Kasbarian: The Armenian Government Has Crossed a Major Line

The Hairenik and Armenian Weeklies this week conducted an interview with ARF Eastern U.S. Central Committee chairperson Antranig Kasbarian on the recent developments in Turkey-Armenia relations. Below is the full-transcript of the interview.

Armenian Weekly—How do you explain the recent developments in Turkey-Armenia relations?
Antranig Kasbarian—For many years since its independence, Armenia has faced pressure—primarily from the West—to “get on with it,” that is, to develop good neighborly relations with its traditional enemies, Turkey and Azerbaijan. In the development of such relations, there has always been a price tag attached: Turkey wants certain well-known concessions in return for opening the border, Azerbaijan wants other well-known concessions in return for lifting its blockade, and so on. But while Armenia has faced pressure to accept these terms, it has managed, for the most part, to avoid doing so. This is partly due to Armenia’s own diplomatic maneuvers. But above all, it is due to the geopolitics of the Caucasus region and beyond. Whenever the West sought to extract concessions, Russia loomed large as a counterbalance, often neutralizing diplomatic and other offensives that would have seriously weakened Armenia.

Unfortunately for Armenia, today Russia isn’t playing the same role it did previously. Relations with the U.S. have begun to thaw and Russia seeks to neutralize Georgia as a factor in the Caucasus, while at the same time wooing Turkey to develop greater economic and security cooperation with Moscow. As a result, Russia hasn’t always countered the pressure placed upon Armenia. In fact, at times it has reinforced it. This development helps explain the rapid rise of “football diplomacy” and its ilk during the past year.

