Sunday, June 29, 2008

Serzh Sargsyan: Middle managers gone Wild!

[Update: This is a heavily revised and expanded version of what was originally a paragraph-long insult. I felt that, since I took the time to subject Sargsyan's image to my own, personal, conceptual Abu-Ghraib, I should take the time to explain why I did it. In the course of working out my thoughts about Sargsyan, I came to feel the same pity for him that he professes feeling for people who don't like him. If I were to describe concisely what the following is about, I would say it is a chronicle of that journey from contempt, toward contempt and pity, or maybe like an empathetic revulsion evinced from witnessing the death throes of a foot-long, three-eyed, yellow maggot-centipede.]

Sargsyan must be on some kind of medication. It's not so much that he would attempt to deceive people with interviews conducted by visibly terrorized reporters asking other people's questions; that's bad enough in itself, but predictable when it comes to would-be dictators; what is truly noteworthy about Sargsyan, on account of its being a sign of some kind of mild retardation, is that he evidently believes his lies are convincing. He's like a tone-deaf singer who thinks he's Frank Sinatra. His contemptible giggle at the question, "Are you Kocharian's plaything?" is as revealing as his final answer: "I don't really understand the point of that question"; in other words, he is so not Kocharian's plaything, that that logical step that any observer would take doesn't even occur to him. The elephant in the room is practically sitting on him, and Svengali Serzh thinks asking "Elephant? What elephant?" will magnetically pull the right thought into the people's focus and give free reign to his virtuoso fingers to play with them as he wishes.

But sitting in that chair whose back-side rises above his head makes him look like a little kid, an impression that is reinforced by his chubby cheeks. And this is no coincidence; it's one of those utterly strange, but not uncommon, cases where despite a host of bald-faced lies told in an interview, the liars body language and the attending circumstances clearly tell the truth. Just like the "Leader of the Free World" was caught cleaning his water glass on the jacket-tip of an interview attendent, Sargsyan literally looks like a child faithfully carrying out the instructions of Father Putin.

Corporate Stalinism produces incompetents in Russia just like it does in the West. This is a topic for another time, but it is worth noting that these "Presidents" are horrifying, not because they project power, but because, upon their election, one realizes with utter alarm that, in order for them to have gotten elected, so many important things must have gone wrong that it must mean that the system, as bad as it was, is now broken, really broken, and that even that noblesse oblige is gone--because the nobles are gone--and in their place are bureaucrats, middle managers, and accountants that have finally stumbled upon the loophole they've always dreamt about, which they will now proceed to exploit with regard to absolutely nothing.

They look like sophisticated versions of department store managers because they are sophisticated versions of department store managers.

Another salient characteristic of the interview, for example, is Sargsyan's slow (and rather dull) speech. Stately speeches are made with pauses, so he can ascribe some of his perpetual halting way of speaking to that, but, unfortunately for him, it is obvious that far beyond a stylistic choice, his having to concentrate on what he is saying is the result of two things: one, remembering the answers that he has memorized and, two, translating them from Russian to Armenian before opening his mouth. That motionless lower jaw that is characteristic of people who are primarily Russian speakers is ubiquitous throughout the interview for that reason--he's thinking in Russian.

And he keeps repeating the idea that he is "pained" by this or that, by people who hate his guts, by the events of March 1st, and so on and so forth. We're supposed to believe that this Gollum with his precious ring suffers bouts of morally infused regret about the imperfection of man, that the pathos erupts from the depths of his being when he witnesses hundreds of thousands of people calling him what he is--midget murderer--that the emotion washes over him, and at the end of it all you can find him nightly dropping to his knees, begging Our Heavenly Father to forgive his critics because they know not what they do. As the pictures show, however, his complete lack of real affect, absent to the degree that he could join a colony of androids without any of them noticing, belies the fact that the KGB has pulled the soul straight out of his body like a dentist extracts a tooth, leaving only a gaping hole.

Woe is you, Sargsyan, you pathetic little man. You're too honest to lie well, and too corrupt to tell the truth. Consequently, every day you wake up to the same terrible realization: Today, once again, someone will call you "President," and you will feel sorry for them, first, and then immediately feel far sorrier for you. Sad, sad little man.

Friday, June 27, 2008

That Dance...



