Last week a peaceful protest in front of the Government Building in Yerevan turned ugly when a swarm of police officers that actually outnumbered the protesters themselves came on the scene. The people collected there were voicing their objections to the highly controversial ban on street trade throughout Yerevan, forcing grandmothers selling cilantro and lemons into dark corners to earn an honest living. A shoving match caused Anahit Bakhshian, a National Assembly representative of the Heritage Party, to fall ill. Nothing came out of the incident other than continued confrontations between her fellow party members (also parliamentarians), despite video footage being broadcast on the internet by a pro-opposition news site, A1 plus. Some statements of condemnation were issued and the matter was forgotten.
Similar types of incidents of unrest occur on a near-weekly basis, yet they spark no chain reaction in an apathetic society damaged by the self-destructive mindset that “the country’s not a country.”
The year did not get off to a good start in Armenia after rumors of natural gas price hikes circulated and the costs of foodstuffs inflated. Further panic ensued recently when the price of sugar was expected to rise by 20 percent, which has yet to happen. In the meantime, rather than creating jobs the authorities are taking them away by drastically limiting consumer trade.
There were tepid rumblings of “revolution” just days before the three-year anniversary of the tragic March 1, 2008 events—and I mean tragic in the sense that the people’s demands for change were cruelly quelled. The opposition was sounding a renewed call for change to citizens nationwide to take a stand against a nepotistic regime that demonstrates little to no tolerance for dissent.
Addressing thousands of citizens, former president Levon Ter-Petrosian issued a 15-point list of demands for the government to meet, followed by a “final warning” for the authorities to comply. What that warning is supposed to infer is anyone’s guess, but his track record shows that it is nothing to take too seriously.
Regardless, in order for change to happen the public has to want it. Yet whether regime change is something Armenian citizens truly desire is not quite obvious.
A convincing, compassionate leader is needed in the opposition camp, a person who would be able to negotiate with the oligarchs from the start of a “revolution” to ensure that a somewhat smooth transition can be effective without much obvious turbulence. The oligarchic structure in place is deep-rooted in the economy, with certain families enjoying monopolistic control of staple foodstuffs or basic consumer goods; any abrupt rupture could feasibly cause the entire Armenian economy to collapse within a day. Virtually all of the oligarchs today (except for one ostracized notable figure who sided with Ter-Petrosian in the last presidential elections) are pro-government, and their business interests would have to be protected if any change of power were to happen. The only opposition leader at the moment who has that negotiating power, since he essentially allowed that oligarchic structure of privilege and influence to be established in the first place, is Ter-Petrosian.
But Ter-Petrosian had his chance three years ago for revolution, yet when 10 lives were lost at the hands of what is now widely believed to have been the bodyguards of oligarchs in police clothing, he sent everyone home and went silent for months, which was followed by scores of arrests of his supporters and the distress of countless families suspected to have been sympathetic to the opposition.
He has long proven that he is not entirely committed to regime change, and his recent threat to the authorities does not necessarily indicate otherwise. Ultimately he risks the likely chance of imprisonment if he goes too far—something he and his supporters, who have already been expressing their discontent with him behind closed doors, cannot afford.
Perhaps the only other political figure closely linked to the opposition who has the charisma, and now the respect, as a brave patriot, is the editor of Haykakan Zhamanak, firebrand Nikol Pashinian, who is currently serving a seven-year prison sentence for inciting mass unrest. He is not expected to be released under the general amnesty law or by a presidential pardon before the next presidential elections for the obvious reason that he is considered a direct threat to the establishment.
Nevertheless, for change in the form of “revolution” to happen, it will mean massive upheaval as an indignant public attempts to transform an institution known to be undemocratic, corrupt, and unjust into one that satisfies their interests of proper government. As we’re seeing in North Africa now, change will also bring about violence, death, and more importantly, wild uncertainty. And no one who is living a relatively decent life today, especially those comprising the nouveau riche of Armenian society, is willing to take such a gamble—to risk their own lives and those of their loved ones without promises of a better future.
While the have-nots and the downtrodden are crying out for change, the opposition rants but waits. All of them realize there’s too much to lose. Perhaps the public’s only hope is to switch gears and start believing that their country is indeed a country, then start fighting for it.
You mean revolution with driving force being “grandmothers selling cilantro and lemons”? Why do not you say honestly whom do you mean, really?
And who is the candidate? Brave (any prove?) and patriot (any prove?) Pashinian? Is not current Armenian president brave and patriotic, but in plus experienced and good chess player?
Though I’m sure some minor incidents may have occurred in Yerevan, but don’t you think that you’re overblowing the situation? You seem to want to turn what may very well have been a few people on the streets into a major riot scene, providing a mental imagery of thousands of chanting, tire and car burning protestors clashing with a group of riot police.
terpetrosyan has no legitimacy to challenge anything especially what he helped create. corruption, mafia and dividing the wealth of the country into a small group of criminals is what he started. didnt the author learn anything from living in Armenia for so long? or does he have other motives than reporting the honest truth? serj, nikol, levon are all but the same type of criminals. they will serve the oligarchs. the problem isnt the politicians. they are toys. it is the criminal oligarchic system created by levon. the politicians are working for the oligarchs and in some cases they are the oligarchs. when there’s no competition prices rise. oligarchs made sure theres no competition. try to import paper for example into Armenia. see if you can get it through customs. if by chance you get it in and they find out. youll disappear.
A biased piece. It is a shame that the Weekly has published this, I thought better of your outlet.
The “opposition” in Armenia today is made-up of Western agents (primarily the leadership and its propaganda outlets) and self-destructive peasantry (its followers).Under no circumstances should a self-respecting Armenian nationalist promote regime change in Armenia today primarily because those waiting on the sidelines to takeover control in Yerevan are the agents, traitors and criminals that already once raped and pillaged the country during the 1990s. Serj Sargsyan is our safest choice today.
Political “freedom” does not excuse destructive behavior in an embattled little nation surrounded by enemies in the volatile Caucasus. Let’s face it, Armenians do not know political freedom means and will not for some time. Armenians also act like a bunch of little troubled children when it comes to political affairs. It will be a long time before Armenians actually wake up and understand the political world they live in. In the meanwhile, Armenians simply need and allow Serj Sargsyan to cleanup the ugly mess created by Levon Petrosian and the West during the 1990s. The process has started, he needs our collective support and encouragement.
