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  1. #1
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    Thursday, March 03, 2011
    ********************************************
    MEGALOMANIACS
    ************************************************** *
    They brag about our heroes but they are afraid of free speech.
    They hate to be called cowards but they don't mind behaving like gutless worms
    on the assumption that if the people are stupid enough to believe in their propaganda
    they will be stupid enough not to see their cowardice.
    That's the way it is with all autocratic regimes:
    they demand heroism in action and cowardice in thought;
    and what is even more astonishing, they get it.
    350,000 Armenians died in World War II.
    How many dared to raise their voice against Stalin and his commissars?
    *
    Armenians who say they are for democracy
    and Turks who refuse to recognize the Genocide
    are dupes who believe all politicians are liars except their own.
    They believe it is their duty as good citizens
    to believe what they are told,
    especially if what they are told flatters their vanity.
    It is this kind of aberration that allows
    the Ben Alis, Mubaraks, and Gadhafis of this world
    not only to hang on to power long after they have outlived their usefulness
    but also to establish dynasties like the Bourbeons and Romanovs
    and to rule their nation to the end of time.
    #
    Friday, March 04, 2011
    ********************************************
    MEMO TO EDITORS
    ************************************************** *
    To be for democracy and to be against free speech is a contradiction.
    If you can't see this you must be blind...and
    when the blind lead the blind both shall fall into the ditch.
    *
    MEMO TO FORUM MODERATORS
    ****************************************
    As a critic I am willing to admit that I can be wrong
    because I am only a human being.
    If you think as a moderator you can assert infallibility
    you must be an arrogant fool.
    *
    MEMO TO OUR RULERS
    ***************************
    Turks ruled by intimidation and got away with it for 600 years.
    Are Turks your role models?
    *
    MEMO TO FUND-RAISERS
    ****************************
    Do you know
    (a) who will handle the distribution and
    (b) what is his cut?
    *
    MEMO TO MY CRITICS
    *********************************
    If you have a closed mind
    your criticism is without merit.
    #
    Saturday, March 05, 2011
    ********************************************
    FROM MY NOTEBOOKS
    ************************************************** *
    In today's paper I read Russians are more afraid of the police than of criminals.
    The situation in Armenia is not mentioned
    probably because no one gives a damn about Armenians,
    not even Armenians.
    *
    My quarrel is not with God Whom i neither know nor understand,
    but with the god of popes, imams, and rabbis.
    *
    Truth may also be defined as a lie that you believe in.
    *
    Stalin, Mao, and Franco died in bed.
    Gadhafi ruled for 43 years.
    Those who are in power today cannot tell with any degree of certainty
    how long they are going to last.
    But they will never forget the wisdom of the old Chinese saying:
    "No banquet under heaven is endless."
    *
    The central preoccupation of Armenian intellectuals today
    is how to get closer to the money tree and
    to obstruct the path of those with similar ambitions.
    I remember once when I insulted one of our national benefactors
    in the presence of several academics,
    there was a stunned silence as though I had a committed a capital offense.
    The Turks say, "Among ten men nine or sure to be women."
    I suspect in our case eleven would be a more accurate esdtimate.
    #

  2. #2
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    Sunday, February 27, 2011
    *************************************
    THINGS THAT ARE HIDDEN FROM US
    **************************************************
    Cross-breeding is one of the benefits of being defeated and conquered by multiple races, and cross-breeding may well be at the root of our survival.
    *
    They Ottomanized us to the same degree that we Armenianized them.
    The same could be said of Romans, Greeks, Persians, Mongols, Tatars and Arabs among others.
    *
    In the Armenian ghetto where i was born and raised,
    Armenians came in all sizes and shapes --
    hook-nosed, large-headed, dark-skinned, beady-eyed...
    *
    It is said of Genghis Khan that he had so many wives and concubines
    that according to English geneticists
    his direct descendants today number sixteen million.
    Add to that the descendants of his generals, lieutenants, and soldiers,
    and the number may reach closer to a billion.
    For more on this subject, see Ian Frazier, TRAVELS IN SIBERIA,
    (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2010, page 122).
    *
    Cross-breeding may also explain our endless internecine conflicts.
    We are not a collection of tribes but races.
    Solidarity is not in our DNA.