The video is about an Armenian girl contemplating attracting attention by dressing provocatively. Her father thinks that would be indecent. He says don't dance that dance. She says I may.

But why she says what she says has more than one reason. She's very manipulative. She's very womanly, very hypnotic, and maybe a little bit stupid, because she can afford to be.

All of her subtle charms, all of the messages that she sends, her nazni motions are more than enough to get what she wants. If only men notice...

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Pashinian: Untitled, Part A

Pashinian addresses the Zionist Conspiracy.

Pashinian: Untitled, Part A.
June 25, 2008

I have not witnessed it personally, but I've heard often that Armenian public television likes to show cadres attending our gatherings at Freedom Plaza among whom the Israeli national flag is waving, waving even on the platform. I cannot deny it, such things did take place. During the same day, the flags of France, the US, Ukraine, Russia, Georgia, the EU, and, if I'm not mistaken, Poland and Lebanon were flown as well.

Who were the people who brought those flags to Freedom Plaza, and why? Those flags were brought by Armenian citizens who have relatives living in those countries. Those relatives had phoned-in and said that they were throwing their lot in with the people's movement. That is what those flags symbolized. It was a resident of Zeitoun that had brought the flag of Israel to the Plaza, whose son, in order to free himself from the harassment and corruption of the police, has permanently moved to Israel. But this is not the essential matter; the essential matter is why does Haylur constantly show the cadres with the Israeli flag? The reason is clear: To prove that our people's movement is a Judeo-Masonic conspiracy. Truth be told, I've never taken such theories seriously, even if such talk of others [foreigners] has taken place. But even if dark and treacherous zionist forces do exist, then, as a member of the central staff of the people's movement, I am declaring right now that no foreign power--whatever its identity: Soros, zionism, I don't what--cannot govern us, lead us, or sponsor us, because that is what we have decided, that is what the first President Levon Ter-Petrossian has decided, because his jealousy regarding Armenia's independence is a story on to itself. We don't hide the fact that in our struggle we need the sponsorship of only one power--the Armenian people. Let us turn, however, to those who terrify the Armenian people with "zionist" conspiracies. I seem to recall that [the Sargsyan/Kocharian camp] did not show any signs of distress when Armenia's Jewish community announced its support for Serzh Sargsyan in the 2008 elections and the following period; in that case, why did those who are terrified by the "zionist" conspiracy not make any noise? To tell the truth, I feel a bit bad about having to deal with this issue, but I cannot--not--acknowledge that xenophobia is the only weapon of the awkward, criminal, and ignorant leadership. Leaders that stupefy, control, and lead to destruction their nations are wont to wave the flag of the Hebrew nations in front of their people's faces, like the toreador's red cape. And the animals at Haylur have decided to take our people for animals and govern them through reflex conditioning. And if the national flag of Israel does not suit the rulers of the Armenian Republic, then let them sever their diplomatic ties with Israel and dedicate funds from the national budget to erect a commemorative obelisk to Hitler that "eternally remembers" him.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The scam identified by Bruce Tasker is unfolding.

What Bruce Tasker has had to say for a few years now is coming to pass: Kocharian's and Sargsyan's master plan is to come to an agreement with Azerbaijan over the Gharabagh issue whereby Armenia agrees to clear out of the surrounding territories, and Azerbaijan agrees to pay for the refugees moving to a new area and starting a new life. This is all pretty simple stuff; just go to the Azeri administrative divisions map and see for yourself how Armenia is in control of pretty much all of the regions around Gharabagh. The tens of thousands of civilians whom the Armenian authorities have located in those regions in recent years will have to move when the agreement is signed, and Armenia will be calling on the Azeri government to pay for the resettlement. That is step one.

This is step two. The money that the Azeri government pays for the refugees is going to go to paying for Yerevan apartments (and infrastructure that the residents will use) that the Kocharian clan has been building--and building with aid money (Millenium Fund, World Bank, the usual suspects) that it pays to "foreign" companies that are supposedly "investing" in Armenia, but, in fact, are people like, say, Kocharian's cousins starting construction businesses in Russia, getting contracts in Armenia, and starting building in Yerevan. Again, Once Kocharian and Sargsyan get the compensation money from Azerbaijan, they'll move the refugees into these apartments in Yerevan, and pay their own clansmen for them. And that is how Kocharian, Sargsyan, and their Gharabagh clan are going to wind up with the money intended for refugees: indirectly, through the apartments. So there are actually three steps.

