BY GARO R. MADENLIAN
Nikol Pashinyan and his “my-steppers” have managed to dismantle the national agenda, denounce patriotism, divide the country, destroy democracy, degrade national icons and desecrate Artsakh, the Armenian nation’s unified and primary purpose of the modern era; But they evidently had other priorities… During the war they deceived the country, denied sending supplies and troops, diverted the truth, and retreated into a desolate surrender, even though the Armenian nation around the world was united like never before. Then, Pashinyan signed the disastrous agreement surrendering most of the Republic of Artsakh, and apparently parts of Armenia, after allowing thousands of brave men and women to perish and over 10,000 to be wounded.
Nikol and his mis-steppers continue their pattern of deceit and betrayal in their last-ditch effort to retain their seats and an illusion of power by blaming everyone else for this catastrophic situation that they themselves inflicted upon Armenia and Artsakh; they’ve unleashed their fakes, bots and zombies to attack any and all dissenters on social media in their attempts to distort the facts and shift the focus away from their incompetence, a common tactic utilized during the velvet regime change.
They continue to try to dictate the narrative by calling for unity, supposedly to allow time for the nation to grieve, but more likely to continue capitulating further as it seems Nikol has promised much to others. They question protesters motives and whether they were at the front during the war, and stress that the focus should be on the humanitarian crisis, yet they do nothing to help but continue to detract and distract the Armenian people. They attempted a disgraceful PR campaign with photo-ops at Yeraplur utilizing our martyred heroes as a prop to buy time to complete their “plans.” And now they even attack the ARF who called for unity and offered to pool resources during the economic collapse and covid crisis in Armenia, and from the onset of the war.
Yes, We Call For Unity; A Unity Of Purpose Based On The National Agenda
Yes, we call for unity; but unity of purpose based on the national agenda and that which is just and right for Armenia and Artsakh, the citizenry, and the diaspora; but not a failed government serving personal interests that unabashedly hands over large portions of the country, and gives itself unimaginable financial bonuses while the country faces a humanitarian crisis with thousands of displaced and homeless families from Artsakh.
Nikol and his mis-steppers absurdly scream for unity when they encouraged and perpetuated divisions, and ultimately created this calamity. Yet, they now expect the intelligent and proud Armenian people to forget that it was Pashinyan and his incompetent policies and incapable government that projected this painful reality of Nikol’s “new Armenia” with no Artsakh, and possibly no Syunik, on us as they continue to drown our nation deeper into depths of despair.
Thus, unity of purpose for the nation starts with abolishing those like Nikol and his mis-steppers who worked contrary to the national interest, prioritized personal benefit and gains over that of the country, while serving others interests; A unified effort to remove Nikol and his mis-steppers from office is the first step to correct the course, salvage what remains of the Homeland and move forward.
It’s Time to Grieve and Honor the Heroes By Continuing the Struggle
Nikol and his followers ask the people to wait so everyone can grieve; in essence to do nothing while the enemy advances militarily and politically. They continue to sacrifice young and old men and women in Artsakh and Armenia instead of saving the POWs and securing the return of the remains of our fallen heroes. They continue to dishonor our soldiers by further capitulating to the enemy instead of recognizing our heroes and ensuring their sacrifices were not in vain by continuing the collective struggle for justice, self-determination for the people of Artsakh, and basic human rights for all Christian Armenians.
ARF is the Rock That Unifies the Nation
Pashinyan and his followers (fakes, bots and zombies) even have the nerve to attack the ARF, question our patriotism, hurl unimaginable slurs against our 130-year old organization that has, and continues to, tirelessly work for the Armenian nation in the homeland and in the diaspora, furthering the national agenda, securing the survival of a nation in exile with schools and community centers, and continuing the fight for justice for the Armenian people everywhere including Artsakh and Armenia, and even for those that disagree with our policies.
ARF Volunteer Groups Were at the Front in Artsakh and Protesting in Yerevan
Nikol and his mis-steppers attack those rightfully demanding his resignation, asking the protesters where they were during the war, when in fact, many of those same protesters had recently returned from the front lines only to find themselves arrested and beaten when they voiced their disapproval of Nikol and his missteps. A bludgeoning example of Pashinyan’s modern democracy in his “new Armenia.”
When the war first started, the ARF immediately mobilized and sent its first volunteer battalion to the front in coordination with the Defense Ministry. Soon after, the ARF sent additional platoons comprised of its members and supporters, from Armenia and abroad. Of course, those ARF members that were drafted into the military, served there as well. Many did not return, but those that did, joined the protests calling for Pashinyan’s resignation.
