08 April 2007
"... It's better that I be a dog or a cat, than a Turkish barbarian..."
Edna Petrosyan, a SIX YEAR OLD Californian girl who recites hateful poems on the insistence of her mother. The Los Angeles Times, February 1, 1990
(The discussion below will be followed by ""The Role of the ARF in the Diaspora.")
The example of hate perpetuation provided above is all over. One can see this racist hatred of Turks in Armenian forums, and while there have been some wonderful Armenians writing in to this site, the majority has also been of this ilk. Here is one example, received not long ago, entitled "Stupid Turk," and written by "Arman":
"All you stupid turks are nothing but phony, fake and scum of the earth! You think by wearing western outfits and suits make you European? You haven't created anything worthy in your pathetic history. You are nothing but savage mongols and seljuks from Central Asia who have no place in EU. And you will keep suffer in the international arena until you recognize the Armenian Genocide and pay your dues.-- Proud Armenian! "
The Rose and Alex Pilibos Armenian High School
where Viken Yacoubian serves as principal..
What drives so many Armenians to feel such mindless hatred? Parents and churches are part of it, as are schools. One of the members of the JCAG terrorist group, the "L.A. Five," barely received punishment from a genocide-sympathizing judge from California, and is currently working as a principal in an Armenian school. Since this man was not forced to repent for his sins, and in a way was "rewarded" for committing his crimes, one can only guess what kind of an attitude he has taken with him, in his new role as an educator.
This page will focus on a Dashnak community center, to get an idea of how impressionable young Armenian minds are being molded.
As we all know, Armenians cherish their terrorists. This chapter of the "Armenian Youth Federation" is lovingly named after the terror-spreading bandit, Aghpuyr Serop (Aghpiur Serop).
There is the lovely A.R.F. symbol, complete with dagger
Here's how the site describes him:
"Also known as Serop Vartanian, Aghpuyr Serop was born into a wealthy family in the village of Soghort, Aghlat in 1864. After he joined the Dashnaktsutiun [ca. 1891-- HW], he began to travel and organize villagers to protect themselves against the attacking Turk's. Upon hearing of his actions, Turkish officials sent out soldiers to capture Serop and his men. Although the Turkish government organzied many surprise attacks, they were unsuccessful. Unfortunately, in 1899, after being poisened by the enemy, Serop was killed during battle, alongside his brother and son."
Our hero: Aghpiur Serop
Let's figure out what's going on here. The fact that his family was wealthy provides a giant clue the Ottoman-Armenians were not oppressed. But this lunatic decided to "stir things up." He wasn't heroically getting Armenians to protect themselves against the attacks of Turks, because no Turks were attacking. (Depredations by Kurdish tribes, lawless bands and the occasional exceptions of locally committed mass murder aside, there were no massacres of Armenians before the formation of these terror groups in the late 19th century. It was the idea of these terrorists to "stir things up," commit violence and murder, to incite Muslims to do the same, thus inviting European intervention... in accordance with the Dashnak charter.) Furthermore, Aghpiur Serop got his poor Armenian wife involved, an innocent he married when she was about 13. (Sose Vartanian, a.k.a. Sose Mairig/Mayrig. She was five years younger than her husband.) Corrupting the illiterate girl's mind, the whole young family got into the murderous act. (Setting a familiar pattern, Serop passed his hatred onto his young sons, took them to the mountains to live the glorious life of the fedayi, and ultimately helped caused their untimely deaths.) Finally, the dishonest passage above makes it sound as though the Turks must have poisoned him, but in actuality, his poisoning "enemy" in this case appears to have been his fellow Armenians.
These villains brought disaster upon themselves, and their people. They were absolutely bereft of morals; not only in their dealings with the hated Turks, but with their fellow Armenians. They forced the Armenians who wanted nothing to do with them to buy weapons (allowing these terrorists to make huge profits), and to join their fanatical cause. They used the girls and the women whenever they would bunk down in an Armenian village. Anyone who got in the way learned the price of defiance was frequently death.
Lord Wentworth was quoted in The Diplomacy of Imperialism as having pointed to these criminals' "atrocious methods of terrorism and blackmail by which a handful of desperados, as careful of their own safety as they are reckless of the lives of others, have too successfully coerced their unwilling compatriots into complicity with an utterly hopeless conspiracy." One year before Serop got himself killed, British Consul Elliot wrote in a report to his government (May 5, 1898): "They [the Dashnaks] quarter themselves on Christian villages, live on the best to be had, exact contributions to their funds, and make the younger women and girls submit to their will. Those who incur their displeasure are murdered in cold blood."
