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  1. #46
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    Aug 2004
    Thursday, July 28, 2011
    Unlike fascists in Italy who believed
    “Mussolini ha sempre ragione,”
    Turks don’t say “Kemal is always right!”
    but they think and live as if he were.
    He isn’t! -- if only because Kemalism and democracy
    are mutually exclusive concepts.
    Turks: who are they?
    The unvarnished and de-Kemalized answer is:
    a bunch of thoroughly mongrelized Mongols
    who have been brainwashed to classify themselves as Turks,
    in the same way that Armenians and Kurds within Turkey
    are classified as “Christian Turks”
    and “Mountain Turks” respectively.
    I have met many Armenians from Turkey
    but none of them has ever identified himself as a Christian Turk;
    and I suspect the only time a Kurd identifies himself
    as a “Mountain Turk” is when he applies for a job
    in the civil service.
    I live in Canada and I am a Canadian citizen
    but whenever I am asked to identify my nationality,
    I say “Armenian” and no one sees anything remotely disloyal
    or questionable in that.
    When Armenians build a community center in Canada,
    they call it an Armenian Community Center.
    What do Armenians and Kurds call
    their community centers in Turkey?
    But perhaps the right question is:
    Are they allowed to build such centers?
    It seems to me, Kemalist democracy
    is more akin to fascism.
    Friday, July 29, 2011
    Here are three of them in the form of commandments:
    Thou shalt not divide and rule.
    Thou shalt not silence dissent.
    Thou shalt not speechify and sermonize with a forked tongue.
    Silencing dissent is a fascist tactic.
    Dividing the community is enemy action.
    Only deceivers speak with a forked tongue.
    To my critics I ask:
    Which part of what I have been saying
    you don’t understand – or rather,
    you pretend not to understand?
    Recent developments in the Middle East suggest
    the days of all undemocratic regimes are numbered.
    That which is whispered today by a single dissident
    shall be shouted by a chorus of enraged millions tomorrow.
    Because we don’t know our history,
    we don’t know when we repeat it.
    Saturday, July 30, 2011
    Nationalist historians, religious leaders, and
    a politically controlled educational system conspire
    to create not human beings
    with the ability to think for themselves,
    but dupes who parrot lies
    and are willing to kill and die
    in the name of God and Country.
    And when someone comes along
    and exposes this simple fact,
    he is labeled an enemy of the people
    who fully deserves to be insulted, exiled,
    jailed, silenced, or starved.
    Some of my critics are convinced that
    I am a pro-Turkish and anti-Armenian pornographer.
    All because I deal with facts as opposed to fiction,
    and I speak of reality
    as opposed to recycling propaganda.
    Among fanatics moderation is a risky business,
    and among crooks honesty is a capital offense.
    Sooner or later all belief systems and ideologies
    are corrupted by ruthless and power-hungry mediocrities
    who tell the people what they want to hear
    and do what they want to do
    even when what they tell the people is a lie
    and even when what they want to do is criminal.

  2. #47
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    Sunday, July 31, 2011
    As the number of blunders goes up,
    so do assertions of infallibility.
    The greatest mistake is to think we are right
    and those who disagree with us wrong.
    Prove an infallible man wrong
    and make an enemy for life.
    Infallible men don’t learn
    because they are in the business of teaching.
    On the Genocide issue
    Americans see Turks as reflections of themselves
    and Armenians as white niggers.
    Our political and religious leaders
    praise solidarity with words
    and bury it with actions.
    Nothing can be transparently more dishonest
    than to expose the crimes of our enemies
    and to cover up our own blunders.
    One of the most important functions
    of all educational systems is to identify the enemy.
    What holds a nation together
    is the threatening presence of the enemy.
    If the enemy dies,
    so does the glue that holds the nation together.
    The unspoken aim of all organized religions and ideologies
    is to legitimize double-talk:
    to say one thing and do the opposite.
    I don’t write for the enjoyment of the reader.
    Neither do I write to flatter.
    I write to point out the fact that
    no one is infallible,
    we all make mistakes,
    and the beginning of all wisdom is acknowledging them.
    Monday, August 01, 2011
    Readers who know nothing about me
    assume just because I criticize Turks
    I must be pro-Armenian; or, again,
    just because I criticize Armenians
    I must be pro-Turkish.
    These readers appear to live
    in a one-dimensional either/or universe
    in which the dominant colors are black and white.
    It never even occurs to them that
    criticism may be motivated
    more by an objective assessment of facts
    and less by means of nationalist bias.
    If you tell me you know and understand
    all you need to know and understand,
    you give me no choice but to conclude that
    your needs must be extremely narrow.
    If you tell me reality is an open book to you,
    you will corner me into saying
    that may be because you read nothing but comic books.
    There are more shadows than light in life,
    and more shades of gray than black and white.
    Whenever a historian asserts
    he has figured out the past and how it works,
    he is immediately attacked by other historians
    as well as philosophers, sociologists, anthropologists,
    and theologians who inform him in no uncertain terms
    that his facts are all wrong,
    his assumptions unjustified,
    and his conclusions misguided.
    For more on this subject, see Arnold J. Toynbee’s RECONSIDERATIONS,
    volume xii of his STUDY OF HISTORY.
    See also the critical fire aimed at Oswald Spengler
    by, among others, Toynbee himself in the opus cited above.
    To my uninformed readers, may I add that
    Spengler and Toynbee are two of the greatest historians
    of the past century.
    May I also add that public opinion is shaped
    less by great historians and more
    by politicians, propagandists, and ghazetajis
    who operate on the assumption that
    a nation’s own version of its past is the only true one.
    Tuesday, August 02, 2011
    Some Turks appear to be obsessed
    with what they did to Armenians during World War I
    as surely as some Armenians are.
    They are Armenocentric to the same degree
    that some Armenians are Turcocentric.
    I have a Turkish friend
    (he may no longer consider me a friend, but I do)
    who has written a big book –
    the biggest I know on the subject – in which
    he attempts to prove that Armenians have
    not only invented a genocide and
    believed in it for almost a century
    but they have also somehow succeeded in convincing
    an important fraction of the civilized world,
    including one of the greatest historians of all time
    and several Nobel-Prize winners
    (among them a Turkish one).
    This friend of mine believes Talaat
    was the best friend Armenians had;
    and Kemal was a great statesman
    who was never wrong (in his own words:
    “he was right 99% of the time”).
    By contrast, I was brought up to believe
    Talaat was to Armenians what Hitler was to Jews.
    All wrong! my Turkish friend is eager to inform me.
    The only reason Talaat did what he did
    is that Armenians returned his friendship
    by trying to assassinate him.
    But since (I assume) he could not arrest the perpetrators,
    he took it out on defenseless civilians.
    If attempted assassination were sufficient ground for genocide,
    we would have genocides as frequently as soups du jour.
    As for Kemal being a universally admired statesman
    about whom even western historians have written
    voluminous biographies:
    my good friend may not be aware of the fact that
    western historians have also written voluminous biographies
    of Hitler and Stalin.
    To my Turkish friends I say,
    if I continue to call you a friend it’s because
    (one) I don’t consider disagreement sufficient ground for divorce;
    (two) I believe with Gandhi that no man is beyond redemption; and
    (three) convictions, even belief systems,
    are subject to error and change.
    So that I for one will not be surprised in the least
    if we become friends once more.
    Wednesday, August 03, 2011
    Them and us is a misleading classification
    because there is a great deal of us in them
    and vice versa.
    To say that a question is unanswerable
    is also an answer.
    To convert to a religion or ideology
    is to legitimize one’s status as a dupe.
    The rich defend their privileges
    with the same intensity as the starving search for food.
    The difference between being infallible and 99% right
    is about the same as the difference
    between charity and a loan for 99 years.

  3. #48
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    Thursday, August 04, 2011
    The Chinese said to their poor, “Get rich,”
    and they got rich.
    The Americans said to their rich, “Get richer,”
    and they bankrupted the global economy.
    You cannot travel on the wrong path
    and hope to reach your destination.
    I know my critics are wrong
    when they say what I used to think thirty years ago.
    As for critics who speak in the name of God and Country,
    they are never right – or they are wrong 99% of the time.
    Some of the most dangerous criminals
    in the history of mankind were political leaders
    who were thought of as infallible – or 99% right.
    Bishops, imams, rabbis:
    witch doctors with a college education.
    Friday, August 05, 2011
    Both Turks and Armenians share in common
    an aversion to reality.
    Turks believe all talk of genocide is fiction.
    When repeatedly warned of the coming catastrophe,
    Armenians reacted with disbelief.
    “Zohrab effendi is exaggerating,”
    was a typical reaction.
    Even after the cold-blooded murder
    of our ablest men in Soviet Armenia,
    our “chic Bolsheviks” in the Diaspora
    went on repeating the slogan
    “Russians are our big brothers.”
    Closer to home,
    when I speak of our reality objectively today,
    I am told to “Shut the f*** up!”
    Saturday, August 06, 2011
    My critics are my best source of inspiration.
    They are my bread and butter.
    Once upon a time we were a progressive nation.
    But we lost that under the Sultans and the Soviets.
    To say all problems can be solved except ours
    might as well be a suicide note.
    Charlatans will prosper as long as there are dupes;
    and honest men will be persecuted
    as long as there are charlatans.
    To be smart and to be a dupe
    are mutually exclusive concept.
    To divide and rule has been the foreign policy
    of all imperial powers.
    As long as we remain divided
    we implement the foreign policy of our enemies.
    Our dividers are as unaware of their genocidal intent
    as Turkish denialists.
    When I was young I sought the approval of my superiors
    until I realized they were the scum of the earth.
    I cannot change the past;
    neither can I resurrect the dead.
    No one can.
    To expose present blunders
    is to prevent future catastrophes.
    That’s why I prefer to write about our reality today
    as opposed to past deeds that cannot be undone.

