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06 04 2008 - Column from: Jabarian, Sassunian and Disinformation By RFE/RL
1) Jabarian's Apr. 4 Column
Ter-Petrossyan's Glendale Surrogates Reject Dialog
Armenia Fends Off Three-Pronged Assault on her Sovereignty
2) Sassounian's Mar. 31 Column
A Lesson for Azerbaijan on
How To Win a Vote and Lose a Cause
3) Disinformation By RFE/RL

Ter-Petrossyan's Glendale Surrogates Reject Dialog

Over 200 community members attended and actively participated in a free Intellectual Forum on the post-February 19 presidential election events in Armenia. This unique, first-of-its-kind event intended to create a forum of open discussions between the various groups regarding the importance of stability and security of the independent Armenian state. The event took place at the Glendale Central Library, and was organized by a group of Armenian intellectuals in Los Angeles.

Several days before the
event, invitations were mailed and e-mailed to all concerned groups. The result: the number of the supporters in attendance of the failed presidential candidate Levon Ter-Petrossyan - nearly 8% - was dwarfed by the non-partisan supporters of stability and security of the Armenian state - with over 90% of the participants.

Dr. Edward Azizian delivered the opening remarks. He outlined the current political climate in Armenia and the Diaspora and then declared that according to the rules set by the organizers, anybody who was interested in delivering remarks was free to register with the volunteer secretary and wait for his/her turn to speak.

Regardless of the registrants'
political orientation or alliance, all were free to participate. The second ground rule was that each registered speaker was allotted three minutes. The third: anybody that interfered with or disrupted the free speech of any speaker would be ejected from the conference hall. To the credit of the local law enforcement authorities, several members of the Glendale police force were stationed outside the hall in order to maintain the peace, and to apprehend if need be, the disturbers of law and order.

Several speakers condemned candidate Ter-Petrossyan for igniting the riots in Yerevan. They pointedly criticized pro-Ter-Petrossyan supporters for making a major misrepresentation in Washington DC by presenting to the U.S. State Dept. fraudulent petition signatures and for boasting to have "the authority to speak on behalf of Los
Angeles Armenians."

The speakers poignantly condemned the pre-meditated televised disinformation campaign by certain Ter-Petrossyan cohorts in Los Angeles. They also demanded that these wrongdoers be brought to justice by way of being held accountable for their perfidious acts.

Furthermore, they expressed deep disappointment for Ter-Petrossyan’s supporters’ refusal to participate in any kind of dialog, noting that this was in line with Ter-Petrossyan's rejection of dialogue with any and all competitors in the Armenian political arena.

On the other hand, there were individuals in attendance who were previously misled by Ter-Petrossyan. Although they continued to have legitimate complaints about social and economic issues in Armenia, they privately expressed relief to this writer for having freed themselves from the yoke of misleading anti-Armenia propaganda.

Among the speakers and/or audience were several active community members such as Dr. Noobar Janoian (Author, Medical Practitioner), Appo Jabarian (Managing Editor, USA Armenian Life and Hye Kiank Armenian Weekly; TV commentator), Hakob Mkrtchyan (Kamarak newspaper), Roza Arvahi (Writer, Doctor, Biochemical Engineer), Arthur Armen (Writer), Haig Aharonian (Producer/General Manager New Vision TV), Dr. Stepan Markarian (Activist, Dentist), Prof. Sona Haroutunian (Armenian Studies Chair at the
University of Venice, Italy; Author of several books), Arushan Badasyan (Computer Engineer, Veteran Commander in the Artsakh Liberation War), Gayane Varteressian (Artist, Businesswoman), Kevork Farajian (Activist), and many others.

The organizers of the Forum must be commended for their timely effort to create a genuine dialogue. By successfully completing a project like this, the Los Angeles Armenian community made an important contribution toward creating a culture of open communication and reconciliation despite severe differences between the various groups that make up the Armenian political landscape.

They also set an example of breaking through the political barriers
and coalescing around healthier ideas that can help Armenia consolidate her existence, and assist her in further fueling her journey toward stability, security and prosperity.

Armenia Fends Off Three-Pronged Assault on her Sovereignty
Not even major powers such as Russia, China and the United States, which have a tremendous amount of human and financial resources, can withstand uninterrupted treasonous assaults from within, let alone a fledgling state like Armenia. But to their credit, Armenians have collectively fended off a three-pronged assault on their sovereignty.

The first assault is none
other than the attempted overthrow by Ter-Petrossyan supporters of the democratically elected government of President Robert Kocharian on March 1.

The second is the aggression by Azerbaijan's military forces which was defeated by the Armenian defense forces on March 4.

The third was the now-defeated UN General Assembly Resolution sponsored by Azerbaijan, demanding the "withdrawal or Armenian forces from the 'occupied territories.’" The resolution was astonishingly derailed by several important UN member-states, dealing Azerbaijan a serious political setback on the international scene. (Please see the following column by Harut Sassounian, the Publisher of The California Courier
and Senior Contributor to USA Armenian Life).

There is no doubt that the bulk of the Armenian people in Armenia-Artsakh and the Diaspora is in solemn solidarity with the newly reborn and now turned 16 year-old independent Armenian State. That's the core reason why Armenia was able to defeat the three-pronged internal and external aggressions.

