Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011



OMG! KIM KARDASHIAN is in the news again! Which is always amazing, because: She can't act. She can't sing. She can't write. She certainly can't speak...like...ya know...very good. But somehow she always manages to grab headlines. However, this time it's different.  KIM is in the news for a good thing.  This time it doesn't involve a 'stud-pro-athlete boyfriend' or a 'late-night-all-babe catfight' or a 'super-hot-but-sleazy-sex-tape.' Nope, this time Kim is going political! And she: "really hopes that if I can bring awareness to the issue...then this is an accomplishment." You Go, KIM!!

Sorry, we got ahead of ourselves. We forgot to tell you what issue Ms. Kim is trying to raise awareness about. You might not know, but her dad Robert is Armenian. KARDASHIAN (Քարտաշեան in Armenian) means "son of a stone-mason."  Armenians dislike the Turks so much that in Armenia, every April is the official "We Hate Turkey Month." So when the Turkish edition of COSMOPOLITAN magazine ran a photo of gorgeous (but Armenian) Kim on their April cover, all hell broke loose in Asia Minor.  Armenian activist ARAM HAMPARIAN called it "rubbing salt in the wounds of Armenians everywhere."

As Kim explains it, she did photo shoot for various editions of Cosmo magazine worldwide and wasn't explicitly told any shots would appear on the Turkish cover. Had she known, she never would have agreed to such an insulting notion. Why?  Because of the past.  From 1500-1915, the Ottoman Turks ruled over an immense empire, stretching from the Balkans in Europe to North Africa, not to mention the entire Middle East.  Included in this massive nation were a few Christian groups like the Armenians.   Called Gavours (infidels) they were allowed freedom of worship, but little else.  The Turks gave Armenians the worst jobs, and then overtaxed their paltry salaries.  Armenians couldn't carry weapons nor could they "ride atop a horse."  When they tried to complain, they were told Armenian testimony is inadmissible in Turkish courts.

Life went on like this for centuries until Turkey joined Germany and Austria in the First World War.  They hoped to rejuvenate their limping empire.  The opposite happened.  British forces, led by LAWRENCE OF ARABIA liberated the Middle East of Ottoman rule. Russian armies stormed into the Caucasus Mountains.  Sensing their inevitable defeat, Turkish generals decided to turn their frustrations on the defenseless Armenians.  They demanded an 'instant draft' of 50,000 men for their army, thus slowing down the Russian army and killing a bunch of Armenians at the same time.  When local leaders refused on APRIL 24, 1915, horrific events quickly ensued.  With international attention squarely placed on the battlefields of France, Turkish forces committed horrific acts against their already marginalized minority, murdering over a million men, women and children in cold blood.

For nearly a century, Armenians like the KARDASHIANS have complained that the world turned a blind eye to the genocide. This was aided by unfortunate circumstances: The Russian army finally made it to Eastern Turkey in 1917 and were the first to discover the hideous atrocities.  They reported seeing "schools with dead children piled up out front."  Horrified, the Russians became enraged and proceeded to slaughter the responsible Turkish troops.  This actually helped the Ottoman army.  After the war, there were few surviving military leaders for the international courts to prosecute.  No trials meant no publicity.  The surviving Armenian population would be split up into the Soviet Union and the new nation of Turkey...two nations not exactly known for freedom of the press.

That is until KIM KARDASHIAN spoke up! Today, the world needs to congratulate the famed socialite for keeping us informed of an important issue.  (Did I really just say that?)  And please remember the Armenians THIS SUNDAY with a moment of silence.

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