  4. #49
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    Sunday, August 07, 2011
    On the day brainwashed dupes begin to agree with me
    I will have no choice but to consider a career move
    by applying for a job in the sanitation department
    -- which may not be much of a move
    consisting as it does in collecting trash
    as opposed to exposing it.
    The right word at the right time and place
    can make a difference.
    I have no doubt about that.
    If so far I have made no difference
    it may be because I have not yet found the right word;
    or, if I have found it,
    I have not delivered it at the right time and place.
    This is why I intend to keep buggering on
    until I hit paydirt.
    In the meantime I console myself by saying
    if what I say annoys the hell out of some readers,
    I must be doing something right.
    “What Africa needs,” I read today in a commentary,
    “is precisely such transmutations of tribal loyalties
    to the larger loyalties of nationhood.”
    Which simply means, we have no reason to believe
    we are ahead of Somalis, Ugandans, and Zulus?
    The Tea Party in America reminds me of our partisans
    willing to drive the nation to bankruptcy
    rather than to compromise for the sake of consensus.
    Compromise and consensus have become dirty words with us
    because God and all those who speak in His name
    have no use for compromise.
    Our partisans confuse ideology with theology…
    “and because it was a religious war,
    there were no survivors.”
    Monday, August 08, 2011
    When it comes to politics and history,
    the average man
    (this is especially true of Armenians and Turks)
    tends to adopt a dogmatic stance.
    His views become an integral part of a belief system
    and as everyone knows,
    the problem with belief systems
    and those who hold them is that
    they are never wrong –
    very much like the Pope of Rome
    (in the eyes of Catholics),
    Kemal (in the eyes of Kemalists),
    Hitler (in the eyes of Nazis),
    Stalin (in the eyes of Stalinists),
    Mussolini (in the eyes of Italian fascists),
    Mao (in the eyes of Maoists),
    and last but not least,
    Marx (in the eyes of Marxists –
    though Marx himself is quoted as having said,
    “I am not a Marxist”).
    I was brought up as a Catholic,
    and as a Catholic it never even occurred to me
    to question the Pope’s infallibility.
    But I changed my mind
    the moment I began thinking for myself --
    as opposed to saying “Yes, sir!”
    to whatever I was told
    by my superiors, whom I now consider
    the scum of the earth).
    The problem with believers is that
    they suffer from one of the most dangerous
    psychological aberrations known to man,
    namely, infantilism.
    They hate to grow up.
    They hate anyone who dares to contradict them.
    Above all they hate to think for themselves,
    which means, they hate to use that which happens to be
    their most valuable possession: their brain.
    Believing in gods
    (there have been ten thousand of them, we are told)
    is bad enough.
    Believing in men is infinitely worse.
    Tuesday, August 09, 2011
    What a man believes is his own business.
    It becomes our business
    only when his belief system
    promotes intolerance,
    legitimizes prejudice,
    and issues licenses to kill.
    A belief system that relies on charlatans to exploit dupes
    might as well be a criminal conspiracy.
    I am not spinning theories and scenarios
    based on abstractions.
    I am talking about facts and historical reality –
    what happened to our parents in the Ottoman Empire,
    to our brothers in the Soviet Union;
    and what’s happening today
    in the Middle East and Africa.
    “Yes, sir!” may be said to be
    the two most dangerous words known to man.
    If it weren’t for these two monosyllables,
    we would have no organized religions and armies,
    that is to say, wars and massacres.
    Wednesday, August 10, 2011
    We like to believe we are eminently adaptable survivors.
    There is some truth in that but also a contradiction.
    We are so adaptable in fact that in France
    we could easily pass for Frenchmen,
    in Russia for Russians,
    in Greece for Greeks,
    in Italy for Italians,
    in Israel for Jews, and so on…and
    I have even met Armenians
    who could easily identify themselves as Mongols in Mongolia
    and get away with it.
    As for being survivors:
    let us not forget that a great many of us,
    especially the best and the brightest,
    did not survive – compliments of Talaat, Stalin,
    and our Levantine philistines in the Diaspora.
    And speaking of Levantines:
    one of the worst things that happened to us
    in the New World is allowing Levantines
    to be in charge of our institutions
    on the grounds that they are more authentic
    and less assimilated Armenians than the average native.
    These gentlemen (if you will forgive the overstatement)
    have done more harm to the integrity of our communities
    than all “social, political, and economic factors
    beyond our control” combined.
    We like to believe we are smart.
    Yes, some of us may well be smart,
    but only in the marketplace.
    Our political I.Q. or the way we conduct our affairs
    might as well be negative.
    We are as tribal as the most backward
    African dysfunctional nation.
    Put two Armenians on a desert island
    and they will build three churches – the third
    being the one they don’t go to.
    What will save us?
    What can save us?
    As for as I can see, only prayer –
    and I speak as an atheist.
    “Our Father who art in Heaven…”

  5. #50
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    Thursday, August 11, 2011
    They say “We don’t need critics,”
    because they hate to be exposed as incompetent fools.
    They say “We need solutions,”
    thus admitting so far they have failed to come up with any.
    Imagine an economist saying to a street vendor:
    “I need a new fiscal policy.”
    “We don’t need critics!”
    Translation: Shut-up!
    They say they don’t need critics
    because they consider themselves beyond criticism.
    They say they need solutions
    as if all of our literature dealt
    with the eternal snows of Mt. Ararat,
    nightingales serenading the moon,
    and the mutual torments of love.
    You need solutions?
    Read Khorenatsi, Raffi, Baronian,
    Odian, Zarian, Massikian…
    and if you don’t like Armenian writers,
    read Greek, Russian, French, English, and American writers,
    because in the end they all speak
    against ignorance, intolerance, oppression,
    incompetence, dishonesty, and doubletalk.
    “We need solutions!”
    I have never heard a speechifier deliver that line in public.
    What I have heard again and again and ad nauseam is
    “We need your moral and financial support!” –
    an obvious variation of the Panchoonie punch line
    “Mi kich pogh oughargetsek.”
    Friday, August 12, 2011
    Just because Turks disagree with us
    it doesn’t necessarily follow that everyone who disagrees with us
    is a Turk or a Turcophile.
    If outrage were an argument
    we all would be like David Anhaght – invincible.
    I remember to have read somewhere that
    the criminal rate among politicians is much higher
    than among ordinary citizens.
    If international law were tougher,
    most politicians would be in jail.
    Egocentrism: the misconception that
    what we say matters.
    Turcocentrism: the fallacy that Turks continue to be
    in charge of our destiny as a nation.
    No matter how hard I try
    I cannot trust a man who is incapable of speaking
    against his own interests.
    Assad in Syria, Gadhafi in Libya:
    the more incompetent and corrupt a leader,
    the harder he will cling to power.
    Closer to home: how many of our own political leaders
    have resigned because they were not equal to the task?
    Saturday, August 13, 2011
    There is a familiar type of loud-mouth
    and holier-than-thou superpatriot
    whose role models are our revolutionaries
    in the Ottoman Empire
    who promised heaven and earth
    and delivered hell.
    That’s the way it is with political leaders,
    especially revolutionary political leaders:
    the more they promise,
    the less they deliver,
    and the chances are,
    what they deliver is not fit for human consumption.
    Rhetoric is a euphemism for verbiage
    and verbiage is another word for verbal garbage.
    If rhetoric were enough,
    we could be the mightiest empire in the history of mankind.
    We have this in common with the Jews:
    history has not been on our side.
    Their victory over the Palestinians
    and ours over the Azeris have been moral catastrophes.
    The Jews have been accused of behaving like Nazis,
    and we have been accused of behaving like Turks.
    We should teach our children to say:
    “I disagree with what you say,
    but I will neither raise my voice
    nor go down into the gutter to prove you wrong.”

