The Truth Will Out: Boyajian on Armenia and Calley on My Lai

Radio Interview: The Truth Will Out: Boyajian on Armenia and Calley on
My Lai

Raising Sand Radio

Host: Susan Galleymore

Air date: August 24, 2009 [pre-recorded]
Length: 59:44

KZSU 90.1 FM
Stanford University
Stanford, CA 94309

Forty years after the massacre at My Lai, Lt. Calley apologies for his
role there. This reiterates Shakespeare’s view that, "the truth will
out."

Armenian American David Boyajian continues this theme as he discusses
the significance of whistleblower Sibel Edmonds recent
deposition. While Edmonds is still under a gag order, Boyajian puts
her claims into perspective as he reviews US interests in the
strategic region around Armenia, Turkey, Georgia, Russia and the
various political allies in play.

Transcript:

[MUSIC plays for 40 seconds]

GALLEYMORE: Welcome to another edition of Raising Sand Radio. I’m your
host, Susan Galleymore with DC Talks’ music, `The Truth,’ from the
album `Supernatural.’ The theme of this week’s show is The Truth.
What goes around comes around. Or to take a more classical version,
the truth will out. Let me put that phrase in context. It comes, of
course, from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Lancelot says to
his father, `Well, old man, I will tell you the news of your son.
Give me your blessings. Truth will come to light. Murder cannot be
hid long. A man’s son may, but at the length truth will out.’
Today we’ll spend most of our hour with Armenian American activist and
writer David Boyajian commenting on the August 8th deposition of
whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, The truth will out. First though, this
Sunday’s premier mainstream newspaper, the New York Times, presented a
headline that asked, `Could Afghanistan Become Obama’s Vietnam?’ This
is not something new. The theme has been floating around for some
time now. But this article went on to suggest that Obama’s presidency
ought perhaps to be compared with that of Lyndon B. Johnson. To be
sure, the LBJ model, a president who aspired to reshape America at
home while fighting a losing war abroad, is one that haunts
Mr. Obama’s White House as it seeks to salvage Afghanistan while
enacting an expensive domestic program. Afghanistan, of course, is
not exactly Vietnam. At its peak, the United States had about 500,000
troops in Vietnam compared with about 68,000 now set for Afghanistan.
Most of those fighting in the `60s were draftees as opposed to today’s
volunteer soldiers. Vietnam, therefore, reached deeper into American
society, touching more homes and involving more unwilling
participants. But the politics of the two seems to evoke comparisons.
Just as Mr. Johnson believed he had no choice but to fight in Vietnam
to contain Communism, Mr. Obama last week portrayed Afghanistan as a
bulwark against international terrorism. And I quote, `This is not a
war of choice,’ Obama told the Veterans of Foreign Wars at their
convention in Phoenix. `This is a war of necessity. Those who
attacked America on 9/ll are plotting to do so again. If left
unchecked the Taliban insurgency will mean an even larger safe haven
from which Al Qaeda could plot to kill more Americans.’
Then just last week on August 22 in Columbus, Georgia, former
lieutenant William Calley of the infamous My Lai massacre stood in
front of a gathering at the Kiwanis Club and spoke publicly for the
first time about that massacre in Vietnam on March 16 in 1968. Forty
years later Mr. Calley said, `There is not a day that goes by that I
do not feel remorse for what happened that day in My Lai. I feel
remorse for the Vietnamese who were killed, for their families, for
the American soldiers involved and their families. I am very sorry.’

The massacre began when men of Charlie Company, under the command of
Calley, opened fire on civilians during a search and destroy mission
in My Lai and neighboring villages. The targets of the killings were
mainly old men, women and children, all unarmed, as most younger
members of the community were working in the fields. The exact toll
of the massacre still remains in dispute, but U.S. estimates suggest
that between 347 and 504 unarmed civilians were massacred that day.
Mr. Calley, now 66, was a young Army lieutenant when a court martial
at nearby Fort Benning convicted him of murder in 1971 for killing 22
civilians during the massacre of 500 men, women, and children in
Vietnam. Although a commission of inquiry recommended charges should
be brought against 28 officers and two noncommissioned officers,
Calley was the only U.S. soldier convicted over the killings at My
Lai. He was sentenced to life in prison, and this was later reduced
to house arrest by President Nixon. After his release, Mr. Calley
stayed in Columbus and worked at a jewelry store before he moved to
Atlanta a few years ago. He has shied away from publicity and
routinely turned down journalists’ requests for interviews about My
Lai. A survivor of the killings said he welcomed Calley’s public
apology for his role in the atrocity. Speaking from Vietnam, Van Tran
Cong, director of a small museum at My Lai told AFP by telephone,
`It’s a question of the past, and we accept his apologies, although
they come too late. However, I prefer that he send his apologies to
me in writing or by email.’ Mr. Cong, who saw his mother and brothers
killed in the massacre, said, `I want him to come back and see things
here. Maybe he has now repented for his crimes and his mistakes
committed more than 40 years ago.’

