The Curious Case of the Diaspora Knocking on Every Wrong Door

Winston Churchill, a revered figure in the West and a defining example of British imperialism, brutality and racism*, once said, “The Americans will always do the right thing…after they have exhausted all the alternatives.” It appears that the Armenian Diaspora is trapped in the same mindset.

Artsakh is teetering on the brink of a humanitarian crisis and ethnic cleansing due to Azerbaijan’s eight-month-long blockade. Food supplies have dwindled to last a month or so on a once-a-day ration. Fuel supplies have been exhausted, including those for emergency vehicles. Just today, a pregnant woman lost her child, as there was no ambulance to transport her to the hospital. 

Recently, the Center for Truth and Justice commissioned Luis Moreno Ocampo, a former International Criminal Court Chief Prosecutor, to produce an expert opinion on the situation in Artsakh. Moreno Ocampo stated, “There is reasonable basis to believe that genocide is being committed against Armenians…There are no crematories, and there are no machete attacks. Starvation is the invisible genocide weapon. Without immediate dramatic change, this group of Armenians will be destroyed in a few weeks.” This is one of the few examples of logical and appropriate steps the Diaspora has taken to address this crisis.

The Diaspora has appealed to every elected official and international organization with any jurisdiction to intervene on behalf of the Armenians of Artsakh—to no avail. In other words, they have appealed to entities without the power and/or the willingness to affect any change. The United States, the United Nations and the European Union have feigned concern and urged Azerbaijan to stop its genocidal campaign. Yet, they have offered only words with no action or enforcement. In the meantime, most have happily engaged in business as usual, buying Russian oil siphoned through Azerbaijan, selling weapons and attending banquets and events in Shushi and other regions of Artsakh currently seized by Azerbaijan. Right after the 2020 war, Baku opened a despicable open-air museum showing off their war trophies with mannequins portraying dead Armenian soldiers, where Azeri children could abuse the mannequins to satiate their Armenophobia, drilled into their heads through decades of propaganda. Soon after, Pres. Ilham Aliyev hosted an international conference entitled, “A new outlook at the South Caucasus: Post-Conflict Development and Cooperation.” After the conference, 27 guests from 15 countries visited the Azeri victory park, including representatives from the West.

Many righteous organizations, with and without appeals from the Armenian Diaspora, have gone on to stand on the right side of the issue and clearly state the realities on the ground in Artsakh. Unfortunately, these statements have fallen on deaf ears in Baku and every other capital in the world, resulting in zero actionable effort to change the situation on the ground.

While President Biden and Secretary Blinken may not want to see the ethnic cleansing of 120,000 Armenians in the Caucasus, their actions, or lack thereof, speak clearly.

The Biden Administration and the U.S. State Department have been unwilling to pressure Azerbaijan to stop the Artsakh blockade, which they could have done had there been the will. Unfortunately, they are motivated by geopolitical games to drive the Russians out of the Caucasus and to potentially open a second front against them, a trap the Russians have been careful not to fall into. They are also motivated to pressure Iran; however, the Iranians are not taking the bait either. While President Biden and Secretary Blinken may not want to see the ethnic cleansing of 120,000 Armenians in the Caucasus, their actions, or lack thereof, speak clearly. The State Department has quietly floated the idea of relocating the Armenians of Artsakh from their ancestral homelands to avoid the nightmare scenario of another genocide on the U.S. watch. This is nothing short of ethnic cleansing, without having to mop the blood off the floor afterward. The U.S. has also ruled out any sanctions against Azerbaijan. President Clinton has stated that his biggest regret was his inaction in Rwanda while in office, which is a nice sentiment but a meaningless one. His regret will not bring back the more than a million dead, but decisive and timely action certainly could have. What does this say about the lofty lectures in human rights and democracy we so readily deliver to the four corners of the world, whether they ask for it or not? Armenia, a nation where all levers of power are in the hands of one political party that uses police brutality and fear to stifle any dissent, is hailed as a “democracy” and cajoled by the West to make decisions against the interests and the will of its people. Yet, the same West refuses to punish a known belligerent despot who is committing ethnic cleansing in broad daylight. How does one reconcile this?

