What Threatens Armenia’s National Security?

A military parade in 2012, celebrating the 20th anniversary of the liberation of Shushi

BY HRANT APOVIAN

“We succeeded in conquering many places, but spiritually we were conquered in all of them.”
—Ziya Gökalp, “The father of Turkish Nationalism”

According to Colonel Andrey Ruzinsky, commander of the Russian troops stationed in Gyumri, Armenia, the Russian military base could openly side with Armenia in case of a renewed Armenia-Azerbaijan war for Nagorno Karabakh.  This would be within the framework of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO).  The Russian-Armenian defense agreement signed in 2010 and which extended Russia’s basing rights in Armenia until 2044, also committed Moscow to supplying Armenia with modern weaponry.  There is always the expectation – especially in the aftermath of Armenia joining the Russian Customs Union initiative and shunning joining the European Community – that “Big Brother” will come to the rescue if Azerbaijan attacks.  Armenian officials are led to believe that Russia’s commitments are the only means to secure Armenia.  However, history tells us that we cannot trust Russia to deliver on its commitments.

It is questionable weather Russia or the CSTO will honor their commitments.  Thus far, Russian officials have not explicitly confirmed their willingness to intervene if Azerbaijan acts on its threats to re-conquer Nagorno Karabakh.  One should objectively question Russia’s motives and hidden designs.  For example, it is not difficult to imagine a scenario where Russia begins to court and wrest concessions from Azerbaijan.  One may argue that this has already begun:  Russia has pledged to provide a billion dollars in military hardware to Azerbaijan and wants to see Azerbaijan join the Customs Union.  Accordingly, one cannot foresee Russia’s next move, as it seems that it is attempting to entice Azerbaijan back into its orbit.

Another discrepancy in the equation is Armenia’s energy sector.  It is entirely controlled by Russia.  Unfortunately, the Russian Trojan Horse is well within the borders of Armenia.  This makes Armenia vulnerable to indomitable leverage by Russia.  This did not materialize overnight, but is rather the result of shortsighted policies by successive administrations.  Armenia experienced energy shortages first hand during the Russia-Georgia conflict, when Russia’s energy could not be accessed through Georgia.  This experience highlighted the fact that Armenia is dependent and hence susceptible to foreign interference.

The blockade by Turkey and Azerbaijan that has been stifling Armenia’s economy since its independence is still in place.  Armenia is mostly landlocked.  The West has not been able to force Turkey to lift it.  Failed Armenian foreign policy initiatives that aimed to end the blockade, such as the signing of the protocols with Turkey, have instead emboldened Turkey.  Turkey and Azerbaijan are increasingly in an unorthodox alliance, both militarily and politically.  Turkey has provided Azerbaijan with training and hardware, and seems to encourage Azerbaijan’s aggressive stance.  The biggest threat to Armenia’s National security is this Turkey – Azerbaijan partnership, which threatens to remove this obstacle to their Pan-Turkic expansionist aspirations by force.  Furthermore, Turkey and Azerbaijan are on a worldwide campaign against Armenia and Armenians in anticipation of the Armenian Genocide Centennial commemorations in 2015.

What is most worrisome and alarming is the fact that spiritually as a people, we are loosing our will to endure, to stay and fight.  The Armenian Diaspora’s enthusiasm, fervent for decades past, is waning, as is trust and active support.  Belief in Armenian institutions, government, leadership (whether in government or opposition), nationalism and attachment to our land, have eroded to the point where people have lost their faith and passion.  People have lost hope that change will come, that the government will work towards social equality, that the oligarchs will stop exploiting the people, and that Armenia will overcome all threats and survive as a free and independent country.

Bad governance through three presidents, social inequality, absence of the rule of law, and most of all pervasive poverty, led to mistrust of the government and the judicial system.  This hopelessness has led to the biggest threat to Armenia’s national security.  Massive emigration has reached catastrophic proportions, at the rate of 50,000 per month.  What is even worse is that thus far, there are no viable plans to date to repopulate Nagorno Karabakh, a land that was liberated with so much sacrifice.  The homeland that was the dream of all Armenians around the world, is not beckoning the Armenian diaspora to come home, and is being abandoned by its sons and daughters for better prospects outside its boundaries.

Armenia’s national security threats should not be taken lightly.  The threat of war, the alliance between Turkey and Azerbaijan, massive emigration, energy dependence, and most of all erosion of our spirituality need to be addressed.  They should not be solely the purview of the officials in Armenia.  The Armenian diaspora has the right and the obligation to participate fully with all of its resources in eliminating all threats.  That is an inalienable right that cannot be denied by the government in Armenia.  It is time to include representatives from the diaspora in Armenia’s national security deliberations to ensure a more viable future for the homeland.

One bright beacon protecting Armenia is the Armenian army.  The resolve, dedication, and prowess of our Armenian soldiers instill confidence that we can respond forcefully to any enemy attack and come out victorious.

Authors

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32 Comments

  1. Justssayin said:

    Sad article but very true. 50,000 a month may very well be true. I have travelled through the countryside and the villages are almost empty. No wonder the leaders of the country put their hope on Russia. WIthout inhabitants, what can you do? Not to say they are not responsible for the situation in the first place.

  2. Hovsep said:

    All I have to say to Azerbaijan is don’t get us angry did you see what happened in Karabakh?

  3. George said:

    Russia this…..Russia that…..Turkey this…..Armenian government that. Armenia sucks. Armenia sucks. Armenia sucks. Do not go there. Every time I read an article on this website, it is always about how Armenia sucks and Russia is bad. You people bore me.

  4. Sarkis said:

    “Shunning joining the EU” – This is deceitful and attempts to falsely blame Armenia and Russia for the EU’s refusal to build closer relations to Armenia unless Armenia gives up a very large part of Armenian sovereignty to the EU. The Customs Union is an economic union, while the EU is a 50% economic and 50% socio-political union which is anti-Nationalist in nature and which promotes third-world immigration, debt slavery to the Euro Central Bank-IMF-World Bank-US Federal Reserve System cartel, race-mixing, multiculturalism, atheism, homosexuality, abortions, and general socio-cultural and spiritual decay. It’s no coincidence that every EU country is headed towards having a turkish or Islamic majority.

    “Russia is not ‘eager’ to help Armenia” – If Russia is not eager, the US-EU-turkey-NATO alliance is categorically against. The west could have recognized Artsakh along with Kosovo, instead they made ridiculous claims that “they are different situations”, while turkey directly arms and trains azerbaijan as the article concedes. Meanwhile Russia provides bankrupt and blockaded Armenia with free weapons like S300s, upgrades T-72 tanks, SMERCH and TORNADO artillery systems and other weapons which Armenia could never produce or acquire on its own, and without which azerbaijan would overrun Armenia on the ground and blast it to bits from the air. A more correct statement would be “Russia (and Armenia) do not want to explicitly make threats against azerbaijan because these two countries know how diplomacy is conducted and how to extract the maximum geopolitical benefit from positions of ambiguity.” In any case, NO RUSSIAN COMMANDER WOULD EVER issue a threat against a third country unless authorized to do so from Moscow. Here the audience should remember the importance of reading between the lines.

    “Russian Trojan Horse” – Russia gives Armenia natural gas at domestic rates Russian customers pay, as well as gives Armenia the technical know-how to operate its 1970s era nuclear plant in a remarkably safe and sustainable manner. It would be ridiculous, at best, to claim that anyone else would invest in the infrastructure of a small market and economically poor state like Armenia. Armenia also benefits from Russian investments in its roads, railways, air transport, telecommunications, very profitable aluminum smelting, mining, agriculture, automobile, and contruction industries, as well as R&D centers and universities. Did you know that Armenia had ZERO military transport planes until “evil and controlling” Russia granted three brand new IL-76s to Armenia for free? And those Russian-donated military cargo airplanes have been making very frequent trips, from Armenian military bases, over Georgia, and into Russian military bases in the North Caucasus. It is an open secret that they return to Armenia full of top of the line Russian weapons…. The “trojan horse” myth, once exposed to facts, begins to small like horse…

  5. Sarkis said:

    “West has not been able to force turkey to lift its blockade”. A pathetic, apologist lie on behalf of the west. The west wants to keep Armenia “poor and isolated”, to quote George Friedman, until conditions are bad enough that western-funded groups can instigated a “color revolution” or Arab Spring scenario in Yerevan. If the west wanted to, it could force turkey to do anything. If the west can arm and train terrorists in Syria, tear apart nations like Iraq and Libya, and essentially unilaterally occupy large parts of Central and South America as well as Africa, then it is silly to think a paper tiger like turkey can stand up to the US. Let’s not forget when it served American interests in Iraq, the west had to qualms about arresting turkish soldiers and displaying them in the press handcuffed and hooded.

