By Norick Markosian
It has been 19 years since you passed. A lot of things have changed, but a lot of things have also remained the same.
Volumes have been written about you and your life, including an autobiography by your brother Markar. No one really knows what really took place on that godforsaken day of June 12, 1993.
A couple of hours after you left this world, Saribek also passed away from the wounds that he received during that day’s firefight. About three years later, Komitas lost his life on a reconnaissance mission. Vartan died of heart disease there years ago.
Now, I can’t help but to remember what you had once said once about your martyred soldiers, “Seems like the good people are leaving us in an untimely manner.” A few days after you passed away, we as a nation gave you a state funeral with full military honors, attended by many dignitaries and several of your close friends.
We have erected monuments and named schools in your memory. There is even a military academy named after you. Your eternal home looks straight to Mount Ararat. Many of your lieutenants have become generals and are holding major posts in our military, but collectively, as a nation, we have failed to make your dream of an independent Armenia, with a just and lawful society, come true.
About sixteen months after your passing, the Artsakh liberation war ended. It seems that our nation has to be first in everything: as we were the first nation who accepted Christianity as their state religion, we are also the first nation that annihilated its enemy’s forces and their will to continue to fight. But thanks to the shortsightedness of our government officials, we agreed to sign a cease fire agreement rather than a capitulation accord.
As of August, 1994 we have lost close to 300 of our sons in border skirmishes, due to the enemy’s violation of the cease fire agreement.
You should see the self-assured and victorious pose that Aliev Jr. assumes when he sits around the negotiation table to discuss the status of Artsakh with our presidents. It is still a mystery to me why we need to negotiate the fate of our nation and our national security when we were the clear cut victors.
The territories where you and many of our nation’s brightest sacrificed their lives to liberate, has now become a subject of debate. Contrary to your belief that our national security interests and long-lasting independence is directly related to the union of a free Artsakh and Armenia, some of our leaders are considering the return of the liberated territories in lieu of a stable peace with our neighboring enemy.
Maybe it is the existence of this trend of thought among our top leaders that has prevented them from implementing a comprehensive plan for the resettlement of the liberated territories. Not much has changed in Artsakh since you saw it last, except for some newly built hotels and restaurants to attract Diaspora tourists and put money in the pockets of a few rich people who are connected to the top government officials.
To state the state of Armenia for you, I have only one piece of good news - we are still “independent”. On one occasion you were asked by a reporter, “how would you like to see Armenia in the future?”, and you quickly responded, “free of corruption”.
Unfortunately the prevailing oligarchic/feudalistic system in today’s Armenia has resulted in a lawlessness where rich people have monopolized every profitable business in Armenia and are exempt from paying taxes.
The national poverty rate is almost 70%, our national debt has ballooned to unbelievable proportions, largely due to the fact that majority of the financial help which we receive from IMF and World Bank loans go straight to the pockets of the oligarchs.
Our infrastructure is in shambles, there is no social welfare, nor is there any public healthcare system in place. The justice system is also suffering greatly. Judges and court decisions are bought and sold, like cheap merchandise on a given Sunday at a public bazaar, where one cannot help but to notice the abundance of imported goods manufactured in Turkey.
Meanwhile, casinos frequented by the oligarchs and their family members, residential high-rise buildings with selling price tags only affordable by Diaspora Armenians, restaurants along the Zangou river where only tourist and few locals can afford to dine, are being built like wild flowers blossoming in spring time.
The fact that our young generation today does not foresee a future for themselves, let alone a bright one, has given birth to a sense of hopelessness, resulting in a massive exodus from the motherland.
So far, about 1.5 million Armenians have immigrated to the four corners of the world to secure their family’s daily bread. The majority of the rest who have stayed will immigrate as soon as possible if they find the opportunity. All the while, officials insist on a population count of almost 3 million people for Armenia. Our population count fluctuates from election to election.
Maybe, in next election, I will pay a visit to some of the voting precincts in the hope of seeing you and many of our martyrs who were lost in the liberation war. I say this because, when it comes voting time, miracles do happen in our country, where dead people arise from their graves and vote for a certain candidate.
Last but not least, while our oligarchs are busy stealing our nation's wealth, destroying the environment, demolishing historical buildings, and turning our country into a cheap nightclub destination for visitors from our neighboring countries, our proverbial enemies, Turkey and Azerbaijan, are arming themselves to the teeth and waiting for the opportune moment to once and for all resolve the Armenian question.
Yes the same Azeris, backed by Turkey and other superpowers of the Middle East, who you and the rest of our fighters beat to a pulp, are dreaming about plowing our land and discarding our nation into the annals of the history.
Shame on us for abusing and mishandling the legacyyou left us. And further shame on us for not having finished what you started. I leave you in peace now.
Viewed 2820 times Baffling Wealth: How Did Marzpet Khachatryan Boost Revenues from 3 Million to 7 Billion?
Viewed 2245 times MP Bagratyan to Government: "Go to Google Map and see how much land is devoted to grape growing"
Viewed 1998 times ARF MP to Ministers: "The people would beat you up in the streets"
Viewed 1052 times Mystery Dig: Who's Removing the Pipes in Lori?
Viewed 1035 times Bruno Didn't Know the Armenian-Turkish Border Was Closed: A Traveller's Tale
Viewed 975 times Agricultural Expert: Armenia's Hail Cannons Ineffective and Outdated