Lisbon Beyond Editorials

On July 26, on the eve of the 30th anniversary of the Lisbon Five operation, hundreds marched in Lebanon in commemoration of the legacy of the five young Armenians who gave their lives for the Armenian cause.

A scene from the march in Lebanon
A scene from the march in Lebanon

The march, as well as the dozens of commemoration events scheduled today around the world—including in Chicago and New York here on the East Coast—honored the memory of the Lisbon 5, and the legacy of struggle they inherited, embodied, and passed on.

There is a line that connects Lisbon Five to Tehlirian, to the commemoration of the Armenian genocide, the celebration of Armenia’s independence, and Artsakh’s freedom.

There is a part of Setrag, Vatche, Sarkis, Simon, and Ara beating under the chest of Armenians struggling anywhere around the world for freedom and justice—including, yes, social justice.

Three decades after the Lisbon Five operation, as the fronts, and the forms of struggle, have changed and multiplied, July 27 stands—first and foremost—as a day of celebrating the connection between the past and present, and between the different geographies and realities of our diasporic existence.

But most importantly, July 27 calls upon us to realize that our commitment to struggle ought to be beyond a particular day, beyond the ceremonious, the routine, and the pro-forma.

After all, there was nothing ceremonious and routine in their sacrifices.

30 Comments

  1. Does anybody seriously believe the murder of the wife of the chargé d’affaires and a Portuguese police officer brings honor to the Armenian people?

  2. The article says “…honored the memory of the Lisbon 5….” No where does it say that this action or others like it are inherently honorable.

    I’m just wondering how any group gets justice in the face of never-ending obstacles. When does that group say “peaceful, civilized dissent is no longer working?”

    Are revolutions honorable in light of innocent people who are killed? Is the killing — weather intentional or not — of any innocent person honorable under any circumstances at any point in history?

    But what is one to do…?

  3. Very much agree with you Joe and glad to know that there are some resoned Armenians out there, instead of those that would beat their chest in some kind of celebration of out right murder, bringing the Armenian Cause down to the level of the Young Turks that committed genocide against our people.

    Not to discount the tragedy of these young Armenian men, the Lisbon 5, being misguided into acts of terrorism, but how by honoring such acts do we Armenians separate ourselves from those such as Ramil Safarov who axed to death an Armenian military officer while he was sleeping? Do we really want to be of the same mindset and actions?

    How sad it is that these young Armenians of the Lisbon 5 never got to see the dream come true of a free and independent Armenia, and liberated Artsakh. Who knows what they could have accomplished for the Armenian nation?

  4. You raise some good questions Vartan, much of which go to the old question of ‘Does the end justify the means’? Especially for us Armenians, I would say absolutely not, the reason being that if we do not stand on the moral high ground, then where as a small nation of people do we stand?

    Not withstanding the ethical arguments of simply doing what is right, there is the very real issue of Armenia not being a strong nation. The reasons for this are numerous and could be debated ad-infinitum. Bottom line though, is that if we Armenians live by the policy of might (or violence) is right, well then we better expect to get clobbered by those that are mightier than us, of which there are many.

    Given our station in the world then, it seems imperative that the Armenian nation continue on the road of Hye Tad (the Armenian Cause), but lets be smart about it in ways that maximize our advantages, i.e. Armenian ingenuity and our historic ways of getting along with those around us. It has worked for some 2500 years afterall. So we continue to push for recognition of the Armenian Genocide to include reparations, we push the progress of Armenia (econonmically, politically, militarily, culturally and otherwise), and we increasingly establish Armenian interests to the world at large. What we don’t do, is support ideas contrary to basic human rights, i.e. terrorism, in any shape or form, no matter the best of intentions of those such as the Lisbon 5 or others.

    In the end, we Armenians are part of this planet Earth and thank God we’ve made it to this point, a kind of miracle I think. Our people have suffered much over the centuries, but we’ve also been greatly blessed. How shall we accept and repay that blessing, by causing suffering, or by being a blessing?

    • Christianity massacred our nation….
      We are stupid if we believe there is god…
      Godless people will prevail always
      Faithful people will die for their faith…
      To end skeleton in Derzor desert…till today un-graved
      Did god arrive to help 1.5 million slayed…?
      Where was god then…. sleeping in his bed…!!!

