Divided blogosphere on united opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian’s conciliatory speech

Quite predictably, the internet discussions over the past several days focused primarily on the congress held by opposition forces and the first public speech made by the opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian since the post-election violence on March 1st.

Opposition Congress, May 2, 2008 | Source: Unzipped

While speculating, that anyone “who made claims that they received 65% of the votes, accuses the present government of being murderers [] but is not presenting evidence to back his claims, can not be taken seriously“, Martuni or Bust!!! looks at the overall context of the opposition congress, concluding:

It looks as if things have not really settled down since the fraudulent elections and the killing of March 1st. The noticeable unrest is going longer than I was expecting and who knows, maybe this time around the truth really will come out and those who need to be put in their place will finally get what they have coming.

Bringing a more comprehensive analysis, the Caucasus Knot speculates, that “the radical opposition appears ready to negotiate with the authorities in order to prevent a repeat of the post-election violence which left at least 10 dead“, and concludes, that this first public speech by Ter-Petrossian since the March 1 disturbances “certainly represents a more conciliatory line“:

Interestingly, Ter-Petrossian was reportedly more conciliatory towards the new president, Serge Sargsyan. [] Ter-Petrossian instead directed his main attack on the former president, Robert Kocharian. Whether his words mark a realization from Ter-Petrossian that the radical opposition is unable to contest the outcome of the vote on the streets is a moot point.
[]

Whatever the view, however, and whatever the numbers, there is the basis for discussion and negotiations in the form of Council of Europe Resolution 1609. In particular, it calls on the radical opposition to recognize the constitutional court ruling confirming the results of the presidential election as well as on the government to release those detained on purely political grounds. Another demand is for an independent inquiry into the 1 March riot to be held.

Marking the fact, that Levon Ter-Petrossian has “effectively expressed readiness for a dialogue based on PACE recommendations”, pro-opposition blogger Unzipped disagrees with the statement, “directly accepting PACE call to opposition to recognise the Constitutional Court’s decision which approved the election results” in the opposition leader’s speech, speculating, that:

“Fraud in elections was the main reason which sparked the protests, and ‘acceptance’ of its results for practical reasons to move forward cannot be considered as a precondition (and never presented as such by PACE) but rather a part of a final outcome of negotiations (with a package of measures aimed at democratisation of Armenian society).”

Known for his outspoken dislike of the first president, Pigh has singled out some soundbites in Ter-Petrossian’s speech, hinting, that such approaches are inconsistent with the “role” of the opposition leader, and are making him a “tool”, which works more in favor of the ruling Republican and ARF-Dashnaktsutyun parties:

Republican-Tool
One [of the soundbites] was directed at the US Government and the “Millenium Challanges” corporation, calling upon them to abstain from cutting aid to Armenia, as it will hurt the people, not the authorities..
Dashnak-Tool
Secondly – the first president spoke about the neighboring Azerbaijan in particular, noting, that Baku has to finally realize, that regardless the internal political situation in Armenia, “it would meet with a united resistance of the Armenian people in the event of unleashing a military aggression against Karabakh”

Interestingly, the issue of US assitance to Armenia has also drawn criticism from the highly pro-Ter-Petrossian blogger, Nazarian:

In the speech below, Levon Ter-Petrosian is against some of the things I have been advocating such as the stopping of the US economic aid to Armenia. I disagree with him and will continue to push for the (hopefully short term) halt of American taxpayer money propping up the banditocracy in Armenia. One of the best ways to modify someone’s behavior is through financial (dis)incentives.

And while Uzogh wonders, what has really triggered such a drastic change in LTP’s perceptions of current political realities, Unzipped on his turn, highlights the importance of the authorities’ response to opposition leaders apparent call for dialogue based on Counil of Europe Parliamentary Assembley recommendations:

How serious is Armenian government in terms of making necessary reforms and changes in accordance with the PACE recommendations, and engaging in a dialogue with the opposition, will be known on 10 May when a committee created by a decree of Serj Sargsyan will present its action plan.

Here’s the Podcast of the Armenian version of this post.

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64 thoughts on “Divided blogosphere on united opposition leader Levon Ter-Petrossian’s conciliatory speech

  1. Good work! It is certainly useful to put various opinions together, and see what the contrasting views have to offer. I was at the congress, but where I sat the sound was so bad that I couldn’t understand what LTP was saying very well ; anyway his Armenian is well over my head — other friends who speak Armenian much better than me couldn’t understand what he was saying either.

    Yesterday I was told the price for transport was not going to be raised to 150 AMD or even 200 as it was supposed to be. Perhaps that speak in favor of cutting any financial aid to Armenia, but I am not so sure. I was also told there is a big gap in the tax money collected so far this year — $5 to 600 millions are missing, and the oligarch have contributed so much (!) to the election process that it would be difficult for the current government to get more from them.

    But overall the mood is depressive, and more and more people just want to leave, and that could very well play in favor of the country’s ruler, if their plan is to get rid of anybody who’s unhappy. It’s this well-known deal: Love it or leave it!

  2. Here’s an excerpt from what Garen Isagulian, the presidential advisor ofn national security had to say about the PACE directives:

    While reaffirming the government’s pledge to address the PACE concerns, Isagulian insisted that there are no political prisoners in Armenia. “There was no need to make politically motivated arrests,” he said. But this, he added, does not necessarily mean that all of more than 100 oppositionists arrested following the February 19 presidential election committed crimes.” (Armenia Liberty, May 6, 2008)

    What exactly is this fool trying to say???Such a convoluted sense of logic doesn’t really instill one with any hope that the regime is truly committed to implementing the reform package, despite what the Parliament does or what the President says.

  3. LTP campaign is over!!! There were other means of getting elected before the election process, and LTP failed to accept those means, now he must enter the political arena with the same people who literally threw him out of office

  4. I’ll try to focus on your proposed topic: the congress of the Congress and LTP speech. He covered several topics and one of them was the creation of a “shadow government” without revealing its composition.

    It is true that such a practice exists in British-style parliamentary systems (civilised nations according to LTP) but the shadow government is always WITHIN the parliament and part of the ongoing democratic debate.
    A shadow government OUTSIDE the NA is yet another “false good idea” proposed by the opposition that will harm the insitutionalisation of democracy in Armenia as it will undermine the NA. The situation resulting from such an initiative can even be qualified more dangerous than continuing with a partially-representative NA as it is at present.

    The governing coalition has proposed the creation of a “Social Palace” to bring the radical opposition, together with the civil society, into the political process. But the Palace will only have a secondary and consultative role.

    One way to solve the problem of representation is to call for a partial parliamentary election. The current NA has been elected based on 2 systems: majority and proportional. If as a gesture of good will and compromise, the ruling coalition parties cancel one of these two – their MPs resign from their mandates – then part of the NA can be renewed. This can bring the radical opposition and its shadow government into the NA and into the normal political process without completely changing the balance of power within the NA.

  5. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Armenia: Conciliatory Politics

  6. Ditord jan,you did such a good analitic work,may be one of your best review I ever read.
    In my opinion LTP understood that radical approach will not work,therefore he changed a bit his tactics,otherwise Raffi Hovhnnisyan will occupy the niche of Levon’s supporters.

  7. Just to clarify the text “Interestingly, the issue of US assitance to Armenia has also drawn criticism from the highly pro-Ter-Petrossian blogger, Nazarian:” above.

    I am not criticizing Levon’s opinion. I disagree that stopping the MCA funding will bring more harm than good. Plus, I do not want my tax moneys (or worse yet, borrowed funds by the treasury) be used to promote banditocracy and corruption.

  8. Nazarian – I’d be more than happy if you could help me to write a better formulation of the sentence in question. You have any better suggestions?

  9. Observer, don’t worry about it. You can leave it as it is, I think my comment is sufficient enough of an explanation of what I meant.

  10. Slightly off-topic, but my eye was drawn to your sidebar about Eurovision. So Uzogh, the not-so”ghost” writer of Serzh Sargsyan’s blog, would like all bloggers to “leave their comment (that will be screened) to here, listng their real Name, Surname, and a working email address”? Sounds like a good way to collect some information for the next police round-up, doesn’t it?? Perhaps Sirusho can fend for herself…

  11. Ани джан-это называет мания преследования,когда вокруг кажется что все КГБшники:))))

  12. Ha-ha-ha, these petty partisanship is getting funny (before that I was sincerely trying to see some real ways of resolving the outstanding issues based on Armenian interests, and was looking for some leaders to step forward, but the politicians do not take those interests seriously, and even the educated blogosphere is primitively black and white on the issue).
    Both the supporters of the ruling regime and those of the opposition will gain any credibility only when they bring themselves to criticize (constructively but unapologetically) their respective leaders. The moment I hear from a pro-opposition guy: “I am for democracy and accountability and fairness, and Levon was wrong on these issues here, here, and here, and he needs to do this, this, and this in order for me to support him. If he doesn’t do that then he is not for real democracy in Armenia and I will withdraw my support”, and from a pro-government guy: “Serzh has these crucial tasks to accomplish in the first several months to promote, among other things, healing and reconciliation of the Armenian society – which is, by the way, the matter of utmost national security importance – and he needs to realize that and make meaningful steps in that direction and not just reshuffle the ministers and put cheap make-up on the rotten foundation. If he doesn’t do that then he is not promoting the national interests of Armenia and I will withdraw my support”, only then I will breathe with hope. Sadly, the absolute majority of the supporters of either side are unprincipled sycophants OR dumb parrots unable or scared to mount serious constructive criticism of their “masters”.

  13. Artashes – before preparing this article I was really hoping that either you or Christina (at Mi Or blog) would comment on LTPs speech. Alas…

  14. Artashes prefers to label, but not to write.
    It’s, actually, the most easiest and pleasant thing – to live in the world, where all opponents are unprincipled sycophants and dumb parrots.
    :)

  15. Sounds like a good way to collect some information for the next police round-up, doesn’t it?? Perhaps Sirusho can fend for herself…
    ========
    Moreover, every person entering premises of PTVA must have ID paper/ So it is a good way to collect bloggers’ personal data.

    I really like this approach – to spread accusations that have no any ground.
    :)

  16. Tigran-jan,

    When the police and the KGB stop rounding up miscellaneous people for “chats” and release their political prisoners, then maybe not everything will seem to be KGB-related.

    Uzogh, glad we agree! Just wanted Hansel and Gretel to know who owned the Gingerbread House before they went in.

  17. Right, as if Levon’s bloggers are likely to even want to cover Sirusho’s Eurovision entry (apart from Unzipped who is based outside of Armenia anyway). Besides, as they’re among the most active of his supporters, who they are is pretty much known already.

    For once, can we try to stop making everything into some cheap propaganda tool. It’s also off-topic to this post. Anyway, I would imagine that the type of blogger likely to attend such a meeting is either a) not interested in politics or b) unlikely to support the radical opposition.

    Anyway, last word is that just as Public TV are opening up to bloggers (clever move btw. especially given the activity around Eurovision online) perhaps Levon’s team could learn a lesson or two and be a little more blogger/media/photographer friendly. Hopefully this would set a precedent although I think a Sirusho/blogger/media meeting would be more effective.

    Basically, I’d like to see the most well-known bloggers be afforded access as many journalists especially given the state of the local media here. How about it, Uzogh? Some kind of accreditation for a few bloggers for non-political events which would raise Armenia’s profile online?

  18. Topic: “Divided blogosphere.”

    “Cheap Propaganda Tool” = serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com.

    Big hoopla “over 800 questions asked!!!” Actually, there are 625 on the site. ALL WILL BE ANSWERED! “Answers will be posted to my blog within the next days. Always open to the straight talk. ” (March 14)

    Number answered so far: 84. (including many of Pigh’s and the really important question about football)

    Number of questions not answered: 625 – 84 = 541 Looks like Uzogh (sorry, I meant “Serzh”) has still got work to do, no??

    Seriously, Onnik, in an ideal world I’d agree with you, but the danger is that the government simply wants to co-opt and control the Internet like it controls TV and radio.

  19. Ani, is this a bit sensationalist: “the government simply wants to co-opt and control the internet”…I mean, the Armenian authorities are powerful, but they’ll need at least Al Gore on their side to full control the internet, don’t you think?

  20. AH–point taken!, I should have said “wants to try” and I meant Armenians on the Internet–smaller goals, though still not achievable, one would hope. Certainly they gave it a shot in March, though, didn’t they?

  21. AH, and besides, plus hats off to them for having the foresight, Levon’s people really controlled at least the English-language Internet (important given the West).

    Anyway, nobody is collecting names to round them up later although I admit it, Sirusho is a far prettier thing to blog about than Levon.

    However, somehow I doubt that will even sway even male Levon supporters.

