Barsoumian: ‘The Army in Reality’

“Two years ago my brother Artak celebrated Army Day on the border of Armenia. Today, he is missing and nothing can bring him back,” Tsovinar Nazaryan, 36, told the Armenian Weekly. She, along with around 200 protesters, lined the sidewalk of Yerevan’s Republic Square to protest the abuse and murders in the Armenian Army. The Silent Rally took place on Jan. 28, the day Armenia celebrated the 20thanniversary of its armed forces.

“Two years ago my brother Artak celebrated Army Day on the border of Armenia. Today, he is missing and nothing can bring him back.” (Photo by Svetlana Antonyan)

The demonstrators wished to convey a message much different than the congratulatory address by Defense Minister Seyran Ohanyan. Family members, friends, and supporters of soldiers killed by their fellow soldiers and commanders held a candlelight vigil to draw attention to the string of abuses that has plagued the army.

They carried pictures of soldiers killed. They held signs that read, “We did not turn 20,” and “The absence of torture is our strength.” The march began at Liberty Square where, despite the relentless wind, protesters lit their candles and caravanned on to Northern Boulevard—passing out flyers along the way—and came to a stop at Republic Square.

Svetlana Antonyan, 29, is an active member of “The Army in Reality” (“Panagn Iraganum,” in Armenian), a group that raises awareness of injustices within the army and advocates for accountability. It was formed after three mothers held silent protests every Thursday morning in front of the presidential building, explained Maro Matosian, the country director of Armenia and Karabagh at the Tufenkian Foundation. Surrounded by eight policemen, the women would sit, clutching pictures of their deceased sons. Their persistence found support, and many joined in their struggle, including Antonyan.

“The force that drags me out of my apartment almost every Thursday morning, even in this freezing cold weather, is the hope that our rallies will bring fundamental change to the current system in the army,” Antonyan told the Weekly. Some of her friends hesitate to join the protests for fear of losing their jobs, and their family members’ safety. Antonyan hopes to also represent their voices. She believes that despite the small size of the group, they can bring about real change.

“I am going there for many people. For the mothers who have lost their sons… We want to have an army we are proud of,” she said.

Human rights groups contend that most army suicides are in reality homicides, and that army officers often tamper with evidence and cover up these crimes.

In Artak Nazaryan’s case, his family believes that initial investigations were carried out hastily, without certain routine precautions, like wearing gloves. In addition, they believe the suicide note, which surfaced nearly two weeks after the soldier’s death, was not authored by Nazaryan himself, but was a shoddy shot at covering up his murder.

Nazaryan was found dead at an army outpost in the northeastern Tavush region on the border with Azerbaijan in July 2010. The military claimed the lieutenant had shot himself with a machine gun. A forensic examination revealed many injuries to his face, shoulders, hands, and feet, believed to have been inflicted hours before his death. The official account of his death says he was “induced to commit suicide.” Five fellow officers have been charged with the crime, but thus far, the trial has been a disappointment to his family and friends.

“Unfortunately, justice has not been served,” Tsovinar Nazaryan told the Weekly. Her brother would have turned 33 this year. Still, she holds out hope that the protests will at least prevent another soldier from falling victim to abuse. “We are determined to fight against violence and corruption in the army. The rights of each human being must be guaranteed, and the government must take productive steps for that.”

“With the Silent Rally we remembered those who fell victim to the corrupt and violent actions of their fellow servicemen,” she added. “We wanted to raise public awareness about the problems that are salient in the army.”

Solidarity in Prague

Late in the evening of Jan. 28, some 1,600 miles away, Christina Harutyunyan, 32, stood before the outer walls of the Armenian Embassy in Prague, a candle in her hand. She and husband Andrew Mann had brought with them

"It was my personal protest against the reality in Armenia's 20-year-old army." (Photo by Christina Harutyunyan)

a list of names belonging to soldiers believed to have been killed by fellow officers in the army.

“It was my personal protest against the reality in Armenia’s 20-year-old army; my show of respect to the soldiers who died during peace; and my solidarity to their relatives who can’t reach simple truth and justice,” Harutyunyan told the Weekly.

“I don’t want a soldier to die from chickenpox in the 21st century,” she said, in reference to a recent case of army neglect, where 18-year-old Haik Khachatryan died from the virus.

Harutyunyan, who began participating in actions organized by “The Army in Reality” before her recent move to Prague, says she wants to see an end to army abuses, murders, and cover-ups. She also wishes authorities would “understand their guilt,” and initiate lasting changes.

“I want all the perpetrators punished, regardless of their position and rank. Look at all the ‘suicide’ cases and the court processes. Isn’t it possible to open at least one case?” she asked, outraged. “There is no time for ostrich policy.”

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Nanore Barsoumian

Nanore Barsoumian was the editor of the Armenian Weekly from 2014 to 2016. She served as assistant editor of the Armenian Weekly from 2010 to 2014. Her writings focus on human rights, politics, poverty, and environmental and gender issues. She has reported from Armenia, Nagorno-Karabagh, Javakhk, and Turkey. She earned her B.A. degree in political science and English from the University of Massachusetts (Boston), where she is currently continuing her graduate studies. Email Nanore Barsoumian at writenanore@gmail.com, or follow her on Twitter (@NanoreB).

111 Comments

  1. It sure breaks my heart to see how our soldiers are being treated.. ONE BODY who faces the enemy to protect our families.. ONE BODY who is ready to give their lives so our children grow up in free country.. and these criminals sitting in our govt concentrate only on their criminal acts and how else they can destroy our country…

    it is absolutely sad…what needs to happen is to wipe out these thugs from govt and anyone who has association with them… to start from a clean start.. these crooks who are currently running our country not only they will destroy anything sacred but they will sell our country one piece at a time..

    our Army should be ONE BODY that has all the necessary items, including proper treatment from superiors… without our ARmy the President with his thugs won’t have a country to destroy anymore… but that is not the reason for having an Army of course.. these thugs are just lucky that they are covered by such body…our Army is our gate to hell.. without Army the evil itself will have easy access to our lands and our people…

    Our govt officials and everyone else should kiss the floor and hands of our soldiers because it is THEY who are in the danger zone and not the fat belly rich crooks…

    Shame on our govt for not handling this matter properly..

    Gayane

  2. Our soldiers are being treated well enough. This is part of a larger smear campaign that has started against the 2 most respected institutions in Armenia. The church, and the military. Right now it is the ‘sexy’ thing to do to criticize the army and make it seem as if the serving conditions are terrible. Speak with any soldier that serves now, and speak with those who served 15, or 10 years ago and you will see a sizable change for the better.

    These problems are not unique to Armenia, the US military for example, has one of the highest soldier suicide rates in the world. Are we seeing Americans lining up in front of the Pentagon or the White House and throwing all sorts of insults and half truths to the authorities? Is the media in the US covering it and treating as if it is a pandemic? The narrow-mindedness of many Armenians doesn’t surprise me anymore.

    • Agree 100% too. I hope that the readers of this site understand that there is an ongoing open media WAR against Armenia launched by the BIG OIL & GAS industry and supported by the State Department and their servants who just keep finding negative things about Armenia and drugging them around till a new thing comes up.

      Just read all these articles on this site and others about a beaten to death wife, sodomized youth, corruption, etc. and compare to your own local criminal section news. The fact is that you can find all of these events in America but for some reason Armenia is held to much higher standard. The truth is that US Army is in a worse shape then Armenian Army but only strong Diasporas like the Chinese have resources and courage to tell the real story about their kids committing suicides while serving in Iraq or Afghanistan. Such stories usually disappear from the national news in a matter of days and we are all back into believing that US armed forces are the best in the world and nothing bad happens there.

      What needs to be done in Armenia is a reform of civil and military service where soldiers who served honorably would get the best prospects for the rest of their lives after the service. This means top education, stable and well paid government jobs, tax breaks, etc. The military service ought to become a prestigious adventure that would define the rest of their lives and would separate the deserving future elite from the rest of the youth who didn’t make it to the top.

    • AR… comparing US with Armenia is very childish.. you know very well US govt is nothing like what we have in Armenia… US has to some extend discipline and laws that are enforced… Armenia does not.. Armenia has a govt that what they say is what goes.. please get off your dream horse…

      and you are calling us narrow=minded???

    • http://www.Voskanapat.info,

      “there is an ongoing open media WAR against Armenia launched by the BIG OIL & GAS industry and supported by the State Department and their servants ”

      Do you have good evidence to back this up? Or is this some knee-jerk conspiracy theory reaction?

      AR and others,

      The issue isn’t so much that such things happen in Armenia and every other country, but how is it handled. How do the institutions of a country deal with problems? Do they put little, some or a lot of effort into dealing with the problems, before and after they happen? That’s the real issue.

      And yes, in the US, people to protest and raise their voice. And more often than not, it has an effect and things begin to change.

      Speaking up about problems in Armenia does not make one anti-Armenian as some of the posts here imply. Speaking up whenever a problem is not addressed, covered up is critical in have the authorities take their responsibilities seriously.

    • Random Armenian:

      If American leaders listen to the masses then why are they brutally putting down the OWS movement? Moreover, if you all are so concerned about human rights, why are you not joining your fellow Americans in protesting against corruption, corporate greed, wasteful government spending, and the failing educational system and national infrastructure in the US? Is it easier to pick on Armenia and try your fantastical social experiments there?

  3. I do not agree with you Gayane.
    We should not start with “cleaning up” our government but cleaning up our families, society, bringing back Armenian traditions etc. The young men coming to army from society and they bring into the army all those false crime culture that dominating in the country. Of course Army should discipline it’s soldiers and S. Oganyan is doing great job in this matter. But army can not baby sit everyone. Families should. If they do raise kids with criminal values non army will be able to change it completely. In every army there are great deal of suicides and killings (even in US).
    So if someone want really help Armenia, should start with supporting schools, family institutions even investments in to Armenian economy (I’m 100% sure some people will start telling me that system is corrupt – which is only partly true) and all projects that helping bringing true Armenian values to our country. ANd only after our society will recover from this sickness we will have great patriotic government. Only after the society will become healed!

