A Respite, Some Good News

Garen Yegparian


The last few weeks have not looked kindly on Armenians for the most part- court rulings, Azeri-oil-funded propaganda misrepresenting what happened in Khojaluh two decades ago, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s idiotic and embarrassing comments about the Genocide, etc.

So, it is good that as of late night Super Tuesday (the day ten states held their primary election in this U.S. presidential election year), we are rid of the current title holder of “biggest Turkish whore in the U.S. House of Representatives”— Jean Schmidt (if only because former Speaker Dennis Hastert [of Illinois] and Dick Gephardt [of Missouri] are no longer in office). Just imagine what it takes to successfully “primary” (a member of the same party running against an incumbent) a legislator! How bad a representative, at least in the eyes of her constituents, not her Turkish masters, must she be, that she got knocked off! She used to have Tea Party support, but managed to turn even that group of often unrealistic citizens off through her shenanigans. I heard through the grapevine that she kept doing foolish things during the primary campaign. Plus, her unethical behavior —taking Turkish money through indirect avenues— and the scrutiny it got, had to hurt her— thanks to David Krikorian and the ANCA for their efforts on that front.

The Congressional good news goes on. It’s not just Schmidt we’re rid of. There are others who have opposed the Genocide resolution or other important Armenian initiatives in Congress that are entering the dustbin of Congressional has-beens. Dan Burton of Illinois is retiring (he saw he couldn’t win this time and took the “honorable”, less embarrassing, exit). Ron Paul of Texas, is also retiring while running as a quixotic Republican presidential candidate. Dan Boren of Arizona, co-chair of the Congressional Azerbaijan caucus, is retiring. Wally Herger, a former supporter of the Genocide resolution who then withdrew and kept his distance is doing the same. Connie Mack of Florida is another one. Finally, and this is mixed good-bad news, Jeff Flake, of Arizona, is not running for the House of Representatives, instead opting to run for the Senate seat. This gives us a chance to support his strongest opponent and make sure Flake’s kept out of power, period.

Moving to the other end of the building, Senators Feinstein and Brown introduced the legislation calling on the Secretary of State to press Turkey to return confiscated (polite for “stolen”) church properties to their rightful owners. You’ll recall an identical measure passed the House Foreign Affairs Committee last summer. This is not only good news in and of itself, but because it represents the newest phase of our struggle. We have, at long last, started to demand reparations, not just recognition, on a practical level.

Crossing the “pond” to France, there’s also the good news that President Nicolas Sarkozy has pledged to reintroduce the bill criminalizing genocide denial that was recently rejected by France’s (in this case conflict-of-interest-ridden) Constitutional Council. Even better news is that Sarkozy’s main opponent in the French presidential election, Francois Hollande, is on board to do the same. It seems timing-wise, it’s not possible to get the legislation in before the election takes place. So we’ll have to wait and see whether the winner delivers on his promise.

Finally, there’s a twisted bit of good news. Don’t blame yourself if it didn’t register when you read the headlines about the anti-Armenian rallies held in Turkey calling us bastards and threatening to invade Yerevan, followed by various Turkish government leaders’ comments on this matter. The hidden good news is Prime Minister Erdogan’s reference to the demonstrators as “raving racists”. Of course, this is a very clever political ploy, so let’s not let him get away with it. He’s “distancing” himself from clearly reprehensible utterances. But, it was his government that allowed the explicitly anti-Armenian actions to go off across the country. This way, he both slakes and stokes average Turks’ hatred of Armenians, while simultaneously painting himself as oh-so-enlightened, humanist, and “European”!

Be heartened by the good news, and use that energy to battle the bad and affirmatively push forward the Armenian agenda on all fronts!


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  1. Roxann Petzold said:

    I’m thrilled that she will no longer be in the House of Representatives but ask that you refrain from calling anyone a “whore”. It demeans the message especially with all the vitriol spewed by Rush Limbaugh toward women being debated today. I know you are intelligent enough to find another way of expressing the idea that her influence could be bought.

    • Edward Demian said:

      You’re right Roxane.
      Personally I don’t quite know what the ‘W” word really means, but I’m sure that Jene Schmidt would give “W” a bad name.
      But it’s appalling that she got the Chairmanship of the Withdraw Wilson Foundation. We can now look forward to revisionist material coming from that corner. Payoff for being a Zionist spy, and sure to have been promoted for the position by Turkish interests. With Ambassador Morganthau grand daughter publically promoting Turkish interests, and denying the Armenian events as being “genocide”, in direct contradiction with her grandfather. That makes two major scores for Turkey.