1. They built the apartments using front companies.
2. They are on the verge of signing an agreement with Azerbaijan that will displace refugees and oblige Azerbaijan to compensate for the displacement.
3. They will move the refugees into the apartments and pocket the money from Azerbaijan.

That is the scam that Bruce Tasker has identified, and a scam it surely is. And the amount of money involved here is about $3-4,000,000,000 dollars. Consider that average Armenians live on anywhere from $100 to $400 a month. The average income of the people living in the regions surrounding Gharabagh is, I don't know, realistically speaking--air--nothing. I would be surprised if they made $20 a month. The water they get from the well, the fruit they pick from the trees, and the house, well, what the house is worth is strictly the physical comforts it affords, strictly its use-value, nothing else. If you want to feel better about the real estate bubble bursting in the US, go to a war buffer-zone: Electricity is something your parents told you about when you pointed to this strange thing they said is called a "lightbulb," and the only running water is in the river. And the winters are cold. Twenty dollars goes a long, long way in places like buffer zones.

And these are the people that Kocharian and Sargsyan are stealing $4 billion dollars from--and possibly much more. Can you imagine? Can you imagine what utterly shameless reptiles these two are? Their lizard eyes shifting, their crocodile teeth tearing into the lives of hundreds of thousands of innocent people, swallowing whole and slobbering, just so Sargsyan has something to back-up his otherwise lamely executed swagger at Monte Carlo.

Pashinian talks about how Sargsyan wanted to show people in Armenia what a stud he is by talking to Aliyev at the NATO summit in Bucharest, but ended up embarrassing himself and the European delegates with him when the Azeris said that there is no "subject or purpose" to the talks. The Armenian side then had to deny that they had ever made a request for talks. What an incompetent ass this man Sargsyan is. He then chased after Aliyev to St. Petersburg to try to beg a moment from him, because what is his dignity (and Armenia's, in parentheses) worth next to the opportunity to swagger at Monte Carlo?

I'll let Bruce Tasker point out the unfolding evidence for the reasoned prediction that he has made and has been trying to get people to acknowledge for a long time now. Recent events are fast proving him right. Below is a clip from an e-mail that he sent me. He is quoting this article from RFE/RL, written by Elizabeth Fuller. The text in bold is direct evidence for the verity of step 2 of the scam: compensation from Azerbaijan for internally displaced persons.

Elizabeth writes: “Sargsyan’s approach differed slightly from that of his predecessor, Robert Kocharian, in terms of unspecified "nuances." Then Elizabeth refers to a fundamentally important point that “The written text of the Madrid Proposals has not been made public” Followed by the standard Minsk Group line: “These principles include the phased redeployment of Armenian troops from Azerbaijani territories around Nagorno-Karabakh, with special modalities for Kelbacar and Lachin”(No reference to civilian displacements) . And importantly, today Bryza adds that: " International financial assistance would be made available for de-mining, reconstruction, resettlement of internally displaced persons in the formerly occupied territories and the war-affected regions of Nagorno-Karabakh."

Then the article quotes Bryza as saying: “withdrawal will not happen unless the Armenian side feels it has secured from Azerbaijan a concession of comparable magnitude. Similarly, Bryza continued, on the Azerbaijani side there is a political risk to giving to Armenia what Armenia needs to agree to give back the territories”.

Bruce Tasker is not optimistic about whether Kocharian/Sargsyan's plans will be thwarted and whether Armenians will get the just government that they deserve. I am hoping that LTP, Pashinian, and the Opposition will do the right thing.

UPDATE: See here for a .pdf of Arpineh Galfayan's essay about Tasker's work in Tesaket, the journal of the Institute for Democracy and Human Rights, based in--Armenia.

UPDATE: Someone put this article up on Khosq.

By the way, the link to Bruce Tasker's website is on the right, like always.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Pashinian: Sargsyan vs. Aliyev -- a screw-up.

I wrote about the Armenian-Azerbaijan situation a few days ago. In this article published in Paykar on the 11th of June, Pashinian discusses Sargsyan's meeting with Aliyev.

Nikol Pashinian, Untitled.

