Archive for September, 2007

San Francisco’s Mt. Davidson Cross Plaque Stolen

NBC11 from California reports that the plaque, honoring the memory of Armenian Genocide victims, of the famous Mt. Davidson Cross in San Francsco has been stolen in an act of a possible hate crime. Turkish ultranationalists in action?

A 160-pound, 3-by-4-foot bronze plaque that sat at the foot of San Francisco’s Mt. Davidson Cross has been stolen, San Francisco Police Captain Dennis O’Leary said Friday.

The giant plaque commemorated the Armenian Genocide perpetrated by the Turkish government from 1915 to 1918.

It was bolted to a concrete base.

“This is a very serious matter,” said O’Leary. “We are considering all possibilities.”

O’Leary said investigators were also considering the recycling value of the bronze plaque as a motive for the theft.

The department sent out a message and photos to all the metal recycling plants in the Bay Area, and an additional flier to police departments throughout California, O’Leary said.

The 103-foot Mt. Davidson Cross was built and inaugurated by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1934.

In 1997, the people of San Francisco voted to approve the sale of the cross to the Council of Armenian-American Organizations of Northern California to preserve the structure as an historic landmark.


Olympic Torch for Darfur in Armenia

A survivor of Darfur’s ongoing genocide (right) leaving the Armenian Genocide Memorial in Yerevan, capital of the republic of Armenia, where the Olympic Torch for Darfur was lit by the eternal fire. Photo and Press release from AAA.

The torch relay is a message to China in asking to stop its support of the Sudanese regime that carries out the 21st century’s first genocide.

See story at

“Samsung” Lighter Projects Bin Laden Image

At least one imported lighter in Armenia, an American ally in the war of terror, has an extra button that projects number one terrorist Bin Laden’s image while pushed, reports A1+

Lighters allegedly made by “Samsung” company are sold in Yerevan stalls. The mysterious picture of Usama Ben Laden is hidden under the lighter. When you turn on the lighter you see Ben Laden’s picture.

While Armenia’s officials are not able to verify where the lighter is from, many goods in Christian Armenia are imported from Muslim countries such as Turkey, Iran and Syria.

In the stall, were the lighter was bought, no one was able to tell as were they bought it for the purposes of resale. They ensured that they saw it for the first time, and that might be the only lighter with the picture of Ben Laden in the whole pack. Abgar Eghoyan, Chairman of the Consumer Rights Protection Union said that it was difficult to find out the country where the lighter was imported from, since it was a commercial secret. He also said that it might be imported illegally. “It is very difficult to find it out in our country. Unfortunately, there are goods in the country that are not certified and the sellers will hardly have the invoice of the goods”.

Samsung’s official website has no information on the lighters allegedly made by the techno giant.

Click here to watch the video that demonstrates the confiscated lighter’s projection of Bin Laden.

Turkey Has Made No Mistakes

Another journalist is facing charges of “insulting Turkishness” in Turkey for an article titled “Turkey Has Made Mistakes.”

“The state made mistakes. When and where? Yesterday, in the East and South-East. then in Istanbul. In Maras and Sivas. Today in Trabzon, Istanbul, Mersin and in the South-East.”

These words have taken journalist Haci Bogatekin to court.

Bogatekin owns the local Gerger Firat newspaper in Adiyaman, south-eastern Turkey. Because he criticised state policies in an article entitled “Turkey Has Made Mistakes”, published in his newspaper on 10 March 2007, he is on trial for “degrading Turkishness, the Republic, state institutions or its organs” – Article 301 once again.

Today (26 September), the Gerger penal court decided to have the next hearing on 6 November, in order to allow the journalist time to present evidence and prepare his defense.

Requested legal support 

Bogatekin has requested legal support from the Press Council and has said that he will ask the Adiyaman Bar Association for help.

At the court hearing today, Bogatekin’s complaint that the indictment had been prepared “without doing any research” was rejected by the court.

Call to “keep the country clean” 

In his article, Bogatekin holds the state responsible for “the deaths of millions of Armenians and Syriac Christians in the East and South-East, after that the deaths of the Alevi in Dersim, then the Greek Orthodox in Istanbul with the September movement, and more recently the deaths of hundreds of people in Maras, Malatya, Corum and Sivas”.

He also criticised the employment policies of the state, saying “Do those who murder in the name of the state, who siphon the money out of the banks make contacts with MIT [the Turkish secret service]?

Those exacting money have become like an army which dares to direct the state. In the East, they have begun to decide on the politics. Commanding themselves, they have started to do any job that is dirty and ominous, to exploit the people…”

He ends the article by saying, “Keeping this country clean is the duty of us all. If we do not accept this duty, the consequences will be dreadful. We will not have a future.” LINK 

Evil Constructionism in the US

Since how and when Ahmadinejad became America’s enemy most Americans would not tell you. But for some reason many are adamant that the Iranian president is the evil.

At least that’s how the media portrays Iran’s authoritarian president.  Of course a few would defend Ahmadinejad’s sinister denial of the Holocaust, but comparing him to Hitler and calling him “the evil” is pretty silly. What’s worse is that the media seems to be behind this evil-constructionism and there are few voices that question America’s paranoia for the authoritarian president and needless to say the millions of people he represents.

How is Ahmadinejad worse from Sudan’s president who is massacring millions of people? Why don’t we invade Sudan for committing a genocide?

I want to invite you to read a Huffington Post entry by Cenk Uygur, the main host of a radio show called “The Young Turks.”  Uygur is one of the few dissidents who asks a question America’s “liberal” media forgets or doesn’t dare to.

Mahmoud Ahmadinejad denies the Holocaust. Let me ask this provocative question: so what?

Of course, I understand that people have a visceral reaction to that claim. It is grossly untrue, offensive and ignorant. But we are also told how dangerous Ahmadinejad is because he doesn’t believe in the Holocaust. I fail to see that connection.There are countless people all across the world that deny many things that are patently true — and we don’t go to war with them over it. Senator Inhofe (R-OK) denies global warming. As far as I know we are not planning on invading Oklahoma over it.But Ahmadinejad is the leader of an important country in the Middle East. Well, so is Tayyip Erdogan, the Prime Minister of Turkey. He denies the Armenian Genocide. Should we invade Turkey? I bet I can find you at least half a dozen world leaders who deny one genocide or another. Should we suit up and restart the draft? We’ve got a lot of countries to attack.

Uygur’s reference to invading Turkey for denying the Armenian Genocide is to the point. And I type these words with hope in my heart for Turkish-Armenian reconciliation because Uygur is himself Turkish-American, and he himself has denied the Armenian Genocide in the past and has apparently overcome his nationalistic beliefs about history.  

Now it is time for us Americans to overcome our nationalistic, evil-constructionist traditions about making enemies. Condemn Ahmadinejad for denying the Holocaust; condemn any person, especially those in power, for denying any genocide, but think about the future of your children. Do we want another war of terror?

Famous Hitler Speech Photo Found

Photo: English holding the photograph of Hitler’s Aug 22, 1939 talk

Hitler’s famous Aug. 22, 1939 talk, in which he reportedly quoted the impunity of the annihilation of the Armenians as proof that the Nazis could easily eliminate millions of people, is documented in a photograph not known of until today.

A small newspaper in America’s east cost, iBerkshires, has published an interview with local resident Darrell K. English whose “collection of World War II artifacts numbers in the thousands.”

One of these artifacts is a

photograph [that] was taken Aug. 22, 1939 – 10 days before the invasion of Poland. Essentially, it’s the day World War II began in Europe, the day that Hitler called his commanders to his mountain retreat, the Berghof, to tell them that months of German maneuvering and mobilizing were about to unleashed on Europe.

“We know when it was taken, we know what was said during that meeting,” said English. “Now we have an actual photograph of the actual date and the actual happening.”

The story goes that this was where Hitler made his infamous remark “Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians?” when speaking of the coming destruction of the Polish people.

Since the iBerkshires journalist goes on to wrongly state that “most historians discount [Hitler’s] remark [about the Armenian annihilation]” – referring only to a small number of historians who discount the remark in order to discount the Armenian Genocide – it is worth to note that Hitler’s Aug 22 speech is not the only time when he talks of the extermination of the Armenians.

