BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
Do you remember biased Bryza? The “American” diplomat whose allegiances to Azerbaijan and Turkey at least appeared to be stronger than to his own country? You know, the one with the Turkish wife and a love for Azerbaijan that clearly led to unwise utterances and conflict of interest appearances (at best)?
Well it turns out that not only did Matthew Bryza have poor judgment, but bad assessment skills as well. From a wikileaks document dated November 1, 2007, we learn that Bryza, in discussions with a Turkish deputy foreign minister, Ünal Çeviköz, told the latter that the U.S. government thought that tension over Abkhazia had moderated somewhat (we don’t learn exactly what role Bryza played in the formulation of this position).
Further on in the document, Bryza is quoted as saying that “Georgia is outmaneuvering Russia and separatists in South Ossetia by making reintegration with Georgia appear increasingly attractive.” Why is this relevant and an example of inability to gauge situations? Do you remember what happened less than a year later, in August 2008? The Russo-Georgian war, with the latter country being on the way to becoming a member of NATO! What’s been the status of Abkhazia and South Ossetia since then?
At the time, The Washington Post saw fit to vilify the ANCA for opposing Bryza’s appointment as U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan. It’s perhaps reasonable to expect an apology from that publication now.
Moving to our own “backyard,” we see the pickle that our flustered “diplomats” have gotten the Republic of Armenia (RoA) into.
This has been ever-increasingly the case since the sudden about-face last September when Serzh Sarkisian surprised all of us by announcing that the RoA would not proceed on its path to integration with the European Union, and instead would join the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union.
I am not going to argue that this was a bad decision. Nor will I address its arguable unavoidability. But I cannot help but notice that since the announcement, the RoA seems to keep getting spat upon by the founders of the EaEU. The date to join and the conditions seem to have become moving targets. Karabakh’s security is being threatened.
So what do the geniuses in Yerevan do? They run to one of the easiest diplomatic arenas for Armenians, South America.
Thanks to years of good work by our compatriots there, many of the countries on that continent are favorably disposed towards Armenian issues. Sarkisian and Foreign Minister Nalbandian are availing themselves of this existing goodwill through a flurry of meetings, speeches, and public appearances during their visit.
Perhaps they are trying to shore up their flagging international credibility by showing how much support they have. Who knows? It all seems somewhat tawdry and pathetic to someone watching from afar.
In writing about these instances, I am reminded of a Troshag (the ARF’s central publication) editorial of the 1980s. It bore the title “Teevayeen Teevanakedner”— Fiendish (or Devilish, to get in the alliteration) Diplomats. Don’t you agree with the notion embodied in that title? Let’s all keep hammering away at the “diplomats” who are working to rob Armenians of their rights.