WHAT ARMENIA NEEDS AT THIS JUNCTURE IS CREATION OF WHAT I DENOMINATE AN ELITE COMPOSED OF OVER A 100,000 PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES ASSOCIATIONS MEMBERS.5 OF THESE ARE ON THE SCENE IN DIASPORA 3 OF THEM WITH OFFICES IN YEREVAN.1.THE ENGINEERS&SCICNECES, 2 THE HEALTH MEDICAL, 3 THE BAR(law)4.the sportive and5 the jewellers(latter should encompass furnishings,furniture.NEED TEN MORE , TRANSPORT TRAVEL THE CONSTRUCTIONS FIELD, THE BANKING AND FINANCE , THE FOOD AND CATERING, THE INDUSTREIS AND MINES,. THE EDUCATION AND CULTURE(AMALGAMATION OF THESE) THE FORESTRY AND MEDIO AMBIENTE,SORRY WROTE IN SPANISH,CXOUPLE MORE THESE ARE WHERE ARE ACTIVE,PROFESSIONAL HUMAN RESOURCES ARE BOTH IN RA AND DIASPORA.THEIR ELITE MUST COMMENCE ORGANIZING THEMSELVES AND INTERCONNECT WITH OFFER TO ASK OUR TRADITIONAL IMPORTANT POLITICAL PARTEIS A TO JOIN IN.WE NEED, THESE TO ORGANIZE , A NATIONAL INVESTMENT TRUST FUND,OF WHICH I HAVE WRITTEN AND THROUGH THAT FUND BOTH HELP START REPATRIATION AND ALSO RESETTLEMENTS IN ARTSAKH.
MOST IMPORTANTLY LOAN TO ENTREPRENEURS, ON LOW INTEREST BASIS.
I DO NOT WISH TO DELVE FURTHER INTO THIS SUBJECT BUT TO SPEAK OF REVOLUTION IN ARMENIA, IT IS TANTAMOUNT TO WISH TO DESTROY WHATEVER LITTLE WE HAVE. W E N E E D E V O L U T I O N …FACT IS IT IS BEING JUST EXCERCIZED, BUT AT A VERY SLOW PACE.OUR OLIGARKS MUST -LIKE OUR OTHER OLIGARKS HEERE IN DIASPORA,CALLED bbb´s Bishosp benefactors and bosses, change too.Latter ARE JUST AS SLOW IN DIASPORA, IN UNDERSTANDING THAT THE P O W E R RESIDES IN OUR MORE THAN A 100,000 PCA¨S MEMBERS.if these are organzied like i have advocated MORE THAN A DOZEN TIMES…
WE MUST ALSO REMEMBER THAT WE ARE NOT LIKE ANY ARAB COUNTRY,THOSE ARE HUGE IN NUMBERS AND IN OIL RESOURCES ,AND DO NOT AHVE BEAUTIFULL ADVERSARIES NOT TO SAY ENEMIES AROUND LIKE THE TURCO AZERIS.
MOREOVER, THE WHOLE STRUCTURE OF BOTH THE DIASPORA AND PRESENT RA GOVT. IS BY AND BY TO CHANGE TO THE BETTEER.IT ALL DEPENDS IN MY VIEWPOINT ON US IN DIASPORA.FOR IN YEREVAN THEY THINK AND IMAGINE WE ARE THE MORE ADVANCED EURO-AMERICAN INTELLECT ORIENTED, BIZ NESS ORIENTED RICH AND POWERFULL.WHICH IS PARTIALLY TRUE…WE DO HAVE BOTH RESOURCES(human)ABOVE MENTIOEND AND THROIUGH THESE THE ECONOMIC POWER, BOTH OF WHICH YET HAVE TO BE ORGANIZED IN A DKISCIPLINED FASHION THROUGH THE PCA´´s..
TO COMMENT ON STREET DEMONSTRATIONS AND PRAISE PEOPLE SUCH AS ABOVE HINTED AT IS ABSURD .THOSE ARE AT MOST AMOBOKHAVAR(multitude-governing, persons,NOT PERSONALITIES.LATTER AS YET IS NOT THERE ON THE SCENE IN ARMENIA,AS MY SUGGESTTED CREATION OF A SENATE, COMPOSESD OF EX GOVERMENT -TRULY GOVT EXECUTIVES AND /or intellectuals were not thought of to form said s e n a t e . i have dug up and found in my correspondence-all saved on PC that i suggested s e n a t e 9 yrs ago.NOW COPYISTS AT WORK BOTH IN RA AND DIASPORA WISH TO MAKE THAT AS OF THEIR BRAINCHILD.WHAT A FARCE…ARMENIANS ARE NOT ONLY TO BE SOCIALLY FORMED BUT ARE TO GET RID OF THEIR 2 AWFULL TRAITS.BEING OVER-JEALOUS AND N O N C O O P E R A T I V E . EACH ON HIS OWN ISHKHANS AND ISHKHANOUHIS.NO MATTER WHAT OUR SO CALLED UNGERVAR SOCIALIST POLITICO ADVOCATE THEY ARE NOT REALLY SO, THEY HAVE CHAGNED WITH THE TIMES ADN BECOME PARTIALLY BOSSES,ONE OF THE THREE BBB´s
HOPE ALL THESE CAN BE SMOPOTHED ,STRAIGHTENED OUT THROUGH FORMATION INTO RANK AND FILE OF PCA´S THAT IS WHER WE GET WHAT V .OSKANIAN CALLS CIVIL SOCIETIES.WE DO NOT HAVE TO LOOK FURTHER AWAY .THESE EXISIT IN OUR PCA´S.IT IS A MATTER OF GETTING THESE ORGANZIED WITH BOARD AND AS NOVELTY -MY BRAIN CHILD- ELECT ONLY 3 AS DELAGATES FROM EA GROUP TO FORM THE ELITE OF THE 15 FIELDS OF INTER PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES ASSOC. THIS IS WHERE OUR G I A N T IS SLUMBERING ,WAITING TO BE TAPPEND ON..ENOUGH FOR THE TIME BEING BY ME..ASK ME WHY I BELIEVE ONLY IN THE POWER OF THESE AND NOT THE MULTITUDES….WHO CAN ONLY FOLLOW PEOPLE LIKE LTP OR THE LIKE…
HAMA HAIGAGANI SIRO,
Revolutions are dirty, nasty, expensive and dangerous – but given that a group of deeply corrupt, immoral and very determined men rule the country and the economy I see no way out other than a revolution. The trouble is Armenian national character seems to be good at adapting but very bad at changing anything. Hence unelected rulers continue to rule, oligarchs continue to get rich, the poor struggle to survive, and whatever is left of the “middle class” is caught in between.
