BY MADELEINE M. MEZAGOPIAN
With Armenia heading farther away from the true spirit of being independent, does the second independence of Armenia of September 21, 1991* represent an occasion to celebrate or simply an occasion to contemplate on how to preserve Armenia’s existence amid growing domestic and external threats?
Armenia receives the anniversary of its Second Republic amid emerging new world order, evolving regional and international powers and accompanying change in balances of power, and foremost amidst uncertainty and undeclared preferences by neighboring and far countries e.g. Russia and USA.
Thus, urgent need arises for all Armenians in Diaspora and in Motherland Armenia to concert efforts towards not only preserving Armenia’s independence, but foremost to preserve Armenia’s existence per se.
While life goes on as usual with Armenians in Motherland Armenia and in Diaspora and somehow their suffering of being hypnotized and insensitive to the ongoing and growing existential threats of Motherland Armenia. Parts of Armenian Artsakh were ceded to neighboring Azerbaijan thus bringing it and its ally Turkey closer to the heart of Armenia (1).
A day doesn’t pass without Armenia losing another hero protecting its borders while Armenia’s leadership considers normalization and rapprochement with Armenia’s past and present enemy Turkey whose leadership continues uprooting Armenian historical sites on occupied Armenian territories and sponsoring Azerbaijan’s expansionist schemes in Armenian Artsakh and further.
Hence, revisiting the past velvet revolution and the struggle to uproot corruption and those with external affiliations in the homeland Armenia is gaining further urgency.
Thus, September 21, 2021 should be a day of determination to rescue Armenia from extinction rather a day to celebrate an independence that lost its momentum with the arrival of an acquiescent leadership. A leadership that ceded to the enemy not only precious Shushi, but even parts of the Homeland Armenia thus undermining Armenia’s sacrifices and betraying its martyrs.
With the current leadership in Armenia unable to protect its borders and ceding its responsibility to Russia, September 21 should be a day of grief for all Armenians for compromising its sovereignty if not losing its independence to Russia, which in the past gave parts of Armenia to Turkey and Azerbaijan and debilitated the spirit, the culture and the civilization of Armenia.
This year, September 21 should be a day for Armenians to acknowledge that Armenia is on its own after complete indifference by all key actors while Armenians suffered its fourth genocide and mass human rights abuses during and in the aftermath of Armenian Artsakh’s existential war.
September 21 ceases to be a day of celebration, but rather a day for Armenians to ask forgiveness from their martyrs for not rewarding their sacrifices rather betraying their memory through rewarding the enemy.
September 21, should be a day for Armenians to promise their martyrs to finally realize genuine velvet revolution and eventually establish a true, neutral and united independent Armenia with a leadership solely loyal to Armenia and to the Armenian nation while establishing solid bridges with all key actors worldwide thus best serving Armenia’s national interests.
- On May 27, 1990, different parts of Armenia, the Armenian Soviet Socialist Armenia, witnessed confrontations between the newly established Armenian army (NAA) and the troops of the Soviet Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD). On August 23, 1990, Armenia declared its sovereignty over Soviet laws. On September 21, 1991, Armenia declared its independence and on July 5, 1995, the new constitution of Armenia was adopted and the Second Republic of Armenia was born.
- On September 27, 2020, Turkey, taking advantage of its own expansionist policies in the Mediterranean, targeting both European and Arab states, and unleashing terrorists in several European states and of USA preoccupation with controversial historical elections, hand in hand with Azerbaijan and Turkish trained terrorists of multi nationalities declared war and attacked Armenian Artsakh (Nagorno Karabakh). On November 9, 2020, a ceasefire agreement, mediated by Russia, was signed between Armenia, Russia and Azerbaijan surrendering parts of Armenian Artsakh to Azerbaijan.
Madeleine M. Mezagopian is scholar and an academician based in Amman, Jordan.