Friday, September 26, 2008

Who's Healing Whom?

I was appalled, but not surprised, to read that Condoleezza Rice, in her recent meeting with SS, considers that "healing reforms" are taking place in the current political situation in Armenia. SS seems on the verge of trading so much that Armenia and Armenians have struggled for, in exchange for being left alone vis a vis the legitimacy of his presidency and the continuing oppressions and violence on behalf of the government.

So, here we have SS:
-he has done what seems to be a 180 in what he believes: in what he is willing to sell, to whom, and what is acceptable in return; once a defender of NK, refusing to negotiate at all, now he is the jubilant auctioneer; once pro-ARF and anti-Turk, now he is taking steps toward working with Turkey and Azerbaijan (so far without(?) the support of the ARF)...
-in fact, staying in power, for whatever reason - be it political ambition, be it financial gain, or whatever else - has become the main priority...
-he has used violence against those whom he is supposed to be defending
[upon reading this before posting, this description, with some variation, is not so inaccurate of a number of the members of the coalition government]

In the 1960's there was a man in the US who had a similar story. Before I go on, I will state up front that I am not saying this is identical or even a great parallel (and I can think of many differences offhand), but it came to mind, so I thought I'd put it out there...
- a man who was the first judge who referred to a specific African American lawyer in the court room with the respectful prefix "Mister," but later was one of the most segregationist Governor's known in the US. He may as well have created the Jim Crow laws himself. And he is quoted as saying he did so because he knew he could win with the support of the KKK, whereas he lost the first time without their support...
- a man who ran for office so many times, gubernatorial and presidential, that when the law prohibited him from running again, he had his wife run for him...
- a man known for giving the order for Bloody Sunday, where approximately 600 peaceful marchers were attacked with tear gas and clubs by state and local police.

That man is George Wallace. The fact that he became a born again Christian and recanted his hatred and racism, apologized openly, and appointed many African Americans during his final term as governor, at least in my eyes, is nice, but diddly-squat in the face of his actions, and the damage he did to the Civil Rights movement, and all Human Rights.

Not so different:
Left: Bloody Sunday, March 7, 1965
Right: First Day of Spring, Armenia, March 1, 2008

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