  6. #51
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    Thursday, August 18, 2011
    Only Armenian writers writing in Armenian
    are eager to inform me that I don’t qualify
    as an Armenian writer because I write in English,
    as if being an Armenian writer
    were an honor and a privilege
    as opposed to being a curse and sometimes even
    a death sentence.
    About the Genocide and its Recognition:
    either Turks are mean as well as obstinate (probably both)
    or we are incompetent and stupid (ditto).
    And speaking of Genocide Recognition:
    where would this issue – so dear to all our hearts – be
    without the contribution of Armenian writers
    writing in odar languages?
    Our patriotism teaches us to love our homeland
    and to hate our fellow men – including Armenians.
    As for criticizing Armenians in open forums
    accessible to our enemies:
    even when completely blind,
    our enemies acquire 20/20 vision
    when it comes to identifying our weaknesses and failings.
    That’s the way of the world and the jungle.
    I have every reason to believe
    Turks know more about us
    than we know ourselves.
    I doubt if I have ever said anything
    they didn’t already know.
    Friday, August 19, 2011
    They believe to have the rare gift
    of judging someone they don’t know
    and criticizing a text they haven’t read.
    Not only do they believe God to be an Armenian,
    they also believe His patience is without end.
    They have a tendency to believe the absurd
    and to reject the evidence of their own eyes.
    They may not be happier than us
    But for some incomprehensible reason
    they appear to be on better terms with themselves.
    Saturday, August 20, 2011
    ON KEMAL (V)
    Finally an objective assessment of Kemal
    by a Turkish biographer.
    After discussing the fallacies Kemal espoused
    (scientism, materialism, nationalism, among others),
    we are told, he may have been the right man
    at the right time and place
    but he was not a great man.
    “The key to Ataturk’s success lay not
    in the originality of his ideas
    but in the singularity of the opportunity he seized.”
    See M. Sukru Hanioglu, ATATURK (Princeton, $27.95).
    The trouble with most academics is that
    they fall hopelessly in love with their thesis.
    The most dangerous dupe is the propagandist
    who believes in his own propaganda.
    A brainwashed Turk and a brainwashed Armenian
    might as well be twins.
    They belong to no known nation
    except the nation of the brainwashed.
    They are the cattle of mankind.
    We judge people not by how good they are
    but how much they love or flatter us.
    To the rest we are indifferent.

  7. #52
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    Sunday, August 21, 2011
    More often than not
    ignorance is not a result of not knowing
    but of not wanting to know.
    To be a dupe means to place
    patriotism and propaganda
    above honesty and objectivity.
    My Armenian and Turkish critics
    sound remarkably alike – no doubt
    as a result of 600 years of cohabitation
    compounded by fear of reality.
    Dupes come in bunches.
    Where there is one there will be another.
    They need each other’s warmth
    like swine in a cold barn.
    Monday, August 22, 2011
    Because I support the idea
    of a united and strong Armenia,
    I engage in treason?
    And because my critics are for
    a divided, weak, demoralized Armenia,
    they are patriots?
    But the question, the real question,
    which nobody cares to ask is:
    We survived the Turk,
    will we survive our patriots?
    What if, when it comes to extermination,
    our leaders are better at it than
    the Sultan, Talaat, and Stalin combined?
    What if there is more truth in what we hate
    than in what we pretend to love?
    What if we serve the Devil
    even when we speak and act in the name of God?
    Because I write in open forums
    where even Turks can read me,
    my readers take notice of what I say.
    Otherwise they would have ignored me.
    They would have pretended I don’t exist.
    They would have saved their spittle
    for their real enemies – the opposition.
    For more on this subject, see
    By Nassir Ghaemi. 340 pages. The Penguin Press. $27.95.
    Tuesday, August 23, 2011
    A hundred years ago
    Armenians had to be forcibly driven out from Turkey;
    they are now exiting from Armenia on their own.
    I should like to see a comparative study
    of Armenian assimilation rates
    in the Ottoman Empire and the United States of America.
    How many Armenian-Americans can read and write
    in Armenian today?
    After two or at most three generations in America
    assimilation sets in.
    But even after six hundred years
    in the Ottoman Empire – that is roughly
    twenty-four generations – we had a vibrant Armenian literature
    in Istanbul.
    Name a single Armenian-American writer today if you can.
    We like to blame Talaat and Stalin
    for the slaughter of two generations of our major writers,
    but we forget that these writers
    were betrayed by Armenians.
    The only authentic Armenians today
    are the skeletons of our 5th-century ancestors
    and even the best of them
    were odars with mixed blood.
    Our nationalists may portray themselves as superpatriots
    but their true intent is extermination – if, that is,
    we judge them by their actions
    rather than by their verbally stated intentions.
    When words and actions don’t match
    you may safely discard words as lies – unless of course
    you happen to be a certified dupe.
    Wednesday, August 24, 2011
    In theory, patriotism, even nationalism,
    stands for freedom from imperial oppression,
    beginning with free speech.
    In practice, try to disagree with one of our superpatriots
    and see what happens.
    There is a hangman in all our nationalists.
    Only readers who cling to their Ottomanism and Sovietism
    confuse my anti-Ottomanism and anti-Sovietism
    with anti-Armenianism.
    The God of the Old Testament
    is a jungle chieftain who thinks men
    are such ignorant savages that
    they have to be told murder is a no-no.
    The secret ambition of all leaders
    is to be almighty and infallible, like God.
    This is as true of the Pope as it is of Stalin.
    Who are our leaders?
    In the Diaspora they are faceless Levantine wheeler-dealers
    at the mercy of social, political, cultural, and economic forces
    beyond their control – in short:
    they are in over their heads.
    In the Homeland they are dehumanized bureaucrats
    accountable only to the Kremlin.
    With friends like these, who needs enemies?

