Trump puts end to Armenian lobby’s influence on US
Baku, Azerbaijan, Jan. 31
By Elmira Tariverdiyeva – Trend:
Donald Trump, the new US president, turned out to be an unpredictable and determined politician, who already in the first days of his presidency, demonstrated that he won’t be led by the majority when it comes to his vision of the country's national interests of the country.
It seems that Trump’s presidency will become an inexhaustible topic for discussion by experts and political scientists around the world. However, I would like to consider a rather narrow aspect of this issue - relations with the diaspora, more precisely, with the omnipresent Armenian diaspora, the position of which in the US deteriorated considerably when Trump took his office.
The history of the Armenian diaspora in the US is a history of a parasite on the host’s body. Expanding and taking roots, Armenian diaspora at some point became an essential part of the US society, and could start to bring some demands to the authorities, and throughout many years, these demands were satisfied at the very least.
More often, leaders of the Armenian-US organizations had close contacts with senior Democrats in Congress and the White House.
For example, Hillary Clinton, a candidate for the Democrats at the last US election, has maintained close relations with some representatives of the Armenian community throughout many years.
In general, it is not even about Clinton, as the Armenian lobby was able to use a peculiarity of the US government – it is known that after the Kennedy era, people who were at the pinnacle of power in the US always represented someone’s interests. It could be the interests of those financial institutions that sponsored expensive election campaigns of US senators. These political figures, trying to get the most financial instruments, were very loyal to the sponsors, among which were also large US diasporas. And being already in office, they had to consider their sponsors’ interests.
This scheme has never been a secret. On the contrary, the Armenian lobby quite openly made claims of money injections. In 2012, leading pro-Armenian organizations announced they would not support the re-election of Democrat Barack Obama in connection with the violation of the campaign promise to recognize the so-called "Armenian genocide".
With Trump’s accession to power, a fundamental change occurred in the established pattern of lobbying pro-Armenian interests.
The new US president is not poor and doesn’t need sponsors. A representative of the oligarchy, a successful businessman, who financed his pre-election campaign himself, without external investments and donations, has suddenly become frighteningly independent. He owes nothing to anybody, the Armenian diaspora has absolutely no influence on him, and that this trend will last for at least four years, terribly frightens Armenians.
Harut Sassounian, publisher of The California Courier, told Armenia’s “First News” publication that the Armenian lobbying organizations tried fruitlessly to meet with Trump in order to find out his position on Armenia.
Sassounian said that during the election campaign, Armenian organizations, representatives of the Armenian community were trying to have a meeting to see what Trump thinks on the "Armenian issue", which position he holds, but, again, all attempts regarding the meeting failed.
This is not surprising considering that during the recent election, Armenian organizations spent millions of dollars for the uncompromising and aggressive campaign against Trump, by using all means - from the continuous attacks on the Internet before to the active dissemination of misinformation.
The end of 2016 was a complete disaster for the Armenian lobby in the US taking into account that Trump became president after Armenian lobbyists dug up dirt on him and pro-Armenian Republican Senator Mark Kirk, who stood against Trump, co-chairman of the Congressional Caucus on Armenian issues, congressman from Illinois Bob Dold and Nevada pro-Armenian and anti-Trump Senate candidate Joe Heck failed to enter the Senate.
Even if the pro-Armenian senators and congressmen came to power, then they would be unpleasantly surprised by the new president.
According to the pre-election campaign, one of the points of the new US president’s plan was the fight against lobbying in the government bodies.
"We will introduce a five-year ban for the officials to become lobbyists after leaving the administration and a lifetime ban for the officials to lobby on behalf of foreign governments," Trump added.
Trump is quick to fulfill pre-election promises proceeding from the first ten days of his presidency.
As for the regional approach as a whole, Trump’s independence from political interest groups in the US can help him to sensibly consider the South Caucasus-related issues proceeding from the US national interests, rather than the interests of the Armenian lobby.
Elmira Tariverdiyeva is the head of Trend Agency's Russian News Service