Sassounian: Hanging Armenia’s Dirty Laundry in Public

President Serge Sarkisian made an important appearance at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg last week. In a whirlwind 30-minute speech, he covered Armenia’s internal and foreign affairs, presenting his country in the best possible light before a distinguished foreign audience.

On the domestic front, Sarkisian spoke about fighting corruption, holding “fair and transparent elections,” and overcoming “the consequences of the tragic events of March 2008.”

The president then reminded the European Parliamentarians about Armenia’s “shared historical and cultural legacy” with Europe and discussed the ongoing negotiations to resolve the Artsakh (Karabagh) conflict. He condemned “the extreme level of Armenophobia and racism” in Azerbaijan and spoke of the difficulty of making “a concession to the side that is looking for a convenient excuse to shoot at us.”

Sarkisian went on to accuse the Turkish government of undermining the “normalization” of Armenia-Turkey relations “by setting preconditions and failing to honor its commitments, which rendered the ratification of the signed protocols impossible.” He called on Turkey and Azerbaijan to end the “unlawful blockade imposed on Armenia” and accused Turkey of “not only failing to recognize, but also engaging in a policy of blatant denial of the genocide of Armenians committed in the Ottoman Empire in 1915.” He pledged that Armenians and all those concerned with crimes against humanity “will henceforth remain focused on the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.”

After his speech, Sarkisian spent another 30 minutes answering questions from PACE delegates representing Lithuania, France, Switzerland, Russia, Moldova, Holland, Armenia, and Ireland. Five Azerbaijanis had placed their names on the list of parliamentarians to ask questions, but none of them did so. The delegates from Turkey had also made a unanimous decision not to question the Armenian president, as reported by Hurriyet Turkish newspaper.

The question that attracted the most attention was the one asked by Parliamentarian Zaruhi Postanjyan from Armenia, a member of the opposition Heritage Party. She told Sarkisian: “Since an authoritarian regime has been established in Armenia and all elections from 1995 on have been rigged,” wouldn’t it be preferable if he organized special and fair elections and then “resigned”?

As the Turkish president of PACE, Mevlut Cavusoglu snickered at the question, while Sarkisian calmly responded that he was well aware of Postanjyan’s views, which she had freely expressed in the Armenian Parliament, on the street, and in the media. He added that he was not prepared to hold special elections because it is neither necessary nor constitutionally feasible to organize such elections. He urged Postanjyan to participate in the next regularly scheduled parliamentary elections.

Not surprisingly Sarkisian’s PACE speech was welcomed by his supporters and criticized by his opponents at home. The most important issue for all concerned should have been whether the president’s impressive words would translate into action in the near future. However, the immediate controversy revolved around the appropriateness of Postanjyan’s criticism of the president while on foreign soil.

Some Armenian politicians were of the opinion that it was improper for Postanjyan “to attack” Sarkisian in the chambers of the European Council. Others felt that her “harsh words” inadvertently made the president look good, because in a truly “authoritarian regime,” she would have been excluded from Armenia’s delegation, stripped of her parliamentary immunity, and prosecuted. In fact, some European Parliamentarians wondered whether Turkish or Azeri delegates would dare to criticize their president at PACE.

American politicians use the expression “politics stops at the water’s edge” to indicate their willingness to set aside internal disputes for the sake of presenting a united front to outsiders. Applying that adage to Armenia, one could question the wisdom of making such disparaging comments before the Council of Europe, regardless of whether one agrees with the president or his policies. Since Armenia is routinely attacked by Turkish and Azerbaijani delegates in international forums, it is unwise to add one’s voice to those tarnishing Armenia’s reputation.

This issue also comes up when some Armenians try to pressure their authorities by taking their internal disputes to foreign governments and international courts. While their frustration is understandable, dragging a foreign entity into an internal dispute detracts from Armenia’s image overseas. In such cases, however, the blame must be shared by the Armenian government for failing to ensure the integrity of domestic courts, thereby forcing citizens to turn elsewhere for justice.

Before making critical comments about Armenia’s leadership outside the country, especially by parliament members who have ample opportunity to express their views at home, one must weigh the benefits of pressuring the authorities to respect the people’s rights with the damage caused to the country’s international reputation.

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Harut Sassounian

Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the United Armenian Fund, a coalition of the seven largest Armenian-American organizations. He has been decorated by the president and prime minister of the Republic of Armenia, and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

93 Comments

  1. Yeah, everyone who voices criticism against H.E. Sargsyan is traitor and a provocateur. By the same token, most of your disgruntled nation are traitors and provocateurs.

  2. You mean PACE doesn’t know that “an authoritarian regime has been established in Armenia and all elections from 1995 on have been rigged”? What is it that attracted such an attention to the question by Zaruhi Postanjyan? Was she telling a lie?

  3. Mr. Sassounian:  Why is it when it comes to signing defeatist protocols with the Turks you are a fierce detractor of Sargsyan? But when it comes to voicing criticism against his disgusting handling of the domestic affairs you are his staunch supporter?

  4. No, just people like you.  Please do not attempt to speak for the Armenian population of Armenia.  There is a big difference between criticizing the government and doing the things that postanjyan does.  She will not be in Parliament in 2012 if she keeps with her provocations in and outside of Armenia.

  5. AR, the Heritage Party is the ONLY party who cares about Armenia’s and the Armenian Nation’s future. Every other party only care about filling their and their families’ fat bellies and pockets. If you don’t want the Armenian Nation to disappear in 40 years, then every shunorkov Armenian must get behind Raffi Hovanessian and the Heritage party. Instead of complain and letting our nation die, people need to do something NOW and help get Raffi elected or we are doing all of this Armenian preservation for nothing, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! WAKE UP! WAKE UP NOW!

  6. I see that you are another victim of the political warfare being waged against Armenia.  Let me ask you, what ‘convinced’ you that Raffi is the man?  Was it that mockery which was called a “hunger strike”?
    If any of you truly think that the West is going to bring happiness and prosperity to Armenia, you have a serious problem with hallucinations. Similarly, if any of you think that by simply ousting president Serj Sargsyan’s government, Armenia will fall into the hands of patriots, you also need to have your heads examined.  Despite what some may want to believe, those waiting for and/or promoting a regime change from political sides-lines in Armenia are NOT Armenian patriots.

  7. No one will bring happiness and prosperity to Armenia except for its own people who, BTW, happened to (theoretically) have the right to elect governments for themselves. No, it is idiotic to hope that eventually Armenia will fall into the hands of patriots. The nation must be constantly aware that after one illegitimate, unpopular president another illegitimate, unpopular president must position his buttocks on the throne. Yeah, this is how the nation should think… And, of course, only those who advocate preservation of autocrats and semi-literate thugs in perpetuam are Armenian patriots. The hell with sufferings of the local population and mass exodus from the ruling cliques!

  8. I didn’t know tens of thousands of people on the streets and hundreds of thousands at homes on March 1 2008 were all george soros’ cronies… Meaning, all those ordinary people in the country who’re unhappy with the regime are some financier’s cronies? Wow!

  9. AR,
     
    You say: “If any of you truly think that the West is going to bring happiness and prosperity to Armenia, you have a serious problem with hallucinations.”
     
    I believe: No one will except ourselves. Did Russia bring happiness and prosperity to Armenia? If yes, would be interested to know any economic activities (except for buying virtually all Armenians assets) of which you’re aware…

  10. AR,  when the prevailing majority of the Armenian people elected LTP in early 1990s and (rightfully) regretted their choice soon afterwards, were they, too, all George Soros’s cronies back then?

  11. When Serjik was signing defeatist protocols with the Turks, Zaruhi was out in the streets of Yerevan protesting those humiliating documents. She was abused many times by the police (Youtube videos are available) and only her MP mandate saved her from being imprisoned. Now, who is more patriotic?!

