake. His avowed loyalty is to Islam and he has acted and will continue to act in a manner unequivocally against the interests of the Armenian people, both in the US and elsewhere.

    All said, it is a no-brainer: Vote Romney.

    May the Lord Bless and Continue to Protect the Armenian People

    • When did Obama avow loyalty to Islam? You complain about the Turks but you are clearly just as easily deluded. Focus less on conspiracy theories and more on facts.

    • No one was more anti-muslim then George Bush. He had 8 April 24ths to call it genocide, yet he didn’t. Unless Turkey gets kicked out of NATO, or the middle east just becomes an irrelevant part of the world, voting for a candidate solely based on the belief that they will recognize the Armenian genocide is just wishful thinking.

    • Indeed. Anti-Muslim sentiment in the US govt. only yields more money flowing away to support Israel and continued US war-mongering in the Middle East, which destabilizes the region and thus endangers Armenians. It never translates into support for the Armenian cause, as RVDV points out well.

      What would be beneficial would be if the US stopped appeasing Turkey in order to mount military operations from their territory. Move the US base to Armenia and tell Turkey to go and you-know-what. The Russians use Armenian land for a base and as a result are a staunch military ally of Armenia. The US should cultivate a similar relationship, that would both serve our military needs and allow us to stop capitulating to Turkish blackmail (as we did during the Clinton years when the govt. backed down from recognizing the Armenian genocide at the last minute under Turkish pressure). No US dependence on Turkey=no leverage for Turkey.

    • Melvyn:

      How many times do we have to repeat there is no, quote, ‘Muslim threat’ to our Armenian people ?

      Islamic Republic of Iran provided crucial humanitarian help – foodstuffs, heating oil, general goods – to NKR and RoA during the darkest days of NKR war and blockade.
      Islamic Iran did far more in those days for Christian Armenians than Christian Georgia.

      So stop it already.

      Survivors of AG were sheltered in Muslim Arab counties: Syria, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq,…..who do you think is fighting against radical Wahabists and Salafists in Syria ? Mainstream Muslims.
      Our problem is not with Muslims: it is with the leadership and States of Turkey and Axerbaijan.

      Romney and his warmongering Neocon buddies will provoke a war with Iran.
      Any military adventure in the region will have devastating effect on RoA’s economy. It may also trigger wars closer to RoA and NKR.

      I don’t like Obama. But he is more rational than Romney.

      Mr. Sassounian is right: vote neither Obama nor Romney.
      But vote: POTUS is no dictator. US Congress can do a lot to thwart him and help RoA and NKR. Two Senators blocked Obama from installing Anti-Armenian Bryza permanently.

      Think about that.

    • Melvyn, Mitt Romney knows nothing about the Muslim threat to the our people he is, as what was labeled John Kerry, Romney is a flip flopper. Romney is all talk and will say anything to get votes. Make no mistake President Obama is NOT a Muslim. You are most likely in the same camp as those who say he is not a citizen.
      I am 68 and since my early teens I recall we have been chasing those who just say Genocide. So far the only President that did so was President Reagan with the assistance of then Governor George Deukmejian, Jr. Presidents Clinton and Bush promised to say the G word but let Armenians down. Obama is the only one to even come close with saying in Armenian Medz Yeghern causing a stir in Turks. I believe by now most Armenians would know that there is something going on that prevents them from saying what they promise to Armenians. I

    • See the video with Obama’s pastor, who said that Obama asked him how he could become a Christian ‘without conflicting with his Islamic beliefs’. The question on Obama being a Muslim is not the issue. The issue is that Obama is still carrying Islamic beliefs, and that he is obviously very sympathetic to Islam.

    • What video? I notice you don’t post a link, which indicates to me that it doesn’t exist. Obama isn’t sympathetic to Islamic beliefs, he is simply not another war-crazy, Israel-obsessed neocon. I know the distinction is hard for some to grasp.

    • Melvyn,
      You do know that Fox news is fake right? Its sole purpose is to create a false narrative so people eventually believe nonsense to the point that they are willing to vote completely against their own best interest.

      Fox news and the GOP are masters of that. That’s their real gift…

    • Antronig,

      I think the issue here is not that Presidents can pronounce the G word or not. What Armenian are saying to presidential candidates; do not make promises that you know very well you will not keep. You must be mature enough to know that there are dark forces working against Armenians in Congress, the Senate, and the State Dept. etc., then DO NOT make false promises just to get the Armenian votes and campaign contributions. This is what Armenians are saying. But by all means vote for the Congressmen and Senators who in the past have kept their promises and have worked relentlessly to promote and defend Armenian causes, including Artsakh of course.

    • You should keep your thoughts to yourself because you are spreading a lie: Our President is not Muslim

  2. Why Armenians praise Reagan so much is beyond me. He mentioned the Armenian Genocide in passing once in his first year in office, then promptly walked it back the next 7 years. Reagan’s administration fought Armenian Genocide resolutions as hard as any administration. George Schultz (Bechtel CEO & Sec of State) was one of the worst opponents of Armenian Genocide resolutions. Reagan was no friend of Armenians and lest we forget, after his innocent slip of the tongue in his first year, he toed the line the next 7 years and never uttered the words Armenian Genocide. I hear Armenians saying they will sit this one out because neither candidate cares about Armenia. We Armenian-Americans choose to live in the US. Thus we have issues to vote upon right here. If we were really so adamant on Armenian issues, we’d choose to live in Armenia. I agree with ANCA in not endorsing either candidate based on Armenian issues. But I’m pretty sure Armenians are not single-issue voters. Vote your conscience, but vote.

