“What if it’s a Potemkin Army” Four Years Later

Editorial, 2 April 2016

Nobody likes to be told, “I told you so.” The person who utters the unwelcome sentence courts frosty looks and risks losing friends. A week before the disastrous Four-day War of 2016, we wondered in an editorial (“What if it’s a Potemkin Army?”) whether our army was strong enough to overcome an Azeri attack. We received angry letters and were accused of disloyalty and worse. The letters stopped when it became obvious that our army’s effort had been less than stellar. Four years have passed, and we have learned to our chagrin that our 2016 editorial had been prophetic. The recent 44-day War showed we were close to the truth not only in 2016 but also in 2020. So here it is again: “What if it’s a Potemkin Army?” Check PS  Ed. 19 November 2020

On March 12 Armenian sources announced that more than 5,500 shots from various guns of different calibre were fired at Armenian positions by Azerbaijan forces. The Azeris also used howitzer cannon.

On March 17 two Artsakh servicemen were killed by Azeri fire. The Azeris fired more than 600 rounds from different calibre weapons. The Artsakh army “took retaliatory measure and killed two and wounded several,” said an Artsakh government spokesman while the defense minister said, “The Azeri side has adopted an unrestrained strategy to destabilize the situation at the conflict line, the result of which is unpredictable.”

In recent months Baku has upped the ante and deployed tanks, grenade launchers and 120 mm mortar.

We have heard of many similar incidents as the above and almost as often heard Armenian authorities promise they would take punishing counter measures.

The above Azeri bellicose actions came soon after Armenia’s Deputy Defense Minister David Tonoyan announced that Armenia had abandoned its “static defense” strategy and had switched to a more active deterrence in its standoff with the Azeri forces.

According to Armenian sources, 38 soldiers and civilians were killed due to enemy action last year. Armenians claim they caused far greater number of casualties. It would surprise no one that both sides understate their losses and exaggerate enemy losses.

While casualty statistics are opaque, one fact is clear: the firefights across the border are more damaging to Armenia/Artsakh (pop. below 3 million) than to Azerbaijan (pop. 9.7 million). While Azerbaijan’s population keeps ballooning, Armenia’s population is shrinking because of emigration, poverty and lower birth rate.

Why has Armenia been so “circumspect” in its conflict with Azerbaijan? Why has Armenia been so “patient” for more than two decades despite almost daily provocations by an enemy which has frequently stated its intention to go to war against the Armenians?

Some believe the reasons for Armenian’s conservative military strategy are Russia and world opinion. Moscow will be irate if Armenia goes to war against a country Russia is courting assiduously. Since the global diplomatic community maintains Artsakh should be given to Azerbaijan, Armenians don’t want to appear as aggressors, despite the provocation.

However, these two considerations should be null and void when a state’s existence is at stake. Azerbaijan has been waging an open-ended war of attrition. The Armenians can’t afford such interminable war.

We have heard countless times that the Azeri military budget is bigger than that of Armenia’s national budget. Azerbaijan oil fields continue to gush billions of dollars while Armenia’s economy is stunted and devoured by the oligarchs. Petro dollars mean more high-tech weapons. In high-tech warfare, heroism and patriotism are of diminished value.

Armenian leaders are good at assuring their citizens that Armenia can win an Azeri-Armenian war with ease. Indulging in his usual panegyrics, during the recent Army Day, Artsakh President Bako Sahakyan typically said: “The glorious army is the offspring of independence, the pride of the entire Armenian nation, which it loves and cherishes like a child. Its brave soldiers follow the lead of their ancestors devotedly carry out the sacred duty of defending the Homeland, performing and displaying unique feats of courage…”

Meanwhile, in early February, Argati Ter Tateosyan, leader of the Artsakh commando squad, said Armenia could annihilate Azerbaijan in case Baku declares war.

If words were horses, we could ride them to victory.

Just because Armenians won the first war with Azerbaijan it doesn’t follow that they would win the next one. Azerbaijan has one of the best-equipped armies in the region. In addition, it has Turkish and Israeli trainers and consultants. In case of war, it has a huge war chest to hire non-Azeri mercenaries to do their high-tech fighting, just as they did in the first round.