    “Armenians are losing the will to fight” – Well what do you expect when so-called opposition and opposition media only spread doom-and-gloom hysteria about Armenia, as if the sky was falling. Armenia may not be Switzerland, but given the circumstances and compared with the rest of the world, it is a middle of the road country with a bright future. Reading foreign-funded English language news websites you’d think Armenia is worse off than Zimbabwe, Iraq or Afghanistan. If Armenians want to flee Armenia, or they refuse to have children, we have no one but ourselves to blame – not our government or our leadership but us as individuals for not taking full advantage of independence.

    “The Diaspora” – There is no future in diaspora, we are not the Jews and we tend to assimilate quickly. Look to Watertown, Fresno, Poland, Bulgaria or India for precedent of how the diaspora is largely a graveyard for Armenianness. Non-citizens have absolutely rights to dictate policy to another country, even if that country is the one they claim as a homeland. If the Diaspora wants to improve Armenia, let Diasporans invest in Armenia (instead of leaving their billions to the UCLA fund or some other diversion), or let them move their and take part in developing Armenia’s society and culture. Arrogantly dictating unilateral policy changes for Armenia without being exposed to any of the consequences of those policies (ie ordering Armenia distance itself from Russia from the comfort of an armchair in Los Angeles) is a ridiculous proposition.

    • Random Armenian said:

      “If Armenians want to flee Armenia, or they refuse to have children, we have no one but ourselves to blame – not our government or our leadership but us as individuals for not taking full advantage of independence.”

      I disagree in that it’s an either or thing. Yes the overall mentality of the population has an impact on the success and prosperity of a country. But the government is also has to take part. If the government does not reduce corruption and is itself has a high level of corruption, then they’re part of the problems as well.

      Taking full advantage of independence also means demanding something better from the government.

      • Random Armenian said:

        “demanding” is not the right word here. It makes it sound like people should be asking a handout from the government. It should be read as people demanding a better, more responsive government that deals with corruption better and does a better job where a government is expected to play a role in society.

        • Sarkis said:

          “Random Armenian”

          Fair enough. Perhaps I was being a bit categorical, but you have to admit it is to a large degree our own fault. Much poorer and more corrupt countries than Armenia have much higher birth rates. On the other hand, countries exponentially better off than Armenia, like Germany and other western EU states, have atrociously low birth rates among their natives. Armenia also has a very, very high abortion rate. These are things we should solve on our own, with our own resources as a people.

          By the way, another interesting statistic is how a very large portion of Armenians are ready to abandon Armenia if they had the chance. It is a very high percentage of our people, I believe the highest among former Soviet countries. We have to ask “are the Georgians, azeris, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kyrgyz and Turkmens and Kazakhs masses living in exponentially better socio-political and economic environments than Armenia”? The answer is no, so therefore it must be something in Armenian genetics and culture which makes us so negative towards the future. I suspect the doom-and-gloom negative news reporting which portrays Armenia as worse than Zimbabwe and Iraq has a lot to do with it, as well as the fact that Armenians on the whole are more materialistic than Nationalistic.

          ps Russian-Armenian businessmen Levon Hairapetian has the right idea, he funded a mass wedding and provided financial incentives hoping to cause a baby boom in Artsakh in 2008. I wish more Armenians would take such far-sighted actions.

          As for reducing corruption, it does not happen overnight, so we need to be persistent but patient as a people. Armenia’s economic problems can be traced to geo-politics (an arms race with a petro-billions state and a turkish blockade tacitly approved by nato). Even the USA and Europe suffer from massive corruption, they are just richer than Armenia so the adverse effects of western corruption is not as acute. That’s why I am so optimistic that Armenia’s ascent to the Customs Union and the development of the Armenia-Iran railway, as well as the full opening of the Russia-Abkhazia-Georgia railway will alleviate our economic problems to some degree.

          And lastly, at the end of the day, it takes two to make a bribe. We Armenians need to lift ourselves up, morally and nationally, by the bootstraps and weed out a culture of cut-throat, zero-sum corruption which has taken root in our culture. One thing is for sure though, what Armenia needs is a steady socio-political evolution, not an abrupt, foreign-funded evolution.

  6. Sarkis said:

    “The Army” – One thing we can agree on. Armenia’s Army deserves all the praise it receives. It is still important to keep in mind that without free Russian weapons and training Armenia’s noble soldiers would not be able to hold out against azerbaijan for an extended war, while on our own we are simply too small to resist a turkish invasion. Ps for the past three years there has been a campaign to denigrate the image of the Armenian Army by spreading hysteria over every tragic non-combat fatality. Of course any fatality is a tragedy that needs to be addressed, but even at its highest point Armenia suffered a fraction of similar incidents in exponentially better-funded armies (like the US Army for example)

  7. GB said:

    Politically, Russia has no other choice but to support Armenia openly! Recent activities against Syria where Turkey and Azerbaijan send their own terrorists to fight along side of anti Assad forces, with the help of Western and European support, proved that Armenia won’t be exceptional in the case of Turkic world invasion against Armenia, just like during Armenian Genocide, when Bolshevik left our lands without protection and West stayed idle!!

    This time Russia invested in North Caucasus and Caspian basin oil industry, their economy is very much dependent to a calm North Caucasus, where volatile North and South Caucasus Muslims, easily can get
    motivated by outside world and Middle Eastern terrorists, where support, money, military hardware can be reached to them from Georgia VIA Turkey!

    The military alliances between Armenia and Russia is a fact and it is not hidden from Washington and Brussels, where both countries defensive forces, committed to have a strong worthy powerful army in Caucasus area, is a warning to Axerbaijan and Turkey and their allies!!

  8. GeorgeMardig said:

    Had not been for Russia, Washington would have given Armenia to Turkey as a gratitude present, The West with it’s mighty HUMBO JUMBO could not lift the Turkish blockade. ………Massive emigration has reached catastrophic proportions, at the rate of 50,000 per month….., numbers don’t match, Armenia is not China, I think this should be 5000.,

  9. FromArmeniaWithLove said:

    A very amateuristic, biased and awful analysis. Hrant Apovian acknowledges that because of a war triggered by the U.S/NATIO, Armenia experienced energy shortages; however, he puts the blame to Russia, the only country in the region that is able to make serious investments and keep Metsamor running (by providing us uranium for a low price). Wake up, no other country in the world, not Germany, not Spain, not South-Africa and not even the U.S. is willing to invest billions in Armenia’s energy sector, thank God Russia is!

    Hrant writes “The West has not been able to force Turkey to lift the blockage,” should be “The West did not try, nor cares about Armenia’s blockade”. Furthermore, the Armenian Diaspora should be only committed to unconditionally help develop their motherland, and successful projects include Ayb Highschool, Tumo Center for Creative Arts, Tatev Ropeway, Tufenkian Heritage Hotels, the immense vineyards built by Eurnekian, modernized Zvartnots, etc. The Armenian Diaspora, most of whom are assimilated and try to bring foreign-culture to Armenia destructive to ours, should NOT be involved in politics. You think that when Israel was created, it was, or even today is, the most democratic country? You think that the billions of investments the Turkish Diaspora made and is making, is because Turkey is a democracy?

    Again; Armenia is in a dire situation, and the only solution is for the Armenian nation and the Diaspora to unconditionally support their country. “Democracy” is not the solution, nationalism, going back to the roots, and Armenian traditional values is. Enough bad-mockering, I am convinced that people like you have spent more energy on blackening Armenia’s image, spreading the false hope of democracy, than on building our motherland.

    • Random Armenian said:

      “Democracy” is not the solution, nationalism, going back to the roots, and Armenian traditional values is.

      Democracy is what we want in Armenia. The world is moving toward democracy. That’s what more and more people want after seeing it work *better* than what they currently have as governments. If you compare democratic countries with non-democratic, overall, such countries are better off. Remember democracy is about keeping government in check through citizens raising their voices and election. It also means less corruption in general. Democratic countries with less corruption always do better and are more prosperous than those without these two qualities. And that would be a good thing for Armenia.

