ASBAREZ Online [08-06-2004]


1) ANCA Asks White House, Congress to Protest Azeri Talk of Armenia’s End
2) Representative Susan Davis Joins Caucus on Armenian Issues
3) Georgia, Russia Tiff over Abkhazia
4) Armenia Lashes out at Azeri Criticism of Karabagh
5) Khachadourians Grant One Million to KZV Armenian School

1) ANCA Asks White House, Congress to Protest Azeri Talk of Armenia’s End

WASHINGTON, DCIn letters sent to the White House and all Member of Congress on
Thursday, the Armenian National Committee Of America (ANCA) called for a
forceful, public protest of open threats by a senior Azerbaijani military
official against the continued existence of the Republic of Armenia. On August
5, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported that the chief spokesman
for Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry, Colonel Ramiz Melikov, publicly stated that
“within the next 25-years there will exist no state of Armenia in the South
Caucasus.” He added: “Modern Armenia is built on historical Azerbaijani
lands…I think that in 25-30 years’ times its territory will again come under
Azerbaijan’s jurisdiction.” According to FRE/RL, Melikov made these remarks to
the Baku-based daily newspaper “Zerkalo.”
In its letters to members of Congress, the ANCA underlined the fact that
“these threats were not made by a professor, a columnist, or a private
Azerbaijani citizen. They were madeon the record in a major publicationby the
chief spokesperson for the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense.”
Within the letter to the White House, ANCA Executive Director Aram Hamparian
noted that it would be a “grave error for our government to dismiss these
remarks as rhetoric, or to address them solely through diplomatic channels.
Rather, we expect our government to forcefully and publicly confront the
Azerbaijani government over these patently hateful and destabilizing threats.
Failure to do so would send extremely dangerous signals to Baku.”

For the full text of the RFE/RL report, visit:

2) Representative Susan Davis Joins Caucus on Armenian Issues

SAN DIEGO–On August 5, Representative Susan Davis (D-CA 53rd) became the
newest member of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues reported the
Armenian National Committee of America-Western Region (ANCA-WR).
Davis’s entrance into the Caucus boosts its membership to 132.
ANC San Diego Chapter chairperson Garo Artinian, and board member Robert
Deranian, along with ANCA-WR Executive Director Ardashes Kassakhian, had the
opportunity to meet with Rep. Davis’s Senior Community Relations
Representative, Caridad Sanchez, on July 23, in order to discuss issues
impacting the Armenian-American community. After the ANC delegation briefed
Sanchez about the organization’s local initiatives, Kassakhian presented a
letter formally inviting Rep. Davis to join the 34 other members of Congress
from California who are members of the Caucus.
“We welcome Representative Davis’s decision to join the Armenian Issues
and look forward to working closely with her on a number of issues of special
concern to her Armenian-American constituents,” stated Artinian.
“I look forward to working with the Armenian American community here in San
Diego, the Armenian National Committee, my colleagues on the Armenian Issues
Caucus, and others to help bring attention to the Armenian Genocide,” stated
Rep. Davis. “By working together, as one voice, we will help bring attention
to such crimes against humanity and stop the cycle of Genocide in our time,”
the Congresswomen added.
Earlier this year, Rep. Davis joined 169 members of Congress in co-signing a
letter to President George W. Bush, urging him to honor his 2000 campaign
pledge of properly acknowledging the systematic deportations and massacres of
the Armenian people by Ottoman Turkey as “genocide.”
Founded in 1995, the Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues is a bipartisan
forum for the discussion of policies to foster increased cooperation between
the United States and Armenian governments and to strengthen the enduring
between the American and Armenian peoples. It was founded by Congressmen Frank
Pallone (D-NJ) and John Porter (R-IL) in 1995.
Rep. Davis was elected to the House of Representatives in November of 2000
has since served two terms. In Congress, Rep. Davis in a member of the House
Armed Services Committee, the Education and the Workforce Committee, and the
Veterans Affairs Committee. She focuses on issues of defense, education,
environment, health care, and veterans affairs. Prior to her election to
Congress, Rep. Davis served on the San Diego City School Board and in the
California State Assembly.

