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11 November 2010

3166) Confessions Of An Alienated Armenian

Ara Baliozian © This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com Racism consists in ascribing the crimes of the few on the entire nation or race. And because I am critical of Armenians (not all of them but a small fraction – see below) I am called a racist by functional illiterates who equate criticism with racism and dissent with treason. It follows, Stalin was right when he silenced dissenters. What's next? Heil Hitler?
*
Armenians may be divided into three distinct groups: the assimilated (who no longer identify themselves as Armenian), the alienated (who stay away from Armenian affairs, community centers, churches, schools, and demonstrations -- I count myself among them), and the dupes who believe everything they are told because they are brought up to believe thinking for oneself is a capital offense bordering on treason.
*
The Armenian version of the Jewish incantation “Next year in Jerusalem!” -- “Next year in Los Angeles!”
*
A reasonable man does not give matches to children with the warning not to start a fire. Likewise, a reasonable God does not give free will to man with the warning not to taste the fruit from the tree of knowledge. It follows, an Almighty and All-knowing God cannot be said to be reasonable; either that or His reason is our unreason.
*
When two adversaries negotiate, it is advisable that neither side engage in verbal abuse. That's one reason why I am all for friendly relations with Turks.
*
If an Armenian cannot negotiate with a fellow Armenian or be reasonable with those he disagrees with, what are his chances of reaching a consensus with the Turks?
*
I have a Turkish friends who believes the Armenian Genocide is a fiction of our collective imagination. And I believe Turks are dupes of their own state propaganda. That doesn't stop us from being friends. There is no rule that says friends must be carbon copies of each other. Neither is there a rule that says today's friend cannot be tomorrow's enemy and vice versa – yesterday's enemy cannot be today's friend. But there is a rule that says you can get more out of a friend than out of an enemy
. . .


Fund-Raisers & Related Atrocities
***
No activity has been more abused among us than fund-raising.
*
To say of someone that he has the integrity of a fund-raiser amount to calling him white trash.
*
The greatest beneficiaries of fun-raising are the fund-raisers themselves.
*
I have yet to meet a fund-raiser who placed the welfare of the people above his own fat income.
*
I loathe fund-raisers as much as I loathe pimps --and I say this with the full awareness that I am being unfair to pimps.
*
Which reminds me of the line:
“Please, don't tell my mother I am a lawyer: she thinks I am a pimp.”
*
Shakespeare: “Let's begin by killing all the lawyers.”
*
Dante: If he didn't dedicate an entire circle in his INFERNO to lawyers, he should have.
*
To the lawyers and fund-raisers on this forum (if there are any) I say: “Present company suspected.”
*
I rest my case.
Nothing further, your Honor.

THE NEGATIVE AND THE POSITIVE

Because I refuse to recycle propaganda,
I am told I am consistently negative.
Charents said our salvation is in our solidarity;
and all I have been saying is, solidarity, very much like the Kingdom of God, is within us.
It is an act of will within everyone's reach.
*
If so far we have failed to achieve solidarity it may be because we have trusted our fate into the hands of our bosses, bishops, and benefactors.
To those who say our leaders are essentially good men who are doing their best under unfavorable conditions, I ask: How so? By ignoring the word of the very same God they profess to believe in, and Who tells us “a house divided against itself cannot stand”?
Who is being consistently negative here?
Those who promote solidarity or those who divide the nation?
And why do they divide us?
Does anyone know?
Can anyone enlighten me on that score?
*
Our divisions are buried in our past?
What past? If you rewrite history you can justify anything; and if you don't want to learn from history you rewrite it.
It's a vicious circle.
*
Dealing in abstractions is easy.
The question is: What do we do in concrete terms?
I suggest the following:
If you are a Protestant, Catholic, or Anteliassagan, visit the opposition.
If you are a Tashnak, apply for membership
in the Ramgavar Party and vice versa.
You may discover that all Armenians regardless of their loyalty to a party or church are human beings like you
– that is to say, dupes of propaganda.
*
Sooner or later we all have to discover that
not only all Armenians are brothers,
but also all men, including Turks.


OBJECTION!
***
One of my gentle readers has taken it upon himself to straighten me out on the subject of lawyers by sending me a three line message which contains one insult and two curses.
Zarian is right: “An Armenian's tongue can be sharper than a Turk's yataghan.”
Since this is the first time I hear from this reader -- (let's call him Jack S. Avanakian not because I don't want to identify him but because I did not burden my memory with his name), I should be flattered in the knowledge that he agrees – or at least he does not disagree – with everything else I have been saying. But flattered, I am not!
I may not believe in curses, but neither do I welcome them.
May I assure Jack S. Avanakian and all lawyers in general that they have had a bad press long before I was born, and insulting me will do nothing to improve matters.
*
In my time I have dealt with several lawyers – probably more than my share – and one of them was indeed a fine gentleman (may he rest in peace) perhaps because there are good men everywhere, including Turks.
If I emphasize the dark side of things -- if I choose to expose the negative, as opposed to extolling the positive -- it may be because as an Armenian I refuse to adopt Saroyan (who pretended to love mankind but couldn't stand his own children) as a role model.
*
There are good lawyers as there are honest politicians out there somewhere. That, however, does not diminish the accuracy and relevance of Raymond Chandler's unforgettable observation, “The room was as dark as the prospects of an honest politician.” And if I have nothing good to say about them it's because we Armenians collectively have been perennial double victims of alien as well as our own political leadership.
*
Speaking of politicians: the fact that a great many of them are lawyers doesn't make them more palatable to my taste. But that's neither here nor there. What I find most repellent about lawyers is that they care more about the Law and less about Justice. And what has been the contribution of the Law in history – from the execution of Socrates and the Crucifixion of Christ to such more recent crimes against humanity as our Genocide, the Holocaust of the Jews, the countless violations of human rights against the Blacks in America, and the Gulag in the USSR (all of which were committed in the name of the Law)?
Throughout history, the Law has always acted as an arm of those in power (be they capitalists or commissars) even when they were no better than crminals.
*
If Jack S. Avanakian is not careful he may provoke me into saying that lawyers have been as bad as those whose interests they serve and whose powers they defend and legitimize. Sultan Abdulhamid II, Talaat, Hitler, Stalin, and Mao may be dead and buried but their offspring can always rely on lawyers to defend them even if they are as guilty as serial killers.
*
It would be no exaggeration to say that at the root of all injustice there will be a lawyer. And if there is more justice today in both Russia and the United States it's because of dissident writers like Solzhenitsyn and preachers like Martin Luther King, not lawyers.


REFLECTIOONS
***
If at the end of an argument neither side has moved an inch, they must be either Turks or Armenians.
*
You want to be a writer? Write a single honest line and you will be attacked by so many charlatans that you will spend the rest of your life replying to them and in the process exposing their dishonesty. Yes! -- all it takes is a single honest line.
*
We are told love is better than hatred. What we are not told is that it is wrong to love that which is deserving of our hate – things like lies, prejudice, greed, war, and massacre.
*
We are taught to love our homeland and fellow countrymen. What we are not taught is that singling them out as more deserving of our love than all others may have some undesirable consequences – among them xenophobia, chauvinism, racism, double-talk, cynicism, and ignorance of the world.
*
There is nothing wrong in being wrong. But there is something horribly wrong pretending to be infallible.
*
Philip Roth had to write PORTRNOY'S COMPLAINT to be hated by his fellow Jews. All an Armenian writer has to do is to say 2+2=4.
*
It's good to know that I live in a country where capital punishment by crucifixion or the death of a thousand cuts have been abolished. But as Antranik Zaroukian says somewhere, you can always rely on your fellow countrymen to find another equally painful method of execution.


A QUESTION OF PERSPECTIVE
***
Both Turks and Armenians share one thing in common: both see themselves as victims -- Turks as victims of the Great Powers, Russia, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Kurds, Greeks, and Armenians within Turkey itself; and Armenians see themselves as victims of Turks.
In Turkish eyes what happened to the Armenians was not a crime against humanity but a desperate self-defensive move against a mosaic of enemies bent on the total ruin and destruction of their Empire. They did what any David would have done when confronting Goliath; and because they couldn't cut off Goliath's head or, for that matter, his right arm, they cut off his nose.
In any case that's their story or, in modern parlance, their narrative, and they are sticking to it.
Their perspective is global, ours is tribal. Hence the semantic vacillations of the United States.
And speaking of Yanks: How do you think they will react on the day the Islamic world, with the tacit support of former enemies and present rivals, Russia and China, rises against them and threatens to wipe America off the map? Do you think they will send a diplomatic delegation to negotiate peace terms with them? Hell no! They will do what they did to the Japs at the end of World War II.
They will “teach them (Jihadists) a lesson they will never forget!”
They will do so even if it means killing innocent civilians by the million; even if it means to be accused forever after of unspeakable crimes against humanity.


DEAD END
***
Because I was critical of Armenians, I acquired several Turkish friends.
And because I became critical of Turks, I lost them.
Easy come, easy go.
*
That's another thing Armenians share with Turks: intolerance of criticism.
As long as they remain intolerant, reason will find no opening in their negotiations, and without reason there can be no dialogue, no compromise, and no consensus.
*
After saying they are for democracy and human rights, both Turks and Armenians suppress dissent.
Both delude themselves when they assert moral superiority.
Who believes them?
Only themselves.
*
Asserting the reality of the Genocide and denying it has become an industry among them. Both sides refuse to see the obvious, namely that, they were so blinded by hatred of the other that they slaughtered indiscriminately whenever they had the upper hand. But because Turks were a majority, Armenian victims outnumbered Turkish victims.
*
How to live in peace with their history?
They can't.
Hence their tendency to rewrite it.
*
Free speech is a meaningless commodity to those who don't know what freedom is and whose conception of speech consists in saying “Yes, sir!”
*
Armenians and Turks may reach a consensus only on the day they see reflection of themselves in the other. Until then their history will stand still.
*
For an Armenian, the idea that he may be as bad as a Turk is so repellent that it might as well be treason and blasphemy.
The same applies to Turks.
You may now draw your own conclusions.


ONE OR TWO THINGS ABOUT MYSELF
****
I have a phobia of boring the reader.
My secret ambition:
to write three-line essays as in a haiku.
*
The best Armenian joke I know:
bosses, bishops, benefactors.
*
Books I consider necessities, everything else a luxury.
Books I get free of charge from the public library;
luxuries from the dollar store.
*
Something to brag about:
I have never delivered a speech in my life;
and I have never heard a speech that didn't bore me.
*
I am beginning to think of death as liberation.
Writing for Armenians may have something to do with this.
*
The first time I met an honest Armenian,
I thought he was crazy.
*
Who will disagree with me if I say
to have an Armenian friend is to harbor a potential enemy?
*
I neither preach nor teach. I share.
There is an element of coercion in both preaching and teaching.
A preacher relies on a captive audience,
and a teacher on his own authority.
Sharing is between equals; it does not exploit or violate anyone's freedom.
*
Because Negro spirituals touch my soul
as deeply as our sharagans, my patriotism may well be suspect.
*
To be misunderstood is almost to suffer an injustice.


EXPLAINING AND UNDERSTANDING THE INCOMPREHENSIBLE
*
We all swim in the same soup.
There is a Cain in all of us, including Abel.
Am I saying anything you don't already know?
*
Armenians and Turks will begin to understand one another only when they say, “In their place, we would have done the same thing.”
*
Armenians have no choice but to accept their degrading history of subservience to the same degree that Turks have no choice but to accept their role as oppressors; and of the two I find it difficult to decide which is more morally reprehensible.
*
Do you really want to know what I think of imperialism? True, I don't have first-hand knowledge of what it means to be the subject of an empire; but I have dealt with Ottomanized and Stalinized Armenians, and the best thing I can say about them is that, if they class themselves up two or three notches, they may qualify as the scum of the earth. That's the best thing I can say about oppression and subservience.
Let others believe the Ottoman Empire was a progressive and civilizing force. As they say, there is no accounting for tastes, it takes all kinds, and against stupidity even the Gods compete in vain.
*
What could be more preposterous than to suggest all the nations that rose against the regime of the sultans (and I am not excluding Turks themselves) during the last decades of the Empire's existence were wrong and the Sultan right?
*
Under pressure or when provoked, all people, even the most civilized, are capable of committing crimes against humanity. Now then, go ahead and say six hundred years of oppression does not qualify as provocation.


