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Old 31.03.2007, 17:52   #1
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Thursday, March 29, 2007
Victor Hugo: “The smallest animals are the greatest vermin, and the smallest minds have the greatest number of prejudices.”
Keith Duckworth: “It is better to be un-informed than ill-informed.”
We like to forget that the Armenian elite at the turn of the last century in the Ottoman Empire was divided between the optimists and the realists. The optimists (i.e. the revolutionaries) prevailed and survived to write their version of the story. What happened to the realists? I suspect they became so disgusted with their adversaries and their campaign of deception that they went underground where they or their offspring continue to live, unlike the offspring of our “heroes” and “statesmen” who carry on their campaign of deception. In this connection it is worth mentioning that General Antranik shared the disgust of the realists and at one point he went as far as declaring the revolutionaries to be war criminals who deserved to be hanged.
For more on this subject see Pars Tuglaci, THE ROLE OF THE DADIAN FAMILY IN OTTOMAN, SOCIAL, ECONOMIC, AND POLITICAL LIFE (Istanbul, 1993); and the second volume of Gourgen Mahari’s memoirs titled MANGOUTIUN (Childhood), (Yerevan, 1967, page 228).
For a more panoramic view of events under discussion see also Philip Mansel’s CONSTANTINOPLE: CITY OF THE WORLD’S DESIRE, 1453-1924 (London, 1995).
A typical passage in Mansel’s book reads: “In 1914 some Armenians helped Russian troops in Anatolia against Ottoman Forces. There was an Armenian rising in Van. In Constantinople itself some Armenians were seen gloating over the first Russian victories. The Committee [of the Young Turks] decided on a policy of extermination. In Anatolia, between six and eight hundred thousand Armenian men, women and children died during deportations, epidemics and massacres (many thousands of Turks and Kurds also died in the same region during the war). From Constantinople itself 2,432 men, the elite of the Armenian community, were deported. Among them Krikor Zohrab, deputy for Constantinople, who had given shelter to Talaat during the counter-revolution in April 1909. Few were seen again.”
Elsewhere we read: “Some Armenians hoped for a massacre in the belief that it would provoke the intervention of the great powers.”
And: “In 1895-6 both the Sultan and the Armenian revolutionaries treated the Armenians of Constantinople as pawns, without regard for human life.”
Friday, March 30, 2007
It is the emotionally involved more than anyone else who are in need of impersonal and objective advice, and they are the least appreciative of it.
Idiotic arguments can be contradicted even by an idiot.
Mirna Douzjian: “PATRIOTISM. A justification for racism. 2. A sentiment that is inborn in all exemplary Armenians.”
Socrates was silenced because he insulted the gods. Solzhenitsyn was silenced because he insulted Stalin. It’s always the same story. Just because they are on top, they think they dwell on Olympus.
Henry de Montherlant: “Blessed are my enemies for they will not betray me.”
Jean Daniel: “Even in the best of cases, power degrades those who exercise it.”
Saturday, March 31, 2007
A politician’s most valuable possession in his image, and his central concern is his power. But he will never tell you that. That’s why everything he says is as distant from reality as propaganda is from truth. This applies not only to their politicians but also to our own, and in general to all politicians regardless of race, color, creed, tribe, and ideology.
We shouldn’t believe everything we read in the papers. Neither should we believe anything politicians tell us. As when their side expects us to believe they acted in self-defense even when they massacred unarmed civilians; and when our side tells us they did whatever they did in the interest of the people, even when they were too busy saving their own skins to defend a single victim. These musings occur to me while reading Antonia Arslan’s SKYLARK FARM, translated from the Italian by Geoffrey Brock (New York, 2006).
Narine Avedian:
“I have not yet written
A single poem
On the heroic past
Of my nation.
Neither do I feel like writing
On what’s going on today.”
Armen Shegoyan:
”The past: what is it to me?
Meaningless lines,
Infinite sorrow,
Not much faith.
Nicolas de Chamfort: “In France they leave alone those who set fires and persecute those who sound the alarm.”
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