Whether it’s Sudan to Black Africans (Darfurans), Turkey to Armenia’s, Germany to Jews, Turkey to Kurds, Iraq to Kurds, Turkey to Assyrians, Rwanda to Tutsis, or the U.S. to the Cherokee, Sioux, and others, its always the same game, and much the same process.
The moves involved are the same. Deportations, changing names– of people and places– are a couple of the tricks of the genocide/ethnic cleansing/persecution trade. Of course there’s the tried and true inequalities of economic and social conditions imposed by the conqueror/persecutor/murderer. And, the offender works his way up the ladder towards full on genocide if the lesser measures don’t resolve the “problem” satisfactorily.
I won’t bore you with a long list of the inhumane tools used. What I will point out is how weird it is to see an article titled “Years of grievances erupt into rage” in the March 18 LATimes. I got the sense that the authors/editors/newspaper were surprised by the phenomenon of Tibetans rising against China. Gee, what a shock that people will organize to rebel against an occupier; that people will only tolerate so much before exploding; that organized people will time their actions to maximize the benefits– think Olympics in China; that things do get bloody; that the persecutor will cleverly try to portray the victim as the villain.
And what is the lot of stateless people such as the Tibetans?? Well, they might appeal to the United Nations. But, oops, there’s a catch. That’s not an organization of nations, but of states, many of which have similar “problems” they’d prefer to keep under wraps. Clearly, the U.N. won’t be doing much in this respect. Other than East Timor (massacres here too), the U.N. has not been in the supporting-independence business for a quarter of a century, since it helped decolonize Africa.
Remember, until 17 years ago, ours was much the same lot as that of the Tibetans today. Occupied by a huge empire, silenced on the formal international stage where a government-in-exile or political organizations were our only representatives. This case is worse since, instead of being on the economic ropes as was the USSR, China is a burgeoning economic behemoth. In this context, it allows wanton mistreatment of it own people by “contractors” running sweatshops for Western corporations. So it’s no surprise that it deals with Tibetans very harshly. China’s economic prowess will also help it avoid accountability for its Tibetan transgressions. This ought to be a lesson for us, too. Turkey’s annual per capita GDP (gross domestic product) increased two-and-one-half fold between 2002 and 2007, this is QUADRUPLE China’s increase. The bigger the economy, the more other countries are willing to look the other way. This should energize more of us to get what is justly ours before Turkey becomes even more of a monster than it already is. Here’s your mission. Get one person every three months to start reading Armenian news, who had not done so before. AND, get one person to become Armenian-politically active every year, once again, one who was not so before.