BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
Ever since the era of the 50th anniversary of the Genocide, we have been organizing and acting on the world stage pursuing recognition, reparations, and return of our lands.
In these two areas, our position has differed. On the organizing front, we are our own masters, we act and produce to the extent we choose and conceive. On the other front, we have been playing OTHERS’ games. Turkey denies the Genocide, we struggle for worldwide recognition. The Soviet Union occupied Eastern Armenia, we fought for its liberation. Our people are scattered all over the planet, we fight assimilative forces.
Now, we seem to be on the cusp of some big changes in and around our homeland. Both willingly and inadvertently, various actors and forces have created a situation in Mesopotamia, the Levant, Asia Minor, and the Armenian plateau that is fraught with tremendous possibilities and risks.
The question is, can we take what’s out there and use it to force other, greater, interests’ hand to get what we want?
We control or have some degree of access and influence on the RoA, Artzakh, Javakhk, our proximate communities (Bolis, Greece, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria), our advocacy work (Genocide, reparations [including the litigation front], lands), crypto/returning Armenians, academia, Assyrians.
We do not have control over Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the great powers, Kurds, and assimilation (the repetition of the last two is not accidental).
Can we take what we’ve got and CREATE conditions, a situation, that gets some or all of our rights restored?
Can we create a Kamp Armen on a grand scale?
Can we do what Roupen Der Minassian describes in his memoirs: things were so bad for Armenians because of Ottoman pressures, that the country was slowly being denuded of its indigenous population, leading to what the Sultan wanted – “Armenia without Armenians”; but, Armenians were also the backbone of the economy and their sudden loss would be a severe blow; so, the ARF set loose a rumor that the Russians were giving free land to any Armenian who made it to the border; huge numbers of people started to leave, whereupon the Ottoman government backed off.
Can we mimic our triggering role in the collapse of the Soviet Union through the Gharapagh movement?
I think we can.
This will take the coordinated action of ALL our political entities: our two governments, political parties, protest movements, individuals.
It will mean acting in the same cold, calculating, cynical manner that leads to:
– Turkey’s ongoing Genocide denial and usurpation of Armenian territories and wealth;
– Washington putting Armenia on a list of terrorist countries;
– Azerbaijan constantly violating the ceasefire;
– Russia sells weaponry to Azerbaijan;
– Britain’s non-recognition of the Genocide despite all the data compiled in the famous Viscount Bryce Blue Book;
– Saudi Arabia’s funding of Daesh;
– Corporate greed overriding the needs of billions of people and the health of our planet;
Let’s not miss this opportunity. All our brains should quickly be called to consult on hatching such a plan to finally get the justice due us. Get to work, you know who you are!