And once again, this time our four golden boys martyred out of turn and against all hope as the target in Ilham’s and Nikol’s coordinated policy.
With boundless sorrow I share the unspeakable grief of Armo’s, Samvel’s, Yervand’s, and Gagik’s families and of their fellow servicemen. May their living memory guide us, the carriers of our heritage, toward the light of truth, wisdom and the power of will, redemption and the full recovery of our backbone.
As long as that ignominious pair sticks around, there can be no peace, no territorial integrity, sovereignty, or vital national interest for the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh. There shall be no constitutional rights and elementary dignity, and the place and role, in this regional belt and across the world, worthy of the national standard waving at the United Nations.
There merely will be ever-repeating cycles of soldier-boy and civilian murders, the surrender or loss of native land—whether by conspiratorial deals or violent aggression—the subjugation of the Armenian man and woman, and complete disempowerment of the public. At bottom, what shall come to pass in the event of their continued duet are Armenia’s state destruction and Artsakh’s obliteration or, in the best-case scenario, their transformation into subservient and weak-willed, disabled and handicapped, universally irrelevant territorial units.
Those who imagine themselves as Mohammed and Christ, or at least Napoleon and Mandela, perhaps even Rabin and Sadat, might in their mental world aspire to prestigious peace prizes, but for their evil and crimes Ilham’s and Nikol’s actual inevitable place is before the strictest scrutiny of the tribunals of justice, for one—international, for the other—national.
Set upon the altar of sacrifice this very day are our Homeland, statehood, nation and people, Armenia, Artsakh and Diaspora, Ararat and Aragats, our entire history and the fate of any and every possibility for our future.
With special dispensation we must postpone the priority given to individual and parochial, large and small, old and new movements, currents, and parties and instead as a nation and society—first as a civil rights wave and then an all-state imperative—work toward and so forge the higher union, once and finally, unraveling for the generations the millennia-long historiographical knot of Armenian civilization: the great Armenian question.
In our days, or not at all. We or no one.
Raffi K. Hovannisian
30 June 2023