Armenia’s survival will require unprecedented political sacrifice

Internalizing the anguish over the latest criminal incursion by the rogue Azerbaijani nation creates a geopolitical replay of those fateful years of 1918-21. It’s a more deadly version of the Bill Murray classic “Groundhog Day” where his character lives in a constant loop of the rite of spring. During the aforementioned years, the democratic Republic of Armenia’s (commonly referred to as the First Republic) sovereignty was under constant threat by a resurgent Turkish nationalist movement in the West and territorial conflicts in the East by the new Republic of Azerbaijan formerly known as Tartars. The Turks under Mustafa Kemal were intent on finishing the work of their evil predecessors and capture all of what remained of Armenia. The Azeris with their newly-fabricated history claimed all of Karabakh (Artsakh), Nakhichevan and Syunik (Zangezur). These national security issues were compounded by economic chaos, starvation and disease. Although the quality of life of our brethren today has improved from their ancestors, the political parallels are daunting. Turkey still has nefarious intentions relative to Armenia and all Armenians. The rogue dictatorship of Azerbaijan has been gifted petrodollars to fuel its illegal and revisionist assault on the Armenian people. Erdogan and Aliyev seem intent on pursuing expansionist nightmares at the expense of the Armenians. Stalin is long gone, but his legacy of division and destruction remains as the initiator of the Karabakh theft. With his nationalist policy of division and dilution, it was Stalin who “awarded” Karabakh and Nakhichevan as “autonomous” oblasts under Azerbaijan. His policies directly created the results of decades of oppression and loss of life. The former Soviet role of manipulator has been updated to Putin. Control with selective support has been the hallmark of the relationship. In 1921, Armenia was forced to capitulate to both the Turks and Soviets or face continued genocide. Soviet Armenia was created as a survival alternative to Turkish annihilation.

One hundred years later and Armenia remains caught in the scissor of Turkish expansionism and Russian dependency. Many of us are quick to blame the ineptness of the Pashinyan administration, but a broader perspective would reveal that dependency and lack of leverage have been a historical dilemma for centuries. Certainly those in power currently bear the responsibility of the failures, but Armenia has rarely operated from a position of strength. Is this our fate as a small landlocked nation or a systemic weakness in our thinking? There is nothing we can do about what piece of real estate our ancestors settled upon nor can we excuse ourselves from the incredible misfortune of Turkish migrations in the 11th century that invaded the Armenian Highlands. We can however work to shed the victim mentality that has pervaded our thinking for decades. When you introduce yourself as an Armenian to others, do you lead with the Genocide or do you share a bit about our brilliant civilization? I would venture to say that most talk initially about the former, and it reflects our insecurity. We have a responsibility for justice, but obsession with the Genocide has limited our thinking and our vision in a post-genocide and post-1991 republic environment. There are examples of breaking out of that constraint with new approaches such as the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative and its affiliate programs as an example.

There is no doubt that Armenia and its military were weakened by the 2020 war, but it seems the leadership has migrated from a balancing act of pro-western thinking to a subordinate approach with Russia. This is clearly a reaction to Russia’s displeasure with the Pashinyan government prior to the 2020 war. The result, however, seems to be a reluctance to focus on the visible signs of national insecurity. The humiliation Armenians are experiencing from the Azeri incursion on the sovereign territory of Armenia cannot be rationalized to common Armenians. These are their homes and villages. The impact has lowered the confidence of our people to have hope. Our brave soldiers in the recent fighting in Sisian displayed the courage and capability that inspires. They need to be supported with constant upgrading of the military and border fortifications. A quick review of the Syunik map reveals the Azeri/Turk short-term intentions. Aliyev says he wants a corridor through Syunik to connect Azeri territories. A transportation route with sovereignty intact is much different than a corridor which has political implications. The area of Sisian is at the “neck” of Armenia with the distance from the “new” Azeri border through Syunik to Nakhichevan being less than 30 kilometers. The attacks are intended to soften the area by taking a few kilometers at a time and make the corridor a forced reality. In their distorted view of civilized behavior, it would effectively divide Armenia geographically. We can all talk about how the November 9 agreement does not contain any language on a corridor and that the opposition from Iran is clear. But when has any regional power intervened and when has Azerbaijan honored any agreement it has signed? The border incursions are a direct violation of the trilateral agreement and international law, yet Azeri soldiers stand today on sovereign Armenian soil.

