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Sunday, May 22, 2011




Last night I started watching THE LARK FARM by the Taviani brothers, based on the novel by Antonia Arslan, but could not finish it. Gave up after the first beheading. Too violent. Too close to home. Violence in American films doesn’t bother me in the least. I have even enjoyed Tarantino’s KILL BILL. But the violence in THE LARK FARM I found unbearable.

Now I know why some well-meaning and decent Turks deny the reality of the Genocide. Too painful to admit it.

The Holocaust was a much more impersonal, almost bureaucratic operation. By contrast those who carried out the Genocide were personally acquainted with their victims in the same way that Talaat knew Zohrab who at one point even risked his own life to save him from the secret police of the Sultan.

There is another point effectively captured by the Taviani brothers. The extermination of the Armenians must be thorough and include the children; otherwise they will come back for revenge.

The fear of Armenian terrorism is present today in every Turk who ventures abroad.

They scattered us to the four corners of the world and now they are faced with the possibility of sudden death without warning.

I will never forget my first encounter with a Turk who identified himself as a Cypriote but did so with so much hesitation that he left no doubt as to his real identity.


Monday, May 23, 2011




The solutions to our problems are not hidden from us.

To state a problem clearly means to have its solution

staring back at us.


We are divided:

Solidarity is the solution.

We are weak:

There is strength in unity.

Our divisions are rooted in ancient dogmas and prejudices:

Teaching tolerance should be a priority in our schools.

We are at the mercy of corrupt and incompetent leaders:

It is our duty to hold them accountable

and to question their competence and integrity

in letters to the editor,

phone calls to their secretaries, hirelings,

assorted brown-nosers and hangers on;

and most important of all,

to withhold our support

by returning all letters that end

with Panchoonie’s punch line:

“Mi kich pogh oughargetsek”

(Send us a little money).


Turning the other cheek to someone who is morally irresponsible

is a waste of time.


To say God is great and to do the Devil’s work

is to blaspheme.

God is great exactly because He has endowed us

with a brain with which to think for ourselves.


The Decalogue of a contemporary Moses would repeat ten times

the commandment:

“Thou shall not be a dupe.”


Translations from


(Paris: NRF, 1965, 1424 pages)


Why should I give a damn about a thinker

who can’t explain the universe to me?


A talented honest man is as rare

as a man of genius.


What happens to all the tears that we don’t shed?


A fat man parading his belly

as if it were a wind instrument.


"This will be enough to pay for your cigarettes."

"Yes, but only because I don’t smoke."


I hesitate to walk behind a woman

afraid she may think I am following her.


In the garden I lower my eyes

not to scare the bird in the nest.


Migraine: this must be what Christ meant

when he spoke of his crown of thorns.


It’s so very easy for a woman

to make herself desirable.

No need to be attractive or very young.

All she has to do is extend her palm in a certain manner

and a man will be more than happy to place his heart there.


"How are you today?"

"Much better, thank you."

"You weren’t feeling well?"

There I was, pretending to be concerned

about the health of a fellow whose obituary

would have barely registered on my consciousness.


My sister is proud of the fact that

unlike her brother she is a believer.


He is for freedom but he happens to be such a nonentity

that I for one would prefer to share my life with slaves.


To write is almost always to lie.


I don’t disturb the cat sleeping on my desk.

Instead, I go out for a walk.


If I acquired everything I ever wanted,

immediately I would feel as though I had nothing.


Patriotism: The bull from one village

refuses to look in the direction of a petite cow

from another village.


"That fellow over there is sure tough."

"Oh! Why?"

"He never says a thing."


I can’t imagine living in a world in which

there are no mysteries and surprises.

If God exists, he must be very bored.


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Thursday, May 26, 2011




I am predictable?

So is our propaganda.

On the day our propagandists become unpredictable,

so will I.

However, if your aim is to silence me,

I suggest you come up with a less predictable line.


Shahnour was a photographer,

Hamasdegh a shoemaker,

Oshagan a schoolteacher,

Nartuni a doctor…

and they were the lucky ones.

Many others were betrayed to the authorities and slaughtered.

By contrast, our academics make a comfortable living

and our imams are millionaires.

Who says crime doesn’t pay?


All that talk about cultural, political, and economic factors

beyond our control is hogwash.

We are control freaks

and we have been brainwashed to dig our own grave.


We are told “Earthquakes don’t kill people, buildings do.”

Question: How many of our masterbuilders

were charged with manslaughter?


We are told “Treason and ebtrayal are in our blood” (Raffi).

If so far none of our traitors

has been arrested, tried, found guilty, and hanged,

it may be because they continue to be in charge of our institutions,

including our justice system.


Friday, May 27, 2011




To understand history

one must deal not only with the visible

but also with the invisible world –

that is, what goes on inside the human mind,

which is the source of all conflict and violence.

Historians now know that to understand history

It is not enough to know what happened.

It is also important to know “the unstated

(and sometimes unrecognized) reasons why

people do the things that they do.”

(HISTORY: A BRIEF INSIGHT by John H. Arnold, page 132.)


What did Armenians want at the turn of the last century

in th Ottoman Empire?

Respect for their fundamental human rights,

which the Turks took for treason – a crime punishable by death.

To say that Armenians were punished

because they made territorial demands is nonsense.

Revolutions are not fought out of greed for more acreage

but for human rights – case in point: the Arab Spring today.


And speaking of territorial integrity and Homeland:

Today even Turks are more than willing

to abandon their birthplace

and live abroad where they are allowed to work

and make a living

(which is also a fundamental human right);

in the same way that many Armenians

are more than willing to emigrate (some even to Turkey)

for the same reason.


Saturday, May 28, 2011




Call me a human rights fanatic.

I’d rather live in hell where my human rights are respected

than in a fascist paradise.


There are three kinds of writers:



and academics who write about subjects like

grammar, village life in the 18th-century, and the Middle Ages.

In that sense they may be classified as

the mules of our ecology.


One of our most dangerous misconceptions:

the idea that divisions in the name of tribal loyalty

are motivated by patriotism.


To those who say I have been silenced

because my ideas are subversive and dangerous, I say:

So were the ideas of our revolutionaries a hundred years ago;

so much so that they claimed 1,5 million victims.


Only in an Ottomanized and Sovietized environment

talk of human rights is seen as unpatriotic or subversive.


Tell them what they want to hear and they will agree with you.

