Lecture & Perf by Lebanese-Armenian promoting understanding in ME

FeaturesDS 09/03/04
Lebanese-Armenian who works to promote understanding of the Middle Eastern
diaspora Center hosts lectures and performances that explore this issue

By Nana Asfour
Special To The Daily Star

`I’m a real diasporan person,’ declares Lebanese-Armenian Anny
Bakalian, as she sits, cross-legged, at her office at the City
University of New York, overlooking the Empire State Building in New
York City.

`I like being a diasporan,’ she adds laughing. `It gives you this
ability, this mobility, and it gives you choice.’

In that sense, Bakalian, who left her native Lebanon 23 years ago, is
perfectly suited for her position as the associate director of the
Middle East and Middle Eastern American Center (MEMEAC).

The center, after all, was created to, among other things, promote the
understanding of the Middle Eastern diaspora. As such, it has hosted a
series of lectures and performances that explore this issue.

Last year, MEMEAC organized a talk by historian Akram Khater about
Lebanese immigrants, and a presentation of Kathryn Leila Buck’s
one-woman show, `I Site, ‘ about growing up multi-cultural.

Under Bakalian’s helm – and that of Mehdi Bozorgmehr and Beth Baron,
MEMEAC’ s co-directors – the center has become one of the leading
venues in New York for Arab, Armenian and Iranian cultural events and

`We’ve done a lot in the two-and-a-half years we’vebeen in operation,’
Bakalian says. `I really think we’ve been very successful.’

With the help of a grant from the Ford Foundation, MEMEAC came into
being in September 2001, merely one week before the attacks on the
World Trade Center.

At the time, Bakalian was a volunteer; she was in between jobs, having
recently moved to New York from Baltimore, Maryland, where she had
been teaching sociology for the past 10 years.

She had met Bozorgmehr a few years earlier and when he asked her to
come and help out, she happily obliged.

`When we started out, we were in a tiny cubicle downstairs, we didn’t
have any windows, and we were barely managing,’ Bakalian says.

`Then September 11th happened. What timing! Right after that, the
demand for Middle Eastern studies and for the diaspora became very

MEMEAC, which was conceived as the first center of its kind to combine
studies of the Middle East and Middle Eastern American, now saw its
role taking on greater importance.

Immediately thereafter, reports of violent attacks on Arab-Americans
and Muslim-Americans began to fill the newspapers and the
airwaves. Wishing to investigate the backlash, the National Science
Foundation (NSF) sent out applications for short-term grants.

`Mehdi and I talked about it and said, â=80=98Shall we go for
this?’ In three days, we wrote a proposal and sent it. In less than
three hours, we heard that they were funding it, which was extremely

Ever since, Bozorgmehr and Bakalian, whose volunteer stint quickly
grew into a full-time position, have been working on the NSF project,
studying how Middle Eastern and South Asian American support
organizations responded to Sept.

11, 2001.

`We have already conducted 7,500 interviews and we’re now slowly
getting the results out,’ Bakalian says.

Bakalian’s responsibilities at MEMEAC have continued to grow over the
last two years. Between planning events and lectures, organizing
conferences (such as one on race and slavery between the Middle East
and Africa which is scheduled for April), doing research for the NSF
grant, and trying to create a BA in Middle East studies at the City
University of New York, she has little timeto do anything else, let
alone travel.

This might explain why Bakalian has not been back to Lebanon since
April 2001. `It’s a long trip,’ she says. But there is another reason
why she doesn’t often visit: not much remains of the Lebanon she knew.

`On the one hand, it’s very interesting to go back and try to figure
out, where was this? Where was that?’ she says. `On the other hand, I
am very saddened by the fact that the middle class no longer exists,
that there is so much poverty. There needs to be a middle class in
order to have a stable society. I’ m also still distressed by how
parts of Lebanon are now a solid block of concrete. There’s no urban
planning, no sense of esthetics. What has happened to all the
villages?’ Bakalian was born in Beirut in 1953 to first-generation
Armenian parents. She came into adolescence at a time when Beirut was
in its glorious prime, and she has fond memories of the city of her

`Baalbek was a fantastic thing: Being 18, 19, or 20 at the time
andseeing LaMama experimental theater, or Ella Fitzgerald – it was
exceptional,’ she says.

She attended the American University of Beirut and graduated in 1973
with a bachelor’s degree in sociology (`I’m a very proud AUB alumni,’
she professes). For her Master’s she traveled to England, then she
returned to Lebanon in the summer of 1975. She had hoped to find work
but Beirut was now embroiledin war.

`I was dodging bullets for a while,’ she says. Finally, shelanded a
part-time teaching position at AUB’s off-campus program, and that
opened the doors for more work opportunities. But the war continued to
escalate and, eventually, she followed in the footsteps of the hoards
of Lebanese fleeing the city.

In 1981, she moved to New York to pursue a doctorate at Columbia

For her thesis she toyed with the idea of going back to Lebanon to
write about professional women – `I’ve always been interested in
women’s issues,’ she says – but she feared that the fighting might
prevent her from completing her dissertation.

In the end, she opted to stay put, in the US, and to write a book
about Armenian-Americans. `I realized nobody had done anything about
it so I said to myself, let me do it,’ she says.

Soon after, she settled in Baltimore, Maryland, where she taught
sociology at a small liberal arts college. She remained there for 10

Living in New York – whose cosmopolitanism and chaos Bakalian likens
to Beirut – and working at MEMAC, where she gets to use her many
languages and engage on a daily basis with fellow diasporan, Bakalian
feels that `thingshave come around full circle for me.’ Although she
misses her native country,Bakalian would never consider leaving
America for good.

`To be honest as a single woman, it’s much more liberating to be in a
place like this. No one here says min beit min inti? (What family do
you belong to?), or Inshallah nifrah minneki (May we celebrate your
wedding day). Here, at least, you can have an identity of your own.’
She pauses for a moment, trying to think of a further explanation,
then says, `I like it here too much.’

Newsletter from Mediadialogue.org, date: 02-03-2004 to 10-03-2004

[09-03-2004 ‘Armenia-Azerbaijan’]
————————————————- ———————
Source : Yerevan Press Club Weekly Newsletter (Armenia)

On March 9, 2004 4 public organizations of Armenia – Yerevan Press
Club, Helsinki Committee of Armenia, Civil Society Institute and
Caucasian Center of Peace Initiatives – disseminated a joint statement
on the assassination of Armenian officer Gurgen Margarian by his
Azerbaijani colleague in Budapest.

`We, similarly to all our compatriots, were greatly shattered by the
barbarous murder of Armenia officer Gurgen Margarian by Azerbaijani
peer Ramil Safarov. The tragic incident in Budapest provoke numerous
thoughts: about the hate incitement towards Armenian in Azerbaijan
that forms the moral and psychological ground for such crimes as well
as about the connivance of certain international structures to the
destructive policy in Baku, narrowing down the prospects of dialogue
with Armenia.

At the same time the irresponsible statements by several Armenian
political and public figures, the publications in media during the
recent days cannot but cause our serious concern. In particular, the
Chairman of the Standing Committee of Foreign Affairs of the RA
National Assembly Airmen Rustamian, during the commemoration action
for victims of Sumgait pogroms and the head of the Parliament faction
of Republican Party Galust Sahakian during a briefing at NA on March
4, speaking about the assassin of Gurgen Margarian indulged into
unacceptable generalizations to the address of Azerbaijan nation as

These statements by politicians of such a high rank, representing a
governing political coalition, are all the more unacceptable since
they can be qualified as an official position of ours state, can
create new obstacles for the negotiations on the peaceful resolution
of Karabagh conflict and the normalization of relations between
Armenia and Azerbaijan.

The artificial intensification of anti-Armenian sentiment in
Azerbaijan and its consequences are to be most strongly criticized,
but they can in no way become a justification for dissemination of
racist and chauvinist ideas, alien to our society.

However hard are our experiences related to Budapest tragedy, we call
to display political reticence and hope that common sense and
democratic values will remain guiding for our country’, the statement
of the Armenian NGOs says.

[08-03-2004 ‘Region’]
Source : “Turkish Daily News” newspaper (Turkey)

U.S. Department of State senior Turkey desk officer Larry Silverman
said Turkey’s European Union membership was one of greatest priorities
of the U.S. administration.

Speaking at a meeting of the American-Turkish Association of
Washington DC (ATA-DC), Silverman said Turkey is expecting a blunt,
not a conditional, “yes” at the EU summit scheduled for December 2004
and added that recent signals from the EU reflected an inclination in
that direction. Silverman noted that Turkey played a key role in
policies on a wide range of issues regarding energy, terrorism,
economic development, human rights, the Middle East, Central Asia and
the Caucasus and said, “Turkey’s success is of special importance to
the whole world.”

Silverman also praised recent reforms in Turkey, saying, “Turkey has
realized such reforms that it has even gone further than us on some
issues. For instance, if we wanted to join the EU, we wouldn’t be able
to do that because we have the death penalty in our laws. However,
Turkey has abolished the death penalty as part of the reforms its
Parliament has passed.”

He said Turkey had passed these reforms since they were to the
advantage of the country rather than for the purpose of joining the

Turkey’s Parliament has recently legislated a series of democratic
reforms including limiting the power of the military, abolishing the
death penalty and granting greater rights to its Kurdish citizens and
it is expecting to get a go-ahead from the EU in December.

[05-03-2004 ‘Armenia-Azerbaijan’]
Source : “Echo” newspaper (Azerbaijan)
Author: T. Tushiev

For conducting international chess tournament on the occupied
territory of Azerbaijan and will convene its extraordinary
presidential council in Baku

“In case of Armenia’s conducting international chess tournament on the
territory of Mountainous Karabagh, World Chess Federation (FIDE) will
certainly apply sanctions against this country. The type of the
sanctions to be applied will be determined by us in the near future’,
FIDE Vice-president, Co-chairman of Georgian Chess Federation, Zurab
Azmayparashvilli stated in his exclusive interview to `Echo’
commenting on the plans by the Armenian side to conduct a sport event
on the occupied territory. In his opinion, if the international
tournament in Khankendi nevertheless takes place, FIDE will accept the
suggestion of the Azerbaijani side `about conducting in Baku FIDE
extraordinary presidential council whose agenda will include the issue
of preventing similar incidents’.

Previously, our newspaper already reported that according to the
information provided by Armenian media, `Mountainous Karabagh (MKR)
government’ and President of Yerevan Chess Academy, Smbat Lputian
intend to conduct in Khankendi international tournament of 13-degree
complexity devoted to 75th anniversary of Tigran Petrosian, 9-times
world champion. Initially it was reported that the participation of
strongest chess players from a number of countries is planned. Later
it became known that chess players from Georgia, Iran, Switzerland and
Latvia really intend to participate in the Khankendi event. The
organizers of the competition also invited as a commenter 10-times
world champion, Boris Spassky who in 1996 deprived the Armenian gross
master of the universe best chess player title. At present Spassky
lives and works in France.

`I found out about possible conducting of the tournament only on March
3′, Azmayparashvilli says, `I was extremely interested in this
information since organizing an international tournament on the
occupied territory of Azerbaijan cannot be accepted by FIDE, and the
latter will not consider this competition as an international
tournament. We have already informed FIDE President Kirsan
Ilyumjinov. I am sure heads of the federation are unanimous with the
position of Azerbaijani side’.

