Press "Enter" to skip to content

A Declaration of War

The end is nigh. All hope is lost. Vultures await our death. Armenia and the Diaspora are on the cusp of disappearance.

At least that’s what you might think if you read any Armenian news or interact with Armenians in person or online.

And the time has come for me to make a confession: I’ve had it with everything Armenian sucking. Diasporans complain about their organizations. University students complain about their Armenian Student Associations. Everyone complains about Armenia.

Sometimes I think Armenians suffer from the first known case of perpetual national depression or, PND, as it’s been known ever since I coined it just now.

The despair is suffocating and, frankly, boring. For the uniqueness-seeking among you, it’s just unoriginal. A leftover of past generations’ incessant focus on slights against Armenians, real or perceived, now basking in an anachronistic rebirth. Positivity should be in vogue if only because it might be considered a rejection of societal norms.

Little is more disheartening than hearing a young person, hardly of age, repeating the loathsome banalities of their parents about hopelessness, annoyances, and resignation about their nation. Young adults and their slightly older brethren galvanized in their drear against any rationality may be the only thing worse.

If you want a reason to prove things are just falling apart like some Achebean hell, I’m sure you’ll find plenty – although it will only serve to prove your insistent myopia and pessimism than any reality.

First, the rotten apple of everyone’s eye: Armenia. It has problems, as we can all agree, but they’re not apocalyptic. And if they were, the last person I want solving the problem is someone wailing at the top of their lungs that the apocalypse is coming. Think asteroid and ask yourself the type of person you want figuring out how to handle the seemingly impending doom.

Not to be outdone, the Armenian Diaspora also has its problems. Surprising, I know. But if you were waiting for Diasporan organizations to cater to you as if you were seated at the I Want To Do Something Armenian restaurant, worry not for you are in Elysium and you are already dead. Well, dead as a productive Armenian (thanks, Gladiator, for always pulling through).

Fact is, there is no restaurant; only a kitchen. If you want something, cook it up – you’ve got all the ingredients at your disposal. If it fails, try again if you have an actual desire for it to get better. But don’t spit on the other cooks or their dishes when you don’t like their food but aren’t willing to help or make your own. And if you can’t handle the heat, which in this case represents your overwhelming dejection and self-pity, you know what to do. And please don’t walk out banging pots and pans, causing a ruckus. I can assure you that nobody cares.

(If you think it was strenuous reading that metaphor, imagine writing it.)

There is seemingly no effort unscathed by naysayers ready to pounce on an opportunity to undermine. No proverbial good deed that goes unpunished. Some have even developed what can be called a regrettable talent of being able to extract negativity out of even the most positive news.

Thus, I am officially declaring war on the demoralizers of our nation. Those keen on sucking the joy out of being Armenian, intent on wickedly stealing the confidence and ambition and optimism of a people. The ferocity of Hayk and the Sassountsi and the heroes of Sardarabad and Artsakh will be unleashed to flood out your dastardly grief-mongering. (Curious how there is nary a myth or legend or history about the hopeless.)

Pre-mourners, what I’ll call those of you awash in the melancholy of a death expected but yet to occur: you are not needed. If it’s lamentation you crave, lament your own uselessness and not the impending downfall of the Armenian nation. Your campaign of despondence will be confronted with the fertilizers of strength and progress: encouragement, resolve, invigoration, principle, and love.

I know how difficult it is to remain devoted – I’ve been surrounded by you my whole life, after all. I know how much easier it is to curse and bemoan than to create and refine – I’m guilty of the former. But, despite my ongoing shortcomings, I’ve chosen the latter. It’s the least I can do to reciprocate the good fortune of being born Armenian and having an Armenia that I can love and cherish, till death – surely mine – do us part.

Neither Armenians nor Armenia are your whipping boy and they will not be. I just created an army of at least one to make sure they are not.


By: William Bairamian


  1. grigorartsruni grigorartsruni Dec 11, 2013

    I tdon’t necessarily agree that those who complain are just defeatists. Many do complain constructively, and do put their money where their mouths are. The fact is saying “stop complaining, and lets see where teh country develops” is no longer enough. Countries and nations develop because their citizens demand change, this is the most basic hegelian principle.

    • bairamian bairamian Post author | Dec 11, 2013

      There are a few suppositions you’re making that can’t be associated with this piece. For example, this isn’t just directed toward complainers about Armenia. Also, I don’t think you can “complain constructively.” You can criticize constructively but they’re different. Finally, regarding Armenia, contrary to your understanding, I encourage active involvement in the development of the country except it’s under an optimistic rather than pessimistic paradigm. It never has been and never will be enough to just see how things turn out.

      By the way, I would argue that countries and nations develop because people first and most importantly demand change, for the better, of themselves. Demanding change from others as an initial recourse, whether it’s your own government or someone else’s, is an admission of weakness.