  3. Are we, Armenians, just blind, stupid or simply a hard headed naive group. Do We still not recognize the that the number one security threat that we and most of the world have had is the “other” largest lobbying group in the US? Do we not know that Talaat and his ideologies were rooted in the most heavily populated Zionist areas of the Ottoman empire. Do we forget that it’s the Zionists who happily arm the Azeri’s and control most of what we call today, the United States. Do we not notice how boldly both Romney and Obama kiss Zionist ass? Do we forget that it’s in Israel’s and Zionisms least interest that there is a strong worldwide recognition of the AG. Do we forget that a Jew and a Zionist are not always the same thing and that Zionists, not all Jews, are our enemy… Please try to dig deeper intot he roots of the CUP (Young Turks) and try to understand more about what today’s Israel and Zionists int he US are doing to our Nation… open up your frigin eyes….

    • Read ‘The Banality of Indifference’. A Zionist group in Palestine was passing intelligence information and was reporting on the Armenian Genocide to the British in Egypt to aid the allied war against the central powers. They were horrified by the suffering of the Armenians. In the end the Turks killed most of them.

      Yes, it is true that Israel does somewhat supply Azerbaijan, but not ‘heavily’. Israel didn’t recognize the Armenian Genocide due to its long alliance with Turkey, but that is now ending. Jews in Israel know about the Armenian Genocide and those that I talk to want their government to officially recognize it.

      Steven O, you sound obsessed about the Jews and ascribe more power to them then is realistic. Their people have suffered as ours have. With Turkey going Islamist we now have the opening for Israel to change its relationship to Armenia. Demonizing the Jews and Zionists will get us nowhere.

    • Dear Steven,

      Unfortunately, most of the people—Armenian or other—are myopic and superficial in the matters of domestic and international politics or history. Most believe that it is the governments that rule the countries; that there is a difference between the Democrats and Republicans in this country; that revolutions happen because downtrodden masses rise; that presidents are elected because eligible voters cast ballots.

      We have to admit that most people don’t exert themselves much with reading into the subject. If they did, they’d find—among other books (e.g. “America’s Secret Establishment” by Anthony Sutton)—a book titled “Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time” written in 1966 by Professor Carol Quigley of Georgetown University. In the book, Prof. Quigley writes that there is an exclusively American organization called the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) which acts as a bastion of policy continuums in U.S. government irrespective of which party is in office. Its purpose is that “the two parties should be almost identical, so that the American people can ‘throw the rascals out’ at any election without leading to any profound or extensive shifts in policy”. The author is not a conspiracy theorist (although the so-called “conspiratorial” view of politics and history—definitely not the view held by the majority of people—is the one best supported by the evidence); he is a distinguished professor whom President Bill Clinton praised as his mentor in 1992. Prof. Quigley asserts that in the domestic and international politics “there does exist, and has existed for a generation, an international Anglophile network [which] we may identify as the Round Table Groups.” He knew of the operation of this network because he has studied it for twenty years and was permitted for two years, in the early 1960’s, to examine its papers and secret records.

      The Washington Post has called the CFR “the nearest thing we have to a ruling establishment in the United States”, which has “for fifty years managed out international affairs and our military-industrial complex”. Around five hundred of the members are presidents and presidential candidates, US government officials, including CIA directors, secretaries of state, secretaries of defense, as well as bank chiefs, university deans, diplomats, newspaper and news network executives, executives of civilian and military industries, and the like.

      For about half a century, both presidential candidates have been members of the CFR and/or various secret societies. What’s wrong with that? A lot. It means that in “the land of the free” the American people are given a choice to elect a candidate while both of them are members of unelected, unrepresentative, and unaccountable behind-the-scene groups. Such was the situation, for example, back in 2004, when both Republican Party candidate and incumbent president George W. Bush and Democratic Party candidate senator John Kerry were CFR members and members of a secret Yale University-based fraternity “Skull and Bones”. The Establishment makes sure that irrespective of which candidate is elected by unsuspecting American voters, there will be no profound or extensive shift in the domestic and foreign policies of the United States.

      Unfortunately, by believing that their votes can change anything most people seek self-importance or just play ostrich.

    • There seems to be truth to what Steve O is saying.. Turkey’s military and banking are run by Jews. Ataturk was half Jewish..These are the same descendents of the planners that still enjoy the fruit of the Armenian Genocide.

      Talaat historians claim that he was a member of a secret chapter of Binai Brith. (Again i have no proof of that.) Ambassador Morganthau wrote however that the young Turks used religion to encourage the mass murders yet themselves, were the least religious.

      Today, the US has implanted over 40 nuclear war heads on Turkish soil. Tell me, what other 99% Muslim country would the US do that too? NONE.. ALL OUR foreign policy goes through the US state department and the Jewish lobby. They must approve it first….

      When Abe Foxman points to the fact that the Armenian Genocide resolution will “harm the Jews in Turkey” i never understood that until i realized he meant the controlling donemehs that spent centuries infiltration Turkish society. This seems to be the real big secret that will be exposed when the Armenian genocide should be recognized..Imagine the reflective introspection that Turkey would have to go through if it should come to terms with its past?

      Having said that it should be equally noted that the oppression of the Armenians was a Turkish trait for centuries…Sultan Hamid murdered hundreds of thousands of Armenians without blinking an eye..Also many Jews were persecuted under Ottoman rule. Today there are Jewish groups who are totally in favor of the AG recognition and we mustn’t forget that. And lets not forget that there were many brave Turks who risked their lives to save Armenians as well….