In the past Raising Sand radio show, we interviewed Deborah Nelson,
author of `The War Behind Me,’ and we learned that, in fact, My Lai
was only the most publicized of the atrocities that occurred in
Vietnam. In my own research, presented in my book `Long Time Passing:
Mothers Speak About War and Terror,’ I found that there is a historic
pattern that occurs in war and combat when fear, anger, and power
easily coalesce into atrocities. The way to avoid these sorts of
events, I believe, is to find other non-violent ways to resolve the
drive for resources that quite often are behind war. You can find my
book, `Long Time Passing: Mothers Speak About War and Terror,’ on the
Raising Sand Radio website. That’s RaisingSandRadio.org. It’s also
available on Amazon and other online bookstores.

So today we’ll continue with this theme, and we’ll talk with David
Boyajian, who spoke with me on the phone from Boston.
David, it’s great to have you back with us.

BOYAJIAN: Thank you, Susan.

GALLEYMORE: You’re a Boston resident – Boston, Massachusetts – and
you’re a writer and longtime activist in the Armenian American
community. We most recently had you on with us talking about the
Anti-Defamation League denying the Armenian holocaust. Today we’re
going to go back to the region of Armenia and the region around there.
We’re going to be using Sibel Edmonds as a focus point and talk about
all sorts of interesting things that are going on in the region. So
let me first remind our listeners that Sibel Edmonds was born in
Azerbaijani Iran and moved to Turkey and then to the U.S. where she
worked as a translator for the FBI, where she was able to listen in on
a lot of really sensational information. In 2001, she was offered
another position, and she declined based on what she was hearing and
later ended up becoming a whistleblower. At that point, she was fired
by the FBI, who she in turn sued. But at the time George Bush’s
administration smothered her lawsuit under the State Secrets Privilege
act.
So let’s talk a little bit about Sibel Edmonds and what she learned
and launch our discussion from there.

BOYAJIAN: She was deposed, that is, questioned by a lawyer in front of
the Ohio Elections Commission. The reason this happened is a
Congressional candidate by the name of David Krikorian, an Armenian
American, ran against the incumbent Cincinnati Congressman Jean
Schmidt, and she is a major recipient of Turkish campaign funds. And
David Krikorian, during the last Congressional campaign against her,
which he lost, charged that she had taken what he called `blood money’
from Turkish individuals in return for being against the Armenian
genocide resolution in Congress. So after the election she won, and
after David Krikorian announced he was going to run against her again
in the upcoming Congressional election, she brought him before the
Ohio Elections Commission and said that he had made false charges
against her in regard to the Turkish money she took. So, since this
involves Turks and Turkish money, David Krikorian’s lawyer, Mark
Geragos, the well-known L.A. attorney, decided to bring in Sibel
Edmonds, because as you mentioned earlier when she listened to secret
FBI recordings when she was a translator in 2001, she came upon what
she says was a Turkish network of spying inside the United States in
which also public officials would be bribed to come along and take the
Turkish side against the Armenian genocide resolution and so forth.
So in order to buttress his contention that Jean Schmidt had taken
blood money, as I say, David Krikorian and his lawyer brought in Sibel
Edmonds. Now, she is under a gag order by the Federal courts and the
Department of Justice. So her deposition has not been made public.
She was videotaped and audiotaped. But that has not been made public.
But it seems that she did make some pretty amazing revelations there.
And as a result Jean Schmidt, the Congresswoman from Cincinnati, has
dropped four of the charges against David Krikorian. We sort of have
to wait and see now what’s going to take place.

GALLEYMORE: Do you think that we’ll learn anything more about this, we
the public?

BOYAJIAN: Well, the answer is yes. I think we’ve already learned a
few details that have leaked out. Sibel Edmonds claims that there is
a Congresswoman, I believe she might be from Illinois, but don’t know
her name. Sibel Edmonds says that she is married and has children and
that she was approached by a female agent for the ATC, the American
Turkish Council, a trade group, and that the Congresswoman had an
affair with this Turkish woman, and it was videotaped, and the
Congresswoman has been blackmailed as a result and opposes the
Armenian genocide resolution. Now whether that’s true or not we don’t
know, because Sibel Edmonds is still under a gag order. She can’t
reveal all this information. So that’s one of the things that has
been leaked so far.

GALLEYMORE: Then the Vanity Fair article about a year ago actually
draws a picture of a triangle including other cases like the Valerie
Plame case and the Larry Franklin case and says that these are all
somehow connected.

BOYAJIAN: Yes. That Vanity Fair article by David Rose was in 2005,
and it’s a pretty far-ranging article. If you drew this as a flow
chart it would be quite complicated, but in a nutshell what seems to
be taking place, what Sibel Edonds claims, is that the
neoconservatives, people like Doug Feith, Larry Franklin, members of
the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, along with Turks, are
involved in some sort of illegal venture to bribe Congressmen [and] to
steal nuclear secrets from the United States. It’s also curious you
mention the Valerie Plame case. Of course, Valerie Plame was a CIA
agent, and she was outed probably by – he was convicted – Lewis Libby,
who was another neocon. He was an assistant to Vice President Cheney.
Valerie Plame herself was a CIA agent who worked for a CIA front
called Brewster and Jennings. The purpose of that front was to
investigate illegal nuclear proliferation taking place. And it was
investigating Turkey as being one of the parties that might be
conducting illegal activities in the United States, spying and so
forth. What we have is this kind of huge confluence of neocons,
Turkey, bribery, nuclear espionage. And it’s quite complicated, but
they all seem to intersect.

GALLEYMORE: And so denying the Armenian holocaust is just another one
of the many things that are falling into this grab bag.

BOYAJIAN: That’s correct. Turkey is very much against the
U.S. Congress passing a resolution against the Armenian genocide. And
we know that it has enlisted some – not all – some of the top Jewish
American lobbying groups, such as the Anti-Defamation League and the
American Jewish Committee, in this venture. And this has been really
common knowledge for years.
It’s been written about. It hasn’t appeared in the mainstream press
all that much. So here again you have this confluence of Turkey
enlisting the pro-Israel lobby and the neocons like Doug Feith and so
forth are very close to the Jewish lobby and they’re very close to
Turkey. For example, let’s take Marc Grossman. Marc Grossman was
formerly U.S. Ambassador to Turkey. Well, Sibel Edmonds has
implicated him in nuclear espionage. Supposedly he’s been funneling
secrets out of the country to Turkey, at least he was at one time.
This is her contention. Whether it’s or not, I don’t know. But this
is what she has been saying.

GALLEYMORE: Well, she also implicated the former Speaker of the House,
Dennis Hastert. How does he fit into this?

BOYAJIAN: The claim is that Dennis Hastert opposed the Armenian
genocide resolution because he was bribed by Turkish campaign
contributors. That hasn’t been proved. We don’t know that. But we
do know that after he left office he went to work for a lobbying firm
in Washington that now has Turkey as a client. In fact, this is a
very common happenstance. Former Speaker of the House [Robert]
Livingston did the same thing. He was very much against the Armenian
genocide resolution. After he was forced out as Speaker of the House,
he joined a firm that lobbies for Turkey.

GALLEYMORE: And then we have Richard Perle and Douglas Feith also
involved, neocons involved with the George Bush Administration,
involved in a group called the International Advisors, Inc. that’s
signed up as a foreign agent for Turkey. What does that mean?

BOYAJIAN: Foreign agent means that you are acting on behalf of a
foreign government, and you have to register with the Federal
government because you’re not so much acting as an American anymore in
American interests. You’re being hired to work for a foreign
government. So, in effect, you’re an agent.

GALLEYMORE: So it’s a lobbying effort also.

BOYAJIAN: That’s right.

GALLEYMORE: Now we saw a little while back the conflict in Georgia
that John McCain was very bellicose about. Does that fit into this
overall picture in this area and the zone of Armenia also?

BOYAJIAN: It does. Georgia is important to the United States because
it’s sort of a middleman between Turkey on the West and the Republic
of Azerbaijan on the East. Azerbaijan has a lot of gas and oil the
United States would like to get at and is already getting at. Two
pipelines – two major pipelines – in the last several years have been
laid from Azerbaijan through Georgia to Turkey. So Turkey is very,
very interested in this because not only does it get oil and gas, but
it gets transit fees for these pipelines, too.

GALLEYMORE: And is Turkey the end – the terminal – for this product
moving
through the pipeline, or are they then shipping it out further say to
the United States and so on?

BOYAJIAN: They are shipping it further West to Europe.

GALLEYMORE: Where does Turkey get its oil from?

BOYAJIAN: Well, let’s see. Now from Azerbaijan. Iraq does send oil
north through Turkey. How much of that is actually used by Turkey and
how much is exported, I’m not sure. But Turkey gets the majority of
its natural gas from Russia now. The United States does not like that
very much, and probably Turkey doesn’t like it very much either,
because it gives Russia a certain hold over Turkey, because it is able
theoretically to shut down that pipeline – that gas pipeline – if it
wants. So Turkey is a bit hostage to Russia in that sense.

GALLEYMORE: And with the United States getting bogged down as we say
in Afghanistan, what does this mean to the region?

BOYAJIAN: Well, in terms of Afghanistan, you know, that’s known as the
`good war.’ And Obama is winding down the war in Iraq, supposedly,
and ramping up the war in Afghanistan. But the question is, and this
question has been around even in the Bush Administration, is the
Afghanistan war about more than the Taliban and catching Osama Bin
Laden? And a lot of people think it is, and I think it is. It’s
about oil, and it’s about natural gas, too, in Afghanistan and in the
country just north of Afghanistan: Turkmenistan. You see, during the
Clinton and Bush administrations, the U.S. was actually negotiating
with the Taliban to get gas – natural gas – huge amounts, out of
Turkmenistan south through Afghanistan. But Afghanistan’s been
unstable for a number of years, and, of course, it’s currently
unstable because of the war. But the Turkmen gas is in the Caspian
region. The Azerbaijani gas is in the Caspian region. So the United
States is working not just to get Caspian gas and oil out through the
West, through Georgia and Turkey, but it’s also trying to get it out
through the Eastern route. That would be in this case from
Turkmenistan down through Afghanistan and probably through Pakistan.
Possibly to India. And that’s what the U.S. is working on now.

So I don’t think it’s true that this is just about – the Afghan war is
just about – terrorism. That gave the United States an immediate
excuse to attack – the 9/11 terrorist attacks, of course. But now
that the U.S. is in there, Afghanistan is very central to that region.
It’s right in the center of an area the United States very much wants
to get into.

GALLEYMORE: David, it’s true that – well, I don’t know – see if you do
think this is true, that the United States often uses a pretext to go
to war based on what we think of as spreading our value system, our
love of freedom, our love of democracy and so forth. And yet
underlying that there’s quite frequently a resource war, isn’t there?

BOYAJIAN: Absolutely. You know, the United States, of course, talks
about how backward the Taliban are, that they do not treat their
female citizens well and so forth. But the United States was very
willing to negotiate with the Taliban, both the Bush and Clinton
Administrations, to have a gas line again put from Turkmenistan south
through Afghanistan. So when it serves U.S. interests it will work
with just about anybody, yes.

GALLEYMORE: Do you think at this point that the administration – the
Obama administration, for example – is concerned at all with
recognizing the Armenian genocide or is it purely politics – when it’s
time we’ll recognize it, and at this point it’s inconvenient to do so?

BOYAJIAN: Well, you know, candidate Obama promised that he would
absolutely recognize the Armenian genocide. When he was senator, he
said he was in favor of it and would vote for it in the Senate if it
came to the floor. He wrote to Armenian American groups during the
campaign. He repeatedly said that he would recognize the Armenian
genocide, using the word genocide. Also, his advisor, the famous
genocide expert, Samantha Power – she also in a YouTube video that
people can access very easily – she also promised that a President
Obama would absolutely recognize the Armenian genocide. And she had
been a friend to Armenians very much. But now that he’s President
he’s gone back on his word. He has not used the so-called `G word,’
genocide. Partially, he doesn’t want to offend Turkey because Turkey
is seen as an important country. However, I think it’s more than
that. I think a lot of this is just plain momentum. Because Turkey
really can’t do anything against the United States. It can’t. The
U.S. is a superpower. And, in fact, there have been two Congressional
resolutions, in the 1970s and `80s, in the U.S. House, recognizing the
Armenian genocide. And President Reagan officially recognized the
Armenian genocide in a proclamation, and Turkey did not and could not
do anything. So I think Turkey’s ability to strike back is really –
it’s just a bluff on Turkey’s part.

GALLEYMORE: Why is it not something that can be recognized and talked
about? Why can we not move on from that?

BOYAJIAN: I think Turkey doesn’t want to recognize it for a number of
reasons. First, nobody wants to admit that they committed a genocide.
Second, the founding of the new Turkey in 1923 after the fall of
Ottoman Turkey was only possible because Ottoman Turkey committed
genocide against Armenians, Assyrians, and Greeks during the First
World War. So they basically cleansed Asia Minor – Anatolia – of all
the Christians. And that is the only way that an ethnically
homogenous Turkish state could be established. Now, to admit the
Armenian genocide is to admit that the basis of the Turkish Republic
founded in 1923 was founded on genocide. In fact, many of Ataturk’s
advisors, cabinet members, and so forth, were members of the Young
Turk government a few years before that had committed genocide. So
Turkey does not want to open up this Pandora’s box. It just wants to
keep it shut, tightly shut.

GALLEYMORE: As you mentioned earlier, it’s possible for the United
States to recognize it. It would be possible for Obama to now reverse
the recent actions and go back and recognize it as he has in the past.
I wonder why he doesn’t do that though.

BOYAJIAN: Well, there’s another game going on, Susan. And this goes
back to what I said about the United States is trying to penetrate the
Caucasus, that is, Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan, in order to get at
the oil and gas there, send it out to the West, push Russia out of the
region and bring those countries of the region into the North Atlantic
Treaty Organization, NATO. You see, Georgia and Armenia form a kind
of wall between East and West. On the West you have Turkey. On the
East you have Azerbaijan. The United States wants to establish these
Western-bound pipelines, and it has, but it doesn’t want those
pipelines to go through Iran or Russia. It regards those countries as
adversaries. There are only two countries, therefore, that can serve
as hosts for those pipelines. Georgia, which is currently serving as
a host, and Armenia, that cannot presently serve as a host. It’s a
Russian ally and its East/West borders are closed with Turkey and
Azerbaijan because Armenians and Azerbaijan fought a war 15 years ago
that has still not been resolved, a war over an Armenian region that
was inside Azerbaijan called Karabagh. So the United States right now
is trying to open those borders. It’s been trying for a long time.
But there’s much more concentration now by the U.S. on opening the
Armenian border with Turkey and the Armenian border with Azerbaijan.
Armenians did not close those borders, by the way. Those were closed
by Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Now, a year ago, the Georgian/Russian war was fought. That cast doubt
upon Georgia as a present and future host of Western pipelines. What
country is left? Armenia. So the United States is trying to play up
more to Armenia now and it’s possible that genocide recognition by the
U.S. could be part of the formula, although frankly it doesn’t look
like it right now. It looks like the genocide denial by the Obama
Administration, like the Bush Administration, is going to continue.

GALLEYMORE: And then, of course, as you mentioned, there’s a lot of
pressure by the Israelis to maintain the Holocaust as the only
significant genocide.

BOYAJIAN: This is true. Although I have to say that scores and
hundreds of Jewish and Israeli scholars have really been quite
supportive in this respect. They’ve acknowledged the genocide,
they’ve published books about it, they’ve talked about it, they
lecture about it. They’ve been actually quite good. There is a
certain jealousy by some Jewish groups and individuals because the
Armenian genocide happened before the Jewish genocide, and there is
evidence that Hitler used the Armenian genocide as a kind of model for
the Jewish genocide. But the other thing that enters into this is
that Turkey and Israel are very close. They’re almost allies in a
sense. They’re both friendly with the United States, they both view
Arab states and Iran with a great deal of suspicion. That’s kind of
brought them together. So Israel itself does not want to recognize
the Armenian genocide because it has an alliance with Turkey. And
what happened in the 1990’s and even before that is that Turkey asked
Israel to get certain Jewish American lobbying groups to lobby on
behalf of Turkey in the United States, because Turkey felt it didn’t
have enough lobbying muscle here. So what happened is that groups
like the Anti-Defamation League and the American Jewish Committee
signed on to oppose Armenian genocide recognition in the United
States. So this is kind of a triangle: Turkey, Israel, and some
Jewish American lobbying groups all being against Armenians.

GALLEYMORE: And yet at the same time when Gaza was being bombarded so
ferociously at the beginning of this year, Turkish Prime Minister
Erdogan stood up and was overtly and publicly hostile to the Israelis
around that.

BOYAJIAN: Yes, and I believe he even accused Israel of committing
genocide. It’s very interesting because what Israel did, not matter
what you think of the Gaza situation, it threw it back, through leaks.
I’m not sure it stated this publicly, but it said people in glass
houses shouldn’t throw stones. Because Israel knows that Turkey
committed genocide against Armenians. Therefore when Turkey hurls the
genocide charge against Israel that’s when Israel brings out the truth
about the Armenian genocide. But it really was a bluff. Israel kind
of backed off after a while.

The same thing actually happened, there were riots and a great deal of
mayhem and killings, in the Xinjiang province of China against the
Uighur Turks some months ago. China cracked down on them. Turkey
called that genocide, and the Chinese got angry just as Israel got
angry because it said: Look, you, Turkey, have committed genocide.
Don’t go accusing other people of committing genocide when you
yourself have not admitted the Armenian genocide.

GALLEYMORE: At the same time, apparently, there was a lot of unrest
going on in Turkey during the Gaza bombardment. The Turks were very
upset about that and there was even, as I hear, I don’t know how
accurate it is, but the news was saying that there was some
retaliation against Jews still in Turkey. So some of that may have
been political posturing on the part of Erdogan.

BOYAJIAN: Exactly. Appealing to the Muslim street, as they say, in
the world in general. But I don’t think much of the Muslim world
actually buys it, because they know that Turkey and Israel are
actually allies. They buy military equipment from each other, their
militaries train together, they swap intelligence information. So
they know that Turkey is really not a champion of the Muslim
people. It’s kind of playing this public
relations game.

GALLEYMORE: It’s almost like a squabble between dysfunctional
families, isn’t it? Blood is thicker than water. You’re still family
even though we’re going to squabble with you in these certain issues
now and again.

BOYAJIAN: That’s right. These issues between Turkey and Israel
involving Gaza and Palestinians really have not significantly changed
the Israeli – Turkish relationship because that relationship is not
based on love. The Turkish and Israeli people don’t have to love each
other or even like each other. These relationships take place at the
military level, the economic level, the business level, and the
intelligence level. And that has not really been touched. Those are
a lot deeper. I’m not even sure to what extent the Islamic government
in power in Turkey can affect that right now.

GALLEYMORE: Let me remind our listeners that we’re talking with David
Boyajian of Boston, Massachusetts. David’s a writer and activist and
an Armenian American. What does it mean in terms of American politics
that our representatives are potentially corrupted in this way, that
we’ve been hearing about through Sibel Edmonds?

BOYAJIAN: Well, it certainly doesn’t speak well of Congress. You
know, when the Sibel Edmonds story first broke in 2002 it was carried
on the 60 Minutes TV program. Since that time, since the Vanity Fair
article in 2005, there really hasn’t been a lot in the mainstream
press. The mainstream press has really let down on this in this
respect. In fact, going back to this deposition that Sibel Edmonds
gave a few days ago, the mainstream press really has not reported
that. Just a few of the non-mainstream web sites have. To answer
your question about Congress, Congress did hold hearings in which
Sibel Edmonds testified. That was, oh, 2003 or so. They were useful
hearings but what happened is the Justice Department came in and
basically told Sibel Edmonds she couldn’t talk about these things
anymore. And Congress just took it lying down. I have not seen
anybody in Congress since then really speak up on her behalf. They’re
certainly able to. I don’t think that Federal courts can muzzle the
U.S. Congress. They can muzzle Sibel Edmonds, but they can’t muzzle
the Congress.
I just think it’s very neglectful of Congress not to do further
investigations into this. Actually, the Department of Justice, the
Inspector General’s office, looked into the Sibel Edmonds case and
basically agreed with her charges. Now that report is classified, the
full report is.
But there’s an unclassified version out there also. This whole area
bears more looking into by Congress. But I wouldn’t hold my breath.
You see, the pro-Israel lobby is pretty strong. And the United States
is very tied in with the pro-Israel lobby, and it’s very tied in with
Turkey. Now, if Sibel Edmonds is going to spill the beans on the
Israel lobby and the Turkish lobby, then Congress is going to be a bit
wary about getting too deeply into that. And it has been,
unfortunately.

GALLEYMORE: In this moment in our history here in the United States
we’re seeing a tremendous distrust of government. Obama is heading in
the direction of also people feeling like – even the people that were
so excited to vote for him – feeling like he’s no longer representing
them. We’re watching this health care debate, quote/unquote, go on
that really is not, in my opinion, going to result in people like me,
ordinary Americans, having health care that I can afford anytime soon.
There’s a tremendous sense of distrust, I think, verging on cynicism
around the entire process and that our elected officials are really
there for us.

BOYAJIAN: Yes. You know, we Americans are kind of a strange people.
Every four years this happens. We have great hopes for our President,
and yet when he gets in office for one reason or another he either
can’t or won’t affect the change that people seem to want. I detect
more of a desire for change by Obama on the domestic scene, such as
health care. But on the foreign policy scene, I don’t see a lot of
change. He has been more critical of Israel, it is true. But how far
he will get in that respect is not clear. He really hasn’t changed
U.S. policy in the Caucasus, going head to head with Russia over
Georgia and trying to penetrate what was formerly Russia’s sphere of
influence. Not that Russia has a right to that sphere of influence.
It doesn’t. Those countries are independent and should be able to
make their own policies. But the Bush and Obama policies really
aren’t that much different in the Caucasus, really no different in
Afghanistan. There is this overarching quest for gas and oil by the
United States, what you referred to as resource wars. And that’s
bound to continue.

GALLEYMORE: What is it that you think Americans should know most of
all, if nothing else? What is essential about the region that
Americans should understand?

BOYAJIAN: I think Americans are not really being told the truth about
the quest for oil and gas by the United States and how it is leading
us into these clashes around the world, such as in the Caucasus, where
actually a war between the United States and Russia is possible. I’m
not saying I see it on the horizon. I can see American troops that
are in Georgia someday clashing with Russian troops there. There’s
also the war in Afghanistan. As I say, people are being told: oh, this
is just about Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban. Well, no, it isn’t.
It clearly is not. Two Administrations were negotiating with the
Taliban over gas and oil. And plus, Afghanistan has a lot of oil and
gas. So I think the American people are really being told a lie, and
the mainstream media is going along with this. They’re going along
with this also in the Sibel Edmonds case. Why are they not covering
this more? It’s a huge story. It’s inexplicable.

GALLEYMORE: Yeah. I actually went online recently to do research for
this discussion that we’re having, and I was not able to find anything
that was more recent than 2000 and, there was something in 2005,
something in 2006. I had to do very specific searches to come up with
just the briefest mention of the deposition that she [Sibel Edmonds]
was involved in on August 8th, this month.

BOYAJIAN: Yes. A few websites have news about it. Armenian American
media have some good news about it. And if people want to read that,
just go to Google. Go to Google News and type in Sibel Edmonds. And
up should come a few of the latest articles in the Armenian American
press. And if you do that over time if the mainstream media does not
cover it, you should see it there. There are some other websites that
are covering it a bit: Luke Ryland and Brad’s Blog. I think what
people can do though, too, people should take responsibility for this,
specifically with regard to Sibel Edmonds. What I would advocate is
write your local paper. Ask them why they’re not covering the Sibel
Edmonds case. Write your Congressman. Write your U.S. Senators.
Write the President. Just a brief note, and say: Take the gag order
off Sibel Edmonds. Let her speak. Let Congress investigate this, and
let’s have an independent prosecutor look into these charges.

GALLEYMORE: And also another discussion that I think we could be
encouraged to have is why is it such a no-no to talk about these wars
as resource wars? Why do they have to be framed in a kind of
ideological sense so that Americans will get on board? I mean,
Americans are the resource users par excellence. We use more
resources than any other country. We surely know that. It doesn’t
really make a lot of sense for me, at least I don’t really understand
why we have to be protected from knowing that these wars are resource
wars. I mean, it’s sort of common sense.

BOYAJIAN: Well, it is, and I think a lot of people know it, but the
military industrial complex is quite strong – the oil companies and
gas companies are quite strong. You know, I think that Presidents
have a hard time admitting that they’re going to war because of oil.
It just doesn’t sound right to say we are going to sacrifice our young
people’s blood for oil. Probably no matter how you put it, whether
you called it a resource war, or you said that it was absolutely
necessary for the U.S. to gain these energy supplies in the future
otherwise we’d freeze, and so forth – that is admittedly a hard thing
for a President to say. So he says to himself: If I can’t admit it
openly, but I think it’s a necessary policy then I’m not going to tell
people the truth about this.

GALLEYMORE: And it continues to lead us down a slippery slope though
because then when we conduct these wars we can’t apologize for using
depleted uranium weaponry, or we can’t even apologize to the
Vietnamese for the contamination of their land. I mean, it really
begins to be a very slippery slope that finally results in Americans’
really not having a sophisticated understanding of how the world
actually functions.

BOYAJIAN: That’s right. And I also think, if I may say so, that the
U.S. war on terrorism is not just about terrorism. In fact, I think
it’s a somewhat minor component. The U.S. is using this as an excuse
to get into regions like Afghanistan. Admittedly, Al Qaeda is there.
But, as I say, it’s the oil and gas question. The United States
establishes bases in places like Kyrgystan, a former Soviet republic.
It says it needs that to fight terrorism, to supply the U.S. military
in Afghanistan.
It says it needs to establish a small naval force in the Caspian Sea
in Baku in order to interdict terrorists who may be coming across the
Caspian Sea. This was a program instituted by Secretary of Defense
Rumsfeld. A lot of people don’t know this. The U.S. comes up with
this excuse of terrorism, terrorism. And it’s right to fight – it’s
correct to fight – terrorism, but that’s being used as an excuse to
establish bases elsewhere.

GALLEYMORE: Yeah, and then that discussion seems to get subverted into
something else also, the discussion about the bases. You know, a lot
of us on the left like to talk about the empire, for example. It is a
form of empire-building. It’s just not the form that the British and
the French used. But, nevertheless, it is a system of colonies in a
way, they’re just militarized.

BOYAJIAN: I agree.

GALLEYMORE: And so we end up being a people that needs to be protected
from our own, the work that our tax dollars do.

BOYAJIAN: I agree, Susan. I agree completely. I think this war on
terrorism, as I say, is really just mainly a cover for geopolitical
goals.
And what’s happening is that the truth is being lost in the process.
Americans are being sent to fight and die, and they’re being told it’s
for patriotic reasons. And there are such reasons, but mainly it’s
about establishing American influence in other parts of the world.

GALLEYMORE: Well, let’s talk a little bit about what we are losing in
not talking more openly about the Armenian genocide. And Armenians in
general, I know there’s a large population of Armenians and their
descendants in this country that came here due to the conflict and the
genocide going on in the region. What don’t we know about the
Armenian culture that people would be really much richer in knowing?

BOYAJIAN: I think there’s been a lot of focus on the genocide, of
course. I think that people, like many smaller groups, people don’t
know them very well. All they hear about is Armenian genocide. But
Armenians have a very rich culture going back several thousand years.
The first nation to officially convert as a state to Christianity.
It’s too bad we can’t get beyond this genocide issue. But it just
looks like it’s going to continue for the foreseeable future. I think
that actually an acknowledgement of the genocide would be very good
for the United States in a foreign policy sense. I think it would
help Turkey to come to terms with its past. I think in the end it
would help to stabilize the Caucasus, where the U.S. says it has oil
and gas interests. Because after all, one of the reasons that Armenia
is allied with Russia is that it fears another genocide by Turkey.
Now if Turkey hasn’t admitted the genocide in the past, of course
Armenia is going to be afraid of this, and this is going to have
repercussions for the Caucasus. And it has. What the United States
is trying to do is sort of bring Turkey and Armenia together. But
that’s not going to work unless the genocide is acknowledged.
Unfortunately, Armenia agreed to some sort of historical commission
with Turkey to examine the genocide. This was done under
U.S. pressure, and one of the effects of this is that it gave Obama an
excuse not to use the word genocide last April during Armenian
Genocide Month because he could say: Oh, Armenia and Turkey are
negotiating about this, let’s just leave them alone to work it out for
themselves.
But this issue has been hanging around for a long time. It has to be
dealt with. It’s not going away.

GALLEYMORE: Armenia at this point is economically strapped. It’s
difficult to have businesses there. What is the general situation of
the people?

BOYAJIAN: Well, Armenia has actually done fairly well considering as a
post-Soviet country that it’s landlocked, it’s been blockaded by
Turkey and Azerbaijan. It has taken a hit during this recession,
that’s true. But actually Armenia has a very large Diaspora.
Armenian Americans, French Armenians, and so forth, and a lot of
Armenians in Russia. And what they do is they send money back to
their families there, or they give to charitable organizations in
Armenia. So this helps the country a lot. Turkey and Azerbaijan
thought they were going to bring Armenia to its knees by blockading it
and that Armenia would have to give up this fight for the region
inside Azerbaijan called Karabagh. That hasn’t happened yet.
But yes, there is corruption in the country. The election process is
highly flawed over there, as in most Soviet countries.

GALLEYMORE: So people from the Diaspora go back as well, go back and
visit, go to and fro? Or are people still leaving Armenia? What is
the situation with the day to day living?

BOYAJIAN: A lot of Diasporans such as myself have gone over to visit.
There is a lot of cultural interchange between the Diaspora and
Armenia itself. Some Armenian Americans own businesses over there.
But actually much of the business and the industry has been bought up
by Russia because Russia wants to control Armenia. It wants to
control all of the Caucasus actually. Armenia and Russia are allies.
You see, Russia being somewhat authoritarian it still has these
imperialist tendencies and so its close relationship with Armenia is
not necessarily based on friendship. Sometimes it’s just based on
force, where Russia goes in, buys up Armenian vital industry because
Armenia can’t afford to keep running it itself, and that gives Russia
a hold over it. Also Russia right now provides most of Armenia’s
natural gas and controls its nuclear power plant. That may be
changing a bit because Armenia’s going to get gas from Iran. So
Armenia’s trying to kind of break out of its straitjacket over there.

GALLEYMORE: And as an Armenian American activist, where is your focus?

BOYAJIAN: One focus, of course, is trying to get the Armenian genocide
resolution passed. Another focus is to try to encourage Armenia
itself to democratize more, to respect human rights more. We’re also
asking the U.S. government to stop applying so much pressure on
Armenia and start applying it on Turkey. The United States, you see,
has been trying to force a solution between Azerbaijan and Armenian
over this breakaway region of Karabagh. And the reason it wants to do
that is because the United States wants open borders so it can
penetrate the region with pipelines. It’s not interested in Armenian
human rights, or Azerbaijani human rights, for that matter. So what
it’s doing is really twisting the arms of the participants in these
Karabagh negotiations, and I’m afraid it’s going to wind up bad for
everybody. So that’s one of the things we’ve been concentrating on.

I personally am still involved with a couple of issues. The
Anti-Defamation League still has not acknowledged the Armenian
genocide forthrightly, and continues to work with Turkey in all sorts
of ways to defeat Armenian genocide resolutions. I’m also asking
Samantha Power, who is on President Obama’s National Security Council
but supposedly has just been appointed to be the chief U.S. person in
charge of Iraqi refugees – I’ve asked her to resign – to resign in
protest – because President Obama has not acknowledged the genocide.
She promised Armenians that he would. He promised he would. If she’s
a woman of principle, and I think she is, she will say, `I cannot
serve under this Administration anymore. They went back on their
word.’ She, after all, is a genocide scholar. She got a Pulitzer
Prize for her book, `A Problem from Hell,’ in which the first chapter
was about the Armenian genocide. So I’m asking – and some other
Armenian people are asking – Samantha Power to resign, get out of the
Administration so you can speak truthfully again.

GALLEYMORE: And what is your guess? Is this something that she would
do?

BOYAJIAN: There’s been no formal reply from her yet. It may be a bit
more difficult for her to resign because now she married a man last
year, Cass Sunstein, who’s a very close friend – a longtime colleague
– of Obama at the University of Chicago. He’s being appointed as a
regulatory czar. So it’s kind of a family affair. You’ve got
Samantha Power, and you’ve got her husband Cass Sunstein as part of
the Administration. I’m hoping she resigns. She had a baby recently.
But we’ll just have to wait and see.

GALLEYMORE: David, I want to offer you the opportunity to share
whatever it is you would like our listeners to know before we end.

BOYAJIAN: I’d just like to say don’t rely on the mainstream media, of
course. Go out, read non-mainstream newspapers and magazines, go on
the Web, listen to people like Susan Galleymore. In regard to the
Sibel Edmonds issue, go to her website, Justacitizen.com. Familiarize
yourself with it, write to your Congressman and your local media and
say `We want to see the Sibel Edmonds issue covered, and we want to
see a Congressional investigation of it, and we want to see a special
prosecutor appointed.’ In terms of Armenian issues, I would just ask
that they become educated about this, that they write the President
and their Congressmen if they could and ask that the Congress and the
President recognize the Armenian genocide and support a fledgling
Armenian state in its quest for independence.

GALLEYMORE: David, is there anything else that we should know?

BOYAJIAN: I would like to tell you, Susan, about something, a
proclamation, a note to Congress that the White House made, President
Bush made on January 22 [of 2008]. And people can find this on the
Web. It’s called `Message to the Congress Transmitting the Turkey –
United States Agreement Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.’
It was issued on January 22, as I say, and it came out just three
weeks after an article in the Sunday Times of London. The article in
the Sunday Times was titled `For Sale, The West’s Deadly Nuclear
Secrets,’ and it talked about something that Sibel Edmonds talked
about: how the Turks apparently were conducting some sort of nuclear
espionage for several years in the United States, perhaps with the
help of Israeli and Pakistan intelligence agencies. What President
Bush did in this note to Congress is he effectively pardoned any
illegal nuclear proliferation activities that Turks or Turkish private
entities – that’s what he called them, Turkish private entities –
were conducting in the United States.

GALLEYMORE: Interesting.

BOYAJIAN: So I don’t know what business it is of the President to
pardon criminal activity, but apparently he did it. This is simply
astounding.

GALLEYMORE: And that hasn’t been covered very much either, it sounds
like.

BOYAJIAN: It hasn’t. Although I’m looking at the document. It is
right on the Web. `Message to the Congress Transmitting the Turkey –
United States Agreement Concerning Peaceful Uses of Nuclear Energy.’
What he says here, for example – he uses the terms `Turkish private
entities in’ =85 `nuclear proliferation.’ He talks about the
proliferation activities of Turkish entities. Basically it’s a pardon
for any criminal activities that have taken place. What Sibel has
been claiming is that people like Marc Grossman and others have been
involved in facilitating Turks coming to the United States, getting
into nuclear facilities, and sending U.S. nuclear secrets out of the
country. It’s a big story. I guess the media has to cover it, and
Congress has to make a big enough fuss about it, in order for people
to become concerned.

GALLEYMORE: Well, David, stay in touch with us and keep us abreast of
what’s happening there because we’re one of the few stations that airs
issues about the Armenian genocide. I’m glad that we’re able to do
that. And we can only do it with the help of people like you and
other Armenian Americans. So please stay in touch with us.

BOYAJIAN: We’re grateful to you, Susan, very much, and we’re also
grateful to your listeners.

GALLEYMORE: Thanks for David Boyajian, whose writings you can find on
the Internet. And that’s our show for today. As usual, all views
expressed are those of the host and guest and not KZSU or Stanford
University. You can contact me directly at
[email protected] Join us again next week. We’ll go out
today with DC Talk doing their piece `The Truth’ again from the album
`Supernatural.’
[END]

From: Emil Lazarian | Ararat NewsPress

www.RaisingSandRadio.org

Emil Lazarian

“I should like to see any power of the world destroy this race, this small tribe of unimportant people, whose wars have all been fought and lost, whose structures have crumbled, literature is unread, music is unheard, and prayers are no more answered. Go ahead, destroy Armenia . See if you can do it. Send them into the desert without bread or water. Burn their homes and churches. Then see if they will not laugh, sing and pray again. For when two of them meet anywhere in the world, see if they will not create a New Armenia.” - WS