Sunday, October 11, 2009

Hypocrisy pays off?

These days the only thing that Armenians talk and write about are the signing of the protocols and their impact on Armenian life. The “anti-protocolites” (who will now be promoted to “anti-normalizationites”) have been up in arms calling for the president’s removal and calling him traitors. It seesm that being a traitor is so easy these days, first Obama was labeled as such (because he failed to use the word “genocide” in his address), then you have the appearance of traitors from times past (the former president of Armenia LTP), and now we have the current president of Armenia labeled as “traitor” and “worthy of assassination”.

All this makes me wonder where were all these labels when Armenia was being run to the ground for the last decade, the social deterioration, the increase corruption, the political oppression, and the list goes on. I can only think of one label myself these days “Hypocrisy”. If people think that rights of Armenians to live in safety, or the protection of their rights to criticize the thick-necked “politicians” without “disappearing” the next day is any less of an issue than demanding justice for Genocide, then they are completely misguided.

Where were these “fervent protectors of the rights of the Armenian nation” a year and a half ago when the rights of the largest segment of the nation was brutally undermined? I don’t accept the notion that people who are demanding the resignation of the president are better equipped to lead the country and the nation.

If the “anti-protocolites” can’t adapt to the fact that the protocols have been signed and now’s the time to strengthen the state, rather than stay on the margins and blame the president for doing all the wrong things, then their situation is even more hopeless than I thought.


  1. Dr. Spurkian: Well said. To propose another thought, right now the perceived notion in the Diaspora is that there is not much support for the normalization of Armenian-Turkish relations. Social networking sites are dominated by people posting images of Serge = Turk, traitor and etc as you mention. There are groups who claim they represent the opinion of the entire Diasporan Armenian community, and the entire community does not support Arm-Turk relations according to those groups. Soon enough however, it's quite possible that this voice of reason will become the voice of "unreason." As people begin to talk about protocols and the possibility of a future with Turkey, that which we think of today as unreasnable will actually become the norm. Before we know it, the "unreasoning" voice will continue to beat its hand on the table, demanding justice and etc. However, to no avail, because it will soon become a marginalized voice...

  2. Thank you for the post. I entirely agree with you. Sadly, it is the anti-protocolites that tap into the populist sentimentality of vast swathes of the population both in Armenia and the Diaspora. But what is needed is a more pragmatic, shrewd and realistic attitude and assessment of the situation facing the country. Emotions, moral victories and sentimentality are lovely when you are sitting and sipping your caffe latte in Glendale, but not when you live in dire poverty in Armenia. Moreover, those fervent protestors should have really been shouting and chaining themselves to monuments on March 1st. But they were more than happy to welcome Serzh back then.

  3. I haven't heard one remotely convincing argument from anyone--in Armenia or the Diaspora--that the protocols will be beneficial for strengthening the state, in any way shape or form. For instance I have yet to hear how an opened border will help the poor villager in Vartenis make more money than he already does (or doesn't). I can only imagine his life being better when Turks move to his region and develop it, because Armenians haven't bothered to do that during the last 18 years, and it wasn't because the border was closed.

    People who do think positively about Armenian-Turkish relations being forged under the current circumstances either do not have any foresight or are helpless, not to mention foolish, romantics, imagining that Armenians and Turks will join hand in hand at the foot of Mt. Ararat singing "Kumbaya" and chanting "We are all Hrant DInk!" These same people accuse “anti-protocolites," who are analyzing the situation and voicing legitimate concerns, as being "emotional" and "unreasonable." I can't think of anything more unreasonable than to simply give in to the authorities without casting any doubt in their abilities and blindly lend support in a game that Armenia is not equipped or even trained to play.

    As a diasporan living in Armenia I am not ready to live side by side with Turks since they have yet to prove that they can be trusted, it's very simple. The question is--how many Armenians (other than those born and raised in Turkey) are willing to do that? We'll have a better understanding of that in 10 years.

  4. I would imagine the revenue generated from customs dues would provide the state the necessary revenues to develop the countryside- in other words, everything outside of downtown Yerevan. Moreover the cheaper flow of goods and energy resources will most probably allow the private sector to grow on its own. Coupled with structural changes, the open border will likely be good.