Davidian: Turkish-Armenian Protocols: Reality and Irrationality

“The Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations Between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey” officially announced in Berne, Yerevan, and Ankara on Aug. 31, has been brought to center stage and not without controversy. In order to fully appreciate and rationally analyze this yet-to-be-ratified document that is meant to serve as the basis for further dialogue between the parties, its origins and accepted norms of international behavior regarding it must be understood. The document exists, it is not going away, and undoubtedly will be ratified by the Armenian Parliament in short order. The Turkish Parliament may delay ratification. While this article cannot cover every aspect in depth, the attempt is to provide a foundation to understand what may or may not be transpiring between Armenia and Turkey and why.

This protocol is the culmination of at least five years of discussions between Armenians and Turks at different official levels. Beginning circa 2003, talks were underway between then Turkish and Armenian Foreign Ministers Abdullah Gul and Vartan Oskanian, respectively. While these talks appeared to be non-productive, in 2005, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan suggested instituting a joint historical commission to study what was termed “claims of genocide.” Armenia and Turkey are talking for many reasons; if for no other reason they are neighbors, irrespective of the outstanding historical issues. Why might Armenia deign talking with Turkey? Without talking, nothing can be addressed between the two parties, including issues not related to the protocol, and these are the parties that are the internationally recognized as players, in spite of an extensive Armenian Diaspora.

Neither Armenia nor Turkey is in a position to unilaterally act completely independent of the interests of larger regional or international states. Subordinate states have to constantly re-examine their interests  in order to adjust with those of major powers with the aim of maximizing bargaining stand while understanding (and attempting not to capitulate to) the interest of the other parties. In general, this precludes these states from engaging in zero sum inanity, such as demanding an all-or-nothing state of affairs.

If the combined political pressure from Russia, U.S., and EU “strongly suggests” not only Armenia consider discussing with the Turks lifting their border blockade but attempt to discuss historical issues, it is not acceptable or even in Armenia’s interest to simply say “no.” In a crude analogy, Serbia’s Milosevic responded with the refrain “no, no, no” in response to the demands of major powers to end the campaign of ethnic cleansing regardless of the claim “we didn’t start it.” His country was bombed and its infrastructure heavily damaged.

Equivalent pressure was put on the Turkey to begin serious talks with Armenia in spite of Turkish demands that Armenian forces leave Nagorno-Karabagh and its environs, and that Armenia end support for genocide recognition before discussions can become substantive.1 Interestingly enough, neither of these Turkish demands is stated in the protocol.

Interplay of competing and converging interests

There appears to be a confluence of outcome in advancing Armenian-Turkish relations despite major interests appearing orthogonal to each other. The EU requires no border conflicts among any of its members or those in ascension towards membership, such as Turkey. It also has trade pacts and bilateral agreements with Turkey required by EU’s ascension criteria. The Turkish blockade of the Armenian border makes a mockery of many of their tenets. Moreover, the EU would like to see a stable Caucasus to facilitate energy transport to Europe, as parts of Europe froze last winter when Russia was forced to shut gas through Ukrainian transport pipelines. Any stable routing is in EU’s interest. Moreover, without an open border, Armenia cannot actively engage in the European Neighborhood Policy which is an extension of the European Partnership and Cooperation Agreement between the EU and Armenia. As of 2006,2 the resulting Action Plan for Armenia has provided over 2 billion euros in community assistance. The EU would like to see the fruits of their assistance grow through expanded trade. While it is unclear if Armenia would be part of any future or expanded energy transit routes, Turkey does want to expand its role and Armenia provides a convenient and alternative pathway. In the process, Georgia’s role as a forced transit route around Armenia may diminish. This would be in Russia’s interest.

The full extent of Russian interests in advancing this protocol itself could be the subject of a small book. However, it is clear that Russian economic interests in Armenia, which are considerable, amounting to nearly $2.5 billion,3 can generate better returns with at least a semi-open border and established relations between Armenia and Turkey. Russia’s ability to bring Armenia to its knees in short order is astounding. It could force the closure of the Armenian nuclear power plant at Medzamor, for “technical reasons,” eliminating about 40 percent of Armenia’s electrical generating capacity. Russian gas, running through Georgian pipelines to Armenia could easily be “damaged” during winter months, cutting off gas and crippling Armenia. This combined with the ability to enact restrictions on remittances from Russian Armenians; it is clear Russia holds the keys in Armenia. Whether Armenia should have sold off critical infrastructure to the Russians is now a moot point.

Russia watched Azerbaijan react in disbelief when Turkish President Abdullah Gul traveled to Armenia for a soccer match a year ago. It appeared to Azerbaijan that Turkey had forsaken it with Gul stepping foot in Armenia. Turkey has been the champion in support of Azerbaijan in the frozen conflict over the Armenian populated enclave Nagorno-Karabagh. Karabagh had been placed under Azerbaijani jurisdiction during the Soviet era. Now it is basically an extension of Armenia after Azerbaijan lost control of it in a war. Over the past year, Azerbaijan made threats to stop gas shipments to Turkey and the use of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline, and began auditing institutions in Azerbaijan funded with Turkish money. Turkey maintained, until the protocol was made public, that it would not enter into border discussions until Armenian troops vacated Nagorno-Karabagh. There could not have been a more efficient way to create suspicion of Turkish intentions towards Azerbaijan, bringing Baku to a point where it could decide to transport a larger percentage of its gas via existing Russian pipelines. The Azerbaijanis may not like dealing with the Russians, but at least the latter is predictable.

Georgia’s war with Russia changed the balance of power in the Caucasus and in doing so became a catalyst in advancing Armenian-Turkish talks and accelerating, by perhaps a year or so, the establishment of the protocols. Georgia became one of the two front-line states, along with Ukraine, that became a battleground for influence between the U.S. and Russia. The United States can project power, but little can replace the influence on Georgia and Ukraine of a neighboring power. In the end, Georgia became a weaker state after the August 2008 Russian-Georgian conflict, not just because it effectively lost South Ossetia and Abkhazia, and is under partial blockade, but Russia made a clear statement about its continued influence in the Southern Caucasus. Azerbaijan was subsequently forced to re-think entertaining notions of attacking Nagorno-Karabagh. In the zeal to create rough parity with the increased Russian influence moving south across the Caucasus, Turkey was forced to engage Armenia by: accelerating diplomatic efforts, Gul attending the soccer match in Armenia, and advancing a now-defunct Caucasian Initiative, all at the expense of Azerbaijan. This exposed a flaw in Turkish foreign policy by damaging relations with Azerbaijan. In addition, Turkey has shown interest in actually buying Caspian Basin gas and reselling to the EU, cutting into Azerbaijani profits.  Individual state interest trumps so-called brotherly relations.

The August 2008 Russian-Georgian war terminated Russia’s use of Georgian transport routes to maintain activities at Russian military bases in Armenia. Reports and quick Turkish denials claim the Russians began working with Turkey to allow the use of their airspace to maintain operations in Armenia.4,5 Also, supply trains destined for Armenia initially remained stalled in Georgia, creating enough worry that Georgian routes to the Black Sea or to the north Caucasus are simply not reliable for Armenian trade.

A closed Armenian border with Turkey would make any land transport of Russian military items difficult—an open border would facilitate this. Why might Turkey allow Russia to transport military equipment to its base in Gyumri? For Turkey, the prospect of an arrangement, especially on its terms, outweighed any potential threats from Russian bases especially in light of greatly increased bilateral trade and cooperation in potential energy transport to the EU. Besides, once in operation, Turkey can always attempt to extract concessions from Russia for the use of transport routes and can restrict passage any time.

Russia and Turkey cannot project complimentary influence in the larger region without a resolution of the Turkish blockade of the Armenian border. The $500 million Russian loan to Armenia6 earlier this year reinforces the strategic importance Russia places on Armenia and with clear ability to influence policies in Yerevan.

There is talk of Turkey warming up to the estranged Georgian region of Abkhazia, which advances Russian interest at the expense of Georgian-Turkish relations. In the words of a think tank associated with the Turkish FM, “Ankara could no longer ignore the new reality in the region.”7 Armenian news outlets have quoted Cenk Baslamis writing in the Turkish daily Milliyet, “Ankara will recognize independence of Abkhazia in the near future, while Moscow will recognize Turkish part of Cyprus.” Apparently, this topic began surfacing with an article by Paul Goble in the English Language Georgian Daily.8 While this could hardly happen overnight, the trial balloon has been released. Ultimately, Turkey can simultaneously give tacit approval of the “new reality” while fomenting anti-Russian agitation in Abkhazia. Turkish-Russian political relationships have been quite dynamic since talks began circa 1996 to reduce Turkish involvement in Russia’s Chechen war and Russian support for the PKK.9 The Turkish-Russian relationship culminated with the historic visit of Russian President Putin to Turkey in late 2004.10

One can see a confluence of Russian and Turkish interest on one side and U.S. pressure on the Turks to “unfreeze” discussions with Armenians and reach some interim agreement—the protocol.11

The U.S. has transitioned its policy objectives in the southern Caucasus from those of the previous decade. In the last decade, the U.S. aimed to secure the development of latent energy reserves and the ability to securely move them westward. Much of this effort was centered upon Azerbaijani oil and gas reserves and those on the eastern shores of the Caspian, such as Turkmen gas and Kazakh oil. This effort required the exaggeration of existing Azerbaijani reserves and tolerating a series of despotic regimes in Baku. The U.S. State Department claimed that from 50-200 billion barrels of oil existed under Azerbaijani sovereignty. It turned out to be from 5-20 billion barrels. In fact, Azerbaijan will become net importer of oil by about 2021, with peak output declining circa 2012, unless substantial new fields are discovered.12 Claims such as “The Deal of a Century” were touted in the western presses, especially in the U.S. and the UK. Clearly, the regional competitor capable of transporting Caspian Basin energy resources was Russia. As the decade proceeded various projects were proposed. The largest was the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline project signed in 1994. This pipeline avoided Armenia and Iran, even though it was more expensive to construct the line through Georgia. Being Russia’s strategic partner in the region, Armenia was bypassed for political reasons. Iran was not even considered, since Azerbaijan is a major source of oil for Israel. U.S. energy related companies have substantial percentage interest in nearly every transport consortium and gas or oil fields in Azerbaijan.

The latest gas pipeline proposed is the Nabbuco pipeline supplying Azerbaijani and Turkmen gas through Turkey, to the Balkans and into central Europe. Other projects include BlueStream bringing Russian gas into Turkey via a pipeline under the Black Sea.

As western energy development and transport schemes became viable alternatives to the Russian pipelines and with Russia architecting and successfully negotiating with energy partners, by early to mid this decade, U.S. policy in the region moved from competition with Russia to mild cooperation. Peace and stability were in both U.S. and Russian interest. As energy transportation requires deposits and contiguous geography respectively, U.S. (and European) efforts became focused first on freezing armed hostilities, then onto solving existing ethnic disputes. The closed Turkish-Armenian frontier must have been at the top of that list, considering the zeal at which Turkey accepted the soccer match invitation at the jaw dropping chagrin of Baku.

U.S. officials have stated that an open border with Turkey would reduce Armenia’s dependence on both Russia and Iran. However, any reduction in Russian influence on Armenia with an open Turkish border is questionable since Russia owns major segments of Armenian’s strategic infrastructure, such as the electrical grid, the operation of Armenia’s nuclear power station, the rail system, and has interest in the Armenian-Iranian gas pipeline, among other things.

If steady energy transport and revenues generated are at the basis for current U.S. policy, it may not be surprising that a change in the political status quo of Nagorno-Karabagh may now be in the interest of major powers. Until now the status quo with respect to Nagorno-Karabagh was in the interest of major players except for those in Baku (the daily bellicose vocabulary of Baku would have one expecting an Azerbaijani attack on Nagorno-Karabagh any day for the past several years). This frozen status was used by Moscow to influence policy in Azerbaijan. The “new regional realities” and political transformations have taken place with the Armenians of Nagorno-Karabagh conducting their own affairs outside of Azerbaijani sovereignty. The existence of Nagorno-Karabagh in any form does not affect the transport of energy, for there would be no logical reason to run any pipelines over its mountains when that region is surrounded by relatively flat lands. In addition, Nagorno-Karabagh does not have any hydrocarbon deposits. A real resolution to the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict may be possible in the near future in light of these “new regional realities.”

With an open or semi-open Turkish-Armenian border, Georgia will quickly lose much of its overland transport fees from Armenian wholesale importers. Reduced importance of Georgia on Armenia also serves Russian interests. Russia would prefer to see Georgia in its sphere of influence. Until that time, Russia would like Georgia simply wither on the vine.

The protocol

Other than state institutions and the negotiators themselves, no one knows under what conditions, stated or perceived interests, principles, etc., the protocol discussions proceeded. The process was not at all transparent. It is clear that a unique confluence of political resolve exhibited between the U.S. and Russia across the Atlantic and between Turkey and Russia regionally, had a strong influence on both parties to reach a framework for further negotiations. It is not accurate to assume that Turkey, Armenia or both could simply ignore these international pressures.

Before the protocol was made public, Turkey maintained two basic preconditions that had to be addressed before formal negotiations could proceed: Armenia end its support for expanding international recognition of the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, and Armenian forces withdraw from Nagorno-Karabagh and surrounding regions. In addition to these two basic preconditions, references were made regarding Armenia specifically stating it has no claims on any lands in eastern Anatolia and by default recognizing current borders as inviolable. None of these items are mentioned in the protocol. There are only three actionable items in the protocol, the rest is procedural.13 These are:

1. Agree to open the common border within 2 months after the entry into force of this protocol,

2. Agree to conduct regular political consultations between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of the two countries;

implement a dialogue on the historical dimension with the aim to restore mutual confidence between the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archives to define existing problems and formulate recommendations;

make the best possible use of existing transport, communications and energy infrastructure and networks between the two countries, and to undertake measures in this regard;

develop the bilateral legal framework in order to foster cooperation between the two countries;

cooperate in the fields of science and education by encouraging relations between the appropriate institutions as well as promoting the exchange of specialists and students, and act with the aim of preserving the cultural heritage of both sides and launching common cultural projects;

establish consular cooperation in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations of 1963 in order to provide necessary assistance and protection to the citizens of the two countries;

take concrete measures in order to develop trade, tourism and economic cooperation between the two countries;

engage in a dialogue and reinforce their cooperation on environmental issues.

3. Agree on the establishment of an intergovernmental bilateral commission which shall comprise separate sub-commissions for the prompt implementation of the commitments mentioned in operational paragraph 2 above in this protocol. To prepare the working modalities of the intergovernmental commission and its sub-commissions, a working group headed by the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs shall be created two months after the day following the entry into force of this protocol. Within three months after the entry into force of this protocol, these modalities shall be approved at ministerial level. The intergovernmental commission shall meet for the first time immediately after the adoption of the said modalities. The sub-commissions shall start their work at the latest one month thereafter and they shall work continuously until the completion of their mandates. The timetable and elements agreed by both sides for the implementation of this protocol are mentioned in the annexed document, which is integral part of this protocol.

Both Turkey and Armenia must ratify the text before this protocol becomes actionable.

Item 1 is the clause that serves as the basis for opening the border. However, how open it would be and restrictions of its use by the parties, is not stated.

Item 2 refers to the furtherance of bilateral relations, but in particular notes a bilateral commission to be established to examine the “historical” record. While not explicitly stated, the overarching historical issue is the genocide of the Armenians. It is generally understood this is the paramount issue that will be examined.

Item 3 is a procedural item referring to implementing Item 2.

Since Armenia has long stated its desire to enter into discussions with Turkey without any preconditions to affect a resolution of Item 1—lifting the Turkish border blockade—it can be assumed that Item 2 was a Turkish initiative. It is also assumed that Turkey was never strategically or fundamentally against opening the border, judging by its current tactical interests.

Thus, we can tabulate the preconditions that were suggested, agreed to or dismissed throughout discussions, post 2005, especially after the election of Armenian President Serge Sarkisian in 2008.

Condition

Suggesting Party

In Protocol

Open border

Both

Yes

Armenian forces withdraw from Nagorno-Karabagh

Turkey

No

Historical commission

Turkey

Yes

End international recognition of Armenian Genocide

Turkey

No

Explicitly state no land claims on Western Armenia

Turkey

No

Roughly speaking, the outcome of the agreement is the promise of an open border in exchange for the establishment of the historic commission.

The “winning” and “losing” party has been spun by both sides. Typical of Turkish spin is read in the pro-government daily Hurriyet, Sept. 15, 2009, in an article written by Yusuf Kanli14 where he states:

“First of all Armenia has accepted for the first time ever the creation of a history commission that might feature historians from interested third parties in examining the genocide claims. That is, without saying so the Serge Sarkisian administration of Armenian has conceded from the ‘Genocide is a fact, there is no need to verify it through scientific research or to discuss it’ position.”

What appears to be an Armenian concession to the Turks is at best a method for Turks to delay international debate on genocide recognition. It is unclear why the Turkish side sees this as a victory unless delaying recognition was their original goal. Using such a commission as a delay tactic will ultimately result in a strategic blunder as Turkish disingenuousness will be clear to the international community. Whether the Turkish end game is gaining a few years of leeway or denying consent to an unfavorable commission outcome, or both, can have negative repercussions with EU countries, highlighting Turkish resistance to reforms expected of it. This may be the case with European states that have recognized the genocide, such as Switzerland. Switzerland is a party to this protocol process.

Turkey may have made another mistake in misreading Armenian opposition to a historical commission since Erdogan suggested it in 2005. Armenian opposition to an historical commission, mainly seen in the diaspora, is based on the assumption that any inquiry into the historical record regarding the genocide is tantamount to questioning the veracity of the genocide. Over 20 countries have recognized the Turkish genocide of the Armenians as an indisputable fact and the International Association of Genocide Scholars (IAGS) have stated without reservation that the Armenians were subject to genocide. Scores of renown historians agree it was genocide and the International Center for Transitional Justice (ICTJ), commission by the Turkish Armenian Reconciliation Commission (TARC), in their study concluded the Armenians were subject to genocide.15 What other possible outcome could such an honest historical commission as stated in Item 2, be other than a reiteration of what is an accepted fact. Unlike the Jews in the aftermath of the Nuremberg Trials, Armenians do not have the luxury of completely rejecting any inquiries into confirming the genocide. The Jews have the ability to reject as blasphemous, for example, somebody publishing an analysis of the gas used in gas chambers as being not really Zyklon-B, but perhaps Zyklon-C, or -D.

Recent Armenian protests16 and proclamations against this commission certainly give the Turks reason to assume they extracted some sort of a concession from the Armenians. Protests since 2005 against any historical commission may have unwittingly helped Armenia’s negotiators.

Paraphrasing Turkish professor Taner Akcam,17 what previously unknown document could possibly exist that will allow one to negate the genocide of the Armenians in light of all the research that has been done and the clear recognition it has received?

It is entirely possible that Armenian historians would be so inept so as to allow Turkish denialists to re-write history. The chance of this happening with the entire concerned world watching is doubtful. Moreover, if the commission becomes a mockery of the facts, any conclusions it makes would be considered effectively null and void. Besides, chances are high that many of the commission sessions will be hosted in Switzerland, which not only has recognized the crime of genocide committed against the Armenians, but should arrest any deniers on their territory. However, even if the outcome of the historical commission’s “research” reiterates the fact of genocide, subsequent redress may remain unresolved.

Yusuf Kanli continues:

“Secondly, for the first time ever in the post-Soviet era, Armenia has agreed to recognize the joint border with Turkey as was defined in the Kars Treaty, though there is no reference in the protocols to the Kars Treaty. Such recognition by Armenia is no less than declaring it has no territorial claims from Turkey or it has turned a cold shoulder to diaspora’s land claims from Turkey.”

There is a border that exists between Armenia and Turkey. On one side are Turkish guards, on the other Russian and Armenian ones. Recognizing the current border is required in order to open it. Hurriyet and its editors engage in extreme spin when they claim that border recognition requires recognizing the process that created that demarcation. No where in the protocol does it mention the Treaty of Kars, the Treaty of Moscow, or the Treaty of Alexandropol for that matter. This is because there is no international obligation for Armenia to recognize such previous treaties in this case. This is well defined in Villiger’s Customary International Law and Treaties18 and in the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties19, ratified by Armenia20 in May 2005. The latter clearly states in Section 2:

APPLICATION OF TREATIES

Article 28: Non-retroactivity of treaties

Unless a different intention appears from the treaty or is otherwise established, its provisions do not bind a party in relation to any act or fact which took place or any situation which ceased to exist before the date of the entry into force of the treaty with respect to that party.

Article 29: Territorial scope of treaties

Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties

Unless a different intention appears from the treaty or is otherwise established, a treaty is binding upon each party in respect of its entire territory.

Article 30: Application of successive treaties relating to the same subject-matter

1. Subject to Article 103 of the Charter of the United Nations, the rights and obligations of States parties to successive treaties relating to the same subject-matter shall be determined in accordance with the following paragraphs.

2. When a treaty specifies that it is subject to, or that it is not to be considered as incompatible with, an earlier or later treaty, the provisions of that other treaty prevail.

3. When all the parties to the earlier treaty are parties also to the later treaty but the earlier treaty is not terminated or suspended in operation under article 59, the earlier treaty applies only to the extent that its provisions are compatible with those of the latter treaty.

4. When the parties to the later treaty do not include all the parties to the earlier one:

(a) as between States parties to both treaties the same rule applies as in paragraph 3;

(b) as between a State party to both treaties and a State party to only one of the treaties, the treaty to which both States are parties governs their mutual rights and obligations.

5. Paragraph 4 is without prejudice to article 41, or to any question of the termination or suspension of the operation of a treaty under article 60 or to any question of responsibility which may arise for a State from the conclusion or application of a treaty the provisions of which are incompatible with its obligations towards another State under another treaty.

At the time of this writing Turkey still has not ratified this convention.21 Armenia has and is under no obligation to recognize the Treaty of Kars or Moscow that basically resulted in the current Turkish-Armenian border. The United States ratified this convention on April 24, 1970.

Positions

Armenia is in an interesting diplomatic position at the publication of this protocol. The only item that changes anything is the physical lifting of the Turkish border blockade. Armenia should ratify this protocol without delay and put pressure on Turkey not to delay or will pay the PR consequences.

Turkey is in a situation where it has alienated its ally Azerbaijan by appearing to cut a deal with Armenia and has been making deals with Russia. It may also be under the false impression it has extracted concessions from Armenia. Turkey cannot appear overtly pan-Turkic in rhetoric in its support of Azerbaijan, as it will be used by opponents of Turkey’s EU ascension. Turkey may try to drag out the mandate of an historical commission but that has its time limits as well. Armenian diplomacy can consistently point to Turkish delay tactics.

Turkey also has an issue with ratification. Some opposition parties object to opening of the border without a resolution of the Nagorno-Karabagh conflict. Turkey might use this as an excuse to re-work the protocol, but that would come at a loss to Turkish diplomacy. Armenia can use this period to press Turkey publicly with actual preconditions if Turkish non-ratification is being used as a technique to gain concessions from Armenia. If Turkey does indeed ratify the protocol, the pro-Islamic AK party will be on the carpet to deliver the goods for Turkey. They have to end alienating Azerbaijan, not appearing too overtly helpful to Armenia while trying to convince the EU it is sincere in solving its ascension demands, and work with its new energy partner, Russia. If Turkish Foreign Minister Davutoglu, Prime Minster Erdogan, and President Gul fail to convince the Turkish public and the military that engaging Armenia using the guidelines agreed to in the protocols, there may indeed be early elections in Turkey before 2012. The AK party could be swept from power, leaving the protocol in the hands of nationalists which could face public pressure to declare it null and void.

Turkey will be in a diplomatic disadvantage if Armenia makes no errors.

Trade issues

There appears to be no official public study commissioned by the government of Armenia having as its basis a political and economic analysis demonstrating that opening the border between Armenia and Turkey will benefit anybody. Armenia may actually have an argument and not even know it. What has been stated publicly are simply guesses, usually positive, by members of the Armenian Parliament, Turkologists, “experts,” or oligarchs. An open border isn’t binary as almost all simple guesses have been based on. An “open border” may simply mean it is not totally closed and only allow products and material to traverse a limited number of hours or days a week or may mean automobile and bus traffic allowed on a weekly basis. There may never be a completely open border. It could also be completely open. This is an unknown at this time, but its answer lies at the center of the affects of an open Turkish-Armenian border on the Armenian economy.

This missing study must include a competitive analysis of all major Armenian industries covering at a minimum: management team expertise, product sales & marketing, product planning, market channels and development, government relations, cross-border transportation, international business planning, credit and banking reviews, and yes, accounting practices. One must then compare these industries with their Turkish counterparts and using Armenian and Turkish demographic buying patterns, determine the viability probability of each Armenian industry assuming free and open competition with the added affects of partial and severe protectionism. Past, current, and projected trading patterns must be evaluated. In parallel, a comparative study must be done with the only other country having a similar geo-political and economic position and that is Georgia. Such a study must determine why Georgia’s GDP is down nearly 40 percent from a year ago considering it has free and open trade with Turkey, Azerbaijan, and has many Black Sea ports.

Solid conclusions cannot be made without studies. If the studies are skewed (such as not taking into account: general corruption, influence peddling, nepotism, fraud, racketeering, graft, extortion, cartels, blackmail, potential EC-centric liability and product quality issues, engagement and exit strategies adjusting for changes in the Turkish government policies, Georgian and Iranian reaction, changes in employment patterns and the consequences of any subsequent brain drain, etc.) there is every chance of a failed evaluation. Perhaps the reason none of these studies seem to exist is because they would expose too much of Armenia’s black economy.

If history is any guide, Armenian oligarchs and those aspiring to be, may simply attempt to sell assets to Turks. An easy way to personal wealth is to replace the “headache” of producing domestic products with those made in Turkey, considering local distribution channels exist and are near monopolies. Armenians emptied out factories in the country in early and mid-nineties and sold their contents, including machines, to the Iranians. Apparently no accounting was made of those transactions.

It will be interesting to note if laws will be enacted to protect indigenous Armenian industries. Unregulated trade, combined with 90 years of Turkish experience in the mechanisms of market economics, could easily destroy Armenia’s economy and return the Armenian people to the specter of Turkish domination.

However, with Russian control of major segments of Armenia’s infrastructure, unfettered Turkish inroads into the Armenian economy will presumably be moderated. In addition, EU analysis will be watching closely over Turkish treatment of its neighbors.

David Davidian is a senior system architect at a major IT corporation engaging in technical intelligence analysis. He manages the U.S. office of RegionalKinetics.com and currently resides in Belmont, Mass.

References

1 Turkish-Armenian relations, football diplomacy, Sept. 3, 2009, http://www.economist.com/world/europe/displaystory.cfm?story_id=14380297.

2 Armenia, http://www.newnations.com/Archive/2006/June/am.html.

3 There Are Still Untapped Reserves in Armenian-Russian Friendship, http://www.panarmenian.net/news/eng/print/?nid=36647.

4 Georgian Transit Ban Hinders Russian Military Presence in Armenia, http://www.eurasianet.org/departments/insight/articles/eav101008a.shtml.

5 Ankara Denies Turkey Route for Russian Base in Gumri, http://www.asbarez.com/2009/08/17/ankara-denies-turkey-route-for-russian-base-in-gumri/.

6 Armenia Confirms $500 Million Loan From Russia, http://www.rferl.org/content/Armenia_Confirms_Loan_From_Russia/1380318.html.

7 Turkish-Abkhazia Ties Test Turkey’s Strategic Partnership with Georgia, http://www.jamestown.org/programs/edm/single/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=35464&cHash=8a62793752.

8 Might Turkey be the Next Country to Recognize Abkhazia?, Paul Goble, http://georgiandaily.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=14534&Itemid=130.

9 Turkish Volunteers in Chechnya, http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews[tt_news]=300, Russia accuses Turkish NGOs of continuing aid to Chechen rebels, praises improvements in Saudi approach, http://www.highbeam.com/doc/1P1-89675122.html, Russia’s “Kurdish Card” In Turkish-Russian Rivalry, http://members.internettrash.com/pkk/a-russia.html.

10 Improving Turkish-Russian Relations: Turkey’s New Foreign Policy and Its Implications for the United States, http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/templateC05.php?CID=2219.

11 Themes behind Turkey’s surprise move on Armenia, http://www.reporter.am/go/article/2009-09-04-strategy-politics-and-opportunism-.

12 Real Azerbaijan, Khronika Neobyavlennoi Katastrofi (Chronically Unannounced Catastrophe) Jan. 2, 2007, Eldar Namazov.

13 Protocol on the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Turkey, www.armenianow.com/pdf/20090831_protocol.pdf.

14 The Armenian Opening, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/n.php?n=the-armenian-opening-2009-09-15.

15 The Applicability of the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide to Events Which Occurred During the Early Twentieth Century–Legal Analysis Prepared for the International Center for Transitional Justice, http://www.ictj.org/images/content/7/5/759.pdf.

16 Aghjayan: In Pursuit of Justice and True Friendship, https://armenianweekly.com/2009/09/20/aghjayan-in-pursuit-of-justice-and-true-friendship/.

17 Taner Akçam: The decision will be made by politicians, not historians, http://www.reporter.am/go/article/2009-09-15-taner-ak-am-the-decision-will-be-made-by-politicians-not-historians.

18 Customary International Laws and Treaties, Mark Villiger, 1985 ISBN 90-247-2980-7. This is available at: http://books.google.com/books?id=PCoNaFd0TwgC&dq=customary+international+law+on+the+law+of+treaties&printsec=frontcover&source=bl&ots=aboOfjxNy0&sig=6muWHnnFkwNR3-_g-jRUT8K07ow&hl=en&ei=HcixSuz2M5-NtgfV_KDzBw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1#v=onepage&q=&f=false.

19 http://www.worldtradelaw.net/misc/viennaconvention.pdf.

20 On July 13, 2006 Armenia recorded a reservation:

Reservation
“The Republic of Armenia does not consider itself bound by the provisions of article 66 of the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties and declares that for any dispute among the Contracting Parties concerning the application or the interpretation of any article of part V of the Convention to be submitted to the International Court of Justice for a decision or to the Conciliation Commission for consideration the consent of all the parties to the dispute is required in each separate case.”

21 Treaty Status of: 21-09-2009 04:03:52 EDT, http://treaties.un.org/Pages/ViewDetailsIII.aspx?&src=TREATY&mtdsg_no=XXIII~1&chapter=23&Temp=mtdsg3&lang=en.

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David Davidian

David Davidian is a Sr System Architect at a major IT firm, engaged in technical intelligence analysis. He manages the U.S. office of RegionalKinetics.com

302 Comments

  1. I appreciate your efforts in performing some research and publishing this article, but unfortunately, I don’t agree on most of your conclusions. Since the article is long, and the points that I disagree are many, I would not go in detail here in my comment. But here is the critical methodology. First, some of the main points you have made are based on some fake news. For example, the article of Paul Goble. This guy is in CIA! He is playing an information war upon Russians and us.
    Another major point is that no border-opening relations between countries today are based on such capitulating protocols. If one likes, one can write general rules that directly derive Kars treaty precondition, Artsakh conflict precondition, Genocide denial precondition and others, without stating any of the particular names involved. Mathematicians do this all the time, they write axioms, rules and laws, without even talking about the underlying subject. I am afraid, these Protocols have done exactly that. They are a list of generalized rules. Therefore, your (possible) assumption that they have none of these precondition is not correct. By the way, your article is not clear on this, that is to say, I do not clearly read whether you are or are not assuming this. So, it’s a little confusing on this point.
    Finally, you have confused the roles in the analogy between Kosovo and Arstakh. We are not the Molesevic regime, the Turks are. In this case they are the Kosovo, as well. In short, Kosovo and Artsakh are two different problems, not analogous at all.
    Please, update your knowledge base with more professional research. Sorry about my comments, I am just trying to be more constructive by my criticisms. No offense, and thanks for the article.

  2. Is this is an article from the Disney Corporation?    The protocols should be rejected wholesale through as much Diasporan pressure as possible.  The economic situation is already dire due to the influx of Turkish goods though indirect means.  Armenian industry is already at a halt while attempting to make marginal recovery in the software and light high-tech sector below the radar of the oligarchs.  Turks, not only with their “marketing prowess,” but also through their intelligence network, will devastate Armenia’s socio-economic infrastructure, whatever of it still exists.

  3. The very arrogance of the article’s title is astounding and infuriating.  The entirety of the Armenia Diaspora is deemed “irrational”, not to mention the well-informed opposition to the so-called “protocols.”  

    You’re banking your entire thesis on this one naïve, extremely naïve assumption that has absolutely no basis in reality.  “Turkey is in a situation where it has alienated its ally Azerbaijan by appearing to cut a deal with Armenia and has been making deals with Russia. It may also be under the false impression it has extracted concessions from Armenia.”
    There is nothing changing at the military and intelligence layers, nor will there be change in the popular indoctrination level.  I don’t know who or what your sources are, but high ranking Armenian military officers repeatedly state that Azerbaijani military echelons are integrated with the Turkish military.  Such superficial “oil game” and the infantile optimism is irrelevant, probably inconsequential, and potentially hazardous.  Oil and Gas, Russian/US “semi-cooperation,” all fluff compared to the ingrained ambitions that have not even begun to melt, but are instead re-enforced through constant indoctrination, through a permanently integrated military intelligence apparatus, as well as a thorough acculturation of “pan-Turkist” ideals in which much has been invested in: e.g. Azeris are even more freshly fanatical than Turks.  
     There is inadequate data in Turkish intelligence activities in Armenia in cooperation with another significant military and intelligence ally: Israel.  I cannot believe how much this element is downplayed, the role this party has in regional and global politics that has direct bearing on Armenians.  Even the recent Armenian website hacks originating in Azerbaijan were rumored by not-so-unreliable sources (from within the military again) to have had Israeli support to the extent where the assertion was the Israeli programmers were dispatched for the task, and where there is smoke, there is definitely fire.  
     Georgia is the only entity that has been crippled at least militarily, which is only a temporary and irrelevant anyhow.  Georgian infrastructure and prosperity isn’t needed for Georgia to carry out the task of a regional blockage for Armenia, and it will continue to serve as the member of the 4 way military pact between Israel, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and Georgia.  Watch Russia’s lethargic “realpolitik” neglect and see Georgia maintain a pro-“American” posture despite recent bombardments: i.e. The main asset is the anti-Russian sentiments which were further exacerbated with the recent Ossetia conflict.  
     And where in your article is it mentioned the long-term geopolitical designs concerning the re-emergence of a  “Neo-Ottoman Empire” as it is being publicized by a high profile CIA endorsed author?   It’s not just Goble.  Now it’s George Friedman with the grandiose “Neo-Ottoman” nightmare scenario as the Russian counterbalance.  

    It is also very deceptive to say that the kars and Moscow treaties are not evoked in the protocols.  That is irrelevant, and the Vienna convention is also inconsequential, since the Kars and Moscow treaties were carried on as an agreement between Russian and Turkish imperialists, with Armenia as a token protectorate.  As the matter of fact, that is precisely what Armenia is currently, a protectorate of Russia with no domestic strategic assets to call its own, totally under Russian control in terms of foreign affairs and military defense.  Therefore, not only the symbolic dates coinciding with the Kars Treaty is relevant, but the so-called “Vienna convention” is as effective in this Russo-Turkish dominated scenario as was the Treaty of Versaille or Sevres.    To be continued


  4. To Haro Mherian,
     
    Thank you for taking the time to comment.
     
    If I had removed any reference to a Turkish recognition of Abkhazia, it would not have altered my thesis that the entire region is in dynamic change. The Abkhazian reference was just another example, widening my claim of regional shifts. I could have avoided a Paul Goble reference and simply stayed with the Turkish reference (see article: Cenk Baslamis writing in the Turkish daily Milliyet) or wasted several paragraphs describing how many Abkhazia-bound Turkish ships have been stopped by Georgian petrol boats over the past year, with a Turkish response threatening Abkhazian recognition, but I did not waste the keystrokes. By the way, a CIA planted story does not automatically invalidate its accuracy.
     
    You state, “Another major point is that no border-opening relations between countries today are based on such capitulating protocols.” You have based your claim that the Protocols are an Armenian capitulation, but you have not proved this, making it simply a guess. Thus your conclusion follow as a guess-based conclusion, a mis-deduction. You could be correct by accident, but you haven’t proven anything. As a mathematician, you must clearly see this.
     
    You also state, “If one likes, one can write general rules that directly derive Kars treaty precondition, Artsakh conflict precondition, Genocide denial precondition and others, without stating any of the particular names involved. Mathematicians do this all the time, they write axioms, rules and laws, without even talking about the underlying subject.”  A mathematician is generally is not required prove the underlaying existence of the number “1” in order to simply claim that 1+1=2. It is clear to all the numerical value “1” exists. However, none of what you claim, even in extrapolation, is stated in the Protocols. One can base conclusions on illusions, but they don’t reflect reality. The Protocol does not state anything you claim. The text is available for all to see.
     
    And you wrote, “Finally, you have confused the roles in the analogy between Kosovo and Arstakh. We are not the Milosevic regime, the Turks are. In this case they are the Kosovo, as well. In short, Kosovo and Artsakh are two different problems, not analogous at all.” Please re-read the forth paragraph. Nowhere do I even hint at a comparison of Kosovo and Artsakh or the Milosevoc regime with either Turkish or Armenian governments. The Molesevic reference was used regarding his zero-sum “no, no, no” response to international pressure.
     
    I respectfully suggest you re-read the article.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com


  5. To Armen,
     
    No, the article is not from Disney Corporation. What “should be” and “what are” are quite different. It would have been nice if there were an Armenia that could dictate its demands. That Armenia doesn’t exist. Armenia exists in a rough neighborhood and subject to pressure from major powers. Turkey is subject to such pressures as well. As much as you might want Armenia to have the ability to reject the Protocols, Armenia was part of creation of those Protocols. Armenia can’t simply say, no. As much as one may or may not agree with the Protocol, they now exist and there is no indication Armenia will not ratify them, and in short order.
     
    Armenia can enact and must enforce without prejudice, protectionist laws and trade policies that would mandate controlling specific imports and technologies, thus heavily discouraging foreign take-over of local markets, companies, and what remains of strategic parts of the economy.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  6. With all due respect, you would have done better, David, had you stuck with a more neutral stance and informed us with your usually excellent source work, but you chose to take a stand, that calls for appropriate responses.  It’s hard for me to read you as an advocate of acceptance.   The position of semi-neutral resignation is more dignified: “Yes, we are too small and weak right now, but we should still not try to be so enthusiastic about swimming into the shark’s mouth.”    

    The entire premise behind forcing such protocols as well the overly enthusiastic reception of these protocols by our own government is precisely the signature of a governmet who has no concept of development of diplomacy, of developing industry, let alone one with any idea about what to do to take measures of economic protectionism.   All the best Armenian economists are here in California! 

    It’s also naive to assume that the NATO block that is backing Turkey, a virulently anti-Russian entity, will not further encroach at the intelligence layer, as all indicators show it to have done so significantly as it is.   Need I remind you of the constant repetition of the “Central Eurasian Project” and the more clearly stated “Neo-Ottomanism”?   These are the actual ambitions, and it is a huge gamble to depend on Russian balancing acts.  Turkey, or rather the block to which it belongs despite all appearances it tries to create, is gaining the upper hand layer by layer.

    Looking back at the economy, the entire agricultural sector has been converted to a US Aid dependent format, the details of which can be read in any anti US aid protest or suit freely available on the Internet.   As a prime example, the “Monsanto-ization of the seed supply” is a common factor in all “3rd world countries” receiving aid (making Armenia subject to future “embargos”, and Armenia is yet another unfortunate victim.  In other words, nothing will be left of the Armenian economy that can possibly take a protectionist format, and this “opening of the relations” gives this block total access to Armenia’s economy at a grander scale than before. 

    On diplomatic grounds, it is naive to think that Armenia has no means to resist.  Any nation with a seat the UN now certainly does, but if these measures are accepted, then it will not be long before there is indeed no turning back.     There are numerous cases where a smaller state has been able to wield their diplomatic capital if the proper steps are taken, but, with no surprise to anyone with any level of knowledge or cognizance at lower than superficial level, the little “March riot” and the irrational outbursts by the “opposition” amassed great capital for the NATO block.   This is the fuel that is driving Serge at this moment, and he does seem to be less than reluctant to follow the pressure lead.

    One other item worth the mention: Samvel Hariyunian’s poignant (Armenian language, alas) article highlighting the factual links between the current Protocols and the past (and fully in force) treaties of Kars and Moscow in particular needs to be addressed: The main point made is that Armenia is seen by Turkey and Russia as a protectorate, and not an independent state.   The acceptance of these current measures amounts to an official affirmation by Armenia’s own government of Armenian protectorate status.     It is, once again, misleading to state that the protocols don’t spell out the recognition or not of past treaties.  The context in which the “protectorate” treaties were forged is again repeated where Turko-Russian hegemony, with control of Georgia and Azerbaijan this time by the “Allies”, which makes Russia’s position weaker than the last post-WWI episode.   I say that Turkey will be brazen enough to enforce past treaties with newly amassed economi, political, military/intelligence strength and alliances.   I have no choice but to repeat these points.

  7. Another comment that I would like to add the Misolsevic comment:  Germany’s role in the Balkans, particularly in the break-up of Yugoslavia, is what made it an inevitability for Milosevic to have to react as he did.  He was a nationalist Serb who wanted to protect the territorial integrity of what remained of Yugoslavia.  The main bait must have been Serbian Kraina, but the amount of trash written on the topic truly makes it hard to discern.  It appears, nevertheless, that it was already decided that Belgrade was to be bombarded before Milosevic ever took the seat.  http://www.emperors-clothes.com/articles/carr/carr.html is a good start.  

    In other words, premptive diplomacy is the current norm, not the exception, and that is the case with the anti-Russian block and the project of isolating Russia.  Armenia is simply a small part of this game, and, im my opinion, the Protocols actually mean that Russia is in the position of capitulation at least nominally.   Russia, under your mathematical formulas, would have no need for such concessions, and these are concessions.  Armenia is under total pressure to concede with no noticeable any Turkish loss.   Russia is now in the position to once again share the caucasian hegemony due to NATO sponsorship of the Turkish party.  That is truly all, in my opinion, this amounts to.

  8. Finally a voice of reason.  Armenia has a lot more to gain from a normalization than Turkey, orders of magnitude more.  Recognizing the international borders of your neighbor is not capitulation.  Giving up dreams of Greater Armenia (while complaining about neo-Ottomanism!) and hoping to win the round two WWI, is not capitulation, it is coming out of dark ages into the modern new world. Armenia needs to choose between being a Russian protectorate and a piece in their great chess game, or a country on its own, exploting its historical and cultural ties and its geography for its own good, not for a resurgent imperial Russia.

  9. Fundamentally, Mr. Davidian is on the mark. I would add that as an American first, it is great that my country vigorously pursues its own interests in the Caucasus and that pursuit results in needed change for Armenia. Armenia is a client state with 3 primary patrons–Russia, US/West, and the Diaspora. Each patron has the expectation that its largesse entitles it to exercise influence in both the internal and external affairs of Armenia. The Armenian leadership realises it can never truly be an independent country being whip-sawed between Patrons that it desparately needs to continue in its marginally sustainable existence. The economic stranglehold on Armenia must be broken. Turkey is exporting to Armenia about $250m (USD) while Armenia is only exporting $2m (USD) to Turkey (I recognize stats from this part of the world are suspect–I hope the situation really isn’t this bad). Opening the border can’t possibly make those stats worse. Armenian exports can only go up from here. A stronger economy less dependent on handouts with controlling strings is vital to Armenia becoming a sustainable entity. Opening the border will strengthen the Armenian economy and lessen its status as a chronic client state on life support existing only by  the largesse of others.  Armenia is the big gainer in this transaction. Getting Armenia strong enough to stand own its own feet and populate its current territory should be the first order of concern. Armenia needs that open border to achieve real independence and viability. 


  10. To: Hagopn,
     
    It is rather telling you came to the conclusion the Armenian Diaspora is irrational considering it was Yusuf Kanli of the Turkish daily Hurriyet I used as an example irrationality. The term irrationality in the title refers to basing conclusions in the absence of cold sobering analysis. In the last few paragraphs of my analysis, I refer to opinions from Armenia regrading the benefits of an open border without a shred of analysis. This is a clear example of irrationality. These Protocols didn’t simply fall out of the sky, but were part of a process. I attempted to shed light on that process.
     
    My thesis is that there are monumental changes in the region, including a Russian head of state having visited Turkey (Putin in 2004) which has not happened in 500 years. Enough political pressure exists because of the alignment of end result by major world powers that forced the creation of this Protocol. If my thesis were as simply-minded as you suggest, I would not need a 15 page analysis, but could get by with a single page rant.
     
    The role of profits from hydrocarbon transport is neither “superficial” nor “infantile” and will trump the pan-Turkish mythos as fast as it was created. The region is in dynamic change and your claim that Turkish and Azerbaijani military/intelligence/indoctrination cooperation has some over-riding influence in the current region’s dynamic change, and its role in the Protocol, has not been demonstrated. The article is not an anti-Turkish, anti-Azerbaijani, anti-Armenia rant for that would not help explain why these Protocols exist.
     
    The Protocol is not an covert Israeli plan, nor does it have any significant role in its creation. Will it benefit from it, it may. It is irrelevant to the diplomatic and regional power politics if Israeli hackers exist or not. I suggest you write an article on the subject of Israeli intrigue to inform and help understand these Protocols.
     
    You ask, “And where in your article is it mentioned the long-term geopolitical designs concerning the re-emergence of a “Neo-Ottoman Empire” as it is being publicized by a high profile CIA endorsed author? It’s not just Goble. Now it’s George Friedman with the grandiose “Neo-Ottoman” nightmare scenario as the Russian counterbalance.” Referring to George Friedman Neo-Ottoman Empire will not help understand why these Protocol exist today any more than his Greater Poland does, or his inevitable US-Japan-“Neo-Ottoman” war that will erupt within a 100 years. I might as well have used biblical prophecies.
     
    You claim, “It is also very deceptive to say that the kars and Moscow treaties are not evoked in the protocols“. There is NO mention of these in the Protocol. If they were, this Protocol would not be a diplomatically acceptable document. As much as some Turks or Armenians wished the words “Treaty of Kars” or “Treaty of Moscow” were mentioned in the text, they are not found in the Protocol.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com
     

  11. I fully agree that the borders should be opened, but disagree with any conditions.
    We are neighbors, we should simply open our borders.  That has been Armenia’s stand for 18 years, and it was the right one.  Now, while I could put off genocide recognition a couple of years by agreeing for a stupid commission to study the subject, if there was a deadline and some very firm rules for the commission to function, I certainly don’t see a point in reaffirming a border treaty signed between Russia and Turkey.  I’m not saying Armenia should make any land claims (which it hasn’t), but yes, reaffirming this treaty is absolutely unnecessary for opening the border, and certainly cannot ever be a good thing.  Those are todays borders, they were set by others, and that is that, but to actually sign that we also agree to them is like saying we agree to the aftermath of the genocide.
    So I say forget these strange preconditions that were injected by Turkey to somehow try to make themselves feel better, and safer from the consequences of their past.  If anyone should need to be made to feel better it is the Armenians, who have gotten (to put it very very mildly) the very very short (and bloody) end of the stick from Turkey.

  12. It seems that in negotiations — there are always preconditions. Each party has a sense of what they want and a sense of what they are willing to give and not give. International negotiations are clearly a quid pro quo arena.  Speaking about not having preconditions is nothing more or less than posturing for one consitituency or another. Armenia’s situation gives it little to offer at the negotiating table–weakness places the nascent state in that position.  Armenia needs to get the border open-it needs to develop its economy-it needs to develop good governance. Once these essentials are met and Armenia is not in such a weak and dependent condition then it will be able to have a much stronger negotiating position. A sense of outrage at the other party–no matter how justified–is not a currency that gets you very much.  The only leverage Armenia has at the negotiating table is provided by the USA. It is US and  EU pressure that has Turkey talking to Armenia.  Without the USA’s interest in opening an additional energy transit corridor Turkey would have little reason to open the border and allow the strengthening of Armenia.


  13. To Murat:
     
    I have a question. You wrote, “Finally a voice of reason.” Are you stating an opinion on the analysis or assuming positive judgment has been given to either the existence of the Protocol or the eventual border opening? In an analogy, one would not assume that if an author wrote an piece analyzing the origins of the HIV virus, the author supports the existence of the virus. I ask this because your following statement, “Armenia has a lot more to gain from a normalization than Turkey, orders of magnitude more.”. This something that nobody knows, neither you nor I. If recent history is any guide, a wide open border may not serve the people of Armenia, noting the last few paragraphs of my analysis.
     
    A “Greater Armenia” such as Sevres/Wilsonian Armenia based on re-negotiating the end of WWI may exist in the dark ages, but genocide reparations will not got away. For example, the text in http://www.regionalkinetics.com need only be modified ever so slightly after Protocol ratification. Armenians will certainly not end work for genocide recognition.
     
    Armenian cannot simply ignore Russia as if a choice even existed. The reality today is that Russia owns strategic parts of Armenia’s infrastructure. Whether this should have taken place or not, it’s now a moot point. With the Turkish border blockade, this may have been inevitable anyway.
     
    David Davidian


  14. Hagopn wrote: “It is, once again, misleading to state that the protocols don’t spell out the recognition or not of past treaties.”
     
    Nowhere in he Protocols are the words Kars, Moscow or past treaties spelled out. They won’t be spelled out without Armenia’s permission. The only thing misleading is to claim something exists when it does not or worse, to base a hard conclusion on something that does not exist.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  15.  
    David, thank you for the response.  I reread your article.  On the irrationality, thank you for the clarification.  

    1. The monumental changes mentioned, particularly the unprecedented visit of the Russian head of state to Turkey, are precisely why the concern over the revival/re-affirmation of the Treaties between the two states that involved Armenia, and I believe that Shant Hariyunian (sorry, I typed the wrong name incorrectly earlier) is correct in his article where he insists that these “warming of relations” between the two primary interested parties in the region are considering Armenia their protectorate.  The protocols are a first step toward the realization of this scenario.  Your these may not be simple minded, but it is one dimensional in that it does not take any indicators of covert and longer term ambitions of larger political and financial blocks mentioned into account.

