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Sassounian: Sarkisian Makes Major Strategic Shift in Demands from Turkey

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Armenian President Serge Sarkisian delivered a major speech in Marseille, France, last week, during which he introduced a new strategy for the resolution of Armenia’s demands from Turkey.

Until now, the Armenian government had merely pursued the recognition of the Armenian Genocide. For the first time, the president spoke about Armenia’s demand for “justice.” To ensure that his message was received loud and clear, he repeated the word “justice” three times in three separate sentences:

—“Every Armenian demands justice, whether he or she lives in Armenia, Artsakh, or the diaspora.”

—“We were strong enough to survive the Meds Yeghern [Great Calamity], and we are just as strong now to demand justice.” (The president used the term “Armenian Genocide” six times in other parts of his speech.)

—“That was the joyful news for justice, not revenge,” Sarkisian stated, describing the joy of Marseille Armenians in 1921, when they heard the acquittal of Soghomon Tehlirian, Talat Pasha’s assassin, by a German court.

Surprisingly, not a single political commentator in Armenia, Turkey, or elsewhere took note of the significant shift in the approach articulated by Sarkisian. Seeking “justice” for the victims of genocide is a completely different objective than simply attaining recognition. In this context, the word “justice” encompasses the undoing of as much of the damage as possible, by demanding the restitution and return of all looted assets, confiscated properties, and occupied territories.

While advancing a more comprehensive set of demands from Turkey, Sarkisian expressed his conviction that the day would come when Turkey’s leaders would acknowledge the mass crimes committed by their predecessors: “We are confident that Turkey will repent. That is neither a precondition nor a desire to exact revenge. Turkey must face its own history. Someday, Turkey’s leadership would find the strength to reassess its approach to the Armenian Genocide. Our position has not changed—it is clear cut. We are prepared to establish normal relations with Turkey, befitting neighboring countries. For example, neighboring countries Poland and Germany, led by Chancellor Willy Brandt, acknowledging his country’s terrible crimes, dropped to his knees at the Warsaw Ghetto. Sooner or later, Turkey, a self-described European country, will have a leadership worthy of being called European, which will bow its head at the Dzidzernagapert Memorial. The sooner the better. But, that’s the prerogative of the Turkish people. We cannot impose anything on them. They should do that for the sake of the Turkish people, just as Willy Brandt did for the sake of the German people.”

Egemen Bagis, Turkey’s minister for European Union Affairs, perhaps not comprehending the far reaching consequences of Sarkisian’s demand for justice, reacted angrily to other parts of the president’s remarks. Bagis arrogantly stated: “There is no power in the world that could bring the Turkish people to its knees. On the contrary, the Turkish people know full well how to bring to their knees those who make such ill-informed statements.”

I fully endorse Sarkisian’s new approach to the pursuit of Armenian demands from Turkey. Through my columns, speeches, interviews, and private meetings, I have repeatedly urged Armenia’s leaders to demand justice from Turkey, rather than simply seeking genocide recognition. One of my articles on this topic, “Genocide Recognition and Quest for Justice,” was published last year in the International and Comparative Law Review of the Loyola Law School of Los Angeles.

Armenia is better off presenting its claims from Turkey in terms of seeking justice, to avoid the danger of making official territorial demands from a powerful and menacing neighbor. Nevertheless, the demand for justice is a code word or shorthand for a comprehensive set of claims from Turkey. Not even Turkey’s denialist leaders would dare challenge the universally accepted notion of “justice” based on the rule of law, specifically, international law.

While Sarkisian’s remarks in Marseille are highly commendable, it remains to be seen how this newly articulated concept of seeking justice for the Armenian Genocide will be translated into action. What practical steps will the Armenian government, particularly the foreign ministry, take to demand justice from Turkey? Will Armenia back the lawsuits filed by Diaspora Armenian communities in American and European courts against Turkey, demanding restitution for Armenian losses during the genocide? Or will Armenia bring its own lawsuit against the Republic of Turkey in the World Court?

83 Comments on Sassounian: Sarkisian Makes Major Strategic Shift in Demands from Turkey

  1. avatar David Krikorian // December 16, 2011 at 5:53 pm // Reply

    Bravo President Sarkissian!
     

  2. avatar Nigohos Beranian // December 16, 2011 at 7:05 pm // Reply

    Baron Sassounian we are all proud of you.
    Character counts there is no doubt about it.
    Best regards.
    Nigohos Beranian

  3.  “There is no power in the world that could bring the Turkish people to its knees. On the contrary, the Turkish people know full well how to bring to their knees those who make such ill-informed statements.”

    This is the threatening response that Turkey’s minister of European Affairs makes when Sarkisian simply suggests that Turkey may one day face its history and one of their leaders may drop to their knees at Dzidzernakapert and demonstrate sincere commitment to neighborly relations.  I hope Europeans take notice of this ill-formed statement.

    Bravo to Sarkisian for making these courageous and justified remarks. 

    Thank you to Harut for bringing this to our attention. 

  4. While he utters the right words in his speech, how can we believe him or expect him to uphold justice for the victims of the Armenan Genocide, when he denies justice to his citizens today

  5. avatar Lydia Tutunjian // December 16, 2011 at 10:28 pm // Reply

    I am very impressed with the comments of president Serge Sarkisian. Finally we hear an Armenian president speak out for Genocide and Justice for our forefathers. However,  I am skeptical, was his speech just for diaspora and what they want to hear, or it really means that Armenian government has changed coarse demanding justice from Turkey. Will be waiting for your reports of progress on this resolution.
    Always glad to read your articles. 

  6. Please go back your bombastic claims elsewhere.  Armenia is a work in progress and it is evolving in a positive direction for the most part.  What you wish to see occur in Armenia, more justice, will take time.  Imposing it via a revolution is not possible because justice comes from the people first and foremost, not the government.  And Armenian society today, is a fairly accurate reflection of the current administration.

    Bravo President Sargsyan! 

  7. I’m still not sure how much I trust Sarkisian, though he does make good speeches from time to time. This is a guy who seriously expected the protocols with Turkey to work. There was also that news story that came out a while back where US Vice-President Biden said Sarkisian asked them to axe genocide-recognition legistlation when the Protocols with Turkey were being signed. Kinda funny how everyone in the media just seemed to forget about that.

  8. Guys, don’t sip the Kool-Aid. It is nearing election time and Sargsyan, having seen his backers in Moscow fumble, needs to make sure the Diaspora money keeps flowing.

  9. Which Serj Sargsyan are we to believe: the one who signs defeatist protocols with the Turks or the one who makes pompous speeches like this?

  10. “Armenian society today is a fairly accurate reflection of the current administration.”   AR, this is absurd! How can the current administration be ‘a fairly accurate reflection’ of the Armenian society if the society didn’t elect this administration in the first place so it could be the society’s reflection? Do you mean to say that the Armenian nation only produces semiliterate thugs, provincials, and criminals? After all, who brought the Armenian society to the present condition of poverty, widespread corruption, and lawlessness? When the society rose against its administration, its ‘own reflection’ as you say, in March of 2008, it was brutally crashed. Why would the ‘accurate reflection’ of the administration rise against itself?

  11. It seems very convenient in the face of Turkey’s complete stone walling of Genocide recognition to pick other goals.

    It is good that Sarkisian spoke of justice for Armenians. But it is very clear, even from his own words, that the heart and soul of that justice is Turkey’s acknowledgement of and repentance for its responsibility for the Medz Yeghern (The Great Crime). We should not spin off other meanings from his use of the word at the expense of that fact. And when we compare the possible positions of the Armenian government as a representative of all Armenians and what it has done so far in that regard it is not very reassuring. It is good that Sarkisian has made a fine moral statement to an audience in Marseille, that he has not laid aside some of the elementary principles involved. But the ball was squarely in his hands two years ago and he abysmally dropped it. That cannot be puttied over. Recognition and apology remain burning issues and nothing else can take their place.
     

  12. avatar gaytzag palandjian // December 17, 2011 at 2:07 pm // Reply

    Curiously  no has  had commented  on Harout’s las paragraph in above article  of his.
    In paticular, the sentence  tha  reads>”Will Armenia  back lawsuits filed by the Armenian communities  in diaspora…”AND will Armenia bring its own lawsuite…
    That  I know  of  no such lawsuite  has so far been filed from Diaspora.Indeed a few very few Armenian families filed such claims as to .e.g., the Incirlik airport being on their land,etc., but that  DOES  NOT CONSTITUTE  A COMMUNITY  OR THE ENTIRE  ARMENIAN DIASPORA WITH ITS  SUPREME COUNCIL  ///LO D G E  A  CLAIM PREPARED BY OUR     B  A  R        ASSOCIATION  500 STRONG.Time to do so.We do ahve  International Law attorneys  bothin Homeland and especially in Europe and N.America.They should get together  and pfrepare and lODGE THE CLAIM AT  THE INT’L  COURT  OF JUSTICE AT THE HAGUE AND THE U.N AND OTHER SUCH INSTANCES.
    Republic  of Armenia ,WOULD THEN …sort  of support  the Diaspora Armenians’ Claim.For ,actually-whether  you accept  it  or not-our young republic  is not and should not be exposed to great Turkey’s  wrath///K H E R S !!!!
    Few realize  that they are really angry*the leaders  of that fascist  state//and they could do  soemthing drastic!!! if not directly/////through their little brother  or some such other method  getting us all involved in …
    Time is for  C A U T I O N .I would say this recentl Franco American action based on COTTON diplomacy  “Pambagov  zinvadz”armed with cotton to put pressure on great Turkey is giv ing results  and the World commmunities  arre getting wind  of what transpired   in the periods 1915 to 1923  and even before  that  in A N ADOLU…NAY WESTERN ARMENIA  ACTUALLY.
    Hence  we have to reorganize  our Diaspora*s  to become a Super Structure…so  latter can support  the BAR Association and start  Legal  Action as above.For whoch we  need  FUNDS… A  fund.I do believe  I have the solution or rather, the measn to the solution in my theses-no not based  on ELECTIONS AND  OR BEING ELECTED by the usual old systtem, thrpough poltical partties  and the individual candidates  being  elected  to an AUGUST  ARMENIAN  SUPREME COUNCIL.Please!!!go read  my “”paper””s the Armenian press won’t  publish  it they are all either Ramgbavaragan or Tashnag-with all due respect  to them  but  we need  more  MUCH MORE!!!
    yOUNG aRMENIAN KIDS  IN cALIFORNAI JUST  STARTED THIS SITE WHERE I AM PUBLISHED//////     http://www.armeniannews.info
    best and Hamahaigagani SIRO ,
    Gaytzag Palandjian
     

  13. Dear Arsen
    AR is not far off base – nip either Sarkissian nor Ter Petrossian are/were legitimate leaders of the nation – so, it really doesn’t matter who people vote(d) for.

    We have as you point out a cadre of semi-illiterate thugs and criminals that form the ruling party (regardless of the administration). This is not because this is all we produce, but because this is what we expect from our leadership and more or less how we treat either other. This, or an LTP administration in its place, do reflect the lowest common denominator that is pervasive in the nation. This is not the same thing as mirroring the rest of the nation. Those who do not fit this mold are doing a hell of a job of staying in the background, hence the thugs and criminals drive the debate, the money and the direction in which the nation is headed. Unfortunately, most of the population operates in a survival mode, where he/she does all to survive and protect its family/ immediate base. The administration is doing the same thing on the nation’s dime to a much larger scale.