  4. I understand the author’s frustration but I think the conclusion he reaches is naive. Yes, neither candidate has done anything deserve Armenian-American votes on the basis of Armenian issues, but Armenia is not the only issue in the world (which I acknowledge the author points out). Disappointing as their respective performances of the candidates have been with regards to Armenia, we have to make pragmatic decisions on other issues that affect us as Armenians and as Americans. Does the Armenian-American community benefit from Obama’s healthcare reform? (I would say yes). Can we feel secure with the prospect of Romney’s willingness to provoke armed conflict with Iran, and the implications that will have for Iran’s neighbor, Armenia? (I would say no, this possibility should be one of grave concern). Which candidate’s policies on gun control would make the neighborhoods we live in here in America safer? (Again, I personally would favor Obama’s). These are my particular opinions, but I would imagine every other Armenian-American has strongly-held views on these issues as well. And these views go unexpressed to our own detriment.

    The author’s simplistic conclusion that we should cross our arms like petulant children and refuse to support either candidate accomplishes only one thing; removing entirely any Armenian-American influence in this election. And that does not help us any more than either of these candidates have. We must advocate for ourselves in whatever capacity we can, even if we have to begin by advocating for advocacy itself.

  5. I have a Question! Why hasn’t anybody yet asked Governor Romney what is his take on this issue? Why are the Armenians quite about this?

  6. Article seems-rather petulant. There are other issues at stake-as incredible as it may seem-some of those issue have more impact on the welfare of our nation(USA) than issues surrounding the land of my fore-bearers.

    If the candidates were otherwise equal in my mind in terms of the right direction for the USA then I would use Armenian issues as a differentiating consideration.

    If Mr. Sassounian feels Armenian interests are germane to the US then it is incumbent upon him and similarly persuaded folks to make a convincing case.

    Neither party at the national level considers Armenian issues important to the US, This reflects on those who affirm Armenian Issues should be front and center.

    They have failed to make a convincing case. Construct a compelling case for why Armenian issues are of importance to the welfare of the American people and the USA. Stop whining about “they” aren’t giving us attention–there is little to be gained by throwing a tantrum.

    • I agree with you wholeheartedly. It’s not that don’t like us; it’s just that we are not important to the American interests in the world. Instead of complaining about how indifferent the two men are about our issues, we need to unite among ourselves and get strong. Sometimes, we are our biggest enemy.

    • It seems to be the case that the Armenian Case or Cause is pursued with a strategy of primarily crying out about how others should be doing more for us. How others are blind to the injustices suffered upon us–appeal to pity. Mr. Sassounian’s article underscores the failure of this approach. The article is the perfect metaphor for the petulant and crying child strategy for attention.

      If Armenians are going to ask others to do heavy lifting for them. Maybe they should do some heavy lifting first. I acknowledge the generosity of the global Armenian community. However, in some regards sending money is easy. Maybe not even as helpful as it appears when it feeds into widespread corruption.

      I am referring to taking on the tough challenges. Such as:

      Build a real democracy in Armenia-respect for the individual Armenian.
      Put in place the rule of law vs the rule by power and influence.
      Respect women and their rights in society.
      Protect individual freedoms and minority rights and religion(s) and a unfettered media.
      Create an economic, regulatory, tax, and legal environment that protects investment and capital. A corollary to protecting individual freedom and rights.

      Maybe when others see Armenia and Armenians actually trying to build a genuine home for Armenians- a place where Armenians might want to live-then maybe others may begin to take Armenian Issues more seriously. I understand this is difficult and takes time. After all, we have been trying to build the same here in the USA for over 200 years and we have not yet finished this hard effort. I am not convinced it is ever finished but it does have to have a more robust start in Armenia if we are to ever see progress and earn the regard of others.

      Yes, regard and respect have to be earned–in part the outcome of doing for yourself. If you are weak-small in numbers-a country with questionable governance and make demands-don’t be surprised when others turn a deaf ear.

    • [Build a real democracy in Armenia-respect for the individual Armenian.
      Put in place the rule of law vs the rule by power and influence.
      Respect women and their rights in society.
      Protect individual freedoms and minority rights and religion(s) and a unfettered media.
      Create an economic, regulatory, tax, and legal environment that protects investment and capital. A corollary to protecting individual freedom and rights.]

      Dave,

      How many of these challenges have been built in America over 200+ years of independence? How many do you expect from Armenia to build after just 20 years of independence? Most importantly, do you think America is a democracy?

    • Gourgen,

      Comparing the USA to Armenia might be useful as an exercise to establish benchmarks for Armenia. Comparing the USA to Armenia to excuse or justify the poor governance of Armenia is neither helpful or illuminating.

      As for the perspective that Armenians and Armenia are newly borne -a nascent nation struggling to catch older more established cultures and countries –that has it’s problems as well.

      We can’t both claim that we are an ancient civilization–a people with an advanced culture that just happens not have developed the ability to implement some modest level of good governance. Do you think 4000 years isn’t enough time for Armenians to learn that people ought to be equal before the law? Do you think 4000 years isn’t enough time to learn corruption is not an admirable quality? What about freedom of conscience-religion-expression-gender equality? Are these all mysteries we need more time to grasp?

      Sure Armenia is in tough neighborhood and the neighbors don’t play nice. That doesn’t excuse the poor development of democracy and the corrupt justice system.

      Blaming others gets us off the hook for doing the hard work of getting our own house in order.

    • Dave,

      Comparing any one country with any other country is, to me, imprudent, because each country has its unique set of historical, geographical, economic, and cultural peculiarities. I didn’t try to actually compare the USA to Armenia. Neither did I try to justify the poor governance of Armenia by comparing the two countries. I only invited your attention to the fact that the two cannot be compared given the set of peculiarities I mentioned above.

