BY HARUT SASSOUNIAN
The world woke up last Saturday morning to the drumbeats of war from a large-scale assault by Azerbaijan on tiny Artsakh (Karabakh).
This was not a surprise attack! For many years, Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has had the nasty habit of launching military attacks on the Republics of Armenia and Artsakh whenever international peace talks or Summit Meetings were being held.
Even a casual observer of this long-running conflict could have guessed that Azerbaijan would launch yet another attack during last weekend’s Nuclear Security Summit hosted by Pres. Obama and attended by 50 heads of state, including Presidents of Armenia, Azerbaijan and Turkey. Some observers were surprised by the large scale of the Azeri attack which involved tanks, helicopters, missiles, and drones. In fact, the scope of the assault should not have come as a surprise, given Azerbaijan’s technological escalation of aggression in recent years. Aliyev’s sinister practice of timing military attacks with peace talks or international conferences reflects his intensive efforts to keep the Artsakh conflict as a burning issue at all cost.
Certainly, Pres. Aliyev is increasingly frustrated by his inability to intimidate Armenians into giving up the territory of Artsakh despite Azerbaijan’s purchase of multi-billion dollars of modern weaponry. Aliyev is also distressed by his failure to use his country’s vast oil and gas resources as an inducement to pressure world leaders into supporting Azerbaijan in the Artsakh conflict. As a result, the Baku dictator has wasted huge amounts of his country’s wealth to bribe foreign officials and purchase expensive but ineffective weapons.
Furthermore, as Azerbaijan’s father and son Presidential Dynasty, the Aliyevs have persistently threatened to attack and “liberate the occupied territories of Karabakh” for over 20 years. Since they have cried wolf for far too long, very few Azeris take their president’s bravado talk too seriously. Consequently, Aliyev has been desperate to take any and all measures, no matter how reckless, to save face at home and abroad!
It is important to understand the timing and motive of Aliyev’s aggressive behavior so that other countries are not blamed for instigating these attacks which would only serve to shift attention from the only guilty party — Azerbaijan! However, there are other countries that have a share of the blame: First among these is Erdogan’s Turkey for its direct participation and support of Azerbaijan’s military misadventures. The Minsk Group of mediators (France, Russia, and United States) are also guilty for remaining silent during previous Azeri aggressions and blaming both sides each time Azerbaijan attacked Armenia or Artsakh. The international community’s shameful silence and doubletalk routinely equated the victimizer with the victim, thereby emboldening the warmongering Aliyev!
One particularly horrifying episode during this latest attack validated the concern of all those who have been warning for years about the risk of genocide threatening Artsakh’s Armenians. Over the weekend, when Azeri soldiers temporarily took over the Talish village, just inside Artsakh’s border, they not only executed an elderly Armenian couple, but barbarically cut off their ears as souvenirs! Such savagery, at a minimum, is a war crime under international law! Just imagine what these brutal Azeri soldiers would have done if they had overrun the entire population of Artsakh. It would have been a bloodbath of immense proportion — a second Armenian Genocide!
Three firm conclusions should be drawn from the latest massive Azeri aggression:
1. Artsakh Armenians can never go back to live under the despotic rule of Azerbaijan, no matter how many times Aliyev threatens or attacks.
2. Armenians should not just repel the Azeri forces, but inflict such massive destruction that Aliyev would never again think of another attack. Already, thousands of volunteers from all over Armenia have rushed to Artsakh’s defense. Azerbaijan is aware that its multi-billion dollar oil fields and pipelines are in easy reach of Armenia’s long-range missiles!
3. It is time to declare Artsakh an inseparable part of the Republic of Armenia. On April 4, Pres. Sargsyan told foreign ambassadors in Yerevan that if the hostilities continued and escalated, Armenia would “recognize Karabakh’s independence.”
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ARMENIANS know what to do ,it is the others stopping them!I think we have now all realised that we have to crush the enemy once and for all!!!!sitting round tables and talking of diplomacy while Russia will not do much to help has proved beyond the joke now. Russia has not even retaliated when Turks dared to being down their plane….what do you think they are going to do to the Azeri? Was it not their darling leader Stain who gave these historic Armenian territories to the Azeri? Even Stain with all his might was trying to massage Azeri balls then….and now Puting does not seem that much wiser either. Russia sells arms to Azeri es but one day these very arms will be used towards the Russian citizens themselves. It is sad that Russia has not learned any lesson from the past either!
At the end of the day, we can thank Aliyev for reminding us Armenians that the enemy is the Turk and not the Armenian government.
It is time that the Int’l community take action against Azerbaijan, stop the bull shit.
Why other nations should fight our war against Azerbaijan? I am 67 years old and I never seen Armenians strongly united. Here is the problem, “Armenians Don’t Trust Each Other.”
Armenian Diaspora is financially strong, to stop the second Armenian Genocide, we should create Armenian Defense Fund to arm Armenia. In couple of years we could have couple(+) of billions dollars. You do the math. You sound like a good young Armenian. If you want pass the idea around.
Well said. I think taking the military fund out of Armenia, making Def Ministry + Police subordinated to Armenians (not only citizens of RA), seems the only way to tackle corruption. Think abt it – Armenian solders die in army because of hazing. As if being a solder and serving on Azeri border is not enough of risk to life .. and on the top of everything solders treated below any respect. Who said here that Armenian Gov is not a problem? Really?! This border, this war, it was ALL what the whole nation was striving for all 25 years. They had one job – these idiots – Serj and its Gov – to keep the border. They had one job , and we all were ready to shut out eyes on all that corruption in Armenia if they only did that one job.. I am convinced : the enemy there to justify your existence. It is easy to complaint abt Azeris.. but they always will be there! Always slamming to our doors. Who is to keep it locked? That is the question. I really hope this recent conflict is a wake up call. We need strong Army. After that we can seat around negotiation table. And please, stop comparing yourself with Israel. Solders there and Jews in Israel ARE respected by the Gov. Not the case in our land.
