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Monday, 27 April 2009

Joke of the Day: Dashnaktsutyun is... ‘opposition’

They’ve got to be kidding...

Nationalist ARF Dashnaktsutyun party bears its ultimate share of responsibility for whatever happened in Armenia since they became the ruling coalition member. Quitting the coalition – as was announced today, and rumoured few days ago - do not spare them of that responsibility. They had the opportunities to put forward their objections or policies. Even if (theoretically) they were unable to do so or got ignored, for whatever the reasons might have been, they preferred to remain in the coalition up until now, enjoying all the benefits it could provide them.

And what a convenient time Dashnaks chose to show off that they are the party of ‘principles’, to flesh up their muscles as a ‘national’ party with ’national’ ideas, and, of course, in ‘opposition’ to the ‘treacherous’ government. Just in time for Yerevan municipal election, and in preparation for the next presidential election.

Unfortunately, genuine anger and deserved widespread criticism in relation to timing and the secretive nature (as of today) of the so called Armenia – Turkey ‘roadmap deal’ is being exploited by some circles, and not only Dashnaks, to stir up their nationalist agenda. I cannot see how nationalism could be an answer to the challenges we face. It will never solve our problems, but rather will exacerbate them.

Dashnaks are so out of touch from contemporary realities. They are so last century.

28 comments:

BSW said...

Y/day I thought to myself "joke of the century", seems es iranc aveli shat tegh em talis than you! lol

Whatever they do from now on they will stay "levonakan Dashnaks" or "Armenian hezbollah"...at least for me...;-)

BSW said...

Maybe some correction?


"Tashnak MP Hagop Pakradounian argues that his Christian constituency has plenty in common with the radical Shia movement, with its powerful armed militant wing, known as the Islamic Resistance. "

"levonakan dashnaks" or "shia dashnaks"?

Archuk Arshakuni said...

Consider the fact that Dashnakcutyun is the only real political party in Armenia with clear ideology, organisational structure and stable electorate. They're the most established and well-organised Armenian organisation overseas, their contribution to Armenian life worldwide is only comparable with the activity of the Armenian Church, which I'm sure you also consider 'last century' or maybe even 'last millenium'.
If they didn't make this announcement everyone including you would be screaming that the damn Dashnaks didn't make a stance. Now, when they have done it you criticise them for it.

Ani said...

Joke on top of a joke, via A1plus:

"The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun will become a moderate opposition."

Onnik Krikorian said...

Archuk,

I think the issue is more that we would have liked them to have resigned because of concerns with democracy, human rights and other serious domestic issues.

Moreover, it is not lost on me that the present situation where panic will be spread because of the Armenia-Turkey news could be theoretically exploited by them for a municipal election.

They have not left government for the reasons they should have long ago.

Onnik

Haik said...

Aren't they paving a path for Robik Kocharyan's comeback as the savour of "Armenian World" and Serik's annihilator?

Haik said...

Դաշնակցականներին
հեղինակ՝ Եղիշե Չարենց

(Ներբող քաղաքական)

Լծված տերերի շառաչուն կառքին՝
Հռնդում եք դուք այդտեղ վայրահաչ.
Ժանգոտած սուսեր ձեռքերիդ պահած՝
Անկում եք կարդում իմ նոր աշխարքին:
Օ, դո՛ւք, ողբալի պնակալեզնե՛ր,
Բռնակալների մի հետին քուրջում
Կծկըված՝ արդյոք կարո՞ղ եք տեսնել,
Թե ինչո՛վ ենք մենք ապրում ու շնչում:
Կարո՞ղ եք արդյոք ձեր դեղին ոգին,
Որ սնվել է լոկ հրով ու արյամբ.-
Ծառս չլինի ու չբողոքի
Իմ երկրի հանդեպ, որ հավե՛տ հարյավ:
Դուք չե՞ք հրդեհով միշտ շառագունել
Ու երկիրն հանձնել սրի ու հրի,
Օ, դո՛ւք, արշինի՛ երկրպագուներ,
Ասպետներ ոսկու ու մաուզերի:
Դուք չէի՞ք արդյոք, որ բախտը այս մերկ,
Բազում սրերով զարկած աշխարքի
Ձեր պիղծ ձեռքերով կապեցիք երեկ
Բռնակալների արնածոր կառքին:
Դուք չէի՞ք, որ մեր այս բազմալեզու
Երկրի առաջին այգաբացին դե՛ռ,
Գործերով ձեր պիղծ, ու ժանտ, ու քսու
Դարձաք բռնակալ ցարերին ընկեր:
Եվ ըմբոստության շունչը գեղեցիկ,
Որ հառնում էր այն դժնի օրերում-
Դուք չէի՞ք, որ ձեր ձեռքով խեղդեցիք
Այն ազգամիջյան սև նախճիրներում:
Դուք չէի՞ք, որ ողջ Ժողովուրդը իմ
Այն անօրինակ փորձության ժամին
Քշեցիք դեպի դաշտերը ռազմի,
Որպես հավելյալ թնդանոթի մի՛ս:-
Անշե՛ղ է եղել ձեր ուղին միշտ է՛լ,
Դուք պատվով եք ձեր պայքարը տարել.-
Եվ դա - տերերի պայքարն է եղել
Իր երթին ելած ժողովրդի դե՛մ:
Դա չդադարող պայքա՛րն է եղել
Ձեզ կյանքի կոչած դասակարգերի,-
Եվ ձեր գործերի պսակն հրեղեն
Եղել է երկիրն՝ արցունքի հեղեղ,
Եվ ժողովուրդը՝ կրկնակի՛ գերի: -