IT IS NOT ONLY ARMENIA AND ARMENIANS -AS YOU WISH TO CONVEY-THAT ARE APT TO THAT .THE WHOLE WORLD HAS INCLINDED TO THAT MODE-WITH ONLY FEW EXCEPTIONS OF SWEDEN,NORWAY,FINLAND AND PERHAPS DENMARK AS WELL.THESE ARE QUASSI TRULY EURO SOCIALISTIC NATIONS/STATES.PITY THAT ARMENIA AND THE REST 14 EX SOVIET REPUBLICS DID NOT FOLLOW THAT PATH…BY GONES ARE BYGONES.NOW RA AND REST ARE IN THAT CURRENT.LIKE YOU SAY REVOLUTIONS ARE COSTLY AND LEAVE PLENTY OF LOSSES BOTH HUMANWISE AND MATERIAL.
THAT IS WHY I HAVE SUGGDESTED-AFTER VERY MITICULOUS STUDIES IN OUR CHARACTER THAT WE NEED 2 MORE PRECONDITIONS TO ADAPT.IN MY FIRST EVER LONG ARTICLE IN 1978/9 in asbarez I SUGGESTED TWO TRY TO ACCOMPLISH THE OTHJER TWO.FIRSTLY , THE FIRST TWO WE HAVE .A.POLITICAL PARTEIS, B.SPIRITUAL LEADERSHIP AND ORG.S WE LACK….
C.SOCIAL FORMATION(which v.Oskanian AND ALL EUROS ADVOCATE AS ¨ c i v i l s o c i e t i e s ¨. AND THEN D. ECONOMIC ORGANIZATION(power).W/REF TO civil societies we can obtain this relatively easier through forming into(my version)PROFFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES ASSOCIATIONS) above mentioned.Since that is where the Armenian character will submit to C H A N G E AND TRANSFORM…THUS OBTAINING 100,000 OR MORE SOCIETIZED CITIZENS BOTH IN DIASPORA AND PATRIA-HOMELAND.ARMENIANS HAVE IN THEIR CHARACTER THAT OTHER PECULIARITY OF EACH WANTING TO COME UP WITH HIS HER OWN PROPOSAL…ABOVE PCA´S THEREFORE IS THE BATTLEFIELD WHERE WE CAN BE SHAPED INTO DISCIPLINE, OR IF YOU WILL TRAINING FIELDS TO BE MORE ENDOWED WITH —-ESPRIT DE CORPS…
HAMA HAIGAGANI SIRO,
Revolution never lead Armenia toward democracy and freedom…I don’t understand why some of our people still have (Arabic) Middle Eastern mentality???Is this because some Armenians born and raised in Islamic nations now trying to get even with Libyans or Sudanese?? sometimes I wonder why most of us trying to join EU or have European title on us??Armenia needs unity of our people and respect parliamentary rule of law for her citizens and stop bribery and corruption…we don’t need another “Lawrence of Arabia” to be our leader!!for this reason I have to agree with Robert…no Gabris you are very wrong! we had enough of “Levon” and March 2001 incidents!!
Sorry typo error …I should have corrected the date to March 2008 incidents…
Avetis –- Not only the “opposition,” but the “ruling regime” as well are made-up of both Western and Russian agents. Be consistent and objective, otherwise you may resort to exhibiting “self-destructive peasant” qualities yourself. Regime change is not only and not so much the matter of a “self-respecting Armenian nationalist,” but the outcome of disgruntlement of the population at large. Again, not only those on the sidelines who wish to takeover control in Yerevan are the agents, traitors and criminals, but also those who currently rule the country. As for “Serj Sargsyan is our safest choice today,” how can an observer like you be so myopic? Who exactly made the choice in favor of Serj that you allow yourself to use an attributive adjective “our”? Whose? The majority of the local electorate? Those who are in power now may not know what political freedom means and may be incompetent in political affairs, but that doesn’t mean there are no other, brighter, better-educated, and public-spirited intellectuals in the nation who can take over their place. With the repressive regime reigning in Armenia they just can’t surface on the political hotizon. Finally, lol: “Armenians need to allow Serj Sargsyan to cleanup the ugly mess created by Levon Ter-Petrosian and the West during the 1990s.” Weren’t Serj and his buddy Rob members of the same LTP clan? How can certain clan members clean up the mess of the fellow clan members? And exactly how do they do the cleanup? By creating notorious clans and nepotism networks, impoverishing people, deepening the corruption, and allowing several semiliterate thugs to monopolize the market? Curious to know…
Armenia, belong to Armenians…nobody should rule Armenia but Armenians!!all old clans, Serge, Robert, especially Levon must go.. they should join together and enroll their names in our universities and teach our young generation regards corruption and political sciences…people must elect a politician who is not “political agent” of either East or West…we had enough of them already..our little tiny plus Artsakh is belong to all Armenians of the world!!long live to Armenia.. the land of Mamikonians and Tikran The Great!!
Pray tell Arsen, who are these “brighter, better-educated, and public-spirited intellectuals in the nation who can take over their place”? Would you please provide us with a credible political organization or political figure that fits this mold? Other than the ARF there’s no real opposition in Armenia, people who understand how democratic systems works realize that the ltp and his ilk are clowns, not politicians. This is made worse as Avetis pointed out by the fact that they serve anti-Armenian Western forces.
What a wonderful words “brighter, better-educated, and public-spirited intellectuals in the nation who can take over their place”?
What happened to “patriotic”? Is it less valuable? Do we need some “good-for-the-rest-of-the-world” president?
The best combination is strong combination of Aveti’s and Arsen’s visions.
