Pomposity to Mask Ineptitude

The “Global Armenian Summit 2022” is underway in Yerevan. In the coming days, we’ll hear endless drivel about what a great success it was and what a wonderful time its participants had in the homeland.

The name alone is pretty impressive sounding, isn’t it? It’s also different from the names of similar gatherings and conferences held over the years since independence. It suggests to me an intentional effort to stand out, to claim “this is different” from the past, implying that previous instances were “bad” in some way. It fits the pattern of denigrating all the work done by all previous governments.

Its timing is also suspicious. Just as the government of the Republic of Armenia is making announcements about anticipated “progress” in talks and negotiations with the Turks (of Azerbaijan), we have this hoopla. It seems to me to be intended as a distraction from the inept conduct of foreign policy this government has become known for (most recently picking yet another pointless fight with Russia by barring two of its notables – a member of parliament and the [Armenian] head of RT, Russian state media) from entering Armenia.

Meanwhile, we have the farce of this government banning Diasporan Armenians who dare come out against its failed policies. But, hey, they’ve organized a “global” shindig for us “outsiders,” so it’s all OK.

To be sure and fair, among those lined up to speak at this summit whom I recognize, there are credible people. Some of them should have known better than to lend their credibility to buttress this discredited government. But the absence of certain people and organizations (the Catholicoi, the Armenian Revolutionary Federation explicitly and others less so) speaks volumes. And that’s another key point. The organizers have NOT invited ORGANIZATIONS, rather, INDIVIDUALS. Only people with the “right,” “almost right” or non-controversial ideas and issue-sets have the honor of being invited. This way, they can preclude the expression of any opinions not aligned with their destructive agenda. They can maneuver and guide any “conclusions” that might emanate from the summit to bolster their preconceived, predetermined outcome.

All these considerations – the distraction angle, the timing, the roping-in of otherwise decent people, the exclusion of others and the absence of organizational participants (i.e. those with principled, consistent, ideas, positions and approaches) – suggest a regime in the throes of a legitimacy crisis desperate for a boost while simultaneously conducting policy that is far from the best interests of the Armenian republics and Diaspora.

Please suffer the foolish noise that will emanate about this pompous summit from Yerevan with a knowing smile on your face.

Garen Yegparian

Garen Yegparian

Asbarez Columnist
Garen Yegparian is a fat, bald guy who has too much to say and do for his own good. So, you know he loves mouthing off weekly about anything he damn well pleases to write about that he can remotely tie in to things Armenian. He's got a checkered past: principal of an Armenian school, project manager on a housing development, ANC-WR Executive Director, AYF Field worker (again on the left coast), Operations Director for a telecom startup, and a City of LA employee most recently (in three different departments so far). Plus, he's got delusions of breaking into electoral politics, meanwhile participating in other aspects of it and making sure to stay in trouble. His is a weekly column that appears originally in Asbarez, but has been republished to the Armenian Weekly for many years.
Garen Yegparian

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  1. Yes, I’m sure Putin, Aliyev, and Pashinian arranged their schedules to coincide with the date of the summit, which was set in late August. Very suspicious, indeed!

    And I’m sure the organizers of the summit sent invitations to individuals so that they could check their organizational allegiances at the door. Who would expect an individual to represent the interests of an organization, after all? (Not the ARF, I suppose…)

    Perhaps there’s another dynamic at work here: Just maybe, the organizers didn’t invite organizations because many of them are (and have been for some time) pompous and discredited themselves. Let’s face it, otherwise decent people are often misled by the discredited and failed political and economic policies of these organizations who think of themselves as the saviors of Armenia. Individually, decent people may be quite willing to collaborate for a better future for Armenia without their organization to get in the way.

    There’s more than enough foolishness to go around.

  2. Lets face it . The old model of diaspora run by ARF-AGBU types is failing in the West and is not helping Armenia very much. It is not surprising that past Armenian diaspora conferences have not been very useful. It may have worked in the Middle East in the past where society was run along sectarian lines and opportunities for economic development were limited. Those organizations may have been run by “those with principled, consistent, ideas, positions and approaches”, full of political rhetoric but short on economic development. How does that help an Armenian growing up today in LA or Paris? How does that help Armenia survive against Turkey/Azerbaijan? We need much greater financial resources than what is currently being generated by volunteer donations and telethons. Recently the Armenian government announced a budget of 6 billion dollars for 2023. Surely the diaspora’s goal could be to generate one tenth of that number i.e 600 million dollars per year. This can come from voluntary taxes on every Armenian and also donations from large corporations. In return Armenians can expect services such as high quality Armenian schools and universities, and communities where people can grow and meet each other to form families. These funds can also be used for capital improvement projects in Armenia in collaboration with the government. Such a world wide organization , which is actually the combinations of many national entities representing US, France, Russia etc, can also have representation in the Armenian parliament. So then the Armenian diaspora is not just talking heads, nor a talent pool nor volunteer fighters , but an actual economic engine that works side by side with the government. From economic power flows political, technical and defense power.

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