WSJ, ICG and Armenia’s Silence: A Familiar Formula for a Fait Accompli

1007wsjA constant has emerged in the suspense/surprise-filled processes that have dominated our national agenda this past year. The Wall Street Journal and the International Crisis Group have become harbingers of sort for heralding a fait accompli for Armenia.

It was in late March that the Wall Street Journal reported on the specifics of what became widely known as the “roadmap” to Turkey-Armenia rapprochement. That report was immediately—if not simultaneously—followed by a heavily biased report from a so-called independent think tank known as the International Crisis Group. Both foreshadowed a deal in mid-April that would pave the way for the normalization of ties between Armenia and Turkey. Both reports were also rife with hints at preconditions, including the need for an immediate resolution to the Karabakh conflict, by way of alluding to an agreement by Armenian and Azeri leaders about withdrawal of Armenian forces from the liberated territories and the establishment of a historic commission to study the Armenian Genocide.

Fast forward to October (the eve of a meeting between Serzh Sarkisian and Ilham Aliyev on Thursday in Moldova and a previously announced schedule for Armenia and Turkey to sign the protocols on Saturday) and the Wall Street Journal prints an interview with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan who says that protocols will be signed regardless of the outcome of the Moldova meeting and the ICG’s report includes a multi-point assessment, which claims that Armenian and Azeri leaders have already “broadly” agreed to a pullout and should prepare their respective public for an eventual peace deal.

Erdogan also said the two processes — a resolution of the Karabakh conflict and rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia — remain linked, and that a positive outcome at this week’s talks, to be held in Moldova, would help overall.

“This is perhaps the most important point — that Armenia should not allow its policies to be taken hostage by the Armenian Diaspora,” Erdogan told the Wall Street Journal.

Erdogan also reiterated earlier claims that an agreement has already been reached on the withdrawal from five of the seven liberated territories, with the fate of Lachin and Kelbajar, reportedly, still up in the air.

On the heels of these reports also came an announcement late Tuesday by Turkish President Abdullah Gul, inviting world historians to a commission that is tasked to study the Armenian Genocide.

“There are all sorts of allegations about what happened a century ago. It is clear that people who do not know what happened where or how are not able to take decisions on this matter,” Gul said in an interview with Agence France Presse.

“What we hope is that historians, archive specialists study this matter and we are ready to accept the conclusions of this commission. To show that we are sincere, we even said that if a third country is interested in this matter, if French historians, for example, want to take part in this commission, they are welcome,” he added on the eve of a visit to France.

President Sarkisian has spent a better part of his week on Diaspora tour telling his audiences in Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Beirut and the Russian port city of Rostov that such a commission is not stipulated in the protocols and assuring that whatever historical discussion that is to take place, within the framework of Armenia-Turkey ties, would be a discussion of post-Genocide historical matters.

Gul’s statements are seen as a direct challenge to Sarkisian’s assertions during his tour, which was met with angry protests during all but one stop: the Russian city of Rostov. There, leading Russian-Armenian organizations issued an announcement opposing the protocols’ provisions that

If an agreement is to be signed on Saturday clearly there is a major disconnect between the signatories.

While in Beirut, Sarkisian stressed that the recognition of the Armenian Genocide is “not only a matter of the restoration of justice, but also a major circumstance from the viewpoint of the security of Armenia and the Armenian people.” “It is a necessity,” the president stressed.

Furthermore, he underscored: “The Nagorno-Karabakh conflict will get a solution only when we see that we’ve got what our people have struggled for since 1988.”

Gul’s blatant denial of the Genocide also goes counter to President Obama’s wide support for the protocols, since he urged Turkey in March to come to terms with its own history and acknowledge the past.

At press time, official Yerevan had no comment.

It is precisely for these and other more overbearing reasons that Armenia should immediately pull out of this process and not enter into such a critical agreement so hastily.

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  1. John K. said:

    After all these anouncments from the Turkish leaders, one has to be stupid to go ahead with the ratification of the Protocol. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out the Turkish intention after all these public anouncements. Are our leaders in Armenia really this stupid? What is the rush anyway? We waited 18 years can’t we wait few more months?

  2. MGL said:

    The history of Armenians shows that their leaders most of the time are making wrong decisions. The current situation is a good example how naive or stupid they are.
    Armenia must recognize Karabakh long ago.
    Armenia should make Turks to beg to open borders and normalize relationships, but not visa versa.
    Armenia must do many others things it can and must do, before it is too late.

  3. Katia K. said:

    This is perhaps the most important point — that Armenia should not allow its policies to be taken hostage by the Armenian Diaspora,” Erdogan told the Wall Street Journal.

    Yes, dividing Armenia from the Diaspora is the top goal of the protocols being drawn by the Turks, because the Diaspora is the only viable challenge to Turkey in its goal of crushing Armenia. The Diaspora is the only real fighter for the rights of the Armenians and it has achieved so much in humanitarian aid to Armenia as well as politically advancing the recognition of the Genocide. One should ask the authorities of Armenia where was Turkey when Armenia needed help after the earthquake, when Armenia needed lobbyists in Washington to push for monetary and humanitarian aid, where was Turkey? Turkey had blockaded Armenia and crushed its economic prospects. Where was Turkey? Exactly where it was in 1915 and continues to be, enforcing a policy whose only aim is to crush the Armenian nation. It is now severing the branch that is the blood line to Armenia, the Diaspora, because as usual throughout our history, Turkey knows our weaknesses very well, and it knows it will always find naive Armenians to fool. Erdogan is advising Armenia not to allow for its policies to be taken “hostage” by the Diaspora, because it wants Armenia’s policies to be taken “hostage” by Turkey alone of course, and that’s exactly what has happened. Instead of Armenia’s policies being in the hands of its people, it has been taken hostage by Turkey. This explains the incredible one sided protocols and the surrender of Armenia to Turkey.

