Vigen Sargsyan has grown the “nation-army” concept upside down. Instead of reforms in the army which is under his direct reporting and supervision he started with the nation, thinking of it as less protected and left without anyone responsible.
Despite beautiful words, different concepts and development opportunities, as it should have been expected from our corrupt authorities, everything has led to money. First, it was the controversial 1000 drams program when patriotism was used as an excuse to introduce a new tax. Then the outrageous bill eliminating deferment of mandatory military service was introduced which was, in essence, an attempt to redistribute the channels of corruption.
Opposing army and science was a beautiful move to demonstrate that science does exist in Armenia. In reality, science disappeared a long time ago, and drafting soldiers to the army will neither help, nor hinder it. Deferment of military service in Armenia sustains corruption of millions of dollars every year, several hundreds of thousands of which are circulated in the education system, through Ministry of Education officials and heads of universities. In the 1990s Vazgen Sargsyan failed to re-direct this stream into the river of the army bureaucracy because the universities had a weighted lobby in the government.
In this case, it was supposed that the science-education class has disappeared, and the recent stories relating to the Russian language demonstrated that the minister of education poses “boss, as you like it”, so the education system was attacked again.
In fact, such corruption redistributions are frequent in Armenia. Sometimes they affect a bigger number of stakeholders but Serzh Sargsyan always runs the process smoothly. Vigen Sargsyan tried to pose as a politician with regard to both 1000 drams and deferment but failed.
The current political system in Armenia, the government, the opposition, the press, and even the forgotten component – the society – refused to accept Vigen Sargsyan who had worked as a secretary to different leaders as a politician. Meanwhile, there is an impression that Serzh Sargsyan considers him a politician because Vigen Sargsyan has excellent presentation skills. Serzh Sargsyan has this weakness of considering people with good presentation skills as politicians, which is apparent from the young Republicans who all speak well.
This should not be considered to be the result of intellectual deficit because Armenia lacks the political process where politicians should be accomplished. Hence, those who are good at rhetoric or have achieved heights in actions replacing politics – intrigues – are perceived as politicians.
By the way, I think there is a misunderstanding of the functions of secretaries of high-ranking officials. Their job is not making coffee but intrigues. Apparently, Vigen Sargsyan did his job well because he rose directly from the last secretary to the first secretary. However, the important difference between intrigues and politics, at least in terms of form, is that intrigues are woven under the boss’s control and with the boss’s support, whereas politics has encounter the pressure of the opposition and press (I hardly kept myself from writing society). And in this case, the boss may leave you alone.
Vigen Sargsyan had forgotten the postulate of the brother of the outstanding Republican Levon Igityan: “An intriguer deserves intrigues.” As a conclusion, the Facebook posts of the former defense minister Seiran Ohanyan’s wife followed in which she compared the minister of defense with women. This is a serious strike to our defense system. They may ignore such statements in European countries where already women lead ministries of defense but in such a patriarchal country as Armenia which is at war such an image may do real harm to the army.
Of course, we are far from the thought that as a result Serzh Sargsyan may replace the minister if it affects the army’s defense capability. In fact, many would like to have a weakened minister.
P.S.: I think Fletcher School should no longer be considered as education abroad. This grant allows many people who are close to the government circles, including opposition, to spend a few months in Boston without admission and graduation exams, diploma and degree. As for the University of Leningrad, the famous Soviet saying is true: “Penguin is not a bird, Bulgaria is not abroad.” I don’t think the Russians would be so stupid as to forget to keep records of promising young people.