One of the most influential weapons that Armenia has in its foreign policy toolkit is its US-based diaspora lobby in California, which supports their homeland’s most nationalistic and firebrand policies. Instead of behaving as a responsible and pragmatic instrument of the Armenian government in what could have been a calculated policy to balance between Great Powers, it’s oftentimes the case that the roles are reversed and Yerevan is used as an instrument and tool of the US-based Armenian lobby in working against the country’s national interests in order to promote the US’. All states aspire for their people to build robust and influential diaspora communities abroad, but the Armenian one is heavily politicized and regularly exerts negative influence on Yerevan in order to bring it under further American control.
To explain, the US-based diaspora lobbied to bring several congressmen to Armenia in mid-September, though instead of only touring the country and conducting their affairs within it, they were also whisked off on a highly publicized visit to the occupied regions of Western Azerbaijan. It can be strongly inferred that all of this was planned in advance given the close relationships that the US-based Armenian lobby has with some of those politicians. This inflammatory visit was designed to trigger a scandal in American-Azerbaijani relations, one which would work out in favor of the pro-American diaspora in getting Yerevan to side closer with Washington. The grand geopolitical realignment taking place in the Caucasus is to Russia’s overall strategic detriment, and Armenia’s US-based lobbying groups are keenly aware of this and fully support it.
The Politics Of Language
In fact, they want to do everything that they can to ruin the historic Russian-Armenian friendship in their feverish attempt to tear Yerevan away from Moscow and bring it under Washington’s proxy tutelage. A perfect example of this is the scandal which erupted in early September after the Armenian Culture Ministry announced that it will provide more support to Russian language programs. Instead of being celebrated as a wise decision to cement the partnership between the two states, it served as a trigger for the most nationalist elements of Armenian society to loudly protest against the move on the anti-Russian grounds that this was supposedly a precursor to their country eventually becoming a “Russian colony”. Such xenophobic rhetoric closely aligns with the positions pushed forth by some elements of the US-based diaspora and their American-linked associates in Armenia.
Even more disturbingly, however, it harkens back the anti-Russian mood which swept the country during the summer 2015 “Electric Yerevan” protests, some of which devolved into violent riots and were actively encouraged by US-linked Armenians, including the California diaspora. It’s perhaps for this reason why the Education Ministry felt pressured to cave in to their diaspora’s demands and reaffirm that Armenian is the only national language for the country. That in and of itself isn’t necessarily a controversial pronouncement, but it’s the exact manner in which Education Minister Levon Mkrtchyan went about it which is raising concern in Russia. He said that “The only official language in Armenia is and will remain the Armenian language, since we are an independent, sovereign state…This is an axiomatic truth, all other languages are foreign.” The way that he phrased his statement implies that only non-independent, non-sovereign states allow foreign languages to become national ones or be afforded any special status.
This is extremely inflammatory because it suggests that the Russian Foreign Ministry’s efforts to preserve the legacy of the Russian language among its own diaspora in the former Soviet space, particularly in Ukraine and the Baltic States, is tantamount to violating the independence and sovereignty of those countries. Whether he intended to or not, Mkrtchyan fell into the information warfare trap laid out for him by the cunning minds organizing the US-based diaspora’s political activities abroad. Based on the way that he phrased his nationalist, and one can even say xenophobic, statement, the Armenian Education Minister is essentially saying that Kazakhstan isn’t an independent and sovereign state because Russian enjoys equal standing alongside Kazakh as enshrined in the country’s constitution. One should bear in mind that Armenia and Kazakhstan are both members of the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union and Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), so this amounts to Yerevan trying to sow the seeds of discord between two of its members at the behest of the US-based Armenian lobby.
It may sound conspiratorial but the Armenian lobby in the US is very similar to the Gulenists in Turkey, in that they represent a shadowy power network with a concrete geopolitical agenda advanced through manipulative means, and both serve the interests of Washington against their homelands. The Armenian government gains nothing to its advantage by inviting American congressmen to the country and then scandalously sending them on a so-called “tour” of the occupied lands of Western Azerbaijan, nor does it stand to benefit from being pressured into obliquely denouncing the socio-cultural efforts of the Russian Foreign Ministry in the former Soviet space and implying by degree that Kazakhstan isn’t an independent state because it grants the Russian language the same status as Kazakh. These actions only work to the US’ geostrategic advantage by provoking manufactured problems with Azerbaijan which could then be used as the pretext for Washington to degrade relations with Baku and put even more pressure on it, just as the other related scheme weakens the fraternal bonds which have connected Russia and Armenia for generations.