  8. #53
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    Thursday, August 25, 2011
    The ideal dupe is he
    who doesn’t believe he is one.
    The true believer is he
    who believes anyone who doesn’t share his belief system
    is the dupe of a heresy.
    Mankind is divided between deceivers and their dupes.
    As for the silent majority:
    they might as well be an absent factor.
    If we judge an idea by its history,
    we shall have no choice but to assert
    belief systems are the source of all evil.
    “Since it was a religious war,
    there were no survivors.”
    If you think religious wars
    are a thing of the past, think again.
    Think again!
    A useless, not to say, an absurd suggestion
    to a believer who by believing
    he declares his inability to think for himself
    and must therefore rely on someone else’s thinking – no,
    not thinking but believing,
    which can also be defined as “not thinking.”
    And if you believe the age of prophets,
    like the age of religious wars
    belongs to the irrevocable past,
    I for one will not be surprised to learn that
    in the eyes of some historians
    the 20th century is already known
    as the century of false prophets –
    Lenin, Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Mao, Kemal….
    “Believe those who are seeking the truth.
    Doubt those who find it.”
    Even better:
    Believe only those who are engaged in rejecting lies.
    Friday, August 26, 2011
    We are told
    “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.”
    We are told
    to judge a tree by its fruit,
    a man by his actions,
    and an idea by its history.
    What about religion?
    If religion is such a good thing
    why has it killed and continues to kill so many people?
    Who will believe you if you say
    “my religion is the only true one;
    all others are heresies?
    Not even your co-religionists.
    Consider the case of Catholics and Protestants,
    Shias and Sunnis, and generally speaking,
    all orthodoxies and heresies.
    But contradictions don’t end there.
    In the Old Testament we are told
    “Thou shalt not kill.”
    But elsewhere God commands His Chosen People
    to slaughter not only their enemies
    but also their cattle.
    Are we to believe even God contradicts Himself?
    Or is it only when He uses words?
    Saturday, August 27, 2011
    Do you really think
    you can run away from justice, like Talaat?
    Surely you can’t expect us to believe
    that your sources are more authentic
    than Pamuk’s, Akcam’s, and countless other
    western historians among them Turcophiles like
    Arnold J. Toynbee and Bernard Lewis.
    Last but not least,
    you can’t be serious when you dare to suggest
    you know better than Kemal
    who at no time denied the reality of large-scale atrocities
    and the only reason he didn’t use the word “genocide”
    is that it had not yet been coined.

  9. #54
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    Sunday, August 28, 2011
    We all try to do the best for ourselves
    and more often than not
    our best turns out to have been our worst.
    To brag is wrong except when a nation does it –
    and they do it all the time.
    We don’t think unless we are cornered into thinking.
    What we do instead is grab the most convenient
    or flattering explanation
    and hang on to it to the bitter end.
    The disappointments of success
    are as deep as the disappointments of failure.
    The very same individuals who are against free speech
    control our educational system, and with it,
    our perception of reality.
    In politics if you win you brag,
    if you lose you lie.
    To combat the dread of death
    we pretend to live.
    It is in the blood (or collective unconscious) of the strong
    to divide and rule the weak,
    and it is in the blood of the weak to be divided.
    To say free speech is our “greatest enemy” (Zarian)
    is to imply we are our own greatest threat
    to our security and development as a nation.
    In that sense, the enemy is indeed us.
    Plutarch: “But when the body called the Five Thousand –
    which in fact were only Four Hundred…”
    Monday, August 29, 2011
    There is a type of Latin-American writer,
    I read today, who is convinced
    “literature can fend off injustice and ugliness
    and redeem the world.”
    Once upon a time we too had such writers.
    But do we have them today?
    If you know of one, can you name him or her?
    I am constantly urged not to speak about Armenians
    as I do on open forums, in the same way that
    Turkish writers are urged, nay threatened,
    not to speak of Turkish crimes against humanity.
    Propagandists on both sides are not interested in facts,
    only in figments of their own imagination.
    How easily are love and lust confused? --
    also arrogance and self-esteem.
    Search for the worst in the best
    and don’t be surprised if you find it.
    Man is prone to superstition
    because he cannot answer the most important questions
    and his need for answers exceeds
    his love of truth or his understanding of reality.
    We all love to be loved and hate to consider the possibility
    that we may not deserve it.
    Tuesday, August 30, 2011
    Knut Hamsun on Hitler’s Germany:
    “It’s mass-hypnosis that does it…
    Mass hypnosis is an awful thing,
    just look at theaters and circuses.”
    They are hypnotized into thinking
    Turks are too civilized to have committed atrocities
    and we are hypnotized into thinking
    all Turks are bloodthirsty barbarians.
    One could say that the aim of all propaganda
    is mass hypnosis.
    Or, after the subject has been hypnotized,
    you can convince him of anything.
    To the Turks, Kemal is a messianic figure
    who raised the nation from the rotten corpse of the Empire.
    If only we too had a Kemal of our own.
    On second thought, we may be better off without one.
    One way to explain an alienated Armenian is to say that
    he is an Armenian who refuses to be hypnotized.
    Wednesday, August 31, 2011
    The older I grow,
    the heavier the burden of memories.
    Which is why I don’t consider Alzheimer’s
    an undesirable condition.
    Perseverance is a good thing
    but not when it comes to digging your own grave.
    I don’t write to save the nation.
    I can’t even save myself from boredom.
    I drink to drown the Turk in me,
    but the bugger is a swimmer with Olympic ambitions.
    Political leaders of the West were almost unanimous
    in their desire to befriend Gadhafi.
    Which may suggest the world is ruled by men
    whose IQ is lower than that of a backward African mob.
    The Buddha is right: no one can save another – especially one
    who has made up his mind to go to hell.

