BY ARA PAPIAN
Apologists for the Armenia-Turkey protocols denied all the warnings that there would be negative effects on the Armenian Genocide recognition process, while I, alongwith many others, foresaw that negative consequences would manifest themselves even in those countries that have already recognized the Armenian Genocide. Unfortunately, that turned out to be the case.
Canada is one of those few countries where both the parliament (in 2002 and 2004), as well as the cabinet (in 2006) have recognized the Armenian Genocide. Consequently, since 2004, no self-respecting member of the media would ever publish or broadcast any article or program denying the Armenian Genocide. Moreover, when, in February of 2006, as a reaction to my mentioning the Armenian Genocide as part of a farewell interview to the influential Embassy magazine, the ambassadors of Turkey and Azerbaijan complained, the editor of that periodical responded, without any intervention on my part, that, “the fact of the genocide cannot be disputed, as it is not subject to any doubts”. Clear and precise.
And what do we have now? Only ten days after signing the protocols, the very same Embassy magazine (on the 21st of October, 2009) published an article by Gwynne Dyer, where it is said that, “the Armenians back home have made a deal … [which] create a joint historical commission to determine what actually happened in 1915”. The author’s concluding remarks of the article state that, “It was not a genocide…”. And this in Canada, which has recognised the Armenian Genocide. As people on the streets say, we have messed with Canada, and she will not forgive us. People don’t forgive those who mess around with them, even in international relations.
And now for yet another prediction. After the protocols get ratified (God forbid), it would mean legally doubting the Armenian Genocide (please save your arguments for the Canadian courts), upon which the Canadian courts will be filled with applications against the prior governmental declarations for having “insulted honour and dignity”, seeing as we have insulted the Turkish state – and, of course, Canadian citizens of Turkish descent – in a yet-to-be-proven crime (genocide), subject to discussion by some sub-commission.
Since the Canadian court system provides for monetary compensation with regards to moral damages, I would therefore like to call for an extra line in next year’s state budget of the Republic of Armenia, of a few hundred million dollars (nothing less), to pay for moral damages. Ultimately, we are the ones who are going to billed for these complaints.