    • pure nonsense… 1/3 of the population has left already because of the corrupt thug nature of the current Armenian regime..that small country is all the diaspora has and you have balls to say we need to clean up our family first .. there are more Armenian institutions, churches, schools, fundraiser, political activist OUTSIDE OF ARMENIA PROPER all in other country’s, some hostile country’s, all working on behalf of our mother country.. Armenia IS CORRUPT.. IT NEEDS TO END.. I can care less about any other country and their military. These murders should not happen and rule of law and justice needs to be the order of the day..the real issue is that the country stinks from the top…Its unacceptable and turns most of the diaspora off as i’m sure the ruling elite can care less. They only seem to care about their own pocket book however…

    • Gev.. i am sorry I missed the part where it is the families fault that a soldier is being mistreated in the Army.. why is it the family’s fault when their son is being beaten, or killed, or abused by his superiors?? please do direct me to that section in the Article..

      This Article is about how our soldiers are being mistreated by their superiors… it has nothing to do with how they were raised.. so are you saying because they were raised in a certain way, they deserve to be mistreated???

      I dont’ get you.. please explain..

      Gayane

    • to John: You thinking way is very abstract. You can not clean government without cleaning society. On the place of present corupt governors will come new also corupt people. Because they ARE FROM THE SAME SYSTEM! from the system where criminal way of thinking is dominating.
      All those big words you are telling “killing in the army must stop”, ” we need to end corupt”, “I care about Armenia” etc. nothing more than just a words. What exactly you are proposing? Exactly step by step!
      I know many Armenians who left Armenia and do live in other countries with even worst economical, criminal, moral conditions. But they do stay there and do not want to go back. They do give lame reasons about corupt government back home, however in Russia, Ukraine, Moldova, Uzbekistan situation even worst. One of the real reasons is that most of Armenians didn’t get the feeling of having own country wich they have to love and protect. “Vorteh hats ain teh kats” that is the main filosophy. We didn’t have our own country and independance for hundreds of years. And now having it for 20 years every one want to have great, pure, county/heaven. That is not heapening in several years. US also was not created as a perfect place to live, however people was staying herre and developing their country step by step.
      All those who are living Armenia do not helping it. They fleeing as rats seeking better life thats it. And that is fine, nobody can stop the from it, however thay should not tell to people who live there how they need to change situation inside. It is very easy to tell what to do, but only those people who are really live currently in ARMENIA can make actual changes. Diaspora can only help with money and investments (wich is great) however making changes in the country can only people who live there!

      Only when amount of honest, patriotic people IN Armenia increase corupt people only than Armenia will become powerful.

    • John.. unfortunately some people are blind to this and don’t realize that being in their dream won’t help the country.. and if we asked these individuals who paint the picture through rosy glasses and how great it is and how wel our soldiers are being treated, to go and protect the country or go serve in the Army..they wont….. again i don’t know AR, Gev and everyone who agrees with them personally and dont’ want to cross my boundaries by assuming, but I have a feeling they will not budge..

      Just my opinion..

      Gayane

    • Che… shat lov seerdance Hi em..

      Listen, im not saying the world is always a perfect place but for some reason the current leaders of Armenia, and thats all i care about, think that their crony positions entitle them to theft and oppressing anyone who gets in their way..Their main concern isn’t to serve the people and Armenia’s interests but to line their pockets..

      The solution for ALL THE WORLDS Diaspora is to make it perfectly clear to the leaders that their corrupt system NEEDS TO GO AND CANNOT BE TOLERATED…The problem with the Armenians living there is that THEY HAVE NO VOICE.. The most recent corrupt elections resulted in mass demonstrations where people were killed and or jailed..The time to turn a blind eye is over..Armenian future depends on it or these thugs will sell it off piece by piece for their own gain..

    • John.. it seems AR and Gev are in denial that no matter how much we want to see our country is prospering, their have to get rid of their rosey colored glasses because what you said is what majority in Armenia expresses..

      For some reason, these two refuse to see the real situation and they think we are against Armenia because we voice our disagreement and disgust how the country is being run by these crooks..

  4. No Army,No Country/state and no Govt-.Thence no Pres. no VICE PRESIDENT(THAT WE OUGHT TO HAVE) AND NO PRIME MINISTRE NO NOTHING….
    MELTING DIASPORA(s) INTO THE multitudes of other powerfull nations.
    Hence, the importance of the army is A TOPMOST NECESSITY
    THESE OCCURANCES ARE LAMENTABLE..
    should not happen. The Sergeants,cor`porals and The superior Officers Corps ,are the responsibles for these.
    Thje Military Tribunals ought to be organized and prosecutors get to work..
    bdest to all

  5. ar, what kind of an argument is “this is the sexy thing to do, complaining about the army” ? and what does it matter if it was worse 10-15 years ago if it is bad today? why do we have to settle for bad instead of worse, and since when is that a good thing? i don’t understand this kind of thinking. that it’s ok for some people to die because you can’t avoid that. yes you can! if these men are dying from anything other than an attack from the opposing side, then there is a problem. i don’t care what kind of an argument you bring about. i know of too many people in armenia who have lost their sons and brothers, and even more people who will be undergoing some medical treatment or another for the rest of their lives because of the violence they endured in the army. do not tell me this is ok! do not tell me we are trying to make it sound bad. it IS bad. i am tired of your kind of half-a**ed patriot/nationalists. you don’t give a s**t about armenia or its people. and for your information, people are organizing against violence in the US army, but we live in a much larger country and you may not see it if it is not happening in your neighborhood or in your state. i myself have gone to such rallies. i think the only narrow-minded armenian i see here is you.

  6. Gev, I agree that we should support the educational system in Armenia and work on the economy to create a better living standard there. But I am not sure what you mean by cleaning up families instead of the government. I am sure there are a lot of families with this kind of false “criminal” thing, but how can you just blame families and let the government that is letting the violence in the army continue to be? the government is an extension of the family, you don’t have to start from one in order to change the other, you can work on them both, at the same time or separately to bring about this change. and again, saying that all armies have these kinds of deaths does not make it ok! what kind of thinking is that? if you had a son in the army and he was killed by his fellow soldiers would you say, oh well he is a sacrifice to the status quo?

    • Maral,
      I’m not saying that army and government are great. I’m strongly agree that army has to work and bring inside casulties to minimum (bringing it to 0 practically near to impossible in any army in the world). My cousens and friends do serve in Armenian army and I know that Oganyan is doing a good job to prevent this situations and minimize them. It takes time of course.
      Howver there should be made certaine work with family institution in Armenia. Main prerogative to work with families is on Armenian Apostolic Church, however there should be activized programs (non profitable organizations) that bringing up in society true, clean Armenian family traditions.

      It is imposible to blame only one institution in all sins. There are many interconnections that have to be considered: starting with family – church – society (including media)- school- army – government.

    • Gev.. you did not say that in your first post.. you bluntly blamed the families and dismissed the wrong doing of the govt and the Army…

    • Gayane, please read carefully my posts.
      One more time. It should be started with families and society and only after having strong, patriotic families and society we will have patriotic governors. not the other way!
      Fleeing the country won’t help in bringing more patriotic government, get rid of corruption in school etc.

    • I have always suggested that young Armenians form all over the world should be able to serve in the Armenian army for a two/four year period.. It would serve Armenia good on many levels.

      1. It would created more influx from all over the world with different ideas and cultures yet still be Armenians.
      2. Some would stay and create families once their army duty is over.
      3. It would created a large pool of already combat ready troops in case of war.
      4. it would bring an outside mentality of true patriotism.
      5. It could repopulate depleted population..

      Im not sure, however, if the current regime would allow it..I know many young Armenians that would go in a minute..

    • Current regime is doing everything to get the rest of the population leave the country.. and they are selling our country piece by piece..

      I bet half the businesses and anything money making is owned by Russia.. alot of people leave for Turkey because there is no work in Armenia. this is absolutely disheartening..

      Armenian govt should allow Diasporans to have dual citizenship and allow people to invest and own companies without giving them HELL for trying…but as we all know.. if you are not one of the hairs on the president’s mafia, you won’t get anywhere…

      oh but according to some.. our soldiers are being treated great and the president is one of the best we ever had…

  7. AR, Gev, Voskanapat, and other regime apologists
    Call it whatever you like—“smear campaign against the military”, “war launched by the big oil and gas industry”, or dump all the responsibility on the families and socium at large, at the end of the day it is the government’s prerogative to put their house in order. The fact remains that people leave the country en masse because of government’s failure to rule effectively: in a professional, responsible, and public-spirited manner. Not to mention the fact that for 20 years virtually no government was given the vote of confidence by the people. Cultivation of social norms, habits, tastes is to a large degree a prerogative of the government. What social values a young man can form if he sees semi-literate thick-neck thugs sitting in the parliament? Or when he looks around and sees corruption and lawlessness? Or when he gets better grades by bribing a lecturer? The easiest and cheapest way of looking at these problems is to dump them on evil outside forces. These sinister forces have been out there forever and will always attempt to thwart development and subjugate governments. The point is how effectively you, as a government, fend them off. Start with yourselves, not with outside spoilers. Put your own house in order first.

  8. Armen, Maral, and Gayane.

    Please stay in the US and don’t worry about Armenia. You’re narrow minds filled with notions that are not based on current reality do not have a place in a fragile geopolitical landscape known as the Caucasus. Continue to think that democracy happens overnight, and that the West is the standard bearer. Obviously anyone that tries to point out progress to you all will still fall short, since you all are the (glass is) half empty sort of people.

    • AR.. being disrespectful is absolutely what will get you banned from the circile of those who truly care about their country and their well being.. you being rude and crude will not get you anywhere..

      Unfortunately we know your tactics and style..

      All other readers,
      This AR (bright pink avatar) is not the same as the AR who has been posting for a while and is an absolute patriot and respectful individual… just so you are aware…

      Gayane

    • and you call yourself a patriot AR with your prude comments??? I would say you yourself should STAY OUT from the Armenian Cause because you are not helping you are destroying it…

      Good Day

    • See Gayane, this is exactly what you and people like you do. Anyone Armenian that calls you out for something suddenly becomes not a patriot. AR’s view are probably the realistic, not the optimistic. You don’t just disagree with him/her, you contest their patriotism.

  9. The current reality is that Armenia is being de-populated because of government’s incompetence. Narrow-mindedness is when people dump failures on “smear campaigns” or “fragile geopolitical landscape”, not themselves. Smear campaigns or fragile geopolitical landscape don’t prompt a public official to take bribes. They don’t require small- and medium-size businesses to have government’s protection to be able to operate. They don’t recommend stuffing ballots, rigging elections, or open fire on unarmed demonstrators. “Democracy doesn’t happen overnight”. Thank you for enlightening. Could laying foundations for democracy gradually happen? Or this will happen when most of the population is gone?

