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as i see it - Pt. I


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#41 ara baliozian

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Posted 08 October 2001 - 10:28 AM

TARC/#2
*********************
The ability to entertain opposing views may be said to be one of the surest symptoms of intellectual maturity. By contrast, unthinking, instinctive, automatic denial may be said to be unfailing expressions of insecurity and narrow-mindedness and fanaticism.
The assumption that the opposition is always wrong and not even worth considering goes hand in hand with a dogmatic and intolerant world view.
What if our adversary is murderer and a liar?
We expose his lies. We even show a willingness to compromise knowing that he will not, and we thus make his position untenable in the eyes of the world. Above all, we don’t accept his inflexibility as worthy of emulation.

TARC / #3
*********************
In a recent commentary my good friend Dr. Astarjian writes that academics have no business getting involved in politics: politics should be left to the politicians -- who, I assume, can always be relied on to make a mess of things, as they have done in the past, and in that respect their record may be said to be without blemish!


TARC / #4
*******************
One must admit that the Turkish line of defense looks better and better every day. All they have to do to convince the U.S. that Armenians claims are without merit is to say, "Armenians are a people with a notorious lunatic fringe that engaged in acts of terrorism at the turn of the century in the Ottoman Empire and intermittently since then in Europe, Canada and the United States, and it will do so again unless we accede to all their demands which would amount to Washington ceding New York and several other States to the Indians."

The other day a Canadian intelligence officer stated on TV: "There are seventy terrorist organizations operating within Canada today." I have every reason to suspect the ARF is thought of as one of them. Which is why ARF leaders have been refused entry visas here ever since a handful of ARF boys staged an act of terrorism in Ottawa and the ARF hired a noted Canadian lawyer to defend them; and to this day these boys (now in prison) are declared to be heroes in the ARF press.

#42 Anahid Takouhi

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Posted 08 October 2001 - 03:39 PM

Upon your observation not only ARF must be part of that 70 organizations. There is ASALA and more than that Armenia, were in daytime people are getting killed not only in Parliament, but on street, in villages or restaurants.

#43 ara baliozian

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Posted 10 October 2001 - 10:38 AM

STUFF AND NONSENSE
*************************************
"Some folks rail against other folks because other folks have what some folks be glad of." Henry Fielding (1707-1754)

We all want what we don’t have. What do Arafat, Bin Laden and their kind want? They are wealthy men. They can buy anything they want. The only thing they don’t have is power and that’s exactly what they are after. All that talk about poor Palestinians, Iraqi children, and Japanese victims of Hiroshima and Nagasaki is stuff and nonsense.
They can’t even deal with tiny little states like Israel and Saudi Arabia but they want to destroy the West and re-create the world in their own image.
Destroy the degenerate capitalist West: that’s what the Soviets wanted too. "We will bury you!" Khruschev said -- his son is now a citizen of the United States and the USSR history.

A MUSLIM PRAYER
****************************
"O God, if I worship Thee in fear of Hell, burn me in Hell; or if I worship Thee in hope of Paradise, exclude me from Paradise; but if I worship Thee for Thine Own Sake, withhold not Thine Everlasting Beauty." (My italics)
It follows, if I worship Thee in hope of 72 virgins, burn me in Hell!
Now, if I am familiar with this prayer, so must the mullahs, Arafat, bin Laden and their kind. And yet sexually starved young men continue to brainwashed, misled and pushed into murder and suicide: I call this the quintessence not only of deception but also of satanic evil.

MUSES
*****************
Once in a while I am taken to task for ignoring my critics. Nonsense! Everything I write -- including commas and semi-colons – is a reply to one of them. Where would I be without my critics? Luckily, writing for Armenians means never to run out of them because every Jack S. Avanakian is a pundit with a highly developed spirit of contradiction.

DEMOS
*******************
I am against war and against terrorism. I would like to protest against U.S. military action in front of a U.S. Consulate provided others with like-minded convictions are allowed to protest against terrorism in front of bin Laden’s cave.
Even a coward is free to demonstrate in a democracy; but a suicidal hero will think twice before demonstrating against the ruthless might of a bloodthirsty despot.

EGOS
*****************
What I find most offensive about us (and all tribal people in general) is the disparity between our rhetoric and our actions. We pretend to be smart but we behave like political morons, constantly dividing and subdividing ourselves as if the ego of our petty little sultans were more important than the survival of the nation.

KISS ME, I AM ARMENIAN
*******************************
We are a nation of pundits on all conceivable subjects: from Abdulhamidism to Zoroastrianism – but pundits who dismiss one another as total ignoramuses and misguided fools.

We are a collection of tribes with petty little loyalties, so that whenever we hear the words "Forward, march!" we scatter in all directions like a pile of autumn leaves hit by a sudden gust of wind.

Paradox: Why is it that whenever an Armenian feels the need to assert his Armenianism he succeeds only in exposing his Ottomanism?

In a private conversation with President Bush Sr., Ozal is quoted as having said: "The Armenians are our Indians." Wrong. We are no Indians; we are chiefs!"

When an Armenian says to another Armenian "Kiss me, I am Armenian!" he doesn’t mention where exactly he wants to be kissed but it is easy to guess….

#44 raffiaharonian

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Posted 11 October 2001 - 10:43 PM

Ara you're adorable, even though a pain in the ass most of the times!

I guess that all you're doing is shouting louder the forum signature of Movses
" Zartnir Lao, mernim kezi"........

Once and again you were asked to provide solutions, however you decline that under the valid conclusion that you are here to ring the bell! Well isn't it high time to assume a differnet role in our tribal society? since noone seems to be interested to place his genuine efforts.

I even guess your reply : "....as if I care about your opinion....... charlatan and XXX... "
Well, life sucks so do people sometimes.!

#45 ara baliozian

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Posted 21 October 2001 - 11:20 PM

NOTES / COMMENTS
***************************
What matters is not what you and I think but what our representatives do
in our name. And what are they doing? When was the last time they asked
what you think?
***
To say that we are smart amounts to brainwashing ourselves into believing
that we are doing what must be done even when the exact opposite is the
case.
***
I speak the truth because no one is paying me to lie. Would I lie if
someone paid me? That remains to be seen. Is everyone who disagrees with
me a liar? Some are; others are honest but brainwashed liars, as I myself
was for most of my life.
***
Can a wise man be brainwashed by a fool? Yes, provided the wise is naÔve
or idealistic and the fool is cynical and cunning. Is it possible for the
wise to be naÔve? No, but it happens all the time. And if you say "I
don't understand that," I will say, "Neither do I."

#46 ara baliozian

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Posted 21 October 2001 - 11:20 PM

PARALLELS
******************
1.
Jewish history from Moses (slave labor, endless wandering in the desert)
to Ariel Sharon (surrounded by mortal enemies, living in constant fear of
suicidal terrorists) is a disaster area. To say that Jews are smart and
to ignore the evidence of history amounts to watching a man slitting his
throat in public and thinking he must be the happiest man on earth.
2.
If thatís being Chosen, they would have been better off being Cursed.
3.
When we examine their and our past, what strikes us is not the presence
but the absence of God.
4.
To compare the average Jew to Kissinger or some other
wheeling-and-dealing plutocrat or banker is like comparing an unemployed
Armenian in Yerevan to Kirk Krikorian, who is said to have started his
career as a bagman for the Mafia.
5.
To view Jewish history objectively may help us understand our own.

#47 khodja

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Posted 21 October 2001 - 12:19 PM

Ara,

This is all biblical. The results of genetic studies have been concealed for critical political reasons. The Hebrew "curse" is in our genes. If we knew all the sums of our parts we would understand.

#48 ara baliozian

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Posted 22 October 2001 - 02:02 PM

ELEGY
*****************
It is extremely difficult – make it, impossible –to argue with an
Armenian who was told once upon a time by someone (probably his
schoolmaster) that he is smart. Such an Armenian is not equipped to
listen, only to contradict and to engage in one-upmanship. Which is why I
take pleasure in reminding my readers as often as I can and at the risk
of sounding monotonous that I am only an overworked and underpaid
scribbler with many limitations, prejudices and blind spots. I may even
be an idiot for daring to express my honest opinion to an audience of
self-anointed experts on any given subject who are convinced they already
know everything they need to know and they have no use for anyone who
takes it upon himself to question their judgment. And I cannot help
reflecting that it is exactly this kind of mindset that propelled our
revolutionaries at the turn of the century to challenge the ruthless
might of the Ottoman Empire: the conviction, nay the belief (which has
rightly been called a fountain of lies) that the Christian West, the
invisible forces of history, their superior morality, and God Himself
were on their side and with such allies they must be invincible! And what
is even more incomprehensible: they go on thinking they were right and
the rest of the world (including the Good Lord Himself) wrong. So what if
a million and half were massacred; so what if they divided and continue
to divide the nation; so what if they are witnessing two more genocides
today (exodus from the Homeland and assimilation in the Diaspora); so
what if their thinking – nationalist, fanatical, dogmatic,
anti-intellectual, anti-Semitic, fascist –has not advanced a single
fraction of an inch? They were absolutely right then and they are
absolutely right today and anyone who dares to question their judgment is
a traitor who must be silenced
– permanently, whenever possible!

#49 ara baliozian

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Posted 22 October 2001 - 02:03 PM

UNDERDOGS AND DESPOTS
************************************
Napoleon was idolized by the masses but he didn't much care if he lost a
hundred thousand men in a single battle: "They can be replaced by a
single night in Paris," he would say.
Arafat and his gang promise a large sum of money to the families of
Palestinian teenage boys who commit suicide while killing Jews. So what
if sometimes the checks bounce – as they have been lately.
Underdogs have no friends: only exploiters and deceivers.
Saddam, bin Laden, Arafat & Co. represent underdogs only in the sense in
which Stalin represented workers. The irony here is that, the same kind
of left-wing Western intellectuals who were taken in by Stalin (among
them such sophisticated French writers as Gide and Sartre: both
Nobel-prize winners) are now taken in by Stalin’s counterparts in the
Arab world.
History suggests that when it comes to choosing their representatives,
underdogs tend to choose not the best candidate but the worst. But then,
if the judgment of progressive Western intellectuals cannot be trusted,
what is one to expect of functional illiterates who have been brainwashed
by dogmatic, hidebound, megalomaniacal, ruthless and bloodthirsty Eastern
despots?

#50 ara baliozian

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Posted 22 October 2001 - 02:04 PM

DISSENT
********************
1.
The word "dissent" has two different meanings: in a totalitarian states
it might as well be synonymous with sedition and treason, and as such it
is considered a serious criminal offense; in a democracy it is the duty
of the loyal opposition.
2.
Chekhov: "Am I not fooling the reader, since I cannot answer the most
important questions?"
No, of course not. In a world where every mullah and bishop and
Sunday-school teacher has a dozen answers to the most important
questions, our job is not to come up with more answers but to expose
phony answers.
3.
Chekhov: "Remember that it is better to be the victim than the
executioner."
That amounts to saying, it is better to be an underdog than a top dog; to
which I can only say: After centuries of being an underdog, I wouldn't
mind being a top dog for a change – even if that may not be fair to
future underdogs, and may the Good Lord (if He exists) have mercy on my
soul (if I have one).

