The Dogs May Bark…But The Caravan Moves On

ARF has been the guardian of the icons of independence for 70 years, the same Tricolor flag that he proudly stands next to, the country that he represents, the throne that he sits on, the emblem that he carries and the anthem that the world stands for…all values and icons that each Dashnaktsagan and hamagir guarded sacredly for 70 years in exile. Dashnaktsutyun, even took upon itself the physical protection of Armenians around the world whether in the streets of Bourj Hammouod or Alleppo or the hills of Shushi

B. Manoukian

The original Armenian version of this article was first published on the official website of the ARF.

Pour yourself a cup of coffee, or tea, and together, let’s take a short trip down the memory lane.

On December 4, 2019, Pashinyan, while addressing the Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Dashnaktsutyun’s Youth wing’s demand that the education minister resigns, cynically stated: “there was a song that went like chook..chak..charak..chak, as the sound of the wheels of a train leaving the station”…implying ARF was about to become history on board a leaving train.

February 17, 2020 – While the Pashinyan government was busy kicking off the Constitutional Reform Referendum Campaign to replace judges not aligned with him, the rest of the world was busy preparing to stop the spread of the Corona virus. Just prior to this the Pashinyan government passed a law to provide financial incentives (aka official bribes) to Constitutional judges, which they rejected. The Constitutional Reform Referendum Campaign to replace those same judges not aligned with Pashinyan that rejected his official bribe, would allow the government to take control of the court, creating a totalitarian regime ruled by one political faction as well as eliminate any checks and balances between the executive, legislative and judicial branches, while providing the final blow to democracy in Armenia.

March 1 – First Case of Covid-19 in Armenia. Same evening, during his Facebook Live, Pashinyan irresponsibly declares “Corona virusseh oom shoonn a?-whose dog is the Corona virus?” meaning the Corona virus is irrelevant and is nothing to worry about.

March 10-12 – Pashinyan , on the referendum campaign trail in Meghri and Kajaran goes on minimizing the seriousness of the deadly virus, siting a couple of examples such as the wife of the first patient reported with Covid-19 is perfectly fine, those sent to  be quarantined in Tsaghgadzor are just doing great while in contact with others, or no one has been infected as a result of contact and there is no need to take this virus seriously, as it is just like a regular cold that could be cleaned or disinfected with home-made oghi-moonshine, and removed with a pair of tweezers!

March 14 – ARF’s 1st OFFICIAL ATTEMPT TO EXTEND A HELPING HAND. Commissioned by the ARF Supreme Body of Armenia, its professional committees presented a professional assessment and a summary action plan to combat the Covid-19 in various fronts. Two days later, the ARF Supreme Body of Armenia issued a public statement expressing its willingness & readiness, along with ARF’s global organizational & professional network of experts, to assist and partake in all governmental agencies and departments in the fight against the pandemic in a state of emergency.

March 16 – Pashinyan’s government declared state of emergency.

March 21 – ARF’s 2nd  OFFICIAL ATTEMPT TO EXTEND A HELPING HAND. The ARF Bureau issues a statement  announcing its readiness & willingness to help Armenia’s government in the fight against the pandemic and called on the large family of the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (ARF)  to place all their capabilities in service of our people, especially in Armenia and Artsakh, with a resolve to provide the optimum assistance, stating: “…we call on everyone to take part, with pan-Armenian support, in the efforts put forth by the government of the Republic of Armenia to prevent and contain the Coronavirus.” The greater ARF family includes its executive bodies throughout the world, rank and file members, ANCA (Hai Tahd) offices, various committees, youth structures and affiliate organizations such as the Armenian Relief Society (ARS), Hamazkayin, Homenetmen, and more.

March 23 – ARF’s 3rd  OFFICAL ATTEMPT TO EXTEND A HELPING HAND. ARF Supreme Body of Armenia presented Pashinyan’s government with a comprehensive action plan comprised of 48 articles and various means to help battle the pandemic in all platforms.

APRIL 9 – ARFHEM (Youth wing of ARF Armenia) and ARF Aghbalian Student Association began the “Helping Our Compatriots” program through which members distributed food & essential items to thousands of needy families throughout Armenia affected by the pandemic. These same efforts were echoed in almost all countries and regions where the ARF has an organizational presence, helping tens of thousands of families during this crisis.