  10. #55
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    Thursday, September 01, 2011
    “You have only 400 friends?
    I have 5000 of them.”
    “Maybe so, but I also have 10,000 enemies.”
    “That I don’t believe.”
    “If you agree with me that offending an Armenian
    amounts to making an enemy for life,
    do the math! At one time or another
    I have offended sermonizers, speechifiers,
    panchoonies, commissars, chauvinists,
    Turcocentric ghazetajis, bosses, bishops, benefactors
    and all their gigolos and gigolettes…
    10,000 may indeed be a conservative estimate. Yes?”
    Friday, September 02, 2011
    On the day we succeed in throwing out the rascals
    we shall come face to face with the void.
    Mubarak on trial:
    How many political leaders would escape the death penalty
    if they had to face justice?
    Gadhafi urging his supporters to kill the “rats”
    even as he behaves like one.
    Tell me who your friends are…
    even better, tell me who your enemies are
    and I will tell you who you are.
    An honest politician?
    Only morons believe in oxymorons.
    All deceivers begin by deceiving themselves.
    They are their own first dupes.
    I have little sympathy for survivors.
    All my sympathy goes to the victims who did not survive.
    Castrating rapists is barbaric
    except when the victim is someone I love.
    Saturday, September 03, 2011
    The average dupe does not know who and what he is.
    Hence his need to identify himself –
    as if a label, any label,
    be it ethnic, religious or ideological,
    will confer on him a reality he does not possess.
    He may be – or rather his DNA may be –
    5% Armenian or Turkish and the rest
    a Russian salad of many tribes, nations, and races,
    but in an Armenian environment
    he will identify himself as an Armenian
    and in a Turkish environment as a Turk.
    He will go further and kill and die
    in the name of god and country –
    a non-existent or false god
    and a country that has belonged
    and will eventually belong to others.
    Collective existence is a farce.
    There are no leaders,
    only pretenders to the throne
    whose first and most important project
    is not to serve the people
    but to obstruct the path of the opposition.
    Religions and ideologies may preach compassion and justice
    but they all end up practicing cannibalism.
    This thought occurred to me
    after listening to a radio documentary
    on female genital mutilation.
    I wouldn’t be surprised in the least
    if a future study of history
    from the beginning to our own days
    will be titled “The Age of Cannibalism.”
    A Libyan rebel leader on Gadhafi:
    “He called us rats, but he is the larger rat.”
    Unmask a political leader and expose the rat.

  11. #56
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    Sunday, September 04, 2011
    Overheard: “Corruption in Armenia
    is like the weather in America:
    everybody talks about it
    but nobody does a damn thing."
    Life is a game in which after you learn the rules,
    the rules are changed.
    Zohrab is right:
    in life, those who adopt prostitution as a way of life
    outnumber the others.
    If there is a moral in the Arab spring, it is this:
    The status quo may collapse when you least expect it.
    I therefore say to our bosses, bishops, and benefactors:
    Let that be a lesson to you.
    Their lack of awareness is such that
    they assume their brand of patriotism
    (which is no better than treason)
    is superior to selfless intellectual labor.
    Our eleventh commandment:
    Thou shalt not apply tribal solutions to national problems.
    I define a good book as one
    that if you haven’t finished it by bed-time
    you look forward to next morning
    with the impatience and anxiety of a lover.
    Automatically contradicting what your adversary says
    is not an argument but a symptom of entrenched prejudice.
    Monday, September 05, 2011
    Armenians are brainwashed to hate Turks.
    They learn to hate their fellow Armenians on their own.
    I question the validity of all miracles
    but I keep hoping for one:
    figure that one out if you can.
    It is the height of arrogance for a nobody
    to strike a modest pose.
    Men of power depend on kiss-ass incompetents
    much more than on honest critics.
    Not being a masochist
    I don’t consider the death of a thousand cuts bliss.
    A teenager who wins a chess tournament
    and another who is forced into prostitution:
    guess who is going to make a headline on the front page.
    Tuesday, September 06, 2011
    After silencing me
    they say they need solutions, not criticism.
    And they pretend to ignore the obvious fact that
    without free speech and dialogue
    there can be no solutions.
    Don’t let them fool you.
    We don’t need solutions.
    What we need are honest men
    whose number one concern is not number one.
    There are two kinds of solutions:
    authoritarian and democratic.
    Authoritarian solutions are based
    on the erroneous assumption that authority,
    even when catastrophically wrong,
    must be assumed to be right.
    Which also means,
    anyone who dares to question the validity of this assumption
    must be labeled an enemy and
    silenced, excommunicated, exiled, starved,
    burned at the stake or shot.
    This is as true of the Kremlin as it is of the Vatican.
    Labels change but human nature remains constant.
    We are racists not because we hate Turks
    but because we hate our fellow Armenians.
    If you say my criticism is motivated by self-hatred,
    I could say that your rejection of my criticism
    is motivated by self-infatuation.
    If love of mankind means
    loving greed, intolerance, prejudice, fanaticism,
    cruelty, stupidity, and ignorance,
    I want no part of it.
    Wednesday, September 07, 2011
    Incompetent leaders can do more harm
    than competent enemies.
    It is an established fact known to all except dupes
    that the criminal rate among political leaders
    is higher than among ordinary citizens.
    I understand dupes:
    I have been one most of my life.
    According to Cicero:
    “Freedom is participation in power.”
    If we are free, ours is the freedom
    of ants, birds, and herbivores –
    free to be stepped on, shot at, and devoured.
    Nothing works as planned.
    Turks believed they can convince the world.
    They now know they can’t even convince their own
    except the dupes who will believe anything.
    Subservience to alien tyrants is understandable.
    But subservience to our own?

