National Unity and Purpose

150,000 Armenians in Los Angeles came together in support of Artsakh on Oct. 11 (LAPD Photo)
150,000 Armenians in Los Angeles came together in support of Artsakh on Oct. 11 (LAPD Photo)

150,000 Armenians in Los Angeles came together in support of Artsakh on Oct. 11 (LAPD Photo)

Pashinyan’s resignation is an essential step to reestablish unity of purpose and refocus our efforts on the national interest.

BY GARO R. MADENLIAN

When my office would require me to either violate my conscience or violate the national interest, then I would resign the office; and I hope any conscientious public servant would do the same. John F. Kennedy

We stand strong together for Artsakh and its heroic people, the brave men and women who valiantly protected our lands, borders and the Armenian nation, many who made the ultimate sacrifice.

We are United in our grief, anger, and disappointment with this defeat, but we must channel our energy into a unified national plan of action that will help us rise from the ashes to rebuild our country, reunify our nation, refocus our purpose, reignite the spark to continue our national struggle for justice while aiding the displaced and wounded, and leaving no stone unturned to minimize the catastrophic impacts of the Prime Minister’s policies and actions, and the disastrous Pashinyan deal he signed.

Regardless, all of our principles and values which united Armenians around the world since the Azeri-Turkish invasion remain the same, and will continue so long as we marshal forward rallying around a national purpose, together as one unified force; the diaspora and the homeland, the protesters and activists, politicians and clergy, lobbyists and revolutionaries, young and old, men and women, educators and students, doctors and patients, and of course the intellectuals, soldiers and laborers.

Our strength is our unity of purpose. Franklin D. Roosevelt

The principles that unite us stem from the national interest and are based in the establishment of a free, independent and united Armenia, the first step of which remains Artsakh; the recognition and security of which has been and continues to be the focal point of our national agenda, even if temporarily partitioned or severed by the Pashinyan deal. It is the Armenian cause that binds us all; justice for the Armenian Genocide with reparations, and justice for the people of Artsakh with international recognition of its democratic republic.

The safety and security of Artsakh and the Armenian people are what we strive for, and the context in which we remain united, and that which strengthens us as a worldwide community; each of us a part of the various yet critical components of the Armenian army around the world, where working in unison improves our effectiveness and efficiency to achieve our national goals, forged by our collective principles and values.

Thus, our unity is predicated on the commonality of the goals aligned with our national agenda, and our priorities determine the current focus of our activities, which has been all things Artsakh for some time now, and especially since September 27th when Azeri-Turkish forces with Syrian jihadist mercenaries attacked peaceful Christian Armenians.

While united with a purpose… strength arises that can enable you to confront any difficulty. Sharada

The entire Armenian nation immediately stood up and worked together against common enemies of Azerbaijan, Turkey, ISIS, their invading armies with Israeli and Turkish drones, and their propogandists, suppliers, and supporters.

The Armenian nation was truly united for Artsakh with a unity of purpose and focused activities. In Armenia, opposition forces set aside internal political and ideological differences, and in the diaspora all types of groups and organizations came together with the same national agenda of the highest priority. In Armenia and Artsakh, the soldiers in the army and volunteer troops were fighting tooth and nail, side by side at the front. Meanwhile the Armenian nation’s second army in the diaspora, the ARF its affiliates and supporters along with others, organized protests, political action alerts, letter writing campaigns, passed legislation in support for and recognizing Artsakh, convinced lobbying firms to cancel their public relations contracts with Turkey and Azerbaijan and companies to stop selling parts used in the enemies’ military equipment, and many even traveled to join the defense of the homeland.

Unity does not mean sameness; it means oneness of purpose. Priscilla Shirer

The calls for unity continue! However, we must realize that this unity does not extend to everything and everyone as people have differing viewpoints, and especially not to that which is contrary to or incompatible with the national agenda or priorities.

The calls for unity must remain true to the national interest and common goals with a focused purpose, and not merely unity for the sake of being unified; and not to serve the interests of any one individual similar to a cult; definitely not anyone who helped the invading Turks; and absolutely not the one who fueled divisions for his political agenda then signed a secret deal with the enemy.

The people’s unified efforts do not belong to any single individual to direct and redirect as he sees fit for his own benefit, and it is in this context that our collective loyalty is not absolute and indefinite, but rather, it is preconditioned by the national priorities which today includes over a hundred thousand displaced Armenians, thousands of wounded soldiers and the families of our martyred brave men and women, security of Syunik (Meghri) and thus Armenia, and stability in Armenia, with Artsakh still being the immediate priority including the modification of the disastrous Pashinyan deal to minimize its devastating impact now and in the not too distant future.