    • All of those problems, save for geopolitics, apply to the US as well. I ask again, why don’t you concerned citizens of America who care so deeply about democracy and human rights join with the OWS movement?
      The latest census shows a population growth, not decline. But I don’t expect emotional people to listen to facts, just Western sponsored statements and declarations against Armenia. Again, the worst enemy of Armenia is not Turkey or Azerbaijan, it is self-destructive Armenians. Thank God for the NSS and FSB, otherwise Armenia would be another Western puppet like the neighbor to the north.

    • Armen, Gayane and others. Asking one more time. please show me your vision how things in Armenia can be changed. Just spit it out. Tell what EXACTLY should be done and HOW to change the situation.
      Please be specific without using abstract phrases!

  10. Some do not quite understand or conveniently ignore/bypass at best that OUR OWN DIASPORA(s) are in shambles, not organized around a Super Structure…
    First let us please congregate, assemble,around Professional Colleagues Associations, PCA’s(for that is where our present Human resources are mainly) the in each Armenian dense TOWNSHIP (ALL AROUD GLOBE) WHERE THERE ARE ARMENIANS have Central Bodies and in each Community country capital a Central Council.On to a supreme council in 5 Dept.s
    1.Legal Political in Strasbourg,FR.2, Executive in NY(U.N>)3.Economic(future National Investment Trust Fund)4.Social Services (and future Repatriation organizing in Moscow)5. The only one we have the Spiritual at St. Etchmiadzin in Conjunction with Great House of Cilicia. Then only we can by and by begin to be Fully fledged artner with Hayastan.
    HAVING FROM EAch important Continent N.& S.Americas one each, EU one, Russian Fed. one and Middle East one PERMANENT DELEGATE IN YEREVAN…..at Ministry of Diaspora…
    Thus by and by cooperating with them on s a m e l ,e v e l…
    If you wish to learn me please I ask you to visit w eb site …
    http://www.armeniannews.info , at top left hand corner USERS Articles,Read me there,.then comment if you wis to do s.thaks for reading me,Hama Haigagai SIRO,
    Gaytzag Palandjian

  11. I’m ‘spitting out’… step aside, regime apologists.

    The most important requirement is to have elections (both parliamentary and presidential) in which people’s votes will be respected. Nothing, no far-fetched “smear western campaigns” or “fragile geopolitical landscape”, prevents the government from organizing free and fair elections even in our, as some think, “unclean” society. The society’s role in elections (its eligible segment, to be exact) is to visit polling places and cast ballots. Period. Watching over transparent electoral process and counting votes fairly are the tasks that the government fulfils.

    Can the government fulfill it just once in a free and fair manner for a change?

    • Armen jan.. and without a doubt, we have few regime apologists that is for sure… including a Turk but a Kurd by blood who apparently supports ARmenians in their fight and cause but yet sides with AR who rudely disrespected everyone on this forum who opposed such treatment in our govt and our Army as narrow minded people who need to stay out of Armenia… is not that lovely???

    • I strongly believe that Armenian president was elected by majority of Armenian population. More than that Serge Sargsyan is the best president so far that Armenia had in several hundreed of years. He had tone of mistake but so far he its the best. And I hope in future this tendency, of having next president better then previouse, will stay.
      More than that you wont be able to prove that sargsyan was nkt elected by majority.
      Second, if you strongly belive that reelection will drastically change and fix demographic, economic, army, and other problems I really feel sorry for you. please analyse history of other countries in the world.

    • Gev..do you really believe that people elected the President or do you believe the President elected himself.. ??

      Those who I know living n Armenia told me something different… here is what I heard.. when the elections were happening.(not sure if you heard the same thing)..president’s people came to regular citizen’s and promised bribes in order to get the vote … or some where even threatened and cornered to vote for the candidate… i don’t know about you, but if i was a citizen and I did not have any means to protect or support myself, and the only way I can be left alone is to vote for the running crook, then i would do what I have to do..vote for that person…..again, this is what I received from those living in Armenia…

      I believe the President was not really elected by the majority .. in my opinion the president/his dogs forced the majority to vote for him… again.. i base my opinion on wha I received from Armenia…… you may have a different story.. …

      I believe the mentality of our people need to change in Armenia.. it took 20 years to create such mentality where one believes nothing can be done, nothing needs to be done because no one will listen, nothing will help them to get out of the situation they are in, nothing better will happen for them, so might as well just live the way we do and not create commotion and choas..they came to terms with “it is what it is” and they may not even know how to handle the change for a better….except the longer these crooks run our country, the less country we will have in the near future.. the longer the people fall into the comma and not rise up to demand their rights, the less peoples’ determination and fight will be in the next election…. who knows…

  12. Armen, Gayane, AR, Gev, Maral, John and all of our other Մերոնքական.

    We need to find a way to discuss these sorts of sensitive, controversial subjects amongst ourselves, and only ourselves. I don’t know how to do it.
    But this is no good.

    Unquestionably all sides want what is best for Armenia and Artsakh.
    There is no doubt in my mind and has never been.
    To me, it is axiomatic that the worst Armenian leader will not exterminate his own. I am not aware of a single case in our 5000 year history. They made and make mistakes. But when you make decisions, you make mistakes. No other way. All leaders in human history have. The ones who make no mistakes, make no decisions and do nothing.

    To me it is just as axiomatic that given half a chance, AzeriTurks and Turks will wipe out both Artsakh and Armenia.
    Today and tomorrow.

    This thread is a microcosm of how things can quickly spin out of control in real life and end in disaster for our nation. We need to find a better way to meet at the middle.

    • You can’t meet in the middle with people who don’t know politics, who’s only notion is ‘free and fair elections’. That in and of itself does not mean that Armenia will be ruled correctly or even justly. Their reply is, well vote them out next time, sadly as we are seeing in the US, the in between time is when the damage is done and it can be irreversible.

      And if we are to speak about Armenian history, time and again we can see the nobles not supporting the center, the king, and pursuing their narrow interests at the expense of the nation. Our current oligarchs are the modern version of this, and the peasantry of the past are the self-destructive individuals within the Armenian community who can only harp on the negatives, yet will never admit that in 20 years Armenia has done pretty damn well for all it has had to overcome. Instead we need to support an nurture the Golden Core within our community, who are a minority, but with support will bring about the proper progression that Armenia needs to regain its lost glory. Not a Western backed regime change a la Libya.

    • Well I don’t know who you are referring to AR by “the peasantry of the past are the sell-destructive individuals within the Armenian community who can only harp on the negatives, yet will never admit that in 20 years ARmenian has done pretty damn well……………………but i personally don’t see anyone here who can’t admit that….

      in addition, this thread is about the mistreatment in the Army which boils down to the higher ups aka govt officials/officers of the Army… it is their JOB AND DUTY to protect and nourish our soldiers…

      No one here shared or said that we don’t see the good.. few of you are quick at jumping at the wagon when you hear some of us disagreeing with what and how things are being managed in Armenia…Armenia is not perfect , we know that but it is our lands, our country, our soul, our heart, our bloodline.. we bleed with her every time something strikes to cause pain.. we rejuvinate everytime something strikes to cause happiness but trying to picture the situation as peachy as you tried to picture it for us is wrong.. because that is not how it is.. we may have come a long way but we are not there yet… we need to discuss about such things openly.. can’t hide them.. that is only way we can collaborate and find solutions… TOGETHER… not calling those who are agaist such treatment and management narrow minded people.. very rude…

    • I agree Avery jan.. we need a plan and need it fast.. because the more we experience such divide, the less effective our efforts will be..

      But how??

  13. Gayane Armen and others.
    why do I have to repeat same things many times. I thing majority here should be old enough to read carefully and be able to analyze. I repeat again. I do not fully support government. I do see their mistakes however I do see good things too. Im trying to analyze situation and not bluntly say that everything is wrong and bad.

  14. “To me, it is axiomatic that the worst Armenian leader will not exterminate his own.”
    –It is safe to say already that as a result of neoBolshevik policies, political assassinations, man-made “blockade” consequences such as far-fetched energy shortage, and unrestrained emigration, LTP did exterminate or alienate a significant portion of his own population.

    “I strongly believe that Armenian president was elected by majority of Armenian population. […]you won’t be able to prove that Sargsyan was not elected by majority.”
    –Some logic here! So, because ay people are unable to prove that he wasn’t elected by the majority, they just have to admit that he was elected by majority? Then, how do we explain hundreds of thousands of disgruntled people pouring into the streets in protest? Or the fact that elections were not considered free and fair by most international observers? Or maybe someone could explain as to why a president who was elected by majority of population opens fire on unarmed protesters in fear? Or maybe the fact that most world leaders didn’t send congratulatory letters should tell people something? Or maybe his inauguration that proceeded under martial law on empty streets of the capital is indicative of something? Or maybe signing defeatist protocols with an enemy-state without consulting his own people should reveal something about the popular confidence that he lacks?

    “Serge Sargsyan [has] ton of mistake but so far he is the best”.
    –How can a leader have “ton of mistake” and be the best at the same time? Weird.

    “If you believe that reelection will drastically change and fix demographic, economic, army, and other problems I really feel sorry for you”.
    –No need to be sorry for me because I don’t think that a one-time reelection will drastically fix problems. But I believe that a precedent for free expression of people’s may give an impetus for the formation of a better-governed society in the future. This is the history of democratic countries in the world which you indiscreetly advise me to analyze.

    “Free and fair elections do not mean that Armenia will be ruled correctly or even justly”.
    –Does the modern-day neoFeudalism and authoritarianism mean that Armenia is ruled correctly or justly? Or if the thugs are not voted out it means the damage is not being done?

    “Time and again we can see the nobles not supporting the center, the king, and pursuing their narrow interests at the expense of the nation. Our current oligarchs are the modern version of this.”
    –Only a blind person won’t see that the oligarchic system that’s “not supporting” the poor cry-baby king was in fact created by the king who benefits from it.

    “The peasantry of the past is the self-destructive individuals within the Armenian community who can only harp on the negatives. In 20 years Armenia has done pretty damn well”.
    –Relax. They no longer harp on negatives, they run away leaving Armenia that’s done pretty damn well to the ruling cliques. For their luxurious lives the cliques have indeed done pretty damn well.