  5. All:

    No one was killed except a police officer – the wife of the Charge d’affaires was released as she had nothing to do with the situation at hand. The did not randomly use an act of violence for the purpose of using act of violence – this was not a terrorist act either as the attack was not against civilians – do not confuse these acts with those of ASALA. Please study the time period of our history and why these acts happened, do not use the word “terrorism” blindly. Stury the facts and understand, that if that act did not take place, and the Turkish government did not say “ok enough already” as well as the international arena, then our Hai Tahd would be where it is today. The questions of why did these young men commit this act – would not have brought the Armenian Genocide to the spotlight, as much as peopel would hate to believe that. When the international players said “ok enough already we’ll listen” these acts of Hai Tahd stopped and new acts Hai Tahd began….otherwise we would probably be set back a few decades in our works and still be on the initially stages of the “word getting out there” about the Armenian Genocide since the 100th is coming up. Many should also take into account that the Grey Wolves at those times were not so innocent either and sometimes acts had to be taken in defense / sending a message to those who continued to harm Armenian civilians (act of terror) against the Turkish government that funded and turned a blind eye to those operatons against innocent Armenian civilians…by attacking government embassies and diplomats, NOT civilians.

    • {“she was released as she had nothing to do with the issue”}
      .
      Where did you get that info ?
      All available news reports say she was killed, together with a Portuguese police officer, when the 4 remaining young men detonated their explosives.
      Can you point to a source that backs up the claim she was released ?
      .
      Specifically targeting Turkish officials – at the time – engaged in AG denial as all Turkish government officials were (and are) is one thing: they were officers, state actors, of a legal successor State which perpetrated the AG, and were engaged in AG denial, and were engaged in proactive white genocide: a worldwide campaign to effectuate the demise of Armenians as a distinct ethnos.
      But taking the civilian wife of the Turkish official hostage, and then causing her death cannot possibly be an honorable Armenian action.
      And apparently her teenage son was also taken hostage, but escaped: where is the honor in that ?
      What if he had not escaped and was killed too in the explosion ?
      And aside from the dishonorable part, there is no practical benefit to murdering innocent bystanders.
      If anything, it is counterproductive and activates more entities and actors who will work to eliminate you: why add more enemies ?
      .
      I understand people wanting to remember the young men, whose goal was worthy.
      But the method was flawed.
      And we also must not overlook the fact that the operation was poorly planned from the get go, and was basically botched: they blew themselves up because things got out of their control.
      They were idealistic young men: but old, non-idealistic, coldly calculating men rule and run the world. Something to think about.
      .
      As to bringing the Turkish AG denial to the (Western) world’s attention:
      Mr. Gourgen Yanikian was the pioneer, and he did it the right way: cleverly luring, specifically targeting, and assassinating two Turkish embassy officials.
      No innocent bystanders were harmed.
      And he did the operational planning and execution all by himself.
      Another thing to think about, while remembering the Lisbon 5.

  6. There is a big difference between terrorism and this act of justice – let’s not confuse the acts of ASALA or the Grey Wolves which killed innocent civilians with what these young men did. Terrorism goes after innocent civilians, these men targeted a government building and they did not kill the diplomats wife, she was released as she had nothing to do with the issue. Bear in mind everyone that our Hai Tahd wiuld not be where it is today if it wasn’t for this act – as the international world said “ok enough already we’ll listen” – and this opened the door to new acts of Hai Tahd – otherwise we would probably be stuck at the point right now of knowledge and dicsussion of the Armenian Genocide starting much later than when it did, and maybe have started to become a major topic of discussion now since the 100th is around the corner, versus back in the mid 80’s when international players started listening in order to stop these acts. Let’s also bear in mind what was happening at those times, the Turkish Grey Wolves group were not so innocent and were committing acts of terror by killing innocent Armeniain civilians (acts of terror) which were funded, approved, by the Turkish government. So the time had come to go after government officials and buildings, the source of these attacks, not against Turkish civilians (act of terror). All is fair in war and they went after the source of the problem at the time. Let’s not call this act anything that what it was – an act of justice – they stood up for the Armenian people and the Armenian Cause and moved Hai Tahd beyond where it would be today.

  7. are you guys retarded? glorifying terrorism? an embarrassment to the great Armenian nation and its history.

  8. Yes, much horror and suffering has come from religion. It is I suppose humanity’s blessing and curse. But lets be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water, i.e. much good has come from faith in God and religion. In the case of Armenians, much of our culture has come out of, and been at least partially connected with Christianity. Take for instance Mesrob Masdots creating the Armenian alphabet largely to translate the Bible into the Armenian language, or Komitas who at least during his formative years was nurtured and educated through the Armenian church.

    One has to be careful in blaming God and Christianity for the Armenian Genocide, i.e. God did not cause the Armenian Genocide. Rather it was the evil of man that was the cause. You may ask the question of why God allows such evil, but then the follow up question must be why allow free will or for that matter, any kind of existence at all?