Given their timing, it can’t be ruled out that these two provocations against Azerbaijan and Russia were coordinated with one another for maximum effect and also meant to coincide with the opening of the UN General Assembly. Reflecting on the success of these two high-level influence operations, it’s clear that the US-based Armenian lobby is getting dangerously close to seizing full control over their homeland’s foreign policy. Moreover, given how the California lobby is Armenia’s version of the Gulenists in the sense that they secretly work against their country’s national interests, it’s indeed possible that they’ll try to stage an event of similarly disruptive strategic magnitude to the Gulenists’ 2015 Su-24 provocation which almost brought Russia and Turkey to the brink of war. In this case, however, it would be carried out in a completely different manner which would more realistically suit their specific goals of using Armenia to trigger the further deterioration of American-Azerbaijani relations, and with the other intended objective of a separate provocation being to use hyper-nationalist forces to inflict the same amount of destructive harm on Russian-Armenian relations as EuroMaidan did on Russian-Ukrainian ones.
(originally written for the Moscow-Baku.ru online information portal)
DISCLAIMER: The author writes for this publication in a private capacity which is unrepresentative of anyone or any organization except for his own personal views. Nothing written by the author should ever be conflated with the editorial views or official positions of any other media outlet or institution.
Once again, Andrew Korybko draws hard conclusions based on assumptions. He claims that because two members of the US
Congress visited Nagorno-Karabakh, “clearly”, some Armenian lobby in California is trying to provoke hostilities between Armenia and Azerbaijan – for the goal of a US over-throw of Armenia. This is called non-sequitur and is also rather humorous.
Korybko also claims that because Armenia decided not to have Russian an official second language in Armenia at the same time of the US Congressional visit, this is indicative of a Californian conspiracy to sever Armenia’s relations with Russia and start a war with Azerbaijan. He fails to demonstrate any causality in these events.
Alexander Lapshin, an Israel citizen, was extradited earlier this year from Belarus to Azerbaijan and jailed for visiting Nagorno-Karabakh. Lapshin was pardoned by Baku and returned to Israel within days of the US Congressional visit and Armenia’s reiteration of its native language. Korybko might as well have added Israel to his foolish conspiratorial conclusions – or noted that Lapshin’s pardon was made on September 11, .
I would have readers of Oriental Review read the disclaimer that follows Korybko’s article and smile!
Armenians in the US definitely have internalized a western centric bias. It shows in their negative references to Russia and support for Armenia turning to the EU. They were surprised when Armenia suddenly joined the EEU and veered toward the SCO.
In Armenia the people know that is it only the Russian military between Armenia surviving or being destroyed between Turkey and Azerbaijan. They know that if Turkey invaded Armenia that the US and EU would shed crocidile tears while planning pipelines across Armenian corpses. In the 1990’s when Turkey massed its military near the Armenian border it was only Russia that threatened war with Turkey if it invaded Armenia. The US and EU sat on their hands.
Armenians in the US can afford to be knee-jerk western centric – they won’t have to pay the price.
Attitudes may be changing. The message from Armenians in Syria is spreading through communities in the US about US support for Al Qaeda and ISIS jihadis. The perfidy of the US in Syria is plain to see. I am an Armenian in the US that is shocked by the vile US policy in Syria that has caused immense suffering, death, and destruction. Thank God that Armenia and Russia are close and support each other.
This was the queerest article I have read in a long time. It compares the small minority of Western Armenians (roughly 300,000 total with very few and limited financial resources) in the United States, with no modern day (non faggotty) Hollywood films about their contributions to every American campaign / war including the Civil War, and the consistent theft of their history (going back to Gobekli Tepe), and the continued communist subversions, communist indoctrinations and the international communist conspiracies to steal their Armenian Identities, somehow managed to twist the arms of the United States in doing their biddings. There are more Slav and Armenian oligarchs and “Thieves-In-Law,” which Vladimir controls, with multi-billion dollar financial leverages and laundromats than any of these small Western Armenian minorities who can barely attend Church on a Sunday for fear of not making their rent. Moreover, this article went on to say that Armenians, who gave the Slavs the Migoyans and other technological advancements, somehow backstabbed Vladimir and Stalin. I and people like Monte disagree as he continues to sell those Goetferen Azeris arms. With regard to Stalin, let us just say that he is in a colder place in HAL than Siberia. The Slavs have forgotten their place in the world (as their names are indeed Slavs) and Stalin’s treacheries. They are indeed going to be punished with extreme prejudice for which man has never seen before and for which it would even make Adolf Hitler blush with envy. The Slavs are however going to have a choice to either make Western Armenian the National Language of Russia or face consequences. I suggest they start learning quickly without waste. Stalin in his quest for power, was unable to exterminate the only surviving Armenian Royal Blood Lines from the Genocide to challenge any legitimacy of these historical land grabs by JACKASSES / ESSHER sanctioned by the Roman Church going back to recorded history.
