Off to a Bad Start


It’s not that anything really unpleasant has happened to us yet in 2011, it’s just that 2010 ended so badly. Here’s how, in no particular order.

President Obama screwed us with the recess appointments of Bryza and Riccardione. As a friend observed, it’s probably his way of saying to us “upstarts” in the Armenian community of the U.S. “Don’t get too big for your britches, bitches!” Matt Bryza is the worst of the pair. The guy is so deep in Azero-Turkish pockets he can’t see daylight, and he’s supposed to represent American interests in Baku. Ridiculous! Unbelievable! No fair minded person could argue otherwise. There’s no other way to interpret this than a slap in our collective face. Why? Because if he’s so competent, he could easily have been given another, equivalent appointment, where he had no conflict of interest.

As if those appointments weren’t bad enough, we have Javid Huseynov— Director General of the Azerbaijani American Council, adding insult to injury by lecturing the Armenian community about not pursuing narrow, “ethnic” interests. You see this electrical engineer type from Orange County, California knows all about defending American, over parochial interests. And why, you ask, does this paragon of American patriotism think Armenians are bad? It has nothing to do with his being an Azerbaijani government shill, of course… It’s just that these bad-old-Armenians keep introducing Genocide resolutions and obstructing international diplomacy to pursue “their” vile agenda.

While in Orange County, I should also mention that someone’s offering “Turkish” cooking classes there. Isn’t that just great? Not only do we have to contend with Turkey usurping and “Turkifying” the Armenian, Greek, and other cultural legacies of Asia Minor, but now we have Turks in the U.S. passing off as their own the cuisines they stole from the peoples they murdered!

Orange County serves as a locus (maybe I should say a plague of locusts) of Turkish activity of all types because of the large Turkish community there. But more interesting is a remark from a Huseynov interview in which he claims there will be more cooperation among all Turkic groups. This is a sign of the beginnings of political maturation of those communities in the U.S. and we should expect more challenges from that quarter and prepare for them. Of course I don’t believe that people from the central Asian Turkic countries will be in on this to any great extent, since the Armenian-haters, ideologically and historically, largely hail from what is today called Turkey and Azerbaijan.

On a broader, non-exclusively Turkic front, you can add to all this the Kobe Bryant fiasco (and the inability of many in our community to get over their addiction to the Lakers and appreciate the depth of this depravity and the damage it does us) and the ongoing bad judgment of the Southern Poverty Law Center’s leadership as evidenced in their coddling of Genocide denier Lewy.

Need I mention the fate of H. Res 252? And of course the utterly embarrassing, sniveling, brown-nosing press release issued by the Armenian Assembly that followed that fate? Here’s the offending quote:

“We applaud the tenacity of the resolution sponsor, Congressman Adam Schiff, and we also particularly commend the steadfast leadership of Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, who along with Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair and White House Liaison Congressman Chris Van Hollen provided guidance and invaluable assistance throughout this process,” stated Executive Director Bryan Ardouny.”
Would someone please explain to me how this outfit justifies its existence to our community? How could anyone laud the person (Pelosi) who just screwed you? A friend came up with a very apt analogy, “The Assembly is to the Armenian community what Vichy was to France.”

Our work is cut out for us, so get busy. Perhaps one of our top areas for improvement this year ought to be the realm of public opinion, both pro-Armenian and anti-Turkey/Azerbaijan. In this vein, watch Wikileaks. It has been VERY informative about our enemies. Who knows, maybe even the Assembly’s doings will pop up somewhere among those documents.


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  1. Assdig Maagar said:

    All the reasons mentioned above are the result of our communities functioning without leadership and without a clear direction to what is the most important thing to do at any given time. Being divided is not that bad if we could at least be united when our common interest and enemy is one and the same. But we cannot even do that. That is why 90% of our youth are indifferent to what is written in our media, what our so called leaders are saying, what our church leaders are asking and in general they do not give a damn about anything Armenian.
    If I thought that I was in any so called leadership position in any Armenian organization in the Diaspora, I would make sure that no one knows my name. But the so called leaders that we have today will not do what I would because they themselves do not give a damn.

  2. Arthur said:

    We have to face a very sad reality. Institutions like the ANCA in the Armenian Diaspora really hold very little sway over the Armenian community (especially here in Los Angeles). Relative to our numbers here, we wield a very small proportional amount of political influence and power.

    Say what you will. It will only fall upon deaf ears.

    How many of these conferences, symposia, and ‘lectures’ have we held with the same 90-95% of people showing up? Almost every one I can recall. You, Garen, yourself have mentioned this as a problem. And no one can claim that we do not do a good job of “reaching out” or any of that crap.