I followed the Serzh Sargsyan-Ilham Aliyev meeting with great consternation through the media, awaiting news of the the inevitable scandal. The awaited news, however, was not announced in the daily reports, which means that the scandal has not taken place; moreover, pictures were published of Serzh and Ilham lost in smiles at one another like long-lost brothers who have chanced to meet on the street.

And why was I awaiting a scandal? If you remember his mid-March online question and answer blog, Serzh Sargsyan announced that he is going to confront Ilham Aliyev during his very first meeting with him: If he, meaning Ilham, thinks that the resolution of Mountainous Gharabagh is going to take place at the UN according to the arguments put forth by Azerbaijan, meaning according to Azerbaijan's principle of Azerbaijani national sovereignty, then he, meaning Serzh, doesn't have anything to talk to him about, meaning Aliyev. In making this announcement, Serzh was thinking that he was going to meet with Aliyev at the beginning of April, sometime during the NATO Summit at Bucharest. But the meeting never took place because Aliyev refrained from meeting Serzh and in this way forced the other leaders as well as Serzh to ask for a meeting with him [Aliyev. Italics mine for clarity]. I did not make a mistake in counting Serzh among the ranks of the leaders doing the asking, because a meeting with Aliyev was the only way that Serzh could have proven himself as a legitimate ruler of Armenia in front of the international community. Aliyev could not have been ignorant of the fact that, in agreeing to this meeting, he would be rendering an important service to Serzh, and, naturally, [Aliyev] could not have gone through with it without making the power of his position known, which he did at Bucharest to score definite political points, which he did at Moscow. No one noticed in Armenia that he made an announcement about the Sargsyan-Aliyev meeting during the Foreign Minister's trip to Moscow. Nalbandian had gone to Moscow to ask the Russians to persuade Ilham to meet with Serzh at St. Petersburg and not change his mind at the last minute. And Ilham, at the Russian Federation, exacted a heavy price for his agreement to meet with Serzh. RF President Dmitri Medvedev not only heaped praises upon him, his Azerbaijani counterpart, but he is getting ready to visit Baku in early July. It is understandable that under these conditions, Serzh Sargsyan could not remember what to say to Ilham; isn't it true that politics is the art of the possible [1]? It is simply not a good thing that during his very first visit with the President of Azerbaijan, he is found in a situation that the petitioners surrounding him consider to be, in a word: fuflo [2].

1. Otto von Bismarck said this; he is remembered for unifying Germany.
2. Fuflo is, I think, Russian slang for "screwing up." If someone knows for sure, please let me know.

Armenia's Global Context: Naomi Klein's Shock Doctrine

I've had a crush on Naomi Klein ever since her No Logo and the Seattle protests in the late 90s. She gets better all the time.

Here is her interview with John Cusack, which bears on Armenian issues.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Pashinian Stub at Wiki.

Nikol Pashinian's stub is up at Wikipedia, at the suggestion of an anonymous poster. All concerned should check up on it once in a while to make sure it doesn't get vandalized and, of course, change it as you see fit. I couldn't include all the details that are called for in such an entry because, frankly, Pashinian is more up-and-coming than one who is an establishment type; consequently, there isn't much to be found out about his history on the 'net, or, at least, I couldn't find very much.

So if anybody out there knows of sources that provide details about Pashinian, like, say, where he went to school and what he studied, basic things like that (and up to more sophisticated facts), please either include them yourself or let me know and I will.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Opposition and War with Azerbaijan in Context

Pashinian's interview below was published on March 3rd. Much of the original was about his account of what happened on the 1st, an account that he reproduces and adds to in his detailed "Analytical essay" that I've translated (you can access all six parts by checking under the April tab on the right); I'm therefore not going to translate that part of the interview, but the rest of it, where Pashinian talks about the relationship between the Gharabagh issue and the current government's efforts to hang on to power.

With the sit-ins scheduled to begin again on June 20th, I have decided to revisit the possibility that Sargsyan and Kocharyan might attempt to rekindle the war in order to be able to declare a period of martial law that, as Pashinian points out, could "legally" last as long as 6 months--even a year.