    What is also ABSURD, is that Gul is asking for French historians to take part in the Historians Commission, when the country of France has officially acknowledged the Armenian Genocide as a historical fact! Ridiculous Denial at its worst! Gul wants to keep on knocking on the door of historians until he finds some who will disprove the Genocide… IT WILL NOT HAPPEN….for a while… a long while…. This is just a game.
    When and if Turkey ever accepts the Armenian Genocide, it should not only pay for the damages of the Genocide, but it should also pay for every single year out of the 94+ years it spends covering up and denying the Genocide.

  4. Garo said:

    A lot was said the last 6 weeks by the diaspora. Regardless; Armenia will proceed to sign the protocols. Nothing is said as to what will Armenians do after the signature? So far I have read no plans by any organization as to what are we going to do after these protocols are signed.

  5. Babken said:

    We can wait John, but the US State Department cannot, neither can France or Russia for that matter. They just want to push this deal through and screw us royally so they can sleep tight at night knowing their pipelines are safe.

    The Armenian leadership is not stupid, it is corrupt, and needs to be wiped out and replaced with law and order. Only then will our Armenian begin to flourish, however, the Diaspora cannot do this sitting on the sidelines in their host countries, we need to move to Armenia and populate it further, now that is simple enough concept to grasp.

  6. David Boyajian said:

    A few (very) rhetorical questions to ponder:

    1) What persons and groups are behind the WSJ and ICG?
    2) Why are Saint Obama and Hillary “the Monster” Clinton so anxious for the Protocols to be ratified?
    3) What does Russia think it is going to get out of all this?
    4) What promises have been made to Armenia’s political and “business” leaders and by whom?
    5) What is Israel seeking in the Caucasus and Central Asia?

  7. Lusik said:

    Forget the Protocol. Ignore it. Do not attend.
    It is unfortunate to qualify the ultimatum made by the countries which are “moderating” the process as a “support” of protocol, or a “pressure”. There is a real threat which backs up this “pressure/support”. And the question is do Armenians have “courage and will” to support the independence of our land, the clarity of our sources and roots for passing them with clean conscious to generations to come. Do we want to remain Armenians?
    Few years ago there was a question-article on one web-site: “Is Armenia ready to lose its independence?” It sounded like an idle question of some pessimist at that time. Today, with or without understanding that, the Armenian government is giving an opportunity for more forwarding of our “neighbors”. If an Armenian can turn back to his ancestors horror, which overweighs any of Anna Frank’s story, what will possibly stop it from negotiating its language, religion if “asked” and “supported” by “great nations”? These are the real follow ups.
    Who is my reader? Mostly Armenians of Diaspora – created through chain of Genocides. There is no public exchange of views with the Armenia, really. What are the motives? To make the cut and paste of the truth in dark and silence. International media is mute, not silenced. If the countries which are “moderating” the process today are able to silence news, what will make them more moral in the near future, when disseminating the outcome of the sub-committees?
    I want my Armenia to pause and find its path right. Not the dream-protocol for Turkey or other countries. Forget the Protocol. Ignore it. Do not attend. If Mr. Nalbandian and Mr. Sargsyan do not have skills, be honest and say it. There will be always somebody to take the burden from your shoulder.

  8. satenik said:

    Robert Fisk: Genocide forgotten: Armenians horrified by treaty with Turkey

    A new trade deal is set to gloss over the murder of 1.5 million people

    “The Independent” Thursday 8th October.
    Please read and post comments in the comment’s box in The Independent newspaper.

  9. Amb said:

    Although not endorsing the protocols, one thing to consider is if our cause is just and right, which it is, then we have nothing to fear from a commission to study the history of the Genocide, our side will be proven right again.

  10. manooshag said:

    Hye, the world today is cognizant of the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian nation. Yet, Turkish leaders, since the Ottomans, can not recognize their own guilt in absorbing the lands and culture of the Armenian nation. Turkey, a bully amongst the nations of the world, is unable to admit they are guilty of murder of an ancient peoples – took Armenian lands, Armenian culture as their own.

    Yet, the USA, where the Archives includes, amongst many, the words of our own Ambassador to Turkey in those years, proving the absolute morality of the Armenian Genocide recognition would be unquestionable by the leaders of the most powerful nation the world has known. Yet, sadly, it is the lies and the distortions by the dishonest Turkish leaders – still in their Ottoman stance – that is recognized by such as the leaders of the United States of Armerica – politically! One wonders, what is Turkey holding over the heads of leaders to permit Turish treatment of mans’ inhumanity to man not be recognized? Yet, Turkey is guilty of so much, politically, against Washington DC…

    Has not the world become civilized enough to recognize and to pursue the dishonesty of a Turkey who commits a Genocide and who – – without any shame – bullies a civilized world to accept their lies to be truths… Shall Turkey receive the Nobel Prize – for committing Genocide and ‘getting away’ with it?

    Genocides… the cycle of Genocides will continue. Turkey is proof positive – Genocides will continue. Manooshag

  11. jerry sabounjian said:

    Now the ball is in Turkey’s court.
    They have to ratify this thing in 2 or 3 months, otherwise all the pressure will be on them, after all this agreement is not tied to Karabagh, Erdogan can repeat himself all day long that he will not open the border, if he does not then Armenia would have won this round.