By Ara Papian
Ten days of discussion have already passed from the forty (of traditional mourning) granted to that dark pair of protocols. It is evident that the “internal discussions” are not working out. Naturally, they would not come to pass, given the circumstances. The current situation makes nothing work, and nothing will work in this scenario.
Due to my own circumstances, I am participating in these discussions as Vladimir Ilyich once did, in the form of “Letters from far away”. Even with some hindrances, this does have its advantages. I am free from the influence of any faction and can act solely in accordance with my own beliefs, which have been formed as a result of years of inquiry.
Comprehensive research and experience in the diplomatic world have lead me to the following conclusion: The solution to the Armenian Question lies in the singular opportunity of consolidating the Armenian State, which is the only way for the Armenian people to endure. A question may immediately crop up: what is meant by “the Armenian Question” and also its “solution” at this stage?
Commencing as an issue of the individual and collective security and dignity of the Armenian subjects of the Ottoman Empire, it gradually grew into an issue of Armenian statehood and the reaffirmation of the rights of that statehood. Today, the Armenian Question is the re-establishment of the territorial, material and moral rights by international law pertaining to or retained by the current Republic of Armenia.
One must have the courage to view the bitter truth and be clearly aware that we find ourselves without any options. The Republic of Armenia, as a singular and dignified political entity, can either exist only by the affirmation of its unalienable and permanent rights, or it cannot exist as such.
This is the very perspective from which one must analyse the current processes and the pair of protocols that go along with it. Is it that signing the protocols benefit the consolidation of the existential factors of Armenian statehood and increase the strength of the nation and state, or can it, as an opposing expectation, have a destructive effect?
I may immediately say that, in my opinion, the end result will be negative. The current protocols include clauses whose official recording will render settling the Armenian Question impossible even in future. We must not forget that both the struggle for Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) and that of international recognition of the Armenian Genocide have never been separate and the majority of Armenian society has viewed and continues to view it, whether consciously or not, as components of resolving the Armenian Question. The desire to settle the Armenian Question has been the greatest goal of Armenian survival for more than a century now. Regardless of inconsistent opinions that are sometimes raised nowadays, it remains the only national goal of the Armenians.
Giving up on the demand for Armenian rights with regards to Turkey, which is indicated in the two documents, implies giving up on the sole goal which brings Armenians together, which in turn would result in a core weakening of the Republic of Armenia, and its eventual destruction. In order not to resemble the many witch-doctors who are concocting their potions under the Armenian sky nowadays, let me present my thoughts scientifically.
Political science has long since developed a formula to measure the strength of a given state. This is known as the Jablonsky formula in American political science.1
Pp = (C+E+M) x (S+W)
In this formula, Pp is Perceived power, C is critical mass (population + territory), E is Economic capability, M is Military capability, S is Strategic purpose and W stands for the Will to pursue national strategy.
It is clear from the formula that the strength of a state depends as much on the presence of long-term goals and the state’s goal-oriented practices, as the population, territory, economic and military strength. The strength of a state is not merely the sum of some indicators, but it is the product of tangible, material indicators with the sum of the goal and the willingness to achieve it. Regardless of territory, population, economic or military prowess, if the state does not have a goal, and consequently the will to attain it, the strength of the state would then be nothing, as any number multiplied by zero is zero.
Today, the Nagorno-Karabakh issue is not considered to be a pan-national goal, due to some disputable and not-so-disputable circumstances. The political process to get recognition of the Armenian Genocide, as a pan-national goal, cannot essentially serve as a goal of the state, because there is an absence of a clear path to reach some core result through this goal.
Therefore, not only is settling the Armenian Question a singular opportunity to strengthen Armenian statehood and the only way for the Armenian people to endure, but also the very goal-oriented process of resolving the Armenian Question, that is to say the presence of such a goal and the political will to act on it, is an indispensible factor in consolidating the strength of Armenian statehood.
We must not take steps which could weaken Armenian statehood and deprive it of its preservation simply because the Homeland, which does not have a goal in itself, is merely a place to live.