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Arsen Shirvanyan Arsen Shirvanyan Dec 13, 2013

      You are right to say that people should speak up and critique something they do not like- it would ultimately create change. After all, the reason why the world has changed so much in the recent decades is because some brave rebels were enough to speak up. HOWEVER, it is so pitiful and woeful when people begin to criticize Armenia like a broken radio. And when you ask them for a solution they respond with those knee-jerk phrases like “A revolution is needed,” “throw the corrupted officials out,” and other more phrases that makes my ears bleed. Corruption and unemployment are not as HUGE as people may fantasize it to be. When some Armenians talk I sometimes find the need to constantly remind myself that I am talking to a regular person and not president’s senior adviser because of their I-know-it-all attitude,

      Corruption: South Korea is one of the most corrupt countries in the world. It is quite BAD. The parliamentarians there are at times directly connected with multi-billion dollar companies (in contrast to Armenia’s petty millionaire oligarchs with stomachs impersonating Kim K’s ass). But simultaneously, to your surprise, Korea is considered to have one of the most booming economies in the world. It is because people there have in-depth loyalty to their country and work with diligence for its prosperity. I can name a dozen similar countries like that.

      Unemployment: There are jobs, but some find it demeaning to work at a car wash or a restaurant in Armenia so instead they immigrate to countries like the U.S. and Russia and end up doing the same thing that was offered to them back home. This is not solely people fault, the government should definitely step up its game and work harder in creating jobs. Change of attitude is change of fate.

      So when I hear one say let’s critique constructively, I only see them being part of the problem. If you are presenting me an issue about Armenia, it better be sequenced with a solution; this is the most basic Arsenyan principle.

      • Avery Avery Dec 13, 2013

        excellent example with South Korea, Arsen.

        Not only Korean Chaebol was patently illegal collusion of large Korean industries, but Korean Gov wisely looked the other way to give Korean heavy industry time to grow strong, where now they are competing worldwide with excellent quality products: automobiles, large ships, heavy machinery, weaponry.

        Not only Chaebol industry, but South Korean people chafed under absolute military dictatorship for decades.
        Thousands of South Koreans were massacred by the Korean military.

        Armenians who endlessly bloviate about democracy this, democracy that, are either hopelessly naive, totally confused or have ulterior motives.
        Democracy and prosperity are not connected.
        In fact, more often than not, prosperity gives rise to a healthy middle class in a country, which has the means and confidence to demand and get accountability from its Gov.

        One of the largest democratic countries in the world, India, is a basket case, rife with corruption, inefficiency, food insecurity, rampant poverty….you name it.
        Next door, One-party-rule autocratic China is booming: challenging the US with its industrial might and military.
        In every metric of social development, China is so far ahead of India it is not even a contest.

        So much for democracy.

  2. Arpineh Arpineh Dec 12, 2013

    I liked this a lot,,, it was brilliant

    “Fact is, there is no restaurant; only a kitchen. If you want something, cook it up – you’ve got all the ingredients at your disposal. If it fails, try again if you have an actual desire for it to get better. But don’t spit on the other cooks or their dishes when you don’t like their food but aren’t willing to help or make your own. And if you can’t handle the heat, which in this case represents your overwhelming dejection and self-pity, you know what to do. And please don’t walk out banging pots and pans, causing a ruckus. I can assure you that nobody cares.”

    I think this was spot on. so good

  3. stepanos stepanos Dec 12, 2013

    I agree wholeheartedly, Will. This mindset of an almost hereditary detestation of our nation based on problems we’re too lazy and/or fearful of attempting to fix needs to stop. It’s not a mature response to the “situation”; it’s a scapegoat for our own lack of sufficient(/effective) involvement.

  4. Mig Migirdicyan Mig Migirdicyan Dec 14, 2013

    Dear William Bairamian,
    You are not alone with your “army”, I am with you in full force. Very proudly, I have been very active with the All-Armenia Fund since the very beginning and together with a finite group of supporters, we are building infrastructure to raise the standard of living of our brothers and sisters over there rather than whining everyday, from our comfortable and warm chairs here in the West. Additionally, I have an informal “Good-News-Only” e-mail distribution, named MIGO-PRESS, which tells about our daily successes in Armenia/Artsakh, from winning chess championships to designing a tablet computer, or exporting agricultural drones to Denmark…If you wish, I can put you on my distribution list as well.

  5. Arevordi Arevordi Dec 21, 2013

    Keep up the good work, William.

    In the meanwhile, please find time to read through the following blog entries.

    Washington’s Media Blitz Against Armenia (February, 2011):

    US Launches Cyber Spy Operation Against The World (April, 2011):

    The revolution has begun? Armenians again reveling in self-destructive behavior (November, 2012):

    Collective destructionism of Armenians (August, 2012):

    Panel Discussions Calling for Chaos in Armenia (January, 2012):

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *