Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The minefield.

The pseudo-president of Armenia, Serj Sargsian, has apparently brought Armenia into a minefield. One visualizes the situation of a tired man standing in the middle of a minefield not knowing how to get out of there with a bunch of strangers yelling advice from the outside. As the man moves, he gets farther and farther into trouble. The problem for the man is that he himself has laid the majority of the mines...

The illegitimacy and illegality of Serj Sargsian is the root cause of the problem. The mines around Armenia are the different challenges that Serj has created and keeps creating and the ones that pop up due to his ill advised actions that he is incapable of handling properly. He and his band of "supporters" are too busy trying to keep the Armenian people suppressed.


Haik said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Haik said...

All the State resources are used to keep the people suppressed. There are two ways out:
Either new democratic presidential and parliamentary elections are organized ASAP
People stop their struggle and go home or leave the country.

Because the country belongs to the people the 2nd option is out of question. It would be far better if the few illegitimi go where Shivardnadze and Abashidze are, Or maybe visit their beloved Lukashenko.
¡Ya basta!

Andreas! said...

Why do you suppose that he has gotten himself and the country into a minefield? If anything, I would say that he was placed into a minefield because of the policies of the previous administration, in which since his rise to power he has been slowly clearing.

The demonstrations we're inevitable, on the account that LTP was going to take steps regardless (whether an ARF candidate or SS was placed into the Presidency), and that the people were fed up with the government due to Kocharian's administration. I know it could be argued otherwise, but had SS not taken the presidential position.. the only other two strong candidates were Vahan and LTP himself, in which LTP would have taken the same steps had he lost to the ARF. Aside from this point, SS has done quite a good job in separating himself from Kocharian, and cleaning house of old Kocharian ties (Tigran Torosian being a fine example). Also, SS has accomplished the very thing that LTP tried to do, which in the end played a huge factor in his fall from power, stabilizing relations with Turkey. Among all of this, SS has lowered the temper of the opposition and has even brought the very idea of a conflict resolution in Karabakh to the table (although it can be argued that this was due to the Georgian conflict with Russia - which I would argue is true but that SS's steps toward stabilizing relations with Turkey have also played a factor).

spm said...

I agree partially with Andreas. On international issues SS fares pretty well so far. However I disagree with him about Kocharian. Tigran Torosian by no means was a Kocharian man. Muk is. So the Kocharian party gets more leverage. Which is pity, because LTP clearly indicates that if SS can free himself of RK and free jailed political prisoners, they might cooperate or at least transfer the debate into more constructive forms.

me said...

"If anything, I would say that he was placed into a minefield because of the policies of the previous administration"
The problem with this misguided and oft-repeated line is that it completely ignores history; say it with me, Serjhik held prominent positions and was one of the chief architects of the policies you speak of. At the very least, he took the cushy jobs and stood idly by as everything was going on. Of course another fun little fact is that he was similarly placed during LTP's administration. So I just don't see how you can slam the two past administrations then hold up one of the few guys who was prominent in both and say that he's going to change things.

And actually as spm noted, muk becoming the speaker is widely seen as another nod to the RQ camp. Torosyan is actually one of the few remaining old foxes of the Republican Party and with him gone, the purge that started with Vazgen's assassination is almost complete.

"the very idea of a conflict resolution in Karabakh to the table "
I'm not sure what table you're talking about, but conflict resolution has been on the table since 1993. It's another matter that both sides have diametrically opposed opinions about what this resolution should entail and that they remain as far apart as ever on this issue. I'm waiting for certain people to start attributing natural phenomena and disasters to Serjhik.

emma said...

Do you really believe SS has accomplished..., SS has lowered..., SS has done...? Look at his face and recall his background, education, intellect and obsessions.

Haik said...

Don't forget that the negotiations are over Karabakh. Where is NKR government's involvement in the negotiations?
Any negotiation or treaty is illegitimate if NKR is not a directly involved party.
Being a Kharabakhtsi by birth is not enough to talk on behalf of NKR population.