Prove them wrong and they will tear you to shreds.


How easy it is to deceive millions.

How hard it is to reason with a dupe.




like all brainwashed chauvinist dupes

you like to believe in the infallibility of your leadership.

which is a belief not shared by your own leaders.

that's why the Young Turks overthrew the Sultan;

that's why Kemal overthrew the Young Turks;

that's why Kurds hate you today;

that's why many Turks have left Turkey and survive as garbage collectors in Europe; and

and that's why you don't qualify as members of the EU.

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Sunday, May 29, 2011




Nations and empires need dupes more

than they need dissidents.


If “the Kingdom of God is within you,”

it follows loyalty to a power structure or regime or authority figure

is treason.


To “give unto Caesar” does not mean

to trust or to believe in Caesar.


If to expose our contradictions is negative,

does that mean to speak of massacres is positive?


Monday, May 30, 2011




Until he was ousted by the Young Turks,

the Sultan was the supreme religious leader

of the Muslim world as well as

the political leader of the Ottoman Empire.

He thus combined the power of the Pope

and that of the President of the United States.

Now then, imagine if you can,

a pope or a president saying

he needs a harem of a thousand concubines

to better serve God and the people.

Why should we be surprised if Turkish denialists believe

all politicians lie except their own,

all academics are for hire except their own,

and all propagandists deceive the people except their own?


Turkish children are brought up to believe in lies

for the simple reason that if they admit the facts,

Turkey stands to lose

several Armenian provinces,

billions of dollars in repratations,

and their mask as a civilized and progressive nation.

The threat of even one of these three prospects

would make a compulsive and a habitual liar

out of an honest man.


Because the Serbians arrested Ratko Mladic,

a war criminal who massacred 8000 Muslims,

“the European prospects of Serbia are now brighter than ever,”

according to a WASHINGTON POST editorial.

To my Turkish readers I say:

Let that be a lesson to you.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011




It can't be done.

Don't even try!

It's a waste of time.


A Turk believes he can defeat

reason, common sense, reality itself

with the same daring that his ancestors

defeated their adversaries.

He chooses to ignore the fact that

the Ottoman Empire is dead, buried,

and cannot be resurrected.


There are two easy ways to win an argument alla Turca:

by ignoring the arguments of the opposition,

and by repeating the same argument

even after it has been exposed as

untenable, outgrageous irrational, and absurd.


It is a mistake to think that Armenians were punished

because they revolted against the Turks.

The undeniable fact is,

the central authority was so rotten

that everyone within the Empire,

including Turks themselves,

revolted against it.


Armenians were selected for speciasl treatment

simply because they were there

and they made themselves an easy and convenient target.


To disagree with a Turk

is to understand where Armenian fanatics come from.


Kemal’s fallacy:

The idea that by eliminating the fez and the shalvar

The Turk could be de-Ottomanized.

Which amounts to saying,

what goes on inside a man’s mind

is an extension of his wardrobe.

No psychologist has ever dared to advance

such an insane theory.

If he did, he would be exposed as a charlatan and

his licence would be immediately revoked.


Wednesday, June 01, 2011




We befriended the Turks under Talaat

and we called the Russians our big brothers under Stalin.

Now then, go ahead and say something positive

about our leadership.


If you have the majority on your side,

it makes no difference whether you are right or wrong.

This indeed is the rock on which stand

both democracy and fascism.


Nothing can be more fragile and unpredictable than life.

And yet, we take its permanence for granted.

Something similar could be said of the infallibility

of authority figures who are more prone to error

than the rest of us; and I don’t means errors

like marrying the wrong partner

or making a bad investment.

I mean errors in which thousands and millions die.


They massacred the Indians,

they enslaved millions of Africans,

they murdered one another

in one of the bloodiest civil wars in the history of mankind,

they allowed the rich to exploit the poor mercilessly,

they went to war and killed countless natives

in all four corners of the world,

and now they educate their children to be proud Americans.


I have been deceived so many times

that I no longer trust even my own judgment.


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Thursday, June 02, 2011




It doesn’t take much courage

to massacre defenseless old men, women, and children.

But it take courage to admit it.

Not only Turks have failed on that score

for nearly a century

but they could also qualify as just about

the most cowardly people on earth.


At all times and everywhere dupes outnumber those

who can think for themselves.

That’s because as children

we are brought up to believe

what our elders and betters tell us.

But you are no longer children.

That extenuating circumstance

is no longer available to you.


The aim of all slogans is to simplify complexities

in order to convince the simple-minded.

The slogan “Turkey for Turks”

immediately raises the questions:

Who is a Turk?

Does he exist?

Take a good look at yourself in the mirror:

if you don’t look like a Mongol you don’t qualify.

You don’t have to be a historian or a genealogist

to know that your family tree

has representatives of as many races, nations, and tribes

as your ancestors vanquished and raped.

You are probably more Kurd, Arab, Greek,

Serbian, Albanian, Egyptian, Hungarian,

Assyrian, and Armenian than Turk.

No need to take my word for it.

Have your DNA checked.


If Europe were to adopt the slogan

“Europe for Europeans,”

Turkey would be saddled with many more garbage collectors

than it needs; and providing for them

would probably bankrupt your economy,

assuming it is not already bankrupt.


All is not lost however.

You have a choice between being an authentic human being

or a bastardized phony Turk

and a dupe who believes what he is told

by politicians, nationalist historians, and propagandists,

that is to say professional charlatans

whose first and more important priority is their own power.


Friday, June 03, 2011




These days no one pleads guilty to murder one.

Instead they plead “not guilty” by reason of insanity,

or even self-defense and

a myriad other extenuating circumstances.

Faced with a charge of genocide,

Turks go one better by accusing their accusers

of the very same crime

on the grounds that they may succeed

in raising a reasonable doubt in the mind

of a single member of the jury

who may well be a Turcophile

or even a murderer.

So far this tactic has worked.

The question is: can it work forever?

At this point three apposite quotations come to mind:

“No banquet under heaven is endless;”

“You can’t fool all the people all the time;” and

“A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.”


Saturday, June 04, 2011




When I posted comments critical of Armenians

I acquired several Turkish readers and friends.

When I gave the Turks the same treatment

I lost all of them.

Easy come, easy go.


When we served Turkish interests,

we were their “most loyal subjects.”

When we asserted our human rights,

we became their mortal enemies

and were targeted for extermination.


