Thursday, February 4, 2010

False Opposition, Smokescreens, and the Convenient Gullibility of the US

The ANC put out a statement the other day, that included this sentence, which has been echoing in my head since then:
The Sargsyan administration had also estimated that that support would allow the administration to suppress the opposition's struggle for democratic liberties and creation of legitimate authorities and to create a governable "nationalist" opposition. The objective for such a false opposition had to show that it was against Sargsyan when it came to national issues without such criticism that would reveal the regime's flaws and endanger its existence.

The idea of a false, governable opposition is not new. But it is obvious to see for those who choose to look. Shutting out the opposition, the voices of democracy, seems to be the strategy of not only the ruling Armenian regime, but of the West as well. PACE is trying to forget that they have turned their back on democracy by shutting out any opposition representation, and the US, in its upcoming State Department meeting with Diasporan organizations, is doing the same thing.

And while the Armenian Weekly has an editorial about the "Politics of Exclusion," the mere fact that (most if not all of) the Diasporan organizations mentioned in the article all feed, in one way or another, with direct or indirect support, financial investments, or otherwise, the ruling criminal regime - is completely missing from the article. The argument amongst themselves over who gets to go to this meeting is farcical, because, in essence, the groups who are going, and the ones whom they demand be invited, all say the same thing - its okay to support this government. The argument over who is invited doesn't even include, for example, the SDHP, one of the only voices that has actually spoken up against March 1, against false elections, against political prisoners. A real effort, real desire, to hear the voices of the US Armenian Diaspora would include all points of view, and all sides would want that variety of viewpoints represented in the meeting. My comment in response to the article is posted below it.

On the other hand, a Letter to the Editor in MassisWeekly (English section, p3, definitely worth reading) addresses almost exactly that point - that maybe, just maybe, these powers that be want to ignore, want to not see, what is really going on. And their actions are not only against democracy and human rights, but in the end, against stability. And PACE and the US, and the rest of the West, if not for the basic principles of Democracy and Human rights, for moral and ethical reasons, then for the interest of their own countries and organizations, should take a slightly longer look at what is really happening.

The ARF, the AAA, the ANC, the ARS, the Knights of Vartan, all those guys, invited or not - they may fight amongst themselves about Turkish-Armenian relations, Diasporan issues, and the like, but they have made these issues (and themselves) the priority, more important than a strong, democratic, just Armenia. That argument sure is a good distraction, a good safe distraction, and a set of criticisms that doesn't reveal the true flaws, as the ANC statement said...

If you agree, let the US state department know. Call them, Skype them, its cheap. Tell them that the ANCA, the ARF, the AAA, these guys don't represent all Armenians, these guys are a distraction, even a smokescreen...

Here's the number I have for the Armenia desk at the US state department: (202) 647 - 6576. I'm sure they want to hear what we ALL have to say.

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