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      Articles Flood the Media...

Articles Flood the Media...   7/04/2005

Articles Flood the Media On the Eve of 90th Anniversary

By Harut Sassounian
Publisher, The California

There was a time when it was not easy to find a subject to comment on each week. Back then, with the shortage of Armenian news, one wondered what to write about. That’s not the case any more. There is so much happening these days that editors don’t know how to fit all the news in the pages of their newspapers and commentators are at a loss as to which issue to focus on. The sheer volume of news items has been so overwhelming that it feels like there have been more developments pertaining to Armenians during the weeks leading to the 90th anniversary of the Genocide than in all the years since 1915.

Here are some brief comments on recent Armenian-related topics:

-- David Phillips, the former chairman of (hopefully) now defunct Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC), seems still at his old tricks -- trying to fool some Armenians into thinking that he is defending their interests. In an interview with Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty last week, Phillips urged Armenia’s leaders to make an explicit statement that they have no territorial claims on Turkey, in order to convince the Turks to open the border. He goes on, however, to admit that such a unilateral renunciation of Armenia’s historic rights would not necessarily lead to the opening of the border as the Turks are constantly changing their demands. In other words, Armenians are told to give up their rights, and probably get nothing in return. Furthermore, rather than admitting that he bungled his work and caused such a backlash that he seriously damaged the prospects of Armenians and Turks reconciling anytime in the near future, Phillips uses self serving language to describe TARC’s efforts as a "success."

-- Before leaving his position as Deputy Secretary of Defense and moving to the chairmanship of the World Bank, Paul Wolfowitz met last month with a group of Turkish parliamentarians in his Pentagon office. According to a report of the meeting published in Milliyet, when Selam Yegert, a Turkish parliamentarian described how his ancestors were "massacred" by the Armenians, Wolfowitz, being such a "sensitive" man, started crying. It is amazing that Wolfowitz never shed a single tear for the 1.5 million victims of the Armenian Genocide, not to mention the thousands of American and Iraqi dead, caused by his warmongering policies, but a single Turk’s alleged death makes him cry hysterically. Such a sensitive man had no business being in the Pentagon! That may be why he is no longer employed there. The Europeans probably supported his move to the World Bank, just to get this "sensitive" trigger-happy man away from the Pentagon!

-- The leaders of Azerbaijan must be feeling very lonely these days. The whole world is talking about the 90th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, and no one seems to be too pre-occupied with any issues dealing with Azerbaijan. The Livingston Group, the lobbying firm hired by Turkey, which recently signed a two-year $600,000 contract with Azerbaijan, must have advised their gullible Azeri clients to join the Turkish frenzy over the "Approaching Armenian Tsunami." The Azeri Lider TV announced on March 23 that Azerbaijan would beef up the security of all of its embassies, as "Armenians are plotting bloody terrorist acts worldwide on April 24." One would hope that Azeris do not attack their own embassies on that day, and blame the Armenians for it.

-- Another sign of Azerbaijan’s desperation for any kind of publicity was a recent news item disseminated by the Azeri "Assa-Irada," which was headlined: "Armenians in US Threaten Bush." Regrettably, this scandalous Azeri media outlet has taken one of my columns and completely distorted it. It claims that I wrote: Unless Pres. Bush recognizes the Armenian Genocide on the 90th anniversary, Armenians would "resort to severe protest actions against him." Assa-Irada also falsely claimed that I had said: John Danforth, the U.S. Ambassador to the UN, had written a letter to the UN Secretary General asking him to include the Armenian Genocide on the agenda of the UN General Assembly. Of course, I did not say any of these things in any of my columns. Once again, as in the case of the Turks, the Azeris are scaring themselves by inventing imaginary threats and then making plans to fight these non-existent dangers.

The "Approaching Armenian Tsunami" turns out to be a flood caused by the Turkish and Azeri media. They may end up drowning in their own mudslinging!


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