Armenian Foreign Minister Ararat Mirzoyan, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Azerbaijani Foreign Minister Jeyhun Bayramov, Washington, D.C., May 1, 2023 (Photo: Twitter/@SecBlinken)

The Diaspora has knocked on every door and thus far has nothing to show for its actions. Its efforts have mostly been disparate and disorganized. This is partially due to a lack of cooperation and trust, diverging and competing interests, and the lack of systemic thinking. Unfortunately, they have yet to knock on the one door that matters, that of the Armenian government, the only entity tasked with guaranteeing the security of Artsakh. A few organizations have done so individually, but they have been brushed aside due to a lack of cohesion in the Diaspora and the remarkable ability of the Armenian government to divide and conquer. One of its crowning achievements is to drive wedges between the different segments of Armenian society and marginalize institutions, whether the Diaspora, the church, the armed forces or universities.

Dissent is one of the greatest forms of patriotism—to take a difficult stand when one’s government strays from the righteous path. The global Armenian nation has demonstrated its unwillingness and inability to do so and has settled for the next option, which is to ask others to do what they must do themselves. It takes less than a 30-minute drive from the center of Yerevan in any geographical direction to step into the early twentieth century. Yet, the city center is bustling every night with wine, beer, festivals and high-profile concerts. Most recently, the government announced a Snoop Dogg concert, ponying up $6M for yet another publicity stunt. This is while the Armenians in Artsakh are starving. Have we collectively gone mad? Have we lost any semblance of dignity, moral outrage and accountability to ourselves? Why would anyone in their right mind want to help us when we cannot find the courage to do so ourselves first?

Have we collectively gone mad? Have we lost any semblance of dignity, moral outrage and accountability to ourselves? Why would anyone in their right mind want to help us, when we cannot find the courage to do so ourselves first?

Constitutionally, the Armenian government is obligated to guarantee the security of Artsakh, and a recent poll shows that 93-percent of Armenians in Armenia oppose seeing Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan. Yet, the government has done the exact opposite during the past five years, including the war that they “fought” to lose, putting 5,000 of our youth in the grave and disabling tens of thousands while sowing the seeds of fear in the minds of Armenians. The Artsakh blockade is not a surprise, nor is it an irrational move. The Armenian government’s decision to give up Berdzor last year without any written agreement, followed by acknowledging Artsakh as part of Azerbaijan, set the stage for the Artsakh blockade, yet precious few in the Diaspora blinked an eye when these two preconditions were met by the collaborator regime in Yerevan. The regime and its allies have masterfully played the fear card to beat away any opposition to their efforts, painting them as saber-rattling and pining for another war. Yet, this could not be further from the truth. As part of the recent “Hayaqve” movement in Armenia, more than 55,000 citizens signed a petition to submit a draft law to the Central Election Commission of Armenia, stipulating severe criminal punishment for recognizing Artsakh as part of another state on behalf of the Republic of Armenia, as well as for refusing international recognition of the Armenian Genocide. The fact that an initiative must be formed to defend these sanctities demonstrates the depravity that has befallen the Armenian nation at the hands of this collaborator regime.

Armenian diplomacy has been an abject failure during the past few years. The government’s only posture is a cycle of retreats in pursuit of elusive peace that is nowhere in sight. One may wonder whether the myriad of successful Armenians in the Diaspora would hire a mediocre teacher who may have served as a double agent of Turkey and Armenia’s previous governments (a charge he has not denied), and a 29-year-old delinquent, neither with a shred of diplomatic or any other meaningful expertise, to negotiate on behalf of their companies. Yet, here we are, having given the reins to these two and their college dropout boss, who made his name through yellow journalism and agitation, to negotiate on behalf of Armenia and Artsakh. It is curious why the Diaspora is not calling them out on their incompetence.  Is it a case of burying its head in the sand? Is it a case of remorse for cheerleading these collaborators five years ago and not knowing how to save face now? Is it the disbelief that our own can do this to us (meaning we know little of our history)? Is it not to appear divided? Is it not to air our dirty laundry? Or is it something else? Generally, things don’t get done right in Armenia because everyone is related to someone, and no one wants to shake the tree too hard; personal interests supersede those of the nation; allegiances lie elsewhere; everyone knows everything and can never be wrong; people hedge their bets to see who comes out on top, among other reasons or any combination thereof.  I venture to say that the Diaspora is no different, and as long the Armenian nation pursues this myopic perspective, Armenia and Artsakh will continue to inch ever closer toward destruction by our enemies.