    • funny. you are cutting and pasting parts of my words and change their meaning. Sargsyan is the best between petrosyan and kocharyan. I do not know who is going to be after him. But anyway instead of bring adequate discussion you tell us a scary fairy tales that have no prove.

      You, Gayane are talking about the bad situation in Armenia but have no idea how to change it. Your knowledge about Armenia is limited to talks, rumor and gossips. I understand that you really worry about Armenia, bu you can not analyze situation.

    • Gev.. and you do?? if so, please share.. i would like to learn of your analytical skills which are more superior than some of us.. especially when we get information directly from the horses mouth.. the people living in Armenia…i am very open to hear your input.. please..share…..

      side note: it is very insensitive on your part to tell someone you don’t know that they know what they can do for the country or the situation..for your information….I do my part… i may not have a daddy who is connected to big fish in govt or i may not be a wealthy Armenian, or anyone important in that matter.. but what I do is within my boundaries..within my means…. so don’t be accusatory and ignorant, because it is not appreciated..

      Gayane

    • To Gayane,
      1. I making monthly donation to organizations that support Armenia (Hayastan foundation and others).
      2. I used to collect (very small amount) to help large armenian families in Artsakh. I do not do it anymore because I’m a student and my stipend is not big. but anyway.
      3. When I’m going to Armenia I’m bringing with me non armenian/Armenian friend, who never been there so he will learn of our great place and culture
      4. I always talking good about Armenia, especially to non Armenians.
      5. I have a clear view of Armenian challenges and trying to be realistic about what can be achieved and can not be yet.
      6. I recognize the good and bad things about Armenia
      7. I have my understanding of how things there have to be improved (read my previous posts).

      I do answering questions that asked, but you didn’t answer any! Besides Armen proposed reelection and you proposed revolution!

      So the fact is (coming back to army) that Armenian Army is strongest in the region (besides turkey and Iran). IT IS A FACT. If it won’t be true, azerbaidjan would start a war long time ago. Seiran Oganyan is doing a great job to create strong army and constantly increase professionalism. It is a FACT as well. (I have relatives that are in the army).
      Economical, geopolitical situation is tough. However to solve it we do not need to just talk about it. If you have enough funds invest there, start business and create jobs (it is the best thing to stop emigration). Just do not start talking that corrupt government will take your investments. If you will tell it I will make final decision that you are not serious person that only trying to find excuses.
      There hundreds of Armenian businessmen from diaspora that do invest there and they are fine.
      Second. I told that many times and I have to repeat it again. To change government, stop corruption on all levels the society has to change as well. We have several organizations in Armenia that actually DOING great job, not just talking – «Չենք լռելու».

      So Gayane and Armen, if you just going to talk how bad situation in Armenia is without actually bringing, proposing solutions I would say that you not much better that turkish mass media. The only things they do is telling and writing how bad is in Armenia. That is their goal, to exaggerate and scare people. What is your goal? also just to talk?
      We all know (especially those who live in Armenia) that it is tough situation in Armenia. But you have to admit that MANY of those those people who currently live in Armenia and do not leave it, creating prosperous country. They do live their life, work, creating families etc. and do not just whine

    • Gev—- that is great and I am proud of you.. BUT you are not doing anything different than what most of us already been doing.. I assume I am older than you that means i have been doing the list of things you provided for us a long time ago my friend..

      You preach others to read the posts carefully; however I take it you have not read my posts carefully…. and I will tell you why…

      1. You told me to go and invest in Armenia if I had money to help schools, etc…… I wrote in one of my posts that I am not a wealthy Armenian nor I have connections in the govt to do more than what I can do…

      2. You told me you response to questions.. and what questions did I not respond if I may ask????

      3. You told me I did not offer solutions.. I wrote in one of my posts that if people need change, people need to stand up for their rights and demand it.. you want to call revolt, yell loud and clear.. whatever… I also suggested that the Armenian govt should allow Diaspora to get dual citizenship, they should be able to invest without being bullied and facing hardship….too many businessmen went and came back because they could not handle the corruptions that is going on there…

      4. You told me that I am worst than Turkish media who speaks nothing but negative about Armenia.. In my many comments, I PERSONALLY POINTED OUT that Armenia is my country, my bloodline, my soul, my heart and everything that happens to her it affects me….which is why I am more sensitive to anything negative that is happening … including mistreatment of our soldiers… understand the difference???? I never said all I see is negative… I see the beauty of my country and the potential ….but when we have crooks (and I know you love your president and that is your right), then it bugs me….just because we speak and point out the negatives it does not mean we don’t see the good or we are Turkish media.. now that was the worst insult you could give me.. to compare me with Turkish denialism…very rude of you….

      5. You touched on the strength of the Armenian Army.. I NEVER questioned the strength of the Army.. the problem is nto the strength of it.. the problem is that even though it is better than 10 years ago, mistreatment is still apparent in the Army and that is what we are discussing.. not whether or not our Army is strong.. of course it is and MAY GOD PROTECT OUR SOLDIERS… without them, the crooks won’t have a country left.. we love you Armenian Army and pray for you every day…

      6. You said the people who are still in Armenia are the ones creating a prosperous country.. what type of people if I may ask?? the business men that are associated with the crooks?? ordinary citizens or diaspora investors???

      well my dear friend.. here is where you are wrong.. the ordinary people who still live in the country are either stuck there because they have no means to get out of the country, or have families from outside helping them and dont’ see the need to leave.. If you ask any ordinary citizen who barely making ends meet will leave the country if given the chance.. have no doubt about that…it is very very unfortunate… we have a beautiful country with breathtaking landscapes and rich history.. it is very sad to see that most want to leave all that behind because they barely survive…In one of my posts, I wrote about how people’s mentality has been created for the last decade or so and it will take that long to change it …the reason they don’t whine (as you referred to it in your post) is because they know nothing will change… they are in a state of mind where as we say in US ” it is what it is” .. they have to deal with it.. but don’t think just because they dont’ voice their disgust, they are happy with the situation..

      6. You ask what is our goal?? What do you want it to be?? is it not obvious??? it is the same as yours.. to have a strong, democratic, well protected, country that is ran by even stronger, democratic, well educated officials…

      7. Being a student you sure have an accusatory tone toward those who may be older than you and have seen more in life.. you may be book smart but dont’ underestimate other’s ability because you are not the only one who gets it… if you truly do…because when one bases their opinion without any solid proof and accuses others to have knowledge about Armenia that is limited to talks, rumors, and gossips (according to your post on 2.8.12) does not give us much to go on.. does it???

      Thank you and hope that our young generation will continue to be patriotic, determined and smart.. ..

      ..

  15. Gev,

    What good things do you see and we don’t? I send money to my family twice a month. Without it they would have died out, I’m sorry to say, on their miserable pensions, unemployed condition, and steady price rise on basic consumer goods and services. What is it that you think the government has done for the public good (please limit your answer to basic necessities – salaries, pensions, prices, legal protection, etc.)?

    Thanks.

    • Pensions have been raised multiple times, but yes, so has the consumer index. Do they at least have pensions? Yes! People like you make Armenia seem like it is a 3rd world African country. Before 2005 there was no ombudsman, now there is. There are multiple other issues. But again, all you can see is the negative. So I will not waste my time with you.

  16. My below post is stuck in the limbo.. so I am reposting it … my apologies if the original comes through as well.. this post is changed a bit.

    Gev.. I am sorry .. I respecfully disagree with you.. You may have a point in stating that people have the power to change matters including their govt.. however, the mentality our people are under right now is not the ideal place to concentrate because they are afraid.. they have no power.. they have no voice like in US or any other strong democratic countries…

    Families can’t change the current govt unless they all get up and revolt… but it is the govt’s job to care for its people because it is people who will turn the economy around if given the opportunity.. because it is the people who will work and get things moving..it would not be the fat crooks who will roll their shirts and get down to business now would they?? …

    again.. just my opinion.. i may be wrong .. i may be right.. just sharing what I think..

    In addition, it is very unproductive and wrong of you to think that those of us who do not agree how our country is being run by the criminals in the higher offices, it does not mean we don’t see the good and beautiful.. we DO SEE that and then some which is why it angers us to see and hear such stories.. you are an adult I am sure so understand what we are trying to say here and not read into it with negatives eyes…

    Thank you

    Gayane

    • making it short Gayane. You are wrong.
      Your knowledge of Armenia is based mostly on scary fairy tales and gossips.
      And if you think that the only way of bringing changes to Armenia is making its population to revolt, saying that you do not care about Armenia and its people!
      When you are saying about revolution are you personally going to fly to Armenia and participate in revolution? Or you going to “care” about Armenia on the forums, sitting in nice, worm place in US?

    • Gev jan you are wasting your time. All you will read from gayane and her cohorts are shallow sentiments that are loosely based on reality. There is not substance there and certainly no foresight. Instead I suggest you to continue to develop yourself and look for ways to help the homeland.

    • Gev… it is your opinion.. and that is all it will remain.. an opinion..

      Sorry to dissapoint you but i am not in a cozy, warm place in US.. It is a struggle, tight and not so much fun.. but I am still willing to help out my people with whatever I can.. unfortunately I was not one of the lucky one who drive expensive cars, live in large houses, and have plenty of money to travel anywhere they want..

      You have your view of the country… we have ours.. you think my thought process is wrong.. and I say yours is wrong.. we can agree to disagree…

      Gayane

    • AR.. thank you for your speech about those of us who don’t have the brain capacity, the analytical skills and no foresight like you and Gev… I wonder why you have not been promoted to be the leader of the Armenian people.. just surprises me..

      But thank you for your comment.. we will continue to do what we can to help our homeland but when the time comes and i don’t see you in the front lines, then we will know how was true and who was a cohort…

      God Bless All of us…

  17. FOR THOSE WHO MAY WISH TO STUDY some novelties not just old type Elections.-All, near all Elections of all countries are based on following:-
    1.Political party candidates.Who set FWD their chieftains or those they find fit for the job….
    2.Those who have Financial strength(Funds) and by spending it on campaigns gatherings dinmners yoiu name it have their buddies and admireeres8 who no doubt ,also receive favours or monies from said person) and then set FWD his her candidzcy..
    Are these JUST? Not realyy.I can only say that the politically motivated one may be admitted as somehow O.K. since these are political parties candidates (that have ideologies,dogmas, whatever,some very old)
    But the No, 2 Above is very UNJUST .Not in my bible anyhow.
    What do I suggdest?
    Rather,I have been at it and wrote one Manifesto(shall I say or ) quassi so under title ¨¨A New concepty of electoral System and Governance¨¨ which is registered as intelledctula property at Washington D.c. ,also in Yerevan at Heghinagayin Iravunk, or last word different than this..
    I t is time the world more or less politicized and educated began to enter centerstage (elected for their MERITS,worth) not for their monies and or inherited from Daddy …etc.,
    AVERY, I have a suggestion for your query as response. I have near made friends with owner of site ,www.armeniannews.info and I can ask him to admit that we -besides posting there-also exchange our ideas in a Section that he may wish to set up for us…
    best,
    G.P.