The Pashinyan government ignored and rejected ARF’s offers to assist, help and coordinate efforts. Meanwhile the coronavirus continued to spread, number of infected surged reaching new highs every day and paralyzing the nation. And the governments continuous inexcusable failures became apparent.

The ARF called for government accountability and a special National Assembly Session to address the issues regarding this deadly pandemic. Numerous opposition forces joined ARF in voicing their concerns with the incompetence of Pashinyan’s governance, and some even asked for his resignation creating waves of popular support. This continued to increase every day with many echoing the various opposition groups concerns and criticisms.

June 10th, Pashinyan publicly threatened the ARF stating that the opposition parties are digging their own graves and that opposition parties such as the ARF will be thrown into the “trash heap of Armenia’s history.”

June 14th, The ARF Supreme Council of Armenia  issues a statement condemning government’s repression methods used against opposition stating “We, once again, demand from the leadership to return to the political arena. Or else, this approach undoubtedly will deepen the instability in the country and result in irreversible losses, the responsibility for which will lie on the shoulders of today’s government,” said the statement.

Pashinyan needs to be reminded that many before him have dreamed of the day when the ARF would one day be buried in the pages of history. Many giants such as the Ottoman Empire and Soviet Union to lizards like his own ideological godfather Levon Ter Petrosian, have tried and failed in the past, and look what happened to them!

Pashinyan needs to realize that the Armenian people in the homeland and diaspora are not blind idiots and can see through his excuses and lies, they are not like the few brain washed zombies that worship the ground he walks on or the puppets who jump up and down at the sight of him waiting for their strings to be pulled.

Pashinyan needs to realize that the Armenian people are over 4100 years old and part of a civilization that dates back 11-12,000 years. Even if we wanted to shut our eyes & close our ears,  we have the blood of Haik Nahabed running in our veins and can’t help but speak out. We see and know what is happening… We reject the lies… We see the evidence… We REMEMBER and DEMAND!

Of course the government has had some accomplishments during the past two years but unfortunately the disastrous failures far outweigh the minor achievements. The failure to institutionalize various sectors of the government, the corruption & lies, the in-tolerance & violence, the destruction of national & traditional values, the entitlements and selectively applying the law, the impunity of the “elite”, the millions of dollars in “bonuses” for those in the government, the incompetence & inability to govern our nation and defend our rights in the international arena, have all set us back almost 3 decades. Just the fact that Pashinyan has cycled through many police chiefs & heads of national security since he took office has created tremendous instability, let alone all the other issues.

What is most disappointing is that Pashinyan is copying what his ideological godfather, Levon Ter Petrossian did years ago, almost identically.

On the internal front he replicates Vano Siradeghian’s tactics of instilling fear and unruliness and encouraging physical violence.

During his June 10th press conference Pashinyan stated that anyone who criticizes the government for mishandling the pandemic or for any other reason, should be viewed as a traitor and is guilty of treason. He goes on to say this is a wartime situation and the opposition groups are “political coronavirus” who they will battle following the rules of war. Everyone from children to adults know that to play war games is to kill or destroy your opponent, the enemy on the other side.

So Pashinyan seems to deliberately instigate violence and plant seeds of civil war. Why? Is it to distract? Is it to help implement some unknown agenda? Why is Pashinyan in such panic? Who will benefit from such chaos? Why wouldn’t he take a helping hand when he is in desperate need & his people are dropping dead left & right? Why is he so scared of ARF Dashnagtsutsyn that he wants them destroyed? Could it be that the ARF , with its “ZERO political influence”, as he puts it, is an obstacle that needs to be eliminated?

On the Artsakh front, Pahinyan managed to negate a great deal of achievements the Armenian side was able to register during the past 2-3 decades as he took us back where we were on March of 1992 to when what is now known as the Minsk Group was going to meet with Armenia, Azerbaijan, as well as the representatives of the Armenian and Azerbaijani communities of Artsakh for peace talks.