Yerablur Military Pantheon (Photo: RA Government)

Knowing that the Armenian government plays by different rules these days, the onus is on the Diaspora to step up and lead the effort to save Artsakh. This requires dedication, action, clear red lines and a workable plan for all to get behind. The game, as it is, has no good outcomes for us. It is time that we change the parameters. Ending the blockade is not a goal; it is merely a means to an end. Yet, we cannot set our sights on the end of the blockade, since soon another crisis will appear. A real plan for the future must secure the independence of Artsakh. David Ishkhanyan is currently serving as the Speaker of the Artsakh Parliament—a glimmer of hope. He can petition the Diaspora to initiate proceedings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on behalf of the people of Artsakh to apply for external remedial secession. The Azeri aggression in 2020 and their subsequent belligerence in the last three years provide ample evidence with which the court can work.  One may argue that any ICJ ruling will lack enforcement, and they will be right. However, this is the type of ruling that can and must be used as geopolitical winds constantly change and interests require realignment, something that the Armenian nation has not been adept at playing. Other powerful countries besides the U.S. and Russia can back the ICJ ruling, as it is clear that the U.S.-Russian game of chicken has one victim only: the Armenians of Artsakh. Preparation for this undertaking will require a multidimensional campaign that the Diaspora’s vast resources can easily support if only it gets its head straight. This campaign must take full advantage of a favorable ruling to garner the support of as many nations and international institutions as possible. The Diaspora can and must embark on this monumental task to save Artsakh because no one else will, including the Armenian government. The question is, are we ready to do this, or do we continue with business as usual in our comfortable homes?

*Those interested in learning about Churchill’s darker side can look into his support for the rise of fascism, his antisemitic and anti-working-class views, the Black and Tans, the bombing of Iraq in the 20s, the Bengal Famine and the suppression of the Greek resistance, among others.

Ara Nazarian, PhD

Ara Nazarian, PhD

Ara Nazarian is an associate professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at Harvard Medical School. He graduated from Tennessee Technological University with a degree in mechanical engineering, followed by graduate degrees from Boston University, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and Harvard University. He has been involved in the Armenian community for over a decade, having served in a variety of capacities at the Hamazkayin Armenian Educational and Cultural Society, the Armenian Cultural and Educational Center, Armenian National Committee of America, St. Stephen’s Armenian Elementary School and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation.


  1. Is there any prospect for immediate aid, similar to the Berlin airlift to buy time until a solution can be found?
    Are unemployed Wagner mercenaries looking for something to do?
    These are probably silly thoughts, but these are desperate times!

  2. Ara Jan, you have it right. We are at a loss since many of us have zero confidence in the Diasporan organizational oligarchies who silence anyone who disagrees with them.

  3. His entire life, Nikol dreamed of abandoning Artsakh, forgetting the Armenian Genocide, unconditionally opening Armenia’s borders with Azerbaijan and Turkey and, last but not least, bringing Armenia out of Russia’s orbit. Naturally, these unique characteristics exhibited by Nikol did not escape the attention of various intelligence services around the world. This essentially is how and why Western and Turkish interests helped place Nikol into power in 2018. This is not a speculation. This can actually be proven in court. Follow the money trail that paved the way to Nikol’s “New Armenia” (e.g. Soros’ Open Society, NED, USAID, British Council, European Council, AGBU, AUA, large numbers of western financed NGOs, large numbers of western financed news outlets, money transfers from Baku to Armenia just prior to the “velvet revolution”, etc) and you will end up in Washington, London, Brussels, Ankara, Baku and perhaps Tel Aviv. To it’s utter shame and disgrace, the Armenian world, both native and diasporan, preferred to keep Nikol and his gang of activists in power not once but twice, the second time being after the embarrassing defeat Armenia suffered in 2020.

    Faced with Armenian-style political instability, and having much bigger matters to tend to in Ukraine, 2018 was also when Russia, which had been Armenia’s only lifeline since the 1990s, began pulling its protective hand away from both Armenia and Artsakh, but did so only slightly so that the two wouldn’t disappear completely from the world map.