  14. If you have read your Montesquieu, you’ll know how governments are an accurate reflection of society.  Do Armenians, for the most part, in Armenia respect basic laws like, traffic laws?  If you have been to Armenia you will say no, many do not.  Do Armenians who complain of bribes not offer up bribes at different times on different occasions.  You may say these are petty examples, but I will say that is precisely my point.  If a people are petty about the little things, then how do they carry themselves when it comes to the larger issues.  
    Pray tell, what administration did the Armenian people elect in 2008?  Are you seriously going to tell me that ltp got elected?  If so, then Armenians really are self-destructive.  LTP is the the primary culprit of why Armenia faces many of the corruption issues within government.  The man set the tone, and showed everyone else the way. That is “who brought the Armenian society to the present condition of poverty, widespread corruption, and lawlessness”.
    And society did NOT rise up against Sargsyan in ’08, a small percentage of the populace did.  A much larger percentage of Greeks have been protesting against their government this year, and is anyone listening to them? NO!  So before you try to deride the Armenian government, take a look at the governments of the EU and US, and consider that poor administration, and lack of virtue among elected officials is an almost universal disease, the only difference is that Armenia is in a very hostile geopolitical area, whereas, EU, and US still have some money left to placate the masses into obedience, but as we have seen that too is almost over.

  15. avatar gaytzag palandjian // December 17, 2011 at 7:54 pm // Reply

    ERRATA!
    Please excuse  errors !
    My above  post should have been typed as  ¨No one  has commented  on….
    Also lawsuits  have come out has lawsuites….
    and finally means  came out  as measn…
    All due to fast typing.I somehow manage to participate  in two ,sometimes three Forums and on top of that  write the articles  in now IN ARMENIAN  new site,                         http://www.armeniannews.info …..Please  enter and read  the articles,thank you and comment even negatively,above all.
    Again I beg pardon for the erorrs in previous post. 

  16. Dear Ara,
     
    If it really doesn’t matter who people voted for, then how correct is it to say that the “Armenian society is a fairly accurate reflection of the current administration”? How do we ‘accurately’ know this, if the society’s votes are rigged in favor of semi-illiterate thugs, provincials, and criminals? If the people’s votes were not rigged, don’t you think that chances were that a number of intellectuals and public-spirited professionals could have gotten seats in the parliament? It does matter who people vote for, because intellectuals like you or AR, their relatives and friends would hardly cast ballots for lfik samo or dodi gago. We would cast ballots for more or less like-minded representatives. There aren’t many left in Armenia, but there certainly is a stratum that could make their way to the parliament if elections were transparent. What do you mean by this outrageous phrase: “semi-illiterate thugs and criminals form the ruling party… because we [the people] expect [criminality] from our leadership”? Really? If this is something people expect from their leadership, then why do masses emigrate in desperation and disgruntlement?

  17. AR,
     
    I doubt that Montesquieu ever said that “governments are an accurate reflection of society”. I maybe mistaken, but in On the Spirit of Laws he says “the constitution of the country is a reflection of what the people are”. Montesquieu believed that a government that was elected by the people was the best form of government. He believed that a perfect government is one where the nature of the people is congruent to the nature of a government and the nature of a government is in congruence with the nature of the people.

    You ask:
     
    “Do Armenians, for the most part, respect basic laws like traffic laws?”  –No, generally, they don’t. But in recent years I’ve seen people standing at red lights and drivers buckled up. Whenever the government interferes in defense of laws, respect for basic laws strengthens.
     
    “Do Armenians who complain of bribes not offer up bribes at different times on different occasions?”  –No, most don’t. But if those who take bribes from top to bottom are thrown in jails, do you doubt that the incentive for giving bribes will gradually fade?
     
    “What administration did the Armenian people elect in 2008? Are you seriously going to tell me that LTP got elected?”  –I don’t know who got elected. Government tells me one thing; opposition, thousands of demonstrators, and most international observers tell me Serj failed to get the majority of votes.
     
    “LTP is the primary culprit of why Armenia faces many of the corruption issues within government. The man set the tone, and showed everyone else the way.”  –He sure is. But if Rob and Serj were different, why would they follow LTP’s line? If Serj is better, as he claims to be, why wouldn’t he try to change the evil course?
     
    “And society did NOT rise up against Sargsyan in ’08, a small percentage of the populace did.”  –Well, by no account was it ‘a small percentage’. Tens of thousands of people from the capital and thousands from the regions were impressive enough a biomass to safely tell that a substantial segment of population was dissatisfied with the results.
     
    “A much larger percentage of Greeks have been protesting against their government this year, and is anyone listening to them? NO!”  — Greeks are not protesting against falsifications during parliamentary or presidential elections. As a result of their mass protests the government did listen to them; otherwise their prime minister wouldn’t have resigned.
     
    “Lack of virtue among elected officials is an almost universal disease.”  –Maybe, but in other countries this lack of virtue has little, if any, effect on citizens’ everyday life.
     
    “The only difference is that Armenia is in a very hostile geopolitical area”.  –This is the issue that I remember debating with other posters, and no one so far was able to answer convincingly as to what immediate effect the very hostile geopolitical area has on, for instance, an MP playing electronic ball game at the parliament session or a local governor beating up a woman or an oligarch evading taxes or a law-breaking government official avoiding the prison term?

  18. Alex

    Guys, don’t sip the Kool-Aid. It is nearing election time and Sargsyan, having seen his backers in Moscow fumble, needs to make sure the Diaspora money keeps flowing.


    I’d like to think he wouldn’t use the genocide in an attempt to gain popularity, but… he is a politician. It’s just in their nature to have a hidden purpose in things- so I agree that election time vote gathering could have been a factor in the timing.


    General question- Sargsyan accepted the current Armenia-Turkey borders in 2009- neglecting the Western Armenia land claims. Aren’t land claims pretty much the main element in reparations, along with money? So my question is- he was elected with this foreign policy, does it mean that Armenians in Armenia are more open to compromise in regard to reparations than the diaspora? I know he took a lot of heat for accepting the current borders, but all hell didn’t break loose, and he is still in power, and judging by recent events- will do anything to keep it (2011 protests).

  19. RVDV,
     
    Where and how Sargsyan “accepted the current Armenia-Turkey borders in 2009- neglecting the Western Armenia land claims”?  To my knowledge, there was never a ratified document recognizing the borders between the two countries. The only signed document bearing the signatures of legitimate governments of Turkey and Armenia was the Treaty of Sèvres. Recognition of genocide and reparations for the crime is the all-Armenian issue. I cannot imagine in my scarest nighmare that either element comprising one single nation—Armenians in Armenia or compatriots living in the Diaspora—can make a unilateral decision on such matter of all-national significance as reparations.

  20. RVDV, what are you up to?

  21. ‘Sargsyan accepted the current Armenia-Turkey borders in 2009- neglecting the Western Armenia land claims.’

    I was not aware that Pres. Sargsyan accepted the current RoA-Turkey borders, RVDV.
    When did he do that ?
    If you are referring to the Fifth Clause of the Protocols about the treaties, read it again: Turks think it means Kars; to Armenians it means Sevres. 

  22. Sargsyan “accepted” the protocols under duress from the US, EU, Russia and Turkish-Azeri blockades. People are dying, he wants to open borders. If given a truly free choice he would have ripped the pages apart.

  23. Arsen, Avery:
     
    Quit playing dumb, you know perfectly well I’m not talking about Sevres or Lasuanne. In 2009 when Armenia and Turkey were going towards somewhat normalized relations, they signed a series of documents- that never became official or ratified because of the stall in relations due to Turkey’s stance in the Karabakh issue. So, even though this was never ratified, at least initially, Sargsyan accepted current Armenia and Turkey borders.
     
    During this stretch, the Armenia-Turkey borders were set to open up to one another. If you open up your borders to someone you cannot then say “I don’t recognize this border.” That was one of the 2 main reasons 10,000 Armenians protested the normalizing of relations in 2009 in Yerevan. However, the relations stalled so this is no longer true.
     

  24. RVDV,
     
    I’m not a frequent poster @AW, but as many times as I visited the site I could see that posters generally stick to certain ethical norms. Addressing fellow posters by the phrase “quit playing dumb” may be suitable for Today’s Zaman or Hurriyet, but hardly for here. In the ill-fated protocols Sargsyan didn’t accept current Armenia-Turkey borders. A relevant article states: “Confirming the mutual recognition of the existing border between the two countries as defined by the relevant treaties of international law.”  Have you ever given it a thought which relevant treaties of international law the protocols meant? When you quit urging people to “quit playing dumb”, you’ll understand that one of such treaties might be Sèvres.

  25. RVDV: I second what Arsen wrote re your poor choice of words. Show respect, you’ll get respect. We all  can play dirty if we have to: don’t mistake our civility for weakness or inability. Your Turk buddy Necati Genis pulled that a couple times – he was compelled  to apologize right here @AW.

  26. @Ara     –I humbly disagree that “those who don’t fit this mold (the lowest common denominator) are doing a hell of a job of staying in the background, hence the thugs and criminals drive the debate, the money, and the direction in which the nation is headed.” Just twenty years ago, during Armenia’s Soviet period, thugs and criminals stayed in the background, and those who were doing a hell of a job drove the debate, the money, and the direction in which the nation was headed. You may argue that were a different socio-economic formation and different times, and I’d counter argue that it was ethnically the same nation. Your theory doesn’t hold water, my friend.

  27. avatar Vart Adjemian // December 19, 2011 at 5:47 pm // Reply

    It is amazing and frustrating that some of the comments are addressed to and targetting other commentators. I cannot see what prupose it serves, other than taking the focus away from the contents of the article itself.

    Serge Sarkisian has made several errors and taken missteps in handling the Protocole . Now it is a dead issue because it was neither signed nor implemented.

    His speech in Marseille was definitely a huge improvement over his previous speeches. We should give him some credit for saying what he said, and give him a chance to see whether he will follow it by his actions. How he was elected is now irrelevant. Until the next elections he is the President,  and we have to give him the benefit of the doubt and show some repsect.

    Vart Adjemian       

               

  28. if you have read Montesquieu, you will understand that that is the point he is driving home.  Doing a quick google search on him will not suffice.

    precisely, and under Serj, the government has been interfering in the defense of laws, more so than either ltp or Kocharyan.  That is progress.

    Again, the current administration has taken a tougher line on bribes than either ltp or Kocharyan.  That is progress.

    I can tell you who did NOT get elected.  LTP, yet he used the foreign money he recieved to attempt a color revolution, and in the process got several people killed and allowed the azeris to think that Artsakh was easy pickens because of the upheaval in Yerevan.

    So you see no differences between the policies that ltp had and the current policies of Sargsyan? 

    At least 7 or 8 times as many people did not protest as did in ’08.  Armenians tend to belittle their own leaders, and the clannish mentality, which the oligarchs are the modern representation of, does not help the king or president in this case, to rule effectively.  The elite gives him trouble, the masses give him trouble,  It is common through out most of our history post- 300AD.  What never made sense was why the people were protesting and what they hoped to get out of it.  OK, so you don’t like Sargsyan and didn’t vote for him, but did they aim to bring ltp back?  If so, again this proves a people’s self destructive tendencies and I whole heartedly support what Kocharyan did, ltp is a criminal and ought to be in prison. 

    If you have been following the protests in Greece you’d know that the current PM is a technocrat who is a member of the criminal global banking syndicate, he does not give a damn about the Greeks.  He is a member of the Trilateral Commission and has been at the recent Bilderburger meetings.  Same with the current Italian PM.  They are not democratically elected and they are far worse for their nations that Serj.  Time will prove me to have been correct.

    Lack of virtue is one of the reasons, if not THE reason, why Washington is drowning in debt, endless war, and a deepening recession.  But reading the mainstream American press you’d never see that angle. 

    I’m sorry but what is worse, an MP playing a game in session or an member of Congress sending a pic of his private parts to some chick via Twitter.  Where as in Armenia it is against the law to bribe an MP or be a businessman and an MP, this same concept has been effectively legalized in Washington, where most members of Congress are legally bought and paid for by corporations and their lobby/interest groups. Certainly Citizens United only strengthened the choke-hold which corporations have over Congress.  Why do you think Americans are finally starting to wake up to what is happening to their country?

  29. Vart,
     
    How a president of a country, which declared itself democratic, is elected is always relevant. Otherwise, let’s press nationwide to change the Constitution and declare Armenia a dictatorial or an authoritarian or a totalitarian state. Or let’s nationwide forget about the conditions that are endured by our brothers and sisters in Armenia. In that case how a president is elected would, indeed, be irrelevant.  Some doubt the sincerity of a president who makes pompous speeches while defeatist protocols (that were actually signed) still await their ratification at the Parliament. Whenever this president declares that Armenia withdraws her signature from them, then the issue will be dead. And whenever he shows the unmistakable traits of national leadership and not nepotism and lawlessness, then he’ll be shown some respect.

  30. avatar Nigohos Beranian // December 19, 2011 at 11:16 pm // Reply

    Best comment I have read until now.
    My regards 

  31. avatar gaytzag palandjian // December 20, 2011 at 12:14 am // Reply

    Dear  friends,
    I was busy writing my yet other ¨paper¨ w/ref. to RESTRUCTURING THE DIASPORA(s),NOW POSTED  ON http://www.armeniannews.info(my lagtest such).When I got back to read  some of the posts above,I was surprised. While no one cared to comment on Harut Sassounian´s last paragraph(core  of the issue ,rather his wondering how we would CLAIM from great Turkey, what lawfully is ours,I see a lot of other-no doubt- interesting  posts,though shifted from Harut´s  to others.
    I think there are more  updated issues  these days as rgds recent TWO NEW ACTS.
    1 .First  one  what Mr. Sarkozy initiated  in Yerevan as to ¨penalization ¨ of people who deny  the Armenian Genocide with cash and imprisonment,voted  in favour at the Assamblee National de France(equivalent of Congress,lower   chamber) to be ratified at the higher  one,namely the French Sentate on Dec.22nd.
    2 . Resolution passed  in U.S. Congredss,to press great Turkey  to RETURN  ¨STOLEN¨-rather a haarsh word- christian churches,hospital and school to lawfull owneers.
    Now my modest viewpoint on above two important passages of Bills  in those  August Chambers. In regard to the first  one, I don´t think that  it bothers or worries  the Govt. of Turkey so much-rather  none at all-(again my opinion) as  it does  not constitute LOSS,i.e., financial loss to latter.Since Turks or pro Turks on French territoy  will REFRAIN  doing so and not be FINED.Voila!!!..Loosing face? great Turkey lossing face? you err who think so my friends, they will very cautiously,slowly by and by  come around to accepting teh fact  of the Genocide  begin to come and kneel or pray at Tsitzernmakapert as well.
    Not so , as rgds the Resolution  passed  in the U.S-. (also waiting to be  ratified at Senate).However  this one DOES signify LOSS  OF  MATERIEL…  worth a lot and also indirectly -if pressed to be realized-affect  the ISSUE THAT  those churches etc., belonged to people from who-I repeat  here again-THESE WERE  STOLEN!!!
    Hence, THERE WERE PEOPLE  THERE WHO BUILT  AND OWNED THEM ON THOSE LANDS….
    A  nightmare to great Turkey.Not quite so.My firm belief  is  that  they know full well that the Genocide  Recognition and restitutions ARE issue  WHICH WILL NOT  BE EASY TO SURPASS  ,BYPASS AND BE LEFT  UNDER THE RUG  ANYMORE….
    And their fierce  Reaction to above both  is to be understood  as a well performed one.
    What? would  you and all other  peoples/nations  who know  their dealing and whelling expect  that  they outright accept to the horrendous Crime  their predecessor Govt.s committed  and (like Germany,Germans) AND MAKE COMPENSATIONS.No they won´t do that ever. For, when they state ,with those harsh responses  that  they would first see  that  others  kneel before  them.THEY MEAN  THAT!!!(unless   miracles happen and their present rulers  get toppled,like in some arab  states..)This I do not believe is true as to Turks ´character.
    Nonetheless  there are ways ,exactly  like  it  has started  by the Franco Americans Govt.s to by and by bring them to realzie  that the COMEDY  IS TO END!!!
    meaning the lies and denialism. That  indeed  can be expected  to happen.
    However,since  great Turkey will not undertake to make MONETARY RESTITUTIONS,for BLOOD  MONEY(as Germany did),they can be pursuaded  by the Aforementioned( who have started to make pressure) to also let go part  of the EASY  money  of TRANSIT DUTIES  THAT  THEY RECEIVE FROM OIL TRANSIT payments  to them-a few yrs ago mentioned  in press as 1.6 billion dollars  per annum. This will not  hurt  their otherwise  unwillingness to part  with THEIR  OWN CASH…
    Best  though is to wait and see.Meanwhile ,also put  our own house  in Diaspora-Homeland in order.Pleae visit  my articles mentioned in  above  site.Thanks. 
     

  32. Sorry, but it took him this long? Also him and is cronies are the main reason that Armenia is being depopulated as his MAIN CONCERNS ARE ABOUT HIS OWN POCKET and not the well being of the people…

  33. AR,
     
    I admit I did a quick google search, but only to double-check what I knew: Montesquieu’s never said that “governments are an accurate reflection of society”.
     
    I understand (without a quick google search) that the debate is not about who was a better head of state. I distrust LTP as much as I distrust Serj, because none of them was/is a public-spirited leader. Of course, there are differences between the policies that ltp had and the current policies of Sargsyan. But none of the regimes was able to lay foundations for viable state infrastructures, demand accountability of the elites before law, create jobs, curb corruption, and stop emigration.
     
    “Armenians tend to belittle their own leaders”… Only Armenians? In any case, you keep missing the point: these leaders were not given the vote of confidence by Armenians. How do you expect the people not to belittle such leaders? The clannish mentality of the oligarchs doesn’t help the president to rule effectively, yes. But is the president’s mentality different? If his mentality were different, he’d either interfere with reforming the whole structure or resign if that’s beyond his abilities. What do you mean by “the masses give him trouble”? Hundreds of thousands have already left. Or he wants to rule in a wilderness?
     
    Why the people were protesting was the never-ending theft of their votes for twenty years. You say “bringing ltp back proves the people’s self destructive tendencies”. Maybe, but can it be left on the people to decide, probably make mistakes and then correct them? LTP’s done a lot of harm, but does firing on peaceful demonstrators or the alleged role in the 1999 Parliament shootings make Rob less of a criminal?
     
    I’ve been following the protests in Greece, and irrespective of them I know that most of the presidents, PMs, and chairmen of central banks belong to the sinister internationalist power elites, secret societies, or global corporatocracy. But, unfortunately, who their leader is doesn’t affect the Italians or Americans as much as it affects the Armenians.
     
    A member of Congress sending a pic of his private parts via Twitter and an MP playing a game while an important law is debated are both deplorable misdemeanors the difference being that the congressman was forced to leave the Capitol. As for the most members of Congress who are legally bought and paid for by corporations and their lobby/interest groups, you answered by yourself: they’re legally paid for by corporations and groups. Several of such lobby/interest groups are Armenian, advancing awareness of our cause.

  34. avatar gaytzag palandjian // December 20, 2011 at 5:27 pm // Reply

    Like someone above noted,instead  of discussing over the -especially last  thread/paragraph- of Harut Sassounian´s article all or near all-except  self- have diverted the subject matter  to other topics issues, critiques   what  not. Latter, to pres.of RA.
    Well, let me say something,in accordance with logic and I suppose int´l law a country´s King, Premier or president is there at the helm of the country ,untill he  she resigns, or is replaced  by another so.Period. And as the case may be treated a bit ,if not respectfully, at the very least  tolerated …even in oppostition (as  in civilized states).
    If we aspire to be one such then let´sadhere to that.
    No doubt the protocols were ( in my view ,sort  of pushed to be signed ) i.e., the Powers to be wished to have calm in the region and peace(at any cost) so as  the flow of the precious liquid mineral would continue  without interruption…
    This is anybody´s guess. But they could not GO AGAINST THE WILL OF A PEOPLE  THAT HAD UNDERGONE GENOCIDE…SIMILAR  TO THE ONE  THAT  THEY UPHELD AND STILL DO.NAMELY  THE >JEWISH  one. Business  is business as the saying  goes.
    Now then, some here are discussing issues  not relevant to Harut´s ,which of course  is not forbidden it is  there for all to express whatever  they wish(the platform, forum).
    I ope  for the one  that  picks up the thread  and follows  it up to an end or a compromise,what ever. Otherwise ,indeed, all have the God given right to write  what they wish and say.
    In this light  my personal view  is TO CONCENTRATE ON NATION MAKING.DID  I SAY THAT OR SOMEONE  ELSE  OR MANY OTHERS  INDEED ALSO DID. ALL DID OR INTENDED TO SAY. But  my dear fellows  few   IF ANY AT ALL REASON,OFFER,  OR ¨SUGGEST¨,LATTER  MY PREFERRED MODE ..a REMEDY, Solution, Objective effort in order to come  up to a desired  perfection or quassi so. Nothing  is perfect.I do not pretend  that my Theses  is Perfect.Far  from it.But I have  put  all my long yrs in thinking  how to GET  ON A PATH  THAT WOULD LEAD  OUR TORTURED ,PERSECUTED  PEOPLE  TO AN ENVIABLE  STAGE.
    What  we need  is to discuss a  bit  about  that  issue that for which-permit me to say-last  year  this  year  and a few other yrs, in Moscow , right now  in Paris and then again Berkley (only a couple weeks ago or so) very seremoniously  Conferences , Symposiums  are  held  each Trumpeting  its  own  DUDUK!!!! we must learn to ahve  WESPRIT DE CORPS…co operate  and respect tolerate  any idea come from whatever source,which indeed  may help us accomplish our  ultimate  G  O  A  L  …
    That  of HAVING AN  ORGANIZED  STRUCTURE A SUPER STRUCTURE WITH A SUPREME COUNCIL  IN DIASPORA,IN  ORDER  THEN TO BE ABLE TO -ONAN EQUAL BASIS- COOPERATE  WITH OUR TINY REPUBLIC. NEITHER  OF WHICH OUGHT TO IMPOSE  ITS IDEAS  INTENTIONS  OR WHATEFVER TO THE OTHER.QUITE THE CONTRARY TRY TO SYNTOMIZE EFFORTS AND TOGETHER CARVE A BIGGER STRONGER ARMENIA!!!
    I HAVE EXHAUSTED  MYSELF  ONE LAST  ¨plea¨.Please enter   http://www.armeniannews.info  and read  USERs  articles top left side-Thanks in advance.
    And Hama Haigagani sIRO,
    Gaytzag Palandjian 

  35. @Ar: Comrade, I don’t know who you are, but you have posted some brilliant commentaries on this page. I’m very impressed. Bravo! In the turbulent sea that Armenia currently finds herself in, clear-sighted and objective men like you are her last hope.
     
    As a word of caution:
     
    Please be careful of Arsen’s genetic, intellectual, cultural, psychological, spiritual, psychical and culinary prowess… Because according to him, he is – “an elitist, i.e. a well-bred, well-mannered, and educated member of intelligentsia (not to be mixed with a member of ruling elites),”
     
    And he has the – “ability to observe and think through: qualities that are generally not welcomed by regimes.”

  36. @AR  –If “ltp is a criminal and ought to be in prison”, then why wouldn’t his successors do so? Maybe because they’re from the same cohort??

  37. Arsen:

    You danced around my central point.  Positive change occurs via evolution.  It begins with order in the individual, which then spreads to society at large.  Armenians lack this inner order.  And when it comes to politics, especially high politics, Armenians are very naive and can be self-destructive.  Our recent history is very self-indicative toward this point.