FIDE Vice-president stated that international federation never
interfered in politics, `since all chess players should always be
beyond politics’. Each national federation has a right to conduct a
competition on the territory of its own state. In the current
situation, Azerbaijan has not informed FIDE about conducting a
tournament on its territory, whereas it is common knowledge that
Mountainous Karabagh is an integral part of Azerbaijan’.

Azmayparashvilli stated that FIDE is really concerned over possible
organization of a tournament. `At present we are clarifying the
details. On March 3 representatives of the Armenian Federation tried
to contact me. Today (yesterday – T. T.) I will try to contact them to
make clear the position of FIDE on this issue. Certainly, we cannot
prohibit Mountainous Karabagh to conduct any competitions on its
territory but these events cannot be granted international status’.

According to Azmayparashvilli, in case of conducting the tournament,
FIDE will not accept the results of this competition, that is, the
tournament participants will not be able to get rating scores. It
means that their participation in the tournament will prove
useless. `If Armenia’s participation in organizing the tournament is
confirmed, FIDE will immediately apply sanctions against this

FIDE Vice-president also commented on possible participation of
Georgian chess players in the Khankendi tournament, in particular one
of the strongest young chess players of Georgia, Bakhadura Jobava. `He
is a young chess player, absolutely far from politics and does not
have any idea of the current political situation in the region’, Zurab
Azmayparashvilli holds, `When heads of Georgian Chess Federation were
notified of his participation, we immediately contacted the chess
player and strongly recommended not to visit Khankendi. Otherwise, the
Georgian Federation promised to apply sanctions against him. I think
Jovaba will make the right decision’.

In his turn, President of Azerbaijani Chess Federation, Milli Mejlis
deputy Aynur Sofieva noted to `Echo’ that our country has already
taken certain measures on preventing organization of this
competition. `Today (yesterday – T.T.) we sent out notes of protest to
chess federations of those countries whose sportsmen intend to
participate in this tournament’, Sofieva stated. `Besides, we intend
to turn to the heads of French Chess Federation and request to keep a
reputable person like Boris Spassky, 10-times world champion far from
this venture’.

According to the head of Federation, FIDE’s authorization is required
for conducting international tournament in any country. `I may assert
that FIDE will never grant authorization for conducting a similar
competition on the territory of an unrecognized entity like `MKR’,
Aynur Sofieva said. `I am confident no international tournament will
be conducted in Khankendi but even if it takes place, we will not
tolerate it, filing a protest to FIDE. FIDE will inevitably apply
sanctions against Armenia afterwards.

Sofieva is confident that FIDE will also consider the 13-degree
complexity factor of the tournament. If a tournament of such high
level of complexity was conducted somewhere we would be notified
beforehand’, Aynur Sofieva said. `FIDE itself is not aware of this
tournament, and it is not organized under the aegis of this
organization. 13th category is a myth spread by Armenia to attract

The statements by the head of our Federation and FIDE Vice-president
were also confirmed by Vice-president of national chess federation,
Fayik Gasanov, who is at the super tournament in Linares (Spain) these
days as an assistant of chief arbiter. `We were notified that Armenian
Federation concealed the fact of conducting this tournament from
FIDE. As soon as international federation found out about it, the
response came out immediately’, Fayik Gasanov stated in the phone
conversation with `Echo’. `In case of holding international tournament
in Khankendi, we intend to convene extraordinary session of FIDE
presidential council at which we will discuss possible options of
preventing future attempts of the Armenian side to conduct any chess
events on the Mountainous Karabagh territory. Previously FIDE
repeatedly turned to us with a proposal to convene in our capital
presidential council of international federation. At present, the time
has come to put an end to illegal actions by Armenia’. According to
the head of press service of the Ministry of Youth, Sports and
Tourism, Ragif Abbasov, FIDE charter stipulates that any international
chess tournament, and 13-degree complexity in particular, should be
included in the official calendar. `This tournament is not included in
FIDE calendar since this tournament is not official and the
participation of foreign chess players may only have a private
status’, Abbasov holds. `It is not for the first time that Armenia
tries to conduct a similar competition on the occupied territories of
Azerbaijan. As a result, Armenians will just force international
organizations to apply sanctions against them’.

`One should not trust the information about conducting the so-called
international tournament in `MKR’, head of press service of Foreign
Affairs Ministry, Merin Mirza declared to `Echo’. `It is essential to
find out in what category will foreign chess players participate in
the tournament. I am confident that their participation will be of
private nature, which means they will not represent the countries of
their residence. In case their participation is of official nature,
MFA response will be immediate and appropriate. In the first place, we
will apply to the governments of those countries who have
sportsmen-participants in the tournament and afterwards will file a
protest to international organizations’, head of MFA press service

Yerevan Press Club of Armenia, ‘Yeni Nesil’ Journalists’ Union of
Azerbaijan and Association of Diplomacy Correspondents of Turkey
present ‘Armenia-Azerbaijan-Turkey: Journalist Initiative-2002’
Project. As a part of the project web site has
been designed, featuring the most interesting publications from the
press of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey on issues of mutual
concern. The latest updates on the site are weekly delivered to the


Kocharyan Accepted Hungary’s Condolences

A1 Plus | 14:58:31 | 09-03-2004 | Official |


New Hungarian Ambassador to Armenia Ferentc Contra /residence in Moscow/ has
today presented his credentials to Armenian President Robert Kocharyan.

On behalf of the Hungary Government Ambassador expressed condolences over
murder of Armenian officer Gurgen Margaryan in Budapest on February 19.

In his turn Robert Kocharyan voiced confidence that the law-enforcement
bodies of Hungary will display the necessary consecution and the criminal
will be punished under the stringent law.

Stating that Hungary will become an EU member in May, Ambassador Contra said
that his country is ready to stimulate intensification of cooperation
between Armenia and European Union as far as possible.


Trust Referendum is To Take Place

A1 Plus | 17:15:54 | 09-03-2004 | Social |


Considering the application of presidential candidate Stepan Demirchyan on
declaring invalid the elections, on April 16, 2003 Constitutional Court
decided to leave unchanged CEC decision, simultaneously suggesting
Parliament and Armenian President to hold a Trust Referendum within a year.

The above decision of CC became a subject of discussions. “All the opponent
stances saying CC exceeded its commission while making the decision are
senseless”, Stepan Safaryan, expert of Armenian Centre of National and
International Studies, says.

According to Safaryan who was the guest of “Political Debate Club”, “CC was
obliged to finally settle the conflict but it just offered a mechanism for
the problem solution”.

The expert says the reason for this is that CC hasn’t enough and appropriate
powers and it couldn’t assess the volumes of vote frauds and the
consequences of them on the election results.

He also said like any other CC decision the one for Trust Referendum is
final, too, and is subject to obligatory implementation.


Equatorial Guinea Says Arrests ‘Mercenaries’

Equatorial Guinea Says Arrests ‘Mercenaries’

Tuesday, March 9, 2004

DAKAR, Senegal (Reuters) – Some 15 suspected mercenaries have been
arrested Equatorial Guinea, sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest oil
producer, after a widespread clampdown on foreign nationals, the
government said Tuesday. “Some 15 mercenaries have been arrested here in
Equatorial Guinea and it was connected with that plane in Zimbabwe. They
were the advance party of that
group,” Information Minister Agustin Nse Nfumu told Reuters.

Zimbabwe seized a U.S.-registered cargo plane Sunday evening which the
government has said was carrying 64 suspected mercenaries and a cargo of
military gear.

The minister said the group of 15 was made up of white South Africans,
black South Africans of Angolan origin, a German and others from
Kazakhstan and Armenia.

He said the suspected mercenaries had arrived in the former Spanish
colony, which borders Gabon and Cameroon, in December and were picked up
late Monday evening. He said some of them had been “presented to the
diplomatic corps.”

Equatorial Guinea said Monday its security forces had been chasing down
illegal immigrants since Saturday night and detained a number of people.
Residents said the swoop had been unusually severe with heavily armed
troops roaming the streets.

The clampdown comes amid growing tensions within President Teodoro
Obiang Nguema Mbasogo’s family, whose members hold most top positions in
the country, and speculation among exiled opposition politicians that a
coup was in the offing.

Equatorial Guinea’s information minister said Obiang would address the
nation on state media at 8 p.m.

AAA Annual Board of Trustees Meeting Builds on Decades of Progress

Armenian Assembly of America
122 C Street, NW, Suite 350
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-393-3434
Fax: 202-638-4904
Email: [email protected]

March 9, 2004
CONTACT: Christine Kojoian
E-mail: [email protected]


Delray Beach, FL – Building on more than three decades of activism, the
Armenian Assembly of America held its annual Board of Trustees Weekend March
6-7 in Delray Beach, Florida. Assembly leaders, members and supporters
from across the nation attended, participating in business meetings,
question and answer sessions and social events.

Congressional Caucus on Armenian Issues member Rep. E. Clay Shaw, Jr. (R-FL)
and former South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Richard Harpootlian,
also a new Assembly Fellow Trustee, were among the featured speakers.

In a major announcement, Board of Trustees Chairman Hirair Hovnanian said
that he is renovating a three-story historical building he gifted to the
Assembly to house its Yerevan offices and that the premises, located near
Republic Square, should open in two years.

Board of Trustees President Carolyn Mugar said of Hovnanian’s most recent
philanthropy: “This action is another example of his generosity, passion and
vision in support of the Assembly’s mission.”

A full day of highly successful business meetings at the Delray Beach
Marriott, the site of all weekend events, gave participants the opportunity
to voice their thoughts and views on the Assembly’s future direction and
relations with other non-partisan Armenian organizations. Hovnanian
underlined the importance of building on the working relationship with the
Armenian General Benevolent Union (AGBU) and the Eastern and Western Diocese
of the Armenian Church, and the cooperation between the organizations in the
Assembly’s upcoming National Conference and Banquet in Washington, DC.

Another weekend highlight was the passing of the baton from outgoing Board
of Directors Chairman Peter Vosbikian to the incoming Chair Anthony
Barsamian, who formerly served as vice chair.

Vosbikian said he leaves confident in Barsamian’s leadership. “Anthony and I
have been working side by side over the past twelve months and I can assure
you he has already hit the ground running,” he said.

Vosbikian also saluted outgoing and longtime Board of Directors members
Edgar Hagopian of Michigan and Sam Hagopian of Texas, who he said never
hesitate “to do what is right for the people of Armenia and Karabakh.”
Vosbikian also acknowledged Dork Alahydoian and Flora Dunaians, both of whom
were not present, for their years of service on the Board of Directors.

Assembly leaders also helped welcome several new members to the Board of
Directors including Bryan Ardouny of Montana, Berge Ayvazian of
Massachusetts, Corinne Heditsian of Rhode Island and Lisa Kalustian of

Also of special interest was a presentation by Assembly Life Trustee Dr.
Noubar Afeyan, who spoke about an exciting new project, dubbed “Armenia
2020.” The purpose of the project, which has already invested $2 million
in research, polling and review meetings, is to develop possible scenarios
for Armenia’s long-term economic development.

As is customary, the weekend closed with a Saturday night banquet where
Assembly Fellow Trustee Hovsep Hovsepian donated an 85-year-old hand-drawn
silk map of historic Armenia, a family heirloom, to the Armenian Genocide
Museum and Memorial (AGMM).

The Armenian Assembly of America is the largest Washington-based nationwide
organization promoting public understanding and awareness of Armenian
issues. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt membership organization.


Photograph available on the Assembly’s Web site at the following link:

Caption: Assembly Board of Trustees Chairman Hirair Hovnanian, right, and
incoming Board of Directors Chairman Anthony Barsamian, left, presenting a
plaque to outgoing Chairman Peter Vosbikian in appreciation for his
outstanding service to the Assembly.


Churches of Tabriz

Mehr News Agency, Iran
March 8 2004

Churches of Tabriz

TEHRAN, March 8 (Mehr News Agency) — Shining as the oldest and
largest church in Tabriz, Saint Mary’s church was built in 1782 in
the Armenian style of architecture.

Beautiful pictures of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ, as well as
several apostles decorate the walls of the prayer niche and the
corners of the arch-shaped ceiling of the church in which religious
and national Armenian ceremonies are performed.

There are also several other churches in the city including the Saint
Serkis and Saint Shoghat churches.

Saint Serkis Church was built in 1821, and is located in the
Barunavak district of the city. It is also decorated with pictures of
the Virgin Mary, Jesus Christ and several apostles. Another church is
on Valman Alley and a Gothic-style church built in 1910 is located on
Miyarmiyar St.

Shoghat Church is located next to the Armenian graveyard of the
Maralan district near Saint Mary’s Church.

The Coming Uncivil War: The Fire This Time

Dissident Voice, United States
March 8 2004

The Coming Uncivil War: The Fire This Time
by Richard Oxman

“Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken,
their manhood effaced; better that they should die than live the
miserable wretches that they are.

— L. Frank Baum, later to become author of The Wizard of Oz, writing
as editor of South Dakota’s Aberdeen Saturday Pioneer, encouraging
the extermination of each and every Native American, December 20,

Garland’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” had just ended. I was
lounging around, sipping my slave-picked Earl Grey from Sri Lanka,
and pouring over my May 11, 1911 original edition of Le Petit Journal
when the postman rang twice. A typical Tuesday afternoon, although
it could have been Wednesday this week. Unreal.

I’ll tell you what was in the parcel post piece shortly, a bombshell
of sorts for America. First, the obligatory parsing of pain.

The publication’s ink drawing portraying violent audience members at
the opera house of Livermore, Kentucky — spotlighting a quavering
figure on stage in the foreground — is unforgettable. There, yoked
to a pole, his upper torso strapped tight, with rope drawn across the
ankles forcing his lower body to bend at the knees, the black figure
in profile seemed to angle to the right, a twist, wanting to get away
from the drawn rifles and handguns, much like a dog — too afraid to
move — knowing that the Master is about to do something painful.
Perhaps more like a fish caught with a troll, in frozen anguish. His
clothes are in tatters, in stark contrast with a clenched fist behind
the back which is shooting out, stretching in the opposite direction
of his protruding lip. Millay’s “clutching at the South, screaming at
the North” comes to mind, the contortion commanding all. And
speaking of shooting, the public execution at Kentucky’s cultural
center only cost the usual prices for admission. However, those
holding orchestra tickets were allowed six shots whereas balcony
tickets were limited to one. For real.

Like Stamp Paid, the mid-19th century black man in Toni Morrison’s
Beloved, does when he notices a bit of bloody scalp, I want to scream
out “What are these people? You tell me, Jesus. What are they?” Of
course, they were white settlers. Demonic, not insane, to use
Terrence Des Pres’ yardstick. (1) Genocidal by all the standards
Raphael Lemkin established following Nuremberg.

The Jewish Holocaust was not an abominably unique event, unless one
is going to acknowledge the same for a million Armenians, Stalin’s
fourteen million “terror-faminized,” et. al. in Bangladesh, Burundi,
the Brazilian Amazon, Kampuchea, East Timor and elsewhere*(often with
our invaluable assistance). (2) Respecting Africans and Native
Americans, the only way Americans can make conscious-soothing
distinctions — allowing them to “do lunch,” shedding tears over
asparagus at an Oprah-based Book-of-the-Month tête-à-tête, in lieu of
taking any significant action — is to adopt the typical Eurocentric
bias that indiscriminately groups dark-skinned and red-skinned people
into only two undifferentiated masses; do that with white-skinned
people and one can totally exterminate the Polish population without
owning to genocide.

*There was a “total extermination of many American Indian peoples and
the near-extermination of others, in numbers that eventually totaled
close to 100 million.” (3)

It’s all horror that still goes on today, unabated here since the
European foot first stomped on this hallowed ground. But you’d never
know it to watch the parade of obese Americans, driving their SOVs
(Standard Obese Vehicles) going about their dailys. Not waiting on
them anymore to become compassionate, it looks like the guys who
mailed me the package have a Plan B. As promised, I’ll get to that

At a mid-90s conference sponsored by the Global Alliance for
Preserving the History of World War II in Asia (AOHWA) in Cupertino,
California I saw the most horrific photographs I had ever seen up to
that point. They were photographs, poster-sized, of the Rape of
Nanking. Relative to writings about the Jewish Holocaust, very
little has been made available to us concerning atrocities
perpetrated in China, Korea, the Philippines, Singapore and
Indonesia. The Japanese military was responsible for approximately
50 million deaths, 30 million alone in China. It begs the question,

>From December 13, 1937 to February 1938, in the single city of
Nanking, the International Military Tribunal of the Far East (IMTFE)
estimates that 260,000 were killed. The Memorial Hall of the Victims
of the Nanking Massacre in Nanjing claims that the number was over
300,000. Some Japanese put the figure as low as 3,000, its leading
historian of the war guessing that it was no higher than 42,000. (4)
Live burial competed with burning and freezing and the slowest and
most excruciating forms of killing ever known. Children were a
special delight.

A long time ago. None of it has much to do with us now, right?
We’re not killing minorities in cruel ways any longer, yes? We have
our figures straight these days, no? Our scruples in a row, like so
many ducks, vraiment? All I can say is “Quack, Quack!!” to the good
doctors (Ph.Ds, Ed.Ds et. al.) who have diagnosed Our Day that way.

I believe former UN relief chiefs, Hans Von Sponeck and Denis
Halliday –with decades of devotion to UN efforts behind them– would
not agree. As I remember, they quit their UN posts at very crucial
times over the cruel sanctions that were being imposed on the Iraqis.
Over the bombings, too, that had been going on for at least ten
years; there was that incredible 18-month study that John Pilger
cited not too long ago in The Mirror, wherein something like 36,000
sorties were flown over the Iraqi no-fly zones, 26,000 of them combat
runs (when there was no war!) (5), all in violation of international
law. And that didn’t account for the British bombs or the Turkish
air-campaign atrocities inflicted on the Kurds, the American and
British flyboys conveniently looking the other way.

In our own country, as Jeffrey St. Clair points out — lamenting the
federal government’s abandonment of efforts to prevent
pesticide-caused cancer — “Corporate and governmental statisticians
will broker the ‘acceptable’ number of people permitted to contract
cancer from pesticides residues, comforted in the knowledge that most
of these people will be poor and black or Hispanic.” (6)

I cite the particulars above — when there are an endless number to
choose from — because, for the most part, they’re the ones that were
alluded to in the little package I opened on Wednesday, March 3rd.
The one that informed me –anonymously– that something was in the
works, and motivated me to do something about it all.

“There is a physical difference between the white and black races
which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on
terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot
so live, while they remain together there must be the position of
superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of
having the superior position assigned to the white race.”

— Our own Abe Lincoln during the Stevie Douglas debates
(Undermining underlining mine)

As much as any other man? What man? He’s not talking about
Frederick Douglas here. Nor you, I presume. Certainly, he’s not
speaking for me. And I know those fellows who mailed their missive
to me have quite a different attitude.

However, one can’t say the same for Tommie Jefferson (“the
blacks…are inferior to the whites”) or Benny Franklin (“Why
increase the sons of Africa….?”); and they were the so-called
“soft-liners” who were nowhere near as maniacal as the likes of
Andrew Jackson, a leader far more representative of our past. Of
course, there’s the shining example set by John Quincy Adams who
“gave lip service” to the Indians and others. (7) What a crew. What
a foundation. Quelle dommage!

The point is is that the country is rotten to the core respecting the
issues touched upon above, and the stench is starting to motivate
compassionate/infuriated minorities, and their sympathetic brothers
and sisters of different stripes, to take trenchant (unprecedented in
America) measures. Take note, if you will, a house divided will not

One has to get notions of rebellious rag-tag youth gathering at the
gates of the Capitol Building (putting heads on the chopping block)
out of one’s mind. It’s not going to happen that way. Mau-Mau in
Kenya is more the model*. Mobilization by MoveOn will not be the
order of the day. And to make hay, the midnight killers — for
that’s what they will be if our present momentum is not reversed —
will not require huge groups, consensus or any form of
politically-correct sanction. They will be Invisible Revolutionaries
more along the lines of the Algerian Resistance. But unlike the
Algerians and Vietnamese, they will not demand the cover of the
general population. For they will not be fighting — in the most
immediate sense — for the people, nor in unison, but, rather, out of
rage, and out of unrequited love for what’s right. They will be
frustrated warriors who — in the face of stultifying surveillance
and overwhelming weaponry — simply can’t sit by and take it anymore.
Without any Grand Plan that all the academics and most
“officially-approved” leftists demand of those who would force
change. Arundhati Roy and Pilger, of course, are exceptions, but
where are the prominent U.S. examples?

* Minus the secret society meetings, the mountains of retreat being
replaced by myriad buildings, “habitats for humanity” in the minds of
many. No Kenyatta to capture, the individual insurgents will
proliferate on their own like cancer cells.

It’s a real shame ’cause it wouldn’t take much for a Bush or a Kerry
or a Nader or SOMEONE to simply step forward regularly, acknowledge
the horrors we continue to perpetrate…and remind the populace that
there’s not much else that’s more important than changing the course
of history in this respect. To show that they are doing this and
that…daily…to make it so, to make things right. A little bit of
Emily Dickinson’s “thing with feathers,” not token gestures.

That, or I’m afraid it’ll be a thousand points of burning lights,
illuminating everything from gas stations and office edifices to
private residences, ski lodges and wherever it is that golfers
congregate. Perhaps fire won’t be necessary in the clubhouses.

Thomas C. Mountain of the Hawaii Black History Committee, in an
article that appeared in Counterpunch, February 27, 2004, asked, “How
are we ever going to come to grips with racism in this country if we
continue to deny people of color their historical place? How could
white people hate people of color if they were taught Jesus would
pass for black if he were to rejoin us today?” He noted that Buddha,
Jesus, Krishna, Mohammed and Moses were all people of color.

