Editorial: Can Life Imitate Chess?

Armenia’s victory in the World Team Chess Championships held in China this week constituted yet another monumental achievement by our national team.

Armenia’s victory in the World Team Chess Championships held in China constituted yet another monumental achievement by our national team.

Many took pride in the fact that the Armenian chess team had outsmarted teams from China, Russia, the U.S., Israel, and India, highlighting the superiority of the intellect, creativity, and resourcefulness of our small nation.

And rightly so. After all, this was not a lone achievement. Armenian world champions Tigran Petrosyan and Garry Kasparov, top grandmasters like Rafael Vahanian, Vladimir Akopian, Levon Aronian, and others, have won countless international tournaments. In turn, the Armenian national team has consistently performed well in international competitions since the country regained its independence in 1991.

Yet Armenia’s victories in the Chess Olympiad and World Team Championship in recent years cannot be entirely ascribed to the rich chess tradition in the country. Exceptional talent without the necessary support is not sufficient to secure victory in world championships. And in recent years, the brilliant Armenian chessplayers have received the extra push that propelled them to the top of the world.

Much of this support came from President Serge Sarkisian, who has headed Armenia’s Chess Federation for several years now, and provides unwavering moral and financial backing to the Armenian chess team and the development of the game in general.

The formula was simple: Armenia has great chessplayers. With the needed encouragement, it could move from ranking among the best to being the very best. And President Sarkisian, to his credit, made the right decision.

Armenia’s market, too, could use some right decisions. The odds are stacked against it. Forbes magazine recently ranked Armenia as the second worst economy in the world in 2011. While oligarchs monopolize entire sectors of the economy, close to 30,000 Armenians have left the country this year alone according to official figures. Experts and Armenian officials themselves say corruption continues to significantly hamper economic growth.

Do these “results” reflect the intellect, creativity, and resourcefulness of the Armenian citizen?

If not, what would it take for President Sarkisian to make a decision similar to the one he made to support chess in Armenia? What would it take for him to support the Armenian worker by rooting out the rampant corruption and reversing the trend of emigration, which is largely due to economic woes?

Claims that corruption in the former Soviet republics is too deeply entrenched to be curbed do not hold water. There are examples in Armenia’s neighborhood of some significantly successful attempts to jumpstart the economy and raise the morale of the people by cracking down on corruption.

When will you make that decision, Mr. President?


  1. Excellent article. Very timely too. Nice segue from chess to economy.
    Some observations:
    re: Claims that corruption in the former Soviet countries is too deeply entrenched to be curbed do not hold water’
    Agree. Although it is deeply entrenched and will take time to cleanse  out of our people’s system, we have to stop blaming all our ills on it.
    re: ‘There are examples in Armenia’s neighborhood of some significantly successful attempts to jumpstart the economy and raise the morale of the people by cracking down on corruption.
    This obviously refers toGeorgia. It is true that Saakashvili administration has done a good job of rooting out police corruption.
    However,  not everything is as it seems. The geopolitics, the Big Game, of theCaucasustrumps everything else.Georgiais the darling of the West.
    West is pumping anywhere from US$1 Billion to US$2 Billion into Georgia every year as a shining example to other former Soviet republics – the idea being to convince others to leave Russia’s orbit and join the West. The exact figure is not known, because most the funds are black funds. (NATO base under Russia’s nose)
    Several hundred million dollars annually are devoted to social programs alone. Defense costs are fully covered by the West.
    Armenia has to spend precious national funds to prevent an attack and destruction of the Nation: the #1 job of any administration.
    When a police officer is paid well, he/she has no incentive to take bribes and risk jail.
    When a police officer has to support a family of 4 or 5 on a salary that is barely adequate, he/she is highly susceptible to taking bribes.
    Just the same, corruption and the lack of Rule of Law has to be the greatest impediment to economic development ofArmenia.
    All of us – Diaspora and RoA – need work together to remedy the problem.
    On the Forbes ranking: Pretty much everyone has heard of the sensationalist headline, and may have seen the Ranking list.
    Here are some numbers: you decide whether Armenia is the second worst or not.
    Madagascar#10 (worst)
    Armenia#9 (2nd worst)
    Guinea#8 (3rd worst)
    Ukraine#7 (4th worst)
    Let’s stop right there, and forget Armenia for second (remove my bias): does anyone really believe life in Ukraine is only slightly better than Guinea?
    Makes no sense right ? Because it is nonsense.
    Here are some GDP numbers:
    Madagascar- GDP per capita (PPP)
    $900 (2010 est.) [that’s right it is $900]
    $1,000 (2009 est.)
    $1,000 (2008 est.)
    note: data are in 2010 US dollars
    Armenia- GDP per capita (PPP)
    $5,700 (2010 est.)
    $5,500 (2009 est.)
    $6,400 (2008 est.)
    note: data are in 2010 US dollars
    Guinea- GDP per capita (PPP)
    $1,000 (2010 est.) [that’s right it is $1000]
    $1,100 (2009 est.)
    $1,100 (2008 est.)
    note: data are in 2010 US dollars
    Ukraine- GDP per capita (PPP)
    $6,700 (2010 est.) [that’s right 6x that of Guinea]
    $6,400 (2009 est.)
    $7,500 (2008 est.)
    note: data are in 2010 US dollars
    These numbers  are from the CIA Factbook (look it up).
    Here is one more:
    Georgia- GDP per capita (PPP)
    $4,900 (2010 est.)
    $4,600 (2009 est.)
    $4,700 (2008 est.)
    note: data are in 2010 US dollars
    (I did not include our other neighbor Azerbaijan, because their GDP is artificial and  inflated due to being based almost entirely on oil production)
    Question: how is possible for Georgia, whose GDP is less than Armenia, not to be on that list ?
    The point is that economic numbers are constantly manipulated by Govs, by private entities, etc to produce a certain desired political message, or deceive their populations. Forbes is notoriously Turkophile and notoriously Anti-Russia (and by extension Anti-Armenia).
    I live in the USA. The unemployment rate is officially around 9%-10%. Not a single independent economist believes it.
    Most peg it at around 18%-20%. Do you know how the US Gov calculates the unemployment rate ? if you have been unemployed more than 9 months, and no longer can draw unemployment pay – you are no longer considered unemployed. See how nicely it works ?
    If you have given up looking for a job – you are no longer considered officially unemployed.
    Did you know the official inflation rate – core CPI –  does NOT include food and fuel in the US? hard to believe ? it’s true
    The most important and costly items in a family’s expenses are not included in the core CPI.

  2. Interesting editorial and interesting comments by Avery.  Just goes to show, one has to be careful what they read – check the facts.

  3. Loved the editorial! Interesting comment, Avery. However, we are not only talking about police taking bribes in Armenia are we? There are many many bureaucrats and officials who are taking bribes, large and small, not to feed their family, but to buy mansions in Europe… let us not ignore reality. A low-level official of harkayin makes more, much more than most of us here in the US through bribes. The higher up you go, the larger the sums and the stakes.

  4. When it comes to bribe, most people miss the point. There is very simple way to solve this problem. The simple solution is that people must stop to give bribes. No one could disagree that if no one gives bribe, no one can receive bribe. Therefore, the person who gives bribe is the source of problem. Now, we have to look why people agree to give bribes? It is my opinion that giving bribes is deeply rooted in some people’s culture, especially those who rarely have experienced justice and power of rule of law. Armenians for centuries have not been treated equally by their governments. They believe on self-help rather than resolving their conflicst through rule of law. The other part of this phenomena is that most Armenians are eager to resolve their problems in very short time. They come to you for a favor. You agree to help them out free of the charge. They expect from you to serve them right away. Change your priorities and provide free service to them. This type of expectations motivates them to reach their result faster by giving bribe. Sometimes, if they just can wait, perhaps a few days, they might receive the same result. How we can change these deeply rooted behavior? It takes education and trust to the judicial system and pride in individulaism. We all know you can buy an Armenian vote in Armenia for few dollars. This can be changed if and only if to educate people that what are the impacts of their individual votes. In sum, I blame to lack of education. Our president can push for real education to solve most of our nation ‘s problems.