  2. Alex Postallian said:

    The sad part of a crooked,money grubbing,unethical politician,even though they leave,they will be getting welfare payments,pension,for the rest of their lives:for being a crook.I lived fra schmidts district,she always had a FOR SALE sign on her back,and she should be investigated,would make Al Capone an altar boy.The electorate had a indifference,stupidity,of what was going on.I saw her at a political rally,after the debate her stooge whisked her out of the building,so she wouldnt answer questions,knowing how stupid she is.

  3. Peter said:

    Jean Schmidt was the top recipient of Turkish money in the congress. Her defeat is unparalleled in recent history. The Armenian-American community should be dancing in the streets and soon be dancing on her political grave, as she becomes a non-entity.

    People to thank for Schmidt’s demise: David Krikorian, Cincinnati Attorney Christopher Finney, Mark Geragos, the Anderson Tea Party, and the winner himself…doctor and Iraq War veteran Brad Wenstrup.

    The others we should thank are Schmidt’s incompetent political and legal advisors: Former Chief of Staff Barry Bennett, her Ohio lawyer Donal Brey, Turk Law lawyer David Saltzman and Turkish Coalition of America lawyer Bruce Fein.

  4. danoog said:

    Dan Burton is from Indiana, but hey, that’s pretty close to Illinois and almost accurate.

  5. danoog said:

    And oh, Dan Boren is from Oklahoma. Rule One of writing a column for a website. Check your facts yourself, unless you want the readers to check them for you. This doesn’t help your credibility.

  6. danoog said:

    And oh, Boren is from Oklahoma. Rule One of writing a column for a website. Check your facts yourself, unless you want the readers to check them for you. This doesn’t help your credibility.

  7. George said:

    Regarding to anti-Armenian rallies held in Turkey calling us bastards and threatening to invade Yerevan, Turkey should go first into Syria and help the Syrian people as well protect American interest as gratitude and fidelity for the Billions of American tax payers Dollars that they received.

    • Edward Demian said:

      The Turks are masters at suckering the great powers into outfitting their military and other concessions. The Americans are the latest cash cow for them to milk. The American taxpayer basically financed their “economic miracle”. Now that the cow has run dry, Turkey will spend itself into bankruptcy. It will have to go to the Euro community for bailouts, and the Europeans are more inclined to require concessions than the Americans.

    • proudTurk said:

      This may be difficult for you to swallow. Turkey does not need and receive any foreign aid from USA. Turkey has the world’s 16th largest economy and growing at a record rate only second to China.

  8. Jacqueline Papazian Kazarian said:

    I am very pleased to read the above report. I am not an informed Armenian though I would like to be and found the article above both informative and valuable. Space restriction made it difficult for me to follow all the issues presented and the names. A serious observation is the lack of important people in visible, powerful places to get the job done i.e. Keeping Armenia and Armenians in a positive light politically, socially and historically. Leadership, A Voice, Resources and, and, and. We must recruit a Team to
    vocalize and demonstrate What Can be done and to Do it.
    Let us work to be Heard, Acknowledged, and Honored for our Strengths and Tenacity in a World racing for a place in the Sun…Let us hope it is on planet Earth.
    Thank you for the opportunity to submit comments.
    Jacqueline Papazian Kazarian
    Newport Beach, CA

  9. Zareh Sshakian said:

    Dear Garen, thanks for the article, it is very informative. I would like to make two points:

    1) Despite the good news about anti-Armenian US legislators are retiring (wanting or not), before getting to excited let’s remember that the Turkish monies buying legislators is still available and in circulation, there will be new takers who will be happy to join the lineup.
    Also, we are losing long-time supporters of Armenian issues, like Rep. Barney Frank.

    2) About the “twisted good news” from Turkey and Erdogan’s political ploys. You should, or we all should, acknowledge the fact many journalists and political commentators have written long and disparaging remarks against those racist Turks demonstrating in the streets of Istanbul and elsewhere. Even if not all commentators are genuine in their condemnations, and do that out of a duty to save Turkish face in light of today’s internet age speed of news circulation, there are those who consistently call a spade a spade in Armenian related issues. Among the prominent journalists who stand out are Orhan Kemal Cengiz, Cenkiz Aktar, Yavuz Baydar of Today’s Zaman newspaper. In Hurriyet Daily News one cannot miss the biting pen of Burak Bekdil, I often wonder when these people are going to be hauled to the nearest jails.

    We should also call a spade a spade and not ignore these courageous people, who desperately try to make sense in a snake pit environment they live in.

  10. Pingback: What the Armenians are saying about Jean Schmidt’s loss | the Political Daily Download