Latest:

A Wake-Up Call for Armenia and the Diaspora

Two weeks ago a few hundred Armenian citizens and activists heeded to Shant Harutyunyan’s call for revolution. Armed with homemade explosives, batons, and rocks they started marching toward the Presidential Palace, clashing with police on the way. Harutyunyan and several of his followers were arrested and remain in jail.

They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Harutyunyan had justified his call for revolution by the need to “protect dignified life.” However, in the barrage of information that has since emerged, two alarming facts stand out: Harutyunyan is the leader of a party by the name of Tseghageron and, as he has said himself in an interview, Hitler has been one of the figures who have played a formative role in the development of his ideas.

Additionally, while a peaceful change in leadership for the better would be a welcome development in the homeland, it is worrying that there are people in Armenia today who won’t shun violence to achieve this end.

Whatever your opinion of the man or the event, one thing is clear: It is a sign of desperate times when people are willing to take matters into their own hands with whatever “weapons” they find. I personally would not have followed Harutyunyan. However, what transpired in the streets of Yerevan on Nov. 5 should be a wake-up call both for Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora.

In Armenia proper, the ruling regime that has clung to power so ferociously thus far needs to understand that it must make changes if it wants to avoid potential bloodshed in the country. It is true that Armenia faces many external challenges today. However, no excuse under the sun justifies the government’s continued failures to safeguard the rights of its own citizens, let alone violate them, and to provide them with the opportunity for a decent life. Not the threat of war from Azerbaijan, not the border blockade by an uncompromising and hostile Turkey, not even a bullish Kremlin that has no lessons to provide on good governance. None of these issues are a reason for the poverty, the absolute lack of the rule of law, and the increasingly bold reign of oligarchs in the country. Armenia’s internal challenges are purely “the work” of a short-sighted, irresponsible, and morally corrupt leadership.

Even if solely out of self-interest, President Serge Sarkisian needs to finally step up and start addressing some of these challenges. First and foremost, he needs to put in check the country’s oligarchs that are shamelessly operating above the law. Next to the rule of law, the country today is in dire need of investment in industry, in infrastructure, in the creation of jobs—not investments in pretty benches and decorative flamingos that add to Yerevan’s aesthetic beauty but serve no purpose otherwise! This means an end to monopolies, a crackdown on corruption, and a transparent business environment that encourage foreign investment. An internally stronger, more stable Armenia is better positioned to face the external challenges mentioned above. It is a simple equation. Surely, even Sarkisian knows that.

In the diaspora as well we require a transformation—of priorities and mindsets. The Armenian Weekly recently published a thought-provoking article that discussed the dynamics of the relations between the diaspora and Armenia and the underlying disconnect that exists between us. It is a disconnect that is defined by the lack of knowledge and understanding of the day-to-day struggles the citizens of Armenia face, as well as a lack of involvement and contribution beyond philanthropy. Dare I say, for some in the diaspora, it is even a disconnect defined by the absence of Armenia from definitions of Armenianness and interpretations of what being Armenian involves.

Of course, it is not fair to paint such a large and diverse diaspora with one broad brush. However, many would agree that, in general, diasporans and their institutions and organizations have not been able to “catch-up” with the realities of post-independent Armenia.

One might argue that too much is being expected of the diaspora. After all, it’s been 100 years since we’ve been living outside our ancestral lands, which are not even in present-day Armenia. We now have fourth generation descendants of Armenian Genocide survivors who are growing up as diasporans. We have done a good job preserving our identity throughout the century, organizing ourselves politically to pursue Armenian Genocide recognition and yes, we have poured much money into Armenia since its independence.

Isn’t that the whole point, however? Haven’t we done too much to stop now? More importantly, weren’t all our efforts exerted because we wanted to correct the historical wrongs committed against us as a nation? We wanted to persevere as Armenians and, in time, live in a free and independent homeland.

That independent homeland is here now, it is facing many challenges, and it is high time we engage with it more tangibly. For that to happen, we first need to think of Armenia as one of our priorities. It needs to enter the diaspora’s ‘agenda’, the same way we hailed Robert Kocharian’s administration for announcing that Armenian Genocide recognition had become part of Armenia’s foreign policy agenda.

There are many things we may not be able to change in Armenia but there are many ways in which we can make a positive difference. Individual diasporans can find a way to directly contribute in their own capacities whether it is through studying and working in Armenia, volunteering, partnering with those in Armenia who are trying to make a change, or morally and financially supporting them. Having these tangible links will also be essential for the future generations to feel connected to their own roots as they grow up.

To be fair, it must be acknowledged that things are changing in the diaspora. Today there is more awareness and a stronger sense of urgency with regards to Armenia than there was last year or the year before. A debate is starting at an institutional level, at least in the U.S., and at an individual level there are quite a few examples of diasporans involved hands on in Armenia. However, we need this change to be happening at an accelerated pace. The Nov. 5 events in Yerevan remind us that as diasporans, we need to make a few changes of our own, too.

49 Comments on A Wake-Up Call for Armenia and the Diaspora

  1. avatar Jack Kalpakian // November 22, 2013 at 11:29 am // Reply

    Far too much is being made of the actions one extremist. Also, why exactly is the country so stressed? The answer is clear: the blockade, and until blame is placed squarely on the blockading state, no amount of bellyaching about the supposed failure of the Armenian government can be regarded as honest.

    • Or maybe you could to not take everything back to the Armenian genocide and Turkey, take some responsibility for your own problems and corrupt political system, and stop feeling sorry for yourself.

  2. Nice – finally a direct call for the diaspora to recognize that instead of fighting for the lost land, we should try preserve the land in hand.
    Here is a rough guide for the “homeless” tribe that needs to realize that it’s time for their homecoming:

    1) Stop blindly supporting the Church; for every dollar you give ask how much it’s doing to alleviate poverty, promote equality and a just society in Armenia – the Church is as corrupt, and well linked to the Oligarchs, as the present day government. What happened to our Church limiting the King’s tyranny?
    2) Stop the nonsensical rhetoric – start constructive dialogue between the factions (Dashnaks, Hnchaks, BS – it’s all the same at the end of the day).
    3) Stop the philanthropy without a means to measure how much it will contribute to your brother: how it would stop the depopulation, how it will improve your homeland’s Economy. Money in exchange for a shiny medal from the Catholicos or the President is going to be a rusty piece of junk once those two are gone.
    1) Do visit Armenia and experience the last cradle of our culture (whether you like it or you don’t), it was preserved by the blood of your ancestors.
    2) Do hold the Armenian political organizations (in Diaspora) accountable for promoting the current tyranny. Their only job except fighting the Genocide denial is to fight the unjust Armenian government
    3) Do lend money to the Armenian farmer or tradesman through Kiva.org – don’t give, lend and expect the money back, then lend again to someone else. If you prefer charity, give it to the 70 year old woman, not to the organization that will enrich the oligarch.

    • avatar Dianna Torossian // November 22, 2013 at 5:32 pm //

      Thank you Gago aper jan. You said it Well.