3) Georgia, Russia Tiff over Abkhazia

TBILISI/WASHINGTON (AP-Civil Georgia)–Georgian officials ordered customs and
immigration authorities on Friday to begin screening all ships arriving in the
separatist Black Sea region of Abkhazia, a move likely to strain relations
the country’s giant neighbor, Russia.
The Russian Foreign Ministry reacted angrily, accusing Georgia of trying to
damage the Abkhazian economy, which is heavily dependent on tourism. These are
the peak summer months for travel.
The ministry also moved to reassure Russian tourists, saying they “can feel
relaxed and confident.” “Russia will ensure their security,” the ministry
said in a statement posted on its official Web site.
The order is just the latest effort by Georgia to assert control over its
breakaway regions. Abkhazia has been de-facto independent since splitting off
in a war in the early 1990s, and has close ties with Moscow.
The region’s lush Black Sea coast is a popular destination for Russian
tourists, who commonly arrive by boat.
Meeting with US officials in Washington, Georgian President Mikhail
Saakashvili warned Russians against traveling to Abkhazia.
“Abkhazia is no place for vacationing. It is a war zone from which 300,000
Georgians have been expelled. Tourists have nothing to do there,” Saakashvili
was quoted as saying by the ITAR-Tass news agency Thursday.
Earlier in the week, Saakashvili ordered patrols to open fire on boats
violating Georgia’s waters. Last weekend, a Georgian patrol boat fired at a
civilian vessel off Abkhazia after the boat failed to obey orders to stop
for a
Abkhazian authorities have warned in return that they could fire on Georgian
In Washington, Saakashvili accused Moscow of trying to provoke a
after the Russian lower house of parliament, the State Duma, passed a
resolution criticizing Georgian policies as “shortsighted and futile.”


“Our policy is clear. We want to demilitarize. We want to democratize the
whole region and keep dialogue going, including dialogue with the Russians.
Some very crazy and outrageous things were said by some of the Russian
politicians, like the fact that Georgia is infringing on their sovereignty,”
President Saakashvili said after the talks with the US Secretary of State
Powell on August 5
He reiterated that the last thing Georgia wants is some kind of
“Certainly we’re going to overcome that kind of thing and I think the help of
the US Administration has been very helpful”.
US Secretary of State Colin Powell also mentioned the readiness of the United
States to help reduce the tensions. “I think we know how to deal with it
diplomatically,” he said.
“What we’re anxious to do is calm this situation down, remove tensions and
propensity for provocation and get back to dialogue,” the US Secretary of

4) Armenia Lashes out at Azeri Criticism of Karabagh

YEREVAN (RFE-RL)–A fresh war of words between Armenia and Azerbaijan
on Friday, with Armenia angrily rebuffing Azeri condemnations of the ongoing
military exercise and the upcoming local elections in Mountainous Karabagh
Republic (MKR).
The Armenian Foreign Ministry said that Azerbaijan is using the two events to
“divert attention from its unwillingness to negotiate a lasting peace.”
“Whether complaining about Karabagh’s peaceful, legal, democratic
elections, or
whether making disparaging remarks about the people of Mountainous Karabagh
their continued readiness to defend themselves, their families and their
property…these statements simply result in a continuation of the atmosphere of
distrust and cynicism,” the ministry spokesman Hamlet Gasparian, said in a
The Azeri Foreign Ministry expressed “deep concern” over the ten-day
that MKR’s forces began on Tuesday, saying they would hamper preparations for
the next meeting between the foreign ministers of Azerbaijan and Armenia.
The latest bitter exchange between the conflicting parties was triggered by
Azeri President Ilham Aliyev’s fresh threat to restore Azerbaijan’s
integrity by force if the peace process remains deadlocked.
The Armenian government reacted angrily, warning Baku of “disastrous
consequences” of renewed fighting and questioning its commitment to peace. But
Armenian officials have not commented on the even more bellicose statement by
the chief spokesman for Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry. The official, Colonel
Ramiz Melikov, was quoted by a leading Azerbaijani daily on Wednesday as
that Armenia will cease to exist as an independent state and its territory
become part of Azerbaijan “in the next 25-30 years.”
Melikov’s reported prediction has alarmed a leading Armenian-American
group. The Armenian National Committee of America (ANCA) sent on Thursday
letters to the White House and the members of the US Congress urging
to denounce the threat.
“We expect our government to forcefully and publicly confront the Azerbaijani
government over these patently hateful and destabilizing threats,” the ANCA
executive director, Aram Hamparian, said in a statement. “Failure to do so
would send extremely dangerous signals to Baku.”

5) Khachadourians Grant One Million to KZV Armenian School

LA CRESCENTA–Prelate Archbishop Moushegh Mardirossian announced this week
Mr. and Mrs. Henry and Rita Khachadourian have donated one million dollars to
San Francisco’s Krouzian-Zekarian-Vasbouragan (KZV) Armenian School.
The grant was announced during a reception at the couple’s home on July 17,
during which Archbishop Mardirossian had arrived in San Francisco to honor
Henry Khachadourian with the order of the Cilician Knight, bestowed by
Catholicos Aram I of the Great House of Cilicia, for Khachadourian’s
dedication to the Armenian Church and KZV Armenian School. It was, therefore,
with great joy that those present discovered that the couple had, yet again,
pledged their support, and in great proportions.
The Prelacy Religious and Executive councils, along with the pastor and board
of trustees of San Francisco’s St. Gregory the Illuminator Church, and the
finance committee and principal of KZV Armenian School, joined Prelate
Mardirossian in extending their heartfelt appreciation to the couple for their
generosity and kindness.
The Krouzian-Zekarian-Vasbouragan (KZV) Armenian School is one of several
academic institutions under the auspices of the Western Prelacy of the
Apostolic Church of America.