    Yes there have been religious abuses, and the Armenian church is certainly not without fault here. But can we honestly say, that Armenia would have been better off without Christianity? It’s difficult to say for sure, but I suspect that despite the sufferings of the Armenian people because they were Christian, the alternative could have been assimilation and nonexistence in the modern world.

  9. First, I would yet again like to express my pride in our people, for our capacity to express and tolerate such diverse opinions on such a sensitive topic. That is what sets us apart from our enemies.

    Regarding the Lisbon 5 and the Armenian avengers (vrizharus), I would like to make a few points. As a people, we do not condone terrorism, and I have not heard a single Armenian encouraging the murder of Turkish diplomats now, or in the future. In fact, it was the vocal condemnation by the Diaspora that contributed to ending the killings by the ASALA in the 1980’s. However, and here I agree with Sevag, this does not mean that we should not recognize the role that these acts played in raising the awareness about the Genocide. These killings started in the 1970’s, when a Genocide survivor in his 70’s shot two Turkish diplomats. Before that, the Genocide was a largely unknown event for the wider public. Yet, a few years later, we had a major international body, the Euro Parliament, recognize the Genocide in 1987. And the killings largely stopped. We have the right to recognize this fact, that without the acts of our avengers, the Armenian Genocide might be limited to an academic topic among the non-Armenians. And we have the right to honor the lives and the sacrifices of these brave individuals after the fact, without condoning the use of terror in the present or the future.

    In the Jewish context, future prime minister Menachem Begin engaged in terrorist acts in the 1940’s. He was reviled by prominent Jews such as Einstein. Yet, he was later elected a prime minister and is now honored by many for his accomplishments.

    A few features distinguish the acts of our avengers from other terrorists, which may mean that these acts are not acts of terrorism. Unlike Al Qaeda, they did not target innocent civilians. Unlike the IRA, they did not blow up school-buses full of children. The Armenian avengers were extremely precise in targeting a specific group: Turkish diplomats. Sure, there were family members and other civilians killed, but they were not the targets, and compared to other acts of terrorism, the number of dead was much less. In fact, the remarkable precision and effectiveness of the Armenian avengers has been noted by non-Armenian sources.

    Now, let’s not forget, these diplomats were agents of the Turkish state, carrying out the Turkish state’s policy of not merely the denial, but the suppression of truth. The Turkish state was not merely denying the genocide, it actively did everything in its power to smother any mention of the Genocide: remember the aborted “40 Days of Musa Dagh” movie by MGM. In almost any modern criminal justice system, an act of covering up a murder is a crime, and the perpetrator is known as an accessory-after-the-fact, who can be punished as well. If covering-up a genocide is an act of continuation of a genocide, then the Turkish state and its diplomat agents were guilty of being accessories to the Genocide. Now, normally we have courts to handle guilty parties, but we Armenians were denied courts and justice precisely due to the acts of the Turkish state. By targeting these agents of the Turkish state, the Armenian avengers were in a sense committing acts of justice where other avenues had been closed to us (remember, Armenia could not conduct an independent foreign policy because it was part of the Soviet Union, precisely due to Kemal’s genocidal policies).

    Also, when it comes to the concept of terrorism, it generally means forcing policy changes through fear, i.e. terror, hence “terrorism.” However, the Armenian avengers were not trying to instill fear or terror in the hearts of the public and their officials. If they were, they would kill more victims in an attempt to spread fear, instead of narrowly targeting specific people. What our avengers were trying to do was to raise awareness about the Armenian Genocide through targeting those very agents of the Turkish state who were accessories to the Genocide. And they accomplished their goal with spectacular success.

    Moreover, our avengers self-dismantled their groups as soon as the world became aware of the Great crime. I don’t know of any terrorist organization ending its existence on its own initiative.

    In sum, of course we do not condone terrorism. However, that does not prevent us from recognizing certain facts about our avengers, including the key role that they played in having our voice heard to the world.

  10. What all of your remarks lack is context. First of all, there are NO Armenian terrorists but only Armenian freedom fighters and those of you who may use the word terrorism to refer to these acts are out of touch with reality and don’t know the despicable character and the appalling nature of our enemy.

    The people these brave, selfless and dedicated individuals surgically went after were the representatives of the genocidal Turkish government who used their diplomatic and political power to deny the murder of 1.5 million Armenians and to disrespect their memories. These Turkish diplomats acted as the agents of the Turkish government to complete the last phase of the Armenian Genocide and that was to lie the genocide ever took place and to rewrite history to fool the world and to turn the brutal mass extermination of their Armenian victims into a mere insignificant event in their past history. They deserved what they got. If Armenians of the 1920s, such as Soghomon Tehlirian, Aram Yerganian and Arshavir Shirakian, felt the way you do today the masterminds of the Armenian Genocide, such as Talat, Cemal and Enver among many others, would have lived out the rest of their natural lives in the European capitals and Central Asia while boasting to each other about what great service they performed for their nation and how close they came to put a complete end to the Armenian race.

