Serj Tankian, Kool-Aid and a Suicidal Revolution
for the Armenian Nation
By Sarig Armenian
For The California Courier
Serj Tankian is a talented musician, the son of the Armenian-American community, and a person with good intentions, but he has been drawn into a misguided web of deception and propaganda.
This is not a personal attack on Serj, but it is a call for him to “wake-up.” His unequivocal support for Prime Minister Pashinyan, the My Step political party, and the My Step Foundation indicates an incomprehensible failure and weakness. Let me tell you why.
In 2018, with a mixture of Hollywood slick videos and infomercial-worthy appeals, Serj Tankian sold the Armenian nation on Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan and his now-failed “Velvet Revolution.” As popular protests swelled, Tankian flew to the rescue of Pashinyan and joined the rally held in Yerevan’s Republic Square in May 2018, giving an impassioned speech in support of his candidate. He then went on to promote the now very forgettable movie about Pashinyan’s campaign.
Shortly after Pashinyan ascended to the role of prime minister, Tankian deepened his relationship with the Pashinyans by joining the My Step Foundation board of directors, a slush fund organization for the prime minister and his spouse, Anna Hakobyan. In April of this year, Tankian again doubled down on his support for Pashinyan by writing a song and dedicating all of its proceeds in support of the My Step Foundation. While many early Pashinyan supporters have critically reevaluated their support for the questionable and incompetent leadership of the My Step party leader, Serj Tankian just can’t seem to put down his pom-poms.
On November 9, 2020, hours prior to announcement of surrender and capitulation, Tankian posted a statement calling for national unity in support of Pashinyan’s leadership, stating “we’re with you Nikol Pashinyan.” This commited support for a failing leader speaks to Tankian’s inability to soundly judge a leader’s character and comprehend the complexities of the geopolitical challenges facing our collective Armenia nation.
Over the years, Tankian has given numerous interviews to mainstream media outlets raising awareness about Armenia, Artsakh and the Armenian Genocide and for that, we are thankful. However, in a recent interview with Rolling Stone magazine, Tankian was quoted as saying “I don’t believe in war or ultimately borders,” when discussing Artsakh. This statement, too, indicates Tankian’s naiveté, and demonstrates how easily he has become a tool for covert powers seeking to effectively divide Armenia internally and externally and prop up the semblance of a democracy at the cost of its national security.
Let’s flashback to November 1978 for a moment. A delusional cult leader named Jim Jones of the Peoples Temple successfully led 900 people to commit suicide in the jungles of Guyana. According to forensic reports, the mass suicide was achieved by lacing Kool-Aid with cyanide and to this day remains one of the largest mass murder events in history. The reason I highlight this tragedy is that prior to his and 900 of his followers’ deaths — Jim Jones described the event on an audio tape as a “revolutionary suicide.”
Looking back at Pashinyan’s rise, his entourage of amateurs and incompetent assets, his single-minded obedience to covert Western powers, his utter failure at international diplomacy, and his ultimately suicidal confrontation with Russia, Azerbaijan, and Turkey — it is clear that the revolution orchestrated for Pashinyan was a “revolutionary suicide” for the Armenian nation.
Thousands of dead soldiers — an entire generation of 18, 19 and 20 year olds — are the victims of Pashinyan’s “revolutionary suicide.”
Tens of thousands of refugees from hundreds of villages across Artsakh — are the victims of Pashinyan’s “revolutionary suicide.”
The martyrs of the first Artsakh war — Monte Melkonian, Shahen Meghryan, Tatul Krpeyan and so many more — they too are now victims of Pashinyan’s “revolutionary suicide.”
One significant difference between Jim Jones in 1978 and Nikol Pashinyan in 2020 is that Jim Jones actually drank his own Kool-Aid. Yet today, we still have a faltering, weak and failing Nikol Pashinyan (bolstered by misguided celebrities of all stripes like Serj Tankian), serving as the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia.
As we watch Nikol Pashinyan and his My Step coalition shirk their constitutional responsibilities and drive the Armenian nation to the brink of statelessness, it is time for Serj Tankian, the political amateur, to stand down. It is time for Serj Tankian to stop pouring the suicidal Kool-aid through thinly-veiled calls for silence and unity during a national crisis. It is time for Serj Tankian — who today is sitting comfortably in his home in Malibu or New Zealand — to stop the incessant cheerleading for an incompetent, divisive, and visibly unstable leader. The people of our greater Armenian nation, of Artsakh and Armenia, have had enough of this “revolutionary suicide.”
Sarig Armenian is an attorney and life-long political activist currently based in Los Angeles, California. She has served in both the legislative and judicial branches of the United States government.