#51 ara baliozian

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Posted 23 October 2001 - 08:44 AM

PORTRAIT OF AN ARMENIAN ANTI-SEMITE
*********************************************
He rejects the label because he is smart enough to know that it denotes
prejudice and he considers himself too civilized, tolerant and
progressive to have any.
He sees Jews not as perennial victims (very much like Armenians) but as
ruthless victimizers.
He hates Hitler not because of what Hitler did to the Jews but because
Hitler may have had one or two drops of Jewish blood in his veins.
He knows more about Jews than he knows about Armenians and what he knows
about the Jews is an endless catalogue of negatives, including THE
PROTOCOLS OF THE ELDERS OF ZION, which was authored by a 19th-century
Russian -- and I don't mean a Russian-Jew but a member of the
pure-blooded (assuming such a thing exists) Russian aristocracy.
To him General Antranig is an Eagle but Ariel* Sharon is no lion but a
hyena.
No, he does not dislike Jews, only the oppressors and killers of poor
Palestinians. He fails to see that, if he hates these so-called
oppressors and killers, he must also hate the Jews who support them, that
is to saw the majority of Jews all over the world who by supporting them
they aid and abet criminal conduct.
To those who are tempted to discount the validity of my words because of
my Jewish ancestry or because I may be in love with a Jewish girl, allow
me to explain: On a good day I can trace my ancestry all the way back to
my father and mother, both pure-blooded Armenians (ditto); and I have
known only one Jew in my life – and I am willing to admit that he was not
a particularly likable person but in that sense he was no different than
myself.

*Lion in Hebrew

#52 ara baliozian

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Posted 23 October 2001 - 08:47 AM

ARE WE SMART?
*************************
The first time I criticized Canada in the presence of Canadians I was
told: "If you don't like it here, why don't you go back where you came
from?" What the hell happened to free speech? I thought. But gradually I
came to realize that what I was doing was not exercising my human right
of free speech but practicing one-upmanship. Since I was brainwashed to
believe Armenians are smart, I thought I was in a position to teach dumb
Canadians one or two things. This is how I assessed the situation. It
never even occurred to me to consider how they saw things and more
particularly myself. Who was I in their eyes? What were my
qualifications? I was no better than a double reject, first from Turkey,
then from Greece – a hungry Armenian – a Turkish gypsy – a refugee with a
semi-fascist background whose ancestors had made such a mess of things
that life had become unbearable; and there I was, exposing their
shortcomings as if I had none.
Are Canadians intolerant? If they are, Armenians are even more so. I
speak from experience. I now know something I didn't know then. Canada
has its share of critics who not only know what they are talking about
but they are also amply compensated for their work, What about us?
Products of Abdulhamidism and Stalinism, what have we learned from our
host countries? When it comes to politics and diplomacy we might as well
be functional illiterates whose arrogance is such that they think they
can deliver lectures on semantics to university graduates.
Now I know why, when once, many years ago, I said "Armenians are smart"
to an alienated fellow Armenian in the United States, he reacted with
such rage that he nearly foamed at the mouth.

#53 ara baliozian

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Posted 23 October 2001 - 08:47 AM

ARE WE SMART?/ II
******************************
1.
In the Ottoman Empire we had the brains – or so we claim – but served the
dumb Turks. Ditto in the Middle East, in America and in our Diaspora in
general. We always had the brains but were never masters of our destiny;
and now that we are…but the less said about that the better. What does
that tell you? The obvious answer must be: There is more to being smart
than assessing oneself as smart and believing it. A jackass can say
anything he wants and a dupe will believe anything that flatters his
vanity.
2.
What defines our identity more than anything else? Or rather: Where would
we be without the Genocide? Why is it that we have allowed our butchers
to define our identity? What good can come of this?
3.
St. Paul writes: "If any man among you seems to be wise in this world,
let him become a fool, that he may be wise." Translated into hard
currency, this may also mean: Better a dumb winner than a smart loser.
Or: What the hell is the use of being smart if you are the perennial
victim of dumb jerks?

