BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
Since it’s been a year or so since the last of these mini-diatribes about various matters that irk me due to their shamelessness, foolishness, or banality, I thought it was time for a few more micro-rants against these people and practices.
Why is it that some of our compatriots, in this case, some of those who own small businesses, feel cheating their customer is a good practice? Two of us were at a small restaurant recently, one of the kind that you can just tell does most of its business through catering and take-out orders. We ordered a dinner each, were still hungry, and asked for one more plate to share. Next thing we know, two plates materialized. We laughed it off as a misunderstanding, ate most of the food and boxed the rest to take home. When the bill arrived, it seemed high. Looking closely, it turned out the plates we’d ordered were charged at a dollar (each) higher than as priced on the menu. So, we’ll never go back to that place again.
Moving from the personal to the collective, how about Genocide recognition? Why hasn’t Israel done it yet? How can they justify their continued, state level denial of what happened to Armenians when what happened to Jews is what drives so many of the country’s policies, behaviors, and mindsets? Conversely, the new pope recognized the Genocide mere months after taking office. Of course this set off a reaction from Turkey. What nerve! It’s bad enough the murderers (see below) in Ankara insist on wasting their country’s time and resources on denial. But it’s utterly intolerable that they seek accomplices, and when rebuffed, get all huffy.
If you have any doubt about the murderous bent of the regime in Ankara, you don’t even have to think back to its early days of attacking Kurds, even bombing them outside Turkey’s borders, in Iraq. You just have to observe their policies in Syria. Couple this with the recent announcements of the numbers of Azeris fighting in Syria, Azerbaijan’s bellicosity towards Armenia and Armenians, its intensified sniper activity along its borders with Armenia, and you have a crystal clear view of the Turkish approach to non-Turkic neighbors— kill them. For the icing on the cake… read the news of the arrests of three Lezghis — a small, stateless nation living in the Caucasus Mountains — by Azerbaijani authorities. In Turkic practice, we have seen that arrests are the precursors to killings.
While somewhat less murderous (think drone strikes in Afghanistan and Pakistan), the Obama administration has been extremely banal. Not only did the president renege on his pledge to properly recognize the Genocide, he even co-opted others. Samantha Power whose book (which addressed the Armenian case among others) and positions got her not just one, but two, ANCA awards, has been silenced by accepting a position with this administration. The administration has been so adept in this vile vein that it effectively even made the U.S. Supreme Court its accomplice in denial when the latter went along with the administration’s recommendation NOT to hear the appeal of a federal court’s decision, which found California’s law (extending the statute of limitations on claims against insurance companies who never paid the heirs of their covereds who were killed in the Genocide) to be unconstitutional. We’ve got to find a way to penetrate the walls of denial and Turkey-favoring that surround the White House (since ALL administrations, for decades, have exhibited similar behaviors).
Since we’re on the topic of Genocide era life insurance, how about the AXA case? That’s the one where the original team of lawyers fighting for the claimants against French insurance company AXA ended up fighting each other. They made some pretty remarkable and embarrassing accusations against one another. But just a few weeks ago, we were treated to a news release saying they had patched everything up. Huh? I haven’t had a chance to read the 90-plus page agreement, so I’ll refrain from commenting for now… more later.