The dust has settled and the waters appear calm again, but Democrats have yet
to feel the bump in the polls that everyone predicted from their Democratic
Convention last month in Boston. Pundits predicted that the Kerry-Edwards
ticket would make a ten point gain in the polls after the scripted and
rehearsed display of political clout that is the Democratic National
Convention–but alas, they’re still waiting for a boost in numbers that will
not come. Don’t wait too long boys, the election’s just around the corner
than three months to be exact).
Here’s why I don’t think there was any major gain in the polls after the
Convention and you’re welcome to add your own two cents. First of all, the
Democrats have no message. They can’t make up their minds. They’re more
confused than a dyslexic contestant in a scrabble tournament. The second
is that this election is one where most people have already picked which side
they support and are sticking to their choice.
Here’s a sample of the schizophrenia that has taken over the Democrats. One
day, they claim to be against the war in Iraq and bringing the troops home,
next day they’re talking about a stronger military, intelligence, and
“finishing the job right!” One day they’re criticizing the Bush administration
for handouts and tax-breaks for corporations and large businesses, the next
day, they’re handing out farm subsidies to farmers and agriculture business
paying farmers to burn and destroy their crops. The contradictions in what
say and do are so great that it’s no wonder that Senator Kerry has been
a flip-flopper.
Much like the Republican Party, Democrats realize they have a base of support
they need to count on to do the party’s dirty work–make calls, talk to
donate money. But they realize elections are won by winning over the center or
the “undecideds” as they are called in campaign-speak. That explains why the
real extreme Democrats like Howard Dean, Al Sharpton, Ted Kennedy, and Dennis
Kucinich weren’t allowed to speak during prime-time television. Unless you’re
addicted to CSPAN or you’re a feminist member of Greenpeace who owns a new-age
music store in Santa Cruz and listens to National Public Radio all day, you
wouldn’t have even known these guys were at the convention. Instead, those of
us who were unfortunate enough to catch the ridiculous spectacle on TV endured
hours and hours of dull, uninspiring speeches which focused more on John
Kerry’s four months on a swift boat in Vietnam than on how he plans on
improving the nation’s economy. In fact, if it wasn’t for commentators telling
me I was watching the Democratic Convention, I wouldn’t have even known there
was a difference in between Republicans or Democrats.
Sure, the speakers mentioned one or two sentences here and there about real
issues, but it was usually followed by a comment like “And if you don’t
me, just ask the guys that served with him in Vietnam!” What guys? We’re
supposed to take advice from a bunch of folks that hung out with Kerry for
months? FOUR MONTHS!?? I’ve had relationships that lasted longer than that
where I still knew NOTHING about the person after it was over. But the
Democrats have to play the Vietnam card because they finally have a candidate
who served in the war instead of dodging the draft or smoking doobies in a
commune outside of Berkeley.
Hindsight is 20/20 and when we look back on this convention next year, we’ll
be able to see exactly where the shortcomings of it were. But for now, my
advice, if any, to the Democrats is “Pick a message and stick with it!” And
“Anyone But Bush” is not a good enough message. Say what you will about the
Republicans, they have a goal, albeit ridiculous, to end terrorism. I think
it’s a ridiculous goal only because I’ve grown up watching another Republican
war on an imagined and invisible enemy fail miserably–the war on drugs. You
can’t declare war on just anything. Democrats are no better. They’ve declared
war on racism and on poverty in the past but their declarations have been
symbolic. My point is that even though some of you may dislike the Republican
leaders or their agenda, at least respect that they have one. And if you’re a
Democrat supporting Kerry, pray that he comes up with a clear message soon.
“Hope is on the way” is not an exciting chant or rallying call in this
time of need. This is what John Edwards told people to say when faced with
tough times–“Hope is on the way.” Just what Americans want in time of great
need–someone who tells them to yell for “Help.”
Speaking of help, I’ll need all the help I can get just to stay awake through
the Republican Convention in New York later this month. Especially when Dubya
takes the podium. On second thought, sleep isn’t such a bad idea. Someone wake
me up November 3rd , the day after the elections when the circus has
decided to
pack up it’s tent and leave town.
Skeptik Sinikian lives and works in Glendale. His hobbies include watching
CSPAN and giving his unsolicited opinions to innocent by-standers. He can be
reached for comment at [email protected].

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