    2. I know what your intentions are, always working on overdrive to appear impartial and objective.  Again, profits from “hydrocarbon” may not be deemed as superficial, but the insistence on putting comparatively short-term material and second tier energy concerns over long term trade route, territorial hegemony and related race pollitics, particularly that of ignoring race-related politics in this very much so contested region, is one-dimensional thinking.  I am surprised that you, someone with proven knowledge of Turkic politics, would ignore the connections, but you frustrate me by consistently doing so.   I disagree that the impact of race politics has not been demonstrated.  The Uyghur issue in China is directly related.  The attempted but thwarted Uzbek/Khazakh unification attempts (at least two attempted and thwarted referendums) are directly related.   Azerbaijan’s leading party, a party of former communist apparatchiks, has to conform to the anti-Armenian rantings of racist ideologues and has adopted a completely race oriented platform despite the reality of _their_ party’s pro-oil profit (concentrated oligopoly) platform.  The military is, in fact, integrated.  The results will be made evident if and when the Russian isolation homework is finished in the repeatedly touted “Central Eurasian” efforts.   

    3. As to Israeli involvement, you are turning the blind eye on the recent Israeli pre-dominance in Georgia military operations in the South Ossetia affair.  That alone would be a good indicator for anyone with military intelligence background.   Israel’s direct involvement in the protocol process not is relevant, nor is it provable that Israel has no involvement.  What is provable and widely publicized is Israel does have a role in the region and there is a 4 way military defense pact in place.  Covert participation is a given.  Israel’s desire, in my opinion, coincides with US, UK, and German ambitions; i.e.  You will see more action taken after Armenia is eliminated as an impediment, as a solid and exclusively Russian foothold in the region to expand the “Central Eurasian” concept to its full political extent.  There is just too much talk on this on behalf of key think tanks and associated authors. 
    4. In your dismissal of the importance of Goble’s and Friedman’s writings as significant in this context, you insist on looking at the protocols or any related action on behalf of the 2 regional powers in a vacuum.   I claim no expertise, but even as a layman I recognize that to be a dangerous practice within the sphere of political analysis.
    5. In your last paragraph, you again dismiss, despite all the contextual arguments, the concerns over the re-affirmation and re-enforcement of the past treaties of Moscow and Kars, in particular.  You say, once again, that “as long as these things are not named, they are not there nor can they be ever evoked.”   That is a patent falsehood when seen from the historical perspective.  Powers do what they wish, and they can use unrelated laws to enforce another unrelated set of laws at a whim.   From this angle, even if the rejection of the Protocols is merely symbolic, it is a good enough reason to reject them and show some sort of solidarity at the popular level.  
     
    This is linear and non-contextual thinking with total emphasis only on the superficial, relatively short-term, and from the historical perspective, the less relevant aspect of specific commodities and the control thereof.  I simply don’t think these controllers are as short-sighted.  They have longer term imperialist ambitions, and I truly believe that the Protocols are part of this long drawn out process. I think the authorship by authors in the employ of key intelligence services are a significant factor, but are only of any value when looked at from the greater context of the competitive Central Asian ambitions.  I urge you to at least acknowledge the possibility.

  16. Gary, I partally disagree with your statement from the short term, and completley disagree from the longer term perspective.  Imperialist ambitions over the control of the Silk Road trade and transportation routes, not to mention direct territorial and political control over the Eurasian vastness, is an age old “western” ambition.   The main impediment is Russia and its sphere of influence, of which are left Byelorussia and Armenia as solid partners.   That solidity is now endangered by the overall process of Turkish ascendency with the aformentioned western sponsorship.   Piece by piece, Russian, and eventually Chinese, control of key territory will be wrested and Russian isolation will be complete.  That is the grander picture.   Armenia’s role will be that of the same old post-WWI “protectorate” – the “protection” of which will be, no doubt, a shared duty – as agreed on on not one, but 2 treaties – between Turkey and Russia.  This is a major, major concession on behalf of Russia on territorial control.   As I said, even if the Armenian protest is symbolic and overwhelming at the popular level, that will be future grounds to reject and rescind the political decision on behalf of this anyhow semi-legitimatized administration.   Optimistically, you are correct that we can use Turkish routes, but are we prepared.  Not a chance.   We know we are tno.  The state infrastructure, particularly in terms of competent personnel especially in the economic field, is decimated by oligarch “politics.”  Will Turkish politicians and ideologues abandon and thaw out their anti-Armenian program?  Who knows, but it isn’t likely. 

  17. Gary, in your reply to me, you are assuming two things which I disagree with.  When you say “in negotiations — there are always preconditions”, I even disagree with the premise that there needed to be negotiations.  It should have been a simple, “are you ready to open the border, or not”?  Turkey needs to open it’s border due to pressure, and that Armenia is making concessions while Turkey is not, is completely backwards to me.  Your second assumption is that opening the border will “allow the strengthening of Armenia”.
    The border has been closed for almost 2 decades.  Trade flows anyway, just via Turkey, and as the numbers indicate, they highly favor Turkey.  It will be good for Armenia if Turkey charges Armenia less than Georgia for transit fees, but it’s not something I would depend on.  I also would not depend on the border staying open if Turkey’s whim changes.  Nobody is mentioning the massively depressed areas of Turkey adjacent to Armenia, which have themselves petitioned for an open border to boost their economy, and stem their massive emigration that mirrors Armenia’s own.  Believe me, this will be great for Turkish business, and their border regions.
    Anyway, as David says though, it’s probably a done deal, but these are my rambling thoughts…

  18. It is utter defeatism to say it’s a done deal.   Nothing is a done deal at this petty level, even if the bloackge due to public outcry is merely symbolic, even if the opening of borders – in economic terms – is only legalistic at best.   When will Armenians  learn that they have enough punch if they simply show some degree of solidarity? 

  19. David, it specifically says “reconfirming territorial integrity and inviability of borders”, then later “confirming the mutual recognition of the existing border between the two countries as defined by the relevant treaties of international law”.
    So I don’t see how this isn’t recognition of the treaties in question, even if it doesn’t actually say Kars/Moscow.  It certainly isn’t talking about Sevres…  so how do you figure?

  20. It’s puzzling to put it mildly to read rantings of certain self-styled experts.  Instead of discussing arguments at hand we are invited to digress into multiple non-sequitur arguments – Miloshevich, alleged Israeli hackers’ attack on Armenian web sites, Friedman, Gobledigook and ad nausea. Apropos, Miloshevich was not, repeat, was NOT, a Serb nationalist.
    The other amazing part of this discussion is how stubbornly some can insist on things that are not in protocols. There is no word on Kars and Moscow Treaties in the published document and yet some people keep parroting the nonsense claim of the Turkish propaganda with no leg to stand on. They may as well claim that Armenia recognized territorial integrity of Turkey in 1992 and by acceding to the UN Charter and Helsinki Accords  affirmed the venomous treaties.
    The historical commission only seems to be a concession, as David writes quite correctly. This time the Armenian side has enough evidence to sustain the argument of the Genocide not with US senators and congressmen but with Turks themselves in an open discourse.  Why should we be afraid of their falsifications and revisionist claims? Is not that what the Dat would eventually require – international court hearings on the Genocide? Will Turks try to delay the recognition? They might as well but they cannot postpone indefinitely. For some impatient Armenians recognition by the US seems to be more important than recognition by Turkey.  I would only warn them that the US recognition is not likely to be anything different from that of the TARC.
    A. from Kosovska Mitrovica

  21. Raffi, you are smart to challenge any assumption . I have the assumption that all negotiations between countries involve trade offs. I can’t substantiate that assumption. I neither have the personal insight or sufficient information about international negotiations to ever get beyond anecdotal/observation input. However, if the choice is between reasoning from the assumption that Turkey or any nation will meet the want(s) of another nation because objectively it is the right thing to do or to assume that there is always a quid pro quo –then I will stick with the assertion that quid pro quo is inherent in the process.

    You offer the view that the situation should be as simple as asking Turkey “are you ready to open the border or not”.  If Turkey thought opening the border on balance was to their advantage–the border would be open.  You are right about Turkey’s border areas and their needs provide impetus to open the border. But that need is overwhelmed by the complexity of Turkey’s commitments to the Azeris and the ferocity of its own right wing nationalists.  The USA and its European allies have pushed Turkey to the negotiating table but it is still a negotiation. It becomes a process of finding the right price point where each party feels it is getting what it wants for an acceptable price. Armenia has to decide what it is willing to give(which includes disregarding Armenian nationalist reactions)  to gain another transit route for imports and exports, to become an energy transit corridor, and to have an alternative that forces Georgia to lower its transit prices. Turkey has to decide if getting relief from American pressure and strengthening its ability to join the EU is worth backing away from its Azeri commitments (they know Armenia will not pay the price of surrending NKR and Armenia has made that clear) and taking the heat from the Turkish right wing nationalist zealots.

    Hagopn, your point about the readiness of Armenia to open the border in terms of infrastructure or administration  is important and I have no insight into whether Armenia can be ready in the near term or not. 

  22. To Raffi:
     
    Raffi asked for an explanation of ““reconfirming territorial integrity and inviability of borders”, then later “confirming the mutual recognition of the existing border between the two countries as defined by the relevant treaties of international law”. The former global wording is necessary. If it didn’t exist, there would no basis and subsequent path to discuss the border issue in question. It would be like talking to your neighbor about removing a fence between you without an understanding that in doing so doesn’t imply a land grab when the two parties actually begin removing the fence. While that might be obvious to you and your neighbor, in international diplomacy the approach is different.
     
    The second part confirms that what will open will be a recognized border based on accepted international laws and treaties that regulate borders between countries. It doesn’t say the border as defined by treaties that created them. As noted, Armenia is signatory to a treaty of international law, the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. This is one such relavent treaty of international law that defines how recognized borders are regulated, among other things.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  23. A couple of points on arguments concerning treaties.  Is this clause somehow reviving treaties of Moscow and Kars [“confirming the mutual recognition of the existing border between the two countries as defined by the relevant treaties of international law”]? Obviously, not. First, the treaty of Moscow was not signed by any representatives of the Soviet Armenia. It was concluded between Bolshevist Russia and Turkey. Second, the treaty of Kars was signed by representatives of Soviet Armenia, Soviet Georgia and Soviet Azerbaijan on one side and Turkey on the other before Republic of Turkey and USSR were constituted.   Both Georgia and Azerbaijan in their declarations of independence renounced the Soviet period and affirmed succession of the first republics (1918-21 and 1918-20 respectively).  In other words, they have in fact abrogated the treaty of Kars.  Under the Soviet Constitution the Union Republics did not have the right to conclude international treaties. If and when necessary, Armenia could always clarify in a parliamentary resolution that the third republic is a successor state to the first and Soviet republics with a reservation that the Soviet Armenia is recognized in the period of 1924-1991. Moreover,  if it ever gets down to revising borders, Armenia can always claim that the Kars treaty is null and void. There is an easy legalistic argument for that. The current protocols are not referring to the Kars treaty. Period. It seems to me that there are still some Armenians out there who believe that Turkey can on its own will or under some pressure reaffirm the Severs Treaty or Wilsonian borders.  This is only possible if Turkey were to disintegrate as a state. If that were to happen, no one will be looking into Kars, Moscow or Alexandropol treaty for that matter. On the political level I do not recall Dashnaks protesting or going on a hunger strike when in 2006 Vardan Oskanyan stated the following – “Armenia has never made a problem of validity of the Treaty of Kars, as Armenia remains loyal to all agreements inherited from the Soviet Union.”  Maybe ARFD governing coalition members inferred then that the treaty of Kars had been concluded three years before the Soviet Union was formed and therefore it was not inherited from the Soviet Union.  If so, why this argument cannot be sustained today?  Finally, I could not agree more with my opponent Hagopn that this is the time for Armenians to unite and show a strong degree of solidarity. Instead, we are witnessing attempts at political mobilization in the murky waters of baseless accusations in treason and advancing far-fetched interpretations of protocols on par with Turkish propaganda.

  24. This above commentary coming from an “expert” is fascinating.   We are talking about context, and not isolated little scribbled lines in the Protocols that will be always re-intepreted to mean what the enforcers wish in any case. 

    1. Turkish “open discourse of genocide” more so consists on 12 million copies of anti-Armenian propaganda DVDs distributed to than that of some isolated so-called “left wing liberals.”   The grass roots efforts on behalf of Turkish authorities on this issue, again renewed with massive volume, are of the anti-Armenian sort where Armenians are depicted as the perpetrators of genocide.   An entire generation of Turks are retaught to hate Armenians.  I have no idea how Taner Akcam will undo this with a few scribbles, but let the “expert” above explain this.

    2. The prempted actions are the point on Milosevic, making his analogy useless for the current situation.  I don’t care about the “experts” who can tell me his underwear size.  And, yes, he was a Serb nationalist, and whatever razor blade redefinition of the term by “experts” is also irrelevant.

    3. Israel involvement is Caucasian politics is in fact a key factor that “experts” seem to avoid.  I have said enough about it to illustrate  the importance.  The hackers in the string of attacks against Armenian sistes were in fact rumored to be Israeli in origin.   “Experts” may dismiss them, but the rumors exist.

    4.  “Turkish Propaganda” is usually the mirror of Turkish policy.   The current trend in Russian Turkish relations is conducive to re-affirmation and enforcement of treaties between these to most power regional entities, one of which has the backing of the most powerful and increasingly influential NATO alliance who has all the ambition to further expand Turkish imperialism.   Petty Russian military exercises in the form of the so-called Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO) are minor compared to the, again, grass roots efforts by Turkish expansionists in the region.

  25. Arthur, I agree.  The Treaty of Kars itself is easily nullified for 2 principal reasons, aside from its self-contradicting nature, particularly – as highlighted by Hariyunian – on the issue of annulment of, in short, the burdens of defeat : 

    1) The Armenian Republic was under occupation of the Red Army at the time it was ratified.
    2)  The legitimate Armenian government was not a participant as an independent and functioning entity at the time. 

    Technically, of course you’re correct.  Yes, you are always technically correct.  No one has ever said otherwise either about you or David.   You are superb technicians, absolutely superb, and I will be the first to say it.  

    Yet, let’s look at what happened in practice.  This “easily nullified Treaty” was put into practice, and, naturally, as the no-longer-existing party, Armenia was not able to enforce any part of it, especially territorial demarcations, which Turkey happily ignored to her advantage and gained all sorts of strength and prosperity as a result of being, as the matter of fact, “relieved of the burden of defeat” put upon her by the Detente.   

    The Russian Empire, a.k.a. the Soviet Union in effect, agreed to lift the “burden of defeat” back then due to its own shaky condition of having only recently recovered from a massive civil war.   This was done with the Treaties of Moscow and Kars principally.  

    The dormant Treaty for Armenia was not so dormant for Turkey.  It has, in fact, never been dormant.

    Now, this set of quasi-colonialist “protocols” (yes, they are) merely revive that context where Russia, if measured in terms of Soviet Territory/Russian Imperial Holdings, has suffered immense losses and will do anything to prevent further loss in face of much agression at the race politics and the associated grass roots laborings sponsored happily by NATO and affiliations.

    This should not be viewed in a vacuum.

     

  26. In other words, the Turks were pacified by Russia in the post WWI period when Russia had suffered immense losses, and now, perhaps, the same approach is being taken in order to ensure further non-involvement in North Caucasus operations and Central “Eurasian” operations.  

    Maybe Davidian is absolutely correct in that the fanatics in Baku have been turned face down in the mud by Ankara.  Still, theatre is paramount in the world of experienced statesmen with imperialist experience under their belt, and, sorry to say, but technicians usually miss this aspect of it all.  Who knows what Baku is “really feeling right now.” 

    I certainly don’t know, but my layman’s observation tells me that popular sentiment, i.e. social engineering, is where the real long-term game is at: You don’t believe me?  Just read the CIA bankrooled authorship of “The Next 100 Years”.   In this game, Russians are losing, as they always have, very badly.  They are, as David Boyadjian always attempts to tell us, very brute and unrefined in comparison to NATO and Company.  We’re comparing Madison Avenue level smoothness to Russian “brriutyun,” the “subtleties” of which have yet to prove themselves.   As a Hungarian nationalist recently stated: “NATO corrupts you to the bone, but your population still considers NATO to be their saviour from ‘the ugly bear.'”   Imagine this applied to a Turkic national of any of the states constantly indoctrinated by “the myth of the Gray Wolf” and so on.   Hey, they all want to grow up and “be Ginghiz.” 

    Russians, apparently, know this, and they are doing what they know beest to “counter” this trend: “Hey, why don’t we put more military pressure and force them to ally with us, eh?”   From the psychological perspective, this has and shall continue to backfire.   I agree with Boyadjian completely on this.   On the Turkish side, Russians are prompted to take the approach of, for lack of a better descsriptive, capitulation, concessions, “protocols,” and the lamb at hand is none other than Armenia.   Would you not, as a Russian Casino man, throw the Armenian rocks in favor ensuring control of Khazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and so on?   If I were they, I would.

    Oil/” hydrocarbon”, woolen sweaters, commodities, material assets, in my belief these are secondary fringe benefits, and, focusing primarly on these factors amounts to focusing on the hooves instead of the horse.   TERRITORY, CONTROL of ROADS/ROUTES, this is the critical factor.   Compare the Krasnojarks Kray to the Armeno-Turkish border.   Which is more critical? 

    In this context, I smell a revival of post-WWI politics.   I hope I am wrong.  I hope your optimism, however technically well-sourced but nevertheless naive, is the correct one, but I am afraid I cannot allow myself to believe it. 

    Keep up the good work regardless. 

  27. In addition, I don’t ever believe that Turkey will be put under pressure to affirm the Sevres Treaty, and I don’t ever consider myself your opponent, dearly beloved Brri Brother Arthur–:) 

  28. Gary, as with anything, timing is everything. A good strategist gives the enemy the carrot after knocking the enemy’s teeth out, and then – after the enemy is wined and drunk and left without the original throbbing pain in the mouth/jaw – the strategist promises the enemy carrot juice “as a show of renewed good will.”   The memory of pain is simply not as stinging as the original pain.  Upon  giving you the access to purchase the juicer, due to your exhaustion which in turn is due to the malnutrution in light if carrot deprivation despite availability, you agree to sell your electric generator (which just happens to be a precondition of the juicer deal) and end up paying a premium for a juicer of which you cannot flip the ON switch.  

    Our economists and competent administrators, our producers and thinkers, have been chased out of their country.  What is left are a bunch of salesmen.  Statesmen and their advisory are gone.  Salesmen and their henchmen are in.   They sell, sell, sell, but they have yet to understand at what cost.  How can they?  All the accountants are gone and are baking perashki and lahmejun in Hollywood.   

    Granted, the back door to the store had always been open, and Turkish carrots are all over the place in the Armenian markets.   However, the door was small and the goods were brought by mostly domestic middle-men who had to go through yet other, more expensive doors in order to bring in the carrot.

    Imagine, then, the situation where there is no inhibiting and inflationary middleman, which was, at least in a haphazard mannerism, a form of limited protectionism.   The oligarchs perhaps felt a degree of comfort and did not so far feel the sting of having sold the generator to a third pary.   However, now, when the door is open, and the deflationary trend kicks in, cheap carrots flood in with the bearer as the first producing wholesaler, the retailers will be first sloshed out the markets, and whatever remnant of production we have internally will be rendered unapproachable the toothless consumer governed by a toothless “administrator” who has yet to understand the value of real accounting principles. 

    The tooth, of course, is the currency first and foremost, the immensely irrational degree of devaluation of which was agreed upon by none other than President Lemon himself. 

    It’s all about vegetables. 


  29. To Hagop Nalbandian:
     
    I am not responding in place of Arthur Martirosyan, but simply responding to your last comment.
     
    Knowledge of the Turkish socialization process has little to do with having to work with the only option available. If all Turks walked around with fu manchu mustaches, carrying signs saying we hate Armenians, would not provide the basis for any other policy options for Armenia. Your protege, Armen Ayvazyan, ranting in the Armenian Parliament does not create options for Armenian negotiators. The external forces haven’t changed. Noting Israeli involvement in the Caucasus does not provide other policy options for Armenia.
     
    Nothing you have written provides the basis for an alternative course of action that can be taken by the Armenian government, regardless of what you think or don’t about the Protocols. Neither you, Armen Ayvazyan, or even the Dashnaks could have reached anything better than what will signed be signed shortly. This is not to congratulate Armenian FP, but rather stating the obvious. Just because I have attempted to explain why the current policy policy exists, does not mean I have provided an alternate path to take either. I never attempted to. One has to do the best one can given the reality of the situation.
     
    Armenians can certainly protest the Protocols, but they are not providing any alternative course of action in protesting. Walking away is not a policy option. Armenians could have protested against Russians having bought up much of Armenian’s infrastructure over the years. I didn’t notice such protests. What good would such protests have done? However, if Armenian protesters had sat down with Diasporan financiers and created a way for them to have purchased, say the Armenian electrical grid, that would have been an alternative, in one case.
     
    You providing continued examples of Turkish fascism and suggestions of Turkish lebensraum does not provide an alternative policy for Armenia to take, but clearly you are free to keystroke.

    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  30. David,

    I totally disagree.   The reality is that none of the factors you mention are significant and do not convince the notion that Armenia has no alternative choice.   Even Ter Petrosyan saved face by resigning his post, using the good tactic of delay.   Now, to that mix, you add the presmise of total impotence of Armenians who should simply accept the “inexorable power of the NATO/Russian steamroller.”  Oh, really?   As the joke goes, are you the bear’s friend or my friend? 

    Fascinating how we are constantly led to believe in our own impotence by “well intentioned individuals.”  Armenia is not a small isolated country, but a globally present and somehwat established diasporan nation of 10 million plus with many more options at our disposal than we are constantly led to believe by, really, who knows what working for who know who. 

    The Armenian Republic has the unique opportunity, the responsibility, and credibility to exploit properly this potential.   Of course the level of credibility can obviously fluctuate as the Komitas Statue affair in Paris shows, but the entire point of these protests is that there is this huge expectation by the Armenian nation to be respresented properly by their Republic.   Go figure that one! 

    Armen Ayvazyan is one of the few political thinkers who consistently state this obvious fact.  The lack of willingness to work with the diaspora, the enthusiasm with which participation of recent expatriates is rejected by all three successive administrations (one of the few thing on which they “silently agree), was dealt with in a great analytical essay by Vahe Avetian only a short while ago.   All writers, even in opposition, agree on these points, and yet you implicitly state that Armenians are of no consequence when it comes to an Armenian future.    It now makes me wonder what your actual position is.

    In other words, your words are those of defeatism, and that is no “alternative” to anything.  There is no such thing as no options, and it is a false statement to say no alternative options are given.   The best alternative given is to not even start any negotiations until, for example, the massive renewal of the anti-Armenian propaganda campaign has been halted.   Are you reading this number?  12 Million copies of the DVD depcting Armenian as perpetrators of Genocide are out the in the schools system as compulsory education.   What sort of administration ignore this reality and pretends there is any realistic “peace negotiation” going on?   What sort of administration, not to mention their mouthpieces, would agree to such a one-sided deal?

    What makes you state that the decision is so all pervasive and final that no Armenian effort can put a dent?  Why, then, even argue for it?  Since in your belief it will happen anyhow, why even bother to lobby for it as you are?   You are pretending to not advocate it, but you certainly are doing so by resorting to misinformation as well. 

    Now I am worried.

  31. I’ve been following this discussion for quite some time. While I’m generally reluctant to submit posts and thus engage in lengthy exchange of views, I feel I must step in and share some thoughts as a former Armenian diplomat who resigned due to disagreements over foreign policy orientations pursued by our largely dilettante and self-centered government. I should say at the outset that, with some minor reservations, I tend to share multi-dimensional viewpoints expressed by Hagopn and Raffi that demonstrate greater attachment to historical, psychological, and behavioral issues in the broader region over schematic and somewhat algorithmic, yet excellent, analysis and source work done by David Davidian. With all due appreciation for the time David has taken, I’ve found deficiencies in mustering evidence to support sustained evidence in his analysis, such as narrow set of circumstances affecting the workings of factors in the volatile region; limited number of players considered; and narrow, at times non-existent, considerations of power and race politics. Most disappointing is David’s misperception of historical and political underpinnings of the current situation in terms of traditional behavioral attitudes of the parties to the process, predominantly Turkey. An uninformed reader could have an impression after reading David’s article that protocols that are being discussed are to be signed between civilized Luxembourg and Armenia and not between bloodthirsty and cunning Turkey and Armenia.
    It is already widely accepted that, for various political considerations that I’d like to omit for the sake of brevity, the interests of Russia, the U.S., and the European Union now coincide with regard to opening of all borders in the South Caucasian region. Had just one out of these three power centers were in opposition, I believe Serge and his clique could have played, with questionable success of course, on the contradiction between them. It appears that he couldn’t even if he wished to. Bear in mind that both Serge and his foreign minister are senior officers of the Russian defense ministry’s Central Intelligence Board (GRU) with Nalbandian being a Russian citizen. Therefore, by all means they have to carry out Moscow’s orders, a task made more arduous by the diplomatic pressure from Washington and Brussels.
    Does this mean that protocols couldn’t have been avoided? Not at all. It’s obvious that had Serge enjoyed broad popular support in Armenia, as well as in Diaspora, he could have used it to counterbalance pressure to an optimal extent. March 2008 events, with Ter-Petrossian brought to the fore intentionally to weaken Serge’s power base and ability to conduct more autonomous policy line, have made him more susceptible to external political influence and control. There’s now a speculation that Serge’s staying in power after March violence has been conditioned by his acceptance of concessions currently present in the protocols.
    Both David and Hagopn’s interpretations of the “letter and spirit” of the protocols are evenhanded for one major reason: the wording has been introduced in such a way as to allow for multiple, at times contradicting, interpretations, mainly because these protocols have been formatted as to meet sensitive political, not typically legal issues. This is their major flaw, albeit deliberately made one. The major point here is that for the Armenian side, as long as they bear no clarity and precision, and given our first-hand historical knowledge of slyness of the Turks, the interpretation of the protocols in such provisions as “reconfirming territorial integrity and inviolability of borders”, “confirming the mutual recognition of the existing border between the two countries as defined by the relevant treaties of international law,” and “implementing a dialogue on the historical dimension with the aim to restore mutual confidence between the two nations, including an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archives to define existing problems and formulate recommendations” must be based on awareness that they represent preconditions introduced by Turkey and imposed on Armenia by drafting parties.
    Although it is generally expected that protocols will be signed, Serge could have attempted to postpone signing and make an unequivocal appeal to the nation both in Armenia and Diaspora that would contain a stealthy allusion of the surmounted pressure and a plea for support. This hasn’t been done. Ultimately, Serge could have, and still can, resign. For both of these options to be viable, however, a truly national leader should have been legitimately elected, enjoying broad-based popular support, have a high morale, and last but not least, be a representative of erudite, cultured elite still remaining in critical minority in Yerevan, and not a provincial from a remote village in Nagorno-Karabakh.
    The Diaspora and the Armenian government should have worked out a paradigm of working together more closely, but this envisaged a total remake and modernization of Diaspora structures and real democratic change in the Armenia. This is a lengthier process that’s been originally thought, but singing of capitulating protocols is just days away. If Serge returns to Armenia safe and sound, the concept of Diaspora-Armenia relations will have to be reconsidered with the aim of maybe establishing a government-in-exile representing the 1918-1920 republic, or a centralized body in the form of an NGO with an observer status in the UN, creating a new volunteer army in Diaspora to safeguard Armenia from external threats, and producing conditions for Diasporan representatives to gradually take seats in the government of Armenia. Otherwise, our great grandchildren, I’m afraid, will still witness the stigma of recurring illegitimate, anational regimes in Armenia.

  32. One last point. It is generally accepted in the diplomatic practice that protocols on establishment of bilateral relations and opening of the borders be limited to a single phrase, like this generic one: “The Parties to this Protocol hereby declare their intention to establish diplomatic relations and open the common border.” For Christ’s sake, what was the need for a lengthy, humiliating, and dubious at best, if not explicitly preconditioned in nature, description of intentions?! Dozens of countries in the world have unsolved territorial, border, and historical concerns, but no one sits round the negotiating table and signs protocols. Russia and Japan are still in the state of war, no peace treaty has been signed and the issue of “Northern Territories” still hanging as damoclean sword. Can we affirm that no diplomatic relations exist between them, no open borders established, no trade and economic activity going on? It was idiotic of Serge to succumb to preconditions that are totally unwarranted in international practice. There was no need, except for Turkey’s domestic consumption, perhaps, to fixate them on the paper. It could have been well negotiated in a simple, verbal quid pro quo manner: no genocide recognition, no border issue, just establishment of relations and opening of the border. If Turkey’s support for Azerbaijan was a factor, it could have been explained to Baku, also verbally.

  33. There appears to be no official public study commissioned by the government of Armenia having as its basis a political and economic analysis demonstrating that opening the border between Armenia and Turkey will benefit anybody.

    Let’s assume the government in Armenia did commission the study.  If the study concluded that opening the border would not be economically beneficial to Armenia, then what ?  Armenia keeps the border closed?  Is that even an option ?  Is economic benefits a condition precedent for having an open border ?   

  34. Hagopn,
    If you are posing as an expert on context but know that context from newspapers or futurologist Friedman, why should anyone take your long forays into subjects unknown to you? I could dismantle every single assertion that you are making, from Miloshevich to Israel. But I won’t do that – there is no learning in that, there is no value in that. Please rest assured that I do know a thing or two more about the dimensions that you are trying to explore here. If nothing else, instead of stubbornly insisting that Miloshevich was a nationalist, I can tell you what Serbian nationalists have to say on the subject about this Communist opportunist turned into “nationalist”. I can do that in the Serbian language for you. Just for fun. Or to return ad hominem. Again, I won’t.  Instead of trivial points on Israeli foreign policy and Israel’s interests in the region, I am asking you, Aivazian and other trumpeters of banalities – Turkey is an enemy, Israel is involved et al. – how the protocols may have negative impact on Armenia’s national interests and what policy options you are proposing. Let’s stay on the subject at hand instead of blowing hot air of pretenses at expertise. If you can do that we may have as well value of learning for us and other readers of these exchanges.
     
     

  35. “a government-in-exile representing the 1918-1920 republic, or a centralized body in the form of an NGO with an observer status in the UN, creating a new volunteer army in Diaspora to safeguard Armenia from external threats, and producing conditions for Diasporan representatives to gradually take seats in the government of Armenia.”

    Wait, was this not tried around and during WWI?  Is there really a need for a round two?  Are there no lessons learned?

    What is the point of discussing opening of borders, if one does not even recognize the legitimacy of them?  The borders were closed in response to outrageous acts of Armenia.  What has changed?


  36. Hagop,
     
    It’s not sufficient to claim that even if Armenia “had a choice before“ it has policy alternatives today. You claim Armenia has alternatives, such as the Sargsyan and government stepping down, basically saying “no”. This is not a solution and certainly not a policy alternative, it is resignation. Armenia would look like a diplomatic basket case, unable to adjust to regional changes, unable to determine its interests, and appearing afraid of facing Turkey. Oh, what a fine state of affairs that would leave the region. If I were Azerbaijan, I would attack from Agdam, first, and “regional powers” would allow this until Armenia’s nose was bloodied just enough. There is no guarantee the government that replaced Sargsyan’s administration would then have new choices, but rather all our adversaries having taken advantage of this situation, would reduce Armenia’s negotiating abilities to near zero. Making foolish decisions has its consequences.
     
    You specifically ask “What makes you state that the decision is so all pervasive and final that no Armenian effort can put a dent? Why, then, even argue for it? Since in your belief it will happen anyhow, why even bother to lobby for it as you are?
     
    The situation as it exist today, or two weeks ago when I began writing my analysis, is the Protocol has been agreed to, only ratification remains. The clock cannot be turned back to say, 2003. This means the Protocol is NOT going away, other than by non-ratification by either or both Turkey and Armenia, a highly doubtful outcome. I have never claimed I support this Protocol, but since its exists and lacking other policy alternatives, I argue that quick ratification by Armenia, it throws the ball in Turkey’s court, where there is rather heated arguments between opposing camps. This is not a difficult concept to understand.
     
    And finally, “You are pretending to not advocate it, but you certainly are doing so by resorting to misinformation as well.”
     
    Just because I have written something you don’t like does not mean I have engaged in a misinformation campaign. I have written an article for an intelligent reader. If I have engaged in misinformation, demonstrate where I have fooled everybody. If you have something to say, say it and move on. I have no vested interest in the Armenian government, I am not an oligarch, I am not a even citizen of Armenia. I did however, take time out to provide an analysis attempting to shed light on an otherwise hysterical and ranting discourse. I have nothing to gain in engaging in misinformation.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  37. Hagop,
    Thank you for confirming this simple truism – the protocols are in no way reviving either Moscow or Kars treaties contrary to the claims of those who accuse Sargsyan in treason. Let’s be consistent and systematic now that we are in an agreement on this issue. What is the other damage to the national interests of Armenia that you and Armen Aivazian have identified and what are policy options that you are recommending? Please be specific and do not tell me that Turkey is evil, bloodthirsty and sly because a) I do not argue with that and b) it is irrelevant to the subject matter – damaging consequences of the protocols for the Armenian national interests.

  38. Mihran,
    I am positively impressed by your multi-dimensional, deeply strategic thinking and whatever else by way of empty verbiage is used these days to keep less informed observers excited. But please help me understand your logic here. You assert that both Serge and Nalbandian are GRU officers and they implement direct orders from Moscow. Assuming you are right —
    Bear in mind that both Serge and his foreign minister are senior officers of the Russian defense ministry’s Central Intelligence Board (GRU) with Nalbandian being a Russian citizen. Therefore, by all means they have to carry out Moscow’s orders, a task made more arduous by the diplomatic pressure from Washington and Brussels.
    I do not necessarily agree unless you yourself are a GRU officer and therefore are sharing with us an informed insider opinion.  Let’s leave that one aside. I will not bother with the argument re the same pressures from Washington and Brussels. How do you explain then your statement about Sargsyan’s weakened internal position after March 1 events as an explanatory argument for his compliance with directives from the three capitals and direct orders from GRU? If they are Moscow agents implementing orders from Yasenevo or somewhere in the vicinity, Washington and Brussels, then would not they do that same thing whether or not they were strengthened by the last elections in Armenia? Would not any president of Armenia – LTP, Kocharyan, Aivazian, Kirakosyan – be forced to consider policy options that minimize negative impact and advance national interests?
    Sorry if I am asking too many questions.
    Curiously,
     
    A from Kosovska Mitrovica


  39. Rootarmo:
     
    The statement you quote was made regarding those who made claims on the “clear benefits” of an open border without providing a shred of analysis.
     
    However, on your secondary question, if analysis existed showing detrimental aspects of the open border, it could serve as a part of the process of adopting protectionist legislation, since the border will open in some fashion regardless. How to introduce such a protectionist argument is another issue.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionakinteics.com


  40. To: Mihran Matevosyan,
     
    As a former diplomat, “who resigned due to disagreements over foreign policy orientations pursued by our largely dilettante and self-centered government” you must have realized, by saying so, you lost any semblance of objectivity in your argument. No matter what you say, you are strongly biased against anything your formers bosses have implemented, either good or bad.
     
    Regarding current membership in the GRU (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GRU) I cannot comment as I am not privileged to such information.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  41. To Murat:
     
    Murat asked, “What is the point of discussing opening of borders, if one does not even recognize the legitimacy of them?” One can recognize a border, but that does not imply legitimacy of the border. The Syria- Hatay Province border exists, but Syria does not consider it legitimate. One can also point to the labyrinth of the “recognized” Turkey’s Aegean border with Greece. They are barely mutually recognized, but neither side considers what exists as legitimate.
     
    Then Murat claimed: “The borders were closed in response to outrageous acts of Armenia.  What has changed?
    Technically, Turkey engaged in an act of war by sealing that border. In any case one’s “outrageous act” is another “act of legitimate self-defense”. Apparently, Turkey thinks these “outrageous acts” are somehow less “outrageous” 16 years later. “What has changed”, indeed! I would strongly suggest this latter topic be left to polemic blogs.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  42. David, I am disappointed, this was a very poor response.

    “One can recognize a border, but that does not imply legitimacy of the border.”

    Around here we call this sort of statement many things, but I am sure none would pass the moderator.   Recognize but not legitimate?  That happens only when you have an on going hot conflict, you know, with bullets and guns.  Back to diplomacy 101…

    “The Syria- Hatay Province border exists, but Syria does not consider it legitimate.”

    Not true obviously.   Syria and Turkey have been having a honeymoon of sorts lately and though there has been some grumblings from some corners about Hatay a long long time ago, it has never ever been a point of discussion, contention or argument or public debate on either side of the border.  I would like you to prove me otherwise.

    “One can also point to the labyrinth of the “recognized” Turkey’s Aegean border with Greece. They are barely mutually recognized, but neither side considers what exists as legitimate.”

    Another truly uninformed and unfortunate statement.  Actual borders are rather well deliniated between Greece and Turkey, but the geography of the Aegean has presented challenges in terms of navigation mostly.  I know personally, as I was crossing the border dozens of times, and illegally for sure as I sailed in the area every summer.  Crazy Greek coast guards have been known to fire on boats filled with touritsts, women and children.   Kardak is a good example but an exception and one look at the map shows why it could be a problem.  All this has nothing to do with legitimacy of course.  You may also be confusing air space control (FAR) with sovereignity as some have done here already.

    “Technically, Turkey engaged in an act of war by sealing that border.”

    I am not a diplomat, far from it, but this seems to me a rather unique defintion of an act of war.   I would not call it exactly sealed either as I understand there are daily flights between Yerevan and Istanbul…  so much for the war!

    “In any case one’s “outrageous act” is another “act of legitimate self-defense”.”

    Oh please…  look what happened to Saddam when he “legitmateley” and “self-defensively” invaded Kuwait.  Aggressors always have good reasons and excuses.  Even for mass murder of civilians “self-defensively”. 

    In any case, it is truly ironic that you make the above statement as that is how many Turks view the tragedy of the Anatolian Armenians during WWI.

    As far as what has changed in 16 years, that is a good question.  Many Turks ask the same.  It is for Armenia to show it I think.

  43. Arthur,
    If I’m being fair, this is a public forum that provides a podium for everyone to express opinions. You don’t have to be sorry for asking too many questions, however, you should be sorry for using crap like “empty verbiage.” Just because one has written something you don’t like doesn’t mean that one’s opinion can be stigmatized as “verbiage” or acrid hints for “deeply strategic thinking” can be made. If accepted norms of behaviour are alien to you or if you’re unable to control you temper when familiarizing yourself with the viewpoints incompatible to yours, just try to confine yourself to recognition of the fact that this discussion is being viewed by our foes, as well as to a presupposition that readers and posters here may be, like you, intelligent or experienced individuals.
    This said, I’d like to conclude my one-time intrusion into this highly—and unnecessarily—personalized forum by offering these remarks.
    To Arthur:
    One need not be an intelligence officer or a furniture mover, for that matter, to have or share an opinion. Of course, if one is an insider his opinion is more credible, but in a country like Armenia there still exist, despite all odds and limitations, foreign nongovernmental sources that, by the way, keep a handful of intellectuals remaining in this debilitating inner atmosphere more prone to objectivity as compared to outsiders. Let’s leave this aside, since I admit I may have grudge against spooks and their paid-for collaborators, including those whose mental capabilities only allow them to screen Internet discussions on government orders. I’ve got a generic answer to your questions. Whether agents of foreign powers or not, weaker and more conformable regimes are generally preferred by major power centers over stronger, democratically elected governments enjoying broad-based popular support, especially in volatile regions. Whether agents or not, such regimes are more susceptible to political control and influence. The consequence of such compliance we’re witnessing today. Few, if anyone, would argue that, as Serge contends, Armenia has initiated the protocols. The gravest mistake that regimes (past or present) continue to make is that they underestimate the ability of their own people to understand whether or not their rulers talk through hat.
    To: David
    Your remark about my being biased against anything former bosses have implemented, either good or bad, is not applicable to me. Maybe you were thinking as you’d behave had you found yourself in a similar situation, but in my years in public service, I rarely avoided being against a policy measure if I considered it bad, just as I always supported any policy initiative that I considered good. It is exactly this attitude that our dilettante “bosses” nation-wide cannot endure. They prefer administrant, narrow-minded, and essentially primitive brown-nosers in their own image and likeness. Likewise now, I consider closed borders between Turkey and Armenia, even though it was Turkey that closed them, an anomaly and support their opening. I consider non-existence of diplomatic relations, even though it was Turkey that opposed it, an anomaly, and support their establishment. What the majority of analysts and Armenians world-wide disagree with is the format and three known provisions that give way for contradicting and potentially hazardous interpretations. Analogous protocols typically contain a single, all-explanatory clause concerning the intention of the parties to establish relations and open the border. A routine quid pro quo that could have been discussed and agreed upon during prior negotiations: no mentioning of the genocide on Armenia’s part – opening of the border on the Turkish part. This has been Armenia’s stance for years, what happened? All Armenia’s problems—socio-economic, monetary, judicial, domestic political, and civil society-related—have just evaporated and only a problem of Turkish-Armenian border is unchecked on the government’s to-do list? Do you really think Serge had a bad dream and changed Armenia’s foreign policy overnight or a compounded, methodical external pressure could have been a catalyst here? And if we admit, as it’s becoming apparent to virtually every intelligent and even merely literate reader, that the second factor might have played a role, then we come to no other conclusion that introduced in the protocols are, essentially, Turkish pre-conditions, albeit in a concealed and modified fashion.
    Now, let’s suppose your arguments are correct and Serge knows what he’s doing. Are we in agreement here that what he’s doing goes against the public opinion both in Armenia and Diaspora? Indeed, we can argue for months, formulate hypotheses, isolate and investigate various causalities, identify or modify the core concepts that direct and structure empirical research on the subject, etc., but at the end of the day on whose behalf Serge puts his signature on October 10, knowing too well that the prevailing majority of Armenian populace at home (and I deliberately avoid using the term “electorate” since the term doesn’t apply to our rulers, past or present) is fiercely against the protocols?
    Constitution of Armenia, Article 57: The President may be impeached for state treason or other heavy crimes.
    I think I’ll stop here and lay my hopes for justice and comfort for my people on the mercy of Jesus Christ.

  44. Arthur,

    on the Milosevic deal, I’ve been reading more extensively after this response of yours above, and I have come to agree with you on Milosevic’s political identity as an opportunist.   Tim Carr’s articles that I posted shows that as well.   I do not mind if you pick anything apart, my friend.   We are here to discuss and learn, and you are one of the best I know of in that field.   

    I still stand my opinion that the Yugoslav/Serb analogy is not applicable to our situation.  


  45. Murat wrote: “David, I am disappointed, this was a very poor response.”

    “One can recognize a border, but that does not imply legitimacy of the border.”
    Around here we call this sort of statement many things, but I am sure none would pass the moderator.   Recognize but not legitimate?  That happens only when you have an on going hot conflict, you know, with bullets and guns.  Back to diplomacy 101…”
    “The Syria- Hatay Province border exists, but Syria does not consider it legitimate.”
    Not true obviously.   Syria and Turkey have been having a honeymoon of sorts lately and though there has been some grumblings from some corners about Hatay a long long time ago, it has never ever been a point of discussion, contention or argument or public debate on either side of the border.  I would like you to prove me otherwise.
    Take look at http://www.parliament.gov.sy/ar/syria.php. This is an official Syrian government map. Syria might recognize the Turkish version of the border, but Syria clearly considers Hatay part of their country, making the Turkish version of the border not legitimate in Syrian eyes. QED.
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetis.com
     

  46. David,
     
    In response to your #1 paragraph: the perspective I have come to form on this is that delays are to our advantage.  It is an illusion that “normalization” can ever occur de facto.  Turkish anti-Armenianism is simply too entrenched and is constantly revived, refreshed, repeatedly funded and enforced.  From what I have been reading into the affair, this “normalization” theatric will be the means to ease the attack on Agdam in your speculative exercise.  If Armenia’s economy is not prepared to compete with a belligerent giant with an unsupervised border, a huge chasm as is evident in the utter incompetence of this so-called “government” in power, then it is only a matter of a decade or two before Armenia is depopulated and impoverished further.  I cannot believe that naivete here. 
      
    It is an illusion that Turkish politics will be thrown in to confusion, and it is fascinating that someone, again, with such extensive knowledge of Turkish politics does not seem to understand the character of the Turkish politician!  They get not possibly get any clearer on their stance vis a vis Armenia.  What is this nonsensical talk about clocks and levers?  Do you think you’re dealing with some sort of nuclear power plant on meltdown phase?  “Oh, Metzamor will become Chernobyl if we stop the flow.”  This isn’t engineering or physics friend!  Besides, a counter-momentum, if you wish, exists among the vast majority of the population of Armenians.   In that sense, the situation is as artificial and invalid as it was a month ago; i.e. This “government’ does not represent the interests of the Armenian populations of either the Diaspora nor the Republic.  Therefore, the change in status of the protocols is also irrelevant.  The ratification phase is still a point of time to stop the process.   Even after ratification by this illegitimate administration, it is possible to reverse the decision and rescind the legal status.   The response is easy: “Hey, sorry, we didn’t elect these clowns.”   You appear as a democratic state willing to adhere to democratic principles.  If you wish to maintain your credibility, I highly recommend you stop advocating them while pretending not to advocate them.  

    And finally, “You are pretending to not advocate it, but you certainly are doing so by resorting to misinformation as well.”
     
    You say: “Just because I have written something you don’t like does not mean I have engaged in a misinformation campaign. I have written an article for an intelligent reader. If I have engaged in misinformation, demonstrate where I have fooled everybody. If you have something to say, say it and move on. I have no vested interest in the Armenian government, I am not an oligarch, I am not a even citizen of Armenia. I did however, take time out to provide an analysis attempting to shed light on an otherwise hysterical and ranting discourse. I have nothing to gain in engaging in misinformation.”
     
    In the main, I wouldn’t dream of accusing you of producing misinformation, but merely the conveyance of it due to your fine technical skills in assembling what you deem to be “reliable information.”   I see a different pattern of thinking which is illustrated here well enough to understand that you feign from delving in sources and ideas that are considered not of the mainstream.   That is not the mentality of an open mind willing to engage in honest dialog on such critical an issue at such a critical juncture, but is instead that of a well honed technicians whose career is based on conveyance and assemblage of “reliable data” as acknowledged by the “established mainstream.”   There are certain tell-tale signs, and 4 easy examples of these are; 1) The reluctance to forewarn the Armenian public of the Turkish aggression in the form of re-educating their young the fascistic anti-Armenian modalities 2)  The reluctance to acknowledge the legitimacy of digging further back in history to form a longer term contextual argument 3) the reluctance to acknowledge the wider, geopolitical realities and consequences for the fledgling Armenian state such as that of all parties in NATO block and their ambitions to expand Turkish hegemony 4) The reluctance to mention and acknowledge the Israeli-Turkish-Azeri-Georgian military defense pact, which is clearly an active alliance.  There are more, but these should suffice in showing the readers that not even a small percentage of the interested parties, their reasons, and dangers posed are discussed in this article.   It is a very well delimited mechanical article that any Fletcher School pupil would be proud to publish for a CIA job application.  I would never dream of accusing you, David.  I would just express my disappointed in your selection of sources and your choice in making adjustments to the “mainstream”.  
     
    Just as an add-on to this, which is, again, not directed at you but your “sources,” the flood-gate of “pro-normalization” so-called scholarship spewed out by the various “institutions,” let me say this.   I have an acquaintance who, after graduating from Fletcher, could not land a job to save his noggin for many years.  He then began to change his platform and write articles advocating the opening of the border, and now he’s a happy camper employee of the State Department with a substantial salary and so on.  Indeed, the same offices that turned him away, suddenly embraced his resume like a ragdoll where he went from bottom of the barrel to top candidate grade.   I am telling you that the air is that of destruction for us, and these Laurel and Hardy team (as recently described by a friend) in the so-called “government” are out to sell our future for who knows what conceived benefits, but they will be again proven wrong.  Turkey is a sworn enemy with many ambitions and resources at hand, and, at a time when Armenia is indeed at her weakest (God willing it doesn’t get worse, which is probably the idea behind the “pressure to normalize” anyhow), we have our “government” asking to “open doors” unconditionally.  Why indeed would they mind since all conditions are 10000% in their favor to boot?  Isolationism from Turkey is a benefit, an asset, not a liability to give us time to gain composure. 


  47. Murat wrote: “One can also point to the labyrinth of the “recognized” Turkey’s Aegean border with Greece. They are barely mutually recognized, but neither side considers what exists as legitimate.”

    Another truly uninformed and unfortunate statement.  Actual borders are rather well deliniated between Greece and Turkey, but the geography of the Aegean has presented challenges in terms of navigation mostly.  I know personally, as I was crossing the border dozens of times, and illegally for sure as I sailed in the area every summer.  Crazy Greek coast guards have been known to fire on boats filled with touritsts, women and children.   Kardak is a good example but an exception and one look at the map shows why it could be a problem.  All this has nothing to do with legitimacy of course.  You may also be confusing air space control (FAR) with sovereignity as some have done here already.

     
    See: http://www.jamestown.org/single/?no_cache=1&tx_ttnews%5Btt_news%5D=33687 WILL AEGEAN DISPUTES CONTINUE TO BLOCK TURKISH-GREEK RECONCILIATION? Publication: Eurasia Daily Monitor Volume: 5 Issue: 105, June 3, 2008. Especially note paragraph 3.

    There are a myriad of studies available. If the Turkish-Greek Aegean border was not just recognized but considered legitimate, inviolable by both parties, this tension would not exist. There is no confusion here.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  48. Arthur,

    “Thank you for confirming this simple truism – the protocols are in no way reviving either Moscow or Kars treaties contrary to the claims of those who accuse Sargsyan in treason.  “Let’s be consistent and systematic now that we are in an agreement on this issue.” 

    I do not confirm the truism except on superficial technical terms – which is something absolutely expected from you at the highest level, and we are far from agreeing on this issue.  I say inclusion in the protocols is irrelevant.  The conditions created by the protocols are the most significant factir is the argument made by Hariyunian, and I am in agreement with him.  I have stated this and the reasons behind it enough times above.

    “What is the other damage to the national interests of Armenia that you and Armen Aivazian have identified and what are policy options that you are recommending? Please be specific and do not tell me that Turkey is evil, bloodthirsty and sly because a) I do not argue with that and b) it is irrelevant to the subject matter – damaging consequences of the protocols for the Armenian national interests.”

    What do you mean by “what other?”  What are you expecting as a response on this?   Brainwashing their entire popoulation to hate and kill Armenians is not enough of a potentially damaging factor?    Are you saying that the constant rhetoric of threats will not materialize?   Are you saying that, indeed, this set of meaningless (only meaningful as a means to appease our “administration” and naive Armenians) set of “Protocols” will stop Turkish support for Azerbaijan on the Artsakh issue?   Isnt’ the imminent duplicity also a damaging factor in itself?  Have you ever read serious analyses of psychological warfare?  I am sure you have, since “you went to the best schools.”   I trust Gevork Yazedjian more on this as well.  He considers today’s socio-political conditions in Armenia similar to the time of embarrasing loss of Kars in 1920. 