    • hargeli yeghbayr gago
      I stand behind everything you say…
      the church and all the satanas it houses must be neutralized and put out of business,
      would should form non religious, civic societies/organizations/non political, to link all Armenians in one website, so that whether lending money or giving direct donations can actually happen without intermediaries

    • avatar edward kerian // November 23, 2013 at 4:27 pm //

      Thank you Gago for your comment. What you said makes complete sense and is very true.

  3. Great article. Right to the point.

  4. Several countries in Europe are clinging to power ferociously, with higher level of corruption than Armenia and NO blood has been shed in those countries, if anything happens the only people that should be accountable are the people who try to destroy the harmony of slowly but sure process. Democracy should be taken wisely, and the Armenians should not fall in the trap of inferiority complex to have a higher level of Democracy than those European countries, The survival of Armenia should come first and not to compare itself with advanced hundred of years old Democracies, nor to go after a mirage that is no more no less than a mirage

  5. They got rid of socialism and now they complain about the oligarchs. Every country deserves the government they get.

  6. Hourijan,

    I widely appreciate your article. But since years similar calls and demands have appeared in the past – all with no success. Therefore I have a certain understanding for people that ask for a revolution. We have a government that nobody can talk to. Whether from inside nor from the Diaspora. What do you expect from a president, whose own brother is one of the leading Oligarchs? How can you rule a country, if you are unable to straighten up your own family ? Then we have to realize that the overwhelming majority of these Oligarchs are extremely egocentric and surely are of lower intelligence and not well educated. As far as I know the population sank already under two million. Oligarchs don´t care for that ! They are ruining the country by their stupidity and ignorance. Nearly ALL young people want to leave the country and I ask myself, how can they love a country that offers them no chance.
    Its all in the hands of these Oligarchs. I am sure, if they would pay wages of 6 – 700 dollars monthly, nobody wanted to leave this wonderful country. Have you already asked yourself how you could get married, if you earn 200 dollars monthly ? Therefore I very much appreciate the practical and practicable proposals in Gagos upper comment. I am sure they are not changing the country totally, but they are a help in a fatal situation. If these Oligarchs were better educated they would understand that these wages of 6 – 700 dollars are automatically returning to them, as the present system is not allowing any different circulation of money !
    As I already expressed I can understand people who see no other way out of the misery than revolution, but please not by people who adore Hitler !

  7. Excellent article, Houry. As I have been saying for a long time, unless there is democratic change soon, there will be a revolution, whether we want it or not. And yes, as you put it, it has to be at an accelerated pace.

    For those who claim that democracy is a mirage, I always wonder how these people can live in countries where they enjoy the benefits of these “mirage” and deny the benefits of the same mirage to our brethren in Armenia. Even assuming that it’s a mirage, it is a mirage that works. It is a system which (in the case of the U.S.) attracts millions of people every year, including thousands of Armenians. And it is a “mirage” that has turned the U.S. into a superpower, precisely because millions of people, including thousands of our brethren, choose it every year. It only makes sense to establish that “mirage” in Armenia so Armenian people will stay in Armenia and make their country stronger, instead of strengthening other countries.

    And we do not have the luxury of hundred years to establish democracy in Armenia. We need democracy now, because Armenia is hemorrhaging now, and Azerbaijan is watching impatiently while Armenia keeps bleeding. That is why democracy is a matter of national security for Armenia. Personally, as I have said before, I prefer the American model of democracy for Armenia rather than the European, since it has proven (due to its spectacular success) to have just the right amount of democracy: not too much, and not too little.

    As for the blockade, those who leave Armenia do not point to the blockade as the reason. They point to the lack of justice, lack of rule of law, and lack of hope. All curable with democracy. If the blockade is the main reason for poverty, why doesn’t it affect the oligarchs?

    We Diasporans can accelerate democracy in Armenia by stopping aid to Armenia (including the upcoming telethon). The pain will force the people to push for change harder. And we Diasporans need to voice our support louder for those in Armenia who want to make change.

    The rulers of Armenia need to understand that it is in their best interest to allow democratic change. First, as the article points out, it will prevent revolution. Second, the current rulers will go into history as the founding fathers of the new, democratic, and powerful Armenia. History will remember that, not their past crimes. First, they need to adopt a new workable constitution modeled after a successful country (again, my preference, the U.S.). Armenia’s current rotten system starts from its poorly drafted and unenforceable constitution.

    Democracy will also be in the best interests of the oligarchs, because rule of law will guarantee the protection of their property and rights. They will not have to worry that the regime will take away their property just because they fell out of favor with the regime.

    And most importantly, it will benefit the people, because it will invite more Diasporan investment, which will create more jobs, which will lead to economic strength, which will lead to military strength, which will put Armenia in a better position to solve the issue of the blockade.

  8. avatar Arusyak Ludy // November 22, 2013 at 4:13 pm // Reply

    The speculations about Hitler are more than inappropriate. You will not follow Harutyunyan, Houry, as you said, by the simple reason that obviously you have no idea who is Shant Harutyunyan. Before writing such article, you should learn the matter more profoundly. My suggestion is, first, try to find out who’s SHant Harutyunyan, than try to find out what’s the real actual situation in Armenia, not what you read in newspapers or official announcements about Serj and his regime, than you can permit yourself to draw an image of things you have no idea. Your explanations about Shan’t Harutyunyan, his revolution and the events of 5th of November have nothing to do with reality, sorry for you.

    Regards

  9. Arusyak,
    That is not a speculation about Hitler. The man said it on television. And it’s available for everyone to watch. I think YOU have some catching up to you as far as reading is concerned. This very newspaper reported on it, together with the link to the video. http://armenianweekly.com/2013/11/05/activists-clash-with-police-on-guy-fawkes-day-in-yerevan/ and here’s the link to the notorious Hitler reference. By the way, this is not the first time he mentions being inspired by Hitler: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=25qT4Cs27Mc

  10. avatar gaytzag palandjian // November 22, 2013 at 5:22 pm // Reply

    Thanks Houry for expanding on what I have written here on other threads.Mine are short,sometimes full of errors,since I am three times your age probably and no time to delve into details.
    Vahagn is surprisingly mixing up his thought of Democracy with a Democratically oriented and LED one.You see, what Armenia officially now pursues IS DEMOCRACY…you cannot denominate it as Socialist or Social Democracy etc.But…..it has run WILD.For such is the nature of democracy,¨have dough we´ll travel¨.If those who make big profits pay very little taxes…it is similar to…..and if some just took over riches that also is very much familiar in some such countries..
    Armenia needs,rather needed to have gone through a TRANSITIONAL PERIOD of Euro Socialiosm,…at the very least , to then enter into the EU like Demcracies, like Greece,did,portugal and Spain did.All three went througha 12/13 yrs of Spocialism before by and by entering into the Euro system which is apparently-in some countries Socialsit,actually practicing open Democracy..SKY IS THE LIMIT style.If tomorrow this writer winds a big lottery and is Politics oriented can easily organize his candidacy if not to presidency ,to a very important position in this that country. that is by virtue of using DOUGH,,cash , bucks…
    This is not a right type of democracy.People should be elected for THEIR MERITS NOT FOR HAVING MONIES AND SPENDING IT IN CAMPAIGNING FOR BECOMING Oligarks and or Moguls in their own right.
    I have suggested the mild Socialism that the Scandinavian 3/4 countries practice and have proven to be very practicable and STABLE. Sweden or norway are self sufficient,have very balanced Economis, ,so is Finland and Denmark.Further down below the EU countries after the transitionalperiod decided in favour of so called Democracy at its full value,with no limits….
    I think I have exhausted my theories,rather ¨suggestins¨
    Take care

