Collective destructionism of Armenians - August, 2012

As the presidential election in Armenia gets nearer, the young republic's so-called political opposition is again preparing to cause unrest. While their approach and tactics will vary somewhat, they will be united in the hope that by putting pressure on the entrenched government and by disseminating poisonous propaganda, the masses will eventually rise-up against their leadership, similar to what happened in early 2008 when Levon Petrosian's and his gang of criminals attempted their ill fated revolution.

The intent of this blog entry is to help open eyes and prepare the reader for the coming election season in Armenia, which promises to be very interesting to say the least.

Below this commentary I am presenting you the work of a good comrade. His work is essentially about the dangerously negative mood presiding inside Armenian society today and it is aptly called "Collective Destructionism". Below his excellent work I have also posted several very rare voices of sanity and objectivity. Please read them all. We need to be informed of the political dangers that our newly formed republic faces, and armed with this information we need to fight against the negativity and the destructive criticism that is being engineered by Armenia's Western led, funded and/or inspired political opposition.

The following thoughts of mine are meant to serve as a prologue to the works featured below:

For much of the past two thousand years Armenia's most persistent and most dangerous enemy has been the Armenian. It was the Armenian that time-and-again rose up against his king. It was the Armenian that enthusiastically allied himself with enemies of Armenia. It was the Armenian that preferred the rule of foreigners to that of Armenians. It was the Armenian - and the Greek - that essentially allowed the Turk to settle in the Armenian highlands. It was the Armenian that tore Edessa's aging prince Toros into pieces so that a Frank can rule over them. It was the Armenian that beheaded the legendary Sparapet Mkhitar and presented his severed head to the Turkish sultan just so that he would not cause troubles for them. It was the Armenian that after being given an opportunity to form a nation in the Caucasus by the Russian Empire, betrayed the Czar by becoming socialists and Bolsheviks. It was the Armenian that did not want anything to do with a national independence movement inside the Ottoman Empire. It was the Armenian that betrayed many freedom fighters at the time to the Turks. It was the Armenian that took to the streets in their tens-of-thousands to support Levon Petrosian, a criminal and a traitor that had already once raped and pillaged Armenia. It is the Armenian that always prefers personal business and his ego over the nation or nation building. It is the Armenian today that is enthusiastically importing political poison into Armenia on behalf of Western interests...

For much of the past two thousand years it was the Armenian
that kept Armenia small, poor, weak, dependent and on the very verge of extinction. I'm afraid the problem we have may be genetic/cultural in nature. Yes, we have been blessed with many positive traits... but we have also been dammed with quite a few destructive ones as well. These destructive traits are again working against our nation today. When it comes to problems pertaining to Armenia, the fundamental problem ultimately lies within the human type we all call - the Armenian.


We have been patting each others back to feel good about ourselves since 1915. Now, with a real Armenian state under our care for the first time in one thousand years, our honeymoon is finally over. We need to stop our silliness and take a good close look at ourselves in the mirror. We need to put aside our petty concerns and strive to derive lessons from our past few successes and try to learn from our many mistakes. 


More importantly, we need to somehow suppress our overpowering emotions (the source of our irrationality), legendary egos (the massive depository in which most of our nation's many ailments currently reside) and for once take serious responsibility for our actions with regards to our fledgling homeland in the Caucasus. 

While many Armenians are finally beginning to waking-up to the harsh realities of the political world they live in today, many other Armenians are blindly continuing the destructive habits of their destructive forefathers.

Under the banners of "freedom", "democracy" and "human rights" there is an active information war taking place against the Armenian state. Instigated and supported by the political West via many Western funded NGOs, a multitude of propaganda outlets and a not so small army of operatives on the ground in Armenia and throughout the Armenian diaspora, the young republic's natural growing pains are being used to undermine its hard won political stability.

Although the political opposition's publicly stated goals are on the surface very innocent, their actions and their affiliations, however, pose a serious security risk to the Armenian state. Therefore, I'm afraid, their actions go well beyond merely fighting "corruption" or promoting "democracy" in Armenia. Whether they realize it or not, their actions are ultimately meant to topple the current Russian-backed Armenian government and replace it with one that more-or-less serves the Anglo-American-Zionist global order (i.e. Western oil/gas interests and their Turkic and Islamic allies).

Because of Russia's strategic military presence inside Armenia, the political West realizes that it cannot do what it has done in places such as Serbia, Iraq, Libya and Syria. Therefore, since NATO cannot bomb Armenia or fund militants to attack Armenia, and since they have not been very successful in economically strangling Armenia through the Turkish (i.e. NATO supported) economic blockade of the landlocked republic, they have instead resorted to attacking Armenian morale by funding a multi-pronged information war against the Armenian state. The sociopolitical climate we currently have in Armenia is essentially a result of this well organized, well funded psychological operations (psy-ops) campaign that is being carried out against it.

To realize their above stated geopolitical agenda against Armenia's Russian-backed government, they have been fully engaged in a serious information war, a media blitz if you will, that is using various propaganda organs such as Policy Forum Armenia, Radio Liberty (Azatutyun Radio), ArmeniaNow, Armenian Weekly, Asbarez, Hetq and Lragir to saturate the already volatile Armenian landscape with utter pessimism, anger and hopelessness. This destructive negativity being promoted inside Armenian society has become infectious. As a result of this psy-ops campaign, the level of despair inside Armenia has been on the rise in recent years. It's gotten to a point where Armenians today are utterly blinded to the many positive developments that are taking place right under their noses in their homeland and are only concerning themselves with the negative, which further serves to feed their fears and paranoia and encourages them to further spread their poison, thereby creating a vicious cycle of destructive pessimism and hopelessness.


The more horrid the news these days, the more likely it is for our compatriots to spread it around. Significant numbers of Armenians today have turned disseminating poisonous news about Armenia into a sadomasochistic sport of sorts. The nastier the news about Armenia, the further and the louder it travels. Needless to say, constantly emphasizing the bad has taken a serious toll on the Armenian psyche.

The destructive pursuits of Armenia's political opposition is the main reason why Armenians are demoralized to such a dangerous degree that they no long see any point in remaining in Armenia. The opposition's destructive political pursuits are the main reason why diasporan Armenians today are feeling disconnected from Armenia. Despite what we are told by those currently spreading fear, anger and despair, it isn't the nation's so-called "oligarchs" that are driving the people out of the country.  

All nations have corruption and all nations have oligarchs, and most nations on earth have corruption and oligarchs that are much worst than that of Armenia's!

Therefore, a question: Why are Armenians acting this hysterical these days over Armenia's natural growing pains and its relatively speaking mild problems? The answer: Negative/destructive forms of propaganda.

One of the main reasons why Armenians are seeking to abandon their homeland today is the opposition's persistently negative psy-ops, the kind of propaganda that is
not providing realistic solutions or hope, and the kind of information war that is grossly exaggerating the bad in the young republic and in doing so saturating the already volatile atmosphere there with poison.


This loss of hope, ultimately engineered by the political opposition, is the single most dangerous thing the Armenian nation faces today. Thinking of Armenia as a lost cause is one of the main reasons, for example, why many Armenians today want to abandon their homeland. Thinking of Armenia as a nation being ravaged by criminal oligarchs is also the main reason why large numbers of diasporans want nothing to do with the homeland. In my opinion, there are several fundamental reasons behind all this -
Reason number one: The ever-complacent Armenian diaspora, living very comfortably as Americans, Europeans, Arabs, Turks, etc. Diasporan Armenians are subconsciously (and sometimes consciously) seeking convenient excuses to justify their disengagement from the troubles of their homeland in order to continue their comfortable existence in their manicured surroundings. After all, building a nation from scratch is much-much more difficult than comfortably living in a society that was already developed when they got there. Anti-"հայաստանցի" attitudes that have prevailed in the diaspora for decades also shows no signs of subsiding. In fact, they are growing today. Diaspora's decades long negative attitude towards the homeland and its people has been infectious. Large numbers of Armenians have now taken up the infamous slogan - «երկիրը երկիր չի», roughly translated in English - this is not a country. It is precisely these types of unpatriotic attitudes and sentiments, not Armenia's so-called "oligarchs" or "corruption" that are the fundamental problems these days. If one can simply pack-up and move to a better, more developed sociopolitical environment, why bother with the many hassles of building one in one of the most inhospitable parts of the world? In the absence of true nationalism, in the absence of political maturity and in the overwhelming presence of constant complaining, pessimism and "the sky is falling" rhetoric, it always becomes better to simply move to greener pastures... where there are compatriots waiting for you with open arms nonetheless!
Reason number two: The decades long Western propaganda assault against Armenia. This information war, closely related to reason number one, began against Armenia during the Cold War period when Armenia was part of the Soviet Union. This Washington sanctioned information war is continuing today primarily due to Yerevan's strategic military alliance with Russian Federation and its friendly ties with Iran. This propaganda assault has gotten very serious in recent years due to a concerted Western agenda to push Russia out of the Caucasus and place the region under Turkish and Islamic management. As noted above, this propaganda is cleverly seeking to use Armenia's natural growing pains against the state, and masses of our politically illiterate compatriots (especially diasporans) are taking their bait. In fact, this Western campaign against Armenia is where Armenia's so-called opposition types have learned their doom&gloom trade. Simply put, the political West is providing the platform from which to spread fear, anger, despair and politically motivated Western fairytales for the ultimate purpose of initiating an Arab Spring type political unrest inside Armenia, and our political peasantry is more than happy to do their work.