  22. onnik, you’re obsessed with the guy, i think your comment goes for you too. i know you’re joking, but i’ll bite:

    sirusho eats well off of money stolen from her people. she knows it, you know it, God knows it. i’ll support her as a symbol of Armenia, but otherwise as a male opposed to pillagers of the country (and those that happily benefit) she’s as disgusting as ltp or any other crook to blog/comment about…

    i’ll lighten up now.

  23. You know I thought the same of her until I saw her in person, but I do admit it was probably my male instincts that changed my mind ;-)

    She’s LOVELY :-)

    Anyway, as for pillaging the country, you know I see so many representatives of that among the government and opposition that the only solution is actually to become immune to it and think in the longer term or go crazy in the short term.

    When I see Serge or Levon, I don’t see either of them as worthy of leading this country or being true to its people. On the other hand, I don’t see too many people who I can look up to either, and related to this, I don’t see it in my own political scene back in the UK.

    Personally I think the countries of the world face a leadership crisis big-time, but anyway.

  24. Onnik, Agreed on the leadership vacuum–it’s why a free media that actually follows through with questions and demands accountability from everybody is important. And that’s why I bring up things like Serzh’s blog (but see, you’d rather talk about Sirusho and Levon!). Stuff like this gets a free pass right now. That’s why there are lots of committees formed but nothing happens or changes.

  25. Onnik – I so fully agree! Sick of the name now, don’t even want to talk to friends with that name just to avoid pronouncing – Levon :-D

  26. I can second the call to “move on.” Levon is finished. Even to use the words of some of his supporters, it isn’t about him. So what it is about?
    I wish our opposition forces would take note from Vazgen Manukyan, who said that while he is opposition, he presents ideas and policies to the government with the hope that those policies will be adopted. If they are, he acknowledges the victory (for all), and moves on with the next thing he thinks needs improving. Participatory, positive, constructive, realistic.

    Of course, it is not a level playing field. Hopefully that will improve over time. The fastest way for that to improve (and I would argue it has improved tremendously since the early 90s) is for people to work within the system and push through the less-than-ideal courts, within the sub-standard laws, and holding your nose while in the muck and filth.

    No one else will work to improve Armenia. No one else has a vested interest in a cleaner, stronger, more populous and more prosperous Armenia. Not USAID, not the World Bank, not Russia, the USA, or the Eskimos.

    We have a new president, a new PM, and a new government. All have good and bad characteristics. Time to roll up our sleeves and get to work.

  27. I would like to take a special note of how Heritage is behaving – they said they see no need to join with LTP’s Congress into one single, united opposition party. That is in fact a remarkable statement!

  28. Number of questions not answered: 625 – 84 = 541 Looks like Uzogh (sorry, I meant “Serzh” ;) has still got work to do, no??
    ==========
    Huh, I’m still curious are your math skills so bad, or you are just lying?
    It is the second time, that you accuse me.
    Look there – more thoroughly – you will see another picture.

  29. in fairness you should admit the ltp fatigue is self produced. AH, Onnik et al brought him up in almost every comment regardless of relevance. Headline: Serge kicks grandmother’s dog. Response: But LEVON kicked two dogs last decade, etc. etc.

    But I’ll take it, even if we have lost time, energy and urgency. and ironically despite the talk of the ‘radical opposition’ being blind to being used, regimes employ these strawman tactics so the spotlight is off of them (and this time on old leaders, not current ones). the people get bored of the irrelevant argument and again, they’ve lost time, energy and urgency. being used happens to everyone.

  30. Uzogh–if there are specific answers to the rest of these questions on serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com, please provide me with a link so that I can see them, and I will be happy to withdraw my charge (although I still don’t think your name is Serzh, but…) If you are referring to the “big and general” monster paragraphs, that’s not the same thing at all as answering specific questions–. Specificity makes the world “move forward” as your team likes to say, while “big and general” just gathers dust. And, by the way, I love the “new and exciting” things you’ve done with that site since March 26!!!

  31. ace- You may think I am preoccupied with Levon. The reality is that I don’t understand how people can bring up issues of faulty elections, corruption, graft, nepotism, democracy etc without understanding where we came from. It is not as if Kocharian inherited a thriving, prosperous democracy in 98 and turned it into some hellhole, My point is that most of these social/political ills started over a decade ago (if not much longer), so to analyze it properly, we must address its evolution.

