Before reconciling with Turks, Armenians need to reconcile with each other

Can’t the Armenian government do anything right? Not a day goes by without more bad news from Armenia and Artsakh! Rather than blaming our enemies, we need to look at our own shortcomings and stop inflicting more wounds on ourselves.

In the midst of the severe crisis in Armenia after the devastating defeat in the 2020 Artsakh War, one would think that Armenian leaders would have the wisdom to unite the nation and strengthen the military to prevent further attacks on the country.

Surprisingly, Armenia has embarked on a course of action that is further dividing and weakening the nation. Armenian leaders are too incompetent to run a country with so many critical issues. Rather than trying to minimize Armenia’s losses, they are determined to add to the damage inflicted by its enemies.

For four years, PM Nikol Pashinyan has been dividing Armenians into “blacks” and “whites,” Artsakhtsis and Hayastantsis, former leaders versus the current one and Armenia versus Diaspora, at a time when Armenians desperately need to be unified. He has threatened to slam his domestic political opponents into the wall or the asphalt. He even went on the campaign trail last year holding a hammer in his hand, promising to smash the heads of those who oppose him.

Not only is Pashinyan too incompetent to lead Armenia, so are his cabinet ministers and advisors. An incompetent leader cannot make competent appointments.

PM Nikol Pashinyan receives Armenia’s newly-appointed High Commissioner of Diaspora Affairs Zareh Sinanyan, June 14, 2019

Take, for example, Pashinyan’s appointment of Zareh Sinanyan to the post of “High Commissioner of Diaspora Affairs.” Sinanyan’s only qualification is that he is a blind supporter of the prime minister. Consequently, Sinanyan has hardly accomplished anything worthwhile during his three years on the job, except for wasting the government’s meager budget on his and his staff’s frequent travels around the world.

Sinanyan just announced that his office will hold a “Global Armenian Summit” at the end of October. One would have expected that he would have the common sense to invite representatives of all Armenian organizations and prominent individuals in Armenia and the Diaspora, regardless of their political affiliation.

However, the only goal of Sinanyan and the prime minister is to give the impression that they are busy doing something rather than actually accomplishing anything useful for the nation. Sinanyan shortsightedly decided, with the blessing of his boss, to invite to the “Global Armenian Summit” Armenians who are the regime’s supporters, leaving out those who have dared to oppose the current leaders. The government of Armenia is actually engaged in dividing, rather than unifying, the Diaspora.

In any other normal country, an employee like Sinanyan would have been fired long ago for being incompetent and wasting the government’s precious resources. However, this prime minister will not fire an underling who is more incompetent than he is! Regrettably, Sinanyan does not even know his job description. He has foolishly advocated inviting Arab immigrants to Armenia, not realizing that his responsibility is dealing only with Diaspora Armenians, not Arabs or other nationalities. In his frequent TV interviews, Sinanyan constantly engages in partisan politics, criticizing major Armenian organizations and creating further divisions in the nation. He does not understand that his job is not to act as a propagandist for Pashinyan’s regime, but to be a government employee who is getting paid a salary to be a bridge between Armenia and the Diaspora.

If the excuse of Pashinyan and Sinanyan is that their political opponents would have refused to attend the “Global Armenian Summit,” that would have been a good reason to invite them. Those who rejected the invitation would have looked bad, and the government would have looked magnanimous rather than petty. The Armenian government cannot behave like a thug who wants to settle scores. Regrettably, it does not possess the maturity to rise above the fray. Armenia is the home of all Armenians, not only those who agree with the regime. A small and weak nation surrounded by powerful enemies cannot afford to splinter itself into smaller fragments.

Rather than embracing all Armenians worldwide, the government has rejected in recent weeks the entry of several prominent Diaspora Armenians whose sole guilt is that they are opponents of the supposedly “democratic” regime! Meanwhile, Turkish members of the Grey Wolves terrorist group are allowed to enter Armenia and insult the memory of Armenian martyrs on the grounds of the Armenian Genocide memorial in Yerevan!

In the past 20 years, Armenia has organized several Diaspora-Armenia conferences. None of them accomplished anything useful. Sinanyan’s planned “Summit” will have the same result. Pashinyan has repeatedly talked about allowing Diaspora Armenians to assume high-level positions in the Armenian government. Regrettably, beyond paying lip service, he has not taken any steps in that direction. Similarly, Sinanyan announced with much fanfare around a year ago that his office would appoint Diaspora commissioners in Armenian communities around the world. Until now, he has not appointed a single such commissioner.