The answers are complicated, but the Syunik “neck” must be protected. Aliyev and his neo-Ottoman ally have a history of waving an olive branch with one hand and loading artillery with the other. Yes, Armenia has been weakened, but her military is the only guarantor of sovereignty. Strengthen it and put that capability to work. This requires unity of purpose. The creation of local militias should proceed to supplement capability. We must refer to diasporan resources to assist in the defense of our rights. The enabler for many of these actions is to experience a oneness that has evaded us. I find it disgusting that while the “Huns are at the gate” we are attacking each other in the political halls in Armenia and from the diaspora. There is a significant difference between criticism that is a part of the democratic process and the vile attacks on all sides today. The existence of the nation is at stake, and we seem to have more energy for weakening each other. This is exactly what the Turks want, because it reduces our capability. They are pleased by our disunity. Frankly, I think most of us are displeased with the government, but criticism without civility and a solution is not in the interests of Armenia. This is difficult to accept because the easier reaction with casual participation is to bash the leaders. They deserve criticism clearly, but the Armenian people deserve solutions. We must all get our emotions under control and be part of an answer. 

The existence of the nation is at stake

This is not a time for division. Our support for Armenia and Artsakh will be tested in the coming months. Will we confuse that support for Armenia with support for Pashinyan, or will our patriotism and love for the homeland transcend politics? It’s a serious question because I see many Armenians taking themselves out of the process by self-declared ambivalence, opposition to individuals or being caught up in the emotion of the moment. Since when is our love of the homeland manifested through individuals? Isn’t this about a 4,000-year-old civilization and our responsibility as the current custodians of that history? There are times when we all lose sight of what really is at stake. Calling for Pashinyan’s resignation is a right of free expression, but it’s not practical. The civil unrest required to force a resignation would create enough instability to put Armenia’s sovereignty at even greater risk than the current policies. As an alternative, I would suggest the following moves. Prime Minister Pashinyan, please stop arresting and investigating charges against those who can too easily be considered opposition. This process of “anti-corruption” has run its course while our sovereignty is fading. I would suggest a selective amnesty that would enable a national reconciliation process. All factions must come to the table to freeze disagreements and work together for a single purpose: saving the republic. Instead of jailing those who have stolen funds, consider a financial settlement for reconciliation. End the vile civil war of mistrust. Is this naïve? Not if you consider what is at stake. The big money benefactors can play a role in this by using their financial philanthropy as leverage to assure this happens. The church should publicly rally the faithful around forgiveness and oneness so our society can heal. Demonstrators should be advocating and demanding unity and not the replacement of one faction with another. The division in our nation is fuel for the boldness of our enemies. This is a tall order for the political elite of Armenia, but true patriotism requires that egos are subordinated to national interest. This is the definition of patriotic leadership. It is a national emergency that requires everyone to change their behavior, but nothing will happen until the political leadership of all factions cast aside the attacks, subordinate their ambition to the needs of the nation and set an example of exemplary sacrifice.

true patriotism requires that egos are subordinated to national interest.

It should be obvious to everyone that Armenia is not strong enough for any one group to mitigate the risks to our nationhood. Our division is sub-optimizing our collective capabilities. Political unity in a time of national crisis is not only appropriate but can replace the current darkness with light. The diaspora is an integral part of this alternative. Criticism without a solution is not responsible, because it contributes to the dreaded instability. We should all be calling for national unity with an intolerance for division and conflict. If we are unable to put aside our differences and work through this crisis, then perhaps we have not yet earned the ability to sustain sovereignty. It is our right as it is for all nations, but it is also our responsibility to protect this gift. Endless bickering, disunity and operating in a pure partisan manner is not the best way to protect this inheritance. Our heroes lost, and our children deserve better.

Stepan Piligian

Stepan Piligian

Columnist
Stepan was raised in the Armenian community of Indian Orchard, MA at the St. Gregory Parish. A former member of the AYF Central Executive and the Eastern Prelacy Executive Council, he also served many years as a delegate to the Eastern Diocesan Assembly. Currently , he serves as a member of the board and executive committee of the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR). He also serves on the board of the Armenian Heritage Foundation. Stepan is a retired executive in the computer storage industry and resides in the Boston area with his wife Susan. He has spent many years as a volunteer teacher of Armenian history and contemporary issues to the young generation and adults at schools, camps and churches. His interests include the Armenian diaspora, Armenia, sports and reading.

24 Comments

  1. Nice article that identifies many of our issues. That said, the current Armenian Administration has an undeterred agenda of strong-arming civilians who disagree and not taking responsibility for their incompetence and failures. They are intent on cutting a deal and not informing the population until it is signed and in place. Time is of the essence, we are at the Zero hour. Rise up now, no deals with Az or Turk until they are put before the people. What is Pashinyan’s rush, why is it secret ? Invite Iran to establish a forward base in our Southern region in a security swap & arms sale deal. Fortify our front, reject talks until Az pulls out from our sovereign land. Sell gov owned and proven mining assets to diaspora Armenians or trusted friendly hands, and buy armaments, upgraded body gear and drone/anti drone equipment. I don’t have the answers, but it’s clear we can only rely on ourselves. Thank you for the article

    • We don’t need an Iranian military base in Syunik. What an unbelievably bad idea.
      Iran and Azerbaijan have discussed economic deals and joint oil and gas exploration in the Caspian. Iran, like Russia, is an ally with flaws and should be approached cautiously.

  2. Why don’t you look toward South? Aren’t we from the same forefathers? Don’t we lookalike each other (Probably same blood- Just think about it)? Don’t you and I, who are leaving far away from Iran and Armenia get along well? Didn’t I have numerous Armenian friends in Tehran? Didn’t Armenians defend Iran? Didn’t all ethnicities, including Azeris in Iran are passionate and caring about Armenia and Armenians (Numerous examples)?. Above were about feeling. I can partially speak on behalf of Iranians (Iranian – Armenian), I don’t know how Armenians feel about Iranians.

    About government:
    It doesn’t matter who is ruling Iran. Shah or Mulla, if there is a strategic alignment with mutual-defence agreement, Iran will come to Armenia’s defence, regardless of the cost (Don’t doubt it for a second). Agreement between Iran and Oman (Acted upon by Shah in defence of government of Oman). Iran and Syria (Acted upon by current regime). Non between Iran and Iraq, but as soon as defence was requested, Iran went to defence of Iraq when Bagdad was almost under siege (few years ago). Examples are plenty. I wish if a different regime ruled Iran, and we had a liberal democracy there, but regardless of who rules and what regime is in power, Armenian government (Current, previous, or the one to come) should capitalize on the strong feeling of Iran and Iranians (All of Iranians from all ethnicities, religions, mother tongue, etc.) for its Northern neighbour and our brothers and Sisters in Armenia. One may say, when Armenia can choose Russia (Arguably, a superpower), why should it consider Iran (Less Power, less influence, …), difference is, you already have a treaty with Russia, but they didn’t come to Armenia’s defence. By gravitating toward South, you will encourage Russia to act more decisively in Support of Armenia. It is worthwhile to remember that Russia and Iran recently worked together in defence of Syrian regime (Yes I know, you are better than that. No doubt and I am not comparing, these are just examples), so unlike inviting NATO or US to Armenia, receiving Iranian’s protection and Support in your borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey will not alienate the Tsar. After all, pressure from Turkey will not go away, and smaller neighbour need the lager’s support as a deterrence. United we thrive (we are stronger), divided we will be defeated (we fail).

  3. What did Pashinyan’s pro-Western thinking give us? Serzh Sargsyan was balancing well between East and West until Pashinyan decided to screw it up. The USA and France hardly did anything during the war despite being co-chairs of the OSCE Minsk Group. Armenians have to move away from the thinking that we need to be pro either side. Balancing between the two is possible and desirable.
    By the way, Stalin did not give away Karabakh, as he did not have the power to do that. Rather, Miasnikyan claims that the thinking behind that decision was Azerbaijan’s threats of cutting Kerosene supply to Armenia.

    • So even if this was the case, we shouldn’t just forget Artsakh, being that we forcibly already handed it to them. (This is what happened to most of Western Armenia).
      Also, if that was the case, how come Syunik didn’t end up in their control, since it would have connected Nakhichevan to them? This would make more sense if they were blackmailing us and threatening to cut our Kerosine supply, they would go for Syunik more or in addition to Artsakh.

      Interesting point but we need more information.

    • Under the Treaty of Kars, 1921 or treaty of friendship. SOVIET STALIN gave away those lands to a newly created gas station nation called Azerbaijan which itself was created in 1918 with European banking funds…

      BTW Azerbaijan straddles both west and Russia, and does just fine. So does Turkey.

      Armenian UNITY IS THE ANSWER.

    • Interesting how Joe responds to my comment with information I debunked already. LOL.
      As far as the answer to Tigran goes, the Soviets did not discuss Artsakh until 1921, and by that time the issues of Syunik and Nakhichevan had already been solved.

    • @k. You didn’t debunk anything. Please refer to any history book that acknowledges
      your claim of “Maisnikyan giving away Armenian lands because of Kerosene”? BTW Stalin had the power to do what ever he wanted to do. And Armenia was a Soviet Republic by that time. He was the ultimate controller. His ideas of divide and conquer was text book.

  4. Agree completely. Without unity our beloved homeland will perish. I’ve always found it odd that when you put two Armenians together they form a family, but when you put two hundred Armenians together they form 100 different political parties.

  5. Was the Armenian Army really this weak? Ask yourself why now after 30 years of stalemate did the war take place? The Azeri’s have always had an abundance of weapons. Why now? And after one year, why is there still no real accounting for the failures of the war? How can we “fix” something if we don’t know what really happened? The only thing that changed was the politics in Armenia. The common denominator in all of this is PASHINYAN. Did Pashinyan weaken the military to such a degree, and later hamstring the war effort so horribly, that the opportunistic Azeri/Turks, and yes Zionist Jews, who by the way, always need to be included when historically talking about the destruction of Armenians, who today are providing Azerbaijan advanced weapons, logistics and political cover, all saw that it was the right time? Yes. And they currently are all eying Syunik too because it would further isolate and strangle Armenia and isolate Iran. A WIN WIN WIN for both Zionists and Turks. That is what is at stake here. Understand this: historically once Turks and Zionists have their cross hairs on you, they will never relent. NEVER. Regardless of olive branches.

    As for this article, you are stating the obvious. Its the same problem we Armenians have had for centuries and that is Armenian division and tribal mentality. That is what has put us in our current sad state. It leads to dependency. A complete disaster as Russian dependency has proven over and over.. Armenian UNITY is what is desperately needed: One Armenia, Artsakh and diaspora. Unfortunately again, the only one that can truly facilitate this IS Pashinyan. Your suggestions, though right on the mark, needs to be pointed at Pashinyan himself. The diaspora, even with its divisions, has only had the best interest for Armenia at its core. Pashinyan on the other hand, has vendettas and wants to teach a lesson to the old regimes, and maybe justifiably so but also seems scorn the ‘burden of Artsakh’. He has made statements such as, “those lands weren’t Armenia’s in the first place” as an excuse to losing historical lands. Who says things like that? A traitor? An incompetent loser? Yes Unity is the solution, but how does one unit around an incompetent traitor who just doesn’t get it? He is cancer. He will gladly carve up what is left of Armenia for imaginary peace and prosperity. He needs to go.

    So how does one implement UNITY? What does it look like? That’s the answer we need. My suggestion is ONE world wide Armenian organization all working in tandem for one cause, being one Armenia, Artsakh and diaspora. Anything less is unacceptable. Lets start there. And then move it to Armenia proper in mass coordination. That is realistic.

  6. If you don’t like Pashinyan vote him out. In the meantime stop bashing each other and focus on building our military and economic capability.

  7. I definitely agree that the unity of the Armenian nation in general, and during these critical times in particular, is paramount. Events in both recent and past histories have shown that when Armenians are united as one there is nothing they can not accomplish. One historic example of such Armenian unity and accomplishment is the defeat of the invading Turkish army at Sardarabad, Bash-Abaran and Karakilisa (black church in the enemy language and modern Vanadzor I believe) and the creation of the Armenian republic in the aftermath of the premeditated and state-sponsored terrorism, mass extermination and genocide of 1.5 million indigenous Armenians by Turkish criminals. Another such example is the liberation of occupied Armenian territories in 1994 from pseudo-Turkish Azerbaijan, an artificial state invented for former homeless Caucasian Muslim Tatars (Turkified Mongols) and a Turkish outpost in the South Caucasus invented on occupied Armenian homeland post Ottoman defeat and collapse at the end of WWI in 1918.

    I personally am amazed and extremely proud for what our people have accomplished through the years past considering the fact that we as a nation have been victims of so much crime yet we have always managed to not only survive but thrive and be able to give our enemies a big dose and a bitter taste of their own medicines. Unlike many ancient and more powerful nations in the region who no longer exist and their stateless populations are scattered across the world, we Armenians still have a country we can call home and without which we would have faced the same destiny as of those who have long disappeared from this region. This is all great and we should all be really proud of our and of our ancestors’ accomplishments by way of unity and despite all odds. But unity can’t come at a heavy price and be formed around an unpatriotic and defeatist leader who because of his incompetence, and knowingly or otherwise, is complicit in the further weakening of the state with his bizarre and incomprehensible statements bordering treasonous. A leader who is more concerned about his seat and is engaged in political squabble with opposition parties, dividing the nation with slogans such as ‘with us’ or ‘against us’, than he is in securing the country and with no plan of action to mobilize the nation. The enemy knows it is dealing with a leader who can be exploited and continues to do so as evidenced by various recent tragic events in border regions. A leader who has become the laughing stock of the enemy and of the world. A leader who even received the support of the leader of the most anti-Armenian ultra-nationalist and fascist Turkish organization in Turkey when they felt a revolution was brewing in Armenia to send him packing which would have interrupted their continued invasion and exploitation of our homeland.

    We definitely need unity and under one patriotic banner but I don’t feel the leadership of the current weak and dysfunctional government is the one to represent such unity and to lead the country out of the state it is in. Enemy terrorists don’t negotiate with such leaders, they make demands of them!

  8. No one will disagree that without unity we are ‘open season’ to the Az-Turk predators. All Armenian parties and organisations inside and outside Armenia MUST sign up to a common motto, AAA (Armenia Above All). Regardless of any side’s political persuasions the nation’s survival and well-being has to come first. Once committed to this over-arching noble cause then arming the nation in a most organised way, including professional combat groups -ala SAS or Navy Seal- equipped with modern weaponry, is the only way to preserve our lands and protect our people. The enemy who sees us as a weak prey to be played with (like a cat tossing a wounded mouse then coming back to do it again) must be taught a painful lesson without further delay. In order to succeed we must only negotiate form a position of strength. There is no other way. Only then will the big cats realise that we mean business, for once and for all. Whether or not we like Israel, we need to learn a lesson from their history of survival and technological progress.

  9. Great article, Mr. Piligian. I always enjoy your ideas and find them to be fair, balanced and to the point. I feel that until we look ourselves in the mirror and admit our flaws, we will never get out of the mess we’ve been stuck in for centuries. We must realize that WE are the problem. How can you explain a people who are so hateful towards each other that they would rather tear each other apart when their country is in peril, than pick up arms and fight the enemy. Our homeland has been raped for the last 30 years, and guess who the rapist is, us. We can’t blame Azerbaijan, Turkey, Russia or anyone else for our misery. We are the problem, just drive on the streets of Yerevan and you’ll see the hate we harbor towards each other, giving our enemies an easy tool to manipulate us. You’re also spot on the Genocide issue. Instead of teaching our children to march every April 24 chanting “We want justice,” let’s instead teach them “Shame on us for letting the Turks butcher us after showing their intentions twice before, with the Hamedian and Adana Massacres of 1895 and 1909.” As the saying goes, “If you fool me once, shame on you. If you fool me twice, shame on me.” And for all those diasporans who contribute little to the advancement of Armenia and just talk, please spare us the misery. Our nation doesn’t need your ideas or opinions, you’re just adding to the toxic hatred. If you’re really worried about the future of Armenia, pull your sleeves and do something! The true measure of patriotism is action and sacrifice, not empty talk. We are in this situation because of the collective actions we have taken or failed to take throughout our recent history, and shifting the blame on others will only make our situation worse.

  10. In response to Stepan Piligian’s article, virtually everything is what we all hope for. However, unfortunately, reality sets in. Armenians have called for unity and national purpose for many decades. When the 3rd Armenian Republic emerged in 1991, we all thought that finally, we have an independent homeland and a bright future. The Armenian diaspora quickly offered every resource to support the new fledgling fatherland. Meanwhile the Armenian leadership sold off successful businesses and factories, and pocketed the profits. Rather than trying to build up the economy and help the little man, the leaders operated on an exclusive policy of enriching themselves at any cost, total corruption. Rather then trying to strengthen the country and its people, they spread a cancer throughout the country, lining their pockets with millions. A group of people, shifty, shrewd and shady characters, who were even called “mafia,” came to dominate the economy, and threatened anyone who opposed them. They were actually closely tied to, often even relatives, of government leaders. A classic case, and a tragic one, was when an Armenian sought government investment/support in developing a drone program a few years ago, he was ignored. I’m certain if he offered bribes to the right people, it could have been developed. Meanwhile, the loss in the recent war, was in great measure, due to the Azeris employing drone warfare against Artzakh. During a lecture at the Fletcher School of Diplomacy at Tufts University several years ago, the then Foreign Minister, Vartan Oskanian, discussed his recommended policy of “complementarianism,”in which Armenia wasn’t in the Western or Russian camp, maintaining a cautious neutral position. A the same time negotiations with Azerbaijan continued unabated, however, a very careful line was last down during the negotiations to prevent a catastrophic war. This policy was not followed during the Pashinian administration, consequently, the debacle followed. One last point, in response to the comment that upon meeting someone and initially mentioning the Genocide was due to insecurity, is, I think, incorrect. Weather we like it or not, the two most significant historical events in the last two millennia for the Armenian people were the adoption of Christianity and the Genocide.(The arrival of the Turks in Asia Minor, tied to the latter) Not only did the Turks annihilate half of the Armenian Nation between 1915-1917, the festering primal wound continues until now. There has been no acknowledgement, but rather denial, by the perpetrators and their successors. As His Holiness, Aram I, Catholicos of the Great House of Cilicia, remarked on the 100th Anniversary at the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., “There is no forgiveness without justice.”

  11. Get this through your thick heads. There is no scenario of hope for Armenia. Once climate crisis begins, and the world enters dark horizons, the roaches (breeding worse than a disease) on both sides of the country will invade and finish Armenia for good. As before, nothing and nobody will ever, not ever, assist, and the roaches will never relent; not ever, until every man, woman and child is massacred.

    Sadly, Armenia must find a methodology to petition UN/world for a small land purchase elsewhere, if it is to survive. Perhaps in places where the ice sheets are yet to become a part of history.

    “You must always have a knife in the darkness.”

  12. Yet another excellent article by Piligian. Many thanks and God bless nationalists. Love most of the replies as well. Yes this is a critical point in our history and SHOULD also be a TURNING POINT. We need to set aside all divisionism and keep our criticisms to democratic elections. All Armenians should unite with one voice and common intent of defending, keeping and reinstating our homeland to its historical glory. Putin is playing his own game and so is the West. We need to use both sides in a balanced way to protect our national interests. Just take a lesson from Israel. Need to keep ALL our borders and work towards a United Armenia, both in territory and nationhood.

