Harut Sassounian

Sassounian Responds: Danny Donabedian Missed Point of My Article and Wasted his Time and Energy Writing a Baseless Response


Mirror-Spectator regular columnist Harut Sassounian issued a response to Danny Donabedian, who had written a column in response to one by Sassounian.

I am afraid Danny Donabedian did not understand a word of what I wrote. He was too trigger happy to read carefully what I wrote and then decide if he needed to waste his time and energy to respond by writing a lot of junk, more than twice as long as my article. I think Danny was seeking a two-minute of fame by having his nonsense published in the Mirror-Spectator. He tried to peddle his “article” to various newspapers that refused to publish it. If his intent was to see his name in print, he accomplished that, thanks to the tolerance of the editor of the Mirror-Spectator.

To begin with, Danny’s headline is a misnomer. There was nothing “dangerously omitted” in my article. I included in it all the points I wanted to make, after an exhaustive review of the relevant documents.

Let me explain what I wrote since Danny did not understand it. I did not write an analysis about military or economic issues. Any sensible reader would have understood that my article made the simple point that Armenia’s leaders need to respond in a timely manner to proposals made to them, particularly if they are related to critical military and defense issues. Regardless of whether the proposal has any merit, it is common courtesy to respond to those who submit it. I am sure that Armenia’s leaders have secretaries who are capable of writing a brief letter thanking the writer, if the proposal is of no interest to them, for whatever reason. Contrary to Danny’s misunderstanding, the issue is not whether the proposal made by Artak Tovmasyan was “lucrative” or not. My simple point is that it is not acceptable to have investors make major or even minor proposals and not get any kind of an answer, positive or negative, even after reminding Armenian officials by sending dozens of letters, emails and phone calls. As I explained in my article, the investor had been waiting for more than three years for a simple yes or no answer after dozens of follow-ups. This is no way to run a country. Even when someone writes a letter to the President of the United States, within a few days or weeks that person receives a response from the White House. In this case, the incompetent Minister of Economy who studied mathematics and knows nothing about the country’s economy, amazingly responded with insults to a $20 million military proposal via a Facebook post after three year delay. This is the height of unprofessionalism and extremely rude. The Minister never had the courtesy of meeting with the potential investor.

After I wrote my article, I heard from many others who had submitted either similar or even more critical proposals to the Armenian government, but none of them got any answer. This is in addition to thousands of Armenian citizens who have written letters to the Armenian government and have never received an answer. Therefore, what I wrote about was not a unique case. This non-responsiveness is repeated thousands of times both during the previous and current leaders. It is a self-defeating culture which is to the detriment of Armenia’s future.

My message to Armenia’s leaders is to stop being so careless and irresponsible. They don’t care about the country and the people’s opinions. If we don’t bring this unacceptable situation to the attention of the Armenian leaders, they will go on ignoring the feedback of the people and the proposals of potential investors. The country already suffered a devastating blow because of these incompetent leaders during the war. They just sit on their chairs arrogantly and do nothing. If we keep our mouth shut, they will continue their merry way, while the country keeps sustaining losses every day that they remain in power. Danny’s excessive praise of Armenia’s incompetent leaders seems self-centered, trying to ingratiate himself to do them, possibly to land himself a job.

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I will not delve into the other baseless claims Danny made in his article as he is neither a military expert nor an economist. However, top notch military experts have contacted me since I wrote my article, telling me that these armored military vehicles are far superior to the ones purchased from Russia and would have been very useful during the war. I rather take the word of these experts rather than someone who knows nothing about the subject matter. Danny makes a lot of claims which are completely false and unsubstantiated. He should stick to whatever he knows. But I will not go into any more details, as I do not wish to waste more of my time.


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