This forms the backdrop to recent developments, in which Armenia has sought an opening of the border with Turkey, for which Turkey appears to have placed three conditions: a) creating a joint mechanism to re-evaluate Armeno-Turkish history, which naturally includes the Genocide issue; b) gain Armenia’s formal acknowledgement of its borders, thereby upholding the dispossession of Western Armenia; and c) use the border opening as leverage in promoting a Karabagh settlement that is to Azerbaijan’s liking. So far, it appears that Turkey is winning the battle, as it has used this process to temporarily sideline Armenian Genocide recognition here in the U.S., while gradually gaining Armenia’s consent to concessions that may irreparably harm the Armenian Cause as well as Armenia’s own national security.
A.W.—There is constant talk about the great economic benefits of opening the border with Turkey. What are your thoughts on that matter?
A.K.—We often hear that Armenia is a landlocked country with few reliable neighbors, and how open borders will stimulate Armenia’s economy. These are truisms, but they lack any serious research as to how Armenia stands to be affected. Recently, I had the opportunity to hear Davit Lokyan, a member of the ARF Bureau and formerly Armenia’s minister of agriculture, who headed a committee that researched this matter and found the contrary: Armenia’s economy, without significant advance planning, was likely to suffer as a result of the border opening. He gave a variety of reasons for this, but the main reason was that Turkey is simply better prepared for this eventuality—subsidizing large sectors of its economy, particularly agriculture, that would likely end up competing with Armenia. This finding leads me to worry that beneath the slogans, Armenia’s government hasn’t done its homework.
A.W.—There is wide consensus that the protocols are damaging to the Armenian cause. Is Armenia between a rock and a hard place?
A.K.—Of course they are damaging. Look, no one expects Armenia to engage in suicidal confrontations with Turkey, but this degree of silence is simply unexplainable. Armenians worldwide do expect their government to affirm and stand by the historical realities, especially at a time when we’re being pressured to give them up. And it’s not just a matter of morals; clearly, Turkey is placing various preconditions upon Armenia, seeking to probe and exploit its weaknesses. Where is the corresponding pushback? I don’t see it. Armenia’s diplomacy has been alarmingly passive and compliant.
A.W.—A few days after the protocols were made public, news surfaced that Turkey is going to launch a new lobbying initiative in the west, which also includes lobbying against Armenian Genocide recognition…
A.K.—I see this as a logical move on Turkey’s part: When your moves aren’t being contested, why not ask for more? Turkey sees that Armenia’s behaving passively, so it periodically makes moves that are provocative, basically to see how far it can go. We’ve seen other, similar acts in recent months: Recall Ankara’s official protest to Obama on April 24, immediately following his statement that failed to properly acknowledge the genocide. Turkey should have been delighted with Obama’s statement, but no, they weren’t taking any chances. They went and protested the statement for not having gone far enough! Apparently, Obama angered them because he failed to make mention of those Turks who had been massacred by Armenians in 1915! Outrageous as this appears, such a move is a bold stroke of diplomacy—always asking for more than you have. Armenia has taken the opposite position, always seemingly contented with whatever meager provisions are offered it.
A.W.—The Turkish government continues to reiterate that the protocols will only be implemented when Azerbaijan’s concerns are addressed. What do you make of this position?
A.K.—Of course, such moves jeopardize the whole process. To begin, Turkey’s statements reflect its ultimate lack of good faith in this whole process. Of course, this jeopardizes the whole process. If Ankara were truly interested in improving bilateral ties, it would keep its side-discussions with Azerbaijan quiet. Ankara knows how sensitive this issue is for Armenia. The fate of Karabagh is not only symbolic, but holds the key to Armenia’s national security. The fact that Turkey constantly brings these into public discussion means that it isn’t fully serious about the rapprochement process and that, frankly speaking, Turkey can do without normalization. In evaluating the rhetoric, one gets the sense that Armenia wants this agreement more than Turkey does. The Turks can take it or leave it, if it’s not to their liking. If I were an Armenian policymaker, I would cringe at this state of affairs, where we’re negotiating but everyone knows that we’re dying to make this deal. In negotiating situations, that is the “kiss of death.”
A.W.—Will the waves of protest in Armenia and the diaspora be able to stop these protocols from being implemented?
A.K.—This is the $64,000 question! All I can say is this: For months, we’ve heard that the Armenian government is under enormous pressure to come to terms with Turkey. If such pressure comes from above, where is the corresponding pressure from below? If there is none from below, then it’s natural to expect Yerevan to soften or retreat in some way. The only way to keep our authorities honest and accountable is to pressure them: They must feel somehow that they will take a hit if they make this move. We can’t simply try to educate our authorities, explaining repeatedly why such protocols are dangerous. We need to make them take notice. This means making noise, and it also means making bold, unprecedented decisions. For example, I welcome the tentative noises coming from Yerevan, where people wonder what might happen if the ARF, Armenian National Congress, Heritage Party, and others possibly come together to combat these moves by the government. That, in my view, will create a stir and certainly will be cause for concern by the authorities. Let’s not forget that President Sarkisian faced a severe challenge to his legitimacy only 18 months ago, and is very sensitive to the shifting tides of public opinion.
A.W.—Many Armenian Americans are concerned about the protocols and they reject them. However, some feel uneasy about demonstrating in front of the Armenian Mission on Sept. 19. To ease those concerns, can you elaborate more on the specific purpose of the demonstration? Against whom is the protest being held? And why was this specific venue chosen?
A.K.—Let me be clear: This is not about some ordinary disagreement. These protocols represent an advanced stage, perhaps the final stage, in Turkey’s effort to bury our national demands—the Armenian Cause, most broadly. When fundamental issues are now put on the block (i.e. creating committees that could question the genocide’s incontrovertible nature, i.e. affirming Turkey’s current borders which are based on genocide and dispossession), the time for niceties has passed. In our view, the Armenian government has crossed a major line here. The authorities, not the ARF, should be the ones worried about proprieties at this stage.
On a more practical note, let me say this: We are facing a momentous stage in our national history, and there may be only weeks until these protocols are up for signing. Our valuable time should be spent in convincing our own government—through all means necessary—that this move would betray Armenia’s fundamental interests. We don’t have time to convince the Turks, the Swiss, the Americans, whose interests lie somewhere else. Our only hope is to convince our own government and public. If we fail to do all that we can, and find later that the worst has been realized, how will we react then? Will we say, “It’s really terrible what has happened, but at least we behaved politely with our authorities”? No. At a time when the knife has reached the bone, we must be guided by our larger principles. It’s imperative that we stand up for what is right. Yes, even by publicly confronting our own government. This is not sacrilege. Rather, it’s a reflection of how far Armenia has strayed, how much its policies and positions have deteriorated.