Hundreds of Azeris fighting on the side of ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra in Syria have gained tremendous experience. Azeri commanders there have taken leading military and intelligence roles. Azeri fighters have built a reputation as fierce fighters. There are even Azeri women fighters in the ISIS all-female Al-Khansa brigade. In case of an Armenia/Azerbaijan war, these fanatics will surely fly to Baku to fight the “infidel” Armenians. In addition, there are the Mujaheddin, Taliban, Dagestani, Chechen, Circassian war-groupies, and Turks who would rush to help junior brother Azerbaijan. The Armenian small army has little experience.

Who will come to the assistance of Armenia? Not Russia. Not the CSTO, not Greece or Serbia. The Diaspora’s attitude has changed since the first war when Diasporans were gung-ho. The endless depredations of Armenian authorities, the corruption, the oligarchs, have disenchanted the Diaspora.

Government corruption has also corroded the morale of Armenians in the homeland. Government-friendly oligarchs have put an economic choke-hold on the citizens and driven many out of the country. How can a population suffering from a prolonged poverty and morale crisis nurse an army which has high morale? How can a corrupt and unpopular government nurture an army which has integrity, cohesion, determination and esprit de corps?

Was the decision not to open the Stepanakert airport an indication that the Armenians were cowed by Baku? Why so many suicides in the Armenia/Artsakh armies?

In late 18th century, General Potemkin, a right-hand man of Catherin the Great, built instant—and façade—villages to impress the Russian empress that progress was being made in the countryside. Once Catherine’s entourage passed by, these phony villages were abandoned eventually giving rise to the phrase Potemkin village to describe something which is no more than a veneer, like a film set.

The inadequate response of the Armenian side to more than two decades of Azeri aggression impels us to wonder out loud whether the Armenian army is a Potemkin army: a cardboard military basking in the glory of its predecessors’ heroism. If Armenia/Artsakh armies are superior to that of the Azeri forces, why don’t Yerevan/Stepanakert give a bloody nose to the Azeris every time Baku snipers and saboteurs get busy killing our 18-year-old recruits? Armenia/Artsakh DON’T have to go to war: all they have to do is to teach the Azeris that they can’t get away with murder anymore.

If a boxer is drubbed in the first five or six rounds without retaliating, fans conclude he will not last the 12 rounds. If after more than 20 years Armenians continue to absorb the Azeri punches without meaningful counter attacks, those who follow the Armenian/Azeri conflict are justified in wondering whether there’s something seriously wrong with the Armenian armed forces.

P.S.  A month-and-half after the Four-day War, (May 27), the Hayastan all-Armenian Fund held the 25th meeting of its Board of Trustees at the Government Reception Hall in Yerevan. During the gathering, an attendee who had been instrumental in raising a great amount of funds over the years suggested that the money allocated to building churches could be put into better use by purchasing drones which had been effective in recent clashes elsewhere. The practical suggestion was pooh-poohed. Among those who gave thumbs down to the suggestion was Mr. Patriot Himself–Catholicos Karekin II who was on a church-building binge.  Ozymandias–that other eminent personality who suffered from edifice complex—comes to mind.

29 comments
  1. Creative thinking required from Serzh/Bako

    Twenty years on, they need to get on with the concept of training Diasporans to help protect Artsakh. 

  2. Potemkin Armenians

    What a shameful editorial. Totally disappointed in Keghart. While Armenian soldiers are dying defending their country, Keghart editors are busy masquerading themselves as concerned Armenians. They sound to me more like Potemkin Armenians, with a fake veneer of concern about their homeland but in reality more interested in literary opportunism.

    1. Anti-Armenian Propaganda

      Ara, Garen,

      My take of the editorial is different from yours.

