Chidem Inch: Caving in?

Will May 22, 2023 go down as a black day in Armenian history?

It certainly feels like that right now.

This was the day Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan stated, “The 86,600 square kilometers of Azerbaijan’s territory includes Nagorno-Karabakh.” Even though we all knew this was the way the Republic of Armenia was leaning, it is still shocking, depressing and maddening to hear this. Of course, there was also a stated condition that the rights of the Armenians in Artsakh be guaranteed.

There were pro-Artsakh protests in Armenia the day before this anticipated announcement. Today, in the diaspora, there was indignation on social media. Aram Suren Hamparian basically summed up in one sentence what most of us are feeling: “Pashinyan lacks the legal right, popular mandate, moral standing, and constitutional authority to sign away the free people of democratic Artsakh to certain genocide at the hands of authoritarian Azerbaijan.”

People were, again, calling Pashinyan a traitor.

Sadly, Armenia and the Armenians have had little negotiation leverage since the horrible 2020 war. Neither Artsakh nor Armenia have a military option. There is no military ally for the Armenians. There is nothing Armenia nor Artsakh could do to break the 160+ day Azeri blockade of Artsakh. We only have diplomacy. I am not sure the Armenians had much choice but to cave in, which we have.

The rest of the world recognizes the territorial integrity (it hurts to type those words) of Azerbaijan that includes Artsakh. To us, it makes zero sense that the rest of the world still honors the lines Stalin drew that gave Nakhichevan and Artsakh to Azerbaijan. It is even more mind boggling that anyone with any authority in this “negotiation” believes that the rights of the Armenians in Artsakh can be guaranteed if they are part of Azerbaijan. 

As for Pashinyan, does he have any authority? Well, he is the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia. Like it or not, whether he is inept or not, he is the head of the Armenian government. To the world and the countries involved in the negotiations, he speaks for Armenia and the Armenians. For all the brilliant scholars, activists and clerics in the Diaspora, not one of us was invited to the negotiating tables. Like it or not, this is the way the world works no matter how infuriating it is to us.

There is a Facebook group: “Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan for Nobel Peace Prize.” It has a whopping 92 members.

We could speculate on how another Prime Minister would have fared. Would Serge Sargsyan or Robert Kocharyan have done any better? None of them prepared us for the inevitable second Artsakh war.

How will this all turn out? No one really knows. Will the negotiations result in a signed treaty? If there is a signed treaty, will the parties honor the provisions of the treaty? It is hard for me, and I imagine anyone reading this, to put a positive spin on any of this.

Mark Gavoor
Mark Gavoor is Associate Professor of Operations Management in the School of Business and Nonprofit Management at North Park University in Chicago. He is an avid blogger and oud player.
Mark Gavoor

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    • The president of Armenia is the head of state and the guarantor of independence and territorial integrity of Armenia.
      Approves, suspends or annuls the international agreements for which no ratification is required;

      source: Wiipedia

  1. His entire life, Nikol dreamed of abandoning Artsakh, forgetting about the Armenian Genocide, unconditionally opening Armenia’s borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey and, last but not least, bring Armenia out of Russia’s orbit his entire life. Western and Turkish interests therefore placed Nikol into power in 2018 exactly for this purpose. To it’s utter disgrace, the Armenian world, both native and diasporan, preferred to keep Nikol in power not once but twice. That’s when Russia pulled its protective hand away just slightly. The rest is history, as they say. All in all, the last 5 years in Armenia was the by product of so-called democracy and the self-destructive efforts of Armenians to use the West as a hedge against Russia. Armenians have no right to complain today, as they were the main authors of the country’s latest tragedy…

    • Go to Ukraine and tell them about Russia protective hand. I await your response. Armenia had it’s hands tied by the bounds of territorial integrity and the Alma Alta declaration all Soviet republics pledged. Yet fatally misplaced faith in Russia. Played for time as their advantage from 1994 faded away. Failed to recognise it’s independence whilst urging other nations to do the same. As for Russia check what Kremlin shill Andrew Korybko would say about Armenia. The Saker blogger closed down out of embarrassment of Russian losses in Ukraine was similarly sneering. Russia is it’s own friend for what worth the notion that it cares like a parent for to it’s child regarding Armenia “pulling it’s protective hand away just slightly” is outrageous and delusional.

    • Had you understood history or politics, you would have understood that Moscow punished Baku in 1992 when Azerbaijanis put into power an anti-Russian, pro-Western activist named Abulfaz Elbichbey… Moscow punished Tbilisi when Georgians put into power an anti-Russian, pro-Western activist named Saakashvili in 2005… Moscow punished and is continuing to punish Kiev when Ukrainians put into power a Western puppets in 2014… Moscow punished and is continuing to punish Yerevan when Armenians elected – not once but twice – Western financed, professional Russophobes with Turkish ties. That’s the real story…

  2. Thank you for your article, Mr.Gavoor. As the granddaughter of Genocide survivors it’s a punch to the gut to watch this all unfold. The world powers are ready to go to war for Ukrainians and their rights and yet two and half hour plane ride away, the people don’t matter. Their rights and lives and freedoms don’t matter. How do you ask a people to rejoin a country ruled by a dictator? There are larger forces in play in all of this and I am not quite sure what they are. Basically, it boils down to money and greed. All the talk of freedom and promotion of democracy abroad that we hear in the West are largely spin.
    This is why, though I cannot stand the man’s rhetoric, maybe we give Pashinyan some pause. We are simply not privy to all the information he has. Staying the course has lead to the depopulation of Armenia. If one’s in Glendale, you cannot but help to think what if the conditions were right for many of these talented people to have stayed.
    And maybe, just maybe, Pashinyan knows that Aliyev will never agree to an international presence and this is way to up the ante by succumbing to Western pressure.

  3. Pahinyan is a liar and a narcissistic psychopath turned traitor. A failed journalist who should have had no business running a country let alone one that had been, and still is, in a state of war for the last thirty years. None of pre-election promises he made he has kept or delivered. Among them, ending corruption, recovering stolen billions, freedom of assembly, freedom of thought & expression, and his famous pre September 2020 joint terrorist Turkish-Azerbaijani invasion, since that was not a war, of Armenian territories speech he gave to Armenians in Artsakh in which he claimed Artsakh as part of Armenia. He is a flip-flopping coward and a master manipulator with the same ideology as his teacher and Zionist agent Levon Ter-Petrosyan who during his reign tried to stop the liberation of many enemy-occupied Armenian territories during the Artsakh Liberation Movement in the 1990s. However, unlike Pashniyan, he was smart enough to resign when he did to save himself and to let the nation unite, in his divisive absence, and move forward. If you listen and pay attention to what these two have said over the years you will realize they are two peas in a pod. To defend themselves and to absolve themselves of their failures, these two have always maintained that since the so-called ‘international community’ recognizes Artsakh within Azerbaijani jurisdiction so therefore we have no choice but to abide by its decision. They never mention that there is also this thing called People’s Right to Self-Determination which this very same ‘international community granted to Kosovo by violating the territorial integrity of Serbia but somehow failed to grant the same rights to the people of Artsakh. Given this fact, why would any Armenian leader ignore that right and act as a mouthpiece for that double-talking corrupt ‘international community, and the enemy for that matter, for whom pumping Caspian oil & gas into Europe is much more important than the blood of murdered Armenians? The same hypocritical community to which that terrorist and genocidal unrepentant Turkey as the only Muslim Turkish terrorist state in the world and our as our enemy’s criminal collaborator is a member.

    The problem with our people who cast their votes to elect leaders is that they are very gullible and politically ignorant and we see the result. But to elect the same incompetent and treasonous leader twice is beyond comprehension. The voices of Armenian patriots are either ignored or silenced because the leader they pick has to be subservient to another foreign dictator instead of committing himself to his nation and his homeland. Look at Pashinyan and his team as an example. A bunch of unpatriotic double-talking sheep selling out their nation and homeland to please enemy wolves thirsty for Armenian blood. All Armenian territorial transfers and disastrous fake treaties made between criminal Soviets and their Turkish and pseudo-Turkish Azerbaijani criminal collaborators on our behalf should be considered null and void because these were all done when these criminal wheelers and dealers did not even exist as recognized entities by international communities. But do our sheepish leaders ever bring these up and demand justice? Of course not! Because they are there to serve their foreign masters and not our nation. If these incompetent and dysfunctional sorry excuse for leaders had any dignity and a slight sense of Armenian pride, they would have resigned years ago. They don’t and are all a bunch of arrogant traitorous know-it-all with no sense of patriotism and service to their nation and homeland. These idiots not only have no right to make any critical and life-changing decisions for our nation at large but that they should be behind bars waiting to be court-martialed!

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