  12. #57
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    Thursday, September 08, 2011
    In a scientific text I read the following:
    “The original purpose of the sense of hearing
    was to enable an organism to hear the love song of a wooer.”
    Further down:
    “The higher forms of life,
    and possibly the lower ones as well,
    would have become extinct a long time ago
    if it were not for the pleasures of love –
    which are thus more important
    than anything that reason is able to produce.”
    I think therefore I am?
    Hell no!
    I love therefore I survive.
    Let’s reason together?
    Let’s make love.
    Why do you think the memoirs of a bordello madam
    will sell many more copies
    than a treatise on reason by an eminent philosopher?
    We are a dysfunctional nation
    because we preach love of country
    and practice hatred of fellow countrymen.
    To our leaders the Homeland is a symbol
    with which they identify – and when they speak of love
    in a patriotic context, it is they who want to be loved
    because they know they are unworthy of anyone’s love.
    Bugger the old farts!
    Friday, September 09, 2011
    ON LOVE (II)
    Only an Armenian who has not “known” a Turkish woman
    or an Armenian woman who has not know a Turkish man
    (in the literal as well as Biblical sense of the word)
    is capable of harboring anti-Turkish sentiments.
    I will go further and say that
    there is no such thing as a Turk
    or, for that matter, an Armenian.
    National identity is an artificially created label
    based on propaganda rather than any other factor.
    Take a child, any child,
    place him in an environment whose educational system
    is controlled by individuals who identify themselves as Turks
    (or any other nationality you care to mention)
    and forever after that child will identify himself as a Turk.
    It is a statistically and historically established fact
    that when they first set foot on Armenian soil,
    Turks (or rather, those who identified themselves as such)
    were a minority.
    It follows, after 600 years of co-existence and concubinage,
    they are now very probably more Armenian than Turkish.
    Wars and massacres are declared and committed
    not by nations but by politicians and their brainwashed dupes.
    All nations have such criminal gangs
    and it would be the height of absurdity to assert
    Armenians are an exception.
    I am not denying the fact that
    “Turks” massacred “Armenians.”
    What I am saying is that criminals (and their victims)
    will use any excuse to justify their actions
    and prejudices respectively;
    and to ascribe the crimes of a few
    on the majority might as well be
    a working definition of racism.
    After writing these lines
    I read the following by Ralph Waldo Emerson:
    “For what man who is master of himself
    does not laugh at a king?”
    Likewise, for what man who can think for himself
    does not laugh at the likes of Kemal
    in whose system of thought
    Kurds are Mountain Turks and Armenians Christian Turks,
    instead of human beings who happen to be living
    in a territory called Turkey today
    but was known by another label yesterday
    and will be known by still another tomorrow?
    Saturday, September 10, 2011
    Between power and wisdom,
    who will choose wisdom?
    Birth is not a beginning
    and death is not an end.
    We think of them as such
    because our perception of reality is limited.
    In cosmic time, a lifetime is shorter
    than a fraction of a second.
    From the TALMUD:
    “Who is rich?”
    “He that rejoices in his portion.”
    “Who is a hero?”
    “He who conquers his urge.”
    I like all sentences that begin with the words,
    “It has been said.”
    Lord Byron on Italy:
    “They make love a good deal here,
    and assassinate a little.”
    On women:
    “My wife is perfection itself – the best creature breathing.
    But mind what I say – don’t marry.”
    Camus on love:
    “Loving a human being amounts to killing all others.”
    “Les seuls paradis sont ceux qu’on a perdus.”

  13. #58
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    Sunday, September 11, 2011
    All children believe in what adults tell them
    especially in matters dealing with God and Country.
    The world conspires to make us dupes;
    and by the time we realize what happened
    we have either killed or died as soldiers, terrorists,
    and believers in false gods and big lies.
    We are not smart – we never were
    in things that really matter.
    For 600 years we dropped our pants and exposed ourselves
    to the Turks.
    Tell me, my friend,
    how smart is that?
    The more we try to control events,
    the deeper the realization of our powerlessness.
    The source of all wisdom is within your subconscious,
    very much like the Kingdom of God.
    Strinberg: “Ever since childhood,
    I have looked for God and found the Devil.”
    Perhaps because they are one and the same.
    Either that or our perception of reality is so defective
    that we confuse one with the other.
    The astonishing ease with which blessings become curses.
    Monday, September 12, 2011
    Imperial powers prefer to deal with corrupt regimes
    because the corrupt are more easily manipulated.
    This is as true of America as it is of Russia.
    Remember that next time you speak of our big brothers.
    Freedom in a democratic context
    means much more than free elections.
    It means freedom from want,
    freedom of expression,
    freedom of assembly, movement, and faith.
    Have we ever been free?
    Do we know what freedom is?
    Freedom to grow a fat belly – is that
    the beginning and end of all freedom for us?
    During the day they speechify
    on freedom and patriotism,
    on God and Country,
    but at night they engage in wheeling-and-dealing.
    Hence their favorite slogan, “Do as I say…”
    Tuesday, September 13, 2011
    On man’s inhumanity to man:
    If you have ever asked yourself,
    How can one human being do such a thing
    to another human being?
    My tentative answer is:
    Some human beings cease to be human
    when they join a party or group
    that subscribes to a belief system.
    They oppressed us with fire and sword.
    We oppress ourselves with ignorance and intolerance.
    The result is the same.
    The massacre continues.
    Even people who act in the name of the Devil say
    “God is with us.”
    To fanatics moderation is treason.
    So is reason to the unthinking.
    Freedom of speech allows the fanatic
    to expose himself as a fool.
    We should have a commandment
    or a constitutional amendment to protect free speech
    instead of a tacit consensus to violate it.
    Memo to my anonymous critics:
    Democracy and intolerance of dissent
    are mutually exclusive concepts.
    If I am wrong I can be corrected.
    But if those in power are wrong
    the damage can be as incalculable as another genocide.
    Wednesday, September 14, 2011
    In theory we are all against the massacre
    of unarmed and innocent civilians,
    but give us a chance and we will gladly even the score
    and call it justice.
    This is only a guess, of course,
    based on how mean we can be in disagreement.
    To how many of my critics I could say:
    “Don’t stop, please! Keep writing.
    You are a living proof of everything
    I have been saying about Armenians –
    narrow-minded, rude, intolerant, ignorant, dogmatic,
    self-satisfied, loud-mouth…”
    God is not in the business of explaining the incomprehensible.
    We must either find a meaning in our genocide
    or dismiss it as incomprehensible.
    By making of it a collective obsession
    we accomplish nothing but reinforce our image
    as perennial victims and losers.
    As for justice: let’s leave that to belly-slitting lawyers –
    we can afford them.
    It was only after observing the ease with which
    we are Americanized that I was able to identify
    our Ottomanized and Sovietized brothers.
    A peculiarity of dupes is that
    they tend to take themselves and their views very seriously.
    Let’s make one thing clear once and for all.
    They did not divide and rule us.
    We divided ourselves.

  14. #59
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    Thursday, September 15, 2011
    It is narcissism and nothing else
    that allows a political leader to think
    he is the best thing that happened to his nation…
    until he is driven to exile,
    or arrested, condemned to death, or assassinated.
    There is probably more narcissism in politics
    than in any other line of work.
    It is narcissism and nothing else
    that allows Turks to believe
    our genocide is a fiction of our imagination.
    Likewise it is narcissism of the most primitive kind
    that allows us to think
    we are smart and progressive
    when the historic evidence proves otherwise.
    It is narcissism and nothing else
    that allows the very rich to behave like swine
    and to believe they are la crème de la crème.
    The astonishing ease with which both men and women
    confuse an ephemeral infatuation with eternal love.
    The rule is and must be
    anything that flatters are vanity
    should be dismissed as a lie.
    Friday, September 16, 2011
    The headline of a commentary in my morning paper reads:
    “Canada’s self-image needs a reality check.”
    There follows a list of misconceptions and fallacies
    that have become common currency in Canada,
    a country with a long democratic tradition and a free press.
    You may now imagine the number of our own misconceptions
    that have been consistently covered up
    by our controlled press and authoritarians power structures.
    The headline of another commentary on the same page reads:
    “Is it time to rethink think tanks?”
    Can we do that?
    Do we have them?
    There are 4500 active think tanks in the world,
    we are informed here.
    My question is:
    Is any one of them Armenian?
    In the section dealing with local news,
    another headline reads:
    “Region’s suicide rate still high.”
    Do you know – does anyone know -- our own suicide rate?
    Does anyone care to know?
    Saturday, September 17, 2011
    Gandhi was a double dissident –
    critical of British colonialism
    as well as many facets of Indian life.
    In a new biography we are told:
    “This made him a rather more balanced nationalist
    than the many who remarked on the victimhood of their race
    or argued for the superiority of their own culture.”
    See Jad Adams, GANDHI:
    (New York, Pegasus, 2011, page 56).

  15. #60
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    Sunday, September 18, 2011
    My ideas are subversive and dangerous?
    What about the ideas in the Bible?
    “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”
    “Without vision the people perish.”
    “Thou shalt not bear false witness.”
    “Fools despise wisdom and instruction.”
    The trouble with our censorship is that
    its ultimate aim is to violate
    not only my human right
    but also God’s divine right of free speech.
    Monday, September 19, 2011
    Divisions don’t bother me as much as
    the lies that are spoken in their defense.
    Liars don’t bother me as much as
    their efforts to make you believe that
    they believe in their own lies
    and they expect you to do likewise.
    I may consider making an effort to agree
    with our bosses, bishops, and benefactors
    on the day they make an effort
    to agree with one another.
    My answer to those who tell me
    if I do this that and the other
    I may be more popular:
    My obscurity is too well established
    to be vulnerable to any kind of
    promotional or advertising campaign.
    I have committed so many blunders
    that I don’t deserve to live.
    The only thing that keeps me going
    is the fact that almost everyone I know
    has committed worse blunders
    yet nothing could be further from their thoughts
    than suicide.
    Instead of voicing your suspicions
    redouble your vigilance.
    Tuesday, September 20, 2011
    He who violates my human right of free speech
    is in no position to determine his degree of guilt or innocence.
    If it were up to fascists to judge themselves,
    they would be unanimous in pronouncing their victims guilty.
    The sons and daughters of well-known Armenian writers
    that I have met or heard from
    prefer solitude to the proximity of their fellow Armenians.
    That may be because they know something
    most Armenians don’t -- namely: to survive
    in our environment one must either lie
    or be penalized for his honesty.
    I repeat myself?
    That may be because I am a bad writer
    and you are a worse reader
    for reading a writer who is not worth reading.
    All problems and solutions begin and end
    in the convolutions of our breains – which of course
    does not apply to the brainless.
    Love is the mightiest creative force of all
    because it sees somebody in nobody
    and meaning in the meanigless.
    Wednesday, September 21, 2011
    Gerald Durrell’s memoir MY FAMILY
    AND OTHER ANIMALS (1956) contains
    a hilarious portrait of Gostan Zarian.
    Gerald Durrell: not to be confused
    with his better-known brother Lawrence
    who also wrote extensively on Zarian.
    A headline reads:
    “Syria blames terrorists for country’s violence.”
    The trick here is and it has always been,
    to portray yourself as a victim even as you victimize.
    In detective stories I am more interested in the dialogue
    than the plot.
    If only there were writers
    who specialized in rewriting difficult texts –
    Hegel rewritten by Chekhov.
    Dupes hate critics.
    They view criticism as enemy action.
    Poetry, it has been said,
    is when two words meet for the first time – as in
    “fearful symmetry” (Blake) and “beeloud glade” (Yeats).
    His handwriting is so bad that
    his “morale” looks like “merde.”
    I am a failure because my readers know better.
    If only I could choose a different audience…

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