  18. Armen:

    {“It is safe to say already that…… LTP did exterminate or alienate a significant portion of his own population.”}

    Did you mean to say LTP ‘exterminated’ Armenians ?
    If you did, you really, actually believe that ?
    That he exterminated – exterminated – his fellow Armenians ?

    How many Armenians has LTP actually exterminated ?

    • Avery jan.. .I think what Armen was trying to say by “extermination” is one of two things… either innocent people were killed because of his bullies and watch dogs for no reason, or people basically left the country en masse which to me is sort of extermination of a nation..

      Not sure but that was my take on that statement..

      Gayane

  19. “Do they at least have pensions? Yes!” (AR).
    –An apogee of cynicism! Why shouldn’t they have pensions after working for decades by the sweat of their brow? It’s like saying to a wrongly accused prisoner: “at least you have your bread and water”. How about the purchasing power of those mildly speaking “pensions”? Ever thought of that? Apologists are only able to weigh against bad and worse, never bad and better.

    “Sargsyan is the best between petrosyan and kocharyan”. (Gev)
    –All three of them represent the same cohort, make no mistake. Therefore, none can be “best” by definition.

    Avery — Because of the consequences of the overblown, far-fetched energy blockade in the early 1990s, thousands of people died. LTP was the head of state at the time. This crime clearly falls under the category “imposition of conditions” that led to civilian deaths. As for “extermination” in its actual sense, please consider the murders of the chairman of the Armenian KGB Marius Yuzbashyan, chief executive of Armenian Railroads Hambardzum Ghandilyan, former mayor of Yerevan Hambardzum Galstyan, among others.

    • Armen:

      if I remember correctly, you are the same Armen that is a RoA University grad who is on an exchange program currently in the US ?
      You were posting regularly, but stopped for few months.

      Same one ?

  20. Gev,

    How can you tell us that “our knowledge of Armenia is based on scary fairy tales and gossips”? My sense is that most of the posters here are people who lived in Armenia, some probably most of their lives. How can such people have knowledge of Armenia based on fairy tales and gossips? Even if we’re not physically there, our families are and I keep in touch with my nearest and dearest on almost daily basis. What these people share with me, how can this be a fairy tale or a gossip?

    What’s not gossip, Gev? What they hear on TV or read in the government-run newspapers? Ugh…

  21. Why, Avery, the “long hand” of Armenia’s ruling regime prowls the blogosphere in pursuit of freethinkers worldwide for registration or other purposes? Won’t be surprised…

    • Well said Armen to AR and Gev.. but remember according to them we (or I guess specifically me) don’t have analytical skills nor do we have foresight and we see everything negative.. so whatever you say may not go well with them and people who think like them..

      and … any loss of life in our community for no just reason can be viewed as “extermination” … i can see that…. I also see “extermination” in the modern sense of the word having people leave en masse, having no way to support families, having mistreatments of innocent people including our soldiers.. it is sad.. truly sad..

    • What ?

      Only reason I asked is because I remember another ‘Armen’ with whom I discussed Armenia several times a while back.
      I recall that he was somewhat bitter, rightfully so, that he had spent a lot of time and effort educating himself to a high degree, yet was unable to find employment in Armenia commensurate with the time and effort he had invested.

      I was curious to understand why you would think LTP “exterminated” his own.
      “Extermination” is not a term to be used casually.

      I was born in Yerevan, but left some time before the Independence.
      Have no ties or connections to RoA’s ruling regimes.
      Am a US citizen. Living in California.
      Only ties with Armenia are with my childhood friends and relatives in RoA.

      And since LTP and his followers are not on very friendly terms with the current ruling regime, why would they try to muzzle someone who thinks LTP “exterminated” Armenians.
      Makes no sense.

  22. I agree fully with Gev, AR, Avetis and Avery.

    The Armenian military is the finest in the south Caucasus; man-for-man, it’s even better than the militaries of Turks and Iranians. The bad stuff that happens in the Armenian military pales in actually in comparison to what occurs in neighboring militaries. The fact is that Armenia’s armed forces have been improving greatly under Sargsyan’s and Ohanyan’s leadership. Yes, there remains some problems but things are improving fast. Our military is truly something to be proud about.

  23. and no one here disagrees with the fact that we are very proud of soldiers…. they are our beacon of freedom and bravery.. and anyone who mistreats our soldiers and bullies them or hurts them will burn in hell…

  24. “…instead of bring adequate discussion you tell us a scary fairy tales that have no prove.”
    –Are you telling me that my mentioning of the depopulation of Armenia is a fairy tale that has no proof? Or the fact that masses of people protested the recent presidential elections is a fairy tale that has no proof? Or the existence of thick-neck semi-literate oligarchs as “popular representatives” in the parliament is a fairy tale that has no proof? The bad stuff that happens in the Armenian military is just an outgrowth of general ineffectual performance of the regime, the main reason for it being that neither parliamentarians nor the president were given the vote of confidence by the people. Feeble arguments for “smear western campaigns” or “fragile geopolitical landscape” as causes for Armenia’s tribulations are just attempts of the regime apologists to divert attention from the actual reason: illegitimacy of the ruling regime and its incompetence to govern the country in a responsible, professional, and public-spirited manner.

    • Indz tvuma vor nranq ovqer sirum en choxatsnel amen inch yev sxal dzevov iskapes chen haskanum vor dranov iranq voch mekin chen ognum..bayts de inch arats.. it is their choice..

  25. Gayane
    “Gev—- that is great and I am proud of you..” Thanks
    “BUT you are not doing anything different than what most of us already been doing.. I assume I am older than you that means i have been doing the list of things you provided for us a long time ago my friend..” So keep doing great job and never stop.

    “1. You told me to go and invest in Armenia if I had money to help schools, etc…… I wrote in one of my posts that I am not a wealthy Armenian nor I have connections in the govt to do more than what I can do…” I’m not telling You particularly to invest, do what you can. $10 monthly donations is better than nothing

    2.”You told me you response to questions.. and what questions did I not respond if I may ask????” What exactly should we do to help Armenia. Particularly each of us! What do YOU suggest.

    “3. You told me I did not offer solutions.. I wrote in one of my posts that if people need change, people need to stand up for their rights and demand it.. you want to call revolt, yell loud and clear.. whatever… I also suggested that the Armenian govt should allow Diaspora to get dual citizenship, they should be able to invest without being bullied and facing hardship….too many businessmen went and came back because they could not handle the corruptions that is going on there…” The only good idea among all you told is giving diaspora dual citizenship. I told already that in Armenia there many organizations that do raise their voices against corruption and many other problems. I even gave a name of one of them in previous post. So the work in this direction is going and is giving it’s results. Revolt is what you did suggested several posts ago. And I strongly disagree with this form of showing disagreement. It will bring hundreds of death, increase immigration, destroy economy and no one can be sure that new president will bring “democracy”.

    4. “You told me that I am worst than Turkish media who speaks nothing but negative about Armenia.. In my many comments, I PERSONALLY POINTED OUT that Armenia is my country, my bloodline, my soul, my heart and everything that happens to her it affects me….which is why I am more sensitive to anything negative that is happening … including mistreatment of our soldiers… understand the difference???? I never said all I see is negative… I see the beauty of my country and the potential ….but when we have crooks (and I know you love your president and that is your right), then it bugs me….just because we speak and point out the negatives it does not mean we don’t see the good or we are Turkish media.. now that was the worst insult you could give me.. to compare me with Turkish denialism…very rude of you….”
    Again if you talk you should also walk. Everyone knows that Armenia is in very tough situation in many aspects. You do not tell anything new. So talking about them is not helping. More than that I noticed that when one person start talking negative many others picking this subject up very fast with high enthusiasm, start bringing up unproved “facts”, exaggerating situation. But all those talks just stay on the paper, on forums and even when other not so informed Armenians (or non Armenians) are reading those words they do get false (truth but mixed with rumors, gossips and exaggerated problems) impression of the country. They become scarred of Armenia nothing more than that. And they do not care that you value Armenian culture and landscape! So the result from your arguments on forums is quite similar to turkish media.

    5. “You touched on the strength of the Armenian Army.. I NEVER questioned the strength of the Army.. the problem is nto the strength of it.. the problem is that even though it is better than 10 years ago, mistreatment is still apparent in the Army and that is what we are discussing.. not whether or not our Army is strong.. of course it is and MAY GOD PROTECT OUR SOLDIERS… without them, the crooks won’t have a country left.. we love you Armenian Army and pray for you every day…” Misstatement happens in any army! This happens because kids have wrong values. The society has the wrong values. So they do bring this values to Army. But it is GETTING BETTER. It seems I’m speaking with blind or death person Gayene! You want to go and dismiss S. Oganyan? You are going to do his job instead? What are you talking about? You are older than me but I can not find any rational point in some of your words.

    6. “You said the people who are still in Armenia are the ones creating a prosperous country.. what type of people if I may ask?? the business men that are associated with the crooks?? ordinary citizens or diaspora investors???” No, regular people, investors, diaspora (max10-15% of the diaspora)

    “well my dear friend.. here is where you are wrong.. the ordinary people who still live in the country are either stuck there because they have no means to get out of the country, or have families from outside helping them and dont’ see the need to leave.. If you ask any ordinary citizen who barely making ends meet will leave the country if given the chance.. have no doubt about that…it is very very unfortunate… we have a beautiful country with breathtaking landscapes and rich history.. it is very sad to see that most want to leave all that behind because they barely survive…In one of my posts, I wrote about how people’s mentality has been created for the last decade or so and it will take that long to change it …the reason they don’t whine (as you referred to it in your post) is because they know nothing will change… they are in a state of mind where as we say in US ” it is what it is” .. they have to deal with it.. but don’t think just because they dont’ voice their disgust, they are happy with the situation..”