  13. Piligian’s suggestiin about an amnesty to all ex-leaders is a brilliant one to bring all parties together and unite the nation for one common purpose. May I suggest a one off sizeable voluntary donation from these leaders to help buy much needed weapons. There are about 10 million Armenians in the world. Surely we can all afford to give $10 each a year. That’s $10 billion a year. More than enough to see to the needs of the nation. In fact a 1% donation from each Armenian’s yearly income was suggested by the archbishop of Artsakh some years ago. That is the best answer I can think of.

  14. Everyone can point out the problems and the difficulties that Armenians find themselves in…practical solution is what’s missing. Without any natural resources, and no political cards to play, Armenians can only bite the bullet and wait for a more opportune time to regain their political and military strength. I suspect this will happen when the world completely moves away from fossil fuel dependence, which is the driving force currently in geopolitical calculations and it’s what giving the Azeris superiority in geopolitical, and hence military, dominance. When the oil prices crash, the people of Azerbaijan will rise against their dictator and the turmoil this will cause is the opportunity that Armenians cannot waste…Armenians need to be prepared for this eventuality by investing now in nuclear and green energy. Economic power is what dictates terms on the battlefield, pure and simple

  15. After reading the article and all comments, it makes me wonder how can Armenia achieve peace and prosperity if its people at home and abroad looks at its neighbors through a highly subjective lens? Why was Armenian nation used to be called Millet-i Sadika ie the loyal nation until 19th century by Ottomans? How many people know Sultan Abdul Hamid’s mom was Armenian? In other words, why are we all not focused on finding common ground with our neighbors? Do you honestly think calling your neighbors “roaches” as someone above has will achieve anything? Where is the accounting and self reflection for Hocali massacre? Why was Karabagh totally neglected in 30 years and left to ruin? Why are there hundreds of thousands of Armenians in Turkey working trying to make a living? If Turks are so horrible, why are they staying there? That should be part of our collective dialogue in the Caucacus. Yes, I am Turkish and proud of it like you are proud of being Armenian and I do believe in a future with common prosperity and peace. No, I don’t think Armenians should perish or leave. I want many Zildjian type common success stories that connect us for learning to live together. Hate accomplishes nothing.

    • I still have deeds to lands in what is today called Turkey all stolen through rape and murder and then the denial. How does one have peace after that? Can we all agree that Turks are Asian invading tribes? That they don’t really belong there? Why do you blame the victims who were hated so much as to be exterminate off their ancient home lands by invaders? BTW the real reason for the genocide was theft of wealth and property.

  16. “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so” . Mark Twain
    Armenians were told “for sure” that Azerbaijan would not dare attack Artsakh because Russia would step in and stop them, as they did in 2016, and that they were “inferior fighters” and no match to the Armenian army. Also the defense minister Tonoyan (now under investigation for corruption !!) said that Armenians would be “drinking tea in Baku”. Armenians should not tolerate this fake and absurd thinking, when you are living in a very dangerous and unforgiving neighborhood. I thought that Armenians knew better from their 1895-1923 genocide experiences.
    In the meantime,
    – A million Armenians left the country to go to Russia, Europe and USA
    – Millions were stolen by oligarchs
    – Military leadership was a ticket to a comfortable life running side businesses and building mansions, instead of defending the country. Monte Melkonian’s example was apparently lost and forgotten.
    – Armenia was sold to the Russians , economically and politically
    – Diaspora leadership was quiet as to the true state of affairs within Armenia
    – Diaspora was relegated to providing mainly humanitarian aid, and not encouraged to participate in building up the country
    – Diaspora families were busy enriching themselves, but not their communities and Armenia
    I will mention two other quotes that summarize mine and many comments by others.
    “We have met the enemy and he is us”. Walt Kelly.
    Benjamin Franklin was asked what sort of government the delegates had created in 1787. His answer: “A republic, if you can keep it.”

  17. Two cogent points in the article are worth pondering upon;one is the obsession of Armenians with the genocide,and the other is the tribal mentality of the Armenians.Until and when our new generation of Armenians overcome these two traits there will not be a secure and prosperous Armenia!

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