BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
With pup-Turk (Azeri) corpses piling up, the boneheads in Baku are probably scratching their heads as to what might be their next steps.
It seems the ten day span over which small bands of Azerbaijan’s armed forces have briefly breached Armenian lines (both republics’ borders) is the culmination of the ever increasing number of sniper and other attacks initiated by Baku. Add to this a new minister of defense occupying the office who seems to want to strut his stuff. Of course, we can’t forget the many years’ worth of military buildup, including drones. Interestingly, two of those drones seem to have been downed by Artsakh’s forces in recent weeks.
But all this is for naught. By most accounts, a serious escalation in hostilities is not anticipated by analysts. The Armenian side is attributing this senseless loss of life on both sides to Baku’s standard operating procedures— create tension ahead of upcoming meetings to abort any hope of meaningful progress in negotiations.
But there are some interesting observations to be made.
The normally bland Eduard Nalbandian, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Armenia actually seems to have developed some energy. The U.S. Department of State issues a typical, bloodless, statement, along with the OSCE and UN. I suggest they read “A Picture Worth a Thousand Words” which appeared in Asbarez. A 15-year old living in the border village of Baghanis, Armenia sketched his dream of amity between Armenians and Azeris. It profoundly moved this teenager’s camp counselors. Perhaps it will knock some sense into the “diplomats” who regularly call on BOTH sides to desist from escalation and hostilities, despite ONE side being the consistent and persistent aggressor.
But the Azeri assaults are not limited to the battlefield. A few days ago, an Azeri news source ran an item that stated an Armenian reporter who is “close to” the military had written that Armenians lost dozens of soldiers in these last rounds of fighting and that the Armenian side was suppressing this news. It turned out to be a complete fabrication, nothing of the sort had been written. Then, we also have Timothy Garton Ash speaking up on this issue. You might recall this is the British political writer and (conservative) Hoover Institution associate who was a strong voice against the French Genocide denial laws that failed to pass. It may be that some of the money the Baku is spending on public relations may actually be paying off in the form of getting their fantasies served up to a broader worldwide audience.
Perhaps it’s time to simplify life for both our republics by creating a third Armenian republic. Please see the accompanying map from Artsakh’s Washington, D.C. office’s website. I have drawn a blue line (perhaps hard to distinguish in the print edition of the paper) that runs the shortest distance from the Mingechaur (Mingachevir) reservoir’s (a body of water created in the 1950s by the damming of the Kura River) southerly side the current border of the Nagorno-Karabakh Republic. I suggest driving the Azeri’s back to that line.
It would reduce (by about seven times, by way of a very rough visual estimate) the length of the borders that Armenians would have to defend against Azeri incursions. Not only that, It would give Armenians control over a stretch of the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipeline, garnering handsome transit fees, perhaps taken in kind as oil. It would also put one of the three rail-routes from Azerbaijan to the north under Armenian control. Plus, this would give our side even more leverage over Baku from a water supply/flood control/electricity production perspective. The newly liberated territories could be constituted as the Armenian Republic of Cantsag (Gandsak) [currently referred to in the Turkified name Gyanja). Such a development might make the boneheads in Baku cool off for another twenty years.
Of course this doesn’t address the problem of increased (likely Turkish assisted) Azeri military activity from Nakhichevan. But that’s an issue for another article.
What do you think? Should we initiate a campaign to convince the authorities in Stepanakert and Yerevan to teach the pup-Turks this particular border-busting lesson?