    • Gaytzag, just because Armenia’s government says that it officially pursues democracy does not mean that it does. You can’t have democracy as long as elections are rigged and laws are broken by the government. I don’t mind socialist oriented economy if that is what the people want. But the people of Armenia can’t have what they want as long as the elections are rigged. Wrong people are elected in Armenia not because they spend money, but because they stuff ballots and have the same people vote more than once. And those who speak up are intimidated, beaten, and sometimes killed. That is why Armenia needs democracy, with proper checks and balances, so when one branch breaks the law, the other branch tries to stop it.

  11. The Bagratuni Kingdom fell because of this same kind of thing; corrupt and greedy leaders who sold out their lands for profit, and a lack of unity in Armenia as a whole. We must learn from their mistakes.

  12. Thank you Houry, for a very well intentioned and balanced article.
    Several clarifications are called for though. You say Sargsyan should stand up to the oligarchs. Well he can’t and he won’t because he serves the interests of a narrow group and he is indistinguishable from the oligarchs. So that solution will not work.
    No society prospers without rule of law. No society has a good system of rule of law without some degree of economic prosperity. A nation has to bootstrap its rule of law as it improves its prosperity. Lack of a prosperous setting often creates an environment for greater corruption. (e.g. lack of education, lack of institutions etc.).
    Coming to the Diaspora, much is made of them, but the majority of them are too ignorant and prejudiced towards RoA. Or, they are lost in their petty political loyalties that have no bearing or place in the current landscape for the RoA and the Diaspora. I, as one of them, am often ashamed of their haughty and righteous attitudes, who see themselves above the lowly hayastantsis, as if they created the western world civil societies. They forget that many of them were born in countries worse off and more corrupt and backward than RoA.
    I understand that we are desperate for answers. Be it the rule of law, or the usual fallback; the diasporan saviour, with their wealth, knowledge and altruism. The latter could not be further from the truth and is only advanced as a solution by self-deluded diasporans.
    RoA has to fix its legal system, judicial system, and liberate its economy from the hegemony of the oligarchs, before even blaming the blockade by Turkey. When it achieves those three goals, it can begin to prosper, retain its citizens and grow its population by affording them with opportunities.
    It can be done, and has to be done organically. The person you mention has questionable judgement, but if more people such as him marched on parliament and turfed out the regime, only then will they see some progress. First there will be turmoil and a price to pay for the disruption, and there is real risk of backsliding (see the “arab spring”s for reference). But with nothing ventured, nothing is gained! We just will continue to gripe….

  13. The article starts with, let say wrong information. They were not more than 20, the rest were civil officers, Shant mentioned that before the march, asked police to call back those provocators and do not let clashes to happen, explosives were thrown by civil policemen, there is lot of video material in youtube, proving that. And yes, there were no rocks.
    This is already enough for questioning the integrity of this article, but let’s go farther a bit, and see what happening here, and why.
    The party Ceghakron doesn’t exist since 90’s. Shant is the coordinator of the AUM, Armenian united movement. Your formulation of the information about his inspiration by Hitler is manipulative. First of all I want to remind you, that there were lot of people, who were and are holding responsible positions in societies, have been inspired by Hitler as revolting teenagers. The latest former pope of Rome was one of them. Many youngsters have been taken in by verbal garbage of elders, and were manipulated, but the absolute majority of them are antiracists today. Shant is one of them. You are misleading the reader by telling that he told in the interview that Hitler inspired him. More exactly he was telling that he was influenced by many as a kid, Hitler among them, but as grown up he see today, that it was his sister, who died two years ago, was his real source of inspiration. Shant is speaking human rights, dignity, equality among nations and humans in more than 10 years now. It is a huge error to assassinate his character in this way, if it is not done by purpose. Than it is a crime.
    I really hope that this is not the matter.
    Some more about being inspired by Hitler. In Armenia, as 12-13 years old kids, we were calling us Nazis. We never saw jews, those few in Yervan were our friends, still are, our Nazism had nothing to do with any nation at all. We were so limited in information in USSR, you can’t imagine. We knew communists, and we hated them. Hitler was the enemy of communist, so he was a friend of ours. This was the logic of all inspiration. And I am glad we went through that bullshit as teenagers, and left that garbage behind us as young men, because there are huge amount among us, dashanaks for example, who are national socialists as elders. This is a real problem, not Shant’s or whoever’s inspiration by the jerk as teenager.
    I am amazed by your silence in your article about the fact that Shant and another friend of his are facilitated in psychiatric hospital, instead of the prison, when it is widely known that such facilities were the torture fabrics of the KGB, which is not lustrated in Armenia after 20 years of independence.
    Do you understand what is happening there really, and why Shant went out to march? Almost 10-15% of our population, u huge part of them among dashnaks, the church and all kind of Armenian riffraff in Diaspora, tens of thousands. They speak our language; they are our brothers, sisters, neighbors, friends, and all of them, organized, secretly, faithfully to the KGB traditions, jail us, assassinate us, drive us mad by torturing in psychiatric facilities, and exile us.
    Are these questions of any concern to you my patriotic sister in pen?
    Don’t you understand that you are insulting your compatriots by calling that jerk president? Don’t you see that the vast majority of people don’t want him, didn’t elect him? Don’t you understand that your titling him as president can be considered as approval of his deeds, killing of 10 our compatriots on March 2008?

    • {“…explosives were thrown by civil policemen, there is lot of video material in youtube, proving that. “}

      you are obviously confused: video evidence proves that Shant had magnesium explosives in his hand and put it in his pocket. he even asks his followers if they had picked up the explosives.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VtIbJG_z7jw

      watch time stamp 0:22 and onward.

      the man belong in a mental institution (where he is now).

  14. Ms. Houry Mayissian:

    Your bias is clearly evidenced by the following statements in your article:

    1. “…a few hundred Armenian citizens and activists…”

    I have watched many videos and still pics of the event: there were no more than about 20-30 ‘protesters’, accompanied by large groups of media and police officers. “A few hundred” implies 300-600 or so. Not even close.
    You are attempting to create the false impression that this was some kind of a popular civic march: it was not.
    It was a criminal act by a small group of mentally disturbed individuals, who had no concern for the safety of innocent bystanders.

    2. “…clashing with police on the way…”

    Not accurate: video clearly shows police officers walking along, not interfering in any way, until Shant Harutyunyan runs onto the middle of a main street, attacking random people with his 4-foot long sharpened thick wood stick, and detonating homemade magnesium explosives in the middle of a public street.

    Police did not ‘clash’ with anyone: police moved in to remove criminals who had detonated explosives in public, endangering the public.
    Ms. Mayissian, do you know what would have happened if something similar was done in _any_ American city downtown public street ?
    Do you know what would have happened if anything remotely similar had happened near the White House USA ?
    We have some idea, don’t we ? Just a short time ago a young, mentally disturbed mother, was shot to death in her car for driving erratically near the White House. Oh, btw, her 1-year old child was in the car when half a dozen police officers unloaded their guns into the car.

    3. “…the ruling regime that has clung to power so ferociously”

    Clung to power ? Ferociously ? What country are you talking about ?
    RPA candidate Serj Sargsyan received 58% of the votes in the Presidential election in February 2013.
    Next best, Heritage candidate Raffi Hovannisian received 37%.
    Perfectly democratic election ?
    No: but the best, most open, most democratic election to date in RoA per multiple 3rd party observers.
    And the main reason Raffi got that high a percentage is because other heavyweights sat out the Presidential election.
    (plus Raffi’s innovative US-style campaign).

    This was later confirmed by the Yerevan municipal council election in May 2013:
    RPA 55.9%
    Prosperous 23.1%
    Barev/Heritage 8.5%
    ANC 4.4%
    ARF 3.8%

    Ferociously clinging to power ? Please.
    RPA is no bed of roses for sure. But you would want immature individuals like Raffi Hovannisian or Zaruhi Postanjian at the helm of the RoA ?
    Do you really expect people who got the least number of votes to run the country ?
    Yes RPA has many issues, but there is no other reasonable, viable political Party that RoA voters can vote for at this time.
    Not the fault of RPA.

    RoA-ARF has mature, intelligent, well rounded individuals at the helm.
    But they are not getting any traction from RoA electorate.
    RoA-ARF has not gotten more than 5%-6% in any election.
    So the people vote for RPA: the devil they know.

    And it is not ‘regime’: it is an elected Administration.

    4. {“… the country today is in dire need of investment in industry, in infrastructure, in the creation of jobs—not investments in pretty benches and decorative flamingos that add to Yerevan’s aesthetic beauty…”}

    OK. Fair enough. RoA does need _more_ investment in industry, infrastructure, creation of jobs
    Who is going to do it ?
    In no country does a Government ‘create’ jobs.
    Real jobs are created by the private sector: demand from consumers.
    Real construction jobs are created by investments: like the new Zvartnots airport terminal, with funding from Argentinian-Armenian businessman Eduardo Eurnekian. Like the new hospital in Stepanakert, with funding from Russian-Armenian businessman Samvel Karapetyan.
    New roads and infrastructure in Artsakh: real jobs created with private Armenia Fund investments.

    Here is a challenge for you Ms. Mayissian:
    RoA desperately needs $5 Billion for a new NPP; can you and your friends help ? Thank you.

    And whether you like it or not, Armenia and NKR have made tremendous strides since the dark days of Independence and the War.
    Both Stepanakert and Yerevan are unrecognizable compared to 20 years ago.
    That, Ms. Mayissian, should be acknowledged by you the same as the problems that do exist in RoA.

    And you pooh poohing the threat of war shows why you and those who think like you have no clue.
    For one of the few times in our history, our leaders are giving 1st priority to what is _vital_ to our people and our nation: Military Power.
    Too many times in our history we were busy building and creating and neglected self-defense.
    Then one day nomad warriors swept in from the Mongolian steppes and took everything: again and again.

    • That is true. He told that he had those. They do noise only, nothing more. When he told that, police was around and no one cared to take him there, immediately when he told that. So was the case with the wooden sticks. They see the guy takes them, tells even before that he is going to take them, the police doing nothing, and when they see he may not blow anything, or at least not before he riches baghramyan 26, they use explosives themselves, catch guys in possessing explosives and wooden sticks. As if they haven’t seen that they have all that form the beginning. And if it is forbidden to have those “explosives”, than they need to arrest all the kids of Yerevan. Who use them everywhere, each day, in thousands? Armenians like entertainment with explosives, you know.
      Never call Shant sick. Please. Consider that he is a hero for many, many Armenians with all right.

  15. avatar gaytzag palandjian // November 23, 2013 at 12:36 am // Reply

    Yeah Vahagn like in FL…when votes were also rigged,eh?
    Come now,this is supposed to be a Wake Up call both for RA and the Diaspora.You think our brethren there don´t know that votes are rigged in other countries?
    Question is to have people elected not through the old type Constituencies ,like it is done in the so called Demcratic countreis but ,like I ¨suggest¨¨ first going through a crystalization mode. the PCA´s .Am talking about us Armenians,we have more than a 100,000 strong Prof.Coleagues and these are the onces that should elect from amongst themselves -NOT THE MAN ON THE STREET,. their Elite, those who will sit with the other PCA´s and well…the delegates from our Political party rep.s and Spiritual leaders to elect the top Body , in Diaspora the Supreme Council of the Diaspora.Indeed in RA, this method may also serve,for there are many many PCA´s in RA as well. well educated and progressive people,not just political party members,just plain non-partisan Professionals…(whether an Oligark or a western style Mogul..-..same category…more or less…
    i´v said enough
    Barev Hasgcoghin.

    • Gaytzag, the 2000 U.S. election were not falsified or rigged. Bush won the election not by fraud, but by law, because in the U.S., presidents are elected by electors, not by the people. Unlike in Armenia, no ballots were stuffed, no one was told to vote more than once. Armenians would much prefer to have that system instead of the falsified elections that they have every time. And what happened in 2000 in the U.S. happened once in the recent history. In Armenia, elections are falsified every time. With falsified elections, the people of Armenia cannot have hope for legal change, and so they will resort either to emigration or to revolution.

    • You are absolutely right, Gaytzag.

      In the recent U.S. history two elections, namely: the 2000 and 2004 elections, were falsified, rigged, and stolen from the American people. In both elections the majority of the voters favored the candidates who have not become presidents in the final outcome. Even if in those elections no ballots were stuffed and no one voted more than once, other, more sophisticated fraud methods was clearly in place. In 2000 election, tens of thousands newly registered voters were turned away because their names were not added to the voter rolls. Others were turned away because they were wrongly accused of being convicted felons. At many polling sites voters were required to show two photo IDs which most American citizens don’t have. Uncounted ballot boxes went missing, while others were found in obscure places. State troopers held up voters for hours while searching their cars, as a result many people left them. Many ballot boxes were never collected from several African-American precincts. In 2004 elections, surveys demonstrated that among the new voters Kerry was a favorite, yet somehow Bush came up with several million more votes than he got in the rigged 2000 election. Democratic precincts were deprived of sufficient numbers of polling stations and voting machines. Many voters were turned away because of felonies they never committed. Large numbers of registration forms disappeared. Oftentimes absentee ballots were mailed out to voters either just before the election day or were never mailed at all. Half of the voters living outside the U.S. who were ABBs never received their ballots or received them too late to vote. In many cases the ballots of African American, Hispanic, and Native American voters who favored Kerry were discarded. Exit polls showed Kerry solidly ahead of Bush in both the popular vote and the electoral college.