  5. Papken:    Education and trust of the people to the judicial system and pride in individualism is the government’s prerogative. Your simple solution to the widespread governmental corruption (i.e. ‘people must stop giving bribes’) doesn’t hold water. In Armenia, if you don’t bribe you don’t get the desired outcome even if you wait for a few days. It is the government that needs to change in the first place so that people follow the suit, not the other way round.

  6. Instead of telling President Sarkisian what he should do, you should ask yourself what are you doing to improve the situation in Armenia.
    Citizens of many countries are more and more living in one country, and deciding how another country should be governed.
    Serious dedication is required to live where you want to see the change. 

  7. @Avery, to add to your comments about unemployment in US, add to the mix a very large number that are underemployed; i.e. part-time, hence working 30 hours/week does not qualify you to get benfits such as medical, dental, etc.

    • Dear Raymond;
      You are talking about benefits; how about the latest type of slavery?
      They bring in (not hire) some desperate people for test period without paying them a penny with the promise of hiring them after a successful long test period; and guess what; most of them end up failing the so-called “Test”, get replaced by a fresh group and on so on.  
      Now what can we call these inhuman Bloodsuckers?

  8. “It is the government that needs to change in the first place so that people follow the suit, not the other way round.”

    Paul, changing the government to effective government can only accomplish by very well educated people who are not willing to sale their vote for few dollars. People must value their individual votes. To vote to the candidate, who is qualify for the job. Once you have self-interest representatives in the parliment who are not there to protect the national interest of the nation, then you are going to have what you got. Once, I was in Yerevan and I noticed a shop name “Clicia.” I approached the owner and asked him could you tell me where is Clicia? His response was somewhere outside of the current boarders of Armenia.
    It is not eazy to govern the current people of Armenia through standard norms.


  9. Nations like Russia, China, India and America have more chess players than the entire population of Armenia and the diaspora combined. Nations like Israel, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia and Azerbaijan have chess programs that Armenians would be jealous of. Yet, time and again, Armenians have proven themselves in the game of chess. This advantage we clearly seem to have over the globe’s best and the brightest is most definitely a result of our superior genetics, our makeup. And it is not only chess that we are good in. Our small, poor and embattled nation has regularly put out large numbers of capable military officers, excellent athletes, renowned scholars and world class artists. We Armenians have the talent, we have the brawn and we definitely have the brains. If we Armenians can only get our act together, that is if we learn how to be organized, ideologically driven and work collectively, only the sky will be our limit.
    Having said that. Armenia is too small, too remote and too poor for the restless, lawless, brilliant and ambitious Armenian mind. Armenia is a small nation populated by very ambitious, very independent and very shrewd people. But that’s not all the problem Armenia has. Despite Armenian brilliance in various fields of profession, when it comes to politics, however, Armenians are deeply naive, bordering on stupid. Naturally, Armenia’s problems also have to do with its very bad geopolitical neighborhood. Therefore, our so-called “oligarchs” (that which all nations on earth have) are not the fundamental problem in Armenia. Even if Armenia’s nasty oligarchs turned into angels overnight, Armenia would still have severe economic problems – simply due to its location and geopolitical circumstances. It’s Washington’s psychological warfare operations campaign (psyops) that wants us to believe that Armenia’s only problem is its system of government (the system that just happens to be pro-Russia and pro-Iran).
    In my humble opinion, Armenia’s main obstacle today is its geography and its overly shrewd and ambitious people. After all, governments are an accurate reflection of their subjects. The point is, Armenia needs political evolution not a Western funded revolution. And I’m glad to report that the evolution I referred to is currently taking place in today’s Armenia – thanks to the capable leadership of Serzh Sargsyan and the new mayor in Yerevan, Karen Karapetyan.

  10. Papken:    “[…]changing the government to effective government can only accomplish by very well educated people who are not willing to sale their vote for few dollars.”
    Well, Armenia had such well educated people under the Soviet rule and even for some time immediately after independence. Yet, they were barred from the right to chose or change their government. During the Soviet times the government was of totalitarian flavor, and during independent times the government is of thick-neck provincial flavor. Your argument about people being well educated as a precondition for change may be theoretically right, but doesn’t hold ground in practice.
    “People must value their individual votes.”
    Again, theoretically they must, but in practice they tend to think: if a thug is going to be ‘elected’ anyway, whether or not he gets my vote, then why won’t I get a one-time profit from this given unemployment and misery? Tragically, under current circumstances, in any case people are going to have what they got.
    About illiteracy, whether Cilicia or other case. Again, this is the government’s prerogative to provide conditions for receiving good education by the people. If it can’t, then it adds to the inability of authorities to govern effectively. Those few who receive good education abroad do so on their own, and tend to stay in the countries they studied in, because their skills and knowledge are unrequested at home.
    “It is not easy to govern the current people of Armenia through standard norms.”
    Well, and the current people of Armenia would say: ‘it is not easy to endure the current authorities of Armenia through standard norms’. It is the authorities that serve the people, not the other way around.

  11. “After all, governments are an accurate reflection of their subjects.”   Apparently, you forgot to add elected before ‘governments’, Avetis, and replace ‘subjects’ with ‘citizens’, too. And what if a government was not elected by citizens? Can we say it is an accurate reflection? Hardly, I think…

  12. My comment applies to dictatorships as well. A society under a particular dictatorship says a lot about that society’s emergence, development and current character. Nevertheless, I have no doubt that a majority of people in Armenia voted for and will vote for Serzh Sargsyan. CIA and “Levonakan” propaganda is the only thing that has created doubt in our people’s minds. Nevertheless, it does not matter for me one way or another because I think democracies are the most destructive forms of government, especially for fledgelings/developing nations that do not have an established tradition of independence.

  13. “I have no doubt that a majority of people in Armenia voted for […] Serzh Sargsyan. CIA and ‘Levonakan’ propaganda is the only thing that has created doubt in our people’s minds.”    If CIA and ‘levonakan’ propaganda were the only thing, we would have hardly seen tens of thousands on the streets and tens of thousands more at homes on March 1-2, 2008. Judging from the scope of protesting crowds, one can say that CIA and ‘levonakan’ propaganda hardly were the only thing. Maybe disgruntlement of the deceived voters might have been the major thing? I’m saddened that for 20 years the people are given an option to choose between bad and worse. As of yet, none of our past or present rulers was/is a popular leader, that’s undeniable.
    If dictatorship is bad and democracy is bad, then what form of government is good? Anarchy, as in modern-day Armenia?

  14. Great article ! There are some excellent qualities that Armenians have  displayed  despite the handicaps and many drawbacks, the leadership must take many more initiatives in order to drawdown and minimize the negatives.  Let’s not forget that negatives not only tarnish the brand but reduce effectiveness in countless way.

    The Armenian people and especially the youth need more mentors, coaches, real God worthy uniting motivators to encourage the equipping, the uplifting, the productivity, the loyalty, and the advancement of the people from being just a commodity to a deserving Specialty.