    Said otherwise, we got what we wanted in 2018, we then got what we deserved in 2020.

    Seeing that the Armenian world was desperately seeking to embrace Western powers to off-set Russia’s perceived over-influence in Armenia, protecting Armenian interests in Artsakh, as Moscow had done since 1992 at the expense of alienating Turks and Azeris, no longer served Russia’s strategic interests. Seeing that Armenians were persistently seeking Western integration, Moscow began cooperating with Ankara and Baku because it needed to pacify its southern flank on the eve of its historic conflagration against Ukraine and NATO. It worked, as both Ankara and Baku have not taken sides against Russia in the war in Ukraine. As such, as a major world crisis was approaching the region, instead of moving closer to the Russian Federation, if only for security reasons (similar to what Belarus, Crimea and Abkhazia had done), which would have been the logical/natural move as Armenia was and continues to be almost entirely dependent on Russia for survival, by 2018 the Armenian world had effectively maneuvered Armenia into geopolitical isolation and a dead-end. Just like how Moscow punished Baku in 1992, Tbilisi in 2008 and Kiev from 2014-present, Moscow also punished Yerevan in 2020. But, unlike what the Kremlin will do to Ukraine (i.e. Ukraine will cease to exist when this war ends), the Kremlin will make sure that an Armenia and an Artsak survives in some form, as Russians still need Armenians in the south Caucasus as a geostrategic buffer against Turks and Muslims.

    In a nutshell, what I described above is how Armenians lost Artsakh. This is also why Armenia today is like a rudderless boat on a stormy sea with an utterly incompetent captain at the helm. All in all, the last 5 years in Armenia has been a nightmare, and a toxic by-product of Western-style democracy, Armenian-style political illiteracy and the self-destructive efforts of Armenians worldwide to use the West as a leverage against Russia.

    Consequently, Armenians today have no right to complain, as they were again the main authors of the country’s latest tragedy.

  4. Ara has perfectly stated the obvious that others chose to ignore- if we expect change, and want concrete actions to help our brethren Artsakh, then removal of the current” powers in charge” needs to be the first move. This same PM who has publicly stated Artsakh as Azeri lands. And we expect the world to care, when our own leadership does not? Time is of the essence, wake up everyone.

  5. Of course, Russia is responsible for keeping the corridor open by Point 6 of the November 2020 agreement. Here is what it says:

    “The Lachin Corridor … will provide a connection between Nagorno-Karabakh … shall remain under the control of the Russian Federation peacemaking forces.”

    Russia also said it would protect Artsakh. Letting the people starve is not protection.

    But Russia will not act even though it obviously and EASILY could.

    Russia is punishing Armenia for Pashinyan’s turns to the West.

    Russia & CSTO also do nothing about the Azeri invasions of southern Armenia even though defense treaties obligate them to. That’s clearly deliberate

    These are obvious facts, but few Armenians are saying so out loud.

    It is not a good thing to ignore facts. It does not lead to good policy.

    If we are not truthful about the present crisis, we can’t expect others to be.

    • Thank you Paul!!! I had no idea Russia was behind all of our misery. Those damn Russkies!!! We will show them who’s the boss. I will do my best now to help turn all of Armenia into bloody battlefield, just like Ukraine and Syria, just to get rid of them bad Russians, and become a Turkish Vilayet like you suggested. Thank you again so much for enlightening us.

  6. The author of article has failed embarrassingly to deceive the ordinary reader of his article., the message is clear ” lets use Artsakh people as a vehicle to organise a coup detat and grab the power for Kocharian and ARF. Down with 55% of Armenian electorates, down with democracy , long live ARF Falange.
    Gone those days, that you could imprison Armenian people by promise of ” sea to sea Armenia “

    • This is unfortunately the mindset that has gotten the nation to this point. For starters, only 24% of those eligible to vote in Armenia voted for NP and his merry band of collaborators. Second, Armenia is constitutionally tasked to provide security for Artsakh. This is a fact, one the reader may find inconvenient. It is impossible to affect any change without these collaborators gone. People can be wrong, and have been wrong throughout history, as so painfully demonstrated during the last 5 years. The key is to have the intellectual and emotional rigor to acknowledge that and do something about it. Personally, if there were an election today between NP and my neighbor’s dog, I would vote for my neighbor’s dog.

  7. We don’t hear Robik & Co knocking on any doors. These guys (Robik & Co) should unite around the legitimately elected Armenian Government on foreign policy issues. Instead, they are dividing the Armenian society to delay prosecution for crimes they (Robik & Co) have committed during their time in power. Your article is a sham.

  8. Dr. Ara Nazarian has written an eloquent well thought out article and I find myself agreeing with most of it. I can’t say the same about the misguided and misleading comments following the article. In particular, John B’s reference to Wagner mercenaries is totally insane and counter productive. As to our friend the ‘Concerned Armenian’s’ misleading contribution, some might imagine such comments to be the work of ‘agent provocateurs!’ Despite Dr. Nazarian’s well written article, I disagree with the contention regarding application to the ICJ for remedial cesession for Artsakh. In this, it’s important to listen to the extremely intelligent and able political analysts of Armenia,🇦🇲 who are following very carefully the statements, declarations and aggressive acts of our genocidal neighbours and hostile ‘allies.’ They believe that independence is not viable and will not provide security for Artsakh. Instead Armenia should apply to the International Courts to claim her de jure borders, which were decided by The League of Nations & the Arbitral Award of the President of the United States 🇺🇸of America Woodrow Wilson, Washington, November 22nd 1920. These borders include Nagorno Karabagh / Artsakh, Nakhijevan, Kars, Ardahan etc. The only political group advocating this is the National Democratic Alliance (AJB) with diplomat Ara Papian and the Sassna Dzerer. They should be listened to carefully if 🇦🇲 Armenia and Artsakh are to be saved.

    • No thank you. Ara Papyan and Sasna Dzrer are working for Western interests. It’s their type that got us to where we are today. Your “Wilsonian Armenia” will always be a dream. “International Law” only serves the powerful. “Treaties” are not worth the paper they are written on. Your task has always been to make Armenians chase their tail, as Armenia collapses. Good job.

  9. The statement Ara makes that “Constitutionally, the Armenian government is obligated to guarantee the security of Artsakh” is unsubstantiated. There is no such provision in the Constitution. Readers my read the Constitution of Armenia on-line.
    After the cessation of the Karabagh intendance war in favor of Armenia/Armenians, the successive governments of Armenia found it to be politically untannable to recognize the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh as a state, or annex it to Republic of Armenia.
    True, the successive governments of Armenia adopted the policy of being the guarantors of the safety and security of the Republic of Mountainous Karabagh – that came to known as the Republic of Artsakh after 2017/18.
    Then came the bitter reality of 44-days war.

  10. Ara, your claim that, “For starters, only 24% of those eligible to vote in Armenia voted for NP and his merry band of collaborators. ‘’ is not a plausible argument, in my estimation, simply because that would cast the number of eligible voters more than the population of Armenia, given that 1,276,698 voted

    True, that there was a voting fatigue in the 2021 election and the statistics provided by the election observers claimed that the turnout was 49 %. The turnout during last U.S. election was 66.5%

    If an argument will be made cautioning against a true elected representation, in fairness that would also apply to the elected opposition, which basically would amount to claiming that the Republic of Armenia does not have a representative government nor a representative opposition. In short, it is a failed state.

  11. It’s too late to do anything now. Major geopolitical shifts have begun across the world, and we Armenians effectively maneuvered Armenia right out of contention and straight into a dead end. We are not in a position to control or to even influence events. Therefore, what will happen, will happen. And whatever happens, it will be our collective fault. If any of you reading this has at any time spoken against Serj Sargsyan, Robert Kocharyan or Russia, you have contributed to what Armenia and Artsakh are going through today. You got what you wanted in 2018 – a Western financed “democratic” revolution. You then got what you deserved in 2020 – a historic defeat. People deserve the governments they have. There are no free meals in politics. Political illiteracy has a high cost. Karma is a you know what…