      As much as I’m against the country-to-country comparison, why do you think comparing the USA to Armenia might be useful as an exercise to establish benchmarks for Armenia? Why not France, for that matter? And what are the uniquely American benchmarks that might be useful for Armenia? If you meant the rule of law, respect for individual freedoms, civil rights, etc., then, I’m sorry, they’re not uniquely American. Besides, the American form of government has its own blemishes. Hardly can it be called democracy, i.e. the rule by the majority. In essence, it is oligarchy, i.e. the rule by the minority. Is this the benchmark that you’d wish for Armenia?

      And we can both claim that we are an ancient civilization and that we happened not have developed the ability to implement good governance. There is a simple explanation to that. Armenians lost statehood in the 15th century when the last independent Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia ceased to exist. The Ottoman rule followed, ending in genocide. Two years of nominal, ghostly independence during the First Republic of 1918-1920 don’t count much. Then the loss of independence again to the Soviets and only from 1991 onwards we have independent statehood again. 4000 years of our historical existence has almost nothing to do with learning how to be equal before the law or that corruption is not an admirable quality. It can’t be said that in modern-day Iran that has equal—if not more ancient—history, there exists equality before the law or that the corruption is eliminated. Nor can it be said that in Israel or China or India, all of whom might have more extensive history of existence than the Armenians, everything is fine with equality before the law or corruption. Nor can it be said that in Europe and the US everything was fine with equality before the law or corruption until recent times. Mere sixty years ago neither AfroAmericans nor women nor Native Indians had equal rights in America. And such European nations as Germany or Italy only sixty years ago had fascist form of government in which freedom of conscience-religion-expression-gender equality were often punishable by death. You ask: “are these all mysteries we need more time to grasp?” Yes, a nation-state development will require as much time as necessary to mature. That’s the fact.

      I agree that the fact that Armenia is in tough neighborhood doesn’t excuse the poor development of democracy and the corrupt justice system. But it does drain much efforts and attention from concentrating on domestic issues. And that’s the fact, too.

      I agree that blaming others doesn’t help and that we need to put our own house in order. But, unfortunately, there’s much interference into domestic affairs by those who do not wish to see Armenia democratic and better-governed. Try to understand that democratic and better-governed nations are less controllable and this is not what the power centers would wish to see.

  7. This is an incredibly myopic view of the situation. Since you don’t like either candidate you’re going to not have a voice at all? Guess what, whether or not Armenian-American’s vote for a presidential candidate, one of them is going to win. That’s just a fact. Thanks for your unsound advice, Mr. Sassounian, but I refuse to give up my vote just because both candidates are disappointing. Moreover, as somone who was born in Iran with family members who still live there, I am deeply concerned about Mr. Romney’s trigger-happy attitude towards Iran, especially since hasn’t bothered to educate himself of the fact that Iranians are not Arabs and that Syria is certainly not Iran’s access route to the sea (having lived in Iran as a child, I can assure you that we vacationed by the Caspian Sea quite often without ever having to travel to Syria). I’m not sure about you Mr. Sassounian, but being Armenian is not the only thing that defines me. As a woman, I have grave concerns about Mitt Romney’s policies (and his binders). I imagine that other Armenian-Americans also feel strongly about issues that have nothing to do with the Armenian Genocide or foreign aid to Armenia, such as immigration, healthcare, the economy, etc. Telling Armenians not to vote for either candidate is, for lack of a better word, stupid.

    • If you are concerned about Romney’s position on Iran, then read the F W Engdahl article at http://www.engdahl.oilgeopolitics.net/print/Syria%20Turkey%20Israel%20and%20a%20New%20Greater%20Middle%20East%20War.pdf

      Obama is no better. The actual US policy behind statements by Obama and Romney is something other than what the American people are being told. If you are voting for Obama based on what you wrote then you are making a decision on an illusion, and not on what is actually driving US policy in the region.

    • Thanks, Arius, but I choose to read an article from a conspiracy theorist who thinks global warming is a “scare” tactic with a grain of salt.

      As I stated before. I am also a woman and deeply concerned about Romney and Ryan’s stance on women’s issues. Romney’s comments in the debate last week about letting his staffer have a flexible schedule so she could go home early and make dinner showed how out of touch he is with women. Thanks, Mr. Romeny, but I want equal pay for the same work that my male counterpart performs, I don’t want a “flexible” schedule so I can go home and cook dinner for my husband after a long day at the office.

    • You must be watching the distorted news of MSNBC for your daily news… Also reading your views about womens equal pay its not the president who determines your qualifications or value in the job market if your qualified female you can even become the Governer of any state or even thr PRESIDENT OF THE USA.

    • Rouben; the president can support legislation that guarantees women receive equal pay. You must not be reading the news at all…

    • Bravo Annie and Katie! I am a 68-year old Armenian-American and I am very proud of you. I don’t agree with ‘AR’ who says that ‘Annie, you may be a women, but you certainly do not sound like an Armenian women.’ I have no idea why an Armenian woman should think differently than any other woman.

      Here is my take: As a woman I was offended by two things. First when Myth R’money was asked what he would do to help equal pay for women, he answered what he did personally and in a paternalistic way for women in his administration. I do not want to be dependent on ‘daddy’ to fix things for me, I want equality to be provided by law. Second, he walked at the moderator to try to intimidate her into letting him speak past his time. As he walked at her, I felt shudders.

    • AR,
      What is that supposed to mean? What exactly does an Armenian woman sound like? People like you is what is wrong with Armenia right now and the fact that women are still considered 2nd class citizens in that country (more so than in the US).

  8. Arius, Engdahl also denies the reality of global warming, calling it a “scare tactic” by vested interests. Not a credible citation.

  9. Well put, Annie. Romney is a huge threat to women, not to mention a member of a highly suspect religious cult. How could anyone feel comfortable voting for someone whose grandfather fled to Mexico so as to be allowed to be have 5 wives?! This is why conservatives make up stories about Obama being Muslim; they have to distract the public from the truly scary sh*t that is in Romney’s closet!

