Pro-Azeri and Pro-Turkish Writers Denigrate Armenia and Diaspora

Harut Sassounian
Harut Sassounian

Harut Sassounian


Turkish and Azeri circles were displeased with my latest column where I had analyzed Vice President-elect Mike Pence’s phone call to Armenia’s President Serzh Sarkisian.

Azerbaijan’s Trend news agency published a ridiculous article by Elmira Tariverdiyeva, titled: “Yerevan’s failed phone call or why Trump did not respond.” She is the head of Trend’s Russian-language news service.

The Azeri article is replete with nonsensical and false assertions. The author, who has a limited knowledge of American politics, calls the Pence-Sarkisian phone calls a “disaster.” She wrongly claims that Pence simply returned Sarkisian’s phone call. In fact, it was Vice President-elect Pence who made the call to Sarkisian.

The real disaster is that the President of filthy rich Azerbaijan, Aliyev, would have been unable to talk to President-elect Trump or Vice President-elect Pence without the assistance of highly-paid lobbyists in Washington!

The Azeri journalist goes on to make bigger gaffes by claiming that Hillary Clinton’s defeat “was a big disappointment for Yerevan. It is known that Clinton maintained fairly close relationships with an extensive Armenian diaspora in the US.” Elmira does not seem to know much about either Armenia or the Diaspora. Contrary to her false assertion, most Armenians did not support Clinton!

Tariverdiyeva also claims that Yerevan is frustrated because Trump is more familiar with Azerbaijan based on his investments in that country. In my opinion, it is too premature to make such self-serving and unwarranted assumptions. On the contrary, Pres. Trump has many reasons to be tough on Azerbaijan given its dictatorial regime, serious violations of human rights, and the participation of many Azeris in ranks of ISIS terrorists in Syria. It is ridiculous to claim that Pres. Trump would be more favorably inclined toward Azerbaijan because of his $323,150 licensing fee from the Baku Trump Tower, which he does not own!

Another more sinister article was written by Alexander Murinson, who is neither Azeri nor Turk, but for some questionable reason, has written a series of anti-Armenian tirades over the years in various publications. In his LinkedIn page, Murinson describes himself as: “Currently seeking new [job] opportunities…. An expert on Azerbaijan-Turkish-Israeli cooperation…. Considered a leading expert on Azerbaijani Jewry.” Murinson serves on the faculty of an obscure school in Washington, D.C., “BAU (Bahcheshehir) International University,” recently founded by Turkish billionaire Enver Yucel.

In an attempt to seek new job opportunities and ensure that his article titled, “The Armenian Lobby’s Tenuous Relations with President-elect Trump,” is published, Murinson panders to the right-wing website The American Spectator, under the false premise that Armenians are anti-Trump, therefore, anti-conservative.

I had planned to rebut point by point Murinson’s statements, but decided to let his own words expose his faulty judgments. Here are some of his nonsensical gems:

— American “Armenian lobby’s agenda is largely contrary to U.S. national interests and, perhaps counter-intuitively, to the best interests of the Republic of Armenia….”

— “Turkey [is] a key and indispensable strategic ally of the U.S. in the Middle East….”

— “This may lay at the core of the deep concern and disappointment of the U.S. Armenian lobby with the election of Donald Trump as President. For observers of the region, the nasty anti-Trump campaign executed by Armenian-American activists is no secret. The online campaign proudly announced that Armenian pop stars Cher and Kim Kardashian are ‘pulling all stops’ against Trump, while a noted pro-Armenian celebrity Amal Clooney, whose odd list of clients once included Armenia’s government and Julian Assange, led the anti-Trump effort along with her husband George.”

— “The Armenian concern seems to stem from the fact that Donald Trump is not beholden to Washington’s typical web of special interest groups. He might pursue a more clear-eyed approach to the region, basing it on America’s national interest rather than the interests of a particular lobby. He might even take a sober look at the oversold notion of Armenian political influence in the U.S. and notice its increasingly obvious irrelevance.”

— “The next Secretary of State should be different from the once pro-Armenian Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, who favored his Armenian friends….”

In view of such persistent attacks, Armenian-American political organizations should forcefully counter all deceitful and defamatory articles written by the likes of Elmira Tariverdiyeva and Alexander Murinson. It is high time to establish an Armenian Anti-Defamation Committee!

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  1. Sarkis said:

    murinson joins the Hall of Shame of influential jews who attack Armenia and Artsakh:

    -abraham foxman (anti-defamation league of b’nai b’rith)

    -brenda schaffer (israeli scholar, past president of american political acience association, former research director of the Caspian studies program at harvard’s kennedy school of government, current faculty at the israeli university of haifa in the school of political science, and a visiting professor at the azerbaijan diplomatic academy and at georgetown university in washington, d.c.)