    Like cats and dogs we are driven less by reason and more by biology.
    To brag about our survival therefore makes as much sense
    as to brag about the fact that we are neither kangaroos nor worms.
    *
    These things are hidden from us because
    no one wants to be the bearer of bad tidings.
    But I believe it is by confronting the dark side of things
    that we may see the light. In the same way that
    to treat a disease you need a correct diagnosis.
    You cannot cure cancer by pretending it's insomnia.
    #
    Monday, February 28, 2011
    *************************************
    DEAD MEN WALKING
    **************************************************
    What triggered the Arab uprising in North Africa and the Middle East
    was not the ideas of a philosopher or the words of a poet
    (ideas promoting democracy and words praising freedom
    have been around for thousands of years)
    but the self-immolation of a poor and unknown Tunisian street vendor.
    Which may suggest that criticism and dissent do not overthrow tyrants.
    Ideas move in a metaphysical realm that has no point of contact with reality.
    Writers are not prophets but at best only canaries in a mine.
    Rousseau and Voltaire did not convince the French to rise
    and behead their king and queen, hunger and humiliation did.
    Solzhenitsyn and Sakharov did not end or
    even initiate the disintegration of the USSR
    but the incompetence and lies of the commissars did.
    Subservience to tyrants may not be an ideal condition
    but people appear to have an astonishing degree of tolerance for it.
    Whether I fall silent or go on writing
    will make no difference in the long run.
    To my critics and to our editors who have classified me
    as an enemy of the people and a traitor to the cause, i say:
    "Relax! I am not a threat to anyone.
    Our destiny is not dependent on what I or anyone else writes
    or what you print because we are all dead men walking."
    #

    Tuesday, March 01, 2011
    ********************************************
    THE MORE THINGS CHANGE...
    ************************************************** *
    An Arab-style Armenian uprising is unlikely
    because we have been so thoroughly and effectively
    scattered, alienated, mongrelized, and some would say, moronized
    (if you will forgive my French) that to paraphrase Mark Twain,
    consensus is something we all like to talk about
    but nobody does a damn thing.
    *
    Another negative factor:
    We don't confront a single Ben Ali, Mubarak, or Gadhafi
    but a host of nameless and faceless bureaucrats
    who work behind the scenes and are thus unidentifiable and inaccessible.
    Our future leaders will probably spring from their ranks,
    which means, even if things change they will stay the same.
    O how I wish I were wrong!
    *
    What did really change after our revolution in the Ottoman Empire?
    Instead of being massacred by Talaat
    we were purged by Stalin.
    Different players, same results.
    *
    Why is it that we know the number of victims in the Ottomine Empire
    but not in the USSR?
    Why should a Soviet tyrant be different from an Ottoman tyrant?
    Or, for that matter, an Armenian tyrant?
    An Ottomanized or Sovietized Armenian may well be
    more Ottoman than the Sultan,
    and more Stalinist than Stalin.
    Lenin once said:
    "A bourgeois is a bourgeoi regardless of nationality."
    So is a tyrant.
    #
    Wednesday, March 02, 2011
    ********************************************
    ON TURCOCENTRISM
    AND RELATED ATROCITIES
    ************************************************** *
    Our Turcocentric ghazetajis have reduced our recent history
    to the chronicle of an unsettled score.
    Not a single spark of creativity!
    Like people who are said to be more Catholic than the Pope,
    they are more victims than survivors of massacres.
    I was born and raised among survivors
    and though most of them were illiterate,
    they knew better than to blabber endlessly
    about reparations and recognition.
    *
    When wise men speak
    you search for wisdom even in their banalities.
    When a fool speaks the exact opposite happens:
    even if what he says contains a pearl of wisom,
    you have eyes only for the banalities.
    *
    Revolutions fail because they kill the dog
    but not the dog's master.
    *
    An Armenian uprising?
    It may come -- if it comes -- via China and Russia...
    *
    Life after death?
    If there is one, it may be so different from life as we know it
    that we may fail to see any connection between the two.
    *
    Why is it that inter-tribal conflict have a longer lifespan
    than warfare between nations?
    Some day Turks and Armenians may be friends but
    Armenians and Armenians?