      I believe the editorial said that two decades of restraint by the Armenians could make some observers, including pro-Armenian ones, wonder whether Armenians are not retaliating because they're weaker than the Azeris. Rather than being pro-Azeri propaganda, the editorial encourages Armenian authorities to punish the Azeris for their constant harassment. A good drubbing of the Azeris could discourage Baku from future adventures.

      I don't see Azeri propaganda in the editorial. To list the strengths of the opponent is a healthy approach: it could lead to plans which presumably can overcome the foe.

    2. Holier Than Thou

      WOW.

      Garen, I quoted you  capitalized with one clarification noted in parenthesis. I want to clarify to you that I am not Keghart.com editors’ spokesperson and they do not need one. I just wanted to make a point that this is the kind of bellicose verbiage one hears from those who claim that they are  “Holier Than Thou” Armenian.

      “WHILE ARMENIAN SOLDIERS ARE DYING DEFENDING THEIR COUNTRY, KEGHART (ARMENIAN) EDITORS ARE BUSY MASQUERADING THEMSELVES AS CONCERNED ARMENIANS. THEY SOUND TO ME MORE LIKE POTEMKIN ARMENIANS, WITH A FAKE VENEER OF CONCERN ABOUT THEIR HOMELAND BUT IN REALITY MORE INTERESTED IN LITERARY OPPORTUNISM.”

      Garabed

  3. Like Azeri Propaganda

    Although I agree with many points, as someone who has lived in Artsakh six kilometers from the front line for almost 10 years and am in constant contact with the people there today, I think to underestimate the Artsakh army as this editorial has is misleading. I can tell you that in the last few years, the people who are living in Artsakh have greater economic opportunities and living much better than the people of Armenia. For this reason and because most who are over the age of 20 have had training to fight to defend their land, they will be much more motivated than the Azeris. Those who are 35 and old have probably had combat experience and have taken on trained mercenaries. As for the high-tech Azeri army vs. the Armenians, I can tell you that the Armenians are much better equipped than they were 22 years ago. Some of our weapons are arms that the Azeris don't have. We also have a much better position than the Azeris, which multiplies our power by quite a bit. If I recall, a position on a mountain can give you up to 30 times the power of an opposing force in a valley. Although I respect the editorials of Keghart, this one is a bit off. 

    1. Reassuring comments
      Ara

      Your comment backed by your almost a decade long on the ground experience in Artsakh, 3.7 miles (6 km) from the front line, was reassuring.

      The title of the editorial would raise eye brows and attract attention but the text reflects a concerned editorial staff.

      Vahe

  4. Not a Potemkin Army

    Although I am sure that the editorial was well intentioned, it was not well researched and in some aspects creates confusion and doubt.

    I am hopeful that it is not a Potemkin army. If it was the Azeris would have made an all-out assault to recapture NKR. They cannot.

    NKR is in a very difficult position because:

    – Most of the world community unfortunately still maintains that Artsakh should be returned to Azerbaijan. This is a major hurdle that needs to be overcome. It is incomprehensible and absurd that the right of self-determination is being ignored.

    – The OSCE-Minsk group has been ineffective, biased, inept useless and influenced by the games of its members and the incapable, ignorant diplomatic representatives.

    -We do not know what kind of pressure Russia is putting on NKR/Armenia not to take a more active and powerful act of deterrence.

    The current situation situation is precarious. What's needed is unity and unconditional support; not sowing of doubts.

    Finally, become an activist, visit ANCA.com, and take action.

    Vart Adjemian

    1. I Almost Agree

      Vart,
      I agree with everything you said except the last part re visiting the ANCA site. The ANCA is the lobbying wing of the ARF which poses a big problem because of its support of Serzh and some of the issues that the editorial accurately addressed. 

      Ara Manoogian
      Former ANCA-WR volunteer 

  5. Disagree About the ANCA

    Dear Ara,
    Your comment "I almost agree" is disheartening.
    I think your opinion of the ANCA is not accurate or fair. The ANCA is definitely not the lobbying arm of the ARF. But this is not the forum to argue.