DEAR CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS FORUM,DIALOGUE,DISCUSSION.
WHILE I RESPECT OPINIONS EXPRESSED HERE,WHETHER POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE,FOR WE HAVE TO BE TOLERANT AND LISTEN EVEN TO THOS WHO UTTER NON CONSTRUCTIVE(no mention of names here,note) VIEWS…. I DO AND HAVE THE RIGHT TO EXPRESS MINE.
U N L E S S WE BECOME SOCIALLY FORMED, IE. WHAT THE INT´L MEDIA -AND EVEN IN YEREVAN IT IS EMPLOYED-AS CIVIL SOCIETIES…WE CAN NOT EXPECT TO HAVE OUR HOMELAND GOVERNED BY PEOPLE WHO ARE AS SUCH.
DO NOT FORGET THESE CAME FWD AFTER EARTHQUAKE,WAR IN NK THEN FOREIGN POWERS MEDDLING ,AS WELL AS THE BEAUTIFUL NEIGHBOURS WHO ONLY WISH THAT ARMENIA DISAPPEAR AND ARMENIANS CLAIMS BE ANNULLED ALTOGETHER…
THENCE TO EXPECT THAT A LINGUIST,. HEAD OF MATENDARAN,IN SHORT A MAN WITH NO POLITICAL EXPERIENCE GUIDE A REBORN COUNTRY TO OUR WISHES IS TANTAMOUNT TO ASKING REALLY EXCESSIVELY TOO MUCH FROM …..
WHAT FOLLOWED NEXT WAS AT THE VERY LEAST WHAT WE HAVE TODAY ,PEOPLE WHO FOUGHT IN ARTSAKH AND MADE IT STICK…ESPECIALLY TO THE NEIGHBOURS THAT ENOUGH IS ENOUGH.
NOW ARMENIANS AND ARMENIA ARE A ACROSSROAD,A CORNERSTONE,WE CAN ONLY RE-ORGANIZE OURSESLVES IN DIASPORA PROPERLY TO BE ABLE TO CO OPERATE WITH HOMELAND.IF WE WE KEEP CRITICIZING ONLY WHAT THEY HAVE DONE THERE,WE ARE TO BE REGARDED AS UNWORTHY PARTNERS IN STATE/COUNTRY AND IN EXTENSION NATION BUILDING. IN BRIEF WE SHALL BE MELTED TOTALLY IN THE MELTING POTS AND BECOME AND BELONG TO RUSSIA,U.S ,BRAZIL, ARGENTINA, FRANCE AND OTHERS,AS PLAIN CITIZENS OF THESE,WITH ONLY A SLIGHT MENTION OF OUR ORIGINE BEING ARMENIAN.DO WE WANT THIS OR ARE THERE SOME WHO OPT-LIKE ON ANOTHER THREAD HERE- REALLY DESIRE TO GO HELP BOTH RA AND ARTSKAH AND EVEN JAVAKHK .LATTER CLEARLY NEEDS MORE URGENT AID IN THAT DIRECTION.THAT IS STOP THE GEORGIAN SILENT AGRESSION TOWARDS GEORGIFICATION!!!!!
MAY I ASK YOU TO TRY TO CONVERGE ON SMALLER ISSUES AND BY AND BY COME TO A POINT WHEN ALL AGREE TO FORM A COMMITTEE, A SUB SECTION WHERE ALL AGREE THAT ACTION IS NECESSARY.
LATTER RESIDES IN JOINING-IN MY VERSION- AS TO WORK PROFESSION TYPE IN 5 EXISITNG ASSOCIATIONS,FURTHER 10 MORE TO BE CREATED.IT IS THEN THAT WE CAN INTERCONNECT THESE ,THROUGH THEIR ELECTED ELITE,A CRYSTALIZATION AND ABBREVIATION METHOD THAT I HAVE CONJURED UP, THEN HAVE THE HUGE COLLECTIVITIES THUS FORMED STRIVE FRO A NATIONAL INVDESTMENT TRUST FUND.F O R…..
WITHOUT PROPER FUNDING NOTHING CAN BE REALIZED.IT IS THERE TO BE TAKEN WE EITHER RE-ORGANIZE THE SPYUK/diaspora,OR WE KEEP ON PRESERVING PRESENT S T A T U S Q U O….
Hye Grish, I agree.
Fledgling Armenia needs to be rid of those with communistic mind sets… such as have been all the leaders of our Hiasatan to date. (How the mentality of DerBedrossian is still inflicted upon our people is almost frightening) The first of the leaderships who stole and worse from Armenia’s citizens’ assets AND still is allowed to even address Armenians anywhere! His followers must be like-minded!! Too, current leaders ‘learning on the job’, filling their own pockets, and too, establishing to win future elections are despicably self-centered, who do not give a ‘damn’ about the citizens of Haiastan. Fledgling Armenia, ALL our ancient and advanced peoples, historically, are worthy and deserving of leaders who are patriots… seeking to advance Haiastan and its citizens rather than stealing from the nation and the citizenry. Today, these years are very important in Armenia’s history – not to be diverted by misfits who have not any business in resurrecting Armenia to suit themselves. They are not patriots but only know to desecrate and abuse our homeland and thus ALL our citizens of Haiastan – actually, not too different as Turks.
No, AR, in the current domestic political climate I cannot provide you with a credible political organization or political figure that’d fit the mold ”brighter, better-educated, and public-spirited intellectuals in the nation who can take over their place.” In fact, I never claimed I could. What I can do, however, is to say with precision that in the mid-1990s Vazgen Manoukian was certainly brighter than LTP and in the late-1990s Karen Demirchian was, without doubt, brighter than Robik. Had there been free elections with these two individuals brought to power in a consecutive order we could have a better (that is: more public-spirited and, yes, Lusik, more patriotic) leader that Serjik. ARF in Armenia is hardly viewed as opposition. It is hard to understand how a genuine opposition party can be a part of the ruling clique under Robik. It is also hard to understand as to how a genuine opposition party could tolerate Serjik after signing of defeating protocols. My point was not different of that of Avetis in that there are forces serving anti-Armenian Western forces with LTP likely to be one of them. I only amended it that not only the opposition forces but also the current regime are clowns. After all, what difference does it make if LTP was serving the West and Serjik is serving the East, if both of them don’t serve Armenia?
Dear Gaytzag, with all due respect, can you explain what immediate relation the earthquake, war in NK, meddling of the foreign powers, and “beautiful” neighbors have with establishing of a civil society in Armenia? I repeat: IMMEDIATE. I oftentimes find it embarrassing to try to justify the government’s inability to rule the country efficiently with exogenous factors only. Yes, these factors have impact on domestic affairs, but are they the primary reason? Do we not play ostrich by trying to explain domestic mismanagement by external factors only? Please explain how a war in NK makes a local bureaucrat take a bribe? Or how meddling of foreign powers makes the government sell Russia’s natural gas to the population almost double the price it pays Moscow for importing it? Or how Armenia’s “beautiful” neighbors affect puffing up prices on apricot, a fruit that grows in abundance in Armenia? Or, even more arduous task for you: if Armenia is affected by war in NK and its “beautiful” neighbors (which, I agree it is to certain extent), how come the rulers and their semiliterate oligarchs have mansions and luxury cars and the majority of the population strives to keep body and soul together?
“After all, what difference does it make if LTP was serving the West and Serjik is serving the East, if both of them don’t serve Armenia?”
The difference is that our main political/military/economic partner is and will remain the Russian Federation which is the only country where we have the chance to seriously influence the political, military and economic system.
Russia is a natural bulwork against pan-Turkism, western imperialism and Sunni fundamentalism. Basically, Russia is the enemy of all our enemies, which makes it our biggest ally. And it is OUR job to influence Russia’s politics, instead of attacking it.
AR: Russia has always used Armenians innate property to devote completely, melt into fabric of hosting society. May be you don’t know that the number of influential Armenians always outnumbered that of Georgians and Azeris (especially). The most shameful example is that of A. Mikoian. He was there, on the podium since before Stalin. Not only he did not divert any trouble from Armenia, but under his watch Aliev-father came to power and emptied Nakhichevan from Armenians. The fact comes to absurd, what is the army of “influential” Armenians in Russia and what is nature of their “contribution” to their Hayrenik. Why so? First, Armenians always demonstrate readiness to serve more than asked. The second reason is that Russia does not belong to Russians. Their revolutions were not Russian-made, and the Perestroyka was orchestrated from outside. Good rule is to ask who came with profit? So, no matter how devoted and consistent are Armenians in sticking to their commitments and contributing to the prosperity of Russia, Russia will decide what is good for “Russians”. Russia has very well rooted and strong (economical, political, historical, …) communities of other nations, which are watchdog for using machinery of Russia’s state for interests of their homelands.
My vision of the best possible Armenian president not only presents the century we are in (he/she is a professional with high score accomplishments), but combines ingeniously a political skills with unshakable commitment to serve Armenian cause before democratic commitments.
Role of Diaspora – both western and Russian, is to secure a ground for such individuals to grow. I think they are failing in securing that. And the main reason is that hosting nations and their powerful minorities are carefully eliminating any such endeavors. Jews Diaspora is planting seeds of their future everywhere and does watch the growth until it brings a fruit. They do this since Rothschild. O’K much-much earlier. Azeris were doing this via politburo since Aliev-father.
Armenians, our power is in OUR union.
I have never participated in a better discussion of what is wrong about and what are the ways out of the situation in the Armenian realm.
In no way criticism of the ruling clique in Armenia can be viewed as an “attack” on Russia. On the other hand, I can see that the two entities are so tangled that criticizing Serj is somehow viewed as “attacking” Russia. No, I didn’t mean to, and nowhere did I actually, “attack” Russia. I just used my civil right to criticize my government and its leaders—past or present—whom the majority of the people didn’t elect and who never enjoyed the broad-based public support. Am I entitled to have this right? As for Russia, I agree in the most part. I’m only worried about the extent of our dependence on Moscow which, to me, is way off the limits. It’s a conventional truth that rigid alliances can be as dangerous as threats to a country’s national security, such as the ones you’ve mentioned. That’s why I think that a popular leader is more apt of conducting a more balanced and all-encompassing domestic and foreign policy, which, to me, is of more benefit to Armenia, than being some mightier country’s buffer zone. I fail to see how Russia is “the enemy of all our enemies, which makes it our biggest ally.” Is Russia really an enemy to Azerbaijan? Moscow just plays upon both Armenia and Azerbaijan in order to strengthen its own grip on the region as a whole. Russia can also hardly be seen as an enemy (in a true sense of the word) to Turkey. Moscow and Ankara enjoy profitable economic ties, their foreign ministers partake in the signing of the defeatist for Armenia protocols, and from history we know how Russia can sacrifice historic Western Armenia to this “enemy” or place chunks of historic Armenian lands under the jurisdiction of another, Azeri, “enemy”.
Lusik: It is a fact that the Armenian diaspora in Russia is the largest, richest, and most accomplished. You’re anecdote of Mikoyan doesn’t hold any water. Furthermore, you ignored the many Russian generals of Armenian origin who helped liberate the Caucasus and parts of Western Armenia from the ottomans during the mid to late 19th century. And I am not even mentioning the great number of scientists, and artists.
I know about the bolsheviks, their ethnic make up and who bankrolled them, so you don’t need to say more on that. I would just point out that it was similar forces that bank rolled them in 1917 which supported the so called ‘color revolutions’, including in Armenia, just a few years ago.
Armenia’s dependence on Moscow is not way off limits because it is what happens when a small, resourceless, and poor country with enemies on 2 sides is faced with the geopolitical realities.
What do you think azerbaijan’s talk of brotherhood with turkey is all about? It is pan-turkism, and neither country has given up this genocidal ideaology, hence turkish foreign policy of neo-ottomanism.
Iran, Russian, and turkey are, and will remain geopolitical rivals. To think that turkey and Russia are somehow unlikely to ever go to war because of economic reasons is to be an idealist and close your eyes to the history of the region, the ideologies at play, and the geographic factors that influence the regional states.
Protocols were not defeatest but that is a whole other story. It was not Russia which gave away Western Armenia, in fact Armenians and Russians were well on their way to freeing the remaining parts of W. Armenia when the 1917 revolution occured. The bolsheviks did NOT = the Russians.