#54 ara baliozian

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Posted 23 October 2001 - 07:51 PM

MEMO TO MY FRIENDS
*****************************
It is silly to think that I am your enemy simply because I disagree with
you. In ten years (if you are smart) or in twenty (if you are not) you
may reach the realization that I was a better friend than those who
agreed with you.

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING DIFFERENT
*****************************************
On a winter day a man slips and falls on the sidewalk.
"Tough sidewalk, isn't it?" a passerby who witnessed the accident
remarks.
"Not tough enough not to kiss my ass!"

NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS
*******************************
At the turn of the century, in a restaurant in Paris, a patron approached
a well-known writer and says:
"You may have noticed that one of the pretty waitresses is missing."
"None of my business."
"I am told she is pregnant with your child."
"None of your business!"

#55 Garo

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 10:26 AM

By Ara Baliozian

MEA CULPA
***********************************
A reader writes: "You have admitted to being fallible but so far you have
provided no specifics."
Which proves only one thing: You have not been reading me.
I have at no time covered up the fact that as an Armenian Catholic I had
a quasi-Taliban education (minus Kalishnikovs). I even had a headmaster
who could have been bin Laden's twin. I was brought up (make it,
brainwashed) to believe all non-Catholics were heretics, misguided fools
and hopeless dupes in league with the devil. As an Armenian I was
brainwashed to believe the Turks were bloodthirsty savages and the Great
Powers (i.e. the West) liars.
We Armenians were la creme de la creme. We were smarter, civilized,
morally superior.
I know better now. I know now that we can't be smarter because again and
again we have failed to realize that the source of all our defeats,
disasters and tragedies is within us, namely, our tribalism and total
absence of solidarity. I know now that we use the Turks and the world the
way anti-semites use the Jews, as scapegoats, and having done so we
deceive ourselves into thinking we are blameless. I maintain we are
nothing of the kind. I further maintain we are not better than most and
worst than some. I have said this before and I will say it again: I was
wrong most of my life, and if I am wrong now, I wish someone would reason
with me and convince me that dogmatism is not synonymous with
intolerance, divisiveness is a good thing notwithstanding the Biblical
dictum: "A house divided against itself cannot stand" and tribalism and
fanaticism a la Taliban a source of strength.
And now that I have admitted to having been wrong most of my life, will
anything change?
But suppose one of our bosses and bishops were to admit fallibility.
What a wonderful plot for a science-fiction writer!

[ October 24, 2001: Message edited by: Garo ]

#56 ara baliozian

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Posted 24 October 2001 - 10:15 PM

MEMO TO FANATICS
***************************
Do you want to overcome your affliction?
I have an easy recipe for you.
Learn to think against yourself.
Once upon a time
I too was a fanatic bigot,
an insufferable bore,
and a pain in the perforation.
But eventually I saw the light
and achieved moderation in my thinking.
If I can do it, so can you.
No sweat.
Only one thing to remember.
Next time you make an assertion,
consider its opposite
and you will be surprised to discover
how much truth there is in it.
No one is born a fanatic.
Fanatics are made not born.
But fanaticism is not a verdict without appeal.
There is a way out.
Try it and you may find moderation
less emotionally draining.
Remember, fanaticism,
might as well be synonymous
with dogmatism, intolerance,
authoritarianism, fascism,
tribalism and divisiveness
Ė all Armenian afflictions.
I titled this piece
"Memo to Fanatics."
On second thought --
(and now I am thinking against myself,
practicing what I preach, so to speak)
I should have said:
"Memo to my Fellow Armenians."

#57 ara baliozian

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 08:58 AM

I REMEMBER
***********************
When I was a boy I would listen to adults discussing Armenian affairs. I
no longer remember what was said except for one sentence that came up
again and again: "mart bidi ch'ellank!" freely translated: "We will never
acquire human status."
Perhaps that's exactly what I have been saying and repeating too √ with
one difference: it is not my intention to spread gloom and doom but to
puncture the egos of our bosses and bishops who are engaged in convincing
us that we are in good hands and they are doing what must be done: two
colossal lies of mullah-Taliban-bin Laden dimensions.
***
Friends of mine have been eager to point out to me that my contempt for
Muslims is racist. But I ask you ladies and gentlemen of the jury: what
has Islam done for me except call me an infidel dog, a giaour, and
massacre millions of my ancestors in the name of Allah? I know, I know,
as a good Christian I should turn the other cheek and look the other way
as jihadist mullahs preach the destruction of the infidel West. But
sinner that I am, unlike my pro-Arab critics, I cannot pretend to be a
good Christian, or even a bad Christian, or even a Christian┘if being
Christian means recycling Taliban crap.
***
To preach Armenianism and to be agreeable: Why is it that these two are
thought of as incompatible? I have a theory: Like water (H2O) Armenianism
is a compound whose formula may be expressed thus: O2A = two parts
Ottomanism to one part Armenianism.

#58 ara baliozian

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Posted 25 October 2001 - 09:04 AM

TWO OBSERVATIONS
*************************
FREEDOM OF THE PRESS
There is more freedom in the U.S. than anywhere else.
The Afghan press enjoys more freedom here than in Afghanistan. This could
also be said of all ethnic presses, including the Armenian. Anyone who
has spoken to an Armenian editor will know that the Armenian-American
press enjoys more freedom here than in Armenia. And when an
Armenian-American editor was severely thrashed and hospitalized in Los
Angeles a couple of years ago, it was agreed that the perpetrators were
not agents of the CIA or the FBI, or for that matter, garden-variety odar
street hoodlums, but Armenians imported especially for that purpose from
the Middle East.
A CONFESSION
As an Armenian, I don't mind admitting that I feel more comfortable in
Canada than I would in my own homeland or anywhere else whose dominant
minority is Armenian; and before you hurl adjectives at me I suggest you
direct your verbal abuse at the corrupt, incompetent, and tribal Armenian
leaders whose so-called patriotism is nothing but a cheap mask and whose
so-called Armenianism might as well be synonymous with fascism.

#59 ara baliozian

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Posted 26 October 2001 - 08:33 AM

ELEGY / #2
**********************
He who is eager to contradict you
will be even more eager to misunderstand you.
In no other endeavor
he will be more stubborn, resourceful and creative.
If someday one of our historians
writes a book in which he proves
beyond a shadow of a doubt
that all our divisions and feuds
are results of mutual misunderstanding,
you can be sure of one thing:
he will be misunderstood,
excoriated and vilified from all sides.
He will attract more Armenian venom
than Sultan Abdulhamid II and Talaat combined.
Everyone who is someone in our communities
(or thinks is someone)
will rise in defense of his orthodoxy,
ideology, organization, association,
tribe, agenda, club, faction, gang, mafia
or anything else that lends him
a semblance of authority or prestige.
Not only such a historian
will solve none of our problems
but he will create new ones.

#60 ara baliozian

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Posted 26 October 2001 - 08:34 AM

NOTES / COMMENTS
*****************************
Just because I think against myself it does not follow I am anti-myself;
and just because I am critical of Armenians, it does not follow I am
anti-Armenian.
***
Speaking of anti-Armenian: I once met a born-again Armenian-American in
his seventies who thought Armenians were evil and he hated the Turks not
because they had tried to exterminate us but because they had failed to
do so. Now, that’s what I call anti-Armenian. And if you think this
Armenian was an anomaly, think again and consider the fact that the
overwhelming majority of Armenians today prefer to stay away from their
fellow Armenians.
***
We preach dialogue but practice monologue. We preach brotherhood but
practice Cain-Abelism. Our eleventh silent commandment: Preach positive,
practice negative.
***
We are so damn insecure that the possibility of being wrong scares the
hell out of us. The Pope may admit errors of judgment but we prefer to
emulate far superior role models like Stalin and Suleiman the Magnificent




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