Eight years prior to the 1939 speech, the editor of “Leipziger Neueste Nachrichter” R. Breiting had two secret interviews with Hitler. In one of the two interviews, Hitler said, “We intend to introduce a great resettlement policy; we do not whish to go on each other’s toes in Germany. In 1923 little Greece could resettle a million men. Think of the biblical deportations and the massacres of the middle Ages and remember the extermination of the Armenians.”

So while there is no available empirical proof – such as a tape – of Hitler’s 1939 speech to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that Hitler referred to the annihilation of the Armenians ten days before invading Poland, the 1931 interview with Breiting is an unquestionable fact that Hitler did refer to the impunity of the Armenian genocide.

The fact that a photograph from the 1939 speech exists, nevertheless, gives hope that it might have been taped as well. This reminds me what David Davidian, an Armenian activist, told an online group several months ago. In the 1980s Davidian was approached by a CIA agent who told him there was a tape of the 1939 Hitler speech in Israel which is not released by the Israeli government.

Today we have the photo of Hitler’s speech with no words, but tomorrow we may also get to listen to Hitler’s actual remarks. Blocked in Turkey?

At least one person I know of says they are having trouble accessing the website of the Armenian National Committee of America – – from the republic of Turkey. Has it been blocked?

Would Socrates Keep a Blog?

After rereading Socrates’ “Apology”, as documented by Plato, I wonder whether he would keep a blog if he lived in the 21st century.

I guess the only answer I know is that I don’t know if I will ever know. But that questions still tempts me. What do you guys think?

Kirk Kerkorian Ranks Richer Than Me

So Kerkorian is #7 billionaire in the US&A, says Forbes Magazine.  So Simon has some catching up to do – I mean I am only $18.00 billion short but I still have a bit more formal education.

Net Worth $18.0 billion Source MGM Mirage (quote: MGM), Investments, Self made

Son of Armenian immigrant fruit farmer dropped out of school in eighth grade. Trained U.S., British fighter pilots during WWII. Flew surplus Air Force planes across Atlantic after war before building charter flights company Trans International Airlines; sold for $104 million profit 1966. Acquired Flamingo Hotel in Las Vegas 1967, built International Hotel 1969. Sold both properties to Hilton Hotels 1970. Went Hollywood: made billions buying and selling movie studio MGM, 3 times since 1969. Back to Vegas: nabbed Steve Wynn’s Mirage Resorts for $6.4 billion 2000, then Mandalay Bay Resorts for $7.9 billion 4 years later. Today MGM Mirage owns more than half the hotel rooms on Las Vegas Strip; shares up 140% in past 12 months. Attempted to personally buy Bellagio casino, unfinished 76-acre resort complex CityCenter from MGM Mirage this spring; pulled out after company struck deal with Kerzner International to develop 40 acres of land on Strip. In August sold half of CityCenter, 9.5% chunk of MGM to Middle East investment firm Dubai World for $5 billion. Spent 20 frustrating months fighting to reshape General Motors; believed to have sold entire stake last November.

Grave Wars: Armenia and Azerbaijan

The wipe out of medieval Armenia’s largest cemetery in 2005 by the Azeri authorities has finally brought international attention, at least in media, to the protection of both Armenian and Azeri monuments in the region.

Three articles from this week’s Institute for War & Peace Reporting (IWPR)  issue deal with cultural protection in the South Caucasus – from another Armenian cemetery being erased by the Azeri authorities in Baku (that I wrote about in early June of this year); two mosques in Shushi being restored by Armenians to show off they are far from Azerbaijan’s official policy of cultural genocide, and a more realistic situation of Azeri graves neglected in Armenia.

One needs to applaud Azerbaijani-Armenian conflict expert Tom de Waal –  an IWPR editor – for his equal concern for Armenian and Azeri monuments.

Although rarely mentioned in these days, the unbelievable destruction of Djulfa has, perhaps, shook off people that cultural heritage protection is not a pr issue but a real concern.

The academic community seems to share the view. The world’s premier, and probably the oldest, history magazine, is interested in documenting cultural destruction. In its upcoming November issue, History Today will feature an article on the Djulfa destruction by this author.

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