Armenia: Yesterday, Today, and Maybe No Tomorrow

BY LUCINE KASBARIAN

Yesterday, Armenia was a battlefield and prize for competing empires. Today, Armenia is a battlefield and prize for competing empires.

Yesterday, the Young Turk regime released criminals from prison to terrorize Armenians. Today, Turkish and Armenian regimes contain criminals who terrorize Armenians.

Yesterday, the Turkish government solved its “Armenian problem” with repression, violence and murder, including the execution of 250 intellectuals in 1915.  Today, the Turkish government solves its “Armenian problem” with repression, violence and murder, including the execution of Hrant Dink in 2007.

Yesterday, in the Ottoman Empire, Armenian women threw themselves into rivers and over cliffs to avoid Turkish rape, forced marriages and slavery. Today, in Turkey, migrant women from Armenia prostitute themselves, while Armenian women Turkify themselves through intermarriage.

Yesterday, Armenians struggled on their own lands to retain their faith, language and traditions. Today, Armenians live in foreign lands, and while free to practice their faith, language and traditions, let them fade away.

Yesterday, international media reported truthfully about the Armenian Genocide. Today, international media willingly publish Turkish propaganda and genocide denials.

Yesterday, Turkish authorities removed Armenians from their lands to convince the world that Armenians never lived there. Today, Turkish authorities dismantle churches, monuments, and cemeteries to convince the world that Armenians never lived there.

Yesterday, Turkish leaders demonized Armenians through word of mouth to turn the Turks against them.  Today, Turkish leaders demonize Armenians through books and films to turn the Turks against them.

Yesterday, ordinary Armenians, their backs to the wall, secured an independent nation on the battlefield.  Today, Armenia’s ruling cabal may willfully surrender their nation behind closed doors.

Yesterday, President Wilson promised a mandate for Armenia, only to have the U.S. Senate reject it.  Today, President Obama promised to recognize the Armenian Genocide, only to go back on his word.

Yesterday, Prime Minister Vratzian was forced to hand Armenia to the Soviets to save it from Turkish destruction. Today, President Sargsian and his clique voluntarily sacrifice Armenia’s interests for their own benefit.

Yesterday, Armenians mistakenly trusted the Western powers and Russia. The Armenian nation paid the price. Today, Armenians mistakenly trust the Western powers and Russia. The Armenian nation pays the price.

Yesterday, Armenians of Arstakh defended their native lands against Azeri hostility. Today, Armenians of Arstakh defend their native lands against Azeri and NATO hostility.

Yesterday, Armenian leaders sacrificed their lives to secure liberty for their people. Today, Armenians leaders sacrifice their dignity for their own personal ambitions.

Yesterday, a closed border prevented Turkey from penetrating Armenia. Today, an open border could enable Turkey to penetrate Armenia.

Yesterday, Armenia would have been eliminated if its people did not resist. Today, Armenia will be eliminated if its people do not resist.

Lucine Kasbarian is an Armenian American writer.

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