Today they abuse the human rights not only of Kurds

but also Turks -- among them

Pamuk (a Nobel-Prizer winner)

and Akcam (an internationally respected historian),

all in the name of Kemal Ataturk,

thus exposing him for what he really was –

a typical product of his time

and a fascist no different from Mussolini and Hitler.

But whereas Italy and Germany have renounced their past

and are now democracies,

Turkey continues to cling to its moreally bankrupt

and criminal values, principles, ideology, and methods.

The fez and shalvar have been outlawed

but Ottomanism continues to rule.

The Sultan is dead.

Long live Sultanism.

Plus ca change, plus c’est la meme sh*t.


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Sunday, June 05, 2011




To a sensitive person

life is a traumatic experience.


A line from a film

(I no longer remember which):

“Mortal wounds don’t hurt.”


Three arguments against nationalism:

(1)“I only know the skin of the earth /

And that it has no name” (Pablo Neruda).

(2) If God is our Father,

all men are brothers.

(3)The alternative to nationalism is war

and the massacre of defenseless civilians.


Because I refuse to say “Yes, sir!”

they call me arrogant.

It never even occurs to them

to consider the possibility that

arrogance may also be defined as a need

to hear the words “Yes, sir!”

when the more appropriate response would be

“No, sir!”


Just remembered the source of the line

about mortal wounds: Otto Preminger’s EXODUS.


Monday, June 06, 2011




Where others say “Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition,”

we say “Lord have mercy and drop your pants.”


If the majority rules and the majority is dumb –

I will let you draw your own conclusions.


The regime in Yerevan cannot be toppled

because it has Russian support.

The regime in the Diaspora is so diffuse and fragmented

that it survives as a shadow – visible but untouchable.


Like all authoritarian structures,

both regimes share one important feature in common:

they are intolerant of dissent.

They have systematically alienated and silenced

the intellectual class to such a degree that

even the Turks are ahead of us in literary achievements.


Even the Turks!

I can’t imagine a worse insult to our diginity as a nation.

As for our foreign policy:

it can be summed up in three monosyllables:

Turks, Turks, and Turks.


Speaking of leadership:

The stupidity of Turkish leadership

is surpassed only by its cruelty.


Turks deny the reality of the Genocide

even as they violate the human rightrs of the Kurds.

And having done so

they expect the European Union to believe

they are a democracy.

Which may suggest either their IQ is negative

or they don’t know the meaning of the word.


Tuesday, June 07, 2011




In the Old Testament, God orders the Jews

to exterminate not only their enemies

but also the cattle that belongs to them.

(For more on this subject,

see Bertrand Russell’s WHY I AM NOT A CHRISTIAN.)


After agreeing that God is our Father,

“people of the Book”

(Jews, Christians, and Muslims)

proceed to massacre one another

in the name of God.

Explain that to me, if you can.


Peguy was a devout Catholic

and Sartre a dogmatic atheist.

I love both for their honesty.

Honest men can also disagree

and even contradict one another.


Chekhov said he did not know the answer

to the most important question,

and if he said he did

he would be fooling his readers.


Talk of God or gods has been around

for much longer than organized religions,

all of which assert a monopoly on the subject.


Nietzsce said organized religions are based on myths

very similar to those of ancient civilizations.


“Men cannot create a single worm,

yet he has created ten thousand gods.”

I no longer remember the source of this quotation

which I consider to be one of the most insightful observations

on the subject.


A thousand Gothic cathedrals

and as many golden-domed mosques or temples

do not and cannot prove the existence of God,

only the powerful hold that myths have

on the minds of men, and the overwhelming need

to unbderstand and explain

that which is destined to remain incomprehensible


Myths are neither lies nor truths.

At best they may be said to be half-lies or half-truths;

and in that sense they are an expression

of man’s insatiable hunger

and blind acceptance of propaganda.


Wednesday, June 08, 2011




As children we are brought up to rate

tribal loyalty above honesty,

and bias above objectivity.

Who believes what a Turk says about Turks?

Only another Turk.

Who believes what an Armenian says about Armenians?

Only another Armenian.

To an Armenian,

a Turk appears as the offspring

of bloodthirsty Asiatic barbarians.

To a Turk,

an Armenian appears

as the lowest form of animal life.

To expect or hope that some day

Turks and Armenians will come to terms with one another

is to believe in miracles.

I write as I do because I believe in miracles.

I believe both Turks and Armenians

are capable of rating truth over lies,

honesty above dishonesty,

loyalty to the human race above loyalty to the tribe,

and justice over injustice.

It may take a thousand years

but it will happen.

It will happen if only because

peace is better than war,

and life is better than death.


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Thursday, June 09, 2011




Armenians are not Christian Turks.

Neither are Kurds Mountain Turks.

Armenians and Kurds have been around much longer than Turks.

And the chances are they will be around long after.


Freedom is a fundamental human right.

It is the right and duty of all oppressed people

to rise against their oppressors.

Which is what the Kurds are doing today;

and which is what Armenians

and Turks themselves did

(together with several other nations)

at the turn of the last century

in the Ottoman Empire.


At a critical point in their history, however,

Turks made the wrong decision by adopting the slogan

“Turkey for Turks,” which in reality meant

sultanism without the sultan,

fascism instead of democracy, and

massacre instead of compromise.


Had the Turks chosen multiculturalism

as opposed to monoculturalism,

they would now be a superpower

and a dominant force in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.

Because they went in the opposite direction

they are now vulnerable to Kurds

who will eventually bleed them to death

so that even a kick will be enough

to scatter the bones of the Ottoman skeleton.


Kemal may be the Father of modern Turkey

but he is also its gravedigger.


Moral I: Every idea has its contradiction

and sometimes the contradiction is closer to the truth.


Moral II: Free speech matters because

it exposes fallacies and it doubles our options,

thus allowing us to make the better of two choices.


Moral III: Even the best ideas become destructive

when implemented in the name of consistency.


Moral IV: Tolerance and flexible moderation are preferable

to inflexibe fanatcicism and intolerance.


Friday, June 10, 2011




Because they betrayed us,

they accuse us of betraying them.

Because they massacred us,

they accuse us of massacring them.

Who believes them?

Only their own brainwashed dupes.


At the turn of the last century

both Turks and Armenians agreed on the fact that

Sultan Abdulhamid II was neither

a representative of Allah on earth

(as he pretended to be)

nor a benevolent dictator,

but a ruthless, degenerate tyrant

who oppressed Turks

and subjected Armenians

to successive waves of massacres.


With the full agreement and cooperation

of the Armenian political leadership,

the Young Turks deposed and exiled the Sultan,

after which they betrayed the Armenians

by adopting and implementing a policy of extermination

on the grounds that Armenians

(including unarmed women, children, and old men)

were a threat to the territorial integrity of the Empire.


Now then, go ahead and accuse Armenians

of betrayal and massacre,

and while doing so try to keep in mind that

Turks outnumbered Armenians forty to one.


Saturday, June 11, 2011




Has anyone ever bothered to see

how many times the expression "human rights"

or "free speech" occurs in the many speeches

delivered by fascist leaders?


If you think today

what you thought ten years ago,

or if you still believe everything

your schoolteacher or imam taught you,

you can be sure of one thing:

the last ten years of your life

have been a waste of time

because you have learned nothing.


Where disagreement and dissent

are classified as criminal offenses,

the men at the top will be serial killers.


Wars, revolutions, and massacres

are also expressions of dissent and criticism.


The insane outnumber the sane

because reasonable men are in no position

to violate anyone's human right of free speech.


Where indoctrination is identified with education,

recycling propaganda will be identified with thinking.


No matter how corrupt, incompetent, and stupid,

a power structure will always have

its defenders, supporters, and dupes.


Whenever I am criticized by a brainwashed dupe,

I can only think of the Turkish expression:

“Yedii boka bak!” – if you will forgive my French.


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Sunday, June 12, 2011




That’s the title of a book by Dr. Noubar Janoyan:

(Jamportoutiun Jamanagi yev Daradsoutian michov).

Does anyone know him?

I would like to have his e-mail address

in order to let him know how much I am enjoying it.

The book was published by Grakan Etalon in Yerevan.

It’s a collection of stories, anecdotes, and encounters

with fellow Armenians in the Homeland and the Diaspora.

It does not shrink from exposing the dark side

of our collective existence.

It is written in East Armenian.

I suspect Dr. Janoyan had it translated from his West-Armenian

(he was born in Iraq and now lives in Glendale).

The prose is eminently readable and accessible.

It deserves to be a best-seller.


Monday, June 13, 2011





The following quotations are from Toynbee who was a historian as well as a metahistorian – that is, a philosopher of history.



“…authorities are not to be taken at their word, as if they were infallible oracles of gospel truth.”


“Society is the total network of relations between human beings. The components of society are thus not human beings but relations between them.”


“When prophets disagree, are we to give credit to either of their opposing voices?”


“When top-dog sees a heaven, under-dog will see a hell.”


“…the orthodoxy that they idnetified with their own faith and a heresey that they identified with the ideology of their adversaries.”


“The apotheosis of the community spells slavery for individual beings.”


“Man is not an angel, and in seeking to be one, he deprives himself of something that is essential to his being.”


“A monument in a museum is one that has been desecrated and sterilized.”


“A reputation for scholarliness is expendable, and it is a scholar’s duty to risk it.”


“In art, in illuminating antithesis to practical life, there is more to be made out of failure than out of success.”


“There is no such thing as a human organization that can be established securely through being made weather-proof against the all-disintegrating action of time.”


Tuesday, June 14, 2011





Monkeys, we are told, have three enemies:

pythons, leopards, and eagles;

and according to recent studies,

they have a distinctive alarm call for each.

Men, by contrast,

have developed a much more sophisticated communication system,

but they have lost the ability to recognize an enemy

when they see one.


Murder in one dimension

means suicide in another.

By committing genocide,

Turks lost the ability to tell the difference

between truth and lies,

right and wrong, and

democracy and fascism –

hence, their apotheosis of Kemal.


In a recent commentary

I incorrectly stated that Turks

outnumbered Armenians 40 to 1.

One of my gentle Turkish readers

took it upon himself to question

the accuracy of my math and

even the existence of my sources.

I am now willing to reconsider my figures.


If we take into account

only Armenian revolutionaries

versus the perpetrators of the Genocide

(namely, the regime and the regularly army

augmented by Kurds and criminals

released from prison for the occasion)

the ratio would be closer to 400 to 1.

I say this because no one,

not even the most loyal and fanatic Turkish nationalist

would dare to suggest that unarmed civilians –

women, children, and old men –

could be thought of by any stretch of the imagination

as posing a threat to the terrirotial integrity of the nation

or the stability of the regime,

which was the rationale for the Genocide

as well as the context in which

the 40 to 1 ratio was stated.

Correct me if I am wrong.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011




We may never succeed in convincing Turks

that they are guilty of genocide.

We may, however, have better luck

in convincing them that

there is no such thing as a Turk

and that many so-called Turks

have Armenian blood.

One reason this aspect of their identity

has been ignored or not emphasized enough is that

it is repellent to both them and us

who like to proceed on the false assumption that

explanations are good

only when they flatter our collective ego.


The discovery of DNA is the most convincing argument

against nationalism.


All talk of pure blood is impure nonsense.


Translation is a difficult art to master

because every culture creates its own semantic atmosphere

in which words carry their own baggage.


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Thursday, June 16, 2011




Genocide: they relished the action

but are afraid of the word.


If you think we are different, think again.

We trusted Talaat, Stalin, and Hitler

but we silence anyone

who dares to question our judgment.


My most faithful readers are readers

who find me unreasonable, unbearable, and unreadable.


We are all entitled to make two big mistakes,

the first of which is being born.


Friday, June 17, 2011




A Turkish Kemalist writer

has published a book of nearly 900 pages

(copiousy footnoted and annotated)

in which he proves to his satisfaction

that the Armenian Genocide is a pack of lies,

it never happened.

Which at least proves one thing:

one can prove anything

by quoting passages from carefully selected sources.


There are lines in the Bible

that justify war, massacre, and genocide.

Eery jihadist and terrorist is convinced

God to be on his side.

Any Catholic theologian could easily produce

a tome of a thousand pages proving

all other religions to be heresies

and inventions of the Devil.


This may suggest that faith

is the most dangerous obstacle

to reason, common sense and decency,

and to subscribe to a belief system,

any belief system,

is the first step to becoming a dupe,

and worse, to applying for membership

in a criminal gang.


To trust the judgment of another –

as Germans did under Hitler,

as Russians did under Stalin,

and as Turks did under Kemal --

is to abdicate one’s humanity.


