Don’t Regret, Do

Garen Yegparian
Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian


How does one avoid regret? If the person is a psychopath, it’s easy, regret may not even arise no matter how vile the behavior.

But for most human beings, the path to no regrets is paved with the gleaming white marble stones of doing the right thing.

Other than the natural human aversion to admitting errors, it’s fairly easy to express regret for actions taken or not, long after the time when that choice would have made a difference is past.

So it is with some mixed emotions that I read David Minier’s “Armenian genocide: How Valley prosecutor missed his chance to be ‘immortal symbol of justice’” which appeared in the Fresno Bee a week ago.

Minier was the prosecutor in the Kourken Yanikian case. You may recall that back in 1973 Yanikian was able to kill two Turkish diplomats by promising them art to get them to meet him.

Minier expresses regret that he didn’t let Yanikian have his “Armenian Nuremberg trial” by not objecting to the testimony of Genocide survivors. He had feared “jury nullification” in which case a not guilty verdict would have resulted. Minier is sorry for missing an opportunity to do the right thing and strike a blow for justice.

Obviously it’s too late to matter now, but it’s heartening to see that there is still decency among humans. Maybe his article will serve to inspire others in the future. We have a long, hard struggle to wage before the Armenian question in its modern form is resolved.

Imagine if the likes of Samantha Power or Ben Rhodes (who served as a deputy national security adviser in the Obama administration) could have seen Minier’s piece before they had made the fateful decision to do the wrong thing, while in office. Both were quoted in a Politico piece expressing “regret” for not recognizing the Genocide. Theirs is a lot harder to accept as sincere since the opportunitIES they squandered, year after year, came more than three decades after Minier’s missed chance of a lifetime.

From now on, whether it’s a street cop acting over-zealously in response to an arguably rowdy demonstrator at an Armenian Genocide rally, someone like Samantha Power who is not following the example set by Ambassador John Evans, a president of some country kowtowing to Turkish pressure, or anyone in between, we should send them a copy of David Minier’s piece.


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  1. Peter M. said:

    Samantha Power deserves a special place among Armenians: NO PLACE. As a diplomat, she would [no doubt] understand why she will forever be “persona non grata” among all self-respecting Armenians. No regrets. No apologies accepted. Too little, too late. WAY TOO LATE.
    Ms. Power was a pure as pure can be. Trustworthy. Honest. Compassionate. As a journalist, she had covered genocide in the Balkans. Her book, “A Problem from Hell: America and the Age of Genocide,” won a Pulitzer Prize AND the Raphael Lemkin Award from the Institute for the Study of Genocide.
    I saw her at a book signing at the now-closed Borders Books in Glendale in 2002, long before her Obama Administration opportunities to elevate the discussion and recognition of the Armenian Genocide. It was exciting to listen to her and read her book.
    Then she let us down. Someone we trusted and admired, totally stabbed us in the back.
    Unless you are a politically corrupt and/or a financially corrupt Armenian and/or a self-loathing Armenian…YOU SHOULD HAVE NOTHING TO DO WITH SAMANTHA POWER….period, end of sentence.

    Thanks for the column, Garen.