    It is not just Ayvazyan, but also, surprisingly, Avetian, Papian, and a host of others who, even though some are in fierce opposition to each other on many issues, are in agreement on this one.   All the activists out there agree on this point: Turkish interests lie in the destruction of the Armenian state ultimately.  You agree to this as well, and yet you ask for “damaging actions.”  

    Ironically, the blockade, as I state in the above comment on economics, was a means to prepare for the opening.  You starve and exhaust your prey, and then you let it walk into the trap.   Isn’t this also part of your strategy in having people repeat themselves?  Which “school” taught you this, by the way?    

    Reality states, if indeed studied systematically and not in some queerly self-induced vacuum bubble mentality the unstated purpose of which is unclear, the geopolitical ambitions which are constantly stated are to be enforced while Armenians are forced to adhere to “normalization processes” and more pieces of paper, bringing echoes of the Berlin Conference/Congress back to our minds.  

    The recent “diplomacy” is one-sided in yields, negative for Armenians, always positive for Turks in possession of all the levers and geopolitical supports.  The Armenian economy is in shambles.  The Turkish economy is booming.   The Armenian state apparatus is a dusty buckaroo circus.  The Turkish state apparatus is a well-oiled machine.  The Armenian intelligence apparatus is semi-dependent and weak, while the MIT has a virtually self-contained multi-billion dollar city dedicated to it.   The Armenian population is again shrinking in light of these “protocols,” yet the Turkish population is showing signs of faster growth.  

    Again, the blockade is the first phase.  The protocols and the “opening just late enough to pounce and early enough to be useless” is the second phase.  I would bet that the impending Agdam attach is the third, to which these same “friendly entities encouraging normalization” would turn the blind eye.

    Russia, as I have said, is a geopolitical and ideological cripple these days, particularly and most significantly in Central Asia, and Boyadjian is correct.   Ayvazyan is correct.   Even Karen Vrtanesyan in his Internet article mentioned the fervent anti-Armenianism building in all Turkic discourse on the Internet, even among previously neutral populations such as the Uzbek, Khirghiz and so on, and this was printed 2 years ago.   Work at the grass roots is being done in a systematic manner by pan-Turkists and their sponsors, and the AKP is not an objector, but also a  (albeit more silent) supporter of this project.    Turkish sponsored (i.e. brainwash) “institutes” are a functioning reality in the Russian Federation as well.  Turko-Azeri integration at the intelligence level is a fact, and it is hard to swallow any counter-evidence as anything except placating propaganda.  


  49. Murat wrote: “Technically, Turkey engaged in an act of war by sealing that border.”
    I am not a diplomat, far from it, but this seems to me a rather unique defintion of an act of war.   I would not call it exactly sealed either as I understand there are daily flights between Yerevan and Istanbul…  so much for the war!
     
    You do not have to be a diplomat to understand this, you simply need to do some trivial research. Google “blockade act of war” and note the results. The Encyclopedia Britannica considers a blockade an act of war (http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/69580/blockade) One can even quote from the 1933 Montevideo treaty as it serves as the basis for many EU actions, especially those in the Former Yugoslavia. 

    The EU considers this Turkish action a blockade, See: “European Parliament EU relations with South Caucasus — Report on the communication from the Commission to the Council and the European Parliament on the European Union’s relations with the South Caucasus, under the partnership and cooperation agreements
    Doc.: A5-0028/2002
    Procedure : Consultation paper
    Debate : 27.02.2002
    Vote : 28.02.2002
    Sections pertaining to the Armenian Genocide:
    MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
    15.Calls on the neighboring countries Russia, Iran and Turkey to contribute constructively to the peaceful development of the South Caucasus Region; in this respect especially calls upon Russia to fulfill commitments to downgrade its military presence and calls upon Turkey to take appropriate steps in accordance with its European ambitions, especially concerning the termination of the blockade against Armenia; reiterates in this respect the position in its resolution of 18 June 1987 recognizing the genocide upon Armenians 1915 and calls upon Turkey to create a basis for reconciliation;
     
    “In any case one’s “outrageous act” is another “act of legitimate self-defense”.”
    Oh please…  look what happened to Saddam when he “legitmateley” and “self-defensively” invaded Kuwait.  Aggressors always have good reasons and excuses.  Even for mass murder of civilians “self-defensively”.
    In any case, it is truly ironic that you make the above statement as that is how many Turks view the tragedy of the Anatolian Armenians during WWI.


    You are the one who stated Armenians engaged in outrageous acts, I responded in kind. Armenians were subject to pogroms across Azerbaijan and Nagorno-Karabakh was no exception. Armenians of NK didn’t invade anybody, they stayed, fought, and won the right to remain on their land, as the Azerbaijani army sent to ethnically cleanse them, disintegrated. Equating events in Nagorno-Karabakh with that of Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait is not accurate. I highly suggest you stay on topic, and that is the Protocols.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  50. David yet again responds to Rootarmo with this: 
    “However, on your secondary question, if analysis existed showing detrimental aspects of the open border, it could serve as a part of the process of adopting protectionist legislation, since the border will open in some fashion regardless. How to introduce such a protectionist argument is another issue.”

    I have already outlined with many shreds of analysis why protectionism is not a possibility for an Armenia without full Russian sponsorship.  It is already impossible due to USaid induced dependency in the agricultural sector.  I ask the readers to reread my comments above on this.

  51. Murat,
    Why do not you sail on and keep your compass on questions on aggression for Turkey in Cyprus? It is a marvelous example on how to get away with an aggression. I am sure you know as much about Saddam as you do about diplomacy but why get distracted? In any event, it is customary for wolves to cry about aggression but only after they get some beating. Turkey and Azerbaijan had no problems with the Armenian “aggression” in the summer of 1992. Despite numerous international calls to cease fire and stop the real aggression and ethnic cleansing on par with Miloshevich’s campaigns in Kosovo and Bosnia, Elchibey and his grey wolves had sensed the smell of blood… When Armenians without NATO air strikes or the glorious coalition of Bush the father send his askers running, Turks obviously and naturally for the wolf from the fable got outraged.
     
     
     

  52. Murat,
    You were close to the cynical Turkish propaganda claim that Turkey closed its border with Armenia in respect of European values and love of thy neighbor. Of course, some Europeans may be stubbornly doubting as in  If you continued your exercises in primitive sophistry, you could arrive at a conclusion that there were no war between Armenia and Azerbaijan either.  However, you’d be in some other waters then, won’t you?


  53. Hagop Nalbandian wrote:
     
    “I have already outlined with many shreds of analysis why protectionism is not a possibility for an Armenia without full Russian sponsorship.  It is already impossible due to USaid induced dependency in the agricultural sector.  I ask the readers to reread my comments above on this.”
     
    Vay aneres! You support the rejection of multi-dimensional international pressure, ignore Armenia’s objective situation — say no-no-no to the Protocols — without providing any alternative nor can address the subsequent repercussions, yet you are scared of USAID and their stipulations! Armenia need not take any more USAID dollars, change the laws, and claim such a move is necessary for Armenia’s ultimate long term survival.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  54. To David Davidian

    Mr. Davidian:

    the alternative to opportunistic moves on the external front (i.e., the protocols) would be the domestic reform agenda. Putting own house together–both in terms of advances on human rights and related issues as well as meaningful economic reforms–would have gone a long way toward preparing Armenia and its economy for any trade liberalizations of this magnitude and would have strenghtened its negotiating position externally. You seem to be supportive of this line of thinking (at least on the issue of trade, per the final paragraphs of your well-crafted article) but keep dismissing this as an alternative course of action in your subsequent comments. Why?

    Respectfully,
    David Grigorian, Ph.D.
    Washington, DC

  55. Hagop,
     
    In regards to your comment that begins with: In response to your #1 paragraph: the perspective I have come to…
     
    You make no sense! You claim I am somehow remiss because I neglected to write a 1000 page book on the topic. Sorry. You used to claim I engage in misinformation, now that claim was all rhetorical. You somehow equate my efforts with techniques used by the CIA, but not really.
     
    I am well aware of the Turkish socialization process, well aware of regional dangers, well aware of the damage cause by Armenian monopolists and oligarchs, well aware of Turkey having very high tariffs and strict protectionist laws, well aware of the effects of Armenian mis-governance, well aware of the corners both Armenia and Turkey have painted themselves into, but that does not negate the necessity to provide an analysis explaining why the Protocols exist. Explaining how the Protocol may have come into existence does not negate all the other dangers we know about, it is just that the existence of the Protocol is exclusive of them. It clearly is because the Protocol exists and so do the dangers. The text has been agreed to, leaving only ratification. If a cold, sober explanation does not exist, free of illusions, we cannot go forward and work with the cards that have been dealt.
     
    If the Turks do not provide their people with a sober explanation of these Protocols, they will be in a competitive disadvantage for whatever comes next. So far all I have seen is spin. If Hurriyet reporters can see Kars clearly spelled out in the Protocols, I have some McDonald hamburger wrappers to sell them with images of Ataturk crying.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  56. To David Gregorian:
     
    Well, if the clock could be turned back 15 years or so, that alternative may be have been available today as part of a wider policy. Now that the horse has left the barn it is clearly too late to harness such capital to be used as an alternative before mid-October. If you are asking if that still can be harness to provide a future alternative, yes.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  57. To David Davidian

    Thank you. I am glad we established that we have an alternative. To address the issue of timing that you raised, what if people can get SS to resign and we can get his successor (neither LTP nor Robik) make serious progress on domestic reform agenda in a relatively short period of time? How is this not a better alternative to what we have now? Why should I assume that October 10 is a done deal and the best thing for us as a nation? Just wondering.

    The tragedy is (and here I agree with you partially) that not only we could not get SS to resign (FYI, one of ARF’s Yerevan-based bosses said yesterday that even if SS signs this thing they will not be demanding his resignation!), but becoming an international hero (by signing this thing to the detriment of the nation) would take away every incentive SS could have had to pursue any domestic reform agenda. Who after all is going to challenge a Nobel Peace Prize winner on issues related to broken economy or human rights abuses! 

    The bottom line is that before running a maximization/optimization problem, I challenge all my constraints. The “reality on the ground” only exists in some peoples’ minds. It’s rarely as hard as we portray it to be. Challenging every aspect of an unfavorable “reality” and conveying potential alternatives is a role that independent Armenian intellectuals have failed miserably in recent years, I think. What followed is what we have now. Are there lessons to be learned here for all of us?

  58. Hagop,
    May be you do not confirm the truism but we are in an agreement that the protocols do not revive the Kars treaty. And you still did not understand my question I am afraid. There is a long list of critics of the protocols and they are all speaking about damage to the Armenian national interests stemming from the implicit nature of this document. I am genuinely interested in the analysis, not in verbiage used by some to put an air of importance. What is the damage specifically? Can you tackle this question? Aivazian did not at least in the fragment I saw with him in the Armenian parliament. The answer – Turkey is evil, bloodthirsty and sly – is not an answer to this question. And please stop labeling me as a technician and implying that you are a three-multi-dimensional strategist. It may turn out that I know a thing or two more about strategy simply because it is my profession.
    Here are my answers to your questions.
    H: What do you mean by “what other?”
    Other than the allegation that the protocols revived the Kars treaty.
     
    H:  What are you expecting as a response on this?
    Your analysis of how the protocols damage the Armenian national interests.
     
    H: Brainwashing their entire popoulation to hate and kill Armenians is not enough of a potentially damaging factor?
    How that is related to the protocols? I could argue that the terms of the protocols may make the job of brainwashing more difficult. We will have a foot in that process. Right now we don’t, we are not a player in shaping their perceptions. Can we become a player? I believe we can and it is better to be in the game than outside. Any propaganda expert will tell you that stereotypes are easier to maintain when the other side is not involved. True, this may require that some Armenians change their views of the Turks. But our problem is not with the people, it is with governments in denial of the genocide.
     
    H: Are you saying that the constant rhetoric of threats will not materialize?
    This is not directly related to the protocols. I am saying that it will be more difficult to sustain the rhetoric of threats.
     
    H: Are you saying that, indeed, this set of meaningless (only meaningful as a means to appease our “administration” and naive Armenians) set of “Protocols” will stop Turkish support for Azerbaijan on the Artsakh issue?
     
    That is not the expected outcome. The goal was to decouple Karabakh from the Turkish Armenian agenda. And protocols have achieved exactly that. Critics do not deny that. Turkey may refuse to ratify the protocols and that will be the best outcome for us in this game. If they ratify the current protocols they cannot avoid a wedge in the relations with Azerbaijan.
     
     
    H: Isnt’ the imminent duplicity also a damaging factor in itself?  Have you ever read serious analyses of psychological warfare?
    I am afraid you do not know my background. Not only I have read, I was a practitioner.
     
    H: I am sure you have, since “you went to the best schools.”   I trust Gevork Yazedjian more on this as well.  He considers today’s socio-political conditions in Armenia similar to the time of embarrasing loss of Kars in 1920.
     
    I have no idea who that is. I can only say that those who have started the campaign of hysteria about treason are contributing to that condition. If you believe that you are a loser, you will be one. That is an axiom.
     
    H: It is not just Ayvazyan, but also, surprisingly, Avetian, Papian, and a host of others who, even though some are in fierce opposition to each other on many issues, are in agreement on this one.   All the activists out there agree on this point: Turkish interests lie in the destruction of the Armenian state ultimately.  You agree to this as well, and yet you ask for “damaging actions.”
     
    I ask about damaging impact of the protocols. There is significant evidence supporting that assumption about Turkish interests. However, the goal of policy and diplomacy is in changing that not in competing who will be shouting louder about that.
     
    H: Ironically, the blockade, as I state in the above comment on economics, was a means to prepare for the opening.  You starve and exhaust your prey, and then you let it walk into the trap.   Isn’t this also part of your strategy in having people repeat themselves?  Which “school” taught you this, by the way?
    It may be that this was part of the Turkish strategy but it was defeated. I did not quite get the question about “school” but your insistence on talking about my background reveals your complex.
     
    H: Reality states, if indeed studied systematically and not in some queerly self-induced vacuum bubble mentality the unstated purpose of which is unclear, the geopolitical ambitions which are constantly stated are to be enforced while Armenians are forced to adhere to ”normalization processes” and more pieces of paper, bringing echoes of the Berlin Conference/Congress back to our minds.
     
    If you mind is still in the 19th century I cannot help you, Hagop. Geopolitical ambitions are not static. But this will take us away from the subject matter – your claim that the current text of the protocols poses unstated bubbly threats to the Armenian national interests. There are more than two parties in this game – our goal is to steer adeptly to advance our national interests.
     
     
    H: The recent “diplomacy” is one-sided in yields, negative for Armenians, always positive for Turks in possession of all the levers and geopolitical supports.
     
    This is what I call loser mentality that may become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
     
    H: The Armenian economy is in shambles.  The Turkish economy is booming.   The Armenian state apparatus is a dusty buckaroo circus.  The Turkish state apparatus is a well-oiled machine.  The Armenian intelligence apparatus is semi-dependent and weak, while the MIT has a virtually self-contained multi-billion dollar city dedicated to it.   The Armenian population is again shrinking in light of these “protocols,” yet the Turkish population is showing signs of faster growth.
     
    Are these results of the protocols? It’s hard not to laugh although I disagree on Turkish economy and population shrinking in the light of these protocols. A cause and effect joke.
     
    H: Again, the blockade is the first phase.  The protocols and the “opening just late enough to pounce and early enough to be useless” is the second phase.  I would bet that the impending Agdam attach is the third, to which these same “friendly entities encouraging normalization” would turn the blind eye.
    The blockade is bad. Opening the border is worse. So you say. Is the attack on Aghdam based on intelligence or it is a particular acumen of your predicting capacity?
     
    H: Russia, as I have said, is a geopolitical and ideological cripple these days, particularly and most significantly in Central Asia, and Boyadjian is correct.
     
    Are you an expert on Central Asia now? Boyadjian is an expert on everything. What does this have to do with protocols? Build a connection, please. Armenia would help strengthen Russia’s hand in Central Asia by not signing these protocols?
    H: Ayvazyan is correct.   Even Karen Vrtanesyan in his Internet article mentioned the fervent anti-Armenianism building in all Turkic discourse on the Internet, even among previously neutral populations such as the Uzbek, Khirghiz and so on, and this was printed 2 years ago.
     
    I did not know that Karen has the ability to follow the Uzbek, Kyrgiz discourse on this matter. Aivazyan is correct on what?
     
    H: Work at the grass roots is being done in a systematic manner by pan-Turkists and their sponsors, and the AKP is not an objector, but also a  (albeit more silent) supporter of this project.    Turkish sponsored (i.e. brainwash) “institutes” are a functioning reality in the Russian Federation as well.  Turko-Azeri integration at the intelligence level is a fact, and it is hard to swallow any counter-evidence as anything except placating propaganda.
    And how this is related to the protocols?


  59. To David Grigorian.
     
    Yes, I stated that societal change could be harnessed as part of an alternative policy, but please don’t extrapolate what I said into the present, intermediate future, link it to governmental resignations or Nobel Prizes. It could be part of an alternative policy, but that policy does not exist today. Talking about with regard to these Protocols is nonsense.
     
    I have no idea why you should assume these Protocols are “the best thing for us as a nation”.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  60. David Davidian, your choice of information indicates the desire to conform.  The reasons will make themselves evident in the near future I expect.   You “highest level awareness” is well noted, and ironically makes matters worse.   You are very much aware, and yet you pretend not to understand the protocols and their actual consequences.  You are singing some dove song urging Armenians with the usage of 1 dimensional logic despite your “highest level of awareness.”   Just as one example of an already dependent and crumbled economic infrastructure, the USAid has managed to transform the agricutural sector into a totally inter-dependent one, and that has everything to do with the impending “open border” and your half-hearted suggestions on protectionism.   If you wish to continue with the dishonest bombastics, that is entirely your prerogative, but be warned that your credibility has waned to a very low level.

  61. To David Davidian

    I never said “societal change”—please look at my initial posting carefully. I was in essence talking about governance change/reform. And no, it doesn’t take ages/generations to have good governance in place.

    It is the idea of the proponents of protocols that this is the best thing that happened to us, not mine. My position is that why ignore all (more or less likely) alternatives and claim that this is the best thing that happened to us in recent years, or better that this is the best we could have gotten considering circumstances? Dah! This indeed may be a lot for a country whose leadership is accused of rigging elections several times in a raw and gunning down people who dared to voice their dissent against it. Don’t you think “what we can get” is really a function of the shape that our house is in internally? Other things equal, if we are governed by a gang that lacks legitimacy domestically and abroad it should be easier to get consessions from them than from leaders who are actually accountable to their constituencies. If you are not convinced, just think what would happen to the “supply” and “demand” for protocols like this if there is another March 1-2 in Armenia? What part of this am I getting wrong?

  62. Arthur,

    We are to look into the Treaty and pretend there is historical context from which to judge the imposition of “egalitarianism” in negotiations.   Despite your objections against making wider scope arguments, David’s entire premise is based on a wider context and why the protocols should be accepted, and my objection and that of others is that his entire chosen context is lacking to the degree of being, as one commenter put it, a Disneyland article.   Our difference, if the dialog is honest, should be based on this fact.  Instead, you are attempt to discredit everyone in opposition by forcing the context question, brought by your favorite author above, off the table.  The only thing proven here is lack of sincerity on your behalf so far, but still since we are conationals, let there be the benefit of doubt.
    This is of course appears to be destined to be a circular argument.  You current and pretentious insistence (see above) is in the verbal analysis of the protocols (which has been done multiple times), and mine (and those of the vast majority of Armenians) is in laying down the context (in an attempt to correct the Disney scenario above) in which there are only preconditions within the “no preconditions” clause due to our sorry position.  

    If you wish to lay out the protocols verbatim, be my guest.  I have read the text in Armenian and English, and I tend to agree with the critics, particularly one Alex Yenikomshian (in addition to Armen Ayvazyan himself) comes to mind. 

    The legal analysis is not my concern.  My concern is in the general idea of conforming to clearly pro-Turkish interests and their idea of “normalization of relations,” which is something curiously so omitted in the “analysis” above.  However, if you wish it so, then fine, me friend.  I will trust you to show me the ropes on this according to you, and perhaps your viewpoint can be better understood.  Right now, you make no sense, as does not David.

    As I will continue to repeat: You are a technician, a fine one.   Let’s see some great technical analysis of the “Protocols sitting in the clouds all by themselves” save for the “wonderful geopolitical scenario painted by David.”  

    Now to some of the points raised.

    May be you do not confirm the truism but we are in an agreement that the protocols do not revive the Kars treaty. And you still did not understand my question I am afraid.”

    As my contextual objections show, I do not in any way agree to that so-called truism.   Mine will stay the same until proven otherwise: The protocols will help bring about conditions in which the Kars and Moscow Treaties will be revived.  I am afraid I do understand your question, and I find it to be irrelevant, unless, again, you are willing to lay down the protocols, point by point.   Let’s have it.  You seem to think there is sensationalism and opportunism in the opposition to the protocols.   Prove it.  If I and others are being misled, then David’s article hasn’t done that job.  Perhaps you can finish it.

    “The answer – Turkey is evil, bloodthirsty and sly – is not an answer to this question.”

    The above, although laced with ridicule, is the principal answer to the contextual concerns raised by everyone, the vast majority, except a few interested parties in favor of ratification.   That is a much more preferred answer than the one given in the article in question: “Turkey has now become Bambi with no horns, and now we as Thumper can lay down in the meadows and chew on leaves together.  It’s all about oil and birthday candles.”  On that note, I would like to explore their motives, if, of course, you can prove otherwise, that indeed there is “irrational hysteria” and that “Americans have always meant well for us by denying our history.”     

    “I could argue that the terms of the protocols may make the job of brainwashing more difficult. We will have a foot in that process. Right now we don’t, we are not a player in shaping their perceptions. Can we become a player? I believe we can and it is better to be in the game than outside. Any propaganda expert will tell you that stereotypes are easier to maintain when the other side is not involved. True, this may require that some Armenians change their views of the Turks. But our problem is not with the people, it is with governments in denial of the genocide.”

    Again, since you are insisting of only dealing with the text of the protocols themselves, then, by all means, argue away.  Explain away the latest trends in furthering the anti-Armenian indoctrination at the grass roots and public education level and how the protocols address this.   Which clause or clauses in the protocols address education of the school children, the content of textbooks?  Where have we seen any serious inroads apart from Dink’s funeral procession?   We have seen 12 million anti-Armenian DVDs distributed to the school systems as part of the compulsory education.   Do the protocols address the 12 million DVDs?   I will reserve the liberty of talking about context, or that missing from the “context” outlined by Davidian above, in the meanwhile.  Anything about downsizing their military?  Anything about removing bases targeting Armenia?  Anything about abandoning their military intelligence programs and the Armenian language program intended for anti-Armenian covert/subversion activities?   Anything about the constant barrage of obviously state-driven Internet activity against Armenians?   I would be surprised if the current government even conceives of such things. 
    On the constant rhetoric of threats, you say “This is not directly related to the protocols. I am saying that it will be more difficult to sustain the rhetoric of threats.”
    I disagree.  They are related.  These are peace negotiations, negotiations toward “normalization,” correct?  Why then are not the elimination of belligerent policies against Armenia included as a provision for peace?  Oh, I forgot, it all falls under the “no preconditions” umbrella.  Isn’t that what Clinton keeps on barking? 
    On the question of Turkey’s abandonment of their fanatically racist policy of supporting Azerbaijan on the Artsakh, you say, quite evasively, “this is not the expected outcome.”    The “decoupling” of Artsakh is proven by the lack of mention in the protocols?  OK, one item I would like to discuss is the cloudy language in the protocols regarding this: The protocols do stipulate the “internationally recognized borders of both states,” which, thanks to pro-Turkish NATO block and its dominant set of lobbies, Artsakh is still printed as part of Azerbaijan at Rand McNally.   I would call that a Turkish precondition, of course.  I don’t see any “decoupling.”  I see re-affirmation of the current anti-Armenian Turkish policy toward Artsakh. 
    To my concerns about the potential and likely (due to enough precedential support) duplicitous actions of Turkish, you say, “I am afraid you do not know my background. Not only I have read, I was a practitioner.” 
    My response to that is that I am afraid that I understand perfectly the background without the need for much detail.   
    “I have no idea who that is. I can only say that those who have started the campaign of hysteria about treason are contributing to that condition. If you believe that you are a loser, you will be one. That is an axiom.”
    Gevork Yazedjian is a doctorate candidate of History at the YSU who recently resigned from his position in protest against these protocols.  He is also the author of an article entitled “The True Causes Behind the Fall of Kars,” http://ararat-center.org/upload/files/Razm_&_Anvtang_16.pdf
    If you don’t exercise self-criticism, if you don’t learn from history, you’ll continue to be the loser.  That is also an axiom.   Below you are again ridiculing the evocation of past events either as lessons or as reminders of long term and unflinching objectives of a proven belligerent.  What is the motive behind such petty misinformation attempts? 
    “I ask about damaging impact of the protocols.”
    As I say above, I’ve given my answers. Now you give yours.
    “It may be that this was part of the Turkish strategy but it was defeated. I did not quite get the question about “school” but your insistence on talking about my background reveals your complex.”
    The pattern is only prolonged due to the Soviet delay.  Nothing has been defeated.  That’s more Disneyland material at play, and thus the reason for this seemingly circular argument.  As to the “schools” deal, I just laughingly remember your “justification for being regarded as an expert” in past debates; i.e. “I went to the best schools” and there you are the smartest.  That is still something funny we joke about here whenever this above “team” comes to mind.
    “Geopolitical ambitions are not static.”  This is such a grand sounding phrase that means nothing when dealing with states who still boast of their “ambitions to return to their Ottoman glory” and other such rhetoric, while constantly enlarging and upgrading an army already far larger than their economy can legitimately support, while building a support base for pan-Turkism throughout the Turkic speaking world at a pace and with budget that also cannot be justified economically.  Also, notice the petty tactic of using the timeline analogy of one sentence to “put my mind in the 19th century.”  We are with not much more than a paper ladle (refer to this http://armenianhouse.org/khrimyan-hayrik/loving-father.html).  I actually think we don’t even have a ladle, but an overworked dishrag with this government. 
    “The blockade is bad. Opening the border is worse. So you say. Is the attack on Aghdam based on intelligence or it is a particular acumen of your predicting capacity?”
    I see, you and David’s “predictions” are valid, those such as “Genocide recognition will occur because there are 5 authors who are on our side, while there only about 12,000,000 or so potential authors against us due to constant ‘education’ efforts.  We will have a hand in formulating Turkish policy now. Hurrah!”   I just don’t see any realism.  You’re certainly not convincing me, and I am of the more receptive sort.  You should see what’s going on in the general population out there! 
    Are you an expert on Central Asia now? Boyadjian is an expert on everything. What does this have to do with protocols? Build a connection, please. Armenia would help strengthen Russia’s hand in Central Asia by not signing these protocols?”
    I am not an expert on Central Asia, but I read into the topic.  Are you?   I already wrote enough about the Central Eurasian project, something about which there is much material on the Internet, which includes Armenia and the rest of the Caucasus in the “Neo-Ottomanist” fold of “futurists,” which are, it just so happens, in the employ of the intelligence services of those interested powers in the “protocols.”  You are now saying the ambitions of interested powers by their “futurist” propagandists is of no consequence and has bearing in the political reality?  Like I said, Walt Disney would be proud of this article and its supporters. 
    You’re wasting time, mostly yours. 

  63. David Grigorian, when he says “nation,” perhaps he means the United States of America.  After all, he’s a fine and loyal employee of the IMF.  Congratulate him on his fine workings.   He was promoted from the World Bank to the IMF, and his “opus magnum” was his article on lack of taxation in Armenia.  Perhaps he sees hope in better taxation through intimidation, i.e. more “representation” of Americans in Armenian taxation policies, to better pay those big loans with the population’s meager income. 

  64. Arthur, In addition, in response to your constant laughters, my sources in Yerevan tell me that housing prices have plumetted to the point that you are able to purchase formerly $150k apartments at the center of town for a mere 30k.  There is a serious matter of concern here, but you laugh. 

  65. In my previous post the first sentence was msityped. It should read “We are to look into the Treaty and pretend there is no historical context from which to judge the imposition of “egalitarianism” in negotiations”

  66. Hagop, you have been beating around the bush with megabytes of a text without answering a simple question — What are the consequences of the protocols for the Armenian national interests?
    We have heard anything and everything from Israeli hackers and Miloshevich to Turkish intelligence prowess and Russia losing it in Central Asia but not an answer to this question. Can you give us in five to ten bullet points the negative consequences as you’d report your strategic advice to a decision-maker of your choice. If you have ever written a policy paper, you’d understand what I am asking. Otherwise we can spend here many days hearing from you that Boyajian is correct, Aivazian is correct, Tadevosian is correct, Matevosian is correct…

  67. I think that you have missed the point on Miloshevich, Hagop. It is more of a metaphor than literal analogy. The metaphor of miscalculation when someone is saying no to the option on the table thinking that he or she has a much better alternative. You do not need to read about this – talk to any Serb in Kosovo whether the bad option on the table in Chateau Rambouillet on March 23, 1999 was better than what Yugoslavia (Serbia) got now, and you will get a unanimous answer. The alternative to the bad deal was much, much worse. I am not implying that protocols should be compared to the bad deal in  Rambouillet. All I am saying and reading in David’s article is we cannot afford a Miloshevich kind of miscalculation.

  68. Dear Mihran,
    For a former diplomat you are too easily thrown off balance with a word combination that you apparently misinterpreted. I did not apply that word to your writing but to the high flown words that some people use to put on airs of expertise.  I am glad to note that you acknowledge that these exchanges are read by other friends or foes. All you need to do with this awareness is think before you distribute paranoid conspiracies about Serge as a Russian GRU agent,  LTP as Israeli, Russian and Turkish agent, Kocharyan as an Iranian agent…


  69. Hagop Nalbandian:
     
    What are you talking about? You keep on making claims as if I am a one-man conspiracy engine: maybe CIA-like, maybe not , engaging in misinformation, but not really. Now you claim I choose information to conform! Conform to what? You claim I know the real impact of the Protocol but pretend otherwise as if I am hiding something.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  70. Hagop,
    I can laugh at that too  — I have an apartment in downtown Yerevan.  The bubble was doomed. More seriously, I do not always follow the cause and effect logic of your meanderings around my straightforward question:  what are the consequences for the Armenian national interests from these protocols? Did the real estate market bubble bust because of the protocols too? Reminds me a Kosovo Serb joke about a typical answer to the question – Why are you throwing garbage into the street? – Because the entire world is against us.
    Moreover, if I were to buy your arguments and line of reasoning about Armenia’s weakness in relative and absolute terms, the only conclusion I can draw is there is no good alternative to signing the protocols. Why? Because even if we were not as weak as you are portraying, messing with the interests of regional powers can be costly. If you insist on telling them No, and that’s what is on the mind of Armenia’s greatest strategic minds, you assume that they (powers) will let their interests suffer, drink cold Jermuk and walk away…  This is laughable. Pathetic. Why not instead play the game and redirect their pressure on Turkey? Let them say No and gain from their Yes too.

  71. Hagop, sorry but I do not have time for your long responses misrepresenting what I am saying. I can only continue this discussion if you put out five to ten bullet points on negative consequences of the protocols to the Armenian national interests. You do not need to start in the 19th century or in Central Asia. Can you do me this favor and complete this sentence? If Armenia signs and both parliaments ratify, there will be these negative consequences to the Armenian national interests —
    1…  because …
    2… because …
    etc.
     
     

  72. Hagop opined:
    The protocols will help bring about conditions in which the Kars and Moscow Treaties will be revived.
    Wrong. There is nothing about these treaties explicitly in the protocols. If we were to venture into implicit, suggestive meanings, I would argue that an implicit recognition of borders exists in many multilateral international agreements signed by Armenia in early 90s and these too do not revive  the Moscow treaty  – it was not even signed by a representative of Armenia. The Kars treaty was signed under coercion by Bolshevik representatives at a time when the new Armenian Soviet government was only recognized by Bolshevik Russia. Case dismissed if it were about legal arguments.

  73. To Hagop Nalbandian.
    A very short reply to your many rhetorical questions is this – the purpose of the protocols is different. “Normalization” cannot be addressed in one agreement. It is beginning of a process. It starts with establishing diplomatic relations and opening the border. We can say yes to that beginning or we can say no and continue to play the ostrich game.  Do you need a quote from the protocol on various consultative mechanisms?  The difference in our approaches is obvious.  The “voch” sayers raise many relevant to normalization questions but they do not want these addressed, they want to continue to beat the dead horse hoping that others will do it for us. Guess what, they won’t because our “no” is not in their interests. The “no” will invite more pressure on Armenia from all angles with dire diplomatic and political consequences.

  74. Hagop, I understand that my educational and professional background makes you and your comrades green from laughter and\or envy, but I cannot help you or Boyajian in dealing with that complex. I am prone to laugh at self-styled experts who at best read Friedman or some other garbage like that.  And I cannot resist the temptation again. Sorry, if it is going to hurt. I do not talk about things that I do not know or know at the level of Boyajians of this world. For example, I would never engage in a debate with you on public health issues or whatever else your professional background is. I know that it is not mine.
    H: I am not an expert on Central Asia, but I read into the topic.  Are you?   I already wrote enough about the Central Eurasian project, something about which there is much material on the Internet, which includes Armenia and the rest of the Caucasus in the “Neo-Ottomanist” fold of “futurists,” which are, it just so happens, in the employ of the intelligence services of those interested powers in the “protocols.”
    So that you know, not only I read, I have worked, traveled and spoken to many a decision-maker from Central Asia.  Sorry, but I am not interested in your opinions. You are a dilettante at best and there are one too many on Internet these days. The right word here is graphomaniacs.
     
    H: You are now saying the ambitions of interested powers by their “futurist” propagandists is of no consequence and has bearing in the political reality?  Like I said, Walt Disney would be proud of this article and its supporters.
    Yes, I do. Friedman is a futurologist. I have yet to find a State Department desk officer who is taking his scribbles seriously.  As to Disney, I am sorry to say but that is exactly the place or more precisely the bla-bla-land that most of truisms and banal statements with no bearing for policy that you have been advancing belong.
     
    H: You’re wasting time, mostly yours.
    Fully agreed. In all honesty, I did that trying to learn in good faith more about positions of the “voch” sayers.  I do not have time to educate people in the basics of policy-making.

  75. Dear Mr Davidian, I want to express my support for your point of view, hoping that more people will come to realize the necessity of open talks. Your article is well structured and more importantly properly argument-ed.  I also want to thank you for the objectivity, contributed to the complex international relations in the Caucasus region. This also  involves the Republic of Armenia, which, as a member of the international community, has to be able maneuver diplomatically,  following the rules and regulations of modern diplomacy.

  76. Arthur Martirosyan, you’ve typing a lot, but not answering any questions, which perhaps indicates that you have no answers, only the desire to obfuscate and discredit. 

    “What are the consequences of the protocols for the Armenian national interests?”
     
    I’ve already stated them.  if you consider that a show of “dilettantism,” then, as you are the one who has school book reports and papers on the topic, present them.  I have not beat around any bush.



    “I think that you have missed the point on Miloshevich, Hagop. It is more of a metaphor than literal analogy.”
    Oh, certainly, a “metaphor and not an analogy,” a perfectly acceptable (although needless) semantic adjustment.  Ok, the Milosevic metaphor does not apply here since the situation in Yugoslavia was predetermined by those who wished to dismember it, in which scenario the principal player turned out to be the unified Germany.  Read again Tim Carr’s article.   That’s my source.  If you have something ore concrete that says otherwise, then provide that information.  It’s always a pleasure to read reliable information.  I just don’t get that impression from David’s article. 

    “I can laugh at that too  – I have an apartment in downtown Yerevan.  The bubble was doomed.”
     
    That’s acceptable enough of an answer, at least to partially explain the price drops, but the matter changes when you actually ask people why they are selling.  Then, suddenly the picture changes to match my proposed situation: i.e. People are selling and going out of fear.  Does it do any harm to ask the question?   I cannot be harmed.  I care not about my reputation.  I have no ties, no affiliations.  I can ask what I wish.  That’s different from your apparently tangled position, one that does apparently prevent you from acknowledging certain solidly proven facts and to ridicule them, the sure sign of someone in the employ.  Was that enough of “not beating around the bush?”  Has the bush been trimmed enough?  You should see the emails I’m getting on this (you never will, but nevertheless, your actions are properly judged by many a reader).
     

    “ I can only continue this discussion if you put out five to ten bullet points on negative consequences of the protocols to the Armenian national interests.”
    My apologies for not being clear, but that burden, since you have written so many book reports and school essays on this, is on you to provide specific points as to why the protocols are not damaging to Armenian national interests.  The case is open, and the majority of Armenians, familiar and unfamiliar with the text, say that this set of agreements is potentially disastrous.  Explain, in 10 bullet points, why they are not. 

    … because…
    … because…

     

    “There is nothing about these treaties explicitly in the protocols. If we were to venture into implicit, suggestive meanings, I would argue that an implicit recognition of borders exists in many multilateral international agreements signed by Armenia in early 90s and these too do not revive  the Moscow treaty”
    “A very short reply to your many rhetorical questions is this – the purpose of the protocols is different. “Normalization” cannot be addressed in one agreement. It is beginning of a process”
    Great, then you agree that this is a process, but not of normalization; instead it is the process of re-colonization of Armenia.  Once in such a colonized mode, Armenia can be once again declared a protectorate as per the Moscow Treaty guidelines.  If not, then explain, in no less than 5 bullet points, why the protocols reverse this trend of colonization.
    “Do you need a quote from the protocol on various consultative mechanisms?  The difference in our approaches is obvious.”
     
    For the millionth time, yes, I need your input on the protocols.  If we are indeed being misled by political opportunists, then I would like to know before I continue participating in a farce.  Nevertheless, the fuel to my distrust was boosted by the article above, which does not paint a realistic picture.   All I need is acknowledgment that we are not merely dealing with a “neighbor” but a belligerent enemy.  If you pretend otherwise, then nothing you say will be worth a pile of dung, and it does not matter what your level of expertise.  Right now the opposition is more trustworthy. 
     
    “The Kars treaty was signed under coercion by Bolshevik representatives…”
     
    Yes, yes, we know now the details of the Kars Treaty and its legal flaws.  It’s still irrelevant, since it was in force and partly enforced despite its flaws. 
     

    “Hagop, I understand that my educational and professional background makes you and your comrades green from laughter and\or envy,”
    I actually never envy someone in your position, Arthur.  I pity people who have entangled themselves as such.   If Friedman is garbage, if Goble is full of hot air, then explain NATO expansion that has cut directly into Warsaw Pact territory.  Explain the loss of Russian control in Central Asia, or, that new regional perimeter of “Central Eurasia” carefully crafted to include Turkey and the Caucasus among the Central Asia states.   Put my mind at ease and say that “The protocols, in clause 3a and clause 5b say that this is no problem for this and that reason.”   Explain to me why the conditions of having to share power in the Caucasus between Russia and Turkey cannot come about because “it says so in the protocols that Turkey cannot become a colonial power with ambitions to expand direct influence to Central Asia under the Central Eurasian banner.”   Tell me why the facts collected that show pan-Turkism saturation at the grass roots and institutional levels in Central Asia is a “figment of imagination” that will be “blasted away with the protocols.”   You’ve been sloshing down cognac with Nazarbaev, right?  Tell me, what does old Nursultan say about pan-Turkists and their efforts in Khazakhstan?  I think that you are a very underrated dilettante (and perhaps overpaid) as well, sir, very underrated.  Put my mind at ease there as well, and tell me what you have actually done in Central Asia, and, of course, the 100 bullet points from the protocol explaining why the opposition is “lying, acting irrationally, spreading propaganda,” and so on. 


    “Yes, I do. Friedman is a futurologist. I have yet to find a State Department desk officer who is taking his scribbles seriously.  As to Disney, I am sorry to say but that is exactly the place or more precisely the bla-bla-land that most of truisms and banal statements with no bearing for policy that you have been advancing belong.”
    Desk officers, right, those “decision makers” indeed.  Chevron and Lloyds are quaking in their boots when thinking of those “desk officers.”  Walt would be proud.

     
    Fully agreed. In all honesty, I did that trying to learn in good faith more about positions of the “voch” sayers.  I do not have time to educate people in the basics of policy-making.”
    Right, then explain, beyond  “desk officers,” why policy-making is not foreshadowed in the ramblings of very closely intelligence affiliated “futurologists.”   Put my mind at ease with your “policy making expertise.”   Your objective is to put minds at ease with “truth and light” correct?   Then shine on, brother!   Let’s see some light, perhaps in 10 bulleting points.
     
     

  77. David Davidian,
    My message is clear, and no ambiguity exists.  You are a person who feels the intense need for wider approval, and for this reason you are one who adheres to the “mainstream of thought” as mandated by the ruling mainstream, which happens to be rabidly pro-Turkish in their stance.   “Turkey is a valuable ally, duh, duh.”   Armen Ayvazyan doesn’t give a damn about the “American mainstream,” and for this reason I trust him a hell of a lot more as an independent thinker.  Granted, no one is omniscient, no layman, no expert, no  one, but some are more independent in their expression on issues than others.   For example, you are still using “Eastern Anatolia,” a false and Turk sponsored and totally unscientific toponym for the Armenian plateau.   That is a true mark of your mentality, which feigns from making any statements that might be considered “on the fringe, too radical.”  You therefore make many tiny and perhaps already quite unconscious adjustments to conform to the “mainstream.”   I do not ever directly make you an affiliate with any organization.  I do recognize that you work independently, but you do certainly not think as independently as you definitely could, given the tremendous amount of knowledge you have on this topic (albeit with only entry level familiarity on ancient armenia history).   Try to see the point of those who are constantly painted by obvious operatives for the various NATO affiliated institutions as “extreme nationalists.”  They have valid things to say because they are out of this mindset and its circle of influence. 

  78. To David Davidian,
    Thank you for an objective and excellent analysis of our current state of affairs.
    Your name is familiar to me from the early years of Internet when you were intelligently debating in the Armenian-Turkish newsgroups.
    Thank you.
     

  79. Dear Alex, explain what objective means.   Does objective, for example, mean “ignore dangers and dismiss all anti-Armenian actions increasing volume on the Turkish side?”   Does objective mean adopt the position of pretense that “we can make Turkey accept the genocide and we will be able to participat on domestic policy making withinTurkey due to these protocols?”  After these points have been refuted and no reseponse can be given, is it then “objectivity” to side-step these questions and move about in ad hominem territory and call all sources of the opposition “garbage, lies, panic attacks?”  Perhaps there are panic attacks, but can one be blamed if one is a nation who has yet to recover from Turkish genocidal politics, part of which is the territoriality which the “protocols wish to protect”?   Is he “objective” because the article is truly that falwless, or is it becuase he’s your past hoer?

  80. David,

    Though the reference to a blockade in a EU statement is good find, I suggest the following standard definition of blockade:

    “A blockade is an effort to cut off the communications of a particular area by force. It is distinct from a siege in that a blockade is usually directed at an entire country or region, rather than a fortress or city. Also, a blockade historically took place at sea, with the blockading power seeking to cut off all maritime transport from and to the blockaded country. Stopping all land transport to and from an area may also be considered a blockade.”

    I rather rely on Wikipedia or Webster when it comes to exact definitions of situations and acts, instead of an EU politician’s loose statements.  You should do the same. 

    I am not really sure why there is an insistance on this distorion of a common word.  Is there a propaganda value?  Does it make Turkey look more like a villain and Armenia more like a victim?  One almost forgets that the reason for the emabargo was the unilateral, Russian-backed violence and crimes against humanity by Armenia; not Azerbeycan or Turkey.   Turkey certainly has the right to associate with whomever they want at any level they desire as a soverign nation.  No one talks of a USA blockade of Cuba, rather a  USA embargo.  I find your word games on this and other issues I have raised a little disingenius and insincere.
     
    Do not get me wrong, it was certainly not purely humanitarian reasons that have resulted in the embargo.  Azerbeycan is a close ally, and importance goes beyond ethnic and cultural ties also.  It was unthinkable for Turkey not to react in some fashion.  Similarly, I do not see how protocols can move forward if Armenia does not show even a symbolic move on the issue of Karabag.  It is simply not possible.

    Diplomats know this well.  They just did not concoct these protocols without developing a clear picture of the next few moves.

  81. Some of the contributors have to learn brevity, otherwise very informative. I agree with Arthur that the best outcome is if Turkey defected, i.e. did not ratify the deal.

  82. Artur Mardirosian and Tavit Tavitian,
    If I may, all the gigbytes amount to you saying that these Protocols are the best option that RA has at this crossroads (or possibly in the hole that it has put itself into). I may even agree with you, notwithstanding the concern about RA competence to take advantage of the little precious that may still be available as endspiel. However, I think you are missing and important point here:
    If you have facts (and we won’t ask you for scanned copies of documents) showing that these Protocols, after alienating the diaspora and our non-Armenian friends,  prevent the Turkish tanks from having a joyride across Zangezur with the Russians watching from the hills, please say so. Or are you saying that it is not possible to prevent it anymore, regardless of exactly in what direction RA bows?
    This has been done in Armenian history before and we can abuse our keyboards now because someone did not bow then. The rest is intellectual impotence, chest-beating, exercise in smooth talk and, I regret to say, arrogance.
    Greg
     

  83. I tend to agree with the thrust of Greg’s comment. With all due respect to intellectual rigor and experience of Arthur A. and David D., I am concerned that we are at a point where we are arguing about things we have no clue about. (As an economist, I am fine with making assumptions, but let’s make that clear that we are actually making assumptions as opposed to discussing facts). I have participated in enough high-level negotiations to know that much of the toxic topics remains within the walls of the conference rooms and never gets to the pages of the memoranda of understanding that get signed between parties after talks, mostly for public consumption.  So don’t tell me NKR is not being discussed because it is not mentioned in the protocols!

    Instead of building our story around assumptions, a better proxy (and I hope Hagop N doesn’t mind me using an economics term here!) would be to look at the motives and capacity of the negotiating sides.  And when I do that in this particular case, I get very worried. Is this too simplified for some?

    Let’s also look at the outcomes for a moment, shall we? Economically this promises to be a disaster (I do know a thing or two about this and can elaborate). In terms of Armenia-Diaspora relations it is already a disaster (you don’t need to be an expert to see this). And in terms of geoloticial gains….I am sorry, did I say gains? …I take it back….in terms of geopolitics, not being an expert here too I am getting worried when I listen to experts.  So how is this even the third best option for us? And why no one on this list wants to talk about the reforms that should have come from within the country—true economic reforms and advancements in human rights and related issues? Why is the “Russian roulette” (i.e., I-will-mortgage-my-house-and-play-blackjack-but-what-if-I-get-lucky mentality) is the only game in this town?

    David Grigorian
    http://www.pf-armenia.org

  84. To Hayk Serobyan

    With all due respect, Sir, but which world do you live in? Could you explain what “the rules and regulations of modern diplomacy” is? Is there a book I can read and educate myself on this? Does SS follow those “rules and regulations”? How about the Turks? It would be good to know if they signed a disclosure statement about following these ruels and regulations before the meeting with SS, right? Are those rules necessary or sufficient conditions for things to go right? I am really curious. 

    David Grigorian
    http://www.pf-armenia.org

  85. Can someone help me reconcile David Davidian’s article which he published on June 29, 2009 with what he is stating in this article ?  

    It seems that accepting the protocols effectively shuts the door on any “reasonable claim” for Armenia its historic land. 

  86. David,

    “Instead of building our story around assumptions, a better proxy (and I hope Hagop N doesn’t mind me using an economics term here!) would be to look at the motives and capacity of the negotiating sides.”

    Wise words indeed!  

    Rootarmo, my sentiments exactly. 


  87. Rootarmo asked:
     
    “Can someone help me reconcile David Davidian’s article which he published on June 29, 2009 with what he is stating in this article ?
    It seems that accepting the protocols effectively shuts the door on any “reasonable claim” for Armenia its historic land.”
     
    I respectfully request you re-read the June 29, 2009 piece, keeping in mind:
     
    Pre-Protocol: Armenia never made official land claims against Turkey
    Pre-Protocol: No Armenian political party had brought land claims to the forefront, in recent times.
    Pre-Protocol: The June 29, 2009 piece is published in the Armenian Weekly
     
    Post-Protocol: Armenia will continue not making official land claims against Turkey
    Post-Protocol: Armenian political parties claim all is lost
    Post-Protocol: The June 29, 2009 piece can be re-published in the Armenia Weekly, intact.
     
    Armenian demands remain. Turkish consternation remains. Generations may pass before conditions exist when these land claims might enter into the diplomatic lexicon — whether this Protocol exists or not.
     
    Regarding times and conditions, only two generations ago:
     
    “Just after the war in Europe ended, Soviet Foreign Minister Molotov sent a message to the Turkish ambassador, announcing that the Soviet-Turkish agreement of December 17, 1925, “no longer accords with the new situation and calls for serious improvements.” The Soviet Union was interested in certain adjustments of its border in Turkey in the regions adjacent to Transcaucasia, revisions in the Montreaux Convention governing the Straits, and loosening Turkey’s ties with Great Britain. At first the claims to Kars, Ardahan, and Artvin were made in the name of the Armenian republic, but later Georgian irredentist claims were also made. The issue was raised in Potsdam in 1945 and again in Stalin’s meeting with Western foreign ministers in December. …” See: http://books.google.com/books?id=riW0kKzat2sC&pg=PA284&lpg=PA284&dq=soviet+claims+on+kars+ardahan&source=bl&ots=3Blmm0sELk&sig=BPeQiBh4GdNMHNxLtDfeSkuv0EU&hl=en&ei=SDjPSva6ONKGlAfe3d2PAw&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CAwQ6AEwAA#v=onepage&q=soviet claims on kars ardahan&f=false
     
    So much for the Treaties of Kars, Moscow or whatever.
     
    Conditions simply may have changed. Without wider understanding, many are prone to an irrational fear of change. As I wrote on June 29, 2009, “There will be no benefit from change without participation in its process.”
     