Saturday, June 18, 2011




Truth is a lie you believe in.


This morning on the radio

I heard a politician use the word “dichotomy”

and I remembered Mark Twain’s definition

of cauliflower:

“A cabbage with a college education.”


We mourn our victims

and we brag about our survival:

am I the only one who see a contradiction here?


The disrepute of our political parties is such

that smart partisans pretend to be non-partisan –

like wolves in sheep’s clothing.


Never say I have a dream

when what you have is a nightmare in the making.


We use our brain to demolish our adversaries

and our gut to justify ourselves.


Why is it that dogs that kill

are invariably described by their owners as "friendly,"

and serial killers are described

as "nice" by their neighbors?


Being an Armenian writer

amounts to being a shoemaker in a country

where everyone prefers to go barefoot.


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Sunday, June 19, 2011




We are brought up to believe

we are better than Turks,

in the same way that Turks are brought up

to believe they are better than Armenians.

In our treatment of intellectuals, however,

we might as well be identical twins.

They massacred our intellectuals

in time of war; and in our Soviet phase,

we massacred intellectuals in time of peace.


Why target intellectuals?

Because the only way to deceive and mislead the people

is by silencing intellectuals

who collectively suffer from a neurotic compulsion

to speak the truth even if doing so

may spell their total ruin and destruction.


Another thing we have learned from Turks

is to blame others for all our problems

even if in the process we may run the risk

of abdicating our humanity.

I therefore feel justified in maintaining that

deep down somewhere we (Armenians and Turks) are one and the same –

a fact that may become a certainty

when our respective DNAs are compared.


We either come to terms with this reality

or we continue to project that which is evil in us

on the other thus implying

one should not mess around with perfection –

an implication that has the double demerit

of being both absurd and ridiculous.


Monday, June 20, 2011




A reasonable Armenian is as rare

as a Turk who has not beem brainwashed.


Tolerance: the ability to see some truth even in lies.


Anyone with the brain of an ape

and the tongue of a parrot

can recycle propaganda.


I don’t believe everything I write

but I wish I did.


I wear the insults of anonymous cowards like a badge.


There are no happy endings in life.

For everyone who preaches love

there are ten who preach hatred

and a hundred who practice it.


Noobar Janoian: “The opposite of fear is love.”


Italian saying: "Fratelli, flagelli."

(Free translation: "The wrath of brothers,

the wrath of whips.")


Flaubert: "Stupidity is something immovable,

you can’t try to attack it without being broken by it."


Tuesday, June 21, 2011




When they say it was Armenians who massacred Turks,

what they really mean is that

a single Turk killed by Armenians

matters much more to them

than a thousand Armenians slaughtered by Turks.

That’s because they view the slaughter of infidels

not as a crime against humanity

but as a patriotic as well as a religious duty.


When I was a child in Greece we used to say,

“Do you take me for an American?” – meaning,

“Do you take me for an idiot?”

It was only on the day they elected Nixon as president

that I realized there was more to Yanks

than Yankee-Doodle-Dandy.

Likewise, it was on the day they awarded

the Nobel Prize to Pamuk that I realized

there was more to Turks than massacres.


I have said “Yes, sir!”

and I have said “No, sir!”

and No, sir! is more fun.

There may be no money in it, granted,

but I’d rather be dirt poor and free

than a slave, a dupe, and a brown-noser

with a regular income.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011




The phoniest line in the world:

“Your call is important to us.”


The ugliest words in the English language:

“Press one…press two…press three…press four…”

at which point I hang up.


To cover up his true status

“Homo ignoramus” classifies himself

as “Homo sapiens.”


If some people have no interest in knowing themselves

it may be because they already know enough to know

that they are not worth knowing.


Why is it that some very smart and learned Armenians

confuse anti-charlatanism with anti-Armenianism?

Why is it that some very cunning Armenians

in their defense of their own selfish, narrow interests

will voice reasons worthy of an inbred moron?


A problem is like an illness.

The first step is to diagnose it correctly.

But if you choose to ignore it,

you may promote it from a minor nuisance

to a terminal affliction.


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Friday, June 24, 2011




As long as there are Armenians,

Turks will never be able to convince the world

they are a progressive and civilized nation

incapable of behaving like bloodthirsty Asiatic barbarians;

and as long as there are Kurds,

democracy and Turks will be perceived as

mutually exclusive concepts.


Americans will never use the word “genocide”

in reference to Armenians so long as Turks tell them:

“We did to our Armenians

what you did to your Indians.”


Tell me your favorite sport

and I will tell you who you are.

What’s ping pong to the Chinese,

hockey is to Canadians,

baseball is to Yanks,

massacre is to Turks,

and the blame-game is to Armenians.


Silencing dissent is a band-aid solution.


“An insult unanswered is the parent of many others.”


Cicero: “Do not hold the delusion that

your advancement is accomplished

by crushing others.”


Saturday, June 25, 2011




I understand Turks

because I understand Armenians,

and I understand both

because I understand myself.

As for Armenians and Turks:

they understand only the misdeeds of the opposition.


Because they want to forget what I say,

they tell me I repeat myself.


When asked what had been

the most important day in his life,

Napoleon is said to have replied:

"The day of my first communion."

My own first communion was such a forgettable event

that the only thing I remember about it

is the above quote (probably apocryphal) by Napoleon.


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Sunday, June 26, 2011




The most convincing evidence of their guilt

is the fact that they have developed a propaganda machinery,

an educational system,

and a legal apparatus denying the charge of genocide.

Who believes them?

Not even Turks, except the brainwashed, of course,

who will believe anything if only because

they have no choice in the matter.


If Hitler had won World War II

there would now be an entire generation of Germans

committed to the belief that

he was a great statesman,

a progressive and civilizing force,

a man of vision,

and a warrior equal in stature

to Alexander the Great, Caesar, and Napoleon.

In short, he would be to Germans

what Kemal is to the Turks today.


Monday, June 27, 2011




Not only was he not a denialist,

he also had some of the perpetrators

arrested, tried, and executed.


For more on this subject,



compiled by Vahakn Dadrian and Taner Akcam

(Istanbul: Bilgi University Press, 733 pages, 2010).


This much said let me add that

Kemal’s motives may not have been

love of justice or sympathy for the victims.

It is reasonable to assume that

like all men of power

his main concern was to keep and increase his power

and the only way he could do that

was by eliminating his Ittihadist competition.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011




Never say “I was deceived.”

Say instead “I allowed myself to be deceived.”


To need something badly

is to make oneself vulnerable to deception.


Nations make mistakes as surely as individuals

if only because they are ruled by individuals.


What matters is not how big your mistakes are

but what you do with them.


To behave like bloodthirsty barbarians

and to pretend to be civilized

is to compound the felony.


The shortest distance between ignorance and wisdom

is a painful blunder.


Wednesday, June 29, 2011





Dr Janoian speaks of a conversation he once had

with a Vietnamese patient.

When asked what was it exactly

that made North Vietnam resist

and ultimately defeat a military colossus

like the United States,

his patient explains that Vietnam

has always resisted and defeated all occupiers,

among them the Chinese, the Japanese, and the French.

The difference between the South and the North,

he goes on to explain, is that

the leaders of the North were

men of principle and ideals,

unlike their counterparts in the South,

who were no better than thieves and bandits.

An honest and dedicated leadership

inspires solidarity and self-sacrifice in the people, he adds,

and a corrupt leadership promotes

divisions, disloyalty, opportunism, and treason.


We may now have a free and independent homeland,

the good doctor reflects in the final paragraph of the story,

but our leaders are less like the leaders of North Vietnam

and more like the leaders of South Vietnam –

no better than thieves and bandits.


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Thursday, June 30, 2011






We all go through a period in our lives

when the sky is the limit.

But sooner or later

the painful realization sinks in:

we can’t even reach the ceiling

of our solitary confinement.




It makes no difference whether you are

a failure or a success,

the number of critics will remain constant.

What may change is their caliber.

As a failure you will be trashed by trash.

As a success you will be trashed

by a better class of trash.


Friday, July 01, 2011




According to Kant,

freedom “enlarges the usefulness of other faculties.”

It follows, where there is no freedom of speech,

powers of perception and understanding of reality

are damaged.


To classify ourselves as civilized,

we compare ourselves to barbarians.

The question is:

has a barbarian ever classified him as a barbarian?


The Turks now have a dissenting school of thought.

Where is ours?

What happens on the day barbarians overtake us?


A hundred years ago

we were faced with extinction

not because we rebelled against tyranny

but because for 600 years we were subservient to scum.


As for our so-called heroic revolutionaries:

their remedy was worse than the disease.

Beheading is not a cure for a headache.


For 600 years we were at the mercy

of bloodthirsty barbarians.

We are now afraid of scarecrows.


Our reality is a nightmare

from which we refuse to wake up.


Saturday, July 02, 2011




In Turks I see all our failings magnified.


To the average dupe,

silencing intellectuals is a concept of such irrelevance

that it doesn’t even register on his consciousness.


I am fully aware of the fact that by writing about idiots

I endow them with a dignity they don’t deserve.


The unspoken slogan of all fascists and criminals in general:

“If you can get away with it, do it.”


“Treason and betrayal are in our blood,” said Raffi.

So is fascism.


According to an international watchdog group,

political parties and the media

are two of the most corrupt institutions in the world.

To put it more bluntly:

our "betters" are the worst scum on earth

and anyone who defends them

is either a brown-nosing dupe

or a brainwashed pervert.


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Sunday, July 03, 2011






Love of homeland should never be confused

with loyalty to a regime,

or its propaganda, that is to say, lies.




As a medium of communication,

the spoken or written word is better equipped

to expose lies than to assert truths.




It is only very recently that a friend pointed out to me

that both belief system and bull sh*t have identical initials.




In all controversies there is a natural tendency

to go to extremes with the inevitable result that

moderation and objectivity are seen as treason.




To exist and to imagine non-existence

is as difficult as to non-exist and to imagine existence.




Women have played a very important role in my life.

The reason I don’t write about them is that

the wounds are too deep.




Death is a privilege reserved only for the dying;

all others are condemned to live.




Everyone has a philosophy (in American parlance)

only when the line that separates philosophy (love of wisdom)

from philomoronism is either blurred or deleted.




Freud said he had no answer to the question:

"What do women want?”

Shaw said women want the same things as men.

Neither Freud nor Shaw, or for that matter,

neither men nor women know what they really want

and what to do with it when they get it.


Monday, July 04, 2011




A headline in today’s paper reads:

“Turkey officially recognizes Libyan rebels.”

A hundred years ago they massacred their own.

They now recognize and support someone else’s.


Has anybody ever said,

“I plead guilty to the charge of genocide?”

Talaat was assassinated.

Stalin died in bed.

Hitler committed suicide.

Genghis Khan openly declared:

“My great pleasure is killing my enemies

and raping their women.”

Had they been arrested and tried,

would they have admitted violating anyone’s human rights?

In their own eyes they were statesmen of vision

who deserved universal respect and admiration.


If you have the power to rewrite history,

you also have the power to find the guilty innocent

and the innocent guilty.

Why should we be surprised if

after a century of trying

we have not yet seen a single red cent

or a single square inch of soil in reparations?


Tuesday, July 05, 2011




To begin with, we share 600 years of coexistence.


They silence their dissenters.

So do we.


They confuse patriotism or love of homeland

with loyalty to a regime or ideology,

that is to say, a propaganda line

adopted by wheeler-dealers whose central concern

is neither consensus nor the welfare of the people

but their own powers and privileges.

Can we really say we are different?


They deal with controversial issues

by adopting a dogmatic stance.

So do we.


They are tribal.

So are we.

Don’t take my word for it.

Listen to Nikol Aghbalian (1873-1947),

an eminent statesman, literary scholar, and educator:

“We Armenians are products of the tribal mentality of Turks

and Kurds and this tribal mentality remains stubbornly rooted

even in our leaders and elites.”


We accuse them of crimes against humanity.

So do they.


On a personal level:

the insults leveled at me by both Armenians and Turks

have been so similar that they might as well have emanated

from the same source.


They rewrite history.

So do we.

If you have any lingering doubts on the subject,

have a casual conversation with a Catholic, Protestant,

Anteliassagan, Etchmiadznagan, and an atheist.


They brainwash their children.

So do we.


They cover up their crimes.

We cover up our blunders.


If the Ottoman Empire had been an Armenian Empire

and the Turks within it one of the minorities,

I have every reason to suspect

we would have done to them what they did to us.


Wednesday, July 06, 2011




Our greatest problem:

our refusal to forget what we have learned

from our former masters and role models.

