Silence and Hypocrisy – Killers of Hope

An urgent call for our Diaspora to demand democracy and human rights in Armenia

4 August 2016

While many foreign and outside entities had appealed for a non-extreme response to the extreme actions taken by an armed group at the Yerevan police station, the Diaspora largely remained silent.

By contrast, the rulers in Armenia have engaged in wholesale mass arrests and detention of anyone they suspect as the opposition, including peaceful protestors exercising their constitutional right to assemble, whether to appeal for moderation or express their grievances against government policies and practices.

The Armenian Diaspora at large has not adequately spoken out against these government actions. At this point, it is difficult to fathom the motivations for such silence.

An urgent call for our Diaspora to demand democracy and human rights in Armenia

4 August 2016

While many foreign and outside entities had appealed for a non-extreme response to the extreme actions taken by an armed group at the Yerevan police station, the Diaspora largely remained silent.

By contrast, the rulers in Armenia have engaged in wholesale mass arrests and detention of anyone they suspect as the opposition, including peaceful protestors exercising their constitutional right to assemble, whether to appeal for moderation or express their grievances against government policies and practices.

The Armenian Diaspora at large has not adequately spoken out against these government actions. At this point, it is difficult to fathom the motivations for such silence.

Could it be the belief that we, in the Diaspora, have no business interfering in internal affairs of a foreign country—except when it comes to the Karabagh question and Armenia-Turkey relations? Or is it the notion that it's the Armenian government's job to serve the needs of its people—except when it comes to the sick, the needy, the poor, the military, elderly, public schools and children?

Only the ruling elite seem to have their needs addressed while living lavish lives supported by ill-begotten funds sheltered in the names of family members and off-shore shell companies.

Recently the Catholicos of All Armenians himself thought it appropriate to condemn the violent acts of these "Daredevils", but he has not condemned the injustices perpetrated by the ruling party against the flock– such as systemic election fraud and gross human rights violations, including unleashing the over-aggressive police and infamously brutal thug brigades.

Many community leaders in the Diaspora have acknowledged, behind closed doors, that it's no secret to them that Armenia is severely corrupt, but they could not speak truth to power because it might have compromised the good work they were doing to instill "hope for a better future" among the people—except when that hope was for a clean government that evens the economic playing field, allows for free and fair elections, and insists on an independent judiciary and Rule of Law. Perhaps they considered those minor issues compared with poverty and hunger. Yet we all have witnessed on many occasions that the people were not protesting against poverty and hunger but demanding democracy and human rights.

So while we were patting ourselves on the back for working to instill hope, our silence and hypocrisy were killing that hope, rendering much of our time, money and efforts in Armenia futile and ineffective–posh hotels, fancy restaurants and high tech "showcase" schools notwithstanding.

Most of us thought time was the cure for Armenia's ills and that somehow, magically, the leaders would come to their senses and live up to the promise of the new Armenia. Yet two decades is long enough to prove that corruption only breeds corruption, leading to a failed state and cynical society that has nothing left to lose. As John F. Kennedy wisely admonished, "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." 

If we are truly honest, it may already be too late to overcome the high stakes and perilous road ahead. Yet, if ever the Diaspora had an opportunity to show its true mettle, the hour has come.

All who recognize this crisis point, should urge our community representatives and organizations, charitable, religious and political, to publicly decry those responsible for the rampant abuses of human rights and dignity and support those that seek electoral reform and an accounting of unlawful police tactics.  The former would include the public inspection of voter lists, and a meaningful investigation of violations committed during last December’s constitutional referendum and those who have to date blocked such an effort. 

We should no longer consider the alternative an option—that is, trying to preserve a fabricated and false sense of law and order that cripples Armenia’s ability to meet challenges at home and at the border while inciting civil violence.

Taking a clear stand on the side of human rights and justice won't instantly solve the deeply entrenched problems that plague the country. But it's a first step in a new direction, that, if made courageously, wholeheartedly, unequivocally and boldly, will instill hope among the people as never before.

They've been waiting for us to answer their call but, as we've witnessed from recent events, they can't wait forever. 

Armenian Bar Association
 
Armenian Scientists and Engineers Association (AESA), NY-NJ Section
 
Armenian Renaissance – Los Angeles Chapter
 
Armenian Renaissance – New York Chapter
 
Justice Armenia
 
Policy Forum Armenia
 
Ara N. Araz (USA)
 
Berc Araz (USA)
 
Nora Armani – Actress, Filmmaker, Activist
SR Socially Relevant Film Festival NY,
Founding Artistic Director
 
Anny Bakalian, Ph.D. – Associate Director of MEMEAC,
The Graduate Center, CUNY
 
Nurhan Becidyan (USA)
 
Vahe Berberian (USA) – Painter, Author, Playwright, Humorist
 
Harout Chatmajian (USA) – Actor, Director, Community Activist
 
Vicken Cheterian (Switzerland)- Writer and University Lecturer
 
Ara Dinkjian (USA) – Musician and Composer
 
Rafi Hovsepian – President, New York Armenian Students’ Association
Adjunct Instructor, New York University
 
Garo Ghazarian, Esq. – Dean & Professor of Law
Peoples College of Law, Los Angeles, California
 
Maro Matosian – Women’s Support Center
 
Prof. Simon Payaslian
Charles K. and Elisabeth M. Kenosian
Chair in Modern Armenian History and Literature 
Department of History, Boston University
 
Vahe Tachjian (Germany) – Chief Editor of Houshamadyan
 
Vicken Tarpinian (France) – Singer and Composer
 
Mario Yazidjian (USA)
 
12 comments
  1. Silence and Hypocrisy

    How naive; how utterly naive.

    I am willing to bet that you all believe in Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy.

    The best way–the ONLY way–to cure the problems in the oligarchic kleptocracy called "Armenia" is for the Diaspora to stop sending money and begin to lobby their host governments to stop investments and "loans," and ask international organizations, such as banks, to stop sending money and to stop investments.

    Then, and only then, when no money coming in and no money to steal, it is possible that the thieves in government will decide to leave and live in their villas in France, or Spain or wherever.

    But, to ask–even to beg–that the self-serving oligarchs change and become honest is like asking the disease-spreading mosquito to stop biting people.

    If this current government–like the previous two–gave a damn about the people (and the country, other than as a source of money to steal), no one would be living in a hovel or shipping container almost 28 years after the earthquake.

    Avedis Kevorkian
    Philadelphia, PA
     

    1. Good Point

      The thieves (the ruling elite) you mentioned also steal large parcels of arable lands from the Armenian villagers whom they have impoverished. Tomatoes rot in the Ararat Valley because those thieves import tomatoes from Turkey. Villagers cannot pay their bank loans. They leave for construction jobs in Russia. The village chief (belonging to the same ruling party) organizes close auctions to sell their land that only select people can attend. Those select people are the representatives of the thieves. They buy the land for a fraction of its value. The thieves become large landowners. So, I am not sure that they will just leave everything and go away. They need to be forced out. The process has already started by the real heroes of our nation, the Daredevils of Sassoun.

  2. The All-Magical Diaspora

    For as long as I can recall, the Diasporan collective have been denigrated as FAKE ARMENIANS and told to BUTT OUT of Armenia's affairs and that only our funds were desired, nothing else. To echo the sentiments of commenter Avedis, what the Diaspora can now do is WITHHOLD funds from Armenia's hijackers called the government.