    Those wishing to continue any serious commentary with me, please contact the editor of the Armenian Weekly for my personal email address.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  88. Let’s look into capacity whatever is meant by that term here. Motives are irrelevant, what matters is the outcome. Gains are not geopolitical here for us, they are political and diplomatic. The argument about evil Turkish motives is advanced by those who believe that you do not negotiate with the enemy. You do, if the option on the table  is better than the alternatives (walkaway options). The set up is not between Turkey and Armenia, the other parties are US, Russia and EU.
    Hagop, I cannot put your mind at ease in this forum and format. Ultimately, you may need a psychiatrist, not a rational discourse.  Just in case here are a couple of gains from these protocols if both parties ratify. The scenario is even more advantageous, if Turkey does not ratify.
    1. Armenia enters a direct process mediated by Switzerland, a country that has formally recognized the genocide.  The protocols do not preclude continuation of the recognition process.  The end goal of this process is recognition by Turkey. It is not going to be easy but probability is higher than otherwise. Those aspiring justice rendered by “the international community” sooner or later would face the same dilemma.
    2.  Turkey opens the border and both countries establish diplomatic relations. This beats the Turkish pre-condition that these actions can only be taken depending on the outcome of the Karabakh settlement. These processes have been effectively decoupled. The opening of the border does not immediately imply economic gains or losses. Policy options will need to be carefully weighed in to protect certain sectors of the Armenian economy. Having another border opened in addition to volatile Georgian and Iranian borders is obviously a gain. However, it will yet need to materialize in a series of additional agreements.
    3. Ratification with appropriate reservations on modalities of the historical sub-commission  and conditions for exiting the protocols will contain Turkey’s military options and firmly channel the process within Turkey’s EU aspirations. The so called new Ottomanism is an alternative to EU. Ultimately, the scenario where Turkey may reject the EU accession path cannot be ruled out. However, as long as Turkey is on that path there are numerous additional opportunities on that road.
    There are other gains that can be discussed privately.

  89. Arhur Martirosyan,

    The motives of all involved parties is the center of discussion since, again, it was an argument above made on context.  

    Ignoring the pathological level of arrogance is the best course, of course.  Yet, it deserve to be said that the very mention of psychiatry is a reflection of 1) one’s belief in the fraudulent school of psychiatry, which 2) is an indication of having consulted for help from such services in the past. 

    In any case, all these speculations aside, the argument made above is far ffrom convincing.  Armenians do have the power to reject, delay, obstruct, whatever needs to be done to stop any negotations.  Armenians do have the option, at any given time, to demand certain condition are met prior to any negotations.  

    The lack of desire to even mention such items and the zeal with which the “diaspora” in its entirety is now being discredit by the Yerevan authorities is indicative of something else, perhaps in fact treasonous compromises due to personal gains.   This is obvioys to most, although I refrain from offering this opinion as final until all discussion has come about to at least some sort of consensus.

    Nevertheless, such arrogance is a major impediment to your attempts at getting to people, if your intention is truly to push forth a balanced perspective.  Despite all displayed imabalances and impatience towards those who do not agree with you, I am still willing to give the benefit of the doubt due to some perceived special knowledge.  

    I am still waiting for y0u to provide concrete analysis of the Protocols to justify your viewpoint.  You have thus far failed to do so.  

  90. The relative and vague term “change” is abused to such levels, that many people justifiably associate the word with criminal intent in politics.   “Change” can mean destruction, and therefore the “participation in it” makes one wonder about the definition of “participation” in this case.  Does it mean “acceptance of total capitulation because that’s how the wind blows?”  Or is this some taoist medtative session where “going with the flow makes the chi balanced again?”  

    I apologize for the sarcasm, but all these personae with the veneer of “expertise” have yet to address genuine concerns the vast majority of people have.  The attitude of dismissal, the obfuscation attempts,  the ommission of critical factors from the argument, these are all indcative of either one of two dispositions: outright treason or, as one writer recently put it, “the doltishness of the literate lacking intuition.”

    I would rather attribute more of the latter than the former disposition.   The benefit of the doubt is of much importance if, sooner or later, there is some consensus resulting from honest and respectful internecine dialog.  This is simply not the case.   A chasm is forming, and not a single “expert” is addressing this in earnest on this forum. 

  91. The discussion is over, as far as I am concerned, Hagop.  This is not a forum for consensus building nor is it a place for any serious debating. Motives are best discussed with psychiatrists. In international politics what matters is INTERESTS and outcomes, not on paper but in reality. That’s the only thing that merits discussion and it requires basic education and skills that you unfortunately lack.  You have been trying to compensate this deficit with aggressive ad hominem.
    You were asking about gains – I mentioned several tangible gains. Your fears and concerns by and large are derivatives of a myth – someone ( a new Wilson) or “the international community” are going to give our lands to us as soon as “the international community” recognizes the genocide and protocols are an obstacle on that path. Guess what – these protocols were concocted by that very “international community”.   And yet they do not preclude continuation of the campaign for expanding recognitions. It is just a set up of the beginning of the game.  However, recognitions won’t give us NOW what you are hoping to get. At this point in history, at this juncture it is safe to predict that recognitions will be in tune with TARC’s – it was genocide, but no territorial claims. We can cry out that this is not fair, that the entire world is against us, that there are traitors and agents among us OR we can take what is possible today and build up for tomorrow so that when the moment is right we do not miss the opportunity. I choose the latter because I care about Armenia and Artsakh.  All I need for that choice is to compare what we gain in protocols and what our alternatives were if Sargsyan said no.  You care about your wounded ego therefore nothing in the world can convince you and your likes.  The real and only Turkish gain so far is the split of the Armenian world. They have been working on that agenda quite purposively. But then it was not a difficult task after all nor a new one for them – all it takes is playing out the right mimics and Boajyans, Kassabians and Co will produce the right reactions.

  92. Hagop you wrote —
    Armenians do have the power to reject, delay, obstruct, whatever needs to be done to stop any negotations.  Armenians do have the option, at any given time, to demand certain condition are met prior to any negotations.
    The question is not whether “Armenians have the power” although this statement is in a stark contradiction with your earlier assertions about Armenia (economy, state machinery, diplomacy, intelligence et al.)  The question is: Are we gaining things to protect and advance our interests in these protocols or the potential threats necessitate a no? I see more gains and ways to neutralize some of the real threats.   This is just one example of different languages we are speaking in this discourse. If there were genuine interest in consensus building, we’d see a different process in Armenia and diaspora. Some people thought that they can put up protests, rallies, shouting “Voch” and that will be enough to prevent the signing of protocols. It only indicates that these people failed to spot the game, analyze interests of major powers and understand why they were pushing for this deal.
     

  93. To Artur Mardirosian
     
    I apologise for mispresenting your contribution to this discussion(?) by referring to gigabytes. In fact, you have typed in 26,275 characters, amounting to only about 210.2 kbytes. I am still desperately trying to see here a link between quantity and quality: you have not moved any further than where you started.
    Artur, I realise that (in your case) words are what you work with every day and assert your professional standing. However, please understand that conflict negotiations per se do not solve anything. No unjust “solution” holds, no matter how it is presented at the time or how much spin you put to achieve one-sided  benefit. It doesn’t even matter if you get a Nobel Prize for it (and I do not refer here only to the latest one).
    I was thinking what reading to recommend to you. Best would probably be Robert Fisk, warts and all, because he knows well enough the Armenian case, at the same time building his thesis on the Middle East as a whole. I sincerely hope I am not suggesting anything beyond your reach.
     
    Greg

  94. Greg,
    Thank you for counting my words in this discussion. That is by far your most important contribution. However, before you make any recommendations to someone, check your arrogant and pompous assumptions. What if your opponent has read the book? What is journalist Fisk’s “thesis”, anyway, that is if you know what the word means? As to your fundamental axiomatic finding “that conflict negotiations per se do not solve anything”, I can only conclude that you should have your mind at ease unlike Hagop and consider that nothing was solved yesterday in Zurich.
    Most, if not all proponents of the hysterical “Voch” such as Aivazian and Papian are in fact followers of conflict resolution but of an extremely illusionary form. It boils down to this – with the recognition by “the international community”, someone somehow will put such pressure on Turkey that it will give us our lands. That is to say these people believe in a myth that Obama or another Wilson with some senators from South Dakota will solve our problem which can only be solved in more wars or negotiation or combination of both. Apropos, what I do daily has nothing to do with Nobel Peace prizes therefore my recommendation to you is take a hike instead of suggesting your one book bibliography to me.  Finally, to leave you some thought for thinking  – why is it that the camp of nay sayers includes Azerbaijan and ARFD in Armenia?
    http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5jkalZCM42I7NgT_JyeoSMpoI4AoQ
    Let me venture an explanation for ARFD (Armenia), a former junior coalition member. With this clever political position, they are trying to recruit more supporters from among protesting electorates. Although based on my gut feeling, not a thesis, Gregg, I can see how these very people had they been members of a ruling party, would drive the process to much worse conditions and then would sign a truly disastrous agreement for Armenia.  With this I will leave the Azerbaijan part of the Sunday puzzle for you to resolve. A hint – the agreement in Zurich has deprived them of the second most important alternative – isolation and blockade of Armenia. Without their first alternative (war) and now losing this one, what is it they are going to do? Accept the status quo that is our best alternative to a deal or agree to a deal on our terms.
     

  95. Arthur Martirosyan wrote on October 11th, 2009 at 9:45 am

    However, before you make any recommendations to someone, check your arrogant and pompous assumptions. What if your opponent has read the book? What is journalist Fisk’s “thesis”, anyway, that is if you know what the word means?

     
    Greg responds:
     
    Vay, vay. Vah yem asel. Please read my comments better instead of putting labels. Reading further down the list of returns from your apparent Google-level search on “Robert Fisk” would have shown you that it is not “a book” what I am asking you to read. And I would suggest the Oxford Dictionary for “thesis”.
     
    Oh, and I do not see you as an opponent.
     
    Humility would only enhance your points, Artur. If they are correct, that is. But you do not want to move from square one – it is up to you, really…

  96. OK, Gregg. Whatever, if you think that your attitude is a sample of humility. Your comments contain nothing but self-aggrandizing belief that the truth is available to you because you have read a collection of Fisk’s articles and essays. You may not know that but they were published in one book a year or two ago.  I am also glad that you can read OED definition of thesis. Not in Hegelian terms, the syllogism should be if … then… Where is it in your comments? What else do you have to say on substance?

  97. Greg, I have good news. Erdogan today stated that essentially Turkey will not ratify the protocols.
    http://www.reuters.com/article/asiaCrisis/idUSLB151327
    What a Turkish delight! We’d have gains if they did but in this scenario it will be real fun to observe Turks in a Zugzwang.  Despite Davutoglu’s tactical ruses, there is nothing about Karabakh in the protocols. This diplomatic gain is not a victory yet but it is better than the nay sayers’ insistence on playing the game by Turkish rules.

  98. After rethinking, I again cannot agree with the three points above by Martirosyan.

    In lieu of events up to this point since the announcement of the protocols, all of it, now, must be judged from yet another angle: Divisive politics in which the vast majority of Armenians are left out of the debate, the exacerbation of negative sentiments and distrust that has resulted at the popular level.  

    Now on to the points made:

  99. 1. Swiss recognition of the genocide is noted.  Swiss endorsement of and recent (1990s) reaffirmation of the Lausanne Treaty – a disaster for Armenian – must also be noted.  From the “legal technical standpoint,” the Swiss support an illegal treaty ratified during the absence of Armenians.  Swiss reliability is also questionable despite the comparatively nominal genocide recognition factor.

  100. 2.  I wonder what character those “relations”  will take since “no precondition” is essentially the continuation of the status quo with the exception of a few minor issues.  Turkish aggression will continue, thus negating the concept of “relations” to “acceptance of constant slaps while hoping for scraps.”  

    Consequently, the “decoupling” – even if true – of either of the issue will become also an irrelevancy.  The policies of denial will be renewed and will take on new form under the “joint commissions” clause.  The support for Azerbaijan will not, not in any way, be reduced in scope.  It would be utterly stupid to even try that one.

    The opening will mean losses for the middle class and light industry, which is the only sector keeping Armenia alive aside from disaporan support.  This renders the “no loss” speculative nonsense above null.  The ones to gain are the ones dividing society by not involving the overwhelming majority of Armenians in the decision making process, in the negotiation process.  There is no obvious gain.  It is a lie that Georgian routes will be circumvented.  It is as if we forget who we are dealing with, thus the divisiveness of this entire process, which perhaps is also a part of the calculated gains for the endorsers of the treaty, which – aside from the obvious NATO proponents – also includes the interests in Armenia who wish to exclude expatriates and diasporans from participating in the State’s affairs; i.e. the static oligarchy.  

    We read about “additional agreement” implied, the details of which we no doubt will discover 100 feet from impact as we did with this agreement.

  101. I do not see a trace of thinking in my opponent’s tirades.  Unfortunately, the current borders of Turkey are recognized not only by the Swiss and implicitly by Armenia but by many other countries, on the other hand the Treaty of Sevres by none. Whether  this will change over time is not the subject matter of the protocols. One thing for sure territories can be regained only in war, not by lobbyists and their hacks. Decoupling of Karabakh issue from the Turkish Armenian agenda is a fact. I will leave the vituperative guessing  to Hagop and his benefactors. If decoupling were not a fact, Erdogan today and Davutoglu yesterday would not try to connect the two. Their efforts are as futile as Hagop’s “inventions”.   He cannot know for example what may happen to the Georgian route when we know what happened and we know that Georgians have been using that leverage against Javakhk.  It is a trivial argument – Armenia can gain from the border opening. It does not mean that it is panacea or does not come with threats. But these can be handled in due order.  Hagop’s irresponsible high flown chattering is both easy and cheap.
     
     

  102. Moderators, why do you allow personal attacks? If Nalbandyan has nothing else to say, why are his insults and labeling of opponents making into this forum? I am not going to respond and if the goal is to shut down me, I will simply leave.
    Nalbandyan, only those who do not are about Armenia and Artsakh can advance an all or nothing approach in international regional politics. Miloshevich was precisely a player of that kind. The  professor of philosophy will continue to follow shadows in his cave at Worcester College, it does not matter for him what happens in and to Armenia.  Does it for you? I really doubt.

  103. Dear moderators, the personal attacks always, without exception, originate from Martirosyan.  He’s trying to utilize the standard methods to stifle his opponents.  I urge you not to fall for this tactic.

    Thank you

  104. For whatever reason, my comments are not being posted.  I will however respond once again to the propaganda machine’s pivotal lie: The illusion of the “the all or nothing approach” is a total lie.  The overwhelming consensus so far is against the protocols for the principal points discussed repeatedly.  There is no need to capitulate to Turkish demands and agree to a “historical commission.”  There is no justification for negotiations at such levels without opposition and/or public consultation,  negotiations conducted under the propaganda blanket of a “progressive non-belligerent neighbor” when the reality clearly says Turkey is an aggressor on many levels.   Clearly those who use such deceptive propaganda and exclusion tactics do not care about the welfare of any Armenian, inside or outside of Armenia

  105. “This stuff” is your intellectual impotence. Baseless accusations are an indication of your world view – whoever is in disagreement with your faulty arguments of a dilettante is a “paid agent”. The only agents in this game are the ones advancing the Turkish agenda of discord among Armenians through libel and lies. They may have found in you and your likes perfect tools whether paid or unpaid.   The dust will settle soon and there will be no need for additional evidence for the above.There is no consensus. Negotiations are not with Turkey alone, they are with US, EC and Russia. Armenia does not need to consult with intellectual imbeciles and hysterical types. A simple rule of thumb in international politics is this – you always negotiate when you can gain more at the table than otherwise. Armenia has gained. Hysteria has set in among Armenia’s enemies.

  106. There were public consultations in Armenia – that’s where Aivazian made his statement. We are dealing here with a party of hysterical and historical losers.  Nalbandyan is a paid agent. Who is opposed to the protocols? Nalbandyan, Aliev and Erdogan.

  107. If Armenia has “capitulated”, then why is it that Erdogan is not accepting it? He is as unhappy as Aliev and Nalbandyan. It does not take a rocket scientist or public health expert to see the obvious.  If correctly conducted, Armenia and Armenian nation can clearly benefit even from the commission. Any historian understands that much, including Akcam, but not self-styled historians Nalbandyan.  All for nothing may work for philosophers from Worcester College, but it is a prescription for a disaster at the level of practical international politics and policy making. It is not by chance that when Aivazian was in the government in 1992 Armenia recognized territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, a blunder of historical scale. Who is today shouting the loudest foul? Aivazian and his crony Nalbandyan.

  108. The above set of accusations, coupled with the instantaneous responses, are a clear a sign of desperation.  The opposition to the protocols is virtually every nationalist Armenian out there.   While there are many flavors to opposition, “Yes to normalization and no to protocols”  is the dominant one among throughout the world.  I am a proponent of that view with all due precautions taken.  At this moment, there are no precautions taken.  There has been no public discourse before formulation of the agreement.  There has been no formal conference involving any opposition parties.  That is a patent falsehood spread by Martirosyan above.  In addition, the article above does nothing less than decieve Armenians into thinking they have no other choice but to accept this set of nonsenical agreements with the deceptive “no preconditions” clause imposed upon Armenians in the main.     

  109. As to Aliyev’s outbursts and so called grievances, I have already mentioned the “disagreement theatrics” of our well-counseled neighbors.  The appearances of division are more than likely a tactic in themselves.   Erdogan’s and Davutoglu’s rhetoric concerning Artsakh is more believable, however, and this will continue as Turkish policy no matter what the outcome of any impotent (in terms of Turkish concessions) treaty. 

  110. This discussion has turned into mutual accusations, insults, and curses. We have not approved several comments made over the past hour and we will continue deleting all new messages that insult others. Please make your points without resorting to personal attacks.
    Thank you.
    The Moderators

  111. OK, my comment was not approved.  Let me rephrase: According to the proponent of the protocols above, since Aliyev is against the protocols, then all Armenians who are aganst the protocols are in cahoots with Aliyev.  This association game will not convince any Armenian to abandon their position against the protocol, but it might give the interested parties the bonus of dividing Armenian society yet some more.  Now, those who serve the protocol proponents will be given the green light to brand their opponents as traitors.  Interesting turn of events.  I will not mention KGB or exports of cheap propagandists along with cheap submarines or anything as such–:)

  112. There were no protocols or special clauses or conditions about “recognition of borders” or “territorial integrity” that I am aware of when the Turkish border with Armenia was open before 1993.  
    Therefore, it is hard to see why it was necessary to have such terms for the border to reopen.    Mr. Davidian,  therefore, must necessarily be incorrect when he states that the clauses about borders etc. were a necessary part of the protocols.   
    Perhaps one would argue that times have changed.  Yes, it is 16 years later.  So what?   It could just as well have been 2 weeks later, 2 years later, or 20 years later.
    No, the protocols’ clauses about borders and so forth were a Turkish demand.   Maybe a US or Russian demand too.  The joint commission on 1915 was a Turkish demand too.  No Armenian of any note on the face of the Earth or on any other planet has ever seriously asked to sit down with denialists appointed by Turkey to discuss 1915.  NO ONE.  That proves how unworthy the idea is.
    The logical conclusion: Turkey’s preconditions were placed into the protocols, though they were perhaps not as strongly worded as Turkey would have liked.  Armenia, on the other hand, made no demands at all. 
    This is the imbalance that some cannot see.  I don’t recall, by the way, Armenia’s being prosperous before 1993 on account of the open Turkish border.   Does my memory fail me? Or perhaps it was not open LONG enough, huh?
    I think that many  protocol supporters should just admit that they wanted Armenia to cave in to Turkey no matter what.  Even if Armenia had to say “There was no genocide”, certain of the commentators above would have said “But Armenia needed to sign it.  It was the only way.”   
    By the way, raise your hand if you trust a corrupt president to negotiate with Turkey?  It’s funny but if an American president and his parliament were that outright corrupt, Americans  and Armenian Americans would not trust their decisions at all.
    Is Serge right just because his side is the one with the guns?
     
     
     
     

  113. You may have not noticed, but this is exactly the game that you and your likes started to play from day one – whoever dared to speak out for the protocols was branded traitor, paid agent et al. I do not claim that all those opposed are necessarily in Aliev’s camp. Stop hiding behind others, “national hero”. Many were simply confused, many were emotionally agitated by ignorati like Nalbandyan, others were following the party line — many different motives and reasons. However, now that it is getting clearer where the game is those vehemently opposed without any rational arguments are doing that for ulterior motives. We cannot rule out here anything. It has been the goal of the Turkish intelligence to split the Armenian nation on this issue and anyone who is working toward that agenda should be brought out to the light.  I do not know if they are paid tools or fools. It does not matter. Calling themselves Armenian nationalists won’t help. Aivaizian and Papian today are the staunchest nationalists if one were to believe them, but in 1992 it was OK for them to be in the government that recognized territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. Similarly, Nalbandyans an Boyajians of this world are the sofa loud mouth heroes. They are not going to be held responsible for any consequences – they will not be the ones spilling their blood, they will be just signing petitions and letters to Congressmen. Therefore they will continue their irresponsible, ignorant and venomous chattering – we told ya so.  And this is the bottom line of this debate.
    Moderators, please exercise balance. Had you nipped in the bud Nalbandyan’s  very first ad hominems, your protege may have behaved in a more civilized manner.  These ad hominem attacks are for everyone to see in his very first comment.

  114. Armenian nationalists are for “normalization”?  Who is against the protocols today? Aliev, Erdogan and Nalbandyan (not the minister, the insulted expert who was not consulted).  Are Aliev and Erdogan playing tactical games? This may have made sense before signing the protocols, but why would they do that after signing? Even if they were playing a game, it does not matter now – the ball is in the Turkish court. Erdogan is inviting the US and EC pressure and that is not a bad outcome for us.  It is much better than recognition of territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in 1992 when Hagop’s tutor was in the government of “Armenian nationalists”. And so was Ara Papian, by the way.

  115. Dear Dee,
    I do not want to go in circular arguments since many of issues raised by you have been addressed several times.  However, in the spirit of rational discourse and in good faith I will repeat some of the most pertinent ones.
    1. The protocols only implicitly recognize the current borders, explicitly they reaffirm territorial integrity of countries. This was done implicitly in many international agreements signed by Armenia since 1992 – The UN Charter, Helsinki Accords, BSEC, to name a few. Moreover, the Armenian government of LTP that included Armen Aivazian and Ara Papian went so far as recognizing territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. You are not the only one who has been raising the issue of open borders despite territorial disputes in other cases. Matthew Der Manuelian in his piece published by Hetq even cited some of the cases. A detailed scrutiny of these cases demonstrates that they are not applicable to our condition.  I refer to this exchange here –
    http://hetq.am/en/politics/turkish-armenian-protocols-reality-and-irrationality-–-a-response/#more-18529
    In your commentary you are getting close to the real driving forces behind the protocols and powers supporting this process. Armenia would be saying no not to Turkey which to the last moment hoped that the Armenian diaspora could yield pressure on the government of Armenia to reject the process, but to the US, EC and Russia, not surprisingly all represented at the highest levels in Zurich. In the last couple of decades we witnessed how the confluence of interests of this troika brought to the knees Yugoslavia.  I am not implying that the instruments used to force Armenia’s compliance would be exactly the same. I’d leave it to your imagination to think about some of the consequences of the all or nothing stance for the Armenian national interests in the region and primarily in Artsakh.
    2. You are conveniently stressing the Turkish preconditions and omitting the biggest gain for Armenia and Artsakh – the decoupling of the Karabakh settlement from the Turkish-Armenian agenda. This is a matter of such gravity that Turkey may not ratify the protocols and thus invite the US and EC pressure to bear on Ankara. If ratified and implemented the protocols will obviously weaken Azerbaijan’s alternative to a deal on our terms.
    3. You can call Sargsyan’s regime corrupt but until very recently ARFD was a member of the governing coalition. The argument that the protocols are not acceptable because you do not trust the government of Armenia will shift the discussion away from the merits and disadvantages of the outcomes. Following your logic no Armenian government could participate in such process until we were assured that the government is not corrupt.
    4. Economic gains from the border opening are not assured. Prudent economic policies may hedge against potential damage to certain sectors of the Armenian economy and result in structural shifts increasing Armenia’s competitiveness and loosening the grip of oligarchs on the economy. Again, I’d leave these arguments to experts on economy and trade. However, it should be obvious that if nothing else this situation will significantly decrease the Georgian leverage on Armenia which has been used in recent years by the Georgian government to the detriment of Javakhk Armenians.
    5. Finally, neither Davidian as far as I understand nor I are saying that the protocols are the best thing since the sliced bread. There are areas of concern in the text, namely not specified clauses for exiting the regime of protocols in case of unilateral withdrawal of one of the parties (Turkey decides to close the border again, e.g.) and, even more importantly, deadlines, modalities and benchmarks of the historical sub-commission. Hopefully, the Armenian parliament could address those issues in reservations to the text of the protocols before ratification.

  116. The “traitor” branding of the administration was a natural course of events due to the silence under which the protocols were conducted and the very nature of the protocols.  The aura of aloofness and indifference by this president seems to attract this sort of negative reaction despite all the hard laborings of propagandists trying desperately to protect his position.  No matter how much Martirosyan tries to argue the Armenian majority reaction out of existence, that was the reaction.   This is a bankrupt position.  Now the bankrupt argument consists of discrediting Aivazian, Papian and other for opposing the protocols, not by wasy of argument on points and issues raised, but instead with the association game:  “He worked as advisor to Ter Petrosyan, therefore he is guilty of making bad policy.”  Aivazian has made it abundantly clear that he never agreed to any of the policies instituted by the HHSh, and he had already resigned early in the game.  Aivazian’s position has never changed as the matter of fact.  Evocation of moderations is yet further political tactic and has nothing to do with genuine complaints of unethical conduct. 

  117. Arthur asks “Who is against the protocols today?”

    The answer is practically everyone except that minority of self-appointed “elite” who has to gain from this dubious deal.   It is no coincidence that the proponents of TARC are also the proponents of these Protocols.  Look at the list of organizations and individual in support.  TARC was a businessman’s club for the most part on the Armenian side, and it is the same businessman’s club that is advocating the Protocols yet again on the Armenian side.  In contrast, the three diasporan parties, all three, have joined in the condemnation despite their differences, and popular support for the Protocols either doesn’t exist or, at best, there is confusion among the minority.   

  118. I have a question that has been bothering me, which I would like to hear others’ opinions on.
     
    After these protocols, what is to stop Armenia from becoming a status similar to the Palestinians?  I don’t mean this in every sense, but in a particular sense.  What happens after the Palestinians made agreements with Israel?  Israel continually finds “reasons” why Palestinians violate the agreements (i.e. a non-governmental group, acting on its own, commits a violent act on Israeli territory).  The result is not just collective punishment in retaliation, but Israel declares it then need not live up to its own agreements (i.e. refusal to halt building of new settlements).
     
    So, suppose Armenia objects to certain demands of Turkey regarding the make-up of the historical commission?  let’s say they object to the slightest thing — like for example, revisionist history regarding numbers of people dead, or scholars who are not impartial academics ?  These are reasonable.  However, could they not be twisted by Turkey (who has all along been illegally blockading Armenia, illegally occupying Cyprus, etc), to say they need not hold to their negotiated stance since they will *claim* Armenia is not?
     
    Turkey’s nationalist path has repeatedly led it to respond to internal tensions and problems with external aggression.  Despite the fact that there is Erdogan in power who is not of the Kemalist party, I don’t think this nationalist attitude has changed at all, and certainly not the “entitlement” mentality.
     
     

  119. This is response to Martirosyan’s three point essay above:

    1. “LTP that included Armen Aivazian and Ara Papian went so far as recognizing territorial integrity of Azerbaijan.”   Again, the primitive association game is played to discredited individual cadre in opposition.  The irony is that these men were eventually forced to leave the Ter Petrosyan administration specially due to the territoriality issue, and they have not looked back since.  

    There is much spinsterism in making the artificial distinction between “implicit border recognition” versus “explicit recognition of territorial integrity.”  The fact of the matter is that both are the same, and the verbiage brought to the fore at any given time will depend on the conditions and context, in which Armenia’s capitulation in these protocols and the entire ‘normalization process” will made conditions unfavorable to Armenians.  

    The analogy (not metaphor) with Yugorslavia is invalid.  I have already made the argument above.  The main local leg of the “troika” for Yugoslavia, Germany (which is essentially the EU in terms of driving foreign policy) is not as adamant or involved about the Armenian issue as it was on the Balkan.  Solana’s presence is more a formality in comparison.  I would again recommend an article by Tim Carr on the topic the link of which I have posted above.  These implicit threats are not of much consequence except as having propaganda value to support the flawed argument in the article above in turn supported by a half-baked scenario/context.

    2. The decoupling is an illusion.  This and the reasons for it have been stated already.  Turkish position on Artsakh and Azerbaijan will never change as long as pan-Turkist ambitions remain, and all sign posts go in that direction, including the Central Eurasian project.  In short it is the expansion of the idea of Central Asia to include Asia Minor, and the geopolitical implications are obvious. 

    3.  ARFD simply left the coalition because they did not agree with the current administration’s position on these protocols.  They assumed, wrongly apparently, that the same policy as during Kocharian’s administration would be followed.  They were proved wrong, and they left.  I don’t see much contradiction there.  The blind eye in domestic policy should be noted, such as the poor record on education, as control of that Ministry was under ARF, but the ARF has not demonstrated ambiguity on this issue.  For this reason they also have the support of the other diaspora parties.

    As to corruption, Dee’s concerns are those of the majority: There will be no adequate administation on the border opening and the socio-economic  consequences due to corruption.  This President is particularly inept, aloof, and lacks popular support.   Without going into details, this administration is even more neglectful on matters domestic than the previous.  There is reason to worry.

    4. The “prudence of economic policies” is where most are concerned, frightened to death, actually.  This is in fact coupled with the corruption factor brought up above by Dee and all others who have dealt with this issue.   Chances are there will be no such “cautionary policy” implemented, as there is no such precedence in the successive administrations, something which has progressively worsened since this administration took the helm, and it matters not the “global financial crisis” and other such red herring.  This is a matter of policy, not dollar amounts.  It is also an illusion that the Turkish path will somehow effectively subsidize, provide a viable alternative to the Georgia route.  Again, it is as if we forget who we are dealing with, a belligerent enemy no matter what so-called “international pressures” exist (which do not) .

    5. The unilateral pullout is an interesting aspect.  Thank you for bringing that up.   ;m not sure, but in the President’s declarations there was also the matter of “timeliness in compliance.”  This makes the protocols potentially impotent, as perhaps this was simply installed as a litmus test of Armenian and Turkish reaction.  The gains of such games are many. 

    Martirosyan’s arguments have not convinced the validity of this entire “process” nor the reasons for adhering them beyond the formal state level pomp of “having champagne with the representatives of the Troioka.”   Yet, one good thing that happened was the 3 diasporan parties acted in accord!   Who knows, they might form a habit. 

  120. Janine, for the first time since the original split between Erbakan (Refah) and Buyukanit (the military chief of staff), Erdogan (AKP) and Buyukanit have a more cordial political relationship, and Erdogan has now adopted the Military’s (read Kemalist) ambitious rhetoric of “revival of Ottoman glory” and such.   It is the same pan-Turkist ideology only rephrased to support Islamist (versus Islamic) political ideology: i.e. the re-instatement of the Caliphate and so on versus the “Gray wolf” mythology.  Erdogan’s Islamist block is not very similar to that of Erbakan in such matters.  Erdogan’s party is essentially a nationalist party which has reconciled Islamism with pan-Turkism.  I have posted a link above of Harun Yahya’s website, and this shows that even fundamentalist Islamists have adopted a pan-Turkic stance. which is a comparatively newer phenomenon.   If such ambitions are in place and are unhindered by “international norms,” which, as you have seen in Israel how much meaning “international norms” have had, then there is the danger of making Armenia a colony of a sort.  I have used the same wording as the Moscow Treaty adopted between Russia and Turkey in sthe post WWI era: Armenia was delcared a joint Protectorate uner Russia and Turkey, which essentially means colony.

  121. Here is how easily Nalbandyan’s lies are refuted. He claims that
    “The irony is that these men were eventually forced to leave the Ter Petrosyan administration specially due to the territoriality issue, and they have not looked back since.”
    If we take a closer look Ara Papian was with the Armenian Foreign Ministry  as a second secretary of the US and Canada Division of the American Department (1991-92), Head of Iran Division of the Middle East Department (1994-95), and Head of Security Cooperation Division of the Security Issues and Arms Control Department (1997-99). Mr. Papian was previously posted to the Armenian Embassy in Tehran, Iran (1992-1993, second secretary) and the Armenian Embassy in Bucharest, Romania (1995-1996, second secretary; 1997, Charge d’Affaires).
    Papian left diplomatic service a year after his benefactor, LTP, was forced out of power.  True, Aivazian was part of the LTP government until 1994 or two more years after the infamous recognition:
    From 1992 to 1994 he worked as Assistant to the President of Armenia, Adviser to the Foreign Minister of Armenia, and Acting Head of the Armenian Delegation to the Conference (now Organization) on Security and Cooperation in Europe at Vienna.
    But contrary to Nalbandyan’s claims he did not leave that government over territorial issues. He was there when that government recognized territorial integrity of Azerbaijan in 1992 and stayed there for two more years. So much for “the Armenian nationalist” credentials.  I challenge Nalbandyan to produce a shred of evidence that Aivazian left the LTP government over disagreements on territorial issues. Any public statement dated 1994-95 will do.
     

  122. “Nalbandian’s lies are refuted.”  Fine, refute them.  “March 1992 versus November 1994” blah blah.  I am no specialist, and I don’t care.   What I do know is that these men, even during Ter Petrosyan’s tenure, disagreed with his policies and expressed their views in opposition.   The attempt to paint them as hypocrites is not going to work. 

  123. I do not recall Charles Aznavour in support of TARC or for that matter known to the world as a businessman. There are many other supporters of the protocols who do not fall in Nalbandyan’s box labeled businessmen and supporters of TARC. To assert that practically everyone is against he would need results of a referendum or at the very least an opinion poll. This tactical ruse has been used by LTP’s All-National Armenian Movement, Armenian National Congress – the very titles imply that whoever is opposed is not a member of “the national”.  With all due respect to some 15 thousand people who participated in the protest the other day in Yerevan, that is by far not “practically everyone.”   We can easily add to the list of those unhappy with protocols Aliev, Erdogan and majority of Azeri Turks and significant numbers of Turks.

  124. Dear Janine,
    You are asking an important question that is what if Turkey does not comply with provisions after ratification or does not ratify the protocols. In both cases they will be held accountable by US, EC and Russia and will make the work of Armenian diplomats and lobbyists much easier. Armenians won’t be like Palestinians if only because we have two nation-states.

  125. It is not enough for you to know because you claim to know too many things that in reality are based on an article or two. You asserted that they left the government over disagreements but you failed to produce any evidence. Papian did not leave the government of LTP who had gone much further in his ties with Turkey – meeting with Turkesh et al. and Aivazian was there at the time of recognition of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and he lacked integrity to walk out of that government. Case closed, unless you produce evidence of their disagreements with LTP policies while in service.

  126. hagopn wrote:
    Janine, for the first time since the original split between Erbakan (Refah) and Buyukanit (the military chief of staff), Erdogan (AKP) and Buyukanit have a more cordial political relationship, and Erdogan has now adopted the Military’s (read Kemalist) ambitious rhetoric of “revival of Ottoman glory” and such.   It is the same pan-Turkist ideology only rephrased to support Islamist (versus Islamic) political ideology: i.e. the re-instatement of the Caliphate and so on versus the “Gray wolf” mythology.
     
    Thanks for your reply, hagopn.   (Please feel free to respond, anybody else interested.)  Hagop, this makes me more worried, for one simple reason.  The US is in a (predictably) disastrous war in Iraq following a game-plan developed elsewhere by those who felt the entire Middle East would be a better place with some fantasy of a new dynasty in place.  So, when we first went in, there was this great fantasy of the revival of dynastic dreams coupled with Iranian parties which were quickly forgotten as allies when they proved so unreliable.  (Which again, anybody could have predicted who was not living in a fantasy of a Middle East and promised pipelines to Haifa.   Unfortunately we have ideologues running everything and reality runs far behind all the time.  It seems this is nothing new.)
     
    It is too uncomfortably close to the other disastrous dream (for some people) that we now get all this rhetoric of a revived fantasy Ottoman Empire where all religious minorities are treated wonderfully.  That is a patent fantasy which is being deliberately cycled.  Coupled with vying interests regarding pipelines, etc. I worry that Armenia will be in the middle of it all — the next disastrous fantasy of people who use power because they have it.
     

  127. As a recap on the spats above:
    1. The number of protesters mentioned in Yerevan is 60,000 or so.   I would be surprised if any Armenian supported this measure.
    2. “Being held accountable” to US, EC, and Russia just doesn’t make for good security measures.   Our nation state status will be endangered.  The same attitude of reliance on “international diplomacy and aid” has resulted in the destruction of Armenian statehood multiple times in our history, recent and distant.  That’s the entire point of opposing these protocols and the entire imposed so-called “normalization” process.   Russia has abandoned Armenia’s interests before in favor of improving relations with Turkey, and relations today, even in the words of Martirosyan above, haven’t been better.   Read my comments above for details.

  128. Why only Aznavour? There are many others who are neither businessman nor know for their support of TARC. That process, by the way, was a clear indication by the US government of the limits for recognition given their national interests – it was a genocide but no territorial claims. Very simply put we either take that kind of recognition and continue to build on it until the right and ripe moment or we continue to defy the interests of powers, play ostrich with all-or-nothing stance as prescribed by the professor of philosophy from Worcester College. The second choice is easier for those who can love  Armenia in abstraction. In reality, there can be dire consequences for Armenia and Artsakh. You have not done your homework on Miloshevich by reading one article on Yugoslavia. He and his entourage were confident that they can take the all or nothing stance. As to your primitive reading of Germany’s role, I’d say in our case we have Britain there. Moreover, the instruments of coercion are way too many in our case. For you they mean nothing, for Armenia they may mean a lot more since you won’t be at the receiving end of the nothing. Hence your irresponsible bravado.

  129. Arthur M. wrote:
    Dear Janine,
    You are asking an important question that is what if Turkey does not comply with provisions after ratification or does not ratify the protocols. In both cases they will be held accountable by US, EC and Russia and will make the work of Armenian diplomats and lobbyists much easier. Armenians won’t be like Palestinians if only because we have two nation-states.

     
    Thank you for your reply to my question.  I would like to hope this was true.  However, there is one clause bothering me in what you wrote.  It seems to me that the government of Armenia (similar to other governments in the region with the exception of Turkey and Israel) has failed to grasp the power of lobbying efforts of the diaspora and to work in cooperation with it.  I understand that lobbyist groups for the most part of Israel and Turkey simply support whatever the government line is of those two countries.  For we Armenians, it is different – diaspora has worked independently all along because the government of Armenia was, for one thing, under Soviet for so long.
     
    However, recent events seem to say to me that the government of Armenia has failed to realize the important power of lobbying of the diaspora, both in the United States and in Europe.  We have made great gains against a very disparate level of power.  How will they change to learn these lessons of politics successfully instead of with what are seen as setbacks?
     
    Thank you for the conversation.
     
     
     

  130. Neither Aivazian nor Papian have produced any meaningful arguments against but more importantly they have failed miserably in putting together alternative policy options. If they have, I’d like to see those. It is not enough to say do not sign, “freedom or death”, it is not enough even to make arguments for not signing, it is absolutely critical to state what are the alternative policy options.

  131. The decoupling is a fact accepted by the troika. They consistently have insisted on decoupling, even last minute in Zurich, Davutoglu failed to please his prime minister. Turkey may refuse to ratify and that will be in our interests and to our advantage. One must be blind not to see that.

  132. What if Turkey does not ratify the protocols?

    Once it is is ratified, there is no question of its implementation of course. 

    One can be assured though, that though it may not have been worded in the protocols explicitly, unless there is a movement on the Karabag issue, there is no way it will be ratified by the Turkish parliament.  I think all the parties are aware of this and it has been made abundantly clear.

    What does a “movement” mean and who determines that, and when and how, etc, and plus the ratification gate leaves much room for maneuvre  and that is entirely intentional.

  133. Guess what, Murat, the protocols will be on the floor of your National Assembly next week. Meanwhile, Serge Sargsyan today clarified in an interview what subjects were were discussed with Aliev recently – the status of NKR and no word on territories. That is significant progress in the talks. You can continue to make abundantly clear to all parties, the fun to watch the rat race will be ours.

  134. Arthur, 

    You keep on harping and trampolining on the “irresponsible bravado” while entertaining “Turkish reform due to international pressure” fantasies.   What sort of nonsense is this?   Since when is Turkey a follower of any international norm, and since when has Turkey honored any treaty or agreement?   How many attempts at bolshevik style discrediting your opponents will it take for you to realize the bankruptcy of your position?   There is no worse display of “irresponsible bravado” than to try to sell this Brooklyn Bridge of “‘Turkish acquiescence to international pressure” nonsense!   The important item here is the lowering the guard of the Armenian public, which is what you are doing, and which is the main and important point made by http://www.ararat-center.org and like minded think tanks.   This is precisely the situation which destroyed our chances of indepdence in the past, and it is being repeated with “diplomatic dependency’ nonsense.   Just what is the problem with “experts” and their zeal to paint the “international community” as some sort of reliable “enforcer of justice?”

    You said,
    “Turkey may refuse to ratify and that will be in our interests and to our advantage.” 

    Oh, no doubt I agree with you there.   I don’t think they will, and that’s where we disagree.  I hope you’re the one who is correct, I truly do, but my hopes and expectations are radically different.   I don’t expect Turkey to give up on their ideologies and “under international diplomatic pressure, trioka champagne party promises” and so on abandon Azerbaijan as their little foot-hold colony on their way to Eurasia expansion. 

    We will continue.  You can count on that.

  135. Information on Aivazian does not disprove the fact – he was a member of the government in 1992 and he did not have integrity to leave it despite its manifest defeatist stance.  Whatever he says and does today is short of coming up with realistic policy options.  The challenge is not in preaching to the choir about Turkish belligerence. That is technical work. The adaptive challenge is in devising policy options which can contain and deter Turkey and advance our national interests. Serge Sargsyan should definitely now go to Bursa and use this opportunity to make yet again abundantly clear the Armenian positions regarding the document signed by Davutoglu. There is no word Karabakh in that document.

  136. “It is not enough for you to know because you claim to know too many things that in reality are based on an article or two. You asserted that they left the government over disagreements but you failed to produce any evidence. Papian did not leave the government of LTP who had gone much further in his ties with Turkey – meeting with Turkesh et al. and Aivazian was there at the time of recognition of Azerbaijan’s territorial integrity and he lacked integrity to walk out of that government. Case closed, unless you produce evidence of their disagreements with LTP policies while in service.”

    Quite frankly, the case is not closed because there is no case to begin with.  it is a total irrelevancy of whether they were breastfed or if they drank coffee with Ter Petrosyan and enjoyed it.   You’re trying to turn discussion of issues into a “who’s who” circus, and I truly don’t give a damn.   For this reason, I will not do further research on this to verify my scant knowledge of “personalities and their former associations and loyalties” (which, your bomabardments are false anyhow) nor attempt to justify the perfectly logical and realistic position that Turkey is a belligerent enemy and Turkey’s position is that of beneficiary of this “no precondition” clause.   Armenians are preset losers in this scenario, and the so-called “Troika” is a capitulating Russia, an impotent EU, and, when it concerns “pressuring Turkey” an equally impotent US.  They are only “potent” when it concerns pressuging little Armenia by first and foremost dividing Armenians of Diaspora with those of the Republic.  Your constact blarings about “irresponsible bravado due to not caring about Armenia” is a propaganda ploy to divide Armenians, and it also falls precisely in line with the anti-Diasporan propaganda initiated by Ter Petrosyan and continued with all successive administrations, less so during Kocharian in relative, I stress, relative terms.  You will fail to discredit all diaspora opposition on such prejudiced grounds, and I will not abandon my position on this.


  137. I have refrained from responding during these last few days due to the nature of what in the best case can be called an irrational disagreement and in the worst, a massive inability to comprehend the difference between unsubstantiated personal opinion and analysis, and between diplomatic realities and apocalyptica. I was hoping somebody might be interested in a serious discussion. I don’t want to sound as if I am lecturing, but I am not left with much alternative.
     
    One simply need take a look at a sample from the Turkish nationalist press, such as: http://www.yenicaggazetesi.com.tr/haberdetay.php?hit=24460 (and in crude translation into English)
    http://translate.google.com/translate?hl=en&sl=tr&tl=en&u=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.yenicaggazetesi.com.tr%2Fhaberdetay.php%3Fhit%3D24460 and note the amazing similarity in apocalyptic tone in both Turkish and Armenian rejectionist positions.
     
    We live in a real world, not an imaginary one where we can wish the world stopped so we can re-group, think and act, then restart. Frankly, it is shocking how anyone can read a 15-page paper that attempts to explain the lead-up to the Protocols and then ask what difference does 20 years make? My only conclusion is that some people simply have a knee-jerk reaction to such events and reject any reasonable explanation (not a justification) because it simply doesn’t fit their hopes. Exclusivity actually exists between any post-Protocol fear and an explanation of how that Protocol came to be, but even that does not fit a NeoCon-esque arrogance that demands, “hey — either you have to state you are against the Protocol or else.” The issue is, and has been stated many times in this forum, if one opposes the Protocols, what do you have in its place? No, is not acceptable. The ability to say no, walk away, and say the hell with Turkey until it begs forgiveness, would require Armenia have the equivalent of a million man army, a nuclear weapons deployment capability, ability to blackmail world leaders, just to name a few characteristics. It would behoove anybody to read some of the diplomatic maneuvering Armenia appears to have accomplished, as noted by Arthur Martirosyan, rather than to hope George Friedman is infallible. Just because Armenia may not have centuries of diplomatic successes to point to does not means it does not exist today. Diplomatic success can as fleeting as are military secrets and have to be used and built upon. It would be an absolute disgrace if any success is ignored for partisan reasons.
     
    This Protocol did not simply fall out of the sky, but it was the result of at least a five year long process. One could ask zero sum rejectionists why Turkish-Armenian talks were not important 4,3,2, or even a year ago, but then that would be asking for an explanation of a policy that never existed.
     
    I will not be responding to any comments that are typical of incorrigible, zero sun rejectionists.
     
    Finally, I do want to commend the Armenian Weekly for running my analytic piece given the current atmosphere.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  138. Nalbandyan, you can continue your exercises in sophistry they won’t add anything to policy analysis. I presented facts and you are not able to disprove facts. The issue is not on who Aivaizian and Papian  drank coffee with or who breastfed them. The issue is on their stance in critical for Armenia periods.  If they have any policy recommendations today, alternative to the current line, they had many opportunities to present those. It is not enough to state that Turkey is bloodthirsty and belligerent. Not enough to say why the protocols are bad, although they have not produced a single coherent argument  re where the damage to the national interests are. Nor have you.  All or nothing stance is not an answer, it is a path to national disaster. All we have heard from you is Russians are capitulating, Europeans and Americans are impotent – and only Hagop Nalbandyan is holding the line to defend the Armenian nation. That line, however, is in your living room.
    If you are looking for anti-diasporan stance I can redirect you to your buddy Boyajian who never stops ranting about unworthy Haystantsis or to the same Aivazian who in his recent research on the Armenian identity came to conclude that millions of Armenians who are not fluent in Armenian should not be considered Armenians.  And why go that far? Your own statements here are nothing but divisive. The new dividing line is between virtuous fighters against protocols and “traitor” Sargsyan and paid agents who are supportive of the protocols. After that you dare to moan about dividing lines…
    Turkey today is between a rock and a hard place. Erdogan starts the morning by saying that Turkey will ratify the protocols and ends the day by saying they won’t… And yet you continue to claim that they have won. This is a typical loser syndrome. I am sure that no matter what facts and arguments I present I won’t be able to persuade you. The primary path for persuasion is rational, your stance is emotional.  If you need to have the last word, I could not care less. It is important for you because you are writing here not to present rational arguments but to show off to your own clique, to demonstrate to them how skilled and knowledgeable you are. They may as well give you a cardboard medal of honor for that.  This won’t help the Armenian cause — the logical end of it is nasty at the time when Armenians need to be united not against but for.
     

  139. Dear David et al,
     
    While I am not at all against full diplomatic relations (on the contrary, this is a necessity, in my opinion), I do have reservations about the impact of agreement to a “historical commission.”  As anyone calling themselves either an academic or a historian should know, the facts of genocide are not up for negotiation.   Clearly, academia has done exhaustive studies on this subject.  What is now eminently clear through scholarship is not up for grabs.  I’m certain you must agree with this.  May I point out that already *some* news stories are back to presenting this issue as if it’s just a dispute between Turkey and Armenians.  Thankfully, the New York Times article was a bit better than this.  CNN, however, was not!  I am afraid this is an immediate impact of this part of the protocol.
     
    As for the rest of my questions which I have raised above, I wish you would direct an answer.  Even if you think I am alarmist or want to put me in any other camp, I must suggest that the form of a question and not a diatribe begs for polite dialogue and discussion.  I can understand frustration, but this is not an easy subject!  We should all learn the discipline of dialogue.  It’s in our collective best interest, no matter what.
     
    yours,
    Janine

  140. PS I don’t doubt that my questions might be silly or trivial or just that I am too worried.  But still, it’s worth thinking about them or answering them.  At least, I might learn something and others too, and help think through these issues.
     
     

  141. The divisive attacks yet again begin.  As the matter of fact Sargsyan must be compensating well for these services.   Who knows what’s in it for all involved.

    Martirosyan, when I say Turkey is the experienced enemy in the game of imperialism, if pretend you don’t believe me, then go out into the world and live beyond your articles, papers, so-called “sources” and see that what I say is irrefutable with regards to pro-Turkish factionalism that has taken root in the US academia, in US big business circles, in US political science schools. 

    “No preconditions” means a sorry status quo for Armenians.  I don’t give a damn about Turks and their pretentious “apocalyptic” circus drag.  Aren’t these the same hysterical distortionists, liars who claim that Armenians committed genocide, what was that number, again 2.5 million Muslims (and Jews to boot) with an army of 40k half-trained half-starved troops, no munition supply, and hardly any government support?  What makes you think they will not copycat Armenians to confuse on that grade asd well?  They have multimillion dollars at their disposal with many hours to spare on spinning a tale.    

    I have said more than enough for a non-agent to comprehend, and yet we have this tenacity in flipping the accusation against those who oppose this, in fact, disastrous set of protocols.  We have been over this, and I don’t mind at all that I have to rephrase, repeat, reduce, praes, preprase, expand, induce, deduce, whatever it takes to couteract your pro-Sargsyan propaganda pretending to be a neuetral and practical position.  Your position is that of diplomatic fancy and fantasy.  It is based on faith (contemplative fantasy) in systems that deserve none and instances of “diplomatic accountability” and consequent corrections in behavior that do not, have not, and will not exist.   Turkey has not every honored a single treaty or agreement with Armenia, and this is not the time for the to start. 