    A great majority of our work is done in the efforts of reaching out and getting a larger segment of our community actively (even nominally) engaged and involved in the social, civic, cultural, and educational sphere.

    Our community loves to talk and criticize, but once you ask them to walk the talk they scatter like a bunch of cockroaches with the flashlight shone upon them.

    Our political power will never match more than a small percentage of our numbers until we have a more educated community. Only this will yield a greater amount of sociopolitical engagement amongst our community, and cause our influence to truly reflect our numbers.

    But, even then, this will require an improvement upon a wide array of conditions afflicting the Armenian community – increasing educational attainment and political activism go hand in hand with strengthening the social and cultural infrastructure of our community (providing services, safety nets, support groups and networks; bringing a semblance of culture, customs and values to our lost youth as well as enlightening them of the traditions of their forefathers), economic empowerment of our poorer classes (no one’s talking socialism here, simply helping people help themselves in their direst of times and struggles; I have more than enough faith in the entrepreneurial ability of the Armenian people), and the social mobilization of our communities.

    If we truly want to foster a more politically engaged citizenry, we must build our communities. I have already tried doing this with a small group of like-minded people, and, surprisingly we have found success. But we do this voluntarily and free of any monetary gain, yet we treat it as if it’s a full-time job when we are very busy students, and employed simultaneously. Nevertheless, we would be glad to continue our efforts if we see some reciprocity from those people we work so hard to bring benefits and opportunities to. But the sad fact is, that the majority of the time, our work goes largely ignored.

    Nothing is more disheartening than to see something you work so hard, and put so much time, effort, and money into, to create for the community, not being used at all – especially when it’s provided free of charge.

    What to do? How to proceed? I do not know.

    This is the dilemma we face.

  3. Kiazer Souze said:

    Go Celtic!!!!!!!! I hope Shaq bitch slaps Kobe!!!!!!!!

    I am very optimistic because this year is going to be the beginning of the Power Boycotts. The future is going to be brighter as we starve the shills the politicians and the legal professionals to the point worse than the victims of the Armenian/Assyrian/Greek and other ethnic groups of Christain faith Genocides. You wait and see.

    Manookian’s, Gorky’s and Saroyan’s legacies represent the Quil. Dervishian’s and Melkonian’ legacies Represent the Dagger. ANCA’s power boycotts will represent the Shovel.

  4. Kiazer Souze said:

    I am very optimistic because this year is going to be the beginning of the Power Boycotts. The future is going to be brighter as we starve the shills, the politicians and the legal professionals to the point worse than the victims of the Armenian/Assyrian/Greek and other ethnic groups of Christain faith Genocides. You wait and see.

    Manookian’s, Gorky’s and Saroyan’s legacies represent the Quil. Dervishian’s and Melkonian’ legacies Represent the Dagger. ANCA’s power boycotts will represent the Shovel.

    We have Armenians in Boston who love basketball as well. And, they certainly don’t watch the Lakers. Our children need to know the harm caused by Kobe’s actions to our cause for justice.

  5. Kiazer Souze said:

    I want to especially toast to Monte Melkonian and say good night to him (wherever he is). You see, I believe he is the true “Jason Borne.”

  6. Julian Freeman said:

    It seems to me that all this hatred is necessary to hold the armenian diaspora together. Without it, your raison d’etre would not be apparent. Here’s to hoping that the armenian community can come up with some other project or cause other than fixating on a centuries old grievance.

    • Diana said:

      Julian . .. unlike the Holocaust, the Armenian people have struggled for Justice for over a century. The Armenian Genocide of 1915 was not the first assault on the Armenian people. The Hamiddian Masacre’s in the late 19th Century preceded them . . . and the attacks on Christian minorities would continue after the Armenian Genocide. The long path of denial sent the wrong message to Turkey – and today – the terrible message to would-be regimes who plot murder and genocide.

      ‘If nations are allowed to commit genocide with impunity, to hide their guilt in a camouflage of lies and denials, there is a real danger that other brutal regimes will be encouraged to attempt genocides. Unless we speak today of the Armenian genocide and unless the Government recognizes this historical fact, we shall leave this century of unprecedented genocides with this blot on our consciences.’
      – Caroline, Baroness Cox, House of Lords, April 1999

    • T. Yardemian said:

      Julian – What is your raison d’etre?

      Mine is not a project, nor is it a fixation. It has to do with healing wounds that have unwillingly become a component of my identity.

      Your statement sounds more like hatred than any part of Garen’s article. If you have nothing productive to say, we’d rather not know your opinion.