You also forget one more thing. The current regime opened fire on citizens of Armenia and killed. Still nobody is punished. Killing people, hiding the killers and justifying both of them are the same criminal act.
It is a criminal regime and no justification can save it.

Andreas! said...

1) In regards to SS's role in LTP's and RK's administrations: Let it be know that during LTP's administration; Kocharian, SS, Vazgen Sarkissian, and several other high ranking officials were strongly in opposition to many of Levon's policies (domestic and international), which eventually led to internal political conflict - the very fact that they were in the same administration doesn't mean a thing. Remember, this has been a clan of opportunism from the very beginning where each predecessor has undermined the preceding President (Kocharian did it to Levon and Serj is now doing it to Kocharian). Look at the ARF and stances they have had on issues relating to the Diaspora, Genocide Recognition, and Relations with Turkey (specifically with SS). To make it clear, I'm not slamming the two previous administrations and raising the current onto a pedestal.. I'm simply pointing out the fact the Kocharian's policies differ from Serj's and that the decisions made by Kocharian have made it difficult for Serj to sway away from Kocharian's path and onto his own pogroms.

2) Although Torosian may not have been directly connect to Kocharian ( forgive my ignorance to the matter), he is still connected to the previous administrations (clearly high up enough where he is Speaker - Serj simply doesn't trust him and is trying to place him in a position where he can have further control over him), which goes back to cleaning house from the former administration. I rather have my boys then the boys of the formers.

3) Karabakh conflict: Levon was the closest in relation to Kocharian to come to a real dialogue with the other side (although the dialogue has yet to be revealed due to Levon's own decision), it was clearly at a point where Kocharian, Vazgen, and his cronies had to publicly state their opposition and jeopardize the legitimacy of Levon and his administration as a whole (see 'Challenge of Statehood' by Gerard Libaridian). Serj, however, has been able to bring Turkey to the table without major opposition from the Turkish and Armenian People (the only opposition being internal conflicts among the Turkish Political forces, which is due to internal conflict in regards to Turkey's 1982 Constitution, and the ARF - to no surprise). The Resolution to the conflict may have been at the table since 93, but, there was strong opposition within Levon's cabinet, and Kocharian's administration as a whole opposed any compromise presented whatsoever (along with Aliyev). Serj on the other hand has brought about somewhat of a mutual ground through relations with Turkey and pressure from Turkey upon Azerbaijan (which I believe is to eventually place Turkey into the MINSK group as a key player - but that's just my intuition). Both sides may have diametrically opposed opinions, but due to the new Turkish-Armenian relations, they are forced to coup with it and compromise for the very issue of regional stabilization (economic and political).

4) Haik, I realize and share the same sympathy as you in regards to the Karabakh Government being absent at the negotiations table, however, there are behind the scenes talks with President Bako Sahakian, he publicly stated his positive stance on the current events taking place (on behalf of all parties involved):

Bottom-line, it seems that due to economic and political pressure upon the West from Russia, the position of Hayastan and Karabakh has moved a level above Azerbaijan's.. in which Aliyev is afraid to risk damaging politically and economically on his end in relations to Turkey.

5) In relations to March 1st: I in no way excuse the actions of both Serj and Kocharian, however, it was a political move in which the clan had to make clear that they are in charge and their power will not be questioned - either by the people or their neighbors - (especially with the circumstances of an Azeri threat taking advantage of the political upheaval). This issue is still up in the air and depending on what steps Serj takes in this new commission that is investigating the events (which I am skeptical of) - we shall see what the out come will be. Although in Armenian and post-Soviet politics, it's just another move by those in power to remain in power (which will probably come back to hit them just as hard in years to come).

me said...

Any purge of officials "still connected to the previous administration" has to start with Serjhik himself and Tigran Sargsyan. Otherwise it becomes pointless and self-serving.

