BY GAREN YEGPARIAN
With all the election related activity, my focus had gotten directed away from Turkic activities, but it’s time to remedy that.
You probably aren’t surprised by the fact that Azerbaijan has violated the ceasefire regime 6000 times over just the first five months of 2012. That’s after registering a 2100% (no decimal point error!) increase in such violations from 2006 to 2011. And, more and more of those breaches have been along the Republic of Armenia’s borders, not just the Nagorno Gharapagh Republic’s.
You probably aren’t surprised by the fact that Azerbaijan has refused to withdraw its snipers from the borders, leading to an ongoing series of untimely deaths. Plus, they are putting their kids through sniper training, with anyone over 15 being eligible.
You probably aren’t surprised by the fact that Azerbaijan has continued its hatemongering against anything Armenian as evidenced by the country’s president’s declaration that “our main enemies are Armenians of the world”, the hero’s welcome received by the axe murderer of a sleeping Armenian, the threats to shoot down CIVILIAN aircraft flying into Sdepanagerd, and the multibillion dollar spending spree on military hardware— all directed against Armenia. Who else would they use it against? Iran? Russia?
You probably aren’t surprised by the fact that Azerbaijan has secured a puff-piece in Forbes, the noted business magazine, written by one Hilary Kramer who is goo-goo-eyed over her impending exposure to “cuisine and music” at a gala dinner hosted by the Azerbaijan America Alliance (AAA). She writes fawningly about the oil-money fueled “development” in the country and how underappreciated an ally poor old Azerbaijan is! Not a word about the country’s horrible human rights record, warmongering, and genocidal activities. This is what scads of money buys for a regime that is as debased as Azerbaijan’s.
You probably will be surprised that U.S. Ambassador to Azerbaijan, Mornigstar, was denied access to the site in Julfa where Azerbaijan destroyed a centuries old cemetery. What’s really insufferable is that the best this representative of the U.S. could muster, by way of a reaction in an embassy press release, is, “I regret that the authorities, citing security reasons, made it impossible for me to visit the site and personally see what is there”. How pathetic is that? Contact the State Department and tell them to instruct their ambassador to develop a spine!
You probably will be surprised that at a regular U.S. state Department briefing, responding to a question about the threats against civilian aviation (regarding flights into/out of the new Sdepanagerd airport), the spokesperson said “… the United States urges the parties to find a diplomatic solution to issues relating to the operation of the airport…” Wow, really, what a brilliant suggestion, who would have ever thought of such a thing? Innocent lives are being threatened by a government that canonizes axe murderers, and all we get is this lame platitude.
You probably will be surprised that three members of the U.S. House of Representatives —Rep. Hultgren (R-IL), Rep. Poe (R-TX), and Rep. Green (D-TX)— have received a total of twenty contacts from foreign agents or their hired representatives (in this case, mostly of Azerbaijan). This kind of interaction must be reported by law, but there doesn’t seem to be much substance since the typical report, at least in the compilation I saw, is quite opaque. Here’s a sample: “Khayal Sharif-zadeh from Azerbaijan America Alliance Corporation contacted Luke Murry from Representative Poe’s office on behalf of the government of Azerbaijan regarding Update on the Alliance’s Progress”. This is probably the most worrisome phenomenon. Something may be brewing, especially with the kind of money that Azeri and Turkish outfits and agents are spending on their propaganda efforts. On the other hand, this reveals that AAA is nothing more than a front for the government of Azerbaijan. Also interesting is that one of the contacts made was by none other than our old nemesis, former Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert, regarding Turkey.
It’s time to start pushing back. If you live in the congressional districts of any of the three people named above, call them, visit them, write them. Make sure they know you’re watching. That has a very sobering effect on any elected official who wants to keep their seat! It’s up to us as citizens to counteract the massive, money- and lies- based anti-Armenian campaign of Ilham Aliyev and what is laughably referred to as the Republic of Azerbaijan.