    Armenia’s socio-economic situation would be much better if it were not bordered by such hostile states.  Corruption in Armenia is on par with EU states Romania and Bulgaria, yet how often do we hear in the Western press or from officials in Washington, chastise Romanian and Bulgarian officials.  There is a reason for this, they serve the interests of Washington, while Armenia is aligned with Moscow. 
    So while Armenian demands for reform and a more just and ordered society are needed, they should be within bounds.  Something, which is not followed by many of Armenia’s critics, most vocally outlets such as policy forum Armenia.  To summarize this point, I will quote Brownson for you.

    “In most cases, the sufferings of a people spring from moral causes beyond the reach of civil government, and they are rarely the best patriots who paint them in the most vivid colors, and rouse up popular indignation against the civil authorities.  Much more effectual service could be rendered in a more quiet and peaceful way, by each one seeking, in his own immediate sphere, to remove the moral causes of the evils endured.”

    So it is ok for a member of Congress to be a tool of corporations because some statute says it is legal?  Would it be ok if a law were passed that said rape is legal too?  You ought to learn the difference between natural law and positive law.  One is certainly above the other, and is the law to adhere to when the inferior law contradicts it.

  38. Avetis,

    You only denigrate yourself by your low-life remarks.

    Yes, I’m a descendant of a family of Armenian intelligentsia elites, and am proud of it; proud of having received a good upbringing, good education, and a dignified system of values. It gives me pain that the country is run, in greater part, by semiliterate provincials and thugs.

    You appear to be knowledgeable of the Russian history. How do you think the noble Russian intelligentsia would feel in 1917 towards the new rulers: peasantry and drunken sailors with the lowest common denominator?

  39. AR,
     
    “Positive change occurs via evolution”.  –Bingo! Elections and laying foundations for civil society are an evolutionary venue.
     
    “It begins with order in the individual, which then spreads to society at large. Armenians lack this inner order.”  –Many Armenians lack inner order, but maybe as a result of fair and transparent elections those who do have inner order could make their way to the ruling elites to gradually spread order to society at large?
     
    “And when it comes to politics, Armenians are very naive and can be self-destructive.”  –Virtually any nation that lacked independent statehood for centuries runs the risk of being politically myopic. If Armenians, as a nation, are naive and self-destructive, how come their unaccountable rulers are believed to be sophisticated and safe? Are they cut from a different cloth?
     
    “Armenia’s socio-economic situation would be much better if it were not bordered by such hostile states.”  –A-ha, yes, it’s better to be healthy and rich than ailing and poor. You didn’t even set off to dance around my central point: how do such hostile states affect the internal mismanagement, corruption, lawlessness, nepotism, and clannish state administration in the country?
     
    “Romania and Bulgaria serve the interests of Washington, while Armenia is aligned with Moscow.”  –Given your knowledge of the workings of internationalist power elites, secret societies, and global banking syndicate, how do you know that Moscow and Washington are not aligned in some ways? How do you know that the West doesn’t understand Armenia’s natural ties with Moscow and Tehran?
     
    “So while Armenian demands for reform and a more just and ordered society are needed, they should be within bounds.”  –Who sets them up? Whatever these bounds are, can we humbly start moving within them towards more just and ordered society after twenty years of bedlam? Can we now have a choice among elected representatives? A choice among presidential candidates? A choice among ways of Armenia’s development as a country where basic rights of the people are respected?
     
    “So it is ok for a member of Congress to be a tool of corporations because some statute says it is legal?”  –I’d generally prefer the natural law to be above the common law (thanks for your advice to learn the basics), but since natural law is often conflated with common law in the history of the mankind, I’d rather prefer to pay a representative legally (not only corporations do it, several of our own Armenian groups do it, too) than to bribe him or endure him sitting in the parliament in two capacities: as an MP and as an uncouth oligarch.

  40. @Ar
     
    Your commentaries on this page have been like a sting-of-pearls. You exhibit a deep understanding of humanity, politics, history and the nature of nation-states. I hope you are in an influential position in your life; and if not, I hope you may get there some day.
     
    Please compile the thoughts you have had here and produce an essay or an article with them. Our troubled people today are being led by chobans, foreign agents and self-serving egomaniacs, they desperately need to be exposed to the kind healthy attitude and lucid thinking that you expressed on this page.

  41. avatar gaytzag palandjian // December 21, 2011 at 1:23 pm // Reply

    To those  who might be interested.It is a routine mode  here online to praise  one or try to degrade other.Some  do their b est in order to present ,suggest solutions/remedies while others bring examples of a state  that  is on par or ahead  of our tiny Republic of Armenia.
    I  do not opt for such views at all. Politics  is not necessarily the art ,rather science  of a limited  sector  who have gone through ,say fletcher school  of diplomacy only. Though indeed studies  in such institutions are important,whether  in the Western Hemispheric countries ,RF  or U.K. etc. I learnt my limited  in a business administration college  in England,but I feel  very little. However,I followed  that  up with assisting as  much as I could in Seminars,politically motivated  gatherings  ,as well as none so,but Professional Associations(latter  in Paris). Then again it is crucial to know at the very least  some  foreign important  languages and study  their countries structure,mode  of Government.
    When some one above(with all due resepct to him/her) opines  that Armenia  is with a present leniency towards Russia or the other way around,it is merely viewpoints.
    As a newly reborn nation/state,RA above all needs  NEW BLOOD ,new efficient Professionals, rather  than just politicians  in the national affairs arena.let me add quickly ALONGSIDE  THE PRESENT   old timers. Some  of  the latter  should themselves-if knowledgable-BOW  OUT,Retire,at  least  partially.
    Exactly for  this I had devised one of my Pivotal Theses,that  of establishing in RA-this some 5/6 yrs ago-  what  I dubbed a PERIPHERAL Collectivity (Shrjasyun  Havak),which I emailed  to  RA Parliament and hasmik @pres.(latter  is out  now).After a while this was presented  changing  the cre  of  it.I had  argued  that  those WHO  HAD ASPIRED AND PRESENTED THEIR CANDIDACY to Parliament and/or Gov.t  and were not elected,to be asked to come and join  this Collectivity,call it a Sages(Sabios) Group whatever.In it  would also participate  older experienced persons. What  was then formed  consisted  of all kinds  of people, poets , composers  writersand only one  or two ex politicians!!!
    in shport  the whole project  was mal interpreted and sstaged.lately it does  not meet.
    My other important Projections were directed  that once  above  PERIPHERAL Collectivity had advanced  in it delibedrations and offered  ¨advices¨  to parliament ,would by and by prepare ground  for establishment  of  our higher chamber  of legislature…
    A     S E N A T E .Luckily  this  has been published  in my books some 6  yrs ago and /or articles  in newspapers. Others, -copyists at work-picked  it up trumpeting loudly ,but then psssst! no more  talk about  it.Such is the character  of our dear compatriots.
    When I advocate SOCIETIZATION, for  very  long  years(nowadays on the Int´l scene denominated as   C I V I L      S O C I E T I E S :::  IN MY  m o d e s t   but  insistant  THESE/Projections, I point  out  that  with the coming into  life  of our PROFESSIONAL COLLEAGUES  ASSOCIATIONS(15 OF  WHICH 5  ON THE SCENE)  WE AUTOMATICALLY ACHIEVE  THE     C I V I L   S O C I E T I ES….
    I HAVE PARTICIPATED  already a few times  in the Symposiums  that  Civilitas Foundation has organized  in Yerevan during few   last  years and  indeed approve  of it.We do need  that  very much.But  IT CANNOT BE EXPECTED FROM OUR COMPATRIOTS AT LARGE,SAY THOSE  IN THE FAR FLUNG PROVINCES AT ONCE.Perhaps later whedn they organize  in their respective Associations(Farmers etc.,) then indeed their Elected delegates can.
    In the interim  right  now while i type  this am tuned  to RA  H1 T.V. the news broadcast  just  mentioned  the 40 million dollars  allocation to RA  by  the U.S. Govt. ,Georgia  60,etc. It  dawned  on me  how we ARmenians only see hear  such  and do not go back and remember  when  Georgia acted  ON TIME  WHEN   A-Bush was  on a visit  to Tbilisi,becasue Georgian very smart Gvt. had  demonstrated COMPLETE LENIENCY TOWARDS  A-Bush and in extension a desire (so exposed) to join  NATO,when……..
    She was granted a  one billion dollar  GRANT.I do not recall if  this was as a loan,or similar  to those that great Turkey had been receiving  for past 50 yrs as  non-returnable.
    This is where we lack similar  diplomacy,indeed.Which V.Oskanian had  initiated,but then alas,it stopped,when others sset  in. Hopefully  we also in Diaspora will follow suit  to (Schevarddnadze/Sahakashvili like) be able to pull up  some  of those billions…and not go on  our knees for the 40ish  grants!!!
    This is what  is needed. Moreover,with  that  good fat grant ,whatever, they have(the Georgians) started  some programmes -in commerce and economy- ,mainly ,inducing  …regrettably  Armenian  BIZness to go and invest  there!!!( I  personally know  of one important  such).
    So let   us be  more flexible,not have total tendencies to this that side,play the cards carefully and especially think  of putting our  own  houses in Diaspora  in order.
    Do please enter  -when you have time-and read  my articles  in http://www.armeniannews.info
    Thanks before hand
    G.P. 
     

  42. Thanks for the kind words Avertis and Harutik!

    @Arsen:

    It seems that you agree with me that change ought to come about evolutionary.  So then what is your issue with the current state of affairs in Armenia, that you can not even say one good thing about Sargsyan’s administration?

    “If Armenians, as a nation, are naive and self-destructive, how come their unaccountable rulers are believed to be sophisticated and safe? Are they cut from a different cloth?”

    Did I say that Armenian leadership is wiser than the people?  Do you not remember me saying that the government is an accurate reflection of society?  For the most part, MPs in Armenia are crappy, but I have been impressed with what President Sargsyan has been able to accomplish with all the domestic and foreign interests lined up against him.  Unlike you, I can criticize but also applaud, I am not trapped in a pessimistic frame of mind.  I have hope in the newer generation of Armenians in Armenia and within the Diaspora, not in the current generation in power within Armenia and Diaspora groups.

    how do such hostile states affect the internal mismanagement, corruption, lawlessness, nepotism, and clannish state administration in the country?”

    When you are a large fish in a small pond you will trouble the other inhabitants of the pond, i.e. Armenia and it’s oligarchs.  When you are a large fish in a large sea or ocean, your actions, however negative, will not be felt nearly as much as they would in the small pond, i.e. the US and its oligarchs.  Armenia has its current borders (1/10th the size of historical Armenia) because of its harsh geopolitical realities and the imposition of force upon us in our past.

    “how do you know that Moscow and Washington are not aligned in some ways? How do you know that the West doesn’t understand Armenia’s natural ties with Moscow and Tehran?”

    If you know your history, specifically the history of the Great Game, and understood geopolitics, (look up Mackinder’s Heartland Theory), you’d know why the Anglo-American alliance is not in league with the Russians, and thus would not be asking me the question above.  Moreover, if you paid attention to the ongoing disinformation and agit-prop campaign against Armenia led by the West, you’d see the bigger picture.  Using Armenia’s ills to foment more tension than would naturally exist otherwise.  This is why I brought up Bulgaria and Romania earlier, they are not more advanced democratically or if we are speaking of civil society, than Armenia, but they are not aligned with Moscow, therefore they are not criticized nearly as much as Armenia, if ever.

    “A choice among ways of Armenia’s development as a country where basic rights of the people are respected?”

    What basic rights are not respected?  Do Armenian citizens not have freedom of speech, religion, property?

    “but since natural law is often conflated with common law in the history of the mankind”

    No, you just conflated positive law with common law, they are not the same thing.  Just as natural law is not the same as divine law, though the former does stem from the latter.

    “I’d rather prefer to pay a representative legally (not only corporations do it, several of our own Armenian groups do it, too)”

    What the Armenian lobby does in Washington is peanuts compared to the Oil, military/defense, pharmaceutical, and Israeli lobbies.  Let’s not over inflate our influence in Washington.  We could not and still can not get Congress to pass a non-binding bill on the Genocide, even when we supposedly had the most pro Armenian executive and legislative branches in our modern history.

