BY VICKEN SOSIKIAN
As I am writing this (Saturday 10/24, just after midnight), a friend sent me a news report that Turkey is transferring 1,200 special forces to Artsakh. Prime Minister Pashinyan has likened Turkey’s and Azerbaijan’s coordinated attacks on Artsakh as our new Sardarabad – where had Armenians not been successful in defeating the Ottomans, there would not be an Armenia today.
By definition, what Armenians are experiencing in Artsakh today is genocide.
Article 2 of The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines 5 acts, any one of which that is carried out with the intention to destroy a people, as genocide.
When Azerbaijan bombs the capitol and major cities of Artsakh for weeks, causing most of the population to flee; there is no doubt that their intention is to destroy the Armenian population of Artsakh.
Azerbaijan, with Turkey’s support, is currently carrying out not one but three acts that are tantamount to genocide according sections A, B and C of the definition of genocide:
A. Killing members of the group;
B. Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
C. Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.
Make no mistake, the Pan Turkism plan drawn more than a century ago is being executed as we speak. Armenia and the entire Armenian people are living in times of existential significance.
There should not even be a sliver of doubt that this bombardment is not only about the territory of Artsakh but more so about an effort the complete an unfinished genocide.
The only way to stop the attempts of annihilating the Armenian nation is to, once and for all, stop Azerbaijani and Turkish aggression against Armenia. Experience has shown that the only way to accomplish that is by defeating them so significantly that they hand over all that is ours to prevent us from having to liberate it.
In the absence of a significant breakthrough on the international diplomacy front, this war may take much longer than any of us would like. And the only way of ensuring the existence of our nation on the tail end of it all is to hold our line and defeat the enemy for good.
Anything less will result in the loss of Artsakh, and Armenia shortly after; and within about a hundred years the loss of the entire Armenian people.
The first Christian nation with thousands of years of history is, today, fighting for its life.
This is not pessimism; this is not hopelessness. This is my take on the situation based on history, based on current reality and based on the assessments made by Prime Minister Pashinyan and President Harutyunyan.
So where does this reality place us as a people? What course of action should every Armenian be planning as her contribution to the efforts of securing the existence of our nation?
The first course of action has already begun – Diaspora-wide grassroots activism. But, just as and if not more important, is the immediate establishment of goods production that directly or indirectly supports Armenia and its armed forces.
As a resident of Los Angeles one cannot be more amazed at the overwhelming amount of love and passion Armenians have displayed since the attacks started.
There’s been some form of rally or protest every day, fundraising results have been exponentially higher than ever before, the movement to rid our communities of Turkish products has taken off, more than one million ANCA action alerts have been sent to government officials, and now we’re pressuring PR firms to drop Turkey and Azerbaijan as clients.
While these actions are all important and impactful and while there’s a certain rush we experience when our actions produce results…these are reactive measurers.
If we want our nation to secure our rightful place in this world we must also be proactive and take meaningful leaps right away.
Engineers need to find a way to manufacture weapons in Armenia, now.
Those in the apparel business must shift to producing fatigues and military boots in Armenia, now.
Those in the construction industry must start building bunkers and rebuilding destroyed homes, now.
Those in the food service business must start making packaged and canned foods in Armenia, now.
And so on.
With similar urgency, even businesses unrelated to the war effort, should move their operations to Armenia.
Marketers, designers, advertisers, software developers and various other professionals should find a way to run their business out of Armenia, now.
All the famous Armenian women who produce makeup and beauty products should move their productions to Armenia, now.
Investors, entrepreneurs, and business savvy individuals should innovate in Armenia, now.
Now is the time. Later may just be never.
The Diaspora High Commissioner’s Office should focus all of its energies to such proactive measurers within Armenia to expedite the repatriation of Armenian innovation and commerce to Armenia. Not only would such an approach benefit the Armenian economy on the long term, but it will provide direct support to a people currently struggling to literally secure their place in the world.
In short, we all must find creative and impactful ways to support Armenia now. While it may not be economically and financially prudent, now is the time.
It is at these times that I remember my late friend Allen Yekikian, who would often quote Raffi: “While the prudent stand and ponder, the fool has already crossed the river.”