Indeed. Again, what would it take for a president at a podium to
preach what’s begging to be expressed? To talk constructively about
what’s been wrong, in real language. Not much. Little for anyone.
But nothing like that is heard, periodic pontifications on places
like Haiti –during crises only– notwithstanding. On the other
(bloody) hand, it wouldn’t take much for the senders of my package
and their underground compatriots to set off bonfires in continental
coordination, sort of flambes for freedom, if you will. Bonfires,
originally, were fires in which bones were burned, evil-smelling
affairs that were nothing like the celebratory fires of today.
Nothing liked brings nothing liked.

Please tell Ashcroft, once he’s back to full health, making his
disgusting, fascistic overtures in full force, that I burned the
communication I opened last week; it would be too easy for him to
draw a line between this article, my recent piece “AH!” ARSONISTS FOR
HAITI” (which appeared on and
), the coming catastrophes and (alleged)
advocacy on my part. That’s if he asks. I want no part of an
investigation into the coming Kikuyu-like catastrophe that we’re
bringing on to ourselves.

Yes, I’ve got nothing more to say to the Justice Department or the
American people regarding the above. After all, it IS the American
people who are responsible for what’s taking place –as per legal
precedent established at Nuremberg by us– and they will have nothing
to complain about once the fan starts blowing, hurtling unwanted
waste and more their way.

“Will all great Neptune’s oceans wash this blood, clean from my
hands?”, asked Macbeth. Today, yes. The day after tomorrow, maybe

Finally, it would behoove us to give some thought to these additional
(personal, emailed) words of Thomas C. Mountain (quoted also above),
perhaps relating them to this article’s opening quote from L. Frank

“You might want to consider just how bad for black folk “integration”
or rather assimilation has turned out. Before
integration/assimilation black folk controlled the institutions in
their lives, the schools, the shops, the sports, even the music.
When their struggle began to lead the movement in the US, the move
was made to “integrate” them into white society, to take their
children out of the schools they controlled and assimilate them into
white schools, with white teachers etc. If one looks at the
statistics covering the majority of black folk, the 2/3s who did not
benefit from equal opportunity, life has gotten worse since the
“civil rights movement”, since assimilation started. Infant
mortality, maternal mortality, birth weights, drop out
rates/graduation rates, incarceration rates, drug addiction rates,
all the statistics show that life has gotten worse for most black
folk. In other words, if you want to break a people, break their
institutions first, than they become a crushed and broken people easy
to control and not a threat to the status quo.”

Keep in mind, if you will, that we’re not just talking about
dark-skinned people here. And the parameters of hostility might
easily extend to include people wanting to protect our public
lands…and many others.

Those dangerous-sounding gents who reached me at home via the postal
service –color not clear– claimed to be the three guys who I wrote
about recently in the Counterpunch piece cited above. I understand
the points they made about the U.S. not honoring The Universal
Declaration of Human Rights of December 9, 1948, and our ignoring
subsequent related international agreements and conventions. What I
don’t understand is a) why they contacted me, b) how they were able
to read my article and get something out so quickly (a day following
its appearance!), c) why they used a box when the only contents were
a letter, and d) how they got my home address.

I have a lot of questions.

Richard Oxman, a big fan of James Baldwin’s The Fire Next Time, can
be reached at [email protected] He has fire gear available
upon request.


(1) Terence Des Pres, “Introduction” to Jean-Francois Steiner,
Treblinka (New York: New American Library, 1979), p. xi.

(2) See Frank Chalk and Kurt Jonassohn, The History and Sociology of
Genocide: Analyses and Case Studies (New Haven: Yale University
Press, 1990). Also, Richard G. Hovannisian, ed., The Armenian
Genocide in Perspective (New Brunswick, N.J.: Transaction Publishers,
1986). And Robert Conquest, The Harvest of Sorrow: Soviet
Collectivization and the Terror Famine (New York: Oxford University
Press, 1986), especially chapter 16.

(3) David E. Stannard, American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New
World (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992), p. 151.

(4) See Iris Chang, The Rape of Nanking: The Forgotten Holocaust of
World War II (New York: Basic Books, 1997), pp. 99-104. Also, Haruko
Taya Cook and Theodore F. Cook, Japan at War: An Oral History (New
York: New Press, 1992), p. 39.

(5) John Pilger, The Secret War: “The U.S. War Against Iraq is well
under way” in The Mirror (December 20, 2002), as posted on ZNet

(6) Jeffrey St. Clair, Been Brown So Long It Looked Like Green To
Me: The Politics of Nature (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press,
2004), p. 133.

(7) R. David Edmunds, “National Expansion from the Indian
Pespective,” in Indians in American History, ed. Frederick E. Hoxie
(1988), pp. 159-165.


Chess: Five gain good shot at La Union Open chess crown

ABS CBN News, Philippines
March 8 2004

Five gain good shot at La Union Open chess crown

By Manny Benitez
TODAY Chess Columnist

A thrilling race for the top prizes developed after coleaders Barlo
Nadera and Ronald Nolte fought to a short draw in the penultimate
eighth round of the weeklong, cash-rich La Union Open chess
tournament, allowing three others to join them at the helm with 6.5
points apiece.

Nadera, an international master (IM) from Mandaue City, and Nolte, a
national master (NM) from Baguio City, called a truce after only 15
moves of a Nimzo-Indian duel. Both belong to the Air Force team.

In an e-mail from San Fernando City, publicist Marlon Bernardino
quoted Nolte as saying: `Napagod na yata si Barlo kaya nakipagkasundo
siya ng draw sa aking kahit puti pa siya.’

They shared the lead with IM Richard Bitoon of Medellin, Cebu, who
beat Jerome Balico of Isabela in 39 moves of another Nimzo-Indian; NM
Darwin Laylo of Marikina, who outplayed NM Yves Ranola of Caloocan in
48 moves of an English; and NM Ronald Llavanes of Naga City, who
stopped Ferdinand Leysa of South Cotabato in 44 moves of a Modern

Just half a point behind the five leaders were four players led by
lone Grandmaster (GM) Eugene Torre, who outclassed Alex Milagrosa in
31 moves of a Vienna.

The three other 6.0 pointers entering the ninth and final game were
IM Petronio Roca of Dasmariñas, Cavite, Fide Master (FM) Fernie
Donguines of Parañaque City, and Rustum Tolentino of Cagayan de Oro

They won against Roland Salvador of San Jose del Monte City, Jermel
Abordo of Mexico, Pampanga, and FM Jesse Noel Sales of Calamba City,

The top prize of P80,000 is at stake for the champion of the
tournament organized by the National Chess Federation of the
Philippines with the support of La Union Gov. Victor Ortega, San
Fernando City Mayor Jane C. Ortega and the Villa Estrella Beach

Tournament director is Engr. Joseph Dumuk.

Meanwhile, the Reykjavik Open chess tournament got under way on
Sunday (Monday in Manila) in the Icelandic capital made famous by the
historic Bobby Fischer-Boris Spassky world championship match of

Top players from all over the world, including Russian GM Alexei
Dreev, teenage Chinese GM Bu Xiangzhi and the former Australian
champion, GM Ian Rogers, are competing in the nine-round event.

The top three finishers are to qualify for the Reykjavik Rapid, which
will take place from March 17 to 21.

Former world champions Garry Kasparov and Anatoly Karpov of Russia
are to lead a cast of heavyweights, including former challenger Nigel
Short of England, Emil Sutovsky of Israel and Peter Heine Nielsen of
Sweden, in the rapid event.

In Armenia, a memorial tournament in honor of the late ex-world
champion Tigran Petrosian, the deaf former chimney sweeper who
reigned at the height of Soviet hegemony from 1963 to ’69, starts on

Although he had the reputation of being a relatively dull player
because of his positional style of play, Petrosian is the only
champion in chess history who swept through the interzonal and
candidates’ matches undefeated.

The Petrosian Memorial will be held in Stepanakert, Karabakh, in the
former scene of conflict between Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1992.

Soccer: Ronaldo knock helps Hakobyan hang on

uefa.com, Switzerland
March 8 2004

Ronaldo knock helps Hakobyan hang on

A weekend of injuries, cup action and wayward finishing ensured that
Ara Hakobyan is still the unlikely leader of the ESM Golden Shoe
standings as the majority of European leagues enter the final
straight of the season.

Something of a miracle
It would require something of a mircale for Hakobyan to top the
standings at the end of the season. Indeed, the FC Banants
sharpshooter, who hit 45 goals in the 2003 Armenian League season
which finished back in November, has looked like being overhauled for
several weeks now.

Ronaldo injury
Last week Real Madrid CF striker Ronaldo moved to within just one
point of Hakobyan and the Armenian’s tenure at the top looked set to
end, but the Brazilian failed to score at the weekend and even limped
off in the closing minutes of his side’s match against Real Racing
Club Santander with a hamstring injury that will keep him on the
sidelines for at least one league game.

No headway
Thierry Henry, who leads the rest of the chasing pack, was in top
form, but his two strikes for Arsenal FC in the FA Cup against
Portsmouth FC do not count in the Golden Shoe standings.

Makaay makes a move
SV Werder Bremen’s Ailton and AC Milan’s Andriy Shevchenko were among
the contenders who were in league action but both drew blanks and
were substituted during their clubs’ wins. One man who did score was
last year’s winner, Roy Makaay, whose two goals for FC Bayern München
against Bayer 04 Leverkusen lifted him six places to 14th.

Pos Name Club (Country) Gls Val Pts
1 Ara Hakobyan FC Banants (ARM) 45 1 45
2 Ronaldo Real Madrid CF (ESP) 22 2 44
3 Thierry Henry Arsenal FC (ENG) 20 2 40
3 Ailton SV Werder Bremen(GER) 20 2 40
5 Tor Henning Hamre FC Flora (EST) 39 1 39
6 Ruud van Nistelrooij Manchester U.FC(ENG) 18 2 36
6 Djibril Cissé AJ Auxerre (FRA) 18 2 36
6 Viktors Dobrecovs FHK Liepajas Metalurgs (LAT) 36 1 36
9 Alan Shearer Newcastle United FC (ENG) 17 2 34
9 Andriy Shevchenko AC Milan (ITA) 17 2 34
9 Louis Saha Fulham FC/Manchester United FC(ENG) 17 2 34
12 Roland Kollmann Grazer AK (AUT) 22 1.5 33
13 Henrik Larsson Celtic FC (SCO) 21 1.5 31.5
14 Salva Málaga CF (ESP) 15 2 30
14 Pierre-Alain Frau FC Sochaux-Montbéliard (FRA) 15 2 30
14 Roy Makaay FC Bayern München (GER) 15 2 30
17 Mista Valencia CF (ESP) 14 2 28
17 Francesco Totti AS Roma (ITA) 14 2 28
17 Martin Max FC Hansa Rostock (GER) 14 2 28
17 Didier Drogba Olympique de Marseille (FRA) 14 2 28

Last updated: 22 February 2003

Only the leading five countries (Spain, Italy, Germany, France and
England) on the UEFA Ranking have two as their multiplier. This is to
emphasise the difference in (international) performance level between
the clubs from those countries and those from the other countries.

A player cannot first play in a summer league (eg. Norway) and then
in a winter league (eg. Spain) and combine the points total for each

Figures from Voetbal International

Submitted by Janoyan Ana