The return of the LTP/Libaridian mindset: Inspired by Vahan Zanoyan’s article

A. Berberian

I read Vahan Zanoyan’s article with great interest. His pursuit of a clear understanding of the present by going back to the LTP/Libaridian mindset in the 1990s is very compelling.

As Zanoyan acknowledges, we have all been searching for answers since the devastating defeat in the 44-day war. One passage in the article helped me realize what should have been very obvious:

“what makes the Ter Petrosian/Libaridian mindset especially dangerous today is that it has resurfaced with a vengeance and with a we told you so addendum.

In fact, the LTP/Libaridian mindset did not resurface after the war. It quietly resurfaced with the emergence of Pashinyan on the political scene and was the obvious reason why the war was handled the way it was.

Some of the questions:

– Why didn’t Pashinyan take preventive or preparatory measures when he had learned several weeks before the war that Azerbaijan was preparing a massive attack on Artsakh?

– Why did Pashinyan mislead the nation by claiming victory until a few days before the end of the war, when he knew that Armenian forces were miserably losing and thousands of young soldiers, unprotected against drone attacks, were being massacred.

– Why did Pashinyan reject the offer by five former presidents and essentially all opposition parties to share the responsibility for making significant concessions and end the war several weeks earlier? Doing so would have saved thousands of lives, preserved Shushi and prevented other territorial compromises.

– Why the confusion over Shushi during the last few days of the war and the city’s surrender without resistance?

– Why did Pashinyan declare in the Parliament that Shushi was 90% Azeri, thereby, in essence, stating Shushi was never Armenian?

– Why hasn’t Pashinyan demonstrated real agony over our loss of most of Artsakh’s territory and thousands of young lives?

The answer:

Pashinyan’s declarations, statements, actions/inactions, attitudes and body language strongly suggest that he shares the LTP/Libaridian mindset of 1994 and is committed to achieving what his predecessors failed in doing.

LTP faced popular opposition to his political strategy and was forced to resign, taking with him his version of a political solution for the conflict. Pashinyan seems to be committed to not making the same “mistake”. One wonders if he made a Machiavellian choice to allow a miserable defeat, loss of territory and thousands of young lives, in order to secure popular support for massive concessions. In a way, as Zanoyan states, he wanted to prove“not only that they were right, but that their reasoning was right, too.”In other words, the only way for Armenia to economically prosper is to resolve the Artsakh conflict at any cost.

Finally, Pashinyan is as committed to keeping his political reign as solving the Artsakh conflict at LTP/Libaridian’s terms. This would be the only plausible explanation why he rejected the offer by five former presidents and essentially all opposition parties to share the responsibility for making concessions and ending the war several weeks earlier, when the casualties were significantly fewer. Clearly, he was not about to take any steps that would potentially undermine his strong grip and monopoly over political power.

Today, Pashinyan continues to consolidate his control over all law enforcement agencies, try to mute critics and proceed with his goal of bringing his policy to its successful conclusion.


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