    The issue here is not the ARF, but the continued survival of NKR. With what is happening at the borders of NKR, the least any Armenian-American can do is visit ANCA's site and spend few minutes and sign the petition to "Stop Aliyev".
    Can you do that?
    Vart Adjemian
     

    1. Who Appoints ANCA Chair?

      Dear Vart,

      Who appoints the chair of the ANCA? The ARF. Need I say more?
      As for the ANCA being a failed organization, let me ask: How many Armenians have they helped to get elected? I can tell you of at least two Armenians in Southern California who were not elected because of them and their active support, in one case supporting a Jew and in the other supporting another Armenian who ended up splitting the votes thus the other highly qualified candidate lost to a non-Armenian candidate by about 3,000 votes. And in that election the ANCA-backed candidate received a few thousand Armenian votes by absentee election fraud through the help of the ARF's ARS and the elderly they coordinate assistance for.

      Today the ANCA is backing a Democrat Italian candidate for the California State  Senate over a Democrat Armenian candidate. 

      The Jewish Congress representative, whom the ANCA backs, supported aid to what has now turned into ISIS. Those same U.S.-trained and supported ISIS people were a part of the Artsakh attack we just saw. If you have been following the news, they went into a village, murdered three elderly Armenians and cut off their ears. This blood of Armenians is on the hands of those who supported ISIS, namely the Congress representative the ANCA has been supporting.

      One other failure I want to share (I can provide a long list) is U.S. Armenian Genocide recognition. For at least the last 40 plus years, the ANCA has been actively lobbying the U.S. government to do so. For this mission, they have had tens of thousands volunteer hours (some of them mine) and million of dollars of donations, as well as emotional support from Armenians world wide. 

      A little over a year ago, I attended a presentation by a permanent member of the Armenian community where I learned that the U.S. Go recognized the Armenian Genocide in 1951,1975 and 1980. After this revelation, the ANCA came out with a publication admitting that, thanks to ANCA's efforts, as early as 1975, the ANCA had been able to get the legislative branch of government to recognize it. The emotional, physical and financial drain they put on the Armenian community for the last 40 plus years was a waste. This is the ANCA's biggest failure during my lifetime and one that needs to be reconciled.

      You ask me to sign the ANCA petition. Since I don't recognize them as a viable organization with a long history of misleading the Armenian community they claim to represent, I will have to decline your request. I believe Armenians would  be farther ahead today had there been no ARF lobbying body in the U.S. 

      Ara Manoogian
      Human Rights Activist, Investigative Journalist

  6. Potemkin Editorial

    Even if the editorial raises points that can be considered as credible arguments and points, its timing makes it equal to treason no matter how you look at it. You had 20 years as you put it, to write such an editorial, why now, why this week? Oh, let me guess, you are more intelligent and patriotic than those giving up their lives for you to write such inappropriate and misguided editorials. Good job!

    1. Timing and clarification

      Dear Hratch,

      Thank you for the comment. As the publisher of Keghart.com I'd like to bring to the attention of the readers the addendum accompanying the editorial which states, "It (editorial) was written a week prior to the intense Azeri/Armenian firefight of April 1 and 2.–Editor."

      You may notice that this week's editorial too  Genius in Ivory Tower is not related to recent events, simply because Keghart.com editorials, in general, are written at least a week in advance, unlike daily newspapers and daily on-line publications. They are mostly designed to bring up issues that need to be addressed irrespective of timing.

      1. Timing is Everything

        With all due respect, timing is everything in life and your attitude that articles are written and timing has nothing to do with their publication is absolute rubbish. The Azeri attacks started on the 1st and your article was published on the 2nd. Do not tell me that you have no control of what and when you publish on your site.

        By the way, the events of this week showed that your assessment and concern of the Armenian Potemkin Army were not only wrong but totally unfounded and devoid of any analytical strategic thinking.

        1. Timing, etc.

          Hratch,

          Considering that we, including you, don't know the accurate number of the dead, the wounded, the number of destroyed tanks, vehicles, the accuracy of the shooters, etc. on either side, I would say you're premature in your assessment that the past few days' fighting has shown our side to be stronger than the aggressor.

