Flag burned: Armenian nationalists self-destruct Armenia with hatred

17.04.23 23:15

First, we need to remind ourselves what qualities have enabled the Armenian people not only to survive but also to create diasporas in many countries around the world and to thrive for a long time in various fields, including trade and mediation. First and foremost, this is the amazing ability to adapt to other peoples and not "go to conflict" with them. And when necessary, Armenians were able, often by flattery and gifts, to earn the favour of their rulers. In principle, not everyone liked the ability to accommodate to the powerful, but it was very effective in terms of the interests of the Armenian community.


Due to these qualities, the Muslim rulers of the Ottoman Empire and the Safavid state began to trust Armenians and gave them the most profitable spheres at their mercy. For example, in the Safavid Empire, Armenians held a monopoly on the highly profitable silk trade, which was used by the Armenian church to build churches wherever Armenians lived or settled.


Obviously, had Armenians been characterised by the current nationalism, intolerance and aggression towards the representatives of other nations, they would very quickly have simply disappeared from the pages of history. And no one today would know the history of "Great Armenia", firstly because it did not really exist in history, and secondly because there would be no one to make it up and write about it.


However, the question arises why today, when Armenians finally have their own state, they have completely forgotten about those qualities of their people which historically allowed them to survive without having a state of their own? Where does this aggression, hatred towards other nations, this desire to humiliate them and trample their symbols come from?


On April 14, 2023 in Yerevan, during the opening ceremony of the European Weightlifting Championship, designer Aram Nikolyan snatched the Azerbaijani flag from the flag bearer and set it on fire, then ran away with it from the stage.


In response to the vandalism, the Azerbaijani team withdrew from the competition. The Ministry of Youth and Sport and the National Olympic Committee issued a joint statement pointing to Armenia's failure to ensure the safety of Azerbaijani athletes.


Aram Nikolyan, who set fire to an Azerbaijani flag at the opening ceremony of the European Weightlifting Championships, was first detained and taken to a police station. It was reported that no criminal charges would be brought against him. However, Nikolyan was quickly released as Armenian nationalists angered by Nikolyan's detention gathered around the police station. Trying to save his country's image, Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan ordered the Public Television (PTV) to dismiss head of the stylistic studio Aram Nikolyan for burning the Azerbaijani flag. But to all appearances, Aram Nikolyan is in no danger of becoming unemployed and destitute. For Armenian nationalists he is already a "hero" and an idol.


Moreover, a well-informed source close to Aram Nikolyan told the @bagramyan26 telegram channel that Nikolyan was the designer of the opening of the championship and it was he who personally designed and sewed the clothes with the Azerbaijani flag worn by the flag bearer girl. Nikolyan received a big fee for his work. And Aram Nikolyan had absolutely no complaints or claims about sewing clothes with the Azerbaijani flag for money. That is, this is in no way a "spontaneous act", but a well-planned provocation, a political act of vandalism with far-reaching aims.


 Armenian society has once again demonstrated to the world how infected with intolerance and hatred it is. And such episodes do nothing but harm to Armenia itself. The well-known Armenian blogger Ishkhan Verdyan wrote about it very well:


"In the unfolding information and propaganda war Armenia will lose all the time and Azerbaijan will gain all the time. Azerbaijan will not even have to do anything to win, it will just have to wait and catch Armenia in the blunders.


Meanwhile, Armenia will make slip-up after slip-up, because the only step that would make things right - enforcing a law banning discrimination on ethnic grounds - is one that Armenia will no longer take. It will not do so because the Dashnaks are asleep and waiting for Pashinian to put an Armenian on trial for an illegal act against an Azerbaijani so they can storm the government house and overthrow the journalist with cries of "traitor". And the journalist himself has neither the spirit nor the intelligence to prevent this. And he can only sit in silence and swallow Dashnak provocations and watch his own country's reputation crumble and Azerbaijan's reputation rise.


Pashinyan's policy was based on the idea that Armenia was right and civilized, and Azerbaijan was wrong and uncivilized. Now even this "trump card" is taken away from Pashinyan, and I, as an Armenian citizen, already become scared for the future of my country. It is for the future, not for the reputation, because soon there will be nothing left of Armenia's reputation."


It turns out that the more flag burnings and other "acts of hatred" by Armenian nationalists, the worse Armenia's image will be in the modern world. Especially in comparison with the same Turkey, which Armenian nationalists regularly accuse of mythical "genocide".


But the world community is not interested at all what happened there in 1915 (since then the same French and Germans managed to go through two bloodiest wars - and reconciled with each other). He is more interested in the current state of affairs. And it is as follows: Azerbaijan offers the Karabakh Armenians all their rights and freedoms as its citizens; in Azerbaijan itself about 30,000 Armenians are calmly living outside Karabakh, and no one thinks to discriminate against them. In the Republic of Armenia (in the territory of historical Western Azerbaijan) there is not a single Azerbaijani left, and Armenian nationalists do not want to hear about the return of Azerbaijanis to their native land.


There are more than 100,000 Armenians living in Turkey, they can safely come, live and work and no one thinks of humiliating them or burning their flags and other symbols or showing hatred and discrimination in any other way. Armenia, on the other hand, has lately been regularly caught up in scandals related to national hatred and the way it is cultivated in Armenian society. Anti-Turkish and anti-Azerbaijani shenanigans by Armenian nationalists have become commonplace, but the incitement of hatred against Russia, the main benefactor of Armenians, has already been added to them. This will not lead the Armenian statehood to anything good.



Varden Tsulukidze

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