Plastic-Dog Races: Who Gives A Damn About Davutoglu Being Honored By The WWC?

BY HENRY D. ASTARJIAN M.D.

Whether due to inexperience, naïveté, ineptitude, ignorance, or lack of intestinal fortitude, the leadership of the Diasporan, so called political establishment has, once again been sucked into a new quagmire. Whether they want it or not they have been dragged into another dog race; chasing a plastic rabbit round and round, expending people’s donated money, energy and emotional capital.

The attention of those who claim to be the guardians of Armenian national interests, and rights, have once again been lured to fighting side battles of their choosing, that are trivial at best designed to advance the agenda of the enemy rather than fortify our national agenda.

This time it’s the actions of Princeton U. where our hero President Woodrow Wilson once served as its president.

The university upon which he presided has advanced to excellence but, for the scholars of the Middle East who deal with the ills and crimes of the Ottoman Empire, and their protégé the Ittihad ve Terraqi, it has changed in a negative way. Since providing a prestigious position to a Turkish agent, a dishonest professor of history, Bernard Lewis, the University’s moral standing has depreciated in the eyes of serious scholars around the world and the Armenian Diaspora. The WWC has plunged into new lows by honoring Turkey’s Foreign Minister Ahmet Davudoglu with this year’s WWC public service award.

According to Donald Wilson Bush, the great grandson of President Wilson, it is Lee H. Hamilton, the Executive Director of Woodrow Wilson Center who has made this decision. It is inconceivable that Lee Hamilton took this decision upon the urging of the White House, without consulting Bernard Lewis.

Ahmet Davutoglu is being honored! so what? Who gives a damn about Davudoglu being honored by WWC?

Is this a situation which warrants mobilizing the Diasporan political forces to wage a battle? How much does this weigh in the grand schema of things that matter to the Armenian nation? How much can our leaders divide our forces to battle an insignificant side war? Isn’t that what Turkey wants? Aren’t we chasing a plastic rabbit? Isn’t this a dog race?

For decades our leadership pursued a simplistic policy of first forcing Turkey to accept its guilt in committing the Genocide, followed by pursuit of reparations. This approach has failed miserably and left us searching for a new strategy and tactic to reach our goals. All that we have achieved so far, after lobbying Congress and the White house, is tarnishing Turkey’s image. And what has that done? For the world, it is business as usual; countries, such as France, who have passed laws in our favor, continued to do business with Turkey. Turkey is still a full member of NATO, and now is groomed by the U.S. to lead the Islamic world, with the hopes of controlling Iran. The Arab world, as reflected by electronic and print media, has gone gaga about the resurrection of this Islamic phoenix. If Turkey is blackballed from entering the European Union, it would not be because of our blocking efforts, or that of Cyprus.

Now, our failed leadership has found another plastic rabbit to chase; thanks to Princeton; they have discovered Woodrow Wilson, whose political solutions they had ignored for close to a century, and now they are revisiting his name to settle insignificant scores, like honoring a Turk with impeccable radical Islamist credentials. All of a sudden they have claimed Wilson as an exemplar of our honor. It is their new modus Vivendi, and it is doomed to fail. Acting like Dalai Lama (No pun intended) will get us what Dali Lama has achieved in pursuit of the Tibetan Tahd; nothing! Our leaders must leave behaving like municipal managers behind, and start flexing real political muscle.

Now that the first strategy proved to be a flop, the correct strategy is to revive what Wilson stood for in the context of the Sevres Treaty and in the context of the map which he so laboriously produced delineating our rights to Western Armenia. His map also delineated our borders vis-à-vis Turkey and Northern Kurdistan.

Sevres treaty was the fruit of the League of Nation’s efforts for just, fair, and equitable solution of the inherently entitled demands of the Armenians, Kurds and the minorities.

That treaty, which was ratified by Greece only, is very much alive, and has withstood the test of time. It was not created and signed fraudulently under duress like the Treaty of Kars, 1921, which Turkey still claims to be valid.

Kurds are our natural allies in this, since their rights were also delineated by Sevres, and Woodrow Wilson. Cooperation and forging new political allies are imperative to implement the project. The time is now, since Turkey is in turmoil, and since the Middle East is in turmoil, and because redrawing national borders have happened during political earthquakes; we are going through one right now!

In his recent visit to Washington, Serz Sarkissian paid tribute to Present Wilson and his legacy by visiting his grave. Was he giving us a new direction? Certainly it did not look like another sport of chasing a plastic rabbit.

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14 Comments

  1. Reader said:

    The Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars has no connection with Princeton University. It is located in Washington, DC, and is part of the Smithsonian Institution. It is the national memorial to Woodrow Wilson. Princeton has a Woodrow Wilson School, but that is something entirely different. Davutloglu got his award from the Washington center (which is partly funded by Congress).

  2. MihranK said:

    Although Davudoglu got his plastic medal,.I strongly believe it was right for ANCA to pursue the matter.
    I suggest you dont loose your cool.

  3. Haroutiun said:

    The Wilson Center activism issue involves more than just awarding Davutoglu: It involves launching a congressional investigation (misuse of taxpayer funding/ improper +/or Turkish-affiliated corporate connections); pressing the Center to adhere to Wilson’s vision as specified in the Center’s mandate; applying Wilson’s ideals with regard to the Armenians; and the urgent need to establish a principled genocide program.