And please find another country which will provide Armenia with weaponry for below market prices and even sometimes for free. Also, find another country willing to defend Armenia’s statehood and borders.
AR, be mindful of the fact that you are conversing with unsuspecting casualties of the Cold War and unwitting victims of the decades long anti-Russian propaganda of the West. These people have no understanding of international relations and history. There is no foresight, objectivity and/or rational in them what-so-ever. These people do NOT have the ability to engage in critical thinking. If you are looking for intellectual honesty you are in the wrong place. If you are looking for a pissing contest, you have come to the right place!
Like I commented on the Footprints website – many blame LTP for “creating” a host of the problems facing Armenia today – corruption, nepotism, clan rule, etc.
I would argue that many of these negative manifestations are holdovers from the Soviet era. I know, I spent several years in Soviet Armenia in the 1970’s.
True, LTP did little to get rid of these problems, but to claim that he single-handedly created them is quite a stretch…
Let’s get real here for a moment. Other than the HAK (ANC), who else is getting people out on the streets?
What HAK must now do, instead of issuing rhetorical ultimatums, is to engage the people and educate them in the ways of longterm civil protest. This is what is really lacking.
People show up, listen to some long-winded speeches, march down Prospect and then go home.
The upshot? More show than substance. Has HAK reached out to the many social, environmental, cultural and other NGO’s out there? Are steps being taken to coalesce all dissident forces and voices?
The answer, sadly, is NO!!!
ARF as an opposition party in Armenia?
Please stop smoking that wacky-weed.
Read Raffi Hovannisian’s speech given yesterday at a Heritage Party conference in Yerevan!
And what does the ARF do? Organize a protest against the Treaty Of Moscow…
TO DEAR ALL,
ANTI CHRONOLOGICALLY :-Please Mkrtich confuse (<<AMBOKHAVARUTYUN)multitude-conmducting, with having,rather preparing Socially formed,Civil socieities.Latter is relatively easier through what I suggest, PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES ASSOCIATIONS.
Otherwise we cannot ,neither in diaspora, nor in Hayastan expect CHANGE.MULTITUDE conducting is tantamount to revolutions without any distinct,regulated objective realization.
To Arsen up above now. No , dear Arsen, I did not try to place Blame on neighbours for the ISSUES YOU RAISE, SUCH AS PRICES OF FOOD AND ENERGY ETC., GOING UP.These neighbours c o n t r i b u t e to same by creating a STAND BY situation in RA/Artsakh for very PROBABLE ATTACK, war again!!! this is a factor to be counted with and dealt with.We must,both in Diaspora and Hairenik declare officially we are ACTUALLY IN STATE OF WAR WITH turco-azeris BEASTS…
Since day in day out they are blasting War Rhetoric or Great Turkey ís vice FM stating we are with Azerbaijan and will supply them with power and arms…
WHAT THE HELL DO YOU THINK THESE LIKE UTTERANCES DO? they AFFECT the lives of our brethren an d sisters there and HERE.PEOPLE LIKE ME ,you others…
Next. Unless we in diaspora re-organize(this is my viewpoint and suggestions) we have no right to bigmouth …really…our own house is in shambles and we haphazardly help RA/Artsakh with crumbs,yes crumbs,compared with hundreds of millions of Euoros and dollars that are given by EU and other countries as Grants and loans to Govt. of RA…and talk about politics.WE MUST HAVE CLOUT IN DIASPORA A NATIONAL SUPREME COUNCIL that will coordinate all our efforts ,not allow our energies and funds to be wasted,instead HAVE A NATIONAL INVESTMENT TRUST FUND IN SWITZERLADN GOVERNED BY THE MONETARY EXPERTS APPOINTED BY OUR 5/6magnates and further down to millionaiares ,down to thousand and hundred dollars investors,a FUND THAT WILL BE OF ALL ARMENIANS AND NOT ONLY FOR RA/aRTSAKH BUT IF TOMORROW hEAVEN FORBID AN EARTHQUAKE OCCURRS ION l.a. TO HELP THERE…ETC.,FOR ALL aRMENIANS AND WESTERN aRMENIA ADVOCATING ARMENIANS TOO,IF UNANIMOUSLY APPORVED.NOT TO MENTION THAT OUR YOUTH AND YOUNG ARE AWASTING.BECAUSE OUR PRESSENT AND OLDER AGE GENERATION DID NOT DO NOT AS YET WAKE UP FROM SLUMBER-TMBIR—WE ARE BLAS BLA NO ACTION!!!!
pOLITRICAL PARTIES? THEY ARE THERE LIKE ANY OTHER IN ANY NATION.WHAT i AM TALKING ABOUT IS a national MOBILIZATION AND IN THIS AGE MAINLY RULED/GOVERNED BYT THE memebers of a 100,000 STRING pROFFESSIONAL cOLLEAGUES aSSOCIATIONS MEMBERS…
a DREAM ? MAYBE BUT THAT IS WHAT CAN SAVE OUR DIASPORA FROM MELTING AWAY AND hAIRENIK STAYING IN THE HANDS OF NOT VERY COMPETENT LEADERSHIP.DID i SAY lEADERSHIP.i DO NOT BELIEVE IN PRESIDENTS ELECTED BY cAMPAIGNING WESTERN STYLE,FOR THAT IS BASED ON MONIES SPENT..NOT ELECTING PEOPLE FOR THEIR MERITS.rEAD ME FURTHER IN ALL MY POSTS i BELIEVE IN ELECTING PEOPLE FROM EACH PROF aSSOC. FOR THEIR 3 MERITS, NOT KJUST FOR THEIR BEARD OR COUNTANENCA OR MONIES…..
“Armenia’s dependence on Moscow is not way off limits because it is what happens when a small, resourceless, and poor country with enemies on 2 sides is faced with the geopolitical realities.”
I didn’t argue Armenia’s dependence on Moscow. I argued the extent of Armenia’s dependence on Moscow. I understand that “when a small, resourceless, and poor country with enemies is faced with the geopolitical realities,” it enters a dependence on a mightier state, normally, in the defense sphere. But I don’t think that what generally happens in similar cases is that a smaller state hands over almost all of its economic, industrial, national security, banking, financial, ideological, transportation and communications assets to a mightier state. This is no longer a “dependence.” This is a sheer clientism.