    We who have devoted our lives to Hay Tahd and hoped to rehabilitate Diaspora organizations from the inside — and out — have been marginalized, ejected and even ostracized by the so-called leaderships.

    Under these conditions, is it fair to define the people who are unwillingly under the thumb of these Diaspora organizations as some all-powerful force that can all of a sudden right grotesque wrongs? As usually detested "interventionists," are we now expected to jump in and with carte blanche magically mold Armenia (and Turkey, for that matter) into what we desire? Do the signatories of the above statement believe that they are smarter than the rest of us and that if we only followed their advice…?

  3. Our Specific Aims

    Dear all,

    Jirair, leading prisoner of conscience in Armenia, has listed what is needed to be done.  We must do this and launch into the future we deserve and owe to our slaughtered forebears and to our children.  As an old teacher of mine used to say:  The good life is the best revenge.  Let's laser focus on these goals and get it done.  Join your local Armenian Renaissance group or otherwise organize and connect.  The Sasna Tsrer managed to twist the logic of Armenians.  They managed to shake us out of the loser mentality.  They led us to see how much we all feel the same and want the same.  The entire oligarchic apparatus, along with their partners in crime, the leadership of the Diaspora, are pitted against us.  But just as the Tsrer are the freest Armenians in Armenia today, so are we.  Let us get this done.  Let us be the generation that breaks this ceiling of centuries of fear.

    1. Ռազմագերիների և քաղբանտարկյալների ազատում
    2.Վստահության կառավարության ձևավորում /հակաճգնաժամային և անցումային փուլի ծրագրով օժտված/
    3. Սերժ Սարգսյանի հեռացում
    4. Արտահերթ խորհրդարանական և նախագահական ընտրություններ:

  4. What do you expect

    What do you expect from a police state run by sultan serjik and his RPA party terrorising the people in partnership with ARF another corrupt party who are trying in their futile attempt to spin out of their responsibility in expectation from this criminal regime of rigged seats in the next parliament as without any rigging they have no support within the electorate.

  5. Silent or Silenced Diaspora?

    Do the co-signees refer to "the Diaspora" as individuals or as our organizations? This is a critical point because:

    1)  a large number of individuals have long and peacefully protested to their Diasporic organizations as well as in the individual arena regarding governmental mismanagement in Armenia (in addition to other matters).  The problem is that these individuals are silenced, censored, discredited and overpowered by the very Diasporan organizations to whom they protest. Moreover, the Diasporan Armenian press (with noted exceptions – Keghart being one of them) is not a viable place to try to express dissenting views because these outlets represent the very organizations who are silencing the critics, thus the outlets are silencing these dissenters in the press also.

    2) if the co-signees are referring to Diasporic organizations, they may as well hold their breath. These Diasporic organizations — in their desires to assist but also to leverage some of power and control — have 'made their deals with the devil' and have become complicit w/ the ruling regime and are in effect just as responsible for the problems and corruption we see in Armenia.  Many Diasporans sought to verbally protest Serzh Sargsyan's recent visit to the East Coast of the US with pointed questions during Q&A time at his gatherings. They were treated like pariahs by the tour organizers and thrown out of organized events as if they were carrying grenades. Some even had printed invitations in their hands and you know how hard those were to acquire (only made available to yes-men).

    So when the co-signees say "The Diaspora has largely remained silent," to whom do they refer? If it is individuals, please know that they are not silent but SILENCED. If the co-signees refer to organizations, then they must be realistic and seasoned about realpolitik. The powerful (real or imaginary, at home or abroad) will not give up their power willingly. Asking for reforms politely will not change that.

    On many levels, I find the "statement" to be a slap in the face to those activists who have been working so hard to turn around misguided Diasporan organizations and their so-called leaders. Such activists include people like David Grigorian of Policy Forum Armenia and Harout Bronozian of Return to Armenia, to name only a few.

    Enter Sasna Dzrer, armed struggle and, whether we like it or not, vigilantism on the near horizon. As the people of Armenia have demonstrated in their support for Sasna Dzrer, it is not only state-sponsored violence that should be considered "legitimate."

  6. It’s time to give an analysis

    I think it’s time to give an analysis about what happened July 17-July 31 and its repercussions.

    1. People love to stress on the fact that the Armenian authorities lie and can’t be trusted. This time around, it was very clear that the so-called opposition, or the “revolutionaries” and Sefilian supporters lie and cheat much more than the authorities. Sefilian gets arrested in June on weapons charges. His supporters make noise that his arrest is illegal. Yet, a month later they prove that  the authorities were right: He and his supporters were preparing a terrorist attack with a big gun arsenal. During the police station occupation, the lies that were spread on social media or at the demonstrations, by the Renaissance/Jiro supporters were the dirtiest tactic in memory. The last time this was used was during the Egypt, Libya and Syria Spring “revolutions”. And we know very well how those ended.

    2. Why terrorism?  Check any dictionary and you will read the definition of terrorism:  "the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. " Since one of the demands of the  Sefilian group was the resignation of President Sargsyan (a political aim), and since 2 policemen were killed on the line of duty and policemen and doctors were taken hostage, things have to be called by their name. This was terrorism.

    3. I am actually amazed at the patience and tolerance of the President. In any other country of the world, including the United States, the police force or FBI would have attacked and neutralized a group, any group (even if they are heroic US Army veterans) and killed or arrested all of them, within hours or days.  

    4. I thought the police acted as professionally as the police would have acted in the most civilized country  in the West, in a similar circumstance. I watched all the videos (and not the ones which were convieniently edited by Radio Liberty and the Soros funded news outlets in Armenia). I saw all the provocations on the part of the protesters, their disrespect of law and order, right before the police took action. These protesters were not any better than anarchist protesters at G8 meetings or May 1st protests. I was impressed by the way the Armenian police handled them. Even in a civilized European country in a similar circumstance there would have been many killed. I  can not even imagine what would have happened in the States.

    5. What was the result of this? President Sargsyan has strengthened his position tremendously, as a leader who is a figure of stability rather than chaos. I’ve always said, too many underestimate him. He is a giant at political chess. For even the worst event he immediately has 5-6 scenarios how to solve them, and all of them are to his advantage (while others are foolishly already celebrating his demise). I also believe he uses the same prowess in external politics.

    6. What do I see on the opposition  side? An uneducated unruly mob. So called leaders who are either financed by Soros and US Aid, or simply have nothing better to do than be on the podium and participate at the contest of who can shout more or who can swear better at the government. And this convinces me once more that we are lucky to have Serj Sargsyan. The only thing these people are good at is creating trouble and tension. And the part which is ridiculous is when they start talking in the name of the Armenian nation. There were 5000 max at the protests. In a city of 1 million. Merely the 0.5% ! The only shimmer of light in the opposition is Nikol Pashinyan. He is on the right path and I wish him the best in the 2017 elections.

    Sefilian and his friends will be in jail for a long time. A clear signal should be sent to  everyone, that violence has no place in Armenia, which is already surrounded by enemies. Any Armenian with any sense left with him should reject the views advocated in the above letter. Armenia does not need a revolution, it simply needs evolution. And the new constitution has put us on the right path for this positive evolution. 

    I believe in the brilliant future of Armenia and in unity. I will write more soon.

    1. Corruption and election rigging

      Serge and his buddies are stealing billions from the people.

      And they have been rigging the elections.

  7. Thank You, Varuj

    Thank you, Varuj, for that new bit of information about the thieves in what used to be called "Armenia" but should now be called "Oligarchia." (Although I am not sure that I should thank you for such news.)

    However, it would now appear that the thieves will stay and will get rid of the people–and keep enough to do the work, till the soil, and clean the streets.

    Perhaps the Daredevils of Sassoun should all go to Artsakh and help defend those Armenians from the Azeris–and from Oligarchia, of course.

    Avedis Kevorkian
    Philadelphia, PA
     

  8. Not standing up for what you believe in, you’ll fall for lies

    Dear Keghart, dear Keghart’s readers,

    Sergik’s regime is using every single opportunity for its dirty propaganda. Through mass media and forums they spread the same twisted information, which is meant to “calm down” the Diaspora and աչքերուն թոզ փչել.  For many of us it’s not that obvious and there is danger of fall for the regime’s lies. I’ll bring some examples here.

    Twist #1: “You must live in Armenia for 365 days, year round, 24/7 in order to have moral right to criticize the government”. Although, I am noticing that this is an old trick, which used to work well. Now I am seeing that it has started to crack since people are realizing that being a bystander makes them equally guilty. Nobody wants to hear Sergik’s victorious statement tomorrow, saying “who, today, remembers October 27th, March1st, Vahe Avetyan etc?". Nobody wants an internal hitler, of course, but willingly or unwillingly, being bystanders we are handing out this opportunity to Serjik. When we call upon the Diaspora to look into the facts, the regime twists them by calling it “hearsay “. When we point out criminal methods used during the elections, they twist them by calling them “irregularities”. How many “irregularities” were investigated and found a fair trial in Armenian courts? (not in EU court). I think the answer is obvious for everybody. Serjik’s regime has built this “hearsay” strategy which worked very well to build further conspiracy theories and keep the Diaspora away by the “365 residency” argument.

    Twist #2: “Serjik won the elections”. This distorted truth is the consequence of twist #1. On the documents, yes, Serjik has won the elections. It’s obvious after the count of votes and from Serjik’s mentally-ill-non-culpable smile shining from the media. However, do you have any idea what opposition looks like in Armenia?   Do you have any idea what expressing his/her political view openly means for 365 days, year round residents? You literally risk to lose your already miserable salary or your means of survival. This is how this crowd of Serjik “fans” is formed. The rest of the “fans” and “cheerleaders” are formed from more or less middle class people who have a small business which can be shut down at any moment by a blink of an eye if they dare to think or express an opinion opposing Serjik’s. The people of Armenia call this method of governance a “manger system”. You are allowed to come close to the “manger” and you will survive if you behave. I am wondering what type of “manger” Serjik has reserved for the Diaspora “elites” wiling to kiss his …      

    I am not going through all of Serjik’s twists and tricks but I would like to emphasize one important thing. Have you ever realized how insulting and discriminatory the statement “every nation deserves the government it gets” is? It’s like saying you are not worthy enough. This statement was brought into this forum as an “argument” and I call upon Keghart, asking them to look after this hateful statement in the future.

    And finally, I would like to thank Berge for patiently cleaning the propaganda dirt in the comment section.

    1. Klepto-oligarchy’s twists cont’d

      Since Keghart has decided to compile some of the important comments, please find below the continuation of Klepto-oligarchy’s twists.

      Twist#3 the words “terrorists” and “revolutionaries”. These words started to circulate immediately after July17th and got immediately extinguished by the people of Armenia. Serjik’s best hope and biggest dream to use the “T” and “R” words as a shield to organise his bloodthirsty plan vanished. However, he still anchors on the hope that he can trick the West, and especially the Diaspora. By definition, “when [an act is] used to target non-combatants, such as civilians, neutral military personnel, or enemy prisoners of war (Quote from Wikipedia)”, it is considered terror. TSRER ARE REBELS. They very clearly articulated on day one why and how they targeted the police station, which had become a blunt tool for the regime to oppress the citizens of Armenia, as opposed to defending them. Rebels against the regime are protected under international humanitarian law.

      Twist#4 playing the “police officers lost their lives during the storm and their family and loved ones are devastated” card. Police officers lost their lives when they were on duty. Their lives celebrated and their deaths were honoured by rebels as well. It’s sad, it’s human life after all. However, it’s very easy to fall into this twist. I am more than confident that Serjik’s regime will not have its continuation and we will have a fair trial for this case. In which case, it will be revealed to you all that the regime plotted the murder of a police officer by sniper, and attempted to set up the rebels for this crime (using amateur photoshop).

      Twsit#5 “Civilnet and Azatutyun edit the videos” Videos were live streamed (unlike the regime’s photoshopped content). We have all seen the violence from implemented criminals (some of them bodyguards of the regime’s servants) acting as protestors, and of course tempered protestors, police brutality and unprofessionalism. You might ask, of course, how I can tell the difference between the implemented criminal and protestors who sincerely stood up for the just cause. Partially, it comes from my life experience. On the other hand, for the most part, any protestor who has a thirst for justice does not use “F” word saturated vocabulary. It’s a cultural thing. Westerns and Russians, for whom swearing is a part of their folklore, would not understand why “F” words (which Armenians have many different level of) are not on our tongue on a daily basis or in our literature, movies etc. We have seen on the live stream how the chief police officer was cursing the woman MP. Swearing at every occasion and in every situation is SPECIFIC to criminal regime’s language and culture. Take this as a diagnostic tool.      

      Twist#6 “Radio Liberty and the Soros-funded news”. This is another trick to discredit the source of information and this one might be the trickiest. There would never be a praised news agency and there would never be an “independent” news agency. The solution for this is having alternative news agencies. This twist is similar to Twist#2. Armenia lacks alternative news agencies. It’s really hard, if not impossible, to build a culture of alternative news agencies under this regime (or similarly, for the opposition, see twist #2) because this would ultimately kill the regime. Those news agencies who somehow survive have been backed up from outside sources and this is unfairly held against them. The majority of the Diaspora (“not-elite” Diaspora, please see twist#2) can help to build an alternative news agency culture in Armenia since they are independent from the “manger system” (please refer twist#2 again), thus helping to move towards our national goal with greater efficiency.

      Twist #7 “The opposition is an uneducated, unruly mob”. This is a twist and one of the biggest insult at the same time, similar to what I mentioned earlier, referring to the discriminatory and hateful expression “every nation deserves the government it gets”. Yes, the regime systematically tries by all means to morally suppress our national values. I have the privilege of knowing some of the protestors. I recently had an opportunity to learn about Kyureghian brothers who, unlike the majority of us, could not stand the unruly corruption and luck of the elementary justice system. Did you know the education level of these guys? Did you know that they could easily get the highest paid job in any Western IT company? Did you know that Arthur Sargsyan (the guy who risked his life delivering food to “Sasna Tsrer”, who were blockaded from humanitarian aid) has 3 university degrees? This ignorance is disgusting. And who are we comparing them to? To an evil-"chessmaster" Baku communist party school (Higher Party School) graduate, Serjik?   
           
