EDITORIAL: The Long Road to Democracy

The Coat of Arms of the Republic of Armenia

It has been 22 years since that momentous day when Armenia freed itself from Soviet clutches and declared independence, knowing full-well that the road to sovereignty and true independence would be long and hard.

The early years were marred by war and the continued relief efforts for the 1988 earthquake that had displaced tens of thousands of Armenians. Bleak was an understatement. The entire Armenian nation pulled together to ensure that Armenia’s independence would be lasting and one day it would become a self-sustaining paragon of democracy in a region filled with authoritarianism.

More than two decades later we must ask ourselves: Did we succeed? The knee-jerk response is Yes. By all accounts, Armenia cannot be compared with the authoritarian regimes governing Turkey to its west and Azerbaijan to its east, both of which continue their threats to our national security on a daily basis.

Yet, 22 years later, we must scratch the surface and collectively find remedies to the negative aspects that threaten Armenia’s national security from within.

Even before September 21, 1991 the entire Armenian nation rolled up its sleeves and asked not what the nation can do for us but what we can do for our nation, to paraphrase the infamous quote by President John F. Kennedy. Now, 22 years later the maladies that ail Armenia on the domestic front are making it imperative for the authorities in Yerevan to answer not just to the Armenian citizens but to all Armenians worldwide. After all, the rhetoric from official Yerevan is that Armenia and Diaspora are interwoven in the fate of our nation.

Rampant corruption, usurping of our national wealth, suppressing democratic freedoms and rights of the citizens and overall social injustice, as well as the rape of the environment and election fraud have turned that dream of Armenia being a paragon of stability into a nightmare that is perpetuated every day. This has resulted in the biggest threat to our national security—emigration.

The missteps of successive regimes and the blatant and flagrant disregard for rule of law have given way to a nation that lacks trust and faith in its leaders. It was President Sarkisian himself who blamed the people for Armenia’s woes when he said: “The biggest problem of our country is not corrupt officials. The biggest problem of our country is not criminals. The biggest problem of country is a cynical atmosphere.”

The bright spot that we saw this year, however, is that the young generation of Armenians—the independence generation—is willing to fight for its rights and has taken its fate into its own hands. In the Diaspora, Armenians have a responsibility to nurture this generation who wants to live in its homeland, but might be forces out due to the ongoing injustices perpetrated by the government.

This is the issue—the challenge—that requires our collective attention and immediate action, since all of the positive achievements of the past 22 years hinge on the need for Armenia to be populated by Armenians.

On September 21, we celebrate that momentous time in modern Armenian history—Armenia’s Independence. But, we must also come together, in the name of our homeland, of our people and of the ultimate goal of a FREE, INDEDPENDENT and UNITED ARMENIA to collectively guarantee the well-being of our people.

Happy Independence Day.

Authors

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5 Comments

  1. Arto2 said:

    President Sarkissian was 100% correct to claim that the biggest problem is a cynical atmosphere. An atmosphere that has been created by a cynical press that is 100% foreign funded.

  2. sarkis said:

    President Sarkisyan is absoultley right. Even this editorial is cynical in it’s nature. You are all fools to think that Independence, Democracy, and all other things perfect can be molded into shape in such a short time. It took America over a 100 years to do so. It took America 2 natural borders, immense natural wealth, slave labor, genocide, and many other things that are complimentary to create the atmosphere to achieve their democracy and independence. What do we have? What we have achieved is amazing!!! After the treacherous Levon T Petrosyan was evicted from ruling, after that Armenia has made great strides towrds independence, democracy, prosperity, and a strong army. All of this while we are NATO blockaded on 2 sides, all of this with no natural resources, all of this with geoplitics against us during the 90’s. The superpower America at the time of our independence favors our enemies, are allied with our enemies. We are a small, landlocked, resourceless, NATO blockaded country with no common borders to the sea, or to our strategic ALLY RUSSIA. RUSSIA!!!! my god what we would have done without RUSSIA. God bless PRes. Sargsyan, ARMENIA, and all the Armenians who are smart enough to see what we have achieved and not to spew this common trash as this editorial is. Those who cant see beyond tomorrow, spew this treasonous nonsense unconsiously. Whether consious or unconcious, in a ruthless geopolitical environment like the one today, you are treasonous just the same!!! Stop spreading bs stories of smelly toliets, of corrupt officials, of exorbatant numbers leading an exodus from ARMENIA. Start talking about the good, start talking about how we prevented George Soros funded “revolutions” in our precious country. We havent had an opportunity like this for a 1000 years. Look beyond tomorrow and see that only through stregnthening our relations with RUSSIA can we build a strong Armenia! Can we expand our borders to the sea, or have a common border with Russia. Then and only then!!!!! can we talk about promoting gay rights in our country and other garbage like that. We need a top heavy government right now closley alligned to Russia, democracy is too dangerous in our landscape of predatory mongol nations. I have to beleive that the wirter of this trash has love for Armenia. I have to beleive it, and even if you dont post this because this site is notorious for not doing so anything that goes against their storylinbe or beleifs. I hope you will open your eyes and realize just how far we have gotten given our hand weve been dealt. Stop spewing harted against your own people. Stop admiring Jews and begin acting like them. You would never find Jews talking bad about their homeland, even though there are major problems there. Long live ARMENIA and long live RUSSIA!!!!!

  3. Alex Postallian said:

    Armenia is in a very peculiar geographic location,with the two biggest COWARDS,of the Middle East……jerky turkey,on one side; and the little bastard brother azerbaturk,on the other side….The rest of the world, playing spectator sport…BLINKING…Kudos to a brave little country,on her survival,and putting up with that putrid smell…..

  4. karakeuz said:

    Well, what are we waiting ? Where are the grand projects and programmes of a massive campaign of return to the homeland ? In 1946, after the WW2, Armenia SSR instituted the nerkaght policy, where thousands and thousands of Armenians were repatriated. Nothing of the sort is happening today ,other than singing praises and hossanahs to democracy and more democracy, as if democracy is the passport to nirvana. We need action , less words, less bombast and more action. Democracy is going to take us nowhere folks, we need a national policy, a national policy for Hayastan, not international gobblydgooks manufactured in foreign think tanks. The Israelis had and still have their Aliyah policy. Where is the Armenian equivalent of such a national policy.

  5. Tsoghig said:

    Another great editorial. I am late to the party but I want to commend the editorial staff for writing this excellent article. I hear so many negative stories about diasporans trying to make it in Armenia and not being able to, because of the lack of rule of law, and the attitude, many not all, Hayastantsi’s have regarding diasporans. Many diasporans never feel welcome or wanted and some don’t give a shit which I give them mad props, but others leave! An equal danger will be when the diasporans get cynical, and the diasporans who care, who visit Armenia every chance they get, when they get cynical our country will be in hot water. However, this independence generation you mentioned, they have the power to change. I have always believed that when the older generation of people who grew up during the Soviet Times, when their generation starts to wane, real changes will be made. Hopefully we can stand strong and get to those times sooner rather than later.

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