          And please remember than it's a military axiom that the aggressor, more often than not, suffers higher casualties. As well, the fact that the action took place so close to Artsakh military installations and leadership. Then there's the matter of the Armenian strategic positions. For years we have been told that we are sitting on high ground while the Azeri forces are below us and at our mercy.

          It's unfortunate that you misinterpret the editorial and its intent. The editorial didn't say the Armenian forces are weaker than the Azeri forces. It said that after 20 years of not responding in a robust manner to countless Azeri incursions, the Armenian side can induce some observers to conclude that it's not necessarily our peace-loving ways but that perhaps we are weaker than the Azeris. That's why the editorial advised the Armenian side to show teeth. I see that view is being widely spread this week: at least one Armenian columnist has written we should make sure the Azeris do not dare attack again.

          I'd say the editorial was timely, considering the fluid situation.

          Jirair

          1. Potemkin Article and Timing

            Jirair,

            I beg to disagree that my assessment is premature simply given the fact that Azeri soldiers are not in Stepanagert or on any part of the previously established contact line. That is a fact which puts your Potemkin army theory to rest. Incidentally, although the notion that an aggressor usually suffers more casualties in general is correct, it is also correct that the defender suffers more casualties when the aggressor combines the element of surprise, the case here.

            I am an avid reader of Keghart and I usually agree with most of your editorials but in this case, given the timing and the nature of the argument, both were not appropriate.

            Editors have responsibilities and even if their point of view might be a good point of discussion, other factors should weigh in their day to day decisions. Unfortunately, just as Santa, Utopia, even a journalistic one, does not exist.

             

          2. Reply to Hratch

            Hratch

            Since we don't know what were the intentions of the Azeris, we can't say that we won. The weekend scenario calls for a number of explanations. For example, were they sending a message that if they didn't get satisfaction at the peace table, they could unleash a big operation or even war? Having hurt us to a certain degree, they might think they have delivered the message to us and to Russia, the US, and France. Another explanation I have heard is that Turkey, having received a drubbing by Russia in Syria, is opening another flash point to annoy, challenge the Russians. As I said, theories are aplenty.

            I am glad to read that you're an avid reader of Keghart. It's much appreciated.

            From day one, Publisher Dr. Dikran Abrahamian has made sure Keghart maintains a non-partisan attitude where all valid opinions are allowed a fair airing. We believe in the open market of ideas, even when we don't necessarily agree with them. Your views are very much welcome. Don't let our disagreement on this issue discourage you from writing to us whenever you think we are on the wrong footing.

            Jirair

  7. Our Readiness

    As Armenia/Artsakh spokesmen reveal the extent of the weekend fighting, Armenian commentators have begun to criticize the lack of technological preparedness on our military's side and have called for the use of hi-tech to boost our army's strenght. Karen Vardanyan of the Union of Information Technology Enterprises said that while our soldiers demonstrated military strenght they were really fighting against Azerbaijan's machines. He added that we would pay a high price–read human lives– if we remain behind the times in technological advancement. Another commentator (activist Aren Manukyan) claimed the technological challenges would have been solved if there was less corruption in the army. Manukayan obviously has an axe to grind, but the death of 32 servicemen, the wounding of 121, and 25 missing is too high a price. The above facts and observations tell me that our defense forces are not as well prepared as we had assumed. I hope the weekend becomes a cautionary tale to our authorities.
    Mesrob

    1. High-tech and Sanctions

      Although Armenia is behind the times with military technology compared to Azerbaijan, we should be fair and accept that we have not until recently had to face Azerbaijan's new war toys to really know what they can do. Now we know some of them and should look for counter measures.

      If we want to play the blame game though, one area to blame is the Armenian lobby in the U.S., namely the ANCA.

      Since 1992 there has been an OSCE arms embargo against Armenia and Azerbaijan. But since early on Azerbaijan has been buying arms from Israel, an ally of the U.S. and recipient of about $3 billion in U.S. military aid each year.

