Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Hitler jokes.

There is a cottage industry on Youtube - people take clips from the movie Downfall and put funny closed captioning.

Having spent about an hour talking to a call center in India last Sunday and going nowhere (not really their fault but the policies of the American corporation that shall remain unnamed), this video cracked me up.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tastelessness of burning flags or effigies.

On April 23 dashnaks burnt a Turkis flag and the pictures of their president, PM and the FM. The next day, the Turkish version of dashnaks burnt the Armenian flag and the picture of the self-declared president SS.

I find the whole thing very tasteless and it reminds me of the way Hamas or the Iranian nationalists act. I see very little positive impact that such acts achieve - they don't even toast marshmallows on the fire to make s'mores.

I even find burning your own country's flag tasteless, too. All said and done, it's still an expression of speech and should be legal to do.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Standard Operating Procedure.

"There is no need for torture if there are confessions and material evidence".

Alik Sargsian, Chief of Armenian Police, Yerevan, April 21, 2010 link

The background on the issue on Martuni or Bust

Monday, April 19, 2010

[...] Հայաստանի բլոգերներից Սամվել Մարտիրոսյանն ասում է, սակայն, որ Հայաստանում լրատվական ուղղվածությամբ սոցիալական կայքերը ժողովրդականություն չեն վայելում, հայկական նման միակ կայքը`ը, ստեղծվել է 2008-ի մարտյան իրադարձությունների ամենաթեժ շրջանում, սակայն այդ կայքի կյանքը կարճ էր, այն շատ արագ վերածվեց ոչ թե քննարկումների, այլ բախումների հարթակի եւ այլեւս չի գործում: [...] More on Radio Liberty

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Police Day - 2.

I just watched some footage of the Police Parade. While the posters they have placed around Yerevan send a message that they are bad-asses and should not be messed with, the reality is that they look quite miserable. The regular cops seem to be extremely bored while their chiefs have threatening speeches. And the parade looks like a low-budget Soviet movie from the 50-s, complete with a poorly rehearsed march, bad music and a female MC touting the virtues of each police department marching at the time.

This would be very funny if these guys were not the ones who abused their citizens on a daily basis and killed them from time to time (the latest being a witness to a crime who was stabbed and killed while being interrogated at the Central Police Precinct in Yerevan).

see the parade at

Friday, April 16, 2010

Police Day.

Today apparently the Police Day in Armenia and the cops have been celebrating. Pictured is one of their billboard ads. Pay a particular attention to the three monochrome figures - 2 wielding automatic weapons and one aiming with a semi-auto pistol that are pointed at the audience. This billboard is located on Grigor Lusavoriuch street on the very same spot from where they were firing at the demonstrators on March 1, 2008 ultimately killing 10 people.

Upd: I am still disturbed by the triangular depiction of the men in uniform shooting. I am hoping it's not a photo from March 1 but a still from a Hollywood movie about alien invasion. In any case, the police is sending a clear message to the people of Armenia. Such a message is incompatible to a normal civilized society where police are meant to serve and protect and not to shoot and kill.

Can people in Yerevan confirm whether this is a photo from March 1? I think I see one of those infamous machines used for high pressure water cannons behind the trio but I am not sure.

A quick and interesting take on the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, DC.

Richard Giragosian: “In this way the absence of Azerbaijan was very significant,” Giragosian said at a roundtable discussion hosted by ACNIS on Thursday. 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Look what I got in my email today.

fromKasim Gumus
reply-toKasim Gumus
dateMon, Apr 12, 2010 at 12:30 AM
subject[INTLNEWS-STUDENTS-L] A Lecture on Turkish & Armenian Conflict
unsubscribeUnsubscribe from this sender
hide details Apr 12 (1 day ago)

***This listserv is provided as a service to IUPUI International Students. Postings on this listserv from sources external to the Office of International Affairs (OIA) do not imply any endorsement on the part of OIA.***
Dear friends,

Assembly of American Turkish Associations (ATAA) and Turkish Student Association at IUPUI (TSA) proudly announce a lecture by Prof. Türkkaya Ataöv : TURKS and ARMENIANS: What Really Happened on April 24, 1915. This lecture is a part of lecture series that being held in many US and Canada cities.

WHEN: Tuesday, April 13, 2010 at 5:00-7:00pm
WHERE: Business School, Room BS 2000

Thank you,
Best Regards,

Kasim Gumus

Prof. Türkkaya Ataöv
ATAA Capital Forum and

 National Speakers Bureau Program

 US-Canada Lecture Series 
Supported by the Turkish Coalition of America  
 Turks and Armenians:
 What Really Happened on April 24, 1915

Tuesday, April 13, 2010
IUPUI Kelley School of Bussines Room BS 2000
801 West Michigan Street Indianapolis, IN
Organized by ATAA and TSA
Information: 812.391.4838

There has been a big question as to what really took place on April 24, 1915, in the Ottoman Empire.  Various ethnic interest groups have offered conflicting versions of the events.

On April 24, 1915, 235 leaders out of 77,735 Armenians of Istanbul were moved to and placed under house arrest in the Anatolian city of Çankırı.  They were free to move about the city in the day time, and confined to house arrest at night.  All were eventually released.  One died due to natural causes.  Two were murdered by two hooligans, who were tried and executed for their crimes. 

In May 1915, many Armenians in the eastern provinces of the Ottoman Empire were relocated from the war zones in response to the Armenian Revolt which reached its most destructive point in the Van Revolt of March 1915.  In June 1915, the relocation reached port cities in Western Anatolia, where Armenian rebels were importing and transporting arms and ammunition to Armenian nationalists in the east. 

In November 1915, the relocation ended.  The relocation was a military response to a military problem.  Having initially "slaughtered about 120,000 non-Armenians" in Eastern Anatolia, as recorded even by the British, and seized control of the Ottoman city of Van, with the backing of the invading Russians, the Armenians posed a great military danger to the 3rd, 4th, and the 6th Ottoman armies, as well as to the Ottoman civilian Muslim and Jewish populations.

There is absolutely no similarity between the Armenian case and the Holocaust, as Jews never engaged in an armed revolt to create a Jewish state in Germany.  To equate the Armenian case with genocide, is to dilute the definition of genocide and understate the suffering of the Jews.

Whether the events of 1915 constitute genocide is not a political question, where truth may be sacrificed for election purposes at Congressional district levels.  History and jurisprudence have their own methodologies that should be respected by all.

In an ATAA national speaking tour, Prof.  Türkkaya Ataöv, a highly respected historian and professor will give a lecture on the political landscape and events of April 24, 1915 which will serve to enlighten the general public with a view toward reconciliation based on truth.  Details of this lecture are included herein.

Biographical Sketch of  Prof. Dr. Türkkaya Ataöv
Türkkaya Ataöv is Professor Emeritus in International Relations at Ankara University, Turkey. He did his graduate work in the United States, where he received two M.A.s (NYU & Syracuse Univ.) and a Ph.D. (1959, Syracuse U., NY). He taught at Ankara Univ. for more than four decades and lectured in several American, British, Russian, German, Dutch, Indian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, African and Australian universities.
He is the author of close to 140 books (most of which have been in foreign languages and printed in Europe or in the Americas), a few hundred academic treatises, and a few thousand newspaper articles. His writings have been translated into 20 languages and appeared in 17 European, 13 Asian, 5 African, and 3 American states and Australia.
He was elected to central executive positions of UN-related international organizations, dealing with racial discrimination, human rights, terrorism, nuclear war, and exchange of prisoners of war.

Professor Ataöv published 80 books or booklets on the Armenian issue, was invited (as "witness of authority") by the Paris court to the two (1984 & 1985) trials of Armenian terrorists, participated in the UN (1985) Geneva meetings of the Human Rights Commission on the Genocide Convention, and partook in several meetings of the European Parliament that dealt with the Armenian issue.

Professor Ataöv received 17 academic awards or medals in recognition of his published works and activities. They include two (Italian and Federal Yugoslavian) presidential medals, two UN-affiliated awards, and several honorary doctorates and academic citations.
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Monday, April 12, 2010

Vahagn Chakhalian.

In the video is Vahagn Chakhalian who is protesting the living conditions of people in Javakhq in the office of the head of the electoral commission. In particular, he complains that the Rose Revolution has not reached Javakhq in three years since Sahakashvili's election and the people there continue to be oppressed by the corrupt administrators.

Chakhalian is now a political prisoner in Georgia accused of several crimes under "article 236.1 (purchase and possession of arms), article 225.2 (participation in disorders), article 226 (organization of public disorders), article 353.2 (resistance to police officer or public agent) and article 239.2b (hooliganism)" (purchase and possession of arms is a popular method of jailing undesirable people in the region).

Obviously, the case is flimsy and the Europeans have noticed it.

Commenting on seekers of political asylum.

Քաղբանտարկյալները չի պատճառը միայն: Կա համակարգային խնդիր որ քաղաքական ապաստան խնդրող մարդիկ իրավացիորեն համարվում են քաղաքական հալածյալներ: Հայաստանը համարվում է անազատ երկիր հետեւյալ պատճառներով.
- ազատ խոսքի նկատմամբ ռեպրեսիվ վերաբերմունք (Ամեկ, Փաշինյան, եւ այլն),
- այլընտրանքային քաղաքական մտքի հալածում եւ բանտարկում քաղաքական դրդապատճառներով (Աշոտ Մանուկյան, Փաշինյան, եւ այլն),
- հավատքի եւ խղճի ազատության բացակայություն, հավատքի բանտարկյալներ (Եհովայի Վկաներ, եւ այլն),
- քաղաքացիների սեփականության իրավունքի բացակայություն (Բյուզանդի փողոց, եւ այլն),
- մարդկանց կյանքի նկատմամբ անհարգալից վերաբերմունք (Ղուլյան, Մարտի մեկ, եւ այլն),
- եւ այլն:

Սա ռեպրեսիվ քաղաքական համակարգ է եւ ամեն մի քաղաքացի Արեւմուտքում լեգիտիմորեն կարող է համարվել քաղաքական հալածյալ եթե նույնիսկ անձնապես ԴԵՌ չեն վնասվել: Բռնության հավանականությունը միշտ կա:

Thursday, April 08, 2010

One reason why I don't see myself in Armenia.

What an idiot. Perhaps more illogical and racist than Galust Sahakian.

Daily media digest by RFE/RL
«Առավոտ»-ը գրում է. - «Երեւանում գտնվող Մարդու իրավունքների միջազգային ֆեդերացիայի անդամները թե' համաժողովի ժամանակ եւ թե' հանրահավաքում իրենց մտահոգությունը հայտնեցին Հայաստանում մարդու իրավունքների վիճակի կապակցությամբ: Եվ ահա հանրապետական պատգամավոր Վազգեն Կարախանյանը որոշեց արժանի հակահարված հասցնել իրավապաշտպաններին՝ հատկապես առանձնացնելով նրանց, ովքեր մաշկի սեւ գույն ունեն: Պատգամավորի հակափաստարկը հետեւյալն է. «Ակամայից հիշեցի պատմության որոշ դրվագներ, երբ նույն սեւամորթ իրավապաշտպանի պապերի օրոք 1915 թվականին ցեղասպանություն տեղի ունեցավ, եւ նրանց պապերը ներողամտորեն ժպտում էին եւ ինչ-որ տեղ հավանություն էին տալիս»: Հիշեցնենք, որ Երեւան ժամանած իրավապաշտպանները ներկայացնում են, մասնավորապես, Չադը, Սենեգալը եւ Նիգերիան: Հասկանալու համար, թե ինչով էին զբաղված նրանց պապերը 1915 թվականին, պետք է հաշվի առնել, որ 20-րդ դարի սկզբին այդ երկրները Ֆրանսիայի եւ Բրիտանիայի գաղութներն էին: Շատ հավանական է, հետեւաբար, որ վերոհիշյալ իրավապաշպանների պապերը խնդրո առարկա ժամանակահատվածում ստրուկ էին եւ առավոտից մինչ երեկո աշխատում էին սուրճի կամ, ասենք, մանդարինի պլանտացիաներում: Տրամաբանական կլինի ենթադրել, որ այդ վիճակում գտնվելով՝ նրանք որեւէ տրամադրություն չունեին ներողամտորեն ժպտալու, եւ առավել քան հնարավոր է, որ այդ պապերը ընդհանրապես չգիտեին, թե ինչ է կատարվում այլ մայրցամաքում գտնվող Օսմանյան կայսրությունում»:

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Armenian President Cancels Address At Human Rights Conference

Radio Liberty reports.
[quote]No reason was given for the cancellation.[end quote]

When he was scheduled to have a speech at the FIDH, I was surprised at his audacity. I mean, this is a person who has no idea what human rights are and is responsible for horrendous amount of misery in Armenia and wanted to go and try to BS about human rights.

Obviously, he is not as self-assured as I thought he was.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Pseudo-Soviet remnants in Armenia.

There is one word that I simply cannot stand on the blogs originating in Armenia. That word is "Камрад" (or "Камрадесса" for females). It's a transliteration of the word "comrade" - an old Soviet term. In Armenian, the words comrade and friend are the same so the bloggers use "comrade" instead of "friend". To add insult to the injury, they use a Russian version.

It's truly a disgusting habit - another remnant of the Soviet past.

Hitchens: Can You Believe What the Turkish Prime Minister Said About the Armenians?

Shut Up About Armenians or We'll Hurt Them Again 

Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's latest sinister threat.


In my country there are 170,000 Armenians. Seventy thousand of them are citizens. We tolerate 100,000 more. So, what am I going to do tomorrow? If necessary I will tell the 100,000: OK, time to go back to your country. Why? They are not my citizens. I am not obliged to keep them in my country.
This extraordinary threat was not made at some stupid rally in a fly-blown town. It was uttered in England, on March 17, on the Turkish-language service of the BBC. Just to be clear, then, about the view of Turkey's chief statesman: If democratic assemblies dare to mention the ethnic cleansing of Armenians in the 20th century, I will personally complete that cleansing in the 21st!

Where to begin? Turkish "guest workers" are to be found in great numbers all through the European Union, membership of which is a declared Turkish objective. How would the world respond if a European prime minister called for the mass deportation of all Turks? Yet Erdogan's xenophobic demagoguery attracted precisely no condemnation from Washington or Brussels. He probably overestimated the number of "tolerated" economic refugees from neighboring and former Soviet Armenia, but is it not interesting that he keeps a count in his head? And a count of the tiny number of surviving Turkish Armenians as well?
[end of quote]

More on Slate


Yesterday Gayane Babayan, a reporter in Yerevan, was hit and killed by a drunk driver. Incidentally, she was the recipient of the "Tigran Hayrapetian" award for excellence in journalism in 2009 (Tigran Hayrapetian was hit and killed by a driver but his case was more an intentional removal of an undesirable person than an accident).

Gayane will be missed.