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Old 14.05.2008, 18:00   #1
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Sunday, May 11, 2008
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DEPRESSING OBSERVATIONS
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Our Turcocentric ghazetajis are interested in Armenians only as victims of Turks, which is a what’s done is done and cannot be undone situation. I too am interested in Armenians as victims but only as victims of fellow Armenians, which is an ongoing process. We cannot resurrect the dead but we can remind our dividers that a house divided against itself cannot stand; and whereas the Turks had a reason for trying to exterminate us, they (our bosses and bishops) have none!
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Life is short, art long, and trash abundant. The very least we can do is not to add to the abundance.
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The most pernicious prejudice is to think that we have none.
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To commit a blunder – nothing easier. To admit it – nothing more difficult.
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Monday, May 12, 2008
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FIRST LINES
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SPEECH
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Ladies and Gentlemen:
Like you, I too was exposed to a great many sermons and speeches in my formative years. I know something I didn’t know then: they were all empty verbiage. Assuming we have a question here, what is the answer? I have no idea. I think Naregatsi (our Dante and Shakespeare combined) came close to a tentative answer when he decided to spend the rest of his life in a monastery meditating on his failings.
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CONFESSIONS
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I have been a source of disappointment to a great many people, beginning with myself. This may explain why I may never deliver a speech or write a memoir.
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ON REVISIONISM
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At the turn of the last century, the Ottoman Empire was like a wounded tiger: in its effort to assure its own survival, it struck indiscriminately at those it saw as its enemies without making an effort to separate the innocent from the guilty. What’s uppermost in the mind of a Turkish revisionist today is the memory of the wound rather than the innocent victims.
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Tuesday, May 13, 2008
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THE CIRCASSIAN CONTRIBUTION
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W.H. Auden: “Those to whom evil is done / Do evil in return.”
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In the 19th century Russia conducted a long genocidal war against the Muslim tribes of the Caucasus. Armenians played a key role in this campaign as negotiators, translators, and soldiers. When the war was over, the defeated Caucasian tribes took refuge in Turkey. It was the offspring of these survivors for whom revenge is an article of faith and a religious commandment who in 1915 joined forces with the Kurds to massacre Armenians.
For more on the Russian campaign in the Caucasus, see Lesley Blanch’s SABRES OF PARADISE, and Tolstoy’s HADJI MURAD. This second is a work of historical fiction based on documented facts written near the end of Tolstoy’s life. Lesley Blanch’s fascinating work is a thoroughly researched study and the only historical work I have read and enjoyed three times.
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Wednesday, May 14, 2008
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ASKING QUESTIONS
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What do they know of the Genocide if only the Genocide know? To fully understand something, anything, it is necessary to know and understand many other things. Historic occurrences are like plants with deep roots some of which may go back to the beginning of time.
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Why is it that we never get tired of speaking of what they did to us but we at no time ask, why is it that we made ourselves vulnerable? Is it because we may not like the answer? Is it because if we understood the answer we may no longer be justified in assuming a holier-than-thou stance? And worse, much worse! Is it because if we understood the answer we would also understand that what they did to us we are doing to ourselves? – that is to say, committing our own brand of “jermag chart” (white slaughter) on two fronts – assimilation in the Diaspora and exodus from the Homeland? Why is it that when it comes to our own incompetence, corruption, dogmatism, intolerance, and divisions, we like to speak of “social and cultural conditions beyond our control”? What is the difference between their denialism and our own? Why this stubborn refusal to face facts and accept responsibility? Am I making assertions I cannot prove? No, I am only asking questions.
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