Thursday, August 19, 2004

Were Azerbaijan’s Defense Ministry spokesman, Colonel Ramiz Melikov’s statements about no state of Armenia in the South Caucasus in 25 years meant for the uneducated people?

YEREVAN (Combined Sources)--Responding to the recent hostile statements made by Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry, ARF- Dashnaktsoutiun Armenia Supreme Body member and Editor in Chief of "Yerkir" newspaper Spartak Seiranian said the appeal "to declare war on Armenia and liberate Karabagh" was made to incite the public.

On August 5, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) reported that the chief spokesman for Azerbaijan's Defense Ministry, Colonel Ramiz Melikov, publicly stated that "within the next 25 years there will exist no state of Armenia in the South Caucasus." He added: "Modern Armenia is built on historical Azerbaijani lands...I think that in 25-30 years' time, its territory will again come under Azerbaijan's jurisdiction." Seiranian called such statements "absurd," adding it is meant for the uneducated people.

According to Seiranian, if Azeris believe they have such military force that can fight and win, one should not forget that the Armenian fighters are also ready to die for their homeland. "The Azeri warrior isn't ready to die for Karabagh, as he knows very well that Karabagh isn't his land; on the contrary, the Armenian fighter knows that he defends his homeland, and that's why he will go to all lengths," he said. Seiranian, recalling the victory of Armenian troops in the Karabagh war, stated confidently that if the situation recurs in the future, the outcome would not be any different.


I have been hearing long before Armenia declared independence that the most dangerous enemy Armenians have is not Turks, but Armenians themselves. Many times I’ve hear that Turkey’s army does not have to attack Armenia, all it has to do is sit back, wait for Armenia’s internal conflicts to weaken itself and Turkey can just take it over without a fight.

Well guess what? What I’ve been hearing all these years, I’m now seeing for myself. What Defense Ministry spokesman, Colonel Ramiz Melikov is saying is not so far from the reality and only uneducated people would make statements that Azerbaijan is going to depend on their military forces to invade and occupy Armenia.

What happened 10 years ago with the victory we had in Artsakh (Karabagh), was something we have never seen in Armenian history for the last 1,000 years. I believe our victory for the most part happened thanks to the USSR, which created conditions for Armenians prior to the conflict to live relatively comfortable lives, in which those that were fighting for their land, felt ownership and had a basic understanding that the lives the USSR had given them (which for the most part was artificially maintained by Moscow, thanks to Armenians in power who were taking more than they were entitled to) was a very good life and worth fighting to the death for.

Today’s Armenia is not the Armenia of yesteryear, which people have bank accounts with so much money, they don’t know how to spend it.

Today’s Armenia is filled with people whose same bank accounts exist, but the money in them irregardless of the amount is only worth 25,000 dram (less than $50) and you will only see that 25,000 dram after you turn 65 years old (as of today).

Today’s Armenia has a 30% unemployment rate and for many people who are employed, they are making less than $60 a month, which in today’s Armenia is a starvation wage.

Today’s Armenia is reeking with corruption and lawlessness. For those without money and/or connections could be the equivalent of living in hell, where most everything you have in a matter of an hour, you could loose in a very uncivilized and unjust way.

Today’s Armenia is being run by a dictator, who has time and time again demonstrated that he and his clan are only interested in power and wealth and are willing to ascertain this at any price, which includes the sale or disassembly of strategic infrastructure that was put in place by the USSR can somehow be justified in their minds.

Though I could give you a list with thousands of items that paints a picture of the real Armenia of today, some of which I would guess reflects the pre-Soviet Armenia, I won’t, as the above should give you an understanding that the victorious Armenia of 10 years ago and the Armenians that lived there are not the same Armenians of today and if we continue as we are, will be even less like those Armenians in 25 years.

The reality is that if we are going to have enough Armenian fighters that are ready to die for their homeland when the Azeri warrior attacks Artsakh, then we need to once again create the feeling of ownership in our people as they had back in the days that we tasted victory. If we don’t do this in the next few years, then the recent statement of the head of the Armenian government's Department on Refugees and Migration, Gagik Yeganian, warning of a persisting danger of renewed exodus of between 400,000 and 800,000 people in the next five to ten years, could become a reality, bringing Azeribaijan that much closer realizing their dream of no Armenia in the Southern Caucasus in 25 years, or at very least, an Armenia without Armenians.

Wake up people, it’s still not too late to turn things around and put them back on track, but we have to take action now to prevent the last pages of our history from being written.

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