    The problem with some Armenians is that they tend to have short memories and they think by acting as so-called “civilized”, so as not to stoop down to the level of their racial enemies, they will be rewarded for their civility and the whole world will rush to save and render them justice. Many of the same people you are trying to please by maintaining a good image are those who themselves have committed acts under state terrorism and labeled as collateral damage. This is all delusional thinking when you face an enemy who after taking over 90% of our ancestral homeland, murdering our nation to the point of total extinction, denying their genocidal acts to this day, and even after 98 years is doing everything to denigrate the memories of those whom they murdered mercilessly just because they wanted to live free in the lands they had lived for thousands of years before these barbaric, infidel Turkish nomads set foot on them.

    All you peace-loving and righteous Armenians out there, who are quick to label the righteous acts of these Armenian freedom fighters as dishonorable to the Armenian nation, be reminded that the first Armenian who actively and peacefully pursued to bring into light the Turkish atrocities in order to help initiate and create dialogue between the Armenians and the descendants of their Turkish murderers was rewarded for his “peaceful” act by an assassin’s bullet into his head in front of his office on Jan 19th, 2007. His assassin, on the other hand, was rewarded with cheers and called a hero and displayed his Turkish pride in his murderous act of an “infidel” Armenian by holding a Turkish flag inside a police station while surrounded by policemen in jubilance.

    Also, be reminded of the pogroms which were organized and carried out under police protection and with outmost brutality against hundreds of Armenians at random in 1988 in the neighboring artificial state of Azergayjan for peaceful rallies and demands by Armenians within the legal norms sanctioned by the Soviet government under “freedom and openness” act. This particular enemy further rewarded the Armenians for their peaceful and civilized acts by imposing a war on them but this time, unlike the past so-called loyal Armenian millet, picked up arms and faced the enemy head-on and spoke to them in a language they understood best. That is how the Armenians regained their dignity instead of bowing down and acting “proper” so as not to portray a bad image to the world.

    Each and every Armenian freedom fighter must be honored for his dedication to the Armenian Cause and be an example for Armenian generations to come. No one is going to hand over anything to you for being “civilized” and maintain a so-called good image against enemies to whom force is a sign of respect and the weak might as well be dead. If you want your rights respected, let these men be a role model and the Artsakh liberation a blue-print to achieving that respect.

    • I agree with most of Ararat’s points. However, I think image is important, as we may need allies among non-Armenians. We should fight when we should fight, and be peaceful when we need to be peaceful.

    • You might have a point if Armenia and Armenians were capable of taking back what was stolen by Turkey by force. Seeing as you can’t, your post is rather…. empty rhetoric and not much else. Nice touch with “Azergayjan” btw, when do you start middle school?

    • Please tell us Ararat, how Armenia can regain its stolen lands,etc. from Turkey? War? No, not even you could believe that. So seeing as force isn’t and option…. your post is little more than empty rhetoric from an angry little man.

    • @RVDV, I am sure 20 years ago many thought the same about Armenians demanding the return of the stolen Armenian territories from Azerbaijan as you do today about the return of stolen Armenian territories from Turkey. The result speaks for itself. I am sure you are going to say well that was Azerbaijan and Turkey is a whole different story. Well, it is not. This is not all about the strength of our enemies but more about the will, the commitment and the determination of our people in achieving their goals.

      The Azerbaijanis had help from the Turks, the totalitarian Soviet regime on its last legs, and handsomely-paid mercenaries from Turkic, Muslim and former Soviet states and we still prevailed against all these odds. We prevailed because the enemy conducted a manufactured war to maintain its illegal hold on our stolen territories but the Armenians, believing in their cause, fought tooth and nail not only for their own survival but also for the restoration of a piece of Armenian jewel stolen by the Soviet and the Azerbaijani thieves.

      For starters and for your information, the almighty Turkey, when found itself faced with possible conflict with the little and war-torn Syria, like a confused and headless rooster, ran to its NATO masters begging for their protection. That is why the illegal Turkish borders with war-torn little Syria are being protected by the Germans and the Dutch. That must have put a major dent on the false pride of delusional Turks with their big empty egos who think they are indestructible because they still fantasize and believe they live in the 15th century.