  32. we all know where we came from. not to be rude, but it is a bit arrogant to think that you have some kind of inside/higher knowledge then the ‘radical’ opposition.

  33. AH, Kocharian had 10 years to improve the system if he wanted. Instead, he made it worse…

    But, given that his own ‘elections’ were rigged, you couldn’t have expected more from that man.

  34. we can bring up the issues of faulty elections, graft, corruption etc. because they exist. just because poor ol’ robert didn’t start it really doesn’t move me.

  35. ace – I agree, let’s bring up issues as they exist. As far as where we come from, I don’t mean to be arrogant, and I think history reminders should be taken as arrogant. So I will let people make up their own minds on how insightful you, me, or others are.

    Nazarian, are things really worse? Elections seem to have improved. Wealth is more distributed. Investments up. Tourism up. I agree that Kocharian could have done better, but I think an overall assessment of things being worse now is somewhat hard to believe.

  36. AH, incomes should better be up and wealth should d-mn well better be spread considering the exodus and remittances!!

    just because it is nominally better doesn’t make is good (at all). we were a post war, post soviet ecomony country. we are ten years down the line and due primarily to outside benevolence and imperialism we have signifigant growth in GDP. so okay, fair enough, but the kicker is this – the people have recieved a fraction of their share. and worse, due to the numbers and corruption on a wildly amplified scale during rk/ss we may have reached the point of no return in terms of our annexation by mother russia.

    in short, let’s say ltp and rk and ss are equally corrupt. the money and stakes were petty during ltp’s time. conversely, the crumbs that fall down to the people are bigger now, but that just means the real pieces of meat are that much bigger.

  37. Specificity makes the world “move forward” as your team likes to say, while “big and general” just gathers dust. And, by the way, I love the “new and exciting” things you’ve done with that site since March 26!!!
    =======
    Before the beginning please do the math lesson/
    Right now you are trying to covers your lies….

  38. stakes were petty?

    There was:
    A war. Emigration that nearly brought the demographic situation of the country to a untenable level. A government that preached hopelessness and celebrated the depopulating of the country. Took active measures to divide the nation (diaspora vs homeland). An earthquake region ignored, or worse…aid siphoned off and sold to neighboring countries.

    I don’t consider the stakes to have been low then.

  39. not what i meant, sorry. the money involved was much less compared to now. your interpretation of the times is debatable, but as we’ve agreed largely irrelevant concerning present day problems (this is not to suggest forgetting history or clearly analyzing it).

  40. Uzogh–did the math again–thank you for pointing out that there are actually 642 questions, and 84 were answered. So there are actually 558 questions that you didn’t answer, not 541, 17 MORE than I first mentioned. (white on grey not the best color scheme for reading, but your choice). Anyway, here are the links I see:

    11 March–here’s where the questions were posted: 642 of them. http://serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com/1016.html
    26 March, 1:26 PM–here’s where you answered the first 42. http://serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com/2729.html#cutid1
    26 March, 2:20 PM–here’s where you answered the second 42. http://serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com/2849.html#cutid1

    Okay, now it’s your turn–please list the links where you specifically answered the rest of the questions.

  41. Onnik jan,levonakan’s controls not only english segment of Internet,but also day.az,bakillar.az:)))
    They got complete loose in Russian blogosphere and most of armenian,cause their lie were not accepted by most of Armenia-based people. Most of them,even afraid to meet and argue in open discussions(am I right Artur jan???) in their media-resourses.
    They have a fear to defend their ideas,because mostly their postulates are illogical and dogmatic.
    Some of them even thinks that if someone doesn’t support Levon is equal to serjakan orserving for KGB.
    Poor people,they believe that shaurma will save the world:)))

  42. I agree that it is irrelevant insofar that the problems today need addressing. But if George W Bush comes tomorrow to preach about peace on earth, I’ll think twice, wouldn’t you?

  43. sure would. but if the circumstances were like they are today in armenia, i just might use the opportunity as a shield to bring real leaders into light, esp. with the technology on our side.

    that is, let this fool bush drive forward for whatever reasons he may have (which very well might be peace on earth, btw) and stand behind him as he fights the battles that in no conceivable version of the near future would real patriots and leaders have a chance to fight (no less win!).

    not a perfect situation, but a situation with a chance of succeeding versus the absurdity of letting it all play out with the current state of affairs. plus, as it turned out, it worked somewhat. if ltp didn’t do all this, the focus and impetus would NOT be here today.

    no one in a million years thought an Armenian would break the rules and shoot on his own people. no one.

  44. Observer, I’m sorry you felt you needed to put me on moderation. I am responding to Uzogh, who very strangely said I was lying, though I simply asked him a direct question, which he did not answer, and which was related to something he said on Hetq that they did not follow up on. I think that you will agree that accountability is what the government has lacked in the past and in the present, and if Armenia does not want to be considered a pariah country, accountability must start now. Without a free press, though, it is very difficult to achieve, which is why I don’t like to see good-willed people like you and Onnik have to self-censor and compromise, or be co-opted and ‘come to an arrangement” like so many Armenians. Anyway, if you don’t want me to stay here, that’s okay, I’ve enjoyed the time and the tussles, and, really, I’ve tried to be positive and helpful as much as possible.

  45. ace here we differ. First I think that thinking that you are using someone (but in fact being used) rarely brings about (good) change. So, I disagree with the premise that the prescription for improvement lies in the “use me as a battering ram” theory.

    Second, I do not think that the improvements we have today are due to ltp’s reawakening, This is like saying that the improvements in Germany in the 50s were due to Hitler.

    I think there are lots of roads to improvement. It is all about choice, conviction, and values.

    And as far as “killing their own”, sadly this rule has been broken during Soviet times, during LTP’s times, and once again earlier this year, where both policemen and civilians were killed because certain forces upped the ante until there was predictable clashes.

  46. Dear Uzogh, my comment above now shows, so you will see that, per your request, I already did my “recount” much earlier today (6:35 PM). Perhaps now you will answer my question? If not, I guess my point has been proven anyway, by you.

    Observer, I will not bore you and the rest with this anymore, unless Uzogh continues to call me a liar for asking him inconvenient questions.

  47. I just couldn’t resist the temptation of breaking my self-imposed silence and saying a word or two here.

    Ani, I don’t know about others, but I haven’t been bored at all by this little conflict you are having with Mr. Uzogh. Actually, I am somewhat surprised that no one has said anything, but hey they have been living in that twisted society for such a long time that the responses you were getting from Uzogh perhaps didn’t look strange at all to them. But anyway, I hope it is not just me who found Uzogh’s responses strange, to say the least.

    First of all Ani, Uzogh is completely right, they did answer all the questions they were asked. Having said this, however, it must be noted that they put the answers out there in a completely useless and confusing way. It is hard to understand why the answers are actually answering the questions. To put it mildly, even though they answered all the questions, I think it is a pretty useless site. Moreover, the whole thing was not a very good idea either. It must be said that the questions weren’t good at all (majority of them), and the timing of the thing wasn’t good at all which partially explains why many questions were bad. I mean, common, people were angry! This is probably a much better time to organize something like that. I bet the questions would be much better now.

    But the main point that I wanted to say is the following. This little exchange of words between Ani and Uzogh seems to illustrate how things are in that country. Common Uzogh, you are the guy behind Serj’s blog, how about showing some decency? Did you have to actually come back and make that comment about math? Eh, what do you even know about math to begging with? Besides, again you are the guy behind Serj’s blog, he is the president of Armenia (for your information) and you are or were behind that blog presenting his face to the outside world. Couldn’t you say something along the lines of “Dear Ani, thanks for being so concerned, and I have to apologize for not being able to satisfy you enthusiasm. Please understand that the number of the questions exceeded our expectations and we didn’t have the necessary time and resources to keep up with them”. I mean anything along these lines would have been better than “math skils” or “spreading lies”. I mean, common, spreading lies? She is just a concerned citizen, it is not like she has hijacked the internet and has been spreading lies all over the place. Or why are you so afraid of her activities, remember you are the guy behind Serj’s blog, the guy who got 52% or 53% or whatever. Hell, even not answering to her questions would have been better than accusing her in spreading lies.

    Even at this level, where participants are supposedly civilized and intelligent people, disrespecting each other and slapping the opponent seems to be the common practice, even by those who actually represent the government. No wonder we had March 1st, and no wounder that we will have more of it if it goes on like this. Eh, I wish there was god who could actually come and save the people of that little country, but unfortunately we don’t live in fairy tale.

