Today.Az » Analytics » Groundhog Day all year round: Armenia in 2009
23 December 2009 [13:21] - Today.Az

The year 2009 is nearing an end. It is time to assess and analyze what the outgoing year brought to the residents of any given country.

While speaking about how Armenian residents, who still occupy Azerbaijani territory, spent the outgoing year, you cannot help thinking that for them 2009 was something along the lines of the Hollywood blockbuster “Groundhog Day" all year round. Let’s talk about everything in turn.

Let’s remember a fragment of the film. A holiday named Groundhog Day is celebrated in a small American town called Panksatoni every year Feb. 2. The residents wake their groundhog “Phil" from hibernation and predict how much longer winter will run based on his behavior. Every year, conceited and arrogant TV weather reporter Phil Connors travels from Pittsburgh to the small town on this day. He is bored with his job and hates the festival in the remote town.  

But one day when he arrives for Groundhog Day celebrations, he continually wakes up the day before Groundhog Day! He is in a time loop with no way out. Feb. 3 simply does not come!  

Now let’s recall what happened in Armenia in 2009. Every year, it becomes clearer that Armenia is doing downhill. This fall has been slow so far for the Armenians due to the financial assistance among their diaspora. The year of global financial crisis has forced Armenians all over the world to tighten their belts and reduce their remittance payments for their relatives and friends back home in Armenia. The crisis has affected the country seriously. It became clear that the very notion of the "Armenian economy" does not exist by and large outside remittances. The economy functions on donations from relatives, international financial institutions, and the country selling its few strategic assets, natural resources and political allegiance.

So, the Armenian leadership actively engaged in the so-called "soccer diplomacy" in 2009 – not noticing that Armenia is not playing, but rather has been played. The Zurich protocols were signed as a result. Turkey secured Armenia's consent to establish a joint commission to study the 1915 events in the Ottoman Empire, thus calling into question the “Armenians genocide.”

Superpowers who declared their participation in this process will continue to point to this fact of the Armenian Diaspora while Armenia itself has gained nothing real. Opening the Armenian-Turkish border, on which Armenian leaders pinned hopes, has become very distant and elusive with no real steps by Armenia to withdraw from Azerbaijan’s occupied territories. World-spread Armenians have suffered a hefty split. On one hand, Armenia people who need something to eat, which seems hard under conditions of isolation, but on the other the Armenian community, which lives according to the formula “fed people do not understand the hungry” assumes that the question of "genocide" is not a matter of debate.  

As a result, Armenia is now preparing new "dodge ears.” Armenia is developing amendments to its law on international treaties, which will provide for the withdrawal of signatures from the Zurich protocols. This fact testifies to the recognition of one's own inability to execute an intergovernmental agreement that calls into question Armenia's position on the negotiation process to settle the Armenian-Azerbaijani Nagorno-Karabakh conflict.

Is there any guarantee that Armenia will not decline to implement a framework agreement on the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict once it is signed? However, the main thing is that Armenia’s current actions can only be described as their defeat in the game of "soccer diplomacy”. This is a perfect illustration of the general trend for Armenia in 2009. This  trend is called  "a series of defeats." It can make Armenians confirm the defeatist psychology of their national attitude, which  may lead to a variety of unpredictable consequences in the future.

Theoretically, a force was to appear in Armenia in 2009 to lead the Armenian people to use such obvious failures of power. But no such force was found in Armenia. The old opposition in Armenia led by Levon Ter-Petrosian’s supporters has still not regained consciousness after its knockout during the last presidential election. The authorities’ only argument during these elections was the forceful and bloody suppression of any dissent, and attempts to cast doubt on the results of these rigged elections and the aggressive way of "victory," on which President Serzh Sargsyan relies.

As we know, Adolf Hitler claimed that people are like woman and that the German people, like German woman, revere force. So, the outcome of the year for Armenia can be described as the following – the Armenian people have bowed before the force of Sargsyan’s bayonets. Thus, the Armenian people have allowed further wild fanaticism over themselves.

Despite seemingly complete victory over his own people, Sargsyan has definite fears. He fears that the conquered people once again will grow tired of staying in this unenviable position, in which they wound up thanks to those who played with their patriotic, jingoistic and nationalistic feelings. Therefore, Sargsyan who has no legitimacy, cannot make unpopular decisions on Karabakh and openly delays such decisions. In the meantime, time is working against Armenia. Because  no nation in the world has recognized Nagorno-Karabakh’s independence for almost two decades since the beginning of the conflict.

Taking the existing situation for granted, Armenia did not recognize the independence of the so-called "NKR." Thus, the country's leadership admitted, albeit indirectly, that its occupation of Azerbaijani territories will be legalized neither in 2010 nor in coming years. All this is happening on the backdrop of Armenia’s rapidly deteriorating economic situation in 2009.

Ordinary citizens were forced to live in a constant effort to find bread, and were deprived of their opportunity to decide their own fate and seek a way out of the situation. They were left with the opportunity to be a mechanism for falsification and making rich a small number of elite as the rights of the majority public have been ignored. And things will continue this way until the Armenian leadership decides to radically change its views on life and its relations with its neighbors. Otherwise, they will make their own people live in a habitual Groundhog Day.

Akbar Hasanov

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