“What do you think Azerbaijan’s talk of brotherhood with turkey is all about? It is pan-Turkism, and neither country has given up this genocidal ideology, hence Turkish foreign policy of neo-Ottomanism.”
It is. But I never touched upon the issue.
“Iran, Russian, and Turkey are, and will remain geopolitical rivals.”
They are and most likely will be. But you used the term “enemies” describing Russia vs. Turkey. I contended that they were not “enemies” by definition. Rivals, yes.
“To think that Turkey and Russia are somehow unlikely to ever go to war because of economic reasons is to be an idealist and close your eyes to the history of the region, the ideologies at play, and the geographic factors that influence the regional states.”
I never touched on the possibility of Turkey and Russia going to war, therefore, the accusation of idealism shouldn’t be directed at me. They may, they may not. I don’t have a crystal ball to gaze into. Do you?
“Protocols were not defeatist but that is a whole other story.”
They were. No similar memorandums of understanding between the states contain defeatist (for one side) provisions on the creation of historical subcommissions, recognition of existing borders of all states(?!) of the broader region, or recognition of the past treaties in which one of the agreeing sides never was a signatory. Normally, memorandums of understanding state the intention to establish good-neighborly relations based on international norms, establish diplomatic relations, and open the borders.
“It was not Russia which gave away Western Armenia, in fact Armenians and Russians were well on their way to freeing the remaining parts of W. Armenia when the 1917 revolution occurred.”
Amazing! Who signed the Kars, Moscow, and Lausanne Treaties? Not Russia/Soviet Union? Russians withdrew from the Caucasus front before the 1917 revolution occurred, not when it occurred. Yes, there was already turmoil in the country and wide-spread desertion in the army before 1917, but Russians were not “well on their way to freeing the remaining parts of W. Armenia” in 1917. They withdrew earlier, in 1915, leaving millions of unarmed, unorganized, and hopeful Armenians before the hordes of bloodthirsty Ottoman Turks.
“The Bolsheviks are NOT = the Russians.”
The Bolshevik elites were mostly non-Russians, but the ideas of Bolshevist take-over were welcomed by the majority of ethnic Russian masses, otherwise these masses wouldn’t prevail in the Civil War over the Whites. Whether they were deceived by the Bolshevik elites afterwards is another story, but the Bolshevik notions of collectivism and classless society are not alien to the ethnic Russian mentality.
“And please find another country which will provide Armenia with weaponry for below market prices and even sometimes for free. Also, find another country willing to defend Armenia’s statehood and borders.”
I don’t have to becasue I don’t attempt to denigrate Russia’s role. I’m only worried about Armenia’s rigid alliance with the country which may be detrimental for Armenia whenever Russia’s geopolitical interests shift.
P.S. Avetis, get help.
“… Armenia’s rigid alliance with the country which may be detrimental for Armenia whenever Russia’s geopolitical interests shift”. And they already did. Today Moscow invited Erdogan to celebrate 90-anniversary of Treaty of Kars. Treaty of Kars established borders between Turkey and the South Caucasus states. Fence between Armenia and Armenia, as Sos Sarkisian said.
Russia, I think, prepares another “bonus” to its old-new client. This time it is Artsakh.
At the same time spokesman of Turkey’s PM shoots words of reconciliation with Armenia in a display of progress in that area – to feed politicians of Western “democracies” with a reason for manipulations with word genocide. Forgive my language, pure political prostitution. Actually, Bolsheviks were using this label.
AR: I hope you can read Armenian. Here is an extract from today’s news concerning PM Erdogan – Pres. Medvedev (not Putin!!!) deal. Another act of treason.
1921 թվականին Խորհրդային Ռուսաստանի եւ Թուրքիայի միջեւ ստորագրված «Բարեկամության եւ եղբայրության մասին» պայմանագրով Նախիջեւանը հանձնվել է Ադրբեջանին, իսկ Կարսը եւ Սուրմալուն` Թուրքիային: Այդ պայմանագիրն ուրվագծել է ներկայիս հայ-թուրքական սահմանը` Թուրքիային փոխանցելով Արարատ լեռը:
Ռուսաստանի նախագահը պայմանագրի մասին շատ չի խոսել, նա ընդամենը ասել է, որ Էրդողանի խոսքերից հետո, ըստ էության, ոչինչ չունի ավելացնելու: Մեդվեդեւը Էրդողանին է հանձնել մի լուսանկար, որտեղ պատկերված, թե ինչպես է Ռուսաստանի այն ժամանակվա արտաքին հարցերի ժողկոմ Չիչերինը իր թուրք գործընկերոջը հանձնում այդ պայմանագիրը:
In brief, today Medvedev copied unlawful transfer of Kars, Surmalu to Turkey and Nakhichevan to Azeris. Ararat was given to Turkey by this Treaty of 1921!
Arsen, not being a historian, not too greatly knowledgeable of histories, as I see it we are not today opposed to the Russians. Rather, it is the Armenian leaderships of our Haiastan to date who are the problem since they are still of the mentality of communism… It was communism which was forced upon our Haiastan. Lacking so much, the concept was to out do the Armenian communist leaders to gain whatever and whenever to outdo the communists – cleverly. I see this still in the mentality of all who have been/are leaders of our fledgling Haisastan. Our bretheren in Haiastan should remember that the diaspora was formed by our enemy via the Turkish Genocide of the Armenian – those who fled and formed the Armenian diaspora in all the nations. Which were formed of necessity. The Turks in forcing our Survivors to leave Haiastan…hoping that they had ‘eliminated’ Armenians… and hoping that eventually these scattered Armenians would become extinct!!
In truths, it is the Turk who forced our Survivors to become the strengths that we have become are today in our diaspora… these are strengths which we can share with our bretheren in Haiastan. Hiastansis should welcome and use the strengths our diaspora from all civilized nations and which has been learned over these 100 years…
Too, our Armenian diaspora should not be seen as an enemy of Haiastan – any politocos in ANy Haiastansi who professes such policies are the enemy of the citizens of Hiastan! Diasporans, yev Haiastansis together – miaseen!! Manooshag
LI (liquidation of illiteracy). Text by Ara Papian.
