Youre with Us or Against Us

Dont you love these bogus choices? Were confronted with them all the time. They are usually put to us by people whore trying to game us, trap us, or otherwise assume theyre cleverer than we are. Of course the most infamous example of recent times is Shrubs, Youre with us or youre with the terrorists, comment. Riiiiight. What keeps me from saying, A pox a both your houses? Sometimes though, it is a sincere dilemma. This happens when trying to determine how to allocate scarce resources, usually volunteer time, in pursuing some desirable societal goal. This whole notion crystallized for me at a conference organized by Palestinian students at UCLA. A friend was giving a presentation about media and I tagged along. Here, the participants were genuinely torn. The frustration of not getting fair coverage for Palestinian issues was very evident. Think back to where Armenian coverage was(nt) in the 70s. Was it better to expend their energies reforming the media as it exists or building alternatives to it. My immediate thought was, BOTH! Then I remembered one from my days of involvement with the AYF. The perennial mutually exclusive pair of options: to improve the quality of the current members, temporarily freezing acceptance of new members vs. expanding the organizations reach by recruiting new members. Both, duh! Especially in this context, any members organizational life is a maximum of ten years. It is inherently transitional. By the time someone is quality, he/she is out. Thats the AYFs function, to TRAIN people to function well in organizations, often, through trial and error so youth learn. Weve been faced, in Congress, with the false choice of pursuing Genocide recognition vs. aid to Armenia. Again, both, of course! And weve shown this to be possible despite the implicit efforts of certain insipid Armenian forces in D.C. to make this a real contradiction. I can also imagine some losers one day posing a liberate-Western-Armenia-vs.-retaining-liberated-Artzakh pseudo-dichotomy. Ill even predict an absurd one, regain Nakhichevan vs. regain Javakhk. Always, BOTH! Remember this the next time some anti-Armenian operative or anyone else in any setting presents you one of these non-contradictions.

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