      Democracy is always about making a country better.

      “Nationalism” and “traditional values” is just narrow utopian ideologies of that people hold in their minds and want to impose on everyone else. What exactly are the “traditional values” of Armenia? I bet you that you don’t live in the traditional manners of our ancestors just 100 years ago.

      What are the traditional Armenian values that you live by every day?

      One does not need to be nationalist to support and help Armenia.

      “modernized Zvartnots”? Really? You think that’s a “western ideal” that Armenia does not needs? Please explain this. The old Zvartnots is decaying. I would love to see it preserved as a historic building but Armenia needed a better airport. And we don’t even know if the old terminal can handle earthquakes.

      • Sarkis said:

        Random Armenian, I don’t mean to pick on you because I think your heart is in the right place, but I believe you are confusing democracy with economic prosperity. They are not the same. Remember that the European democracies have about six-hundred years of colonialism, pillage, rape, plunder, mercantilism and genocide on contintental scales (think of the Native Americans, Central and South America, Australia and New Zealand). Compare that to Armenia, a tiny nation surrounded by genocidal barbarians and entirely dependant on Russia for its long term survival. Besides, most western democracies are tightly controlled, with long established institutions which provide a handful of candidates for the people to elect, but which will never alter important policy decisions (look at Bush and Obama’s policies and try to name a substantive difference between them). Total democracy, especially among a population which has only recently rid itself of nearly a thousand years of slavery to foreign empire, plus a century of genocide and extreme Marxism, must slowly ease into self-governance.

        ps for all intents and purposes it is beyond doubt that President Sargsyan won the Presidential elections by a majority margin. It may be argued that he had the support of state resources, but honestly is that any different that the billions corporations in the US spend on candidates (“corporations are people entitled to unlimited political donations according to the US Supreme Court, which by the way is an unelected, undemocratic body). Therefore, it has to be noted that Serg Sargsyan is the democratically elected president of Armenia. The EU observers confirmed as much. Similarly, Hamas was democratically elected in the Occupied West Bank in Palestine. As was Mikhail Saakashvili. The reason the mainstream media praises Sakashvili and demonizes the others is because they favor Saakashvili because he serves their interests, not because they are motivated by any “democratic ideals” as they hypocritically claim.

        ps Nationalism is love of the Nation over all else, including ourselves and our own interests. It’s Armenia Above All. Tradionitional values is the rejection of multiculturalism, race-mixing, homosexuality, immigration, support of traditional values like marriage and procreation, a rejection of materialism, understanding our own history without being ashamed,

  10. Antoine S. Terjanian said:

    Excellent and realistic article, Mr. Apovian.
    I agree with most what you describe, but disagree with this sentence: “The homeland that was the dream of all Armenians around the world, is not beckoning the Armenian diaspora to come home”. To me, the Homeland has not stopped “beckoning” since Sept 1991. I am sure all of us remember that what we wanted was “Azat Ankakh Hayastan”. No one even dreamed it could be possible, no one ever said that it should come with all the bells and whistles!
    We have had our “Azat Ankakh Hayastan” for 22 years now. If our energy (or any other) sector is controlled by Russian ownership, it is because “we” did not invest in Hayastan.
    Before you criticize how the Hayreniq has managed so far, ask yourself (I don’t mean Hrant personally) what % of your investment portfolio is in Hayastan.
    If local Hayastantsis want to leave because they dream of better economic opportunities and future for their children, who can blame them? After all, everyone of us in the West is an “economic migrant”.
    Why aren’t YOU back here to make sure the bells and whistles are the way YOU like them to be?

  11. Arto2 said:

    Tiny, land-locked and blockaded Armenia with a population of less then 3 million is too small and too poor to be dreaming about complete independence and sovereignty. Can Armenia survive completely on its own without anyone’s help? Do we have the resources to spend billions each year equipping our military with high tech weapons of our own design? Such a fantasy. A choice has to be made, either Russia or Nato/West. If we go the western route we will be overrun by Turks in no time. Therefore the most logical choice strategically is Russia which provides a strong military buffer against pan Turkish expansion, something no western country will do. As long as Pan Turkish ideology exists, Russia is the only safety Armenia will have, so please no more bs about Armenia losing its independence and sovereignty. Instead of propagating this superficial meaningless fluff which keeps our compatriots dumb to geopolitical realities, Asbarez would do better to educate its readers.

  12. Harutik said:

    Sarkis, amazing analysis. Thank you. It’s amazing how widespread political illiteracy has become within the American-Armenian community. I really hope Asbarez readership will read every word of what you wrote.

      • Sarkis said:

        I have faith in our community, I believe most Armenian-Americans do love Armenia otherwise they would not be reading this website. They just need proper guidance.

        Nationalists like us have to do our best to get our message across, because some people are bent on ruining Armenia’s image and turning the Diaspora away from Armenia.

        You and I are motivated by love for Armenia. The people calling for destructive revolutions and chaos in Armenia, promoting a toxic atmosphere of negativity in and around Armenia, and trying to take Armenia out of the protective Russian umbrella so that turkey could “deal with” Armenia once and for all without fear of Russian retaliation, are motivated by hatred for Armenia. I have no doubts our side will prevail.

        • john goncuian said:

          Thank you Sarkis !!!!! Armeniafund continuously assist projects and programs throughout Artsakh ,and I can see the donations from Armenians ( US,France,Canada,Argentina,Germany,Brazil,England Lebanon and other countries) making a BIG improvement on the lives of our brothers and sisters living in those villages. Armenia and Artsakh prospering !!! Also ,Nation development is not a sprint race but a marathon .Armenia is going to build her new highway while maintaining her security from Azeri threats. ARMENIA should Forget Nato/EU/US !!!! ONLY RUSSIA !!!!!

  13. Berge Minassan said:

    Two nights ago I met yet another Armenian physician, a young pediatrician, who emigrated to Toronto and is looking for a job. Her husband had a very good managerial job in a large company in Armenia. Asked why she moved, she gave the usual answer: “There is no future for my children there.”

    Allow me to jump to the excellent Asbarez editorial by Hrant Apovian published that same day, link below. This, like so many recent writings, captures the essential problem. I hope with my commentary on the editorial to go even deeper to the core of the matter.

    Apovian titles his editorial with the question: “what threatens Armenia?” He initially enumerates the known, invariant, dangers: extreme dependence on Russia, the Azerbaijan and Turkey military threats, etc. He then writes:

    “What is most worrisome and alarming is the fact that spiritually as
    a people, we are loosing our will to endure, to stay and fight. The
    Armenian Diaspora’s enthusiasm, fervent for decades past, is waning,
    as is trust and active support. Belief in Armenian institutions,
    government, leadership (whether in government or opposition),
    nationalism and attachment to our land, have eroded to the point
    where people have lost their faith and passion. People have lost
    hope that change will come, that the government will work towards
    social equality, that the oligarchs will stop exploiting the people,
    and that Armenia will overcome all threats and survive as a free and
    independent country.

    Bad governance through three presidents, social inequality, absence of
    the rule of law, and most of all pervasive poverty, led to mistrust of
    the government and the judicial system. This hopelessness has led to
    the biggest threat to Armenia’s national security. Massive emigration
    has reached catastrophic proportions, at the rate of 50,000 per month.

    What is even worse is that thus far, there are no viable plans to
    date to repopulate Nagorno Karabakh, a land that was liberated with
    so much sacrifice. The homeland that was the dream of all Armenians
    around the world, is not beckoning the Armenian diaspora to come home,
    and is being abandoned by its sons and daughters for better prospects
    outside its boundaries.”