Collective amnesia or Alzheimer’s may well be

our only salvation.


We were sheep;

they were wolves;

and we didn’t see it coming?

Figure that one out, if you can.


Were we blind?

Can we really say

our sight has been restored?


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Thursday, July 07, 2011




Sometimes understanding consists

in the sudden realization that

those you trust and respect most

are the least worthy of your trust and respect.


More often than not the least trustworthy people

are those whose honesty you are not even allowed to question.

It is not that they are as bad as you

as that they are infinitely different and worse.


An exposed lie reorganizes the world.


I respect both Marx and Freud

as pioneers in their respective fields of inquiry,

but consider their differences:

Marx would have accused Freud

of using a pseudo-science of his own fabrication

to adjust the individual to an unjust,

dehumanized and essentially evil social order.

In his turn, Freud would have accused Marx

of Jewish messianism and a total inability to predict

the consequences of his own theories

which were fated to be far more dangerous,

lethal, and evil than all the abuses of capitalism.

And the irony is that both would be right.


Friday, July 08, 2011




There are dead-end situations in life

that one ignores at one’s own peril.

Two cases in point:

our position in the Ottoman Empire,

and our present malaise

(divisions, alienation, intolerance of free speech…

among other aberrations).

It is a cowardly illusion to think that

if a dead end situation is ignored,

it will go away.


I can recognize a dead end situation when I see one

because I have been in one for a good number years –

since 1975 to be exact, that’s when my firs book,

titled THE ARMENIANS, appeared.

My only consolation is that so far

my failure has harmed no one but myself.


How to explain the collapse of the Soviet Union?

Some say it was the Polish Pope.

Others name Reagan.

My own preferred candidate is Gorbachev and his glasnost.

One reason I prefer Gorbachev is that

I believe empires and power structures in general

are not killed, they commit suicide.

Which is what we have been doing –

death by a thousand self-inflicted cuts.


Saturday, July 09, 2011




You want to know what Turks are really like?

Be an Armenian.

You want to know what Armenians are really like?

Be a writer.



There are divisions everywhere;

also sermonizers preaching “All men are brothers.”


We shout our certainties in public

but we whisper our doubts

in the solitary confinement of our souls

even when there is more truth in them.


Memo to a reader:

Either read me with an open mind

or don't read me at all.

And remember, the first victim of a closed mind is yourself.


If wrong, I can always rely on my readers to correct me.

I can even rely on them to correct me when I am right –

especially when I am right.


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Sunday, July 10, 2011




You tell them what they want to hear

and when things don’t work out as planned,

you blame it on the opposition

or factors beyond your control.

If you promise them heaven

and you deliver hell,

you can always blame it on God – if, that is,

you run out of unpredictable hostile factors;

or, in the words of Louis XIV:

“Has God forgotten what I have done for Him?”


Everyone has his way of judging people and nations.

I judge them by the manner in which they treat writers.

History provides us with many precedents,

the most recent being Talaat’s Turkey

Stalin’s Soviet Union,

and our own faceless flunkies

who operate anonymously

from behind closed doors.


Being an Armenian writer

amounts to being a shoemaker in a country

where everyone prefers to go barefoot.


Monday, July 11, 2011




Edmund Burk:

“Do not despair,

but if you do,

work on in despair.”


Separating a nation from its myths and propaganda

is harder than separating Siamese twin –

an operation that requires a team of expert surgeons.

I can’t even stand the sight of blood on TV.

I apologize whenever I step on an ant.


If I cannot convince Armenians to do

what’s in their own best interest,

how can I, or anyone else for that matter,

convince Turks to do what’s against their own interest?


To Turks we are no better than “Indians.”

To our own leadership, we might as well be “white niggers.”


They control the media, the educational system,

the church, and the community centers.

What do I have in my favor?

Only a touch of common sense – the least common

of all faculties, it has been said,

and so it appears to be.


Our tribal chiefs agree only on one thing:

to silence dissent.


A hundred years ago we were slaves.

We are now slaves of former slaves.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011




When Hitler lost the war,

and shortly before he committed suicide,

he blamed it on his people,

the very same people he had brainwashed to believe

they were la crème de la crème.


Like most Armenian children

who had an Armenian education

I too was brought up to believe

we were just about the smartest people on earth.

I know now that the very same people

who brainwashed us to believe that

have been and continue to be

the instruments of our destruction.

This to me is now as clear as daylight

and as inevitable as night follows day.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011







“Instead of deriving pleasure from what he has,

[the envious person] derives pain from what others have.”




“Often and often, a marriage hardly differs from prostitution,

except being harder to escape from.”




“The human race has not hitherto discovered

any method of eradicating moral defects;

preaching and exhortation only add hypocrisy

to the previous list of vices.”


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Thursday, July 14, 2011




In asserting the reality of the Armenian genocide

I am not relying on Armenian historians and

eyewitness accounts by foreign diplomats and observers,

but Kemal’s own treatment of the perpetrators.

So that when brainwashed Turks call Armenians liars,

they unknowingly also apply the same label on Kemal,

who may indeed have been one

but not in his treatment of the Ittihadist criminals.

The only other alternative is accusing Kemal

of gross incompetence, not to say criminal conduct,

in his persecution, prosecution, and execution

of high-ranking military and political leaders

whose actions were based on the firm belief that

they were following orders and acting

in the best interest of the nation.

Because if these gentlemen were innocent,

as Turkish denialists maintain,

then it goes without saying that

Kemal got away with murder.


Friday, July 15, 2011




Every day something happens to remind me

that I am not the center of the universe

and every day I choose to ignore the evidence.


You may have noticed that

people are more willing to help you

if in the process they can also help themselves.


Originality: to be unpredictable and inevitable at the same time.


Everybody wants to be rich and famous.

I have come to terms with my own obscurity and poverty

because I see no merit in being like everyone else.


The ambition of all authority figures is

to appear infallible in the same way that

the ambition of every scarecrow is to terrorize.


Freud's grand-daughter is reported to have said:

"The 20th Century produced two major charlatans:

Hitler and Freud."

My first thought:

Her legal claim on the Freud estate

and a fraction of his royalties must have been rejected

by a court of law.

(In this connection see also Aram Saroyan's memoir

of his father, LAST RITES).


Saturday, July 16, 2011







“It is always easier both intellectually and morally, to debit one’s ills to the account of some outside agency than to ascribe the responsibility to oneself.”