Reason number three: Armenian genetic/cultural traits, as it exists today after one thousand years of damage. We know the positive ones - industrious, intelligent, resilient, hard working, independent, talented, resourceful, musical, family oriented, passionate, opinionated, compassionate, physically strong, etc... But for the purpose of this discussion we also need to address some of the negative ones - օտարամոլ,
jealous, clannish, insecure, egotistical, suspicious, never satisfied, emotional, possessive, loud, nonconforming, uncompromising, overly ambitious, stubborn, short-tempered, nervous, individualistic, politically naive, pessimistic, impatient, materialistic, arrogant, self-righteous, etc... We have gone from being a nation of warriors to being a nation of petty merchants, and as petty merchants we see the world today. We are seeing our nation's negative traits now beginning to work against our homeland. Therefore, before we rebuild Armenia we must first rebuild the Armenian. For example, the following phrase, a well known Armenian saying summaries much of what I'm trying to convey here - «որտեղ հաց այն տեղ կաց». The phase roughly translated means - settle-down (i.e. move to) wherever you find food (i.e. financial opportunity). This popular Armenian saying actually say a lot about the Armenian mindset today. It's true that Armenians love the good life. In fact, the Armenian craves a flashy/lavish lifestyle. Therefore, if those controlling the sociopolitical levers today provide the Armenian with the perception that he or she will find a better life abroad, he or she will almost instinctively desire to abandon their homeland. This, along with the previous two reasons I outlined above is the mental conditioning that is currently drawing thousands of Armenians out of the homeland, and turning-off millions in the diaspora to the homeland. Major powers of the world have for centuries realized that one of the keys to subjugating a nation is to use that nation's natural characteristics against it. And whether they realize it or not, Armenia's Western-led political "opposition activists", "rights advocates" and "independent journalists" are using the aforementioned Armenian traits in conjunction with Armenia's various growing pains against the Armenian state.
In the big picture, the aforementioned is essentially the toxic mix that has turned Armenia into a bad word in the minds of many Armenians today, and it is the reason why many in Armenia, including the nation's small but growing middle class wishes to leave their place of birth. After all, if Armenia is hell-on-earth according to all... then anywhere else must be heaven.

As a diasporan Armenian I reserve the moral right to add the following:

Immensely arrogant and nauseatingly self-righteous, diasporan Armenians in particular have a tendency of either treating Armenia as an exotic zoo where they aloofly observe the "primitive" natives from behind their protective shells; a public gallery where they proudly showcase themselves or their wares; or an open-air laboratory where they arrogantly mix all kinds of dangerous sociopolitical concoctions. Very few diasporans today actually appreciate their newly reborn homeland; very few diasporans today truly understand the predicament of their embattled homeland in the Caucasus; very few diasporans today genuinely feel any affinity toward their compatriots in their homeland; and fewer still understand what the homeland needs and - more importantly - what it does not need.


The diaspora's "open-air laboratory" approach is becoming more-and-more pronounced as more-and-more diasporans today are getting recruited by Washington-based organizations to foment political unrest in the embattled republic. The modus operandi of these Western activists are well known. They single out and emphasize all that is bad in the republic. God forbid there is a beating, a rape or a murder in the republic; it's quickly turned into an international showcase and predictions of impediment doom are heard from all corners. This modus operandi is how nations are in fact destroyed from within. The doomsayers, incidentally, are the same idiots that admire Jews for their ability to keep their internal problems internal and rally around their state regardless of their personal desires or opinions. Nevertheless, unfortunate incidents in Armenia, which rational people know are normal in all nations on earth, are exploited by our nation's opportunistic opposition types and made into a Greek tragedy. And the troubling irony in all this is that despite the fact that the United States is one of the most economically stressed, most corrupt and most crime ridden nations on earth today, the Armenia's political opposition takes their orders, inspiration and in many cases their funding from Washington-based organizations.

The last thing Armenia needs at this stage in its sociopolitical development is a forced regime change, especially one that we all know will ultimately be engineered - directly or indirectly - by Washington and its allies. Moreover, and more importantly, Armenia's political system cannot be tampered with today (or for the foreseeable future) simply because of the region's geopolitical volatility. The political climate in the Caucasus is far too Turkic, far too Islamic, far too volatile, far too unpredictable and far too dangerous for Western experiments in Armenia.

I'm not going to get into discussing pros&cons of the current leadership in Armenia at this time, but allow me to just say that the present system of government in Yerevan, even with all its faults (real and/or perceived), is a great improvement over the previous two governments. Thus, I see progress! We would have all liked for this progress to have taken place much faster of course, but it's progress nonetheless.

Armenia needs sociopolitical evolution, not a Western funded, led or inspired revolution!

Let's also recognize that the creature that we all call "Armenian" today is a very difficult organism to understand or to govern. In other words, with us Armenians things won't happen easily, efficiently or painlessly. Armenia will have to travel a long hard road to development. And in the course of this journey what we don't want or need is Western meddling. Having already traveled the long and bumpy road to development, the Western world is now attempting to harness the hungry/ignorant masses of developing nations and exploiting them towards self-serving imperial interests. In accordance with this plan, Armenia's natural growing pains (e.g. corruption, crime, domestic violence, censorship, abuse in the military, etc...) are being exaggerated and used by Armenia's political activists to undermine the Armenian state.

Thus, on
e of the fundamental problems with the sociopolitical situation in Armenia is this: Those who are waiting on the political sidelines to take advantage of political unrest pose an existential threat to the fledgling republic. Therefore, logic would dictate that it would be much wiser and much safer to stick with - and work with - the devil we know.
We need to keep today's fairly decent political system intact (which as previously stated is better than the previous two governments) but we also need to put pressure on them to continue their reforms. In other words, we as a people need to figure out an effective way to work with the current government and not against it. And more importantly, we need to learn to do all this free of Western meddling!


After all, let's also remember that governments are an accurate reflection of their peoples and nations deserve the governments that they have. Let's be honest enough with ourselves and admit that at this stage of Armenian evolution, we as a people couldn't realistically expect a better system of government. Having said that, however, I must also admit that Armenia's overall situation, relatively speaking, is really not all that bad!

Anyway, without any further ado, I now want to present the reader an excellent essay written by a cyberian colleague. In my humble opinion, this brilliant young Armenian patriot living in western Europe has a better, healthier and more patriotic vision than all of Armenia's so-called political opposition combined. His work titled "Collective Destructionsim" is posted immediately below this prologue. Moreover, in today's turbulent sea of "the sky is falling" rhetoric and predictions of impending doom, I have found several very rare voices of sanity, objectivity and optimism. The very rare works in question are posted on this page for all to read. It may just be that because the region's proverbial powder keg is getting close-and-closer to the verge of explosion, more-and-more self-respecting Armenians with clear vision and healthy minds are beginning to come forward and speak-up against our people's destructive politics, destructive habits and destructive attitudes.

Arevordi

August, 2012

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Collective Destructionism

http://eastbook.eu/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/manifestanci-na-placu-wolno%C5%9Bci-630x420.jpg

As a young Diasporan Armenian, I have come to the conclusion that one of the biggest dangers facing our homeland and the Armenian people today is what I call the phenomenon of “Collective Destructionism”. I will try to explain this in further detail.

Introduction

When receiving Armenian guests at our house, a typical conversation follows concerning the modern day Republic of Armenia, one that I have witnessed so many times in my young life. The core teaching of our most recent guests was that Armenia is a corrupt, defective state, whose governance consists of criminals and fraudulent officials. Armenia had no future. How could it be that a country in the 21st century is so poor and backward? The people in Armenia have no jobs, the salaries are low, and many people are still homeless. It is the worst place to live; everyone wants to leave the country. It is useless to go to Armenia and try something; one should simply not lay any hopes on Armenia developing in the near future. All this was being said in the presence of the next generation of young Armenians.