      In modern terms, Armenia is only 22 years old while the illegal and fascist state of Turkey is 90. For 70 years while Armenia was being suppressed, ruled and dictated by a foreign entity, Turkey was busy with Turkification and further ethnic cleansing of its indigenous population and building its defenses to secure its stolen properties. Today the disparity between Turkey and Armenia exists primarily because of this but that can be remedied over time. In my own personal opinion, Armenia must become a nuclear state and when that happens all bets are off. This is one way Armenia can eliminate that disparity and gain leverage on Turkey and push through its legitimate demands. Look at Israel, half the size of modern Armenia and in a couple of decades, has not only established itself as one of the most powerful military states in the region, is able to fend off the 300 million plus Arabs single-handedly, but it is also able to dictate the course of action in the Middle East. That is all because it possesses nuclear weapons. Another example in the Middle East is the terrorist and nuclear state of Pakistan which, instead of being shunned with threats, gets billions in annual aids in fear of using the nukes. What an incentive to have nukes I would say.

      The hypocrite Turkey while preaching brotherhood with the so-called Muslim World aligned itself with the perceived enemies of the very same Muslim World by becoming the only Muslim NATO member state in fear of the Soviet military might next door. Faced with threats from the mighty Soviet Union on its illegal border and taking advantage of its NATO alliance heightened by the Cold War, Turkey has developed a false sense of security and a major dependence on its NATO alliance. We witnessed this false sense of security and NATO dependence when Turkey was tested for the first time, since its illegal establishment in 1923, by the Syrian unrest and it not only failed to face the challenge on its own but became a source of embarrassment to its hallucinating public by shattering the myth of Turkish strength by revealing its false sense of security and serious vulnerabilities.

      What does all this mean? Well, it means Turkey talked the talk but failed to walk the walk when the situation demanded of it. It also means that wars are fought in this day and age with precision quality and not quantity. In other words, whether Turkey has a large army or not, this becomes irrelevant when faced with a nuclear Armenian state. If two nuclear weapons wiped out half a million Japanese seventy years ago, today a single nuclear weapon can wipe out ten times that many or five million people with a single strike. Moreover, given the makeup of its opposing secular and Islamic societies and given its history of political turmoil and frequent coups, Turkey is an insecure and an unstable country and it can always implode and destabilize from within creating the perfect opportunity to strike.

      As for your remarks about whether I started middle school and my words being a little more than empty rhetoric from an angry little man, I must say I bet I already and most likely have more education than you will ever have in your lifetime and my passionate and determined words are not from a little angry man but rather from someone who makes empty little men like you feel even littler. I mean how little of a man does one have to be to feel prouder to identify himself with other people than his own people? Very little I would say.

    • Ararat:
      .
      Things a “highly educated” person should know:
      1. The Germans and Dutch are not protecting the Syrian border. Turkish forces with the help of NATO forces and missiles are.
      2. NATO’s function is to be a system of mutual defense between member nations. While you may refer to this as “begging for protection”, to the rest of the world this (correctly) viewed as NATO simply functioning as was intended.
      3. Israel is more than half the size of Armenia
      4. While it is difficult to accurately determine the death tolls in Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the Radiation Effects and Research Foundation estimates it at 150 thousand to 246 thousands. But what do they know, they’re no match for such an educated man who can surely back up his “half a million” claim.
      5. Educated people, and well even simpletons such as myself, know that there is a reason that atomic bombs have never been used during warfare since Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Surely some like you, infinitely more educated than I could ever dream of, must know the doctrine of Mutually Assured Destruction inside and out?
      6. You must also know that under NATO’s nuclear sharing, Turkey has between 50 and 90 nuclear weapons at Incirlik airbase, and guess what might NATO may do if this “Nuclear Armenia” sees an opportune moment and strikes its member state Turkey with a nuclear weapon?
      7. As someone with more education than I will ever have in my lifetime, I would think you would have known that Armenia is a rather… committed nuclear nonproliferation state with its membership in the NPT, the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the CIS Committee on Peaceful use of Nuclear Energy, and its Additional Protocol with the IAEA which gives the IAEA complementary inspection authority… but, as someone more educated than I could ever hope to be, you must have known all that
      8. Pakistan is in South Asia, NOT the Middle East.
      .
      So if you’re going to make a little man such as myself feel littler, go ahead… unless…. was this you trying?
      .
      Finally: “I mean how little of a man does one have to be to feel prouder to identify himself with other people than his own people? Very little I would say.”
      .
      I have explained myself and my heritage many times to infinitely more fair-minded posters. I’m actually glad you think I’m a “very little” man because I no not seek the approval of a person who uses the word “Gay” to belittle Azerbaijan. Not only does this show middle school maturity but it implies that being gay is something insulting and something that people should be ashamed of, extremely similar to the way “Ermeni” is an insult to a very wide section the Turkish populace. So I ask you, what kind of men use factors that are out of people’s control like sexual orientation and ethnicity in attempts to be insulting? Trick question, those aren’t “men”.