    No my dear friend. You are wrong.

    6. “You ask what is our goal?? What do you want it to be?? is it not obvious??? it is the same as yours.. to have a strong, democratic, well protected, country that is ran by even stronger, democratic, well educated officials…” Great. However even if goals are the same approach is different

    7. “Being a student you sure have an accusatory tone toward those who may be older than you and have seen more in life.. you may be book smart but dont’ underestimate other’s ability because you are not the only one who gets it… if you truly do…because when one bases their opinion without any solid proof and accuses others to have knowledge about Armenia that is limited to talks, rumors, and gossips (according to your post on 2.8.12) does not give us much to go on.. does it???” Being older does not necessary mean that he saw more in his life that younger person. I have my life experience but it is different topic I do not want to go into right now.
    I would love to meet, talk and discuss what is going in Armenia and how we can help in person but only in constructive manner. If someone raise the problem please give the solutions the way you see it. And that is what we should discuss, rather than keep whining and writing hundreds of pages about “how bad it is in Armenia”. THAT IS MY POINT
    Because if someone just talking he is not much better than turkish media!

  26. Gev whatever I said just went over your head.. apparently you either intentionally refuse to get it or you simply don’t get it.. it seems like we have a communication or written disconnect… because you are repeating the same thing over and over EVEN AFTER i provided you what you were itching to get…

    In any case.. believe what you want to believe but you are doing no one a justice by trying to cover up the filth and dirt and unfairness going on in our country.. your tactic of lets keep it quite so no one can get scared of going to Armenia will fail and is failing Gev.. get past that mentality and start thinking realistically..

    hope you succeed what you are set to do for our country however keeping your critizism and unwelcomed comment toward your countrymen because we decided to be true to what is goin on should be your own opinion and not a fact..

    good day sir…

  27. “What is our goal? – asks Gev, “is it not obvious? It is the same as yours.. to have a strong, democratic, well protected, country that is ran by even stronger, democratic, well educated officials”.
    –Bingo! Then don’t attempt to cover up current or past regimes, because by no account are/were they strong and democratic, with the current one largely not even educated. Now, when the goal is clear and shared by all of us, HOW do you achieve it? How do you have a strong and democratic country? If the people wish to elect a stronger, open-minded, and better-educated leader or literate, professional, and accountable law-makers, but instead they get unelected leaders or thugs in the parliament nicknamed from A to Z who care only about their own pockets, how do you proceed towards a strong, democratic country run by well educated officials? Is it not, gradually, by means of freer and more fair elections?

    • Armen, so far I haven’t heard any serious resolutions to any of the issues. You claim everyone is corrupt in government yet you can not provide facts. Moreover, you seem to want change in an instant, when most political philosophers of the past, who are still respected today, highlight the imporatance of organic development. And since you are in the US now, I suggest you look at the growing corruption here, one that has become more and more institutionalized over the years.

  28. AR
    Are you reading other peoples’ posts or re-read only yours? Haven’t I emphasized the need for free and fair elections as one imperative that has a potential for a gradual change?

    Can you refer me to any of my posts where I claimed everyone is corrupt in government? I claimed that the government is unelected and largely unaccountable to people’s needs, and that its representatives in the parliament are largely thick-neck semi-literate thugs. What facts do you need? Are we talking about two different planets?

    Moreover, refer me to any of my posts where I wanted change “in an instant”. Haven’t I emphasized the need for a gradual change that starts, in my view, with freer and fairer elections? AR, are freer and fairer elections, which aren’t revolutionary in nature, not a part of organic development? Just reply: are they or are they not?

    As for the corruption in the US, the silliest thing to do is to compare the US where law, with its occasional shortcomings, works with the lawlessness in Armenia. How the two incomparable things can be compared, anyway?

    • Armen jan.. Gev and AR are their own worlds and for some reason they don’t understand the words coming out our mouths.. i dont’ get it…

  29. 1of3 Armenia
    POPULATION

    Latest 2011 census RoA Gov figures are as follows:

    RoA Population 3,285,000
    In country 2,871,000
    Out of Country 430,000 (13%) (probably mostly in Russia)
    Permanently left Armenia since 2001: 173,000.

    ( Note: up to 2 million Azeris (20%) are out of the country: working and living in Russia)

    Not too great, but not a disaster either: nothing like what has been popularly depicted and believed..
    Numbers are probably fudged a little, but I don’t see how the claims that 1-2 million Armenians have left Armenia since Independence is plausible.

    As far as increasing the population numbers. Those who argue that improved social conditions will inevitably solve the demographic issue are not basing their thesis on evidence. It is wishful thinking. There may or may not be an improvement. We simply do not know.
    Women decide to have children or not for a variety of reasons.
    No one has been able to quantify it to date.
    Sometimes women bear 5-6 children in the most unimaginable conditions.
    Conversely, a middle class woman with all the comforts of life may have 1 child, or none.

    Let me list some examples to show that social conditions, or lack thereof , do not automatically lead to population increase or decrease.

    Palestinian Territories:
    Population growth rate has averaged 4.5% (1991) to 2.5% (2011).
    The conditions under which Palestinian women have to bear and raise children is hellish, compared to Armenia.

    There are about 593,000 Azeri IDPs as of June 2011.
    Did you know that number includes about 230,000 children born to those IDPs since the 1994 ceasefire ?
    They have been largely living in shipping containers, yet managed to bear and raise that many children.

    In 1960 Armenia’s pop growth rate was 3.5%: The country had just come out of the hell of WW2.
    About 250,000 Armenian men, potential fathers, were KIA.
    We did have an influx of Diaspora Armenians in 1946, 47, etc. But they sort of replaced the lost men.
    In 1987 Armenia’s population growth rate was a very healthy 1.8%
    So how do we explain Armenian women having many children then, but not now ?

    Some current pop growth rates from neighboring or similar countries.

    Armenia 0.063% (2011 est.)
    Georgia -0.326% (2011 est.) (yeah, it is minus)
    Azerbaijan 0.846% (2011 est.)
    Turkey 1.235% (2011 est.) [Note: Kurdish growth rate is 3X of Turks]
    Iran 1.248% (2011 est.)
    Russia -0.47% (2011 est.)

    Latvia -0.597% (2011 est.)
    Lithuania -0.276% (2011 est.)
    Estonia -0.641% (2011 est.)

    Note: the Baltic republics, small like Armenia, are right smack in the
    middle of Europe, they have access to the sea, their standard of living
    is 3X Armenia’s.
    Yet they have negative population growth.
    Corruption ? Flawed elections ? Lack of rule of law ? Oligarchs ?
    Have not heard of any at the Baltics.

    Yet they have negative population growths: all 3.
    So obviously there are other factors. Blaming population growth problems of RoA on flawed elections, Oligarchs and such in Armenia is not supported by evidence.

    Maybe Armenian women of child bearing age from RoA and Artsakh can tell us why.

    • totally agree. And as I told in one of my first posts I was suggesting creation of non profitable institutions that along with church would cultivate family values in Armenia and creation of big families.

  30. It is amazing how West interferes and controls Armenian media and we believe it.

    People in Armenia who are very poor or just poor do not immigrate because simply they do not have the means. Yes, they do not have $4000-5000 to get fake passports and flee to Europe and US like many have done. People who are very poor cannot afford spending $1000 to get airplane tickets for their family members to fly to Russia. People who do not believe have to make a trip to Armenia and visit poor families in villages to see whether poor villagers are immigrating or not. Poor villagers are cultivating their small land and living with the small money they get with their hard work.

    How about we do something constrictive instead of blaming the government for all the troubles? Can we as patriotic Armenians in this forum pick up a strategically located village in Armenia (close to Azeri border) and make that village as a model village in Armenia so that Armenians will migrate to that village? Can we collect money collaborate with Tufenkian or some other reliable foundation and solve the irrigation problem first, help villagers build greenhouses, then build a kindergarten, then build roads and see what will happen to that village? Can we or we cannot?

    • Yes we can Sella. Finally I see some actual suggestion not just whining. Great!
      I TOTALLY AGREE WITH YOU.
      I’m currently giving donations to Hayastan foundation, they solved irrigation problems in several villages in Artsakh.
      But I would love to participate and start donations to some other project or even a similar project.

      So here, on this forum, there are several people who are saying that in Armenia everything is very bad. Gayane, Armen etc. (which is true and no one is telling that Armenia is a heaven on the earth)

      So, would you guys be willing to start monthly donations to any organization that is investing in Artsakh/Armenia?
      It is a simple Yes/No question.
      Lets see how patriotic are you.

      Sella please provide more information about Tufenkian foundation. What project they are working on etc.

    • Gev,

      I am willing to donate monthly to establish a model village in Armenia. If we have enough people we can collaborate with Tufenkian foundation I guess.
      You know the trouble with establishing irrigation system only is that it is not enough. Then the villagers realize that even they have irrigation they do not have necessary machinery to cultivate their land. I think it is better to take one or two villages and establish irrigation, import some machinery, build greenhouses and let them cultivate something profitable, build farms, build kindergarten, a school, roads so that there will be some jobs and people can move to that village.

      I know that Tufenkian is a reliable foundation and I have been donating money to this foundation exclusively. They have been doing a lot of good work in Armenia and Artsakh. For example, they renovate houses in Kashatagh and give to people, they cleaned and established vineyards in Artkhakh and they use the profit to expand vineyards. They have small mobile clinics in Artsakh to provide health care in remote areas. He used to have small carpet factory in Armenia but I think he closed it later because of fluctuations of Dram. He has opened a few hotels in Armenia where he employes over 100 people. In the pick time he used to employ over 1000 people in Armenia.

    • Count me in.
      I’ll start giving to Tufenkian also, but if there is a mechanism to adopt an outlying village, or two , or three – I am in for that too.

      There is not enough we can do for our brothers and sisters who are holding down the fort.

      Monthly giving is the best: there will be a regular source of income for the cause. Annual fundraising events are good, but there needs to be more reliable revenue source, so they can plan and execute projects in a more predicable manner.

    • Gev..you sure love to point out THE WRONG ACCUSATORY blame on me and Armenover and over again don’t you??… Please stop your childish manner and start acting like a mature individual.. understand once and for all.. I AM NOT saying or seeing EVERYHING WRONG with out county.. I shared what I know as well as HOW MUCH we CAN”T hide the facts and simply ignor the fact that our country is crambling little by little…our govt need to get their acts together so that they can help our people to grow as well… .They are the one who have the power and means.. they need to start the movement so the people can get into the motion as well..