ARF Volunteer Groups Remain At The Front Along The New Border In Syunik
After Pashinyan’s initial capitulation, he refused to send troops to border towns and villages where Azeris are laying claim to Armenian lands and amassing their armies such as in Kapan. Most recently in Syunik, Nikol ordered the military and its remaining soldiers to surrender critical defensive posts and retreat, leaving defenseless villagers to fend for themselves and placing Kapan and surrounding villages within the crosshairs of Azeri snipers. Meanwhile the ARF sent volunteer battalions into the region to defend our people and our lands, and to help the civilian population along the border.
Pashinyan and his mis-steppers continue to give away Armenia one piece at a time while unashamedly talking about establishing economic relations with Azerbaijan and Turkey even before the bodies of our martyrs are returned for proper burials; they promote their agenda for economic prosperity from the Azeri-Turkish-Pashinyan coalition, similar to the Levon Ter Petrosian plan of the 1990s, even while the enemy kidnaps and tortures civilians and soldiers, takes more Armenian lands and ancient villages, and announces it will seize all of Armenia starting in the south where Nikol and his mis-steppers have placed the entire area at risk even before the Azeri-Turkish corridor through Meghri is built.
ARS, Homenetmen, Hamazkayin and Others Respond To The Humanitarian Crisis
During this humanitarian crisis with thousands of homeless and displaced Armenian families from Artsakh, the failed pashinyan regime created a bureaucratic nightmare for those in need to register, jump through a myriad of hoops, and if they’re lucky they may eventually receive a few minuscule crumbs; minimal assistance to barely survive less than a month during the harsh winter.
The ARF, its affiliates and many other community organizations, churches and schools, and countless individuals, contributed funds and supplies to help those in need trying to survive the Pashinyan nightmare.
The ARS has already sponsored thousands of families and reopened kindergartens in Stepanakert; Hamazkayin is continuing with classes for displaced families and their children in Yerevan; Homenetmen is providing much needed assistance to families in crisis; and still many others have mobilized to join in the efforts to help their brothers and sisters survive during this ongoing existential crisis. Many in Armenia, including a plethora of individuals from the diaspora, have created independent groups to distribute funds and supplies themselves because they do not trust Nikol or his mis-steppers.
Making matters worse, there’s warehouses full of supplies sent from the diaspora not being dispersed to those in need because the government wants to either charge a tax or take the supplies for themselves to use how they deem fit, which most likely will find their way to be sold for personal profit or used to bribe people to support Nikol and his mis-steppers; a government that seized Armenia Fund moneys, gave themselves bonuses, and focused on selfies and photo-ops instead of governing and leading.
ANCA Maintains Relations With Governments and Represents Interests of Armenia, Artsakh and the Diaspora
Armenia’s failed foreign policy and lack of relationships with other governments is also blatantly obvious as Nikol’s representatives are “too busy” or “preoccupied” while ANCA secures funding, humanitarian and medical aid, sanctions against Azerbaijan and Turkey, and works with international partners to secure the return of POWs, calls for investigations into weapons manufacturers and much more.
AYF Political Activism and Support for Wounded Soldiers and Their Families
In addition, it’s the AYF (ARF youth) that continues to fundraise for its Wounded Soldiers program to assist the injured and the families of the injured or fallen soldiers; they continue to be politically active, fighting for justice for Artsakh and Armenia as they do hunger strikes, organize protests, rallies, and social media campaigns, and continue a long legacy of fighting for justice for the Armenian nation.
ARF in Armenia and Throughout the World Rightfully Demands Pashinyan Resign
And finally, ARF is one of the organizations in the Homeland Salvation Movement in Armenia that organizes protests and rallies demanding Pashinyan resign to establish a unified, temporary government to salvage the crisis created by Nikol and his mis-steppers, clarify the remaining vague points in the trilateral agreement, return the bodies of our dead, secure the release of remaining POWs, manage the humanitarian crisis, and have free and fair elections within a year.
What Has the ARF Done? What Have Nikol & His Mis-Steppers Done?
Go ahead and ask us what the ARF has done for the past few months or 130 years in the Homeland and in the Diaspora, and what we’ve been doing since the Pashinyan capitulation? Then ask Nikol and his mis-steppers what they’ve done in the past, for how long, and what they’re doing now? Where were they during the war, the capitulation and surrender, and what have they been doing since? Whose interests are they really furthering and protecting?
Then demand a public and transparent trial against Nikol and his mis-steppers to bring to justice those who organized or were complicit in this act of treason with swift and severe punishment to serve as an example and deter any future acts of betrayal against the Armenian nation.
Together We Shall Overcome, Without Nikol & His Mis-Steppers
Together we will rescue, rebuild and recreate our Armenia and Artsakh despite Nikol and his mis-steppers not so hidden agenda and their efforts to destroy that which we hold dear. We shall rise again and flourish as a united nation in the homeland and the diaspora. Together we shall overcome but first, Nikol must resign, so the united, temporary government can start the process to resurrect the national agenda.
Garo R. Madenlian is a member of the ARF Western U.S. Central Committee.