From Heroism to Surrender…

By Harut Der-Tavitian, Los Angeles, 29 September 2010

From Heroism of Sardarabad to Surrender of Kars,
From Liberation of Artsakh to
  • July/August 2010: Non-combat shootings in the Armenian Army claim the lives of nine soldiers, highlighting chronic abuse and corruption within the Army.
  • Sept. 11, 2010: The airing of aYouTube video portraying the hazing of two conscripts by an officer of the Armenian Army.
  • Sept. 21, 2010: Armenia celebrates its 19th Anniversary of Independence.


By Harut Der-Tavitian, Los Angeles, 29 September 2010

From Heroism of Sardarabad to Surrender of Kars,
From Liberation of Artsakh to
  • July/August 2010: Non-combat shootings in the Armenian Army claim the lives of nine soldiers, highlighting chronic abuse and corruption within the Army.
  • Sept. 11, 2010: The airing of aYouTube video portraying the hazing of two conscripts by an officer of the Armenian Army.
  • Sept. 21, 2010: Armenia celebrates its 19th Anniversary of Independence.


The above mentioned events have prompted me to ponder about our path as a nation.

When a tiny nation like Armenia endures for thousands of years, despite the calamities it faced, while more powerful ones disappeared from the face of the world, it shows that the tiny nation possesses strong characteristics. But what is it that keeps it from growing and becoming a strong and powerful nation, when much younger nations have managed to grow in number and in power?

We remain to wonder as to what those attributes are that make us endure, yet don’t lead us to quantitative and qualitative achievements? Why were we able, when in feeble and desperate condition, to win the heroic battle of Sardarabad but two years later, when we were in a much better miitary condition, abandon the strategic fortress of Kars to the enemy, without a fight? Why were we able, with small volunteer units armed with hunting rifles, of liberating Artsakh, but instead of building on that success, now seek to emigrate from those lands?

Is it true that the achievements gained through the sacrifice of the idealists are plundered by opportunists devoid of any nationalistic ideals, and by usurpers who treat the country as their personal fiefdom, thus enriching themselves but spreading disillusion among the general population? Otherwise, how can one explain the downfall from the apex of Sardarabad to the abyss of the surrender of Kars, or from the heroic liberation of Shushi to the inglorious state of today? “Yerp chi mnoum yelk ou jar, khentern yen kdnoum hnar” (When there remains no exit and remedy, the foolhardy will find the means). But the opportunists and usurpers squander those means, preventing the development and the growth of our country. Thus we drag an existence until the next cycle.

Probably this explains the attraction of Lord Byron to Armenians, his brief sojourn with us, his learning of the Armenian language and his disillusioned departure after concluding that his contemporary Armenians were unworthy of their ancestors. Could it be that one of the main reasons of our current unenviable state is the departure of disillusioned Armenians and their assimilation into other nations?

Do we realize that at this pace the liberation of Artsakh is heading the way of another Kars fiasco? Let’s dwell on these questions and find the means to change.

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