Ո՞ր դժոխքն է էլ ձեզ այդպես հեգնել
Ու լցրել այդքան անմիտ ցանկությամբ,
Որ տե՜ր եք ուզում դուք այսօր կանգնել
Դարերի՜ ավանդ մեր ժառանգության:-
Դուք տեր եք ուզում ձեզ հայտարարել
Այն հերոսական, հսկա պայքարի,
Որ ժողովո՛ւրդն է իմ երեկ վարել
Ընդդեմ բռնակալ սուլթանի՛, ցարի՛:
Դժգոհ է եղել իր վզին նստած
Բռնակալներից նա բազմապիսի,-
Դուք նրա վսեմ ընդվզումը այս
Ենթարկել եք միշտ ձեր մութ երազին:-
Նա ծա՜ռս է եղել տիրողների դեմ՝
Լինելով անհաց վաստակի գործիք,-
Դուք ըմբոստության այդ տենչը վսեմ
Աշխատել եք միշտ ցանցել ու լծել
Թե՛ հայ, թե՛ օտար տերերի գործին:-
Լեռնացել է նա, իր սիրտը սրբել
Արհավիրքների հրե հորձանքում-
Դուք նրան դավել, մեջքի՜ց եք խփել
Ու տարել անվերջ անկումից անկում:-
Ձգտում եք հիմա պայքարը այդ մեծ
Ձե՛րն հայտարարել մտքերով մթին,-
Մենք չե՛նք տա սակայն այդ պսակը ձեզ,
Չի սազում նա ձեր արնոտ մռութին:
Իզո՜ւր եք ոռնում այդպես վայրահաչ
Դուք անկախության պայքարի մասին․-
Դա մե՜րն է հիմա, դա մե՛րն էր առաջ,
Որքան էլ դավով դուք բազմապիսի
Փորձեր եք արել, փորձում եք հիմա,
Ինչպես միշտ՝ ահա կրկի՛ն ու կրկի՛ն
Մեզ քշել դեպի կործանում ու մահ,
Մեզ լծել, ծախու գրաստի նման,
Թե՛ հայ, թե՛ օտար տերերի կառքին:

Ինչպես աշխարհի ճորտերին բոլոր․
Այնպես էլ գերի աշխարհին իմ հին-
Երկինք մի մաքուր, արև մի բոսոր
Լոկ հոկտեմբերյան հողմերը տվին:
Մեզ ասին նրանք, որ կյանք մի վսեմ
Կերտելու համար հարկավոր է նախ
Ձեր դե՛մ մահացու պայքար սկսել,
Ձեզանի՛ց լինել հեռու ու անկախ:
Եվ կրում ենք մենք այդ պայքարը վեհ
Մեր երկրի անկախ արևի ներքո,
Որ Լենի՛նն է մեծ մեզ մի օր տվել՝
Պրոլետարիատի հաղթական ձեռքով:
Ոռնացե՜ք այդտեղ, որքան կամենաք,
Ու սրե՛ք մեր դեմ սուսեր ժանգոտած,-
Մենք կլնենք անհա՛ղթ, մենք կլնենք անա՛հ,
Երբ թնդանոթը մեր դեմ որոտա:-
Իսկ մինչ այդ՝ կապված ամբողջ աշխարհի
Պայքարի ելած ստրուկների հետ՝
Կերտում ենք ահա մի շենք վիթխարի,
Որ շիրիմն է ձեր լինելու հավետ:-
Մաքառում ենք մենք՝ մեր երթին լծված,
Աշխատում անդուլ, կերտում, կառուցում,-
Եվ վաղվա անմար հավատով լցված՝
Երգում է քնարն իմ պղնձաձույլ․․․


1929

spm said...

yes, problems with dashnaks is not that they lost country once, but they havent changed their mind a bit...

