Nearly a century after the event, the Armenian genocide is the subject of intense controversy. Like in Faulkner’s South, in the Caucasus “the past is never dead. It’s not even past.”
The latest example of this comes from The Republic of Georgia, where a near brawl broke out in parliament after an opposition lawmaker brought up the issue. Last year the parliament recognized the Circassian expulsion in the late-19th century, and Armenians in Georgia are asking for similar recognition. It is not clear from the RFE/RL piece whether the opposition deputy favors this; it appears that he is using it to tweak Saakashvili, who supported the Circassian recognition over the deputy’s objection.
Regardless, the mere raising of the issue inflamed another deputy, a man of Azeri descent:
Baghaturia’s comments drew the ire of fellow deputy Azer Suleimanov. His family’s country of origin, Azerbaijan, is a staunch ally of Turkey, which rejects the term “genocide” for the Armenian mass killings.
When Baghaturia dismissed his objections with a wave of his hand, Suleimanov angrily reached into his pocket, drew out a tube of Vaseline and flung it at Baghaturia.
What I want to know is: What is a parliamentarian doing with with a tube of Vaseline in his pocket?