RANDOM THOUGHTS
*******
An Armenian will disagree with you even when he agrees. His aim is not dialogue but monologue; not being smart but to appear to be smarter than you; not consensus but oneupmanship.
*
It is not that the world is moving at a faster rate than we are, the situation is much worse. We are moving backwards. Compare the first half of the last century with the present. In the first half we had Oshagan, Zarian, General Antranik, Karekin Nejdeh, Roupen Der Minassian, Nikol Aghbalian, and many others. Today we have nothing but Turcocentric ghazetajis and brainless, faceless empty suit.
*
To those who say our problems are the world's problems, I say: Name a single nation that has been at the mercy of brutal foreign oppressors for as long as we have been.
*
If at times I am merciless in my criticism, it’s because life has been even more merciless to us collectively. Compared to how tough life has been, I don’t even qualify as a marshmallow.

They recycle propaganda and call it free speech.
*
No dupe can ever be free.
*
The greatest enemy of liars is not the truth but reality.
*
Instead of speaking about Greeks, Kurds, Arabs, and Turks, we should teach ourselves to speak of human beings. That way we may learn to emphasize that which we share.
*
Shakespeare (THE WINTER’S TALE): “I would there were no age between sixteen and three-and-twenty; for there is nothing the between but getting wenches with child, wronging the ancientry, stealing, fighting, drinking.”
*
On more than one occasion I have been taken to task (a euphemism for “I have been verbally abused”) for not being as brilliant as Hagop Baronian. If that were a crime, I deserve to be hanged.
*
Giambattista Vico:
“Crowded city life produces men who are unbelievers, who regard money as the measure of all things, and who lack moral qualities, particularly modesty…. Emancipated from ethics generally, they live by mutual spying and deceit.”
*
If you can’t contradict the idea, insult the man.
*
An Armenian who is about to lose an argument turns into a Turk.


ONE-LINERS
*******
Truth is an invention of liars.
*
Truth is a work in progress, not a finished product.
*
The consensus of a million people guarantees nothing. A billion smart men may be taken in as easily as a single dumb dupe.
*
Truth may be one but those who speak in its name are many.
*
Lying comes as naturally to men of power as swimming to fish, flying to birds, and slithering to serpents.
*
I am not here to solve problems but to show their hiding places.
*
Educating children and brainwashing them might as well be synonymous operations.
*
To explain the incomprehensible is to lie.
*
The aim of a religion or an ideology is to assert a monopoly on truth.
*
Monopoly favors the producer, not the consumer.
*
The most dangerous liars are those who speak in the name of truth.
*
Faith allows us to believe in a lie with a clear conscience.
*
There are as many versions of the past as there are historians.
*
Subservience to God also means subservience to those who speak in His name.
*
Subservience is hell.


Ara Baliozian

For Further Recent Notes From Ara Baliozian : Click Here: What Have You Got Against The Armenian People?





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2 comments:

(96.2.1xx.xxx) Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States said...

" Fund-Raisers & Related Atrocities
No activity has been more abused among us than fund-raising"

Very true. I know from experience that Turkish Fund-Raisers in the States are also in the same boat.

A particular one asks for money often pretending to fund a website and what is even worse is even more educated people fall for it and pay them regularly.

I don't understand why an intelligent person pays and never questions the whereabouts of the expenditures at all, not that it'll discourage an incompetent owner to come up with all sorts of lies anyway

(68.144.xx.xx) Calgary, Alberta, Canada said...

"In Turkish eyes what happened to the Armenians was not a crime against humanity but a desperate self-defensive move against a mosaic of enemies bent on the total ruin and destruction of their Empire."

And I am wondering what Mr.Baliozian thinks about the confessions of Hovhannes Kachaznouni?

As first Armenian PM, he clearly states that there was no genocide took place and Armenians were used as foot soldiers by Russian and the British.

(Source: The 1923 Bucharest Manifesto of Hovhannes Katchaznouni, the first PM of the Independent Armenian Republic, published by the Armenian Information Service Suite 7D, 471 Park Ave., New York 22 – 1955.)

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