Divide and rule the politician cries; unite and lead, is watchword of the wise. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

And thus, we marshal forward even though Armenia’s Prime Minister failed in his foreign policy by not understanding the geopolitics of the region, alienating Russia for two and half years, and angering Iran, leading up to this humiliating defeat. He failed in his domestic policy by encouraging and even inciting divisions with threats, finger pointing accompanied with mob rule and intimidation. He failed to deliver on any of his pre-ascension promises and utilized politically motivated prosecutions to quiet his critics. He failed to strengthen the military and prepare for this inevitable war, fast approaching since 2016. Instead of unifying the country and establishing a national citizen army (Azg-Panag), he cast doubt on Armenia’s military leadership and even blamed soldiers for not fighting hard enough; he did not even enforce a draft but instead called for volunteers to go the front but closed the road to get there. He lost the trust of the people with false declarations that we were winning and then surrendered. He lost many of his original supporters in the homeland and diaspora with his crackdown on youth protests and making it clear that his vision of “New Armenia” is a smaller country ruled by a despot… And, he lost the ability to represent Armenia at the negotiating table when he agreed to a secret deal and capitulated to Azerbaijan’s terms set by Aliyev giving away most of Artsakh and even placing Armenia’s southern border at risk with a Turkish-Azeri corridor over Syunik connecting Turkey to Azerbaijan and beyond, enabling Erdogan to advance his pan-Turkish expansionist agenda.

In his zeal to maintain his office, he discarded the people’s rights to freedom of speech and assembly. He applied these rights selectively and targeted his critics and those opposed to his policies instead of guaranteeing these fundamental rights for the populace; a slippery slope down a dark path inevitably leading to tyranny.

If you’re not careful, the newspapers will have you hating the people being oppressed, and loving the people who are doing the oppressing. Malcolm X

Even now, there’s still a government sponsored PR/propaganda campaign on social media and in the press placing blame, shifting fault, searching for culprits to help Pashinyan avoid accountability and responsibility for his catastrophic failures, complete with bots, fakes, and misinformation. This in combination with his refusal to lift martial law so that police in ski masks and plain clothes can continue to arrest his dissenters, including youth protesters.

As Armenia’s government continues to crack down on opposition parties, arrest leaders and those protesting the Pashinyan deal calling for Nikol’s resignation especially the recent violent and forceful arrests of the youth, Pashinyan continues to do that which he supposedly opposed prior to gaining power; indicating he has embraced his role as Armenia’s modern-day dictator. This alone, should further unify the Armenian nation in demanding his resignation, just as it did two and a half years ago during the velvet regime change, and even more so now when the freedom of speech exercised includes support for Artsakh, our unified national priority.

Divide and rule, subdivide and rule even more powerfully, fragment and rule absolutely. Frank Herbert

He is creating further divisions in an already tragic and tense situation, and even asserting that the prior regimes are behind the protests and criticisms, and threatening their return if he is not supported; a tactic he has used since 2018. In reality almost everyone has agreed and stated that is not the case and is in fact unacceptable.

The Pashinyan regime has become far worse than any of the previous three with a populist agenda, divide and rule strategy, intimidation, and even calling for violence in the streets. As a result, many from the government and parliament resigned; the masses have taken to the streets calling him a traitor and demanding he resign.

Amidst the humiliating surrender and ensuing crisis, one thing remains clear: Pashinyan, the Prime Minister and Commander in Chief of the armed forces, signed the disastrous deal and is ultimately responsible for our defeat and failures, has further divided the nation and is now incapable of uniting the country around the national agenda and priorities, and thus unable to represent Armenia’s best interest at home or abroad, and at the negotiating table. He should immediately resign for the benefit of the country, much like his predecessor, so that there can be a peaceful transition and the nation can unite and move forward together without his distractions.

We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end. Woodrow T. Wilson.

We remain united in our assessment that the Pashinyan deal is unacceptable, detrimental to Artsakh and even Armenia, and contrary to the national agenda we have all rallied around and tirelessly worked for, and too many died for.

Artsakh was and remains the priority and focus; that which binds us. We realize it is part of the Armenian ancestral homeland, a guarantor of Armenia’s safety and security, and remains a bright line for the Armenian nation that no one dared cross until now.

Thus, our unified efforts from the homeland to the diaspora must continue with even more energy and activism, focused on the success of our national programs.

Our province needs united leadership and shared purpose in tackling the challenges we face. Jim Prentice

We need to remain a unified force with common goals based on our principles and values, focused on and working towards our national priorities aligned with our national agenda and not any one individual.

We are united in our opposition to injustice, Azerbaijani and Turkish aggression, genocide, Erdoaan’s pan-Turkist agenda, giving away lands to the enemy, creating further divisions in Armenia fueled by hate and animosity to distract so some maintain their seats in office, circumventing democracy and stifling the peoples voice, corruption of any kind whether covert or latent, and dictatorships even when masked as democratic regimes no matter who they are led by.

We are united and stand strong for Artsakh, justice, democracy, the right to self-determination of the people of Artsakh, people’s right to assemble and freely express themselves, and peace, prosperity, safety and security of Armenia and Artsakh.

We must remain united and work diligently to assist those displaced, care for our wounded soldiers, help families who have lost members, reestablish stability and confidence in Armenia, secure the western borders and protect the south, develop an even stronger tech based military, continue negotiations to modify the embarrassing Pashinyan deal and impact additional terms as they come up, implement a sound foreign policy including with Russia and Iran, coordinate activities with the diaspora, continue lobbying efforts, protests, outreach to old and new partners, and more…

Thus, our national interest demands we remain unified in seeking Pashinyan’s removal or resignation.

Garo R. Madenlian is a member of the ARF Western US Central Committee.

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