    #

  3. #3
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    Sunday, March 06, 2011
    ********************************************
    PHOBIAS...AMONG OTHER THINGS
    ************************************************** *
    Is Islamophobia -- that is, fear of Islam -- as irrational as say
    agoraphobia (fear of open spaces) or homophobia (fear of gays)?
    What about fear of child molesters, fear of organized crime,
    or fear of serial killers?
    Why is it that they do not qualify as phobias
    in need of psychiatric treatment?
    Who in his right mind would befriend
    a serial killer, a mafioso, or a child molester
    in the name of tolerance or political correctness?
    Now then, if Muslims have killed many more innocent civilians
    than serial killers,
    why should Islamophobia be thought of as
    neurotic, irrational, unjustified, or, for that matter, politically incorrect?
    I look forward to the day when political correctness
    will be seen as semantic fascism.
    *
    Everyone has a book in him, we are told.
    What we are not told is that
    most books remain unpublished,
    and if published unread,
    and if read forgotten.
    *
    Men who don't understand themselves call women incomprehensible.
    *
    More and more frequently now i find myself saying,
    "I don't remember."
    If it's the onset of Alzheimer's, it is more than welcome
    because my unpleasant memories far outnumber the pleasant ones,
    and nothing would give me more pleasure than to erase them.
    Whoever defined happiness as a "bad memory"
    knew what he was talking about.
    #
    Monday, March 07, 2011
    ********************************************
    REFERENCES
    ************************************************** *
    In eveything I read I see direct or hidden references to Armenians.
    The situation in Lybia, for instances, reminds me of the fact that
    no matter how corrupt and incompetent a leader,
    he will have loyal supporters willing to kill and die for him.
    I am also reminded of the fact that Sylva Kaputikian,
    winner of the Stalin Prize,
    even after the collapse of the USSR
    openly declared pride in having been a member of the Communist Party.
    *
    While reading a review of Alan Riding's
    AND THE SHOW WENT ON: CULTURAL LIFE IN NAZI-OCCUPIED PARIS,
    dealing with French collaboration with Nazis
    and the purges that followed under De Gaulle,
    I reflect that we were at no time de-Ottomanized or de-Stalinized.
    As a result there are still Armenians today who believe
    Russians to be our Big Brothers notwithstanding the fact that as a nation
    we could be their grand-grandfathers.
    *
    In the latest issue of the NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
    I read a review of Carol Edgarian's THREE STAGES OF AMAZEMENT
    and another of David Livingstone Smith's
    LESS THAN HUMAN: WHY WE DEMEAN, ENSLAVE, AND EXTERMINATE OTHERS,
    whose subtitle reads:
    "A philosopher argues that dehumanization is necessary
    for genocide, slavery and slaughter to take hold."
    According to Smith,
    "dehumanization is rooted in human nature, not culture."
    Which simply means, Turks massacred us
    not because they are bloodthirsty Asiatic barbarians,
    but because they are human beings, like the rest of us.
    Toynbee would agree.
    In one of his many references to Turks and Armenians
    he writes that under certain conditions
    even the most civilized people on earth
    will behave like Turks -- that is,
    if they follow their instinbct and ignore their reason.
    *
    In the review of Carol Edgarian's novel,
    we are reminded that her first book, published 17 years ago,
    is titled RISE THE EUPHRATES.
    #
    Tuesday, March 08, 2011
    ********************************************
    ON IDENTITY
    ************************************************** *

    David Hume on history:
    "Its chief use is only to discover the constant and universal principles of human natur."
    It follows, to identify Turks as bloodthirsty Asiatic barbarians
    and ourselves as progressive, Christian, Westernized, civilized, and so on...
    is as valid as to speak of superior and inferior races,
    or Germans and Jews as defined by the Nazis.
    *
    In a review of ERNEST GELLNER: AN INTELLECTUAL BIOGRAPHY
    by John A. Hall, I read:
    "Gellner seems to have regarded his Jewish identity
    as an obstacle to be overcome rather than an inheritance to be cherished."
    Something similar could be said of our identity.
    *
    Gellner on tradition:
    "...bullsh*t, servility, vested interests, arbitrariness, empty ritual" --
    in short: mumbo jumbo.
    *
    What we need more than anything today
    is an objective assessment of our reality and not
    more Turcocentrism, lamentation, and blame-game.
    We don't need bosses, bishops, and benefactors to tell us
    who we are and what to think.
    As long as we look up to them for guidance
    we are no better than dogs who know their master
    but not their master's master.
    *
    Our identity is not a set of assets handed down to us by our ancestors
    (who may have been more confused than we are)
    but a garbage dump of liabilities.
    Now then, go right ahead and think I am wrong
    because I refuse to flatter your vanity.
    *
    There is a misprint in "In God We Trust."
    The letter "l" in "God" has been inadvertently deleted.
    #
    Wednesday, March 09, 2011
    ********************************************
    THEM AND US
    ************************************************** *
    When accused of sleeping with German soldiers during World War II,
    a French actress is reported to have declared:
    "My soul is French but my ass is international."
    My answer to those of my readers who accuse me
    of being anti-Armenian and even pro-Turkish, I say:
    "My soul is Armenian but i write
    (please note, i am not saying "my pen is")
    ... but I write as a human being.
    I refuse to apply for membership
    in a club, cabal, party, or organization
    for the simple reason that i refuse to be coerced into writing
    what someone else wants me to write.
    Anyone is free to disagre with me on the grounds that
    he is a better Armenian
    and some of the most thoroughly Ottomanized and Sovietized Armenians have done so.
    *
    I have yet to see an Armenian willing to concede to another Armenian
    that he is not a superior specimen who knows better.
    *
    It has been said that ideologies attract the best as well as the worst.
    In our case, the worst far outnumber the best, alas!
    *
    Our men at the top know their business.
    They choose their hirelings carefully.
    They take a nobody, brainwash him,
    give him a regular salary and a title,
    and watch him turn into a parrot
    who will repeat what he is told.
    *
    Speaking of World War II and Germans:
    Hitler began his political career by blaming Germany's problems on Jews,
    and he ended it by blaming the Germans.
    That's the way it is with fascists:
    they will blame everyone but themselves.
    They are never wrong because they are infallible.
    I will never forget the elder statesman
    who blamed all our problems on "non-partisan Armenians."
    When informed I was, like my father before me, a non-partisan, he said:
    "I thought you were one of us."
    And that was the end of our friendship.
    #

  4. #4
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    Thursday, March 10, 2011
    ********************************************
    COSMOLOGY
    ************************************************** *
    If I understand recent developments in cosmology,
    we live in a multi-dimensional multi-universe
    in which Big Bangs are routine occurrences.
    Man may not live forever but the cosmos does,
    and what are we if not tiny fragments of the cosmos?
    *
    For the first time in history Armenians in America are free.
    But what are they doing with their freedom?
    They either allow themselves and their offspring
    to be brainwashed by propagandists
    or they assimilate.
    They have as much initiative to shape their destiny
    as a grain of sand in a sandstorm.
    *
    All power structures rely on the support of dupes and idiots
    who believe everything they are told.
    Even after 43 years of incompetence, corruption, and greed
    by an obviously deranged megalomaniac,
    there are many Libyans today willing to kill and die for him.
    Closer to home: there is no evidence to suggest
    that we are smarter or better off than Libyans,
    and judging by the number of our victims so far,
    we may well be dumber and worse off.
    #
    Friday, March 11, 2011
    *********************************************
    SITUATION / SH*TUATION
    ****************************************
    We were defeated
    because we were divided.
    We were bastardized
    because we were defeated and conquered.
    We have been moronized
    because we were divided, defeated,
    conquered, bastardized, and brainwashed to believe
    none of it is our fault
    but must be ascribed
    to geographic, political, economic, and cultural conditions
    beyond our control.
    Which of course is hogwash.
    Everything begins and ends in the convolutions of our brains.
    Which also means there is a way out.
    Ours is not a verdict without appeal.
    If our problems are of our own making,
    so are their solutions.
    The rest is propaganda –
    The kind whose ultimate aim is to moronize.
    #
    Saturday, March 12, 2011
    ******************************************
    FROM MY NOTEBOOKS
    *****************************************
    Propaganda moronizes both the perp and his victim.
    Has a single political leader ever identified himself as a moronizer?
    *
    Genghis Khan openly admitted that
    nothing gave him as much pleasure as killing and raping.
    There is a dormant Genghis Khan in all men of power.
    *
    We speak of political ambition and greed for power;
    not of ambition and greed to serve.