March 16 marks yet another anniversary for the so-called Russo-Turkish so-called treaty of Moscow (of the 16th of March, 1921). It is truly an anniversary, as it was from that treaty that the treaty of Kars (of October 13, 1921) was derived, by which, according to the poor understanding of some, the border between Armenia and Turkey was decided.
Dozens of books and hundreds of articles have been written on the Treaty of Moscow. However, as strange as it may sound, an examination of the document has never been carried out from an international law perspective, in order to decide upon its validity.
According to an official UN guide and manual, “International treaties are agreements between subjects of International Law—creating, amending or terminating their mutual rights and obligations”(Manual of Public International Law, (ed. by Max Sorensen), New York, 1968, p. 38.). This is also codified by the Vienna Convention on Treaty Law (1969).
Article 2.1.a of the convention describes a treaty as “an international agreement concluded between States in written form and governed by international law.” That is, correspondence to international law bears strongly on the legality of a treaty.
Accordingly, it is necessary that each party to the treaty be an authorized representative of the legitimate government of an internationally-recognized state.
As noted in the preamble to the treaty of Moscow, the document was signed between “the government of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic and the government of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.” As the status of any treaty is derived from the legal status of its signatories, it is therefore necessary to, first of all, determine each party’s legal status as of the March 16, 1921.
The Status of the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic In 1921
At the time of the signing, there was no recognized state known as the “Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic” and, consequently, there was no such subject of international law. Naturally, its government did not have any authority to sign any international treaty. The RSFSR, under the guise of the USSR, eventually received legitimate international recognition, but only in 1924, with its acceptance by Great Britain (on the February 1, 1924) (Survey of International Affairs 1924, (Comp. by Arnold J. Toynbee), London, 1926, p. 491). All the “recognitions” until that time did not bring about any legal consequences, because they were, for their part, in the name of not-recognized countries or self-proclaimed governments.
For a recognition to be considered legal, it must be carried out in turn by a legally-recognized subject of international law (Moore J.B., Digest of International Law, Washington, 1906, v. I, p. 73.). For example, the Soviet government recognized the Baltic states in 1920, but such a recognition was not accepted by the Allied Powers based on the fact that the Soviet government was not itself legally recognized (Papers Relating to the Foreign Relations of the United States, 1920, v. III, p. 462. (The Secretary of State (Colby) to the Ambassador in Great Britain (Davis), August 2, 1920, p. 461-3).
This approach was confirmed with a judicial ruling. In the case of RSFSR vs. Cibrario (1923), a US court declined the appeal of the Soviet government, since it was not recognized ( Hudson M.O., Annual Digest of Public International Law, Cambridge, 1931-1932, Case No. 28.). A similar ruling on the same basis was made by the Supreme Court of Sweden in the case of Soviet Government vs. Ericsson (1921) (Hudson M.O., Annual Digest of Public International Law, Cambridge, 1931-1932, Case No. 28.).
The aforementioned and dozens of other court rulings and formal decisions by governments serve to reconfirm the principle of international law that, without recognition, governments do not legally exist. Consequently, no legal activities (such as signing treaties, granting or revoking citizenship, participating in a judicial proceeding, etc.) may be carried out by such (Ti-Chiang Chen, The International Law of Recognition, London, 1951, p. 138.).
The status of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 1921
What is written above on the Soviet authorities and government is, in essence, entirely applicable to the so-called government of the “Grand National Assembly of Turkey,” on whose behalf the Turkish side signed the treaty of Moscow. It is noteworthy that even the Kemalists had no aspirations to declare themselves authorized representatives of Turkey in the presence of legitimate governments.
They did not sign treaties as “Turkey” or “the government of Turkey,” but as the “government” of a body known as “the Grand National Assembly of Turkey.” The Turkish Grand National Assembly had the status of an NGO in modern parlance, consisting of former parliamentarians, military personnel, and bureaucrats who had all lost their offices.
Such organizations have existed and still do exist in many countries of the world, including in Armenia. The group headed by Mustafa Kemal Ataturk had no legal basis in international law to represent the Turkish state. There is no doubt that, at least until November, 1922, until the departure of Sultan Mehmet VI from Turkey, it was the government of the sultan which reserved the right to carry out acts as per international law on behalf of Turkey, and only the sultan had the power to authorize anyone to act in the name of the country, according to Article 7 of the constitution of the Ottoman Empire (O’Connell D.P., State Succession in Municipal Law and International Law, v. I, Cambridge, 1967, p. 211.).
The Kemalist movement generally arose and proceeded out of violating the Ottoman constitution as well as international law, namely, the rebellion against the state’s legitimate authority the Sultan-Caliph and also going against the Armistice of Moudros (of the 30th of October, 1918). In 1921, Mustafa Kemal was simply a criminal on the run.
For that very reason, the highest clergyman of the empire, the Sheikh-ul-Islam, proclaimed a fatwa condemning Mustafa Kemal to death on April 11, 1920. The Turkish military court also sentenced him to death on the May 11 of that same year. The sentence was confirmed by the sultan on the May 24, 1920. The criminal proceedings against Kemal and the Kemalists concluded on May 24, 1923, with a corresponding proclamation (Amnesty Declaration and Protocol, signed 24 July 1923).
What is more, the clauses on Armenia in the treaty of Moscow consist of yet another violation of international law, as “treaties can only pertain to the parties to the treaty and cannot create any obligations or rights for any third parties not party to the treaty without the agreement of the third party” (Branimir M. Jankovic, Public International law, New York, 1984, p. 302.).
This principle is also codified in Article 34 of the Vienna Convention on Treaty Law: “A treaty does not create either obligations or rights for a third State without its consent.”
Thus, in accordance with the aforementioned, the treaty of Moscow—which is illegal and invalid—could not include or impose any obligations on the Republic of Armenia, much less determine the border of Armenia and Turkey (article 1 in treaty) or hand over Nakhichevan to Azerbaijan as a protectorate (article 3 of the treaty), as the treaty of Moscow was signed in clear violations of centuries-old mandatory and inalienable peremptory norms.
And, as codified by Article 53 of the Vienna Convention on Treaty Law, “A treaty is void, if at the time of its conclusion, it conflicts with a peremptory norm (jus cogens) of general international law.”