I want to know how likely it is that such a war will break out and, if it does, what it might mean in the context of the global geopolitical struggles being waged today, twenty some odd years after the breakup of the Soviet Union and neck deep into Haliburton Stalinism.
Two related bits of news in particular make me think that such a war is a distinct possibility, even though Pashinian says he thinks Russia and the west won't let Kocharyan and Sargsyan go that far. The first is a Eurasianet quote of Rudolf Perina, US envoy to Armenia, addressing in a very ambiguous way the possibility of the US's coming to see anti-Azerbaijani fighters in Gharabagh as terrorists:

EurasiaNet: How does official Washington regard the idea of dispatching US trainers to Azerbaijan for fighting terrorists in Nagorno-Karabakh?
Perina: I know the notion "terrorism" has been used in a wide sense. By "terrorism," the US means specific problems, for instance, [terrorist] organizations and persons supporting these organizations. We know very well what we mean by "terrorism".

The ambiguity of the answer makes it that much more creepy. I came across this article while looking into the background of Rudolf Perina, who, it turns out, has more neocon connections than Liberace had rhinestones: educated at the University of Chicago the same time Wolfowitz was there and Leo Strauss's and Milton Friedman's influence were rife, wrote his doctoral dissertation/hagiography on anti-Soviet Prague Spring dissident authors, entered government service to check Soviet power in East Europe around the same time that Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz became aids to Senator Henry Jackson, anti-Soviet paranoiac. (I wrote about Perina in a comment on Onnik Krikorian's site about a year ago. [Thanks to Onnik for finding it].)

Rudolf Perina served in Serbia (or thereabouts) right up to when war broke out in the 90s. His expertise is in Turkish/Christian regions that are under threat of war and where NATO/US have an interest. Note that it was under his watch that the US provoked the Serbs into attacking Kosovar Albanians by arming and funding the KLA and having them attack the Serbs and do things like commit mass rapes; once the Serbs had had enough and started fighting back, the US (and the usual suspects) concocted the story of Serbian genocide and used it as an excuse to bomb the Serbs back to the stone-age, for "humanitarian" reasons. That's what Perina specializes in. Pennington's (US Embassy charge d'affairs) credentials are, unsurprisingly, quite similar.

Clearly, these people's background is bad enough already. Coupled with Perina's innuendos about terrorism and Armenia, their task seems to be ensuring--for reasons very different from Kocharian's--that his martial-law scenario becomes a reality, one that neatly fits into the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), i.e., the horrendous mess that is Iraq and Afghanistan.

The second bit of news that fits in with this line of thinking is the recently recurring story about PKK presence in Gharabagh and Azeri presence in Turkey, near its border with Iraqi-Kurdistan. The long-term goal of all of this internationalizing of the Iraq war seems to be US/NATO expansion into Russia--through a war fought by proxies on both sides. Just in case it is not clear, I am talking about a new Vietnam. Vietnam being a proxy war between China and the US, a second war between Armenia and Azerbaijan will be the same thing: a proxy war between the US/NATO and Russia. About the only thing that Armenia has on its side is that the formation of loyalties and interests of the parties involved is so thoroughly byzantine that it would outdo a Philip Dick novel.

Will the US and NATO actually try forcing their way into Russia? US foreign policy experts, such as Brzezinski, are on record saying that the US should expand its influence into Eurasia and Central Asia; the PNAC calls for such unabashedly imperial expansion; Iraq was an important Russian ally in West Asia; and the color revolutions as well as Kosovo represent nothing less than a track record of the US doing so. The real question is whether anything can slow them down or stop them. Indeed, they have to take things one step at a time and solve their Iraqi mess first (or at least those US interests that want stability do, anyway; the neocons, for their part, don't care: they have a philosophical commitment to war as a means of controlling the public and keeping it psychologically "fit"). In this regard, what happens in Iraqi-Kurdistan, and Iraq and Afghanistan in general, is of extreme importance to Armenia.

It is in this context that I put the entire conflict between the Opposition and Sargsyan/Kocharian. Many people think that in this conflict, between US/NATO and Russia, Ter-Petrossian is some kind of an agent of the former. That is (most likely) not the case, although the fact that they are both struggling against the same force might make it seem like they have the same essential interests. This, however, is the decisive consideration in my decision to support Ter-Petrossian: Ter-Petrossian wants to kick Russian-backed Kocharian and Sargsyan out of Armenia--not for the sake of the US, but for the sake of real Armenian independence, which, in practical terms, means Armenians gaining control over their own ministry of intelligence (called the National-Security Service), the nervous system of the independence of any nation. As Pashinian has pointed out numerous times, Armenia's NSS today is a veritable hive of KGB-era spies looking out for the interests of an out-of-control mafia-esque network that is fiddling with the trigger of a new war, a war that could have consequences far, far beyond Sargsyan's and Kocharyan's puny lives.