These are the scoundrels the Dashnak AYF presents as role models for young Armenians today.
The Humble Origins of the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF):
Literally Tzeghagron means "to make a religion of one’s race." Patterned after the Nazi Youth It was also called Racial Patriots. Nejdeh wrote: "The Racial Religious believes in his racial blood as a deity. Race above everything and before everything. Race comes first. Everything is for the race." In the April 10, 1936, issue of Hairenik Weekly, Nejdeh stated: "Today Germany and Italy are strong because as a nation they live and breathe in terms of race." From Racial Patriots and Tzeghagrons, the name of the Dashnag youth group was later changed to Armenian Youth Federation, or the AYF, as it is currently known.
Arthur Derounian, "The Armenian Displaced Persons," ARMENIAN AFFAIRS Magazine 1:1, 1949.
Dashnak-molded innocent Armenian children
Here's an idea of the operation of this Dashnak center, they've got around fifty kids from 9 to 16, participating in "various activities including community educationals and discussions." They also "work closely" with parent organizations, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation and the Armenian Youth Federation.
The kids were asked the following question:
"If you could meeting any famous Armenian,
who would you choose and why?"
There are a lot of famous Armenians, and the kids could have picked some positive role models, like tennis player Andre Agassi, film director Atom Egoyan, the actor who played "Captain Kangaroo," scientists, financiers... why, the sky is the limit. We all know what a gifted people the Armenians are. Let's see how these Dashnak whippersnappers responded.
A few were on the right track. Two spoke of Mesrob Mashdotz, whose claim to fame appears to be the creation of the Armenian alphabet. One picked Aram Khachaturian, described as a musician.
But the bulk of them answered in following fashion.
A 10-year-old chose the namesake of his AYF center, Aghpuyr Serop, himself. "He is one of my favorite fedayees," the boy explained, adding that he would be "very curious about his life, if it was easy or difficult, or complicated what he went through." Living in the mountains, dragging his family along on his same crazed murderous route... what does the kid think?
Another, a 14-year-old, went with another Dashnak killer, Soghoman Tehlirian. "I'd ask him what it felt like to fight for his country and to take a stand for all the bad things that happened to us." Tehlirian, like his predecessor from the 19th century, Serop, came from a wealthy family. There were no "bad things" happening to the Tehlirian family, until those like Tehlirian did "bad things" first. And Tehlirian's list of criminal acts is long; before he took a pot shot at Talat Pasha, he murdered in cold blood a fellow Armenian, on suspicion of giving up the 235 Dashnak and other revolutionaries in Istanbul, arrested on April 24. (In other words, for committing the greatest sin among the Dashnaks, acting as a loyal Ottoman.) Worse was Tehlirian's positioning himself to join Antranik's forces once Tehlirian had gone off to side with the Russian enemy in 1914, bloodying his hands many fold when Antranik and company targeted the mass slaughter of many thousands of defenseless villagers.
In fairness to the killer-worshipping child, let's not forget Silly Samantha Power also allowed her heart to skip a beat by glorifying this deranged yet calculating murderer.
A 15-year-old found Karekin Njdeh to be "a great historical figure that I respect and I look up to because he founded the Armenian Youth Federation." The parallel of the AYF with the Hitler Youth is, of course, no accident. (We already had a taste of this madman in the excerpt above, where his name was spelled as "Nejdeh.") An Armenian member of a "Germanic" forum, named Ramzig, while spreading his genocide propaganda, described Njdeh as follows: "a fascist and pro-Nazi Armenian at the time... published a book called "Armenianism-Aryanism" which informed the Germans of the Armenians, and allowed the Armenians a place in the empire of the Germans, considering them a 'brother nation.'" Nejdeh was evidently yet another "fedayi," and some have assigned him the title of "general."
A 14-year-old idolized Peter Balakian, impressed with "The Burning Tigris" as he was; the kid explained, "I think that he is one of the most knowledgable [sic] people when it comes to the Armenian people, history and mainly the genocide." Balakian commits his brand of violence not with bombs and bullets, but in the form of "Rufmord"; he makes for a fine role model for Armenian youth, given his Dashnak style "end justifies the means" method of operation. Any false statement will do for "Peternocchio," as long as he conducts his patriotic duty for Hai Tahd, affirming the validity of his invented genocide.
