Tag Archives: Putin

The Rebirth of a Nation

Armenian Flag

Image courtesy of Pixabay and Marsel Majid

Some in silence and some in tears, the souls of great empires and the brave hearts of nations have left the stage of humankind never again to reappear. It is not for us, those who have lived and walked on an earth soaked in blood to decide the future, but for the young who look beyond the tomorrows and choose their road.

Life now passes too soon for us; it never ends, youth believes, for them.

The empires – the Holy Roman Empire, the Mongols, the Romanovs, the Han Dynasty or the Byzantine- and others are gone and they have washed their hands of their bloody deeds. Why should they be remembered for their horrific chapters in the history of mankind? And surely there is no reason to remember the ignoble chapter in history that the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics played during its brief but perverse era on this globe as a superpower.

Or is there?

We talk today of Russian Mafia, of oligopolies, of the Russian Federation and how Russian President Putin is attempting to manipulate the outcome of the 2016 US Presidential Election. Some would even form alliances with the Russian tyrant. How quickly we forget the evil and the trials and tribulations of the Soviets, of their political plots that led to the murders of millions of innocent men, women and children. Wasn’t it only yesterday that they, the Soviets, were shouting, “We will bury you (United States)!” Lenin, Stalin, Khrushchev, Brezhnev, Andropov, Chernenko, Gorbachev, and Yeltsin have played their roles and are now only a page or two of 20th century history. These men are dead, but the seeds they planted while they were in power still live. Their scarlet flag inspired men and women to plunder and kill anyone who would raise their voices in opposition to their cause.

As an American of Armenian heritage, I cannot lock my lips when I hear the words “ Ottoman” or “Young Turks” or see them on the written page. They murdered my grandfather, my aunts and cousins – who instigated the 1st genocide of the 20th Century, on that ignoble day, April 24, 1915, with their slaughter of 1.5 million of my ancestors.

From the ashes of that genocide the Armenians created the first Republic of Armenia in full view of our beloved Ararat on May 28, 1918. It lasted but three years and then the red, blue, and orange of our flag was not seen again for 70 years. A lack of experience in governance and the reliance of western help led to the demise. The Armenians survived the gulags, the Second World War, the purges, and the bread lines to live another day. That day came on September 21, 1991, when Armenia declared its Independence.

Today, Armenians around the world can stand tall on what the young republic has accomplished as a free society: economic reforms, free enterprise, a market economy that helped stock the shelves of store with foreign and local goods. There are no more bread lines or midnight knocks on the doors, with the KGB breaking them down and making unwarranted arrests.

The rebirth of the Republic of Armenia has been a painful one. But it has given the nation, the first nation in recorded history to go to war to remain a Christian nation, the liberty and freedom to chart its own destiny.

Armenians, history has shown, are survivors. Give them a task, they will do it. Today, in the land of a 1000 Christian churches and the home of Noah’s Ark, life is good and they will make it even better.

“It is not the weight of the problem, but the number of those who are willing to bear the fight and lighten the load that count.” -Armenian adage

In celebration of the Silver Anniversary of Armenia’s independence, John Kerry, US Secretary of State, issued the following statement to the Armenian People:

“On behalf of President Obama and the American people, I want to extend my congratulations to the people of Armenia as you celebrate the 25th anniversary of your nation’s independence on September 21.

“The United States deeply values its warm friendship with Armenia and with all of you. In the past quarter century, Armenia has made great progress, and my government looks forward to continuing to work closely with you in support of shared prosperity, strong democratic institutions, the rule of law, and regional peace. We appreciate Armenia’s consistent support for effective international peacekeeping, and its leading role in responding to the Syrian refugee crises. We are also grateful for the presence in the United States of a vibrant and highly-accomplished Armenian community.

“On this special day, I offer best wishes to all Armenians for a peaceful and prosperous year to come.”

John Kerry,
Secretary of State
Washington D.C.
September 19, 2016

***

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

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The Third World War

World War Three
Image courtesy of Stuart Miles and FreeDigitalPhotos.net

I have joined many of you in prayer for peace and good will among nations. And, obviously, our prayers have yet to be answered.

I have sat at the dinner tables of the Soviet mother who lost all three sons fighting the Nazi invader, and watched my neighbor place the Gold Star in her front-room window, signifying that her son had died in the battle.

In my lifetime alone the conflict between nations has never ceased – World War II, Korean, Viet Nam, The Cold War, the Iraq and Afghanistan Invasions to name a few – the battlefields that have claimed millions of young men and women, and still mankind remains right on course in its insane attempt to commit suicide.