And you are very obviously uninformed about what actually happened in the 90's. Serjhik, RQ and Vazgen's disagreement with Levon only became apparent toward the end of '97 and beginning of '98, during the now infamous Security Council meeting and the biggest sticking point was Gharabagh. Certainly Serjhik who has taken the word yes-man to previously unseen levels was never "in strong opposition" of Levon's policies. If he was, he has a funny way of showing it, because as president, he has done what Levon was preaching back then in terms of foreign policy. The problem is it's about 10 years too late.

And if there was ever a bigger defender of LTP than Vazgen, I don't know of him/her, a reality that he paid dearly for.

Anonymous said...

maybe you forgot, watch again

Watch that what RK and SS have done to us.

Anonymous said...

My above message was to andreas!
Stop finding any good in those people. They are driving our nation to destruction.

Andreas! said...

Anonymous, believe me, I'm not finding any good in "these people." I'm just pointing out the differences in the policies of Kocharian and SS (specifically in the Karabakh and Turkish issue).

also, I am not uninformed.. however, you clearly are. Libaridian clearly lists the fractional issues within the clan (and by clan I'm referring to the LTP, SS, RK, and VS inner circle). Yes, the differences did come about towards the end of the 90's, but my friend, that's when the conflict took place and was when LTP was stripped of his power thanks to the initiative of the other remaining members of he clan! - led by RK and with SS as his right hand man (VS also playing a role in the stripping of LTP's power until it was apparent that he would be the possible successor - in which RK had him "removed").

Karabakh was one of the main issues in which the clan diverged over, however, this was not the only issue. LTP isolated the diaspora, specifically the ARF, with a 'put up or shut up policy'. Kocharian on the other hand believed that Hayastan's economic potential (as did Vazgen to a certain extent), could only be reached through stabilized relations and cooperating with the diaspora. This was a huge issue that Kocharian and Ter-Petrossian did not see eye-to-eye on, which is evident in the differences between LTP's policies and that of Kocharian's policies in relations to the diaspora (and the ARF mainly), once Kocharian took power. To say that Serj was "never in strong opposition of Levon's policies," is simply naive. The very fact that Serj took part in Kocharian's internal movement against LTP should be enough grounds to point out the obvious differences in political mentality and disagreements.

And to finish off, in regards to purging himself and Tigran Sarkissian.. this makes no sense. Serj took power as a result of the 'chain of command' within the clan - why would someone purge himself? (especially if he is as power hungary as the rest of the clan members have been since LTPs administration). It seems that Serj's program is that of economic development (in his own version of it), and by placing Tigran Sarkissian as Prime Minister, he believes that Tigran (being the former head of the national bank), is the best qualified for the job. How is he qualified? Well, from 1980-83 he attended Leningrad's Financial and Economic Institute, and from 1983-87 he obtained his postgraduate PHD - from 1987-90 he worked as the Chief of the Department of Foreign Economic Relations of Scientific Researchers Institute of Economic Planning in Armenia - from 1990-95 he was a member of the Supreme Council of the Republic of Armenia and the Chair of Standing Commission for Financial, Credit and Budget Affairs - from 1995-98 he was the Director of Scientific Researches Institute of Social Reforms - and from 1995-98 he was the Chairman of Armenian Banks Association. Yes, if he wasn't, purging him, or more specifically not placing him in a high ranking position, would make sense. Apparently he has confidence in Tigran, both in loyalty and in economic administration.

If you disagree with my argument, I suggest you read up on Libaridian (who happened to be a close advisor of Levon's) and the dissertation that the diaspora UC Berkeley Professor Stephan Astourian who specializes in Armenian and Eurasian Studies wrote about LTP's and Kocharian's administration, before critiquing my argument and jumping to conclusions. Mister "ill-informed."

'From Ter-Petrosian to Kocharian: Leadership Change in Armenia'

spm said...