     

  43. Harut-ik,

    Our troubled people in Armenia are being led by chobans, foreign agents, and self-serving egomaniacs, in case you didn’t notice.  It is these provincials, hirelings, and thugs who desperately need to be exposed to the healthy attitude and lucid thinking, although I doubt they have a capacity to absorb such progressive features.

    So why won’t you—as a member of mutual admiration society ‘Government Apologists, Inc.’—try to drub healthy attitude and lucid thinking into their thick-neck heads by producing an essay or an article in tandem with AR?  Chances are they read it in syllables instead of playing iPad games or watching porn at the parliament sessions…

  44. AR,
     
    “It seems that you agree with me that change ought to come about evolutionary.”  –Have I ever stated that I support revolutionary measures? Or mere criticism looks like a revolutionary measure for the frightened ruling regime or their accomplices?
     
    “So then what is your issue with the current state of affairs in Armenia, that you cannot even say one good thing about Sargsyan’s administration?”  –Have I ever focused solely on his administration? Recap: none of the past or present administrations was/is a public-spirited government. You disparaged yourself with a silly question: ‘what’s your issue with the current state of affairs in Armenia?’ Next time you’re in Armenia, be closer to ordinary people. It’ll help.
     
    “Did I say that Armenian leadership is wiser than the people? Do you not remember me saying that the government is an accurate reflection of society?”  –Thanks for admitting that Armenian leadership is not wiser than the people. Do you not remember me rebuffing your saying that the government is an accurate reflection of society?
     
    “For the most part, MPs in Armenia are crappy, but I have been impressed with what President Sargsyan has been able to accomplish with all the domestic and foreign interests lined up against him.”  –See, now you admit that MPs are crappy. With a little more effort you’ll admit that, in the most part, the government is crappy, too. Yeah, the whole world is lined up against cry-baby Serj. Maybe we’ll send him extra money to flush down the drain at the casinos to cheer him up?
     
    “Unlike you, I am not trapped in a pessimistic frame of mind.”  –Are hundreds of thousands of people escaping the ruling regimes all trapped in a pessimistic frame of mind? It’s alarming to see such a plethora of pessimists in the nation. How can so many people so pessimistically leave a regime that has so many ‘impressive accomplishments’? Ungrateful creatures…
     
    “I have hope in the newer generation of Armenians in Armenia and within the Diaspora, not in the current generation in power within Armenia…”  –You’re making progress. I also have hope, but I believe that if we behave like sheep and refrain from criticism, change won’t come.
     
    “When you are a large fish in a small pond you will trouble the other inhabitants of the pond, i.e. Armenia and its oligarchs. When you are a large fish in a large sea, your actions, however negative, will not be felt nearly as much as they would in the small pond, i.e. the US and its oligarchs.”  –A beautiful metaphor failing, nonetheless, to show vividly as to in what ways hostile fish trouble a smaller inhabitant so smaller inhabitant is forced to mismanage the state, take bribes, evade taxes, break laws, promote relatives, and favor clan members in running the affairs of the state?
     
    “Armenia has its current borders because of its harsh geopolitical realities and the imposition of force upon us in our past.”  –Agree. What needs to be done? Sit and cry? Or stigmatize anyone who criticizes the regime as ‘chobans, foreign agents, and self-serving egomaniacs’? Or maybe try to direct the attention at how we domestically handle the affairs of the state even in its current borders?
     
    “If you know your history, specifically the history of the Great Game, and understood geopolitics, (look up Mackinder’s Heartland Theory), you’d know why the Anglo-American alliance is not in league with the Russians.”  –If you know your history, you’d know that the Anglo-American establishment was in pe-e-e-rfect league with the Russian Bolsheviks and the Soviet Union (look up Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time) up until the time when the USSR was no longer needed. By the way, Mackinder’s theory is not limited to a geographic importance of the Eurasian Heartland. He stresses that while geographical conditions affect the balance of political power, it is the number, equipment and organization of the competing nations that matter.
     
    “What basic rights are not respected?”  –To me, restrictions on or manipulations with the freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom to petition the government, freedom to change the government, the right to due process, the right to property, and the right to privacy amount for disrespect of basic rights.
     
    “What the Armenian lobby does in Washington is peanuts compared to the Oil, military/defense, pharmaceutical, and Israeli lobbies.” –The clause didn’t mean to ‘overinflate our influence in Washington’. It meant to show you that any group—irrespective of size—can legally lobby its interests in Washington.

  45. @Arsen et alia:
     
    You do seem very intelligent and you do seem as if you mean well. Your heart is most certainly in the right place. You definitely are not one of our “BMW driving chobans”, “self-destructive peasants”, “agent provocateurs” or “self-hating-genocide-obsessed and politically-ignorant diasprons”. However, you are limiting yourself by your arrogance. You are entrapping yourself with your perceived intellectual superiority. Your ego is your limiting factor. Moreover, despite your up-bringing (which I’m sure was exemplary) you have not expressed the ability to properly assess and/or understand the political world in which you are living in.
     
    That is key in this discussion: Deeply understanding the world.
     
    Despite what you many have thought about yourself, you do in fact think in rigid “black and white” terms. Please develop your intellectual foresight and spiritual depth. I, humbly, and as a friend, suggest you re-read what AR has been writing on this page. At the end of the day, we want capable individuals like you on our side.
     
    Now: Please do not reply to any of this if your intent will only be to prove your prowess or simply argue for the sake of arguing (which is an Armenian trait). Please take what I said above as a compliment and move on.
     
    Having said that, continuing the conversation in the spirit that AR evoked: Armenia is going though natural growing pains. In fact, for her dire situation, her troubles are relatively speaking mild. Those who constantly attack the state without understanding the political world or without providing rational solutions, are only causing harm to the Armenian state. Those who criticize and attack her without ever looking at the positives as well, are only damaging our fledgling state. One day we will all realize that most of everything we hate about Armenia today has its roots in the Post-Soviet Western-backed/inspired Levon Petrosian administration’s crony capitalism of the 1990s. It was during this time that the nation’s filth rose to prominence and it was during this time when the nation’s intelligentsia (that which your family was a part of) were forced to flee.
     
    Moreover, we also need to come to the realization that many of Armenia’s troubles are in fact rooted in our population’s Asiatic/Turkic/Islamic attitudes towards life in general. Once we are able to come to this lucid realization, we may see that our officials are nothing but an accurate reflection of who we are. I also have to say, the situation in the diaspora is not much different and may in fact may be even worst. Point is, Armenia and Armenians need to be worked from the ground up. In order for Armenia to fix itself, Armenians first need to fix themselves. This wont be a fast or painless process. And we may not see its fruits. But this mentality is one of the most crucial parts of nation building. Armenia is a nation that has endured a thousand years of damage – Arabic, Turkic, Asiatic, Islamic, Bolshevik and Levonik. The damage is deep, it affects our culture, our language and our genetics.
     
    We, as her children, must be loving enough, caring enough, understanding enough and wise enough to realize that her recuperation will not be fast nor easy.  When it comes to Armenia, Armenians need to be objective, constructive, proactive, loving, understanding, rational and most important of all patient. And diaspora Armenians need to put aside their “genocide obsessions”, “diasporan” or “western Armenian” mentalities and truly attempt to understand Armenia for what it truly is. This is the only Armenia we have. In our pursuits of building the Armenia of our fantasies, we are in fact destroying the Armenia we have in reality.
     
    Armenia needs a sociopolitical evolution not a Western funded revolution.
     
    Self-respecting Armenians must not attack Armenia under any circumstances. Instead, we should criticize, but be constructive and offer rational solutions in our criticism. If we have nothing good to say about our tiny, poor, remote, landlocked, blockaded and embattled nation in the middle of the worst piece of real-estate in the world, we shouldn’t say anything at all. And we must remember that all nations on earth have problems (some more than others). When we, however, engage in exclusively attacking our nation, all we are doing is we are giving our diverse enemies the very ammunition with which they will undermine our state. If Armenia falls due to some revolution, we should not be foolish enough to expect “patriotic” Armenians to take over.
     
    I forget who it was that said – revolutions are inspired by romantics, carried out by patriots and taken advantage of by scoundrels. What Armenia needs today is a sociopolitical evolution. This will only come about when Armenians revolutionize their thinking. On the bright side: Albeit painstakingly slow, I clearly see Armenia’s evolution taking palace today.

  46. @AR
     
    I will again humbly ask you to take what you have written here and produce an essay with them.  You may be too humble or too young to realize that what you have expressed on this page is in fact very unique amongst Armenians today, it certainly needs exposure.

  47. @AR, Harutik, Avetis – I was following this debate for a while and I think the most distasteful thing is to put the blame on anyone else (your own people, hostile countries, etc.) but the government.  Whether or not you all are agents “impressed with what President Sargsyan has been able to accomplish”, please consider what Napoleon once said: ”I can fool scholars, captains, diplomats, statesmen, but I cannot fool a housewife who goes to the farm market on daily basis”. (translation from Russian may be inaccurate, sorry, I’m a former refugee from Baku)

  48. @ Arsen:

    Did I claim that you want a revolution?  I may suspect that you do, but I never explicitly stated so.  You must be desperate since you are not grabbing at straws. 

    “Have I ever focused solely on his administration? Recap: none of the past or present administrations was/is a public-spirited government. You disparaged yourself with a silly question: ‘what’s your issue with the current state of affairs in Armenia?’ Next time you’re in Armenia, be closer to ordinary people. It’ll help.”

    Your first post targeted the current administration.  If you are as intelligent and far-sighted as you like to claim, then you would have firstly pointed the finger at ltp, and the damage he wrought upon Armenia, not once, but twice!  I am close enough to Armenians to realize our strengths and weaknesses.  And unlike you, I can asses the information rationally, free of emotion and subjectivity.  The problem, as I have said again and again is within the individual himself.  Until the individual cleans his act up, the government will never be able to impose morality and virtue.  It is not a top down affair, but rather a bottom up one.  Hence, government is an accurate reflection of the populace. 

    “Are hundreds of thousands of people escaping the ruling regimes all trapped in a pessimistic frame of mind? It’s alarming to see such a plethora of pessimists in the nation. How can so many people so pessimistically leave a regime that has so many ‘impressive accomplishments’? Ungrateful creatures…”

    Please do not compare yourself with the majority in Armenia who do not equal your current financial state.  These people are more upset about lack of jobs and economics than politics.  It is a lie to claim that they are leaving because Armenia is not democratic enough.  That perhaps is true for a very small percentage, but the majority just want a job to earn enough to take care of their family and have a little bit left over.  I suspect you will answer that it is the fault of the government, and to a certain extent it is, there are monopolies which need to be broken up, but I will contend that due to Armenia’s hostile neighborhood, even if there were no more monopolies, that the economic situation would still be less than ideal.  That is not to say that the government shouldn’t do anything, they must and I see progress.  Again, unlike you, I can criticize but I am constructive.
    Moreover, Georgians, and Azeris are fleeing their country en masse too.  But wait, I thought Georgia was a free and democratically advanced country, and Azerbaijan has all that oil and gas!  But how often do you hear of Georgians or Azeris disparaging their country, or of the West critisizing them.  Again, it has to do with the on-going agit-prop campaign against Armenia.

    “A beautiful metaphor failing, nonetheless, to show vividly as to in what wayshostile fish trouble a smaller inhabitant so smaller inhabitant is forced to mismanage the state, take bribes, evade taxes, break laws, promote relatives, and favor clan members in running the affairs of the state?”

    You missed the point so I will be more precise.  The metaphor was to illustrate that since Armenia is geographically small, due to repeated conquests and genocides, and because our neighbors are not the best, we have a small pond to operate in.  If Armenia were the size that it ought to be, then many of the socio-economic issues would cause less of a stir among the populace, since there would be more of the pie to go around.  In part, because Armenia would have more resources, which it currently lacks, and because its size would allow it to be on a more equal footing with its neighbors.

    “Or maybe try to direct the attention at how we domestically handle the affairs of the state even in its current borders?”

    As you can see, I am more than willing to discuss how to improve the situation.  What I do not tolerate are people labeling anything the current government does as negative, and the overall self-destructive attitude Armenians have.  And we can not achieve positive change if we do not discuss what is currently wrong with Armenian culture, and hence its people.  Something that you continue to refuse to acknowledge or at least, give serious consideration.

    “If you know your history, you’d know that the Anglo-American establishment was in pe-e-e-rfect league with the Russian Bolsheviks and the Soviet Union (look up Carroll Quigley’s Tragedy and Hope: A History of the World in Our Time) up until the time when the USSR was no longer needed.”

    Correction, there was nothing Russian about the Bolsheviks.  They were ethnic Jews, Georgians, Tatars, and Armenians for the most part.  The Anglo-American establishment has been against Orthodox Russia for 200 years now.  A British (retired) FM official once said, it has been British policy to keep the Germans down (in Europe), the Russians out, and the Americans in. 

    “By the way, Mackinder’s theory is not limited to a geographic importance of the Eurasian Heartland. He stresses that while geographical conditions affect the balance of political power, it is the number, equipment andorganization of the competing nations that matter.”

    Will you please stop googling the subjects I ask you to look up, and then copy pasting one or two sections from wikipedia?  If you are truly concerned about learning these things then take the time to study the primary source, or at least don’t cherry pick from what the data says. 

    “To me, restrictions on or manipulations with the freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, freedom to petition the government, freedom to change the government, the right to due process, the right to property, and the right to privacy amount for disrespect of basic rights.”

    I see that as an issue challenging not only Armenia but the West too.  What do you think the OWS movement has been forced to contend with?  Police brutality, and government malice or indifference toward their message.  OWS is but one example.  We have the stolen election of 2000 in the US as well.  How many Americans took to the streets and called for revolution.  Do you see the difference in political maturity between Americans and Armenians?

    “The clause didn’t mean to ‘overinflate our influence in Washington’. It meant to show you that any group—irrespective of size—can legally lobby its interests in Washington.”

    Whatever it meant to show, it most clearly demonstrates why Washington no longer serves the people but special interests groups.  So much for democracy.  

  49. ‘Harutik’,

    Psychoanalyzing others is inappropriate for a person who considers himself distinct from “BMW driving chobans”, “self-destructive peasants”, “agent provocateurs” or “self-hating-genocide-obsessed and politically-ignorant diasporans”.
     
    Equally inappropriate is to charge an opponent of arrogance, perceived intellectual superiority, and megalomania only because his viewpoints differ. With the same token you might be charged as being arrogant, pseudo-intellectually superior, and megalomaniac, but I’m glad I had decency of not reducing myself to sugar-coated name-calling.
     
    Similarly inappropriate is to issue condescending directions to ‘develop intellectual foresight and spiritual depth’ to a person unknown to you.
     
    Despite this, I take some of your arguments; most of them, however, can easily be refuted. I’m not going to reply; just a remark and a question.
     
    R.  The key in this discussion was not ‘deeply understanding the world’. The key in this particular discussion was opposition to the phrase “Armenian society is a fairly accurate reflection of the current administration” that’s repulsive to the popular stratum to which you, AR, your obedient servant, and many other intellectuals belong.
    Q.  Who are ‘we’ who want capable individuals like me on ‘your’ side? You sound like a lousy freemason…

  50. @Harutik – When “self-respecting” Armenians criticize the government it doesn’t mean they “attack” Armenia or the nation.  You said: “When we engage in attacking our nation, all we are doing is we are giving our enemies the very ammunition with which they will undermine our state.”  Who undermines our state more: the policies of our government that cause de-population or our enemies?

  51. Harutik et alia,  are you in the business of image-making for Sargsyan prior to elections?  Don’t worry, he’ll re-elect himself if VP remains the czar…

  52. Who are you referring to as an ‘obedient servant’?  If you can’t debate without name calling then look for a different place.

    @Sveta

    Have you been to Armenia, recently? 

  53. By ‘obedient servant’ I meant myself, AR.  Get a grip and sip your morning coffee… If that left an impression of ‘name-calling’ (however self-addressed), read the last post by Harut-ik addressed to me.

  54. @AR – Last year. Why?

  55. Svet jan,
     
    You may have been “following this debate” but that does not necessarily mean you have been properly assessing and/or understanding what was being said. I have come across your comments elsewhere on this board. Basing my opinion on what I have seen, I have no intentions of discussing political and/or sociological matters with you. Please stick with your profession whatever it may be and leave politics for those who understand it. Of course what I’m saying also applies to a vast majority of people who for some reason or another think they are experts in international relations. 
     
    Politics may be the only subject on earth that everyone, including street-cleaners and shoemakers, have opinions on; and they are all right in what they believe. A sane plumber for instance would never, or should never give medical advise to anyone let alone to the whole nation. Right? Why should a computer programmer or a musician or a salesperson then be allowed to give political advise for the whole nation? Civilized peoples are required to acquire training or at least have licenses to do anything of importance… yet when it comes to making important/serious political decisions we are told that everyone will have to participate?
     
    I find this very suspicious. When this type of “democracy” is practiced in a nation that does not have firmly rooted political institutions or a well educated and exposed citizenry, it may prove disastrous. Perhaps this is the reason why the West has been forcing this form of government upon backward or developing nations; with the hopes of either subjugating them or destroying them.
     
    Taking into consideration the dynamic complexities and dangers of political matters, this situation makes me terrified of Armenia’s future and it in fact encourages the notion in me that political decision making should never be entrusted upon the whims of the ignorant masses. For us Armenians, true democracy may in fact be suicide for Armenia. What we need in fact is a Putin-like strongman; someone patriotic and experienced and someone who is not afraid of breaking a few heads in our country where “families” are more powerful that the sitting president.
     
    Can Armenia (as it currently exists) give birth to a Putin-like figure? I don’t know.

  56. @Sveta: Did you interact with the people?

  57. Sarkissian can demand all he wants. Do flies’s demands matter to the elephant? The country he leads is on a path to oblivion. 50 years from now, they will be no such country. People will have left, the economy will have collapsed. It is the 2nd worst economy on Earth today per Forbes. After Madacascar. That mean even Zimbabwe, even East Timor, is better off.

    Whether you like it or not, there is a threshold for population size/GDP/etc, below which a country is no longer a feasible enterprise. Few people means fewer taxes, same with low GDP … especially if you are in an arms race with a much richer foe. Your budget will be drained dry. Your population will revolt or simply flee as they are doing right now. You will become an unstable country. Knowing all this, we Azeri (relax) will not start a war right now. Time is on our side. Why start a war now over the tiny Karabak if we can wait and go after a much larger piece of land of Armenia in 25-50 years. This is a long-term game. We will re-claim Yerevan once more. Check out Wikipedia on Yerevan. It shows that at the beginning of XX century, it was a majority Azerbaijan city!!! We will be back.

  58. @AR – I did.  Did you?  The people I interacted with were my relatives, friends and their relatives: all impoverished intellectuals.  Who did you interact with?  Dodi Gago?

  59. Kerim,
     
    In your position, I’d better be concerned with your country, its international condemnation as genocide-perpetrator, and its possible disintegration. The matters that are being discussed in this thread relate to the pains of growth that any new state experiences, and Armenia is not exclusion. We debate because we want to see a better-governed Armenia. It doesn’t make any of us less of a patriot. Also, put it into your pipe and smoke it: Armenia was on the world map for more than 4000 years. If we survived the barbarity of your savage ancestors, rest assured we will always be in the region, as we were for millennia.

  60. AR,
     
    “Did I claim that you want a revolution? I may suspect that you do, but I never explicitly stated so. You must be desperate since you are not grabbing at straws.”  –And you must be hallucinating profusely since you suspect people of something they never uttered or hinted at.
     
    “Your first post targeted the current administration.”  –Hallucinating? I first targeted a nauseating phrase: “Armenian society today is a fairly accurate reflection of the current administration.” Look up my first post on 17 Dec 2011.
     
    “If you are as intelligent and far-sighted as you like to claim”  –Still hallucinating? A little help, maybe? I ‘claimed’ to be from an intelligentsia stratum and not ‘intelligent and far-sighted’.
     
    “You would have firstly pointed the finger at ltp, and the damage he wrought upon Armenia, not once, but twice!”  –Are you a Buddhist? Do I need to repeat the mantra each time I enter this thread as temple that I agree that ltp wrought damage upon Armenia? You missed the point so let me rephrase it in an accessible form: iIs serj different from ltp? In some respects he is, but were serj and his prime minister not from the same ltp cohort? Is he really fixing the damage that ltp wrought? If he does, how come ltp is still on the loose? What trends that were introduced during the ltp regime are being effectively confronted by serj?
     
    “Until the individual cleans his act up, the government will never be able to impose morality and virtue. It is not a top down affair, but rather a bottom up one. Hence, government is an accurate reflection of the populace.”  –This is the stumbling block of this debate. I think it’s repulsive to conflate an unelected and unpopular government with all the strata representing a socium, because as a result of rigged elections not all the strata  are reflected in our government. For instance, intelligent and far-sighted people like you cannot make their way to the top in order to spread morality and virtue on the society at large from top down. Neither can you spread morality and virtue bottom up because if you’re too zealous you’ll be gobbled up. Thus, an unrepresentative or at best semi-representative government cannot be an ‘accurate reflection of the populace’. I supported this argument by a quote from Montesquieu, whom you quoted perversely, in that it is the constitution—not the government—that he thought is an accurate reflection of the people.
     
    “People leaving Armenia are more upset about lack of jobs and economics than politics. It is a lie to claim that they are leaving because Armenia is not democratic enough.”  –People emigrate from Armenia for economic (possibly, mostly economic) as well as political reasons as they have no slightest hope for a change. My own family emigrated for political reasons in disgust after the October 1999 shootings in the parliament at the time when serj, coincidently, was the national security chief.
     
    “I will contend that due to Armenia’s hostile neighborhood, even if there were no more monopolies, that the economic situation would still be less than ideal.” –Certainly less than ideal, but definitely not as gruesome as with the monopolies.
     
    “Moreover, Georgians, and Azeris are fleeing their country en masse too.”  –They do, certainly not en masse, but the scale of emigration from Armenia is unmatched and alarming.
     
    Re: ‘large fish in a small pond with other inhabitants’ metaphor. –I got the point right and I don’t disagree with Armenia’s being geographically small, resource-poor, subjected to conquests and genocides, some of her neighbors bad, and her pond smaller to operate in. Having said that, I believe even a smaller inhabitant of the small pond optimally can put its habitat in order if it governs it well. In light of management, please consider the example of resource-poor small Japan and her resource-rich gargantuan neighbor Russia.
     
     “We cannot achieve positive change if we do not discuss what is currently wrong with Armenian culture, and hence its people.”  –What’s wrong with Armenia’s culture and its people so it thwarts a positive change? Do you mean to say Armenians are culturally different from other peoples when it comes to electing their representatives and leaders? Don’t they follow the same universal electoral procedures?
     
    “There was nothing Russian about the Bolsheviks. They were ethnic Jews, Georgians, Tatars, and Armenians for the most part.”  –The Central Committee and some top echelons of the Bolshevik power structures had many non-Russians. Nevertheless, masses of ethnic Russians did support the toppling of Nicholas II and overwhelmed the Whites during the Civil War for the Bolshevik promises. These are strong indications that Bolshevik ideology reverberated in the minds and souls of ethnic Russians.
     
    “The Anglo-American establishment has been against Orthodox Russia for 200 years now.”  –Right. That’s why the establishment dispatched Lenin from Switzerland and Trotsky from New York, stopped arming Denikin’s armies at the time when he was ready to re-take Moscow, and then enjoyed relations with Soviet Russia, making great profits on the so-called Cold War.
     
     “Will you please stop googling the subjects I ask you to look up, and then copy pasting one or two sections from wikipedia?”  –Do I leave an impression of a semi-literate, poorly-educated person? Are you hallucinating again or just trying to cause offense, and cheaply so? I googled once on Montesquieu to make sure I was correct in knowing that he meant the constitution, not the government, that is a reflection of the people. As for Mackinder, whom you brought forth, his Geographical Pivot of History is in front of me (in The Structure of Political Geography by Kasperson and Minghi). From p. 169 I quote one more time, specially for you:
    “The actual balance of political power at any given time is the product, on the one hand, of geographical conditions, both economic and strategic, and, on the other hand, of the relative number, virility, equipment and organization of the competing peoples (emphasis mine — A)”.
     
    “How many Americans took to the streets and called for revolution. Do you see the difference in political maturity between Americans and Armenians?”  –I see the difference in the accomplished, viable state infrastructures in the U.S. and embryonic conditions for the development as a democratic nation-state that the elites suppress in Armenia. It is one thing to take to the streets and call for revolution in an established state and quite another to establish a state by defending and advancing the electoral and civil rights.
     
    “Washington no longer serves the people but special interests groups. So much for democracy.” –Nobody’s perfect to varying degrees, but comparing the state of democracy in the U.S. with that of in Armenia is like p***ing against the wind. What form of government do you suggest for Armenia?

  61. Arsen you say: “Armenia was on the world map for more than 4000 years. If we survived the barbarity of your savage ancestors, rest assured we will always be in the region, as we were for millennia.”

    This is factually untrue. No one is denying Armenian history goes very far back. But you have not been on a map ever since being taken over by the Persian, Turkish, and Russian empires. In the case of Turkey, it has been at least over 1000 years during which you have not really been on the map. Officially it has been a Turkish land.

    Also, when it comes to your future place on a map, who cares if you have been there for 4000 or 40000 years! Look at Assyrians. They have not had their own country … well forever. What matters is the trend. And the trend, my friend, does not look for Armenia. You guys are all scattered all over the Earth. Whatever remains of an independent Armenian (i.e., ARmenian republic) is on a rapid decline. Its territory is already tiny, and its economy is evaporating, and its people are leaving in droves. It does not take a mathematician to extrapolate into 50 years and see no viable country left behind. For example, do you really think you can run a country like Armenian with less than 1 million people? You cannot. The management of its territory requires a much more robust tax basis. At best (for you), in 50 years you will be absorbed into Russia, or (at worst) Azeris or Turks will buy it off like Americans did with Alaska.

  62. @Sveta: I’m glad you think so highly of your relatives, but it seems you got one side of the story.

    @Arsen: I’m not hallucinating, but you certainly are lacking intellectual depth when you continue to argue about matters of the collective psyche of a people, and culture, which you either ignore or choose can not comprehend.  You can claim to be from whatever stratum you wish, but your posts have cast serious doubt in my mind.

    “In some respects he is, but were serj and his prime minister not from the same ltp cohort? Is he really fixing the damage that ltp wrought? If he does, how come ltp is still on the loose? What trends that were introduced during the ltp regime are being effectively confronted by serj?”

    If Sargsyan tried to get rid of ltp, you’d never hear the end of it from the West.  If you do not see that Armenia has materially improved under Kocharyan and Sargsyan in comparison with ltp, then we ought to quit this debate now. 

    ” I think it’s repulsive to conflate an unelected and unpopular government with all the strata representing a socium, because as a result of rigged elections not all the strata  are reflected in our government. For instance, intelligent and far-sighted people like you cannot make their way to the top in order to spread morality and virtue on the society at large from top down. Neither can you spread morality and virtue bottom up because if you’re too zealous you’ll be gobbled up. Thus, an unrepresentative or at best semi-representative government cannot be an ‘accurate reflection of the populace’. I supported this argument by a quote from Montesquieu, whom you quoted perversely, in that it is the constitution—not the government—that he thought is an accurate reflection of the people.”

    There is nothing repulsive about it.  If a people are not law abiding and do not have inner order to begin with, it does not matter what a constitution says.  Where does the constitution come from?  The people, if the people lack virtue how can a constitution be said to have this quality.  A very large segment of Armenians in and out of Armenia are what I’d term chobans, either because they are ill-mannered, or they lack any sophistication of the soul.  This is a result of over 1000 years of constant struggle against foreign invaders, various genocides, and the loss of the ancient Armenian spirit.  To change this will take time and must come about evolutionary, not via an artificial, and Western backed revolution.  Just look at Georgia, they are still in the same crappy state, regardless of what the Western press tries to claim about the improvements under Saakashvilli. 

    “My own family emigrated for political reasons in disgust after the October 1999 shootings in the parliament at the time when serj, coincidently, was the national security chief.”

    You are in the minority then.  My family immigrated because of economic reasons, and the vast majority of Hayastanci’s will tell you the same story.  But some have been post-conditioned after the fact to tell you it was political as well.  Again, look into the psy-ops campaign I keep referring to. 

    “certainly not en masse, but the scale of emigration from Armenia is unmatched and alarming.”

    I disagree.  The average Georgian or Azeri peasant is worse off than his Armenian counter-part.  And the governments in Tiflis and Baku hide the real migration figures.  If you have any relatives in Russia, ask them about the sharp increase of Azeri’s in Russia’s Caucasus, specifically in Dagestan.

    “In light of management, please consider the example of resource-poor small Japan and her resource-rich gargantuan neighbor Russia.”

    Please consider the history and culture of the Japanese, and that of the Russians.  All ethnic groups have certain traits, thus it is wrong to say what worked for one group will work for us.  Because that ignores the historical and cultural development of the said people.

    “What’s wrong with Armenia’s culture and its people so it thwarts a positive change? Do you mean to say Armenians are culturally different from other peoples when it comes to electing their representatives and leaders? Don’t they follow the same universal electoral procedures?”

    If Armenians do not follow basic laws, like driving in the correct lane, stopping at red lights, not walking in a busy street when the pedestrian light isn’t on, or littering, then they can not be expected to follow higher level laws.  Interestingly enough, it has been the current administration which you and others are so eager to disparage that has begun enforcing traffic laws, and littering laws.  

    “The Central Committee and some top echelons of the Bolshevik power structures had many non-Russians. Nevertheless, masses of ethnic Russians did support the toppling of Nicholas II and overwhelmed the Whites during the Civil War for the Bolshevik promises. These are strong indications that Bolshevik ideology reverberated in the minds and souls of ethnic Russians.”

    And it is this top echelon which we must turn our focus on.  The Bolsheviks didn’t topple the Tsar, Kerensky’s group did.  The Bolsheviks hi-jacked the revolution both from the Provisional government and the Mensheviks, 2 groups which enjoyed wider support than did the Bolsheviks. 

    “That’s why the establishment dispatched Lenin from Switzerland and Trotsky from New York, stopped arming Denikin’s armies at the time when he was ready to re-take Moscow, and then enjoyed relations with Soviet Russia, making great profits on the so-called Cold War.”

    Thank you for further proving my point.  The Western banking elite financed the Bolshevik movement and helped Lenin get into Russia.  They helped overthrow the Orthodox Christian regime of the Tsars for a much more brutal and atheistic one.   

    If you understand the Great Game then you will know why I brought up MacKinder and why I thought your quote of one section didn’t match up with the point I was driving home.  The Anglo-American grouping as been at odds with Russia for 200 years now, and will remain so as long as Moscow controls the Heartland and thus has the possibility to control the World Island.  MacKinder feared a possible alliance of Germany with Imperial Russia, today we are seeing the first glimmers of that possibility.

    “I see the difference in the accomplished, viable state infrastructures in the U.S. and embryonic conditions for the development as a democratic nation-state that the elites suppress in Armenia. It is one thing to take to the streets and call for revolution in an established state and quite another to establish a state by defending and advancing the electoral and civil rights.”

    Again, the political and social order in the US evolved, it was not brought about by revolution.  And the US still has many issues.  It’s democracy is now under threat from corporate interests as I have been saying.  Armenia needs time to organically develop, and it must have the understand and help from its sons and daughters.  But I am not seeing this for the most part, and this is why I speak of the inner order.

    “Nobody’s perfect to varying degrees, but comparing the state of democracy in the U.S. with that of in Armenia is like p***ing against the wind.”

    I agree that it is wrong to compare the two.  I did it on purpose because I often hear Armenians comparing Armenia with the US, but this time I wanted to change it up and show that the US has got its own very serious issues. 

    “What form of government do you suggest for Armenia?”

    Ideally, I’d like a philosopher-king.  Realistically, a constitutional monarchy.  What form of government do you suggest? 

  63. Ich möchte gern Nationalsozialismus für Armenien !!!
     
    Humanity will one day (perhaps one day when it’s too late) come to the somber realization that the most effective form of government ever devised by man is National Socialism. Many successful/powerful nations today (e.g. Sweden, Switzerland, Russia, China) are National Socialistic systems in denial or in disguise.

  64. @Kerim:

    Azerbaijan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.  10 families own 90% of the nations wealth.  All the money from oil and gas has been siphoned off into offshore accounts or into investments in Europe, and the Gulf countries.  The vast majority of Azeris are dirt poor, lack any means of advancing their socio-economic status, and lack basic education.  Fortunately, Azerbaijan’s oil has hit its peak, and within 20 years there will be no more to sell.  What will happen then, if we assume there has not been a revolution or another war.  In case of war, you better believe that both Iran and Russia will not step in this time to save the Aliyev clan.  And Armenian soldiers will once again wash their feet in the Caspian, just like in ancient times.  I did not even mention the various ethnic minorities who will be a fifth column within Azerbaijan.  But Kerim, please continue to devote your energy toward Armenia, it will mean one less Azeri who will do something to better his country; Lord knows you guys have not advanced much since the invention of your ethnicity 100 years ago.

  65. Kerim,
    Since you’re a Turk, I take it you can only count to 1000—the time period that Turks evolved from terrorizing Seljuk nomads through barbarian Ottomans to modern Republic. Any nation’s history that goes back 2, 3, 4, 5, or 6 thousand years is, understandably, burdensome for you to grasp. Is also seems burdensome for you to grasp that ancient nations are not defined by the duration of statehood they had, but by their contributions to the world civilization. Most of the ancient nations lost and regained (Jews) or lost and failed to regain (Assyrians) their statehood, but to define their role in history based solely on whether or not they have statehood nowadays or in modern history is demonstration of a primordial mentality. Are all Turks think like you or you’re one of the kind?
    If you so wish to disregard Armenians’ statehood that we had in the 2nd millennium BC (Urartu) or in the 1st millennium BC (Tigran the Great empire) at the time when Turks were perhaps just beginning their embryonic biological evolution in the steppes of Central Asia, then please be aware that even in the recent 1000 years Armenians had statehood. I’m talking about the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia (with cities such as Sis and Adana), that existed up until the 14th century AD.
    Next time you visit this thread try not to teach Armenians their own history. Better look at by what exterminatory measures Turks have positioned themselves in Asia Minor.
    Merry Christmas, Turks…

  66. AR, you say: “Azerbaijan is one of the most corrupt countries in the world.”
    What, Armenia is not? They are about the same. Except, actually, there is so much oil money now that they have increaed government officials salaries so much that there is now much less corruption than befor. It is now a fact that Azeri officials have much less incentive to accept bribes than their Armenian counterparts. 

    As for the wealth not being shared, this too is a fallacy. Even with an uneven distribution, there is so much money that it trickles down to everybody. The unemployment in Baku is so low that there is shortage of labor, which is why there are so many labor immigrants from around the world, China, India, and even some Eastern Europeans countries.