  12. “On the domestic front, Sarkisian spoke about fighting corruption, holding fair and transparent elections…” Ha-Ha.  Lol.

  13. I see all the ‘proud’ Armenians hiding out in LA have come out of the woodworks to wage a western funded color revolution.  I have an idea.  The current situation in the US is quite bad, and is likely to get worse.  How about you all take to the streets in DC, and repeat some of the antics that the ltp supporters did.  Watch how fast the so called liberal democratic government will come against you.  What you all are advocating is illegal in all nations, i.e. revolution.  What Armenia needs is political evolution, not a cia backed revolution!

  14. AR…

    I re-read the comments above and see no single word on advocating revolution. It’s about materializing people’s civic, non-violent right to choose or change their governments. If you think revolutions are illegal, all of the humanity would still be living in feudal ages. Besides, if we admit revolutions are illegal, is impoverishing people legal?

    P.S.  My coming to LA was not by choice, but as a consequence of government’s economic mismanagement, lawlessness and unemployment.

  15. The need to criticise in order to emphasize a view  is easily made yet we should keep in mind that making a constructive comments gets you closer to the objective.

  16. “When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticise or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I get home.”    Winston Churchill

    Unless what Postanjyan said and asked was planned ahead with ruling coalition of RA, then it was an immature act by her.   But no matter how immature it was, I don’t think she is a traitor.  If someone calls her or thinks she is a traitor then they should be able to explain in detail what makes her a traitor and which enemy she represents.   If they can’t explain, and the call or the thought was due to un-controled emotions,  then they should immediately stop practicing libeling.

     AR (bright red logo), now directly to you:

    re. I see all the ‘proud’ Armenians hiding out in LA have come out of the woodworks to wage a western funded color revolution.

    Hiding out in LA?  How about feeding you and alikes from LA?????????????????? or how about making sure that Russia does not sacrifice you and alikes like a white lamb?

    Let me get this straight.  Is it only ARmenians in LA that are in hide-out or ARmenians in Moscow are in hide-out too?????  
                                                    Answer my question and I will tell you your diagnosis.

  17. Mr. Sassounian, I was so surprised by your comments. What reputation are you talking about? Do you think other nations and specially EU does not know what is going on in Armenia? You think that if they listen our president, they will get an idea about our country? They are all ignorant and unaware of the situation in our country, right. I can not understand what you meant in this article. For your information they are very well informed about everything in that region. 
    Mr. Sassounian, what could you do when your brother had been imprisoned for nothing, with a phony accusation, in order to threat you? I would do the same thing as Zarouhi did. This is not dirty Soviet era. They need to understand that. They need to restore our reputation. Zarouhi is the victim and brave enough to fight against them.
    Your article is giving green light to those Soviet era remainders who want to bring old good days back. Instead help them to understand what a democratic regime is.No more persecution in our country. Do not worry about reputation if any left.

  18. AR,

    Do you work for Armenia’s cancerous Republican party or the morons and traitors in LTP’s party? How is Raffi Hovanessian pro-West? Because he is from America? The Heritage Party was vehemently against the protocols, which were devised by the USA?  The fact is Armenia and the Armenian Nation is in dire need of a president and leader who thinks differently than these former-Soviet, wannabe-Russian autocrats that have raped and plundered Armenia, its people and the Diaspora with no remorse or repercussion.

    Raffi is anti-corruption and anti-oligarch. No else is, even though PM Tigran Sargisyan talks a good game about it, he has taken no actions to resolve the cancer than is plaguing our Nation.    

    If you look at the McKinsey and IFC reports you will see that rooting out corruption, the oligarchic economy and utilizing it’s strengths – the Diaspora, its people and location – Armenia can be far ahead of ANY of the new EU members ie. Bulgaria, Poland..etc.

    But none of this cannot happen until ALL of the gangsters in the Republican party are exiled from Armenia.

  19. AR (bright red avatar):
    Just because the truth about your corrupt cronies in Yerevan reaffirmed the authoritative reputation of your superiors doesn’t mean Postanjyan is a traitor or an imbecile. Political evolution will not take root in Armenia while the children of corrupt thugs and self important pri&* are running the show.

  20. I support your views. You are right about postanjian zaruhi,she is a disgrace and a traitor. And people commenting here,please don’t forget that the strong army we have now is because of Serje Sargsyan.I am proud of him!

  21. The majority elected Vazgen Manukyan,not Levon .I personally didn’t forget levon’s illegal actions toward Dashnakaktsutyun,when all the offices were forcefully closed,computers thrown out of the windows and dashnaks arrested.

  22. Mark B.

    Although I know your comment is not intended for me, but in any case please specify which AR you refer your comments to by simply adding a color of the logo next to AR. (so far there are two ARs, the one you are refering two has a bright red logo, and I have a dark brownish red logo). 

  23. These comments, for the most part, are all signs of political immaturity and a lack of sophistication. After 80 years of Soviet rule, preceded by 100 of Czarist rule, several hundred of Persian rule, combined w/ 600 of Ottoman, 300 of Seljuk, 200 of Arab and 500 of Byzantine Greek…you really can’t blame Armenians. Running a tiny country/province known as Armenia has little to do with the skill-set needed to successfully operate a massive and diverse empire. We have never had that experience and consequently, have not developed the mindset necessary to govern, either ourselves or others. But, we are trying.  Political savvy, diplomatic adeptness and responsible governance can be learned, of course, but not in 20 years. That’s the bottom line.

  24. To Ani:

    a) can you explain why directing a question from a citizen and an MP to her own president is considered a disgrace and treason?

    b) can you explain why you attribute strong army (which is an absolute necessity for Armenia surrounded by two enemies) to Sargsyan, but are mute on notorious clan system, inherent governmental corruption, impoverishment of ordinary people and enrichment of a few thick-neck semiliterate oligarchs, lawlessness, unemployment, mass emigration, etc, that exist side-by-side with the strong army under the same president?

    c) can you explain why you resort to comparisons with LTP when no one here argues that none of our presidents, present or former, as Postandjian rightly stated, was legitimate and popular. True, Vazgen Manukyan was elected in 1996 and had he been president as majority of the people wished, perhaps the tradition of rigging elections could have been disappeared by now.

    Have more trust in the choice of your people. If they didn’t want Serj in 2008 it means there was dissatisfaction with the state of affairs in the country. Do not steal the only non-violent constitutional right that the people have: to elect their leadership.

  25. Karekin:    The bottom line at this stage is in not in governance. Governance comes after elections. Had a legitimate, public-spirited government been elected, we’d all understand the difficulties it’d most likely to face given all the historical factors you’ve laid out, as well as the lack of the mindset necessary to govern. The bottom line is that the very first step towards governance is not happening: free and fair elections. Explain what does a simple vote count has to do with 80 years of Soviet rule, preceded by 100 of Czarist rule, several hundreds of Persian rule, combined with 600 of Ottoman, 300 of Seljuk, 200 of Arab and 500 of Byzantine Greek rule? Political savvy, diplomatic adeptness and responsible governance cannot, of course, be learnt in 20 years. Can a vote count be learnt in 20 years?

  26. Karekin…   re. “We have never had that experience and consequently, have not developed the mindset necessary to govern, either ourselves or others.”

    As a person who considers himself politically mature and sophisticated, could you enlighten us as to why one Armenian, whose mindset has been affected  by 80 years of Soviet, 100 of Czarist, 200 of Persian, 600 of Ottoman, 300 of Seljuk, 200 of Arab and 500 of Byzantine Greek rule, can waste hundreds of thousands of people’s money (NOT his salary) at the casinos, while other Armenian, likewise affected by 80 years of Soviet, 100 of Czarist, 200 of Persian, 600 of Ottoman, 300 of Seljuk, 200 of Arab and 500 of Byzantine Greek rule, cannot allow himself taking anything that belongs to others for his personal enrichment? I was a government agency employee before emigrating to LA, and never in my life had I thought of lining pockets with what belonged to the state or the nation. How does, according to your politically mature and sophisticated view, the stateless condition of Armenia and the absence of a mindset necessary to govern translate into a behavior that varies from one Armenian and the other?

  27. Ani,
    Eventualy we will grow up to learn that in tiny countries such as ARmenia, very little depends on how good or bad the president is, especially in the case of strong army. I don’t think Serge has won our strong army in the World Poker Tournament.  We don’t even have a control of the most sophysticated weapons in our army. 

    What we need is a stronger diaspora around the world not strong army.  Diaspora is our strongest weapon.  Take Israel for example.  They have an extremely strong army, but without their diaspora they are as powerless as a country without any army. 
    Stronger army will automaticaly come with a stronger diaspora. Does it make sense????
    I, by no means suport any other candidate, especially LTP.  For me the formula is simple: as long as whoever the president is, develops stronger ties with both West and Russia.  It is the only way to be out supreme control of Russia.  Alsthough strategically Russia needs us, we cannot depend on them solely because things could change in the future.  We have depended on them for a long time.  What we need is to be sincerely thankful to them and slowly start depending on our selves by having a multy-vector policy, mainly advancing ties with the west.   When  we do Russia will start apreciating us even more. 
    So, with all that said, I think that is exactly what takes place in Armenia as we post our comments here.  But to credit all that to Serge would be absolutely wrong.  Lets just say he is the predisent of ARmenia.

  28. Mark B – I agree with you. Very true.
    Armen- good comments and good questions.

    I have BIG RESPECT for MP Zaruhi Postanjian (mother of 4). She was also there- in the streets -with the PEOPLE in Kapan/Syunik during the emotional protests against Uranium mines exploitation. SHE was there- NOT YOU, mr. Sasounian, NOT YOU-LA Armenians, NOT ME- in Amsterdam. NO- SHE WAS there with the PEOPLE: just after giving birth to a baby girl.

    SHE was there in Yerevan, Gyumri, Hrazdan, Lernadzor (Kapan) in the straats with the PEOPLE. NOT we- SHE was there. So, would your plz sh.t up?

    I have BIG RESPECT for ALL members of “Heritage” party. I LOVE and RESPECT them all.  The most Armenians do not even deserve to have a party like “Heritage”.

    I always say: In Armenia there are 1.5 parties: 1- “Heritage”; 0.5 – “ARFD- Dashnaktsutiun”.

    GOOD job, Zaruhi Postanjian. Thank you. And GO ON like that. 

  29. To the other AR:
    Why don’t you use another name, is it that hard for you to add at least a 2 to your name?
    Also, the weekly choose not to allow a rather lengthy comment and analysis, which probably says quite a bit about their mindset.  Anyway, they may not allow this post either.

  30. Bravo Mr. Sassounian! Bravo AR (pink/red avatar)!

    Forget the Turks… Armenia’s self-destructive peasantry (led by numerous agents of the West in Armenia’s so-called “opposition”) are the fledgling republic’s number one enemy.

  31.   The good news is that it displays diversity of views that is essentail to any democratic society. Although our instincts are to not bicker before outside parites, there are no surprises here. We need to display open and free thoughts before the international community. Rather than view this as an un disciplined outburst, I look at it as an opportunity to show our tolerance for diverse thought in a maturing democracy. With the problems Armenia has, I expect there to be many views. I may question the timing and the venue of Postanjyan’s comment, but maintaining the respect of the world community has its value.

  32. Sveta, I agree.  And why have so many citizens of Haiastan , have now left their homeland when the leaderships have been – from the first, a self possessed and mentally disturbed Der Bedrossian and continues today, with Serge… another self possessed, totally unprepared to lead a fledgling nation, erring and mending… totally inexperienced in world affairs… ALL wrong leaders at the most important historical times of our Haiastan!

  33. AR (6/29) You close with: Serge is the ‘predisent’ of ARmenia. (Since there are two (2) ARs)…  I agree… as this is  why the citizens of Haiastan have fled their homeland – but suppportive of our Haiastan – hopeful of better leaderships…
    Abrees!!

  34. Mr. Sassounian,    I am sorry to say this was the worst of your articles. What can be more precious for an Armenian—Diasporan or Hayastantsi notwithstanding—than the well-being of your countrymen? The very well-being that’s being trampled by Armenia’s present or former autocratic rulers? Is presenting the country in the “best” possible light before a distinguished foreign audience more important than the state of affairs within your country? Is the distinguished foreign audience more important than your own people many of whom live from hand to mouth and many of whom would emigrate if given a chance? While I also see Armenia’s future in strengthening the role of the Diaspora, I don’t appreciate this typically Diasporan trend of not criticizing Armenia’s government. Diasporan leaders think by doing so they avoid internal commotions in Armenia, but, my friends, such an attitude has a bitter price: Armenia is being depopulated. People leave because they’re unable to utilize their right to elect accountable, public-spirited leaders.

    I’d repeat my question: why is it when it comes to signing defeatist protocols with the Turks Diasporan leaders have been detractors of Sargsyan? But when it comes to voicing criticism against his domestic mismanagement you become his supporters?

    I admire Zarouhi and agree with Varaz Syuni: this brave woman has been everywhere. Defending the rights of ordinary people against the oppression of the narrow-minded, self-centered ruling clique.

  35. Avetis:    Let’s accept, hypothetically, that everyone posting here–if his name is not Avetis or red-avatar AR—are all agents of the West. Could you explain what essential difference does it make for Armenia’s independent statehood to be a Western agent (as with all posters in AW or all of Armenia’s opposition) or an Eastern agent (as with the president, his foreign minister, and many top generals in general staff). I thought being an agent of any mightier country was harmful for a smaller country’s national security and independent statehood, no? If it is so, then please enlighten this miserable self-destructive peasantry posting on these pages as to what IS the essential difference between the two same sh**s in two different pisspots (a Russian proverb, BTW).

  36. Stepan, we may take delight in the diversity of views that’s essential to any democratic society. But, nonetheless, this diversity for 20 years led only to rigged elections, illegitimacy of the power elites, and deepening of the societal crisis. Hardly anyone doubts that in the year 2013 Serjik will re-elect himself and we will continue taking delight in the diversity of views that’s essential to any democratic society. And so on and on and on…

  37. There are many, many examples of newly independent states all across the world that have had a very difficult time learning how to govern in a responsible, honest, efficient and compassionate manner. In most instances, the circumstances are very similar to Armenia, where the quick removal of the colonial power left the natives, either well educated or not, unable to govern themselves. It really has nothing to do with Armenians, per se, it has to do with the basic human ability to learn, and to learn from others. The US prides itself on being so far advanced, but many people forget that until fairly recently, black people – many of whose ancestors had been in the country for hundreds of years before any immigrant – could not even vote. Modern presidents, such as Nixon, were corrupt and criminal to the core. So, while I accept that Armenia has problems, to expect anything close to perfection at this point in time in that part of the world that was under Russian rule for so long, is a pipe dream. Yes, democracy may arrive at some point, but let’s not try to push it to fast…..because that cannot happen, either in Armenia or anywhere else, for that matter. It’s good to be hopeful, but to have unrealistic expectations of this new country is setting yourself up for major disappointment. 

  38. No one argues here that newly independent states across the world have had difficult times learning how to govern. And no one expects anything close to perfection. But you failed to answer the pointed question related to elections, not governance that happens after them: How does being under Russian—or any other foreign—rule affect counting votes in favor of a preferred candidate or stuffing ballot boxes? Since you admit that it really has nothing to do with Armenians per se, but with the basic human ability to learn from others, then wasn’t 20 years enough a time for Armenian thickhead rulers to learn how to organize transparent elections?