    OK.  As the devil’s reluctant advocate, since you are the “win-win and think positively” Deepak Chopra style cruiser here, let’s have it, one instance where the US was able to pressure Turkey into carrying forth its “ally’s duties and responsibilities.”   You may not like Boyadjian, which is a credit to that individual in any case, but not liking him will not erase the issues he brings oftentimes: Turkey is not a reliable US ally, nor does Turkey succumb to US pressure at critical times.  It would be foolhardy to gamble on Russia’s “reliability” as well based on the fluffy “hydrocarbon shuffle” song above.   As the matter of fact Turkish “threats” have effectively shot down the Genocide Resolution in successive attempts, which is a sign of impotence, impotence of this ‘superpower” whose diplomatic capital also has been long ago expended in that part of the world.

    Also, if by “policy analysis” you refer to the “protocol analysis” you have been promising for the last 50 hours, then, by all means, if you can convince, not with the flimsy fluff you have provided so far, but instead with concrete analysis of the protocols, then I am listening.   Instead, you have bantered around personality profiling and other bolshevik style nonsense. 

    You are also still believing the theatrics by Erdogan and Aliev.  What else is there to say except, if this is the level expertise we are entitled to at this moment, then it’s time to close these schools down!

    Come on, let’s see it, 10 bullet points on how the protocols will neuter pan-Turkism. 

  142. Davidian, I beg to differ.  Neo-con-esque?   is this the level we’re at?  First it was Milosevic doomsday “countdown Belgrade” story and now its the “Neo-con-esque behavior” analogy?  Another failure, it is, I say.   The refusal to the protocols is not a sign of belligenerce, but pragmatism.  The entire negotatiation process of the protocols is a sign of autocratic behavior, and last time I checked, the neo-cons conducted the war business without consulting congress for a formal declaration.  In other words, Sargsyan’s “tuatha” is the best example of a neo-con faction there is.  The accusations of enforcement should not be on you, no, and if that has been the impression, then it is the wrong impression.  Same with Martirosyan, except that he is using spinsterism and sophistry to weave the opposite tale from that of reality.  You, perhaps under the influence, a DUI situation of a sort, decided to use a backwards analogy.  Be careful of such bouts of isopraxis.   We need to think things out of the box, as that is always how the imperialists think.  They work hard to create a situation where your own state becomes your own enemy.  We should not fall for that game. 

  143. Janine, when there is undue concession, then there is also doubt, and doubt is enough to distrort the drag on the recognition and eventually trivial the historical, political, economic, and emotional signifance of the genocide.  This has already been partly accomplished.  Now, we have yet another msterful delaying tactic to drag this “fight” for another couple of generations.  This is to be a “Commission” composed of what?  Everyone is asking, and no one is getting explicity answers.  Yet the answer is obvious.  The modus operandi of the Turkish state have not changed one inch, and, as the matter of fact, while these negotiations are going on, the Turkic side has been engaged in anti-Armenian rhetoric and activity without rest.   They have in fact renewed the education.  read above about the 12 DVD where Armenians are depicted as genocide perpetrations as part of compulsory education.  Is this the sign of a negotiating party for peace?  The Armenian side is appeased, long ago, with the anti-nationalist foundations lain down by Ter Petrosyan, and nothing of the belligerent anti-Turkish sort can be hears from the state media on the Armenian side.   As the matter of fact, many average Armenians have been brainwashed to believe that Turkey is a friendly neighbor.  In that context, what do you think will happen to genocide education and recognition?  In any case, for details of this Turko-Armenian conflict that has never ceased, I would recommend you go to http://www.ararat-center.org and see it all in grueling detail.

  144. Let me ask again: Was it really necessary to agree to a joint historical commission on the genocide?   Let’s assume that the commission, after years of hot air and giving Armenians heart attacks and strokes, winds up OK for Armenians.  (Which I doubt. The commission will arrive at a split decision, at best).
    Still, what is the point – to roll the dice?  To have yet one more study on the genocide? To give Turks a platform to claim that it was Armenians who rebelled, Armenians who did the killing, Armenians who had the revolutionary parties, Armenians who went over to the Russian side, and Armenians who stepped on a Turk’s toe?  Will Bernard Lewis and Justin McCarthy appear before the commission and make news that the Wall Street Journal will trumpet?   Must be all be subjected to this?  Why?
    The Armenian government has not done a good job on the genocide issue for nearly 20 years.  It has been silent when there have been fights over it in foreign legislatures.  Turks have not been silent. Armenia’s silence tells us that it is probably incompetent to be part of a joint commission.
    Did Armenia cave in on this vital issue all by itself or was it pushed by Turkey, the EU, and wonderful/good/loyal/pro-Christian  friend Russia?  
     
     

  145. Another long and meaningless piece from Nalbandyan. Nobody, in this forum any way, needs your stories about Turkey. Much as your teacher you probably think that you are the best expert on Turkey.  The question is not about  how really bad the imperialist Turkey is. The question is what policy options you, the greatest political scientist and Boyadjian the greatest historian on Turkish-American relations, are proposing beyond the knee-jerk no? I think you are not able to understand this simple question to say nothing of responding. The protocols are not designed to neuter pan-Turkism therefore your expectations are false.  If the world is going where Friedman has convinced you it is, what are you proposing to do? To wait out in the mountains behind the walls of the monastery?
    As to seeing the world, Nalbandyan, you make me laugh again. Have you seen the world behind your suburbia? I am not for win win – it is the stupidest thing I have read from you.  Nor am I for Isfahan bazarchis approach to international politics.   I am for maximizing value and gains at the table, making sure that a yes can only be said when the option at the table is better than my best walkaway alternatives.  For a couple of days now I cannot hear from you or from your cohorts – what are Armenia’s alternatives,  i.e. what is Armenia going to do if the President listens to you and says no to Americans, Russians and Europeans? What are they going to do? These questions never crossed your mind.  You would not care if Armenian soldiers on the front line in Karabakh do not get new weapons, nor would you care if Armenia were to bury the new nuclear plant project. These things are not important for you and Boyadjian. The main thing is that you know that Turkey is dangerous and protocols are to be blamed…
    Now, sit back and read the headlines of today’s news, Nalbandyan. Here are some that may interest you, if they won’t, I must say I am sick and tired of your constant moaning about the imminent end of the world.
    President of Azerbaijan has decided to decrease investments in the Georgian railroad …
    Ilham Aliev is not happy with the outcome of negotiations in Kishnev
    Wary of the Armenia-Turkey normalization Georgia is ready to re-open the Upper Lars
    Sargsyan and Medvedev are discussing military cooperation in Moscow
    Gudkov thinks that Armenia can become a nuclear power one day
    Finally, study Armenian and make sure yours is on a Yerevantsi’s level because otherwise you may not be considered Armenian along with several million other Armenians by Aivazian.

  146. Janine,
    Your questions are well placed. The commission is the weakest point of the protocols. One way to deal with the ambiguous language is to add reservations at the time of ratification in the parliament – the timeline, modalities and binding outcomes should be part of the language.

  147. Dear Dee,
    You asked, “Did Armenia cave in on this vital issue all by itself or was it pushed by Turkey, the EU, and wonderful/good/loyal/pro-Christian  friend Russia?”
    In all honesty, I thought that “wonderful/good/loyal/pro-Christian” will be followed by the United States.  Did not Hillary Clinton respond to the angry letter from Ken Hachikyan? Did he write a letter to President Obama, starting with “How you dare…?”, after all, he is your president.
    You are also speculating, “Let’s assume that the commission, after years of hot air and giving Armenians heart attacks and strokes, winds up OK for Armenians.”
    Let’s assume the damn protocols were not there. Let’s assume that there’d be no commission. Can I ask you how and where do you think this will end? Most countries on planet earth recognize it was a genocide by year 20.. Even American President does that every year. What’s next in your book?
     

  148. Thanks to both Arthur and Hagop for your replies to me.
     
    I’m going to very generally characterize arguments here in a very broad way:  it seems there are two forms of discussion of protocols that fall into the following dimensions —
     
    1.  focuses on the fact that Turkey and allies are not necessarily happy about this, and the potential “losses” on that side
     
    2.  focuses on potential losses to Armenia, and to the interests (hard-gained interests, at that) of the diaspora
     
    Perhaps we could begin to weigh the two against each other?
     
    I will say that given the ultra-nationalist ideology in Turkey, any idea of compromise is probably looked at as some form of defeat by a significant part of the population.  On the other hand, the modus operandi seems to be via aggression:  an illegal blockade (Armenia), an illegal occupation (Cyprus), a denial of history — and then bargain to lift the aggression.  These are tactics of bullying and bargaining from a bully position – including arm twisting of powerful lobbying groups in the US such as corporations who wish to do business in the country.
     
    Also, I may be completely off-base here, but it is my impression that there is a mentality at work in the culture (and not absent from other countries but in other more subtle forms) that somehow dictates that “proper behavior” is to sweep “bad” things under the rug — a lie in the service of a good image of “the group” iis a proper thing.    In Turkey, even the notion of a separate minority identity is historically suspect.  So it’s some sort of “bad behavior” to tell the truth when it’s awful or casts a bad light on “the group.”  I think this is part of the reality of nationalist ideology in Turkey.  I think this cultural attitude allows laws to continue as “normal’ that criminalize discussion of minority identity and crime such as the Armenian genocide.   I have indeed read comments on books about the genocide from Turks born in Eastern Anatolia who deplore that they know people who privately will admit to or even brag of bloody horrific deeds (perhaps committed by relatives) in the genocide and at the same time publicly and hotly declare no such thing ever happened.  If indeed, a “truth commission” could actually work to “save face” and tell the truth in such a situation, I’d be practically shocked but open to hearing how it was possible given how difficult a road Pamuk and Akcam and others continue to tread.
     
    I am not an expert on politics.  I can’t necessarily comment on how a small nation like Armenia should operate against a bully.  As a Christian, however, my concern is with truth and justice and peace.  In the long run, peace doesn’t come at the expense of the other two:  it is the fulfillment of the other two.
     
    My bottom line is that I will not forget what my grandparents went through and step on them as the rest of the world would like to do.  I at least have to stand up for something when it comes to my own people.  I do the same for others who have suffered similar and less repression and outrage.  I don’t stand for lies in far less brutal and savage  situations that don’t quite engage the entire huge topic of man’s inhumanity to man and the greatest crimes known to the world.  In that respect, the fact that the diaspora (and now finally thousands in Armenia) have raised a fuss about this historical issue has given us an opportunity for more public discussion and attention to this issue.  I think that’s a good thing.    I believe we should continue to protest to our government that we wish the US and especially President Obama to fulfill his promise and moral obligation to acknowledge history, especially given American involvement in relief efforts at the time of the genocide.
     
     
     
     
     

  149. “First it was Milosevic doomsday “countdown Belgrade” story”
    Wrong, Nalbandyan. It was the story of Miloshevich’s miscalculation of the Yugoslav alternatives away from the table based on his all or nothing stance, exactly what you “pragmatically” are recommending Armenia to do.  Say no, come what may.  A new definition of pragmatism. Now that you have read one article on Miloshevich, “the nationalist”, can I tell you something in Serbian?
    “The refusal to the protocols is not a sign of belligenerce, but pragmatism.  The entire negotatiation process…”
    I bet, Nalbandyan, that the only international negotiations you have ever attended were the purchase of tomatoes from a bazarchi in Isfahan.  You really crack me up, a negotiation process expert…
    On Turkey possibly not ratifying you wrote, Nalbandyan (Is the Minister your relative?) …
    “Oh, no doubt I agree with you there.   I don’t think they will, and that’s where we disagree. “
    You agree or disagree? I say, chances are 50\50 and we are gaining in either case. More if they don’t. If they do, what will remain from Ilham’s alternatives away from the table?
    “I hope you’re the one who is correct, I truly do, but my hopes and expectations are radically different.”
    You are a radical man, why not uphold radical views…  I did not say that Turkey will not ratify, I only said it is probable, Erdogan is digging deeper in the hole and there may be no face saving for him.
    So what are your dreams and hopes then:
    “I don’t expect Turkey to give up on their ideologies and “under international diplomatic pressure, trioka champagne party promises” and so on abandon Azerbaijan as their little foot-hold colony on their way to Eurasia expansion.”
    Were you quoting someone, by the way? OK. You should join the league of political forecasting. Bursasport fans were unhappy today. They were not allowed to use Azerbaijani flags during Turkey-Armenia football game and decided to sing Sari Gelin instead on Wednesday…   But still, what is it that you are proposing to do, assuming for a split second that you are the modern day Nostrafriedmanus? Really, pragmatically speaking? What should any Armenian think\do listening to your doom and gloom – Armenia has no allies, America and Europe are impotent, Russia is capitulating? Sell the apartment and leave for LA, I guess…
     

  150. Dear Janine,
    Let me clarify my position to avoid misunderstanding. I could not care less about Turkish unhappiness. It would be in fact wrong to think that we have gained only because they think they have lost.  My arguments are around tangible gains in this process.
    1. Armenia enters a direct process mediated by Switzerland, a country that has formally recognized the genocide.  The protocols do not preclude continuation of the recognition process.  The end goal of this process is recognition by Turkey. It is not going to be easy but probability is higher than otherwise. Those aspiring justice rendered by “the international community” sooner or later would face the same dilemma.
    2.  Turkey opens the border and both countries establish diplomatic relations. This beats the Turkish pre-condition that these actions can only be taken depending on the outcome of the Karabakh settlement. These processes have been effectively decoupled. The opening of the border does not immediately imply economic gains or losses. Policy options will need to be carefully weighed in to protect certain sectors of the Armenian economy. Having another border opened in addition to volatile Georgian and Iranian borders is obviously a gain. However, it will yet need to materialize in a series of additional agreements. Needless to say, this improves Armenia’s alternative to any deal re Karabakh and weakens the Azeri second best alternative, isolation and blockade of Armenia. 
    3. Ratification with appropriate reservations on modalities of the historical sub-commission  and conditions for exiting the protocols will contain Turkey’s military options and firmly channel the process within Turkey’s EU aspirations. The so called new Ottomanism is an alternative to EU. Ultimately, the scenario where Turkey may reject the EU accession path cannot be ruled out. However, as long as Turkey is on that path there are numerous additional opportunities to exploit.
    Thank you for your take on the Turkish bullying behavior. This time it simply did not work. I share your concerns about the commission and have already stated what can be done to stay on track. Most importantly, the protocols cannot preclude the process of recognition. Nor anyone can tell you or me what we and our forthcoming generations can or cannot remember. You are absolutely right – the Armenian community needs to continue efforts at recognition by president Obama. His recognition should be based on what he knows and thinks about the matter.  And he knows enough as a lawyer and a fellow human to conclude that it was a genocide.  As Akcam stated recently there is more than enough evidence that it was a genocide no matter what Turks may have to say or present.
    This commission should be turned into the moment of truth where the entire world again will be shown that Turkey has no leg to stand on this issue.  We can do it.


  151. Janine asked:
     
    “Dear David et al,

    While I am not at all against full diplomatic relations (on the contrary, this is a necessity, in my opinion), I do have reservations about the impact of agreement to a “historical commission.”
     
    OK
     
    “As anyone calling themselves either an academic or a historian should know, the facts of genocide are not up for negotiation.”
     
    There are some Turkish and surrogate historians that disagree. They are in the minority, however.
     
    “Clearly, academia has done exhaustive studies on this subject.”
     
    It is not an exhaustive study, a lot more can be done. But what exists now is more than enough to show genocidal intent.
     
    “What is now eminently clear through scholarship is not up for grabs.”
     
    OK
     
    “I’m certain you must agree with this.  May I point out that already *some* news stories are back to presenting this issue as if it’s just a dispute between Turkey and Armenians.  Thankfully, the New York Times article was a bit better than this.  CNN, however, was not!  I am afraid this is an immediate impact of this part of the protocol.”
     
    I fail to see how media spin has any effect on the historical commission. There were decades of media spin before the TARC commission declared it was genocide. There were decades of media spin before, during, and after government after government, internationally, began officially recognizing the fact of genocide.  If you can tell us how the media has already influenced this part of the Protocol, I can respond.

    “As for the rest of my questions which I have raised above, I wish you would direct an answer.  Even if you think I am alarmist or want to put me in any other camp, I must suggest that the form of a question and not a diatribe begs for polite dialogue and discussion.  I can understand frustration, but this is not an easy subject!  We should all learn the discipline of dialogue.  It’s in our collective best interest, no matter what.”
     
    OK
     
    -David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com


  152. Janine asked:

    “I’m going to very generally characterize arguments here in a very broad way: it seems there are two forms of discussion of protocols that fall into the following dimensions –

    1. focuses on the fact that Turkey and allies are not necessarily happy about this, and the potential “losses” on that side

    2. focuses on potential losses to Armenia, and to the interests (hard-gained interests, at that) of the diaspora

    Perhaps we could begin to weigh the two against each other?”

     
    Have you have read my analysis? I ask this because of the level you have characterized the discussion. If you have not read that article you are at disadvantage. I could simply quote from my paper to respond in this comment, but I won’t.
     
    I would suggest moving the discussion to a higher level. If the “discussion of Protocols“ is not raised a notch higher we will get nowhere. This is because there are interests that are more powerful than the ones you suggest we limit ourselves to.
     
    In any negotiation there is give and take, understanding and protecting your own interests and understanding those of the opposing party. However, this Protocol is not like a divorce case. On the international scene, there are forces that can trump the perceived interests of either or both parties. Who is happy and who is sad makes no difference.
     
    In order to identify what is a loss or a gain, one has to look at what interests were protected and what demands were sustained or conceded. This is somewhat simplistic, but good enough for discussion.
     
    Keeping in mind that the international conditions that resulted in the signing of this Protocol may not have been possible two years ago and may not be possible again:
     
    * For at least the past five years or so, Turkey has demanded that Armenia pull its forces out of Nagorno-Karabakh and surrounding provinces before any discussion can go forward regarding Turkey lifting its blockade of Armenia.
     
    * For over five years Turkey has asked Armenia to denounce any land claims it has against Turkey. This is actually a moot point since Armenia has never made official land claims against Turkey.
     
    * For over five years Turkey has demanded that Armenia end support for the international recognition of the genocide.
     
    * And for five years, Turkey has proposed a joint historical commission be setup to discuss the claims of genocide.
     
    For the past several years there has been a confluence of outcome (to quote from my paper) between the US, the EU, and Russia, and Russia and Turkey regionally. As result, enormous pressure was put on both Turkey and Armenia to sit and talk. The result:
     
    * Turkey was not able to couple this Protocol with continued talks concerning Nagorno-Karabakh
    * Turkey was not able to couple this Protocol with a demand that Armenia renounce any land claims
    * Turkey was not able to couple this protocol with treaties that resulted in Turkey’s border with Armenia.
    * Turkey was not able to force Armenia to end its support for continued international genocide recognition
    * Turkey was able to negotiate an historical commission
    * Armenia will have it’s border open (whatever that may eventually evolve into) within a specified time period.
    * Armenia and Turkey will establish diplomatic relations.
     
    As a result of this Protocol process, Armenia was able to alienate Azerbaijan from Turkey, reducing Azerbaijan’s negotiation options over NK. Turkey can turn to the EU and report it has one more border issue resolved as part of the EU ascension process.
     
    Do all these diplomatic positives for Armenia mean we reduce our demands and our vigilance? Not for a second. For example, Turkey tried to “pull a fast one” on Armenia at the signing, but Armenia held to its interests.
     
    Does Armenia have more options now with this Protocol (if ratified) than without it, yes. Some of them are:
     
    * A stronger negotiating stance supporting Nagorno-Karabakh
    * Georgia talking about re-opening formerly closed border transit routes between Russia and Armenia and has floated recognizing the Turkish Genocide of the Armenians.
    * Armenia has greatly reduced Georgia’s ability of coupling of its transit corridor monopoly to neglecting the normal demands of Javakhk Armenians
    * Armenia has a document to take to international courts if its tenets have been violated by Turkey, if the combination of the EU, US, and Russia are not enough. Considering the level of international presence at the Protocol signing, this was a significant event.
    * There will be more international grants and loans on their way.
    * Armenia can sit down with the Turks and present their genocide case with the EU+US+Russia watching
    * If Turkey violates articles or drags out any process unreasonably, the threat of further international recognition exists.
    * Armenia has shown it can hold its own diplomatically by demonstrating it.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  153. I am wondering if, as some people in Armenia say, Diasporan Armenians should have no right to express strong opinions about the protocols, or really have any “say” about political events in Armenia, then why do Armenians in Armenia have the apparent right to do the same thing for Karabagh?  
    I see people who are commenting above and also on other blogs who live in Armenia but not Karabagh but who are expressing all sorts of opinions on Karabagh.   You notice the double-standard.
    Armenia itself is even conducting negotiations on behalf of Karabagh while Karabagh begs to be a direct participant (and I don’t mean simply a party that is “consulted”).   You see, some Hayastantsis think that they can bully Diasporans with nasty taunts like “you don’t live here”, but are putting themselves in a position to dictate what happens to Karabagh. I am not talking about any one individual but rather just in general. And please don’t tell me that Armenia supports Karabagh with money etc.  The Diaspora supports Armenia to the tune of billions of dollars and lobbying support throughout North America and Europe.
    Russia is dictating to Serge how to negotiate and what to negotiate, and the Hayastantsis are passing that pressure along to Karabagh.   I am sure that Karabagh is not happy about this.  I think perhaps Karabagh wishes Armenia would buzz off but Karabagh can’t say that because Armenia has Karabagh over a barrel.  But mainly I am just wondering about the mean-spirited double-standards of some Hayastantsis.  Again, if diasporans should not have a say in Armenia, then Armenia should not have a say in Karabagh.  I think people recognize the hypocrisy.

  154.  
    David, thanks for your reply.
     
    But, I think you have what I said backwards:  I said that the protocols including a historical commission has in fact influenced the way the media reports on the genocide – not the other way around.  We are  once again back to the presentation by some media outlets  that the Armenian Genocide is a “dispute” between two parties.  It seems to me that the historical commission has in fact set us back in this respect.

  155. PS David wrote:
    There are some Turkish and surrogate historians that disagree. They are in the minority, however.
     
    Make that such a tiny minority as to have lost this battle in the academic world.  Even former supporters now come out and say they were misled, or some such thing.  This is why, in the eyes of many including myself, a “commission” is necessary for Turkey alone, because left up to the true body of academic scholarship (such as the International Association of Genocide Scholars, for example) there is no question at all.  That’s why this should not be a political football.
     
     

  156. Jenine wrote:

    “But, I think you have what I said backwards:  I said that the protocols including a historical commission has in fact influenced the way the media reports on the genocide – not the other way around.  We are  once again back to the presentation by some media outlets  that the Armenian Genocide is a “dispute” between two parties.  It seems to me that the historical commission has in fact set us back in this respect.”
     
    People decide what are setbacks. If people believe a setback exists for a long enough time, it will become reality. Regarding the media, nobody bothers to take the time and research to a topic and stake a position. It is far easier to claim “alleged” “disputed” rather than to take the wrath of readership pressure. This characterizes modern “journalism”. Few take a position on events and hide under various forms of relativism.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  157. Gor, “some people in Armenia” who say that “bokhken kerel” as the saying goes. As far as I am concerned, as long as any human claims Armenian identity whether through language and\or culture and\or shared history is an Armenian irrespective of residence. That is different from being an Armenian citizen which means obligations to the state under Constitution.
    Now about expressing strong opinions. No one can forbid you or any other Armenian in the free world to have a strong opinion on any matter. We saw, however, how strong those opinions were in Paris and Beirut. While I do understand how easily and quickly Armenians can be aroused and agitated when it comes to the issue of genocide, I have hard time understanding how specifically these actions may influence policy choices. I understand that the goal was to demonstrate to the “davajan” Serge Sargsyan that the protocols are not welcome among certain Armenians who may claim that their views are shared by all diasporan Armenians. I understand that the hope of those orchestrating these protests was that he’d cave in and under pressure would blink. From what I know about this Gharabaghtsi man, Serge Sargsyan, on the contrary he’d stick to his guns under such pressure. This does not mean that he was not open for any constructive suggestions. Constructive means – recommend policy options. Do not say how bad Turks and Turkey are, do not read chapters from your bed time Friedman stories, BUT state what you thing is wrong and why i.e. how may have negative impact on national interests and suggest an alternative policy.  Apparently this is a very high demand on some self-styled “national heroes” like Nalbandyan who for the last 70 hours keeps beating around the bush trumpeting the evil Turkish empire’s imminent take over of Eurasia.
    I’d give you one thing on this issue – Sargsyan should have started a broad consultative process earlier despite all challenges of potential leaks, misinterpretations, misrepresentations and political manipulations.  I believe with proper systems and cadre in place this could have been done. From the other hand side even the most transparent of the American presidents when it comes to international negotiations, JFK, opted to keep the deal making with Khrushchev confidential until his team had developed some viable and realistic policy options.  To be honest, observing some of the reactions in this forum, nasty ad hominems, I understand why Sargsyan could have been concerned about engaging communities earlier.

  158. Prof.  Henry Theriault wrote in his article (also currently appearing in Armenian Weekly,  here ) :
    What is striking about these examples—and many others from history–is that these all-or-nothing demands came from positions of great material, political, and military weakness and yet still succeeded because of the moral strength of the position of the “weak” vis-a-vis the “strong.” Moral legitimacy is a great force in geopolitics and is the reliable ally of the weak, oppressed, and marginalized.

     
    I think this is a very important point.  When dealing with a difference of power, the truth is important, moral power is important.  It is the only thing that evens things up.  This is the way to deal with a bully.  We are not going to successfully fight power and bullying with the same weapons, because power is not evenly matched.  So far, the diaspora has worked against great odds to create conditions for recognition.  The revival of these efforts at protocol, let’s not forget, was a process Turkey revived in order to avoid Obama’s promise of recognition.  And that is the bottom line.
     
    As the first Christian nation, Armenians would do well to remember the teachings of Christ.  If we are sheep, we’d do well to remember to be wary of the wolves.  We do not expect them to change.  We have truth on our side.  To throw that away is to throw away a potent weapon, one that has had clear material success, especially through the hard work of the diaspora.  The government of Armenia is foolish to throw that away.  And equally foolish to betray its martyrs.
     
    By the way, others may be interested in this opinion piece by Robert Fisk
     
    I think that the “historical commission” sets up a story to be reported as a matter of dispute.  Its only been in the past year or so that papers like the NY Times have started using the word genocide and established such policies with regard to the Armenian genocide.  CNN, Reuters and other outlets have gone back to qualifying this as a dispute, which the establishment of a commission easily infers

  159. I’d give you one thing on this issue – Sargsyan should have started a broad consultative process earlier despite all challenges of potential leaks, misinterpretations, misrepresentations and political manipulations.  I believe with proper systems and cadre in place this could have been done. From the other hand side even the most transparent of the American presidents when it comes to international negotiations, JFK, opted to keep the deal making with Khrushchev confidential until his team had developed some viable and realistic policy options.
     
    Hello again Arthur.  The problem, in my opinion, is the failure to work together with a well-organized and vocal diaspora.  This is throwing away something rare and valuable in order to create conflict instead.  It just shows a lack of democratic process.   The apparent explanations for this are not good ones.  And nothing justifies putting aside  a valuable political assets – nor seemingly the truth of the genocide.
     

  160. PS Lest it seem I am being a hasty judge of the Armenian government, let me say that I understand what powerful political pressure is being applied from parties other than the treaty signers.  On the other hand, a powerful lobbying force should help one’s hand in bargaining.

  161. Jenine wrote:
     
    “The problem, in my opinion, is the failure to work together with a well-organized and vocal diaspora.  This is throwing away something rare and valuable in order to create conflict instead.  It just shows a lack of democratic process.   The apparent explanations for this are not good ones.”
     
    Let me add a little to what Arthur said about Kennedy, the Cuban Missile Crisis, and transparency. Because the US had built up such a popular mythos about the “bloodthirsty” Soviets, it would have been nearly impossible to open US-Soviet negotiations for public scrutiny. The American public could not digest that Khrushchev was not dictated to by the suave John Kennedy, but rather much of the solution involved the Soviets removing their missiles in Cuba in exchange for the US removal of Jupiter C missiles from Turkey. Some things needs to be transparent, other things should be transparent but the time-value lost and re-education involved makes this option not practical in some cases. There are indeed many kinds deliberations, however, that must simply remain secret.
     
    “And nothing justifies putting aside  a valuable political assets – nor seemingly the truth of the genocide.”
     
    I would venture to say that for a political asset to be useful, it must understand what is transpiring.
     
    The truth of the genocide is not being questioned by Armenia.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  162. “From what I know about this Gharabaghtsi man, Serge Sargsyan, on the contrary he’d stick to his guns under such [Diasporan] pressure.”

    A gharabaghtsi locksmith-turned-president, a lubber-headed non-achiever at school with extra-mural  level of higher education should have stuck to his guns under the pressure of foreign powers, and not his coethnics in Diaspora and Armenia. Or resign with dignity, if he couldn’t…

  163. Dear Janine,
     
    Glad to read your sincere concerns and effort to challenge those whom you disagree with. I have tried the same, if you scroll far enough to the earlier days/hours of this discussion, but I now know that it is a waste of time, which I can use better for the Armenian cause. You may be wasting your time too.
     
    I am writing this to you because I noticed your reference to Robert Fisk. I have tried the same, again. One very vocal member of this discussion apparently ran a Google-type search on this name and came up with the most unsustainable claim, garnered with rudeness and arrogarnce,  that I am offering him a “one-book bibliography”. Later he agreed that there are essays and articles, but said that I “may not know …that they were published in one book a year or two ago”. Had this person really had a clue of what he was talking about, he would have known that Robert has 6 books and he has said and written very clearly that The Great War for Civilzation is a book in itself and not a compliation. But this he cannot learn from Google easily. What actually I wanted him to read is Fisk’s last piece about these protocols (now his last is about the 2009 Nobel Prize for Peace).
     
    I am trying to make you aware on what level some of the proponents of the protocols in this forum are operating. And since they are only two – and I know Tavit Tavitian from his soc.culture.turkish exemplary fights with Serdar Argic (interesting story in itself) from the early 1990-ties – there is only one left that deserves your special treatment. I may disagree vehemently with Tavit and I am stunned by his position,  but I am sure that he is at least genuine. Watch out for the other time-eater.
    Best,
    Greg

  164. Dear Armine,
    I see how passionate you are about his background. He doesn’t speak ten languages most of them dead. He does not have an extra-mural doctorate from the Leningrad branch of the AS oriental studies department. But he is the man who stuck to his guns during the war. The pressure of the foreign powers could result in dire consequences for Armenia. I guess he could have said no to them but only if those orchestrating the pressure would have a better course of action to the yes. We can certainly talk about those consequences but someone with your education and background should have enough expertise and imagination to see what those might have been.  Anyone in his shoes, including our political genii, choosing an all-or-nothing stance would ultimately end up signing a worse off deal than what we have now. Why? Because none of them has spelled out alternative policies in the case of no. Admittedly, it is far from perfect. There are many ways it could be better theoretically. But diplomacy as politics is the art of possible. This one has a number of gains for us in three probable scenarios – Turkey ratifies, Turkey does not ratify, and Turkey ratifies but tries to drag feet.

  165. I would venture to say that for a political asset to be useful, it must understand what is transpiring.

    The truth of the genocide is not being questioned by Armenia.
     
    But this is seemingly conytadictory.  How can the diaspora plan together with the govt of Armenia for common goals and strategies if they are not included in the dialogue in the first place?  Their perspective and experience, if you will, goes further back into dealing with this problem within an independent democratic country  than those who lived under Soviet rule.
     
    Once again, nobody thinks Armenia questions the genocide.  A “truth commission” is not necessary unless there is a question implied in the first place.  Perhaps it seems that the government of Armenia dismisses the importance of the genocide – or at least those who have worked for its recognition, the recognition of our history and justice in the face of strong powers to the contrary
     
     

  166. Dear Janine,
    I agree with you on the consensus. We as a nation wasted almost 20 years without any serious attempts to build at least a sufficient consensus on red lines, negotiables, division of labor and consultative mechanisms for decision-making. This cannot be done over night or even over a fortnight. But it can be done and I have seen others do it successfully. We can now put the blame on Armenian leadership past and presence. They can blame diasporan leadership. But for me the issue is beyond the blame game.  I could also agree with you that Sargsyan and his team should have tried the first hundred day in the office by creating such mechanisms. His last minute effort was justly seen by many as not genuinely consultative but at best informative, i.e. informing after the decision was made and space for constructive contributions was limited (with the exception of Sassunian, I did not see anyone. This allowed for political and emotional mobilization against when the nation most needed mobilization for. The best that can be done now is analyzing the lessons and trying from square minus ten.  It will be equally important to understand the causes of this gap. Some of these are more obvious to me than others – no traditions of consultative processes, silver back culture of leadership, inexperienced but ambitious team of young advisors and others. More importantly we need to ask the question what’s next? There are several choices including the one of continuing to widen the chasm. This is exactly what our enemies would like to see. The choice that I would like to see is moving to the prize of a sufficient consensus (some people will be opposed no matter what) through a series of difficult conversations and quality leadership. My concern is that the all or nothing camp will prevail in widening the gap to the detriment of our national interests.  Some of the motives of this camp are transparent – it is struggle for power by agitating protest electorates.  This is a classical problem of mismanagement of the internal track negotiations before engaging externally. The only caveat for the followers of that camp I have is that no matter who replaces “the gharabaghtsi locksmith turned president” will be facing the same choice and consequences of a no and ultimately may be forced to accept a much worse deal.

  167. David,
    I would only add to your accurate narrative on the Cuban Missile Crisis that the very first session of the ExComm was conducted secretly by Robert Kennedy in the basement of the White House. All subsequent sessions until JFK’s televised address to the nation nine days into the crisis were held quietly without media’s and Congress’ awareness. Even the White House press secretary Pierre Salinger was not in the loop.  When the story on possible invasion of Cuba leaked to a Washington Post journalist (they’d spotted large scale military preparations in Florida), JFK personally called the editor-in-chief and asked him to hold on with publication for a couple of days.  It is also true that the ExComm invited to some of the sessions the hawks who stood for all-or-nothing options – Dean Acheson and Curtis LeMay. The aggravating factors in the Cuban Missile Crisis were the  previous botched up CIA run operation in the Bay of Pigs and mid-term congressional elections.
    While this is a good case to illustrate the point, I still believe that given the sensitivity of our issue Sargsyan’s team would have done much better if there were an “Armenian ExComm” on this process with a broad range of leaders, including diasporans, involved. They can argue they could not be confident that there’d be no leaks into a highly partisan context and culture of veracity of cab drivers’ rumors. With all these challenges I can still think of several viable process options for having the commission engaged and not necessarily in secrecy.

  168. Greg, you would have saved yourself and others time if you had referred to that exact text. I told you that one of his books was on my shelf – The Age of the Warrior, to be precisely.  I did not need to google – no need to project your own practice onto others. Instead of playing a smart Alex you could have stated that you had his recent article on the subject in mind without assumptions that only you had read it.  Rest assured I read it too, including this “Nagorno-Karabagh, part of historic Armenia seized from Azerbaijan by Armenian militias almost two decades ago – not without a little ethnic cleansing by Armenians, it should be added.” I am not asking too much – a simple rule for any discussion and politeness.  You could have simply provided this instead of leaving your opponent guessing (extremely rude and arrogant).
    http://www.independent.co.uk/opinion/commentators/fisk/robert-fisk-genocide-forgotten-armenians-horrified-by-treaty-with-turkey-1799302.html
    And with all due respect to you and even more so to Robert Fisk, I did not see a thesis in his article. Now you are playing an offended uncle. No problem. If I need to apologize for what you perceived as rudeness, I will. Take it easy.

  169. Dear Janine,
    I can understand how and why you may have these hurt feelings. I also think that the Armenian government despite a ministerial position for diaspora relations is not doing nearly enough to bridge the gaps in perceptions. This vital relationship can be compared to two lungs. However, I also know that genocide recognition is the integral part of the Armenian foreign policy doctrine.  Both FAM Edward Nalbandyan and DRM Hranush Akopyan should dedicate more efforts to report regularly to the nation what specifically their agencies are doing towards that end.  I tried to find an annual report of either agency – there is none on the websites.  They have clearly failed on this one if it is a criteria for performance evaluation in the parliament and internally in the government.


  170. Jenine wrote:
     
    “But this is seemingly contradictory. How can the diaspora plan together with the govt of Armenia for common goals and strategies if they are not included in the dialogue in the first place?”
     
    You didn’t ask that question initially. But, in response I would say there is a lot more that can be done synergistically. However, there is a slight divergence of interest between the parties. One could make a similar comparison between with the interests of Israeli Jews and those in Orange County, CA.
     
    “Their perspective and experience, if you will, goes further back into dealing with this problem within an independent democratic country than those who lived under Soviet rule.”
     
    There are a lot of things that haven’t worked out optimally between the western diaspora and Armenia for many reasons. Its analysis is beyond the scope this particular public forum.

    “Once again, nobody thinks Armenia questions the genocide A “truth commission” is not necessary unless there is a question implied in the first place.  Perhaps it seems that the government of Armenia dismisses the importance of the genocide – or at least those who have worked for its recognition, the recognition of our history and justice in the face of strong powers to the contrary.”

    The term Truth Commission is neither stated nor implied in the Protocol.
     
    Even the word genocide is not used in the Protocol, but it is universally accepted that it will be a topic of such a commission.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com


  171. Greg wrote:
    “Dear Janine,

    Glad to read your sincere concerns and effort to challenge those whom you disagree with. I have tried the same, if you scroll far enough to the earlier days/hours of this discussion, but I now know that it is a waste of time, which I can use better for the Armenian cause. You may be wasting your time too.”

    Jenine is simply making statements and asking questions. I don’t consider her a challenger, but rather a participant at this time.

    “I am trying to make you aware on what level some of the proponents of the protocols in this forum are operating. And since they are only two – and I know Tavit Tavitian from his soc.culture.turkish exemplary fights with Serdar Argic (interesting story in itself) from the early 1990-ties – there is only one left that deserves your special treatment. I may disagree vehemently with Tavit and I am stunned by his position, but I am sure that he is at least genuine. Watch out for the other time-eater.”

    Just because I am not on the “0” side of the binary zero-sum judgment scale, one should not infer I am a “1”. All I have done is attempt to explain events. It is like trying to explain the origins of slavery in the US. If I provided solid reasons why the institution had economic benefits for southern US slave owners, it does NOT mean I endorse slavery. This is like having landed on the moon and there is only one water station. One could get angry there are not more stations or that this station does not have orange juice. Being angry will not create more refreshment options. These Protocols exist and no other alternative has been proposed. I also went so far, in response to Janine, to demonstrate how these Protocols appear to have positive diplomatic aspects. To wish Armenia was powerful enough to dictate terms of a settlement on the embodiment of a state that got away with genocide is more than patriotic. However, that is simply not an option. It is also not the case that Turkey is powerful enough to run the clock out, hoping Armenians simply disappear from what remains of their homeland. That goal will be removed from the Turkish option list when the Protocols are ratified. Given this, what do you disagree with me so vehemently? Does your disagreement really mean you wish I were a zero-sum, rejectionist?

    Out of curiosity, what “special treatment” does Artur Martirosyan deserve?


    I would engage future Serdar Argic autobots as vigorously as I did 15-20 years ago. In fact, today I would be in a vastly better position than I was back then because the Turkish argument has self-deteriorated even more than its UseNet annihilation. Imagine 15 years ago, apologist Turks trying to explain how their government would deign to sit down and discuss an event they claim never happened! I would not doubt that the energy that went into that public battle had a measurable impact on dismantling part of the socialization process of an entire generation of Turkish students, many of which may have ended up in Turkish public service including their Foreign Ministry. Maybe this too is wishful thinking.

    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  172. To Arthur

    Your inconsistency is no longer funny.  In an earlier posting I made, I tried (in a more diplomatic way) to get you to admit that you are venturing into areas that you have no clue about and that you are making more assumptions that you can actually handle. Enough already. Please stop this diarrhea of words. You are neither the author of the article that’s being discussed not an adviser to SS on foreign affairs to know the details….well, maybe you are. I am sorry here I am being the one who ventures into a topic that he has no clue about! I apologize.

    You say: “There are several choices including the one of continuing to widen the chasm. This is exactly what our enemies would like to see.”  The choice that I would like to see is moving to the prize of a sufficient consensus (some people will be opposed no matter what) through a series of difficult conversations and quality leadership.”

    Are you referring to Turks as enemies? Be consistent here, will you? If that’s really the case aren’t you trusting them too much–to get you access to the rest of the world, to develop your economy, to help you recognize the genocide, keep the channels open for any claims we may have in the future, to never interfere in the Gharabagh negotiations, and the list goes on. 

    A consensus? A little late for that, isn’t it? Who are you preaching? Your lip service about the mistakes that have been made in handling the PR for this is taken at face value—exactly as lip service. I don’t hear you saying people who screwed up and divided the already deeply divided nation need to be made accountable. You want the rest of us to understand, internalize the damage, and go on, huh? That’s not the only option available to us and you know that (at least I told you about it in my postings). And I venture to say the alternatives are more promising.

    You say: “My concern is that the all or nothing camp will prevail in widening the gap to the detriment of our national interests.”  

    A bit too late to think about that, isn’t it? The national interest have been compromised by a group of political opportunists with no capacity whatsoever to carry out operations like this. These things under normal circumstances and in a normal country would take years to prepare—these people did it within a few months most of which they were busy building a case against March 1-2, 2008 demonstrators to show that they shut themselves while demonstrating and killed 10! Speaking of which, where were you after March 1-2, 2008? Were you saying with the same energy that our national interests have been compromised? (If you were, then I owe you a public apology, which I will deliver immediately after seeing evidence of your statements). What credibility do you have to talk about the “national interests” now? What you are talking about are the interests of SS and his group–it would be sad to confuse the two.

    You say: “The only caveat for the followers of that camp I have is that no matter who replaces “the gharabaghtsi locksmith turned president” will be facing the same choice and consequences of a no and ultimately may be forced to accept a much worse deal.”

    Wrong again. It’s like saying everybody else in the nation is a drug addict with a record of gambling and little formal relevant education who got his job by getting 10 of his countryman killed. You got the point. So please spare us the headache of having to listen to you unconvincing storytelling. I thank you for your attention though.

    David Grigorian, Ph.D.
    http://www.pf-armenia.org

  173. Dr. David Grigorian,
    You have written many words but they make little sense. Many angry questions without much relevance to the subject at hand.  Simply put – your Ph.D. does not mean that you have a clue.  Stop waving with it, it is not adding credibility. It is very easy to save you from my storytelling – do not read my stories and stop telling me what I should do and what I should not.  I will answer a couple  questions, assuming you needed answers.
    “Speaking of which, where were you after March 1-2, 2008? Were you saying with the same energy that our national interests have been compromised?”
    Of course, they were.  It took three to dance that kochari. The one-eyed king of all Armenians and two gharabaghtsis who entered politics with the blessings from the most educated of all men in Armenia.  Even if you put a hundred Ph.D.s  in economics like yourself together, they still will need to answer the question of alternatives when sticking to a no.  Do you have answers? Surprise me, Dr. Grigorian.
    “Are you referring to Turks as enemies? Be consistent here, will you? If that’s really the case aren’t you trusting them too much–to get you access to the rest of the world, to develop your economy, to help you recognize the genocide, keep the channels open for any claims we may have in the future, to never interfere in the Gharabagh negotiations, and the list goes on.”
    I am referring to Turkey as a hostile state. And I am extremely consistent. I do not need to entrust your list of things to them nor that is done by the protocols.  Were you outraged when LTP was shaking hands with Turkesh? Maybe last February when he was that once he makes peace with Turkey, Armenia would not need an army? I still have a CD somewhere with his very educated speeches somewhere.
    The only things Turkey needs to do is to open border and establish diplomatic relations. How much trust is necessary for that? Some and not in Turkey but in the US, EU and Russia’s ability to pull that much out. If they fail, we do not need to worry about trust issues.
    “A consensus? A little late for that, isn’t it? Who are you preaching?”
    Yes, a sufficient consensus that will exclude only the hysterical types. I am not preaching, I am appealing to all reasonable people.  Because that makes more sense than options that you have on your revolutionary mind.  That thing in your mind may result in more blood than on March 1-2, 08 and ultimately you and your likes will be as much responsible as the other side.
    “What credibility do you have to talk about the “national interests” now? What you are talking about are the interests of SS and his group–it would be sad to confuse the two.”
    No, I am talking about Armenian national interests. I cannot help you if you do not understand what you read.

  174. “The only caveat for the followers of that camp I have is that no matter who replaces “the gharabaghtsi locksmith turned president” will be facing the same choice and consequences of a no and ultimately may be forced to accept a much worse deal.”
     
    I’m confused. I couldn’t imagine that in an intellectual debate like this I’d need to refer to Political Science 101, a course intended for students who wish to delve into a particular policy area. Anyway, it does matter who replaces an unpopular ruler provided whoever replaces him is the one that’s elected by the people to represent them by free and transparent voting and thus get to have a say in how their nation is run domestically and in the international arena, and not an illegitimate autocrat (personae notwithstanding) that typically are not accountable to and don’t allow the people to have a say in how the nation is run and in the matters of utmost importance for them.

  175. Dr. Grigoryan,
    You asked me many questions. May I kindly ask you a couple?
    Have financial resources attracted by the pifpuf  grown and, if yes, why there is no financial statement on the web site or information on major donors of this hybrid? I was also surprised not to see a shred of policy recommendations on relations with Turkey.  There was some kind of a conference apparently in April this year with an assessment of the current stage of Armenian-Turkish negotiations. But there is nothing on your website either about that assessment or policies designed and\or advocated by your hybrid entity in collaboration with Vercihan Ziflioğlu. Why?
    an assessment of the current stage of
    Armenian-Turkish negotiations

  176. Dr. Grigoryan wrote:
    Wrong again. It’s like saying everybody else in the nation is a drug addict with a record of gambling and little formal relevant education…
    I don’t think I am wrong nor did I speak about drug addicts with a record of gambling.  I was talking about the genii of Armenian politics with relevant formal and informal education. They have all failed to spell out what policy options they recommend for saying No to the US, EU and Russia. Not even pifpaf contains a single line on that. But then pifpaf may have already solved its problems of attracting financial resources for hybrid activities.

  177. Arthur:

    who is Vercihan Ziflioğlu and why should I know (of) him? Could you be more concrete with your accusations?

    I would also like to know more about “a conference … in April this year with an assessment of the current stage of Armenian-Turkish negotiations”, which you are presumably attributing to the Policy Forum Armenia (PFA). You are probably confusing PFA with AIPRG, an entity very close to the government of Armenia these days. Please clarify.

    You references to LTP (implying some sort of affection on my side) are misplaced. While I saw him as an opportunity to replace the regime in Yerevan in 2008 and have been an opposition suppporter since 1995 (this included a period since October 2007 when he annouced his plans to run for the president), I am what you can describe an anti-HHSh. And yes, I do think LTP got the whole “qirvayutyun” with the Turks wrong (to use Andranik Tevanyan’s term here).

    Never claimed I know much outside of economics and I have stated this more than once in this forum.

    David Grigorian, Ph.D.
    http://www.pf-armenia.org

  178. May I point out in the midst of this discussion that when a “deal” was proposed for Cyprus it was put to a vote of the people?  Turkey kept adding in so many amendments that finally it was defeated.  But it was done so democratically.  All treaties and agreements in democratic countries are supposed to represent the will of the people.  But with this one we really don’t have a democratic process going on before the fact.
     
    Also, David D. wrote:
    The term Truth Commission is neither stated nor implied in the Protocol.
     
    True.  And the problem is that this “historical commission” is seen as an attempt to continue smearing the truth with the usual, to continue to hide it.
     
    So, my last question may sound naive but I’d really like an answer.
    Why did the Armenian government agree to this particular part of the Protocol, the historical commission (or whatever it’s proper name is)?

  179. Dear Armine,
    So it is no longer about protocols, it is about democracy, huh?  What if in a perfectly democratic vote, free and fair, it is 49 vs 51, can the winner decide on how to build relations with Turkesh? May be LTP was democratically elected in 1996? May be his positions on Turkey and Azerbaijan – he spoke very candidly about the need to make peace at all costs with both in his last electoral campaign – are more acceptable to the Armenian nation on whose behalf you like to speak. Let me know if I need to remind you and others LTP’s positions on the issues at hand. I can send you his pictureshaking hands with the founder of Gray Wolves.  I know that Raffi H. did not have problems with LTP’s positions in 2008, why should he now? These are hard, if at all possible, to reconcile with his own irate stance on protocols now but who said there should be any logic in the struggle for power? Anything is fair, right Armine? I am more interested in the ARFD and LTP coalition  honeymoon. There was an attempt in October 2007… Now it is more promising. All LTP needs to do is tweak his rhetoric and dashnaks theirs. For example, normalization without protocols. Go figure, what is meant by that demand…

  180. Thank you to Arthur for adding some expertise to this discussion.  It is difficult to disentangle emotions from this topic, but it is important for people to hear some reason.
    And God bless your patience with those who are angry that someone infused some rationality into what is more easily (from afar) dealt with by stringing together wails of agony and emotion.

  181. Dear Dr. David Grigoryan,
    My questions were based on what I found on your site. I was hoping to find some policy options there since the mission of PFA states unequivocally a hybrid of policy options development on economic and security issues and their advocacy. The only relevant thing I found was the flyer about the conference that made the assessment of the current stage of the negotiation process, hence my question. I know that you do not claim expertise beyond economics and I’d appreciate your sound takes on policy options in the scenario of border opening. For some time now I have been questioning the value for Armenia’s economy. I am eager to learn your expert opinions. You also questioned my credentials – I bring to this discussion 16 years of involvement in international negotiations on various levels, including top level negotiations (Israel-Palestine, Georgia-Abkhazia-South Ossetia, Russia-Chechnya, Cyprus, Iraq and Kocoso to name a few). I am confident that I know a thing or two about negotiations, national interests and strategies. I do not have any vested interests in supporting the protocols or Sargsyan. I have never worked for the Armenian governments by choice. I did state openly my concerns about damage to the Armenian national interests from the zero sum game (“chicken run”) that was played by LTP and Kocharyan long before it culminated in the bloodshed. I again warn now against emotional reactions and call on all parties to exercise cool headed rational approaches and switch from the blame game and hate to policy options and unity. I do not see that happening now and it is matter of grave concern when I read Vardan Oskanyan’s piece in today’s Aravot. The man who openly recognized the validity of the Kars Treaty in 2006 is now repeating propaganda points of Davutogly about implicit recognition of the Lausanne Treaty in the current protocols. Instead of policy options he, too, is engaged now in the blame and capitulation talk. Means do not justify ends. The corrupt regime cannot be replaced by resorting to the corrupt leader who had discredited himself in all possible ways – this is about your position on LTP in the last elections.

