If history has any advice to us it is resisting outside infiltration as best as we can.
Much has been said and yet not said about the recent presidential election in Armenia.
After all said and done it is the responsibility of any country’s government to restore normalcy and it’s an inescapable part of that obligation to take responsibility for whatever crisis. Blaming the opposition is not the route and will lead nowhere. Earnest cooperation is the only venue as long as it is not understood as co-optation.
(*) Following this posting in a private correspondence his Excellency Ambassador John Evans has provided some clarification about the “myth” of the perceived exaggerated size of the edifice. I share with you the email with the kind permission of the Ambassador.
Dear Mr. Abrahamian,
I take the liberty of responding to you about the question of the U.S. Embassy in Yerevan. I was the U.S. Ambassador there 2004-06, when I was recalled for having used the word “genocide” to describe the events of 1915-16. You may be familiar with that story.
In any case, let me put your concerns about the new U.S. Embassy building to rest. The story has been circulating for some time that the new chancery is “the biggest” in the CIS or, as some accounts have it, “in the world.” This is not actually the case. Although the building (five buildings in all, counting the Marine quarters for five Marine Security Guards, the USAID building and two entrance structures) looks massive when viewed from Avenue Isakov, it actually is “right-sized” for the staff of aproximately 320 Armenian locally hired professionals and about 70 American employees. It is a comfortable, but efficient platform for carrying out the activities, many of them programs of assistance, that the staff is charged with administering.
I asked my predecessor, John Ordway, how the story about the alleged “largest Embassy” got started. He explained that, at the time the land for the chancery was acquired, those 23 acres did set something of a record for construction of a new US embassy in modern times. Somehow the large tract of land morphed into the “largest embassy.” Occasionally the “23 acres” was improperly rendered by the media as “23 hectares,” which is of course much larger. US Embassy Yerevan is middle sized, about the same size as its sister embassies in Tbilisi and Baku. Much bigger are, of course, the US missions in such places as London, Paris, Berlin, Rome, Moscow, Beijing, New Delhi, Cairo, etc. The media also at one point claimed that there were 400 Marines at the Embassy (there are a total of six). There was also a claim that there were missiles in the structure, and someone even once claimed we had a submarine in nearby Lake Yerevanian! My experience of the new embassy, which I had the honor to open, in May 2005, was that it was more like a university campus than a fortress (which unfortunately is what some other new US embassies resemble).
With best regards,