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Hypocrisy Challenged: Rights come with Responsibilities

The final conclusion of the PACE meetings regarding the recent events in Armenia
defied all logic. Example after example was given of fraud, restrictions of free
speech and press, unlawful imprisonment and use of force in Armenia leading up to,
during and after the elections. Yet the fundamental conclusions of the initial
OSCE report stood. With now 10 dead and many more injured, over 100 imprisoned,
and revocation of free speech, press and the right to protest, one wonders what
other rights must be removed and lives destroyed to convince the impartial PACE,
or any other organization for that matter, that the elections of February 19, 2008
in Armenia cannot be legitimized.

As with all Rights, the right to express an opinion which will be respected and
seen as objective carries with it responsibility. This is especially true when
the opinion directly contributes to violence and destruction. Weak statements in
the aftermath of such violence and in the face of increasingly obvious truths are
made in large part to satisfy contradictions, to maintain veneers of integrity and
to satisfy consciences. Organizations move on, but peoples and nations are left
in the wake of these paradoxically noxious interventions and opinions. There are
two reasons that responsibility is not taken for consequences, and they are not
mutually exclusive. The first is indifference. While the formation of
organizations and committees to help spread and institute democracy is applauded,
there is no true investment in such principles, and as such, as long as there is
no direct impact of a small country being torn apart, there is no need to take any
responsibility. The second is a sense of superiority, be it moral, cultural,
psychological or otherwise. Giving oneself the right to interfere deleteriously,
without regard to consequence, to loss of human life, is setting oneself not only
apart, but above, from these realities.

Undoubtedly there are numerous challenges in contradicting an already published


statement. What is the use of yet one more organization on security, cooperation,
or democracy that cannot stand up for the principles on which it is founded. In
light of that, those courageous individuals who have been consistent with the
principles that these organizations are meant to uphold are to be commended.

One dares to hope that the outcome of the meetings this Thursday to be held in the
US Congress will be more in line with the latter group.

Save Armenia Action Group


April 14, 2008