Arrogant Erdoghan, Bonehead Boehner, Same-old Sarkissian

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.


Garen Yegparian

Asbarez Columnist
Garen Yegparian is a fat, bald guy who has too much to say and do for his own good. So, you know he loves mouthing off weekly about anything he damn well pleases to write about that he can remotely tie in to things Armenian. He's got a checkered past: principal of an Armenian school, project manager on a housing development, ANC-WR Executive Director, AYF Field worker (again on the left coast), Operations Director for a telecom startup, and a City of LA employee most recently (in three different departments so far). Plus, he's got delusions of breaking into electoral politics, meanwhile participating in other aspects of it and making sure to stay in trouble. His is a weekly column that appears originally in Asbarez, but has been republished to the Armenian Weekly for many years.

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  1. Very well said. While we don’t have a control over arrogant and bonehead leaders of foreign countries it is time get rid of our own corrupt oligarchs.

  2. {“Let’s turn up the heat on these crooks so they either start behaving or depart the public stage.”}

    Yeah, sure, then someone like the self-described “fat, bald guy” can take over and make everything right.

    Mr. Yegparian, while you were relaxing in your safe, comfortable Burbank office, these, quote, ‘crooks’ were in Armenia and Artsakh putting their lives on the line for our Motherland.
    They fought the Turkbaijani invaders: not you.
    Because of their self-sacrifice we have a safe and secure RoA+NKR.
    Not because of people like you who do nothing but criticize RoA and NKR leaders, from the safety of their California office.

    The one that should depart from public stage is you. Sir.

    • Just because someone served for Armenia and Artsakh in the past does not mean they should be immune from criticism, and have their actions in the post-war political arena be exempt from criticism.

      If such people are not doing a good job in their new roles, people are free to criticize them for it. Regardless of what they did in the past.

  3. Avery is the Armenian version of Bill O’Reilly during the Bush years. “Never criticize a sitting president during wartime.” Except with him it’s “Never criticize a sitting president 20 years after wartime.”

    What’s your logic? Because he served in the army two decades ago he is not accountable to the people he is elected to serve?

    It’s an unbelievably tired argument and it makes me think that you secretly want Armenia’s national security to be perpetually endangered so that you can always present the false choice between security and democracy.

    • {“….makes me think that you secretly want…”}.

      Thanks for the free psychoanalysis Dr. Alex.
      A great future awaits you in the medical field.

  4. I rise feebly to Avery’s defense.

    I don’t like the esentialist things he says about some Turk posters, but beyond that quibble, he is the most committed and knowledgeable poster. As for the Turks who draw his ire, they deserve no compassion as they are Nazis; I just hate seeing an Armenian play occasionally to the cheap seats. Haygagan Eh, Badvagan Eh.

    It is fair to ask professed armchair diaspora patriots of every political persuasion, or none at all, what exactly they have done in and for Armenia. It is easy to criticize from Burbank, Glendale and Watertown.

    I would appreciate Garen making specific criticisms of the leaders rather than issuing cliche broadsides. Many in the Diaspora have reflex criticisms, and I do not doubt the accuracy of much that is said by way of conclusions, but we need facts, not conclusions to agree or to join issue.

    • Facts and reasoning are indeed preferable to conclusions.

      But Avery did not take issue with Garen’s lack of facts. He took issue with Garen’s right to criticize at all.

      Who is he to question anybody’s standing in this forum? If the threshold for having the right to criticize is having done something “in and for Armenia”, I’m not sure being a “committed and knowledgeable poster” on an Internet website meets that threshold.

      His ‘have you served in the army’ schtick adds nothing to the discourse. It is nothing more than bullying. Notice, by the way, how he did not refer to any one of my substantive points, but resorted to a childish platitude.

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