    • Norin Radd said:

      I always find it amazing how every time Armenians speak of our struggle and the injustice dealt to us, amidst the fiery discussion, a Jew always pops up to put in his “two cents” with the typical, “let go of your anger, make amends with your persecutors, blah blah blah”. Enlighten us Julian, as an obvious Jew, how have your people “made amends” and “quenched your hatred”? Last I checked your method of “healing wounds” rings to the tune of more than 100 BILLION dollars received from Germany and counting. Do you think that Jewish lives are worth monetary compensation but the lives of others does not? Dirtbags like you surely believe that the life of a Jew is worth more than that of someone in Darfur, Rwanda, or Armenia, and as such, why should these people seek justice and compensation the way the Jews have, right? Isn’t that what goes through the mind of every piece of filth like you?

      Your Jewish “forgiveness” also extended its sympathy via lawsuits and accusations galore against the Swiss banks, the French railways, and pretty much any other state that had a Jewish population during WW II despite Germany being the perpetrator of the Holocaust. You’ve also managed to manipulate and coerce the US population to send BILLIONS more annually to the proxy state Israel so you can then pay us Americans back with our own US grants to purchase bombs, planes, spy on us, and develop illegal nuclear arsenals. While doing all of this you’ve also managed to stick your noses into our business despite continually having your lackeys like Abe Foxman bark out that the issue is one between Turks and Armenians, yet you Jews never miss a chance to work your manipulative machinations against our efforts.

      We Armenians have turned our anger and yes, our hate toward our persecutors into the quest for much deserved justice not just for our own fellow Armenians that were murdered, but also for those that suffered similar fates following our own Genocide in the 20th century, including you shameless Jews. Perhaps your “raison d’etre” is merely the sheer primitive desire all Jews like you have deep down inside to keep the spotlight of justice and compensation only on yourselves while you sabotage the efforts of other ethnic groups to prevent them from attaining the proper restitution and compensation they deserve.

      Get lost, all of you Jews are like open books to all of us Armenians, we know you well, we have been around long before Judaism came into existence, and we will be around long after Judaism has withered away and decayed. The “chosen people” are not chosen at all, they are just good at tricks and theatrics.

  7. hyeman said:

    I don’t see anything wrong with thanking officials who may ultimately regain their positions (ie: Pelosi’s decision to stay on may bring her back as Majority leader if the Dems regain power in the House.) This is called; – “don’t burn your bridges.” The votes were clearly not there for the resolution to pass. Would it have been better for it to go down, – making it even harder to bring it back for next session? How cooperative will she be in the future with all the bad mouthing she’s received from Armenian groups? Stop blaming everyone else and stop making your own fellow Armenians your adversaries for issuing a “thank you” statement. No wonder we haven’t been able to pass this resolution. We keep shooting ourselves in the foot over and over again. We need less emotional rhetoric and more strategic thinking!

  8. Bull Schiff said:

    Pelosi and our Democratic ‘friends’ are the only ones who made the argument that the resolution didn’t have the votes to win. They employed the ‘don’t harm yourself little one, you don’t have the votes’ argument and the Assembly bought it, hook, line and sinker. That was a Bull schiff argument. This resolution seemed so close that the retiring Republican George Radanovich flew back to DC to vote for it. Democrats sold our community out and the Assembly helped them sell their sack of Schift to us. ‘thank you’ Assembly.

  9. hyeman said:

    There were approximately 189 reps. that had indicated they would vote “yes” and of those 189 many had already left for the holidays before the vote could take place. Even Radanovich’s fly back would not have saved the day. 218 was needed to pass the resolution. Last time I checked my math, it would have been a loss any way you looked at it.

  10. Meri said:


    May be people are just sick and tired of this enmity, hatred, – enemy, Turks, Azeris!!! Damn! Genocide! Karabakh! Damn it all. People need peace. Those living in Armenia need peace and bread.

    What a shame you are discussing how to make a fool out of the public – bloody enemies killing, raping! Damn, just stop it! Let’s breath! Let’s live as other people do and stop chasing these guys. Tired!

    Years pass, decades pass, the new generation is being brought up in the same bloody hatred. Enough!
    Those Turks are not demons, but ordinary people with their own interest.
    How long can you keep on following officials, pump in money earned by any kind of ways – any any kind of way!!! to keep on spoiling things more and more.

    Tired! Enough! Let us live and breathe. Let everyone earn their life! Stop muddying our minds!


  11. Vatche said:

    We must stop claiming our defeats as successes.
    No amount of alchemy can convert Aravayr into a victory.
    But we continue to praise our defeats in the name of some strange inverse philosophy.
    I do not think that the new generation would ever
    buy this line of thinking.