‘We offer an Alternative for Armenia’
Arthur Danielyan, chairman of the Armenian ADEKVAD party became the bogeyman for the George Soros-linked media and NGOs in his country. In an exclusive interview with FWM Danielyan speaks about his ideas, plans and thoughts as to the European right-populist parties and movements.
Published: August 2, 2019, 7:15 am
Mr. Danielyan, more or less overnight you became one of the main evil persons in the George-Soros-financed news platform Eurasianet since you are considered by them as one of the intellectual leaders of the “Armenian New Right”. What do they mean by “Armenian New Right”?
Danielyan: The piece by Eurasianet was not the first occasion that Soros-financed media had targeted us, but, yes, it was the first time they claimed that we were the ideologists behind the “Armenian New Right”. However, I would have to disagree with you about the timeline of the process, it has definitely been longer than overnight. Soros-led media and their adjacent activists caught my attention in mid-2017, when they started aggressively manipulating and speculating on topics relating to our army, statehood and the church. And as the old saying goes: first they tried to ignore us, then they started to ridicule us, now it’s time to fight us, which is why Eurasianet has come up with a story full of manipulations and blatant lies…
What is the “Armenian New Right”?
Danielyan: Unfortunately, I have to disagree with the term “Armenian New Right” as well. I say this with sorrow because for decades, our political spectrum has been full of rightist rhetoric, but none of those claiming to be patriots have in fact been practising what they preach. Most of those so-called rightwing politicians were in one way or another sponsored by Soros, and other western foundations supported by globalists from the EU and USA. These groups were just a number of thugs and terrorists acting under the cover of nationalism and rightist views, while in reality they were serving the leftist agenda of their sponsors in deconstructing our statehood.
Most of the time they acted as radicals who were meant to devalue the rightist agenda, sometimes they also served as a crude force on the streets. Hence, the word “new” doesn’t apply in our case. We simply are the Armenian Rightists… If there had been any “old” ones before us, we wouldn’t have had a Soros-led coup d’etat in the spring of 2018. As soon as the coup d’etat succeeded, these groups were deprived of media and all other types of support. They were not needed anymore, they had served their purpose, most of them unwillingly…
Although I must say that I would also disagree with the term “right” when it comes to describing our ideology. Sure, we do share a great deal of philosophical views with traditional rightists, in that we pursue the achievement of four cardinal virtues as the main mission of any member of the ADEKVAD political party. Preserving our national identity and our culture is a priority for us; we also support economic protectionism.
We do not support same-sex marriage, or uncontrolled immigration. However in terms of tactics our suggestions are from both sides of the political spectrum. These include planned economy in some spheres, progressive tax schemes for individuals and regressive tax schemes for corporations. We believe that quality health care and education should be universally accessible for our citizens and that the government has an obligation to help citizens in need to get back on their feet. We also believe that it is the obligation of each citizen to serve and protect their nation state.
You could say we’re patriots with certain socialist views… It’s just that the political mainstream has for decades tried to marginalize and label us as radicals, or ultraright… No, we’re neither left nor right, we are ADEKVAD, which means that we propagate adequate solutions for real-life problems. And the preservation of our national identity is among our main problems to be solved…
Are you a political party or an activist group?
Danielyan: We started out as a group of active bloggers that came together to counter the totalitarian leftist liberalism that’s being imposed on us from outside. We felt that the parade of postmodernism has to be countered. We were hoping we could at some point find and support those political groups that would share our views and keenness to fight for our country and for our national identity. Unfortunately, a year into our activism we figured out that we’ve been left alone not just by potential partners but also in the face of an increasingly aggressive regime.
Soros’s proxies were not going to let us live quietly… Registering a political party was in a way a step without any alternatives. We had to protect ourselves from foreign agents of influence and we had to consolidate like-minded people.
Basically, creating a party was dictated by the new regime that came to power in spring 2018. A year in office by these Soros proxies had led to a sharp increase in crime, particularly drug-related crimes. We have also had a sharp increase in the number of migrants from third-world countries; Israeli-backed religious sects have gained access to state institutions; traditional values are under constant attack; opposition media are under unprecedented pressure by police and secret services, with the editor of an opposition newspaper going on a hunger strike while being in custody and dying a couple of weeks later… All this has been actively muted by mainstream media.
Considering the fact that we have an unresolved conflict with Azerbaijan, all this is a critical national security threat for us, hence it has led us to decide to act on our own and act urgently.
We are promoting the upkeep of a strong military, social reforms that would promote positive demographic development, an education system that would produce morally apt citizens, a mutually beneficial bilateral foreign-relations agenda with potential partner states and a nation-state-centered economy.
Armenia witnessed a change of power last year. Nikol Pashinyan’s political platform gained power and he seemed to a lot of Europeans like a typical Salvini-style populist. Is this a correct or wrong impression?
Danielyan: I don’t think there is any ground for comparison between Nikol Pashinyan and Matteo Salvini, considering that their views are absolutely contradictory. Pashinyan himself usually cites Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela as his role models (both destroyed their respective countries and are being worshipped by globalists). He maintains good relationships with France’s Emmanuel Macron and Canada’s Justin Trudeau.
Pashinyan’s government and him personally are promoting mandatory vaccination, his foreign sponsors have increased funding for all sorts of birth control programs in Armenia, they are about to try to ratify the Istanbul Convention and go forward with LGBT-rights protections, Pashinyan is a big fan of the European Union and international globalist organisations which have sponsored him for years… So, no, these two are nothing alike.
Nikol Pashinyan is a criminal who has come to power by cooperating with foreign agents of influence to overthrow the legitimate government of Armenia. In order to pay off his sponsors he is now promoting a globalist agenda that is destroying the building blocks of our statehood and of our national identity. His behavior with foreign counteragents has resulted in critical national security issues arising. This pretty much sums up my stance towards him.
One of the crucial questions for Armenia and Armenian national identity is the future of the Republic of Artsakh. How do you see the development?
Danielyan: The people of the Republic of Artsakh have fought for and earned their right to be free and independent. Their right to self-determination is not to be questioned. Current rhetoric from the Azerbaijani officials doesn’t leave much room for any positive expectations with regard to normalised bilateral relations.
The fact that oil and gas-rich Azerbaijan is being supported by EU and US officials also contributes to the destructive behaviour of our neighbors. I do hope that one day we can live in peace with the people of Azerbaijan. However, it’s very hard to imagine that happening while large pieces of Artsakh territory is under illegal occupation and while xenophobia towards Armenians is flourishing in Azerbaijan.
What does Artsakh exactly mean for “Armenian identity”
Danielyan: Since everyone in my family is from Artsakh I might be a bit subjective here. However, at the moment Artsakh is our last resort. It’s not just a piece of land, has never been. Artsakh is where the best of our kind fought and died. Artsakh is where our national integrity has been restored after a thousand years of humiliation when the last crusaders left the territory that is now known as Turkey. Geopolitically speaking, Artsakh is the only obstacle for a united Turkic block from Bosnia to China. Artsakh is the last fortress of Christianity…
Would today’s youth of Armenia (as well the diaspora) still fight for Artsakh as happened in the 1990s?
Danielyan: Long before Pashinyan came to power, Soros agents had been diligently promoting so-called “peace-building initiatives”, which in fact was just covered-up defeatist propaganda. Their goal was to make sure Armenians were not inclined to protect their homeland. Statistically speaking, five times more foreign funds have been spent on defeatist propaganda in Armenia than in Azerbaijan.
With Pashinyan in power this process has accelerated significantly, with his wife Anna Hakobyan being a frontrunner of the defeatist propaganda. Everything possible is being undertaken in order to discourage our youth from serving their country and protecting their homeland. A wide-range character assassination campaign has began targeting war heroes. School curriculums are being augmented accordingly.
All sorts of nationalist projects are shut down, especially those targeting kids and the youth. “Peace and love” is their slogan, and they don’t care that Syria, Iraq, Libya and many other countries have been destroyed and millions have been slaughtered under that exact same slogan.
Armenia is as well-surrounded by hostile or at least not always friendly entities such as Turkey, Azerbaijan – but also Georgia. With Iran there are more or less good and stable relations. How do you interpret that situation?
Danielyan: The results of Mikheil Saakashvili’s efforts in promoting russophobia in Georgia will long hold a threat not only for Russian-Georgian relations, but also for Armenian-Georgian relations, as the Russian Federation is our biggest trade partner and closest ally internationally. These risks are deepened by the cooperation between Georgia and states that have held Armenia under a blockade for more than two decades, namely Turkey and Azerbaijan.
Hence, our constructive relationship with Iran is of paramount importance. However, this relationship has been under serious attack ever since Pashinyan came to power. The flights between Iran and Armenia have diminished significantly, while Iranian officials periodically hint at their dissatisfaction with Pashinyan’s close ties to Soros and Western funds in general.
Armenian society is also targeted by a wide range of liberal postmodern threats such as a pro-Western “catalogue of values”, LGBT lobby organizations and similar kinds of interference. How do you counter these threats? What is your “political recipe”?
Danielyan: Our main strategy to counter those challenges is to show up the hypocrisy of their values and their propaganda. It’s very amusing to see how they promote multiculturalism and diversity, but in the end they all look alike. Same brainwashed look in their eyes, same copy-pasted texts, even their looks are usually the same.
They are the ones who use human rights a flag, but in reality disregard human rights at the earliest opportunity. They’re the ones who seemingly fight for freedom of speech, but destroy any opposing voice by all means necessary. Showing up this hypocrisy is our main weapon.