    Two major flaws in your comment:

    “…many people forget that until fairly recently, black people – many of whose ancestors had been in the country for hundreds of years before any immigrant – could not even vote.” Black people’s ancestors have never been in the country before European immigrants. You screwed this up. It was European immigrants already in the country who brought African slaves in.

    “Modern presidents, such as Nixon, were corrupt and criminal to the core.” Maybe, but their being corrupt did not affect steady course of life of the American citizens, It didn’t result in wide-spread unemployment, corruption at all levels of government, oligarchic clan structures, enrichment of a few and impoverishment of the masses, or mass emigration from the country as a result.

  39. So, Karekin, would you care to answer my question or you just have nothing to say?  Why it is that one Armenian can make people’s money fly at the casinos while other Armenian would be ashamed to steal money from her co-nationals? According to you, both of these Armenians (or their ancestors) have spent 80 years of Soviet, 100 years of Czarist, 200 hundred of Persian, and combined 600 years of Ottoman, 300 of Seljuk, 200 of Arab and 500 of Byzantine Greek rule and therefore have not developed the mindset necessary to govern. Then why SS can steal and Zarouhi Postandjian (or me for that matter) cannot, if both of them were under the same foreign rule for centuries?!

  40. AR (in BRIGHT RED).. don’t want to sound rude because the last thing I want to do is be rude to my own countryman.. but you are getting under my skin a bit….. for your own information… the other AR (browinsh avatar) has been on these pages longer than you have… well at least he has been a contributor to many other posts as long as I remember… NOT YOU.. so why DON”T YOU change your name and stop creating confusion among those of us who know AR (browinsh red) very well and for a very long time…

    Just a bit of information and a request… Thank you and have a nice day..  

    Gayane

  41. @Armen.
     
    Before we seriously discuss things you want to discuss with me, I suggest you take some courses on regional history, international relations and logical/rational thinking.
     
    The following is a little hint to help you: the presence of a powerful Armenia serves Moscow’s strategic interests in the Caucasus region and will continue doing as long as the region in question is threatened by Turkic, Islamic, Iranian and/or Western interests. Due to its problems with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, due to its good relations with Russia and Iran, due to not dancing to the music of the Anglo-American-Zionist alliance, Armenia has been and will continue being an obstacle for the West.
     
    Use this as your foundation and try to build up on it. Trust me, it will help you…
     
    Armenia needs political evolution not a Western funded revolution! Under Serj Sargsyan’s capable rule, the political evolution I referred to has begun. But Armenians are too emotional, too politically ignorant and too psychologically troubled to notice it.

  42. AR (Bright red/Pink logo)

    I don’t know how long you have been posting on AW, but when I started I did not see you around. If I had, I would have chosen a different name.  
     I don’t have a problem with my ego, neither with being number 2. But since it was your wisdom to add numbers to names, I would expect you to make the first move.  Why don’t you add a 1 next to your name?  Then you will be the #1 AR. 

    In any case, lets not change the subject.  I am expecting an answer from you. 

    Is it only ARmenians in LA that are in hide-out or ARmenians in Moscow are in hide-out too?????
    (of course you are entitled to ignore me as well)

    If you feel ashamed from your previous comment(s), then it is a great day for you, because you will not repeat them again.  Don’t worry it is not the end of the world.  Lets learn from our mistakes and leave this conversation behind.  :)

    Some (wanna be) KGB agents praise you here for your thoughts.  If I were you, I would be careful.    

     

  43. Avetis,

    How do you do!!!

    Let me tell you how!

    Hail Mother Russia. Long Live Putin. Viva Fidel Castro.  Russia Forever.  Screw the ARmenian History.  Lenin, Lenin, Lenin! No Russia=No ARmenia. From Russia with love.
                                  RUSSIA IS FOREVER.  ARMENIA IS TEMPORARY.

    Urrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

  44. To AR2:
    I have been posting here since 2009.  Until a few months ago I didn’t see anyone post by the same name.  So, you claim you have been posting here a long time.  Well you must have been doing it under a different name then.
    I provided a lengthy response to you and others, which was not allowed to be posted for whatever reason.
    I will just answer one of your questions.  I think all big talking ‘proud’ Armenians who criticize the current government in Yerevan are hiding out, regardless of the location.  It’s just that LA seems to be the hotbed for such radicalism, so I have more disdain for it.
    And your response to Avetis is childish, no?

  45. Armen,

    I don’t want to interfere in your conversations with Mr. Avetis, I am sure you can tackle his Russophile ideology easily, but regardless how easily you can do it I want to give you a few tips.

    re. Before we seriously discuss things you want to discuss with me, I suggest you take some courses on regional history, international relations and logical/rational thinking.  

    Make sure the courses you take are in Moscow and nowhere else in the world. 

    re.  The following is a little hint to help you: the presence of a powerful Armenia serves Moscow’s strategic interests in the Caucasus region and will continue doing as long as the region in question is threatened by Turkic, Islamic, Iranian and/or Western interests. 

    Make sure you don’t remind him what happened in and around 1915 and how Moscow sacrificed ARmenia along with ARmenians to turks, without realizing that powerful  ARmenia serves Moscow’s strategic bla bla bla.

    re.  Due to its problems with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, due to its good relations with Russia and Iran, due to not dancing to the music of the Anglo-American-Zionist alliance, Armenia has been and will continue being an obstacle for the West.  

    Make sure you don’t disrespect his exelancy Mr. Avetis by telling him that there is no such a thing as Anglo-American-Zionists.  (He coined that word some time ago and wants to penetrate it into Webster’s dictionary) 

    re.  Use this as your foundation and try to build up on it. Trust me, it will help you… 

          Make sure you trust him because you never know – what if it is the second coming of Christ.  Lets just trust him. 

    re.  Armenia needs political evolution not a Western funded revolution! Under Serj Sargsyan’s capable rule, the political evolution I referred to has begun. But Armenians are too emotional, too politically ignorant and too psychologically troubled to notice it.

    Armen, you know what the irony in all this is? That he is absolutely right, the  Western funded political evolution has started under Serj.  LOL  

    I never liked LTP, but have to remind you his latest statement to the crowd during the marches when he said we are not here to box, we are here to play chess.  Lets assume he is a Western agent, then according to Avetis’s Russophile strategy he was to bring a revolution correct?  He clearly advised people not to resort to physical power but to use their brains.   What happened next? Amnesty.  Did Russia like the amnesty?  Of course no.  So was it a Western funded revolution or Western funded political evolution? Cheers! 

  46. Arsen jan- well said…

    AR (brownish avatar)- apres.. yes hamamit em….

    Armen jan- well said indeed

    Those of you who are a supporter of this president or that president or any president in that matter.. you have the right to support and believe in anyone you like.. however, i believe in, respect and support a president who represents a country, and his people.. who will put well being of his country before his fat pockets and getting those in his circle richer and the general public poorer…I  Support a president who makes sure Diaspora is involved and feels part of the motherland..I support a President who promotes democracy, fairness, and diplomacy/firmness in domestic and international stages…SO it could be Serj, Levon, or Vanik next door as long as they possess qualities and requirements that a country needs to survive and prosper….. unfortunately none of them thugs current or past have or will ever have such qualities or abilities to help our country to get on her feet…

    Gayane

  47. Before I answer your question lets get this straight. 
    I have not been distorting your name by adding or subtracting numbers to your name.  I told you that I don’t have a problem being the second but never gave you my consent to refer to me as AR2. 
    Would you prefer me to refer to you by AR1?? 

  48. AR (brown avatar)… Yes mera… loved your comments.. especially to AR (BRIGHT PINK)..lol and you are welcome AR jan.. anytime..:)

    Gayane

  49. Hovo – well said.

    Mr. Sassounian –  Most probably you were sitting in your comfortable chair-while writing this article, far from Armenia, in the “Genocide Recognition LLC” office.  It is Zaruhi Postanjian who is IN ARMENIA-fighting for years against a corrupt and oligarchic regime.