When Pashinyan came to power in 2018, he pledged to increase Armenia’s population from less than three million to five million by the year 2050. Regrettably, Armenia’s population in his four years in office has declined, not increased. Beyond just talking about encouraging repatriation to Armenia, nothing has been done.

It is high time that all Armenians unite to defend the homeland against the powerful enemies on both sides of the border. Before reconciling with Turks, Armenians first need to get along with each other.

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Harut Sassounian

California Courier Editor
Harut Sassounian is the publisher of The California Courier, a weekly newspaper based in Glendale, Calif. He is the president of the Armenia Artsakh Fund, a non-profit organization that has donated to Armenia and Artsakh $917 million of humanitarian aid, mostly medicines, since 1989 (including its predecessor, the United Armenian Fund). He has been decorated by the presidents of Armenia and Artsakh and the heads of the Armenian Apostolic and Catholic churches. He is also the recipient of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.

5 Comments

  1. Quite divisive thoughts expressed in an article calling for unity. Rehashing tired old arguments in this charged political environment in Armenia is only indicative of Mr. Sassounian’s wilful participation in dangerous anti-government campaign. Propaganda practiced hidden behind a false pretext of “calling for unity”. Quite transparent!

    • Zareh, you are the one who is encouraging divisiveness by blindly supporting a regime that’s destroying Armenia after destroying Artsakh. I am all for unity and oppose all those like Pashinyan and his slave Sinanyan who campaign holding a hammer and threatening to smash the heads of their Armenian political opponents. Kich me khelkt kloukht havake.

  2. HERE HERE! FINALLY, SASSOUNIAN HAS WOKEN UP AFTER DECADES OF MISGUIDED ARTICLES AND FOOLISH POLITICAL POSITIONS LIKE SUPPORTING THE LIBERAL ANCA! ALL WE HAVE SEEN HEARD AND READ ABOUT ARMENIA AFTER 32 YEARS OF “INDEPENDENCE” IS FAILURE, CORRUPTION, INCOMPETENCE, AND DIVISIVENESS. ZAREH SINANYAN IS NOT FIT TO RUN THE GIRL SCOUTS LET ALONE A MINISTRY OF DIASPORA. HOW IS HE QUALIFIED: MAYOR OF GLENDALE? LAUGHABLE. LAWYER? DIME A DOZEN. GLENDALE IS FILLED WITH BIG FISH IN A LITTLE POND. THE DIASPORA IS MORE THAN GLENDALE. ARMENIANS ARE BRILLIANT AS INDIVIDUALS BUT ARE A THICKET OF IDIOTS. THE WORST THING THAT ARMENIANS CAN DO IS GATHER IN ONE ROOM TO MAKE A UNANIMOUS DECISION WHICH ZAREH SINANYAN ISNT SMART ENOUGH TO UNDERSTAND WHILE PLANNING HIS GLOBAL ARMENIAN SUMMIT. ANOTHER SUMMIT, ANOTHER MEETING, ANOTHER WASTE OF TIME TALKING ABOUT HOW TO DO THINGS. ITS BEEN 32 YEARS. DONT ARMENIANS KNOW WHAT TO DO BY NOW? UNFORTUNATELY, ARMENIA AND ARMENIANS MUST BE RULED WITH AN IRON FIST AND A DICTATORSHIP LIKE THE REST OF THE MIDDLE EAST. THE SURVIVAL OF ARMENIA IS AT STAKE.

  3. Armenia should run by diaspora not soviet minded poor armenians real armenians exist in diaspora not in armenia just like Monte.

  4. i think of armenia the same way i think of mongolia, surrounded on all sides by big powers and trying to survive. The only big diffrence is this, the mongolian government, education and people dont fantasize about a greater mongolia where they claim inner mongolia and northern xinjiang from china or huge chunks of mongol russia to thier north. instead they keep thier heads low and strive to develope trade with neigbours they could as well be at war with, seeing as there are 5 million mongols in inner mongolia,china and hundreds of thousands in russia to thier north. Armenia on the other hand is the opposite side of that coin, and its interesting seeing as both Armenia and mongolia are landlocked, 3 million strong and have a large capital with a majority of its inhabitans residing there.

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