  1. The above interview is a breath of fresh air.

    The Armenian Cause is going to die a sure death, and very soon, if these Protocols are passed. And it appears that they WILL be passed.  I am not sure if even the Diaspora and its political partes truly realize that. 
    The Armenian president and his parliament were all elected under circumstances of fraudulent elections, banned candidates, and media repression and intimidation.
    This means that the leadership of Armenia is illegtimate and does not have the legal or moralauthority to negotiate the Protocols or ratify them.
    It is not acceptable to say “But this is the only government we have.”  If the government is illegitimate, it must go, and its decisions must be declared null and void.
    It is incumbent upon Armenian political parties and the Armenian people to state clearly that the Protocols are unacceptable and that any attempt by the Armenian authorities to ratify them is null and void.  I refer especially to the ARF.   If this is done, the major powers and Turkey will have good reason to realize that passage of the Protocols is useless. 
    The fact that a “law” or bill is passed, no matter where or under what circumstances, does not mean that the law is legitimate and must be obeyed.   The Ottoman parliament in the 1915 era passed all sorts of laws that took property and life away from Ottoman Armenian citizens.  Do we now look at those laws and say “Oh, yes, Armenians had to obey the law and be death-marched into the desert because it was illegal to escape.” ?   Of course we don’t. 
    Am I saying that the present Armenian government is like the Ottoman government of 1915 and that Armenian “laws” do not have to be obeyed?   Yes, that is exactly what I am saying. 
    Lots of countries pass repressive and illegitimate laws that people are clearly not going to obey, nor should they.  Did George Washington obey the laws and edicts of King George of England?  Of course not. 
    The illegitimacy of “president” Sargsian and his phony “parliament” must be stated now, and it must be stated clearly.   Opposition parties must declare the Protocols to be traitorous, null, and void. 

    The Protocols are as illegtimate as any repressive laws passed by the Ottoman Parliament.   Indeed, the Ottoman parliament may have been more “democratic” then the present Armenian government. 
    The Armenian opposition must state that the Protocols will be declared null and void by future governments.  They must also state that there will be severe criminal sanctions imposed at a later date on anyone who tries to legitimize the Protocols. 
    If not, then the Armenian Cause is dead.  And don’t think that the Armenian authorities will not sell out Artsakh too.  Anyone that will sell out the Armenian Cause would sell out Artsakh.

  2. The people in Armenia need to be as galvanized by this as much as the Diaspora seems to be.  The Armenian government is not going to listen to the Diaspora.  There is a better chance its going to listen to the will of the people who it actually represents.
    The Diaspora I think is realizing what a marginal voice they have in terms of what the Armenian state decides to do.  For past several years and especially during the kocharian era we thought that Yerevan actually represented our interests.  That has proven to be false. (The ARF for all its opposition, went along with most recent election results, which were a fraud,  until it had no choice but resign).
    The Karabagh War was not started or won because people in Watertown, LA or Paris were outraged.  So one has to wonder why Opera Square in Yerevan is not filled with protesters ?  Does the Diaspora care about this topic more then the people living there ?
    We spend all our efforts hear to get the US government to formally recognize the Genocide and the Armenian government undermines it all with these protocols.  What Yerevan says and does is infinitely more important then anything that happens in Washington.
    The ARF is partly to blame.  They needed to address the daily concerns of the Armenian public more, and build a stronger and broader following rather then just making public stands regarding genocide recognition and territorial integrity.  Had they done that they would have more of a following , more power, more influence.  All that time, 10 + years wasted… now someone else is running the show and making the decisions.  The Window of opportunity is closing and the ARF which prides itself in being “grass roots” has shown what little headway they have achieved with the people who matter most.
    These protocols, if ratified, are going to ruin decades of work.  The Diaspora is not the role of George Washington, but more like Robert E. Lee.   The problem is the people in Armenia don’t seem to see the need to be outraged.

  3. It is time for political action that sends a loud and clear message to the President of Armenia and its Parliament. Starting in Armenia and all over the world where there are Armenian communities, Armenians should hold demonstrations in massive numbers on an ongoing basis until the world hears us very clearly and the Armenian Government heeds to  the demands of the Majority of Armenians worldwide, that our legitimate rights cannot be trampled on and forgotten.
    Here in the United States we should show up in front of the Armenian Republic’s embassy in Washington DC as well as all and every Armenian Consulate in American cities coast to coast.
    Shame on us if we don’t make our voices and determination heard loud and clear.

  4. I would thank  firstly to Antranik,I met  him lastg  June for a few brief  moments on Toumanyan str.knew  him from N.J. long ago.A very  honourable  pleasant youngman.So is David B. and all others who stand  up  and defend our  ONLY and mian Cause/Case.No doubt  about  that.Few , however come up with other alternatives.We all know how wily-cunning  Ottoman  inherited turkish Diplomacy is.We all  also  know at heart  that  they are -have been -supported for over 50 yrs by the Anglo-Am clan,so to speak.Latter´s  interests  are there in that region,no,not  now  but from near acentury ago…when -to begin with- after Ottoman Empire capitulated  in the West frontgs-Balkans in 1918´s  they very cleverly concentrated  all their forces-directed  by a leader come to power Mustafa Ataturk(Kemal)  WHO MUSTERED UP ALL  they had left plus  some  ammunitions arms gifted to them by the Brits(see Prof. R.G.Hovanissian 4 volume Republic of Armenia) wherein he describdes  of a huge  cache  of armament was turnewd over to Kemal-Turky,their just a few  months old enemy-instead  of  to their faithful  allies the Armenians -who fought along General Allenby and many other European -American allies  against the German-Ottoman axis.This is BETRAYAL AT  ITS  BEST,even  worse  than having an enemy that  you see-know…these  people are after theri  interests .@Our battleships cannot climb  mount Ararat,one English Lord  hs been known to say…Oh  yeah? how come  then that  at the same time-same period-see prof. R.G.H book stipulated with photos  of Brfitish commanding officers  in Baku , their headquarters, how  did  they get  there then? for the smell of something? indeed.They did  make  it though-if  not  then  now by entgering from window.a saying they get thrown out by the oncoming red armies  then..then lately after collpase  of latter  through window..
    Best advice  we  have had.I was present April 9th at 17 Rue Bleu,Armenian centre  in Paris  prof  Yves Ternon, a supporter  of our cause  in France …ended  his discourse saying”Parlement a Parlement”.In short  we should seek our allies  elsewhere in small, middle  states  and never rely  on aforementioned  who have betrayed  us sevral times  over. Do not be ashamed to utter  your voices.After all even in diplomacy  there is a limit to how much  people can lie…
    Go find another(s) partners supporters elsewhere.Getting back to present situation of the Protocols and Armenia Armenians  on the verge  of an abyss…I think we must act  similar to the turks and co.that  is to say .While we reinforce  our forces-power  economy et all inwardly…we must show  to the great Turkey and Co. that we are complient  thus:By the by I wrote  an article  in Hay Gyank weekl,L.A. in 1997 entitled”Nagornyi Karabagh after Lisbon” Then as  now all except us voted agaisnt  us  49 strong voes  vis a vis our one single LTP´s…
    WE can begin with appeasingb great Turkey yes I always dub  them so, both cynically but also righteously they are  the strongest in the region thanks to allies.mainly the U.S. of  course.Get the NK  issue resolved   by declaring  NK as  FREE  TRADE ZONE  and change  stance from Independent  republic  to PRINCIPALITY  OF NAGORNYI KARABAGH” SIMILAR TO   Andorra..in ARmenian,(Gharabaghi Melikutyun) Let  3/4  azeri  delegates into present Nk Parliament and  allow  refugees from Only Jabrail and Fizouli to return ,as agisnt  our  refugees to Shahumian.Andorra was a bone of contentgion for two centuries -you read corectly 200 yrs between France   and Spain,even a war.Then they agreed to run the small area jointly, declaring it as FREE Trade Zone  and as a Principlaity. Its  president is prfes. of France and vice  is Archbishop from Seu Dúrgel (cataluña)Spain.People there  mainly catalans-pretty much like in NK, (Armenians) and  some French.It has prosepred , levying very small import  export  customs duties ..Free business and tourism has loomed  and no war ….peace  is prevailing  there  …
    This  might very well suit the situation  .Great Turkey will not  loose  face-most  important  for the REgional Gendarm..the allies will be delighted  that  peace have  come upon the area lertting the piplines  function  orderly without  fear  of war  there and most  important gvreat Turkey will tghen be pressured  by these  SAME  ALLIES…see the Armenians  complied  Nk  is not Independent.Do not worry that  they will claim  more  lands ..
    We have b een famed as patient people.fact  is we are over-patient we CAN WAIT   SOME MORE,when other factors pop up for great Turkey….Kurdish  (ex mountain turks? eh? Mr. Turkey) you finally gave  in stopped callinmg them so..gunned own a thousand  villages  of their  but you could not throw 16 million  of them into sea? time will come when  these poor people will also at the very lest get some Autonomy ,then only our cause can COME  UP AGAIN  AND BY THEN HOPEFULLY THE CRAZY SITUATION OF  OIL HUNGER,plus Armenian Diaspora  mustering up its  own  National Investment trust  fund-pleasde visit  my site …www.ARMENIDAD-worldwide.org  REST  IS THERE.THANKS FOR READING  ME
    gaytzag  palandjian