I did not know that Armenia had not recognized the republic of Karabakh.What are they waiting for?Has Russia recognized Abkhazia and Ossetia?
Yes, Russia recognized both Abkhazia and South Ossetia after the 2008 war with georgia.
Does anyone else think that Azeris with the help of Turks will attack Armenia proper from Nakhijevan to trigger a response from Armenia ? and once Armenia responds, turkey can have a valid reason to attack Armenia, as they signed a treaty with Russia that makes turkey the guaranteed protector of Nakhijevan. What other way would turkey join in helping Azeris ?russia would only then be forced to join in to protect Armenia. It’s not going to be pretty this time, I think it’ll be much worse, longer and unpredictable. What’s that famous Armenian saying “miyayn zenkov prgenk mer azke? It was true then, true now and will always be true for Armenia. God bless all Armenians and our lands.
Time has come to clear citizens, and villages 10km away from the line of contact.
Isn’t this “threat” of recognizing Karabakh’s independence reminding everyone of the similar statement our President made last year threatening Turkey that Armenia would recall it’s signature from Armenia-Turkey protocols. Are our enemies taking these threats seriously?
Im tired of the same old “Its time for the international community to stand up”, blah blah blah. The international community ISN’T GOING TO DO ANYTHING. Worse the useless ECU is nothing more then Russia needing some friends and a club, Looking at the other partners in the ECU is complete uselessness to Armenia especially when it comes to its security.
What can we do?: UNITE AS ONE. Armenia-Artsakh – Diaspora. That’s the lesson in this all. Stop the need for others to help us. Raise money for weapons, allow diaspora to volunteer militarily, create a network of TRUTH bloggers to counter the entities who have made it their business to control all the MISS information in western media and create a media campaign. Turks are not viewed well in west. We should take advantage of that NOW.
Artsakh can never go back under Azerbaijan. IT shouldn’t have been Azerbaijan in the first place.. That should be the message at every SARKISIAN meeting. AND PREPARE FOR MORE WAR AND THIS TIME destroy their oil infrastructure. Azerbaijan is in economic term oil. NOW IS THE TIME. The regime cant afford a long drawn out conflict. That’s why after their surprise attack and supposed gaining of strategic ground asked for an immediate cease fire.
Well said.If I hear anymore of these window dressing empty talks, I am going to pull my hair!!!!!
I also suggest the diaspora Armenians around the world especially in the US to dig a little deeper into their pockets and donate money to the cause. This is no longer an option but a requirement!
It’s time to take another few villages as well in the heart of azarbaijan, they cut ears of old couples and killed them.
A division of U.S Marines,would straightened it out,with th coward turks,BUT,we don’t belong over there,not in korea,vietnam,…You might want to investigate,quit blinking,on our crooked,bribbed POLITICIANS.AND DIPLOMATS..I MEAN BRIBBED,BACK POCKET MONEY…You would save lives,and SOLVE THE PROBLEM…THE MESSAGE I AM RECIEVING,AS AN AMERICAN,WHO SERVED,THAT WE ACKNOWLEDGE THIS PRACTICE,AND ACCEPT IT…QUIT BLINKING………START INVESTIGATING,OPEN THE JAILHOUSE………….IT WOULD BE OVER-RUN…..
All the diaspora needs to rise and consolidate her resources and pour assistance to the homeland. On the military front the army requires a technological upgrade and request for the provisioning of leading edge weaponry from our strategic ally. We can not expect Russia, or anyone else for that matter, to fight our battles. Not one inch of territory , invested with our heroes’ precious blood , to be ceded to the Turk. We have to learn how to live in a no peace, war yes, situation. The intl. community speaks of a settlement, peaceful settlement ? . The Turks, AZ, will never agree to a settlement., unless we disappear from the map. It is also time to recognize the de June NKR independence, or integrate and unite it with Armenia. We must not expect anything from any of the powers, we must struggle and succeed through our own resources and capacities. We need to demonstrate to ourselves, as well as to our ally, our capacity to sustain ourselves as independent and sovereign nation state.
The Russian Federation does not care what happens to Artsakh. Russia all along did not mind if Armenia loses Artsakh. The Armenian leadership should clarify to the Russians that Armenia indeed has options. If Russia’s policy is to see Artsakh under Azerbaijan occupation = it should equal = Russia is out of the Caucasus. The borders of NATO will reach Chechnya, Kabardino Balkar, Ingushetia, Daghestan, Turkmenistan. So be it. Bring NATO and the American influence. The destruction of the Russian Federation starts from the Caucasus (specifically Artsakh). Putin and his little boy Medvedev can go to hell,along with their stupid Federation.
Would you leave your comfortable life in the US and travel to Karabakh to fight against Azerbaijan? Or would you send your son to die in the battle field?
The entire diaspora must rise with one voice.cash, funds, resources, technical and other assistance must be poured for the armed forces. A Niagata of support, aid, is necessary and imperative to prop up and defend the homeland, her sovereignty and freedom.There can be no negotiated settlement. It is a parlor carousel of charlatans doing the merry go around.Turkey will never reconcile, nor recognize the existence of Armenia. The war is against the Anatolian Turks ( occupying western Armenia) and the Turk Caucasian tartars. We are squeezed in a pincer movement.
Send money to Artsakh, send money send money. Don’t encourage others. YOU take the first step and ask others what they have done. I would like to see that diasporans collected one billion dollars to reinforce Artsakh military, then Azeries and Turks will shut their mouth, whole world will shake.