  15. Well, democracy is bad in the sense that over time, the majority votes themselves free stuff that they have not created, earned or worked for. An they can also vote in charismatic but incompetent leaders. 
    In some ways, Western European democracies already have reached that point, Greece being the most extreme example.
    A benevolent dictator can do much good for a nation. One famous example is Singapore’s former  Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew, under whose benevolent dictatorship Singapore grew to be an orderly, clean, prosperous City State.  (Singapore great geographic placement helped greatly too) The problem with getting used to dictatorships is that one crazy guy can ruin centuries of hard work. Russia almost went down for the count under Yelsin. Putin is a benevolent dictator of sorts. But what happens after he dies ? What if another nut gets the ‘throne’ ?
    There is no perfect model. Our (USA’s) founding fathers were very smart and  educated men, and studied all political systems created by men since the time of Greek democracy. They came up with a model that worked well for about 200 years. But it also has become sclerotic and its inherent faults are slowly draining the nation’s wealth.  I believe the Western European pseudo-democracy is the best of all the imperfect systems created by man. Over time, professional bureaucracy  and institutions develop that takes care of  the nation, and no matter who gets elected things don’t change much. People crave order and stability.
    I believe that’s the model that would work for Armenia.
    I don’t like the idea of the fate of the whole nation being dependent on one person.
    If Assad dies or is killed tomorrow, nobody know what will happen to Syria.
    If Sarkozy dies tomorrow, nothing will change in the everyday lives of Frenchmen.
    Poland’s entire leadership was wiped out in an aircrash: nothing changed in the lives of ordinary Poles. 

  16. The most effective forms of government thus far devised by humanity are constitutional monarchy and national socialism. I personally prefer national socialism.
    True democracy has never, does not, exist anywhere on earth. Democracy, as preached from podiums by Western officials, is a cleaver tool for the destruction of developing/fledgling nations towards political purposes.
    Our irrational and self-destructive “Levonakans” are a loud minority in Armenia. At most, they makeup perhaps around 1/3 of the population. Majority of self-respecting Armenians with higher education and/or worldly exposure appreciate the current leadership. Having said that, the practice of democracy in a place like Armenia will ultimately prove suicidal. The ignorant/hungry/disgruntled masses of the earth (whether they are Armenians, Turks, Americans, Russian or Greeks) simply cannot be entrusted to pick and choose their leaders.
    Armenia needs a forward thinking nationalistic strongman, like Russia’s Putin, and one that is willing to set the foundations of a normally nation without being detracted by his nation’s foreign agents and self-destructive peasantry. This is how the world’s finest nations were born.

  17. Avery,

    Russia has had strong national institutions for centuries. These Czarist institutions worked very well for a very long time. Foreign and domestic enemies, however, used the bloody chaos and utter economic ruin brought upon by the First World War to cause the Bolshevik revolution in Russia. Yet, ethnic Russians (Orthodox Slavs) rebounded during the Second World War. Taking advantage of the inevitable Soviet collapse, the deteriorating conditions of the 1990s was then imposed by various Western and Islamic interests. But Russians have rebounded again thanks to their strong national institutions and character. Unknown to many, Putin is merely a brilliant spokesman/operative of the entity that re-instituted the national infrastructure of the Russian state in the late 1990s. The entity in question is the FSB, the Russia’s special services. The Bolsheviks and Yeltsin the drunk were a nasty hiccup in Russian history; it could happen in any country as large, as coveted and as complex as Russia.

    Russia’s national institutions are again functioning very effectively. Expect Russia not to have similar sociopolitical problems for a very long time to come.

    Due to the West’s constant anti-Russian propaganda, the Russian state today is the least understood and least appreciated of all major political entities on earth – especially for us Armenians. Armenia’s survival in the Caucasus is in large part based on our understanding of and interaction with the Russian state.

    In a historical context, the dynamics of Russian and Armenian relations is strikingly similar to that of the relationship that existed between the ancient world’s Persia and Armenia. History progresses in cyclic fashion, not linear.

