They Just Don’t Get It

Garen Yegparian


It’s unfortunate that some people are stupid. This stupidity can be intellectual, political, or integrity-based (i.e. lacking it). It’s just as unfortunate that these people are everywhere, among Armenians, Turks, and everything in-between and beyond. A sampling of the latest in the realm of stupidity follows. In all this, let’s also grant the benefit of the doubt to my paragons of stupidity, in that they are not acting cynically. That may be a stretch, but, let’s be kind to them…

Let’s start with the most obvious target, a Turk named Emre Solak, living in Los Angeles whose piece “Turks & Armenians: challenged to build joint future” was published by Anadolu (a Turkish news agency). In this, Solak cites the example of his Armenian friends, a restaurant-owning couple and a mechanic, with whom he gets along just swell. He ends his piece with what he says is a Turkish proverb “old friends can never be enemies…”, neglecting what every introductory economics student learns about the fallacy of composition. Just because something is good when one person does it, does not mean it will be good if a large group does it. Solak also quotes other Turks sounding oh-so-reasonable, that as long as “Armenia” “occupies” “Azeri” lands, borders can’t be opened and progress can’t be made. He waxes nostalgic for Ottoman days when Armenians and Turks got along famously. Yes, I suppose they did, in the same way as a slave and a slave-owner get along. The oppressed, second-class subject (not even citizen) status of Armenians in those days seems to elude Solak. So does the difference between state-planned genocide imposed on Armenians and the suffering of Moslems during the same time period brought on by the very bad foreign policies of the same government of the Ottoman Empire. Can he be that stupid?

Let’s move to the pup-Turks’ ongoing stupidity. Azerbaijan, or at least its officials, continue to harbor, and honor, a convicted axe-murderer. The guy, Safarov, has been made into a national “hero”. This is even while we solemnly honor Lt. Margarian on the tenth anniversary of his brutal murder as he slept by the same killer. Can the Azeris be so stupid as to see how murderously bloodthirsty and foolish this makes them look?

Let’s move on to Azeri inspired stupidity. You of course read about the pro-Azeri resolutions of two Hawaiian state legislators. Of course these two “only wanted to recognize an ally” and “injustice” committed against people. Did they bother to do the slightest bit of research into the context of the incident at Khojaluh? Had they, it would have become quickly evident that the Azeris killed their own people and that the whole thing happened while Armenians were finally throwing off the yoke of the Azeris who had committed pogrom after pogrom. That’s not to mention the services provided by Armenia to U.S. interests while Azerbaijan was utilizing the services of (likely jihadist) Afghan mercenaries. Here, we have to believe that the trip of these two deluded legislators to Azerbaijan had nothing to do with their ill-advised legislation. Can they be that stupid?

And now, we’ll move from legislators to other, quasi-governmental officials, this time, sadly, in Armenia. You are probably aware of the heated response to the recently imposed and poorly conceived pension system in Armenia. Many are protesting it, even taking to the streets. Among those were transit workers. Regardless of what you think of this system, I will assume that you do not object to citizens taking public action against what they deem is a bad policy of their government. So you will probably find it reprehensible that three employees of Yerevan’s metro system, a state run enterprise, were fired just two days after being active participants in a demonstration against the new pension system. In time-honored fashion, a spokeswoman for the metro agency said the men’s firing had nothing to do with their demonstrating. Rather, we are told, it was because their supervisor was unhappy with their work. Quite the coincidence, isn’t it? This is nothing but indirect, government-condoned, intimidation of those who dare to act as true citizens. Are the metro’s upper echelons so stupid as to believe that we’re going to believe their excuses?

Keep an eye out for stupidity, anywhere. It’s quite prevalent. Speak out against it, forcefully. Otherwise, the quality of all our lives will be compromised, everywhere.


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  1. Randy said:

    Hey Garen, check your rabid anti-turk racism at the door and take a look in the mirror (especially after your comments about how Armenians were treated during the Ottoman Empire)! Try reading a book once an experience the enlightenment that knowledge brings! Maybe then you’ll learn that the Armenians during that era were treated not only exceptionally, but were given high ranks in government (as high as Vizir) and placed in charge of the empires finances! They were trusted bankers and merchants (i.e. jewelry and diamonds)! Your Turkophobic rants are getting old very fast!!

    • Armenian said:

      Well, that’s an incredibly stupid argument. There were Black members of Congress in during the post-Civil War/ Reconstruction era, too, that doesn’t mean that the Blacks were treated well in the US because of that.

      Also, before telling him to read a book, maybe you should acquaint yourself with the extremely xenophobic policies of the Ottoman Empire which heavily taxed people based on their ethnic identity and religion, at some point, forbade the speaking of foreign languages, and ended up slaughtering millions of its own people for being “infidels” and “domestic threats”. The argument that multiple religious groups existed in the Ottoman Empire does not mean that their well-being was never at risk because of their religious and ethnic identity.

    • VARTAN said:

      Randy: If Armenians were treated “exceptionally well” during the Ottoman Empire and Armenians rose to high positions in government, finance, and commerce. Randy; WHY DID THE BENEVOLENT OTTOMAN TURK PERFORM GENOCIDE ON HER EXCEPTIONALLY TREATED ARMENIAN PEOPLE?

    • setrak kassabian said:

      Dear Randy

      It is true that some minor percentage of Armenians in the Ottoman times rose to high positions due to exceptional abilities that Turkey needed.BUT the majority of ordinary people (peasants merchants and artisans) were slaves ,second class beings to be taken advantage of (i.e.similar to cattle) YOU should actually read some books to see their living conditions. The only way that Turks and Armenians can coexist in the future is if the history books in Turkish schools have a chapter on the Armenian and other Christian genocide perpetuated by Turkish state,reparations done, areas in the museums set aside for the cultures of these people, monuments built to them and an apology to the children of the survivors.

  2. Alex Postallian said:

    randy,a non de plume for secret turk nomen.. The mongols,(turks) invaded Anatolya,uncivilized,living under tents with their animals(the stench,is still there),haven’t changed in 700 yrs,have made Anatolya a SEWER….

  3. Alex Postallian said:

    Garen: I enjoy your columns,much needed info,intelligent,informative,truthful,enlightning….There is a reason for repetition..When you are dealing with the lowest element COWARDS,LIARS,REVISIONISTS OF HISTORY……When dealing with the mentally challenged,REPITITION,must be the way of approach,pschologically,for the feeble minded to comphrehend,and their paid stooges…