About this blog

I plan to collect historical documents and articles by various authors in this blog, usually without comments. Opinions expressed within the articles belong to the authors and do not always coincide with those of mine.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Thought-Provoking Statements by Ara Baliozian

What we see again and again is that generations of Armenians have been brainwashed with stories of "genocide" and raised to hate the Turks. The resulting prejudice, hatred and racism are immense. The following words by Ara Baliozian (an Armenian author, translator, and critic) are instructive:

There is a type of mediocrity who will sell his soul to see his name in print. This is well known to our editors who operate on the assumption that the views of these mediocrities are representative of the majority. The truth of the matter is, these charlatans don’t write what they really think and feel but what will have a better chance to be printed. If anti-Turkish venom and pro-Armenian crapola have a better chance than objective, impartial, and critical assessments, they will produce venom and crapola. As a result, what we see in our weeklies is not a multiplicity of views but a uniformity of predictable and unreadable nonsense. I know what I am saying because I was there once; that’s when I was popular with our editors and my things appeared everywhere.

Ara Baliozian, June 22, 2007

(The following quotes can be found in the world wide web:)

Some of my critics not only read everything I write but they also feel compelled to share their wisdom. They seem to be unaware of the fact that I find disagreement, even insults, more stimulating than silence. * PLAGIARIZING A CLICHÉ

Our revolutionaries challenged the might of the Ottoman Empire, true, but they did so not as self-reliant thinkers but as double dupes of the Great Powers and of their own megalomania. I say this because I refuse to spend the rest of my life adapting myself to their propaganda line and the lies of chauvinist charlatans who have adapted themselves into thinking they are our betters but who may well be our worst.

Chekhov tells us hatred unites people more effectively than any other sentiment. Our leaders keep promoting hatred of the Turks because they think if they stop doing that we may scatter away, get lost in the crowd, and they may end up with no one to lead.

What if by rationalizing our hatred of Turks we also rationalize our intolerance of fellow Armenians? What if our hatred pollutes our relations with our fellow men? What if Gandhi was right when he said, "Hatred harms the hater more than those he hates"?

There seems to be an unspoken theory among us that says, you can tell how good an Armenian is by how much he hates Turks.

The problem with hatred is that it is no solution. Rather it is a problem that creates other problems. An Armenian who hates Turks will also hate a fellow Armenian who does not share his hatred.

Hatred and envy: they seem to come naturally to us...

And if you were to ask me: "What about you? Don't you hate anybody?" My answer would be, "Of course I do! I was born and raised as an Armenian."

Here are some extracts from an interview:

You have written and thought about our culture for years. What is your general opinion regarding our culture? . . .

[Ara Baliozian:] This is my answer. Since I refuse to reproduce Armenian propaganda, I have become an undesirable, a dreaded 'non-person', a traitor.

Your works were published in scores of Armenian periodicals. Why did they turn against you?

[Ara Baliozian:] Because I began to think independently, in opposition to the propaganda path they held dear.

They hate you in Armenia. Is it that you are extremely anti-Armenian and pro-Turkish, or are we, here in Armenia, so intolerant?

[Ara Baliozian:] I am a supporter of justice. As ottomanized and sovietized Armenians, we have a tendency to be intolerant.

What, in your opinion, are the views that have made you enemies?

[Ara Baliozian:] Probably because I have exposed the insincerity and incompetence of our leaders.

How does it feel to be forsaken in the fatherland?

[Ara Baliozian:] It just an ordinary experience; like any other. At different times all Armenian writers have been wrongly accused of various crimes that they never committed.

It appears that there are certain themes that are off-limits in Armenia. Perhaps in the same way as the Orhan Pamuk incident in Turkey.

[Ara Baliozian:] The Turks are way ahead of us. Just the fact that they've had a Nobel Prize winner attests to this.

Note: Ara Baliozian (born December 10, 1936, Athens, Greece) is an Armenian author, translator, and critic. 

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