  18. There is no perfect model, indeed. As Winston Churchill observed, “many forms of government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” I could bring tons of examples when constitutional monarchy and national socialism failed to work. I support Avery’s standpoint on a form of pseudo-democratic government in which bureaucracy and institutions develop to take care of the nation regardless who gets elected. But for that a long and winding road would need to be walked by the leaderships in Armenia.
    Avetis, you know I support you on some issues, but your vision of history is sketchy. Czarist institutions did work for a long time, but they didn’t work very well. Serfdom was just a variety of slavery. Peasants’ existence was miserable. Wages, hours of work, and housing conditions of factory workers were usually very poor. I’d agree that foreign enemies have worked relentlessly to bring about a revolution, but I also understand that they’d hardly succeed had the situation in Russia been no ripe for that. Likewise in the case of the Soviet Union: the collapse was inevitable and Gorbachev, in all likelihood, was a western agent of destruction, but the deteriorating conditions arose also because they normally arise when any social-economic formations collapses.
    “Armenia’s survival in the Caucasus is in large part based on our understanding of and interaction with the Russian state.” We discussed this in length in other threads, and you know I’m a proponent of a foreign policy balance in Armenia’s relations with both Russia and the West. I also demonstrated that in several historical instances Armenia’s interaction with the Russian state (Ottoman Armenian revolutionaries’ freedom-motivated contacts with Imperial Russia or Russian Armenian revolutionaries’ contacts with Soviet Russia) did not contribute to the survival of Armenia. In the first case, Russian retreat from the Caucasus fronts opened the door for Turkish butchers to exterminate the nation. In the other, Russian collaboration with the Kemalist Turkey and Russian Bolshevik leadership’s nationalities’ policy have resulted in the loss of Kars, Ardahan, Nagorno-Karabakh, and Nakhichevan to Turkey and Azerbaijan, respectively.

  19. Arsen,
    You are unwittingly parroting Western propaganda. The plight of the typical Russian worker/peasant/serf in Czarist Russia and the plight of the typical English or American laborer/slave/immigrant during the late 19th century and early 20 century were very similar. When Saint Petersburg and Moscow were centers of high culture during the late 19th century, crime and corruption ridden cities like London and New York were hellholes for a majority of their inhabitants.
    The Russian Empire eventually collapsed because it had failed to keep pace with the fast industrial development of the west, due to the ravages of the First World War and due to powerful foreign interests that were conspiring against it for ages. Like I said, you lack an understanding of true history. You have been lied to about the founding of the Western world. And you simply do not understand Russia. Even though the Bolsheviks were not ethnic Russians, even though ethnic Russians suffered by far the worst fate under the Bolsheviks, you continue blaming ethnic Russians for Kars and Ardahan. This does not say much about your intellectual honesty.
    Nevertheless, even with the evil Bolsheviks at the helm in Moscow, Armenia survived as a nation/republic simply due to its incorporation into the evil Soviet Union. Without Czarist Russia coming to the Caucasus during the early 18th century, without them evil Bolsheviks saving Armenia from the Turk’s final death blow in 1921, our people would still be living like Yezdis or Kurds herding goats somewhere in the mountains of Turkey or Iran…
    I am tired of discussing the same things with you. Let’s please move on to other topics.

  20. For all intents and purposes, the United States and Britain are corporatocracies; they are not true democracies. Most successful nations on earth have either been constitutional monarchies or nations that have adopted forms of national socialism. Due to the Second World War, national socialism is one of the most misunderstood topic in existence today.

  21. Avetis:     With the best will in the world I can’t ‘parrot’ Western propaganda, because I studied Russian history in Soviet institutions of secondary and higher learning and then lectured it in a university in Armenia after the country’s independence. Hardly could I have been ‘lied to’ about the founding of the Western world in a Soviet educational institution, don’t you think? Comparing St Petersburg and Moscow with London and New York during the late 19th-early 20th centuries is a sheer oversimplification. I don’t deny that St Petersburg and Moscow were centers of high culture, but you conveniently forget that London was the metropolis of the largest and richest empire that the mankind has ever known, and through New York nearly 70% of U.S. imports came in and the city’s banking resources grew hundreds of percent in the said period. Even in highly cultured St Petersburg and Moscow there was a plethora of hellholes for inhabitants, just like in London and New York. Bear in mind that except for St Petersburg and Moscow the rest of Russia was one big hellhole for a majority of inhabitants.
    I agree to move on to other topics, because I hate when intellectuals make judgments one-dimensionally. I prefer balanced, not lop-sided, approach to things.
    For your information, there is no such a thing as ‘true’ history. Unfortunately, the nature of history, its usefulness and correctness, is a matter of a continuous debate among experts.
    Re: the Bolshevik saga.  I don’t ‘blame’ ethnic Russians for Kars and Ardahan, Nagorno-Karabakh and Nakhichevan even though they constituted a minority in the Bolshevik leadership. I only reaffirm the fact that Russia at the time was represented by the Bolsheviks. Yes, ethnic Russians suffered by far the worst fate under them, no one denies. I only warn against rigid alliance with Russia because, hypothetically speaking, tomorrow another non-ethnically Russian rulers may come to power and it may affect Armenia in a negative way again. Would you repeat the cliché that this time, too, non-Russians were in the highest echelons?

    Intellectual honesty, to me, is to knowledgably call things by their name. Many top Ittihadists, who gave orders at mass extermination of Armenians, were non-Turks and crypto-Jews. In your view, is it intellectually honest to say that the genocide was perpetrated not by masses of Turks, but a bunch of the Dönmeh? Soviet 1930s purges were ordered by Georgian Djughashvili-Stalin. Is it intellectually honest to say that Georgians were the perpetrators? Pol Pot, the gruesome Cambodian mass killer was of Chinese descent. Is it intellectually honest to say that the Chinese were to blame for one for the most heinous genocides?

    No one denies that in several historical instances Russia in a way saved Armenians from assimilation, as in 1828 (which is 19th not 18th century, by the way) by annexing it to Russia from Persia or total annihilation by the Turks in 1920 (again, not 1921) when the remaining easternmost portion of historic Armenia was incorporated into the USSR. I only vainly try to explain to you that in both instances Russia acted pursuant to her own national interests. There is no need to overstate Russia’s role, just like there is no need to understate it. That’s the point.
    Let’s move on to other topics…

  22. Arsen jan, after reading that you studied Russian history in “Soviet institutions” I stop reading your commentary. Let’s please move on to other topics…

  23. What so pissed you off with Soviet institutions of higher learning, Avetis? I meant to demonstrate that my views are by no means the product of ‘Western propaganda’, because the initial knowledge on the subject that I acquired was essentially anti-Western. You contradict yourself, don’t you think?

  24. Papken, agree with most that you have said.  Today, our governments, whether in Armenia or in the USA (even world over) dishonesty reigns… Too, when our Haiastansis were under the communistic rule – it was do whatever, whenever, however, that which benefit yourself and your family… and this mentality follows ALL the leaders of our homeland today – all fill/filling their own pockets – to hell with the honesty for their brethern/citizens of Haiastan… to hell with patriotism for advancing the tiny fledgling nation of our Haiastan…
    Patriots were not rich  – Patriots were honest and with a great love for their people, for ALL the citizens of Haiastan. NOT as leaders since DerBedrossian and into today…
    Serge can be credited for efforts at Karabagh, and maybe, today, Chess… but he/cohorts are still inept, not the leaders of our Haiastan needs when the best and most intelligent minds are required  for the progression and advancement of our fledgling nation of Haiastan – aysor!!

  25. This is a question brought to mind re the above messages… It was said….  the USA is giving monies to the nation of Georgia ”to show that nations who are not allied with the Russians, too, shall also be able to gain monies from the USA”.  Who are the nations that are allied with Russians??  Is this USA international policy??
    Actually, it would be wiser for the USA to join with the Russians, the Iranians, and many more nations that are moving away from their former stances… obviously, moving away from their former difficult positions – seeking to improve their positions – worldwide.
    Is the Obama leadership not aware of such changes – of new alliances –
    (Of course, not as ALLTurkey’s alliances – on again/off again, as winds are blown..)

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