“Comprehension sometimes consists in just a correct understanding of questions that are unanswerable.”




“Every human being now alive has links, however tenuous, not only with every one of his contemporaries, but also with every other human being that ever lived.”


“In this sense human history is one single seamless web, and any dissection of it is an arbitrary misrepresentation of Reality.”




“It is part of the nature of war, once started, to get out of hand; and many belligerents who have made war ‘justly’ at the start have drifted into commission of injustice before the end of the story.”




“I do not know of any human society in which drastic social reform has not been overdue at every stage of its history.”




“I am convinced that irreverence, where irreverence is due, is one of the cardinal virtues.”




“Death limits life’s liabilities. This boon that death confers is supremely valuable, and ought therefore to be immensely consoling.”


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Sunday, July 17, 2011




There are synonymous ideas as surely

as there are synonymous words.

Case in point:

Saint-Simon: “My self-esteem has always increased

in direct proportion to the damage

I was doing to my reputation.”

Tolstoy: “The higher I rise in the eyes of the world,

the lower I sink in my own.”


People with money assume they are wiser

because if they don’t know or understand something

they can always hire someone who does.


I have two kinds of critics:

those who say I am wrong when I am right,

and those who tell me I am useless

and reading me is a waste of time.

Both agree on one thing:

I should be more positive by adopting them

as my role models.


Monday, July 18, 2011






The easiest lies to expose

are the ones we have ourselves professed in the past.




Hemingway’s last wife writes in a letter that

whenever she wanted to talk to him about a problem,

he would say: "I haven’t got time.

I have to go shit now."




If you decide to be honest

be prepared to acquire mortal enemies.




Compared to what we don’t know,

what we know is such a tiny fraction that

we might as well be blind, deaf and dumb.

When Socrates said "The only thing I know

is that I don’t know," he was not being ironic,

he was stating a fact.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011




Nemesis has finally caught up

with Robert Murdoch’s hubris.

We can now look forward

to the disintegration of his media empire

as fervently as the civilized world looked forward

to the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire

in the second half of the 19th Century.


My Turkish readers may not be aware of the fact

that at one point their diplomats

offered to apologize for their crimes against humanity

(i.e. the Genocide) provided

no further demands were made on them.

The Armenians rejected the offer

on the grounds that it would allow the Turks

to get away with murder.


If a World War III is ever declared,

I have every reason to suspect

the Turks will do to the Kurds

what they did to the Armenians during World War I.

That’s the problem with people

who get away with something.

They invariably come back to get away with more.

Which is what happened within Murdoch’s empire:

first they bribed a lowly cop or bureaucrat

and when they got away with it,

they went all the way to the top --

the head of Scotland Yard and the Prime Minister.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011




If Talaat was innocent,

why did he run away to Berlin

where he met the fate of a mad dog?


As for Kemal: he died as an alcoholic,

which amounts to saying,

he condemned himself to death

by self-administered alcohol poisoning.


If some Turks hate Armenians

it’s because “it is characteristic of the human mind

to hate those he has injured” (Tacitus).


If “I think therefore I am,”

it follows

“If I don’t think therefore I am not”

or I exist only on a subhuman level,

which amounts to the same thing.


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Thursday, July 21, 2011





Can you name a country

whose most profitable export has been war?


Can you name a country

whose greatest source of wealth has been

the indiscriminate slaughter of unarmed civilians?


The trouble with brainwashing people is that

you may be successful only with your own.


One reason Kemal has acquired heroic stature in Turkey

is that his predecessors were infinitely worse.


Wilkie Collins: “Nothing in this world is hidden forever.”


Sooner or later all Big Lies are exposed.


There are no hiding places from the truth.


Friday, July 22, 2011




In my youth I was so abysmally naïve

that I believed I could count

on the support, friendship, and understanding

of the very same individuals

who were in the business of oppressing the people.

But then, in what way was I different from Zohrab,

one of the smartest Armenians that ever lived,

who thought he could count on Talaat’s friendship?


Man will always invent an ideology or belief system

that will justify criminal conduct.

Which amounts to saying,

he will find a way to speak in the name of god

and do the devil’s work.


Saturday, July 23, 2011




A headline in my morning paper reads:

“James Murdoch on hot seat.”

And why?

Because he may have lied

when he testified before a parliamentary committee.

So what else is new?

Everybody lies – from muggers to presidents.

If everybody lies, it follows,

nobody sees anything wrong in lying to liars.

That’s why Turks have been lying for a hundred years

and they will continue to lie to the end of time.


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Sunday, July 24, 2011




Power means first and foremost

the power to justify that which cannot be justified –

from dividing the community

to committing genocide.


Power allows the insane to accuse the sane of insanity.


My answer to those who question my habit

of posting critical comments on open forums:

If I am wrong, they can correct me.

If they are wrong, they should correct themselves.


Power means to view disagreement as a capital offense.


The first and most important measure

of all powerful men

is to convince their adversaries that

the best defense is subservience.

But I believe Dostoevsky when he said

even the weakest man

has unimaginable reserves of power within him.


There are no new ideas.

All we can do is to mention the forgotten,

to emphasize the marginalized,

and to expose the absurd.


Monday, July 25, 2011




Life is unpredictable and trying to predict it

is a waste of time.


Never underestimate the barbarism of the civilized.


Sometimes our worst enemy is one of us.


There is a Turk in all of us –

and Norwegians are no exception.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011




How to win an argument Turkish style:

Make yourself so absurd and repellent that

your adversary will give up in disgust.


I look forward to the day

when I will be objective enough to view Armenia

as a foreign country and my fellow Armenians

not as my brothers but as foreigners.


“He doesn’t believe what he says”

is better than “he believes what he says.”

I’d much rather deal with a liar

than with someone willing to kill and die

in the name of a belief system –

that is to say, a Big Lie.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011




When asked why he hates Germans,

a Jew is reported to have replied:

“I have seven million reasons.”

We may not have as many reasons,

but we have another: we are called liars

because we dare to speak the truth.


Talaat appears to be the role model of all war criminals.

First they run away to a foreign country

(as I write there are thirty of them in Canada alone)

and when they are identified, arrested, and brought to justice,

they plead not guilty.

They see themselves as patriots, not killers.

Like wolves, they view the slaughter of sheep

as an inevitable result of evolution.


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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.


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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.


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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.


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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…”


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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.”


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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




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.


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