Armenians all over the world should have spent the past days in tremendous joy celebrating the 30th anniversary of their country’s independence. Undoubtedly, Independence Day ranks first among the other holidays in any country. But this very same holiday is even more sacred for certain nations like the Armenians, since they have earned it after shedding the blood of millions of martyrs and the stubborn centuries old struggle that was fought in inextinguishable flames.
Born and strengthened with Artsakh, the independent Republic of Armenia is now 30 years old. Yet there is no awaited joy or mood for celebration, because each commemoration of Independence Day must bring with it the pride of reinforcing this independence. Due to the destructive policy of the past few years that threatens independence, and especially after the horror of the bloody defeat last year, there are no rays of pride in the Armenian world. There is only pride in the dedication of our thousands of martyrs to the independent motherland and our shame in the ungrateful, anti-national and treacherous progress of the Armenian political and martial upper class, whose actions led to the destruction of the independence and to the weakening of its bases.
It is true that there is no perfectly independent country in the world. The degree of independence of small countries like ours is relative. However, independence is a process, which is achieved gradually and attains strong foundations through an obstinate fight, a noble effort and a targeted policy. These foundations are geopolitical status, martial power and economic progress. In our immoral world, the balanced interaction of these three pillars protects independence and fortifies the pledge. This is why all views that think that “our protection is in our lack of protection” or that “without geopolitical status and martial power, we can progress economically” are insolvent.
For the past three years, the adopted policy has done everything necessary to weaken the foundations of our independence. The actions of the authorities leave no impressions that they might stem from lack of experience, ungratefulness or inability. Rather, their actions and their neglect of the precautions prove that they are on the path to destroy the three foundations of our independence.
The authorities know very well that Artsakh is the pillar upon which depends our significant geopolitical role in the region. The security of Armenia rests on Artsakh, as the eastern border of the motherland and the point where international powers clash. Without Artsakh, according to the regional and the international powers, Armenia loses all of its privileges as a partner or interlocutor in the frame of intergovernmental relations. Thus, the traitorous way that the Armenian authorities have given up on Artsakh easily through a bloody scenario is a direct strike to one of the pillars of our independence.
For years, the Armenian army was the guarantor of the pro-Armenian relative peace and the martial equilibrium created between Armenia and Azerbaijan. The warlike Armenian army is the strong pillar that imposes the honorable peace and the alert guard of the independence of Armenia. The current authorities, from the very first day of their functioning, have repeatedly discredited the image of the Armenian soldier and the officers while promoting the shift in the martial balance between Armenia and Azerbaijan toward the Azerbaijani side. In this way, during the predicted martial clash between these two countries, the Armenian authorities brought defeat to the Armenian side and delivered a painful blow to one of the defenders of our independence and limited its role so that the army was not even able to protect the borders of the self-governed country.
By adopting an empty foreign policy and provoking internal discord, the authorities made the situation in independent Armenia unstable. This resulted not only in the absence of new investments, but also in the withdrawal of foreign investments. In a country deprived of natural resources like Armenia, investments are the saviors of the economy and hence the sponsor of independence (especially those investments that are made by friendly countries that don’t plan to strike our independence).
If we add to all these the policy of disrespecting our national values by mocking our national history and culture, we can conclude that today’s authorities in Armenia have no reason to celebrate independence. Instead, after causing all this damage, the efforts to commemorate the Independence Day are more like a feast to further ruin the independence.
Naturally, independence is of highest worth and will always remain so, but under the ray of today’s reality, its commemoration cannot be a festival. Instead, we should remember it as a day to hinder its demolition and to rebuild and strengthen its fundamental elements—something that cannot be expected from the current authorities of the Republic of Armenia.
This op-ed by Armenian Revolutionary Federation Eastern Region Central Committee member Khajag Mgrdichian was first published by the Hairenik on September 14. It has been translated by Weekly contributor Tsoler Aghjian.