The Armenian Civil Society, an organization that has a wide audience through Southern California’s Armenian TV stations, urges Armenian-Americans to call Congress “to condemn the repressive regime in Armenia.”

While I have myself started a petition calling on Armenia’s authorities to end violence against presidential election protesters, I am not too comfortable with what the Armenian Civil Society is doing. I think the organization is contributing to the polarization in Armenia by asking the U.S. Congress to condemn the events. Moreover, characterizing Armenia’s authority as a “repressive regime” demonstrates lack of knowledge and understanding of political establishments on the part of the LA group. Armenia’s government is authoritarian but, relatively speaking, it is not repressive. In fact, although rumors of police brutality are most likely true in all details a repressive regime would have used other means to defend the establishment.

Anyhow, if you agree with the Armenian Civil Society you may call your Congressman. But I believe Armenia first needs social and not political reforms because the problems embedded in the latter often reflect the unaddressed issues of the former. One example is the extreme polarization and accusations drawn from xenophobic sentiments against demonized enemies.