  182. Dear Aram,
    Thank you for your words of support.  Even if the entire Armenian world were to disagree with my arguments, I’d stay open to persuasion only by rational counter-arguments. I’d still be asking the same questions – what policy options are recommended by those who stubbornly insist on all-or-nothing and a no to US, Russia and EC. Only if proposed walkaway options would be better than what we have on the table (the protocols), I’d be persuaded.  Nothing less is acceptable for our own good. We have long taken pride as a nation for our cerebral capacity, let’s use the frontal cortex, not reactive limbic part of our brains.

  183. Dear Arthur:

    could you provide the link to “what you found on our website” (in reference to what PFA has organized), per your statement above? You know too well that what you are alleging is not true (including references to a Mr. Vercihan Ziflioğlu) and nevertheless you said that in your posting. What kind of a person does this make you?

    Could you please tell me what the term “pifpaf” (that you used in your earlier response to me) means? Is this your way of making “rational counter-arguments”?

    More than once in this forum I discussed alternative policy options, which you have ignored. As far as I understand (and do correct me if I am wrong since this is your field), negotiations are about giving and taking and about the relative strengths of bargaining positions (I know this from my own high level negotiations in half a dozen Middle Eastern countries, including Iraq). My alternative policy recommendations are based on these very principles: when the country is at the weakest possible point since independence (both internally and externally) you don’t embark on activities that require a lot of giving and taking….because of your weak bargaining position. The option we have been advocating—which has been ignored by the Armenian government and people like you because it is a little more difficult to pursue and requires more than watching football and signing protocols—is a meaningful economic and human rights reform agenda in Armenia. Last time I checked, the Armenia-Turkish relations have been in a limbo since 1993. What prevents them from staying there for a while longer (say 3-5 more years) until we put our own house in order to be in a better bargaining position and to prepare for those events (i.e., negotiations, normalizations, trade liberalizations, etc.) properly? BTW, it is in that case (i.e., when you have all your prerequisites on legal, regulatory, and competitiveness sides properly addressed), and ONLY in that case, you will benefit from trade opening. Until then, you will lose (as much of your input substituting industries could go bust within weeks due to alerady very rough conditions they are operating), as per most of empirical economic research done on a wide range of countries/liberalization episodes in recent years. 

    Speaking of economics, you claim that you have been questioning “the value for Armenia’s economy.” I must have missed this. If this is so, could you tell me how do you figure the Armenian economy has the necessary levels of readiness/competitiveness to handle a massive trade liberalization of a magnitude so eagerly advocated by yourself. You seem to be saying that access to a market necessarily means ability to export to that market. Please clarify/refute. If you do indeed see some short term costs from opening the border rapidly and without due preparation, would you as a stakeholder not want to see some research done on the topic and be assured that the government is both aware of issues/risks involved and more importantly is able to address them. Do please tell me what fiscal space does the Armenian government—which is scheduled to TRIPPLE its external debt in 2 years (!!) according to latest projections—has to address these potential short term costs? Please elaborate.

    I don’t care about Oskanian. He too has discredited himself after March 1-2, 2008, and prior to that had made no advancement on either Diaspora-Armenia relations nor Armenia’s foreign policy agenda….from my layman’s perspective.

    I never questioned your credentials. I know and respect them. I do question your motives and the way you are connecting your dots in THIS particular situation. Instead, my motives are clear. I want to see clean and capable/educated people run my country. Is this too much to ask, Mr. Martirosyan?

    David
    http://www.pf-armenia.org 


  184. Jenine asked:
     
    “So, my last question may sound naive but I’d really like an answer. Why did the Armenian government agree to this particular part of the Protocol, the historical commission (or whatever it’s proper name is)?”
     
    (I will ask you, once again, please read my article because a response is discussed in its text.)
     
    The best way is to ask the Armenian negotiators. Short of that, the simple answer is this was a concession to the Turks in return for opening the border. However, it is much more complex than that because of the interplay and non-equivalence of what was agreed to and conceded by the Turks. What remains is to logically deduce why Armenia agreed to such a commission. Again, and this is of paramount importance, there was enormous pressure put on both Turkey and Armenia. There was no choice by either party other than to engage in serious negotiations. It is immaterial that the players were Sargsyan and Nalbandyan or Gul and Davutoglu — the pressure had to be addressed by whomever was in a position to negotiate for Armenia and Turkey.
     
    If I were Armenia, I would let the Turks think they got a “massive concession” from the Armenians. Please see my article regarding why. Armenians and Turks are going to have to discuss the genocide one way or the other. Alien beings from another galaxy will not be coming to earth anytime soon forcing Turks to beg for mercy. Armenia has no reason to fear confronting Turks on the issue of genocide. What is quite interesting (referring to Greg’s reference to soc.culture.turkish) is when I began engaging Turkish historical revisionists publicly on UseNet, I received many angry emails (and some quaint, handwritten letters) from Armenians stating almost universally (1) The genocide should not be debated because it gives the impression there is an issue with the historical record, and (2) who are you to present the Armenian argument. After the first year or so of debate, these nasty emails stopped.
     
    In my opinion, Turkish diplomacy incorrectly calculated the Armenian diaspora would scuttle the Protocols, subsequently forcing Armenia into a pariah status for playing outside accepted norms of international behavior. This would allow Turkish and Western PR to rip into Armenia and Armenians. Russia would then turn the real screws on Armenia’s population. None of this happened.
     
    Knowing the Turkish myth that there is a huge Armenian conspiracy in at play at all times, it would not surprise me that the Turkish intelligence officers reading this right now are really confused. For all they know the Armenian Diaspora outmaneuvered Turkish diplomacy — or maybe not.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com
     

  185. To David G. (and everybody else as well)
    I am increasingly wondering if this agreement made under pressure is really not about trade as we normally think of it, but rather an opening up of borders in order to assist in pipeline/transport of oil and gas as well as a possible opening up of routes for supplying a greater amount of forces in Afghanistan (since it looks likely that the US may be expanding there).    That is, I’m beginning to believe this is the reason for external pressure.
     
    Also, this might be a very simple way of looking at things, but in the photos of the protocol signing, I can’t help but be drawn to the two individuals standing together to the right:  Hillary Clinton and Sergey Lavrov.    They both look awfully pleased together.  I understand why Mrs. Clinton would be.  I’m wondering why Mr. Lavrov looks that way.
     
    Please let me know, all of you, your opinions about this.   Thank you.
     

  186. Tavit Tavitian wrote:
    >Given this, what do you disagree with me so vehemently? Does your disagreement really mean >you wish I were a zero-sum, rejectionist?

    Dear Tavit,
    With all due respect, if you scroll back you’ll see that I asked you a questiuon which you ignored. That is OK, it does not say anything about who is right and who is wrong. That is why I concluded that we are not in communication because we inhabit different intellectual spaces (possibly because of character, profession, etc. – again nothing wrong). However now you are inviting me to re-open this discussion. I find this a bit odd, as you still have not responded to Henry Theriault – he has challenged you very clearly, within your intellectual space. Or you think it easier to pick up a fight with me because the stalemate is guaranteed? His article is the most read, while yours is the most commented. Given the two-man band condemning the Diaspora on your discussion, I am sure you understand the context of the comments you get.
    Don’t get me wrong about Henry – I may not totally agree with his style, but he has made abundantly clear what I have been trying to show to Artur referring him to Robert Fisk. They make the same point in different ways.
    >Out of curiosity, what “special treatment” does Artur Martirosyan deserve?
    I think I do not need to satisfy your curiosity in any more explicit way, please see above.
    I am trying to write all this in a very simple way, perhaps that will help understand why hagopn refers to you and Artur as “technicians”.
    I hope I have helped.
     
    Greg

  187. Knowing the Turkish myth that there is a huge Armenian conspiracy in at play at all times, it would not surprise me that the Turkish intelligence officers reading this right now are really confused. For all they know the Armenian Diaspora outmaneuvered Turkish diplomacy — or maybe not.
     
    :-)  I have noticed a conspicuous silence.
     
    On a more serious note, if we have outmaneuvered the backroom dealings, it is only because we have stuck with truth and justice, against all odds and material power on the opposite side.  There is no zero-sum game:  there is room for both the wisdom of serpents and the innocence of doves.  They are both necessary.  Henri Theriault has a valid and important point, particularly when it comes to an imbalance of power.
     
     

  188. To: David Davidian
    Re. “It is immaterial that the players were Sargsyan and Nalbandyan or Gul and Davutoglu — the pressure had to be addressed by whomever was in a position to negotiate for Armenia and Turkey.”
     
    As the one who’s read with enjoyment your excellent essay “Juxtaposition in the Black Garden,” with all due respect and with a relish of bewilderment, as well, at the changed tone and trend of your current analysis on protocols, I couldn’t disagree more with the statement above. It is material who is in a position to negotiate. At the time the pressure intensified Gul and Sargsyan were in disparate positions with Gul being a lawfully elected president that enjoys popular support and Sargsyan having come to power as a result of vote rigging and using a military force. There appears to be a direct connection between legitimacy of a leader and the degree of his ability to resist pressure, a correlation that extrapolated evidently on the “protocol process” (borrowing the term from Henry Theriault’s brilliant article “The Final Stage of Genocide: Consolidation”). Power is not unique determinant in geopolitics. As Theriault rightfully contends, moral legitimacy is a great force, too. This is exactly what Sargsyan lacked. And this is why son of a gun blinked. I’m more than confident that had Armenians had a truly national leader at this juncture, the impact of external pressure could have been less detrimental to Armenia.
     
    Paul Kadian
    London, UK

  189. Greg,
    I do not care what labels they put on opponents in your shop. You can call me a technician. I am not a philosopher. I read the philosopher’s article. it is not about policy, it is not about philosophy, it is an amalgamation of points that easily touch the buttons of an average Armenian.  I already have made clear I thought what the dangers of all-or-nothing stance are.  Let me reiterate for you – neither you, nor the philosopher will be at the receiving end of the nothing.  And that for me explains the unbearable lightness of mind with which some people talk about how bad things are or how unfair the world is and how they can continue to watch shadow from their Platonian cave. However, policy making is a in different operates in different categories unknown to you and your clique of Nalbandyans\Boyadjians. For policy-making it is not enough to say how bad things are (symptoms), it is not enough to go rigorously, impartially and systematically after the causes, it is not enough even to know the best practices out there. It is imperative to be able to compare your walkaway options and the option on the table. And guess what? Good policy-making is about taking the option on the table if it is better and adding value to it. You keep referring to this thesis, now a point, made by Fisk that has mesmerized you. What is it? Can you repeat it in your own words? Let’s have it, don’t be afraid.

  190. Dear Paul,
    These arguments have been advanced by several people in abstract.
    ‘This is exactly what Sargsyan lacked [legitimacy]. And this is why son of a gun blinked. I’m more than confident that had Armenians had a truly national leader at this juncture, the impact of external pressure could have been less detrimental to Armenia.’
    Not only is this highly hypothetical and not necessarily true in every political case, this argument is absolutely irrelevant when it comes to the protocols. Even if we imagine that Armenia did have this immaculate leader whoever that may be from our deck of leaders, he or she would face the same players with exactly the same set of interests and instruments one too many for crippling Armenian interests and the same dilemma – negotiate and protect our interests in the best possible ways or play ostrich and say no understanding the consequences. You can continue to argue in abstraction and in the realm of hypothesis but the reality won’t change just because shadows look differently from the cave.
     

  191. Dear Dr. Grigoryan,
    I will try to be brief.
    1. The only material relevant to the Armenian-Turkish relations I got on your website was that flyer on. I did not claim it was your organization.
    2. It seems to me that the only model of negotiation that you know is the axiomatic positional bargaining (distributive) . Hence your recommendation – do not engage Turks, focus on the economy and human rights. I am not against either. The problem is in that you have not “spotted the game”. It was not a bilateral process between Armenia and Turkey. This process was driven by three more players and the status quo is not in their interests. Janine noticed that on the picture from the ceremony. If it were just about our choice with all the risks and uncertainties, you may have found me in your own camp. But it was not only our choice, it was a different game and, again, we’d end up saying no not to Turkey but to Russia, US and EU.  In this context the policy of avoiding and waiting out until Armenia gets more powerful would not work. The only approach would be to engage these powers on their interests and make sure in the process that options on the table are better than our alternative (walkaway option). My entire argument in this forum and Davidian’s article are about that very simple proposition – at the given moment Armenia does not have strong alternatives to say no.
    3. I am not an economist but it amuses me how many people today in Armenia speak about competitiveness.  You may not know this but Dr. Manuk Hergnyan may tell where and under what circumstances he among the very first Armenians had exposure to Porter’s theory. It was at the time when LTP and Department of state were saying that a landlocked country like Armenia did not have any opportunities to develop without agreeing to a settlement on Azeri terms. I had some consultancy engagement with Monitor Company in 1999 and that was the first entry of competitiveness theory to Armenia. I promised to keep it short – the border opening will have not only economic impact (last I saw Porter’s analysis was suggesting that Armenia’s competitiveness would gain from open borders) but also political. I am curious about economic issues but I don’t want you and others to miss the important political issue – Azerbaijan is losing with this move its second most important alternative in negotiations over Karabakh. They understand that. Turks understand that. Unfortunately, most Armenians don’t.
    4. I have not argued for massive trade liberalization. Not in this forum, nor anywhere else. It is enough to look at what liberalized trade has done to the Georgian agriculture (up to 70% arable lands are not in use) to understand what challenges we may be facing soon.  Georgian agricultural produce has been simply unable to compete against Turkish imports.  I recognize the threats but I do not agree with the option that we could wait out until the better days. We could do that only if the choice were under our control entirely.
    5. I too would like to see a competent, well educated, dedicated to the nation Armenian government. We may differ on how that may be possible. I for one do not believe that you can do that by relying on a corrupt instrument, in our case LTP. My motives are should have obvious to you – 1) I want to push people to think about policy options instead of engaging on emotional or moralistic grounds; 2) I can see how the widening chasm is quickly acquiring the same dynamic that the nation experienced in early 2008. It is not in our national interests. It is not going to solve any problems.
    Cheers.


  192. Paul Kadian wrote:
     
    “As the one who’s read with enjoyment your excellent essay “Juxtaposition in the Black Garden,” with all due respect and with a relish of bewilderment, as well, at the changed tone and trend of your current analysis on protocols, I couldn’t disagree more with the statement above.”
     
    I am sorry to have disappointed you. However, I did use the same logic to expose deWall as I did in unraveling the basis for this Protocol. There is no inconsistency. I would not hesitate to properly debunk another “DeWaal special” using the same logic.
     
    “It is material who is in a position to negotiate. At the time the pressure intensified Gul and Sargsyan were in disparate positions with Gul being a lawfully elected president that enjoys popular support and Sargsyan having come to power as a result of vote rigging and using a military force. There appears to be a direct connection between legitimacy of a leader and the degree of his ability to resist pressure,”
     
    Clearly, one would not want dolts negotiating for either the Turks or Armenians. I was not referring to capability nor even legitimacy. Rather, I was referring to the ability to address the pressures that are being applied to both states. If that was not clear, let me attempt to clarify. The existential conditions on Armenia would be identical no matter who was negotiating for Armenia. In that sense it would make no difference if Sargsyan-Nalbandyan or some other teams were negotiating. I have to conclude that many people think that if Sargsyan-Naldbanyan were replaced with “better people” the pressure exerted on Armenia would either be different or disappear. This is ridiculous.
     
    “a correlation that extrapolated evidently on the “protocol process” (borrowing the term from Henry Theriault’s brilliant article “The Final Stage of Genocide: Consolidation”). Power is not unique determinant in geopolitics. As Theriault rightfully contends, moral legitimacy is a great force, too. This is exactly what Sargsyan lacked. And this is why son of a gun blinked. I’m more than confident that had Armenians had a truly national leader at this juncture, the impact of external pressure could have been less detrimental to Armenia.”
     
    The conditions under which both Armenia and Turkey find themselves under today, with respect to the Protocol, are at least a function of events starting with fall of the Soviet Union. The clock can not be turned back. It is little help that hindsight is 20/20. The amount of nationalism a leader possesses is exclusive of the ability to actually understand and defend their state’s interest with respect to the art of the possible.
     
    The possibilities of “moral legitimacy” go exactly far as they can be defended.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com


  193. Greg wrote:

    Tavit Tavitian wrote:
    >Given this, what do you disagree with me so vehemently? Does your disagreement really mean >you wish I were a zero-sum, rejectionist?

    Dear Tavit,
    With all due respect, if you scroll back you’ll see that I asked you a questiuon which you ignored. That is OK, it does not say anything about who is right and who is wrong. That is why I concluded that we are not in communication because we inhabit different intellectual spaces (possibly because of character, profession, etc. – again nothing wrong). However now you are inviting me to re-open this discussion.”

    It was not my intention to ignore you. There were a few days I didn’t post for it appeared continued participation in this forum was a waste of time repeating the same statements. I resumed commenting and your question and those of others slipped by.

    I find this a bit odd, as you still have not responded to Henry Theriault – he has challenged you very clearly, within your intellectual space. Or you think it easier to pick up a fight with me because the stalemate is guaranteed?”

    No, that was no my intention, nor have I judged your capabilities.

    His article is the most read, while yours is the most commented. Given the two-man band condemning the Diaspora on your discussion, I am sure you understand the context of the comments you get. Don’t get me wrong about Henry – I may not totally agree with his style, but he has made abundantly clear what I have been trying to show to Artur referring him to Robert Fisk. They make the same point in different ways.

    I will respond to Henry Theriault’s thesis.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  194. To: David Davidian
     
    I was referring to legitimately elected people, not just vaguely “better people,” but, of course, you appreciate the difference. Just a remark, needless perhaps.
     
    I can’t say, and I didn’t as a matter of fact, that if Sargsyan-Naldbanyan duo was replaced with “better people,” as you say, the pressure exerted on Armenia would either be different or disappear. I was referring to their ability to resist pressure, not the pressure per se being different. As for “existential conditions on Armenia being identical no matter who was negotiating for Armenia,” I’m afraid you failed to show why a team of different leaders—freely elected, better governing, and popular both in Armenia and the Diaspora—shouldn’t be willing to attempt to fight, using this political capital, for a better option on the table, even if we admit existential conditions were identical? An autocratic leader has more to lose and fear, therefore shouldn’t he by definition be more susceptible to pressure?

    I as well reckon that existential conditions before October 10 appear to have been more favourable on Armenia. The pace of the international recognition of genocide; Turkey’s need to demonstrate to Europe the reaps of her “Zero Problems with Neighbours” policy; the autonomous, that is, distinctly decoupled from Armenia’s relations with Turkey, internationally mediated settlement of the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, to name the few.
     
    By the way, by “national leader” I meant a leader of a nation state in a true sense of the word, and not a “nationalistic” leader.
     
    Thanks for replying, anyway.

  195. “If it were just about our choice with all the risks and uncertainties, you may have found me in your own camp. But it was not only our choice, it was a different game and, again, we’d end up saying no not to Turkey but to Russia, US and EU.” Sorry for asking too many questions, these protocols humiliate me…
     
    This argument, or variations of it, about lack of our choices and pathological fear for saying “no” to Russia, U.S. and EU has been floating in the air for some time. While I realize the possible consequences of a “no” in general terms, my question is why we should have feared to at least try to negotiate a better deal? For refusing to establish diplomatic relations with Turkey, a behavior that Russia, U.S. and EU are displeased with? For closing Armenia’s border with Turkey, a behavior that Russia, U.S. and EU fervently oppose for their own geopolitical, economic, and strategic interests? For reluctance to accept the fact that Armenians slaughtered innocent Turks, a behavior that impedes justice that Russia, U.S. and EU are pioneering most efficiently all over the world? For linking the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict with Armenia’s relationship with Turkey that creates a deadlock in the broader region for the same Russian, U.S. and EU geopolitical, economic, and strategic interests? What is it that Armenian negotiators should have been fearful of in the context of Armenia’s positive stance on many regional issues?

  196. Oops, “Sorry for asking too many questions, these protocols humiliate me…” should have placed at the end of the comment.

  197. So the debates went on, and I as an exasperated diasporan amateur (married to an expatriate) watched on, sometimes getting his feet wet, sometimes getting a bloody nose, sometimes shaking hands.  This is the best that we can do as far as “expertise” is concerned, is it?   Not impressive it is, and quite hazardous.   We are told repeatedly that Russia, the EU, and the US are the brokers of this deal, and that not only do we face immense dangers upon “walking away” from this deal, but also that the broker “Troika” will somehow guarantee that Turkey will honor the deal due to “diplomatic obligations.”

    We are told how “wonderful” the protocols are because “the Artakh and Border issues have been decoupled”, and this is the only important one the “pro” faction keeps spitting out repeatedly.  Repetition of anything, however, does not make it true.  To quote Lenin and say “repetition is the mother of knowledge” should alarm the average individual into being wary of such insistence and repetition.  I was reading an article by a state controlled organ no doubt, which repeated, I mean almost verbatim, what the standardized (so it seems with commonly used lexicon to boot, “all or nothingers,” “those diasporan couch warriors without vital interests in Armenia” and so on) proponents of this deal say: I mean every single item matched: 1) Decoupling of Artsakh and Border, 2) the Diaspora does not have vital interest and is inconsiderate, 3) The 3 major powers, Russia, the US, and the EU as brokers will guarantee compliance on behalf of Turkey and Armenia, among others.  They managed to leave out all the meat, just as our two proponents systematically do.  They of course do not mention the “historic commission” and its obvious goal by all parties involved, which our proponents here do (to their credit is it?).

    Sure, Russia has recognized the genocide.  Although the Duma’s declaration equates the genocide against “the fraternal people the Armenians” with the “intent to destroy Russia” (powerful words, indeed, for a dying empire) http://www.armenian-genocide.org/Affirmation.151/current_category.7/affirmation_detail.html, there are powerful interests in Russia and the rest of the FSU which want Turkish hegemony in Central Eurasia.  Some say a suspected Mossad plant http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alexander_Mashkevich “who controls 25% of Kazakh economy” (which is substantial) is in support of the Kazakhization of Khazakhstan, which equals to the declaration and consolidation of Khazakhstan as a “nation state” effectively rendering the Russian population impotent and with it direct Russian  influence.   I cannot verify it, but where there is smoke, as I have said before and will say again, investigation is in order.  I didn’t say panic, pandemonium, screaming in rabble rousing frenzy.  I said INVESTIGATION by “technicians” and the like.

    We are essentially told by “experts” to agree that the world is flat again, despite the immense amount of data that says the Earth is in fact round and three dimensional, with depth.  Turkey’s past record of total duplicity, of its ability to sidestep all agreements, its ability to switch political alliance will impeccable timing to carry forth its imperialist and murderous agenda, all these are to be ignored in this ‘brave new flat world.”

    Yet, concerns such as Turkey’s re-ascendency as a regional behemoth are not only a possibility, but a probability.  There are many a reason to believe for further duplicity, including starkly similar precedence, where Turkey will be able to escape the “diplomatic obligations” imposed on it by the “Troika,” which merely spells out as “alliance” of some sort based on some half-baked “mutual interest on hydrocarbon and related territoriality” theory as written in the above article.   Only (less than) a century ago, Turkey defied and defeated the Detente (another “Troika” of a sort) by making a second deal as a “socialist candidate state” with the newly Red colored Russia (interests and situations do indeed seem to be “dynamic” for some “powers” while being not so “dynamic” for others, but let the simplistic “technicians” deal with that one).

  198. The Détente membership not only did not seek punitive measures against Turkey, but instead eventually accepted Turkey as a “valuable ally” to the point of rebuilding its military potential up to that of the “4th military in the NATO and 10th in the world.”  (http://www.globalfirepower.com/) Turkey was in effect relieved of the burden of defeat put upon it by the Detente after the WWI, and Turkey capitalized on it further.   Turkey not only has not paid for its war crimes, but in fact Turkey is now being further rewarded by 1) a pliant US to (yes) largely traditional British foreign policy 2) a Anglo-German club we call the “EU” (same as US, therefore), and 3) an arrogant but slowly rotting Russia (whose economy was intentionally reboosted for larger interests according to some very interesting analytic writings**) whose time as an empire is just not that long.  (**Russia is like a “control” valve of some sort to US arrogance, and I can imagine out “techies” foaming at the mouth on this one.)  Today, Turkey is again being handed a reward with “no precondition” to abandon any of its criminal gains.  Nothing moral, nothing just, just global impotents and vampires.

    Turkey is again poised to gain from the current post-Cold War scenario with the strange mélange of “East-West” poles, “North-South” poles, religious poles, financial poles.  Turkey now has multiple personality order, not disorder, but order.  It is at once an Islamist “akhwan” in the OIC, securing multi-billion dollar deals (as an Islamic alliance for auto-manufacturing at a GRAND scale is coming up fast) with Islamist Iran, Malaysia, and so on, and a “secular democracy” with strong ties to NATO, to the point where Turkey “applies pressure on the US upon the latter’s total acceptance the Armenian genocide.”   This makes the US potentially impotent (in Eurasia, where it counts, really) if such a block is activated and Turkey exploits the situation.   It is also, in order to maintain its “solidarity” at the popular level, a military autocracy with regards to items such as “Turkishness” and so on, laws which will not be lifted, as one analyst said (I don’t remember his name, damnit – let the “techies” foam again), until Military power wanes and yields to true civilian government; which according to the same analyst is not likely.

    Turkey is spending millions on efforts to “Turkify” Central Asia, oh, excuse me, “Central Eurasia”.  http://www.soros.org/initiatives/regions/central-eurasia http://www.indiana.edu/~ceus/ (ok, just google “Central Eurasia” and enjoy.   No. No. Not you Techies).  The controversies over ethnic identity of members of government and so on are signs of a growing anti-Russian popular front in all Turkic republics.  The Central “Eurasian” project and the grass roots efforts on making this a “Turkic region” with all the pan-Turkist trimmings at the popular level (which means eventual political level), makes Russian predominance on this region precarious at best.  This makes Russia again potentially impotent.  The EU is at best a third party with no consequential influence in the Caucasus save for what the US, Britain, and Russia (at least for the time being, as a Frankenstein resuscitated being) sanction.  Britain’s policies toward Russia have not changed (despite the “technician’s” repetition of the boring “dynamic interests” nonsense), and the historic (and unchanged, quite “static”) Turkophilia displayed by Britain in the past (and present) (not to mention German and quite “static” Turkophilia) essentially makes the EU a potential pro-Turkish and anti-Russian faction.  Turkey will, with its very experienced and well-developed diplomatic corps and well-developed and budgeted (and politically dominant) military, find a way to avoid honoring even this deal, of course past the formal “compliance guidelines” and other theatrics.

  199. It is imperative that we look at this from the longer term perspective.   Any political thinker, (and thinking is a prerequisite here, not “technical termite mound building”), can tell the signs of multi-stage preparations by given powers for the attainment of a set of goals.   The Central Eurasia toponym by itself is an indicator of a political ambition.  The “Neo-Ottoman” is a similar concept spelled out in more concrete political terms by a “futurologist.”  The “futurologist” commissioned by an intelligence apparatus is usually someone hired to acculturate people “for entertainment’s sake” and as (not so entertainingly) required reading, particularly newly prepared pupils of “policy schools” such as Fletcher into thinking in a certain futuristic pattern.   I happened to know this for a fact, as the matter of fact.  No matter how unlikely it is, the “futurologists” and other political scenarists are part of the political science or diplomacy school pupil’s diet.  The low level “poli-techies” will tell us that this is “nonsense and useless,” and they will be loved and cherished by the high-level controllers very much so.  The high levellers usually will endorse the low “poli-techies” while the latter intimidate any sentinel who might object and forewarn the potential victim public, mostly with the use of bogus “credentials” and meaningless (and off topic) citations as their weapon.   This is the situation we have here, I believe, where there are those who think “as they are required” in order to throw the Armenian populations into confusion.  Thus we have this saying: “Literate dolts have less insight than illiterate thinkers.”

    Let me say that we need to be careful who we believe in this instance.   It’s easy to claim “expertise” by quoting news articles.  “Expertise in negotiations” can mean, for example, participation in the low level negotiations between Jewish settlers and Palestinians farmers who are fighting over where the sewage pipes go between towns.   They then call in a “conflict management firm” who dispatches the salaried (or on commission) “conflict manager on shift” to settle the “conflict” over this sh*t pipe.   However, negotiations over a sh*t pipe is a good resume item for working as a mid level consultant, but does neither give one the ability to judge geopolitical players, their controlling interests, nor the ability to measure things within a longer context than one’s own digestion cycle.

    As to Armenia’s own “abilities” in thwarting damage or particularly in properly exploiting this dubious but potent (if, again, exploited properly) diplomatic “moment”, I just have to say that the level of utter incompetence displayed by successive administrations in 1) securing independence in – well – practically everything from immigration policy, to military, to economy, to diasporan relations, to Internet counter intelligence propaganda, Internet and Computer Standardization, language standardization, and so on, and so forth, not to mention serving as the proper center to represent all Armenians….  One can only sigh with despair on the probabilities that we will be either forced to be at best even more of a Russian colony or at worst a shared sandwich (as I mentioned Shant Haryiunian’s analysis earlier in the comments section.)  They have no diplomatic prowess or insight, and they have no idea what the hell to do with an economy.  What in the world can we expect aside from becoming a fourth rate colony out of this “process”?

  200. Nalbandyan, you are back with more nonsense and mud.
    To quote Lenin and say “repetition is the mother of knowledge”
    May be in Isfahan or wherever you were told history this  was attributed to Lenin, but it has nothing to do with your all-or-nothing hero. Repetition is the mother of learning is an English proverb. Russians have a similar one – повторение мать учения.  But it was not coined by Lenin.
    I worked with senior advisors to top Israeli and Palestinian  decision-makers.  If you need evidence I will provide it on a condition – you will publicly apologize and withdraw from this debate.  And I am not asking for your resume, I do not care. I can see a pompous dilettante when I see one.

  201. “The “futurologist” commissioned by an intelligence apparatus is usually someone hired to acculturate people “for entertainment’s sake” and as (not so entertainingly) required reading, particularly newly prepared pupils of “policy schools” such as Fletcher into thinking in a certain futuristic pattern.   I happened to know this for a fact, as the matter of fact.”
    What is next, Nalbandyan? You will tell us about your experience as an intelligence analyst? Let me ask you a more benign question that you have failed to answer repeatedly. Assuming Friedman and you as his faithful apprentice are right, the crystal ball shows the advance of the pan-Turkic era in Eurasia promoted obviously by Mossad, what is it that you are proposing to do?  Please try to be as specific as you can but do not bother if the answer is stop the damn protocols.

  202. Nalbandyan wrote:
    “although the Duma’s declaration equates the genocide against “the fraternal people the Armenians” with the “intent to destroy Russia” (powerful words, indeed, for a dying empire)”
    Had not I known the person who wrote the text of the Duma declaration, I could think that the deep multi-dimensional broad context thinker that Nalbandyan is finally found an explanatory argument. Not really. In fact, the intent to destroy Russia is not equated to the Armenian genocide, it is a reference to the pan-Turkist agenda of the Young Turks.
    As I am reading some of Nalbandyan’s prophetic writings, I can clearly see how Russia is dying and can not be reliable, Europeans are impotent, Anglo-Saxons are Turkophiles, Jews – no comment really necessary. Beyond the question what shall we do then there is a more immediate one who is Armenia’s ally? Only Iran is left in Nalbandyan’s intelligent analysis Armenia friendly…  Interestingly enough, both Turkey and Azerbaijan would love that scenario – isolate Armenia and then put Armenia and Iran everywhere as a target ally.

  203. Dear Paul,
    While it is obvious to me and perhaps all readers of these pages that it is better to have a democratically elected leader, be healthy than sick, rich than poor, the issue here is not about who’d be able to stand against pressure better. Those who are thinking in those terms make an assumption that if only we had a more legitimate (can it be more or less?) president he’d stay firm on his NO and fare better against any pressure. The issue is very different – could any other leader of Armenia (democratically elected, not corrupt or autocratic) without inviting any pressure make a deal that would satisfy most Armenia’s and Artsakh’s interests better than our walkaway option, meet the interests of other players and be acceptable for Turkey?  I am not going to ask who that may be from the current deck of political leaders since it will drive us to a hypothetical discussion. But the question what would a better deal than the current protocols acceptable for all look like?

  204. Dear Arthur Martirosyan,
    Your response to Armine was deleted because of the condescending tone and the veiled and not-so-veiled insults. Please revise your comment and stick to the points you want to make.
    Thank you.
    The Moderators

  205. Dear Armine,
    You are stating that there is some kind of pathology in not being able to tell all these Europeans, Russians and Americans – do not mess with mighty Armenia. If you don’t mind, I will offer a short digression into our recent history. 
    The grand master provocateur LTP started his political career with the all-or-nothing dictum. Many students of history may not remember now that by 1991 the same LTP had brought Artsakh to the edge of a disaster — LTP was ready to sign Gorbachev’s  new Union Treaty which would put permanently by then significantly de-Armenianized Artsakh under Azeri rule. Of course, many today are saying that it did not happen and that’s what matters. But it did not happen not because LTP, the most educated Armenian who speaks eight dead languages made the right calculations. It did not happen because of other developments that LTP himself did not believe in in 1991, namely the collapse of the Soviet Union.
    I am not going to discuss in this forum Armenia’s vulnerabilities vis-a-vis the three centers of power. Some of those can be found in Davidian’s article. They should be obvious to the savvy readers of this newspaper.   I would like all those observing this childish bravado of kaj Nazarutsiun to pause and think – what were the alternatives to saying yes to Russia, EU and US and what some of the detrimental  consequences for Armenia and Artsakh may have been in that case.
    Finally, dear Armine, I take my hat off before your courageous intelligence but could you spell out what a better deal would look like? I am asking because I sense your overwhelming confidence in  your ability to negotiate a better deal, especially if you joined efforts with our own Nalbandyan who has great experience in international negotiations in Isfahan over public health and sewage pipes.

  206. Dear Hagop Nalbandyan,
    It is a very old technique to misrepresent the arguments of your opponents and smash them with the cardboard sword of a coach warrior. Let me address some of these misrepresentations for the record.
    proponents of this deal say: I mean every single item matched:
    I do not see myself or David Davidian for that matter as proponents of the deal. Rather, in my humble capacity of a technician I am trying to understand why that deal became possible, what were the alternative policy options, how the deal on the table compare to those options away from the table, and where this process opener deal could be improved and how Armenia could capture more value in satisfying national interests.
    1) Decoupling of Artsakh and Border,
    Almost correct, decoupling of the Karabakh process from that of Armenian-Turkish relations and weakening the Azeri alternatives to a deal on our terms. The protocols have unequivocally done that. Turkish conditions did not make it to the language of protocols. Turkey may choose to bring that issue back but they cannot re-write the protocols that Davutoglu signed. Other tactical ruses at ratification are possible but they can be addressed in the process – Armenia, too, has to ratify the protocols.
    2) the Diaspora does not have vital interest and is inconsiderate,
    This is simply not true if not to say a blatant lie. The problem is not in the interest or role but in the reaction and tone. I do not know what the thinking was behind the campaign of branding proponents of the deal and President Sargsyan as “davajan” but it was the least effective way to influence choice. I wrote several times about mistakes made by his team in delaying the consultative process. But for that process to hold it will take two to tango. Zero sum “chicken run” games produce disastrous outcomes and we had to live through one of those in March 2008. On the other hand Sassunian and other diasporans who come up with constructive policy recommendations (he did that again the other day) are more likely to be effective and efficient. It is not too late to start working on bridging the gap and provide leadership in developing a sufficient consensus internally before the process reaches more advanced stages.  This is hard and may require face saving on both sides, but alternatives are much worse.
    3) The 3 major powers, Russia, the US, and the EU as brokers will guarantee compliance on behalf of Turkey and Armenia, among others.
    I did not see myself and Davidian make this kind of argument. It is true that these powers have put their reputation and credibility on line. In case of non-compliance the Armenian diplomacy will gain the initiative. Armenia won’t be obliged to follow letters of an agreement that is not implemented by the other side. This is a perfectly acceptable and defensible position. Much more so than telling these powers to mind their own business.
    They of course do not mention the “historic commission” and its obvious goal by all parties involved, which our proponents here do (to their credit is it?).


    This is not true either. Davidian wrote a piece today in response to the professor of philosophy from Worcester College and addressed this very issue. From day one I have been arguing that the commission is the weakest component due to its ambiguity and lack of specific timeline and modalities. I have agreed with those raising concerns about this provision, especially in view of your namesake’s statements in the Armenian parliament that this commission may work for a decade or two. Moreover, I can clearly see this provision as a concession to the Turkish demands. The issue of the genocide has been channeled to a discourse which is not going to result in legal consequences or advancement of territorial claims by Armenia. I do not see this as a disaster for the Armenian side. At this juncture in history the international system, including international law, does not have mechanisms for enforcing the verdict. None of the major powers is interested in ending up with obligations for enforcement and setting up a new precedent. Most loyal to the Armenian cause politicians do not see how this can be done in practical terms. Shall we take this kind of recognition which is more likely to be forthcoming even from Turkey or shall we stick to “all-or-nothing”?  If there are no practical means for implementing territorial compensation today, it does not mean that we should not take this recognition since it cannot preclude acting on future political opportunities.  This is how I am making sense of Sargsyan’s  position. Not surprisingly therefore the second most important objection of Turks to the protocols after Karabakh is this very commission.  Of course, you may claim that this is part of their game and Turks and Azeris burning Gul’s and Erdogan’s portraits may be damn good actors practicing Stanislavski’s system but if I were in their shoes, I’d be concerned. I could not agree more with this quote from Akcam:
    “I don’t believe that either Armenia or international circles will accept the formation of a commission based upon the recommendation of the Turkish government to “research the claims of genocide.” It will be impossible to establish a commission for the purpose of coming to a conclusion on the question of, “Were the events of 1915 a genocide?” I think we need to put that idea completely out of our heads.”
     
     
     

  207. My misuse of the term “Detente” versus “Entente” has sarcasm at its root:

    The so-called “Triple Entente”, reminiscent of the “Troika” evoked above, consisted, as we know, of Britain, France, and (Tazarist) Russia.   The third leg, as expected, collapsed (and switched gears), as it always does when Armenians seem to need it.  The other two were not able to maintain the so-called “Entente,” which quickly became a “Detente” naturally in favor of Turkey, always there, ready to murder and take advantage like the good imperialist.  

  208. The “Jews” consist of many splinters when it concerns the Armenian question in general.  The ADL, AJC, and so on, seem to be radically pro-Turkish.   Israel belongs to the NATO block in political terms, and is therefore a happy participant in the anti-Russian projects in Eurasia.  We will, to calm the potential foam, say that “Azeri/Caspian oil and the control of is a significant influencing factor.”    The actual game plan looks as though Israel’s 4 way alliance inclufing (as mentioned above) Georgia (currently logistically crippled but at the popular/grass roots level more anti-Russian than even), Turkey, and Azerbaijan ties in with the anti-Russian tradition of what British imperialism has passed on to the US and the rest of the NATO block.  It is obvious that Russia is being militarily encircled and isolated in stages, and our arrogant naywayers to this theory only do so because they have an irrationally high level of confidence in Russia’s “invincibility.”   Read the Boyadjian article comments section and see the rabidly pro-Russian stance of some and the utter arrogant overconfidence in “Russian bailouts.”   In the long term, David Boyadjian, again, is correct.  Russia is an unstable entity with dwinsling imperial control over its vast particularly muslim (more so Turkic than, say, Tadjik and so on) populated territories.  

    This brings the protocols smack into the middle of this game where Armenians are led to believe in a fictitious and unlikely “international sponsorship” instead of self-reliance to the maximum possible level with total cooperation between all Armenian populations managed by Yerevan.  This is what is best as a solution, long term solution, but this is precisely what “protocols” such as this negate. 

  209. Dear Hagop Nalbandyan,
    I welcome your invitation to take a longer look. My concern, however, is with the  part of your assertions where you are trying to legitimize futurology as the best predictive model:
     
    Any political thinker, (and thinking is a prerequisite here, not “technical termite mound building”), can tell the signs of multi-stage preparations by given powers for the attainment of a set of goals.


    You can see the signs of intention but even the best plans and intentions need to be implemented. Saddam missed all signs in 1990 when the coalition was ready to strike. He missed it again in 2003. US despite many Fridmans around missed entirely the Al Quaeda strike on 9/11. Neocons despite deep and multidimensional thinking missed entirely the signs of long term resistance in Iraq and now again in Afghanistan. We can go on and on. Thinking about future is hard but possible and it is done best in scenario planning. But scenario planning is science whereas futurology of Friedmans is just that – intentions and “strategic day-dreaming.”


     

  210. If the war is to widen in Afghanistan, and Armenia is to play a role in the provision of supplies via this newly opened border, can someone speculate for me what Russia gets out of it?
     
    What happens to a country that profits from war supply, culturally and economically?

  211. It is interesting to note the condescending tone with which an Armenian from Isfahan is treated.   This is precisely the problem: Prejudice and bias against entire sectors of Armenians by the successive administrations in Yerevan.  

    We see divisiveness.  We see hatred.   That is a problem.

    It is doubly amising to note the “imperative and commanding tone” with which they tell us to leave the debate.  How disgusting.  They ask for “alternate solutions for the protocols” with arrogance, always missing the most simple and obvious.

    The only viable long term solution for Armenians is the consolidation and proper exploitation of Armenian resources available globally by intelligent administrators in Yerevan.   We do not have this.   When Armenian gained its independence, this was the hope of all.  If such pooling of resources was done in an intelligent manner, then we would have a relatively stronger and more favorable position in this world as Armenians, as would the Republic in its geopolitical context.  If the current situation were to come about in that scenario, the “troika” would still apply their pressures, but the bargaining capabilities would be relatively better depending on how well we pool our own resources.  

    The total lack of faith in even the possibility of Armenian solidarity is perpetuating itself as a self-fulfilling prophesy.   Again, read this well-researched document in the fall of Kars and see for youself the sorry consquences of this irrational level of Russophilia and lack of Armenian autonomous initiative: http://www.ararat-center.org/upload/files/Razm_&_Anvtang_16.pdf.  Long story short, it shows how a military “leadership” and Russophile “administration” managed to incapacitate a potent Armenian military force and lose Kars and all independence.

    One would hope that in this day and age of more aware populations of Armenians and much improved communication lines between all Armenians, that this problem would find some sort of resolution.  Instead we have agents of division amongst us who accuse, for example, diasporans of “callousness due to lack of vital interests in Armenia.”  This “agency” of dupes keeps on forgetting that the very maintenance of one’s Armenian ancestry is vital and is vitally linked to the survival of Armenia.   Some have a longer and more cautious approach to emigrating yet again to a not-so-hospitable Armenia, but most who realistically look at this problem of identity and its maintenace have aspirations to eventually settle in Armenia.   They consider Armenia their destination and therefore have a vital interest in Armenia’s survival and prosperity.

    I personally own a home there, but I know I cannot afford to live there as of yet.  I cannot deal with brazen arrogance of the like above with guns in their hands.   But I’ll be damned if any fool will tell me to get out of this debate for any reason.    This is my debate for my future.

    We clearly have divisive nonsense spewed out by post-Bolshevik snobs and those under their influence who keep on advocating total compliance to any conditional “offers” given by the hostiles (Turkey, number one hostile) and their sponsors.   This needs to be resolved soon, or our future as a nation is endangered.

  212. The ADL, AJC, and so on, seem to be radically pro-Turkish.
     
    Today I read that Rep. Wexler is leaving Congress for a DC “thinktank” called Center for Middle East Peace and Economic Cooperation.    I wonder who is on their client list.

  213. Dear Arthur Martirosyan,

    You are absolutely correct in that futurologists and metereologists are in the same boat and cannot ever practice exact science, to say the least.   However, with futurologists, the distinction is in the likelihood of an agenda being proposed in the backroom before the author/playwrite/showman puts it in the grasp of the public.   I don’t consider that to be a reliable prediction mechanism any more than you do.  I do, however, see it as a testing, brainwashing and conditioning method, a stage in the psychological trials an idea goes through, and, depending on the public reaction, the implementation of the idea is either executed or delayed.   If there is any lesson to be learned from strategists (such as Clausevitz, the amalgam of personalities that is Sun Tzu and so on) it is that conditioning and testing the public (domestic and international) in successive waves is the all imporant tool.   That the prediction is ofte doomed to failure does not negate the fact that the idea exists and is being published for consumption and assimilation by the populations and, particularly, student bodies of diplomacy schools at that given time, the future generations of policy makers.   At that given time, it is “predicted” by such intelligence affiliated authors becuase it is in test mode, so to speak.  The failure of the prediction is more likele due to perhaps total abandonment of that particular goal based on 1) the initial public reaction and 2) the actual feasability of the scenario.   Neo-Ottomanism is being tested as an idea due to the possible feasability.  Perhaps the Central Eurasian project is part of the  conditioning phase.   Turkey is, in either toponyms used, the main local player and perhaps even dominant player, depending on how the pan-Islamic industrialization efforts go with mainly Malaysian leadership and Iranian partnership.   If any relations are to be cultivated, it has to be viewed from within this long term proposed, or predicted if you like, context as well. 

  214. Our future as a nation is really endangered as long as there are Armenians who can produce several hundred words of hatred a minute and not a single one on substance. At best it will be fragmented grievances in subjunctives re what there could have been and had there been…
    Debate?  He loses it before starting because his very first line is a personal attack.  After spewing words of hatred — “sellout”, “davajan”, “paid agents” — he can settle for the divisiveness litany.  He can question credentials of others but without any specialized knowledge on subjects he is ready  to lecture anyone  – security matters, negotiations, intelligence or national interests…  Enough that he has read one article and two books by Aivazian.
    All he can offer Armenia is ranting about “Rusophiles”, “post-Bolshevik” snobs and ad nausea.  Let him tell general  Norat Ter-Grigoryan whose first language is Russian (he barely speaks Armenian) that he is a Rusophile and a post-Bolshevik-snob because he has orders of Lenin and Red Star… Let him tell the largest Armenian diaspora in the world that they are Rusophiles and that’s why Kars was surrendered in 1920…   If only there could be Armenia without “post-Bolshevik” Hayastantsis, he’d move there immediately to work as a national consolidator.  Hypocrisy or schizophrenia.

  215. Dear Janine,
    Armenia will be providing a military unit for the ISAF in Afghanistan until the end of this year.  The unit will be guarding the airfield in Kunduz.
    What’s in it for Russia? Primarily, economic and military interests.

  216. Arthur Martirosyan,

    You have made much clearer your position, which is in line with the article above with only one important exception:  “Armenia is in an interesting diplomatic position at the publication of this protocol. The only item that changes anything is the physical lifting of the Turkish border blockade. Armenia should ratify this protocol without delay and put pressure on Turkey not to delay or will pay the PR consequences.” 

    This above is the language of a proponent who is advocating a gamble.   This is what I originally objected to, and this position has not changed.  You say that I misinterpreted this.  So be it.  You now state otherwise. 

    You have expressed agreement with this related sentiment as well:  ““Turkey is in a situation where it has alienated its ally Azerbaijan by appearing to cut a deal with Armenia and has been making deals with Russia. It may also be under the false impression it has extracted concessions from Armenia.”

    This is an extension of the gamble, another approach I object to.  Turkey’s impression is, in the opinion of many learned, not so false. 

    “From day one I have been arguing that the commission is the weakest component due to its ambiguity and lack of specific timeline and modalities.”

    Yes, you did indeed.  The historic commission’s entry is a major blunder on the Armenian side due to what opportunists and sincere folk alike consider the result of callousness and ignorance on behalf of these folks toward the genocide recognition, on Armenian history in general, and people affected.   I happen to agree with this position, and little has been done to convince me otherwise.

    You now in your most recent replies are taking on the position of an analyst – with no air of proponency – who wants to merely understand the circumstances which brought about the protocols and assumably the accelerations of the normalization process in total.    This position I cannot possibly argue against.  Regardless of the differences in interpretation of the geopolitical context, which is something I still will express my disagreements with, I now see that you and David’s position is essentially the same as mine.

    We are arriving at a consensus.  Don’t spoil it with personal prejudices.   I promise to leave mine aside in the trash bin as you have done well in the recent response on average.  

    Let me then, with the hope of continuing the civility shown in the above response where you welcome my invitiation to take a longer look, as you the questions again that I originally posed.  Despite our mutual sour grapes, I happen to believe you to be the most qualified to answer these:

    1.  Are there provisions in any part of the protocols against Turkish continuatiion of the anti-Armenian propaganda war?   This applies to Internet activility in particular, but also in the academia and so on.  Are anti-Armenian information attacks to cease?   Has this ever been discussed?

    2. Are there provisions in any part of the protocols against Turkish intelligence operations targeting Armenia and Armenian assetts outside of Armenia?    

    On the Armenian side, the Armenian state media never took on a similar tone with regards to Turkey.  Just the opposite occurred.  Armenian Republic media and diasporan media under Yerevan control (USArmenia in particular) took on a most concilatory tone and blatantly distorted the historical reality in order to achieve public support for the normalization process. 

    3.  Do you agree with this approach?   Do you agree with the systematic deception of the Armenian populations and the distortion of history as the method to convince the public to accept policy decisions?  

    They also as a rule tried their best to make the diasporan look like some clown, sitting in suburbia, uninterested in reality, but willing to shout out due to “irrational ultra-nationalism” as the driving force.   In some instances, yours truly was able to attract some honest responses in this area.  Perhaps the deep-seatedness of such prejudice needs more exposure.

    I understand that the diaspora parties, one in particular known to be the opportunist (which we both have expressed similar distaste for in the past), created the air of frenzy and managed to rile up a crowd, a large one, against the protocols.   Locally, we saw varying opinions, but most were schocked by the lack of accountability and dialog with the population by the government prior to embarking on this protocol process.

    4. Do you agree with this approach?  

    (to be continued)

  217. On the historical commission, you said:

    “I have agreed with those raising concerns about this provision, especially in view of your namesake’s statements in the Armenian parliament that this commission may work for a decade or two.”

    Noted.   By the way, you misread my comment above.  I never claimed that you blackballed the historical commission blunder.

    “Moreover, I can clearly see this provision as a concession to the Turkish demands.”

    So does David, but in an exaggeratedly subdued manner, up above.

    “The issue of the genocide has been channeled to a discourse which is not going to result in legal consequences or advancement of territorial claims by Armenia.”
    “I do not see this as a disaster for the Armenian side. At this juncture in history the international system, including international law, does not have mechanisms for enforcing the verdict. None of the major powers is interested in ending up with obligations for enforcement and setting up a new precedent. Most loyal to the Armenian cause politicians do not see how this can be done in practical terms.  Shall we take this kind of recognition which is more likely to be forthcoming even from Turkey or shall we stick to “all-or-nothing”?  If there are no practical means for implementing territorial compensation today, it does not mean that we should not take this recognition since it cannot preclude acting on future political opportunities.  This is how I am making sense of Sargsyan’s  position. Not surprisingly therefore the second most important objection of Turks to the protocols after Karabakh is this very commission.  Of course, you may claim that this is part of their game and Turks and Azeris burning Gul’s and Erdogan’s portraits may be damn good actors practicing Stanislavski’s system but if I were in their shoes, I’d be concerned. I could not agree more with this quote from Akcam:”
    “I don’t believe that either Armenia or international circles will accept the formation of a commission based upon the recommendation of the Turkish government to “research the claims of genocide.” It will be impossible to establish a commission for the purpose of coming to a conclusion on the question of, “Were the events of 1915 a genocide?” I think we need to put that idea completely out of our heads.”

    I agree and applaud the statement which I bolded above.  Naturally, you never know what opportunities arise.  The object, therefore, is to pool all resources at the disposal of the Armenian nation.   What baffles me is the lack of desire to even think in that direction in earnest, and the utter zeal with which colonial supplication is embraced.   I refer to the successive administrations.

    Also, this is a brand of optimism with which I do not and cannot agree.   Akcam’s impact is minimal compared to a huge state driven fascistic apparatus which is still in full force.   None of the provisions that should be required in a valid negotiation scenario have been put on the table.   The most famous of the fascistic laws on the books is article 301.  We all know this becauses of a recent defamation and murder cycle brought onto a now famous journalist, whose memory and impact will likely fade into the fascistic abyss and the article will live on.   That is my prediction, and Akcam should know better, since he too is subject to such laws and processes of defamation.   He is, moreover, one man against an Army of a million+ that still supersedes the Parliament in power, a huge popular and state perpetuated support base for fascistic organizations such as the Gray Wolves.   This is still essentually a State where the Nazi equivalent is touted as mainstream.  Now, as I have mentioned in previous comments, Harun Yahya’s so-called “ultra religious” front also is in support of an expantionist Turkic empire which they dubb “The Peace Federation Under the Turkic Umbrella” or some other fascistic nonsense wrapped in Islamist clothing.  There is now a degree of cordiality between supposed conflicting forces, and this has been exemplified by the increased cooperation between Erdogan’s party and Buyukanit. 

    Indeed, Stanislavski would be proud of the Turkish ability to change shape at will.   Kemal turned Red, then White again, on a dime.  The pan-Turkists in the Caucasus were described by Garegin Nzhdeh as “Karmir peturner hakats Turk fascistiner.”   Indeed, “Turkish fascists dressed in red plummage” was the standard method of securing Red support in the Caucasus and the achievement of, again, relief from the Entente’s impositions on Turkey.    They will always maintain their racist ambitions despite the gnawing of the liberal left in the person of Pamuk, Akcam, Gocek, the late Dink, and so on, and such “gnawing” is also possibly part of a elaborate litmus test by a well-oiled intelligence apparatus. 

    By the way, I read a lot of books on this topic, a lot.  Ironically, the 2 articles from the ararat-center.org that have caught my attention are Karen Vrtanesyan’s Internet article and Gevork Yazedjian Kars article.   They are well written and excellent articles.   For the last 2 years I’ve gone further to the fore (than my 3rd millennium b.c. to 100 a.d. range) and have been reading the historical chronicles of Aristakes Lazdivertsi (painful lamentation on the Seljuk incursions) as published and interpreted by M. Ormanian and Arakel Davrizhetsi’s “History of Armenia” that deals with the Abbasian inclursions and deportations and the Jalalin rebellion.   When one reads particularly the Jalalin/Safavi conflict and the path taken by the conflict, the targeted populations during the conflict,  one learns that Pan-Turkism has older roots than Vambery’s unacademic ramblings. 

    This ideology is nothing new.   It is old and rooted and has been in the Ottoman mind since at least the mid 17th century.  I don’t think that a few leftist writers will erase this from the minds of millions any time soon. 

  218. Well said David and well argued those against it but wait a minute…Do u expect us to shut ourselves in our mountains and see our countries death just because the Turks are our enemy?? Always remember that a countr cannot survive isolated and without trading and sharing borders with other countries.especially when we are talking of a country like Armenia which is not located near the sea..We just cannot go on connecting with the world through Georgia for obvious reasons..U talk of Genocide and Western Armenia..In order to claim anything and make our voices heard by the world,we have to have a developed economy in the current Republic of Armenia and that is absolutly not possible if u follow the way Haro suggests…Unless u make ur market open for foreighn investmenits and have economic cooperation with ur neighbours,being a country and an economy u cannot survive..Armenia can’t go on borrowing..We need people to come and invest in our country..We need to send our Domestic products to foreighn markets and we need to connect with Russia..All this cannot be done through Georgia…Hence,let us just stop thinking that OMG it’s the Turks we are dealing with…If we act cleverly,we will win but if u hinder the work of our government with strikes and protests,we will lose again…And y is everyone scared of the Genocide issue being discussed? If being an Armenian you refuse to discuss the issue and back off,then u r giving the world a chance to think that it didn’t happen..if u know it happened and are confident about ur history,then get in and Argue and win it once in for all…..This is all to our benefit(of course risk exists in everything),we just have to act with our brains and not our kidneys….And if this time we lose again,we can only blame ourselves for not taking full advantage of this given opportunity….
    Thank u David for the Article…Well done..

  219. Karen Mkrtchyan, thank you for your supporting comment.
     
    However, I am ending my participation in this and the https://armenianweekly.com/2009/10/11/theriault-the-final-stage-of-genocide-consolidation/ commentary threads. My final comment is on the other web page and reasons for ending participant are made clear. Anyone needing to contact me can ask the editor of the Armenian Weekly for my personal email address.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  220. Dear Nalbandyan,
    I could not care less what you object to, what kind of rice you like in your pilaf and what kind you do not.  You have to give reasons why. You have asked many questions but if you are interested in a discussion or a debate, i.e. learning, not just showing off to your comrades how capable you are at history, security, intelligence, Russia etc., you need to make one simple move – disclose your position. Are you for “Justice, not protocols” or are you for “normalization, but against this version of protocols”?
    If the former, there is nothing to debate is there? You are saying it should have been a NO, without giving a damn what alternatives Armenia really has. If it is the second, then you need to stop lecturing me with banalities from second or third sources and turn to the issues at hand, that is the analysis of the protocols. So far you have said that you are against “gambling,” although I did not ask you why you’d be opposed to Armenia gaining an upper hand in this game in case Turkey refuses to ratify?  In case Turkey does not ratify, Armenia can and should with reservations to the text.   It won’t be a deal, it will be Armenia reinstating our position. What’s your problem with that?  Please note, I am not interested in what Boyadjian who is of courseright, Aivazian, Hariyunian et al. have to say on this.  Not even Friedman.

  221. Dear Hagop Nalbandyan,
    Assuming futurologist (meteorologist employs scientific methods, futurologist does not) Friedman, a mediocre CIA analyst, who has occupied every corner of your mind, is right about the era of Turan on the horizon of his cubicle at Langley, what is it that you are proposing to do? I already have learned from you that we cannot rely on decadent Russia and impotent EU and US.

  222. David,
    Wait a minute.  Wait a minute.  We’re not done yet.   Your reasons for going into hibernation are weak.  You’re not willing to put up a fight.   You sulk and then you leave.   Not good.  Not good at all brother.  You’re better than that.  You should know better than to make such assumptions as you did in the other article (Theriault’s article).   Think on a wider scope.  This at a deeper level.   Of all the written data, there is infinitely more unwritten/unpublished dialog and data.   My disagreements should not be misconstrued as an attempt at “scapegoating you” for crying out loud. 

  223. Karen Mktrchyan, there are far too many assumptions on the positive outcome of such a dynamic economic relationship.  The one Iran, although supposedly on friendly terms and with no need for “protocols” is still an uneven relationship, and even that border has not been competently secured and has been used as a means to infiltrated Armenia by Erazis, by Azeri military scouts and so on.   I hear constant testimonials on this right from the border.  The Arax border is somewhat protected better due to the type of relationship, but this is to be changed.  There is no guarantee by this incompetent administration that any precautionary measures at the economic and national security levels will be taken.   David’s argument is incomplete.  I did not ever say it is wrong or right.  I said it is incomplete. 

  224. There goes the condescending style again.  That’s how you want it.  Metereologist is a scientist, but works with unpredictable conditions.   Futurologist is obviously not a scientist, but essentially a propaganda agent, a test mechanism for ideas, and brainwashing/conditioning instrument.   Russia’s impotence is evident first and foremost by its total loss of the warsaw pact.  Russia is also 1.4 times larger as an economy that Turkey alone, which is a sign of impotence and no longer the sign of a sustainable imperial power.   They’re pumping gas and oil, selling guns, but nothing else.   They are dying as an empire.  The US is impotent when it concerns pressuring Turkey.  The EU is a club run by two known and confirmed Turkophiles.   Out of all this, you keep on drilling in the idea that “there is PR involved where Turkey will be left with diplomatic obligations to honor.”   Nonsense.  You keep on jumping around this sentence with attempts to rephrase and justify, but you fail repeatedly to get out of this hole.  No one will guarantee Armenians anything except Armenians, and the problem is that Armenians are not being consulted or mobilized by the trash in Yerevan, who is all but too ready to make concessions with a hostile.  They don’t even know how to deal with a non-hostile like Iran, with whom they also have a net loss relationship and insecure border. 

    I have already answered your question multiple times. 

    You answer my 4 questions above.

  225. Dear Nalbandyan,
    Are you suggesting that you are operating a network of informants on the border? David’s arguments are complete as far as the EXPLICIT text goes, it is up to those who claim to be in the know of more about the process and, obviously, see deeper into “unwritten\unpublished dialog and data”. I normally leave that to coffee fortune tellers. You are almost as good as one Iranian Armenian I know in Yerevan.  For a couple of bucks she can produce more reliable forecasting than Friedman.

  226. Dear Nalbandyan,
    You are quoting liberally Davidian’s article, adding a quote from my earlier responses in a stew of haphazard arguments. You have to decide whether you are commenting on Davidian’s article or debating my points.  As to geopolitics, broader historical context, going back to 1920s if not to Berlin Conference, I do not have time or interest debating these issues in this forum. It is not set up for these purposes and I do not consider you an expert on these issues. To your credit you are apparently reading secondary sources but that is not enough for a quality analysis. Again, if you want to discuss protocols (the explicit text) and its implications, I can stay with you provided you disclose your position – are you against any process now because Armenia is too weak and Turkey is getting stronger OR are you for the process but against this version of protocols? In a professional lingo, are you for sticking to our alternatives to the deal OR are you for the analysis of the deal on the table? In the first case, I’d be only interested in hearing why you think that weak Armenia (you stated that several times and I cannot agree with all points) has strong alternatives to stick to a NO to the troika. There is not much to debate there except expressing differences. I have mentioned in the other forum why I think it is an erroneous position – methodologically it is based on an assumption that all negotiations are about give and take bargaining (distributive), quid pro quo et al. , from a practical policy perspective there is a contradiction in terms of analysis, namely, if Armenia is weak, how can the country have strong alternatives to the deal pushed by the troika?
    If you uphold the second position, then you have to thank David Davidian for his article, and move to policy options in this discussion. We can debate different policy options or ways to improve (optimize) the current deal if you have any ideas on your mind. If you don’t, I will understand, after all, this is not your professional background. I will also have much less time to engage as I am off tomorrow to Iraq to help Kurds and Arabs negotiate a “sewage pipe” in Kirkuk.  Tell me what you want to do, and we will take it from there.

  227. Am I suggesting that I have a network of information?  Yes, I am suggesting something to that effect, yes. 

    I don’t have to decide anything.   I am directing my comments at both of you.   Your lack of interest in debating past history is unimportant.  I wish to discuss the issue from where it deserves to be discussed: i.e. from the longer historical context. 

    OK, let me take your offer for analysis of the protocols, something which I have been asking for quite a long time.  Let me re-disclose my position, my own position: Normalization is necessary, but with precautions. 

  228. Dear Hagop Nalbandyan,
    Let me start with points of agreement – no one will guarantee anything to Armenia but Armenians. Yes, the Armenian government did not do enough to consult in a genuine fashion with diaspora.  There are elements of art in giving advice to policy-makers. I can see why input from you may be hard to take even if you were right.
    Now a few disagreements. My condescending tone is not known to you thanks to the moderator — and I mean it.
    If Turkey does not respect its obligations, no one can oblige Armenia to stay in the agreement. If the troika cannot secure that much, they will lose diplomatic space for pressure on Armenia, Obama won’t be able to say, I can’t use it, they are talking; and you can continue this line. We tried, we did all that was possible, therefore our POSITIVE NO is validated.
    If you insist that exercises in  futurology have policy value or relevance, you are obviously wrong. You may be correct about brainwashing effects – I can see that impact.
    You still did not answer my question – Assuming your analysis is correct (I disagree with many points) Turan is there, what are you proposing to do? Please do not repeat how you have diagnosed impotence and decadence. The question is in bold. There is one more question that you need to answer for us to continue.  It is up to you, I am not trying to impose this discussion on you. The learning value for me without your answers to the question above and below, is almost at 0.
    Where do you stand, Hagop jan, “justice, no protocols” or “normalization, not with this version of protocols”?

  229. Normalization is necessary, but with precautions.
    See, Hagop jan, we are almost in an agreement. I think that David Davidian wrote in the article – that his piece is not about supporting protocols but understanding. I am sure you will share with this group your policy recommendations on precautions. May be you will write an article and publish it in Yerevan and here. Even if powers that be do not heed, you will set the tone for the RATIONAL on debating policy.  I am positive that Davidian’s intention was only that.
    My formula is slightly different – normalization at our pace and on our terms
    Good luck – I will try to read this forum on the road but cannot commit to more exchanges.

  230. Nevertheless, normalization is an ambiguous term in this context.  “At our pace” is an equally undefinable concept due to fact that we are dealing with people in pseudo-government who do not 1) believe in the possibility of true Armenian autonomy (which – I will repeat until liquid nitrogen drips from my nostrils, parallels the situation in 1920-1922), 2) does not merely exclude this dynamic and changing group of people we wish to call the “diaspora,” which now consists of a large number of expatriates, a huge percentage of whom were repatriates in the various waves of repatriation, but also 3) excludes the local population in Armenia from any real participation in the processes, including this so-called “normalization process” which is no less than a colonization process.  

    As to the lack of willingness to dialog on behalf of these KGB apparatchiks pretending to be our sovereigns, you are minimizing their TREASONOUS misdeeds by simply “agreeing” to this one half-hearted so-called concession: “the Armenian government did not do enough to consult in a genuine fashion with diaspora.

    The “government” currently in fact engages in an elaborate brainwashing campaign where the populations of Armenia are constantly fed false history, a whitewashed “history” where, in some of the more extreme version such as that of vermin-in-chief Bleyan where “we have no true grievances with Turks to speak of.”   Why, indeed, is a mongrel such as Bleyan allowed to be “Principal” to 1200 cycles  pupils where he has free reign to brainwash them with his treasonous and warped concept of “history?”   Why, indeed, have not the authorities taken measures to curb such obviously ANTI-ARMENIAN activity?   I can get you numerous FIRST SOURCE examples of such distortions of history at the grade school to university levels, where a few brave individuals have come and protested against such disgusting “normalization” tactics.

    Originally this last aspect of the so-called “normalization process” is what I brought to the table, which you consistently ridiculed as “doom-and-glooming, murky accusations of treason” and other copout nonsense.   You did not ever answer directly and systematically took your so-called “argument” to some muddy waters in lala land.  For this reason I got the impression that you are an agent for this government.  When you systematically discredit the voices that speak out against this undeniable reality where the Armenian “government” controlled media and academia is consistently attempting to brainwash the populations, then, forgive my presumptuousness, but you are still not a trustworthy individual. 

    I am waiting for concrete acknowledgment that the government is in fact deceving its own population into accepting a “process” of which these wishy washy protocols are a subset by spreading false propaganda and distortions of our history, which is utterly insulting to listen and watch as a descendent of heroes who fought to save probably some of their ancestor’s asses during the genocide period as well.   It is fact disgusting to even dare to make comparison to Azeris and Turks.  You have no integrity and no honor, sir, none, if you think that your little stragetic “explanations” and rationalizations give you the right to insult the entirety of Armeniandom due to their natural distrust of a murderous group of mongrels who are yet again imposing their “preconditions” even under the so-called “preconditions clause.”   

    Therefore, the usage of the word PRECAUTIONS entails two parts: 

    1) Total due criticism of Turkish historic and nascent barbarity and the contuation of this barbaric attitude toward Armenians and all non-compliant peoples and minorities within their state, the REMOVAL of fascistic laws and the OUTLAWING, DISMANTLING and ELIMINIATION of fascistic organizations such as the Gray Wolves.   
    2) Total acknowledgement and proper education of Armenian history of the masses in Armenia and the Diaspora, first to our ignorant “governors.” beyond what “Lenin Papik” had made allowances for. 
    3) Top priority given to the proper consolidation and unification of all populations of Armenians as much as possible, regardless of all the so-called “geopolitical obstacles,” by first the elimination of internal corruption that essentially scares the hell out of the average diasporan from settling in what is rightfully hiw own homeland. 

    What do we have instead?   Voracious morons, ignorants, foreign worshipping idiots, sellouts, and fools pretending to tell me, me, what actually constitutes an Armenian identity, what actually constitutes as loyalty to Armenia and the Armenian cause, and yet who show no capabilities in matters of state building.

    We have, instead of actual violently loud criticism of this TREASONOUS behavior, technicians who are doodling inside the words of the protocols, only lightly and with cherry flavored jello softness “acknowledging that there has been a, oops, slight mistake by the government due to, oops, not consulting the diaspora.”   Highlighting the so-called “protocol contents” which mean nothing in themeslves, and ignoring the entire “normalization process” and the public brainwashing campaign required to carry forth this “normalization process” smells of agents to me! 

    Answer the question!   Do you, or do you not agree that Armenians need to be brainwashed with a white-washed “history” in order to accept the “normalization of relations?”  If, indeed, we are living in “grand times where normalization is going to happen,” and indeed if our “diplomatic brokers” will not let there be any further destrcution of our nationhood, then why do they require that our government BRAINWASH their own populations in order to carry on this “so timely and peaceful plan, road map to prosperity.”   Was “road map” not the original filth of arubric used to begin the insinuations of extortion into “normalizing relations?”   What “road map” requires that you BRAINWASH your own populations into forgetting the grievances altogether?   And what sort of basis is this for us to “eventually influence Turkish public opinion and policy” with the aid of such “giants” as Akcam and company?  

    What a load of rubbish!   We are far from agreeing on anything, sir.   Sorry to bait you.

  231. Hagop jan,
    You can continue to rant. That won’t change anything. As I told you, you are the walking diagnosis of why including some people  in the decision-making process is impossible. I can see you shouting out there “Answer that! How dare you!” and other unnecessary theatrics . You can talk in that tone in your akumb. I did not even read your last piece. Sorry. I read the article on Kars surrender. You clearly did not understand it. Bye.

  232. It  never occurs to your sort that you evasive tactics are what invite reactions such as that above.   As much as you try to resist that reality, you’re part of the problem, the same problem which is the government’s evasiveness.   You have cowered under the “policy” banner, playing useless games in semantics, “not analogy, metaphor,” etc., hoping to wear and tear.  That is precisely the tactics taught to these apparatchiks ruining my country, MY country, in which I have spiritual, emotional, financial and social interests.
    Tell me about the Kars article and what you have understood.   Every page in that article talks about the exclusion of entire sectors of Armenians in favor of “professionally trained Russian officers,” which ended with an administration and military command that didn’t care and did not believe in an independent and self-reliant Armenia.   This same pattern is being repeated with improvement in the military thanks to, by the way, partly the laborings of those you disapprove of based on nothing but petty associations.

  233. I have read with interest most of the comments here. Some I have found informative, others downright ‘irrational’. I did enjoy Mr. Davidian’s lucid article. However one thing no one has touched upon is an analysis of where the Turkish Republic came from, where it is today and where it is going in relation to the ­Protocols.
    I think to fully analyze and make a proper judgement of the Protocols, you have to know and understand your “adversary”. The Turks understand very well the differences between Armenia and the Diaspora. ­Unfortunately Diasporan Armenians do not attempt to try to understand today’s Turkey.
    The external pressures on Turkey have been well explained by Mr. Davidian. This post is not to defend Turkey in any way but to bring to light how internal changes in Turkey are another reason why it is ­sitting at the table with Armenia.
    Contrary to what most Armenians in the Diaspora think, Turkey is not a monolithic, one-dimensional country filled with cunning, barbaric, lying “Envers” and “Talaats’. Turkey is the 17th largest economy in the world and is going through profound changes. It’s not the backward country that some of you would like to think. To continue to think this way about Turkey blinds us to these changes and inhibits us from seizing the moment to advance our cause.
    There have been profound changes in the Turkish Republic in the last 10 years culminating in the election of Erdogan and Gul’s AKP party in 2003.
    The AKP is the the anti-thesis of the secular Kemalists who had governed Turkey since the formation of the Republic in 1923. On first thought one might think a secular party would be easier to deal with for Armenia than of the Islamist leaning AKP. Your conclusion would be wrong. The Secular/Nationalist elites who governed Turkey untill 2003 had originally morphed from Talaat’s and Enver’s old Committee of Union and Progress in Turkey. This group were the perpetrators of the Genocide and their heirs are responsible for the continuation of its denial.
    After the formation of the Turkish Republic in 1923, to pull the country together, quell any rebellion and keep the country intact they created three myths on which the foundations of the Turkish Republic were formed. (With thanks to Taner Akcam)
    1) Turks are a race of people
    2) There are no Kurds in Turkey
    3) The Armenian Genocide never happened.
    The first two myths have already been discredited. Turks now realize that Turkey is not comprised of one pure Turkic race but comprised of many different people including, Alevi, Circassian, Levantine, Armenians, Albanians etc. There is now an acceptance of this diversity.
    The second myth has also been destroyed as Turks have realized there are almost 25 million Kurds who live in Turkey.
    The last myth, the denial of the Armenian Genocide has been under attack for the last 10 years. My friends in Turkey tell me there are plenty of books available about the Genocide in bookstrores there. It is almost as though every day I hear someone in Turkey discover his or her real background. On a personal note I had the pleasure of proving to a friend of mine in Canada that he was not a Pontious Greek as he had thought but in fact a Hemsheen Armenian or lost Armenian. I’ll never forget how he cried that day after this revelation.
    You see, most Turks are unaware of the of the sordid episodes of their history. Now that they are hearing about the Genocide, they are being told that these are lies propagated by countries who want to weaken Turkey. Imagine telling a Turk that their forebearers were murderers and bandits and that they perpetrated one of the biggest crimes against humanity. I think you would agree that a majortity of Turks would “circle the wagon” and resist. But the genie is out of the bag and the Turksh government has realized they will have to confront history. And better to confront it on a stage that they can somewhat control the conclusion.
    Now that “Discussions about the Historical problems” between the countries will begin what would logically follow is that Article 301 of the Turkish Penal code will be abolished. This has always been a bone of contention for the Europeans. After all, how can you accuse anyone who speaks about the Genocide in Turkey they are “insulting Turkishness” when their government is discussing the same issue.
    There has always been bad blood between the Islamists and the Secular/Nationalist elements in Turkey. I need not remind you of the Kemalist attrocities against Turkish religious leaders. The ­Islamists consider Attatürk, an apostate, a dönme (from a jewish family that converted to Islam) who pushed Turkey to the undesirable secular state it is today.
    However, even with a healthy majority, the AKP must tread carefully and slowly. The Nationalist elements, though weakened, by the Ergenekon Affair, the revelation of the existance of a “deep state” within Turkey formed by the CIA and comprised of Nationalist, Government and Business Elites for the purpose of eliminating any Communist or Islamist threat to Turkey including the denial of the Armenian Genocide. This is the group that murdered Hrant Dink and also attempts to bring down the present Turkish Government through legal and illegal methods.
    Look at the other changes happening to Turkey recently. The turn towards the east, first with alliances with Syria, Iran, fence-mending with Armenia, and interestingly turning its back on its traditional ally and co-conspirator of genocide denial—Israel.
    In conclusion, Turkey is not a monolithic entity as some would believe. Turkey has diverse opinions regarding relations with Armenia. I think the Protocols are a smart step for the Armenia government to encourage rational thinkers in Turkey in regards to Armenia and to take advantage of the internal changes Turkey is going through to resolve its problems.
    I commend the Armenian leadership for seizing the moment and taking this courageous step.

  234. Dear Arto,
    Indeed, it’s crucial to understand the adversary, and not in quotes.  They are the adversary.   The controlling parties are hostiles to the Armenian cause, and that has not changed even 1%.   You’re not reading into the entire spectrum of forces at play within the hostile state.
    “There have been profound changes in the Turkish Republic in the last 10 years culminating in the election of Erdogan and Gul’s AKP party in 2003.”
    Correction: There have been nominal changes in so-called secular to a more (again nominal and unrealized) pluralistic “Islamic” nomenclature, but the reality is that this ‘Islamic model” seems to have coopted the expansionist ideology and has adopted a newly coined (and so far enthusiastically received by unexpected circles)  “neo-ottomanist” rhetoric.   It is the same animal in different clothes.  This new animal is designed to take advantage of the rising Islamic union.  The OIC which now has increasingly industrialized Malaysia, Iran, the various Emirates, and so on in their membership are becoming a formidable block with remarkable allowances for whatever reason, and a competing Islamic economic block in the east is now becoming a reality.
    It looks as though Turks, experienced imperialists with their traditional ‘advisorship”, are simply attempting to play both the EU potential and the stronger OIC, or perhaps a specific subset of the OIC. Currently there is a dynamic cross-investment in the billions in high tech industry, automotive industry (which, in this case, is actually led by Iran), and Turkey is bound to become a senior partner, a situation where the EU’s absolute necessity might not be the case for Turkish economic development.
    “The AKP is the the anti-thesis of the secular Kemalists who had governed Turkey since the formation of the Republic in 1923. On first thought one might think a secular party would be easier to deal with for Armenia than of the Islamist leaning AKP. Your conclusion would be wrong.”
    Your conclusions would be wrong, yes.   The so-called “secular party” was still a party that utilized Islam as a pre-existing component to ease in the concoction of a monolithic identity and by extension a monolithic society (at least the attempt at the popular level, which doesn’t matter as much as we think).   (Thus the repeated phrase in various ways – “What makes a Turk who he is?  His blood, Islam, and his glorious past.”)
    Initially the adopted degree of banning of Islamic custom (Tanri Uludur! screamed by the Muezzin instead of “Allah U Akbar”, etc)  was considered extreme and ran the risk of alienating larger sections of the populations than previously thought.  Adjustments were made under various administrations to re-instate Islamic customs as required.  After all, you can’t offend everyone at that early stage.  That can come later, if needed.
    The Military hierarchical structure and its quasi-immune status from civilian administration ensured, and still ensures, the continuation of the secularist, Kemalist platform above and beyond the parliamentary fluctuations.   As a result, even so-called “Islamists” have to pay lip service to this platform.   The cooperation between the AKP and the Military in the ergenekon “rebellion” was a test, not of the Military, but of the AKP.  The tug-of-war is over, but nothing has changed.  As the matter of fact, the AKP has become more aggressive in their pan-Turkist rhetoric than ever.
    Now to the mythological, literary, and emotional argument:
    You say that the 3 pillars of Turkish Republican mythology will come down.  These pillars can come down all they want, but the foreign policy and expansionist policy can still be dictated well below popular radar and in utter defiance of popular opinion;  Don’t go far.  Simply look at the USA.   For most, that should be enough of an argument, but I’ll continue.  Remember in the US example and the warnings of the gold-playing President Eisenhauer.  He’s still correct.  The Military Industrial Complex (which is, actually, the banking, corporate uber-structure), dictates policy, and not some fool in Capitol Hill or White House.   For those who still believe otherwise, well Disneyland is selling tickets at $58 a pop.
    You say there are more books about the Armenian genocide.  Oh, I am well aware.  There is an “identity crisis in Turkey” said Dink not long before he was murdered. “Ինքնութեան խնդիր կայ և մենք վիզիոն, վիզիոն պիտի ունենանք.”  His “vizion” spilled blood on the curb that will eventually wash away in the tide of “plularistic fascism.”
    I’ll explain by “pluralistic fascism” what I mean.  Krikor Zohrab and Hrant Dink, they are such twin brothers.  Are they not?   Zohrab, a brilliant man, excellent writer, competent lawyer, eudite, learned, man of the letter as much as any man can get, perhaps one of our best, finally had his head crushed by a Kurd sent by his best “pluralistic buddy” Tala’at.   During that entire period until only shortly before his death, Zohrab truly believed in the “progressiveness of his secular Constitutionalist brothers” (this is a quote).   Zohrab’s party, the ARF was carrying banners “Vote for Ittihad” during elections in 1906, I if memory serves.
    To be continued.
     

  235. I read the last portion of your post and saw that you write what is most commonly written on this topic and what I hear for the most part from Turks and Armenians from Turkey on the situation in Turkey.

    Considering the climate and level of “thinking” we’re at on such forums these days, I’ll skip Kemal’s reasons for the (atrocious is an understatement) barbaric and bestial treatment of religious leaders from 1923.   Let’s just say that he had his reasons, reasons which still run the show.

    Your friend’s reaction to the revelation of his identity is touching, but the reverse reaction has been more commonplace.  I happen to think it beautiful the possibility to have the chance to reengage with especially the Hamsheni, a beautiful bunch if there ever was, particularly their music, Armenian music that has survived and transcended the Bolshevization, the “Party” corrosions, and so on!   You gotta love those people!   Yet, are they willing to be named Armenians?  I’ve seen first hand mixed reactions at both extremes.   It is definitely possible with these people especially to integrate peacefully Armenian and overall Turkish society, in which the Hamsheni are apparently increasingly popular, particularly in music and dance, performing folk arts.

    Yet, there are contingencies against such acceptance of the Armenian identity, and I don’t know if the awareness of this issue will be allowed to progress to the point where their mythology will be completely invalidated.   The fanatics are attempting to “study the language and determine its Turkic, Chagatay Turkic, to be exact, origins,” at the university level.

    This is actually the opinion of many Turks with whom I’ve discussed this, and they are in agreement that their government is still to be controlled by expansionist ideologues for a long time to come due to the interests in support of this ideology have in mind in Eurasia.    Those Turks who are disgusted by their government’s long fascistic, murderous, and denialist history, though – I do agree – greater in number than we do realize, admit grudgingly that they have no control over this locomotive through any existing civil processes.

    The article 301 cannot be lifted if the forces at work -internal and external – whom I suspect will continue to exist and exert the most influence.   Also, the numerous imperialist and fascistic outbursts by AKP leaders of late simply makes such an egg-on-the-face possibility out of the question.   The trend seems to be internal rejection of the EU in favor of other options already mentions, and this might even put the EU at the flip side of the bargaining table.   They know this too.  Now, this possibility that internal social upheavals can cuase for the rendering of article 303 totally redundant, I can foresee were it the case that I did not believe in the civilian and democratic processes and their actual limits of power in key political ideas and their momentum.  I speak of pan-Turkism that has simply too high a saturation point.

    Dink was murdered by an obvious fascist indoctrinated with the standard pan-Turkist “mythology.”  Dink’s trial process was a mockery of justice, and the murderer was displayed in a subdued but recognizable heroic aura.
    The Ergenekon was not a failure, in my opinion.  It was a test, a test to see the popularity of the AKP within the law enforcement, intelligence, and military.
    What, indeed, happened to the Ergenekon participants?   Were they tried and hung as traitors in a military court martial?   Please, let’s answer that question before we judge the actual intentions, interests, and effects of all this “wonderful relaxation going on.”

    Turkish economy, something no one wants to deal with: Just what the heck is this “industrialization and prosperity” about?  The fact is that it is still less than 1% of the population in control of the nation’s wealthy, which is the most constant phenomenon in Turkish reality other than the largest corporation itself, the Military, which is what Military is, a mega corporation that spends, not earns (so to speak, in Turkey’s case, it extorts and is rewarded), and has many guns and the license to use it.   Two family names come up when it concerns domestic wealth: Koc and Sabanci, and their satellites.  They aso donate generously to the Military, and while some take this Military dominance with humor, the leading moneybags do not.   The rest is foreign investment, again in cooperation with Koc, Sabanci, and their various satellites.  At the popular level, there is a better standard of living and per capita income than Bulgaria, but lower than Greece, which is not saying much at all.   It is still a centrally controlled oligarchy and military who are apparently working on creating their own  independent imperial power base in the east-west gamble.  That’s what I see anyhow.

    In the end, I hope all the optimists are correct about Russia, Turkey, and the “light at the end of the tunnel.”   Turks that I have met have been personable individuals with whom we have had good business and casual relationships, but then again, I have met the fascistic sort who, no matter what you throw at him, it boomerangs back with venom, blood and spit.   I certianly hope the former take the helm and calm the beast in the latter one day, for the good of the region and mankind, but I certainly don’t see any such possibility in the near future.

    However, Armenian optimists in this region have joined Krikor Zohrab.
     

  236. Dear Arto,

    I think this line of thinking – Turkey has changed, Turks are not the sme as 100 years ago as well as its twin extreme brother – Turks are the same savages our forefathers were facing equally misleading when it comes to policy-making, in this case negotiation. We cannot control where Turkey will be going, we can influence that choice in rather limited ways. We can only negotiate out of our national interests and a clear understanding where we are going and where we want to be. Do not get me wrong – I am not saying that we should not study developments in Turkey, on the contrary nothing can be more important than strong Turkology in Armenia.Know thy enemy. However, if you negotiate on the premise that we know where Turkey is going because Fridman said spilled the beans, we will end up reacting to choices made by Turkey. We need to have pro-active rather than reactive stance.

  237. Hagop jan,

    1.The weak always justifies his\her behavior as a reaction to somebody else’s behavior. You too reflexive when we need to be more reflective.

    2. Your pseudo-historical analogy is both inaccurate and offensive to hundreds of Armenian senior officers who came and served Armenia when motherland most needed them and their skills. Your Rusophobia is blinding you. It was not Iranian, American, French but Soviet (Russian) trained officer corps that helped build the Armenian army.It was Norat Ter Gregorian who fainted several times because of under-nourishment, did not ask for any perks or luxury, he came and served Armenia. It was officers like Commandos who planned and executed now text book operations in Artsakh. I can continue the list, but is it necessary? And yes there is a difference between analogy and metaphor, between pseudo-patriotic beating in the chest and policy analysis, that is something Armenia needs badly.

    Finally, you may have missed this with Ken Hachikyan – the protocols and TARC have been pushed not by Russia but by the United States, the country where presumably we have the strongest influence on policy. In fact, we don’t because to influence something, one first needs to make sense of it. Instead of engaging US based on a thorough understanding of American national interests, I would not go as far as shaping those interests, we put out demands.I am really curious if Madame Secretary even responded to Ken Hachikyan’s angry letter. But even if she did, US policy-makers will not trade their national interests for our demands, no matter how just they may be.This may sound cruel but this is the reality. I told you already you can vent, but sometimes ask yourself what are trying to achieve here?

    Adieux from Paris

  238. The dire situation that has dawned upon all of us causes various reactions in this discussion: mobilized intellectual effort, rush to help with whatever words we can put together, clairvoyancy, chest-beating, “naive” questioning, patting on the back, taking skeletons out of personal closets, outright abuse – to mention a few without being exhaustive. Judging from recent encouraging signs (change of tone, improved communications etc.), I would like to think that all this is well-meant and although we are not looking in one direction (would have been big fun if not for the current tragic times) perhaps the unifying question is “now what”. It is out of question that things from now on can be left in their current appauling state.
    I would like to remind those that are reading this further a conveniently forgotten paper from 2001:
    http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/10013/1/Diaspora_Arm_Website.pdf
    Does anybody know of any sequel in the following 8 years? Perhaps we badly need to discuss something of this kind. HagopN?
    It has also been floated by Gagik Harutyunyan that according to Jewish researchers the GDP of Armenia + Diaspora (how can the latter be cacluated?) are together equal to the GDP of Turkey. Is that so?

  239. Arto,
    Your position is well represented in the RA media and even taken to extremes (Novoe Vremya 13 October, Armen Drabinyan, “The Armenian Trunk”). I do not associate you with such open turkophilia and you have gone to the effort to put forward some aspects in a more palatable way, your articulate finale notwithstanding. You are factually right in many of your starting points, but I am surprised at your explicit and implicit conclusions. Helping our (now) neighbouring nation into a wishfully thought catharsis is one thing, taking on our shoulders the whole burden of decades of their state-organized brainwashing and outright lies is another, and for that matter totally inconsiderate and irresponsible. It may be a very Christian step to take, but even the World’s first Christian nation cannot afford it, if it is to survive.
     
    Or you think that once we made the ultimate scarfice, anything that we are asked to do now pales in comparison – our hearts hurt enough, so is it much to ask for to also grit out teeth? For whose benefit?

  240. Greg, strange that you are asking the question “what now?” now. To even remotely approach that problem one needs to answer the question “how it came to be this way?”  That was the gist of Davidian’s article and instead of discussing policy we are dragged here into constant gloom and doom from the self-styled experts on everything but that very question at hand. What are you proposing to do assuming your or your friends analysis of Turkey is correct, assuming you referenced calculation of the aggregate GDP is correct? If I were to continue Nalbandyan’s logic, it is about change of power, i.e. revolutionary means. In my book that will bring about disaster.

  241. Greg,
    Turkey does not have a monopoly on subjective history. Just look at the great democracies we both live in that have engaged in state-organized brainwashing and outright lies.
    What happened to the Aboriginal culture in both countries? History has only been rectified in the last 20 years. How about the treatment of Japanese-Americans and Japanese Canadians in WWII?. All their property was confiscated and they were forced to live in concentration camps. Only is past 10 years has the truth been exposed and an apology and financial compensation given.
    How about the treatment of blacks in America until the late 60s civil rights movement?
    Where I live in BC, the province mistreated Chines migrant workers who help build the railroad in the early 1900’s. A “Head tax” was put on each of them. They weren’t considered human beings but chattle.
    The Spanish wiped out the Aztec and the Inca civilizations.
    The Japanese to this day still rewrite their history because they can’t accept the reality of their brutal treatment of Koreans during WWII.
    So rationally why are we holding Turks to another standard? All empires had brutal episodes in their history and history was rewritten to hide their guilt.
    There is no doubt Turkey is trying to come to grips with its past. 15 years ago if a Prime Minister of Turkey had suggested to Armenia to form a “historical commission”, he would have been killed or removed from office.
    Thank goodness the  Government of the RA understands these changes in Turkey and is trying to seize the moment. This is why no Diasporan Armenian should ever negotiate with the Turks. We need level and unemotional thinking. We can’t negotiate with a country that we prejudge as lying, cunning, brutal Envers and Talaats.

  242. Arthur jan,

    1. I’ll try to be less reflexive, and you do try to be a stronger and face criticism and disagreement more gracefully and humbly.   You will quickly notice that my counter-reaction will be in kind.  If I’m being a total idiot , then do try to explain.

    2. “Pseudo-this, pseudo-that.”  

    In 1920 there was rampant Russophilia, (I don’t merely refer to non-mastery of the Armenian language) cripplingly exaggerated amount of foreign reliance, and this article which you say you understand “in mysterious ways” portrayed that problem as the main theme.   That is in fact the main problem that caused competent and proven commanders against Karabekir to be excluded from the military’s decision making process.  Andranik Ozanian was insulted and chased away (and no, he had resigned form the ARF years before)!   The instance where Sepuh’s experienced forces are intentionally divided and rendered ineffective “because his troops and he didn’t have mastery of the Russian language” is typical.  These are just a few examples.

    As to the constant comparison and unfounded accusations against me of somehow criticizing the current military command, I have not made any comment with regards to current participants, who are by far the superior than their predecessors.  Granted, I have only passingly mentioned that the most reliable government instution is the Military, and this includes all competent and dedicated participants, Russophone or not.   They have proven beyond any expectation to be competent military commanders, trainers, and strategists.   I do not refer to their Russophone character.  Russophilia is drastically different than merely being Russophone due to educational opportunities or lack thereof in the Armenian language in Soviet times outside of ArmSSR, and so on.   The Russophile party also includes many Armenophones, and among the most dedicated Armenian nationalists are Russohpones. 

    I am well aware of Ter Gregorian’s contributions, and I do not put him in the same category as those predecessors of his in 1920.   You’re making far too many assumptions about my supposed Russophobia.  I harbor not one iota of negative feeling or opinions against the Russian people, the Russian empire, the current federation, or any Russian entity save for the skinhead bunch.   As the matter of fact I am, in other circcumstances, (unjustifiably) accused of pro-Russian bias!

    My objection is to the overrreliance, overreliance (as I have mentioned in another post under a different article) on foreign support, and this overreliance is exemplified by the three successive current administrations.   This overreliance on foreign support and total lack of faith in national strength – one’s own people – was the norm in 1920 that caused the loss of Kars.  The negative consequence of default of overreliance on foreign support, whether that is Russian, Iranian, or otherwise, is nonreliance on intranational resources and total neglect of intranational resources.   Yerevan is the best bet on organizing Armenians worldwide, not the “party structure” nor any “benevolent union” which are supposedly apolitical in nature anyhow.  Yet, we see Yerevan performing the reverse role of alienating a huge section of Armenians, expatriates, diasporans of various background, and more nationalist minded Armenians living in Armenia.

    I would wager that if as much enthusiasm and energy was spent on domestic “protocols” and such, we would be in a far better bargaining position.   I don’t think you remember correctly the reasons for my bitterness toward David’s megalomania in the past, but this issue, this position is precisely why I was attacked without any provocation initially by your buddy.   Even standard questioning of the double community model, the most wasteful thing in the world where 2 churches and 2 schools are built for a 1000 people, are continuing despite the obvious dangers of “white genocide”?   This was considered “dirty laundry that would give Turks too much fodder to work against David the Great.”   I can very well separate his accomplishments and genuine intentions from his megalomania.   He, however, is incapable of making such distinctions, and you rarely have that same capacity.

    On Hatchikian, the likelihood of non-response by Madame Secretary, once again, all these weak spots can be lessened by working more on “protocolizing” the domestic scene.    You’re complaining and lamenting over our lack of influence in Washington.   My lamentation is more realistic.   We can change ourselves and first of all try to influence ourselves and consolidate ourselves on a path beneficial to us as a nation, as a national identity.  

    Also, there is now apparently a rumor flying around E. Nalbandyan is married to Primakov’s daughter?   Clearly this doesn’t matter as much, supposedly, (of course it does), but the deligitimized government who alienates the populations with Russophiliac, Europhiliac, Turkophiliac driven concessions is certainly the greatest reason for lamentation.   No “policy” can be beneficial to us when the reigns are in the hands of Russophiles, Turkophiles, and Europhiles, anything except Armenophile.  

  243. Arto,
    We are now concerned about Armenian security specifically.   Canadian aborigenes, Japanese reailroad workers, Korean slaves in Japan, and so on are overall immaterial to our discussion.   Regardless of this, there is no justification for genocide. 

    Ironically, you contradict your own statements above.  The Canada we speak of, despite it historically and fundamentally having been a pluralistic society with relatively tolerant attitudes toward immigrants, still had the legal sanction to dehumanize Chinese migrant workers and the like before according regulations and safeguards were implemented.  Today the sanctioning of slave labor comes in the form of “foreign investments” in undeveloped states with unregulated (particularly with regards to labor rights) economies.   The same is the case with the pluralistic fascist USA and their mistreatment of Irish, Chinese, and other ethnicities under the blanket of expansionism to the west, under free capitalism and total exploitation with no labor rights safeguards.   Now, the American citizen is taught that his country is “the most free in the world,” but this country too invests in what could best be considered slave labor in undeveloped countries to the benefit of an increasingly constrictive oligopoly and increasingly impoverished middle class.  

    This social stratification and incapacitation of the masses and concentration of power into the hands of fewer and fewer, made possible for the Executive branch under the influence and pressure of a so-called “neo-con faction” to illegally carry out full scale war without taking the legal steps of Congressional ratification and declaration.  Iraq’s twice bombardment and eventual illegal occupation was achieved despite much opposition (and I tell you, the many branched opposition in the US is well-informed, formidable and large), and the support base in this “pluralistic” society came from a carefully crafted form of “messianic fascism” based on some counterfeit form of “Judeo-Christianity” where the US is carrying out some perverted form of “Messianic mission.”   The second largest support base came from the “Freedom loving” rhetoric, where the sloganeering neo-cons worked the conditioned post-McCarthyist “anti-terrorism and anti-dictatorship” reflexes, a distorted chauvinism of “democracy”, into a messianic mob in itself in whose mind “The USA were merely exporting freedom by toppling dictators.”  It is still a form of fascism, pluralistic fascism.  The US, therefore, is a “fascist chef” with many kitchens, ready to serve whatever form of fascism required to mobilize many compartments and cells in its citizenry to carry on its imperialistic goals.  The richer you are, the better your fascism is, the more palatable, since, again, it is fed to specific sectors of the masses by different circus clown, chefs, and propaganda alchemists.

    Turkey is now learning that lesson, a smoother form of fascism that appears “tolerant and pluralistic,” with important limitations maintained by certain static and quite intolerant components of managing this “pluralism” to still carry forth a fascistic agenda.

    As a result, Turkish aggressive policies toward Armenian existence in the region are active and don’t show any signs of decline.   Islamic rule has been merely massaged to apply new names to the same imperialist animal in order to conform to the nascent Islamic pabulum.  Despite the pluralistic argument you give above, there is no convincing evidence that pan-Turkism will be on the decline any time soon.  

    Ironically, therefore, with the advent of “acknowledging pluralism and recognition of ethnic diversity,” Turkey is merely showing more confidence in its ability to carry forth the “pluralist fascistic” agenda, merely a modified and more modern (America, Anglo, and so on) approach to societal consolidation under a different flavor of “messianic nationalist/patriotism.”  Indeed, if the monolithic ethno-religious model is too unjustifiable considering the dymanics in communications, new ideas, and, as you say, many attacks on its 3 myths, then a new set of myths and ideologies must be concocted to carry forth the same agenda.   

    When I read discussions among Turks on the newly coined phenomenon of “Neo-Ottomanism,” I mostly see 2 extreme views: “Thanks but no thanks.  No more pluralism and decadence under an anachronistic Islamic theocracy”  versus the “Yes, we are indeed destined to be the Islamic and Eurasian leaders in a multi-cultural empire under Turkic leadership,” and the latter is the more popular reaction as the days go by.   There is indoctrination at many levels on this ideal where “pluralism” is exploited to carry forth the same pan-Turkist agenda with modifications made in accordance to the climate at hand.

    There is resistance by a few minorities, and perhaps the Ergenekon case is just that, within the Military, where a minority officers have not yet “gotten the hint” that is also given by their own Chief of Staff, that the “AKP is with us, don’t’ worry.”   Another opinion on Ergenekon I have offered above, but the last versioin is more likely, come to think of it.

  244. Gary,

    Thank you for the link to that article.  Yes, it is worth discussing in that vein.   There have been many proposals of the kind, but surprisingly not (or perhaps not surprisingly)  the successive administrations have been turning the blind eye.   There have been proposals for organized emigration to Armenia from various states financed, organized and guided jointly between corresponding Republic and Diaspora agencies specifically for this purpose.   I will read the article carefully tonight.

    Similar things about the GDP have been said here by economists, former senior economic advisors under David Shahnazarian during both his tenures as foreign and national security minister.   They too were essentially chased out of the system by Shahnazarian’s severely corrupt administrative philosophies.   They concluded that Armenians as a whole outperform the entire Turkish economy and Turkish diaspora by a factor of 1.3 to 1 if one takes into account leveraged control of strategic assets and so on.    There is, as you are hinting, tremendous domestic potential which has been left almost completely untapped. 

  245. Hagop,
    All very material. Everything has its time and place in history. All the countries I mentioned except Japan eventually came to the realization of its checkered past. Japan soon will as well. Diasporan Armenian can push and push but circumstances and attitudes have to be right for a country to come to grips with its past. I am hoping the time is near for Turkey.

  246. HagopN,
     
    It is awkward to ask this, but I assume that your comment from 9:26p.m. is addressed to me, rather than a Gary, whom I cannot find when scrolling back. No problem, just trying to avoid confusion.
    I still do not understand how one evaluates the equivalent of a GDP for a loose collection of globalised businesses – how do you handle the D in GDP? Surely the Armenian origin of someone speaks only in a very limited way as to whom to associate a “quasi-GDP”; and how do we know that the list of contributors is complete? It appears that these numbers should be by definition a pessimistic estimate, while I guess the optimism goes in the direction of our ability to use it…

  247. Arto, I would like to add that Americans are in general very nice people who are appalled by thekilling machine that their government is.   Yet, they are not in control somehow.  In other words, you have not read a single word I have written carefully.   The controlling interests in Canada and the US, despite having accepted their “checkered” past (which, not matter how one measures it, is not nearly as bloody, barbaric, and cruel as Turkey’s remote and recent history), have merely adopted a “superficial acknowledgment” of their past errors.   They have merely transferred their in fact in some ways escalated forms of fascism to different channels and flavors.  Read what I wrote above carefully.  It’s there 24 hours a day, 7 days week, at no charge. 

  248. After reading the hysteria of our intellectual midgets everywhere Davidian’s essay here is perhaps the best commentary I have yet seen regarding recent political developments in the Caucasus. Bravo, Mr. Davidian!

  249. Avetis, therefore you too believe that “Turks are alienating the Azeris and surely we as the most wise Armenian administration will leverage this to our best advantage.”   Forget about all the x and y nonsense.  Anyone can put together a “hydrocarbon” crossword puzzle if they want to waste their time.  Tell me, then what is the meat of your admiration?  What is it that you agree so much with? 

  250. Hagop jan,
    While the essay has some weak points in it, compared to the hysteria and paranoid filled material produced by many Armenians in the diaspora today it is the best I have yet seen. I am looking for sound analysis of the current events that seriously takes into account the region’s geopolitics.

