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Via Tzitzernak | By the Intrepid Reporter
Q. How do you think events are progressing in Armenia after the recent election?
A. Oh, I think we’re doing really well. The outcome of the election is what it should have been; it came out just as we planned it.
Q. There are some who are still not convinced this was the best outcome.
A. Well, these are people who are still under a magic spell and can’t understand what’s good for them.
Q. Do you think that includes being imprisoned without charges?
A. Oh, sure! It’s the government’s duty to place them in custody for their own mental safety. They need to understand that disturbing the natural order of things is bad for them and for the country.
Q. Some people might say this is not very democratic.
A. I don’t know about that, but we are doing this for the sake of democracy. You see, Democracy can’t be the same in every country. We have our own culture. And we have the right to preserve that culture. You should understand, and the world should understand, that what were doing, we’re doing democratically. Just look at the people we’ve removed from the streets, from their homes. They’re not just ordinary people. Among them are some wealthy people, political leaders, intellectuals, and even some former government officials who had strayed from the path. Don’t you think this is all very democratic?
Q. But don’t you think Western countries and international organizations may not be comfortable with this kind of policy?
A. Well, they may be uncomfortable, but we’ve explained to them that only we know best what works for our country, and assured them that deep in our hearts we’re democrats. Of course, they’ve expressed some concerns. But we’ve explained that our understanding of democracy is not very different from the American: Didn’t President Bush say that those who disagree with him are not good Americans? That’s exactly what we’re saying here. Those who disagree with us cannot be good Armenians; they’re also bad citizens. The people we have placed under arrest may not have broken any written laws, but let’s face it, there are also unwritten laws which we must honor. The people we have arrested have to realize that even if we have to kill them, elections are not held so that we change a government. The purpose of elections is very simple: it’s to express appreciation for not having jailed them before and for having allowed some of them to start a business and make money.
Besides, the OSCE and Council of Europe will soon have other things to worry about. Elections in Azerbaijan, to start with. Azerbaijan and Armenia may be technically at war, but in important ways we help each other. We take turns keeping the Europeans and Americans busy. They’ll get tired of our elections at the end. You’ll see!
Q. What about our compatriots in the Diaspora? Many of them live in democratic countries and are experts in human, political and civil rights. Some political parties even sacrificed themselves and came to Armenia to teach us democracy.
A. I know, I know. That’s all true. But do you see any of them objecting? Didn’t you see their statement that says what matters is stability; they understand that as long as there is the danger of war, we must place stability and continuity above everything else. Do you see now why it’s inconvenient to resolve the Karabakh problem? They’re very smart; they understand why we have to do what we’re doing. Since they approve what we’re doing and they’re all democratic, then we must be democratic, too.
Q. What kind of system do you foresee for the future?
A. Oh, that’s simple. To ensure stability we should have a system that makes sure of continuity. President Kocharyan designated his successor; President Sargsyan will designate his, and so on. I’ll tell you one thing, you can’t trust leadership just to anyone the people may elect. Like I said before, the people don’t know what’s good for them.
I don’t know how well you know our history, but Armenia has a long history, you see. We’ve had many kinds of governments. Of course, we’re different from the royal families that ruled over Armenia. Do you know why? Because it’s not the sons who are replacing their fathers, even though our neighbor Azerbaijan and our good friend Syria follow that model. There’s another difference. Have you ever seen Robert Kocharyan and Serj Sargsyan wear crowns? Of course not! We’re also different from the Communists. We get our allies to play opposition whenever necessary. And if any such ally somehow decides to take its opposition seriously, we know how to bring them around to the right idea.
Everything we’re doing is for the purpose of ensuring that the only opposition left is our allies.
Q. One final question. I’ve heard rumors that some Diaspora leaders are drafting a joint statement asking that elections be suspended for the next few decades in order to save money for the government and avoid confrontational politics. Have you heard anything along those lines?
A. Now that you mention it, I heard the same rumors recently. I have to say, though, that I’m not sure these rumors have been confirmed yet. But I like the idea and agree with their thoughts. Armenians must be united at all times. And the way to be united is to never act on any differences of opinion or views, even if such thoughts come to your mind. I can assure you, that’s the recipe for a safe, stable, and patriotic democracy.