    Another thing you guys are fooling yourself with is the idea that the effect of the oil money is only temporary. That we will run out of oil in 20 years is not necessarily true. We will run out of the oil from the wells currently in operation. But we find new ones always every year. And even if we do run out of oil in 20-50 years, by then our economy will have benefited so greatly that it will stand on its own. Or do you think that all the infrastructure being built, all the smart student being sent to study abroad, all the foreign companies being set up … do you think all this will have no effect? Oil has given us an impetus. And our economy is more solid than before. Did you not hear just a few days ago S&P upgraded Azerbaijan economy into an investment grade? In the meantime, Armenia is being ranked as one of the worst economies around.

    Then you say: “Lord knows you guys have not advanced much since the invention of your ethnicity 100 years ago.” This, my friend, is a wishful thinking. It is Armenia that has not advanced much since 100 years ago. Ask anyone who has visited both Baku and Yerevan, and they will tell you which ones lives in XXI century and which XX.

    As for ethnic minotiries, yes, we have a lot of them, which proves a point: Azeris are tolerant people. Armenia, on the other hand, is 99.9% Armenian. And it is an Armenian pipe-dream that Azerbaian wiill disintegrate. These minorities number no more than 100-200K. They are not idiots, they know that they cannot establish a viable state on their own. And they, like the Azeris, are doing very well economically. So keep in dreaming.

    • Kerim:

      You are a kid who has been fed Azeri propaganda and now are trying to convince Armenians. But I suspect in reality you are trying to convince yourself.

      You are really going to claim that the oil wealth is trickling to the people? Is that why over 80% of Azerbaijan lives below the poverty line? Are you going to dismiss the over-whelming evidence that shows Azeri officials stealing public money and then buying property abroad? Such as the son of your sultan, who has a number of multi-million dollar homes in the UAE.

      How how the rampant corruption in the Azeri armed forces? The daily beatings, suicides, killings, all of which are covered up haphazardly by the regime in Baku. Moreover, most of the soldiers on the front lines (on your side) are ethnic minorities. They have no reason to want to fight Armenians, and they will not be reliable soldiers.
      Azerbaijan is not tolerant toward any minorities, that is why it tries to hard to suppress the Lezgins and the Talysh peoples. It claims they are Azeri. Worse, you try to claim relation with real Azari people, whose name your Turkic ancestors, with the help of Bolsheviks, stole almost 100 years ago.

      And it is quite pathetic that shiny and shoddy built buildings in Baku impress you so much, yet you ignore the fact that the money from where it came from is the stolen public money. So while the 1% can enjoy the riches of your country, the rest will continue to live in abject poverty, with no hope in sight. But again, keep thinking of Armenia, one less person on your side to actually bring about real positive change.

    • PART1of3 ‘all the smart student being sent to study abroad’ writes Kerim

      If sending smart students abroad with oil money made any significant difference for the country, Gulf Oil Sheikdoms would be fountains of scientific innovation, Kerim.

      They have been sending students to the West for decades. Any significant scientific accomplishments you can list from the Gulf Oil States ?
      When Soviet Union was intact, all 15 republics had an equal opportunity. With all their faults, Soviet leadership was fairly egalitarian towards all republics as for education opportunities and such. Yet Armenia SSR was the most technologically and scientifically advanced, per capita. Can you name an Azeri equivalent of MiG Designer Artem Mikoyan or Astrophysicist Victor Hambartsumian ?.

      While you guys continue buying drones from Israel, Armenian engineers designed their own from scratch – even with minimal funding and challenging economic conditions.

      Remember the Israeli drone Artsakh’s military brought down – almost intact ? (Armenian military engineers broke into and took over the radio controls remotely: how do you suppose they did that ? how do you suppose they were able to detect a very small object flying at 30,000 feet, with no radar signature ?)

    • ‘The unemployment in Baku is so low that there is shortage of labor, which is why there are so many labor immigrants from around the world, China, India, and even some Eastern Europeans countries.’ Writes Kerim.

      ————-
      “In Azerbaijan, Exploitation Growing Of Cheap Foreign Labor” (By Durna Safarlim RFE/RL 4/11/11
      Nov 5, 2011 – 9:55:00 AM)

      {Squalid Conditions

      In the shadow of the heavily guarded Mingachevir plant, a dilapidated, three-story yellow building provides shelter for some 130 laborers, male and female, who say they are forbidden to leave the premises of the station for the length of their stay, which usually lasts between three and six months.

      On a recent Sunday, the grounds appeared abandoned, with a lone Toyota Prado standing outside the building, which was riddled with cracks and broken windows. Inside, the stench of raw sewage was overwhelming. Down a corridor, one could hear the drone of a television, the angry buzz of houseflies, and the sound of snoring as some of the workers rested under thick mosquito netting before returning to work later that day.

      The filthy conditions were amplified by the evident fear of the laborers. Reluctant to speak even in the presence of an interpreter, they revealed only a few details about their life at the plant. The Chinese are responsible for all the heavy labor involved in the plant’s reconstruction, from masonry to stone work. They work every day, and often at odd hours, with one laborer saying the team had to be ready to report for duty as early as 3 a.m. They appeared terrified of being caught speaking to a journalist by their boss, a Chinese man who occupied the same building and who, in turn, reported to an Azerbaijani manager. But he did not appear.}

      So, the alleged miracle of low unemployment in Baku is in reality the age old miracle of imported cheap labor, that can be exploited at very low wages and with no labor rights. (modern version of slavery)

    • PART3of3
      ‘As for the wealth not being shared, this too is a fallacy. Even with an uneven distribution, there is so much money that it trickles down to everybody.’ Writes Kerim.

      Apparently Dr Leila Alieva from Baku disagrees:

      ———–
      {“The majority of the enlightened population is outraged by the systematically falsified elections, absence of freedom of thought and assembly, opposition activists being held as political prisoners, beating and harassment of journalists, politically dependent and corrupt courts, and absence of rule of law,” Dr. Leila Alieva, who heads the Baku-based think tank Center for National and International Studies told IPS.}

      { Despite its oil wealth, the majority live in abject poverty. Official salaries are unrealistically low, says Alieva, and the education sector and health system are almost collapsing under increasing demands for bribes. But not unlike Libya, the oil and gas resources allow the government to buy political and social support.}

      { Alieva says up to a quarter of the Azerbaijan population works in Russia due to the worsening economic conditions.} (IPS April 2011, Arab Spring at Azerbaijan’s Door By Kester Kenn Klomegah)

  67. It turns out I’m dealing with a monarchist and a nazi here. Nice…  Devotees to these archaic forms of governments discuss the modern state of democracy in Armenia. Amazing!  I should have known earlier.  ‘Long Live the King’ and ‘Sieg Heil’, muffs!

  68. @Arsen:

    And it turns out I am dealing with a closed minded individual who wraps himself in a self-proclaimed ‘intelligentsia stratum’

    I suppose you are not aware that a number of countries in the world are constitutional monarchies? Anyway, I have spent enough time on you.

  69. @AR — I’m also glad that you’re glad that I have such relatives: former university professors, music teachers, literary critics—all living from hand to mouth, while a handful of uneducated rulers and oligarchs enjoy luxury homes, cars, and spread their village tastes on the society. But it seems your narrow-minded level only lets you see the ‘other’ side of the story. Broaden your mind and have more affection for the burden of ordinary people struggling under regime.

  70. @Haroutik – I’m not expert on international relations, but I lived an everyday life in Erevan for years before emigrating here. I quoted Napoleon ”I can fool scholars, army commanders, diplomats, statesmen, but I cannot fool a housewife who goes to market every day”. A person need not be an expert to know how country is doing. Enough is to go to a shop or pay bills or (God prevent) have business with government employee. Come down from your high horse and taste the life on the ground.

  71. Based on wikipedia, only 38 out of 195 countries are constitutional monarchies; and only 9 out of 38 have active monarchs, all other – just ceremonial. Almost all of those 9 monarchies are Middle Eastern and African countries. AR, are you sure you live in modernity?

  72. The above exchange between Harutik, AR, Avetis, Arsen, Sveta et al is a good demonstration why it is counterproductive to argue amongst ourselves.
    All participants obviously care deeply about Armenia and are clearly patriotic. Yet what started as a healthy debate, ended up with name calling.

    A while back a reasoned exchange between the two ARs deteriorated into a version “Who’s on First”.

    We have a lot of enemies: we cannot afford to have our skilled operators use up finite stores of energy attacking each other.
    We all have a finite amount of time and resources.
    Why not put them to good use against the two entities that have demonstrated the willingness and ability to exterminate Armenians.

    • Avery:

      You bring up a good point, but to address your last point specifically, as to why? Because I have found that Armenians can be their own worst enemy. And right now, I see more of a threat from mis-guided Armenians (intentionally or unintentionally) carrying out the desires of our enemies via a revolution.

      John:

      Define modern. It seems vast majority of posters here can’t think outside of the box, which also means their own time and space. It’s not surprising, majority of mankind is in the same boat.

  73. Avery,

    I think no one would disagree with you. But you cannot discount the fact that the policies of the unrepresentative local regimes–past or present—contribute to weakening Armenia’s ability to effectively confront these adversaries. Popular apathy and de-population stemming from such policies is just one contributing factor. To me, not to criticize such policies is unpatriotic and sheep-like.

    P.S. I never called anyone names here. Please don’t equate.

  74. Avery,

    The point of discord, as you can see, is that some Armenophobe bigots, self-hating extraneous bodies contend that the whole nation can be their own worst enemy, whereas others believe that unelected, unaccountable, and unpopular regimes can be the nation’s worst enemy. The opposing camp fails to see that the same nation could produce public-spirited leaders, such as Grigory Arutyunov or Karen Demirchian. They may argue it was a different epoch, a different socio-economic formation, and that those leaders were as well unelected, but even so, was it not the same ethnos that gave us such leaders? How seemly is to justify the incompetence of Armenia’s independence-time rulers by dumping their incompetence on the whole nation, which didn’t even give the vote of confidence to them? If as a result of transparent elections, you, Avery, and the like-minded concerned intellectuals like you, could promote a candidate for an MP seat, wouldn’t your protégé be more intellectually capable and responsibly acting that thugs gluing their a** to parliamentary seats now? Do you and your minions not represent a certain segment of the whole nation? Is this segment currently represented in the national parliament? Only provincial, self-centered, and utterly consumerist segment, which is, unfortunately, the largest in the socium, made their way to the top. Yet, this segment is not all-inclusive. The abhorrent argument—“Armenian society is an accurate reflection of the current administration”—is a cheap attempt to justify rigged elections and elites’ inability to govern. Very convenient, indeed: “we’re incompetent because we’re a reflection of the whole nation as testified by the elections”. Period. Whether each segment comprising the nation had a chance to promote its own candidate is considered inconvenient and dangerous: such candidates almost certainly will be raising serious matters and can easily overshadow gloomy thick necks now in power.

    • ‘Avery,….Do you and your minions’

      Sorry, Arsen: your anger is misdirected.
      I have no minions.

      (min·ion – noun – 1. a servile follower or subordinate of a person in power)

  75. Look up the definition of modernity yourself and get past the idea that presenting facts (e.g. that only nine Middle Eastern/African countries are active constitutional monarchies) has nothing to do with “thinking outside of the box”…

  76. “To change this will take time and must come about evolutionary.” Yeah, until this change descends upon us as manna from heaven, why won’t we all just shut the h*** up and emigrate? Free election is hardly a revolutionary scheme per se. One wonders why our “evolutionist” authorities would be so frightened of an evolutionary event. Might it be because of fear to lose grip on power and money?

  77. Sorry, Avery, no anger was meant, more so directed at anyone.
    (min•ion – noun – 2. one who is highly esteemed or favored; a darling)

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