    They tried to silence her many times, using different methods. The last one- arresting her brother (Tigran Postanjian) in Yerevan-for an alleged 200 dollar (yes-200 dollar) “bribe crime”.

    PACE is the perfect place to ask tough questions: whomever. It was created, in the first place, to promote democracy and rule of law. And Armenia is a full member of CoE (PACE).

    The Armenian Prime Minister (Tigran Sargsian) lately, in an interview, said that it is better that people emigrate from Armenia, otherwise this mass would do revolutions if they stayed in Armenia.

    By the way, Zaruhi Postanjian’s roots go to Western Armenia, as she is a Genocide survivors’ grandchild.

  50. Avetis:     “Before we seriously discuss things you want to discuss with me, I suggest you take some courses on regional history, international relations and logical/rational thinking.” If you knew whom you’re exchanging comments with (meaning my qualifications, not self), you’d blush furiously scarlet and would reconsider throwing egomaniac phrases such as “things you want to discuss with me”. But let’s pretend I’m a what-not in regional history and international relations. As such, I can see with my unprofessional eye that there are several flaws in your “little hint” that you so graciously cast down to this self-destructive peasant.

    First, “the presence of a powerful Armenia serves Moscow’s strategic interests in the Caucasus region.” From what I came to learn laying on the haystack while cows graze on, in international relations there is a notion called bilateralism that comprises of the politico-military, economic, or cultural relations between two sovereign states. Whereas the phrase “Armenia serves Moscow’s strategic interests” is in sharp contrast to carrying out relations between two states and belongs in the realm of unilateralism, i.e. the conduct of diplomacy by a single state. Therefore, by this unilateralist phrase you effectively neglected the strategic interests of the second sovereign state: the Republic of Armenia. If you based your argument on the bilateralist paradigm (as I would have, had I not been a remote village scarecrow), you’d also consider whether the omnipresence of Russia in Armenia’s foreign policy serves Armenia’s strategic interests. But you failed to do this. If you express interest in discussing this muted issue, I’d be ready to engage in a dialogue from the cave I live in.

    Second, “[Moscow] will continue doing as long as the region in question is threatened by Turkic, Islamic, Iranian and/or Western interests.” Here we have several flaws as far as I can judge as a country bumpkin.
    Flaw A: In international relations threat, simply put, is a country’s intention to inflict damage or other hostile action on another country. Therefore, Armenia, clearly, is threatened by Turkic interests. But is Azerbaijan, as an element of the region, threatened by Turkic interests? Isn’t Azerbaijan of and by itself a Turkic nation? Besides, as a Muslim country is it threatened by Islamic interests? Is Georgia, another element of the region, threatened by Turkic or Islamic or Iranian or Western interests? Is Armenia threatened by Iranian or Western interests?
    Flaw B: Last time I checked from the hilltop when the sun gilded it, “Iranian and/or Western interests” never appeared in tandem. The current state of relationship between the Islamic Republic and the West suggests that their interests must be, as they are, as far apart as the poles.
    Flaw C: Can all three elements of the region say in unison that their interests are threatened by Turkic, Islamic, Iranian and/or Western interests? Might Georgia say that its interests are threatened by Russia’s interests? Might Azerbaijan state the same?

    Third, “Due to its problems with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, […]Armenia has been and will continue being an obstacle for the West.” Given the diverse stratification of Armenia’s relations with Georgia, Azerbaijan and Turkey, how correct it is from the IR perspective to juxtapose Armenia’s relations with Georgia and Armenia’s relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey? Armenia’s relations with each of these two blocs are not equivalent to be lumped in one pile.

    Fourth, “due to its good relations with Russia and Iran, due to not dancing to the music of the Anglo-American-Zionist alliance, […]Armenia has been and will continue being an obstacle for the West.” I have never heard of Anglo-American-Zionist alliance. I know of Anglo-American establishment and Zionist political movement as separate notions, but not all three aheap.

    Fifth, “Armenia has been and will continue being an obstacle for the West.” I don’t think the Armenian political establishment views itself as an obstacle to the West. For many years Armenia had tried to engage the West to an optimal degree as one of its major foreign policy priorities and I think it continues to do so as much as it’s possible given Armenia’s heavy overreliance on Russia.

    “Armenia needs political evolution not a Western funded revolution!” Not a flaw. Fully agree. But our understanding of political evolution differs. Mine is that it begins with fair and transparent elections and thus accountable leaders. Where does yours begin? Oh, yes, with “Serj Sargsyan’s capable rule”… Laughable. I mean “capable” is laughable when one observes how things are handled domestically and diplomatically.

    “Armenians are too emotional, too politically ignorant and too psychologically troubled to notice it.” Yes, only you do, Avetis. Hundreds of thousands who had to flee the country were all too emotional, too politically ignorant and too psychologically troubled. But how do I know? I’m just a self-destructive peasant…

  51. I strongly agree with Harut Sassounian and I am appalled that most people here don’t. It’s possible that you all missed the point. Sassounian is NOT saying that it was wrong of Postanjian to criticize Sarkisian; he is saying that it was wrong of her to criticize him in the European Council, in front of all those foreigners (including our enemies, who were laughing at us because of that). If she wants to criticize him, she should do so in Yerevan.
     
    We’re a team and we’re a family. Our internal disputes are private and no one else’s business. Exposing them to the public would do nothing but embarrass us, and that’s what Postanjyan did.  We should stand united in front of the international community. Politicians of most other countries do so, despite their disagreements. I really like that quote by Winston Churchill that was posted here earlier.
     
    After that stunt she pulled, I think Zaruhi Postanjyan lowered herself to the same level as the LTP supporters. She also did something else which was equally inappropriate:
    http://www.armtown.com/news/en/pan/20090624/33457/

  52. Corruption & no real democracy or free press is very bad & needs to be eliminated.However priority at the moment is to defend Artsakh taking into consideration sultan aliyev’s huge expenditure on his army & the way it is going war is INEVITABLE.
    VAY AYN ORVAN VOR AP ME HOGH GORSENTSENENK MER SOURP ARTSAKHEN!

  53. We should remain united …No one should divide Us

    Someone wrote to me your are dirty Tash…

    Who are you to divide the Armenians
    We are All-One
    We have One-Heart
    Everyone of us lost grandparents…
    Homes…Lands…Golds…Relatives
    We became diseased …poor
    But we returned rich
    In-spite all your thefts

    Who are you to divide Us…!
    I don’t know who you are…
    I never heard those names
    Tashnaq-Hinchak-Gamgavar

    I know…
    We have One-Heart
    We are One-and-One-Hand
    We will remain One…

    Shame on you…
    You unethical genes
    You killed so many humans
    No-one would divide Us
    You played your games

    Can’t play more
    We are One
    We will remain One

    Don’t apply your old theories
    Thus…it will never work as before…!

    You played with Kurds in 1915 to slay us
    Now they understood apologized…

    But your hands and hearts
    Doesn’t have Human cells
    Still you insist that you’re innocent race
    After killing so many artful genes
    So many DNA…s 

    SP

     

  54. Դրօ…     I think you miss the point. If the people are denied the right to elect a president they favor, to impeach a president they loathe, and to sue a president they know is guilty of murder (former or present, doesn’t essentially matter), coupled with the ruling clique’s attempts to silence human rights activists, such as Postandjian, using abuses and arrest of her brother, then I can see why she’d be prompted to ask her own president a question at PACE. I agree with you that maybe the venue was not quite appropriate, but this indicates that mechanisms of civil pressure on authorities within the country are non-existent. Besides, if approaching Azeri and Turkish delegations re: murders of March 1-2, 2008 is inappropriate, which may well be as such, is it appropriate to get away with the murders of peaceful, unarmed demonstrators against the rigged elections? You should look into the causes before criticizing the consequences.