Archuk Arshakuni said...

Yes, dear Hayk, under the leadership of great Lenin, together with the rest of opressed people of the world we're fighting against the bourgeois Dashnaks!
Did you even read this before posting?

Haik said...

Archuk

The poem was written in 1929. In bringing this up I didnt try to uncover the historical situation but only to show that the Dashnaks have not changed a bit. I think it is an interesting read.

bsw-am said...

Wasn't he killed by bol'sheviks for the poem which first letters called for "unity" for Armenians?

BSW

Haik said...

He was killed by Stalin as many other people regardless their political views or social standing. This included many communists.

Anonymous said...

I am a member of the ARF and I can understand why some people have the view that the ARF should not have become part of the coaltion government. I struggled with the decision myself. On one side you have serious election fraud committed by Sargsyan's party and on the other you have Ter-Petrossian.

After being ousted and arrested by Ter-Petrossian, you can't blame the ARF for not wanting to join his opposition group or at least trying to reform the government from the inside rather than outside.

If ARF has a shot at winning the mayoral race in Yerevan, why is that bad? Isn't it better than allowing the Republican Party to continue to consolidate power?

Please know that Dashnaks are not opposed to opening the border. The problem is that it is being negotiated by an administation that no one trusts. No objective report has been conducted or issued on the pros and cons to trade and the potential impact on Armenia's security.

The Heritage Party who is part of the opposition, I believe has relatively the same position on the border opening. Do you believe that Zharangutyun is outdated? I suspect you don't.

tzitzernak2 said...

Anonymous -
First, I would like to say that I appreciate what you have written, and the sincerity of it. But...

Have you read the letter written by SS back in the day, explaining why he thought the ARF was involved in illegal/criminal and violent activities in Armenia, including Tro, hence in part directly explaining why LTP put the ARF out of the country? Did you listen to the explanation LTP gave that late December night - the one that explaining to the people why he was doing what he was doing? If you had read and seen those, which most ARF members have not, things would be clearer.

Much of the issue is that it was not about who did what to whom, back when. Functioning on that level, well he threw us out and so on and so forth, is not constructive. As Aramazd recently wrote in his comments section, it comes down to 2 very important questions - do you believe that SS got 53% of the vote, and who do you think killed those 10 individuals.

The ARF knew the answer to those questions. But it chose to go with the ruling party. And it chose to continue to try to explain away as much as it could, both to itself, and so many Diasporans.

And, while I agree that maybe the ARF is not against opening the border per se, and a huge problem is this government, the conditions under which the ARF would accept the opening of the border are extremely difficult to achieve, and require a very special political milieu, even if those conditions are met. Not only that, but the ARF has been extremely hateful and destructive to those who have tried to work toward the opening of the border, now and even more so in the past.

It should never have been about SS on the one hand, and LTP on the other. It should have been about PRESENT day fraud, violence, oppression on the one hand, and the voices of hundreds of thousands on the other.

Anonymous said...

tzitzernak2,

Thank you. I value your opinion because it helps shape mine. I appreciate the opportunity to have intelligent dialogue with you.

First, I don't think that it is fair to say that ARFers don't know why LTP had our leaders arrested, since his December decree is posted on the party's website:
http://www.arf.am/English/history/004history.htm

I think the fact that he specifically lists the Armenian Relief Society as one of the sister organizations that is conducting illegal activities proves how bogus it was. ARS is a selfless organization that focuses on providing health and human services to Armenians everywhere in the world.

The point I was trying to make was about context. Having the facts before you, was the ARF's decision unreasonable? I don't think so. ARF had already been arrested and ousted by Ter-Petrosian. That experience probably taught the ARF that the party could achieve more by trying to cooperate and change the government from the inside rather than part of an opposition group lead by Ter-Petrosian. Most of the Armenians I spoke with who voted for LTP did it, not because they support LTP, but because they wanted a change and thought he could get enough votes. It had nothing to do with his policies. Very sad situation.

I have also heard stories about LTP being funded by the U.S. State Dept. and hiring thugs in order to take over the government by force. I don't know if this is true, but if joining the coalition helped prevent anarchy, then I'm for it.

