The Doctrine of Unclean Hands

In the law, there’s a concept know by the tile of this article. If I understood the explanation my lawyer friend gave me, it goes something like this: when someone is taken to court by another seeking redress for an alleged “wrong”, the person being sued can argue that because the person suing was involved in whatever “wrong” occurred, the latter is not entitled to any redress.
I hope this reminds you of something. Think Levon Der Bedrossian. Here he is, pleading for justice in high-minded language and dancing while doing it. Even worse, many of his supporters are, by all accounts, people who stand to gain personally with a Levon restoration or renew their power, lost with the passing of LDB from the presidency a decade ago. None of these people have clean hands.
This is not to argue that the current wielders of state power have clean hands. Both sides in the current clash of crooks actually have blood on their hands. Yet, that seems to be the way of the world. Arafat, Begin, Kissinger, and Roosevelt (Teddy) all received the Nobel Peace prize. None were exactly your run-of-the-mill pacifists. It’s absurd to me that any of them got it. Lending credence to Levon’s caterwauling for better conditions in Armenia would be just as ridiculous. No, more! But credence is just what he’s getting because of his circle’s savvy use of modern communications. Their Internet noise machine has trounced the poorly functioning remainder of the Armenian media (Homeland and Diaspora). Form is substance, the medium is the message, and these lowlifes’ activities are living proof of the veracity of these dicta.
The worst aspect of all this is that those individuals who indeed came upon the scene with clean hands, especially college aged youth, are especially susceptible to the profound disillusionment that ensues upon discovering they’ve been had. These sincere folk are rightly indignant. We’ve got to improve the state of governance and life in Armenia. Things aren’t as bad for as many people as they were in the early-mid nineties, but they’re nowhere near acceptable.
So what are we to do? In the Diaspora, we should really pick a few projects or, even better, geographical areas in Armenia and support them. Build infrastructure and demand accountability and the eradication of corruption, on a small, localized scale. Then we, all of us, Homeland and Diaspora, can point to those success stories. Of course this doesn’t mean ignoring Diasporan needs, something that has been the norm since the re-independence of Armenia– a strong, well endowed, smoothly operating Diaspora is essential to Armenia’s growth. In Armenia, those decent people who expressed their outrage over the last few weeks should be engaged in the “demonstration projects” I just mentioned.
Let’s shun, revile, and extirpate from our midst the Levons of the world, whether in office or out. Let’s apply the doctrine of unclean hands mercilessly. Let’s build a Free, Independent, and United Armenia by integrating the efforts of all sincere lovers of Armenia.


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