  251. I too am looking for serious analysis, and I did not find it above.  The above article lacks in the balanced amount of what you categorize as “paranoia.”  In my experience, in matters of security with known hostiles, while you should not become irrationally phobic and should not cause outright pandemonium and be opportunistic, you cannot be too “paranoid.”   My “paranoia”, and I am not afraid to admit it, comes from the complementary factors of 1) the utter incompetence of Armenia’s security apparatus, 2) the brainwashing campaign in history dirrected at the Armenian population through government controlled mass media, 3) and Turkey’s experience and proven level of hostility toward Armenian existence.   I have already written what it means to be “a pluralist fascist state,” which is a paradox that is nevertheless a reality.   No one has answered the question as to why the Armenian government needs to engage in white-washing history in order to convince its own citizenry.    Can you explain to me that, if indeed this “negotiation process” is so beneficial to us all, if indeed the people are in agreement while being fully cognizant of the situation, why then do they have to be deceived on order to think as such?   I think Armenians are being prepared for a trap.  I think Armenians are being systematically denationalized for eventually extinction by lackeys in their own government fully engaging in brainwashing campaigns to indoctrinate in a new “peaceful paradaigm of history where we are all to blame” etc.   Unless this is addressed honestly by all “analysts,” then all involved are insincere.  The only ones to address this problem are Papian and Ayvazyan.        

  252. Let the death of idiotic and humiliating for the nation of Armenia protocols, the imposition of which both Serjik and his foreign minister had no guts to oppose, serve a good lesson to the current and future generations of Armenian leaders that, no matter what, it is the PEOPLE both in Armenia and the Diaspora, and not a bunch of unelected, unrepresentative, unpopular, corrupt and subservient rulers, who will decide the destiny of their Homeland.
    Rest In Oblivion, protocols…

  253. I strongly believe that Turkish-Armenian protocols will help the development and improvement in the relationship between two neighboring nations. I hope that this protocol becomes the first of the more possible protocols to get the relationship back to a more civil way. Lifting the border blockade by both parties would have been a good step to let people to cross the border and know each other and understand each other.
    I see many good signs particularly among the younger people from both nations who are not interested in an archaic war almost a century old.  The young politicians will do much better than what we have been doing. They are much smarter and wiser. Our ancestors created their own faith, positive or negative, now it is the turn of young people to shape their future.
     
    I expect more similar protocols between Azerbaijan and Armenia. That will bring peace and eventually prosperity to the people of Caucasus area.
    Shaping and determining the politics with the past’s events are for the short-sighted politicians who seek to get more votes from non-intellectual people.
     
    Peace will prevail.

  254. The Turkish-Armenian protocols might have helped the development and improvement in the relationship between the two nations had they contained a single phrase: “Governments of Turkey and Armenia hereby express intention to establish diplomatic relations and open the border.” PERIOD. This is the normal diplomatic practice. But since these protocols contain preconditions like the creation of historical commission on the fact of the Genocide, acknowledgment of all existing borders in the region, acceptance of all previous treaties, etc. and are evidently being tied by the Turks to the resolution of an issue that has no relation whatsoever to the Turkish-Armenian relations (read: Nagorno-Karabakh), Armenians do not trust, as they never did, and hardly ever will, these cheap Turkish tricks.
    While some of the younger people may not be interested in archaic wars, with Armenian youth there is such a thing as genetic memory that runs in the blood of virtually everyone, because virtually everyone’s great- or grandparents witnessed or escaped the indescribable Turkish horrors and barbarity. As long as their victim complex is not relieved by the Turkish acknowledgment of the heinous crime against humanity – the Armenian Genocide, this memory will be haunting the youngsters however uninterested some of them may be.
    The Armenian Cause goes beyond shaping and determining the contemporary politics, because as a result of the Genocide Armenians were deprived of their ancestral homeland in which they’ve been living for millennia. It is a great pain, outrage, and uncontrolled feeling of revenge for the millions of butchered, burnt and buried alive, ripped off, drown and left starve men, women, infants, and the elders. Politics based on the past’s events might be short-sighted for the bought and paid-for politicians, but for the nations who determine their future there is no future without the past. Being one of the ancient peoples inhabiting the earth, Armenians cherish their past as they contributed immensely to the human civilization in arts, architecture, sciences, trade and commerce.

    There’s no future without the past.

    Before Peace Justice must prevail.

  255. Let me ask you a simple question. If this such a great deal for the Turks and such a bad deal for the Armenians how come the Turks don’t want to sign it? Why are they dragging their feet? And why on the other hand has Armenia been ready to sign it from Day 1?

  256. Arto jan,
    Please bare in mind that you are not talking to clear-minded mature adults… Any obvious or logical question and/or comment you make will go right over the heads of these intellectual midgets… As long as Armenia fits their narrow/limited genocide obsessed expectations and perspectives it would not matter to them if our homeland forever sinks into poverty, isolation, stagnation and insignificance. Sadly, the diaspora is becoming a real security risk for Armenia…

  257. Don’t let me be misunderstood here. I personally on the side that both Countries should sign the protocols, and make more protocols like that one. Getting the relationships between the Armenian and Turkish People is more essential than anything else. None of those who committed the crime in question is living today, but I think  our children deserve a better world. Getting Armenia and Turkey and their citizens to higher levels, both economically and socially, must be considered seriously by the politicians.
    If I were the prime minister of Turkey, I would have opened the borders on the first day of my duty. Peoples are the suffering parties, because of the idiot politicians.
    I am very much against the expulsion of the Armenians living and working in Turkey. The Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan, made very absurd comment on this point, and his threat is totally unacceptable. Other way around, I wish so much, to have more Armenians, Greeks, Bulgarians etc. in this country which would add greatly to the richness of culture.
    Talking about human losses, I am telling here again, in this geography, I know few people who hadn’t lost some of their family members, including myself.
    And Justice doesn’t exist.  Justice changes acoording to the window you are looking out of.  I don’t know even one single person, who believes in justice. Should we stop looking for justice? No.

  258. The current protocols are internationally-forced, policy-motivated documents that contain biased, unilateral preconditions suggested by the Turks. For signing them, the Armenian president and his foreign minister have been condemned by the majority of their own citizens and the Armenians of the Diaspora. However, even under such a massive pressure and outrage by their co-ethnics, the Armenian government shows readiness to ratify them. I’d like to repeat in a slightly paraphrased fashion the question of a commentator in this forum: If protocols like these, which you’d like to see more, are a great deal for the Turks and such a bad deal for the Armenians, why the Turks are reluctant to ratify them?” And I’d like to add a question of my own: “How technically is it possible to establish relationships between two peoples when a genocide-perpetrating nation for decades refuses to acknowledge its crime? How can a victim-nation maintain good-neighborly relations with a neighbor who didn’t even apologize for annihilating virtually all Armenian population in the Ottoman Empire?” Would you personally trust such a denialist neighbor, if you transcend from the level of international relations to an ordinary human relationship with a neighbor next-door? I very strongly doubt so.
     
    By the way, Erdogan’s comment on the expulsion of the Armenians living and working in Turkey has fueled even greater suspicion and historical mistrust with the Armenians that “barbaric Turks,” as they internationally came to be known, have miraculously become more civilized and secular in the 21st century. And this is a prime-minister of a nation that knocks on Europe’s door? Forget it as a dream. Especially with a mentality derived from your absurd and insulting note: “None of those who committed the crime in question is living today…” This is a typical Turkish cunning mentality that maybe bought by some others, but not by Armenians. If no criminals are alive today it doesn’t mean that their crime against humanity (note: not a domestic crime of stealing horses from across the border, but the most barbaric, heinous crime of wiping off a whole civilization and depriving Armenians of their historical, ancestral homeland) must be forgotten. Be courageous, go ahead and tell the Jews that what Germans have done to them must be forgotten because no Nazi is living today.” See what their reaction will be, or the Cambodians, or the Ukrainians, or the Greeks, or the Assyrians and the Kurds, or the Darfurians. Crimes against humanity must be acknowledged in order to minimize their occurrence in the future and achieve Peace whose proponent you so fervently are. THIS is the most essential prerequisite to move forward and have peaceful, better world for the children of the two countries. Turkey MUST acknowledge its crime if it, in deeds not just in words, wants to have no problems with its neighbors.
     
    As for the comment re: your desire to “see more Armenians, Greeks, Bulgarians, etc. (BTW: not “etc.”, but respectfully: “and the others”) in this country, which would add greatly to the richness of culture”. Well, the peoples you mentioned lived on their lands in Asia Minor for millennia before the arrival of invader nomadic Seljuk tribes from the steppes of Central Asia only in the 11th century A.D. And they had to live under the Turkish Ottoman yoke thereafter beginning the 14th century until they have been wiped out in early 20th century. Although heavily oppressed as religious millet by unjust laws, unbearable taxes, and constant invasions and pogroms by Muslims (Turks, Kurds, Circessians, etc.) Armenians contributed heavily to the Ottoman “culture,” if I may say so, by excelling as outstanding poets, writers, architects, and brilliant entrepreneurs. Many buildings in Constantinople are designed by Armenians, a great many others across the country – churches, monasteries, educational centers, as well as villages, towns, and the whole provinces were intentionally destroyed. I know that my grandfather’s house in Moush still exists, and the home where he and my grandmother lived in Kars, in the district of Bairam Pasha, still exists. They say the district still has the same name now…
     
    One last point before I leave this discussion, as it appears that Turks will never mature to the understanding of a Christian, and all-human, I tend to believe, notion of Repentance. It is one thing that in our geography few people would have lost some of their family members as a result of a war, intercommunal, interreligious, or interethnic violence, famine, etc. But it is quite a DIFFERENT thing when a specific ethnos is subject to an intentional, deliberate, government-planned and executed extermination, as proved by massive amount of archival evidence that most of the leading historians, genocide scholars, international lawyers, increasing number of foreign parliaments, 42 states in the United States of America, and the European Parliament have no doubt whatsoever: a government-planned Genocide of ethnic Armenians. Lastly, when I used the word “Justice: I put a divine rather a mundane meaning into it. I didn’t mean human justice. Had it, indeed, existed, the souls of the millions of innocent Armenian victims would have finally found Peace knowing that their butchers repented. I meant Divine Justice that doesn’t have to change “according to the window you are looking out of,” that is God’s justice which we, Christians, firmly believe. No matter what, sooner or later, denialists of a mass murder will be punished. I know same provisions exist in the Koran, so at this stage I do hope that at least on this point we’d achieve understanding…

  259. To Avetis: I rarely publish comments, but I read news and discussions and I come accross your comments here and there. What are you essentially propagating, dude? Or, using your vocabulary, what are you obsessed about? That a genetic memory that exists because of the genocide be erased? This will never happen. If you think that our homeland “sinks into poverty, isolation, stagnation and insignificance” because Armenians throughout the world require acknowledgment of the Turkish crime, you must be watching a different show. From the early days of independence, the Armenian government continuously stated that it was open to normalize relations with Turkey without preconditions. Indeed, it had never included the issue of genocide recognition in the foreign policy agenda. But the country is still poor and stagnated despite the enormous aid that’s being provided by the Diaspora Armenians. So don’t you think that mismanagement and governmental self-enrichment rather than genocide recognition must have played the role? As an Armenian from Armenia there’s no doubt in my mind that Diaspora is the only effective policy tool that Armenians have and isolated, singular people like you are either sell-outs or mentally retarded not to understand this.

  260. My friends please scroll up to the top to see what this discussion is about. In case you forgot, it is entitled Turkish-Armenian Protocols: Reality and Irrationality. The author has deduced with a rational argument that the Protocols—though imperfect—are in favor of the Armenians. From most of you here, all I ever hear is pure emotional ranting. As a matter of fact, the majority of people I argue with about the Protocols have NEVER EVEN READ THE AGREEMENT. They make their decision solely on the assumption that any deal with the cunning Turk is bad. Yes, we all would have liked the Turks to sign an agreement that apologized to the Armenian nation, gave back all the lands and threw in 10 billion dollars reparations. But as you know, that is not going to happen. So what does a small nation, with little influence, few prospects, blockaded on both sides do? Does it wait for something to happen elsewhere like action in US Congress that has failed for the upteenth time or does it try to push its interests forward the best way it can. BTW, why is it that Armenians in the diaspora have so little faith in our compatriots that we have to assume that they are not smart enough or committed enough to make such an agreement?
    So I come back to my simple question to you all: If this agreement, as most of you say, is so heavily in favor of the Turks. WHY WON’T THEY SIGN. Please make it unemotional, short and rational.

  261. Dear Arto –
    One of the most recent commentators who entered this discussion was my husband and he only responded to what we felt was a false juxtaposition, forced parity that someone (calling himself ‘Resoman’) attempted to impose on the protocols, calling on Peace between the two nations without regard to the fact that Peace can only be achieved through an understanding of events and their causes, not by wishfully granting parity to each side and unfounded calls for reconciliation. That’s the only reason we’ve responded knowing too well what this discussion is about and having read both Davidian’s article and the protocols in both English and Armenian. We believe that the best counter-arguments that denounce Davidian’s analysis can be found in articles by Mathew Der Manuelian (http://www.gab-ibn.com/IMG/pdf/AT1-_Turkish-Armenian_Protocols_Reality_and_Irrationality.pdf) and Henry Theriault (https://armenianweekly.com/2009/10/11/theriault-the-final-stage-of-genocide-consolidation/).
     
    Back to your comment. I think it’s flawed for several reasons.
    First, regarding “any deal with the cunning Turk.” In the case of protocols, the deal is not ours per se, it’s been imposed on Armenians by power centers in order to twist Turkey’s arm to open the border. The last thing on Armenian government’s “to-do list” was to induce rapprochement with the Turks by means of defeatist protocols.
    Second, “we all would have liked the Turks to sign an agreement that apologized to the Armenian nation, gave back all the lands and threw in reparations. But as you know, that is not going to happen.” Well, I personally cannot predict (but I certainly respect your predicting capacity) that this is not going to happen one way or the other. Just as none of us knew that Israel could re-establish statehood after nearly 2000 years on the lands long inhabited by the others; that Germans could find the courage to apologize to Jews nearly 40 years after the Holocaust and provide reparations until the present day; that the Soviet Union could collapse and Armenia could re-gain independence; that Artsakh (formerly Nagorno-Karabakh) could have become a de-facto independent Armenian state; that after 45 years the nation of Germany could re-unite; that America could enact a Civil Rights Act acknowledging its wrongdoings with regard to Afro-Americans and Indians; that Kosovo could gain independence; that the nation of Georgia would be essentially been split into three separate entities; that throughout human history nation-states or empires collapse and new states take or re-take their place. The list goes on. It’s beyond a fallible human being’s imagination what can happen in history given ever-changing circumstances, as well as foreign policy, economic, and geostrategic preferences of players involved.
    Third, “what does a small nation, with little influence, few prospects, blockaded on both sides do?” It is known theory-wise from the political science and practice-wise from the workings of Realpolitik that small nations with little influence and few prospects are more maneuverable in advancing their foreign policy and national security interests than the large states. It is also known from history that small, destitute nations could gain political dividends when they showed resilient spirit, led by truly national, public-spirited leaders with moral legitimacy. Was not Armenia the same “small nation, with little influence, few prospects, blockaded on both sides” when it had won the Artsakh war?
     
    Lastly, to answer the question “If this protocols, as the prevailing majority of Armenians both in Armenia and the Diaspora say, is in favor of the Turks, why won’t they ratify them? (BTW: not sign, but ratify. They already signed them.) I guess you’re directing your question to the Turks who occasionally visit these discussions, so I leave it on them to answer, if they will. All I can do is to present arguments why I, just as most Armenians, think that the protocols are potentially hazardous for Armenia, and why, subsequently, Davidian’s analysis is seriously flawed.
    First, protocols have been imposed on Armenia. As such, they limit Armenia’s possibilities to advance its own interests in this game, simply because, I repeat, it’s not Armenia’s game. I tend to believe that Armenian government is just being used as a tool to pressure Turkey to open the border in order to advance the economic, military, and geostrategic interest of the world power centers.
    Second, a multitude of economists have already elaborated upon the issue of opening of the Armenian-Turkish border. Virtually all of them agree that with current Armenian trade and commerce laws, as well as given the state of Armenia’s economy, the opening of the border is a disaster for Armenia from economic, national security, ideological, demographic, and ideological perspectives.
    Third, protocols allow for multiple, at times contradictory, interpretations of several controversial provisions that I’d like to omit (I believe everyone knows them by now). Because of these insubstantial and flimsy provisions that, according to diplomatic practice of establishing diplomatic relations and opening the borders, shouldn’t have taken place in Memorandums of Understanding like Turkish-Armenian protocols, Turkey may interpret them as it deems appropriate.
    Fourth, as evidenced by recent events, Turkey ties the protocols with the Artsakh issue and there’s little chance that it’ll ever de-couple the two issues, a stance that doesn’t play to Armenia’s hands.
     
    As for your question re: “why is it that Armenians in the Diaspora have so little faith in our compatriots that we have to assume that they are not smart enough or committed enough to make such an agreement?” Well, the president who’s engaged in protocol dealings is unelected and thus unrepresentative. His unaccountability to the citizenry has become vivid when the issue of fundamental national importance not only to his own citizens, but perhaps first and foremost to the Diasporan Armenians (read: protocols) was not given a chance for an open discussion, public deliberations, and maybe even a national referendum. As for the Diaspora, it had only been given a chance to have the president in their midst for short 10 days or so when he cynically announced that he didn’t come to ask permission from the Diasporans – people who are direct descendants of those deported and expelled from Turkey, a country which the president is now playing fire with. How, after this, can Armenians in Armenia or the Diaspora have faith in such a president? His government is not accountable to the populace and there’s always a danger that they can proceed with the issue given their commercial interests and not give consideration to the issues of national interests and national dignity.

  262. Armine,
    What surprises me is the number of times this same set of arguments against the protocols has been stated, repeatedly, only to be sidestepped or ignored by parties above.   Just read what I have written in the beginning.  To start with, the maing gaping hole in Davidian’s “analysys” is the missing component of the utter hostility toward any Armenian existence by the neighboring Turkish states.   Now, to downgrade this real and main concern as label it as “mere paranoia and scaremongering” makes one wonder about the 1) qualifications and 2) type of interests to which such “servants of platitiude” belong.  Of course this is a unilateral set of agreements, merely an extension and acceleration of what has been going on for a century at least.

  263. I have het to get a response to the above questions I have asked, but in particular the quesiton about why the Armenian government and government controlled media, both in the republic and diaspora, are engaged in misinformation campaigns, in historic whitewashing campaigns, why Ashot Bleyan and his ilk are still insisting that “we have no historical grievances with Turks,” yet again pushing the Leninist leftist and quite anti-nationalist propaganda?   If the protocols or any other “raprochement” proposals are so damn beneficial, then why do they need to accomplish this by way of deceiving the Armenian public on history?

  264. I’ve already answered that question.  By delaying and dragging, they are waiting for 2 bonuses: 1) division among Armenians, and 2) further complicity and brainwashing of their own public on behalf of Armenians.   They have no interest in rapprochment.  They only have an interest in accelerating their ascent to regional hegemony.  They are also testing waters, and this has been the case in the past.

  265. “Be courageous, go ahead and tell the Jews that what Germans have done to them must be forgotten because no Nazi is living today.” See what their reaction will be, or the Cambodians, or the Ukrainians, or the Greeks, or the Assyrians and the Kurds, or the Darfurians.”

  266. Please go ahaead, and expand the list, the moderator doesn’t allow me to write more of it. Some of  my articles have been censored and banned.

  267. Resoman — I don’t think that moderators on this site would sensor or ban your articles unless they contradict the editorial policies or contain derogatory words and expressions. I think tthe real reason is that you may lack compelling counter-arguments to my comments. But in case you do have them (and I hope they are reasonable not wishful), I could leave my personal e-mail. Let me know. I’m ready.

  268. To Justiceman;

    Three of the articles I have posted earlire have been banned. Probably, those were the ones that the Moderator thought they would be disliked by the Armenian people. Like them or not, they are my views.  I have the right to psot them to a forum which I thought open to different views. If not, I have nothing to say, then circulate the similar views around, and be happy with them, and congratulate each other, or do whatsoever you would like to do.

    I won’t be surprised, I had similar treatment from the Turkish State Security Court, because they didn’t like my views that I wrote about the Armenians and some other political issues, and they filed 7 separate lawsuits against me in the years from 1991 to 2002.  In other words, you share many things with your Turkish counterparts. 
    There are some articles that I have written that the  Turks hated me so much, some other articles that the Armenians hated me. That means to me I am on the right way. 

    “I think the real reason is that you may lack compelling counter-arguments to my comments.”

    I haven’t written any arguments against your comments, because after having been censored three times, I don’t want to spend so many minutes on the keyboard to come to a point that what I write something and I am the only one to read it.  Well, I am not here to tell or teach the staff of Armenianweekly how the moderation should be or

    What is reasonable? Who will decide on what is reasonable or what is not? Judging from your comment, apparently, it is not me.

    I am not the kind of person to use derogatory or rude words for anybody.  Particularly here, as I don’t  feel any antipathy against the Armenians.  Also, I have many Armenian friends in Armenia and in the USA.  I have traveled to Armenia  more than 20 times as part of my business.

    In my posts banned earlier, I mentioned some  incidents that took place very recently, in 1990s as well as some others earlier.  You must understand what I mean.  I don’t see them in your list.   If you still don’t understand, please go ahead, and write down your email address, I will send it to you. my email is (resoman at hotmail com).

    By the way, I share nothing with nationalists, and religious people.   Those values are much against my world views.

  269. Resoman, I have seen comments by rabid Turkophiles posted on this site.  Your claims are unfounded. 

    _

    I do have a quesiton to you, though:  Would you rather see the historic Armenia in responsible Armenian hands and not see further destruction of human memory?    You sound like the pretentious Demirel.  Of course you would “be against nationalism”  when the status quo of a landlocked and weakened Armenia favors the Turkish position.  All “moderate” Turks hold this so-called “moderate” position.  It is easy fodder in this day an age, a time when dsicrediting “nationalism” is a pretentious act of point scoring: The modern day mantra goes as such –  “You see, I hate nationalists, and therefore I am so god damned tolerant.”   Tolerance of Evil is not respect nor compassionate concern.  It is a manner of weakening your opponent in a snakelike manner.
    _
    Armenians don’t need more pro-Turkish games by the puppet masters.   We don’t need an open border with a known and proven belligerent whose population is still being taught to hate Armenians at an accelerated rate, more than ever.   Tell the Turkish “side” to retract their lessons of evil and hate, first in the form of 12 million DVDs of “how the Armenian committed genocide against Turks” nonsense, and then perhaps the so-called credibility of such “peaceful doves” as you will slightly improve.
      

  270. To hagopn
    What is historic Armenia or historic Turkey?
    Then we should pack all the people of the world (approx. 6,5 billion) into a small area in Tanzania where the human race emerged millions of years ago. Or we will all live side by side on the skirts of the Mount Ararat where the Noah’s ark landed after the flood.
    I welcome the people who are anti-nationalist, and anti-religious.  Sorry, I can’t change my view.  What I understand from your post, you kind of favor Turkish nationalism. If you do so, I do mind, but it is your own business, I am not going to try to change your mind.
    That’s interesting;
    whose population is still being taught to hate Armenians
    Those who hate Armenians are bad guys, but people like me who don’t hate Armenians are also bad guys.  We all bad guys.
    Would you rather see the historic Armenia in responsible Armenian hands and not see further destruction of human memory?
    I don’t care who would be responsible for the area claimed by the Armenians, Turks or Kurds, as long as people can live together in peace.  My family have been relocated so may times in the past at the cost of loss of unknown number of members. I don’t care where I would live in the future. Preferably, at a place  where the nationalists do not exist.
    On the other hand, none of my family members have ever lived in the eastern Turkey, my family was the suffering side in the eastern Europe from where they have been expelled by some other ethnic nationalists.
    So, I am not trying to defend any members of my family for the sad incident that happened in the eastern lands. One of the reasons that I read the pages here, as I stated above, I have so many Armenian friends in Armenia or outside.  Also, our best neighbor in my childhood was an Armenian family who lived next door, with whom we had excellent relationship for years and years.
     

  271. Resoman, you either suffer from a serious reading comprehension problem, or you are cynical to the extreme.   Your co-called “views” are a pretentious baggage of styllish platitiudes.   Your message basically reads: “Oh, I love you all , but Armenians should be the good little lovable millet and be satisfied with what they have, which is nearly nothing, so that the rest of us can live in peace.”   You avoid the question of Armenian self-reliance like the plague.   Suddently, you consider that “too nationalist” a question.  The rest of the “we are the world” grabage means nothing.


  272. I find it interesting that six or so months after I wrote the article in question, it has continued to be of interest, considering what I wrote has been shown to be accurate, to the chagrin of some: no Karabakh give away, no re-validating the Treaty of Kars, no dumping of genocide recognition, and other hysterics.
     
    Sargsian played the game well, having translated huge international pressure into a chess game the Turks chose not to match. Furthermore, Sargsian was then able to take advantage of Ankara’s lack of resolve: Chatham House speech, various warnings to Turkey, and his Der Zor speech, as examples.
     
    Was it luck? It is irrelevant. The chess game continues…
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  273. Bravo, paron Davidian. You continue being perhaps the only voice of sanity we had regarding this matter…

  274. Hello Armine
    I am sorry for the late response as I have been away. I would like to briefly respond to some of your comments.
    1) How do you know that the last thing on Armenian government’s “to-do list” was to induce rapprochement with the Turks? Are you part of the government? I agree there is intense international pressure to come to a resolution on the Armenian/Turkish question but that pressure is also on Turkey. Are you so naive to think that a small country like Armenia can follow an independent foreign policy?
    Why should Armenia just wait for the US to declare the Armenian genocide? We have been fooled time and time again. And you know very well the Turkish and the Jewish lobby will prevail again. This is a prediction I am willing to take bets on.
    2) I will also admit that I poorly phrased my sentence when I said an apology, land reparations and billions of dollars from Turkey would NEVER happen. I should have said would never happen in my LIFETIME. However correct the examples you give, your argument has holes. You give many examples of events that occurred in history one would never have expected. But I can give you many examples of peoples or cultures that disappeared because of wrong decisions or plain irrelevance. Mayans, Aztecs, Toltecs, Olmecs, Incans, just to name a few. Do you think they would have predicted they would just end up in the history books?
    3) The Armenians have so far completely outmaneuvered the Turk in defining the protocols. The Constitutional decision, Chatham House speech, warnings to Turkey, and the Der Zor speech. And yes, Armenia won the Artsakh war but they won it with the help of Russia. If Russia didn’t back the Armenians, we would not have won that war.
    4) If Turkey ties their ratification to the Karabagh issue, then the Armenian government will walk away. End of story. Even I wouldn’t support it.
    5) You say the Armenian government is not legitimate. You may be right. There are only about 30 governments in the world that are legitimate. But let’s put that argument aside. If Ter Petrossian had won, do you honestly think he would have done something differently? He was the one who originally wanted to come to an agreement on Karabagh.
    Last point. I was in Armenia last years. Two out of three Armenians I talked to given the opportunity would leave Armenia for greener pastures. You may have plenty of time living in the comfort of North America to wait for an agreement with the Turks that suits YOUR needs. But Armenians in Armenia need to look to their future. Otherwise there won’t be a country left to fight for.
    The Armenians government has been dealt a difficult set of cards and they are playing them very well.

  275. What has been shown about the above that of an incomplete and less than useful picture to assess the political conditioins of the region.   The “interest” by most is due to emails that notify them of comments by random bypassers.

    If sanity is closing one eye and half-covering the other, then that sort of sanity should be outlawed.

  276. To Hagopn;
     
    Believe in what you want to believe. It is not my concern. I am writing my own views and thoughts. That’s the way it should be, you tell your opinions, I do my own.
     
    I see that not all Armenians are of the same opinion, just like not all the Turks are of the same opinion, that makes me hopeful about the future. Things are in constant changing, neither you, nor your Turkish counterparts will change this fact. The days are to come that the peace will prevail between peoples.
     
    Yes, friend, we are the world.

  277. To: David Davidian
     
    You’re mistaken, I’m afraid. Most recent comments here refer to remarks by some Turkish commentators that were irrespective to your article. While I understand it must be self-glorifying to presume that what you wrote ‘has been shown to be accurate,’ the fact that after six or so months your article still pioneers as the most commented suggests that it’s been the most controversial one.
     
    It is incontestable that the known provisions in the protocols that were argued in length and that put most Armenians into a flutter, which you label ‘hysterics,’ allow for multiple, contentious interpretations. They’re so loosely stipulated and so uncharacteristically defined that one must be a prodigy or a clairvoyant to interpret them as unambiguously as you did. The very fact that these protocols contain provisions, which wouldn’t otherwise take place in Memorandums of Understanding that are being signed in dozens among the states, undermines their credibility and poses risk for the Armenian side. For these protocols to be credible and risk-free they should have contained a single clause, as it’s customarily being done in the international practice, about the readiness of both governments to establish diplomatic relations and open the border.
     
    Ensuing course of events have demonstrated that these unwisely-drafted and potentially unsafe for Armenians documents are in impasse. As long as they’re not totally dead, can we be sure that areas surrounding Karabakh will not be given away and the status of Karabakh not denigrated given the provision that ‘reconfirms the [parties’] commitment to territorial integrity and inviolability of frontiers of all states in the region’? Can we be sure that no past treaties be re-validated based on ‘the mutual recognition of the existing border between the two countries as defined by relevant treaties’? Can we be sure that ‘the sub-commission on the historical dimension…, including an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archive to define existing problems’, is not aimed at dumping of genocide recognition?
     
    Remember this: these questions pertain to provisions that exist in an official document and are written there in black and white. Moreover, the document is signed by high-ranking executives on both sides. Given this, Serge’s Chatham House speech, Der Zor speech, or other verbal warnings to Turkey, are just speeches per se. Had he made them with no protocols in sight, I’d wholeheartedly welcome such verbal proclamations of a president, who is, nonetheless, unelected and illegitimate. But, as the proverb goes, it’s no use locking the stable door after the horse has bolted. Can we be sure that one of the objectives of Serge’s speeches wasn’t an attempt to mollify the Diaspora and his own concerned citizens? To cover a signed document, which he’s sent to the parliament for ratification, with verbiage, however emotional and touching it might be?
     
    Lastly, it is by no means Serge’s game so one can say that he played it well or bad. Serge was whistled up to be a part of others’ game in the capacity of a pawn to help advance economic and geostrategic games of other, more powerful players. I feel sorry for those who can’t realize this trivial actuality.

  278. OK, Arto, thanks for your response. Let me go over it point by point as in your comment.

    1) I know. I was a part of an ad hoc group and inducement of rapprochement with the Turks has never been a separate policy objective. Armenian-Turkish relations were considered in the context of maintaining normal relations with all states in the region with emphasis on establishing relations with the Turks without preconditions. Yet, almost noone would argue that there clearly are preconditions in the protocols. Otherwise they should have read as follows: ‘The governments of Turkey and Armenia express desire to establish diplomatic relations and open the border.’ Yes, I agree that both Armenia and Turkey were subject to intense international pressure. And no, I’m not a naïve person to think that a small country like Armenia can follow an independent foreign policy. At the core of my previous comments was precisely this conception, but my viewpoint differs as to how a small country like Armenia ought to handle such a pressure. You should still prove that by signing the protocols Armenia, and not the international community, including the US, now has an upper hand in the recognition of the genocide. My reading into these documents suggests that there’s no provision that’d place Armenia to a position where Armenia could advance recognition on its own. But feel free to prove me wrong, if you found any such provision in the protocols.
     
    2) Noone can predict anything with precision except God Almighty. And I don’t disagree with you on this point. I just said that ANYTHING could happen because this world itself is changing and kinetic. BTW, the Soviet Union collapsed in my lifetime.

    3) I don’t think the Armenians have any say, let alone anything to do to outmaneuver the Turks with regard to the protocols. This is not Armenia’s game. While I appreciate all the verbal speeches that the president gave from the emotional perspective, I don’t think that verbiage, however correct and commendable, can have prevalence over Armenia’s signature on defeatist protocols and their submission for ratification to the parliament. And partly yes partly no, Armenia won the Artsakh war with the help of Russia but with the courage of tens of thousands of the country’s sons and daughters. Armenia won the war because our soldiers were superior, both psychologically and morally, in knowing that they’re defending their own land. Had there not been such moral superiority, no Russia, or the US, or China, or all of them combined, could have made Armenia the victor however hugely they backed it. Azerbaijan, too, used Afghan mojahedins, Turkish military instructors, Islamic world’s financial support, and intelligence sources of some other countries. But they lost.

    4) Well, right from the point of signing the protocols Turkey ties their ratification to the Karabakh issue, but the Armenian government didn’t walk away so far.

    5) I equally despise all former and current presidents of Armenia for the past 19 years, as none of them was public-spirited and responsive to people’s concerns. As for your comparison with the world, well, you know, in other countries, there sometimes have been legitimate presidents just for a change, whereas in our country we’ve only seen one illegitimate president after another.

    Last point. Who ever consulted or asked for an opinion of the Armenians in Armenia in regard to signing the protocols with the Turks? This is a deliberately-disseminated state propaganda that it is the open border with Turkey that will give ‘future’ to the Armenians. In reality, it will not. Scores of economists and other experts have raised their voice that opening the border under the current circumstances will be a disaster for Armenians from economic, national security, demographic, and ideological perspectives. Ordinary people will not benefit from border opening because given the state of Armenia’s economy it’ll be to disadvantage of their businesses. Only corrupt elites will benefit. For the better future of the Armenians a different set of things is needed: a responsible, professional government consisting of statesmen not clan strongmen; foundations for a civil society where rights of people are respected; independent judiciary system; free and transparent electoral system; abolition of clan system, nepotism, and wide-spread governmental corruption; and other democracy-building measures.

    The Armenian government has been dealt a difficult set of cards, indeed, but it’s been used as a tool in the game of more powerful forces. This is not Armenia’s game to play it well or bad.

  279. Of the hundreds of articles and comments I have read about the so-called protocols Davidian’s piece here continues to be the most nuanced and rational. Bravo indeed, Mr. Davidian.


  280. Armine,
     
    I do not take pleasure having noted an accurate analysis of events concerning the Protocol because having done so mirrors a massive inability of anachronistic diasporan organizations and members to understand international negotiations and processes, interests, and moreover that Armenia is a real country with responsibilities far beyond the parochial perceptions of the diaspora. Frankly, it is abhorrent pointing out the emperor and entire supporting cast are completely naked.
     
    The analysis was written to offer the reader with at least some background to understand the Protocol, why it exists now and in the form it does. This was done after witnessing a solid month of viscous rant with no attempt to investigate any of the underlying facts. People read invisible text and made irrational claims, others blindly supported the Protocols. There were and continue to be very little “concurrent interpretation” of events. All opinions are not equivalent. For example, one could be of the opinion the name Armine is female based on never having met a male Armine. However, without having experience in meeting and dealing with people (investigating and checking the facts), one might simply guess that the name Armine is male because it sounds like Armen, Arman, or Armin. One would have interpreted your gender wrong (assuming this is your real name), yet felt emboldened to simply state Armine is a male name — and why not, it’s just another opinion. Unbiased analysis and well-written opinions are not the same.
     
    It does not take “clairvoyance” to understand policy decisions. A simple exercise in analyzing competing hypothesis is a good start. Reading the text of the Protocol without understanding its background lead many to state extremely foolish conclusions, similar to brazenly claiming Armine is a male name.
     
    You claim, “For these protocols to be credible and risk-free they should have contained a single clause…” Stating international documents need to be simplistic to be legitimate is ridiculous.
     
    You claim, “Ensuing course of events have demonstrated that these unwisely-drafted and potentially unsafe for Armenians documents are in impasse”. You never tell us why items in the Protocol were unwisely drafted. You never tell us why they are potentially unsafe for Armenians. You never tell us how you would provide other option(s) to deal with Armenia’s real-life political situation.
     
    You claim, “Can we be sure that ‘the sub-commission on the historical dimension…, including an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archive to define existing problems’, is not aimed at dumping of genocide recognition?” How can we be sure of the opposite? The Armenian Constitutional Court effectively declared the Protocol cannot be a vehicle that would contradict the Armenian constitution. It would take a re-write of the Armenian constitution with Armenia losing its current leadership for Armenia to “dump” genocide recognition. If this seems like a Catch-22, you asked the negative question.
     
    You claim, “Had he made them with no protocols in sight, I’d wholeheartedly welcome such verbal proclamations of a president, who is, nonetheless, unelected and illegitimate.” You may not like the conditions under Sargsian was brought to power, however you have violated the first rule of a good analyst by added your personal bias to your conclusions, and a hard one at that. You just made yourself partisan and can’t claim impartiality.
     
    You claim. “Can we be sure that one of the objectives of Serge’s speeches wasn’t an attempt to mollify the Diaspora and his own concerned citizens?” It doesn’t make any difference. He stated it as the Armenian president and its reverberation goes way beyond diasporan pettiness.
     
    And finally, “Lastly, it is by no means Serge’s game so one can say that he played it well or bad. Serge was whistled up to be a part of others’ game in the capacity of a pawn to help advance economic and geostrategic games of other, more powerful players. I feel sorry for those who can’t realize this trivial actuality.” I ask again what you have done as the President of Armenia. This question is posed rhetorically. You would fail. You would fail because you have demonstrated you cannot divorce your personality from cold hard reality and further have failed to contextualize what has transpired in the past six months.
     
    David Davidian
    http://www.regionalkinetics.com

  281. In my view, and in the view of many other strong-willed Armenians, the best article written on the protocols is “The Final Stage of Genocide: Consolidation” by Henry Theriault https://armenianweekly.com/2009/10/11/theriault-the-final-stage-of-genocide-consolidation/. The article emphasizes the moral and ethical strength of ‘all-or-nothing’ demands that in many historical instances prevailed over schematic and, essentially, irrational and defeatist Realpolitik behavior. The passage below is, perhaps, the strongest part of Theriault’s analysis:
    What is striking about [many] examples… from history–is that these all-or-nothing demands came from positions of great material, political, and military weakness and yet still succeeded because of the moral strength of the position of the “weak” vis-a-vis the “strong.” Moral legitimacy is a great force in geopolitics and is the reliable ally of the weak, oppressed, and marginalized.

  282. Avetis:
     
    Aren’t you the one obsessed with putting genocide recognition and demand for apology into oblivion? An Armenophobe who is calling justice-seeking descendants of deported or barely escaped Ottoman Armenians ‘immature adults,’ ‘intellectual midgets,’ etc.? The one who makes nightmarish and utterly foolish suggestions that ‘the Diaspora is becoming a security risk for Armenia?’ The one so dim-witted as to suggest that ‘it wouldn’t matter to them if our homeland sinks into poverty, isolation, stagnation and insignificance?’ Now listen to this: Diaspora is perhaps the only most efficient policy tool that Armenia has in its possession. It’s an invaluable asset that helped and continues to help our homeland politically, economically, and culturally. And the last thing they’d want to see is that our homeland sinks into poverty, isolation, stagnation and insignificance. For our homeland not to sink into these a fundamentally different set of measures is required, such as a public-spirited and accountable government led by statesmen not strongmen; transparent elections; civil society in which human rights are protected; eradication of nepotism and corruption; independent judiciary; etc. A mere demand for justice and apology from the Turks cannot possibly denigrate our homeland.
     
     

  283. Narek G.
     
    What I have said in the past is this: people like you need to get over your irrational hate of Serj Sargsyan and your unhealthy obsessions about the genocide simply because it is blinding you to political reality and making you become an obstacle for Armenia today. I have also suggested that people like you need to make an effort to really understand nuances of geopolitics and diplomacy.
     
    I don’t want genocide recognition – if it does not come with money and land reparations. What Washington and Ankara want is an apology/recognition without consequences. The only way we can force turkey to return our lands, especially lands that will give us access to the Black Sea, is if we either take them in a major war or if we move close enough to power centers within Ankara and convince them. This will only happen when Armenia becomes a major political/military/economic player in the region. Instead of acting like pathetic victims in a corrupt place like Washington we should all be standing behind our president in support of our republic. There is also a theoretical nuance here: Turks would/should rather have a powerful Armenia on their east than a powerful Kurdistan (which is in the works currently by a team of CIA and Mossad agents). We need to find a way to convince them of this.
     
    Anyway, I don’t want to go on with this because I know that you and most of the readers here are not of the caliber that would understand what’s being said. Just go on obsessing, crying and screaming about the genocide and see where it will get you…
     
    PS: Please… don’t even get me started about the diaspora… Other than a handful of respectable/patriotic Armenians in the diaspora – the vast majority is useless. The diaspora needs to put aside its petty hysteria and obsession based wishes and try to become an asset for the Armenian republic.

  284. David,
     
    At the core of international negotiations and processes, interests, etc., that ‘anachronistic’ Diasporan organizations and members do not understand en masse, and only you appear to understand, lies the national interest, i.e. the interest of a state, whose government’s actions, circumstances, and decisions, including the ones in the area of foreign policy, are regarded as benefiting a nation. But there’s a trap in international negotiations, and it lies in misunderstanding the national interest and culture of a negotiating country. Whilst one country may emphasize politeness and integrity, another might use deception and coercive methods as a norm of negotiations. Many observers believe that, given the atmosphere of secrecy in which protocols were drafted; introduction of outcome to the general public hastily and a posteriori; disregard for negative public opinion both in Armenia and the Diaspora that followed; uncharacteristic form, language, and length of the documents; dubious timing and questionable need for such a measure for Armenia at this juncture; controversial and potentially hazardous provisions that allowed for multiple, at times conflicting, interpretations; and atypically large number of negotiating parties involved, Armenia’s leadership has been forced to fall into such a trap, albeit consciously. No one argues the truism that Armenia is a real country with responsibilities far beyond the ‘parochial’ perceptions of the Diaspora. One would argue, though, that dubbing the campaign of international recognition of the genocide and associated perceptions of the Diaspora as ‘parochial’ are disputable at best. Many people in the real country of Armenia would dub their real leaders’ perceptions of governance that’s based on nepotism, dilettantism, and clan system as parochial. It’s all relative. But Armenia is also a real country with obligations, most important being the one that the government must be accountable to the people in natters of national concern. Observers doubt that any research has been done to estimate the possible consequences that the protocols might have on the people. Scores of experts agree that in their present form the protocols may have disastrous economic, demographic, national security, and ideological consequences on Armenia. Therefore, the action, circumstance, and decision taken with regard to the protocols both in terms of the process and lack of impact analysis, cannot be regarded as benefiting Armenia’s national interest. I hope this answers your inquiries as to why I think items in the protocols were unwisely drafted and potentially unsafe for Armenians.
     
    Besides, if you think that ‘anachronistic diasporan organizations and members… have parochial perceptions, pettiness,’ and the like, then I’m afraid you contradict yourself in that ‘Sargsian was able to take advantage of Ankara’s lack of resolve: Chatham House speech, various warnings to Turkey, and his Der Zor speech, as examples.’ Wait, didn’t Serge use talking points and arguments in those speeches that largely reflect on ‘anachronism, parochial perceptions, and pettiness’ that you’ve addressed to the Diaspora? Does usage of these arguments make, or, reinstate, I’d better say, Serge as being anachronistic, parochial and petty, too? And I hope you appreciate the difference between stating something verbally in a capacity of president and putting signature in writing on an official document. The magnitude of reverberation from an official signature can be incomparably detrimental for a country.
     
    Both reasons for your analysis, i.e. why protocols exist now and in the form they do, have been heavily debated in these pages, and I’d like to refrain to reiterate them, especially as I sense that readers here do have at least some background to understand these documents. In fact, many of them justifiably go beyond what’s written in black-and-white and into reading the invisible text, because these protocols do not merely replicate routine memorandums on establishing diplomatic relations between countries. Given the ongoing campaign of denial and animosity on the part of the Turks these documents ought to be viewed in the broader geopolitical context, in the context of power and race politics, historical grievances and apprehensions, legal claims, territorial uncertainties, as well as potentially dangerous consequences of economic and geostrategic interests that power centers advance using small countries like Armenia as tools. ‘In Response to David Davidian’s Analysis’ by Mathew Der Manualian, http://www.keghart.com/content/response-davidian, and ‘The Final Stage of Genocide: Consolidation’ by Henry Theriault, https://armenianweekly.com/2009/10/11/theriault-the-final-stage-of-genocide-consolidation/, contain, perhaps, the most convincing counterarguments.
     
    I don’t know, maybe you read a different decision of the Armenian Constitutional Court, but it clearly states that the Court decides that ‘Protocols are in conformity with the Constitution of the Republic of Armenia’ (http://www.concourt.am/english/decisions/common/pdf/850.pdf), that is, protocols do not contradict the Armenian constitution. Besides, if we cannot be sure that ‘the sub-commission on the historical dimension…, including an impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archive to define existing problems’, is not aimed at dumping of genocide recognition’ just as we cannot be sure of the opposite, then are we in agreement that at least this provision (and I’d add others, too) is controversial and may be interpreted differently by the signatories? Then, inevitably, a hardball question follows: can controversial and dubious at best, provisions represent a basis for a policy analysis?
     
    Further, I never stated that international documents need to be simplistic to be legitimate. I said: ‘for these protocols to be credible and risk-free they should have contained a single clause.’ That is, be free of understatements, allusions of pre-conditions, and other items that similar Memorandums of Understanding, as a norm, do not contain. Such memorandums, whether you consider them simplistic or not, basically state the following:
    Hopeful of promoting enhanced relations between their peoples in economic, cultural and other fields, affirming their shared view of the importance of the Helsinki Final Act Principles and other CSCE commitments, both governments have agreed to conduct their diplomatic and consular relations in accordance with the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic and Consular Relations, and open the common border.
     
    By claiming that ‘had Serge made [his speeches] with no protocols in sight, I’d wholeheartedly welcome such verbal proclamations of a president, who is, nonetheless, unelected and illegitimate,’ I meant not only my dislike of the conditions under which Sargsian or any previous president was brought to power, but most importantly how he handled the protocol process. I don’t really care if it’s made me partisan and partial, because I believe that it is Serge’s illegitimacy that played a crucial role in succumbing to the external pressure. This partly answers your rhetorical point as to what would a president of Armenia, other than Serge, do. Well, most of all one wouldn’t want to be an unelected and, thus, unpopular president. But if legitimate, I think he’d exercise his right and obligation to be accountable to his voters on matters of utmost national importance, such as signing of protocols with the enemy-state. An address to the nation comes to one’s mind, in which stealthy indication regarding the outside pressure and a plea for support could be made. A similar appeal to the Diaspora, as descendents of millions of expelled or barely survived Ottoman Armenians, might be in order in an attempt to consolidate their political capital. A national referendum, given the magnitude and vital importance of the issue, could be another step. If none of those worked in the wake of mounting external pressure, one would find the courage and resign with dignity. People like you may consider this a failure, but I’d rather stick to my guns and fail myself rather than fail people who entrusted themselves to me.

  285. Hello again Armine,

    I just want to comment on your last point about the effects on the Armenian economy if the borders are opened. It’s not the first time have heard about this alleged detrimental effect of opening the border on the economy. I just can’t believe that you and others would rather keep the border closed and Armenians living in some cocoon surreal economy. There is no future in that. Here in Canada when our GST (General Sales Tax) was introduced 20 years ago many predicted doom and gloom. Now everyone acknowledges the GST was the best thing that happened to the Canadian economy. Now in BC and Ontario, a new Harmonized tax is going to be introduced in July and the naysayers are at it again. And they are wrong again.

    Sure, there will be some pain during the initial adjustment period but Armenians will overcome it and end up prospering just like they have everywhere else in the world. They need markets and easy access for their goods. As long as they have a level playing field, they will succeed. We are a very resilient and resourceful people. I’ll bet on the people of Armenia anytime. What is your alternative? For them to continue to live on handouts from relatives in Glendale? C’mon! You know, its interesting that those against the Protocols call them the “defeatist protocols” Actually, they are the one’s that are the real “defeatists”.

  286. Avetis,
     
    You’re free to have your own vision of how the genocide recognition process may work, i.e. with or without money or land reparations, or in an ‘one step after another’ fashion. But sticking to your vision doesn’t necessarily mean you can insult others as being ‘obsessed’ with the recognition process. Didn’t it occur to you that others may derogate you, too, as being ‘obsessed’ with the idea of recognition that comes with money and land reparations in one package? Or, even worse, ridicule you for your idea of Armenia going to major war with Turkey with population ratio 2.5 mln versus 73 mln, GDP of $11.9 bln versus $794 bln, and armed forces of 50,000 versus 1,357,000? Does going to major war under such circumstances, which will hardly change any time soon, make you think you ‘understand nuances of geopolitics and diplomacy’? Ridiculous…
     
    I agree with you that whatever version of recognition one might support this will only happen when Armenia becomes a major political/military/economic player in the region. However, I believe Armenia can become such a player when it starts to implement democracy-building measures, build viable economic infrastructures, get rid of nepotism and wide-spread governmental corruption, allow for statesmen not semi-literate strongmen to rule the country, and, most importantly abolish the shameless practice of having one illegitimate president after another, one notorious clan system after another. Are you of the caliber to understand this or I need to repeat this universal truism?
     
    PS: There are many respectable and patriotic Armenians in the Diaspora, not just a handful. As for the majority, well, the majority in any society may be considered ineffectual. For example, the majority of your government in Armenia is useless, and a few individuals may call Armenia’s president ‘our president,’ because it is exactly the majority of people that never elected him. But you may go on and consider him as your president together with the handful of supporters, and let’s see where it will get you…

  287. Avetis, the influx of Turkish goods is already a reality.   The testing ground of non-protetectionist economic policy at Sadakhlo proved that Turkish goods, even with the added expense of crossing multiple borders, will overwhelm light industry, which is the only seedling option Armenia has that doesn’t requie huge investment, exploits the natural and “aranrchic” entrepeneurial spirit of Armenians, and produces a resilient and diversified economy that is, as Italy has shown as well, almost recession proof in character.   Alas, due to the triple pronged attacks of the debilitating corruption, energy blockade, and influx of cheap goods (not to mention the mass exodus of highly skilled labor), had prevented Armenia from building this infrastructure.  Now we want to pour the economy of a known belligerent in all facets with hardly any protectionist provisions.  It’s a recipe for disaster, particularly for a sector I didn’t mention; agriculture, whose produce quality has already dwindled with the (through the USAid) Monsanto-ization of its seed and crop species (i.e. the aromatic produce is becoming the thing of the past).   Talk to real economists about this.

  288. Avetis, I, too, came across your comments and I am wondering if you are an Armenian? From your writing it seems to be you are but from your reasoning you do not seem to be. I, myself am from Armenia and I do not know how you can divide Armenia and Diaspora. I do not know why Armenian government and you are so obsessed about  opening borders thinking that our economy will boom. The reason why our economy is not developing is because we do not have industry not because of Diaspora or Genocide issue and because of people like oligarchs and Serj who signs protocols and lies about his nation about the content of the protocols. I know what will happen when the borders will open, the Turkish junk along with Turks will overflow Armenia, some greedy Armenians will fill the Turkey with their cheap labor like they are doing now. That’s what you will get with open borders. Add to it  loosing Karabakh and any territorial or financial compensation from Turkey.

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