    -shimon peres (president and former prime minister of israel)

    -guenter lewy (professor emeritus at the university of massachusetts amherst)

    -bernard lewis (cleveland e. dodge professor emeritus of near eastern studies at princeton university)

    -bruce fein (attorney, worked for the turkish coalition of America, the american enterprise institute and the heritage foundation, the assembly of turkish american associations court case against Mourad Topalian in 2001, the lawyer of fellow jew guenter lewy against the southern poverty law center regarding the Armenian Genocide, lawyer of u.s. house of representatives member jean schmidt against David Krikorian, lawyer for the turkish coalition of america against University of Minnesota, of the Ron Paul’s presidential campaign leaders and a huge influence on Ron Paul despite Ron Paul’s supposed “anti-interventionist” foreign policy)

    -david saltzman (turkish coalition of america, works with bruce fein in their anti-Armenian activity)

    -george friedman (founder of stratfor, advocate of “keep Armenia isolated”)

    -rivka cohen (israeli ambassador to Armenia and georgia, openly and officially denied the Armenian Genocide while in Armenia)

    -vladimir socor (political analyst of east european affairs for the jamestown foundation and its eurasia daily monitor propaganda bullhorn, prominent Armenian Genocide denier, prominent supporter of the lie that Artsakh belongs to azerbaijan, psychotic Russophobe – interestingly Socor also has some Armenian ancestry in addition to his jew heritage, a stark example of the dangers of race-mixing with Jews )

    -michael rubin (current resident scholar at the american enterprise institute and a senior lecturer at the naval postgraduate school, has lectured in history at yale university, hebrew university, and Johns Hopkins University, heavily involved in the war and destruction against Iraq)

    -stephen blank (a senior fellow and resident Russia “expert” at the american foreign policy council, previously worked as a professor at the strategic studies institute of the u.s. army war college at carlisle barracks, pennsylvania)

    -richard weitzor (a senior fellow and director of the center for political-military analysis at hudson institute and an expert at wikistrat, previously from 2002 to 2004 was a consultant for the center for strategic and international studies, the defense science board, and d.f.i. international, inc., also has held positions with the center for strategic studies, the belfer center for science and international affairs at harvard university’s kennedy school of government, and the u.s. department of defense.)

    -denis jaffe (anti-Armenian journalist)

    -guy billauer (anti-Armenian attorney)

    -stephen schwartz (anti-Armenian, anti-Russian, anti-Serbian, advocate for turco-islamist extremism)

    -madeline albright (former u.s. secretary of state, active Armenian Genocide denier, butcher of Orthodox Chrsitian Serbs in Serbia, founder of an illegitimate turkic-islamic state in Serbian Kosovo, on record as say half a million dead Iraqi civilians was “worth it” to put pressure on Saddam Hussein)

    -william cohen (former u.s. secretary of defense, active Armenian Genocide denier, war criminal responsible for millions of deaths and casualties all around the world including Serbia and Iraq)

    -norma zager (paid propagandist for azerbaijan masquerading as a “journalist”, published anti-Armenian and anti-Artsakh crap in papers like the Washington Times)

    -annette blum (paid propagandist for azerbaijan masquerading as a “journalist” and “activist”, published Azerbaijan-worshipping, anti-Armenian and anti-Artsakh crap in papers like the Huffington Post)

  2. Robert Bedrosian said:

    Dear Harut,

    Thanks for a delightful article.

    Anti-defamation activity should be part of our existing organizations, probably, rather than the purview of a separate organization. We also need to pick our targets carefully, since there is a fine line between free speech and defamation.

    To effectively draw attention to the baddies, we could use something in addition to journalistic exposees (such as you do): street theater and lampooning. It certainly would attract humorous media attention if a group of activists presented “so-called journalist” awards to hacks such as Ali El Husseini, Reba Cohen, and Alexander Murinson.

    I had to smile when I read Mr. Murinson’s almost plaintive resume. From the standpoint of cultural anthropology here is a phenomenon worth drooling over: a has-been propagandist for regimes that are very short of money. He is someone with opinions for sale, but no one is buying. Truly these are hard times! If you think back a mere five years, opinion pieces gushing with praise for regimes like Turkey and Azerbaijan were part of the daily fare. Today, however, such “pieces” really stand out very starkly for the propaganda they are.

    There are at least two “career-related” problems facing the enterprising Alexander Murinson. First, he is not a particularly good writer. There is a roughness and unfinished quality to his “opinion pieces.” Second, and more worrisome, is that right now, he is facing some high-level competition from other would-be influence peddlers in need of work–such as Susan Rice, David Plouffe, and former Congressman Dan Burton, who would be happy to lobby for Turkey, Azerbaijan, or anyone else if the price is right.

    Still, Murison might have a chance with the following organizations, which are known to swim in shark-infested waters:

    Podesta Group,
    Gephardt Group,
    Albright Capital Management (owner Madeleine Albright),
    “Clinton” law firm DLA Piper (co-chaired by former US Senator George Mitchell).

    If I were offering career guidance to Alexander Murinson, I would suggest that he take a creative writing course. Science fiction and fantasy are two lucrative genres and–who knows–his talents then might soar, since there would be no need for any grounding in fact.

  3. Jerry Sabounjian said:

    We have to play the game the way they do. Unfortunately Azeris and Turks are the best when it comes to fabricating and spreading misinformation, or fake news. We need to learn from them.
    There diplomatic core actively pursues this practice, unlike Armenia’s who are busy fulfilling there own personal interests.

  4. NOVELLIAN said:


  5. Arman said:

    Pence is an honorable man. Vice President elect Pence is on record saying that he believes the Armenian case is genocide, however, he quoted the Bible, saying there is a season and a time for everything, and thus it is not yet the time to bring up an Armenian genocide resolution to the Foreign Affairs Committee, in March of 2010. Here is the link.
    3-4-2010 – Pence On Armenian Genocide at Foreign Affairs Committee Markup