      You can’t expect everyone to jump in do the job that the govt needs to do.. that is why we put these people in power… i am asking you for the last time.. STOP saying that Armen and I are negative all the way and see no good..you have gazillion comments by me explaining where I stand and how I see things…..

      thanks

  31. I forgot to add that families who are well off in Armenia do not have more than two children. People who have more kids are poor and live in remote areas in Armenia and Artsakh. As far as demography is concerned, improving live standards can only overcome the immigration and we will and up having aging population like many European countries.

    If we want to increase child birth rate we have to work with people in remote areas. We have to build kindergartens, there should be programs to help children to prepare their homework at school etc. I agree with Gev we have to work closely with Armenian church to implement all those programs.

  32. Dear Sella
    But all the benevolent initiatives you mentioned should be government’s social programs in the first place. They can be supported by the Diaspora, but Diaspora cannot overstep the government’s functions. By the way, if you think the government like the one we now have won’t lay their hand on the “strategic model village” that you propose we build, you’re gravely mistaken. You ask: “How about we do something constructive instead of blaming the government for all the troubles?” But dear friend, most of us are already doing it. I for one support many Diasporan projects in Armenia (Armenian Tree Project, Orphans’ Relief, AGBU Senior Citizens Project, Armenian EyeCare Project, All-Armenian Fund, BirthRight Armenia, and several others), send money to my relatives and my wife’s relatives (all in all some 15-20 people) on monthly basis. Is it not a constructive help? If Diaspora provides all the help and the government officials swell the diameter of their already thick necks as a result of it, then why do we need such a government? Why do people in Armenia need such a government?

    • Dear Armen,

      You are right all those social programs should be done by government but the FACT is that it is not. And we have to start from here. Since government is not doing we are going to do it w/o government. What I suggested should be non governmental program and government should have no business with funds otherwise government will take half of it, if not more.

      And Again, I do not blame only the government but people as well. We are talking about free election but how? 50% of Armenian population is ready to be bribed with $10-20 and sell their votes. 50-60% Armenian citizen do not understand what election means. They say oh well what can my one vote do? I better take the $10.
      Can you bribe a German citizen with $5000? I do not think so (maybe a few but not many).
      All I am saying is that our society is not mature enough and not ready to live in a free and democratic country. For instance, a few weeks back they started installing cameras in some of Yerevan’s busy crossroads and less than two weeks later in the news I read that people are recommending each other to use special sprays to cover up their license plate. Instead of driving properly they are trying to spray something on their license plates or cover it with aluminum foil when it is dark. And that is how things work in Armenia. All I am saying is that both people and government are at blame. I strongly believe that government is a reflection of its people. We have to educate our children from kindergarten how to behave properly and function as a member of society.

    • Armen.. I agree with you.. 100%…because I do the same things you mentioned in your post with the little that I have… but why should I spare my last penny (which I would gladly do without even thinking twice about it) when our corrupt govt sit on their fat you know what and eshi pes mez qshen.. and not only us but the poor people in Armenia who need to deal with these criminals…

      I am also willing to help out the “model village” project without a doubt but i don’t have a strong conviction that our efforts will go smoothly…

  33. Avery,
    I see no one blaming population growth problems of RoA on flawed elections, oligarchs and such. But it is undeniable that the existence of an unpopular, unrepresentative, and incompetent government, the plague of unfair and rigged elections, and self-enrichment of oligarchs contribute to the general disgruntlement of the people and, as a consequence, their continuing emigration. Re: emigration figures. Highly debatable. Government figures cannot be trusted because the government itself cannot be trusted. Foreign assessments give the figure of about 1,200,000 Armenians who have left the country since Independence, with the bulk emigrated during the LTP rule. As for comparisons with other states, in a land-locked country with two enemy-states as threatening neighbors, the pressing issues of emigration and low birth rate become issues of national security. And the enhancement of national security is, clearly, a government function. How effectively is it handled when your prime-minister, in essence, favors emigration as a means to get rid of potential revolutionaries. In normal country, such prime-minister would have made to resign, but in Armenia, no way, Jose…

  34. Sella
    If you agree that social programs are not done by the government, then blame the government for it. If you agree that the government will take half, if not more, of the funds allocated for the nongovernmental program you’re suggesting, then blame the government for it. If you agree that the population is ready to be bribed and sell their votes, blame the population for it. But please understand that people humiliate themselves by selling votes because they realize the fraud’s inevitable. The general thinking goes like this: “since the government will steal my vote one way or the other, I’d better get some profit out of it”. Don’t underestimate your people. If you look deeper, it’s not essentially the people who are to blame, although I’d agree that societal disorganization is one of our national characteristics. Any comparison with Germans in this context is outlandish.

    You say: “our society is not mature enough and not ready to live in a free and democratic country”. What should make the society ready? Isn’t it a gradual betterment, gradual change? Are freer and fairer elections not a part of this gradual change?

    Re: using sprays to cover up license plates. Our people can put their wit and industriousness not only to illegal deeds, but guess when they will know to abstain from them? When the government will institute punishment. Law and order in a country are not determined by a number of thieves and thugs, but the ability of the government to punish and isolate them without regard for their rank and file.

    “All I am saying is that both people and government are at blame”. I don’t think when it comes to elections, courts, and administrative matters, the people are to blame. You cannot equalize the one who demands a bribe with the one who’s compelled to give it to get his matter settled.

    “I strongly believe that government is a reflection of its people.” Dear Sella, how can this government be a reflection of its people, if people’s votes were rigged or stolen or bought? Do you mean to say that given the make-up of our current parliament, the prevailing majority of our people are semi-literate, barely-educated, narrow-minded selfish thugs? Where are the MPs representing the educated, open-minded, intelligent, professionally capable segment of our population? How are their votes reflected in the parliament?

    • I could not say better Armena.. well said…

      Unfortunately blaming people for finding ways to go around the few laws that are in place does not mean the people are the bad ones.. if the govt was the right govt who prosecutes those that are legitimately broke the law and not according to “WHO YOU KNOW” maybe people’s mentality would not be in the state it is now.. of course people will do whatever it takes to survive and get by even if that means by doing illegal things .. the reason being?? GOVERNMET DOES NOT HAVE DEMOCRATIC/FAIR/RIGHTEOUS ways of putting laws and regulations and right way of executing them…

      Sella jan.. you yourself just gave away the boon problema vor Hayastanum katarvuma hents hima…

      Joghovurta chi vor piti mentality poxi.. mer ishxanutyunna petqa irants mentalitin poxen vor joghovurta karoxana koxmnoroshvi te vorna chisht yev vora sxal.. Our people are smart as heck… we have excellent genes but those genes are being wasted because our govt does not know howto promote it, acknowledge it, and cherish it.. if you look around.. Armenians ALL OVER THE WORLD demonstrate their intelligence, wits, and courages in any arena.. in Armenia our govt discourages such brains to grow.. menak irants businessin chxpi.. aylandak vichaka mi hat.. gone mer groxnerin, artistnerin, gitnakannerin pashtman linen… aveli strukatsnum en irants.. yes xosq chunem te inch en anum mer joghovurtin Hayastanum.. shat shat tsavalia…

      Therefore, you can’t expect people change and their state of mind change when they see no change in their govt and how they run the country..period…

      Gayane

    • Armen and Gayane,

      I think that we cannot simply blame the government. I do not think that our government consist of only thugs either. There are lots of competent and decent people in the government next to the incompetent ones. Government represents its people in Armenia like it does in Germany, in Italy, in Greece and everywhere else. There is a reason why Armenian government is in this shape like there is a reason why Greek government is in this shape. And why is that the Armenian government consist of those corrupt people? We are complaining how bad our government is but we never ask why is that that our government is bad? We are still suffering from the Armenian genocide but we never ask why it happened. We never really analyze it. We never think that perhaps the genocide could have been minimized. We never gather all Armenians together and ask was there something that we did wrong, how can we avoid being in the similar situation? Is it possible that we were too peaceful, too much art and culture-oriented and away from guns?

      We, Armenians in Armenia, still did not take lessons from history. We still spend our vacations in Turkey without understanding that we are directly paying money to the Turkish budget. After the earthquake we are still building non-earthquake proof buildings. Having seen how LTP was governing the country people still are following him. We are complaining that our cities are not clean but we never realize that it is us who litter it not the government. The list can go on and on. I understand that there is a reason and the reason is that we are only a 20 year old post Soviet country. The reason why our people do not understand what election means is that in Soviet times there was no election.

      LTP was the only president who was truly elected in Armenia. In my opinion he was the worst president we had so far. In 2008 if the government have not rigged the elections LTP would have been in the office. What kind of a disaster it would have been?

      And also do Armenians who left the country and acquired other citizenship have the moral right to be that critical? Their children are not going to serve in the army in Armenia or Karabakh when we know what the situation in Artsakh is. I am not attacking people but I am asking to myself that very question too. I for one left the country and pursuit my career abroad even though I am still an Armenian citizen. Do I have the right to be that critical? I do not feel that I have the right . Why did not I stay and tried to help to develop my country? I know because I did not see me growing professionally if I stayed. But what about those who stayed? Are they less of a people?
      One wise man told me once that finding a problem is not enough you have to find a solution to that problem. I do not think that revolution is the solution. Revolution will set our country back by 10 years. Not to mention about the danger that the foreign financed opposition may take the lead.

    • Sella jan…

      Like Armen mentioned, you lump few different matters into what we have been discussing…

      Personally I believe our problem lies within us: we think too much of what others might think of us if we raise our voice, our discontent and dissapoinment…it is wrong…: we need to get out of that mentality…

      you mentioned about Armenians being critical.. why should not we be critical if we want the country to be run by a decent govt? if we see that no matter how much we do frm Diaspora does not make things better, why should not we be critical.???. we take away from our own every day lives (which is not easy by the way) to help our families and other families in Armenia..why should not we be critical when we see our govt instead of helping, is doing everything to discourage those who give up their time, energy, and finances???