Ever since we started broadcasting our blogs we have been attacked by hooligans, criminals pardoned from prison and even state officials. Never has anyone been charged for crimes committed against us, even though most of these attacks were broadcasted live on Facebook and YouTube. They tried to arrest us on made-up charges. Our followers are being fired from their jobs. People see these and realize how false were the claims and slogans of those “humanists” and “liberals”.
Our recipe is somewhat harsh but simple. We have to be prepared to go all the way. No matter how hard they hit us, no matter how low they hit us, we shall never step back from our values. We shall never feel guilty for what we are. We shall never apologize for being patriotic, for wanting to preserve our identity. We have to keep going, no matter what.
How do you see American and Russian influence and interference in your country?
Danielyan: Ever since our independence was proclaimed our statehood has been under constant attack from abroad. We have always been at the crossroads of interests of superpowers. The Russian Federation is in some way a guarantee of our national security considering that they are guarding the state border with Turkey. Russia is also the main investor in our economy: more than 70 percent of all investments came from Russia. America on the other hand has a microscopic share in our economy, while a very large chunk of our civil society and media “belongs” to them.
Considering the fact that we are considered a security threat for US investments in Azerbaijan, this situation is a critical threat to our national security. The coup of 2018 was a result of those risks not being addressed properly by our state. With Pashinyan in power those risks are significantly higher, as we are losing an ally such as Russia, while having no guarantees whatsoever of the US ever being interested in an alliance with Armenia. Moreover, pure economic calculations prove that such an alliance is very hard to believe in. Meanwhile, as we speak, our local state TV is airing segments in support of Russian opposition leaders.
If you take a look at Europe, you see a lot of right-wing populist movements on the rise: In Italy Matteo Salvini is governing with his LEGA, in Austria until May the FPÖ was in power, in France the RN with Marine Le Pen is very successful, in Germany the AfD. How do you see these political developments? Can you imagine those mentioned forces as political allies?
Danielyan: As we are a very ideological movement, we don’t consider political alliances to be a priority, but rather look at ideological similarities. And as such the European “right” represents a potential alliance possibility. I believe we can build a strong partnership on such issues as migration, crime rates, economic protectionism, national-identity preservation, demography and so on.
The Pan-European tendency of a growing right wing is of course very pleasing to observe, however we hope that in the foreseeable future we could become a part of that wave, which will hopefully go global. After all, I do believe that there are values that shall unite all mankind. Those values, of course, have nothing to do with the values being shoved down our throats by the postmodern propaganda machine. I believe that the healthy minority can come together under the four cardinal virtues. We should all strive to be prudent, tempered, courageous and just.
The European right-populist forces see the European Union as their mutual enemy, while in Armenia often nationalists and conservatives have a pro-EU stance since they are skeptical towards Russia. Could this be the source of a future conflict?
Danielyan: Just as I mentioned above, those self-proclaimed right-populists of Armenia are in fact pseudo-rightists. In reality they never act upon their proclaimed ideology, mostly because they are supported by the EU Commission. Much like the pseudo-nationalists in Ukraine, the jihadists in Syria and in the Middle East in general are being supported by Israel, the US and EU, our pseudo-rightists are being supported solely for the purposes of having a dog on a leash in case crude force is needed. Which is why they will never bite the hand that feeds them.
It is a matter of fact that the European Union has supported terrorists in Armenia for the sole purpose of overthrowing the government. They are supporting them through paid human-rights activists, sponsored media outlets, propagandists and such. Hence I don’t think there could be a conflict between Armenian rightists and European rightists, there can only be a conflict between rightists and pseudo-rightists, which, I think is natural. I also think pseudo-rightists are eventually doomed to public embarrassment.
We have always supported the promotion of bilateral ties between Armenia and separate members of the EU. The more independent separate EU states are in their foreign policy the more productive will our cooperation with European countries be. This I am sure of. Moreover, the growth of Euroscepticism will ensure that the European nations can cut the leash that the US has imposed on them right after WWII. European nations must build a lasting alliance with Russia and strive to become an economic, political and moral leader for humanity.
What is your or your group’s prospect for your country? What should Armenia look like in a positive future?
Danielyan: First and foremost we shall build the necessary informational and political infrastructure to be able to effectively tackle the immense propagandist “artillery” of postmodern totalitarianism. Our own experience has shown us that we can successfully battle and even win, despite our resources being hundreds of times fewer than those of the enemy. They are much bigger and stronger, they have the technology, but we have one very important advantage – we know our people. We have the ground knowledge. They use mass-produced products like Hollywood and pop culture; we counter with very specific alternatives. Much like the AfD in Germany, we offer an alternative in Armenia. Not just a political alternative, but also a cultural and civilisational one. I truly believe that an alternative for Armenia is not only viable, but could also become viral for the region. The crises we have in Armenia are much like those in Georgia, Ukraine, the Balkans and elsewhere… If we demonstrate the essential willingness to fight, the enemy will be beaten. The only thing that matters is the will. The will to be prudent, tempered, courageous and just!
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