    • Halleluiah Ararat!All concerned Armenians should read your first comment like a prayer & definitely on a daily basis.Again Halleluiah!

    • @RVDV, I use certain terminologies to show the nature of our foes but obviously you took them literally. I used the word gay to emphasize the fact that our enemies next door were not only defeated but humiliated 20 years ago and instead of taking their defeats like men, for the last 20 years they have been doing nothing but fabricating things, falsifying facts, screaming and bad-mouthing us unlike real men with dignity. Plus, I could care less about what the word “Ermeni” signifies among some Turks in Turkey because the word “Turk” among many Armenians, my kind of Armenians in particular, signifies a lot worse and in many orders of magnitude.

      Here is my reply to each and every remark you made:

      1. It is irrelevant that Turkish forces are involved in the protection of the Turkish-Syrian border. The fact of the matter is the Turkish forces with all their “mythical might” could not handle the threat on their own and had to beg their NATO masters to send missiles, along with German and Dutch soldiers, to install and operate them. According to you, the fact that NATO functions as a system of mutual defense, is a further proof that Turkey can not withstand attacks all by itself.

      2. The reason why Turkey, being the only Muslim country in the world, is a member of the NATO alliance is simply because it feels vulnerable and can not protect itself on its own. Logic dictates the fact that NATO alliance is the perceived enemy of the Muslim World coupled with the fact that the Turkish state is trying very hard to act as a role model for and portray itself as the spokesperson and protector of the Muslim world, such as Hamas which is considered as a terrorist organization by US and EU thus by NATO as a whole, leaving the NATO alliance should be the first thing Turkey must do to stay true to its image to the Muslim World but it can’t and won’t because it knows very well if it leaves NATO its existence as an illegal occupier state will come to an end. Turkey’s immediate enemies are: Kurdistan, Armenia, Greece, Cyprus, Russia, Syria and Iran. Its extended enemies are: Southeastern Europe and the Balkans. Add to that 350 million plus Orthodox whose spiritual capital of Constantinople is under Turkish occupation.

      3. The total area of Israel is about 21,000 square kilometers. The total area of contemporary Armenia is about 30,000 square kilometers. The total area of Artsakh and the surrounding regions is about 12,000 square kilometers. That makes total Armenian-populated areas 42,000 square kilometers. Therefore, Israel is half the size of Armenia.

      4. According to US estimates, the country that dropped the bombs, about 170,000 people died in Hiroshima and 80,000 died in Nagasaki within a few months, half the deaths occurring on the day the bombs were dropped. That makes a total of 250,000 deaths on the first day and within a few months after. Just as many people have also died as a result of radiation effect ever since.

      5. Setting aside the moral dilemma, if the United States ignored the attack on Pearl Harbor and concerned itself on mutual destruction or retribution from the Japanese and halted its mission, the Japanese would never have surrendered, the World War would have gone on, there would possibly have been many more million casualties by the Japanese Imperialists in China, Korea, Manchuria and so on.

      6. This becomes irrelevant if the opportunist two-faced and hypocritical illegal Turkish state stays true to its empty words, i.e. being the role model and protector of the Muslim World, and either leaves or is kicked out of NATO for good.

      7. Commitment to nuclear proliferation is only sensible in a world where all countries are treated equally and their securities are guaranteed. History has proven many times this is nothing more than an illusion and it is a method of control by a few over the rest of the world. I will believe this when the US, Russia, Israel, Pakistan, India and others get rid of their nuclear weapons altogether and be on equal grounds with the rest of the world.

      8. Pakistan occupies geographic locations which are at the crossroads of South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. It borders Iran which is in the Middle East. Therefore, Pakistan can also be identified as a country in the region of the Middle East.

  11. I would like to think that most of us on this forum are for Hye Tad with the implication of an ever stronger Armenian position in the world. In that sense, I think we agree, at least in spirit. With that said, I’m just going to make some general statements to clarify at least my position, and I think some others of a similar mindset on this forum.

    First and foremost, advocating agaist terrorism (realizing that what constitues terrorism is debateable per Vahagn comments) does not in any way imply that we Armenians should simply accept the lies and treachery of the Turkish government. Further to that, we should always be vigilant to implement Hye Tad. It therefore goes without saying that implementing justice, as for example in the case of Soghomon Tehlirian executing Talat Pasha was justified punishment. In this case Soghomon was on perfectly legal grounds, even having the tacit approval of the pre-Kemalist Turkish courts who had condemed Talat, Enver, and Jemal to death in abstensia.