      Although Israel is not a member of the OSCE, as a U.S. ally it should honor the OSCE embargo. It should honor the OSCE also because the U.S. is one of the countries on the OSCE committee that is dealing with the peace process. Israel is working against the U.S. efforts to find lasting peace by arming Azerbaijan.

      That said, why has the ANCA not petitioned the U.S. government to pressure Israel not to sell weapons to Azerbaijan? They should have been doing this back in the early 1990s when Israeli-made rockets were being used against Artsakh. They should ask not only the immediate halt of weapon transfers, but also for the U.S. to suspend all aid to Israel until the situation is resolved. The resolution would include compensation for losses due to Israeli-supplied weapons and technology that would neutralize the threat Israeli-supplied weapons pose.

      I don't think the ANCA is up to carrying out this task since it lacks the vision we need to prevent the threat of genocide we are facing from the Azeris. The ANCA's specialty is to cry about the past and milk the Armenian community for all it has and in return deliver empty promises. 

      1. Why Not Confront Israel?

        It is more likely that the ANCA (or the Armenian Assembly of America for that matter) have not gone up against Israel and its anti-Armenian policies because they feel–rightly or wrongly–that they will lose US congressional support that they currently get. Short-sighted, of course, since this mess will not go away by itself. 

      2. Reality Check

        ANCA might not be perfect but do Armenians have any other credible choice that is organized and more effective? NO. To dream that any Armenian organization will be able to ask the US government to immediately halt weapon transfers and to suspend all aid to Israel until the Karabagh situation is resolved shows a total lack of understanding of the political process to say the least. Israel can sell weapons to anyone it chooses including the ISIS if they think that it is advantageous to them. Russia, having a mutual security agreement with Armenia is selling weapons to Azerbaijan for crying out loud. 

        Let us not get carried away with high-tech weapons because there was a kamikaze drone picture published and was used to take out a bus. Look at all the high-tec the US used in Iraq and see the result. Yes, it is nice to have those weapons, if you can afford them, but they alone do not guarantee victory. Let's keep things in perspective. 

        1. ANCA Credible and Effective?

          Assdig,

          Let's be honest with each other. You can't believe what you wrote, can you?

          The ANCA is a failed organization which is controlled by a failed revolutionary organization (ARF) and has caused more harm than good for the Armenian people worldwide. 

          Did you know that we have had U.S. recognition of the Armenian Genocide since 1951? The ANCA has concealed this until they were pushed into a corner by a few people who called them out on their deception. In November of 2015, they admitted that they had concealed these facts. The reason they had played the U.S. Genocide recognition game was the money it brought to them. This is the real face of the ANCA/ARF.

          As for Israel doing what they want to do, you are wrong. They can do what they want, but at the end of the day, they are receiving over $3 billion a year in military aid from the U.S. which can be cut if enough U.S. citizens raise their voice, which the ANCA should have been doing when the first Israeli rocket was sold to Azerbaijan.

          Anyway, sit back and watch how this whole situation plays out. It's not going to be the ANCA that takes care of business, but just a few people who use their brains and not their emotions to take care of things.

          1. Is Ara’s Claim Cedible?

            Ara,

            Recently Robert Fisk  penned an article titled “It’s time for the U.S. to recognize the Armenian Genocide”. Apparently, per your claim he, much like the overwhelming majority of us, save few like you,  have remained ignorant of the historic event you claim to have happened over forty years ago… that the U.S. recognized  the Armenian Genocide.

            Just recently U.S. declared that ISIS committed genocidal acts on Christians and other minorities by a unanimous Congressional resolution.

            Ara, could you please produce documentation for our own education? Was the 1951 vote bipartisan and unanimous as well? I would have to think that you have put your facts together not only to make the claim you make but also, based on that claim, you  accuse the ANCA of decades-long deception.

          2. First Step

            Here's the first step to address the problem. Please sign this petition to help restore peace in the Caucasus.

            petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/enforce-osce-arms-embargo-against-azerbaijan

             

          3. Absolute Honesty

            Here is absolute honesty: ANCA is a joke on the overall political stage, but it is the only joke that exists and there is nothing else that even resembles a joke. I am still waiting for those few people you mentioned who use their brains and do something meaningful other than talk and waste our time. It sounds like you have a personal problem with ANCA which I think you should keep personal. If you work and do something then you are bound to make mistakes. You only make no mistake if you don't do anything.

            In the Diaspora, the ARF can hardly be called a political party any more than the Ramgavars or the Hnchags. Everyone else has long gone to heaven and are only involved in infighting. The AGBU has been privatized and is working diligently to close as many Armenian schools as it can find. Our Church leaders are spreading the word from their Bentleys. 

            All of the above have helped alienate and drive to oblivion all those you call "use their brains", care and are willing to do something positive. They all have jumped on a train to leave the rest of us behind. I do not blame them.

            As far as Israel… if you think that ANCA or any other Armenian organization existing or that one day will exist, can change anything in the US against the wishes of the Jewish lobby or Israel's influence, you are not only naive but you are also living in La La land.

            You either join the system and try to change it from within or become strong enough to fight everyone else or jump on the train with most and go to La La land. A fourth choice does not exist.

  8. Excellent Editorial

    Your editorial became even more relevant following the recent Azeri/Turkish aggression on NKR. Armenian ruling mafia have illegally taken out $10 billion out of the country over the last decade. That amount grew to close to $1.5 billion/yr. under the watch of the present president  from $300/$400 million 10 years ago. While Azerbaijan can afford to have a crook as a president and have a modern army, Armenia can not. To send the Armenian soldiers, mostly from impoverished families, to the frontline without proper equipment while robbing the country is a despicable act. It is also high treason that all those Diaspora organizations, ARF yes, but also Ramgavars, AGBU,  and the Church support  these Armenian criminals. StopAliev will not bring us anything, but stopSarkisyan may. Time to wake-up is now before a second and final Genocide.

    1. Know Who and When to Criticize

      Common sense dictates that the time to criticize your countrymen and your government is not when your young are dying on the battlefield. When the whole world is learning about Aliyev's family involvement in the Panama Papers and Armenians, like the commentators here and editors do not even mention this to exploit it like they should and exert added weight on your enemy's political pressure but chose to do exactly the opposite, there is something wrong. You do not have to look right or left, all you have to do is to look in the mirror. Is there anything easier than to sit in a Starbucks in LA, NY or Montreal, oblivious of what is happening in Artsakh or the conditions there, devoid of any military experience or knowledge and write philosophical sentences as if one is an expert of some sort. Can we think before opening our mouths or writing a sentence?

      1. Panama Papers

        When I sit in a Starbuck in LA, New York or Montreal, I don't think about the Panama Papers of Aliyevs, because I don't care. Instead I think about the Panama Papers of Major-General of Justice Mihran Pogosyan, head of Armenia's Compulsory Enforcement Services (see the HETQ article). Because, those are the Panama Papers which have a direct impact on how many Armenian kids die an unnecessary death in the frontline, and how many dadiks are butchered by Turkic savages.

        1. Inability to Attack Aliyev Even in Our Media

          Varuj,

          Believe it or not, I agree with your observations. Being emotionally upset at this juncture is normal. What is not normal is to say that you do not care about one of the most important tools given to us to fight the media war against our enemy that might influence and add to their domestic pressure. Everything should have a priority in life and recognizing those priorities are paramount. 

          Corruption is an endemic problem that needs to be tackled. I hope your passionate feelings translate to action rather than just words. I hope you are doing something about it. However, can't you see the importance of exposing our enemy's problem and the lack of Armenian media's shortcomings in doing so? A controversial issue is thrown into our lap but we are unable to capitalize on it while Aliyev and his group exaggerate every opportunity such as telling the world Yerevan belonged to them.

          The inability of the Armenians and the Armenian media is that they consider themselves so inferior to others that they find it much easier to fight against each other rather than their enemies. Maybe you can send your comments against Armenians to an Azeri newspaper next, while sipping your Starbuck coffee and justify to yourself that you are following a higher cause.

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