Tuesday, February 25, 2003

Lena, don�t feel bad or alone for being rejected by the OSCE. I was not rejected, but their conditions for being excepted seemed too unreasonable for me.

First of all, I was told that I had to have someone at the American embassy who could vouch for who I am. This in itself was the only problem I had to get in, as it would mean that I would have to go to Yerevan and register at the embassy this week, which means I would have been stuck in Yerevan for a couple of weeks and I don�t have that much time to spare.

So Lena if you or anyone else wants to join me, I�m starting the OSEC, which we will take anyone who wants to be an observer, even the natives to make sure we get good coverage (kind of like the 2002 Diaspora conference where every ministers relative and neighbors were given a suit, tie and name badge and told to wonder around the conference hall to make it look like there were lots of people from the Diaspora in attendance).

I figured that with all the electronic products like JEC (instead of JVC) or Panaphone (instead of Panasonic), the name OSEC would be easily mistaken for OSCE. I�ve also learned that if you walk into anyplace in Armenia and act like you belong there, no one will question your credentials and I�m sure everyone will think that we are with the OSCE.

So I have a plan to run off on my color bubble-jet official OSEC identification badges and since no one will be expecting OSCE observers in the regions, we are going to cover those areas that Kocharian got the most votes.

I was also thinking that we would not just be observers, but in a way police the polling stations and really rattle the cages of those stuffing ballot-boxes by camping out at the same polling station (maybe even bring an old couch, beer and some munchies to help pass the time), this way we are sure that people are not being intimidated and police are keeping their 50 meter distance from the entrance.

A notepad will be issued to each of our observers to jot down notes and they stare and shake their heads in disapproval at everything they see. This in itself should keep everyone on their best behavior.

I think it will also be helpful if everyone takes on American names like Bill Brown and Heather Smith, which are written in English so few will be able to read them. It�s much more intimidating this way and will be just like what went on at the 1999 Diaspora conference when Kocharian�s government stationed guys in dark glasses at the door with such name tags, who were turning the natives away from entering the conference, even though everyone was suppose to be allowed in.

We will only have to worry if someone asks us what we are doing (kind of like how I asked those guy back in 1999) at which time one of us will distract that person with small talk, while the rest of us vanish (which is what happened back then to me). See, I�m learning how things are done around here.

I�m thinking that Kapan and Goris would be the best place for us to patrol, as I heard that Kocharian had a very high percentage of votes there.

So Lena, I mean Heather Smith, if you want to join the OSEC, your application has been pre-approved and you can now make your dream come true and be part of this history making moment.

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