The meeting never took place, the process begun but WITHOUT the “representatives of Azeri community in Artsakh” because there is no such thing.  On February 15th  of this year in Munich during a Q&A after the “peace talks” with Aliev,  Pashinyan shamelessly and proudly stated  “I declared that any solution to the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict must be acceptable to the people of Armenia, the people of Karabakh and the people of Azerbaijan. Why is this a micro revolution?  Because I am the first Armenian leader to say that any solution should be acceptable to the people of Azerbaijan as well. And now more than a year has passed since that revolution… I am the only one of the leaders of Azerbaijan and Armenia who says that any solution must be acceptable to all parties. This is a very important micro revolution”

Seriously? “ I…I…I…me…me…me”. Pashinyan seems to think the world revolves around him and the sun rises and sets with him similar to his infamous speech at the National Assembly after he was elected as prime minister, where he stated “the destiny of Artsakh, the destiny of the people of Artsakh, is in the hands of one person, only one person, and that person is me”. This conflicts with his earlier statement that “the destiny of Artsakh, the destiny of the people of Artsakh, has to be decided by no one but the People of Artsakh” made from the same podium as a member of the Yelk faction before the “Velvet” revolution while an opposition parliament member. Interestingly, there was no mention back then of being the lone decision maker or appeasing the people of Azerbaijan…

And what a “coincidence” that a couple of months after Pashinyan’s peace talks with Aliyev in Munich, all of a sudden the peace “movement” takes off and spreads to the Armenian Genocide Museum’s director and the Facebook page of the son of a board member of the museum, who also happened to be one of Pashinyan’s advisors. Not surprisingly, this “peace“ movement infected those interconnected NGOs fed by the same sources for years where on the brink of the 105th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide the Museum omitted the word “demand” from the slogans as if forgiveness was now a part of this “peace” movement and later inserted “Medz Yeghern” instead of “Armenian Genocide”. As expected in this “new” Armenia, employees who protested and insisted on using the correct and traditional slogan including the words “demand” and “Genocide” were quickly terminated.

The “peach charade” continued when on May 22nd the US Ambassador to Armenia announced that the United States will stop funding demining efforts in Artsakh and instead will fund programs that “prepare populations for peace”.

What’s wrong with that? What’s wrong with peace? Well nothing is wrong with peace. Which mother would want to go to bed praying for her son’s return from war? Of course none.

Peace is a good thing. Parents don’t want to send their children off to war. But the programs to” prepare populations for peace” that Madame Ambassador mentions is really about funding certain NGOs in Armenia with millions of dollars to create and develop public opinion that accepts a “peaceful” settlement regarding Artsakh in favor of Azerbaijan, not Armenia or Artsakh, such as the Madrid Principles .

Things unraveled for the Ministry of Health on the Northern front with Georgia as well on May 22nd when Minister Arsen Torossian in an effort to minimize Armenia’s failure to prevent a sharp rise of coronavirus infections accused Georgia of manipulating their own infection rates & totals, leading into ugly political bickering between the two countries. Georgian government officials including those involved in public health demanded an apology from Torosyan for the false statements and undiplomatic approach. The ministry’s spokesperson eventually apologized an another embarrassing situation for Armenia. Soon after, when issuing a transfer pass for a patient from the Nor Nork clinic to Shushi, documents listed the destination as Shushi, Azerbaijan. A gross negligence of national values dishonoring all the lives lost liberating Artsakh since 1988 creating an uproar on social media condemning the Ministry. A spokesperson eventually apologized declaring it a technical error, then as people continued to voice their discontent, the spokesperson made a second statement stating everyone should calm down as they already apologized.

 And last but not least, one of the MOST EMBARRASSING drawbacks of the Armenia’s foreign policy in the past three decades, was the statement adopted just a couple of days ago by the European Parliament, condemning the construction of the third highway between Armenia & Artsakh.

The joint statement has been made by the EP rapporteurs for Azerbaijan, Zhelena Zavko, for Armenia Traian Basescu and co-chair of the EP Parliamentary Cooperation Committee for Azerbaijan, Georgia and Armenia, Maria Kalyurand, who said: ‘This new road infrastructure will connect Kapan, in Armenia, with Hadrut, in Nagorno- Karabakh, passing through the districts of Qubadli and Jabrayil, which are also occupied. As a matter of principle, we support projects that foster regional cooperation, connectivity and people-to-people contacts in the Eastern Neighborhood…it could symbolically entrench the illegal occupation of Nagorno-Karabakh and of its surrounding districts”

They go on expressing their support for OSCE MINSK group and their 2009 Basic Principles, after which they conclude:’… we call on the authorities of Armenia and Azerbaijan to step up their commitment, in good faith, to the negotiation on the peaceful resolution of the conflict within the internationally recognized borders of Azerbaijan, the statement concludes.”

I am not even talking about any other failures or foreign policy drawbacks of the past 2 years. Just the past 3-4 months, or even past past few days!I Where is Pashinyan’s condemnation or at least Foreign Ministry’s statement in regards to the anti-Armenian uprisings of the Turks in Lebanon, provoked by Erdogan? No solidarity statement to our Armenian compatriots in Lebanon? At least 5 days have passed and both Pashinyan and his government are radio silent. Could it be that he “forgot” he was the “Prime Minister of ALL Armenians and not just the Yerevantsi & Ijevantsi  “step-takers” or could it be that he doesn’t want to step on the toes of his friends singing the song of forgiveness & peace?

Afterall, it is the Armenian community of Lebanon we are talking about. A community that has been the heart of the Diaspora, where the ideals of our homeland’s independence & freedom were anchored for decades. A community, that despite its own hardships, civil war, and the never ending political & economic crisis, ,has been a pillar of support for Armenia, both financially & spiritually. A community, that has welcomed and nurtured generations of intellectuals, teachers, & community leaders & devoted soldiers of the Armenian Cause.

Could it be that Pashinyan has been so busy fighting the “unimportant and irrelevant flu-like virus” that he has  “forgotten” the role of the Lebanese Armenian community whether it was in sending volunteers to liberate our lands with their blood (while Pashinyan himself was enjoying cruising the streets of Yerevan with his mentor LTP), or advocating for freedom of Artsakh (the same Artsakh that Pashinyan thinks its destiny should be also acceptable by Azerbaijani people)? Could it be that Pashinyan is “forgetting” the sacrifices of the  Armenian community of Lebanon taking in the Syrian & Iraqi refugees? Could it be that Pashinyan is also “forgetting” how vital the Armenian community of Lebanon was instrumental in demanding accountability and action from the world, whether it was recognition of Armenian Genocide, Armenia’s Independence, or  Artsakh’s Sovereignty?

Could it be that Pashinyan is “forgetting” that as the head of the government he has certain duties? Again, I ask myself is Pashinyan “forgetting”, because just a couple a weeks ago when his handling of the pandemic was questioned during another one of his infamous staged “Q&A”a, he was asked about his contradicting statements that he made in mid-March as to: Corona Virusseh oom shoonn a,  he blatantly stated he can not remember saying that!

On the other hand, I wonder who does he plan to blame for this major drop of the ball?

There are still many issues and problems in the education sector alone, such as the Lanzarote convention, sexual education curriculum for children under the age of 9, the elimination of the Armenian history, language, and cultural studies from the college curriculums just to name a few…

The Pashinyan government has failed to implement everything that he promised and everything that the people elected him to do, which also include the fall of the economy, environmental problems including Amulsar among others, destruction of traditional national values, ongoing continued and blatant corruption and the inability to arrest and bring corrupt oligarchs to justice, the lack of any real social justice, and their unwillingness to revolutionize the institution of government.

In 2018, people took to the streets because they were tired of being used and abused, lied to, bullied & taken advantage of. They were frustrated from seeing the lands of their forefathers, their natural resources such as land and water, sold to foreign interests whose beneficiaries were either Ter Petrosian, Kocharian, Sarkissian or their partners in crime ( “taifas”).

People rebelled against Serzh because they were fed up with him and his family creating monopolies to loot the country right before their very eyes while the people struggled and suffered. Pashinyan was supposed to be the savior but he was unable to deliver on any of his promises and instead, for the past two years, he has tried to create smoke screens to hide his incompetence while blaming everyone else for his shortcomings. He was supposed to unite the people in peace and harmony but instead divided the country into black and white, us and them, with us or against us, hoping to distract, control and conquer. He was supposed to be fair and just but instead “justice” in the form of investigations and charges are brought against anyone who disagrees with him.

He seems to have perfectly followed the instructions of notable writers such as Gene Sharp on how to successfully topple governments in 198 non-violent actions or Benjamin Carter Hett’s on the death of democracy and rise of a dictator.