I sat by, listening, and sadly witnessing one of the root causes of why Armenia is in such a desperate situation as it is in now. I witnessed, as I have witnessed so many times in my life, the destruction of the Armenian spirit in the youth that was present during this conversation. As we all know, children usually make the opinions of their parents their own. The legendary Armenian hero Garegin Njdeh once said: “if you want to predict and see the future of a people, look at its youth”. Today, we are collectively (knowingly or unknowingly) destroying the Armenian spirit of our youth. What we are witnessing currently on a massive scale throughout the world is Armenians raising their children with this destructive mentality.

The next generation of Armenians has given up their battles long before they even started one. Growing up and hearing all the negative, pessimistic stories about Armenia, most of the new generation of Armenians does not have any connection to their motherland, nor feel the urge to have so. Criticism (positive, negative, factual, logical, constructive, practical, destructive) is good when at the same time also giving concrete solutions on how to improve the thing you criticize. The problem is that most Armenians are only good at negative and destructive criticism.

“The downside of negative criticism is, often, that it tells people what they cannot or should not do or believe, rather than telling them what they can or should do…” “The term destructive criticism is also used to mean that the level, scope or intensity of criticism is such, that it becomes mainly destructive. In this context, people believe that the criticism is so great, or there is so much criticism, that it only destroys things...”

Our youth is taught that there is nothing they can do. Our youth is being taught now to have any hopes. Our youth is not stimulated to take action to improve the current situation, on the contrary, the ones wanting to try to improve something are being discouraged and called crazy.

I visited Armenia for the first time in my life when I was 14. It felt amazing; I could not believe everyone on the streets was Armenian. Everybody spoke Armenian, even pets understood Armenian! I said to myself that with all its shortcomings, this was my country and we Armenians had to make the best of what little has remained ours. After all the hardships we had overcome as a nation, this period surely wouldnʼt be the hardest? And even so, after all, arenʼt we Armenians? A survivor nation!

In the years that past, I was flooded with massive amounts of negativity concerning our country. I can easily that 90% of the Armenians I met in Armenia and the Diaspora, even though I was a child, tried to convince and teach me how bad Armenia was, how corrupt Armenia was, how immoral Armenia was, that is was a defective insignificant country, not comparable to “amazing” Europe. I had nothing to search for in Armenia!

When telling that I wanted to do something to improve the situation, people would laugh and call me crazy. Oneʼs nationalism and love for his/her country has to be extremely strong to be able to cope with this kind of negativity. I can easily state that 95% of the ordinary Armenians have become alienated from their homeland because of this destructive mentality.

Political and Economic Situation

After my visit, I wanted to understand why Armenia found itself in the difficult situation it was in. I began reading much about Armeniaʼs history, the post-Soviet space, the current social and geopolitical situation and the development of nations in general. Having read a lot, I was surprised Armenia even existed taking into account all the hardships our nation had to overcome. I felt a sense of amazing pride.

The first years of its independence, Armenia was in utter social and political chaos. It is always easy looking back in time and say what went wrong, what should have been dealt with differently, but in the end what happened, happened and we just have to deal with it today. In such chaotic times, the opportunity for corrupt individuals to hijack powerful positions within the political and economic system in a country is great. This is exactly what happened in most of the post-Soviet states, including Armenia.

What occurred described in a very simplistic illustration

In the beginning, a large number of nasty individuals fight each other for power, after which usually some groups remain due to various circumstances. In their early years, they want to make a quick profit, and do this by just threatening every one they can get their hands on (ordinary people, small kiosks, shops, etc.) and also sell everything they can get their hands on like machineries in factories. Corruption is massive during these years, but this chaotic situation of threatening and blackmailing everyone openly cannot remain forever. These groups actually realize that they can make more money if the country is somewhat stable, especially compared to the total anarchy in the first years. Now they can own factories (instead of selling everything inside of them) and make huge profits by trading with foreign countries (import, export business etc.). They become bound to some political and international rules and the days of threatening people on the streets for a mere few dollars is over (for larger quantities of money, corruption remains present). As they also dominate the political life and the political culture itself is still not fully established, elections will likewise not resemble those in Western countries. Wanting to join international organizations, after which they can increase trade and thus their profit, they have to comply with required reforms, which are a prerequisite. Up until this time, monopolies are still present (I think this is the state in which Armenia is in today). The next step in evolution is that civil/labor groups become more powerful and active and more and more professionals will fulfill governmental positions. Steadily the country will develop in all aspects. If in the past the “oligarchs” were well known, these people will gradually hide behind their corporate businesses and will go underground, just like in Western societies. The political life will be in the hands of professional politicians, and the “rich” individuals will lobby behind the scenes, etc. This is called evolution, and evolution is only possible if there are no wars and/or (foreign sponsored) revolutions, as most of the time after such dramatic occurrences everything starts from scratch again.

The point I want to make here is that countries go into different stages of development. Indeed, we have to take into account dozens of factors, like the culture of the people itself and factors we do not have any influence on, like the geopolitical situation, etc. A whole book can be written on this. What I want us to realize is that the situation Armenia is in today, is one of development, even though most of the people are not willing to see or acknowledge this. The pace of development is slower than it should be, namely because of the Collective Destructionism.

The economic prospects of Armenia as a country are not that easy. There are numerous things we have to take into account, realize and understand, before criticizing everything and everyone. First of all, Armenia is a landlocked country, which raises the tariffs of transports. This wouldnʼt be a big problem in itself, but Armenia is not Armenia if we are not in a different situation as most of the countries in the world. The first thing you think of when setting up a factory in a country is how to transport it. The two largest borders of Armenia are closed, unfortunately due to various circumstances. This wouldnʼt be a big problem, if the two other countries we share borders with, were friendly and/or stable. Our northern neighbor charges ridiculously high tariff fees because they know we have no other options (the fees are higher than the fees they charge for Azerbaijan). Our other southern neighbor, Iran, is to put it softly, not in the best economic and political situation. Armenia may have transportation problems, but do we have any significant natural resources, which we could use effectively to counter these offsets? The answer is again, no. Armeniaʼs most significant asset is itʼs human knowledge. Unfortunately, most of the scientists have left Armenia during the last couple of decades in pursuit of a better life elsewhere. Where does this leave us?

After analyzing the socio-economic situation in Armenia (again, I simplify every subject I touch upon to make a point, I know in reality everything is much more complicated), one comes to the conclusion that even if corruption declines, without some sort of pan-national effort, Armenia will remain in a very difficult economic situation and most of the Armenians will remain poor. Also, a more democratic and capitalist (European/American) government would not necessarily make the lives of ordinary Armenians better.

Armenia, our motherland, is in need of a pan-national effort to overcome its difficulties! Do you think this can be done if we are constantly attacking it, constantly being negative, pessimistic, and constantly have negative and destructive criticism? If our children constantly hear about how bad, poor and corrupt Armenia is? If our children are taught not to have any hopes? If our children are taught not to be active, but passive, not to act, but watch, not to do, but only criticize!

Changing our mentality

What is the safest path we should follow for the development of our nation? Revolutions rarely bring any positive results, especially taking into account the volatile and dangerous situation Armenia finds itself in, and particularly taking into account that the last coupe dʼétat was initiated by a person who himself is in essence is the cause why Armenia did not start at year 0, but at year -20. We need evolution.

Even though Armenia is located in one of the most problematic regions, is landlocked, has no significant resources, is under constant threat of Turkey and Azerbaijan, and has two other instable neighbors, I still believe in our uniqueness and our ability to overcome all these problems. It may come to a shock to most, but I have come to the conclusion that corruption is not our main problem, but our current mentality is. We have fallen into an endless cycle of negativism, pessimism that leads to degradation and our ultimate self-destruction. We are collectively destroying ourselves.

Indeed a large number of Armenians leave Armenia, because Armenia today is not able to provide enough means for all its citizens, indeed, it has to do with corruption, it has to do with our landlocked situation, it has to do with the looming war, it has to do with many, many other things. I fully respect Armenians that leave Armenia because their motherland was not able to provide enough means to support their family (for whatever reason). The death trap is that these Armenians that go and live in Europe and or Russia, and subsequently have the ability and the resources to help their motherland, simply do not! We instead are killing the hopes and spirits of the next generation and make them handicapped. If you want to listen to someone destroying the image of Armenia and describing a doom-scenario, it will probably be another Armenian. A new generation of intelligent and educated Armenians that have the energy, creativity, and resources to mean something substantial for Armenia, will not do so anymore. Armenians have no idea how much they influence and damage their children by being pessimistic and negative all the time.