  5. RootArmo, you make important points. Let’s remember how the press is controlled in Armenia and that those outside major cities are less informed of what is going on under their noses.  Many protesters have been maimed and killed for being vocal. Add to that the notion that natives who are employed by Soros and other Western-based initiatives all parrot the same NATO-friendly tune. He who pays the piper gets to call the tune. These voices we hear from do not represent the Armenian sentiment of Armenia!

  6. RootArmo’s comment is not quite right. In fact, there is a large outrage in Armenia and Arzakh population. But why we don’t see any such uprising? because the authority has done a good job in controlling the media. See the following article by Dr. Armen Ayvazyan (showing the statistics):


    The reason for this successful media control was implemented as a result of March 2008 election upheavals. The reason that ARF was less active in the last 2 years is again attributed to this “fake” opposition party staging of the election drama. They were planned by Der Petrosyan and Kojaryan-Sargsyan elite groups (hand in hand) in order to kill all other grass-root true opposition movements in Armenia.
    So, as you can see the West has done a good job in controlling the masses in Armenia via their own governments (Der Petrosyan, Kojaryan and now Sargsyan).
    Moreover, we Armenians usually think that ARF is the oldest Armenian party, but we fail to realize that ARF leaders were not mature enough to be able to govern any city let alone a country. Yes, they are good fighters and military leaders, and they have a wellformed National agenda, but they did not have enough experience in governing. To my memory, ARF has just learned how to stand for the Armenian people in just the last couple of years, which to me is a good news (perhaps a desperate voice from Heaven).
    But blaming the Armenian intellectuals and especially the people in Armenia is not quite right. Look at the last 20 years of history. In 1988, during the Karabakh movement, which was organized by a few true-intellectuals in Yerevan, as soon as it gained an enormous populous, here comes a Levon Der Petrosyan from nowhere and takes the helm. In the following few years, we heard a propaganda machine of HHSh discriminating the true Armenian intellectuals, followed by controlling and maneuvering the people, in effect killing our “azgayin hokin”. This propaganda machine has its effects until these days, after 20 years now.
    I believe that currently ARF is the only party that can move Armenian towards the right direction, if only they put more of their resources in improving the “Armenian mshagute” (i.e. pure-Armenian intellectuals, Armenian scientists, Armenian teachers, etc.) and the economy of the people in Armenia. And believe me, they have all the resources, because they form a majority in Diaspora, as well as inside Armenia (i.e. if we include Arzakh).
    It is also important to modify the ARF intergovernmental infrastructure. ARF organizational structure does not have a good election mechanism. For example, we the people do not elect who the district ARF representative will be, it is elected behind closed doors. Such mechanisms must be changed to introduce more control by the people. It is a shame that in 1988, we did not even know who Mr. Hrair Maroukhian was until we heard that he was claimed a persona-non-grata by Levon Der Petrosyan. It is a shame that ARF organizational structure has not changed even after 20 years. Otherwise, it would have been the most efficient ruling party for Armenia (and Armenians). Another good idea is for ARF to form a coalition government with grass root parties in Armenia. We have seen such advances only this year, for example with Henchaks and Ramgavars, but they need to be more active in this direction. There are a dozen more grass-root parties in Armenia (excluding Republican and HHSh major parties).

  7. If anything, The United States, Switzerland, Germany and The United Kingdom have done more harm to the nation of Armenia in the last 10 years than the entire Turkish nation. Oh! Did I forget to mention Israel?  

  8. Kasbarian does an excellent job outlining and explaining the pitfalls and dangers in the unacceptable protocols, as well as the dismal state of Armenian foreign policy. But, in doing so, he tries his best to excuse the ARF of having any role and responsibility in formulating and implementing the disastrous, undemocratic policies of various (unelected) Armenian administrations in the past 11 years. Notice his choice of words: “our own government…our authorities…The authorities, not the ARF, should be the ones worried about proprieties at this stage.”