      Before the 2004 election several hundred computer professionals had signed a petition urging that all touchscreen systems include a verifiable audit mechanism, because, according to these professionals, touchscreens can be easily programmed to give votes to the wrong candidate. The petition revealed that, technically, a small group of operatives can easily access the election computer network through one machine and thereby change votes at will.

      Hasgcoghnere ksagnan that the very system of electing the U.S. presidents by electors, not by the people, is, by definition, utterly undemocratic.

    • john, of course without you providing any sources, we can’t know how reliable these allegations are, and how prevalent these violations were. With Gore and Kerry conceding, and without much outrage for the 2004 election, it is safe to say that these violations, even if true, did not affect the outcome. Even so, there is a major difference between the government stuffing ballot boxes (as it happens in Armenia), and a local precinct requiring ID cards. The two do not even come close. Citizens of Armenia would dream to have your listed violations instead of the blatant election falsifications that they have. And by the way, the laws requiring ID cards were repealed by the Supreme Court. That is what happens in a democracy. Mistakes happen, but then they get corrected, as the system provides legal avenues to correct them. Armenians in ROA are deprived of that.

      During the last election that I went to, the local Glendale one this year, I proudly walked into my local polling place, was warmly greeted by the smiling Armenian lady, was asked my name without being asked to show any ID, and then took my ballot, voted for my choice of Armenian and non-Armenian officials, and gave the ballot to the Armenian worker, who slipped it into the ballot box. All Armenians, and a pleasant experience in a democratic country. Our brothers in Armenia would dream to have that.

      As for the U.S. president being elected not by people but by electors, it is not utterly undemocratic (you tend to overdramatise things), it is just alittle undemocratic. Alittle undemocratic is fine. America is the best democracy not because it is the most democratic, but because (so far) it has just the right balance and the right restrictions on majority rule.

      By the way, john, what does “ksagnan” mean? How many real, intelligent Armenians would not know that there is no such word in the Armenian language?

    • No, Vahagn, that the U.S. president is being elected not by majority of the people but by electors IS utterly undemocratic without any overdramatization, because such system violates the very notion of democracy (dēmos+kratía, “rule of the people”) in a situation when your highest elected representative is being elected not directly by the people (read: the majority of elected voters) but some out-of-a-clear-sky “electoral college”. I’ve shown in the previous threads that in several instances in the U.S history such a mechanism has produced illegitimate presidents, i.e. individuals who took the office in the final outcome having not enjoyed the broad-based majoritarian support of the people. Most recent case – the 2000 election of the worst U.S. president in the history of this nation.

      I don’t understand—since I’ve never heard before—of the degrees of being undemocratic. What do you mean: “a little(?!) undemocratic”. It’s like to say: “she is a little pregnant”.

      And I guess a mere mistype in the word “khasgnan” is incomparable with a gross slip-up of yours in that Western Armenian language is an accent. This tells a lot—in addition to your many other points—about who you may be and on whose behalf you’re involved in mind-tilting on these pages. Ain’t gonna work, chap.

    • Dear john, “utterly” means “completely.” The U.S. electoral college cannot be “utterly” undemocratic because the people’s voice plays enormous role in it. The electors are appointed by state legislatures, which are elected by the people. These legislatures have ruled that electors from each state have to vote for whoever the people of the state voted for. And the number of electors from each state equals the number of Congressmen elected by the people. With so much role by the people, it cannot be completely undemocratic.

      The electoral system is a little undemocratic because out of 50 or so elections, only 4 have resulted in a president who did not have the majority of popular vote, and only in cases where the votes were very close. 4 out of 50 is by definition “a little.” A girl who were 4-week pregnant out of 50 would also be a little pregnant. It is simple common sense, john, I am surprised why an academic like you is wasting so many digital bytes on it.

      Since you keep making suggestions about my motives and origins, I am really curious john. What do you think is my ethnicity, who do you think is paying me, and for what purpose?

    • It is utterly undemocratic because the people’s voice, even as it plays enormous role in the process, in several instances in the US history played no role in the final outcome. And it is the final outcome that matters. Yes, out of 50 elections 4 have resulted in a president who did not have the majority of popular vote, but many, MANY other elections have resulted in political manipulations that produced both candidates being the nominees of behind-the-scenes groups, such as Council of Foreign Relations, who make sure that whoever out of the two is elected president, the general line of the Establishment is not in any way affected or changed. In other words, for many decades now the American Establishment gives the façade of democracy, not real democracy, to its people.

      Your “common sense” about 4-week pregnant little girl who you think you can call “a little pregnant” is jaw-dropping. Hardly an Armenian intellect would produce such idiotic paradigm. Whoever she is and whatever month she is pregnant, she is either pregnant or not. It is astounding to see to what level of sheer idiocy you can descend to.

      As for your motives and origins, ethnicity, who may be paying me to wander in these pages, and for what purpose, please read, and I invite all other readers to do the same, your own post in “Rendahl: Top Three Ways to Learn Armenian” of November 29, 2013 at 8:08 am, addressed to poster Avery: “[…]learn to spell the name of the country whose people have ruled your ilk for centuries, gyavur, and who will likely resume to do so[…]”

      What idea, do you think, real Armenians can get from this passage about your true motives, origins, ethnicity and purpose??

    • My conspiracist brother john, now you have totally descended from an academic discussion into a conspiracist rambling about secret societies and other nutty stuff. Even assuming there is truth in your statement, Armenians in Armenia would dream of having the “façade of democracy” of the USA. They don’t even have them. Instead, they join millions of people to come and live under that “façade.”

      Now, let’s have fun with a few of your phrases: (phrases by john): “… 4-week pregnant *little* girl …”, “… who may be paying *me* to wander in these pages …” (emphasis by me). Are you seeing “little girls” being pregnant, john? And is someone paying *you* to write here? Or you are too angry to type and think clearly?

      You have failed to answer my question as to who you think I am (as usual, you avoid direct statements and merely make implied suggestions, as a true conspiracist). Real intelligent Armenians can read the context of my statement and conclude that I was merely giving your favorite pseudo-patriot what he was so badly aching for.

  16. since we have enemies that want to destroy Armenian and Artsakh, the government has to make it a priority to take care of it’s own citizens,this is 101 basic governance, take care of their health, education and employment, it is very obvious that this not done, people can not get decent jobs,to support their families, they are at the mercy of the mega rich.they are told to work long hours for low wages,if they don’t like their are others waiting!!!! no body want’s to leave if they have their dignity,a good job and a government that respects their right, the government should take care of the people like a father or mother take care of their children, god help Armenia

  17. If this text was not in English, I could think that Avery is Serzh Sargsyan himself, but that moron can’t speak even Armenian. Your text Avery, is full of so much lies that I stopped reading it in the middle somewhere. I’ve seen soviet and dashnak propagandists enough to be taken in by verbal garbage now, when I am a grown up.
    Three points I will make here anyhow.
    1. Please don’t compare Armenia with USA. America was never an etalon of democracy, in Europe it is not ranked even among first 30 democracies. After Snowdown it will sank lower. That country is never going to be a good example for Armenia. In a huge country like that people can be shoot each day in numbers. In Armenia, with population 3 and halve men, no one shall be shot, no one executed.
    2. Do you know that those who lead Armenia today did last 20 years, never have been close to boarders, not their sons and grandchildren. Hoe it comes that you, a militarist patriot, justify the arrests of those who fought the war and won? Shant was a military officer, a victorious solder, as all arrested with him men are. Isn’t that strange?
    3. You can’t call a person mentally sick and criminal at the same time. More than that: you can’t call a person criminal, before he/she is charged by a legal court, which is in the case of Armenia is none existent.
    I see through you, propagandist.

  18. avatar Arusyak Ludy // November 23, 2013 at 7:28 am // Reply

    If this text was not in English, I could think that Avery is Serzh Sargsyan himself, but that moron can’t speak even Armenian. Your text Avery, is full of so much lies that I stopped reading it in the middle somewhere. I’ve seen soviet and dashnak propagandists enough to be taken in by verbal garbage now, when I am a grown up.
    Three points I will make here anyhow.
    1. Please don’t compare Armenia with USA. America was never an etalon of democracy, in Europe it is not ranked even among first 30 democracies. After Snowdown it will sank lower. That country is never going to be a good example for Armenia. In a huge country like that people can be shoot each day in numbers. In Armenia, with population 3 and halve men, no one shall be shot, no one executed.
    2. Do you know that those who lead Armenia today did last 20 years, never have been close to boarders, not their sons and grandchildren. Hoe it comes that you, a militarist patriot, justify the arrests of those who fought the war and won? Shant was a military officer, a victorious solder, as all arrested with him men are. Isn’t that strange?
    3. You can’t call a person mentally sick and criminal at the same time. More than that: you can’t call a person criminal, before he/she is charged by a legal court, which is in the case of Armenia is none existent.
    I see through you, propagandist.

    Note: I am really amazed by the silence of the writer….I was going to invite the author and those who really care for Armenia to visit some pages and read some information, join us, to liberate political prisoners and free Armenia from this regime, but as I see you are informed enough. The problem is, that those who cares really for free and democratic Armenia, understand all I said with no need to explain. In your case, it is evident that you are propagandists. You are persisting to fool people, to dissimulate the truth. . Sorry for you guys.

  19. avatar gaytzag palandjian // November 23, 2013 at 11:16 am // Reply

    First to Gago and those who liked his post.I did too.BUT why get fragmented and not do it in a GROUPED manner?
    Most know that I have been advocating for a National Movement,no not militancy-wise, but grouping into work-spoeciality/professional types.
    PCA´s ¨Professional Colleagues Associations¨ FIVE ON THE SCEN:-
    The Health-Medical, The engineers& Sci,,The BAR(law),the Sportive and the Jewellers(latter to expand and enlap furnisngis and furniture).We lack 10 more such as Transport& Travel,Banking 6 Finance, The Construction field, ,Food & Catering,Communication IT,the Mines & Industries,The Education& Culture(amalgamation of these in existance),The Environmental& Forestry…
    Within these we mingle better get to knwoa nd learn from ea other….
    The Elkect from each Grouping 3 person Delegates to form oart of the Inter-professional.One most advanced in Prof.One culturally and one economically.(this in each Armeniazn-desnse Township of Diaspora.Then invite 3 person delegatges from our traditional political parties to join in and One each from our Spiritual denominations-THIS MY FRIENDS WILL BE REAL PARTICIPATION AND REPRESENTATION.The E l e c t e d for their M E R I T S ….. Elite, if you wish ….then on to the Central Council of ea community country with ONE delegate only from above,The Central Council is thus formed.WE then strive to have the SUPREME COUNCIL OF DIASPORA, delegating from each Community country One from ea PCA and the politico and clergy(as per their M E R I T S AND CAPABILITIES to Supreme Council(Latter in 5 Departments..Legal -Political in Strasbourg-next to rA delegation ,not sitting withe, but in same town.The exec. in NY: likewise, The Economic in Geneva CH(furutre Loaning to Repatriates to RA9 the Social Services and Repatriation organizing ion Moscow(near abroad).The 5th we have..the only one in st. Etchmiadzin our Spiritual Centre BUT in conjunction with Great House of Cilicia.ALL COMMUNITY COUNTRY CENTR.Councils and the 5 Supreme in constant contact w/ea other through the latest means of communications and Yearly CONFERENCE,EACH TIME IN A DIFFERENT COMMUNITY COUNTRY andthe Departmetns()(5)This in very BRIEF FORMAT MY VISION or rather….
    ¨Projections on a New Statute for the Armenian Diaspora¨that will muster up REAL CLOUT AND B LI-IRAV PARTNER WITH REPUBLIC OF ARMENIA:The main OLd Diaspora and diasporans are there T O S T A Y .Do nod kid yourselves.The 2nd current that came from Middle east ,also intends to stay-hopefully half may repat.But main LARGE ONE THAT LEFT ARMENIA THE 3RD CURRENT OR WAVE is the one that we can help T H U S REPATRIATE AND STRENGTHEN our Republics.Also we will have redone the Diaspora(s)…
    Best hasgcoghin.
    iF GAGO LIEK WISH TO FRAGMENT US MORE AND CREATE EACH DAY ONE MORE aRMENIAN ESTABLISHMENT.pazhalsta(rUSSIAN FOR pLEASE…BUT MAY gOD PUNISH ALL THOSE WHO DO NOT WISH TO group up become one fist…FOR I HAVE BEEN AT THIS FOR MORE THAN 30 YRS DREAMING FOR a strong diaspora and fatherland!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Best again to Hasgcoghin

  20. avatar Ալիս Ադամեան // November 23, 2013 at 12:50 pm // Reply

    Անուրանալի իրականութիւնը այն է ‘ որ մեր ժողովուրդի վիճակը Հայրենիքի մէջ պէտք է բարելաւուի: Մեր թշնամիներով շրջապատուած ըլլալը պատրուակ չի կրնար ըլլալ տնտեսական քաղաքականութեան մը զոր կը ստիպէ երիտասրդութեան արտագաղթը , ժողովուրդի ներկան եւ ապագան մատնելով վտանգի, կարգ մը օլիկարխներու պատճառաւ:Սփիւռքէն պէտք է մեր ձայները լսելի դարձնենք ուշ ըլլալէ առաջ: Բանաստեղծը կ ըսէ «Հայ ժողովուդդ կը վախնամ թշնամին առանձ կռուի տիրանայ մեր Հայրենիքին» Ալ ինչ ենք սպասում:

  21. Some history:The tsekhagron movement was founded by Karekin Njdeh who had to prove to the germans armenians were an aryan race-otherwise the armenians in the nazi-occupied lands would face the fate of the jews.This fact is widely used by the turks to label him and armenians as nazis.So Hitler and his sympathisers are nuts,but no one will call a Lenin or a Stalin sympathizer or any communist a nut-thats political correctness and WASP fair play for you.Would you brand AYF as nazis???