  55. VTiger   — Isn’t defending Artsakh more doable a task when there is relative law and order in the country and a government caring for the needs of the people? Are not these two interrelated for the stronger defense of a country?

  56. Sasounian I like your articles
    I think the heading 
    Should be written…probably in different way…

    “Let Us respect each other to serve our terrain 
    and achieve ‘Our Goals’.”

    Others are others
    They will only laugh at us 
    Calling us behind and uncivilized
    Like what they did for Khremian Hayrig
    They ignored till roars of genocide…!

    SP

  57. Avetis:    An addendum re. “the presence of a powerful Armenia serves Moscow’s strategic interests in the Caucasus region” from regional history in which I’m ignoramus just as in international relations. Below is the story that was passed to me by the elders in our village:
     
    In 1914 Ottoman Empire entered the WWI against the Russian Empire by bombarding Russian Black Sea installations. Infuriated, the Russian general staff ordered its Caucasus army to advance into the Ottoman territory. Kars and Ardahan were captured. Turks suffered humiliating defeat at Sarıkamış. Ottoman Armenians themselves never organized a rebellion or committed violence against the Turks, but they tacitly hoped that Russian advances would bring them the long-awaited liberation from Turkish colonialist shackles. Russians, in turn, apparently hoped that the neutrality and sometimes moral support of the local Armenian population would facilitate their advances deeper into the Ottoman territory. Note that the sides that were at war were the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire. Armenians were nowhere to be seen as a party in the military conflict between these empires. Using your phraseology, it’d be safe to say that in a way Armenian national liberation aspirations served Moscow’s military and strategic interests in the broader region at the time of the WWI. But guess what happened? In 1915 Russian general staff ordered its Caucasus Front troops to withdraw because the Western Front needed reinforcement. So, Russians withdrew. The rest is what the whole world, and even our lonely village, knows: Turks started savage massacres and forced deportations of millions of Ottoman Armenians: practically, for no fault of their own. Just because Turks feared that, as Christians, Armenians might sympathize with the Russians and their sympathy might go beyond limit. As a final solution, they decided to bring the end to this in a typically Turkish, i.e. barbarian, way: mass exterminate the whole ancient nation and its millennia-long civilization and presence in Asia Minor. When Russians returned later in 1915 and in 1916 and advanced towards Van and Moush, there was no longer any trace of Armenians…
     
    To say that Russians deliberately withdrew leaving Armenians unprotected before the hordes of savage, bloodthirsty, and murderous Turks would be incorrect. After all, their Caucasus army followed the instructions of their supreme military commander, the Czar. But this major catastrophe in the history of the Armenian people must demonstrate to individuals like you that every country in the world—Russia, the US, France, Burundi or Saint Kitts and Nevis—follows its own interests in the conduct of foreign policy or advancement of national security agenda. Therefore, overreliance on only one mightier state is suicidal for a smaller nation. In modern times, Russian factor in safeguarding Armenia’s security is vital and cannot be underestimated, but to fail to introduce balance of power to a smaller state’s foreign policy is potentially hazardous. Russian military, geopolitical, or even strategic interests may change, just as they changed in 1915, and then the Armenian leadership that failed to keep the optimal balance of power is left with whom before two ready-to-kill enemies: Turkey and Azerbaijan?
     
    It is this overreliance that causes concern, not Russia itself with which Armenians have centuries-long cultural, religious, linguistic, trade and economic, and military relations. But how do I know? I’m just a self-destructive peasant…

  58. Armen jan,
     
    Your English skills didn’t impress me; because it is essentially a window dressing you are using to hide your lack of understanding of history and politics. Like I said, you (and many others like you here) are in desperate need of better understanding history and politic.
     
    PS: Your take on certain events that took place during the First World War is severely distorted.

  59. Is linguistic “window-dressing” the only thing you were able to grasp from my posts, Avetis? Was it in no way supported by semantic arguments, facts and evidence? I understand “better” understanding of history and politics comes—among other sources and personal experiences—from the volume of literature, primary and secondary, that a person reads. Would you care to share what literature do you read, in particular related to WWI, so that you have understanding that’s “better” than that of others?
     
    P.S. Least of all I think of “impressing” people with my English skills. You saw my posts in other threads and should have already realized that this is my general writing style that’s been acquired based on my professional expertise and academic background.

  60. “Sassounian I like your articles
     I think the heading
    should be written…. probably in different way..,”

    “Let us respect each other to serve our terrain
    and achieve ‘Our Goals” 

    Dear Sylva,  This is exactly my sentiments.  Thank you.
    I am not at all in favor of Sarkissian and his Oligarchs and how they’re handling our people in our Motherland nor about the troublesome dispecable  ‘Protocols’, but I despise that we make our enemies laugh at us when indeed we should laugh at them big time and also we want to look good in-front of the world.

  61. Sveta, I was talking about the point of Sassounian’s article.  Whether Armenia’s government has flaws or not was not the point.  The point was whether-or-not it was the right time and place to address those flaws.  I’m glad you agree with me that it was not.
     
    this indicates that mechanisms of civil pressure on authorities within the country are non-existent.
     
    And you think that the foreign powers would actually care about Armenian citizens’ well-being  Besides, there are protests in Armenia almost every week, which is impressive considering they were never allowed in the Soviet era.  So it’s not as if mechanisms of civil pressure are completely non-existent.
     
    Finally, I agree that the March 1 events must be investigated but I disagree that the “demonstrators” were “peaceful” and “unarmed”.  There’s a lot of evidence showing the contrary (just look at the YouTube videos).  This is a another topic, though

  62. Hovo-In an ideal world yes I definitely agree with you.However reality is different & Armenian leadership are corrupt,undemocratic & the economy is in shatters which is depopulating the country.At least we are still able to keep Artsakh liberated…losing it we’ll lose Armenia & the leadership will lose their heads…
    When you are hungry there is no dry bread.

  63. Դրօ…   By mechanisms of civil pressure I meant free and transparent elections,vthe ability of the populace to hold the authorities accountable, and othervmeasures that are characteristic of a civil society. A comparison with e Sovietvera doesn’t hold ground. Soviet regime was a totalitarian, repressive statevorder. Bu guess what? I’d say we had more pride as citizens of Soviet Armenia,vwe were protected by a mighty state, well-educated and with broader worldview, andvour achievements in sciences and technology, arts and literature, werevimpressive.

    And no, I don’t think and I don’t want the foreign powers to care aboutvArmenian citizens’ well-being. I want my elected government to do so.

    Finally, there is no evidence that the demonstrators on March 1, 2008 were violentvand armed. YouTube videos do not show any ordinary people carrying arms orvshooting at the police forces. I only see the contrary. All the more, ifvdemonstrators were actually violent and armed, why wouldn’t the ruling cliquevconduct an open investigation?

  64. VTiger   —-At the same in the real world as a result of corrupt, undemocratic government we’re losing Armenia’s most valuable resource: its people. I don’t think separating the two issues: quality of the rulers and keeping Artsakh liberated is correct. These are interrelated issues.

  65. Avetis Jan….unfortunately by you mocking Armen’s posts by addressing his well written and professionally put comments as window dressing is telling me you are not a very smart individual….. Armen gave you facts and explained the reasons he knows what he knows.. unfortunately you did not do that; hence you have not proven to be someone who KNOWS what you claim to know….however, instead of addressing another fellow Armenian with such attitude, I say prove your point with facts vs with your opinion……Thank you sir.. have a nice day

    Armen jan- I understand and agree with you..well said…

    Gayane

  66. To AR (Pink Logo)

    What you really should be concerned about is that you have missed an apportunity to be the AR #1, and by doing so you have sealed your name as Pink Logo AR.  Hopefully you will enjoy being reffered to as Pink Logo AR.

