Friday, April 3, 2009

A cameraman and his Dashnak friend discussed the Karabagh negotiations and related issues:

“We know Serge is ready to give up the liberated territories and who knows what else, just to get the Armenian-Turkish border opened and whatever else,” the cameraman said. “How can Dashnaktsutyun be part of the ruling coalition, if it’s making this kind of decision? What can I tell someone who asks this question?”

“Nothing,” the Dashnak party member said. “I have no excuses. But don’t be so sure Serge is giving up the territories. The only way he does that is if Karabagh receives independence. And since the Azeris won’t agree to that, we won’t, Serge won’t, give up the territories.”

“In the end, I always vote for Dashnaktsutyun,” the cameraman said. “I like their platform. Unfortunately, it seems to be all talk, as nothing is ever realized, but I vote for them anyway, hoping for a miracle, I guess. Did you hear what (Armenian monument expert) Samvel Karapetyan said? That Dashnaktsutyun should be taking the Azeris to court for destroying the Nakhichevan khachkars, saying that the Cypriots have taken Turkey to court for destroying monuments in Cyprus, and have had some success. I don’t know whose job it is, Dashnaktsutyun’s or the government’s, but something should be done, otherwise we’ll always be the victim. Another thing. I don’t think the Dashnaks really want Obama to say the genocide word. If they recognize the Genocide, the Dashnaks, especially in the Diaspora, will lose their purpose, their reason for existing.”

I then asked the cameraman if he planned on voting for Levon Ter Petrosyan for mayor of Yerevan.

“Do you think I’m crazy?” he said. “You weren’t here during the dark years, obviously, if you ask that question. And you might not know about the article Levon wrote just before he resigned as president. The same conversation was going on, about giving up territories, opening the borders, etc., and Levon wrote that Shushi should be given back to Azerbaijan. Not just have Azeris live there, but give the city back. That would have been fatal for Karabagh. Our people have a short memory. Serge is nothing to brag about, but Levon came here for a purpose, to destroy Armenia, and he was well on the way when he left power. I think he’s running for mayor just to keep things stirred up, to keep the country unstable, which serves certain foreign interests well. I’m glad he’s running for mayor, though. When he loses, he’s finished.”

Before parting ways, the Dashnak, never short of humor, told the latest joke about Karabaghtsis: “After Obama won the presidential election in America, an Armenian sociologist asked a group of blacks there if life had improved after the election. ‘Yes,’ they said. ‘Life is great, as good as the Karabaghtsis in Armenia.’”

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