    Secondly, to refuse terrorism is not to in any way diminish the basis for strong military power or the will to fight. On the contrary, we Armenians should be ready to hit hard if neccessary, but to do so in a way that reflects international norms and to be smart with the battles we choose.

    Thirdly, the idea that some killings of Turkish diplomats in the 70s and 80s is the sole reason for the current awareness of the Armenian Genocide is I think hugely underestimating other very important developments in the world since then, e.g. major breakthroughs in information technology, films about the Armenian Genocide, greater and more effective organization of Armenian political organizations and lobbying efforts, and of course the independence of Armenia. Just as an experiment, try asking some non-Armenians on the street if they know about the Lisbon 5. The answer almost certainly will be no. What they may know about though are world wide actions on the part of Armenian political organizations to get the Genocide recognized, or the various films (Ararat by Atom Egoyan, Armenian Genocide by Andrew Goldberg, the upcomming Three Apples Fell from Heaven by Shekhar Kapur, and lots of others) on the Genocide.

    Most importantly we Armenians must be ever on guard against our enemies, and we better play it smart. Being a small nation of people we do not have the luxary of doing otherwise. Given this mindset then, the question naturally arises, whether or not the Lisbon 5 should be honored? Note that the question is not neccessarily about whether or not the intentions of the Lisbon 5 were honorable or not. Rather, it’s about the response now. Can you honestly not imagine the Turkish government nodding with gleeful approval of the Armenian protests and vigils honoring of the Lisbon 5. It’s near perfect fodder for their propaganda engine and you can bet that they will use it in some way, shape, or form. The result for us Armenians, pure and simple, is that is will surely hurt us in some way, shape, or form, and that can be in terms of very real practical matters like US military aid to Armenia. Now just imagine a scenario where because of various groups honoring the Lisbon 5, Armenia does not get quite as much military aid and then in some future war with Azerbijan (hopefully not) we have one less gun to defend the homeland. Something tells me that each and every member of the Lisbon 5 would not want that.

    • Robert, the 1987 recognition of the Genocide by the Euro Parliament, the first major breakthrough, occurred before Armenia’s independence, before the age of internet, and before the movies “Ararat” and “Armenian Genocide” by Goldberg. And it happened around the time ASALA’s acts stopped. I am not saying these acts were the sole reason, or that they were the direct reason, but I think they played a role in either galvanizing Armenians’ peaceful efforts and/or raising awareness.

    • Have to largely agree with Robert.
      .
      Sorry: I understand the young men were idealists and thought what they were doing was for the Cause and their people.
      But when they took the wife and her underage son hostage, that’s when I part company with them.
      If I try really hard, a Portuguese police officer being killed can be considered a ‘war casualty’: he was a ‘soldier’ and rushed into ‘battle’.
      But not the wife of the Turkish diplomat.
      I see no reason to glorify Lisbon 5.
      We definitely must remember them: they were young, and they died willingly for the Armenian nation.
      But sorry: no glory.
      I honor and glorify the warriors of NKR war who were killed in action killing enemy soldiers, _some_ of whom are listed below:
      .
      Monte Melkonian. (Avo)
      Movses Gorgisian.
      Gagik Stepanyan. (Hetanos Gago)
      Vardan Stepanyan. (Dushman Vardan)
      Garo Khakejian. (Spitak Ardj)
      Tatul Krpeyan.
      Petros Khevondyan. (Bedo)
      Hrair Khachatryan (12 years old: was a volunteer bringing food and ammo to the men on the frontlines. Shot to death).
      Leonid Azgaldyan.
      Marietta Sargsyan (single mother of two. Volunteer. Killed shielding another soldier with her body while tending to his wounds, when a mortar exploded nearby).
      Ashot Gulyan (Ashot Bekor).
      Shahen Meghryan.
      .
      God bless their immortal souls.

  12. Fair enough Vahagn – I do reluctantly concede the point. I say reluctantly because it’s unfortunate that violence still does dictate much of what happes in this world. All the more that we Armenians need to be ever vigilant that another genociede, or to a lesser exten war, does not again leave us so dilipidated as in 1915.

