Tuesday, 14 July 2009

Group of Armenian bloggers fighting a scapegoat re Karabakh

A statement was published by a group of Armenian bloggers. They demand a resignation of Armenian Foreign Minister Nalbandyan following a disclosure of the main principles (nothing new really) of Karabakh settlement currently on table.

Do they actually think that it’s a Minister of Foreign Affairs who formulate and lead Armenian foreign policy? Of course, they do not. No need to re-state that Armenian foreign policy is being directed by a president. FM Nalbandyan is simply an employee who is conducting work based on instructions and approvals by his boss. It’s just plain easy and does not require courage to target consequences but not the roots. It’s much more convenient to find a scapegoat and fight him.

In order to formulate my opinion re Serj Sargsyan’s Karabakh policy, I need more details about how exactly this plan will be implemented. My approval or disapproval of the plan will depend on two fundamental principles which I believe should be fixed unambiguous in any Karabakh related peace deal:
- Security guarantees for Karabakh and Armenia;
- Karabakh independence

I will leave to our military and security experts to judge whether - under any peace deal - such guarantees are included and ensured. As to the status of Karabakh (independence), I can judge it myself. However, I will need details on how exactly the disclosed principles will be implemented to understand whether they may result in Karabakh independence or not. I have my big doubts about it.

I also disagree with the opposition Armenian National Congress statement and stance re Karabakh. While they were right stating at the beginning that to formulate a final opinion more details are needed, their subsequent outright rejection of it and talks of treachery etc are not productive. In fact, Serj Sargsyan’s policy regarding Karabakh (and Turkey) is effectively a continuation of Levon Ter-Petrosyan’s policy. Will the opposition pursue anything substantially different if they come to power? I do not think so.


Onnik Krikorian said...

Not going to discuss the terms of any deal, but the statement is a nationalist one and also, does it really represent the view of "Armenian bloggers?"

These guys have just gotten a little carried away with their self-importance since disrupting events staged at Yerevan schools and on International Women's Day. Anyway, one name signed up is, of course, Pigh.

His right, of course, although who in the blogosphere was asked about the wording of this statement is suspect. Pigh says 150 bloggers have signed btw, but no names are listed:

Bad marks to Hetq for treating this as news without questioning who on earth gave a bunch of (nationalist?) bloggers the right to act as though they speak on behalf of us all.

They should know better, but I gave up reading Hetq ages ago. Let's see if Armenia Now is idiotic enough to reproduce it too. To be honest, I don't care what a handful of bloggers think.

I want to know what the majority normal everyday citizens (still deprived of a voice by the pro-government and pro-opposition media) think.

artmika said...

And here we are: Azeri President Says No To Karabakh Independence (RFE/RL)

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said on Monday there was no prospect of the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region being granted independence. [...]

“Nagorno-Karabakh will never be recognised as an independent country. It is absolutely ridiculous to expect that,” Aliyev said in a speech to foreign policy experts at Chatham House in London. [...]
No surprises here. Still, unless they accept that Karabakh will never be part of Azerbaijan again, there will be no prospect of peace in the region.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Mika, okay, now you've pushed me.

There is no solution to the Karabakh conflict that can be agreed upon at present apart from this. What the Madrid Principles basically do is normalize relations between Armenia and Azerbaijan over a very long time while keeping Karabakh unrecognized but officially with the status of a protectorate of Armenia.

There is nothing new with two countries having friendly relations after time with unresolved territorial disputes.

Anyway, the Madrid Principles are quite clear and there's going to be no other solution to the NK conflict except for stalemate and total isolation or another war. Both options are not to be welcomed.

The Basic Principles call for inter alia:

--return of the territories surrounding Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijani control --an interim status for Nagorno-Karabakh providing guarantees for security and self-governance, --a corridor linking Armenia to Nagorno-Karabakh; --future determination of the final legal status of Nagorno-Karabakh through a legally binding expression of will; --the right of all internally displaced persons and refugees to return to their former places of residence; and -- international security guarantees that would include a peacekeeping operation.