These discussions of who against whom are sort of senseless in regard that all mentioned parties are parts of the whole. It is undeniable fact we have a small country with limited human resources. Even if tomorrow by some magic you stage fresh free and fair elections the players are going to be the same people. The formation of a state from Zero is a painful process, there is no easy solution to our problems. You can not pick some honest Hambo from nowhere and put him in command of the republic. We do not have critical mass to generate Putin or Sarkozy or Obama, people you have not heard of until they entered the race. The Saakashvili phenomenon in Georgia was just late realization of what LTP or Kharabakh Committee was in Armenia years earlier. Or could have been Armen Sarkissian if he did not resign and clear the way for RK. Now a nucleus or elite is formed and appearance of some maverick savior is a very doubtful.
Whoever comes to power in this conditions is going to rely on this nucleus. It is remarkable, that coalition parties which gained ministerial portfolios could not offer a single qualified and professional alternative minister, because these people just do not exist. Although my sympathies during last election were rather with LTP, I was horrified to think among whom he is going to distribute ministerial portfolios, because people surrounding him mildly put do not qualify for the job. So most probably it would be the same people which serve under SS.
So as I always argued we should try to concentrate on evolution rather than revolution. In that sense I believe that SS is a step forward after RK. I am not happy with myriad of things that happened or happening since he came to power. But we should be able also to recognize positive trends, whether they are product of his intellect or result of stress put upon him by existing situation.
Thats why in my comment above I wished that SS could distance himself from RK and his close cronies and struck more conciliatory tone with opposition headed by LTP.

Haik said...

It is not because there are no skillful people. It is because there was no democracy which would have allowed new people 'growing' and appearing into politician and social scenes. Almost all (if not all) the executive positions are possessed by bandits because they come to power not by their knowledge or elections but by money and criminality.

The aim of the Movement is to establish democracy so that this vicious circle will not continue. That is called cleaning the Augean stables. The aim is partially achieved because it forged a new generation of activists.
There might be a transitional government with known faces in it but that will give away to new people who will be democratically elected. There are also many people who have absolutely no intentions to take part in this transitional governments but make sure that it doesn't get out of control. I would call these individuals the Garibalis.

It is up to us to make this happen because the movement is us. The movement is very diverse, it has many components and ideologies in it which don't necessarily agree with each other on details but all agree in one thing establishing a democracy.

As Nikol wrote in his last article:
"...հաղթանակ ասելով` ես նկատի չունեմ, որ Հայ ազգային կոնգրեսը գա իշխանության: Ես նկատի ունեմ, որ Հայ ազգային կոնգրեսը հեռանա իշխանությունից. ազատ, արդար, թափանցիկ ընտրություններում պարտվելով իր քաղաքական հակառակորդին: Հավատացեք, սրա համար իրոք վճռականություն է պետք, վճռական վճռականություն:"

The full article can be read at:

Anonymous said...

Wow, so nikol has invented a new slogan

"Պարտվելու՛ ենք"

spm said...

Haik, you tire me as much as Anon does. Stop speaking by slogans.
Forget about some ministers and other high officials in the first cabinet of LTP, including RK. Imagine there are elections tomorrow, democratic, free. Lets assume LTP has really enough support to gather more than 50 % of votes and becomes president. Who are the people who are going to run the country? Prime minister, ministers.... ? Are there candidates I haven't heard of? Stepik or Aram? Nikol? Some hidden professionals we never seen.
You cant run the country by slogans. They are good for demonstrations.

antifa said...

Չեմ պատկերացնում թե ինչպես եք հաջողացնում այդքան ծանծաղ լինել:

Haik said...

When equel campaign conditions and democratic elections are achieved then it will be up to the people to elect / change their president, MPs and government. Naturally I can not give you an answer on behalf of the people or predict the future.
The ultimate goal is to establish a true democracy and make sure it doesn’t falter. I think this is a good enough cause to fight for. It is not about individuals.

I don’t know the structure of the shadow government. One thing for sure I have no intentions in getting involved in party politics.

Haik said...

It is your choice not to read my messages if they tire you. :)

Anonymous said...

what a great question...lemme take an attempt...

G. Jhangiryan = social welfare minister
V. Siradeghyan = Ombudsman
S. Demirchyan = Minister of Education
N. Pashinyan = court jester
A. Bleyan = Ambassador to Azerbaijan
R. Hovhannisyan = Special Envoy to George Soros
D. Hakobyan = Chairman of State Committee celebrating bicentennial anniversary of Marx's birth

this is too easy...

Anonymous said...

welcome to the new armenia!!!

Andreas! said...

You guys are hilarious. To move off of SPM's last comment;

"Who are the people who are going to run the country? Prime minister, ministers.... ? Are there candidates I haven't heard of? Stepik or Aram? Nikol? Some hidden professionals we never seen."

I believe that the political situation in Hayastan is the way it is because the top political forces that Hayastan has to offer have prevailed and monopolized power. Sure, certain positions would be better off under the more educated citizens of the country. In fear of being misunderstood, I think those at the top are needed for the time being in order to situate Hayastan's peculiar yet special conditions and circumstances, although they are not acceptable in the over all scenario (that of a free and independent prosperous republic). At least until the time comes where we have more suitable Armenian leaders to replace 'the clan' and the Soviet-remnant of 'thuggery politics', which I believe will only come about through political and social maturation of the Armenian people and Diaspora.

spm, I strongly agree with many of your points. Glad to see there are some of us out there.

Anonymous said...

հմմմ, antifa հավիկը երկաթյա ձվեր է ածում: Սա արդեն լուրջ է, շատ լուրջ

Haik said...

Yes the positions are monopolised as I said ate my Sept 19 12:44 message
It is not because there are no skillful people. It is because there was no democracy which would have allowed new people 'growing' and appearing into politician and social scenes. Almost all (if not all) the executive positions are possessed by bandits because they come to power not by their knowledge or elections but by money and criminality."

So I think the only solution to this is establishment of real democracy.

Anonymous said...


what you try to sell here under democracy is actually called meritocracy.

nazarian said...

anonymous, democracy and meritocracy are not necessarily mutually exclusive. The policy makers can be elected by the people (democracy) but the nuts and bolts level of the government, the bureaucracy, is built through recognizing and promoting talented and capable people (meritocracy).

It's actually a good model even if it's very difficult to implement.

Anonymous said...

Yo - the best one is styop for ed minister. You would think that with a corrupt father who was the head rat and controlled everything, he could have at least had his son educated.

Haik said...

I don't try to sell anything.

Armenia needs democracy fullstop!

Anonymous said...

If there are no professional scholars how you expect to develop skilled people?
Is Stalin back?
Read this:
ԵՊՀ ռեկտոր Արամ Սիմոնյանն օրերս աշխատանքից հեռացրել է Հայ ազգային կոնգրեսի հետ որեւէ առնչություն ունեցող կամ Համաժողովրդական շարժման հանդեպ համակրանքով արտահայտված միանգամից մի քանի դասախոսների:

Ընդ որում, խոսքը բացառիկ մասնագետների մասին է: Մասնավորապես, ԵՊՀ-ից հեռացվել են հայտնի ռեժիսոր Տիգրան Խզմալյանը, նախկին ԱԳ նախարար Վահան Փափազյանը, Պետական հեռուստատեսության նախկին ղեկավար Տիգրան Հակոբյանը եւ հայտնի լրագրող Էդիկ Բաղդասարյանը: Արամ Սիմոնյանը, իշխանություններին դուր գալու համար, չի խնայել անգամ իր մոտ ընկերոջն ու համակուրսեցուն` ԵՊՀ հյուրանոցի տնօրեն Գագիկ Պեպեյանին, որին եւս ստիպել է դիմում գրել եւ հեռանալ, քանի որ նաեւ եւս ՀԱԿ-ի հետ կապեր ուներ: Սա ակնհայտ քաղաքական հետապնդում է, որի հիմքերը դրել է վարչապետ Տիգրան Սարգսյանը բուհերում քարոզչության վերաբերյալ իր անհեթեթ շրջաբերականով: Նշենք, որ մյուս բուհերում նման երեւույթ գոնե առայժմ չի դրսեւորվել: