“Zhamanak” Armenian-American Political Daily

When You One Tries to Bypass the Bloodshed of March 1st

21:34 Yerevan | 17:34 GMT | Saturday 19 July 2008

Hakob Badalyan

When You One Tries to Bypass the Bloodshed of March 1st
July 19 is the hundredth day of Serge Sargsyan's presidency. Usually, this is the period when the first steps of a president are assessed and conclusions on his further steps are made. What can be concluded from one hundred days of presidency of Serge Sargsyan? Almost nothing or that during those one hundred days the presidency did not start. The point is that Serge Sargsyan has been unable to solve the most important problem, the legitimacy of the government. Unless this problem is solved, presidency cannot be considered as complete even if one is president for ten years or even one hundred years.

In the case of Serge Sargsyan, it is more difficult to solve the problem of legitimacy because his presidency was preceded by the bloodshed of March 1. It took place during Robert Kocharyan's office but over one hundred days of his presidency Serge Sargsyan has been unable to offer distinct proofs, directly or indirectly, that he had nothing to do with the bloodshed, or if he had been the president, he would have never ordered to fire at the demonstrators. Moreover, Serge Sargsyan went to Moscow and stated in an interview with the Russian media that if those ten people had not got killed, the number of victims would have been much more.

In other words, Serge Sargsyan fully justified Robert Kocharyan's actions. Consequently, although in other spheres of life, with regard to other issues Serge Sargsyan's policy subtly and sometimes overtly demonstrates Robert Kocharyan's shortcomings, nevertheless with regard to the core issue, the bloodshed of March 1, Serge Sargsyan identified himself with Robert Kocharyan. Now even if the customs office does not take bribes until the year 2013, if the road police suspends the driving license of the government officials, their relatives, the oligarchs and their generations, and if three million public councils are set up instead of the existing one, if the fifth, tenth and twentieth political force emerges instead of the third, even if Gul is invited to Armenia to watch the training of the football teams, the government will not be legitimate because it does not answer the most important question of the society: who and why shot at the peaceful demonstrators, innocent citizens, how ten people were killed, and who ordered to kill. There is no need to go in for Galust Sahakyan's thinking that if you give bread to the society, they will forget about all the other things or they will not remember about the other things unless you give them bread.

It appears from Serge Sargsyan's actions during the one hundred days that either he does not realize the importance of the factor of the bloodshed of March 1 to the future of the Armenian government or he realizes but tries to reach a solution by setting forth other factors. The other factors are expressed through words mainly. It is evident that during the one hundred days of Serge Sargsyan's office the government has changed mostly in terms of the word stock. In other words, the contents of speeches has changed, which have become more figurative, such as "the Armenians are like a dry branch, but as soon as it is planted in the soil, it blossoms". There is a lot of contemplation on modest life, not showing off wealth and strength, building an elite and a society based on spiritual values, using dialogue as a lighthouse, national solidarity, public confidence, and similar other touching phenomena. Often the Armenian classics are quoted. And an effort is made to set all this vs. March 1. In other words, for one hundred days the government has been trying to wash away the blood of the citizens with the thoughts of classics. Meanwhile, perhaps one hundred days are enough to understand that a thought cannot wash away blood, and blood cannot irrigate a dry mind. And the success of mind depends on the regular circulation of blood. On March 1 the regular blood circulation of our body was disrupted. During one hundred days no essential effort has been made to restore it. Although it is possible that one hundred days may have a positive role for the state because the government may finally conclude from its activities in that period how it should not act in future.

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