Why Armenian opposition destined to fail
After a month and a half of demonstrations in the streets of Yerevan, the so-called Armenian opposition movement is dying. But for now, the demonstrators continue to advocate the early departure of Nikol Pashinyan from the post of prime minister, insisting on the denunciation of the statement on Karabakh, which ended the thirty-year history of the occupation of the internationally recognized territory of Azerbaijan.
The newly-minted leader of the protest movement, former first prime minister of Armenia Vazgen Manukyan announced clashes between "real patriots" of Armenia and Pashinyan's supporters. Meanwhile, the Armenian public stopped responding to the calls of street patriots, drawing attention to the triviality of the theses of the leaders of the protest movement.
The problem of modern Armenia is that it has never had a progressive government that would implement national and supranational projects in isolation from the traditional idea of Armenian exceptionalism. The governments of the 1990s, the administrations of the period of rule of the Karabakh clan, the "revolutionary" government of Pashinyan - all of them emphasized the implementation of programs focused on the internal Armenian resource with the involvement of diaspora funds. Armenia's problems (inflation, emigration, economic blockade, etc.) were no secret to anyone. Nevertheless, a programmatic solution to at least one of the chronic problems of the republic has always been placed outside the brackets of one or another political agenda. Even now, when the republic has to restore its defense resource, economy, overcome the crisis of mental perception of the results of the second Karabakh war, the "patriots" of Armenia do not offer intelligible programs to overcome the consequences of the war.
The essence of the demands of the so-called opposition boils down to three calls: to expel Pashinyan, to disrupt the implementation of the ceasefire statement, and to freeze the demarcation of the Armenian-Azerbaijani border. The opposition's arguments are prosaic and aimed at accumulating fear and panic in society. Every day, the public is frightened by the seizure of the territory of Armenia, convinced of the need to denounce the peace agreement, which in fact means the resumption of hostilities. At the same time, no one is ready to take responsibility in the event of renewed bloodshed.
There are two theses that the "saviors" of Armenia in the person of Vazgen Manukyan, member of the ARF "Dashnaktsutyun" Gegham Manukyan and former head of the National Security Service Artur Vanetsyan try not to mention at all.
The first is that with the expulsion or condemnation of Nikol Pashinyan, his destruction as a politician, the problem of Armenia’s isolation cannot be resolved, and its economy will remain blockaded even with open borders, if the Armenian political establishment does not stop looking at regional politics through the prism of racial or cultural incompatibility.
The second thesis implies that a return to the policy of occupation is impossible. The ideologues of Armenian revanchism have no real supporters, and the signed statement and the obligations that Armenia assumed through the mediation of the Russian peacekeeping mission in Karabakh exclude the re-occupation of Azerbaijani territories.
Undoubtedly, the power in Armenia will change, if only because the society wishes to forget the horror of the war as soon as possible and not see all those who are responsible for the tragedy that affected thousands of families throughout Armenia. However, the Armenian society does not see itself as part of the political struggle and does not hope that any of the current opposition leaders will listen to it. Nothing significant will happen from the change of the so-called defeatists to those who are rushing into battle in words. The activation of the "saviors" of Armenia is an artificial political technological process. The newly-minted opposition's credit of trust is insufficient to consolidate society, not to mention the diaspora.