    I, therefore, strongly agree with the conclusions reached in today’s “Chorrord Ishkhanutyun”:“Chorrord Ishkhanutyun” wonders why the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutyun) is persisting with its street protests after the authorities made clear that the Turkish-Armenian protocols can not be amended before being signed. “This is not the only oddity,” says the paper. “The thing is that Dashnaktsutyun is now busy not so much dealing with those protocols as promoting its own opposition posture … The impression is such that Dashnaktsutyun is simply using the Turkish-Armenian protocols to make people forget its decade-long proximity to the government trough.”

  9. I am sorry to disagree with you Tim Nolan, but your arguments are flat wrong. You are assuming that the Khaytarag Protocols are not so much dangerous that the political parties can use it for a game. If this is your assumption, then obviously you may jump to your conclusion, but I am afraid the Protocols are more dangerous than most people assume. Moreover, given this fact, no Armenian will care about ARF advertising their image, in fact, such heroism is what Armenians need right now.
    I am not an ARF member, and I confess that I indeed disliked them during the Cold War period, because back then they acted like KGP puppets, but after 1988 Karabakh movement and the declaration of Independence, they entirely changed their face. Maybe not enough, but they did change their face.
    What I believe is that they have not done so much so fast, partly because of the rigidity of their governing infrastructure on one hand, and some historic scandals on the other hand, and as a result of these, their extreme caution with regard to responsibility to the last bastion of the Armenian land.
    But I agree with you, Tim, that ARF needs to integrate with true grass-root organizations inside Armenia, as well as, outside, be it Չորորդ Իշխանութիւն or Հինգերորդ Իշխանութիւն, but certainly not as Իշխանութիւն, rather popular organizations. We don’t want any more Իշխանութիւն-s than what we already have now.

  10. Open Letter To: Armenian Foreign  Minister Mr. Edvard  Nalbandyan

    Dear Mr. Nalbandyan

    You asked “what kind of changes can Armenian foreign ministry suggest to the already agreed upon protocols” Sir,  Your wrong policy brought Armenian nation into this crisis.  Maybe You are right it’s hard and late to change protocols as Armenian said (TKADZE LIZEL)   In this case you have only one choice  for  Saving  Face.  Accept  Failure  and Resign with  Honor  Immediately. Otherwise we are sure that sooner or later the Armenian people will force you to resign.

    How can I agree to a historical commission to analyze the existence of the Armenian Genocide when my own mother witnessed my grandfather’s (Sarkis’) head smashed  between 2 stones by Turks during the Armenian Genocide
    Sir any high school student can understand that this so-called “Road Map” or “Protocols” in their present shape are not in our national interests. Because, 1. Armenians shall no longer hold any ancestral territotial claims against Turkey by recognizing the Turkish border. 2. The “protocol” endangers the International (including US) recognition of the Armenian Genocide. 3. Karabakh’s self-determination and independence are not safeguarded.
    Once again, if you disregard the above Armenian principal interests, We Armenian will neither support nor trust you. We hope you will reconsider the logics.
    Ishkhan Babajanian MD USA Sept. 18, 2009

  11. My fellow Armeniabns,
    All of us have real future prpoperty interest in Western Armenia which has been confirmed by Wilsonian Arbitration Award. The current Armenian Goverment is not the asignee of these, real estate, future intersets in Western Armenia. We have a leagal basis to open a case against Armenian Government in US Federal Courts and demand for permanent injunction against those who are willing to sign so called prorocals or ratify them. I am not clear what are these so called protocals? Whether they have been signed or not? if signed exactly by whom and under what capacity? If they are really protocals then they cannot be subject to ratification by parliment. If they are already signed then threr is treaty already betwen Turkey and Armenia.

    Armenian in diaspora must take actions rather than just talking.

  12. Hye, just a point of information… as I recall it was the first (mistake) of a president, Der Petrossian, who was so anti ARF that he disallowed ARF from
    Armenia. Dedicated Armenian intellectuals formed themselves to become ARFD, which is, I believe, their symbol in the Armenian state. In my book, this first president was ill equipped to be first leader of our fledgling Armenian nation. A Lemon, who took, more than he gave. Sarkisyan et al are mentally limited to the destructive soviet/communist approach to leadership – in their treatment of the citizens of Armenia – but Armenia is now a democracy…
    I believe, today, there shall be true patriots from within our Armenian nation, such as we had in 1918-1920, and more, to lead our fledgling Armenia forward from the morass… Manooshag

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