Monte Melkonian, an Armenian-American revolutionary, was a leader of an Armenian Secret Army for the Liberation of Armenia (ASALA) offshoot in the 1980s and a commander during the First Nagorno-Karabakh War.
In 1978, Melkonian participated in Iranian demonstrations against the Shah and later served in an Armenian militia during the Lebanese civil war.
Notably, he was involved in the assassinations of Turkish diplomats and the 1981 Turkish consulate attack in Paris, leading to his imprisonment in France.
Released in 1989, he traveled to Armenia a year later. Despite having no prior military service, Melkonian commanded an estimated 4,000 men in the Nagorno-Karabakh War, leveraging experience gained while fighting in Lebanon.
Known as Avo, he was killed in battle surveying Merzili village and was posthumously declared a National Hero of Armenia in 1996.
Below you will find some of the famous quotes by Monte Melkonian.
Top 5 Monte Melkonian Quotes
The momentum of the times is leading people from one mistake to another. We are witnessing this in our own ranks, too. ~ Monte Melkonian.
The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan is, in the long run, going to hurt the USSR in immeasurable ways. ~ Monte Melkonian.
The right to self-determination refers to the right of a given population (usually a nation) to create its own future more or less free from external coercion, but within the limits of the historical realities with which it is faced. ~ Monte Melkonian.
We do not believe in benevolent friends, the inevitable triumph of justice, or covertly and cleverly manipulating the superpowers. If we are to achieve national self-determination, then we ourselves, the Armenian people, will have to fight for it. We believe in the power of organized masses and in the capacity of our people to determine their own future. We believe in revolution. ~ Monte Melkonian.
The relationship of a people to their homeland is crucial. A people will naturally have a difficult time maintaining a common cultural identity without a collective presence in their homeland. Only in its homeland can a people develop economically, culturally and socially as a homogeneous entity. In fact, this is the crux of why some of us consider it necessary to struggle to live in our homeland. ~ Monte Melkonian.
Famous Monte Melkonian Quotes
Exploitation and oppression are in themselves forms of violence, and to defend myself and others I will leave all my options open, including violent options. This is natural, and the way things go. I don’t care whether someone has been born into a position of oppression or if he has “worked” his way there. If he oppresses, he oppresses. If he refuses to correct his behavior the easy way, then we’ll just have to do things the hard way. It’s as simple as that. ~ Monte Melkonian.
In view of our strategic goal, and keeping in mind that objective conditions within “Western Armenia” have made it necessary to re-evaluate the future status of that region vis-a-vis the Armenians, we have argued that the much-vaunted “Free, Independent and United Armenia” is neither attainable nor preferable, from the position of the interests of the Armenian people. Propagating this chimerical goal only depletes our already limited human and material resources and wastes time which we cannot afford to waste. ~ Monte Melkonian.
It is about time that we loudly repudiate the romantic conceit that ‘My pen is my gun.’ Pens are pens and guns are guns. There are more than enough ‘intellectuals’ in the diaspora. What we need are fighters, soldiers, fedaiis. ~ Monte Melkonian.
A memorial can be rebuilt, but victims of genocide cannot be resurrected from the ashes. In view of this very real threat [of Turkish military aggression] the demonstrators who chant for ‘independence’ from the Soviet Union are for the most part unwittingly calling for national destruction. ~ Monte Melkonian.
I don’t care whether someone has been born into a position of oppression or if he has “worked” his way there. If he oppresses, he oppresses. If he refuses to correct his behavior the easy way, then we’ll just have to do things the hard way. It’s as simple as that. ~ Monte Melkonian.
Monte Melkonian, a third-generation Central Californian, was a trained archaeologist who spoke eight languages. He left the country of his birth at an early age, to participate in the Iranian revolution, the defense of the Armenian community in Lebanon, the guerrilla resistance in mountainous Kurdistan and the combined Lebanese-Palestinian anti-Zionist resistance. ~ The Right to Struggle.
No amount of moral admonishment or “indirect pressure” will guarantee that our demands are met, in the absence of our own organizational presence on the ground. Only by struggling ourselves can we convince our allies of our attachment to the revolution, to the land, and to our national rights. And only by struggling ourselves will we have the chance to impose our demands, in the face of all reactionary opposition. ~ Monte Melkonian.
So these were the 13 top quotes about Monte Melkonian.