Wednesday, May 2, 2018

‘Moscow Believes Only in Blood’ and Armenia May Soon Suffer, Yerevan Commentator Says

Paul Goble

            Staunton, May 2 – The failure of the ruling Republican Party in Armenia to approve Nikol Pashinyan as prime minister, an outcome which led him to call for a general strike against the authorities, sets the stage for some potentially very dangerous developments, according to Yerevan commentator Tigran Khzmalyan.

            The Armenian Republicans by their actions voted against the Armenian republic, he says, discrediting themselves as an Armenian party and highlighting the extent to which this “party of oligarchs, thieves and murderers” is a “comprador” group ready to carry out the imperial center’s wishes (республиканцы-против-республики/).

            Khzmalyan argues that “the Republicans went against the overwhelming majority of the Armenian people, in fact, against the republic, if one remembers the Latin origins of this word, ‘the public thing,’ or its Greek prototype ‘democracy,’ the power of the people.”

            Pashinyan has made “peaceful, non-violent and constitutional methods of struggle” the centerpiece of his movement. “But can a revolution resolve the question about a new power with the help of instruments and the operatives of the old one?” Especially if the old one is prepared to use force and violence to keep itself in power?

            “Nikol Pashinyan has pursued the path of compromise and dialogue relying on national solidarity,” the Armenian commentator says. “The Republicans have responded with sabotage, boycott, and rejection.”

            That there was going to be some kind of Vendee in this revolution was probably predictable, but it emerged in Armenia not after three years as did its French predecessor but “after only three days” and it acted in ways that undercut the optimism of many like Khzmalyan himself who thought that no one could immediately oppose the united nation.

            But “the colonial administration of Armenia” which has “sold out to Russian imperialism” instead “conducted a Valpurgis night on May 1” in which it displayed subservience to Moscow and “hatred toward its own people.”

            “The eight hours of debate in the parliament” showed this when “every other speaker accused Pashinyan that Saakashvili had greeted him, Navalny had supported him, and the US State Department had welcomed him,” things that justifiably “displease the Kremlin and anger Putin.”

            “For naught,” he continues, “Pashinyan again and again patiently explained and insisted that the protests against the local powers do not have a geopolitical subtext, that the crisis arose because of the greed and incompetence of the former powers and the Republican Party, and that he intends to develop balanced and friendly relations with all partners.”

                Moreover, Pashinyan continued, he would on assuming office immediately call for new elections in which all parties could make their case to the Armenian people.  But the Republican Party didn’t listen and thus “committed political suicide” having shown itself not to be the representative of the people but of a narrow circle of greedy people and of a foreign power.

            “What could have forced them to go against hundreds of thousands of their fellow citizens – greed, ambition, fear?” Khzmalyan asks, especially given that their leader Serzh Sargsyan had “personally admitted defeat and left office?”  Who then could have forced them to “continue this senseless and dangerous resistance to the people?”

            Unfortunately, the answer is all too obvious, the commentator says. “Remember,” he says, that the date for the next vote on the prime ministership in Armenia comes only a day after Vladimir Putin is slated to be inaugurated – and the Kremlin doesn’t want anything to happen that will spoil that event.

            “Armenia’s escape from under the yoke of Muscovite agents clearly isn’t what the Kremlin chefs have in mind for the celebratory menu, despite all the calming reassurances from Pashinyan.”  And that makes the coming days extremely dangerous, Khzmalyan says.

            “Moscow does not believe in tears. Moscow believes only in blood. Here is why one should expect” that Moscow’s agents in place will try to exacerbate the conflict on the border between Armenia and Azerbaijan” in order to restore its order in Yerevan. “The chekists here have no other means of holding on to power besides war.”

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