The endorsement of these Basic Principles by Armenia and Azerbaijan will allow the drafting of a comprehensive settlement to ensure a future of peace, stability, and prosperity for Armenia and Azerbaijan and the broader region.

Of course, the devil is in the details, but the possibility is there for peace. People can either live in the past with hate or look to the future. It should also be pointed out that Aliyev says certain things depending on his audience, but it's widely accepted in diplomatic circles here that there is no timetable for a referendum known yet.

That, as I say, will depend on normal Armenians and Azerbaijanis. But, I fear that if this deal falls through there will be a new war within the next 5-10 years. And if the opposition whose leader advocated a similar deal in 1997 tries to exploit this situation, I hope they remember that.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Meanwhile, it's worth pointing out that nationalist Azeris see the Madrid Principles as unacceptable because of mention of the referendum in Karabakh.

They consider it an admission of its loss while the nationalists here have some pipe dream about a Greater Armenia in contravention of outstanding UN security council resolutions against Armenia and international law.

It's one reason why the involvement of the OSCE Minsk Group is preferred by Armenia over the United Nations. Moreover, the only guarantors of this process is going to be the presidents of U.S., France and Russia so I welcome the new push.

But, basically, nationalists on both sides can't win and they're the voices that will shout the loudest. For the rest, best quote Ter-Petrossian and the article which led to his resignation, the choice is simple. "War or Peace?"

Unfortunately, we've wasted over 10 years since then only to arrive back at the same position. I think he said when he resigned that people would eventually see that.

artmika said...

Following your earlier comment, what I find unacceptable re this statement by a group of bloggers, is that although it is marked as "group of bloggers", during a press conference today some of them continued that negative trend of making impressions as if they speak on behalf of all bloggers.

For example, Hetq writes:

Բլոգերները նշեցին, որ իրենք որեւէ կուսակցություն կամ քաղաքական ուժ չեն ներկայացնում, այլ միայն խոսում են հայկական բլոգոսֆերայի անունից:

("Bloggers indicated that they do not represent any political party but rather speak on behalf of Armenian blogosphere")

Or citation of one of the bloggers, via

«Մադրիդյան սկզբունքների վերաբերյալ միշտ վեճեր են եղել, սակայն այս դեպքում, պաշտոնական հայտարարությունը տեսնելուց հետո, զարմանալիորեն միակարծիք էր ամբողջ բլոգոսֆերան»,- ասաց նա: [մասնագիտությամբ ճարտարապետ Արսեն Կարապետյանը]

("There were always debates re Madrid principles but after their official disclosure the entire blogosphere was of the same opinion")

nazarian said...

If you notice, these bloggers are the palace jesters, er, bloggers. These people are the ones who have defended everything Robert Kocharian and Serj Sargsian have said and done. Right now this is an attempt to muddy up the waters and shift the blame to the hapless foreign minister.

When and if Nalbandian is sacked, finding another fool to replace him will not be a difficult task. Shavarsh Kocharian is already showing some signs of activity in that direction.

tzitzernak2 said...

I agree that we need more details, and details may be where we really lose out. But even with the best of governments, often details are missing along the way - we may never get the details before it is all done and over, if ever.
Let's put history and details aside for a minute. We know that there are already numerous problems with what has been presented (with different views on what the problems are).
What is clear to me is that we may not have been in such dire straits if the Armenian government were not being pressured so much (and individuals in the government did not have so much to lose). Pressured regarding March 1 events, elections and legitimacy, and NKR. If the current authorities had not gained and maintained power in the manner that they did/have, they would not even have the opportunity to give concessions in NKR deals in exchange for silence from the West regarding human rights and democracy issues in Armenia.
Back to the details, things may further not go our way (putting it lightly) as the authorities continue to try to save their behinds.
No one knows exactly what the situation is, and so we dont know exactly what the Opposition would do in this situation. But they wouldn't have to be making unnecessary concessions in one area (NKR) to relieve the pressure on them in the other areas.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Agreed about who these "bloggers" are and what gives them the right. Further, who would be stupid enough to publish them when yes, they are likely the same who never speak out about the infringement of rights in Armenia. Still, do we know? Has anyone seen the "150 signatures."

