So, you’re chatting over dinner with the most powerful guy on the planet, and you get pissed at him and stick your finger in his face, right? That’s what anyone would do, right? No doubt you recognize the scenario from Harut Sassounian’s column revealing the incident as reported by Seymour Hersh in his exposé of Turkey’s “false flag” operation last summer, the sarin (a lethal chemical) gas attack in Syria.
These two incidents, both manifestations of Erdogan’s arrogance, even insolence, may be a blessing in disguise. It may signal the return of “our” Turks, the ones we have worked to warn the world about for a century since the most barbaric of their acts occurred. Maybe, just maybe, ruling elites all over the world will come to recognize the dangers posed by a resurgent, expansionist, Ottomanist Turkey. This would be out of their own self-interest, not out of any “love” they have for Armenians. In turn, it may become easier for us to successfully pursue our aspirations.
On the other hand, if U.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner’s behavior is any indication, the change I foretell may not be coming. Boehner said, “The issue about Armenians comes up from time to time, but don’t worry! Our Congress will not get involved in this issue. We don’t write history, we are not historians,” according to Hurriyet, a Turkish news source. Now the problem here is partly the unreliability of Turkish sources when it comes to such quotes. This one reeks of the standard Turkish propaganda line. On the other hand, Boehner is probably the most pathetic person ever to wield the Speaker’s gavel. Between his lachrymose tendencies, inability to govern even his own party’s members of Congress, and the lowest level of productivity of any Congress in history, it’s not surprising that he would kiss up to some foreign government, thinking it was “diplomacy” to say what the Turks want to hear.
Then we have Serge Sarkissian, the president of the Republic of Armenia (RoA). What a contrast. While as leaders, Erdoghan and Boehner, at least in their own minds, and with some obvious rationales, are pursuing their country’s interest, the RoA gets a leader who opts for more of the same bad policy. When given an opportunity to start anew, to hit the reset button, to take steps that would improve his people’s lot, he serves up more of the same. With the resignation of the previous prime minister, Tigran Sarkissian, Serge had the opportunity to appoint someone, cooperatively with all political forces in the country, who could begin to solve the RoA’s problems. Instead, he’s saddled us with a retread, another corrupt oligarch, Hovik Abrahamian.
It’s time for all these Soviet area holdovers, despite some of their positive Artsakh liberation-era attributes, to leave the scene and allow people who care about the country to do their work, the people’s work. It is certainly time for all Armenians who pretend to be leaders of our nation to start acting in ways analogous to what we observe in Boehner and Erdogan, despite this pair’s own corrupt practices—ways that are intended to enhance conditions in the lands of Haig Nahabed, not the thickness of their wallets.
Let’s turn up the heat on these crooks so they either start behaving or depart the public stage.