As for the ARF being destructive against groups trying to reconcile with Turkey, the only one I'm aware of is TARC, which I don't think failed because of the ARF. It failed because when the Armenian members of TARC tried to discuss the genocide issue and got an opinion by the ICTJ, the Turkish side basically walked away.

Anonymous said...

Actually speaking,the road map and other things are new project of Americans And some armenians who are afraid to becoming more dependent to Russia after seing troubles in Georgia..I dont think we Turks miss so much without existance of armenians or armenian border..Second after armenians decision to back knife Turks in their back with big powers,we dont have very much to evolve with Armenians in relations..So making the life of armenians difficult is at the moment only interest of Turks...In short,I fully support Dashnaks..The more the influence of Dashnaks the more difficult armenians life will be..And we are away from problem..

artmika said...

And here we are. So much about Dashnaktsutyun being an 'opposition' now. They 'agreed' with their 'former' coalition partners' offer to remain at control of 2 parliamentary positions - head of foreign relations and defense committee.

So Rustamyan would continue be a head of foreign relations commiittee, the very committee (headed by Rustamyan) which did nothing or was unable to prevent so hated by Dashnaks Armenia - Turkey deal...

I have no words, party of 'principles', for sure...

Ani said...

No honor among thieves, and they can't even manage to pretend to give up their "house servant" status. And when the regime "welcomes" having an opposition, well, it's not one:

hetq.am/en/politics/arman-sahakyan/

[...]
Arman Sahakyan, a Republican Party member, also views the ARF as a traditional party. “I believe that there will be many changes in our political life. Personally, I see it as a positive that in the opposition there will be a constructive authority and in reality a principle[d] and traditional opposition.”

Anonymous said...

I'm having a hard time figuring you guys out.

If the Republican Party chose someone from their own party to replace the posts held by ARFers would you be happy about it? Remember this is the same Party that you condemn for being illegitimate. If it's because you think that ARF is no different than the Republican Party, then that is your opinion, but I don't think that it is very well founded.

Also, why is it so unbelievable that the ARF failed at convincing the President to be wary of any negotiations with the Turkish government? Besides holding a gun to the President's head, I don't know of a way to force his decision a certain way. A president without a proper mandate from the people can do whatever he wants. Elections are the only power that can force an elected leader in a particular direction. Since Sargsyan is illegitimate, he does what he pleases since the people's vote doesn't effect his power.

Also, what aren't the other members of the NA "house servants"? Are you upset that Rule of Law and Heritage have not given up their seats in parliament? What makes a party a true opposition party? So far the only criteria I've read on this site is you have to announce you are part of the opposition as soon as the elections are over to be a true opposition party. If a party tries to effect change in some other manner, then they are just house servants.

What I find distressing is the lack of approval by the other opposition groups of the ARF's actions? Do any of you think that the other opposition groups are just being political by trying to act like the "real" opposition? As if it is some exclusive club. There is strength in numbers. Why aren't you happy that the opposition just doubled their seats in the NA?

Ani said...

Anonymous, it's not about seats in Parliament, it's about portfolios--very different. The ARF joined the coalition and thus was given some portfolios as part of the bargain. How can they leave the coalition and keep those perks (see artmika's comment above for details)? Perhaps "house servants" is not quite correct: Do you prefer pigs at the feeding trough instead (though they were drinking champagne)?

Anyway, your word "act" is correct--it's an act, just like every other time has been. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me; fool me three times--so you're the ARF party and I'm a moron...?

Anonymous said...

Ani,

No one is calling you a moron. I apologize if I gave you that impression. I just don't think that it is fair to assume that the ARF can't be trusted or has an ulterior motive.

I think it is a case of guilt by association. To an extent, I accept that people don't trust the ARF because they chose not to join Ter-Petrosian's opposition. If you are a true cynic, then I hope you spend equal amounts of time bashing all of the political parties in Armenia.

What is it about the other opposition parties that makes them real opposition? Artmika makes fun of the ARF for not being a real opposition group, so what do they need to do in order to be one?The ARF condemned the violence and voter fraud, they just chose a different approach after the election. Have the "real" opposition parties been more successful at changing government in Armenia than the ARF? Which approach has served Armenians better?

I know it will be difficult for you, but hypothetically, try to pretend that you believe the ARF cares about Armenia's future. If you were in the position of the ARF, and the positions you just resigned were offered to you, what would you do? If you don't retain them, they get filled by Republican party members. If you take them, you give the appearance that you have no principles as artmika suggested. So which is worse, more government positions dominated by an illegitimate government or losing popularity?

