Notes From Hairenik
I haven't spoken to one person so far who is not excited about Barack Obama taking office today. For the most part everyone believes something good will come out of his presidency. They can't predict when necessarily and may not know in what sphere will the changes be obvious per say, but they do think that he will restore good relations with the rest of the world. I for one am hoping he will put increased pressure on the Armenian government to enact democratic reform and in the process drastically reduce corruption. He will surely repair damaged relations with Russia which will be beneficial in the long run to the entire region. Hopefully a reasonable, viable solution to the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict will be found, too during his presidency, one in which all parties will agree to despite having to accept compromises that may be hurtful to some extent. 

Armenians not only in the US but worldwide are also banking on his campaign promise to recognize the Armenian Genocide. The Turkish foreign minister Ali Babacan is already warning against that, which means Turkey is treating his words very seriously. It's a dream for many Armenian-Americans, especially those few survivors who are still alive, to hear their leader acknowledge one of the most poignant tragedies of the 20th century as what it exactly is--genocide. I don't know exactly what will change as a result but here's hoping on April 24 he'll say what most everyone--excluding the Turkish government--wants to here. 

There are some bizarre theories about what may happen during Obama's term. One friend of mine for instance believes that the United States of America as a union will collapse and as a result each state will become its own separate, sovereign republic. I've heard something similar from another friend. Although I naturally think it's an absurd, meritless notion I wasn't about to tell him, since that's his belief and I don't want to lambaste him for having it. 

But I know one thing. I am relieved that Barack Obama is going to put the US once again at the forefront to demonstrate the nation as a beacon of hope, liberty and democracy that it is known for but was demoted, even mocked, by much of the world during the last eight years. Quoting former president Gerald Ford, the long national (and hopefully soon, international) nightmare is over. Time to start anew.

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Blogger Ani said...
This statement from Obama's inaugural address is especially important to Armenia:

"To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist."

Is anybody listening?

As for those with the absurd notion about the United States breaking up, you simply don't get it. Please read the linked article from today's New York Times:

In McCain Country, Acceptance of Obama Grows

Not a single county in Oklahoma stirred from the orderly phalanx marching behind Mr. McCain, the senator from Arizona who was the Republican nominee, and Mr. Driskill, the owner of an insurance agency in downtown Tulsa, said he was proud to be in those ranks. Statewide, two out of three voters supported Mr. McCain, the highest percentage in the nation. But that staunchly Republican, conservative Oklahoma is harder to find now.
In interviews in the week leading up to Mr. Obama’s inauguration, many people here said a tolerant spirit toward his presidency has been hastened, paradoxically, by some of the same groups that voted mostly Republican in the election. Those include active or former military personnel, and people who identify themselves as evangelical Christians, two groups with traditions of respecting hierarchical order and strong leadership.

“Oklahomans understand and respect the elections process,” said Chris Benge, a Republican from Tulsa who serves as speaker of the Oklahoma House. “Once the president has been determined, the vast majority of people are willing to get behind him.”

Blogger Christian Garbis said...
Funny that I was also thinking the same about the quote you cited.