      Twist#8 “Tsrer’s rebellion in July justifies Sefilian’s arrest in June”. I will let this nonsense be explained in details by professional lawyers. I just want to say the following. Jiro and friends always warned the regime, and specifically Serjik, that this is coming (and they never hid that they will be on the forefront of the rebellion). This socio-economic disaster is an escalating process which leads to the rebellion (determinism that is history-backed). Do you want to know the end of the story? Or I will get arrested for plotting Serjik’s assassination if I tell you now that if this socio-economic disaster is not stopped by the evil chess master Serjik, then his destiny will be similar to Gaddafi’s or Ceausescu’s destiny.

      Twist#9 “Don’t turn Armenia into Somalia, Beirut or Lebanon etc.” In this forum only Somalia was used. However, I would just like to remind the readers that initially the regime’s grandmaster used Beirut and Lebanon as examples. And when his advisors finally told him that it’s not only unethical and politically incorrect but also stupid, only then they start to reference Somalia. Poor Somalia. This twist is more complicated. The right outcome from this situation DEPENDS ON US. I am confident that if my nation does not fall for the regime’s other tricks, such as “if not Serjik then who?” and anchors on our national true identity, the identity which belongs to so many talented people, then building a strong country will start to become a realty in the evolutionary form that the opponents are rightfully mentioning (however, they lack reasoning for the foundation of the evolutionary process). Just look around and look at your roots, you will notice that we not only deserve a better country and better leaders (all countries and nations deserve that), but that we are capable to get out from under this oppressive system and build our dreamed, decolonized and sovereign country (ապագաղութացում, ինքնիշխանություն).

      Unfortunately, the regime’s twists are abundant even on this small platform.

  9. Artur & Berge: Point and Counter-point

    Artur & Berge: Point and Counter-point
     
    Over the past week Artur of USA and Berge of Canada provided the readers a lively discussion about recent events in Armenia and the socio-economic, geopolitical framework within which the "Sasna Dzrer" took action. Each has his perspective. For the sake of clarity and saving the trouble for readers viewing an ever decreasing width of the comments' column the individual consecutive postings are compiled  in this entry.-Ed. 
     
    It’s time to give an analysis
    Submitted by Artur Mazmanian on Tue, 2016-08-09 21:22.
     
    I think it’s time to give an analysis about what happened July 17-July 31 and its repercussions.
     
    1. People love to stress on the fact that the Armenian authorities lie and can’t be trusted. This time around, it was very clear that the so-called opposition, or the “revolutionaries” and Sefilian supporters lie and cheat much more than the authorities. Sefilian gets arrested in June on weapons charges. His supporters make noise that his arrest is illegal. Yet, a month later they prove that  the authorities were right: He and his supporters were preparing a terrorist attack with a big gun arsenal. During the police station occupation, the lies that were spread on social media or at the demonstrations, by the Renaissance/Jiro supporters were the dirtiest tactic in memory. The last time this was used was during the Egypt, Libya and Syria Spring “revolutions”. And we know very well how those ended.
     
    2. Why terrorism?  Check any dictionary and you will read the definition of terrorism:  "the use of violence and intimidation in the pursuit of political aims. " Since one of the demands of the  Sefilian group was the resignation of President Sargsyan (a political aim), and since 2 policemen were killed on the line of duty and policemen and doctors were taken hostage, things have to be called by their name. This was terrorism.
     
    3. I am actually amazed at the patience and tolerance of the President. In any other country of the world, including the United States, the police force or FBI would have attacked and neutralized a group, any group (even if they are heroic US Army veterans) and killed or arrested all of them, within hours or days.  
     
    4. I thought the police acted as professionally as the police would have acted in the most civilized country  in the West, in a similar circumstance. I watched all the videos (and not the ones which were convieniently edited by Radio Liberty and the Soros funded news outlets in Armenia). I saw all the provocations on the part of the protesters, their disrespect of law and order, right before the police took action. These protesters were not any better than anarchist protesters at G8 meetings or May 1st protests. I was impressed by the way the Armenian police handled them. Even in a civilized European country in a similar circumstance there would have been many killed. I  can not even imagine what would have happened in the States.
     
    5. What was the result of this? President Sargsyan has strengthened his position tremendously, as a leader who is a figure of stability rather than chaos. I’ve always said, too many underestimate him. He is a giant at political chess. For even the worst event he immediately has 5-6 scenarios how to solve them, and all of them are to his advantage (while others are foolishly already celebrating his demise). I also believe he uses the same prowess in external politics.
     
    6. What do I see on the opposition  side? An uneducated unruly mob. So called leaders who are either financed by Soros and US Aid, or simply have nothing better to do than be on the podium and participate at the contest of who can shout more or who can swear better at the government. And this convinces me once more that we are lucky to have Serj Sargsyan. The only thing these people are good at is creating trouble and tension. And the part which is ridiculous is when they start talking in the name of the Armenian nation. There were 5000 max at the protests. In a city of 1 million. Merely the 0.5% ! The only shimmer of light in the opposition is Nikol Pashinyan. He is on the right path and I wish him the best in the 2017 elections.
     
    Sefilian and his friends will be in jail for a long time. A clear signal should be sent to  everyone, that violence has no place in Armenia, which is already surrounded by enemies. Any Armenian with any sense left with him should reject the views advocated in the above letter. Armenia does not need a revolution, it simply needs evolution. And the new constitution has put us on the right path for this positive evolution. 
     
    I believe in the brilliant future of Armenia and in unity. I will write more soon.
     
    Hearsay  About Rigging
    Submitted by Artur Mazmanian on Wed, 2016-08-10 00:00.
     
    Hearsay about rigging elections: Whoever believes that the 2013 presidential elections and the 2015 constitutional referendum were rigged should also believe that Elvis is still alive. There is absolutely no proof to make those claims, just hearsay and a couple of videos of arguments breaking out between journalists and election officials. Sure there were irregularities: elections are not perfect in the U.S. or Canada. They had close to zero effect on the outcome. Do you want to be 100% sure that 2017 elections will be perfect? Opposition simply needs to get 6,000 of their people who can be at all the voting booths throughout Armenia. Guess what? They could not even find 6,000 people to perform that duty in 2015 and 2013. If they can't even manage that, how do you expect them to govern a country or ask for a perfect election? So they resort to name-calling and hearsay. When you lose, the easiest thing to say is that the election was rigged
     
    Yes, there is corruption, but it did not start with Serje. It started in 1991. It exists not only in Armenia but in all the former Soviet bloc. The independence of all these countries, including Russia, was founded upon oligarchy and corruption, and to get rid of them will require time. You want to bring true change quickly? Get off your couch in the West, quit wasting time on social media or the internet, and immigrate to Armenia and invest there. It would take 100,000 Diasporans  emigrating to Armenia from the West, to get rid of the corruption once and for all. But people sitting in Canada and the U.S. and blabbering about what the ideal Armenia should be through petitions, protests, swearing at the government, shouting and yelling that we're losing Armenia, is of zero use. The day Diaspora understands this, is the day Armenia's problems begin to find their solutions. The rest is simply laziness and total waste of time.
     
    Time for Real Analysis
    Submitted by Berge on Tue, 2016-08-09 22:58.
     
    Artur,
     
    1) Your fear-mongering comparisons with Egypt etc. will not work. In Armenia we have a clique of thieves ruling the majority. Those thieves have been robbing our people and her voice. Jirair and the Sasna Dzrer should be commended for responding to this great evil, the final destruction of our nation, in such restrained a fashion. I don't know if you would have been as civil if someone was robbing your home and your children's future.
     
    2) Use dictionary definitions all you want. Your false equivalence (s) will no longer work. Serje is not a democratically-elected president. Even if you believed he was, his theft of the referendum, which you would have to lie to deny, established his dictator's status. Revolution–Sasna Dzrer members did not  go that far–against a dictatorship or a king is not terrorism. Look at the country you are writing from. Both policemen who died were killed by friendly fire on the first day, the other by police guns. The latter was fully documented and the claims of the police that the Dzrer shot this policemen has been debunked by analysis of the photoshopped images shown by the police.
     
    3) The only thing that restrained Serje was his utter fear as to what would happen to him if he attacked the compound. He would certainly have repeated 2008 if he thought he'd get away with it.
     
    4) Your 'Soros' fear-mongering, alas, will no longer work. We all saw how civilian-dressed thugs were let behind the police barricade, took drugs, and went on a beating rampage of the media and then innocent demonstrators. The only part that was not LIVE AND CONTINUOUS, i.e. impossible to claim to have been edited, was after the thugs beat the reporters.
     
    5) Serje is a thief and a dictator. You can go on loving him. Serje is now at the end of his emperor without clothes phase. He may look strong to you, but all dictators do, and do more so just before their fall.
     
    6) On the opposition side what you should see is: THE ARMENIAN PEOPLE, all 1.2 million of them left in the whole country because of the policies of the Sargsyan regime. You, of course, can't see that the opposition is the entire people, because you are the king's friend and are too invested in him. It is true that more people could have braved the dangers to life, limb, jobs etc. and come to the street. But the work of the Dzrer is not finished. The empowerment of this oppressed people has only now restarted. Your fear-mongering and patriarchal behavior will not work much longer. Aside from a few like you, I am having a hard time finding Armenians anywhere that do not agree with the message of the Dzrer. The Diasporan kings are also shedding their clothes, try hard as they might to hold on to them.
     
    Evolution rather than revolution? That's your preference. Fine, I will take that.  But you first tell your friends to stop robbing my brothers and sisters and stealing our voices, and hoarding innocent demonstrators every time they find them in small numbers and cramming them in sardine buses and throwing them in jail and beating them and threatening them and forcing them to kiss their shoes. Oh, do remember that we all watched all the above LIVE AND UNINTERRUPTED.  Except you, at least you claim, who watched the dictator's channels which emitted not a single peep about these momentous events…  Yet you, even you, seem to know about the LIVE STREAM THAT WE ALL WATCHED.  Hmmm.  I wonder what you were watching, and why you are hiding what you saw.
     
    I’ve Said it Here
    Submitted by Artur Mazmanian on Wed, 2016-08-10 02:41.
     
    Berge,
     
    I’ve said it here before. Your intentions are good and I don’t doubt your patriotism. Except that you’ve been led to believe in distorted facts and your comments are based solely on emotion. But since you started with details and made assumptions, I can’t help but bring out the facts again. You can say “it will not work”. Wishful thinking and delusion aside, we have to talk facts.
     
    1) This had “Arab Spring Revolution” written all over it. This was an attempted armed take-over of the government, whether you agree with it or not. This was to have a bigger scale (occupation of more buildings) but that was impeded by Sefilian’s earlier arrest. The operation failed miserably. More facts? Your great revolutionary Pavlik Manukyan, the leader of this group, was actually the chief of the beatings and intimidation done to LTP supporters in Aparan, during the 2008 election. Rigging elections in favor of Serje? You can ask him, he is a great role mode. About eight members of this group did not even know that they were going to be part of terrorist activity. They thought they were going to a demonstration. They were lied to by the planners of the operation. Two of them escaped from the compound.
     
    2) Again your emotions are discrediting everything you’re saying. It is terrorism by definition. Islamic terrorists also call themselves liberators from Western tyranny. The referendum for a more democratic constitution was not rigged. There is absolutely no proof for that. If you believe that it was rigged, you can also convince us that Elvis is still alive. And if the opposition wanted to be 100% sure that there was no rigging, there was a simple way of doing so: find around 6,000 opposition-minded people to be at voting booths throughout the country, not taking bribes and ensuring that everything is done right. They couldn’t even find 2,000 to do this. Sefilian and Hovannisian were too busy parading their supporters around Yerevan for a couple of days, because weeks before they had already “decided” that it will be rigged.
    The first policeman who died, Artur Vanoyan, was not shot by friendly fire. Even members of the group admitted that they shot him after he resisted and emptied all his bullets on them. Another policeman is still in a coma. Friendly fire? Vanoyan bled to death when he was left there for two hours, because your “heroes” did not allow ambulances or doctors to come in to take him away. Photoshopping? No one did more Photoshopping than supporters of this “revolution” during the siege, and some of it was done so poorly that it was pathetic. In any case, so many truths will come out in the next few months.
     
     3) Here is another example of how you and most of the opposition underestimate President Sargsyan. Scared? Him? He could have solved the problem anyway he wanted, and after a couple of months no one would have cared or remembered. He chose the patient way because he knew these misled people were Armenians.
     
    4) There is no fear-mongering on my part. It is no secret that Radio Liberty is funded by the CIA; Civilnet and A1Plus are funded by Open Society Foundations which is a creation of George Soros.  The principal aim of such media outlets is to drive out Putin’s Russia from former Soviet bloc countries. Their biggest success was Ukraine, which, as a result has technically ceased to exist as a unified country. Berge, does that work for you? The plan was obvious: For the mob to dismantle the police barricade, cut through it, unite with the armed group at the police station full of guns, and the rest I leave it to your imagination. Bloodbath on the streets of Yerevan and possibly civil war. If it took couple of journalists being beaten up to avert a much greater disaster, then even the thugs are my heroes in this case. I say this tongue in cheek of course. I repeat, after watching the live feeds of Azatutyun, Civilnet and A1plus I can honestly say that the police handled this professionally and with patience, even in the face of thuggery on the part of most protesters. Also don't forget that they'd lost two of their brothers-in-arms.
     
    5) I would not call Serje a dictator. Although I do not love him, he is the best choice by far. He is authoritarian, and I honestly believe a country like Armenia needs an authority figure with an iron fist. I think he is much softer than Kocharyan or the LTP. Serje will  serve until his last day in office in 2018. There will be a national unity government after the 2017 election, which will be won by the Republican Party, with a strong opposition in parliament (much stronger than now). I think we will see many new and young faces on the political map. I think Serge will appoint a technocrat PM to root out the problems that face the country . You cannot beat Serje: his mastery of the political chess game is too good. I also don't doubt his patriotism.
     
    6) The last point you make is full of euphoria and inaccurate numbers. Unfortunately it is dangerous to build a country or do politics based on euphoria and wishful thinking. It is even more dangerous to support violence and illegal take-overs no matter how much you think your cause is just. I will be more logical and tell you this: This was a wake-up call on many levels and lessons were learnt on all sides and conclusions were drawn. Certain changes that President Sargsyan wanted to do anyway, will be accelerated after this. The only tragedy is that there was loss of life. And that Jirayr and his friends will spend many years in jail. 
     