But Pashinyan missed one very important detail: none of the authors of the books and manuals he has read had to deal with ARF-Dahnaktsutyun. A 130 year old political party born from the Armenian People that lives & thrives for the Armenian People. A worldwide party that some may like or hate, others may agree or disagree with its ideology, but no one can deny it’s importance in the history and survival of the Armenian people in the Diaspora, Armenia or Artsakh.

Pashinyan needs to come to terms with the fact that he or she who will dare to attempt “to put the Armenian Revolutionary Federation – Dashnaktsutyun in the trash-heaps” has not been born from the womb of a mortal yet.

No doubt that the ARF-Dashnaktsutyun may have members around the world that are not saints or have drifted from the ideals the Party stands for. Individuals, who have put their egos and personal interests before that of the people. But ARF has a system that with due process, according to its By-laws, ensures justice is served.


The ARF-Dashnaktsutyun is the party that is part of the tapestry of the fabric of Armenian history that served and continues to serve the Armenian people. Hundreds of “leaders” and political groups and fractions have come and gone, but the ARF has remained steadfast standing with and fighting for the Armenian people.

Whether in Cairo, or Australia, Tehran, Alleppo, or Beirut, Paris or Uruguay, Moscow or Yerevan, Stepanakert or Gyumri, Proshyan or Tsaghkashad in Artsakh, Montreal or Buenos Aires, Connecticut or Boston, San Francisco or Los Angeles… wherever you see an Armenian community, you see the ARF and its extended family building schools, churches, helping the community’s needy through the ARS, keeping the Armenian culture alive through Hamazkayin, educating youth in scouts & athletics through Homenetmen, fighting for the Armenian cause, for the recognition of the Armenian genocide, fostering support for Armenia, Artsakh, & Armenians through the ANCA (Hye Tahd) offices and committees, and educating youth with the devotion and dedication to the ideology of the free, independent, & united Armenia through the Armenian Youth Federation.

Pashinyan should understand that ARF has been the guardian of the icons of independence for 70 years, the same Tricolor flag that he proudly stands next to, the country that he represents, the throne that he sits on, the emblem that he carries and the anthem that the world stands for…all values and icons that each Dashnaktsagan and hamagir guarded sacredly for 70 years in exile. Dashnaktsutyun, even took upon itself the physical protection of Armenians around the world whether in the streets of Bourj Hammouod or Alleppo or the hills of Shushi. And all this before there was even a “Pashinyan”, and later when he was missing in action- possibly looking for some treasures in the trash-heaps of a neighbor’s “hayat” -or studying street politics under the wings of those who history already recognizes them as traitors of our nation…

Pashinyan needs a reality check, not for the sake of our nation, but so that in the future his four angelic children can hold their heads up high and proudly say their father was a hero who helped save a nation, instead of walking with their heads down in shame hearing people whisper he was a psychopath traitor who destroyed it all.

“Watch your thoughts, they become words;
watch your words, they become actions;
watch your actions, they become habits;
watch your habits, they become character;
watch your character, for it becomes your destiny.”

Talk is cheap. Finding excuses for failures is easy. Manipulating minds, deceiving people, even believing in your own lies, is apparently very doable within a blink of an eye. Betraying your principles, succumbing to what’s popular and easy, forgetting who you are, becoming a follower led by and for others, losing your identity while being tempted by the materialism that surrounds you takes only a few seconds.

On the other hand, staying true to your ideals and remaining principled, devoting over a century to nation building and the preservation of national identity, sacrificing everything including lives for the Armenian cause and the Armenian Nation is not easy. But ARF-Dashnaktsutyun has done it for 130 years and will continue to do so for another 130 years and as long as it takes, until the Armenian people are back on their liberated lands from Yerzenka to Gedashen & Shahumyan, from Trabizon to Van & Nakhichevan, living freely, independently, united under one flag & governed by a government elected by the people, working for the people and with the people hand in hand to make this world a better place, one country at a time.

Pashinyan should learn to differentiate between the Dashnagtsagans and the Dashnagtsutyun, just as the Dashnagtsutyun knows how to differentiate between the Statehood and governmental  authorities. Governments and authorities are transient, but the State and people are remnant. I suggest that every time he wants to make a comment about Dashnaktsutyun, he should always remember the old Armenian proverb:

“The dogs may bark….but the caravan moves on”

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