April 24th, 2011


Of forgiveness and forgetting

 "And other than that, Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?"
That's what it feels like to be told that we should forget the past and move on, focusing on making the most politically correct foreign policy decisions: like a bad joke.  
Yes, as a logically reasoning person I understand all the arguments for making tactical peace with Turkey, who is an ally not even the US dares to anger.  I understand the importance of not living in the past.  I understand that with with political tensions in the region climbing high, the last thing we want to do is antagonize the West by calling presidents liars for not delivering on promises made in reverent tones to the Armenian communities in their countries during their election campaigns.
But as a living, breathing, and moreover, feeling Armenian letting go of something that according to the international community has not even happened is proving just a tad difficult.  I personally do not want lands or reparations, what I want is an admission of guilt.  I want this personal and national tragedy to be called what it was: a deliberate and systematic extermination of a national group.  The Armenian national group.  Perpetrated by the Turkish government.  The Armenian genocide. 
Not "great atrocities".  Not "Medz Eghern".  Not "massacre" or "mass killing".  
Yes, it is a pissing contest.  Yes, it is a fight over semantics.  No, I don't believe in forgiveness without repentance.
Believe me, I want to forgive and I want to forget.  I want to kiss and make up.  I want to close is horrific chapter in my nation's history and train my eyes on the future.  But how would you have me do it, if my pain and the pain of my people is said to be fictional?
P.S. There is a wreath laying ceremony at the Armenian embassy in Washington, D.C. at 4 pm today.