If I did not like classical music when I was an adolescent, I would not have been accepted to the conservatory. If I did not get accepted, I would not have become a musical expert, and if the Soviet Union did not collapse after that, and that field of study did not become useless, I would not have become a journalist…
The retrospective reconstruction of events using the conventional method is perhaps meaningful in the ‘alternative history’ genre of fiction. In my opinion, it is not correct to make such assumptions about the past from a purely scientific point of view, because each ‘if’ implies not one, but several (sometimes dozens) possibilities, and building clear cause-and-effect relationships is just a genre of intellectual magic.
In 1815, Napoleon lost in the Battle of Waterloo. Of course, there were incompetent revolutionaries in power before him (people who are brought to power as a result of protests in the streets tend to be incompetent), and there were criminal monarchs in power before the revolutionaries. If the revolutionaries and monarchs had different characteristics, then the Battle of Waterloo would have had a better outcome for the French. Or, perhaps, it would have been worse. It is not impossible for the outcome to have been the same. But all of this is simply mental gymnastics. The government at the time was responsible for that, and no excuses can hide the fact that Napoleon was the one to blame for the defeat.
The theory of “If the former regime did not steal so much, then we would have won the war” belongs to the same mental gymnastics genre. I believe that there was a lot of corruption in Armenia (but not more so than in Turkey or Azerbaijan). In any case, the “former regime’s theft” phrase, which may be acceptable on an emotional level (including for myself), is not acceptable legally and historically. “They stole so much and left everything burdened on poor Nikol” is also absurd.
The head of state is there to make sure that no one tries to do anything to them in secret. If there are doubts that people can do something to you, then don’t fight to be the head of state. “The former regime pretended to negotiate, but in reality, they weren’t preparing to resolve the Artsakh conflict” is a correct observation regarding Robert Kocharyan and Serzh Sargsyan. But who said that pretending and not resolving the issue is worse than adopting behavior that causes a war?
“If we were to take the palaces away from the oligarchs, how many Bayraktars could we have purchased?” This question has an answer. The Bayraktar TB2 standard complex (6 drones, 3 controller stations, and other supporting equipment) costs approximately $70 million. Let’s say that the cost of one mansion is $1 million. Therefore, we would need to take 70 mansions away from oligarchs. Would that have ensured our victory?
But taking those mansions away would have had other consequences. If it has not been proven in court that the mansion was built using money from the Armenian state budget, then taking it away illegally would have had a very negative impact on the economy. No investments are made in such countries.