  13. I don’t think many people, if any, on our side are arguing against targeting Turkish state actors.
    The argument is about innocent bystanders.
    Whether others have done it or not, is not our concern: we are different; we are better (…or should be).
    I do not believe in turning the other cheek: far from it.
    But targeting innocent, uninvolved bystanders because I have a beef with someone else, is beneath Armenians, as far as I am concerned.
    I would not want to be in a mall, minding my own business, and get blown up because some group had a beef with whomever.
    If I don’t want it done to me, I don’t want it done to somebody else.
    If I participate in an armed struggle, I expect to get killed, get shot, lose limbs, get captured, get tortured, whatever.
    But not, if I am minding my own business.
    .
    Some of the acts of ASALA were clearly terrorist acts: bombing and hosing down innocent bystanders in a Turkish airport is a terrorist act.
    No two ways about it.
    How do we know the Turkish civilians who were murdered were participants in AG Denial ?
    How do we know one them was not another ‘Ayse Gunaysu’, or ‘Ragip Zarakolu’, or ‘Dr. Akcam’, or…. ?
    One such Turk neutralizes 1000s of Denialists in the eyes of the ‘impartial jury’.
    One such Turk is a force multiplier for our Cause.
    .
    When our side resorts to pure terrorism, it only goes downhill from there: the crazy faction of ASALA started going after the sane members of ASALA, including Monte Melkonian, because Monte was against targeting innocent bystanders.
    Plus, after the Orly massacre, the French government clamped down on ASALA: until then, they had left them alone to do whatever they were doing.
    Which path would have done more for the Cause ? being left alone by the French intelligence and assassinating more Turkish state actors, with more and more publicity, or being thrown in a French jail and being neutralized ?
    Monte Melkonian’s guerilla experience, knowledge of the world, his natural intelligence – were worth an armored brigade in the NKR war. An irreplaceable man like that was targeted for murder by the ASALA crazies who went off the deep end. If nothing else, that sort of thing should be reason enough to shun people who have no compunction to hose down anybody that gets in their way: friend, foe, or innocent bystander.
    People like that are out of control and cause more damage to the Cause.
    Eventually they turn on their buddies, and then on the same people on whose name they are shedding blood.
    .
    Artsakh’s mountain warriors remained on their symbolic high perch throughout the darkest days of the war.
    They crushed the invading hordes anyway, while _always_ giving Azerbaijani civilians safe passage out of surrounded towns and villages.
    There was no need to resort to murder of civilians to win the war. And win with great honor.
    Serbs were victims of the Western Neocon warmongers, in some ways. But they lost the PR battle, were successfully marginalized as evil war criminals, and were set upon by NATO. Western public gave their dogs-of-war a free hand, because Serbs were painted as evil, savage murderers.
    Why ? One of the main reasons was because they made the gross error of mowing down about 8,000 or so unarmed Muslim Bosniacs in their custody. (another was the siege of Srebrenica).
    It is true that the overwhelming majority were fighting age men, but they were unarmed and under the control of Serb forces.
    It is also true that the initial figures of 100,000 murdered Bosniacs were bogus and manufactured.
    But Serbs did murder unarmed captives. There is no dispute.
    And thereby gave their enemies the rope to hang them with.
    .
    In 1993, when Armenian fighters turned the tide and started pushing Azerbaijani military out and beyond the footprint of NKAO, the Western hyenas who were silent and salivating in 1992 (…when Armenians were on the ropes, 48% NKAO occupied), started baying and screaming “Armenian aggressors”.
    Fortunately, Artsakh’s mountain warriors ignored the hyenas and pushed on.
    After a while, everybody settled down to today’s OCSE dog&pony show: status quo. No complaints from our side.
    However, had there been any kind of deliberate massacre of Azerbijani civilians by Armenians like what the Serb did, I believe things would be very different now for us: worse.
    Like it or not, PR is just as important as battlefield prowess in this day & age.

  14. Thank you Avery for bringing mention of the NKR war heroes. At so much cost to themselves, they defended and liberated the homeland. That they were also decent to enemy non-combatants, is such a fine example of the Armenian legacy. God bless them all.

  15. Hakob Hakobian’s comrade in arms, a woman wrote to a dear friend of mine that ..and I quote”don’t worry,dear, we shall pick up the torch that was left behind and continue our struggle to the end…period!This goes to show that those Armenian craziers*as Avery puts it and some of our peeriodicles also name then as ‘KHENT” DGHAK have been the ones who surfaced from deep ground to bring to the world T.V. screens the Armenian Case, nay the Cause the solution to our total independence in a UNITED ARMENIA!!!!!
    OTHERWISE THE PLEAS TO u.N AND SUCH LIKE WERE LANDING ON DEAF EARS…..STILL DO!!!!!
    i AM NOT FOR blind terrorism, WHICH SOME eURO’S OR OTHERS HAVE DONE.tHAT IS INDEED BAD, TO THROW BOMBS INTO INNOCENT CRFOWDS..
    bUT 99% OF what these good kids did was not directed to ionnocent people!!!!wereas other Ejuro terroritrs do that.
    I call the Armenian ones*rather what they accomplished…
    “”correctional acts of violence””.But they also Knew when to stop it when NK war broke out and they joined forces with the freedom fighters on the mountainous Karabagh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1rest is well known

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