In the final analysis, I haven't seen any evidence that suggests that Ter-Petrossian is working for US/NATO interests, but I have seen plenty of evidence that the Kocharian-Sargsyan network is thoroughly corrupt, out of control, and under the influence of Russia; therefore, if the Opposition prevails, there is a chance that Ter-Petrossian will prove through his deeds to be loyal to Armenia, but if the Opposition fails, we will never get to find out whether Armenia could have gained real independence, and Armenians will continue to languish under tyranny. The choice is clear: the Opposition might bring independence; the status quo will definitely bring more tyranny.

Unfortunately, there are many people who harbor a bizarre kind of personal hatred against Ter-Petrossian. They refer to him by his first name, as if he were a personal acquaintance of theirs, and treat him as if he were a used-car salesman that has sold them a lemon (I suspect that ARF propaganda from 1996 is at the root of this attitude). These same people don't harbor such feelings toward Pashinian, however, and Pashinian has said and done things that have proven to me that he is a natural at the game. Maybe Pashinian is the one destined to pull Armenia back from the brink of catastrophe, after all.


Pashinian: War with Azerbaijan.

Q. News arrived only yesterday that quite a tense situation obtains at the border between Gharabagh and Azerbaijan. In your opinion, what do those actions mean: Does an immediate threat of war exist?

A. Robert Kocharian and Serzh Sargsyan know very well that the minute the tanks leave the streets of Yerevan they will no longer be in power. The state of emergency declared by [Kocharian] is illegal, because the Constitution clearly states that the legal regime [1] in a state of emergency is governed by laws, whereas Robert Kocharian has defined a legal regime through his executive order, meaning that the legal regime, the censorship, the closure of newspapers, and all of the rest of the restrictions are illegal. Robert Kocharian's state of emergency cannot last very long; it has been slated for 20 days. In order for him to be able to keep his tank regime going, a state of emergency is indispensable to Robert Kocharian, and declaring martial law is conducive to having that. And I think that is one of Kocharian's scenarios: provoking clashes on the border which will make it possible to establish legally sanctioned martial law in Armenia that can last six months, a year. That would make it possible for him to continue acting as President, because Presidential elections are not held during periods of martial law and the sitting president continues in that capacity. I think that this is one of Robert Kocharian's spare scenarios.

Q. Immediately after the border clashes, NATO's special representative, Robert Simions, said that he is ready to facilitate the treaty upon the re-establishment of peace along the Armenia-Azerbaijan [2] border. Do you think that could prove a barrier to the realization of that scenario of Robert Kocharian's?

A. I am not able to comment on that at the present time, but I think that NATO, Russia, and the entire international community all understand that Serzh Sargsyan and Robert Kocharian are capable of taking the most extreme measures for the sake of staying in power, and I think that Russia and the west will not permit war to be provoked in the region just so one or two people can stay in power.

[...]

[Pashinian:] We all need to understand that, today, the people consider the arrest of Gagik Jhangirian as direct evidence of Serzh Sargsyan's and Robert Kocharyan's having been the authors of October 27th.

[...]

Q. There are credible reports that the NSS [3] has received orders from the highest levels of government to, not arrest you, but to eliminate you physically and make it look like an armed confrontation. What do you have to say about this?

A. I want to say that I have never had a weapon or carried one, I'm not armed right now, and I am not planning on arming myself. I have, in effect, gone underground not to escape arrest, but because I believe I bear a distinct responsibility for the future course of the movement, and the impetus to go underground has come from [the desire] to make a modest contribution to the future organization of the movement. As far as being armed is concerned, as I've already said, I have never had a weapon in my life, I am not armed right now, and I don't plan on arming myself. I am armed only with civil resolve: struggle, struggle until the end.

1. The rules that come into effect during a state of emergency.
2. The interviewer must mean the Gharabagh-Azerbaijan border.
3. National Security Service

Thursday, June 5, 2008

June 20th.

.

History happening:

June 20th.