We, the Russians, often feel stunned facing an insolent and blatant ignorance. Your crocodile tears about “poor Armenian community in America” are baseless. In case you forgot about your poor brother Alexis, pls can just check the following impressive list of successful Armenians in the USA: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Armenian_Americans I hope you do not think that Kirk Kerkorian handed his wealth to Trump?
Now, Russians is the nation that protected Armenians from Turkish genocide and guaranteed the national survival in their cradle area. I suppose you never knew that by the beginning of 19th century the territory of modern Armenia was divided between Othoman Empire and Persia and consisted of a dozen of “sardarstans” and “pashaliks”. And learn how to spell the name of Mikoyan before getting to crap here!
Those who maybe were confused by the previous rediculous comment, I kindly invite to read the following articles on the Russian-Persian and Russian-Turkish wars in the Transcaucasia in early 1800s clearly explaining how much Russian blod were poured to win Armenian out of alien’s slavery and what gained Armenian after that:
The important book by Ronald Grigor Suny ( Looking Toward Ararat: Armenia in Modern History. Indiana University Press.,1993), contains e.g. the following statements:
“Middle-class Armenians prospered under Russian rule and they were the first to seize the new opportunities and transform themselves into a prosperous bourgeoisie when capitalism and industrialisation came to Transcaucasia in the later half of the 19th century. The Armenians were much more skilled at adapting to the new economic circumstances than their neighbours in Transcaucasia, the Georgians and the Azeris. They became the most powerful element in the municipal life of Tbilisi, the city regarded by Georgians as their capital, and in the late 19th century they began to buy up the lands of the Georgian nobility, who had gone into decline after the emancipation of their serfs. Armenian entrepreneurs were quick to exploit the oil boom which began in Transcaucasia in the 1870s, having large investments in the oil-fields in Baku in Azerbaijan and the refineries of Batumi on the Black Sea coast.”
“By the mid-19th century, most of the Armenian intelligentsia had become highly Russophile. Armenian culture flourished in these years as the new unified province under Russian rule gave Armenians a sense of their shared identity once more. Being part of the Russian Empire also turned Armenia away from the Middle East and towards Europe and modern intellectual currents such as the Enlightenment and Romanticism. A wide array of Armenian newspapers were published and there was a literary revival headed by Mikael Nalbandian, who wanted to modernise the Armenian language, and the poet and novelist Raffi. The pro-Russian outlook of the Armenian intelligentsia continued under Tsar Alexander II, who was widely praised for his reforms.”
These are the explanations why the vast majority of Armenians stand for Russia and reject renegates like Vahe…
Right from the beginning, your credibility in your argument that Russians / Slavs / Communists prevented the Armenian Genocide is a lie and a huge distortion of history. Armenians were used and then abused in the front lines with promises of independence and then annexed and sold off to Turks in various Nimrodic treaties. Because of these lies, the extreme prejudice against the Slavs should be elevated even more. You have already forgotten all of the medals of valor that Antranik received from Russia, and then the partial shaving of Armenian Fedayi heads, their imprisonments and public humiliations done by communists, and Stalins purging of anyone who may have been of Royal Armenian ancestry. “Dro” had the right idea of aligning with Hitler temporarily in order to rid Armenia of these scum bag intellectual challenged Slavs. And, the Nazis treated Armenian prisoners very well in camps during the Zionist purge of Europe. A communist is a communist Pig that doesn’t fly straight no matter how dressed up with lip stick. See Orwell’s novel “Animal Farm” and “Squealer” as an example and basic and fundamental lesson in life. Regarding some millionaires you cited to like Krikorian, or “Alex”, well, last time I checked Krikorian had passed away and could not influence the Masonic / Illuminati grips on Hollywood and its war manufacturing consent machines. Alex’s net worth is about 5 million, not even a drop in the bucket to make any difference. And, if one counts the billions and even trillions that these Western Armenians have to go against, indeed, it is like watching David against Goliath. Moreover, when someone glosses over or ignores a particular point such as the issue of who really controls Armenia (e.,g., Oligarchs, Thieves-In-Law and Putin), then that usually means it is a nerve on a topic to be exploited for maximum benefits better than any sadistic dentist using a drill can muster. If you have any complaints about who controls Armenia, then voice it publicly with your commander-in-chief Vladimir Putin if you dare. On a final note, I spell Migoyan the way I want to spell Migoyan and ask if I may be in charge of my own thoughts for a while or do I need permission from Vladimir? Hambal.