    We live in a world where even the chief executive officers
    of charitable organizations demand and get paid millions.
    *
    The easiest thing in the world: to make mistakes.
    The hardest: to admit them even to oneself.
    It took the popes of Rome several centuries
    to admit they had made a mistake in persecuting Galileo.
    It may take them several more centuries
    to admit they are not infallible.
    *
    Power also means a refusal to see
    that which is clearly visible to others.
    Stalin and Hitler never even considered pleading guilty
    to a single murder.
    *
    No one likes minorities with unsettled scores in their midst.
    Do we have such minorities in Armenia?
    If we don’t, how come?
    If we do, how to we handle them?
    Does anyone know what happened to the Kurds in Karabagh?
    Is anyone interested?
    #

  5. #5
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    Sunday, March 13, 2011
    ************************************************** ***
    MEMO TO MY CRITICS
    (IF YOU WILL FORGIVE THE OVERSTATEMENT)
    ************************************************** ****
    If wrong, I can be corrected.
    I don’t pretend to have all the facts
    or to be infallible.
    Neither do I pretend to know everything.
    All my assertions are based
    on theories, guesses, speculations, and assumptions
    that may be exposed as false.
    If you disagree with me, state your reasons.
    However, if you choose to insult me
    anonymously and from a safe distance,
    you run the risk of being identified
    as a cowardly loud-mouth dupe
    who will believe everything he is told
    by individuals who pretend to know better.
    *
    I am willing to concede that
    if I had all the facts and knew everything
    I would probably think otherwise.
    If, on the other hand, you think you are right
    because the majority is on your side,
    may I remind you that majorities
    have been known to be wrong and often are.
    To enjoy majority support is meaningless.
    Stalin in the USSR,
    Hitler in Germany,
    Mao in China,
    Mussolini in Italy,
    Mubarak in Egypt,
    Ben Ali in Tunisia,
    And Gafdhafi for 43 years in Libya
    (to mention only a handful of names)
    had the support of the majority.
    *
    There are still Armenians in America today
    who believe Stalin was good to us.
    There are still skinheads all over the world
    who look up to Hitler as a great statesman.
    I say and repeat: if wrong, I can be corrected.
    By engaging in verbal abuse and name-calling
    you convince no one
    even if you are a boss
    who speaks in the name of an ideology
    (that may well be politically bankrupt);
    even if you are a benefactor
    who speaks in the name of capital
    (before which every Armenian is brought up
    to genuflect and osculate derrieres);
    and even if you are a bishop
    who speaks in the name of God
    Who in His infinite wisdom
    has consistently refused to get involved in our affairs.
    #
    Monday, March 14, 2011
    **************************************************
    REFLECTIONS
    ****************************
    If you think I represent everything
    that is evil in Armenian life
    and you represent everything that is good,
    allow me to share my experience on the subject.
    When I was young
    I too was convinced I was better than others.
    But as I grew older
    I discovered that this type of self-assessment
    became progressively more difficult.
    I now count myself among the lowest of the low.
    *
    If it pleases you to think you are a better man than me,
    be my guest. But allow me to warn you
    that you live in a fool’s paradise
    that is as ephemeral as the illusions of youth,
    as baseless as the propaganda of fascist regimes,
    and as phony as the promises of a politician.
    *
    Do I know better?
    I am not sure.
    But I do know that it makes good sense
    to reject everything that flatters my ego.
    #

    Tuesday, March 15, 2011
    **************************************************
    A ROSE IS A ROSE
    *****************************
    A rose is a rose.
    So is a moron a moron
    and we have our share of them.
    With one difference:
    ours think they are not just smart
    but smarter than anyone else,
    including their fellow Armenians.
    They confuse propaganda with patriotism,
    objective judgment with treason,
    and Ottomanism with Armenianism.
    More Bolshevik than Stalin,
    more Catholic than the Pope,
    more intolerant than the Sultan,
    they rate themselves as true defenders of the faith.
    This may explain why Turks have
    internationally recognized and respected dissidents
    and we have none.
    That may also explain why
    we had better writers under the Sultan
    than we have today under our own bosses,
    bishops, benefactors, and brown-nosers.
    Hence the popular Armenian adage:
    “Mart bidi ch’ellank.”
    Freely translated and paraphrased:
    “We will never amount to anything.”
    #
    Wednesday, March 16, 2011
    ********************************************
    CONSIDER THE EVIDENCE
    *****************************
    Dictatorship means first and foremost
    to live in an environment
    where an ordinary citizen with an average IQ
    is not allowed to use his common sense
    and to call a spade a spade.
    Consider our genocide as a case in point;
    we speak of it as if it were a great tragedy,
    which it certainly was.
    We never refer to it as a wake-up call.
    *
    For 600 years we adopted a passive stance.
    We were brainwashed to believe
    the men at the top knew better.
    On the eve of the great tragedy
    our own men at the top
    (namely, our revolutionaries on the one hand
    and our men within the Ottoman administration
    on the other) failed to reach a consensus.
    Instead of dialogue they engaged in two monologues
    that never crossed.
    *
    Our situation today remains unchanged.
    We have learned nothing.
    We remain divided in the name of tribal loyalties
    and continue to think of consensus
    as if it was an irrelevant concept.
    We have replaced “Red” massacre
    with its “White” variant – namely,
    assimilation in the Diaspora,
    exodus in the Homeland.
    Our fundamental assumptions
    and “truths” – we never had it so good,
    we are in good hands,
    the Russians are our big brothers –
    are Big Lies; and the Bigger of all Lies:
    respect for human rights,
    free speech, and dialogue may be good
    for the corrupt and degenerate West but not for us
    because we are smarter and we know better.
    *
    I am not asking you to believe everything I say.
    All I ask is that you consider the evidence.
    #

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    Thursday, March 17, 2011
    ********************************************
    THE NATIVES ARE RESTLESS
    ******************************************
    …And this is of great concern to the West
    because where there are Arabs there is oil.
    Where there are Armenians, however,
    there are only rocks and unsettled scores.
    We are less than useless to the West;
    we are a nuisance.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if there are pundits today
    who think Turks should have done
    a more thorough job on us.
    I once met a born-again Armenian in his eighties
    who said as much, adding
    the Genocide had been God’s way of letting us know
    that we don’t deserve to live.
    *
    And speaking of God:
    The side with bigger guns in Libya is winning.
    This may suggest that God doesn’t like to interfere
    in human affairs.
    *
    We say God is great
    in the hope He will be flattered and manipulated
    into supporting our cause.
    *
    The status quo does not represent the will of God.
    The reason Ben Ali and Mubarak fell
    is that no regime is endless.
    The regime in Yerevan will last
    for as long as the regime in Moscow does
    and no more.
    *
    We know and understand a great deal
    except what is unknowable and incomprehensible
    beside which what we know and understand
    might as well be as nothing.
    #
    Friday, March 18, 2011
    ********************************************
    CORRECT ME,
    IF I AM WRONG
    ******************************************
    After every comment I make, I would like to add:
    “Correct me, if I am wrong.”
    *
    In a world where everyone is proud
    to be a Turk, Kurd, Jew, or Armenian
    I prefer to be a humble human being
    if only because humility is a virtue
    and pride leads to arrogance.
    *
    A reader writes:
    “The only thing I know about Armenian history
    is that we were a great nation
    and God was on our side.”
    *
    Insults are verbal massacres.
    To insult a fellow Armenian or
    anyone else for that matter
    is to use words as yataghans.
    *
    Tell me who brainwashed you
    and I will tell you who you are.
    *
    To our superpatriots I say:
    Patriotism and respect for human rights
    are not mutually exclusive concepts.
    Homeland is where a man is allowed to work
    and express his views freely.
    I have nothing but contempt for the kind of patriot
    who treats free speech
    as an invention of the corrupt and degenerate West.
    That’s not patriotism
    but Ottomanism, Sovietism, and fascism.
    #
    Saturday, March 19, 2011
    ********************************************
    QUESTION / ANSWER
    ******************************************
    Criticism is not enemy action;
    dissent is not a capital offense;
    human rights are not inventions of the degenerate West.
    Question: Why is it that I was not taught these truths?
    Answer: Because I had an Armenian education.
    *
    I was not brainwashed.
    I was trained like a parrot.
    *
    Dehumanization comes naturally to a nation
    that has lived under brutal regimes for a thousand years.
    #

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