Armenian-Americans are fuming over Amb. Yovanovitch's U.S. visits

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By Armenian Realist

on June 15th, 2009 at 2:13 pm

Be careful. Something is up. In my view, the Ambassador is making this visit to sucker the Armenian American community into going along with some concessions the US wants Armenia to make or, to try and smooth over the tremendous ill feelings Obama created in the Armenian community when he broke his repeated solemn pledges to acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. Do not trust the U.S. Administration and especially the State Department. They have betrayed Armenia repeatedly to the point of near extinction for the sake of commercial interests. They never even sent one soldier to aid Armenia in 1918-1920 notwithstanding that Armenia was their so called “Little Ally”. We must learn, once and for all, to rely on ourselves and stop trying to use other peoples’ hands to pull our chestnuts out of the fire. I am also curious about something, does anyone know if the good Ambassador has even visited the Armenian Genocide Museum in Armenia? If not, I will be sure to ask her myself.

By Random ArmenIAN

on June 16th, 2009 at 12:03 am

We have a history of being easily appeased.

By Karnig

on June 17th, 2009 at 7:59 pm

I’m sure she’s dreading the whole ordeal. But I do NOT sympathize with her at all.

If she has one ounce of respect for Armenian Americans and truly admires American principles of truth and justice she would brazenly condemn her own government during this visit for their shameless denial of the Armenian Genocide. It’s that simple.

Ask yourself this. Would you represent a country in any diplomatic capacity if your government consciously and blatantly denied the Holocaust when they know the truth.

Could you honestly live with yourself for one day?

Obviously, resignation won’t solve the problem but it would send a crystal clear message to the good ol boys and girls of the State Department that their hoax is coming to an end.

By Gor

on June 21st, 2009 at 12:48 pm

In Boston, on Friday night, people were VERY tough on Amb. Y, as expected, which is not surprising since we know that some other even more populous and supposedly hardline Armenian communities (I won’t mention their names) are sometimes pushovers and … well, I won’t dwell on that point.

The Boston people, mostly *neutrals* and non-affiliated I should note, stated their beliefs to Amb. Y., with a question added at the end. This is the way to do it since, of course, she did not truly “answer” any question, as we would expect. She is a diplomat, after all.

This is what she was “asked”:

  1. Why is RNK not a direct participant in the OSCE talks? (She said because that is what the ROA government agreed to years ago under Kocharian).
  2. America’s strategic goal is to get into the Caucasus and get at the oil and gas ? (She said oil and gas were part of US interests, yes, but that the US really just wanted everyone in the Caucasus to be happy and hug and kiss the US).
  3. She was asked about the joint historical commission proposal and whether slavery or the Holocaust occurred should be subject to similar joint commissions. (She said that the US just wanted Armenia and Turkey to talk and be nice to each other, and that she thought Armenians and Turks should have more contact with one another so that they learn they have more in common than there are differences. It was touching, Everyone in the audience started to cry and sob uncontrollably with these comforting, humane words from this saint of a woman).
  4. She was asked why some of Armenia’s MCC grants are being withheld by the US when Georgia and Azerbaijan’s human rights record is worse. (She said Armenia agreed to certain standards and should abide by them.)
  5. She was challenged, on the other hand, as to whether US criticism of Armenia depends on whether President Sargsian “plays ball” with the US and upholds US interests. I forget what she said, and does it even matter what she said?

She was NOT asked whether she, as a Jew, whose family reportedly experienced the Holocaust, would mind if the US did not acknowledge the Holocaust. She was not asked about how she felt when she learned that some Jewish American lobbying groups oppose recognition of the Armenian genocide.

She is a Princeton graduate and supposedly has been in the foreign service for a long time, reportedly since college. On one occasion she apparently pretended not to hear a question. Seems she needed time to formulate a lie – er, I mean answer.

She said she had been traveling so much that she did not know the situation in Iran over the last several days. That gives you an idea of how much you are going to get out of her. My advice is to educate your fellow audience members with your questions and let her know that we are onto her and Obama’s game.

By Aram

on June 21st, 2009 at 1:49 pm

I can’t wait to ask Ambassador Yovanovitch a very tough question in New York!

U.S. policies toward Armenia and its people are totally unacceptable!

Oil, gas, and oil. That’s all the U.S. really cares about. They don’t give a damn about human rights, democracy and economic development in Armenia. They have genocide denial written all over their faces. And, they are trying to advance their deplorable agenda by cozying up with and pressuring illegitimate Armenian authorities (smiles, handshakes, bribes and threats).

Please attend these meetings and speak out. Don’t let her shame you, your people and homeland again!

By Joseph Dagdigian

on June 22nd, 2009 at 9:03 am

Question 1:

President Obama has advocated self-determination and democracy for many peoples, including most recently, Iranians. The vast majority of the citizens of the Nagorno-Karabagh autonomous region voted for self-determination during the Soviet era according to the laws in existence at that time. Consequently they were subjected to an attempted genocide by the government of Azerbaijan. Currently Nagorno-Karabagh is an evolving democracy. Azerbaijan is an autocratic government firmly in the hands of the Aliev family with no clear path to democracy in the foreseeable future. Moreover Azerbaijan continues to threaten Armenia and Karabagh with military force, and has demonstrated its attitude towards Armenian by utterly eliminating all traces of 2000 – 3000 year old Armenian cultural and religious monuments in Nakhichevan. Yet, the Obama administration advocated breaking parity on military aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan in favor of Azerbaijan (of course!).