      It is difficult to separate govt from people… which comes first?? the chicken or the egg??? tough question….but it is an ecosystem and two must coexist.. however, if govt does not do their due deligience and provide the means, direction, guidance, how do you expect people to get up and change??? maybe i am missing that piece..i just don’t see how people is to blame (even to some degree) and expect them to change in order to change the govt…

      Our country is sacred.. our people are sacred.. they both need to be nourished, taken care of, and help to advance.. and what better body to accomplish this other thn our leaders… people need great leaders .. not crooks to lead the country…

      Again please understand.. (and I am speaking for myself)… i see both good and bad.. and if I see bad, then I will point it out… and if i see good, I will gladly point it out as well.. there is no “JUST BAD” and ‘NO GOOD” as few here voiced about me and Armen…

  35. Sella,

    Unfortunately, you can’t do anything without the government. They’ll strive to go halves with you in any project, even non-governmental. Look what they did to the owner of Yerevan-based “Parisian Coffee” company, French-Armenian businesswoman Valerie-Ashkhen Gortzounian.

  36. Sella,
    You’re lumping several unrelated issues into the one we’re discussing.

    First of, no one here ever said that our government consists of only thugs, but you failed to show how the government represents its people. Do you believe that, given the composition of the parliament, our people are duly represented through semi-literate, narrow-minded, self-centered selfish thugs constituting the majority in it?

    You ask why it is that the government is bad?
    I think the government is bad because the responsible, open-minded, and intellectual segment of the population is barred from the ability to see their representatives in the parliament as a result of continuous electoral fraud.

    You say: “Having seen how LTP was governing the country people still are following him”. People or post-LTP regimes? And what prevents these regimes from not following LTP’s rule if they consider themselves any different?

    You claim: “The reason is that we’re only a 20 year old post-Soviet country. The reason why our people don’t understand what election means is that in Soviet times there was no election.”
    But if you compare the 20 years of modern independence with the first 20 years of Armenia’s existence as a Soviet republic, you’d see that from the 1920s to the 1940s, Armenians were able to ride out the disastrous consequences of the collapse of the Russian empire; the fall of the first Democratic Republic; feed and give shelter to genocide refugees; carry out extensive literacy reforms; offer health services; develop industry and agriculture; embark on cultural construction; open colleges, schools, kindergartens; produce leaders such as Khandjian, poets like Charents, architects like Tamanian; and army commanders like Baghramian. There was no election in the Soviet times, yes, but, regardless, the Armenian leadership and its people were able to make many achievements that strengthened the statehood and improved the lives of our people.

    You further claim: “In 2008 if the government has not rigged the elections LTP would have been in the office. What kind of a disaster it would have been?”
    So, you accept that elections were rigged? It means you accept that it was the government that rigged it, since the people presumably have given their votes to another candidate. I have no answer for you whether or not it would have been a disaster, but I know that the practice of rigging elections IS a disaster. It must stop. Our leadership has to gradually learn to have more confidence in the people.

    You ask: “Do Armenians who left the country and acquired other citizenship have the moral right to be that critical?”
    I am a citizen of Armenia and thus have the constitutional right to be critical.

    Lastly: “I do not think that revolution is the solution. Not to mention about the danger that the foreign financed opposition may take the lead.”
    No one here advocated for a revolution.

    • Armen,

      In my opinion I did not lump several unrelated issues into the one we were discussing. They were all related and were proving the fact that we are not self critical enough. We only assess the current situation but we do not want to look deeper to understand the cause, the roots.

      Gayane, I know that we have lots of strength but we have also weaknesses and those weaknesses are the ones that get us into trouble. We have to sit together (Armenians in Armenia and Diasporan Armenians) and identify those weaknesses and work on them seriously. There is nothing wrong with having weaknesses I do not know any nation that does not have weaknesses.

      My question was “Do Armenians who left the country and acquired other citizenship have the moral right to be that critical?” (I meant people who had given up their Armenian citizenship and acquired another citizenship).

      I understand that we can live in Diaspora but help Armenia. At least 1/3 of my salary goes to Armenia but I do not feel that I have the right to be that critical with people who chose to stay in Armenia and develop it. Again it is my personal opinion. I am not saying that we cannot be critical. We have to be critical but there are different ways of being critical. We all know that Armenian government is corrupted but instead of telling them every single day that you are corrupt we have to understand why they are corrupt first. Then we have to educate the current generation, there should be classes in schools about human rights, about corruption etc.

      Another reason why we have lots of low level corruption is because of low wages.Governmental officials (doctors, professors etc) when get the chance try to make enough money for the rest of their life because they know once they are out of office their money supply will be cut. If the retirement money was high, wages were high governmental officers will not rob people as if there is no tomorrow. Because they would know that there is a tomorrow and their retirement money is enough to live or they can find another job with good pay.

      As to rigging the elections I did not express myself correctly. I cannot accept something that I was not part of, do not have facts and direct evidence. I do not know whether elections were rigged or not since I was not involved in the vote calculation process. Opposition claimed that it was rigged which does not mean much if they cannot prove it. International observers also mentioned that the election was not transparent. All I wanted to say was that I would rather have rigged elections than LPT in the office. This is my personal opinion. I may be wrong and rigged elections may impose more danger to Armenia than LTP.

      There are hundreds of reasons why we cannot compare 20 year old Soviet Armenia with 20 year old independent Armenia. Soviet Armenia was part of Soviet Union it was not and an independent country. Armenian government was not the one who was governing Armenia but the central government in Moscow (of course Armenian government had its role in governing).
      Soviet Armenia did not have national security issues, was not in war, did not have energy issues and was not blockaded. Yes, Soviet Armenia became industrial country but let’s not forget that Soviet Union had closed market. Whatever they produced they could sell inside the country.
      Soviet Armenia was not the only country which saw great development. Along with Soviet Armenia, Soviet Azerbaijan, Soviet Georgia and others were booming. So, let’s not all the positive changes that Armenia underwent under Soviet rule refer to Armenian government’s excellent work.

      Avery, I totally agree with you about AG.

  37. Sella: excellent post; deep insight.

    I don’t share you assessment of LTP, and also disagree about 2008 being rigged. But the rest of your post is one for keeps.

    I too have thought for a long time and still do: how did we get ourselves into a situation where Turks were able to carry out the AG, and nearly succeeded in wiping us out from the face of the earth.

    And you partially answered it by the question you posed: { “Is it possible that we were too peaceful, too much art and culture-oriented and away from guns?”}

    Our strength was our weakness. We created, while nomadic warriors who had better martial skills simply took what we had created – because they were skilled in the arts of violence.

    Fortunately, present generation and administration have learned.
    RoA’s military is the best in the Caucasus.
    Army and Defense of the Nation were given priority this time around.
    Man for man, our modern warriors are 2nd to none in the region.
    We need to continue: RoA needs to get to a level that is comparable to what Israel is to its region; massive capability for devastating retaliation in case of aggression against RoA or Artsakh.

    Let us all work for that goal as one wherever we reside.

    I also understand that demographics and economy are the bedrock of the Army: everything is interconnected. But, without a #1 lethal force to protect what you have created, it can be taken away again just as before.

  38. Sella,

    I agree with your assessment of LTP. I cannot tell for sure if the 2008 elections were rigged, but witnessing masses of irritated citizens pouring into streets in March one can suspect that the current president hardly could have gotten 50%+1 votes. I also understand that demographics and economy are spheres that man the army personnel and the latter cannot function properly and efficiently without the former two.

  39. Sella excellent points. I was saying the same things and was trying to bring exactly the same points. And during my approach I was suggested to stop wasting time, because it its hard to prove anything to people who enjoying the process of criticism… Just the process itself, without bringing up any solutions (besides radical).
    Now it is my time to tell you Sella, please do not waste your time :).
    Thank you for bringing up the name of that Armenian fund. Im signing up tomorrow for monthly donations.

  40. I am disgusted with the Government’s indifference towards the happenings in the army, I have heard a lot of the Armenians, every time I travel to Armenia, complaining about the abuse in the Army. I am also disgusted about the Government turning a blind eye to the abuse of women in the households. I believe, if the Government is really Հայրենասէր they should investigate the problems in the Army and fix it; also give every right to the women, who I believe given the authority, would contribute so much more to the economy of Armenia. Just look at the example of Muslims whose religion pushes them back to the third world countries. Armenians unfortunately are following Muslim guidelines and keep the women to be second class citizens while they counterparts living in Western countries enjoy equal rights and climb the ladder of advancement – contributing greatly to the household and contributing to the country they are living in -thus living their life to the full. Why should the women living in Armenia be deprived? The Government is forcing us, Armenians abroad, to hate their attitude. Wouldn’t it be great if they win the love of all Armenians abroad – who could do so much more to help Armenia if they know the Government is doing the right thing for their citizens.

    • Women are treated just fine in Armenia. You can’t take isolated cases and claim that it is an accurate reflection. The US has one of the highest domestic abuse rates in the OECD, something like 1 in 4 American women have experienced domestic abuse. Do you see Americans making radical statements like you? The more comments I read here the more apparent it is how out of touch with reality Armenian-Americans are, when it comes to issues within Armenia.

    • Eugenie:

      “I am disgusted with the Government’s indifference towards the happenings in the army, ” you write.

      Not only that statement is false, but the opposite is true: everyone from President on down in the leadership is quite sensitive to what is going and are doing everything possible to correct it. It is war-hero DM Ohanian’s #1 priority.

      The Army is one Institution in RoA that most everyone in the country is proud of.
      Take a look at the faces of the troops, including volunteer Armenian women warriors, during the 20th Anniversary parade. You will see the love and pride for Armenia and the Army.

      But individuals that make statements such as the one above, are clueless about what an Army is for: when you think deeply what young men are trained for in any military in the world that expects to go into combat any day, you will understand.

      And you comparing the situation of women in RoA with the situation of women in (radical) Muslim counties shows that you have absolutely no idea what is actually going on in Armenia.

  41. In no post above have I found anyone who’d bring “radical” solutions. A call for a gradual transition to freer and fairer elections cannot be “radical” by definition. Transparent election is not a revolution, it’s an evolutionary measure. But, apparently, regime apologists are so afraid of any possibility of fair elections that any mentioning of them looks like a “radical” solution in their eyes… and a waste of time, too. Isn’t it safer to rig elections and install idiots in the parliament?

  42. Hence why our govt should show us they are changing or working on changing things in the country.. when Diaspora sees that, feels that, smells that.. Diaspora can do soooooooo much more… we are alrready doing alot but with a heavy heart sometimes because we know our efforts may never see time of day..

    The abuse and mistreatements needs to be away with.. govt selective group ca’t have it all.. period… it is because of them the country can’t move forward…

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