Saturday, July 17, 2010

On the short-sightedness and corrosive complicity of US involvement in Armenia

Armenian oppositionists continue to to be harassed, illegally arrested, and imprisoned... The newest and among the youngest victims of this regime and its police were just on trial the other day...
And let's not forget the more than dozen political prisoners still behind bars, most since March 1-2, 2008... One of the most well known of these, Nikol Pashinyan, gave an interview earlier this week, which can be heard here and was written about in English here.

A naive person would expect international governments and organizations to condemn and even take action against such flagrant violations of human rights.

A more observant and realistic person knows that in the global political sphere, principles of human rights and democracy often are traded for and become secondary or tertiary to political and financial dealings.

Of course these exchanges are common, and sad (for lack of a better word). But the even sadder part is when international structures are willing to trade and therefore de facto condone the obvious oppression of human rights, farcical trials, and police violence, in exchange for perceived stability, when in fact, that stability is non-existent, and actually is more de-stabilized by the trading and negotiations.

So while I am not being naive in being somewhat angered that Secretary Clinton did not address the true face of the banditocracy in Armenia, I am saddened (again, for lack of a better word) that the US government which she represents does not realize that their strategy is creating more harm than good, is destabilizing more than stabilizing.

As was recently written:

We believe that standing with such a regime is at variance with America’s core principles. We also believe that trading democracy and human rights off in exchange for Armenian authorities’ flexibility in foreign policy is short-sighted, because democracy and popular legitimacy are necessary conditions for the durability and stability of any agreements that Armenia will reach with Azerbaijan and Turkey. Popular legitimacy is absolutely essential if a government is to promote controversial policies, which the normalization with Turkey and an agreement with Azerbaijan are bound to be for any government in Armenia.

In fact, this is a segment from a petition being circulated. If you agree, please sign and help circulate. The link to the full petition and signatures being collected is here.

No comments: