By Jirair Libaridian
We are living through a very difficult period in our history. From September 27 to November 10 our army fought a ferocious war, and suffered a significant defeat with enormous consequences.
Before we can find a way out of this dark tunnel, in fact in order to find a way out, we must first understand what happened and why it happened. And we need to come to terms with it, to accept it. Many colleagues have offered answers. This is my contribution to that debate.
- Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian world have suffered a loss of historical proportions.
- We have lost a war we should have avoided at all cost, a war we could not have won
- One more segment of our people have lost its ancestral homes and its collective life
- We have lost a whole generation of young men, one of our most precious assets
- We have lost the human and financial capital invested in Artsakh over many years
- Our Prime Minister has lost the three goals he had set for himself to resolve the Karabakh conflict:
- Bringing the leadership of Artsakh to the negotiating table
- Making any solution subject to the approval of all three peoples involved in the conflict: Artsakh, Azerbaijan, Armenia
- The possibility, even in a distant future, to secure independence for Karabakh.
- We have lost our self-confidence, our optimism, and much of the progress that had been made. We may have even lost our faith in democracy. We are a traumatized people not fully ready to accept what happened, and why.
- We have lost one more slice of our independence and sovereignty.
The November 10, 2020 cease fire agreement and subsequent statements by President Putin make clear that it is Armenia that speaks for Artsakh; it is not even clear how much voice Armenia itself will have in determining the future course of events. Regardless, in the eyes of all concerned Armenia is defined as the party that was and will be held responsible for any and all things in Artsakh.
2. In the aftermath of the defeat, we are confused and see confusion around us.
On the one hand, we are overwhelmed by the sense of disbelief, of being betrayed, not sure whether we can pick up the pieces of what appears to be a broken world. On the other hand, we are bombarded with mutual recriminations, with speeches and statements the purpose of which is to find some culprit other than us for the mistakes we have committed, with excuses and rationales for our actions and words, justifications as to why war was inevitable and why a defeat is not a defeat, with calls for revenge.