    Why is the “Armenian diaspora’s enthusiasm… waning”? The author himself gives the answer in the next sentence: “Belief in Armenian institutions, government, leadership… have eroded”. Should we be surprised? Let us take these one by one. The whole point of Armenian diasporan political parties, the ARF at the helm, and party affiliates such as the AGBU, was to sustain the diaspora so that on the glorious day of Armenia’s independence it will return to Armenia and participate in building and living the so long sought Armenian dream. Independence came, but there was absolutely no effort by the parties to organize even a partial return to help build the country of our dreams. By this (non)-act alone, the Armenian diaspora parties all but wholly lost their credibility. The entire century of their existence and promise turned out to be empty. The other great Armenian institution is of course the Armenian church. For the whole pre-independence period, we were told that the church is divided because of the cold war. That the church remains divided a quarter century after independence shatters all trust in this institution. The third entity that the author says has lost credibility is the government. It is, finally, common knowledge that the government of Armenia is oligarchic, where a few people control and own the whole country, and these people are one and the same with the government figures. In the parliament, the larger so-called opposition parties are themselves part and parcel of the oligarchic system, only masquerading as ‘opposition’. The final group pointed to by the author is the general ‘leadership’. These are the various people, often well-meaning, who head this or that association and are constantly shaking hands, taking pictures, and receiving medals from government and church officials. The rest of the Armenian people who knows and sees so much more now than ever before asks itself: Are these bosses and chiefs really for real? Do they not know whose hands they are shaking? In sum, there is a complete disconnect between ‘reality’, which the people knows, and the great ‘show’ at all levels of leadership of the nation. Conclusion, as the author writes: “What is most worrisome and alarming is the fact that spiritually as a people, we are loosing our will to endure, to stay and fight…” Shall we be surprised that, like the young pediatrician I mentioned above, according to the author, 50,000 Armenians are leaving the country per month?

    The author does not venture into the really important aspect, namely: what is the solution? He offers a meager suggestion, that the government should allow the diapsora to participate in eliminating the threats he enumerated. This seems so meaningless, when he himself writes about “Bad governance…, social inequality, absence of rule of law…”

    Apovian tries to end on a positive note. He concludes that “One bright beacon protecting Armenia is the Armenian army…” With all my own faith and love for the Armenian soldier, I do not know what an army means in the face of emigration at the rates reported by the author.

    The current state of the Armenian nation is that it does not have control of its destiny as a nation. Therefore, its individual members seek control of their destinies as individuals and families. Armenians leave Armenia and become diasporans, and diasporans leave Armenianness and dissolve into the rest of the world.

    Since the author so correctly laid out the problems, where is their real solution? Logic compels us to accept that when one identifies a problem, the solution is in the correction of the problem. We will not be able to invent oil or other riches, and we cannot change our geopolitical situation. These things we cannot change. I daresay that the Armenian nation still exists and it has not lost its common purpose. What it does lack is proper leadership to channel that common purpose towards its survival and thriving. In Armenia, processes are in motion by civic society, headed by the Nakhakhorrdaran, to establish a governance structure that is actually democratic and in which are ingrained the checks and balances to prevent any return to oligarchic governance, a governance system that will return the hope and faith of Armenian families in success as a nation. In the diaspora, it is time for the ARF to wake up. If it cannot, for whatever reasons, Armenians should continue coming together and forming Armenian Renaissance chapters, and the diasporan renaissance movement, to provide diasporan support to Armenia’s civic society.

    2015 should not be a time of empty speeches, tears, and a nation scattering to the winds. It should be a moment of freshness, clarity, rebirth, and refocus of a unified empowered nation overcoming genocide and marching head high into the future.

    Berge

    http://asbarez.com/116302/what-threatens-armenia%E2%80%99s-national-security/
    Monday, November 18th, 2013

    BY HRANT APOVIAN

  14. Harutik said:

    It’s funny how some people talk about “Democracy” as if it’s a drug: Just take it and you’ll be fine, we are told. Yeah, it is a drug. But the problem is that it’s a very toxic, hallucinatory drug.

    Democracy and its parameters of belief known as globalism are for the Western world today what religion used to be for European powers during the past one thousand years: A means of manipulation, control, subjugation, exploitation and when needed, destruction.

    Democracy can only be practiced by nations that have healthy national institutions, a well conditioned populace and only a tidy number of homegrown political parties – and only then within limits. Armenia today is in no shape to risk taking such a drug. Until Armenia matures as a state, until Armenians mature as a people, God save Armenia from Democracy and its peddlers.

  15. Norin Radd said:

    Random Armenian,

    Which “democracy idea” are you talking about that’s so great exactly? I suppose you’re referring to the “democracy” the US brought to Iraq, Libya, and Egypt lately, or are you more specifically cheering for the “democracy” that is being brought to the Syrian people and your Syrian Armenian compatriots right now as they lose their lives and are forced to flee the turmoil brought upon them by “democracy”?