    Now since we have resolved who’s who, (meaning how to be called or refered to) let me amswer your last question. (Although it seems like you could not come with an answer to my last question, I will answer yours). 

    No, Pinkl Logo AR, my responce to Avetis was absolutely not childish.  Childish????????
    Are you trying to say that you are a mature adult???????????????????????????????
    So was your (baseless, unfounded, irresponsible, uninformed) responce for Postanjian mature or childish?  Was it libeling or not?  Can you proove that she is a traitor?  If not then stop accusing others like a child.

  67. AR jan- totally legit what you said.. i agree..

    AR (pink logo))- stop your childish games and lets concentrate on more serious matters.. don’t understand why would an Armenian such as yourself sound so unfavorable and accusatory toward another… guess this is the bases why menq chenq karoxanum mi ban anenq.. irar mis utelov voch mi bani chenq hasni… be a good boy or a man and respect what others have provided or given to you and lets move on.. and i think the best to do so, is for you to do the noble thing and change your screen name.. no harm no foul…or be forever known as pink logo.. either way.. does not matter to me..

    Best regards,

    Gayane

  68. To the poser AR:
    Pink is a nice color, so I don’t mind you attaching that label.  We all know you started posted under AR first. 
     
    Postjanyan proves she is a traitor by her actions, which have been caught on tape as well as her sophomoric speeches in various forums in and out of Armenia.

    I provided a lengthy reply to your question as well as those of some other posters.  For whatever reason, the staff member in charge of approving messages on this site decided not to allow it.  I am not going to waste my time replying again only to be censored again.
    If you feel like having an in depth discussion, feel free to find an Armenian forum, and notify me. 
     

  69. Gayane:
     
    When you can carry on a legit conversation about geopolitics, IR theory, political warfare, etc. instead of the constant sophistry that you and others, including poser AR engage in, then I will take you all seriously.  So far, all you and the others have done is repeat the cliches of corruption in Armenia, and how terrible Serj and co are.  None of you have outlined a serious alternative, nor do you take into account the precarious position which Armenia finds itself in. 

  70. As long as corruption in Armenia exists, criticism will be repeated. As long as terrible Serj and all of his predecessors exist, criticism will be repeated. And as long as regime puppets like pink logo ARs exist, he or she will be refuted. Basis? The disgruntlement and repugnance of many ordinary citizens: the only ones who have the legitimate right to judge, choose, or change their leadership.

  71. Sitting in LA and reading news media does not count as disgruntlement of ordinary citizens. Furthermore, none of you offer alternatives.  Serj must go… ok?  And then?  What have any of you to offer other than cliche remarks about some patriotic man rising to the occasion.  Please list the realistic canidates.  And let’s not include Raffi and heritage on that list.  They have discredited themselves along with ltp.
    Oh, and I wish the RA government paid me to comment on forums like this, I would have more of an incentive to reply to short sighted and often politically suicidal remarks that too many ‘Armenians’ make.

  72. I’ve spent most of my life, short of most recent 8 years, sitting in Yerevan, not LA. Seeing and experiencing firsthand the disgruntlement of ordinary citizens. I was one of them. Relatives, friends of my family and my husband’s family were ones of them. And I still am a citizen of Armenia helping out my relatives to survive under thickhead, provincial rulers there.
     
    “Serj must go… ok? And then?”  And then a free and transparent elections need to be instituted and people’s choice respected. Whoever he or she is: the candidate who got more votes in free and fair elections. Even if the people’s choice will prove wrong, let the same people correct their mistake in a recurrent election. Set up a tradition of fair elections. This is the alternative.
     
    “Please list the realistic candidates.”  The realistic candidates have already left the country. Whoever challenges the ruling clique as a potential candidate will be either persecuted or imprisoned. How cynical is to pose such a question knowing how the authorities would behave against their contenders?

  73. Thanks for the reply:
    I too spent time in Armenia and witnessed a number of issues which I thought must be changed.  At the same time, I saw progress in other spheres and continue to see them with each visit I make.
    I have close relatives who left the US and emigrated to Armenia, over 8 years ago now.  They are still there and doing fine.  True, they would be better off economically if they were in the so called ‘West”, but that is besides the point.  I am not saying that everyone can follow in their foot steps and make it work, but I do not believe for one minute that it is impossible to make a living in Armenia.  I do believe that where there is a will then there is a way.
    As for the free and transparent elections.  I disagree there.  Say someone is elected who then sells out Armenian interests to turkey and/or azerbaijan.  Should the people wait for the next elections or immediately move to oust the said president?  Also, there are a number of people who are a threat to the current administration (according to your logic), and they are allowed to stay in the country.  Two names that come to my mind are Raffi and LTP.  So why are they allowed to stay, if Armenia is so undemocratic?

  74. Sveta jan- well said.. i concur….

    AR (PInk Logo) Jan- I never said I am well versed in political warfare or geopilitical arena like some of my friends on these pages.. did i? but i do know one thing.. you are discrediting those who DO give you strong arguments…including our long time commentator AR (the one who was here wayyy before you.. again.. just thought I can mention it to you)…I can’t even be upset at you because I understand your frustration but i can’t even say you and those who you think don’t have the ability to carry on a conversation about any political matters (even though they do and they are capable) will be able to communicate if you keep stating that people outside of Armenia don’t know anything and hoard everyone in the same bucket… I hear you and feel your frustration but you are filtering it in a wrong way.. in my opinion………to say all we have done is say how horrible Serj is is an inaccurate statement.. AR alone plus Sveta gave you plenty of data and information aside from why Serj is not a suitable leader… Also, if you go back to my post.. you can see that I critisize any president who does not care about his country and people.. Serj is included in that bunch….

    Gayane

  75. “I saw progress in other spheres and continue to see them with each visit I make.” Which spheres? Of course, there is an improvement as compared to year 1996. But in those spheres that are vitally important for the people, what progress do you see and we don’t? I mean wages, social welfare, medicare, education, legal protection, monetary policies? What progress in those important spheres?

    “I do not believe for one minute that it is impossible to make a living in Armenia. I do believe that where there is a will then there is a way.” That’s why hundreds of thousands emigrated and tens of thousands follow the suit? To me, people emigrate because they don’t see the way even if there’s a will.

    “Say someone is elected who then sells out Armenian interests to turkey and/or azerbaijan.” I think any legitimately elected individual is more accountable to the electorate than the unelected one. How do you know Serj is not the one who’d sell out Armenian interests? After all, he keeps emphasizing the Madrid Principles which are clearly not in Armenia’s interests. People will defend themselves and the interests of their country if a president decides to sell out its interests. My point is that an elected president cannot turn autocratic and anti-popular overnight, whereas an unelected one could care less for what the people say. March 1-2, 2008 events are an indication of such a carelessness.
     
    “Why are they [Raffi and LTP] allowed to stay, if Armenia is so undemocratic?” I generally don’t see Serj or Rob or LTP as being different. It’s the same cohort, at least on the level of their personal relationships. Besides, powerful forces stand behind Raffi and LTP’s back and Serj is too weak to throw them out, even if there was a need to do so. After all, some Potemkin-village opposition is needed to any president to show to the world how “democratic” his regime is.

  76. AR (Pink Logo)

    There is no need to spin around with baseless answers. 
    So if Postanjian is a traitor then which enemy does she represent???????  Turkey or Azerbaijan? Do we have any other enemies?? 

  77. Wages for state workers have increased in the past 2 years, as have pensions for seniors.  Day care is free in Yerevan, trees have been planted, new water and sewer pipelines have been laid.  Giant French company, Orange entered the Armenian market 2 years ago, Stepanakert airport has been re built, TUMO center will open next month.  I could go on with examples but something tells me you will dismiss this as ‘not real progress’.
    As for Monetary policy, the WB and IMF both have praised the Armenian government on its fiscal and monetary policies.  Are you saying you know something which they do not? 

