Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Reconciliatory message and Mulling...

is reporting that President Gul sent a “reconciliatory message” and is mulling over a trip to Armenia. One could write a library full of theses on this topic. Here is my question – what is the ARF’s reaction to this going to be, and what does that mean for the future? Here are my musings…

After the events of March 1, the ARF chose to join the ruling coalition. The reasoning? Because stability was what was crucial, that they would work from within to help Armenia. Sorry for the losses, how sad, but let’s try to move on and not cause further instability, is basically what they said. I’m all for stability – stability as a proxy for the health, growth and development of a nation. But, how easy it was for the ARF to gloss over the loss of life, the oppression of fundamental freedoms, the massive corruption and violence leading up to, during, and after the elections. Like I said, I’m all for stability, but when invoking stability we have to ask ourselves: a) is it truly stability and b) what are we trading in for it… I would argue that a) supporting SS/RK pushes Armenia further from true stability and b) I’m not sure there’s much that is worthy of being traded for violence and loss of lives, self (and international) respect, and the fundamental freedoms of humanity – if there is, a false sense of security and stability sure isn’t it. But this isn’t the first time in history that the ARF has supported the side which they thought would win.

The ARF has already stated that it disagrees with the invitation to Gul, and that if he comes, the ARF will protest his presence. Armenia has now waived the entry visa for Turkish fans for the game – there could be 2,500 Turks at the game, that means in Yerevan. Will they protest individual Turks walking in the street (wouldn’t that cause micro- and potentially macro-environments of instability)? This is but one example of the ARF’s role in tensions within the coalition, and certain ARF officials have pointed out from time to time, that they could always separate from the coalition. Several weeks ago, there was an article (Lragir 1/8/08, The Train of Becoming Opposition Left) addressing exactly this issue. I would extend that argument to say that if the ARF left, it would lose any remaining credibility.

I haven’t seen the ARF’s response to Gul’s statements – I’m sure it’s on its way. I wonder how much they’re fighting against this line of actions by the coalition, what they’ll actually do, and if they’ll ever see the mounting piles of undeniable evidence that they are on the wrong side, especially for an organization which is fundamentally socialist. But if the ARF ever dares to split from the coalition, that is, before the coalition loses power, I doubt they will join the Congress, or even Hovanissian’s party. They will likely maintain their complete independence, or rather, isolation, creating yet another division – which in their eyes should amount to instability, I would think.

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