By SKEPTIK SINIKIAN
"There’s an old saying in Tennessee–I know it’s in Texas–probably in Tennessee–that says–fool me once–shame on–shame on you. Fool me–you can’t get fooled again." –George W. Bush–Nashville–Tenn.–Sept. 17–2002.
Another anniversary of the Armenian Genocide passed last week–and Armenia’s were presented another impotent statement by the Bush administration omitting the word "genocide." After reading the recent articles on all Genocide reaffirmation-related news this last week–I remembered the above quote from President Bush which pretty much sums up how I feel. Come November–when I cast my vote for the candidate opposing President Bush–I’m going to write the White House a letter referencing this "old saying in Tennessee."
It’s been four years since President Bush promised to properly acknowledge the Armenian Genocide in a statement as candidate for the nation’s highest office and after being elected–became afflicted with severe selective memory loss (Weapons of Mass Destruction–Service in the Air National Guard–the Armenian Genocide–etc). I didn’t expect much from someone who had a "C" average throughout college–but I also expected that four years would be enough time to cram for the Genocide final. It seems as though he still doesn’t get it. But what’s worse is that some Armenian-Americans still don’t get it either. And even worse than that? There’s one group out there–the Armenian Assembly of America (AAA) who not only is supposed to get it–but is also supposed to go after it and pursue it. ("Supposed to" is the operative term here).
My favorite article was the one issued by the AAA which stated that the AAA "?expressed surprise and disappointment in President Bush’s statement?which used language to clearly define the events but once again stopped short of using the word genocide." In 2001–when President Bush didn’t use the word "genocide," the AAA expressed "regret and disappointment." In 2002–the AAA praised the President for his toothless statement by saying that by using the word "murder" he invoked the same words as US Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire–Henry Morgenthau–Sr. I guess since I use the words "the" and "and" I’m invoking such greats as Shakespeare and Hemingway in my writing.
I tried to find out what the AAA reaction was to the President’s statement in 2003–but there were no press releases posted on their website for April 24 of that year (www.aaainc.org). Fortunately–the Armenian National Committee of America had a press release and the statement posted on their site (www.anca.org). I had forgotten what a doozy the 2003 statement was. The President referred to the genocide as the "great calamity" and get this? saluted "our wise and bold friends from Armenia and Turkey who are coming together in a spirit of reconciliation to consider these events and their significance." (Skeptik looks pensive and rubs chin–MAJOR SARCASM ALERT IN 5?4?3?2?) So–that’s where our friend’s at the AAA were in 2003? They were coming together to reconcile our "differences" with the murdering–lying–sneaky–fraudulent government of Turkey who is responsible for murdering my ancestors and then denying the crime. And I thought they were up to no good. Well–I guess it’s fine that they didn’t issue a press release in 2003 and we can all rest better knowing these guys are looking out for us.
Am I going to only pick on the AAA–you ask? How about we make a deal? When you have your own column–you can do whatever you want! As far as the AAA is concerned–I can’t honestly believe that in 2004–after being used and abused for four years–after they praised the President’s 2002 statement and didn’t issue one in 2003–that they were genuinely "surprised." They must think that either we’re idiots or that we will understand and have pity on them for being idiots. I have some advice for the AAA that may console them seeing as to how shocked and surprised they must be by Bush’s statement–There’s an old saying in that state of Tennessee which recently acknowledged the Armenian Genocide for the first time. Yup–there’s a saying there–I don’t think they have the same saying in Turkey or in Texas–but it says "Fool me once–shame on you. Fool me twice–shame on me. Fool me three times–shame on me for sticking around–and fool me four times–its no surprise!"
Skeptik Sinikian is not a psychiatrist nor a licensed therapist but offers clinics to help Armenian organizations cope with dikephobia (fear of justice) and ideophobia (fear of ideas). If you would like to "surprise" Skeptik–write to him at SkeptikSinikian@aol.com.