    • I can’t believe what I am reading, can’t you see the state of our economie in the last 4 years??? gas prices? 30000 people crying for help in Syria, Lebanon in crisis, Iran nuclear, Egypt Muslim brotherhood, Lybia lies… on and on… I lived all my life in Europe can’t you see what is hapening in Greece, France, Espagn.. By the way Obama and his cronies are in panic mode all they are trying is to distort the truth… 5 wives… Just like he did to the Armenians. 8 weeks before election he is offering free pills to women and a free pass for illegal mexicans just to get there vote… he should have done all this during the first 2 years when he had the congress and the senate on his side.
      I don’t know what Romney will bring but at list NO FOR “ABOMINATION” !!!!

    • Rouen,
      I find it amusing that you think that you think the president does not determine equal pay for women even though he supported the legislation, yet you think he is single-handedly responsible for: gas prices, uprising in the Middle East, financial crisis in Greece and Spain, etc. You must be watcing Faux News.
      The story about 5 wives is true. Why don’t you do your own research. Mormonism is a farce of a religion created by one man (Joseph Smith) who had a miraculous revelation about this purported religion. Mormonism is about as much a “religion” as Scientology is.

  10. At list Romney DID NOT LIE we should keep our hope and expectation open and educate him the importance of our geographic location in the middle east and the unreliable Turkish goverment. Our only asset is our strategic location…
    We know for sure OBAMA is a lyer and we have no hope with him…
    plus the fact the Armenians in Syria and in Lebanon are in danger and this guy all he cares is to be reelected.
    Going against Romney will not help our case in case he becomes our next President.

    • Why, cause then he might ignore us? Oh, wait….

      If you want to talk about liars (which is how we spell that word, more proof of why we need the improvements Obama is making to our education system) then you should focus on Romney, who changes his position and his promises on every issue multiple times. Yes, Obama broke promises on Armenian issues, and he should rectify this issue. But we know for certain that whatever Romney says cannot be relied upon for more than a week. Trust me, I live in Massachusetts, I’m very familiar with how this guy works.

    • Rouben,
      Tell me one thing that the GOP has done purely for the middle class in the last 30 years? It amazes me the idea that funneling more to the wealthiest Americans is the route we need to go..because that is the main function of the GOP..All else is a means to those ends.

  11. First of all I agree with Steven O. and with Mr. Sassounian. Neither of the candidates deserve even one Armenian vote. I want to send a message to the candidates and vote on Libertarian presidential ticket. Let them know if they are not supporting Armenian American community, then we will not support them either. So few Armenians are registered voters anyway, that it is not going to make a difference in the presidential votes. If we were smart, then we would make sure every Armenian in US is registered voter, so that we can show numbers and that would make a difference, it would make our votes count for the presidential candidate. And, some of you with comments about the muslims in US, there is nothing you can do about it. The entire world should worry about it. Watch the you tube video here and you will understand: http://youtu.be/0ZNfgABcXU8 (Copy and paste in you tube).

  12. Mr Sassounian is correct in all his analysis, so you people here need to refrain from criticizing this article. Plainly stated, Obama is a LIAR. Now whether you choose to vote for him again, or “take a chance” with Romney, it is your right.

    If you think that as Americans “there are other concerns than Armenia” such as jobs, then logically Romney would apparently be better for the economy.

    All I know is, if we numbered 30 million instead of 1 (or so), both of these candidates would be licking our boots in a heartbeat, and the AG would have already been recognized.

    Speaking of the AG, unfortunately one of these candidates will be the president in 2015. Which has more of a chance to do the right thing at the 100 year anniversary of the AG? That is something you need to figure out for yourself.

    The other thing I know is, the USA is a one-party system, and “Democracy” is an illusion. The “media” masterfully exploits and coerces the unsuspecting lazy public into identifying themselves as “Republican” or “Democrat” when in fact, in the end they both do the same thing, taking slightly different approaches to accomplish the same thing.

    Also, Steven above makes valid points, whether you think he’s a conspiracy theorist or not. I completely reject the excuse that the USA recognizing the AG “is contrary to our security” like these ZIONISTS claim. I also reject completely that “Israel is our only and important ally in the region” That is not by circumstance, but by intent. For every American alive, Israel is utterly irrelevant, yet, the USA has no problem alienating 2 billion Muslims in the world and “security” is the last of our worries when it comes to blindly supporting this supposedly “important” ally. And in fact without its existence the USA would be a lot more “secure”: that’s why the excuse of not recognizing the AG “because it would make Turkey mad” is based on the wickedness of the Israeli Zionist lobbies, and not based on reality. The USA has a moral duty and obligation to the Armenian community, and if you disagree and you don’t have the same opinion of Jews and Israel, then you are a HYPOCRITE.

    • “If you think that as Americans “there are other concerns than Armenia” such as jobs, then logically Romney would apparently be better for the economy.”

      Wait, wait. What? That’s not logical whatsoever. Just because something is unknown doesn’t mean it is better. Look at the progress we’ve made towards economic recovery since Obama took office. He inherited an economic nightmare from Bush, and he has made admirable progress in repairing the damage. So where do you suddenly arrive at the conclusion that Romney would “logically…be better for the economy”? He’d be better for the economy as it affects him and his friends, but as for the rest of us, forget about it.

  13. You know there are other political parties in America besides republican and democrat, as much as the media likes to pretend there isn’t. Go vote for them.

  14. Voting for a third party in this rigged system is about as useful as not voting at all as Mr. Sassounian suggests.

    • Exactly, Katie! If Armenian-Americans want to waste their vote, then they have that right but they need to realize that is what they are doing. I’m not saying it is fair, but that is just the reality.

