Leadership failing to prepare Armenian people for war – newspaper

Leadership failing to prepare Armenian people for war – newspaper

Golos Armenii, Yerevan
11 Mar 04

The Armenian army is ready for war, but the people are not, according
to an article in an independent Armenian newspaper. Society trusts
neither the authorities nor the opposition and will not want to fight
for them, the article said. Azerbaijan, and as a result Armenia, have
entered the final pre-war period, a time of intensive propaganda to
mobilize support for war. The following is the text of Arsen
Yalanuzyan’s report in Armenian newspaper Golos Armenii on 11 March
headlined “Imperatives of the threatening period”; subheadings
inserted editorially:

The despicable killing of an Armenian officer in Budapest has marked
Azerbaijan’s entry into a “threatening period”: this is what the final
pre-war stage of a period of peace is called. The characteristic of
that period is intensive military and political propaganda that
mobilizes a country’s citizens to give unconditional support to the
future actions of their own armed forces and the neutralization of
pacifist tendencies and speeches by the population. The official
propaganda of Azerbaijan has practically achieved this objective and
now that the scum who killed Gurgen Markaryan has become a hero, there
is and will be no return to constructiveness in Azerbaijani
society. So this means that we also have automatically entered this
period. This is a fact that must not be ignored.

People not ready for war

Are we ready for war? The military and political leadership of our
country announces confidently: “Our army is ready to carry out all the
objectives it is set.” Any person who is aware of the rate and quality
of the development of our army may have no doubts – the army will do
its job. But the possible war will be a war not of the armies but of
the peoples – Armenian and Azerbaijani. And either our nation or
Azerbaijan will gain victory in that war. That victory will define
their fortunes for the foreseeable future.

The authorities of Azerbaijan along with the army are preparing their
nation for that fateful war. The result is obvious. But how are our
people preparing for the war? To be more accurate – have our
authorities set this objective at all?

War a taboo subject

We have the impression that a taboo has been set in our society on the
word “war”. Ex-President Levon Ter-Petrosyan mainly promoted this. His
statement about the coming to power of the “party of war ” gave the
“hawks” a complex, as any mention of war may be understood as
confirmation of the ex-president’s “prophecies”. Meanwhile, mentioning
the need for a new war to protect the achievements of the national
liberation fight of 1988-94 may not be reprehensible, if it is these
very achievements that are the price of the offered peace. The point
is – who will lead the people (not the army!) to war? Who will make
the address to the nation after a decade of horrible lawlessness, as a
result of which the people lost faith in the authorities?

At that time, at the beginning of the 90s, we won thanks to the cream
of our nation – those volunteer lads who for ideals, which were later
announced by the president to be a “false category”, were ready to
fight and to die. In addition, at that time society had just entered
the path of “democratic development” and national values were
considered something usual. And the Armenian Pan-National Movement
[APNM] as a party (not its separate patriot-members) as the holder of
the leading anational ideology, had nothing to do with that victory,
because it hated that victory as a matter of principle from the very
beginning. Otherwise we would not have such a precedent, unthinkable
in our long history, when not just any person but the president of the
country denies the ideals of the Armenian nation. He denies the reason
and pledge of victory, the laurels of which are being ascribed to him
personally today. He denies the blood of thousands of patriots to whom
we and our future generations are eternally indebted!

And what do we have today? Since the APNM came to power, there has
been no patriotic training in schools and today’s society has been
much poisoned with liberalism, self-interest and cosmopolitanism, but
there is not even a sign about relative social justice. From this
point of view it is not the laurels of previous victories that belong
to Ter-Petrosyan but the seeds of future defeats! As for today’s
president, till now he has not said whether he agrees with
Ter-Petrosyan or not in the matter of national ideology. So who will
prepare society for war and how?

Society trusts neither authorities nor opposition

Let us look truth in the eye: a major part of our population does not
trust the president or government, opposition and clergy. We live
during a threatening time! What are those who have power doing at this
responsible moment to gain the people’s trust?

Contrary to the mood of society, the government is continuing to
introduce a system of social cards. And nobody says: gentlemen, even
if you are right a thousand times, the trust of the people is more
important. Can it be excluded that the sponsors across the ocean of
such programmes are managing to divide our nation from the authorities
precisely at this threatening period? Specialists in psychological
warfare call this method “enlivening religious prejudices in the midst
of the enemy”. The opposition is calling for revolution, again in the
threatening period. And in the instructions of psychological warfare
of all our enemies (not only Azerbaijan!) this is called something
slightly different: “to rouse the civilian population and servicemen
of the enemy to anti-public actions that destabilize the normal
everyday life of society and the army”.

Luxurious private residences and casinos are being built for everyone
to see, costly office cars are bought at the expense of the people,
and nobody is listening to the press when they say “Enough!”. But
tomorrow people will not want to fight for their masters! And our
enemies will register the latest successfully fulfilled objective in
the psychological war: “to stir up contradictions between specific
social groups and strata of society of the enemy country”. This is
how our temporal and religious leaders are preparing our society for
war! As for our nation, it will move mountains, if it knows for what
end and has a just, Armenian leader! The people know what to fight
for. The issue remains of a leader who understands that social justice
today is the most important thing, as justice and trust are the
imperatives of the threatening time.