Interestingly, none of us bloggers commenting on this page were asked for our opinion. It's all a stupid stunt and one that I doubt means much, anyway.

Tigran said...

Onnik,sometimes you better to keep silence.
Mika,I respect ypu ,cause you accept that you are gay,but for some people it's so difficult to do the same.
Isn't it Onnik?:)

Քաղաքացի said...

Sorry, for not reading all comments, I just wanted to say the following that I've also commented here

Where were nearly all these bloggers when Serzh and Robert were assassinating our fellow Armenians downtown Yerevan and thus making a big room for pressure by "superpowers" so that the latter states can get their desired results in terms of NKR issue?

Also, the picture ( resembles Khrimyan Hayrik's cries towards Europe. I'd rather suggest to cry on "our" authorities who are now in their positions also due to gigantic efforts of some of the above bloggers...

tzitzernak2 said...

Pigh -
Political views aside.
An individual's (including blogger's), sexuality has nothing to do with their views. Thus, whether or not Onnik Krikorian, myself, or you, is homosexual, heterosexual, bisexual or whatever, is completely irrelevent.
Furthermore, I find your use of sexuality as an attempt to insult disrespectful.
Next time, try to keep to the topic.

Onnik Krikorian said...

Onnik,sometimes you better to keep silence.

Mika,I respect ypu ,cause you accept that you are gay,but for some people it's so difficult to do the same.
Isn't it Onnik?:)

Tigran, respond with reasoned arguments rather than veiled threats and homophobic remarks. As I said, you have the right to your opinion, and others have the right to theirs.

Meanwhile, if I don't keep quiet, what?

Anonymous said...

Onnik, it's very hard to talk with yu with arguments since you use overgeneralizetion for people. I read your postings and comments re Karabakh issue, and it was sad to sea how you categorize people into nationalists and others. All patriots are in your nationalist list.
On a strict classification your approach falls in a classical fifth column category, and fortunately very few bloggers follow this approach.

artmika said...

Guys, it's your right to agree or disagree with Onnik's comments or the definitions he use. However, any reference to "fifth column" or other personal attacks are unacceptable and will not be approved. Please, keep to the topic and debate the issues in a civilised manner. Thanks.   

Onnik Krikorian said...

Actually, anonymous (and please, have the decency to reveal your own name), once again you fail to discuss with reasoned arguments your position on the Madrid Principles or why you are against them.

Meanwhile, "every blogger?" I actually don't see that and thankfully, what matters is not them anyway. What matters is reasoned and non-knee jerk discussion in societies.

Next time use your own name, and provide some arguments, please. And "fifth column?" Man, you're hilarious...

nazarian said...

Didn't our dear anonymous accuse Onnik for 'overgeneralization' and then go and do an 'overgeneralization' herself?

Fifth Column... :) AFAIK, the last time I remember hearing about a 'fifth column' was when Hitler was getting rid of the opponents of the Nazi regime. Such terms, coming out of someone whose ancestors fought against the Nazis, is strange to say the least.

Ani said...

My feelings toward this are pretty much similar to Mika's, so need to write more here. And as Tzitzernak's point implied, legitimately elected governments have the freedom to negotiate in the best interests of the country, rather than in trying to ingratiate themselves, or being seen to be trying to do that--appearance and reality here have the same result. Firing Nalbandian is nothing more than killing the messenger, unless you think that Sargsyan is not in charge of Armenia's policy; either he is against your cause or he is incompetent. So this petition makes no logical sense.

Wouldn't have bothered commenting but for what you, Pigh, said, as well as Anonymous. Tigran, I am dismayed that you personally and childishly attacked Onnik here, and really I'm saddened as well as disappointed in you. If you have opinions about the issue at hand, then you should express them; otherwise, don't bother.

As for Onnik or others being a "fifth column," the term is without exception always used by the paranoid and the hysterical. Having a diversity of opinions and views freely debated is healthy for a society--alas, Armenia is not a healthy society.

nazarian said...

In Soviet Russia, fifth column approaches you. (or something like that).