  15. John,

    What about the Democrats, what they have achieved, more people on welfare? more people on food stamps? instead of creating jobs and opportunity for people who want to work.
    People who work hard are always successful no matter what and do not need goverment handout, look at the asians they never complain and their kids are always the top performers. Look at innovators starting new co.
    All I am trying to convey that we do not need more goverment regulations and more taxes so business can flourish and be able to hire more people and compete with China and other countries abroad, look at the dems in bed with Union leaders and their unreasonable demands that are one of the main reason why most of manufacturing co. are gone forever.
    Also us Armenians we can only depend on us, we should also take a lesson from the Jews how they have managed to emerge after a terrific genocide only 68 years ago… that’s why now we should vote with our heads not with our hearth.
    Go with the winner… if you want to survive.

  16. In my humble opinion:

    Voting neither ‘or not voting’ is the worst decision a US-Armenian can make!
    Voting Romney to punish Obama is also wrong, because:
    By voting somebody who never cared to get your vote doesn’t achieve anything.

    I beleive, by voting Obama; Armenians have the rights to pursue whatever he said about Armenian Genocide and pomised long ago but didn’t act.
    US-Armenians are better to have Obama as president and force him to act on his earlier committments, than having Romney without any committment.

    • Basically the Armenian vote doesn’t count that much, since the swing states will decide the vote, and I’m not sure if there are that many Armenians in the swing states. Promises made by both candidates are absolute rubbish. Example: Romney promising in the last debate, to promote equally of sexes in Egypt (out of all places !!! can you believe it ??). Translation ; he’s looking for the female vote in the swing states. For Armenians, voting for Obama and Romney is a waist of time, they don’t expect it anyway. If they did, they would have sollicited the Armenian vote. But they didn’t. Rather vote for the Congressmen and later for the Senators who have kept their promises in the past and have fought for Armenian causes, even if there’s the risk of being vetoed out. This is the best Armenians can do.

  17. In my humble opinion:

    Voting neither ‘or not voting’ is the worst decision a US-Armenian can make!
    Voting Romney to punish Obama is also wrong, because:
    By voting somebody who never cared to get your vote doesn’t achieve anything.

    I beleive, by voting Obama; Armenians have the rights to pursue whatever he said about Armenian Genocide and pomised long ago but didn’t act.
    US-Armenians are better to have Obama as president and force him to act on his earlier committments, than having Romney without any commitment.
    Well said!

    • Well said Juliet. It is incumbent upon all American-Armenians to vote. If they person you voted for betrayed you, then vote them out! And if the next one betrays you, you vote them out too! It’s about time our voices are heard and our concerns met. Learn more: http://bit.ly/R6xb1i

  18. American heads of state are bought and sold once every four years. They are figure heads at best. They are owned by a handful of big corporations that own this country and the heads of state are servants to them who sign their paychecks. The rest is a big dog and pony show. How realistic and impartial can a presidential election be when the richer the candidate and more money he pumps into his election campaign the more chance he has to win the candidacy? And who are the majority of the target audience of these candidates but average Americans with very little knowledge of who they vote for. These voters lack depth in evaluating their candidates and devoid of intelligence to sort through all the gibberish presented to them by these candidates.

    That said, it is of course important who gets elected in so far as Armenian issues are concerned. Obama is either a coward or a liar. In the United States he makes solid promises to the Armenians to tend to their concerns not just because he is getting their votes but also because he believes them to be the truth and concerns that need serious attention. When he is abroad in Turkey, he gets tongue-tied and wimps out. He is just like all other spineless democrats when it comes to foreign policy issues. No American should vote for a president who bows down to the Saudi king and calls Turkey’s Erdogan, the loud-mouth anti-Armenian racist genocide denier, his closest friend.

    Unlike the wimpy and wishy-washy democrats, the republicans whom Romney represents are much more organized and resolute in their line of thinking but unfortunately they are greedy and corrupt. They are the true capitalists and the only thing they care about is their own pockets and the top 5% who give them their jobs. American interests will always dominate the republican foreign policies above all else.

    As far as Armenian issues and our enemies are concerned, the US oil companies and energy-hungry Europe have found a new black gold mine in Axerbaijan they can exploit with very little regard to the well-being of Armenia. Turkey being one of the 28 NATO allies, which US alone pays 80% of its expenses from hard-earned tax dollars, and the only Muslim country in the NATO club will continue to milk this cow to its advantage and hold it hostage and blackmail it when it comes to the Armenian issues.

    What’s left to do? Don’t vote for either candidate. You are just a count in their ballot boxes. Instead, elect well-informed and intelligent-minded senators and congressmen who will tend to the Armenian concerns and advance Armenian issues not because of a few votes but because it is morally the right thing to do.

  19. Dear Compatriots.
    I have read most not all of above comments on Sassounian’s commentary as rgds not voting for either of the candidates.
    Frankly I feel the same way as he does,despite some very in place and positive reasoning to the contrary.I shall also briefly touch upon a few very important points that some here may not know,as I have lived some 30 of my years in Iran,visited lebanon more than six times, gone through staying a few days in Tel-Aviv etc.,
    Firstly *with all due respect, my Arab Armenians ,persian Armenians,Istanbulla Armenians do not-and I stress the negative- know what is the population pof Israel composed of .most think they are the down-trodden*so to say yahoodis that lived and still live in some of those countries.NO,THEY AR NOT.
    Israel is actually 99.99% European!!! British ,German, polish ,Russian Rumanin ..in short a composition of near all Euro people ,PLUS my friends family from South America-daughter with granddaughter with kalashnikov in her hands*in the photo she showed me proudly LIVE ON THOSE LANDS.
    in short they are a mixture-made up nation/state that is Essentially Euro-Am,nothing to do with the Yahoodis-Khrias the Jihoods….so much for that.
    Who saw to it that said State came to be,after famous Balfour Declaration?
    Let´s admit the Zionists but also, they themselves,who were tired of being pushed around in European countreis etc., and knew that -as accepted by Chritianity Jesus Christ was born into JUDEA(BTW) a few European old maps testify to that.thence they also fought for it ,Yes even against thje British.I happened to stay 3 days at the Tel aviv Daivd or Ben Gurion Hotel, right after a few days when the Irgun Zvai liumi or Hagannah Forces had bombed it…whatever. They fought for their Freedom ,much as we did!!!!!
    As to thje Arabs,we must always respect them and appreciate how they protected us after Genocide, never forget it.But facts are facts,the Jews want a piece of Land that actually USED TO BE JUDEA…theirs.Let us be real frank.
    I shall continue within a few minutes…
    don´t know why the lowere part of this page suddenly cuts me short.Anyhow that,what I am about to comment upon is re VOTING…NOT CONFLICTS IN M.E. AND our stance which pought to be impartial.
    ==========================================================LooLOOKS like I can go on.Well Mr. Sassounian, I have one ¨suggestion¨.I never advise fellow Armenians-a bit like the neighbouring …difficult to accept such-advice.
    I believe WE ARE AS YET IN TIME TO STAGE A FEW IMPORTANT DEMONSTRATIONS IN L.A. AND D.C.,PLUS BOSTON,NY.WITH HUGE PLACARDS.THAT WILL GO LIKE THIS..-
    MESSRS. CANDIDATES .PRESIDENT OBAMA AND GOV.ROMNEY.COME STRIAGHT AS TO ACKNOWLEDGEING THE AR,MENIAN GENOCIDE.THEN WHOEVER DOES THAT EARLIER WE VOTE FOR HIM!!!!
    yOU SEE DEAR COMPATRIOTS WE DO NOT HAVE THE ZIONISTS capability to do that properly long before the voting.But we can at the very lest with very little EFFORT ACHIEVE THE ABOVE.What ´s more ….We are good at it too. I shall sometime in future also say,let me say it why I prefer the person on both of these candidates- don´t be surprised, the interviewer,don´t even know his name,that had posed a very important question and NOT GIVEN PROPER ANSWER BY EITHER!!!!CANDIDATE.

  20. A SHORT FOLLOW UP ON MY ABOVE POST:-
    I HOPE MANY OR ALL COULD discern/dign into what the purposse of my suggdestion as to Hiuge Demos was…
    SIMPLY PUT.TIME FOR YOU GUYS TO OFFCIALLY ACCEPT GENOCIDE ISSUE AND ATTEND TO OUR RESTORAION/REPARATIOONS DEMANDS!!!
    It is not just us bickering a simple phrase.latter was -according to Harut Sassounian already pronouned by pres. Ronald Reagon…
    We are here now asking for JUSTICE to be implemente ,culprit made to pay….for (this is my suggestion again,sorry folks) B L O O D M O N E Y!!More realizable than land property return.That can wait some more!!!
    Thanks for reading me and please opine.Silence bodes bad.

  21. Every parent in America, regardless of his or her heritage, should recognize that President Obama’s record of funding public education is in the best interest of our children. If our children can read, if they are able to see what is the truth and what is a lie, if they can express their opinions clearly in any language either in speech or in writing, they will have a better life. If our children are educated, America will be a better place and our children will be better able to argue for a just treatment of Armenia and Armenians.

  22. With all due respect to all those who suggest that a vote for Obama is better than a vote for Romney, because we can still work with Obama to have him change his mind and make him fulfill his statements when he was a Senator : I don’t get you !! How can we forget his sneaky choice of words on his “first” April 24th, and the immense pressure that the US exercised on our poor President Sargsyan to accept a doomed road map on the very eve of that April 24th (!!!) , to keep him very conveniently off the hook for the rest of presidency ? He was the first President to use the words “Medz Yeghern”, which meant, even we Armenians, do not use the G word in our own language ? Did he get help from his Zionist Chief of Staff for the first two years of his presidency, to definitely put the G word on the back burner for ever at least for his term(s) as President ? But of course he allegedly, “still believed to his own convictions” but had to let the two parties work on the issue while there was a road map on the table ? Are we that naïve to forget all this ? Isn’t clear enough that he is not interested in the issue ? California, where the largest Armenian contingent is located is not one of the swing states and the outcome there is predictable. So I agree with Sassounian that a vote for either of these candidates is waste of time. Vote for friendly Congressmen and Senators. Do not vote for people who are indifferent to the Armenian cause.

  23. Hey Sarkis,
    Of course I and many others endorse what Sassounian advocates.But ,before we downgrade to Senators and Congressmen(please excuse my insistence in this respect) we should hold on to our president or presidential candidate.
    What all the Armenian community should act as though we were second class citizens?’ why not <STAND FIRM and indeed make our votes COUNT!!!!
    HOWEVER ,I ¨suggested¨ we BRING IT TO THEIR ATTENTION,WITHIN THE DAYS LEFT…that OUR CASE/*CAUSE has to be addressed,before we cast our VOTES FOR EITHER OF THEM.
    Please be a bit more condescending Armenian!!!!!
    Listen to all Mr. Sassounian,OR AT THE VERY LEAST RESPOND TO MY VERSION OF APPROACHING TO THE ISSUE.Like for instance say YOU ARE WONRG , you err.I am right!!!!

  24. For once, for just once, please show your indignation to the both presidential candidates by voting “Neither” on the ballot. The American Establishment and their Turkish denialists should be so very happy by the time-consuming and essentially fruitless efforts of the Armenian-American community to have a US president utter the G-word, instead of focusing on individual lawsuits and other legal actions, voting for friendly congressmen and senators, lobbying the ones that are undecided or even unfriendly. Also, concentrate on think tanks, advocacy groups, and the academia. In other words, advance the cause on the grassroots level, as well. Leave the POTUS alone: they’re just CFR marionettes.

  25. Up Above(my previous posts) I treid hard not to displease anyone…
    none the less ,I made an effort to convey that a NON COMMITTAL STANCE, is not becoming to us.After all ,I am certain(AND HOPE MANY MORE) that the majority of the 3rd,4th even 2nd generation Armenian Americans feel that it isTHERE DUTY TO VOTE FOR the presidential elections. Not just this one but all such to come…thence,
    While I do not wish to cross examine ,oppose or place in doubt what he-Gourgen- writes above, has some ramifications that may not be in accordance with the mainstream Armenian American thinking,viz. generational -above-attitutde of say American way of campaigning, of vote casting ,etc.,it is a duty that all citizens of Armenian origin Americans have so far abided by. Newcomer Armenian citizens ought to follow them and do so.BUT… I also ¨ suggested¨ it is the right of a citizen to ask the incumbent or present president of the United States a simple question.Would he officially acknowledge the Armenian Genocide (like many other soverign countries so far have done) regardless of whatever will ensue from said act .
    The Demonstration by fellow Armenian Americans on the streets of the U.S. cities is nothing new.Especially when we have always behaved in very civil manners and will continue to do so.
    I address Mr. Harut Sassounian now:-Would you support this suggestion of mine and prompt the public to commence preparations for the peaceful huge demonstrations to that effect. After all….not voting at all might have some negative effect and give food to adversary-you know who-to downplay the law abiding and totally devoted Armenian American to their satisfaction.
    No,we ought not give them that chance Mr. Sassounian and others….
    We ask their opinion and if they wish our votes to go either or both of them then we shall proceed.May I add-to the surprise of many- EVEN IF NEITHER
    EXPRESSES DECISION to acknowledge the Genocide,we should vote.
    At least, we would have one more plus to our credit that we tried again.

  26. Dear Dave,
    Even at my advanced age,I’m glad to say that you do not pass up important little distinctions…such as you wrote this POST of your dated 27th Oct.*today whereas many below yours are dated way back to Oc.t 23,24 etc.,
    This means that either you-a well prepared electronics guru-or at the editorial offices has pulled up that one. Which indeed pleased me…..
    since in vain did I look for a response to my 2 or 3 posts re Sassounian’s”neither Obama nor Romney” article.
    There is plenty to be said as rgds your veryn meaningful post-a bit diverted from submject matter-but I welcome it. it is to the point …w/ref to corruption and country with laws but people in it that do not comply with them and obviously try to find loopholes, tricks etc., to do what they do to as they please….
    It is in this respect that I have written at large various Pleas*while within these I softly but firmly insist that the RA has to implement the laws and not put the blame*again and agian on Earthquake,war, being BLOCKADED….
    LATTER IS REALLY THE culmination of these UNACCEPTABLE remarks, since if one goes and inspects,like I do various markets in yerevan,not the food related but construction-above all and electro domesticos*spanish for all Electric appliance of a homes….ALL OR NEAR ALL ARE FROM great Turkey.Fact of the matter is ,last year when a road to said country was turned impassable because of landslides-mudslides, I clearly saw it various times how NAKLIEH*transport trucks,huge ones were on that rodad to or from great Turkey…
    Thence our folks -unfortunately- lie to us that RA is blockaded …they do business and import whatever they wish from that country that as yet has not diplomatic relationms with Armenia nor has it expressed wish to accept culpability for the Genocide their precedent Govt.s perpetrated on us.
    Time is to accept realities and not hide behind such lies and pretext.You are right. So far they ahve only been to stage one ridiculous act and that very rudely and uncouthly directed at an ex Foreign Ministre that did his best for his country. Simply put a scapegoat …
    We need to have this is the UMPTIETH TIME THAT I WRITE THE FOLLOWING>/
    THE 5 MAIN CONTINENT Armenian community countries,N.^ S. Americas, EU, RF and Middle East should have their permanent DELEGATES within the Ministry of Diaspora,which was re enacted as such.yes re enacted,as the soviet Armenian Gov. had it under different denomination,that of Committe for overseas with Hayastan. All that was BTW done as result of Diaspora prompting them to open up the Ministry.
    Now we should insist that we have our reps. there….
    One more thing, I take this oppertunity-since AW may stop posting other articles re Sassoiunian’s “Neither ,nor….
    Latter also is of the utmost importance since we SHOULD VOTE.I came to that concljusion after measuring up many an important point.Especially that of our Adversaries, waiting to declare us bad citizens who REFUSE TO VOTE* WHICH IS THEIR DUTY.
    we dEMONSTRATE , ASK FOR ACKNOLWEDGEDMENT OF gENOICDE AND IF REJECTED THEN , EVEN THEN WE VOTE…
    WE SHALL HAVE THE PROFF THAT WE DID WHAT IS REQUIRED BY LAW.

  27. The US will never offend Turkey.

    Turkey serves the US/NATO greatly.

    And as such, Turkey is also strategic in supporting US air bases that can support Israel.

    The balance of power won’t be tampered with.

    And as long as AIPAC continues to be the decider in “blessing” the approved candidates, Armenians need to take a hint at how the system works.

    The only advice for Armenians is to work hard, form and maintain lifelong strong marriages, have plenty of children and encourage your children to work with other Armenians and their involvement in finance, politics, entertainment, news, and so on.

    The jewish model can be duplicated and improved upon by the Armenians.

    Good luck.

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