  22. Some history:The tsekhagron movement was founded by Karekin Njdeh who had to prove to the germans armenians were an aryan race-otherwise the armenians in the nazi-occupied lands would face the fate of the jews.This fact is widely used by the turks to label him and armenians as nazis.So Hitler and his sympathisers are nuts,but no one will call a Lenin or a Stalin sympathizer or any communist a nut-thats political correctness and WASP fair play for you.Today`s tsekhagron is called AYF-would you brand them as nazis?

  23. Post by Ալիս Ադամեան: “Մեր թշնամիներով շրջապատուած ըլլալը պատրուակ չի կրնար ըլլալ տնտեսական քաղաքականութեան մը զոր կը ստիպէ երիտասրդութեան արտագաղթը , ժողովուրդի ներկան եւ ապագան մատնելով վտանգի, կարգ մը օլիկարխներու պատճառաւ”

    Վայ մեռնեմ էն արևմտահայ ակցենտիդ, Ալիս ջան: You hit right on the nail. As I have said many times, the excuse that “security comes above democracy” is a dangerous attitude. Democracy is necessary for security. Security is provided by the people, and if the state of Armenia ignores the wishes and rights of the people, the people will keep leaving Armenia until the country is destroyed.

    • How many real Armenians don’t know that Western Armenian is not an accent(?!) but one of the two forms of modern Armenian language?

    • How many real, intelligent Armenians would fail to sense the humor of a fellow Armenian?

  24. avatar gaytzag palandjian // November 27, 2013 at 11:32 am // Reply

    John,
    The Armenian language (modernized,after Abovian´s vernacular)has two modalities,the Western and Eastern.Both ought to be well honoured and kept intact.the accent(I take it you mean dialects) of our many provincial compatiots are also the wealth of our language.These also should be treasured and honoured.You might be surprised to know -if you don´t-that even with a Region,say a diaspora country or Western,or Eastern aRmenia there are many dialects,different from ea other. Example the Artsakh(Karabagh) dialect so much different from the ..say kars or Karin dialcet.or for that matter in iran there are areas(Provicnes9 such as in the south9 say Nor Jugha New Julfa,where they have not only a different dialect,but also intonation..
    All these are the wealth of our language,the Armenian.To be cherished and honoured

  25. This article, by Houry Mayissian, is not what I would define as being a wake-up call. The truth of the matter, is that the tension within the society of Armenia, has been building up for quite a while now. It takes no one to stir up the sociological dynamite that stems from the high unemployment, lack of opportunities, and 35 percent poverty rate, that already exists in Armenia. This explosive condition has existed for so long, that it needs no fuse. It fuses itself. It spontaneously combusts from within itself. As a result, you have so many of our brothers in Armenia today, who have become enraged and alienated at their corrupt government, which has continuously failed to improve the living conditions of such an enormously high percentage of its people. They’re totally fed up with the perverse system they live in, and they demand a drastic change. The big mystery, however, is how will this change occur? As of the present moment, there is no answer to this question. All we’ve been doing up to now is offering ideas. One idea, of course, is that we should find a way to persuade the current Armenian government to change its wrongful ways, and become more democratic. Exactly how is that going to happen? We’ve been attempting to do this for many years now, and they still haven’t changed one bit. Anyway, why would the Armenian government want to change its wrongful ways? It makes no sense for them to do that. After all, they currently possess a great deal of power. Why would they want to jeopardize all that? This idea, obviously, will not go anywhere. The second idea, of course, is that hopefully one day, those opposition parties will develop enough power to overpower the current government. Well, we’ve been singing that same tune for many years now, and those opposition parties still haven’t moved beyond square one. Are the people of Armenia supposed to continue waiting for many more years, with the hope that the opposition parties will somehow muster just enough power to overtake the Armenian government? This idea definitely looks very discouraging. Finally, there’s the third idea that the situation in Armenia should not be tampered with, and hopefully, the situation of the country will magically improve. Again, this idea goes nowhere. We’ve been playing with these 3 ideas for all this time, and the result is nothing. In the meantime, Armenia’s situation continues to get worse. Its population continues to decline, as a result of migration out of the country, combined with fewer people in Armenia getting married these days, due to the inadequate wages they receive.

    What is the solution to this gigantic mess? Besides a revolution, what other solution can there possibly be? The people of Armenia, need to gather together as one united group, and march over to the governmental hall in Yerevan. Upon doing so, they should demand the resignation of their current government. If their demands are not met, they will have no choice but to revolt and use force, by any means necessary, to overthrow their improper government and president. Unfortunately, as I said before, violence and bloodshed are impossible to avoid in any kind of revolution. However, if there was to be an Armenian revolution, and if it’s coordinated properly and with precision, the amount of casualties can definitely be kept at a low level. It is for this reason, that the most qualified people are needed to lead an Armenian revolution. And the good thing is that you actually have numerous people in Armenia, who possess these qualifications. As a matter of fact, one of these potential revolution leaders, who happens to be a veteran of the Artsakh War, frequently gives speeches to crowds at Yerevan’s Republic Square, and has said that anytime the people of Armenia feel like it, they can easily remove the current Armenian government, and it can be achieved within one day. I sure like the sound of that! Hey, the sooner the people of Armenia rid themselves of their incompetent government and replace it with a true democratic form of government, the better it will be for them, as well as the whole entire Armenian population of the world.

    • Excellent points, Yerevanian. I would like to avoid bloodshed too, but if there has to be bloodshed, I would prefer it to be from a democracy-establishing revolution (leading to a stronger state) than from an Azeri-Turkish invasion of a depleted and much weakened republic.