  12. Ara Papian a former Ambassador of Armenia 🇦🇲 to Canada 🇨🇦 is a great patriot with encyclopaedic knowledge of history as well as Intergovernmental Treaties that are particularly relevant to Armenia and the region. He and his very intelligent and knowledgeable colleagues are doing their best to uphold Armenian interests that hopefully coincide with Western ones. They certainly do not coincide with Russian interests. They have undertaken the very difficult and selfless task of raising people’s consciousness regarding Armenia’s history and Russia’s negative role since forced Sovietisation a hundred years ago. Ara Papian and the National Democratic Alliance (AJB) and Sassna Dzerer are not serving Western interests but Armenia’s. It is definitely not ‘their type’ that has got us where we are. It is Russian brainwashing, economic iron grip via the oligarchs and their machiavelian machinations in placing trained pro Russian persons into positions of power serving the interests of Russia. Mr Putin has declared Russia to be a Tataro-Slavic State. Armenia 🇦🇲 is at heart a 🇪🇺 European country with Western looking values. How would she fit in an undemocratic, oligarchic Tataro-Slavic State looking and planning to recreate her lost Empire?? (Tatar meaning Turkic.) For the past hundred years Russia has been using Armenia 🇦🇲 as a bargaining chip giving away large areas – illegally under International Law – to Turkey and Azerbaijan. Putin and Lavrov have said that Nagorno-Karabagh belongs to the Azeris and that Russia is not prepared to fight against Turkey and Azerbaijan because they are more important to Russia than Armenia. The Russian so called “peacekeepers” are helping Azeri soldiers clear out Armenian villages in Nagorno-Karabagh, realising the diabolical Lavrov plan by stealth. Going contrary to Armenia’s Constitution, Varchabed Pashinyan has stated that Nagorno Karabagh belongs to Azerbaijan. the war criminal Aliyev is suing Armenia for exploiting land belonging to him and demanding billions in compensation. How will you counteract this reality unless you get rid of a collaborationist government and claim Armenia’s de jure borders according to the Arbitral Award of the President of the United States of America 🇺🇸 Woodrow Wilson, Washington, November 22nd 1920? How?

  13. Your Western financed fairytales are getting sillier with each passing day. Ara Papyan is an agent of Western influence. It’s his type, and those that support him, that ruined Armenia throughout the centuries. “Wilsonian Armenia” will always remain a dream. “International Law” will only serve the powerful. “Treaties” are not worth the paper they are written on. Your task in our society has always been to make Armenians chase their tail as Armenia collapses.

  14. My dear Gurgen, I’m sorry that you have no faith in International Law or Intergovernmental Treaties, but that is how the world functions. Russia has betrayed Armenia and usurped all her resources through her agents and now aiding and abetting Armenia’s enemies. Armenia has only International Law to rely on at the moment since her own government does not appear to uphold her interests, so let’s not disparage International Law. You are entitled to your opinion of course. Why shouldn’t Ara Papian be Western looking? Where do you live? Why are you not in Russia if you dislike the West so much? I’m entitled to my Wilsonian dream and justice for Armenia, what do you dream for Armenia? Please enlighten us.

    • I dream of Armenia being free of toxic individuals like you and your Ara Papyan. I unfortunately live in the belly of the Beast. I therefore know what the West means to Armenia and to the world. In life we often don’t have the luxury of choosing where we live due to family and work considerations. Otherwise, I would be living on a ranch in Urals or a homestead in an Armenian village. In any case, nice try. Your kind often revert to distractions, disinformations, red-herrings and strawman arguments. Try again…

  15. Gurgen you have not listened to anything I’ve said but resorting to personal insults so good luck to you, I hope you achieve what you dream of.

    • I know everything you will say before you even say it. I know your kind all too well. Your kind is responsible for all of my homeland’s most serious ailments going back 2000 years. Don’t expect respect from me. My dream will be achieved.

  16. The article covers many topics and is difficult to unpack. I will attempt a few comments :
    – Your analysis of western hypocrisy about democracy and human rights is dead on. Secretary Blinken routinely expresses “deep concern” but will not call out Azerbaijan. Ditto for the EU. UN resolutions , ICJ decisions are meaningless unless a great power supports it – case in point the Israeli occupation of Palestinians which contravenes several UN resolutions
    – You make a clear distinction between the failures of the last five years under Pashinyan and (presumably) the success of the previous 20 years under Kocharyan/Sargsyan. This where you begin to lose me. Your voice and others like you would have more credibility if you spoke honestly about the Kocharyan/Sargsyan regime. During that time Armenia became a dependent vassal state on Russia, ie a continuation of the Soviet Armenian SSR – that was the price of Russian “friendship” . Major state assets were sold to Russian interests and one million people left the country. Oligarchs and corruption ruled. More significantly it perpetuates a servile and survival mentality that harkens back to Ottoman times . You can only trust your own family and no community spirit. You describe it beautifully “ Generally, things don’t get done right in Armenia because everyone is related to someone, and no one wants to shake the tree too hard; personal interests supersede those of the nation; allegiances lie elsewhere; everyone knows everything and can never be wrong; people hedge their bets to see who comes out on top, “. Some people in Armenia do not miss those days and were hopeful with the Pashinyan reforms.
    – On the plus side of the ledger the Kocharyan /Sargsyan policy kept Artsakh safe. But for how long? In 2016 there were already rumblings during the 4 day war of what was to come in 2020. I am not aware that the threat level was increased either in Armenia nor in the Diaspora. No one criticized Sargsyan nor critically looked at army preparedness nor at changes in Russia/Turkey/Azerbaijan dynamics. If you are advocating returning to the ancien regime (it is not clear from your article), Russia of 2023 has much stronger strategic interests with Turkey /Azerbaijan than in 2010 and Armenia may have to settle for much less.
    – I agree with you that Pashinyan was not honest with the Armenian people during the war and its aftermath. To this day we don’t know how catastrophic was the damage to the army; we can only infer from the lack of response to the many invasions and provocations by Azerbaijan. He allegedly made “verbal” agreements to give up the Goris Kapan highway, that a new highway was being built by Azerbaijan that bypasses Berdzor and therefore it had to be evacuated and the coup de grace was saying that Artsakh was part of Azerbaijan before getting any international guarantees. I have never seen a country give up so much territory so willingly. Either Armenia is indeed very very weak and is capitulating with a gun to its head or Pashinyan is lousy at foreign policy. At least Pashinyan has a duty to be honest with the Armenian people. But he is also a “populist” which means he knows how to say what people want to hear. Might explain why he asked Snoop Dog to come to Armenia
    – But I get the impression that all that “happy” talk about peace agenda with Turkey and Azerbaijan (supported by EU and US) is beginning to unravel under the dead weight of Aliyev’s maximalist demands. Aliyev smells blood and is going for the kill because he has aligned the US , Russia , EU , Turkey and Israel on his side and nothing can stop him.
    – I share your frustration that during this “Sardarabad” moment, most of Armenia and the Diaspora are asleep. The people of Armenia are tired from all the death and destruction; what is the Diaspora’s excuse? But that is a topic for another day.

  17. to the editor,

    In my last posting I misspelled Sardarabad in the second last sentence. Please correct that before posting
    thanks Raffi

  18. An opinion column penned by an orthopedist that starts by quoting the lack of trust between Diaspora organizations and immediately pivots to blaming the Armenian government.

    Let’s start with the obvious: If the Armenian government were to do anything, do we think it would be as obvious as an airlift? Considering that the Armenian army is barely able to defend the internationally recognized borders of Armenia, do we think it’s in any position to restart the 2020 war and potentially lose parts or all of Armenia proper?

    Second, let’s also talk about the open rift between the ARF Bureau and the Armenian government. This became so obvious that it led French president Macron to state unironically that “he had done more for Artsakh than the government of Armenia”, an obvious attempt at pandering to the French Armenian community prior to presidential elections.

    It may be too late to save Artsakh. I’m afraid, if we continue on our present path, we may even lose the entire Republic. When Aliyev and Erdogan call out the Nizam inside Echmiadzin, who will we blame?

  19. I don’t trust the hot soup offered by the West. We have seen time and time again how this worked out for the home countries. That includes both powers, the West and Russia. All these mighty guys will rip our country apart, whether they intend to or not.

    Unfortunately, we are on our own. And always have been. We are not like anyone else. Is that a curse? Maybe. But, does this reality entail the need to forcibly change our past and suddenly become Western? Do you even know WHY the West wants to have influence through us? To be next door to Iran. It’s a typical political decision. A country hated by Turkey, Azerbaijan and Israel, relative allies of the West. The picture canjpt be clearer. God forbid our people become trapped in the living realities of Syria. I wish Armenia I can someday return to live in will still exist in 10 years.

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