The Arab Spring and the Armenian Winter


By Edmond Y. Azadian

The political turmoil artificially created in the Arab and Muslim world has come to be named euphemistically as the Arab Spring, as if promising a better future for the citizens of that region. Instead, political instability, economic collapse and bloodbaths have come to be associated with that spring.

As one observes carefully, that “spring” visits certain specific countries, while others are bypassed. And that selection is based on the political orientation of the target country.

The avowed promise of the “spring” is to bring democracy, human rights and freedom to the nations subjected to the breeze of that gentle season. For example, that “spring” never visits a country like Saudi Arabia — a most reactionary country where people’s limbs are chopped off based on antiquated medieval laws and women not only rank as second-class citizens but they are bought and sold much like cattle in marriage. In the same category are Kuwait and the Emirates where the majority of foreign workers are treated as slaves, while the ruling class enjoys obscene opulence.

These are the darling allies of the US and enjoy the political epithet of “moderate,” truth notwithstanding. But the main reason that the breeze of that “spring” does not blow in their direction is because they are never perceived as a threat to our strategic ally, Israel. Thus, the rest of the Arab and Muslim countries are entitled to benefit from that “spring.”

The Middle East correspondent of London’s Independent, Robert Fiske, has pointed out the irony of the Arab Spring, where a medieval despotic kingdom like Saudi Arabia is engaged in an open war to bring democracy to Syria, the only Muslim-majority country where political Islam has no place, or at least did not until hired mercenaries were sent to destabilize that strong, progressive, and yes, authoritarian country. Saddam Hussein of Iraq was the first victim of that policy concocted elsewhere in the West and exported to the most stable countries.

This “democratization” campaign begins with the docile media, ridiculed by Mr. Fiske as the tentacles of their respective governments, be it the demonization of the targeted government or a particular ruler until the saturation point where poison and lies have convinced the public that that particular demon deserves to be overthrown.

And then the international law becomes a caricature to justify the lawless actions of the powerful.

All informed and participating agencies had certified that Iraq did not possess weapons of mass destruction, yet the Bush-Cheney administration had decided to topple Saddam Hussein and make the first Arab country to serve as a political and military base for Israel Iraq (namely, in its current semi-autonomous Kurdish region). After one million casualties in Iraq, and 4,500 deaths in the US army and 50,000-60,000 permanently injured veterans to burden the US economy, the carnage is still continuing with the same intensity in Iraq and the US economy still struggles to recover from $3-trillion war damage. No one is questioning what happened to the “democracy” promised in Iraq. Only Saddam Hussein was sent to the gallows and the perpetrators of the war are still enjoying life in their bunkers and the Halliburtons of the world are reaping the booties of the war.

Syria is next on the chopping block. No one had raised a voice to bring change in Syria — contrary to media fabrications. But the change was introduced in Syria at the butt of guns by mercenaries who have wreaked havoc. Despite coordinated aggression by Turkey, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordon, at the behest of the US president, Assad is still in power. The last chance to destroy that country hinges on the Tomahawk cruise missiles of the US Navy, amassing at this time in the eastern Mediterranean.

Another country to “benefit” from the Arab Spring is Egypt, where a transformation is in the offing as the military tries to tame the violent Muslim Brotherhood.

All these countries had served as a haven to the survivors of the Armenian Genocide. Armenian refugees flourished in these countries without discrimination and built affluent communities.

Saddam Hussein protected the Iraqi-Armenian community. The churches, the schools, cultural and youth centers thrived through the government’s generosity. Making such public statements is anathema to the engineers of war but they are only the truth. Today, those churches, schools and businesses are the target of the vandals who were supposed to bring democracy to Iraq.

As of this writing, the remnants of Aleppo’s affluent Armenian community are under the protection of Assad’s government, who had treated the Armenians as creative and privileged citizens of Syria. Should that government fall, Armenians would be the first target of the Jihadists who have put Aleppo under siege.

Glenn Beck — otherwise the most unsavory of political commentators — circulated recently a graphic video and stated, “We are supporting cannibals.” At this moment those cannibals are at the doorsteps of each Armenian still stranded in Aleppo.

The Syrian War has already spilled over into Lebanon where another affluent and well-established Armenian community is affected.

Egypt was one of the safest countries in the Middle East, ironically, safer than even the US. Not any more. Blood is flowing in the streets and burglaries, kidnappings and rapes have destroyed the fabric of society. Many Coptic churches have been burnt down. The attempt to burn St. Gregory Armenian Church, on one of the main thoroughfares in Cairo, was not successful, but that does not give comfort to the Armenian community, as the Christians have become the unwanted minorities in the country, targeted by the very same seekers of “democracy” that the West supports. Many of those freedom seekers, after the dust settles, show themselves to be intransigent and hard-core fundamentalist Muslims that turn on their Western sponsors.

The Arab Spring has only brought mayhem to the countries it has visited thus far. There are no organized Armenian communities in Libya and Tunisia, but those countries also have been destabilized, threatened with violence and fragmented.

With the fall of the “Evil Empire,” the balance of the world power was destroyed and the Western countries have a free hand to “tame” the rest of the small nations by promising democracy and offering bloodbaths.

Thus far, the “Arab Spring” has turned into the Arab nightmare. In the process, Armenian communities are destroyed. A century after the Genocide displaced Armenians once again are forced to join the ranks of the world refugees, abandoning their ancestral homes and churches, as well as prosperous businesses and affluent cultural life. The Arab Spring has created an Armenian winter.