There appears no prospect of Azerbaijan agreeing to self-determination for Karabagh. The Azeri government has stated this numerous times. How can the current administration with a straight face be an advocate of the universal rights to self determination when it denies this right for Karabagh? How can the Obama administration claim it is any different from previous administrations?

Ambassador Yovanovitch replied something to the effect that the Karabagh issue has not been solved. I stated that the main issue has been solved. Karabagh is independent. The issue now is that its independence is not recognized by the US and other major nations. Ambassador Yovanovitch stated that Karabagh’s independence is not even recognized by Armenia. I replied that Armenia does not formally recognized Karabagh as an independent state due to the pressure applied to Armenia by the US and other powers. But in fact (defacto) Armenia DOES recognize Karabagh’s independence.

Question 2 – did not get a chance to ask:

Senator Barack Obama, Senator Hillary Clinton, Senator Joseph Biden, advisor Samantha Power, Secretary Solarz and others in the current administration have all insisted it is inconsistent with American values to not publicly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide. Yet President Obama evaded the use of the word “Genocide” on his April 24 statement. I was in Armenia at the time. The Armenians who thought the US had regained its principals now believe that President Obama is just another opportunistic politician. Moreover American Armenians who supported Obama feel betrayed. Brave Turks who are openly acknowledging the Armenian Genocide at great personal risk (remember Hrant Dink and other imprisoned intellectuals) are left without the support of the United States. Yes or no! Will President Obama acknowledge the Genocide? Not a tragedy, not mass killings, not a Medz Yeghern… GENOCIDE???

Question 3 – asked after the formal question and answer session: Why does the Obama administration advocate violation of parity on military aid to Armenia and Azerbaijan, just as the previous administration has? Azerbaijian has constantly pledged to use military force to “resolve” the Karabagh issue.

Ambassador Yovanovitch stated that there were trafficking issues in Azerbaijan they were concerned with, and anyway the military aid being offered to both countries is “non-lethal” aid. I stated that a “non-lethal” radio can direct a lethal air strike. A non-lethal vehicle can position a lethal howitzer.

By Tsolin

on June 22nd, 2009 at 1:10 pm

Our communities should have refused to meet with her. The idea that we must sit and listen to duplicity is sickening. Our precious energy should not be spent this way.

But now that these meetings have been organized and accepted by Armenian community organizations, it becomes necessary for Armenians across the nation to attend these meetings to confront Yovanovitch with the truth.

In Boston, even though tough questions were asked and Yovanovitch dodged them all, Armenians sat politely and exhibited respectful behavior towards a person who has been sent around to propagate and disseminate harmful policies towards the Armenian nation and people. It’s too bad no one brought a rotten egg or tomato to throw.

Why was the US Senate’s “hold” on the appointment of the unrepentant, revisionist Yovanovitch removed in the first place? This has not been addressed in the Armenian press at all.

By Mike

on June 22nd, 2009 at 2:07 pm

I agree that we as a community must confront Yavanovitch with tough questions. At the same time,there is something pathetic about us Armenians – and I count myself as one of them – wracking our brains to come up with just the “right” question to “ask.”

Obama, Biden, and Hillary Clinton broke their promise to us. They have had nothing to say to us about that before or after April 24. Total silence. Moreover, Samantha Power, who is allegedly a friend (even though she once bad mouthed the idea of Armenian reparations for the genocide), has also been silent.

If the Obama administration took Armenians seriously, there would at least have been public apologies, or high level meetings with Obama officials. Instead, they hand us off to Ambassador Yovanovitch.

And what are we going to do about it all? We are going to do nothing. Come to think of it, have any of you heard our part-Armenian Congresswoman Anna Eshoo and Jackie Speier complain to the White House? With friends like these, who needs enemies. And where are our “famous” Armenians, like George Deukmejian and Vartan Gregorian? Apparently in a coma.

May I be frank about some of us Armenian Americans? We are pathetic to look to such “friends”. We are always looking for ‘friends” who say nice things about us but who do next to nothing. We fawn, scrape, shuffle and bow. And for what? To get slapped in the face? In our own way, we are as bad as Serge Sargsian. I don’t see the fight in us anymore. We continue to play the same old establishment game.

Hratch says:

June 19, 2009 at 3:22 pm

If the Ambassador does not plan on relaying a message of support on behalf of the US government for a JUSTICE COMMISSION between Turkey and Armenia over the Armenian Genocide let her not waste our time with recited rhetoric of a foreign government. Besides,we’ve heard it all before and have lost too much time because of people like the Ambassador who don’t have the power nor the face to stand up for what’s right. Instead of wasting time on the Ambassador I would rather invest it in the future generation of Armenian youth who will one day replace her.

Alex Postallian says:

June 20, 2009 at 2:40 pm