    Armenia’s problem is socio-cultural, not political.  Georgia is in worse shape than Armenia as far as living standards, and yet they are/were the darling of the West.  Why is it that we rarely hear Georgians emigrating?  Georgians do emigrate, but percentage wise, I think it is higher in Armenia.  This is a cultural thing, Armenians abandon their homeland in times of need.  We are here today because of the patriotic few who remained to defend our homeland.  Do you realize that the current diaspora is not the first one Armenia has had?

    I do not think Serj will sell anything, he has played his cards well and as a number of foreign and domestic experts of stressed, the status quo in Artsakh favors Armenia, and Russia – the only outside force that can make Armenia concede land. 

  78. AR (pink logo)- You said one thing I agree with.. and that people emigrate in masses from Armenia.. and that is the sad reality of things.. without people and culture, there will be no country… but can you blame the people? no…. my heart breaks when I hear how desperately everyone wants to leave Armenia… if everyone leaves, then the corrupt govt will have even more reasons to sell our the country that they already destroyed and continue to do so day by day…

    oh and by the way.. trees are being planted in Armenia, partially because people like me who don’t not have a penny to her name still contributes to noble causes like Armenian Tree Project .. i donate continueously to help this organization lead by a non-Armenian by the way to plant trees in ARmenia to bring back our country as it was before 1991.. full of green trees, fruit orchards and forests… so even though i am not physically on my land (i dream one day it will happen), i help out ..small but something.. and when i have the means to help in large numbers.. you bet your dollar, i will be the first in line… i know in numbers will be the greatest hep to Armenia … but unfortunately it is going the other around.. people leaving the country.. our govt is soooo dumb and BUT/SHATAKER that instead of working hard and tirelessly to bring back those who are outside, they are working hard and tirelessly to push people out of the country..

    My cousin who came 6 months ago shared some info about my relative in Armenia who is afraid if he does not find a way to utilize the lakes he has very soon he may may lose them in a heartbeat… and you know why? because a guy by the name of Lefik or Lyovik or whatever the hell his name is owns almost all the small lakes and water bodies in Armenia….and if he says i am buying your lake for $10 you better agree or else he will take it from you FREE… he is so powerful that he will get what he wants without any regard to the people who have the goods… that is how corrupt things are there right now which absoluely boils my blood to the highest level..

  79. AR (pink logo):   I see that whatever I bring as an argument you will dismiss it. I don’t know if you’re a Serj apologist on these pages or just a pink glasses-wearing romanticist. The fact remains that otherwise sedentary Armenians are leaving the country. Even an uneducated or semi-educated person would understand that there’ something fundamentally wrong in the country that causes tens of thousands of people to leave. You tend to believe that they leave because this is a cultural thing: “Armenians abandon their homeland in times of need.” Well, at least thanks for acknowledging that for 20 years Armenia has had “times of need.” I think the reasons are much deeper that just a “cultural thing.” I think the reason is the ruling elites’ incapability to govern, to establish institutions and infrastructures of a sovereign, economically viable state. You may be quick to bring extraneous factors, and I’d agree they exist. But I’d in turn point out to the notorious clan system and monopolization of economy, which is an internal phenomenon. Provincial level of rulers is an internal phenomenon. Lawlessness is an internal phenomenon. Corruption is an internal phenomenon. You say: “Wages for state workers have increased in the past 2 years, as have pensions for seniors.” Yes, but you—rather conveniently—forget that at the same time prices for foodstuffs, goods, and services were jacked up several times. You say: “trees have been planted.” Like Gayane and many others, I make monthly contributions to Armenia Tree Project. Is this the government’s achievement? You say: TUMO Center opened in Yerevan. The idea and the construction were handled by Mary Lou Papazian, an Armenian-American entrepreneur. Yes, other buildings are being built, but first, most of them are ugly, untypical for the unique Yerevanite architecture; and second, most of them are built for money-bags, for profit, not for ordinary people.  AR, even if the people change overnight and adopt a different “cultural thing”, i.e. to stay in their homeland despite hunger, insecurity, and unemployment, it will not feed their children.

  80. We all know that the government is corrupt but I do think that it was improper for  Postanjyan to throw mud at our president in front of so many foreigners. When we will come to understand that the major problem is not that the government is corrupt the problem is that people are corrupt. Why am I saying this? Being born and raised in Armenia I have witnessed how a regular teacher is taking bribes, how a lecturer is taking bribe from a student in the Yerevan State University, how a nurse and  a doctor takes bribes from patients and condemn you if you do not do the same, how people give bribes to get their driver’s lenience and this list can go on. It made me sick to the point that I left Armenia to continue my education abroad. And now, obviously there is no way that I can find job in Armenia or else I will loose everything that I gained during last 6 years professionally. So I will be stuck in the US or some developed European country who knows how long. However, I send at least 1/3 of my salary to my family so that at least they will stay there and not leave Armenia. I am not saying that everyone is corrupt in Armenia. There are a lot of people that are against corruption but they do not have power to change much. I feel like corruption in Armenia is a fashion.  In order to combat corruption there should be launched anti-corruption projects nation wide. Starting from the schools finishing in government. For instance their should be a special anti-corruption subject in all schools and universities. There should be huge  fines  for those who take bribes. How can we achieve this? I think diaspora Armenians need to invest in Armenia greatly which in turn will generate huge number of jobs so that not only locals can work but also a lot of Armenians will return to Armenia. This will dilute people with corrupt mentality that was inherited from Soviet Union. If we  have huge businesses and industry in Armenia those oligarchs would not have too much power any more. For example if agriculture was so developed that we would produce all the wheat that  Armenia needs, how those oligarchs that control all the import of wheat will function? The GDP will increase significantly too. Just donating money without controlling it would not help. It just feeds corruption because certain people already understood how comfortable it is to receive free money. And it makes me sick because majority of this money has to be spent on the war torn Karabakh not even in Armenia.        

  81. AM i understand what you are saying and i agree with you…. however if our govt was smart enough, they would keep constant contact with Diaspora and create more synergy and invite and welcome business from Diasporeans.. Armenian govt does everything to separate them from us… and puts alot of obstacles in front of Diaspora.. that is not how it should be… it is sad…. just sad…

  82. AM, you state:  “…the major problem is not that the government is corrupt, the problem is that people are corrupt.”   There are two blunders in this statement. First is that our government is not elected by the people so we can say for sure that it is corrupt because it is represented by the people who are corrupt. My relatives, many friends and I would certainly elect an honest representative if we were given a chance to have free and fair election, but because we’re not, we see semi-literate thugs sitting in the parliament. Second, curbing corruption amongst the people is the prerogative of the government, not the people. You inadvertently confirm this when you say: “In order to combat corruption there should be launched anti-corruption projects nationwide. There should be a special anti-corruption subject in schools and universities. There should be huge fines for those who take bribes.”   But, dear friend, it is the government’s task to launch such projects, include subjects in the curriculums of schools and universities, and issue fines for those who take bribes, not the people’s. People would tend to do all kinds of weird stuff, but if the state is run by a responsible government, it is the government that restraints the people from all-permissiveness. To put the blame on the people is a lame excuse for incapability of the government to institute law and order in the country.

  83. AR (pink logo).. I don’t have to be misguided .. I see and hear it from close family and friends… i know it is hard to swallow the fact that mafia is running our country, but it is the reality.. otherwise why would Diaspora have such hard time investing and running businesses in Armenia..The entire country is sold piece by piece to outside countries but Armenia is afraid to let her OWN people living in Diaspora without abstacles..

    I would want nothing but happy and healthy life for our people in Armenia and a great Armenia but until we clean up the dirt, it will be very hard to accomplish this goal…

    Gayane   

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