The Opposition gathering at Freedom Plaza.

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Sunday, June 1, 2008

Davit K.: Getting out from under the KGB's boot.

Generally speaking, this piece seems more ambiguous than Pashinian's articles, although whether the ambiguity is strictly the result of ambiguous referents and not-explicit connections between ideas, and so on, or whether it is the result of my not having a good background on the topic of the KGB in Armenia, I can't say. Probably a bit of both. In any case, the article does relate several good bits of information on the topic, and it is, ultimately, a public call to release the names of pre-independence KGB agents residing in Armenia, which makes it a historical document.

Update: Thanks to nazarian for clearing up the mystery regarding "Totafelov": It was really "Totapelov," or throwing something off.

Davit K.: Getting out from under the KGB's boot.

The opportunity lost by the governments of the 90s that was perhaps the gravest concerns the fact that the political will necessary to revealing the identities of the Soviet KGB agents living among us and operating in the shadows never manifested itself.

Had it been taken, that action, which met with success in other--especially Baltic--countries, would have cleansed our public, and the most important positions in the nation would not have been entrusted to the minions of foreign intelligence agencies. The NSS [National Security Service] of independent Armenia would not have become the spiritual successor of the KGB, but would have been formed anew and founded on national values and interests. And the methods that it puts into practice would have likewise not become beri-like [2]. And after the publication of their names, the very agents of the KGB, themselves, would have felt a great weight being lifted off their shoulders and would not have become the victims of blackmail and compromise that they remain to this day. Victims and slaves--as much of the leaders of Armenia as they are of foreign intelligence agencies.

In accordance with the same considerations, I do not welcome the fact that the same governments of the 90s made wide use of the services of the former Communist Party's nomenklatura [3]. That practice engendered people like Constitution-transgressor Gagik Harutiunian, Christianly plunderer Khosrov Harutiunian... And I'm not talking about the various and sundry little helpers of the helper in the parktoms and shurjkoms [4]. And, by the way, those who sought positions from the leadership of the PNM [5] used to inspire contempt, during their informal meetings and in their surroundings, toward the PNM and the values it espoused. And that violent barking continues to this day--except, now, overtly. People like that serve with the mentality of a slave whatever government; today, they have become the criminal government's reliable crutch.

Honorable Levon Ter-Petrossian, after you prove victorious in this, our, just war and re-establish freedom, I recommend that with one of your first executive orders you order the disclosure of the names of all pre-independence KGB agents residing in Armenia. I believe that that does not in any way endanger the safety of our country or the current operations of the NSS.

P.S. Among the ranks of those working with the KGB, the upper class of the traditional ARF occupies its own unique position. I suggest to the self-stimulating [6] Hrand Markarian that, instead of inventing stories and vulgarly lying about the national movement's [supposed] resorting to foreign powers, he get out of his biotsitoz-like [7] state and familiarize himself with the biographies of operatives of the modern ARF. It is not possible to respect the ideals of the ARF's rank-and-file and fail to remember the undeniable fact that, in the 90s, the ARF was an organization being governed from other shores [8].


[1] The author uses the Russian "sabog": boot, jackboot.
[2] բերիական, beriakan. I'm guessing "beri" is a reference to a person. If someone knows what the author means by this word, please let me know.
[3] The nomenklatura were a bureaucratic elite that basically ran the Soviet Union through their exclusive power of appointing people to various posts. A patron-client system obtained among them, and the higher-ups could pretty much do anything they wanted, short of crossing their patrons.
[4] In the USSR, the partkoms were the lower-level committees directly subordinate to higher-level committees and ultimately the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union. Partkom simply means "party committee." Shurjkom substitutes the Armenian word "shurj" for what I think is the Russian raikom, or district committee.
[5] Levon Ter-Petrossian's Pan Armenian National Movement, active between 1989 and 1998.
[6] In his article below, Pashinian says Hrand Markarian looked like he was on the recreational drug ecstasy during the ARF General Conference.
[7] բիոցիտոզային, biotsitozain. I'm inclined to think that this word is either Russian slang or contains a typo. I haven't a clue what it could possibly mean, except through context. It's also possible that it's a Turkish word.
[8] The ARF's connections to the CIA are a documented fact established by historians, although the author of this piece doesn't, of course, mention the US and might be thinking about other countries.