  4. Mugerditch said:

    President Wilson’s descendant, Don Wilson Bush, has come out against the award to Davutoglu in a wonderful article (http://usaarmenianlife.com/PawnForTheWrongPresident.html).

    He is a proven friend of Armenians and has spoken in the past in LA to Armenians.

    ANCA and the American Hellenic Institute have both issued actions alerts on the issue.

    And the issue is getting play in some of the mass media.

    Cong. Gary Ackerman has issued a blistering letter against the Woodrow Wilson Center and backed Armenians. That has been in the media too.

    I have been following this and things are proceeding well even though Davutoglu got the award. But the goals against the Wilson Center are longer term and there is much to gain. I say let’s go and kick the Wilson Center where it hurts – with a Congressional investigation and more:

  5. john papazian said:

    Nailed it Henry! The genocide has been eclipsing more imidiate concerns at home.Living comfertably here in the States the genocide is the only issue to rally around.Othr than that,it’s write check at church then get on with living the good life here.Who gives a damn? No one except us.

    • Charles Masraff said:

      Well said John and Henry.
      Time for the Diaspora to focus on what is important……helping to improve the lot of those who live in Armenia now .

  6. Alex Postallian said:

    If the center is funded by taxpayers money,yours and mine,then its up to the congress to find out#1 who was responsible #2who got the bribe,if not the same person and exposed,and criminal charges.

  7. Dino Ajemian said:

    Turkish machinations are a cancer. Their goal is to touch everything that is at the very least touched by Armenian history, spirit and goals. It is part of their continuing genocide against us. We must counter them whatever their vampiric hands touch and make them understand the error of their ways. They are now evil reborn, a resurgent caliphate that will consume not only the Armenian nation but Western Civilization as well. If they succeed, the dark ages would look like the Renaissance.

  8. vaughn said:

    We have to fight on many fronts. Along with Erdogan, Davutoglu is the international face of Turkey. To have ignored the opportunity to hurt our antagonist Turkey in the current political atmosphere (Turkey not toeing the US line re Iran and Gaza) would have been irresponsible. This is besides the unfairness, stupidity of awarding aa country with Turkey’s record.

  9. Ani P. said:

    I have to believe there’ll be some sort of Congressional investigation into the Wilson center scandal and I think Armenians can press the congressmen who sit on the panel that authorizes the taxpayer subsidy to the Wilson center each year. This will bring up the issue of the Wilson center’s connections to pro-Turkish companies and genocide deniers like Marc Grossman and William Cohen.
    This can be a good issue for us. It is one of many we should be pursuing, along with the other ones listed by Dr. Henry A. in his article.

  10. Arman said:

    I just can’t understand why our brothers and sisters are so naive. We must understand that neither America nor Europe cares about Armenia and the Armenian genocide. How can some of our people still hope that congress, or the government, or Obama are going to do something good disregarding America’s interests? Please people, be real. Why can’t you see what is going on. Here, I remind you what is going on:

    1. 95 years pass and still the USA has not recognized the Armenian genocide.
    2. Obama claimed that he would be the first president who will recognize the Armenian genocide and failed.
    3. Sargsyan visits President Woodrow Wilson’s International Center and then dog Davutoglu gets awarded.
    4. Israel – Turkey conflict and USA tries to help the turks to fight against kurds in northern Iraq.

    Can you see that USA is doing anything to keep turkey on his side? For us to be able to change anything here we should have finances or be extremely united. This means participating in elections 110% and all the votes goes in to one direction. Lobbying is good but without a full support from the community is not going to change much.

    So we are not financial giants as jews and we are not 100% united. The question is why aren’t we 100% united? The answer is that at back home things are not good. There is an oligarch government back at home that cares only about their packets and tries to divide the Diaspora for better control. We also have ARF back at home who for some reason acts as a pressure-holder and helps the oligarch government.

    What can we do? For sure we should unite and for that ARF and all organizations should work harder in Diaspora. Mean while the government in Armenia must be changed quickly by the opposition (ARF and all the opposition parties together). ARF should stop acting as a pressur-holder and fighting for national interests starting from fighting against opening foreign language schools to social injustice in Armenia. Every small thing matters and is worth to fight for. This will bring back our people hope for their better future, things will change dramatically.

    • sebouh from australia said:

      Typical Armenian imbecile dirtbag who enjoys beating up on the ARF…people like you is the reason we are not united… and next time make sure you cleanse your mouth before you even mention my sweet dear ARF….because people as dirty as you have no right to even mention its holy name!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Go back to being a stoolie for the Turks scumbag

      • Arman said:

        Sebouh from australia, don’t look stupid. Before you open your mouth you better click on my name. I am not going to call names here but the next time I’ll make sure not be as polite as I am now. A healthy criticism is what we need now. And please don’t give me some morality lessens here because it is very questionable who is more Armenian between us. So try to be more reasonable next time.

        • sebouh from australia said:

          I dont agree with any public criticism of the ARF as it cheapens its name….and I am happy with my “level” of Armenian-ness… I tend to retaliate when ARF is crticised as my Great grandparents, grandparents died in pursuit of its ideals

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