    Truth
    Submitted by Berge on Wed, 2016-08-10 11:06.
     
    Arthur,
     
    1) Pavlik, Jirair, Kayl and the others are our Karabagh War heroes. Varoujan Avetisyan is one of our greatest patriots and intellects. I know many of these men in person. Whatever Pavlik did or did not do in 2008 was led by your friends Kocharyan/Sargsyan. If you want to attach any blame to Pavlik then go to the real source. Even if he did any such thing, he is the epitome of patriotism, and would have been misled at the time by your friends. Incidentally, you should review the videos your friends made on Pavlik's heroism in Karabagh. Pavlik put his son at the altar of the nation. You don't know Pavlik; you don't know Jirair; you don't know the others. These are the Sasna Dzrer. When there is no other way, and when the nation is brought to the brink of extinction, people who care and love go Dzour. I am Dzour. Just tell your friend to quit stealing, and I will not need be Dzour. Why don't you do that? Otherwise the number of the Dzours will continue multiplying, and we will save our nation.
     
    2) Your false equivalence (s) and fear-mongering are no longer working. They worked for quite a while but the truth is now so plain that you are wasting your fingertips. The Sasna Dzrer from Sassountsi Tavit to Antranik to Karabagh, and to the present are fighting oppressive thieves and thugs. Call them ISIS all you want.  They could have blown the police station. Instead, they awakened a nation (well, not quite, since there are still holdouts like you) and might well have pulled us back from the precipice. Am I emotional? Sure. If you want me to be less emotional, go to the source. Tell your friend to stop raping my nation.
     
    Vanoyan was shot by friendly fire. That's what Pavlik said. You can prefer to believe Serge. The Photoshopping evidence by the regime pretending that the second policeman was shot by the Dzrer is crystal clear and documented beyond a shadow of a doubt. Instead of addressing this point, you go talk about other matters, classic example of evasiveness and propaganda.
     
    3) You say that Serge could have attacked and killed the guys, and that everyone would have forgotten about it in a few months. You inadvertently declare yourself here, clearly. Your friends think they have this miserable impoverished people in slave-like stranglehold. No more, my friend. You have passed a point of no return. We have gone Dzour.
     
    4) Re your conspiracy theories about the news stations that broadcast real events live. How can you believe that? On the one hand, you have the official media, fully and openly controlled by the regime, showing nothing of the events, and on the other hand you have the whole event plainly,  openly and continuously documented. You say that these CONTINUOUS TRUE LIVESTREAM are false because they are funded by Western sources. The absurdity of that statement makes me wonder about your motives. It is well-known that there is a well-oiled propaganda machine by Serge, including in the Diaspora, which attacks all those who raise concerns. 
     
    You keep saying the police handled the crisis professionally and insert other generalities, without addressing my examples. You have not addressed how come civilian-clothed thugs were injected among the people to first silence the media and then to beat the people and throw many of them to jail, where many still are.  You did not address how come every time the number of people was low they attacked them illegally, violently and threw them in prison. You are not interested in facts, and are disseminating propaganda. But it's no longer working. It worked for 25 years, but no more.
     
    5) Your point five is the clincher. You say: "Serge is very smart. Serge is the best leader. Serge cares about our people…" then in the same breath you say that you do not love him. Why not? Obviously because he is a thief and the head of a mafia band. Hard to love, I agree.
     
    6) You seem to revel in that Jirair and the Sasna Dzrer are in jail. Trust me they are much freer than most, in the real sense of the word.  Soon the Dzrer will also be physically free. And you know what, Serge, unless he escapes, will be judged in an open court of law, and with the billions he, his brother and the rest of the band have stolen, and with which they have paid so many propagandists, and for which they depopulated Armenia, we will restart building our country, free, really free.  And that country will be the best country in the world. You will yet see. 
     
    Euphoria Understandable
    Submitted by Artur Mazmanian on Wed, 2016-08-10 15:25.
     
    Berge,
     
    Your euphoria and emotions are understandable. After all, the  movement you adhere to, has finally accomplished something (however wrong and convoluted that 'something' is) after years of  being ineffective. You can praise your 'heroes' all you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that there are tens of thousands of former Artsakh fighters, at least as heroic and patriotic as Pavlik, Arayik and the rest of this group. Tens of thousands of silent, modest, patriotic heroes who know better than killing a fellow Armenian to justify some utopian social justice cause. Heroes who are smarter than risking the stability of Armenia, which is technically at war. I also think that printing Kevork Chavoush photos, as Pavlik has done, or Che Guevara-type photo of Arayik, from the war, does not make them bigger heroes than the thousands in Armenia, who are proud but would never destabilize the country however just their cause is.
     
    Be careful not to fall in the same trap, when you glorify people. Kocharyan, Serje, General Manvel, Seyran, Vazgen, were also rightfully glorified as war heroes and they were given all the power. And look what people think of them now. Don't fall in the same trap.
     
    You are advocating armed struggle against fellow Armenians, as a way to get social justice. Llet’s say you got what you wanted, the coup d’etat was successful, and your group took over. How does that assure us that a year or two later, another group which has its own interpretation of social justice and is unhappy, will not do the same or worse, in the name of patriotism, and take over the new government through armed struggle? Are you advocating turning Armenia into Somalia?
     
    I’m afraid you’re using fear-mongering as an excuse against logic and facts. During the siege, the only false propaganda was indulged by the revolution supporters on social media, Civilnet and Radio Liberty. I think it is a waste of time to argue about this, especially since Keghart doesn't allow posting videos or pictures. In the next months the truth will come out, and I don’t want you to be embarrassed in your claims of heroism, when what they did was criminal.
     
    Varuzhan admitted that what they did had little support in Armenia and in the Diaspora. “Joghovurd-e ooshatsav mi qich” were his words when he surrendered, admitting their failure. I also remember their pompous statements at  the beginning of the siege: either Serje leaves or we will not get out of here alive and fight to the end. So what happened? Burning a couple of police cars, cowardly killing of a police officer sitting in his car? A couple of bullets to the feet, they quickly call an ambulance and they give up? When at the same time they refuse the ambulance which could have saved Officer Vanoyan’s life? Not only that, but they also hold nurses and doctors hostage? Is this heroism? Senseless killing of Armenian policemen and celebrating their murder on social media, calling them Turks or advocating violence by any means… are these the people who will be responsible for building your new Armenia? Your claims of the nation totally in support are ridiculous. Since when do 3,000 to 4,000 rowdy protesters represent the whole nation? In the Diaspora, let your Renaissance organize a “Sasna Dzrer” celebration evening, and let us see how many people will show up? 30? 40? You have no support; it is frustrating, but people are silent because they know better.
     
    When referring to Civilnet and Azatutyun, I was not referring to the live stream. I was referring to the videos prepared by them which only show the police attacking. When right before protesters had given policemen five minutes, and then violently attacked them, threw rocks and stones at them, and even took away some of their equipment. This was conveniently cut from the propaganda videos prepared by Civilnet and Azatutyun. Berge, you try throwing rocks and stones at policemen in the US and Canada and let us see what will be the result. Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters in many cities of the US were much less violent than the Armenian protesters, yet they were treated much worse by the police. They were picked up in droves for blocking traffic and taken to police stations, without  warrants. Now imagine what would happen if BLM supporters had taken over a police station and two policemen were killed in the process.
     
    You have made your predictions about what will happen next. I will repeat mine, and in about six to seven months let us compare notes in what we said and let us see who is right. I repeat: violent behavior will have no place in Armenia, and the authorities will be much more organized and strict in averting such foolishness. Jirayr and most of his friends will be in jail for the next eight to ten years at least, unless Serje grants them amnesty, which I highly doubt. The 2017 elections will go without a hitch and a national unity government will be formed with new faces, and reforms will accelerate. Serje will retire from politics as soon as his term is finished in 2018, just as he has promised.
    Euphoria is good for a while but becomes dangerous when it distorts clear thinking.  
     
    Bottom Line
    Submitted by Berge on Wed, 2016-08-10 16:46.
     
    Bottom line: Serge and his band are thieves of elections and the resources of our country, and the cause of its depopulation. You are their euphoric spokesman (why, I am not sure). Your euphoria stems from the fact that the thugs of Armenia's police state led by robber dictator Serje, succeeded in quashing our people one more time. But it's a pyrrhic victory, portending their end. See you on the other side.
     
    Sounds Great
    Submitted by Artur Mazmanian on Thu, 2016-08-11 02:26.
     
    Sounds great. Your posts exude so much confidence about the approaching final victory of "Dzur Hayastan" that my only choice remains capitulation. After all, you claim that everything I've said "doesn't work any more". Please keep us updated once in a while about how the construction of "New Armenia" is going and when is the opening date, which judging from your comments is not too far off. But you have to promise everyone on this forum that we will not hear depressing comments from you in six to eight months when Sargsyan wins the election, a unity government is formed, and his Day of Judgement doesn't arrive. According to you, we have entered a new era, and Armenia will become paradise on earth, very soon, under the heroic leadership of your commander. No disappointments allowed. Best of luck.  
     
    The Reality Remains
    Submitted by Berge on Thu, 2016-08-11 08:49.
     
    Artur,
     
    The reality remains that our country is governed as a kleptocratic oligarchy. You know this and support the oligarchs. Everyone chooses what and with whom they stand.
    Best,
     
    Berge
     
    Not Euphoric
    Submitted by Artur Mazmanian on Thu, 2016-08-11 16:00.
     
    Berge,
     
    You got it wrong again. I am an observer and am very far from euphoric. Unlike you, I don’t give myself the moral right to call for resignation or lynching or revolution, because I don’t live in Armenia 365 days a year. I get my information only from opposition news outlets, rarely watch H1. I analyze facts and draw my conclusions accordingly. 
     
    Every nation deserves the government it gets. With all his faults President Sargsyan is the best we can have for now, considering everything and everyone else in the political arena. He is an incredibly shrewd leader and exactly what Armenia needs now. I don’t say this because I like him. God forbid that any mature man actually likes or loves any politician.
     
    All former Soviet republics were founded on ruthless capitalism as a result of democracy. Twenty-five years later almost all of them are still in the same situation. Armenia is not worse than most, but definitely much better than the majority of old Soviet bloc countries. Change will only happen from the bottom up, and it will take time. And not through a destructive violent revolution.
     
    You and your friends can repeat “thief”, “he should resign”, “oligarchic  kleptocracy”, “this is the end of Armenia” all you like. You’re not the first. For the past 25 years Armenians have been saying the same thing about all their leaders and calling for street protests, revolution, and resignation by force. Twenty five years of the same stand towards any leader who is in power. I believe it was Einstein who said insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. And more I think the more I believe that some Armenians have a incurable genetic defect–an insanity when it comes to politics and leadership. Perhaps it's our obsession with tragedy, pathos jealousy and mistrust.
     
    It’s too easy and lazy to jump on the bandwagon and curse the government and the president, day in and day out. Especially with 21st century social media. It’s the easiest and most harmful thing to do. I prefer to stay away from that temptation, because I see that despite all the difficulties we’ve come a long way since independence. And I firmly believe in the brilliant future of Armenia.
     
    But again, please give us updates on your revolution. Last I checked there were about 100-150 people present at Liberty Square .
     
    The devil is in the details
    Submitted by Berge on Fri, 2016-08-12 11:02.
     
    Dear Artur,
     
    Firstly notice the 'dear', because I am sensing honesty in your engaging me.  I do think this conversation is utterly useful for all honest Armenians.
     
    I have been directly and closely involved in Armenia for much of the independence years.  To be brief, the governance of the medical system, including the medical school, has not improved an iota.  It is the same, and in many cases worse.  It is geared simply and primarily to the goal of making money for the oligarchs who own it, and who are close relatives and associates of the president.  This, is a fact.  It took me a long unbelieving while to figure it out, and then countless futile efforts to circumvent, which led me to the only solution left: political activism.  In other words, the whole system (hamagark) needs to change.  Now, the same applies in ALL sectors of the economy.  We have a classical Extractive Economy, and that is Why Nations Fail as documented by the masterful comprehensive work of Acemoglu.  By the way, the same applies to All-Armenian Fund.  To this very day, the AAF has NOT produced a single audit of HOW the funds are spent in Armenia, i.e. an audit that shows that monies are not siphoned off through high costs and other means connected to the regime.  ALL the glossy audits of the AAF ONLY tell you that the sum of money collected in the diaspora were consumed on project X…
     
    Now, as a normal 'scientific' result of a classical Extractive regime of governance, we have what to us is massive emigration.  It is 50,000 per year through all the Sargsyan years.
     
    Now, your view seems to be that all the above must change gradually, slowly, organically.  There are two problems with this:  Firstly, this is NOT changing.  Little successes here and there (SUMO, etc.) show you trees, but not the forest.  The overall situation is not good enough by any stretch of the imagination.  The emigration is VERY REAL.  The lack of immigration, which you have called for repeatedly is also very real.  People migrate to places where the system is such that they can make a good life and future for their families.  The Armenian nationalistic feeling would help us a lot in this regard, but ONLY if we fix the system.
     
    I get a sense you know all the above, that deep in your heart you know that the elections are stolen, that you know how the economy is run, that you know that the emigration is caused primarily by that, you know all these things…  It comes out clearly in your pronouncements about not liking the ruler and system.
     
    But you feel compelled to hide them… for whatever reasons.  But there is a deep deep price to this hiding.  We cannot afford to be a banana republic for another 25 years.  Our population is most definitely below 2 million.  We need much faster change.  To start with, we need to speak truth to facts.  Like you, most diasporan leaders are mum.  They paternalistically have been fooling the diaspora, at best so that people give money to their programs, often for stupidities like medals and prestige getting photos with the prez., etc. 
     
    You say that our people deserve the president they have…  I completely disagree. 
     
    What is needed from the leadership of the diaspora is to STOP supporting and propping the Extractive system.  Just to speak the truth that they know and that they speak in all the private salons.
     
    The devil is in the detail.  If we speak truth, healing will be expedited.
     
    You and the diasporan leadership are trying to have it both ways, have their cake and eat it too.  This is misguided.  They should develop spine and simply speak up:  enough is enough.  This is the message of the Dzrer:  We are a nation that HAS integrity.  We need not be fools.  We should not be afraid.  We should call a spade a spade.  If we all did this, the change you think will come gradually, which is nowhere to be seen, will start coming actually.   
     
    The devil  is indeed in the details
    Submitted by Artur Mazmanian on Fri, 2016-08-12 16:36.
     
    Dear Berge,
     
    The devil  is indeed in the details. Except so far in the last 25 years, rarely any credible details have been provided by the anti-government forces. With some specific exceptions, there have been mostly exaggerated hearsay and accusations with little or no proof. And simply shouting: “He should resign”,. Everyone agrees that the only fair presidential election was in 1991 when Levon was elected. Yet, only months later, tens of thousands were on the street demanding his resignation. Remind you of something? This has been an unending cycle since then, and I really cannot take it seriously anymore.
    I firmly, honestly, sincerely, totally believe that the victor of the 2008 and 2013 elections was Serj Sargsyan. Irregularities? Yes of course. But so minimal, that the final result would in no way be any different. I will remind you, that I follow only the opposition media, and I say this after seeing every single evidence that has been provided by them. The same goes for the 2015 Constitution referendum. On the other hand, I will remind you, that the 1995 referendum to accept the first ever constitution, which you so vehemently defend, was most probably fraudulent. Again, after analyzing opposition sources.
     
    You bring up Acemoglu’s theories yet again. And you prove my point, why no one should suggest formulas, especially not living in the country 365 days. Amazing models of democracy were suggested to Middle Eastern countries, through the Arab Spring Revolution. Toppling dictators and establishing democracy. Sounds great, right? Wrong. The Middle East was a much more peaceful, thriving and better place under dictators. There is no such thing as one size fits all theory, as intelligent as Acemoglu is. Has he taken into account that the country is technically at war? That it is blockaded on two sides, and semi-blockade on the two other sides?
     
    I’ve seen the projects of All Armenia Fund with my own eyes. The All Armenia Fund is a blessing to Artsakh. It gives hope and it improves the lives of heroic Artsakhtsi-es. And instead of stating the obvious, here you are obsessing about and assuming that monies are siphoned off.  You are applying Swiss watch rules to an old clock which is still being fixed after decades of Soviet rule. A country which is at war. Have you heard about how much money gets siphoned off in labor union controlled construction projects in U.S. and especially Canada? Huge amounts! A true mafia. And we’re talking about 2 of the most civilized democracies in the world, with no war on their borders and huge resources and supposedly the least corrupt. This is why I call your thinking utopian. Perhaps you are an idealist, but what good does your idealism bring when you boycott, when something is not in your standard. Meanwhile dedicated Armenians, who know better, give thousands of Artsakhtsi children hope and a future, through new kindergardens, schools , infrastructure, water system, hospitals. I’ve seen these with my own eyes. So what if the contractor charged a bit more, here and there, and monies were siphoned off, when the big picture is so impressive. Those dedicated Armenians who contribute to the AAF, that you criticize or accuse that they’re doing it only for a medal, those are the Armenians who are leaving a beautiful legacy in their homeland. They have an unconditional love towards their homeland and they don't show that love through words, they show it through work.  Meanwhile, I assure you, with your thinking , the only thing you will do in the next decades , is complain, criticize and in one word, do nothing. You've taken the easiest, and most unproductive route.
     
    If you and your group want to be taken seriously, instead of calling for lynching, revolution, resignation and apocalyptic predictions, give us facts, not hearsay. Give us a long list of facts (not accusations!), and most importantly, what can be done to improve every single sphere of life and politics in Armenia. A serious, comprehensive plan, which doesn’t only borrow from an economist’s general theories. But a plan which applies to Armenia exclusively, taking into account cultural, geopolitical and demographic conditions. And let us hear the counter argument from the government.  Sporadic hearsay, rumors, calls for resignations or violent attempts got us nowhere in twenty five years. It’s time to try something new, don’t you think?
     
    Best wishes
     
    A tale of two cities
    Submitted by Berge on Sat, 2016-08-13 00:29.
     
    Artur,
     
    Acemoglu's book is not a theory book.  It's a history book.  You know this. I told you previously…
    >>>>>
    The picture you are drawing is this:
     
    A bit of corruption, a bit of irregularity, nothing particular, All-Armenian Fund does not do audits (although they mislead the people yearly claiming that they do) because some insignificant siphoning cannot be helped…
     
    To me, and to every Armenian from Hayastan I know, the above picture has nothing to do with reality. The diasporan leadership has successfully sold this to the diaspora for years.  They've made this lie into an art.[…The] audience is fast disappearing, because the truth is out, everywhere, in profusion, and can no longer be hidden under even the largest Turkish rug.
    […]  
     
    Like what conspiracy theory fanatics say
    Submitted by Artur Mazmanian on Sat, 2016-08-13 16:59.
     
    Berge,
     
    What you say is sounding more and more like what conspiracy theory fanatics say about  who really organized the Kennedy assassination or 9/11. Especially in this age of information overflow, it is naive to think that the diaspora leadership is hiding the information. The truth has always been out. On the other hand I really think there is a lot of anti-government misinformation or half-truths being spread, through the cynical progressive-activist- inspired reporting that Civilnet and Radio Liberty do. It's all about where you get your information and how you look at it.
     
    No one in their right mind denies that there is corruption and lots of it in Armenia. And corruption starts from the lowest level of society to the highest. It's a way of life and a "nice" souvenir from Soviet times. But healthy and patriotic thinking also notices that in the international index of corruption, Armenia has surpassed 35 countries in the past five years, and ranks better than 60 percent  of all independent countries of the world when it comes to civil liberties and corruption. Is it enough? No.But when someone listens to you, speaking about corruption and dictatorship, they would be convinced that Armenia ranks somewhere between North Korea and Iraq. Which is very far from the truth. And that's the main problem.
     
    I truly think the audience is fast disappearing for your type of thinking. Just take a look at Renaissance organized events in the Diaspora. They are a sad case of "Is anybody there?" Young people in the Diaspora and Armenia are realizing that you change Armenia from the bottom up. You change it by living there and contributing to its ascent. Step by step. And believe me there are thousands who are doing that and making a big change. Thousands who reject cynicism, violence and revolution. Thousands who know better, because they see the bigger picture.
     
    As I write this, the third officer who was in a coma, has died. No supposed social justice cause is worth the killing of an Armenian by a fellow Armenian. Even if the latter is a so-called Artsakh hero. Even if you convince yourself of conspiracy theories that all three were killed by friendly fire. You are far from the truth, and your silence should be golden in this case. Can you look in the eyes of the children these police officers left behind, and tell them, that they were killed because "we want to eradicate corruption in Armenia?" and "they were really killed by friendly fire"? Can the supporters of this "revolution" who are rejoicing the officers' death, on social media, calling them Turks and how they deserve death because they "defend the regime". Can they look in the eyes of their orphaned children? I truly hope that the criminals and Jirayr get the maximum penalty (life imprisonement?) for organizing this act of terrorism. We should not let this happen again.

Comments are closed.

You May Also Like
Read More

Հի՞ն, Թէ՞ Նոր Հայեր…

Դոկտ. Հրայր Ճէպէճեան, Նիկոսիա, 17 Փետրուար 2019 Կեդրոնական Եւրոպայի հայկական ներկայութիւնը ունի իւրայատկութիւններ: Հայկական սփիւռքը այս երկիրներու մէջ…
Read More