We choose to build rockets with atomic warheads, nuclear submarines, multi-million dollar aircraft carriers and drones, yet fail to provide our people with medical care, food, and clothing. We MUST defend our homeland but our troops are stationed in lands and cities whose names we can’t pronounce or find on our maps.

As Trygve Lie, the First Secretary General of the United Nations once noted…Wars occur because people prepare for conflict, rather than for peace.

If the word is more powerful than the sword, why then have we turned our backs on our knowledge to solve our political difference? Must we continue to be governed on the false and insane premise that might makes right.

For more years that most care to say, the United States has been fighting an “invisible” force of terrorists, known as ISIL, whose top officers consist of the deposed Iraq dictator. Their ranks are made up of the uprooted, disenfranchised, and the disillusioned whose leaders corrupt the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed and the Koran. They spread their venomous teachings of hate and terror in hopes of creating a caliphate whose barbaric foundation would be to enslave all who do not believe in their monstrous views.

As if there isn’t enough pain and suffering today on earth, the world may again be plunged into another world conflict as the fragile cease-fire between Nagorno-Karabakh and its neighboring Azerbaijan has been violated. Even during the truce there have been killings. Rockets fired. Men and women killed.

Nagorno-Karabakh, an enclave of the Republic of Armenia, was part of ancient and historic Armenia that became a part of Azerbaijan shortly after the Bolshevik Revolution, thanks to the generosity of the then Commissar of Nationalities, Joseph Stalin.

Armenia, which in 301 converted to Christianity making it the first nation to accept Christianity as a national religion, had no say in the decision and, the Nogorno Karabakh Armenians were governed by the Sunni Azeri’s until the collapse of the Soviet Empire.

Upon the collapse of the Soviet Union, the Christian Armenians of Karabakh had no desire to live under the heel of the Sunnis and fought for their freedom, which they won. The 192,000 Christian Armenians who composed approximately 75 percent of the population of the region dreamed of reuniting with Mother Armenia.

With 60,000 million Turks in the West and 16 million Sunni Azeris to the East, Armenia is sandwiched between two historic enemies. It is no secret that the Russian Federation and its president, Vladimir Putin would side with the Christian Armenians. They have a mutual defense pact.

But Turkey is a longtime member of NATO, and the Turks, who slaughtered 1.5 million Armenians in 1915, would not hesitate to finish their bloodletting.

Add the countries who signed the Minsk Declaration, a mutual defense pact which includes 11 former members of the Soviet Union, plus the Russian military onto the battlefield…you have the makings of another world war. And that, I believe, is why Putin has dispatched his Prime Minister, Dmitry Medvedev, to the Armenian capital, Yerevan, to talk with Armenia’s head of state, Serzh Sargsian.

And you thought the 20th was a violent century!

***

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

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Putin, Russia, and US

Russian Flag
Image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net and Vlado

Being a political reporter, as I have been for more than forty years, the question I would ask a candidate who is seeking to become the 45th President of the United States is, “How would you deal with President Putin and Russia?”

Like 2008’s presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, I also believe the biggest threat to our security comes from Putin. Our candidates need to do some research into world history:

  • Donald Trump, the great deal-maker and wall builder, may have to face Reagan’s return and the demand, “Tear down that wall!”;
  • Hillary Clinton, the Queen of Spades who digs herself out of any mess she manages to get into;
  • Ben Carson, who went to the same school I went to, so I say nothing else about him here but that he is a Prospector;
  • Jeb Bush, whose dreams of perpetuating a dynasty is being shattered by his ineptness to communicate and the bitter taste of the name Bush;
  • Marco Rubio, a very articulate speaker, apparently has more problems balancing his personal finances than he may have tackling the 17 trillion debt our nation is facing, and
  • Ted Cruz, like the Wisconsin Senator who served from 1947-1957, used emotionally charged words – “Bolshevik” and “Menshevik” – during a recent debate, demonstrating that he doesn’t know a byte about Soviet Russia.

However, the Cold War, the “Iron Curtain”, and the days of socialism and communism are over.

Or are they? With those two words (Bolshevik and Menshevik) during a recent debate, the junior Republican senator from Texas conjured up in my mind the horrific days and nights of the McCarthy Era, the Dies Era, and the ghosts of those who believed they had absolute power over the people of the United States. One only had to say “He (or she) is a communist” and that would end a bright career.

Dies and his Committee and Senator Joseph McCarthy remind us that the worst threat to our freedoms is to close our eyes to injustice. It can’t happen here? Friends, it did happen here…

Back to our candidates. Please note, I do not list the candidates according to their party affiliation. We are Americans and after the last ballot is cast in November of 2016, the President of the United States and the congressmen and women shall serve no party. They are bound by their allegiance the People of the United States.

An unsuccessful candidate for the Presidency, Governor of Illinois Adlai E. Stevenson,  once wrote, “We have to serve the truth as candidates for public office and not mislead, misguide, misdirect the people merely to provoke emotional response and win votes that way.”

These are words that one who seeks our vote should remember.

Back to Putin…just give him enough rope… But also remind him that his tutor, Joseph Stalin, Chairman of the Council of Ministers of the USSR, wrote and thanked President Franklin D. Roosevelt on November 4, 1941:

“Your decision, Mr. President, to grant the Soviet Union an interest-free loan to the value of $1,000,000,000 to meet deliveries of munitions and raw materials to the Soviet Union is accepted by the Soviet Government with heartfelt gratitude as vital aid to the Soviet Union in its tremendous and onerous struggle against our common enemy – bloody Hitlerism…”

Yours very sincerely,
J. Stalin”

****

Note the word LOAN…Webster defines the word as “something to be used for a short time…to be given back with interest…” He never paid us back.

And I believe it would not be fair to the other candidates seeking the presidency if I did not, at least, mention their names. They are: Kentucky Senator Rand Paul; the Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders; Carly Fiorina; Ohio Governor John Kasick; New Jersey Governor Chris Christie; former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley; South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham; Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal; and also unforgettable former Governor Arkansas Mike Huckabee; former Virginia Governor Jim Gilmore; former New York Governor George Pataki, and let us not forget former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

There are a few others who have filed that you may want to consider for the Oval Office. I (and probably you) know little if anything about: George Bailey (not the character in It’s a Wonderful Life); Esteban Oliverz; Jefferson Sherman; Dale Christenson; Chris Hill; Michael Petyo; Brian Russell; Valma Kittington; K. Ross Newland; James Mitchell, Jr.; Jack Feller (Is he related to Bobby?); Mark Everson; John Dummett; Kerry Bowers; Bartholomew Lower; Eric Cavanagh; Jim Hayden; Brooks Cullinson; Skip Andrews; Michael Bickelmeyer; Andy Martin; Howell Astor; Morrison  Bonpass; Jeff Boss; Harry Brown; Andy Caffrey; Willie Carter; Lloyd Kelson; Doug Shriffer; Michael Steinberg; Robbie Wells; Willie Wilson, and Brad Winston.

If I missed any of the wannabe Presidents, I apologize.

 

 ***

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

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The Girl from the Ukraine

Ukraine flag with "why" graffiti
Image courtesy of Serge Bertasius

She is seventeen. Sharp and tenacious. Born, raised and educated in the in a free and independent Ukraine, she saw her life and the lives of her friends disintegrate as Russian nationalists stood toe-to-toe in her hometown, Ukrainian soil, each claiming the land as theirs.

“Our neighbors were Russians. I grew up with their children. They were and are my friends. I never believed that there would be bloodshed.”

There was. And still is.

As history so often shows and repeats, the on-going political debacle in the southeastern sector of the Ukraine ended in utter defeat for the unprepared Ukrainians as its arch-enemy, Russian and its pariah Russian President Putin occupied the Crimea. And without firing a single shot. Now Moscow is claiming to the rights to the Donetsk basin, the industrial hub of eastern Ukraine.

“My family is fortunate,” she said. “My grandmother lives in Kiev. We left our village after the rockets begin to fall. We moved in with her.”

Though it was almost a year ago that she had left her country, she has not forgotten the explosions and the fires that followed. She says she will never forget the madness she witnessed.

Safe now thanks to a U.S.-Ukrainian foreign student exchange program, she is attending classes in a nearby high school. Her host family thought it would do her some good “to talk to someone who knew her language and had spent time in Russia.”

My wife and I were pleased to have her as a guest at our home.

Her English, thank goodness, is far better than my Russian.

She told me she had heard so much about America and was eager to learn more. She believed that America was an extraordinary country filled with extraordinary talented people and was especially honored to be able to come here and attend school.

I told her that I had spent time in her country and played basketball the cities of Sverdlovsk and Dnepropetrovsk and Kiev. And I believe that her country and the Russian
people, like most Americans, are hard-working and peace-loving people.

“Then, why must we have wars. When will all this madness stop?”

Clearly, I couldn’t give her an answer.

I don’t think any human being could.

 

 ***

bookTom Mooradian was one of 151 Americans who traveled to Soviet Armenia to repatriate during the 1940’s. Thought to be a spy by the KGB, Tom miraculously survived 13 years behind the Iron Curtain winning the hearts of the Soviets through his basketball prowess.  Filled with political drama, romance, and intrigue, Tom’s autobiography, The Repatriate reads like a novel, and will have you guessing how Tom managed to return to America alive.
The Second Edition is now available on Kindle and in Paperback!

Save