    AH, Observer and Onnik, I am glad that you are tired of hearing about LTP, but some people are also tired of hearing any kind of criticism of LTP as well. If his factor is so small and he is disliked by many then why are you still talking about him. If indeed most are tired of him then one can only assume that there is a big part of the society who dislikes LTP and, nevertheless, finds something in him that they cannot get elsewhere. What exactly is that?

    Also, this talk of good and bad people is such a subjective topic. I have to admit that I usually agree with AHs views, but after that Uzogh-Ani conflict, AH needs to get a bit more practical in explaining what exactly he means by good people. Yes, abstractly there are lots of good people, if by good we mean people who like to eat ice cream and watch tv before going to bad. But if you mean people who have the decency of giving respectable answers to innocent questions (ok in somewhat criticizing tone) asked by people with no apparent affiliation to any political force, then AH needs to work much harder in order to convince me, at least, that there are MANY such people in Armenia. I am willing to agree that there are some, just because there are always some.

  48. AH, Observer and Onnik, I am glad that you are tired of hearing about LTP, but some people are also tired of hearing any kind of criticism of LTP as well.

    Gonna break my self-imposed silence as well as my personal ban on me commenting on discussions which I have no time for anymore.

    If his factor is so small and he is disliked by many then why are you still talking about him.

    Basically, I’m not. :-)

  49. Ani, here are the answers. In brackets you can see the quantity of questions answered.
    Questions answered during TV version of Interview (65)
    http://serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com/1995.html
    http://serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com/2221.html
    Common and funny questions (85)
    http://serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com/2729.html
    http://serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com/2849.html
    Corruption (27)
    http://serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com/3289.html
    Post-election development (12)
    http://serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com/3486.html
    March 1 (56)
    http://serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com/3764.html
    Artur Bagdasaryan (7)
    http://serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com/4041.html

  50. Grigor my point about good people was less directed at answering questions on this or that site, and more about the fact that I believe that there are many many good people in various sectors of life. And given the polarization that has become amplified of late, it is an easy trap to fall into, to say that “everyone in my camp is great, everyone in the other camp is scum.”

    I wasn’t trying to be so persuasive, just that there are good people everywhere, even in prisons or in the judge’s chambers. I think that demonizing one group or another doesn’t get us far, and barring some kind of a revolution or wholesale eviction (neither of which I think are happening), I think it behooves us to seek out such people to work together in an atmosphere of listening as opposed to one of provocation, hate, or disdain.

  51. Uzogh, thank you for answering. The total by what you are giving adds up to 252 not 642 and I don’t see that my very specific question was answered, but it’s time to move on. I hope that you actually make something real of the Serzh blog.

    Thank you, Grigor.

  52. Ani – just to let you know, I have never put you on moderation – it is against my policy. Instead, I have some basic filtering rules – for comments which contain too many links (possible SPAM) and certain offensive words. I guess your comment was filtered to moderation list because of links. I have always valued your input here, please go on commenting as before!

  53. Glad to hear it Observer–limbo was a strange place to be in! I will be traveling soon, though, so if you don’t hear from me quite so much it’s lack of Internet opportunities, not decreased interest or passion for making Armenia a better place.

  54. Uzogh, thank you for answering. The total by what you are giving adds up to 252 not 642 and I don’t see that my very specific question was answered, but it’s time to move on.
    ========
    Before we go on, I think it will be good for all of us to hear some apologies from you for misinforming all the readers of Observer’s blog.

  55. Uzogh, I am literally packing my bags but will quickly take the time to respond. I did say that I was sorry that I had misread and that actually there were 642 questions on the blog, not 625 (however, not the “over 800” that you mentioned were there in the Hetq article). Of those, there were specific answers to a few, but vague and general answers to others, ignoring the specifics when they were inconvenient. (Not all of the links that you gave are accessible on the main page of the blog, by the way, so it is difficult to find even those answers.)

    At any rate, even by your own figures, there are 390 questions that were completely ignored. I’m not the one who promised to answer every question, you and/or Sargsyan did that (see Onnik’s blog 3/10 article for the promises made). So let us all know when ALL the questions are answered—I’m sure we’d also appreciate seeing a short video of Mr. Sargsyan typing the answers himself, it would be fascinating to see the touch typing skills he must have to type such long paragraphs (although the Enter key would be helpful now and then). And after all, it is his own personal blog, which by definition means that everything on it is his own personal expression, right?

    I have, however, enjoyed finding out more about the President’s friends and hobbies. http://serzhsargsyan.livejournal.com/friends Without the blog, I’d never have known he was a dedicated scrapbooker, into “girly glittercupcakes”, bento boxes, and Polaroids! And his only two friends, Billy the Goat (who advised Mr. Sargsyan to “nominate himself” for Livejournal board!) and Toto the toupee-wearing Chihuahua dog, are truly adorable!

    Remember, you asked!

  56. Observer,
    Regarding my lack of commentary on LTP’s speech.
    Most of what could be said on the main topic of moving out of the pithole we all are in is already said. My propositions are not original, nor should they be. Both Vahan Hovhannesyan and Vazgen Manukyan came up, just after the mess, with useful and doable suggestions (though both of them, disappointingly, disappeared from the visible political arena afterwards). I supported those practical suggestions (like REALLY changing the composition, the method of being appointed to, and operating principles of National Telecommunications Committee and the National Electoral Commisssion). Onnik Krikorian was writing a lot on the topic of moving politically forward, and I indicated the remarkable coincidence of my and his views regarding the main principles of putting the national interests of Armenia above the petty partisan struggle for power and privileges.
    You also know that I, being a psychiatrically adequate person, can see the obvious: that the regimes of LTP and RK are qualitatively the same and just logical continuation of one another. That is why the whole out-and-out “fight for democracy/motherland” of supporters of these two regimes is preposterous and has nothing to do with real interests of Armenia, it’s just a fight for power. Yes, there is no qualitative difference between Levon-president and Serzh-president. In either case, the perverted system will stay the same (guess what? That system WAS established by Levon and perfected by Serzh! Nobody gave me a good argument why these very same people would now want to fundamentally change it. Funnily, if we go only by preelection rhetoric of those two, Levon sounded more undemocratic than Serzh. Funnily, since the outside reader can get an idea that Serzh is a democrat! :)).
    What is to be done? My faint hope was (and still is, for the sake of the hope itself) that the two opposing camps – as qualitatively similar as they are – will try to come to some framework agreement, some ground rules of political game, which COULD be the beginning of our own, dirty and stinking as it may be, Armenian democracy (and NOT just the Neanderthal “we won and fucked you, now be my slave, bitch; or else I will put you in jail, and you will be my sex slave, bitch!”, what I earlier referred to, in quotation marks, as the “fight for democracy/motherland” :)). Or it could be – and objectively, it is MUCH more likely to be – the beginning of a more “civilized” type of oligocracy, when the competing elites find some ways to distribute the influence to avoid open conflicts (approximately like what competing mafia groups have been doing).
    In the short-term, and even the medium-term, I am not an optimist…

  57. I Like the term of “2 sizable Minorities” used by this Onnik Krikoryan.

    I think your expressed opinions do not belong to any of those “minorities”.

    The fact is that 2 “minorities” are the 2 majorities that some kind of “independent minded” people do not like.

    One majority is pro-authority and the second majority is opposition, led by LTP or NOT led by LTP.

    I also want to mention that putting the sign of equality or fairness between authorities and opposition in the negotiation process is not fair, and even shows those “independent” minded bloggers’ super “euro-indepndence”, but in reality half-mindedness.

    I personally cannot tolerate this kind of half-minded “indepndents”, who claim in responce to relase of the political prisoners the opposition should recognize the CC’s resolution.

    Another bright ides of this “indepndents” is that “NOBODY knows what happened, nobody can tell who is political prisoners who are criminals”.

    Hey, “independents”, in reality you are not independents, you just hate LEVON, and at the same time you cannot publicly defend SERJ, that is why you play double game, and you cannot just overcome the barrier of your “half-minded” dependence.

  58. Hayk – why the forced choice? Before Levon re-emerged, who were the “anti-authority” people for? I mean, is it a discredited political stance to be pro-Vazgen Manukyan? Pro-communist? Pro-ARF? Pro-Hayrikyan? Pro-independence of Artaskh as an independent state?

    I think that it is very HEALTHY to be part of the “half-minded” independents, as you put it. Better than the no-minded zombies who can just blindly support one or another character simply because they are the alpha-gorilla of the pack.

    Sadly, previous authorities have given most of the nation plenty of reason to be disenchanted. It should come as no surprise that most thinking (half-minded or otherwise) poeple want to have nothing to do with Levon or Kocharian or others who have plundered the state rather than led it when they had a chance.

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