  26. Actually Vahagn, although the Armenian government has been extremely disappointing over the past 22 years, it has actually done a remarkable job in creating strong military security for both Armenia, as well as Artsakh, against any kind of possible invasion by Turkey/Azerbaijan. The armed forces of Armenia, and the Defense Army of Artsakh, have both been ranked as having the best trained soldiers out of all the republics of the former Soviet Union. In addition, due to Armenia’s strong alliance with Russia, they get their military weapons from the Russians at a huge discount. And not long ago, they also signed a deal with Russia to continue having a Russian military base on Armenian soil, thru at least the year, 2049, which provides the Armenian nation with Russian military protection, in case of an attack from another country. Because of that, Turkey doesn’t dare raise a finger on the Armenian nation. That was indeed a very wise decision by the government of Armenia to make that military deal with Russia, for the sake of its national security. As for the Republic of Artsakh, their defense army is fully prepared for any kind of possible Azerbaijani military attack. The truth of the matter though, is that Azerbaijan does not wish to engage into an all out war with the Armenians. President Aliyev is fully aware, that if a war breaks out, the defense army of Artsakh can easily wipe out Azerbaijan’s oil and gas pipelines within two days. And if that were to happen, the entire economy of Azerbaijan would be in ruin. It is for this reason that President Aliyev has declined all this time to send his troops across the border to start a new war. Anyway, in the department of military security, I must once again say that the Armenian government is doing a remarkable job. However, military security is the only department that the Armenian government has been remarkable in. In all the other departments, it has failed. As a result, the domestic situation in Armenia continues to regress. What the people of Armenia need to do now, is to remove their current government which has caused them so much regression, and to replace it with a form of government that is committed to democratic principles. Just imagine what a perfect combination that would be, with the strong level of military security that’s already in place in Armenia. And, when I say a form of government that’s committed to democratic principles, guess which nation I’m talking about? I’m talking about Armenia’s baby brother, the Republic of Artsakh. Yes, the government of Artsakh, which by the way, has been ranked as the most democratic country in the Caucasus region, is the most perfect example of the form of government desperately needed by the Republic of Armenia. What a huge success story, Artsakh has been from the time it declared its independence 22 years ago, until now. Its booming economy is experiencing massive growth, year after year. The lives of its inhabitants continue to improve, and the vast majority of them are happy with their country and would not desire to live anywhere else. The Artsakh Republic’s government has truly shown that it cares about its people, and is committed to improving their lives. It is with this devotion to democratic principles that the Artsakh Republic continues to move forward. It’s now time for the Republic of Armenia to jump on the wagon of its little baby brother, and also move forward. And once that happens, the whole entire Armenian population of the world will be moving forward. And then from that moment on, the Armenian people will be truly united as one. Hey, the moment the Armenian people begin to move forward as one firmly united group, there won’t be anything to stand in their way. However, before any of this happens, the people of Armenia will need to take it upon themselves to replace their current government with a brand new government, truly devoted to the principles of democracy.

    • Yerevanian, I appreciate your optimism on Armenia’s military. However, you cannot defend an empty country. Here is what an article on AW says:

      “Studies on population and emigration trends show that at the current high rate of emigration and low birth rate, there will only be one person left in Armenia by 2048.”
      http://armenianweekly.com/2013/03/23/why-the-diaspora-should-join-armenias-barevolution/

      Armenia is not going to be destroyed when it reaches 0 population. It will be destroyed earlier. Armenians defeated the Azeris when we were 3 million and they were 7, a ratio of nearly 1 against 2. They are now 9 million, we are down to 2.5, maybe 2 (1 million left since independence). What do you think is going to happen when Armenia drops to 1 million? Or half a million? Then you have a ratio of 1 against 20.

      In 1920, Armenia’s army was considered the best in the Caucasus. In October of that year, the army gave up Kars with almost no shot. And consider this: two years before that, we had defeated the Ottoman army at Sardarapat. When the people are sick of their government, the country is doomed.

    • By the way, Yerevanian, where did you read that NKR is a model of democracy? According to Freedom House, both NKR and Armenia are “partly free,” with NKR having a worse score (5) than Armenia (4.5).

      http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2013/armenia
      http://www.freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2013/nagorno-karabakh

      This places Armenia and NKR in the neighborhood of countries such as Pakistan, Nigeria, and Morocco, and at a worse rank than countries such as Mongolia and Namibia. Not something to be proud of. I don’t know if people in NKR are so happy, but if they live better than our brothers in Armenia, it could be that most of the Diasporan aid is channeled (by Armenia’s ruling Karabakh clan) to Karabakh, while Armenians in Armenia are starving.

  27. Actually Vahagn, I didn’t say that the Artsakh Republic is a model of democracy. What I said, was that the Artsakh Republic would be the most perfect form of government for Armenia at this moment, based on the fact that its booming little economy is experiencing massive growth, year after year. The level of corruption in Artsakh is far less than it is in Armenia, and as a result, there is a lot more economic freedom in the Artsakh Republic. If Armenia were to implement the same model as Artsakh, their domestic situation would begin to significantly improve. By the way Vahagn, many of the things reported in freedomhouse.org, are actually not true. It most certainly is not an accurate measure of any particular country’s level of democracy. If I were to pick a country in the world today, that best represents a “model of democracy”, it would definitely be Switzerland. One cannot possibly achieve more democracy than that.

    By the way Vahagn, not all Armenians in Armenia are starving. The top ten percent of the population lives in high luxury, so they’re definitely not starving. After that, you have an additional 55 percent of the population that’s also not starving. The ones who are starving, would be the ones who fall into the lower 35 percent bracket of the population. These particular people who represent the lower 35 percent bracket of Armenia’s population, are living in poverty, so I would assume that many of them are going hungry.

    • Well, Yerevanian, I presented a source (Freedom House) showing that NKR is even less democratic than the non-democratic Armenia. You don’t like my source, fine. Do you have a better source that NKR is “the most democratic country” in Caucasus? Any sources that the NKR has a better economy than Armenia? And if you admit that NKR is not a model of democracy, but Switzerland is, why not adopt a successful system (such as the Swiss one) as a model? Why should Armenia settle for a “partly free” model instead of trying the best model?

      It is not surprising for NKR to have a “booming” economy compared to Armenia, given all the aid money that is funneled to NKR by Armenia’s Karabakh clan. 35% of Armenia starving is still a huge number (assuming your numbers, which I have no idea where you got them, are correct). All that money given to the “booming” NKR should be spent to help these poor folks in Armenia.

  28. Hey Vahagn, why do you keep insisting that Armenia is on the verge of becoming empty? Isn’t that your wish? Just because its population is declining, does not mean it will go down to zero. As for Armenia’s current population, it’s 2.8 million. That’s 800,000 less than its peak population of 3.6 million in 1991. As much as Armenia’s population might further continue to go down, it will always have a population in the seven digits. After all, there are around three hundred thousand Armenians in Armenia, who live in high luxury. As for the 35 percent bracket of the population that lives in poverty, they don’t have sufficient money to move out of Armenia. As for the people in the middle 50 percent bracket, many of them might wish to leave Armenia, but there are also many of them who wish to stay in Armenia. The point is that no matter what happens, Armenia will always have a seven digit population. Is there a reason why you keep insisting that Armenia will be destroyed? Armenia will never be destroyed. Mark my word!

    As for Artsakh, its booming economy has nothing to do with aid money from Armenia’s Karabakh clan. How do you come up with these ridiculous explanations? Artsakh’s booming economy is a result of the hard work that its government has put into the development of its economy. The Republic of Artsakh, 19 years ago, happened to be in horrendous shape following the war, but yet, found a way to move forward and achieve great progress. As a result, Artsakh’s little economy is booming today, and the lives of its inhabitants have improved since 19 years ago. In addition, the Artsakh Republic government also pays money to all married couples who end up producing children. They truly care about their people, and that’s the reason why there is very little migration out of the Artsakh Republic. If the government of Armenia were to develop this same kind of commitment to its people, then there would end up being far less migration out of the country, and its economy would begin to move forward. The Artsakh Republic is obviously not a model democracy like Switzerland, however, the government of the Artsakh Republic is definitely a democratic one with democratic principles.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.


*