A House Divided Must Not Drag Our Army Into Politics

Soldiers of the Armenian Armed Forces (Source: Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia)
Soldiers of the Armenian Armed Forces (Source: Ministry of Defense of the Republic of Armenia)

Soldiers of the Armenian Armed Forces (Source: Ministry of Defense)


Watching and reading the public utterances on Tuesday by two of our people’s modern-day leaders, my eyes and ears fixated in disbelief on the public exchanges between the country’s Acting Prime Minister—Mr. Pashinyan, and Mr. Markarian—the Representative of the Bureau of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF). The discord between these two men publicly debating about the state of affairs of Armenia’s Armed Forces, our National Security, and the stability of the Republic of Artsakh, is not helpful to Armenia and Artsakh.

Mr. Pashinyan labels as “shameful” Mr. Markarian’s concerns about weapons not having been imported for the Armenian Army since Mr. Pashinyan became Prime Minister in May. He invites Markarian to speak about that which has taken place prior to the month of May, citing, by way of an example, the alleged looting of materials meant for the Army, by the now criminally accused Lieutenant General Manvel Grigoryan—a retired Armenian military leader who prior to May was a member of the National Assembly of Armenia.

While Mr. Pashinyan’s declaration that the Armed Forces of the Republic of Armenia are “at the ready” to defend the homeland is reassuring, hearing him say that such a fact is “to the chagrin of the ARF Bureau Representative…” is uncalled for, unless he thinks that Armenian troops “not ready” for combat is what the ARF leader wishes for! I think not, and I’m convinced, neither does he.

To be clear, Mr. Markarian did bemoan about the cessation of weapons flowing to Armenia’s Armed Forces; and, such a public pronouncement does carry the likely potential of rattling Armenian Soldiers, their families, and the Armenian Nation. However, hearing Mr. Pashinyan—the “People’s Choice” leader (since May of 2018)—mocking the figurehead of the “People’s Party” with a storied 128 years of service to the Armenian people and the leading torchbearer of the Diaspora with unparalleled sacrifices for the Armenian Republics of Artsakh and Armenia, is plain wrong.

Political rhetoric which drags Armenia’s army onto center stage has no place in Armenia’s electoral politics. And, in the aftermath of the “love and collaboration revolution” in Armenia, attacks, even qualified ones, which attempt to draw a distinction between a “Party” and its “Representative,” is neither loving nor collaborative.

Surely the Acting Prime Minister knows that for more than a century the ARF has carried on its shoulders and held high the Armenian Tricolor Flag. It has sacrificed “BLOOD, SWEAT and TEARS” since 1890, going back to the 19th century.

The phrase “all is fair in Love & War” is anything but fair in today’s political climate in Armenia. A “war of words” between two men discussing the state of the Armenian military prowess is cheap political talk. Military capabilities are above electoral talking points. They create a very uneasy climate and beg the question: do the Azeris distinguish between Armenian soldiers or residents in neighboring border villages based on their Armenian Political Party affiliations? They do not.

What happened to our “UNITED ARMENIAN FRONT—of ARMENIA, of ARTSAKH, and of DIASPORA”? Why are we now all too eager to be facing off in the name of national priorities and are “playing” politics with our National Security? Did it occur to anyone that while we bring our military into our public discourse and debate, we give reason for the Two-Headed Devil—Azerbaijan and Turkey — to be smiling?

Armenian leaders must conduct themselves differently. Otherwise, they will reinforce the old adage: politics is the root of all evil.

Words DO matter. Let us leave our Army out of politics. Let us not engage in a war of words invoking our military as vocabulary!


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  1. A.Napetian said:

    Dear Garo, you may have a valid point in general about Turks and Azeris “Smiling” at our leaders, but don’t you think they will laugh louder after reading your article that justifies their reason for smiling just specially by naively attracting their attention to our leaders’ erroneous act?.
    Is that an intelligent practice?.

    • Garo Ghazarian said:

      Dear Mr. or Ms. A. Napetian,

      Thank you fur your comment.

      As for drawing the attention of the Turks and Azeris by, as you put it, “naively attracting their attention to our leaders erroneous act,” I respectfully disagree.

      It is “naive” to think that the Turks and Azeris are not paying attention; and, that by us writing to what plainly amounts to “constructive criticism,” we are bringing to their attention the matter for the first time.

      I am more than confident that “they” are paying attention; and, that have been paying attention all along, sadly, more so than many of us. “They” have been along, and are now too, observing, listening and assessing our leaders’ moves and words, on a daily basis!

      To be clear, bringing up to our leaders’ attention that which needs to be brought up and stated, is the least of what we must do.

      As for what more we ought to be doing, that’s a topic for another article.

      — Garo Ghazarian

      • A.Napetian said:

        Thanks for the explanation and admit my naivete’. Of course it’s wiser to assume that the enemy is extremely watchful with no help from Asbarez, therefore it’s our leaders who must read and be disciplined by this highly important article thrown at a remote end of Asbarez, a miracle.
        Really is that the situation of our homeland security?

  2. Raffi said:

    Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. Albert Einstein

    • A.Napetian said:

      Beautiful, though it’s confusing, forgive my illiteracy, the human being is in it’s childhood period compared to the complexity of the universe, now, are children Stupid just because Einstein and some few others are born genious, is Silver trash just because it’s not Gold? Einstein was a Fatalist not a Determinist, he believed he didn’t make himself, a genius, so what’s your point here Raffi? please spread some more wisdom and elaborate your point and the relevance of Einstein’s word here. Thanks

  3. Mike Sarian said:

    The Armenian Army is above politics and should stay that way. Its mission is to protect the nation and be part of any party or political affilation period. Our political leaders should stay out of the armed forces and there mission of nation’s protection.

  4. Kevork N. Ohanian said:

    Do you really think the Turks & the Azaris don’t know already about our problems & have just found out about it after reading Garo’s excellent piece?

  5. Vagharshak Sevulyan said:

    Politics should be stay of Armenian military power , it is not good for enemies to hear. Must spend caution at this matter.

  6. joe said:

    A couple of comments: We ALL have a right to open discourse on issues of Armenia and its security and its future. The author of this article included. IF true however, its concerning why we are not importing anymore arms since May? While Armenia did need a political cleansing, MR. Pashyinian should not be considered the end all and be all and while supported, should be monitored and judged by success in making Armenia democratically unified, economically and militarily potent and secure… Nothing less….2nd, WHEN WILL the Diaspora be allowed to enlist in the Armenian Army? This is a no brainer that we seem to miss again and again..Its obvious that the Azeri’s are aligning with Turks to the west of Armenia to create a second front through Nackichevan, supported by Turkey’s constant stream of military support. This should be deeply concerning and relying upon Russia as savior is disastrous as politics are fickle. UNITY OF ALL ARMENIANS IS A MUST AND THE ONLY ANSWER. That is the very lesson of the Genocide itself.