Through both of your comments your argumentation based on equating Russians and Communists, is hilarious and ridiculous. You didn’t even care to read this blog in retrospective. Bad job, troll.
I, unlike you, don’t get paid 10 cents for each meaningless word I type. So, be honest and tell me who you really work for?
This project is created and run by few dedicated Russians and our international friends to share viewpoints to those who can think and argue. Sorry to say you do not match any of these criteria. Our budget is not that great as you think and fully covered by our personal funds + some PP donations (btw, welcome to the right column, friends!).
And you are too fussy, Vahejan – we told you to read OR editorial articles thoroughly, and it would take much more than 5 minutes you spent!
How objective. Because I don’t agree, you claim now that I don’t know how to read and discern the fact from fiction. I give you a C- bordering on D+ for your work. By the way, why do you care how long it takes me to read a topic?
We challenge you because according to your comments you are an indoctrinated zombi, incubated inside the catastophic US educational system. Your vocabulary and arrogance say for itself. We do not keep you leashed here.
There is no power in responding to your gibberish further. There is more POWER in silence. See “The 48 Laws of Power” and its allegories as lessons in life and history. Enjoy the Bomb threats as you try to guess my next move.
We do not care about your moves, Vahejan. Terrific loss to Blackhawks is not the acceptable excuse to abuse the keyboard ) Bye-bye, Penquin )
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The kindest thing I can say about Korybko is that he is overworked: he is averaging two articles per week just on this site. This doesn’t give him much time for thorough research, interviews, THINKING, and writing. For all I know, he might be writing for other outlets too. But then again, perhaps Korybko doesn’t need much time to write his anti-Armenian screeds: all he has to do is decide how many negative comments he can make about Armenia… the rest follows. Korybko is an unabashed Russian imperialist. He wants to see all former Soviet Russian/Tsarist Russian occupied nations to bow to the Kremlin.By the way, in an earlier comment I mentioned that he needs to improve his English: he is not listening to good advice.
Russians are quite used to helping the enemies of their true friends, Armenian case being only one. It is unreasonable to conduct such policy and than try to explain it away as something positive. How do we rationalize Russian arms sale to a medieval, family run Muslim country like Azerbaijan, that can be used only against an Orthodox ally and truly Russia-friendly country like Armenia. The other country it can possibly be used against is Russia itself. Russia did exactly the same to Serbian people by supporting NATO and openly arming Croatian and Muslim fascists along with Iran and Saudi Arabia. It went for almost two decades which clearly shows that it was well established Russian policy. Mr. Putin did the same to Cuba, pulling out a few personnel after decades long presence just to do favor to his new “friend” G. Bush. There are tens of millions of Russians living all over former USSR (including Ukraine). They have been abandoned in the vastness of Euro-Asia, rarely mentioned by the Russian media or the Government. This is a lesson for Armenians. As in every capitalist country the Russian Government’s primarily role is to protect the existing system (of criminal oligarchy in this case) and to ensure its perpetuation. It is only in this light that the Russian attitude toward Armenia – Azerbaijan issue should be studied.
I wouldn’t be surprised at all if the Russians employed technologies to attack the inner ears of the embassy staff in Havana so as to create permanent sea sickness and a distancing of thawing relationship between the US and Cuba.
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Based on your racist comment i can definitely say that you are one of those Armenians where compare Islam and Orthodox Christianity as a tool to portray Azerbaijanis as monsters and Armenians as innocent people.
I am totally disappointed. Instead of building up relationships and bringing positive attitudes between these two nations, people like you, are distancing those two nations.
I can only say one thing. Armenia and Azerbaijan are both located between three empires, Russian, Turkish and Persian. There is no way that those three empires will allow to create a Greater Armenia from the Mediterranean to the Caspian Sea as every Armenian origin person dreams off. As they see the Mount Ararat from Yerevan and cannot have it because of Turkey owns it the same will always be a dream to create the Greater Armenia.
Instead, what I suggest to fellow Armenians and their lobby groups, try to bring together three South Caucasian nations together and integrate their economy, social, military systems to create a powerful Union (like the European Union) that can stand together against three empires. It is disappointing to see how the Russian/Soviet empire creates conflicts such as in Abkhazia, South Ossetiya, Nagorny Karabagh and then stay aside and laugh at how the South Caucasians are killing each other.