September 29, 2016
The naive among us, especially diaspora Armenians, erroneously viewed and justified this armed action as political protest. It was not! It was a crime scene, just as it would be a crime scene if an armed group attacked a police station in downtown Toronto. At the scene, people milled around, taking photos and yelling (including at the police) in support of the armed actions. These people would be considered violators of police lines or even co-conspirators in many cities in the democratic “west”. I was in Boston when the Tsarnaev brothers were running through east Watertown, Massachusetts. I assure all readers here that any overt public expression of support for the marathon bombers would have resulted in immediate arrest. Anybody who dared leave their house would immediately be apprehended by the police in east Watertown. It was indeed a police state lock-down. Yet, when the equivalent takes place in Armenia, everybody's human rights is claimed violated, the government is faulted unequivocally for everything, and its elimination demanded.
I am sure it was humiliating for Arsinee Khanjian to both be arrested by the Yerevan police and not be recognized as a Canadian-Armenian actress. However, this is not a movie scene, it is reality. Reality must take into account the possibility of getting what one wishes for. I, for one, do not wish for an armed group to dictate the future of the state of Armenia. One need only view how the overthrow of the Shah of Iran by secular revolutionaries was usurped by a theocracy. Yes, the Shah was overthrown, the wish granted!
If one thinks critically about the two-week standoff, minus all the romantic notions, a leading hypothesis explaining the event is that it both enabled Armenia to suspend further negotiations with Azerbaijan and to discredit the Pre or Founding Parliament group and its supporters. We do not know if this was planned by the Armenian government or not; however, the results speak much louder than this armed group purportedly representing Armenia's salvation.
To address those who will inevitably claim I am nothing but a lackey for the current Armenian government, I am not. This is just as incorrect as claiming that Arsinee Khanjian supports armed attacks on police stations. I doubt she advocates attacking police stations in downtown Toronto.
David Davidian lives in Armenia, is an Adjunct Lecturer at the American University of Armenia, and a former Technical Intelligence Analyst for major international IT firms.