    You sound like the poster boy for the US State department brainwashing the 300 million Americans on TV each day claiming to the population that they live in a “democratic” country that wants what’s best for the world while it uses it’s military might to bludgeon sovereign countries into submitting their national resources in return for a “democratic” way of life.

    It was clear exactly how “democratic” things are when the Occupy movement for social reform was quickly quenched with batons, night sticks, and pepper spray all over the US when the “citizens” “raised their voices” against their upper class debt masters. And if you think democracy breeds less corruption, then you’ve either been living under a rock or simply choose to ignore the vast corruption in existence today all across the EU and US, except it’s not as blunt, simple, nor as blue collar when compared to corruption in “undemocratic” countries.

    It’s funny how the idea of Nationalism and traditional values always seems like “narrow mindedness” to those who themselves have no clue what culture they belong to anymore nor have any notion of ethnic identity and the way of life associated with said identity.

    Armenians like you make me sick to my stomach on the street, you arrive in your host country whether it be here in the US or in Europe with less than a zero generation under your belt and all of a sudden you become experts on what a catastrophic yoke ethnic identity, Armenian traditions, and Armenian nationalism is simply because of the “democratic enlightenment” you were conditioned to accept in grade school watching sesame street 123 and later on the dribble you were taught in college/CNN/MSNBC.

    Just because Armenians like you have no clue what traditional Armenian values are or have been across both the Diaspora as well as in Armenia, doesn’t mean the rest of us are meandering zombies biting onto pop cultured ideas about how we should be living and the grade school social engineering of how wonderful “democracy” is. Greece has been a democracy for thousands of years, why is it not at the top of the “democratic” heap and is instead being overrun by illegal aliens from the African continent trying to sneak into the EU not to mention on the verge of economic collapse.

    What great “democratic” progress did countries like Bulgaria or Romania gain when they ran to embrace democracy in lieu of nationalism , the nation state, and traditional ways of life? They are all cesspools of the EU now acting as more markets for Germany, France, and England to shovel goods into and horde more wealth while serving as international brothels for EU’s upper echelon states.

    Thank goodness for those Armenians that are stubborn enough to hang on to our traditional way of life, our nationalism, and our brash mono-ethnic beliefs of an Armenian made by Armenians, kept by Armenians, and for only Armenians.

    The huge pink elephant in this room is this horrible article with infantile geopolitical analysis. 25 years ago you would never see garbage like this on Asbarez because the ARF was itself different then. I’m not a dashnak and I don’t know what happened to all of you, but ever since I was a kid I associated Dashnaksutyoon with Armenian PAN NATIONALISM which was rooted in potent NATIONALISTIC ideas/agenda’s. Lately, you guys took a wrong left turn somewhere, your founders and many great nationalistic men are turning in their graves right now.

    If things keep going like this, I give the ARF 50 years tops before it becomes a book club. Seriously, it’s time to go back to your roots and clean house . . .

    • Armanen said:

      Your comments are spot on! Sadly too many of the commentators here will not understand.

    • ashot said:

      Great comment sir…dont worry there are plenty of us left willing to fight and die for armenia if needed…it doesnt matter Where I live at Armenia will always be my home Im willing to fight and die for.

  16. Haygazian Nevart said:

    To who do you want Armenia to trust to when it has neighbors like Turkey and Azerbaijan? To Europe? who betrayed the Armenians more than Europe, until now they did nothing to settle the Genocide issue and continue to use it as a bargain tool. To whom the USA? another betrayl they promised a mandate and than never kept their promise, and up to now as Europe did nothing to settel the issue of the Genocide, and uses it. To whom tell me to Israel? let us not talk about this issue you all know what they did and are still doing regarding the Genocide, to whom to Arab moslems? unable to condem another moslem country for a crime against humanity just because the victims were christians. Words are easy, Armenia has to protect itself and rely on no one as alley Russia and China seems the best, at least China has never betrayed the Armenians…

  17. Vasken said:

    Our “present” Borders with Turkey still remains Mined with the blessing of NATO…as it was between former USSR. It was NATOs accountability to have them removed 20 years ago, when Armenia became independent.
    So, NATOs act of support to Turkey’s blockade of ARMENIA is very PROMINENT…When will this Supporting of Turkey Will STOP!!! You, F-ing-NATO!!!

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