By surviving these latest series of severe threats, Armenia has sent a loud and clear message to her two arch enemies -- Turkey in the West and Azerbaijan in the East -- that Armenia's right to exist is far more superior than any Turkish ploy to destroy her from within or any Turkic/Azeri attempt to assault her from the outside.


A Lesson for Azerbaijan on How
To Win a Vote and Lose a Cause

By Harut Sassounian,
Publisher, The California Courier

The UN General Assembly adopted a resolution on March 14 reaffirming the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, reiterating the right of return of internally displaced Azerbaijanis, and calling for withdrawal of Armenian forces from "occupied territories."

Since the resolution was proposed by Azerbaijan and opposed by Armenia, one would have assumed that Baku would be elated with the outcome of the vote, while Yerevan would be licking its wounds. In reality, neither Azerbaijan nor Armenia was happy with the result.

Azerbaijan was displeased for several reasons. To begin with, just 20% of UN member states (39 out of 193) voted in favor of the Azeri resolution. Most of the states supporting the resolution were fellow Muslim countries (28 out of 39). Even then, less than half (28 out of 57) of the states belonging to the Organization of the Islamic Conference voted with Azerbaijan, despite intensive lobbying and threats by Baku not to sell oil and gas to countries not backing the resolution.

Azerbaijan was also displeased that 100 UN member states abstained and 47 others were absent during the vote. Azeri officials were even more unhappy that among the 7 states voting against the resolution were such major powers as the United States, France and Russia -- the three
co-chairs of the Minsk Group of mediators on the Artsakh conflict. Matthew Bryza, the US co-chair of the Minsk Group, defended the US vote against Azerbaijan by stating that the resolution was "one-sided" and that it "did not reflect the fair and balanced nature of the [Minsk Group] proposal on the table." The Azeri Press Agency (APA) claimed that the U.S., France and Russia not only voted against the resolution, but also actively lobbied against its adoption. Mr. Bryza disclosed in an interview with the APA that he had cautioned Azeri officials not to proceed with the resolution.

Instead of listening to Mr. Bryza’s wise counsel, the Azeri leadership recklessly went ahead and forced a vote on a resolution that was not going to get supported by the overwhelming
majority of the UN member states, thereby damaging Baku’s interests! In the aftermath of this fiasco, Azerbaijan declared a diplomatic war against the whole world. Azeri officials announced that they would settle political and economic scores with all those states that voted against, abstained from or were absent during the UN General Assembly vote. This means that Azerbaijan will end up antagonizing more than 150 countries -- 80% of the world’s nation states!

Furthermore, Azeri officials have sharply criticized the U.S., Russia and France for their opposition to the resolution, and have indicated that they are exploring ways to dissolve or replace the Minsk Group which would completely set back the possibility of resolving the Artsakh conflict in the near
future. Azerbaijan has thus succeeded in antagonizing the three most powerful countries in the world.

On the Armenian side, even though Yerevan did not win the vote and did not succeed in blocking the resolution, it took advantage of the Azeri blunder, to announce that Armenia reserves the right to recognize Artsakh as an independent republic, if Azerbaijan tries to side-step the long-standing negotiating process through the Minsk Group.

Since the Baku leadership did such a good job of over-reacting to the UN vote and undermining its interests by
antagonizing more than 150 states which did not vote for the resolution, Armenia does not have to exert much effort to counter the UN decision, particularly since it is advisory in nature and does not have a binding effect. Dozens of similar resolutions have been adopted by the UN General Assembly for decades asking Turkey to get out of Northern Cyprus, and Israel to return the "occupied territories." Turkey, Israel and other states have simply ignored such "toothless" resolutions. Armenia will probably do the same.

Finally, Pres. Ilham Aliyev’s increasingly frequent threats to resolve the Artsakh conflict by force are not likely to intimidate the Armenian side. If Azerbaijan were militarily prepared to attack, it would have done so without providing advance
warning to Armenia. The fact is that Azerbaijan is not capable of invading Artsakh, let alone start a war with Armenia.

Azerbaijan is still suffering from the tragic consequences of its last failed attack on Artsakh. Even though no one welcomes war, should Azerbaijan attack when it is not militarily ready to do so, it may end up losing even more territory and cause the destruction of its valuable energy infrastructure.

Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty's Provokes, Incites
The Crowds In Armenia By Giving

James K. Glassman
Chairman of the BBG
Jeffrey Gedmin,
Director RFERL
Dear Sirs,
I have on numerous occasions complained to you regarding the bias reporting of your Armenian desk which has done everything in order to provoke and incite the crowds by giving misinformation.

Its now obvious that you have an agenda which is to have a regime change in Armenia, this can only done by the methods you have activated through your Armenian desk.

You should all be ashamed of your service to your so called Liberty, in other words change regimes to suit your designs in the area which you have done in Iraq and in other countries.

I will never again listen to your station, its so obvious what you stand
Yours sincerely
Mihran Keheyian
2008-04-04 18:12:00

Robert Kocharyan: Radio Liberty's actions
undermine Armenia's statehood and I can't look at this positively
ArmInfo (4 April). Radio Liberty's actions undermine Armenia's statehood and I can't look at this positively, Armenian President Robert Kocharyan said, Friday.
He stressed that he respects those Armenian media which solve their problems themselves and are not financed by other states.

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