EDITORIAL: Governments & Morality

This is to all those who believe their governments have an ounce of morality, to all those who believe in a just world, to all those who campaigned for the recognition of the Armenian Genocide this year or any year before and to all those who desire moral politics above all.

Welcome reality, welcome April 25th. Welcome to the sight of Prince Charles who attended the Turkish ceremonies at Gallipoli on April 24th, deliberately organised to coincide and distract from Armenian Genocide commemoration ceremonies. Welcome another year of failure of the Turkish Government to recognise the brutal Genocide committed a hundred years ago which resulted in the death of 1.5 million Armenians as well as many Assyrians and Greeks.

The Armenian Genocide stands as a political act to further the aims of a state, just as the Holocaust did in the 1940s. Similarly today, denial of the Genocide acts to further the aims of a state. The Genocide for me does not stand purely as an historical act of cruelty; it stands as a brutal triumph of politics and selfishness over morality. Its denial signifies the continuation of this phenomenon.

If we give up the struggle for justice because the Genocide is now 101 years old rather than 100, we are condoning the continuation of immorality in politics. Moral politics seems like a distant dream, but if one cannot even get recognition for an act which happened when the evidence is clearly present, then what hope do we have of achieving any sort of change towards justice in society? For this reason I will continue my struggle to have the Armenian Genocide recognised.

The below transcript is the speech of Serj Tankian, singer of the band System of a Down, during their free concert on 23 April 2015 in Yerevan, attended by over 60,000 people. He clearly states his opinions on the disgrace of  the lack of Armenian Genocide recognition, in addition to stating his opinions on the development of Armenia as a modern nation:

“For the last few days, I haven’t been able to sleep well. All I can think about is my Grandparents. My Grandmother, was very young when she went on the pogroms, on the road, with her Grandmother. It was a Turkish Mayor who saved my Grandmother. The Government of Turkey should be hailing these saviours as heroes, instead of denying the obvious history. My Grandfather was 5 years old when he saw his own father die, he lost his sight from hunger on the road he ended up in an American orphanage in Greece. The Near East Foundation of the United States has done an incredible philanthropic job around the world especially having to do with saving Armenian orphans. So the fact that the US Government takes the wrong word, to recognise what we know as Genocide, is not only appalling to us, it is appalling to Americans.

Russia has also saved many, many orphans and children during World War One on the eastern front of the Ottoman Empire. They have been a great cultural, ally, neighbour. Being culturally, politically and economically intertwined with our country. Good friends. But as survivors, as a nation of survivors, we need to meet every government eye-to-eye equally, without ever being a client state of another. We have come a long way in Armenia, in 20 years of independence we have come a long way. But there is still a lot of work to do.

It is the responsibility of the Government of the Republic of Armenia to bring in the principles of egalitarian, civic society. Getting rid of the institutional injustice abounds, and stopping the depopulation that is occurring, we are System of a Down and it is our responsibility to tell you these things and to rock you at the same time.”

—Vahe Boghosian

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