Doesn't it hurt the ARF's election prospects by keeping these positions with the mayoral race coming up, if most people are like you and don't trust the ARF? As much as you try to spin it as the ARF just retaining "benefits" I can give an equally convincing explanation that it is not.

tzitzernak2 said...

Dear Artmika, Ani, Anonymous, Haik, and whomever else may be interested:

For the first time I am seeing real discussion between people of varying opinions that is not abusive, and is constructive and educational. I think it should be continued, as we all seem to have much more to say, but fear that it will get lost in the comments as Artmika posts more.

I suggest the following. We could organize a way in which this conversation, and those similar, can continue and be posted, with readers making additional comments. I'd be more than happy to post the questions (one at a time) with answers from different sides as the body of the post, and then have ensuing discussion.

Anyone interested? Email me.

tzitzernak@gmail.com

artmika said...

Guys, thanks for your comments. Always encouraged by a civilised discussion. Tzitzernak, appreciate your suggestion, but it may cut the flow of comments and their connection with the main post and previous comments. Therefore, I would suggest keep commenting here. You may always then copy the most important thread and post separately elsewhere too.

Do not forget that RECENT COMMENTS section is on your right hand side, where you can see the last 5 comments made on this blog in a chronological order.

Therefore, regardless of number of new posts I make, if there are comments for this specific post, they will always appear on the front page of my blog under the RECENT COMMENTS section.

Anonymous said...

Three questions that I posed previously that I would like an answer to are the following:

1. What does the ARF have to do for you to accept them as part of the opposition, if that is even possible?

2. Is it political posturing by the opposition to cast themselves as the "real" opposition? (Why or why not?)

3. Should the opposition be more welcoming of the ARF's announcement or should they dismiss it?

tzitzernak2 said...

Artmika et al,
I had forgotten about that mechanism on the sidebar - that's ideal and will definitely, as you say, provide better continuity of discussion.
Many thanks for starting such a great thread!
tzitzernak

Archuk Arshakuni said...

It's all very good being clever and saying what ARF should and should not have done at different times in our recent history but remember ARF is a worldwide party and no matter what the Armenian ARF structures claim, they have to follow what is being said in LA, Beirut, Paris, etc.
Dashnakcutyun has not been created overnight by a group of friends in a Yerevan cafe to serve someones political ambitions. They have a strategy of development for the country as well as Diaspora and its future. Their decisions are to serve country's long-term interests, at least in their view. If they join the government, its because there is a reason for that and if they leave there is a good reason for that as well. All this trivial accusations are completely pointless from my point of view. Dashnaks have a lot to teach to other parties in Armenia if we're planning to have serious political parties in the future.

tzitzernak2 said...

Anonymous - again, i think your questions get to the crux of the matter. I'll attempt to answer, with some caveats, most of which center around how these changes, if desired, would be implemented in the real world, which is so much more complex than the oversimplified questions and answers. As pointed out by another commenter, the ARF has a long history, with many alliances that would hinder such changes.

So, that being said, my preliminary personal opinion (amenable to change), is the following (thinking out loud)-
Again building on what Aramazd pointed out, the ARF, to start with, would have to:

1)publicly recognize that the extent of flaws in the Feb 2008 presidential elections were enough to call into question the legitimacy of results and of the present government
2)"realize" that there are no conditions under which a government firing on its own people is acceptable - and even if we can imagine some, March 1 was not that case by any means. And therefore the violence unleashed upon protesters was to say the least, uncalled for, unjust, unethical and illegal. A tragedy not just because 10 Armenians died, but because Armenians died at the hands of their own government.

Additionaly, I would expect more severe condemnation of the persistent and repeated oppressions and intimidations against the media and individuals in Armenia.

And regarding Political prisoners. I think one of the main requirements would have to be acknowledging the court cases as what they are, farces. And acknowledging the prisoners as political prisoners.

The ARF would then have to make the step to say that this government is flawed and dangerous on so many levels, that it is not working towards a better Armenia or helping Armenians. And, that working from within the government is not a possibility.

It would then become an opposition organization.
How it would do all of this, I have no idea. Do it and save face, I have no idea either.

And that would no means, in my opinion, guarantee that any other opposition groups would trust them. I wouldn't. But at least they would be on the right side.

These are just some preliminary thoughts for a starting point, subject to change after discussion.

artmika said...

Parajanov, Charents and Hrant Dink on… Dashnak posters in Yerevan. Have they (Dashnaks) lost their mind