1: The way it should be (an Armenian leaving Armenia)

Armenia is in a dire condition and there are no possibilities for me to stay here, I have to move to another country. I maintain my Armenian identity and use all the resources and means to help Armenia develop, and some day I also will be able to hopefully move back. I will not kill the dreams of my children, I will not destroy their Armenian spirit, and I will always support them and motivate them as they are the next generation of Armenians who are able to bring change. I realize that Armenia is all that is left, and that everything in a foreign country will be in vein, as nothing, not my company, nor my house, will remain in Armenians hand in the long-term. Our motherland needs us, and we need her. The Diasporan communities of the Turks are a good example, the Israelis did it, Singapore is another good illustration. We Armenians will surely also be like them, even better!

2: The way it currently is (an Armenian leaving Armenia)

I hate Armenia, I blame all Armenians and the Armenian government, and I will leave this disgusting place. If that is not enough, I will spread the word how bad Armenia is, how there is no hope, nor progress, how corrupt and poor it is! I will support all of my relatives and friends to leave Armenia. I will not think of helping Armenia, as it is not my duty. I will forget Armenia. I will only criticize, or at most once a year attend a local genocide demonstration. At best, I will send 50 euroʼs to Armenia Fund. Only if Armenia is fully developed, if Armenia can provide me a free house, job, and money, if Armenia is exactly like Europe (although I do not realize that it took Europe hundreds of years to develop), only if Armenia is as rich as America (although I do not realize that 50% of the population in America lives in poverty), will I be positive about Armenia and support and motivate my children and not kill their Armenian spirit. Up until then, I will discourage and demotivate them. This is my duty as an Armenian, I thought my motherland should take care of me, and not vice-versa.

Yes, my dear friends, we Armenians have unfortunately developed a twisted defeatist mentality.

Now consider 100 Armenian families are living in Armenia. Armenia is not able due to various circumstances to provide enough means for these families to live on, thus we see that 60 Armenian families leave Armenia, and only 40 families remain. Now, indeed as Armenia is not as developed as it should be, those with a normal non-destructive mentality as shown in example 1, would help Armenia even though there is corruption, as they realize it will take time, effort, patience and persistence for Armenia to develop. Those in the beginning of this process will face the most corruption and other difficulties, and letʼs say the first year 90% of their effort will be in vain, but if there was a pan-national effort and Armenians would collectively contribute, the next year only 80% of their effort will be in vain, the year after 70% of their efforts will be in vain, etc., and Armenia would gradually but surely develop. Finally it will reach a point where Armenia will be able to provide enough means for 40 families to live on, and then there will be enough means for 1 family in the Diaspora to come back, and the population of Armenia will become 41, and then 42… and then 43… etc. It is possible to overcome any problem, it is possible to overcome the difficult economic situation, the corruption, everything, if we just take constructive effort and action, and realize that it needs time, persistence and constructive dialogue!

Dear Armenians, let us stop destroying our youth. Let us finally start taking real, constructive action. Let us raise our children to be active, to fight, to dream, to hope, to never give up, to be proud of being Armenian. If not for the destructive mentality, we would already have had a hundred centers like the Tumo Center for Creative Technologies. If not for our pessimistic, negative, passive mentality, Armenia would have been far more developed than it is today.

Concerning the government structures most Armenians think is the main problem our nation is facing today, we should support the next generation of young intellectuals to “infiltrate” into these power structures and bring change from within (this project is actually being implemented). We should be honest and realistic and understand that Armenia cannot be turned into a paradise overnight, but will take considerable time and effort.

Stop with the deadly negative and destructive criticism, but give positive and constructive criticism! Raise your children with the Armenian spirit alive! Stimulate and support your Armenian friends and family who want to bring a change, and do not demoralize them! Do not be the cause of people giving up their fights long before they started one. Let us not forget our obligation to our motherland; let us not forget of not having a state for centuries. Now we have the opportunity to contribute, now we have the opportunity all our forefathers have given their lives for, to live independently on our soil!

Concerned Armenian

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Save Us from Our Amateur Experts

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‘’It’s easier to be critical than to be correct.”—Benjamin Disraeli

There is a tiny, remote, ancient, impoverished and landlocked country which is blockaded by two of its long-time foes. One of these enemies has the second-largest army in NATO, while the other is spending billions of petrodollars to buy weapons like there is no tomorrow. For exports/imports, the stamp-sized country is largely at the mercy of a capricious and untrustworthy neighbour which persecutes fellow nationals of the pocket-sized country. The only reliable neighbour of this hapless, diminutive country has become, in recent months, increasingly friendly with one of the embattled country’s major antagonists.

This constricted, mountainous country, where winters can be bone-chilling cold, has little arable land but is home to some 3 million souls. In the past quarter century the country has gone through tumultuous times: it has experienced a massive earthquake (25,000 killed and many more injured and left homeless); it has witnessed the collapse of the 15-member union it was a part of; has been dragged into war; has provided sanctuary to fellow nationals who had fled persecution and worse by a war-mongering neighbour. Another shock this venerable country has undergone is the forced 180-degree turn in its political-economic-cultural orientation as it has switched from communism to capitalism.

The above tribulations have so far failed to shake the country’s determination to move forward. Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom in this land where God, according to religious tradition, decided to give humanity a second chance by navigating Noah’s Ark to land on a nearby majestic mountain. Among the blessings of the country are its bright, educated, sophisticated, and hard-working citizens who are immensely patriotic. Another boon is its Diaspora of nearly 6 million people. And more importantly, the overwhelming majority of Diasporans retain an abiding love for their motherland and help her financially, politically, morally, and in the knowledge industries.

However, in recent years there has materialized in Diaspora a tendency to throw indiscriminate darts at the motherland. The motivations of the Diasporan “Let’s Bash Armenia” crowd are not difficult to fathom. They are mostly well-intentioned people who want to see an affluent, accountable, corruption-free, democratic Armenia ASAP. Others rightly believe a lagging Armenia is detrimental to the well-being of its citizenry and impels many to emigrate. A third group identifies with Armenia so strongly that seeing a less-than-a-perfect homeland is a personal affront to them—resulting in uncalled for bruised egos. Seemingly minimizing the impact of the hits Armenia has absorbed even before its independence in 1991, these critics claim that two decades are more than sufficient for Armenia to have shaken off the cobwebs and miasma of the “bad, old, desultory” Soviet days.

Predictably, the “Let’s Bash Armenia” group suffers from the “sky is falling” Chicken Little paranoia. In their wisdom, these chattering classes also accuse Diasporans supporting Armenia of blind patriotism. To borrow the title of immortal Khachadoor Apovian’s masterpiece—“Verk Hayasdani” (Wounds of Armenia), the “verks” of our motherland are many. We all know what they are. But rather than incessantly slamming their Lilliputian homeland, these armchair diplomats, politicians, economists, generals, human rights promoters… should consider some facts.

It’s easier to find the proverbial needle in the haystack than to find an instance when Diasporan critique had a crucial impact on the government of Armenia. To criticize Serzh Sargsyan and Co. is pointless, if not self-defeating. Since Yerevan is obdurate about conceding to Diaspora criticism, it’s a waste of breath to dispatch unsolicited advice to Armenia from 8,000 miles away. Unlike brickbats, positive Diaspora contributions do have an impact on Armenia. So why not invest our energies in these beneficial efforts? When the last Armenian kingdom expired in 1375 (by then shrunken to a city-state called Sis and ruled by a monarch who had more French than Armenian blood in his veins), our nation had to wait 600 years to have a state again. Let’s support our precious and imperiled Armenia.

Let’s support it because it’s our homeland.

Let’s support it because it needs our support.

Let’ support it because our support does make a difference.

When we incessantly criticize the Yerevan government, we also hurt the morale of the citizens of Armenia and Artsakh. When we criticize Armenia, our words bounce back and demoralize Diasporan youth—our children who, like us, do daily battle to remain Armenian in these “odar aperoun” (foreign coasts). What kind of example, encouragement, message, and inspiration do we provide to our young when we viciously, virulently attack the Armenian government and even Armenia’s citizens for their shortcomings?

The bête noire of the “Let’s Bash Armenia” subscribers is the corruption of the RoA government. They are correct in perceiving corruption as an obstacle to the well-being and advancement of Armenia. But to lend some perspective to the corruption issue, critics should consider these numbers. According to NationMaster.com Corruption Index, Armenia is number 88 among 159 countries. Nation.Master.com’s index is based on data from the CIA World Factbook, the United Nations, and the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development. Apart from Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia (all in Western Europe), Armenia has the lowest corruption standing among the former Soviet republics.

Among the former Soviet republics, Kazakhstan is the closest to Armenia, holding position number 107. The Russian Federation is a distant 127; Georgia and Kyrgyzstan, 131; Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan, 138; Tajikistan, 145. At 156, Turkmenistan is near the bottom.

Meanwhile, the influential American "Foreign Policy" magazine recently ranked Armenia 101 out of 177 in its Failed States Index 2010. The study, done in cooperation with The Fund for Peace public organization, placed Norway, Finland and Sweden 177, 176, 175 respectively as the most stable countries. Azerbaijan, Georgia and Iran ranked 55th, 37th and 32nd, respectively among countries in danger. Uzbekistan (36th) and Tajikistan (38th) were the most vulnerable countries among the former Soviet republics. The Fund for Peace uses its Conflict Assessment System Tool to compile and measure its data.

During the Vietnam War, some Americans used to wear “America—Love It Or Leave It” pins. Sometimes we are tempted to snatch that extreme slogan, turn it around, and tell our amateur consultants, “If you care so much about Armenia, why don’t you pack up and move to Armenia?” But most of the time we restrain that temptation.

Although Armenians have been around for at least 4,250 years, RoA is a young country. It is not strong, affluent and secure like America, Australia, Canada or France, where so many Diaspora Armenians live. It can’t afford the luxury of 24/7 criticism, which for most developed nations, is a fact of life. As well, nation building--while ones existence is threatened--is no job for boys or for intellectual dilettantes, or people who use the Internet as free therapy.

If you can’t help Armenia in these difficult times, keep your counsel. Please don’t pick the scabs of Verk Hayastani.

Source: http://www.keghart.com/Editorial_AmateurExperts

Change we don't believe in (but should)

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Growing up with two older brothers has its advantages, regardless of being three boys who like to disappear in the mountains for days at a time and give our parents the mini-heart attacks associated with the worry if something happened to us. But, those times of being around them have taught me, the youngest of the bunch, values that build the core of most of my personality. Take for instance, change.

As Armenian-Americans, we perpetually talk about change. Every day an article comes out, or a discussion is sparked about the change we need in our: communities, cities, government, people, politicians, organizations, businesses, schools, the new generation and the 'homeland.' With all this talk of change, comes the fervent flavors of opinion. After every opinion calling for "change, change, change," one would assume the reader, or participant to be fired up. But fired up at what?

It was early on that I realized I was supporting, and even participating in the opinion stream, and nothing else. We all wanted change, but that's all we could do to achieve it; recognize change needed to happen. OK that step was necessary, but now what? I answered that question with something that I was raised with, my brothers. Both of them subscribe to the philosophy that if you want something in life, you must take it, no one is going to hand it out to you.

Beyond the complaints and excuses

Coming from Armenia recently, I've noticed a trend that Diaspora Armenians love to expose: all the shortcomings of the 'homeland.' We point out the negatives, yet are absent to suggest any constructive solutions that could benefit the same country we are shooting down. After a while, it just seems like we are playing 'whack-a-mole' with anything that is trying to pop up from the ground.

Teghut, for example, has riddled the news this last year with reports from every Armenian news media on the ground in the region, and from Diaspora news outlets. Other than the efforts from various organizations including the ARF-Shant chapter of Glendale, CA, whose continuous help to bring 21st century protest and environmental advocacy methods to the people has gained traction; there has been little discussion about what lies beyond the protests.

There has been an article almost every week highlighting the horrid aftermath of the mining, if it were to reach that level. The news also mentions how, for instance, the mine will create temporary jobs, but at too high of a cost, because there won't be a mountain to go home to after the mining is done. OK, that's fair; but now what?

From the people living in America, I expect more constructive plans. We talk about destroying old-growth forests. What does that mean to anyone outside of the United States who has taken a geography class? We talk about preserving nature and the people. What about a way to get both, but allow the latter to evolve. We protest about environmental rights! What environment is worth living in if people aren't present?

Why do I keep picking on the Armenian-Americans? Because we descend from the nation that took the idea of national parks and made it part of the national identity. Why can't we imagine, 'The Teghut National Forest,' full of campsites, excursions sites, guided hikes, fishing hotspots, backpacking trails, and community lodges where school children can visit throughout the year to learn about environmental issues. Jobs in tourism, construction, cartography, hotel economies, management, reforestation teams, conservation officers, a botany institute, environmental awareness programs, and international research could take the place of the miners. It won't be the estimated $20 billion promised by the mining company, but it's a start to build a sustainable and permanent future for the country.

People don't give themselves enough credit. Diaspora Armenians must shake off the idea that to help Armenia grow and preserve the heritage and advocate for the 'cause,' we must be 'rich, rich, rich!' As much as money helps, it isn't what creates ripples. A fan of Chaos Theory, I believe that everything is connected. From a geography teacher of an elementary school in Boston, to a software engineer graduate living in Gyumri, everyone matters to eachother. Both professionals stated above might not donate large sums of money to Armenian organizations, but imagine they meet and create an interactive software for Armenian-school children to learn about geography, weather patterns, and natural phenomenon, while at the same time the software is in English and Armenian to help children learn and refine both languages. I ask you, is that not change?

I'd like to take the time with the rest of this article to highlight some aspects of change that many Diaspora Armenian-Americans don't believe can help the country succeed. In an effort to rid ourselves of the idea that only money buys change, we can start with thinking outside of the rectangle shape of paper currency that we confine ourselves to, and start investing our time and criticisms into ideas that must grow and will develop. Enough of the excuse that we are twenty years old; I'm even sick of saying it. We're twenty years old as a country, that means this is the time to make new ideas germinate and flourish into foundational beams to build on.

This isn't only the land of opportunity, it is the nation that breeds scholars, logisticians, business owners, teachers, intellectuals, and advocates. Put showing the world what we can do on the back burner; that time will come. Let's show ourselves what we're made of; from what ancient kingdoms we descend from. Let's give testament to the kings and queens that live inside every one of us that we are what create the ideas (and follow through with plans) necessary for change.

The main topics below are the first set of professions I chose to highlight because most might ignore their profile descriptions based on the fact that they are not the conventional steps taken to 'help the homeland.' Because if it's anything that you love doing, it's going to make a difference in your life and influence those in the same reality.

We, the 'Armenians,' are the celebrated rugs we cherish. Every Armenian is of a different thread, texture and color. But in the process of the weave, we all add to the unity and patterns created. Every thread counts, no matter from the corner of the weave to the center of a pattern, we all make a difference in our own ways.

Digital revolution

E-commerce has become a stand alone economy within itself. Such websites as Amazon, E-bay, and Overstock, which have brought together vendors from all over the globe, and allowed them to set up shop from where they are and sell their products to anyone, anywhere in the world have dominated the Internet sphere. There is room for growth, but not only small growth, but rapid expansion and refinement; a digital revolution not unlike the industrial revolution that put so many superpowers on the map during the turn of the twentieth century.

There is a benefit to digital data, and that is its abundance, and absolute ease of transport. Digital data is one aspect of 'import/export' that allows the user, or creator, to transfer as much of it as they'd like, for cents on the dollar. Thereon lies the truth of the export of data. Data such as: scientific research in medicine, chemistry, physics, as well as the jobs in the service sector that will be briefly previewed below.

Graphic design

According to the United States Department of Labor and Statistics, graphic design jobs averaged $48,140 in 2010. In the United States alone, and according to the same data, there were less than 200,000 people that indicated their occupation as being graphic designers. What does this translate to you as a graphic designer who wants to live in Armenia, but be paid an American salary? Opportunity.

The website, www.elance.com, is by far the greatest example of the potential for a graphic designer to make their fortune from their computer, as long as they have the skill set necessary to meet client demands and an Internet connection. As the websites states, "Elance provides instant access to the world's top pool of rated programming, marketing, creative and administrative contractors...hiring on Elance is easy, just post a job and receive competing proposals from qualified contractors." The contractor in this case is the graphic designer, or the over 80 professions listed on the site. Designers are encouraged to refine their online profile to be competitive and attractive to clients, as well as showcase their experience, projects, and recommendations.

The benefit of going down this career path, and living in Armenia is the untaxed data being sold to clients. You're paying Internet fees and the costs of living (rent, groceries, electricity, etc). But, since you're still dealing with clients from the America's, Europe, Asia, the Middle-East and Russia, you're getting paid the same as you would in the United States. But in this case, there are no office building owners to raise your lease, no worry about location, and there is no risk of extortion or corruption.

There are countless examples of who would require these services. Small businesses in need of logos, brochures, fliers, and information pamphlets. The Department of Tourism needs more animated themes on their websites to attract tourists. Schools, universities, existing businesses need better graphics to refine their image in the eyes of potential partnerships and business ventures. With an international clientèle, your business can grow to include internships for locals, where you can train locals to work for you, and multiply your success.

Software engineers/computer programming

Software, like graphics and the digital creative arts is likewise, digital data. You don't need a store on the street to sell it, it doesn't need to come in a box, nor does it need to be transported by ship or plane. Software and computer programming do much more than create a product that can be sold on the international market. In a country like Armenia where such knowledge is abundant in the universities, it is one aspect of data that can help solidify the foundations to our prosperity as a country. The potential to hire able bodied employees is abundant, even if your skills are more business management; you can be a puzzle master and fit the pieces together; bringing together the talent and marketing their skills to the global economy.

Software and computer systems are taken for granted in countries where everyone always seems connected. It is this way in such countries because such software is profitable. With clients looking for conveniences in website functionality, enhanced audio programs, design applications, navigation systems, and smart-phone applications, the world of the Digital Revolution was born. Those interested in such fields have the advantage to be connected to the world that demands these things. In Armenia, where students are required to be analytical, one could bring together groups, "digital think-tanks" of sorts, and build wonderful software for Armenia, Russia, Europe, Asia, and North and South America.

This is an example of internal growth, where the resources come from the country, and your ability to bring together the will necessary to create a successful business. As with graphic design, your costs are minimal, as you must pay for some of the research you seek to refine and make it profitable.

It may come as a surprise, but there is no 'MapQuest' or 'Google maps' in Armenia. Meager if not any resources exist that tell the world a business exists in Goris, Ijevan, or Sevan. No ability to give the opportunity of podcasts for the politically active or independently creative. There is no such thing as 'WebMD' for Armenians. There are no systems designed to record weather patterns or Geographical Information Systems (GIS) used to substantially strengthen the efficiency in agriculture and irrigation methods.

Even if there were, the people living in the country who could benefit from the information have limited access to it. There is existing software in America, Europe, even Russia, and one way or another it can be acquired by Armenians, but then there could be a technical miscommunication in the language that won't allow such existing products to function to their full potential. That's where the next category of professionals comes in.

Translation

People might take for granted the fact that anywhere in their travels, they have had the advantage of finding someone who speaks English. Either in a bakery in Marsailles, France, down to a manufacturing city such as Guangzhou, China - English is spoken wherever people have found that it leads to better business. Yet, such is not to claim that English is the only business language necessary to allow ones business to increase, but for the sake of this article, it will be.

As a native English speaker, who also understands Armenian, you put yourself at a very valuable position in the country. You make yourself the mouthpiece in which Universities, Government departments, Corporations, and small-businesses can speak through. You are the person who makes available University research to the Western world, and build a bridge for government programs such as tourism. You can be the liaison between a joint program between Caltrans, California's hi-tech transportation department, and Armenia's transportation department.

Your skills in translation can help bring to light 3000 year old histories that a team of anthropologists in Armenia have compiled, or to translate the latest middle-class finance solutions used in advanced societies. Your skills can be used for the two professions mentioned before, to promote the services of a graphic designer, and help market the product of a software engineer. You can be the arbiter of creativity as you weave the poetry of Baruyr Sevag and Siamantos into products that the whole world can know about, and can inspire a Diaspora Armenian to search their ancestry between the lines of those poets' translated texts.

Communications and marketing

Digital connectivity is one concept that the world is still new to. Just observe the popularity of email, and the ability to communicate faster with the globe at the push of a button. Websites like 'Myspace' and 'Facebook', which allow a deeper connection to be built between people. Now 'Facebook' has turned into the fastest and most intimate form of communication available. Websites like 'HuffingtonPost' have local and global news stories within minutes of events happening, while it constantly updates. There is one thing that is perpetual in the world: information is always in demand.

A great advantage to being in Armenia and exploring the career section of the communication branch is that you are in a country that is at the center of Asia. You are closer to Europe, industrial East-Asia, Africa, and the Middle East. With the latter of these locations, consider the path of a journalist or photographer. Not as a conflict journalist, but one who is keeping up with Syria, Egypt, Israel, and post- war Iraq. This path is only if you're ambitious to be a correspondent of news to the Western world that is hungry for news from these regions because of the key roles they play in foreign policy.

These things have secondary advantages. Perhaps you start to rise as the main source of media in Armenia for Diaspora Armenians wanting to know what goes on daily in Armenia (but written in English). Your team grows and you ask the Graphic designer for a website and logo. You recruit camera operators, and ask the software engineer to help refine a high-definition video editing software.

Your reporters start to learn English as they help write stories, and report the news so that it can be posted on 'YouTube', or besent to Armenian new outlets, Al Jeezera, and the RT network. In effect, your news story has helped three occupations keep their jobs, while strengthening your own. Why not work with businesses that are already established, with Western marketing practices that allow the business and your own expertise to grow simultaneously.

Your ability to reach out to the world and communicate with the international community, the Diaspora and Armenia also adds its own marketing factor. Sometimes it's not about having the right major, or a specific skill set other than being interested in promoting a product or service, and being able to bring what we learned in high-school economics to Armenia. Coming with the idea that you can bring to light the skills of the young, intellectual professional graduates is already something that pays dividends for you as a developing professional, and them for their own portfolio and experience.

You can work with the country to market businesses, tourist sites, and special programs that Diaspora Armenians or European tourists might otherwise not be aware of. The winter resort town in Tsakhkadzor, the 359 bird species of Armenia, and Archaeological sites from the surrounding epicenter of civilization. Rock-climbing the monoliths in the Syunik province, wine tasting in Areni and Ararat, Sevan lake summer cycling, and Tatev Monastery tours in the south.

Everything is connected, and I hope by now you realize that no matter what you do in Armenia, it's going to make a difference. Not only because I say it should, or know it will; but because we are the threads that make the weave in this reality possible.

As for myself, so that you know I've put my money where my mouth is (and it tastes surprisingly good), I'm working with a software designer to create a phone application to be released in December. The vibrant graduate is from the engineering school of Yerevan Polytechnic Institute; and boy is he diligent when it comes to work.

Source: http://www.reporter.am/index.cfm?furl=/go/article/2012-08-06-change-we-don-t-believe-in--but-should--&pg=1&pagewanted=all

Excessive Negativism and Constant Attacks Jeopardize Armenia's Development

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By Benon Sevan (former Under-Secretary-General of UN)

It is truly disheartening to read the ongoing negative reports and columns in some news outlets in the Diaspora and Armenia regarding the current political, economic and social conditions in the Republic of Armenia, as well as the constant efforts by certain personalities and political parties to denigrate the Government of Armenia and its record.

Of all the hundreds of negative reports, is not there at least a single positive development to report on? Contrary to the ongoing politically motivated negativism, there are indeed many successes and improvements achieved in Armenia which deserve to be congratulated and encouraged. One gets tired of reading what is being said by all these so-called pundits, rabble-rousers, including self-serving former government officials pursuing their own personal agenda to bring about a regime change not through the ballot box but through encouraging a mob culture. Unfortunately, what we have been witnessing is indeed tragic with the potential of dire consequences to the stability of the young Republic that recently celebrated its 20th Anniversary.

No country has become democratic right away. It is categorically wrong and naïve to measure democracy in Armenia, which gained its independence only twenty years ago, with the same measuring stick used for democracies in other countries, such as France, the United Kingdom and the United States, which took centuries to reach their current stage of democracy. I ask all those who have adopted a negative attitude to read history. It was not the Armenians who invented the guillotine; it was not the Armenians who hanged their opponents from the Tower of London; and it was not the Armenians who practiced slavery and/or segregation based on color or race. How long did it take for some of Europe’s democracies to give their women the right to vote?

In as much as one can understand the impatience and frustration expressed with regard to the current situation in Armenia, we have no alternative but to be patient. One cannot simply bring about democracy through legislation alone; nor can it be imported or imposed through the barrel of the gun or by rousing the mob. We must fully bear in mind our history: over 70 years of communist rule, preceded by about two years of a most fragile independence, and by over five centuries of Ottoman rule.

We simply cannot divorce ourselves from the burden and dire consequences of having lived under occupation for so many centuries. Regardless of our impatience and desire to witness a truly democratic state of Armenia, we have no alternative to being patient, because it takes time to develop democracy, economic and social development, and civil society, as well as true democratic reforms. We need to develop, among other things, political maturity, change of mentality and outlook, which take time and cannot be achieved through legislation alone. Nor can they be achieved through the mob.

Undoubtedly, the Republic of Armenia, similar to many other countries, has its own share of serious difficulties, compounded by the current political and economic crisis and uncertainties worldwide, and its geographical location in a rather dangerous neighborhood, blockaded by Turkey and Azerbaijan, and with an ambiguous relationship with Georgia. Undoubtedly, there is much to be desired with regard to the prevalent political, economic and social conditions in Armenia. There are, among others, corrupt practices, inconsistencies in the application of the justice system, as well as poverty and unemployment that forces many Armenians to emigrate. Are these conditions unique only to Armenia? How about the current high unemployment figures and the deteriorating social conditions in some of the strongest democratic states as well as their financial difficulties requiring massive bailouts, and facing possible defaults?

It is long overdue for Mr. Levon Ter-Petrossian, the first President of the Republic of Armenia, to stop his corrosive activities pursuing his personal agenda through endless rallies to bring about a regime change. He should look into the mirror and remember what went on during his own administration and should review his own record and legacy before throwing stones at others. Some of the current practices, which he has been so critical of, started during his own administration. Mr. Ter-Petrossian, if you want to become the next President of the Republic of Armenia, organize yourself peacefully and put your candidacy during the next election. Let the people decide who should be the President through their ballots. Stop your divisive and destructive actions, calling constantly for demonstrations which might get out of hand with very serious consequences.

Irrespective of the negativism prevailing among certain circles, both within Armenia and the Diaspora, Armenia has indeed a considerable number of talented and fully committed professionals, both within the Government, the Ministries and the private sector, as well as in different segments of the society. We should recognize and give credit where it is due for all the progress being made. We should all unite and spare no effort in supporting and encouraging them to speed up the development of democratic institutions, as well as strengthening the economy and raising the living standards.

In conclusion, I appeal to all political leaders, political pundits, and the media, both in Armenia and the Diaspora, to refrain from any action that may incite violence. I should also like to appeal to all my compatriots to concentrate their efforts and energies towards the strengthening of the young Republic. All Armenians should unite because we complement each other; our survival as Armenians is truly inter-dependent. The strengthening and the security as well as good governance, economic and social development of the Republic of Armenia should be the primary objective of all of us, above all other interests.
Benon Sevan


Airing Armenia’s Dirty Laundry in Public

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President Serzh Sarkisian made an important appearance at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg last week. In a whirlwind 30-minute speech, he covered Armenia’s internal and foreign affairs, presenting his country in the best possible light before a distinguished foreign audience.

On the domestic front, Pres. Sarkisian spoke about fighting corruption, holding “fair and transparent elections,” and overcoming “the consequences of the tragic events of March 2008.”

The President then reminded the European Parliamentarians about Armenia’s “shared historical and cultural legacy” with Europe and discussed the ongoing negotiations to resolve the Artsakh (Karabakh) conflict. He condemned “the extreme level of Armenophobia and racism” in Azerbaijan, and spoke of the difficulty of making “a concession to the side that is looking for a convenient excuse to shoot at us.”

Sarkisian went on to accuse the Turkish government of undermining the “normalizaton” of Armenia-Turkey relations “by setting preconditions and failing to honor its commitments, which rendered the ratification of the signed Protocols impossible.” He called on Turkey and Azerbaijan to end the “unlawful blockade imposed on Armenia” and accused Turkey of “not only failing to recognize, but also engaging in a policy of blunt denial of the Genocide of Armenians committed in the Ottoman Empire in 1915.” He pledged that Armenians and all those concerned with crimes against humanity “will henceforth remain focused on the international recognition of the Armenian Genocide.”

After his speech, Pres. Sarkisian spent another 30 minutes answering questions from PACE delegates representing Lithuania, France, Switzerland, Russia, Moldova, Holland, Armenia, and Ireland. Five Azerbaijanis had placed their names on the list of Parliamentarians to ask questions, but none of them did so. The delegates from Turkey had also made a unanimous decision not to question the Armenian President, as reported by Hurriyet Turkish newspaper.

The question that attracted most attention was the one asked by Parliamentarian Zaruhi Postanjyan from Armenia, a member of the opposition Heritage Party. She told Pres. Sarkisian: “Since an authoritarian regime has been established in Armenia and all elections from 1995 on have been rigged,” wouldn’t it be preferable if he organized special and fair elections and then “resigned”?

As the Turkish President of PACE, Mevlut Cavusoglu snickered at the question, Pres. Sarkisian calmly responded that he was well aware of Ms. Postanjyan’s views which she had freely expressed in the Armenian Parliament, on the street and in the media. He added that he was not prepared to hold special elections because it is neither necessary nor constitutionally feasible to organize such elections. He urged Ms. Postanjyan to participate in the next regularly-scheduled parliamentary elections.

Not surprisingly, Pres. Sarkisian’s PACE speech was welcomed by his supporters and criticized by his opponents at home. The most important issue for all concerned should have been whether the President’s impressive words would translate into action in the near future. However, the immediate controversy revolved around the appropriateness of Ms. Postanjyan’s criticism of the President, while on foreign soil.

Some Armenian politicians were of the opinion that it was improper for Ms. Postanjyan “to attack” Pres. Sarkisian in the chambers of the European Council. Others felt that her “harsh words” inadvertently made the President look good, because in a truly “authoritarian regime,” she would have been excluded from Armenia’s delegation, stripped of her parliamentary immunity and prosecuted. In fact, some European Parliamentarians wondered whether Turkish or Azeri delegates would dare to criticize their President at PACE?

American politicians use the expression “politics stops at the water’s edge” to indicate their willingness to set aside internal disputes for the sake of presenting a united front to outsiders. Applying that adage to Armenia, one could question the wisdom of making such disparaging comments before the Council of Europe, regardless of whether one agrees with the President or his policies. Since Armenia is routinely attacked by Turkish and Azerbaijani delegates in international forums, it is unwise to add one’s voice to those tarnishing Armenia’s reputation.

This issue also comes up when some Armenians try to pressure their authorities by taking their internal disputes to foreign governments and international courts. While their frustration is understandable, dragging a foreign entity into an internal dispute detracts from Armenia’s image overseas. In such cases, however, the blame must be shared by the Armenian government for failing to ensure the integrity of domestic courts, thereby forcing citizens to turn elsewhere for justice.

Before making critical comments about Armenia’s leadership outside the country, especially by Parliament members who have ample opportunity to express their views at home, one must weigh the benefits of pressuring the authorities to respect the people’s rights with the damage caused to the country’s international reputation.

Source: http://asbarez.com/96681/airing-armenia%E2%80%99s-dirty-laundry-in-public/

13 comments:

  1. This is one of the better posts I have read in some time, and that is saying much since all your posts are quite informative! Thank you for your work!

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  2. 1000 Bravos to the writer of Constructive Destructivism!!! Completely spoke my mind!!!

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  3. Arevagal jan, I dont always agree with what you say but I have to admit that this is one of your best works yet. Salutations to you and your comrade from Europe. Excellent work.

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  4. I didnt know that Benon Sevan spoke about this topic. I enjoyed reading all the articles. Thank you, your doing a good service.

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  5. Arevagal,
    Thanks for posting the excellent article about "Collective Distructionism" by "Concerned Armenian".

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  6. Its a very hard choice. Do we support the ruling regime that we all dont like or do we support those who are trying to take over the government that we dont like? In this indecision Armenia suffers in the end. I guess thats the point of the articles.

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  7. I more-or-less agree with your comment about the situation at hand being a "hard choice" between two parties we don't like but as I said in my commentary above -

    Those who are waiting on the political sidelines to take advantage of political unrest pose an existential threat to the fledgling republic. Therefore, logic would dictate that it would be much wiser and much safer to stick with - and work with - the devil we know. We need to keep today's fairly decent political system intact (which as previously stated is better than the previous two governments) but we also need to put pressure on them to continue their reforms. In other words, we as a people need to figure out an effective way to work with the current government and not against it. And more importantly, we need to learn to do all this free of Western meddling!

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  8. This blog entry is a must read for anyone claiming to be an Armenian nationalist!
    Collective Destructionism is very on the spot. It was very moving to read, I think it's something that we all have witnessed way too often. Since the US economic collapse in 2008 I've taken to countering "Armenia is a lost cause" with "well fuck you: America is on the verge of collapse and Europe is a debt-ridden Muslim colony", but two cheapshots don't improve Armenia's situation any more than two wrongs make a right.
    I want to personally thank the author of this amazing article, and encourage them to write more! And again I'd like to thank the man who does the work of finding, collecting, publishing and analyzing these great articles on this superbly educational blog!
    Arevordi, you have a point when you say the Armenian is Armenia's worst enemy. I had to take a moment to reflect your comment "The Tsars gave us an opportunity to reestablish a homeland, and we thanked him by becoming Bolsheviks!" The stupidity and sheep-like backwardness of the majority of our past and present generations are outright frightening.
    Keep up the good work with these posts, I can see from the comments that there seem to be a decent number of followers of the blog who accept the points that you and your cyberian colleagues make.

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  9. Could this be true?

    http://blognews.am/arm/news/18967/assadi-zorqery-amerikyan-hatuk-jokatayinneri-khumb-en-ochnchacrel.html

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  10. Ես չգիտեմ ինչ ասեմ: Շատ տարօրինակ բաներ են կատարվում Սիրիայում վերջերս: Այնուամենայնիվ, ըստ տեղեկութիւններին, նշված պատահար տեղի է ունեցել մոտավորապես մեկ ամիս առաջ: Եթե հիշում եք, այդ ժամանակաշրջանում եր երբ հակա-Ասադական ուժերը սպանել էին Դամասկոսմ չորս բարձրաստիճան պաշտոնյաներ և որպես հակահարված Ասադին աջակցող ուժեր սպանեցին մի շատ բարձրաստիճան պաշտոնյա Ռիադում: Նայև հիշենք որ մի քանի ամիս արաջ Սիրիական զորքերը մեկ խումբ Ֆրանսացի դեսանտավորներ (paratroopers) բռնեցին: Մի խոսքով ստվերային պատերազմներում շատ բաներ են լինում և մենք տեղյակ չենք լինում...

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  11. Thank you everyone for your great support, I am very happy my article regarding "Collective Destruction" has been received well, and thanks to Arevagal for posting it!

    In the near future, I will work on more articles which will be published on this blog, so just keep visiting and reading the interesting material written and posted by Arevagal.

    I want to grab this opportunity to ask everyone to call as many Hungarian consulates/embassies in the world as you can and raise your concern regarding the disgraceful event which took place yesterday, namely the release of the azerbaboon barbarian who massacred a brother of ours in Hungary in 2004.

    You can find the phone numbers here:
    http://www.mfa.gov.hu/kum/en/bal/missions/missions_abroad/embassies_consulates/europe.htm

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  12. What happened in Hungary was typical Western/NATO style provocation followed up by typical Turkic behavior. Armenia reserves the right to have the rabid animal in question killed. I hope Russia's special services can provide Yerevan with some assistance with that regard.

    Nevertheless, this was a great opportunity to again show our Hollywood-struck peasantry and Democracy Now(!) idiots in Armenia and in the diaspora the true face of not only Turkic peoples but that of the political West as well. Don't fool yourselves into thinking this is an isolated incident involving only Hungary. The British did something very similar with the Lockerbie bomber couple of years ago.

    The point being, Western leaders are of the type that would sell their mothers and daughters into prostitution to make a quick profit. The Western world today is totally devoid of creativity, decency, morality, culture, patriotism, family and God. Western Globalism has turned westerners into animals only concerned with survival instincts and self-gratification.

    Western-leaning idiots in Yerevan need to come to the realization that Armenia's future lies with Russia and only Russia. Closer and deeper cooperation with the Russian Federation and the Islamic Republic of Iran is Armenia's only way forward in the Caucasus. Anyone that does not agree with this is either an agent of the West or an idiot.

    Therefore, official Yerevan needs to -

    Shut down any "news" organization and NGO in Armenia that is not homegrown and/or operating with funds being brought from European or American sources.

    Stop using English as the second language in the republic (Armenian youth would be better off learning Russian, German, French... and why not Persian, Chinese and Hindi).

    Cut ties with NATO (what is it good for?).

    Cut ties with Globalist institutions such as the IMF and USAID (they pose an immense danger to the healthy and well being of developing nations).

    Finally, cut ties with Washington (has been and will always be an anti-Armenian vipers nest)...

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  13. Frankly this slap in the face by azerbaijan unties Armenia's hands to act as Armenia pleases. As I see it Armenia is now free to formally recognize Artsakh as an independent state since there is no point left in negotiating with a fascist regime. I'm sure Russia would understand that (1) that if Russia restrained the Armenia from acting it would undermine the support of the enraged Armenian public for the Sarkisyan administration, thus increasing the power of the western-backed "opposition" in Yerevan; and (2) I doubt baku ran its decision to smuggle safarov out by Russia, so we may assume the Russians are furious at baku for so gravely endangering the status quo of the current ceasefire regime to the detriment of Russian interests. Below is a copy of a comment I originally posted on HyeClub:

    Armenia's hand has been forced. I may be jumping the gun here, but this might be the opportune moment for Armenia to announce that:

    (1) due to the impossibility of continuing negotiations with azerbaijan after the safarov scandal, Armenia hereby terminates all negotiations with azerbaijan;
    (2) the Armenian government extends official recognition of the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh as a free and independent democratic state;
    (3) the Republic of Armenia establishes a legally-binding Mutual Protection and Friendship Treaty with the Republic of Nagorno-Karabakh (highlighting the "an attack on Artsakh is an attack on Armenia" aspect of such an treaty); and furthermore
    (4) the Republic of Armenia will hold a public referendum in one month's time on unification of the two Armenian Republics into a single federal state to be called "The Republic of Armenia"..

    The above are just a guideline for one course of action Armenia could utilize to respond. The azerbaijani government is clearly going to use safarov to heighten both morality and barbaric lust for Armenian blood among azerbaijani troops. An all-out attack on Armenia and Artsakh may well be in the works, they are clearly itching for a fight despite how ill-prepared they appear to be militarily. Their behavior lately is as erratic as georgian behavior in the run-up to August 2008.

    Maybe it's time for Armenia to make some preemptive moves. And if we must go to war, then we must make sure that we fully honor Lt. Gurgen Markarian's loss. aliyev and co. have disturbed his spirit and defiled his memory by their latest actions. The Armenian Armed Forces must achieve a brilliant and decisive victory, both to bring final security to Armenia's eastern border and to allow Lt. Markarian to finally Rest in Peace.

    On a side note, jackass ramil only serves as a trophy and nothing more. If the azerbaijani government actually spent $2-$3 billion on hungarian government bonds as has been reported in the news (on top of the personal bribes to sellout hungarian high-ranking officials), well that's a couple of billion that won't go towards better equipping or training their crisis-stricken military.

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Dear reader,

Arevordi will be taking a sabbatical to tend to personal matters. New blog commentaries will henceforth be posted on an irregular basis. The comments board however will continue to be moderated on a regular basis.

The last 20 years or so has also helped me see Russia as the last front against scourges of Westernization, Globalism, American expansionism, Zionism, Islamic extremism and pan-Turkism. I have also come to see Russia as the last hope humanity has for the preservation of classical western civilization, Apostolic Christianity and the traditional nation-state. This compelled me to create this blog in 2010. Immediately, this blog became one of the very few voices in the vastness of cyberia that dared to preach about the dangers of Globalism and the Anglo-American-Jewish alliance, and the only voice preaching the strategic importance of Armenia remaining within Russia's orbit. From about 2010 to 2015 I did monthly, at times weekly, commentaries about Russian-Armenian relations and Eurasian geopolitics in general. It was very difficult for me because I had no assistance from anywhere. The time I put into this blog therefore came at the expense of work and family. But a powerful feeling inside urged me to keep going; and I did. When Armenia joined the EEU and integrated into Russia's military structures a couple of years ago I finally felt a deep sense of relaxation, as if a very heavy burden was lifted off my back. And when Prime Minister Karen Karapetyan reemerged in Armenian politics, I finally felt that my personal mission was accomplished. I therefore felt I could take a step back as I really needed the rest.

Simply put: I have lived to see the institutionalization of Russian-Armenian alliance. Also, I feel more confident now that Armenians are collectively recognizing the strategic importance of Armenia's ties with Russia. Moreover, I feel satisfied knowing that, at least on a subatomic level, I had a hand in the outcome. As a result, I feel a strong sense of mission accomplished. I therefore no longer have the internal urge to continue as in the past. In other words, the motivational force that had propelled me in previous years has been gradually dissipating because I feel that this blog has lived to see the realization of its stated goal.

Going forward, I do not want to write merely for the sake of writing. Also, I do not want to say anything if I have nothing important to say. I feel like I have said everything I needed to say. Henceforth, I will post seasonal commentaries about topics I find important. I will however moderate the blog's comments section on a regular basis; ultimately because I'm interested in what readers of this blog have to say and also because it's through readers here that I am at times made aware of interesting developments. To limit clutter in the comments section, I kindly ask all participants of this blog to please keep comments coherent and strictly relevant to the featured topic of discussion. Moreover, please realize that when there are several anonymous visitors posting comments simultaneously, it becomes very confusing (not to mention extremely annoying) trying to figure out who is who and who said what. If you are here to engage in conversation, make an observation, express an idea or just attack me, I ask you to at least use a moniker to identify yourself.

Please appreciate the fact that I have put an enormous amount of information into this blog. In my opinion, most of my blog commentaries and articles, going back ten-plus years, are in varying degrees relevant to this day and will remain so for a long time to come. Posts in this blog can therefore be revisited by longtime readers and new comers alike. I therefore ask the reader to treat this blog as a depository of important information relating to Eurasian geopolitics. Russian-Armenian relations and humanity's historic fight against Globalism and Westernization.

Thank you for reading.