Perhaps the most troubling of famed Armenian heroes that our "ungers" chose was a terrorist of recent times, Hampig Sassounian. A 12-year-old went gaga for the "Justice Commando" (when the A.R.F. re-entered the familiar waters of terrorism back in the 1970s-80s, the JCAG was their creation) who killed an innocent Turkish diplomat "because to live in the U.S. today and to care about his Armenian nation so strongly really amazes me and makes me proud to be Armenian." (Hampig was an import from Lebanon, barely getting familiar with U.S. living before his brain snapped for the "Cause.")
One 11-year-old wrote a poem of an Armenian teen-ager marked for death in 1915, while a 12-year-old felt genocide-obsessed enough to pen:
Turkey admit it,
you know you're wrong.
Stop denying it,
it's been too long.
It is nothing less than grotesque to mold the minds of these impressionable children in such destructive fashion that they look up to the cold-blooded murderers and liars in their midst. Where are today's brave Armenians? Why are not diaspora Armenians taking a stand against the hateful Dashnaks, causing so many to curtail their evolution as better human beings?
Thanks to A.F.
"The Role of the ARF in the Diaspora" by Hayg Oshagan
In this part of the world, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation is over 110 years old. It came ashore with the earliest immigrants, was established and worked and helped to maintain a small part of our nation on faraway shores. Our Lowell, Mass., chapter, the oldest, was established in 1894, and our Armenian-language newspaper, the Hairenik, is the longest-running Armenian newspaper we have. The Armenian Revolutionary Federation today is a presence in most every city in the U.S. with an Armenian population.
We have to remember the past because here, as in most every corner of the Diaspora, the history of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation is the history of our people. And the struggle of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation has been the struggle of the Armenian nation, the struggle to liberate our people and to ensure their future. For the Diaspora, this effort has meant two things: building for our national survival and working towards Hai Tahd.
When you stand up for your rights, you have freed yourself from years of persecution, oppression and the lingering shadows of a genocide. The work which the Armenian Revolutionary Federation pursues in the political arena, our Hai Tahd, is an assertion of our rights as a nation, is a statement to all that Armenians not only survive, but lay claim to justice as citizens of this world. This effort has defined an entire generation of our youth, has created a political identity in all of us, and has helped invigorate our communities. We have risen to this challenge not alone, but with the support of our entire community. It has been possible to lead, because this nation trusts the Armenian Revolutionary Federation to pursue these goals. It is the trust which you have in the Dashnaktsoutiune which enabled us to establish ourselves in the center of Washington last year with the purchase of our new ANCA building. It is this trust which brings a Senator like Menendez or Biden to work with us, and not only for our financial support only, but for the grassroots and shared ideals which we represent. It is the fact that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation feels the pulse of our nation, and that the Armenian Revolutionary Federation is accountable always and only to the Armenian nation.
And so we have worked hard to support our friends in the American political system, supporting people like Congressmen Schiff, Pallone and Knollenberg in their election campaigns. We have also worked with Sen. Menendez to put a hold on the nomination of Mr. Hoagland as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia, because we, as our friends, believe in truth and in a cause that is just.
We are making every effort now to realize the Genocide Resolution in Congress with our friends on both sides of the isle. The Genocide Resolution is not only a condemnation of Turkey's crime committed over 90 years ago, but is also a condemnation of its reluctance to come to terms with its past, a condemnation of the kind of oppression and limits on speech that foster hatred and racism. A poisoned public opinion fueled by years of lies which results in desecration and attacks against Armenian churches and cemeteries, destruction of symbols of Armenian cultural heritage, and even assassinations like that of Hrant Dink.
Whether it is in Washington or in the Illinois State House, whether it is a genocide resolution or aid to Armenia, or a high school Genocide curriculum, we never tire of these goals because we bear the trust our nation has in us to defend our political and human rights. And we know that in this effort, together we will prevail.
But this is only part of what the Dashnaktsoutiune does.
For any political effort to succeed, you first need to establish vibrant, viable Armenian communities. Ten or 20 or even 80,000 Armenians in an area such as New Jersey do not become an Armenian community just by being there. A community needs centers, it needs churches, it needs schools, it needs cultural activities, it needs newspapers, it needs to see each other, to gather together, to learn of each other, to share lives with one another. This is what a Diasporan community is about. And this is the work, the supreme effort which the Armenian Revolutionary Federation has engaged in from the beginning, the struggle, which has meant really the survival of a nation.
When you establish an Armenian Revolutionary Federation chapter in New Jersey, it means you are forming, organizing the New Jersey community. It means one day you will build a church, and one day you will open a school, and then a center, then youth clubs and cultural associations and newspapers and picnics and dances, and you have given space for a fragment of our nation to breathe and to prosper. It is the same story in every community. And it is this same effort the Dashnaktsoutiune has always been engaged in. In the Diaspora, our struggle has been one of national survival, not just as individuals, but as Armenians. It has been to create the conditions for generations of Armenians to retain their identity, to realize their dreams and to come to the aid of Armenia.
And so we have the Hairenik Building, the Hairenik newspaper, the Armenian Weekly, the Armenian National Committee of America, the local Armenian National Committee chapters, the local Armenian Revolutionary Federation chapters, the Armenian Youth Federation, the Armenian Relief Society, the Hamazkayin, the Homenetmen, the Prelacy and the parish churches, the schools and the community centers, and all the activities in our communities across this region that have allowed us the freedom to stay Armenian.
Dozens of people have joined the ranks of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation recently in this region, and many hundreds internationally. They join because they see the Armenian Revolutionary Federation as the organization that has for over 100 years struggled to secure a future for the diaspora and for Armenia, and they see the Armenian Revolutionary Federation as the embodiment of the most noble ideas in our national character, of sacrifice and of dedication to a national ideal.
But whether it is in Hai Tahd, in community building or securing and helping Armenia, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation has never been alone in its efforts. Just as we share the stage every day with those joining to help us, we share our work also with all the churches and our entire community. And it has always been so. It is only in that spirit and together that we have succeeded and prevailed in the past, and it is the only way we will ever succeed and prevail in the future as a nation.
Hayg Oshagan is the chairman of the ARF Central Committee, Eastern USA.
From an October 22, 2005 interview appearing in The Armenian Weekly (where the above commentary was featured; the publication is put out by the A.R.F. Central Committee, Eastern USA), Prof. Oshagan further informs us that in the USA's Eastern Region ("Florida in the south, Massachusetts to the north and Wisconsin to the west"), "there are 17 ARF chapters, known as gomidehs, as well as the Armenian Youth Federation (AYF) and all its chapters." The A.R.F.'s efforts are partly described as follows:
"In the diaspora, the effort is aimed towards Genocide recognition efforts, and maintaining communities and giving them the resources to grow and survive. Our political work is focused on a few themes, with Genocide recognition, and issues of financial and territorial reparation, being of paramount concern.
We also lobby the U.S. government for just and equitable military and economic aid to Armenia. We try to advance our efforts in academic circles, given that discussions in academia and academic scholarship often have real world consequences. We also try to present Turkey’s real record in human rights violations, making sure that lawmakers and the public understand both Turkey’s stance in blockading Armenia and in providing assistance to Azerbaijan."
In other words, by corrupting the minds of diaspora youth, these Dashnaks are utilizing what may effectively be called an army, working night and day to undercut Turkish interests, while the Turks and Azeris are comparatively sleeping. (Prof. Oshagan actually calls Turkey a "mighty power," insofar as its influence in the United States. Generally speaking, why is it, then, that everywhere one turns in the media, Turkey is presented as the most villainous of nations, and Turks themselves are seen as somehow less than human?)
While it is to be expected for this fellow to present the murderous A.R.F. ("with 100 years of experience," he brags; would that also have included the many years when "The Armenian Revolutionary Federation [Dashnagtzoutiun] Ha[d] Nothing to Do Any More"?) as heroic, what arrogance and dishonesty to sweep the reality of its great crimes and the colossal human suffering the Dashnaks have caused under the carpet. As Sempat Kaprielian wrote (see "Feelings" link, page bottom), and bearing in mind Oshagan's self-serving statement, "the history of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation is the history of our people":
"The egoism of the revolutionaries leads them to believe that they are the most devoted to the cause, the most self-sacrificing of all Armenia's sons."
The source site of this article gets revised often, as better information comes along. For the most up-to-date version, and the related photos, the reader may consider reviewing the direct link as follows: